Tag Archives: sewing

a pinny and a pie

Dexterously combining two themes in one post here: (a) a further attempt at cooking in the oven, and (b) a Scrap Happy project for Kate’s collection.

Sean's pie

Last year, staying with Sean and Melinda in Grahamstown, Sean made this fabulous spinach and feta pie for our supper one evening. It’s not vegan because the recipe calls for eggs, ricotta and feta – which means Melinda couldn’t have any – but I guess she was used to that, Sean usually going big on the carnivore side of things! Anyway, he sent me the link and it’s been lurking on my bookmarks bar ever since. Last night = girls’ night at my house = chance to make pie and graciously accept amazed compliments on having made something both edible and attractive.

karen apron

Theme #2: Karen mentioned that she could use another pinny for her work at the Service Dining Rooms.  I made this for her last week, from leftovers of fabric from cushions and bedspreads, and a bit of lace and some orange bobbles at the bottom left over from who the hell knows what.  Here she is, trying to give a realistic impression of a happily domesticated woman about to dish up the pie, but looking more like someone who’s watched The Shining too many times. Perhaps she would have been happier with an axe.

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patchworky

I’m getting all patchworky. And I’m blaming Kate. My first two bedspreads were large irregular squares and rectangles and some strips. Nice, she said, but try cutting smaller squares because then you can fit in more contrasting fabrics. And what do you know, I’m hooked!

red-1

Side one and side two of a bright reddy-orangey mix, four strips of 10 squares each so far. I’ve opted for 10-inch squares because it seems like a manageable size. Not too big, not too small.  Yay for the rotary cutter and cutting mat. If the house started burning down, they are now the first two items I would grab. (Sorry, cats.)

red-2

Maggie asks if I will be quilting the bedspread. It’s a short answer – No. There will be no batting and no fancy-pants stitching designs. There will be a lightweight cotton backing and topstitching round the edge. I know my limits!

festive markets and pillow cases

Cape Town loves its markets. Apart from the weekly or monthly farmers markets and craft markets and vintage markets and trendy-food markets, approximately 40 ‘special’ Christmas/gift markets also happen every year, between October and December. These can run from three to twelve days, depending on the venue and the organisers. Everyone’s products are bar-coded, and there’s a central purchase point. The traders go in at various times and restock, and also help out with the supervision.

To get accepted for one of these special markets, you have to apply online and then attend an “approval day”, usually during May or early June. You and three million other hopefuls set up a mini-display so that the organisers can see the quality of your products and your prices. They’re interested in the prices because, apart from paying a trading fee, you also pay a commission on your sales, usually between 15% and 20%.  The more popular the product, the more money made by the market people. (Note: many of these markets are run by churches or large charity organisations – a large percentage of the money raised goes towards community upliftment.)

I have had my hats at a couple of festive markets now and, frankly, they haven’t sold as well as I anticipated. I’ve decided this is because people are mainly looking for gifts for other people at this time of year – if you aren’t sure that the intended recipient likes that particular colour or that the size is right, a different item would be a safer bet.

So, in my wisdom, three days before the recent Approval Day for six different markets, I took it upon myself to design and create an entirely new product: handprinted cotton pillow cases. In a frenzy of experimentation, I tried out different linens, colours, inks, designs and labels. I sewed, printed, ironed, washed, packed, and did it all again many times before getting it as right as it was ever going to be in that short space of time.

I could only get the rabbits and the paisley design ready initially:

Rabbit 2 MISCELLANEOUS 2221 paisley red Packaging Rabbit 1

but since then I’ve found Gareth at I Love Screenprinting in Obs, and he made me a beautiful screen with my text designs:

i heart my pillow 2

There are more coming: Sleep Tight, Dream On, Sleepyhead and – a suggestion from an ex-colleague which is too good to resist – Give Me Some Head.

And, no, I haven’t forgotten about the hats for Grahamstown. I did a stock-take today, please see the updated counter on the right !

Olive in the sun

Meet Olive, Megan and Jeremy’s little girl, and Anne’s granddaughter.

olive

At 7 months, Olive already has a natural sense of style. The duck-egg blue leggings work perfectly with a loose but crisp white smock, which she’s teamed with two accessories that clinch the “modern-baby-about-town” look , an oversized cotton collar* and a handmade patchwork sunhat**.  Trendy babies know that this winning fashion combo can take you through from morning mommy-and-me group to afternoon shopping trip, and is guaranteed to draw plenty of attention.

* model’s own

** by Jam Tarts

a quick hello

So, it’s not that I don’t love you all and have things I’m dying to share, it’s just that blogging time has become a bit of a luxury for me at this time of year – I’m either making stuff for a market, or am at a market, or am doing the admin for future markets. I have 12 market days between now and Ch&%#*@mas, plus an order for sunhats for 150 preschoolers (deadline is 3 days away).

I also now have an industrial sewing machine in my life, which I bought second-hand: you can just see it on the left in the pic below of my sewing room.

sewing room

I know, right? You’re thinking, How on earth does she manage to keep her work space so tidy and clean? What can I say – I’m naturally well-organised, it’s a gift.

I hope to be able to show you the finished sunhats next week – I’m really proud of them. Each one is fully lined and has a different combination of fabrics in various patchwork styles, plus an adjustable band round the top and a toggle so it stays on.

sunhat purple turq

xxx

tote-ally trendy

Meet Nathan.
nathan
Meet Nathan’s new tote.
tote 1
They haven’t actually met each other yet because I just finished sewing the tote about 15 minutes ago, but I’ve What’s Apped him and I think he’ll be here any second now.
It’s the trendiest locally-designed fabric my dorky little home has seen for years, and Nathan scored himself two packs of off-cuts from Design Team in the Cape Quarter. So I made this for him.
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This is as close as I’ll ever get to patchwork – although I do truly admire what other people do with it (quilts, etc), I’ve personally never seen the point of chopping up perfectly good pieces of material then reassembling them but, hey, maybe it’s just me.

I hope he likes it. I hope he doesn’t…

Back soon x

potato bag love

Doreen’s daughter bought herself a potato bag in the UK recently, and Doreen and I thought it was such a good idea that we wanted to make one, too. Here is my effort:

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I used lilac hessian for the outside, a loosely woven black cotton for the lining (this keeps the potatoes in the dark, so they don’t grow eyes), and an off-white cotton for the drawstring bit and the label.  I didn’t really plan and measure properly so it’s ended up a helluva lot bigger than the one Linda found, but this way I can fit in more potatoes, right?!

To be continued…