Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Happy 12th Birthday Dot!

It was Dotty Locket's 12th birthday at the weekend and as always we have the customary photos of the three excited Little Lockets waiting impatiently by the pile of presents (looking very lovely on my newly finished Swell quilt) and the lovely ones I get each year of the happy cuddles received.

And once again I nearly killed myself sewing frantically for Dot's birthday - Mr Locket and I ended up having supper the night before at 11.45pm and I felt half dead for the next couple of days but it was definitely worth it. And because I am a pathetic show-off I'm going to bore you with pictures of all the things I made starting with her new school bag - although this was actually the last thing finished and had to be completed while everyone was having breakfast on the morning of her birthday!

This is the Amy Butler patchwork side

and this is the Daisy side - Dot's favourite as it turns out.

Sorry about the bad photo - I just knew I would never get this post written if I kept trying to get a better picture.

It's a standard messenger bag with two large zip pockets and one side pocket for her mobile phone and is my highly simplified variation of Amy Butler's messenger bag pattern.

I also made a matching pencil-case, art pencil roll and wallet

And of course, her matching dress!!!!

I mean everyone wants a dress that matches their pencil case don't they????

Again the photos aren't great because we were on the beach and the wind was really strong and the sun was in hiding - but I like them because they are real photos of my really lovely, almost-grown-up girl.

I really enjoyed making this pattern and will be doing more soon - and I'll try to remember to show you a proper photo of the dress when it is not being whipped around by the wind.

But my favourite present for Dot was the one I designed all by myself! The idea came to me a few weeks ago and with a lot of fiddling around this is what I came up with.........

Mr Walter Pigeon the Owl!

He's a cushion/cuddly toy with a special pocket in the back for a lavender wheat pad that can be warmed in the microwave - and Dot loves him!

Whereas I'm just amazed I got him finished in time as there are 40 individual feathers and I whenever I thought I had enough I kept discovering I needed more!

His body is made with navy velvet so he is extra snuggly - and I already have some other designs lurking around in the back of my mind!

I also quickly stitched a fabric card to match using a free stitchery that had been posted on Sew-Mama-Sew.

But I think Dot's favourite card was from Charlie P

and she was super-delighted with the notecards that I asked Charlie to design for her

(but please be assured that the speech bubble isn't all smudgy and messy in real life - it's just where I blurred out Dot's real name!)

Charlie's new Pigeon Press enterprise is fantastic - the cards are wonderful!

And now I am going to dash off because after 6 lovely weeks of being at home with the children I am off out to the cinema with some friends and if I don't go now I'll be late!


Lucy x

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Sewing Room Fun

I've been busily working in the sewing room trying to get some presents made for Dot's birthday so it is all top secret for now, but I have also been doing some creating with the Little Lockets and I thought you'd like to see what we have been up to.

They each took it in turns to come in and help design something for me to sew for them and in Dot's case she actually did most of the sewing herself.

Being an eco-friendly girl she wanted to make a fabric shopping bag so that we use fewer plastic bags. This is the reversible bag we came up with - a bit on the long side but useful nonetheless!

The children have all been spending a lot of time drawing Manga style pictures this holiday and so it seemed a good idea to translate some of the designs into applique .

Daisy wants me to make her a new school bag so this is the beginning of it:

and this is the picture once the stitching had been done - still far from bag-like though!

Fred and I worked on a T-shirt design by borrowing the head from one cartoon character and adding it to the body of another to create this little boy:

Fred chose all the fabrics and coloured in his picture to show me how it should be.

and here he is modelling the finished t-shirt at the beach - you wouldn't believe it had only cost 75p from Asda would you?

We then turned his lizard stitchery - that he did two years ago when he was 5 and we were on holiday in Italy - into a cushion

Again Fred chose the fabrics and layout and then had fun making patterns of his own.

I also took a photo for those doubting-Thomases amongst you who don't believe that it is possible for me to keep my sewing room tidy.

This is the only "mess" ever left in the whole room at the end of each day!


I know I am!

But I'm less impressed with the Lucy Locket method of re-styling my own clothes.....................

Hmmmm, not quite the result I was after even though Mr Locket tried his very best and didn't complain that he was being made late for work.

Do you think it would have been better to take the t-shirt off first before cutting the sleeve???

Friday, 14 August 2009

An Amy Butler Day

Last Tuesday Dotty Locket and I dropped the two littlest Little Lockets off at a friend's house for the day and pootled over to the Fat Quarters to meet AMY BUTLER!!!

It's funny because before I started blogging my taste in fabric would not have included the big and bold styles favoured by AB but constant exposure to all the new colours and designs on other people's blogs has really changed how my eyes see things! You may remember that I chose some lovely fabrics from her Daisy Chain range for Mr Locket to give me for Christmas and part of this stash was turned into a pair of cushions

and the rest have been gradually growing into this quilt which is now ready to be layered and quilted.

Anyway, enough about me.

On to someone FAR more important.

Miss Dotty Locket of course!

