Monday, 17 December 2012

Look who loves my sheep...

My Sister's kitten Bill having a cuddle with Hannah's sheep

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Christmas Stockings

Attempt one:-

Needs some work on the cuff pattern & attachment!  I will post a how to when I get it 100%

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Christmas Bunnies

The fabric lining their ears is Minky Dot - a REALLY soft, gorgeous to touch, synthetic (sadly) fabric that cannot go near an iron, but is heavenly to feel.

Grace & Hannah will be opening gifts containing these bunnies on Xmas day.  

We did advent gifts for both girls this year.  Last year Hannah noted (with dismay) that I had not written a note with each gift - I corrected that oversight this year.  So never mind the wrapping of 48 gifts... the writing of 48 notes was no mean feat!

Here they are under the girls' bedroom tree awaiting morning (they arrived in the UK late - I was slow getting all those notes written) when the girls get to catch up & open 6 days in one!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012


Okay, I've been quiet for too long!  I vow to improve my sewing to photographing what I have sewn ratio (s:ps ... now:  s>ps, hopefully soon s=ps... you know you're a geek when...!!!), both so you can see what I have been up to, and secondly to keep a record for myself.  I have such an awfully bad memory, I often forget things I have made!  Which can make for nice surprises...

Visiting SA last month, I saw friends using/ enjoying items I had made (and promptly forgotten) and was inordinately proud of myself for having made them!

I have been working on Xmas gifts & my older niece's BDay gift, and as long as Colleen can keep her from seeing this, here are some shots of Hannah's birthday sheep...

Friday, 2 November 2012

House shoes / Slippers

If you happened to see that post where I have all the things I would like to make (here), you may have seen these slippers

I liked the look of them, and had already made a mess of one pair I tried from the pattern I had used before (I used the wrong fabric this time for the sole), so decided to give this new pattern a try.

Her pattern is easy to download.  Simply click on the link, then click on the picture, then on 'view all sizes', then 'download the large size'.  Print at 100%.

Her pictures make the instructions very easy to follow & I had the pair made up in 30 minutes.

I love the slight Winklepicker look they have!
I used faux leather - bought on my last visit to South Africa - for the sole, as it gives traction - great for laminate floors.
The fabric is Echino - a great Japanese range stocked by Linda at Volksfaden.

Great pattern, thanks Jo!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

I have been accepted!!!!!

I just received this mail:

Hi Di

I am pleased to tell you that you have been selected for scholarship for the Apprentice Course 3.  Congratulations!

I will be sending out an email hopefully tomorrow with some videos and review assignments that must be completed before we begin in January 12, 2013.

Please find the critique for your entry attached.  Good job!


Monday, 22 October 2012

My 1st Bag pattern

MadeByDi Bag Pattern Pieces

You can download this from Scribd - open a free account & off you go.  Please link photos of your finished bag in comments - I would love to see yours!
Print at full size - do not minimize / scale, unless you would like to make a bigger / smaller version!
I called it a cosmetic bag, but a friend made one with longer handles & it is a perfect handbag!  I plan on making another one (slightly larger) with D-rings inserted into the tabs & then add an adjustable strap to the D-rings - a good overnight bag.
Looking forward to seeing your bags!

My 1st Bag pattern - tutorial

MadeByDi PDF Bag

Please do not waste paper printing this out!!

Here is the link

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Bright, Bold, Beautiful Babies' Bibs

I love the style of these bibs!  The design is practical as the armholes prevent the bib lifting, thereby avoiding the usual problems faced with bibs that close only around the neck, keeping baby's whole outfit clean.  As it is closer to clothing than a bib, even fussy little people generally do not object to wearing this bib style (you can leave the neck tie undone - usually the most objectionable part of the bib - and it still functions).  This design is also hard for little ones to remove alone (as they generally manage to do just as they are spitting out a cheek full of carrots).  The soft toweling backing is great for wiping little faces down after a meal, and the whole thing is fully washable!

This is the green range - keep an eye out for the blue range & the pink range coming soon!

Halloween Bunting

Fun Bunting for Halloween - available soon at Volksfaden

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Pretty cushions....

Don't you love the bright, vibrant colours of these little cushions.  The front one is part of a very sweet & well considered gift for a mom-in-law recovering from illness, I just finished making for a customer, the back one for the customer herself.
The fabrics are both from Volksfaden - okay, I know.... here it goes...

Hi, my name is Di, and I am addicted to the lovely fabrics at Volksfaden!
Your response:  'Hello Di'

- I think that's how it goes.

Better pic? Slightly?

The pumpkin packs are ready at Linda - go on, make your own holiday decor!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Not as pretty, but very practical...

I left off this pic from my sewing room make over:

Like I said, not pretty, but very practical!
All my lovely CeKa interfacing is kept off the floor & stored away nicely on brackets above the door.  No one really sees them and they stay clean & out of the way.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Bathroom window complete!

Remember way back here... when I started the roller blind makeover?  I said I just needed to make the covered pelmet to hide the roller blind & it would be done...

Well, today I finally got up that ladder & installed it!

Much better!
Happy stitching!

