Tag Archives: Sandy Sews

Knock, Knock (Round 2)

And who might it be this time?

It’s Miss Very Pink Bunny!

I sewed her as a Christmas present for the daughter of our secretary. Miss VPB turned out somewhat pinker than I had planned, but apparently, that’s a good thing since the little girl in question luuuuuuurves pink! 🙂

In other news: today would have been Weigh In Day, if it hadn’t been for that dratted migraine that caught me unawares this morning. Duh. But I will go tomorrow morning — not simply because our coach is fantastic and the meetings are extremely motivational, but also because there’s a distinct possibility that I have reached the 10% goal this week. When I started with Weight Watchers last November, the 10% mark seemed so far away — out of reach basically. But in the end, it’s taken me only eight weeks to come to this point. Needless to say that I’m mighty happy!

Lovely, lovely books

Today I bought/received these two books:

The first one has been written by the wonderful Laura Vivanco, dragonslayer assisstant extraordinaire (i.e., she was one of the poor people who volunteered to proofread my PhD thesis). Laura has been reading and studying Harlequin Mills & Boon romances for a long time, and judging from her postings at Teach Me Tonight and our e-mail discussions, I am certain that her book will knock my socks off. I’m thrilled to pieces for her, and even though I wanted to wait until the POD edition would become available, I’ve just bought the Kindle edition because I simply couldn’t wait.

The second book arrived in today’s mail:

As you know, I’ve become a bit obsessed with sewing lately. So far, all I’ve ever sewn are bags and softies and some really simple quilts, but I do love the idea of sewing my own clothes. So for the past two or three years, I’ve been steadily building my library of sewing handbooks. All I need to do now is to brave the actual process of sewing clothes.

Which, to be honest, scares me witless.

Sewing softies is fairly easy and cotton is a very forgiving fabric, too. If you’ve made a mistake in the construction of the softy, you can always improvise and the result will still look good (well, except for that one doll pattern) (and the sock kitty with the strange head) (hey, but the embroidery on said kitty’s belly is rather good!). But with clothes? That you want to wear???? Uh-oh.

So I’m still scared, still not sewing clothes, and still finding excuses. Ah well … one day … 🙂

Three Musketeers for Mirabel

It’s that time of year again: Softies for Mirabel, the handmade toy drive organised by Pip Lincolne from “Meet at Mike’s” to benefit the Mirabel Foundation, which “assists children who have been orphaned or abandoned due to parental illicit drug use and are now in the care of extended family (kinship care)”. The dolls and softies are exhibted in the shop window of “Meet Me at Mike’s” in the first week of December before they are given to the Mirabel foundation. It’s a charity project I’m more than happy to support.

So this year, I sent along three softies:

The giraffe might look familiar: Corduroy Wes (remember him?) was made from this pattern, too. The doll is a Tilda Christmas angel minus the wings, and the little guy is Henny House from the fabulous book Softies Only a Mother Could Love (= Most.Adorable.Softies.Ever!!!).

The patterned fabrics are from Tante Ema, a fabric design studio based in the Black Forest of all places! Naturally I have to support them by buying many, many, many yards of their fabrics. 😉

Helpful Advice for Crafting Minded People

  1. Do not sit on the pincushion (especially if it’s still full of pins!). This is painful and embarrassing.
  2. Do not step onto the plastic rulers. They tend to slide and make you fall. This, too, is painful and embarrassing.
  3. Do not trip over your sewing box. This is horribly painful and embarrassing, and you foot will be black and blue for days to come.

Softies for Mirabel: Miss Rosie Red

Corduroy Wes has got a new friend:

It’s little Miss Rosie Red (made from a Hop Skip Jump pattern)!

She likes music.

Veeeery much so. And if you give her a few books to sit on, she can even play the piano!

Here she shows you the itty bitty (red!) flowers that adorn her stylish trousers:

A ribbon of tulips! Aren’t they cute?

But for now, little Miss Rosie hasn’t got much time to think about tulips or other flowers. Instead she dreams ….

…. of foreign shores. For in just a few days, Rosie will go on a long journey to Australia – more specifically to “Meet Me at Mike’s” in Melbourne for the fourth annual Softies for Mirabel project: people from all around the world send them handmade softies, which will be displayed in the store window during the first week of December. Afterwards, the dollies and stuffed animals will all be wrapped up and donated to the Mirabel Foundation.