As it is Dot's birthday towards the end of this month the outing to see Amy Butler was one of her treats along with the promise that I would buy her some more AB fabric for her new school bag as I seem to have started a tradition of making her one for her birthday each year - see here for this bag (coincidentally the first thing I ever made with an Amy Butler pattern!) and here for last year's version.

These are the ones she has been collecting

So I just need to think of some clever way to use them to make a great new bag!

While we were waiting for Amy Butler's presentation we spotted this pattern

and Dot and I decided that it would be another lovely birthday present if I were to make this for her too. She had already fallen for the fabric used on the pattern cover and we had bought some for her bag but then went back and bought another two and a half metres!

Good job she loves it!

I just hope I can sew the dress well enough (and that I have enough time to do it all as there are several other handmade presents that have been brewing in the back of my mind and there are only 8 days until her birthday!)

And, um, I also bought some more fabric to go with my existing Amy Butler collection!

Anyway, back to the important stuff.

Amy Butler was lovely - very down to earth and friendly and we all received free patterns

and she took the time to sign books and patterns and pose for photos

but, lovely as she is, I don't think that Dot could even begin to compare with the other character that Amy was photographed with.

I mean, we're talking REAL celebrity here.................

of a rather woolly-feathered variety..........

Why yes! None other than Mr Pigeon himself!

Seen here modelling one of Amy's new bag designs

but you will have to wait for Charlie's next post to see the photographic evidence of these A- list celebrities meeting for the first time!

Mr Pigeon also enjoyed the lunch although Charlie had to be very careful to only offer him the cheese sandwich as both egg and meat seemed a little inappropriate for a pigeon!

And there was even time for Mr P to end up behind bars with his old pal Lofty.

Dot and I had a lovely day and meeting Amy Butler was great, but I have to quietly echo Dot's conclusion that seeing Charlie P was definitely the highlight of the day.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Sun, Sea and Homegrown Goodness

We've had more sunny fun at the beach this week and it has really dawned on me lately how very lucky we are to live near such a beautiful and varied coastline. In the six miles of beach from South Shields to Sunderland there are so many changes and each "beach" that have visited lately has been different.

On Thursday the beach we were on (the main sea-front in South Shields) had a sudden drop down to the sea with big crashy waves so that the children invented a kind of "swim-surfing". Unfortunately my camera had died earlier in the week so there are no photos of the fun they had.

Then on Saturday we went nearer to Sunderland - more rocks, finer sand, fewer people. The tide was quite a long way out and the fishermen were bringing their boats in. It was really interesting watching a "working beach" as opposed to the pleasure beaches nearby. Most boats were towed up by tractor and the few boats left bobbing in the shallow water were very picturesque.

Daisy and Fred got busy building sandcastles while Dorothy, Mr Locket and I lolled about reading.

Then after a while I wandered down to the sea to look for shells and the three Little Lockets soon joined me for a paddle.

They quickly realised how shallow this bit of sea was and were able to wander quite a long way out. If you look closely at the bottom left hand corner of the collage above you can see a canoe skim right past where Fred was standing - it just looked a bit surreal!

There were lots of dogs on the beach as this is one of the stretches where they are allowed but I was far more interested in watching the horses being exercised in the sea.

Again there is another funny shot of the canoe-guy paddling towards a huge horse.

But I think this was probably the childrens' favourite part of the visit

When I had taken the photo I said to Fred "You were supposed to be smiling!"

"I was smiling and licking" was his reply!

On our way home we called at the allotment which is really blooming

and picked more piles of veg

Courgette soup anyone?

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Ooooooh! Fabric shopping!

I had a lovely trip out to The Fat Quarters with my friend Jane yesterday morning so brace yourselves, because there is lots and lots of gorgeous eye-candy coming up!

Because first of all we spotted this beautiful Lecien fabric - with writing on(!!!) my favourite!

I don't know why, but fabric with writing on is my absolute, all-time favourite so this fabric with it's cute pictures too was an obvious winner for me.

But then, both Jane and I went into mega-over-excited mode because there, on the table were some bona-fide, real-life, in-the-flesh, packs of...................




Japanese fabric!!!!!

Proper Linen/cotton blend, gorgeous ecru Japanese fabric!!!

Oh how I squealed!

And look how well all my fabrics go together!

But Jodie, I think we have a bit of a problem. They didn't seem to understand the whole selvedge business! Even when they looked like this!

What on earth is going on?????

And Jod, you know how much I love you?

Loads. Right?

But not enough to send you this selvedge!


What I do need to confess ist that I'd actually just gone along with Jane who genuinely needed fabric to finish a bag for her niece and I only intended to buy this book.

And after buying all that gorgeous fabrics I really should have left the book on the shelf.

But seeing as I had asked Kim to save me one, it would have been rude not to buy it.

Wouldn't it????

I mean, I didn't buy it because it was gorgeous did I?

I was just being polite of course.

Ooooh, but it is lovely!

But I must end tonight on a serious note.

For those of you who think my lovely Pink Sewing Room is a fabulous escape from the Little Lockets I think it is important to show you the view from my door:

Yup. The trampoline with all its bouncy, squealy, laughing noisiness!