Tactile Tuch

These little sensory blankets are great for little ones.  They are easy for small (uncoordinated) hands to grab and hold.  The little ribbon tabs are great for little fingers, and provide many different textures.  But the hero of the piece is definitely the Minky Dot on the reverse.  This stuff is gorgeous!  Soft doesn't even start to describe it.  Adults may just be stealing cuddles from it too!
BUT, be warned... do not iron Minky Dot!  It is completely washable at low temperatures, but don't iron and don't place in microwave to heat it - yes, I have heard of people doing this - odd, I know!

This is a 'wash 'n wear' toy... forget the wrinkles.

It is a perfect 'la la' blanket... you know, the thing babies hang onto and rub on their faces as they are falling asleep.  The thing that woe be you if you forget to pack for a trip, as nothing will do in it's place...

Tuch translates as cloth, and in every baby bag you have a variety of them... one for spit up, one for tying baby to your chest for easy transport, one for sitting on, one for placing over pram to keep sun off baby's face - or stop them seeing interesting sights so they will fall asleep, and now this one!  The Tactile Tuch!

Happy stitching!!

Friday, 28 September 2012

Sewing room remake unveiled.

Looking in from the door:

I built the two long tables myself.  Had the wood cut at Hellweg (I do adore that hardware store) and the 2 table-top pieces delivered, as they are 2.5m long!  The very sweet man at Hellweg was sure I would rather save myself the delivery fee & hire one of their vans for an hour as it would be significantly cheaper.... yes, sure, I will parallel park a 3m long truck in crowded Berlin - bearing in mind I have driven on the left hand side of the road, and the right hand side of the car for most of my life!!  
I paid the delivery fee :)

So I now have my sewing machine & my overlocker ready set up next to each other - so simple to move between the two!  Note the wall mounted lamp above the machines.  It is an IKEA find & was not pricey.  It is great!  Gives a really good, strong light, perfect for sewing corners!  I may be adding another one above the computer on the other side.

And then on the other 2.5m table I have my Mac with my embroidery machine right next to it.  I still plan on painting the wood table (also made by me - see this post) that the embroidery machine is on to match the other two so they look like a set.  I ran out of the special paint for this though, so another trip to Hellweg is coming up :) 

I sanded down & repainted the small chest of drawers to match the rest - less conspicuous this way.
I also reupholstered the chairs with a spot - I am so in love with spots right now!! 
Reupholstering chairs like these is really simple!  You need a screw driver, a good staple gun and new fabric - that is it!  I got each chair done in about 20 minutes.  The slowest part is removing all the old staples!

I added big hooks to the under-side of the table so I have a place to store my pattern-making-paper.
Under the embroidery machine are two special boxes:
A leather box with various craft books and patterns in it - the box was a wedding gift from Cathy & Basil & very cherished!
And a vintage wooden sewing box from Indu, which fits so much in it & is also very much treasured!

No, I am not displaying my underwear!  I gave a bra making class last week at Mama Makada and this was the sample bra.

In the far left on the wall you will see a kitchen towel holder, repurposed to hold rolls of ribbon.
On the far right on the desk you can see the little fabric box I made to hold pins, bobbins etc - also prevents bobbins becoming cat toys... Sophia loves to push them off the table for some reason, and once it falls to the floor she loses interest in that one & pushes the next one off!  Lemming bobbins :)

I took my sister's advice & now have my cutting mat on a table instead of on the floor.  It is easier!!  And saves my poor knees :)
I have the cutting table just under the window, so great light, and then it can double as a photo shoot table when required.  I still have the Birkenstock kneeler under the table for when I need to work on the floor - it is a great invention!

On the opposite wall I still have the fabric cupboard as seen in this post:
But now it has two friends!
Unfortunately they all need a good sorting & tiding (so not the best time to show you, but you will be forgiving - right?)

Those plastic baskets in the middle cupboard are great!  They hold all the haberdashery that will not fit in the pretty floral boxes on the desk, as well as the sewing machine's larger accessories.  

One last look: 

I am pleased! 

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Workroom Make over

I have been sewing, loads actually, I promise!  Just keep forgetting to take some snap shots of what I have made!
I have also been working on 'prettying up' my sewing room, and am almost happy with it... all will be revealed once it is completed!  Suffice to say, for now, that I increased my carpentry skills with this make over.

Here are my BIWC Sewing ladies with their beautiful european bread baskets they made in class (I was so proud of them - each one was lovely!!).

And here is Calico enjoying the prototype I made to test my pattern for the class

Big cat, small basket...

You get a sneak peek in this photo of the changes to my sewing room... more to follow....

Happy stitching!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Oh I do love this pattern!!

I cannot get enough of Michelle's (from michellepatterns, see link on right of this page - just click on the pretty handbag) Lots of Pockets Tote! It is one of her older patterns, and is discounted as a result, but is still one of my favs!

I have made so many different ones, and they all look completely different - proof that when you start with a good pattern, you can adapt it in 100 ways & it will still work!

All of these are the same pattern:

The new one (to replace my old favorite I left behind in South Africa for a friend there)

The spotty fabric is one of my current favorites - Amy Butler Love

Previous bags, same pattern: