Tag Archives: diy

all puffed up

No, sorry, this post is not about puff adders – although we did go for a long walk last week in Pringle Bay and, halfway along, very far from the road, Andrew casually remarked that I should keep my eyes on the ground in case of puff adders.

I immediately froze. No, keep walking, he said, they can feel you coming and will simply move away. But what if it’s asleep? I screamed, and I’m the one to wake it up??? Just back away veeeeeery slowly, he said. I reminded him that my mother had recently woken up to find a cobra in a corner of her kitchen and I was still getting over the trauma, but he just laughed. I’m not sure it’s kind to laugh at another person’s fears so I yelled SPIDER SPIDER SPIDER and did my impression of a black widow to get back at him before continuing through the fynbos, stamping as hard as I could to scare off serpents as far afield as Mpumalanga.*

But I’ve digressed. The reference to puff is my lovely new Paddington top, designed by clever Sarah-May of French Navy Designs in Cape Town. She sells her patterns on etsy but this top was a free pattern from Peppermint Magazine and, for some unknown reason – because I’ve gone off machine-sewing lately – I had the urge to make it. The big puffy sleeves were the main attraction.

I used a piece of cotton from West Africa that someone gave me years ago, and which may have previously been used as a tablecloth. I have horrible arms – bingo wings, I believe they are known as in the north of England – so am always happy to cover them up as much as possible. The design was great and I’m so pleased with the result that I’m considering making a dress from the first pattern I ever bought when I was 22 and had just got my first sewing machine. It was navy cotton with tiny white dots and I wore it until it fell apart.

* Happy to report that no snakes or spiders or even baboons were seen, just a very fat mongoose and a tortoise later that day while sitting on a bench looking out at the sea.

approval day

Today was approval day for the annual Plaasfees (Farm Festival) in the northern suburbs in March. Usually it’s only the bigger and longer markets that one has to get approved for, but it’s no bad thing to review one’s offerings and think about quality control and labelling, etc.

You don’t have to do a whole set-up, the organisers really just want to see your range, and also want to make sure there isn’t too much duplication. I am happy to say that no other hats were in evidence this morning, but that doesn’t automatically mean they will accept me.

approval 2

approval 1

I made sure I took quite a few different styles of ladies’ caps, not just newsboys, and also kiddies’ sunhats – generally those are always popular (especially on a hot sunny day in Cape Town!)  Fingers crossed, please.

spot check

I mentioned that Alex and I had supper and watched Thelma and Louise together the other night? Five days later, my poor girl was covered in measles. The German kind. My mother has blanked out most of my childhood years so cannot possibly be expected to remember if I ever had it as a child – and the vaccine was only administered in the UK from 1969, which means I missed out, being born in 1961.  So far, no-one who has been in contact with her (that we know of) has shown any symptoms, so please keep your fingers crossed. She turns 21 next week and there are celebrations planned – so this would be particularly unfortunate timing.

Hat news: I found this lovely cloche on pinterest, from bozontee. Free pattern, too, which is wonderful.

blogonzee

I think she made her’s in linen. Here’s my version:

cloche

lining

I used a heavyweight velvety sort of fabric and a thin cotton for the lining. Quick and easy. Lots of potential for adding bling and extra stuff. But more cloches are for future Jill. Right now, let me get back to the preschool’s sunhats … and do a spot check…

barnyard

happy granny

I’ve been hoarding the pattern for Simone’s happy granny (here) for a long time and the other day, when I was looking for something else in an insanely disorganised bookmarks folder, I came across it again.  After a lot of Ellas and penguins, this looked like a perfect no-fuss quick make.

simone pattern

Simone’s hat is for a baby, but I wanted to go big.   I used a chunky Elle Timber and a 5.00mm hook, so ended up with a hat that fits Carol loosely.  I was going to follow the pattern exactly and have the same sort of beanie look but by the time I’d done the two brown rows, I realised that the wearer would have to have an unusually large noggin.  (Rob has quite a big head, actually, but I know he doesn’t like raspberry pink).

eben 1

So I just winged it after that – did 2 rows of grannies with some decreasing, then one row of dcs.  That’s given it a kind of puffy beret look instead.

We’ve had a really sharp and sudden icy spell in Cape Town- it’s much much colder than it usually gets in winter, and it’s started a lot sooner.  There’s even been SNOW on the mountains – we say that here with such genuine amazement as to suggest that the snow, surely, has picked the wrong country?

Back soon x

inspired by stinky fish

So, you remember the Stinky Fish hat?  I had hoped someone would fall in love with it at the Somerset West market on Saturday and it certainly got a lot of attention (a lot of smirks and pointing, actually, not sure about the falling in love!!) but it did inspire two requests – one for a rainbow-coloured Stinky Fish hat for a cute little one-year old girl, and one for a sperm whale hat for a cute little 16-year old girl! Jaide lives in London and was on holiday with her mom and brother in Cape Town for a short while. She’s already gone back but her mom is here for another 10 days so, if Jaide likes the pics I’ve mailed her, her sperm whale will be flying over to the UK in the near future.

I looked at these pics:

whale 3 whale 1 whale 2

and this is what came off my hook:

spermy 3 spermy 4 spermy 1 spermy 2

If you stare very hard at it, then quickly close your eyes, I swear you’d think you were under the sea for a few seconds – that’s how realistic it is! hahaha

Incidentally, I worked this one from the brim to the tail, and not the other way round (as with the original Stinky Fish pattern by Catrina Usher).  No particular reason, although I wasn’t sure how I was going to handle the tail so decided to leave it til last :-)

It’s a long weekend for South Africa (Sunday 27th is Freedom Day), so I hope you all have a whale of a time.