Poppies and reindeer

It’s that time of year again when minds turn to Remembrance Day and Christmas, once we’ve survived Hallwawaoween and Bonfire Night. I’ve got one barky little bitch who doesn’t like fireworks and a drooly girl who is very upset by them too, so to distract us I’ve got a true crime podcast on. After tea I’ll be working on a blanket, if I can persuade Ezzie off my knee.

I’ve been crafting. For those who don’t like to wear the red poppy there is the white poppy of peace.

IMG-20171103-WA0001First the petals, crocheted according to a pattern an acquaintance gave me. This pattern came from a magazine, but they can be found online on Pinterest apparently.










Then sew the petals together.IMG-20171103-WA0003












And then finally sew on a big black button and a safety pin


It’s not difficult, except I kept forgetting the different crochet stitches.

For December, I’ve started a little project – a herd of reindeer.

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This is the first one. For a while I referred to it as the duck-reindeer because the body looked like a bath ducky. I’ve used little gold bells for the eyes and tried to shape the ears.










In progress:

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Snails and turtles

I went to visit friends in ShNo automatic alt text available.effield on Saturday; it was fun. The journey back yesterday, due to engineering works, was hell. Train times online were wrong so I only just caught my train from Meadowhall.

Anxiety isn’t fun but sewing helps calm me down, eventually. It took about four hours. This tortoise is the result. Instead of using my machine, it is hand sewn.

The pattern comes from the Sew Style & Home website. It’s for a tortoise pattern weight, but I haven’t used anything to weight it. It’s a nice soft toy without them.

Pattern here


On Thursday I sat and made a snail too, using this pattern. I got the dimensions for the snail shell wrong the first time, so I had to remake that bit. I didn’t add any weight to the body either.  It was generally considered cute by by the rest of Immingham Sewing and Craft Club.

On Friday I made use of the hexxie set mother gave me a few weeks ago, and cut out some 2.5 inch paper patterns and material, the same as the material used on the tortoise. It’s been a while since I did some patchwork. I finished it on Saturday evening, while I was visiting my friends. I’ll get some pale blue material and make an envelope cushion case. I think it’ll look lovely in a child’s bedroom.

I have a potential first fair of the year coming up in April, I just need to arrange transport. It’s not very far and I could probably walk but I’d have to carry all my stuff with me. If I can get a lift I’d be able to take a few of the 200 books I need to sell too.

Dog bed tutorial: free, easy make

Yesterday I decided my hell hounds needed their bed revamping. They have a crate with a tray in the bottom, and until yesterday, four old pillows. It looked a bit scruffy and was hard to clean. I’d tried washing one of the pillows in the past (there was a butter stealing-vomit incident, I don’t want to talk about it), but it distorted the shape of the pillow. The dogs did like being able to make nests though.

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Bees, backpacks and blankets


My sister and I went to a craft fair yesterday, as you can see we had a good big table. I finished a ‘bee’ pattern from Sew magazine; my sister says it looks more like a glow worm (who remembers those?). You can see the glow worm/bee on the table, bottom right as you look at the screen.

I also made a back pack on Saturday from a pattern in July’s Sewing World. It is going to Paris with me in two weeks as my luggage  as we’ve only got hand luggage. It’s only a three night trip so I don’t need an awful lot and it all fits in my little bag. I’m stupidly proud of myself for making it successfully. I had to do a bit of a repair on the left strap because I didn’t quite get the strap in the right place between the layers of material and interfacing. I used the material from a couple of quilt covers I’d been given by a friend. I used one, a heavier purple/pink material for the outer material, flap and internal pocket. The liner is made from another quilt cover, it’s thinner and white/cream. The straps are made from white webbing and plastic clips. The original pattern has an open pocket inside, but I added a zip for a bit of extra security.

Since I couldn’t settle to much else on Saturday evening I finished my corner-to-corner blanket. It’s rather colourful isn’t it?

c2c blanket

Making Herbert the Dragon

Actually the pattern is called ‘Yoki the Fat Dragon’, but I’ve named him Herbert now he’s finished. It suits him.

In a post earlier this week I linked to a pattern I’d bought from makerist.com, and on Thursday I finally got to the library to print the pattern out. I sat down on Thursday evening to trace the pattern pieces (it comes with the pattern with and without seam allowance added). I chose to use the pattern without the seem allowance added, because I’m an idiot who didn’t realise that the ones with seam allowance added were on the last three sheets of the pattern book. You should always have a look through the pattern first before starting work.

Making the pattern

After tracing the pattern on to dress makers tracing paper I cut them out and sat down with the material to work out what would go where. The canvas material I have is patterned, with a wide purple border. I don’t know what it used to be but I was gifted it by one of the ladies at sewing club so I’m not complaining. I also dug out some purple felt from my stash to make the back and tail blades.


At this point it was getting twilight, I was getting tired and the paracetamol I’d taken for my headache before I’d started the cutting and tracing still hadn’t started working, so I went to bed.

This afternoon I took a look at the instructions. I’d already ignored several of them. According to the instructions I was supposed to start by drawing the arms on material and cutting them out. I prefer my method. All the cutting and tracing gets done in one go.

Here are the arms.herbert arms

They were terribly fiddly to turn right side out. but stuffed easily enough. I made use of a 3 mm crochet hook to do the job.








One arm stuffed.



Next came the wings. These were fairly easy to make.I cut the batting to the size of the pattern and used it to guide my sewing around the material. Sewing the decoration on, to make the bones and web of the wings, was fairly easy too and quite effective.herbert wings










First wing almost finished


Next up was the head. This was more complicated and might have been easier to sew by hand than on the machine. It turned out a little lopsided but I’m pleased with the eyes, nose and ears.

herbert head








Cute, isn’t he?


Next came the task of putting the body together. This took quite a bit of time and patience.

The legs and feet were particularly tasking, I have to say. Fiddly, and the instructions weren’t too helpful either. Stuffing the body was interesting, it all had to go in through the narrow neck, which meant my stitching got stretched and I had to restitch three seams.

Once the body was made and stuffed the instructions ask you to do something with a needle to make the underbelly and tail bottom striped. I couldn’t work out from the instructions what I was supposed to do, so I didn’t bother with that part.

Finally I had to attach the head, arms and wings. That was a fairly simple task. I’m not sure they’re quite in the right place but near enough as makes no difference. It makes Herbert quirky and different from all the other dragons made using the same pattern.

He’s currently sat on the mantle shelf but has been sunning himself in the garden and eating the sewing machine in the kitchen.

He’s got character, I think. Cheery, slightly silly, and very cute.

What did I think of the tutorial in the pattern book? 

It was okay but not very clear at times. They could do with revising, especially part 7 – the stomach patterning.

Experience/skill level needed

This is probably a project for the moderately experienced crafter, possibly even advanced.

Pictures from today

Table top


A couple of pictures from today. There was supposed to be a picture of me and Michelle, one of the ladies I shared the table with, but I don’t think her husband knows how to use cameras.

Such a pity, because we both looked fabulous.