Tuesday, 8 July 2014

One not-entirely-selfish Minx

It's a real rarity, but I've actually made some things for other people for a change! It sounds terrible, but I always have such an epic list of URGENT sewing jobs for myself, that I neglect to make things for others. Is that a general sewist trait, or am I just a bad person? Either way, I forgot about my wardrobe NEEDS for long enough to make a couple of gifts recently that I'm going to share with you here.

First up, a bag for my mum's birthday. I bought the book Sew Serendipity Bags after deciding I needed more bags in my life and should start making my own. This was a nice easy one to begin with, and I figure everyone loves a fold-away shopping bag, right?

Folded up
When I first saw this fabric out of the corner of my eye, I thought the red was poppies, which mum loves. I then realised it was roses, but by that time it didn't matter because I'd clocked the cute cottages, and the yummy rich colours all over. I picked out the green for the colour-block handles, and had just the button that has been sitting in my stash for years waiting for its perfect home.

I had some pretty lace left over from my Sureau dress and thought it toned in perfectly and added a little feminine touch to the bag. It was fun to make, and the instructions were nice and clear. There's a bit of jumping around through the book (i.e. 'to make the handles, refer to the tutorial on page 16') but that's no major hassle.

Next, it was the hen do of Bezzie Minx's mum last weekend. She's like a second mum to me so I was really excited when we came up with the idea of making her a garter as a special gift. Bezzie Minx told me her mum didn't have her 'something blue' for the wedding yet, so we thought a garter would be a nice gift, and something a bit cheeky to give her at the hen do. It turns out, however, that nice, classy ones cost a fortune! Like £40-£50 so I boldly exclaimed "I reckon I could make one for a tenner".

I checked out a few tutorials and chose this very helpful one to follow. It seemed simple enough, so after 2 trips to the ribbon shop (length estimating fail on Trip 1!), it came together pretty quickly.

Last but by no means least, a gift for the happy couple! I wanted to make something special as these are two very dear people to me and I found this lovely cross-stitch kit which I thought wasn't too smushy and cheesy, whilst being all above love and loveliness.

Cross-stitch feels a bit like cheating to me, as it's really the sewing equivalent of painting by numbers, but this one was a beast! You wouldn't think it to look at it, but this took what felt like forever and I was actually worried at one point that I wouldn't finish it in time. Big Minx commented one night "nice to see you've adopted a sweatshop attitude to getting that done" as I filled my every spare minute with tiny crosses.

What took the time was the fact that there are no real big blocks of colour (other than the tree) so a lot of chopping and changing between threads went on. The silver and gold metallic threads, pretty as they look, are positively ghastly to sew with. They snag and separate and drag and everything you don't want from an embroidery thread, so I'm glad that bit's over with!

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