Miss Rosie can’t wait to hop on that plane to Australia!

While I’m away, meet Sue Bonnet

At the moment I’m in New Haven, CT to attend a conference on Victorian periodicals. My paper deals with Richard Doyle’s illustrations for Punch. Like this one. Or this.

So while I’m away, I’m going to entertain you with some pictures of my recent redwork projects. Here’s little Sue Bonnet and her duckie (this reminded me of the duckie in our backyard):

She was placed on top of a jar of homemade lemon curd:

Corduroy Wes

This is Wes …

Corduroy Wes.

Wes lives on one of the bookshelves in my mini-library. He likes to climb on boxes:

Here he is galumphing around the table:

Wes is one of the softies from Hilary Lang’s brandnew book Wee Wonderfuls:

I’ve been reading Hilary’s blog of the same title for several months now, and I couldn’t WAIT for her book to be released. I’m happy to report that so far it did not disappoint. 🙂

I chose Wes as my first project from the book because A) he looked cute …

… and B) because he consists of only six main pattern pieces (not including the ears) and it looked all very straightforward and easy.

Ha! Famous last words and all that! (If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might remember the pin I sewed into my first quilt. Or what happened when I decided not to make my quilt back bigger than the front.)

This is my first softie consisting of more than two pattern pieces, which might explain why I had some trouble at first to figure out how Wes ought to be put together. There are pictures in the book, of course, but sometimes I’m a bit dense and therefore it took me some time to realise what the underbelly pieces were for. (Duh.) When the penny had finally dropped, it was indeed all very straightfoward.


My cutting technique left something to be desired, and as a consequence I had some problems fitting the gusset(s) to the side pieces. To make matters worse, I ended up with two different-sized head pieces = not good. (Note to self: Tracing, cutting, you needz to improve itz!) Luckily, it’s relatively easy to improvise when you sew softies. So I improvised, and I have to say I’m quite happy with the results. 🙂

Friendz Forevah!

The Name Is Bunny, Mr Bunny

Take a cute pattern and a cuddly fabric, add some thread, pins (please notice my lovely tomato pin cushion which I got from my Mum!) and a sewing machine …

… and you might end up with this:

Mr Bunny is one of the crafting projects I finished last week. He is a variation of Miss Chibi-Kitty and of this little bunny (I found the pattern here) — only this time I used the sewing machine. I wasn’t quite sure whether I would be able to do all the tight curves on the machine, but me and the Carina managed just fine.

For the bunny’s body I used some of the leftovers from the fabric with which I filled my first quilt (LINK). It’s very soft and so was perfect to make a present for a baby girl. I embroidered Mr Bunny’s smiley face …

… and also added the initial of the baby girl’s first name in order to personalise the gift. I sure hope she and her parents will like Mr Bunny!

PS: Sorry if the colours in the photos come out weird on your computer. The ‘puter that I normally use to work on photos has died (which is also partly the reason for my lengthy absence), so I have to use another and for some reason or other, I’ve got difficulties with the picture editing programme. Hmph.

The Bunny Who Wanted to Be a Mouse

When you write a novel, strange things happen sometimes. Like, you’re planning this fantabulous gothic romance and then – bang! – in walks this female character with sturdy boots and proceeds to stomp all the gothicness to dust. (That’s rather disconcerting, let me tell you.)

Sometimes characters talk to you. (If they actually call you, like, on the phone, you might want to consult a doctor, though. Just saying.)

Sometimes characters insist on being somebody else.

Did you know that exactly the same thing can happen when you do embroidery?


You want proof?

Then let’s have a look at a little bunny from that super-cute Japanese crafting magazine I got a few days ago:

This little bunny:

Do you see the cute little ears? And the cute little bunny tail? And now, may I draw your attention to this little bunny:


Well, as you can plainly see, the little bunny didn’t want to be a bunny. It wanted to be a mouse. I made two attempts to rectify the situation, but it still looked like a mouse. So I finally decided to go with the flow and let the bunny be a mouse.

The bunny was happy.

I was happy.

And I hope the recipient of this little bag will also be very happy.

Here’s the inside. I lined the bag with a very smooth, satiny cotton:

Do you remember the fabric? I also used it for my very first sewing project last year. 🙂