Tag Archives: handmade

San Valentino

12 Feb

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and the internets are abuzz with everything from heart shaped foods, to quirky Valentine’s cards to the ULTIMATE gifts to make your loved ones swoon.  Personally I like to keep the whole holiday pretty low-key and relaxed (easy here in Italy where it’s not so celebrated).  I usually bake something sweet (and yes, heart shaped) and maybe make a little card or handmade gift to leave on the breakfast table for when the family wakes up.  Here are a few of my favourite V-day recipes, diy projects, Valentine’s inspiration and cards that will make you giggle.

For over a month my lovely friend Giova has been posting a handmade heart a day on her blog One Bunting Away.  She is a talented embroiderer and paper artist and I’ve really loved reading each and every heart post.  Read her passionate Valentine’s Day manifesto here.

These seemingly rude Valentine’s cards from Etsy Shop Sunny and Susan really make me laugh. 

Red-Velvet-in-a-Jar

I’m going to try and make these Red Velvet Cupcakes in a Jar (because we all know that desserts in jars taste so much better!).  And as I do every year I’ll also whip up a batch of my grandmother’s rich and buttery Brown Sugar Shortbreads.  And I’m thinking this heart shaped bacon and heart shaped egg in the hole would be perfect for a Valentine’s breakfast or brunch (although I think I’ll pass on these Weiner and Cheese hearts).

This round-up of Nerds in Love Valentine’s cards by Mighty Girl had me in stitches.

1-img_5342

Last year my daughters and I sewed up some of these little puffy heart necklaces for their friends.  Easy to make and really cute to see a little gaggle of girls wearing them.  These necklaces were featured on some really great Valentine’s round-ups herehere and here.

Slacker Update

15 May

IMG_8286-001

For the first time in years I actually don’t feel like a serious slacker.  After writing about being the Queen of Unfinished Projects a few weeks ago I went into sewing overdrive and actually finished most of my half-done and half-sewn projects that have been lingering and taunting me in my sewing room for the last months (years).  I hemmed, I mended, I button-holed, I zippered and I even hand sewed until the wee hours of the morning.  I guess writing it all down and addressing the fact that I needed to get my act in gear helped me to realise it was time.  Time to have a clean sewing slate and move on to new and fresh projects without the niggling feeling of having all those almost-finished purses, bags, dresses, shorts and wallets that I would eventually have to deal with.

These dresses were supposed to be ready for my twin daughter’s 11th birthday.  Obviously that didn’t happen as it was on March 28th (it was too cold and rainy in March anyway to be able to wear dresses like this).  As I mentioned last time the pattern is one of the basic dress models from the book Stof Voor Durf-Het-Selvers (only available in Dutch).  The book has some great patterns  for children’s dresses, skirts, tops and accessories and gorgeous photos using the most lovely fabrics.  I used contrast colour zippers on the dresses to give them a little something special and actually ended up making one dress with a side zipper instead of back zipper by mistake.  Don’t ask.  These will be perfect for special occasions this summer while we’re in Umbria and Canada.

IMG_8298I did a double lined hem on these seersucker shorts for my son and actually sewed on all 4 buttons needed (miracle).  Unfortunately they’re still too big so he’ll most likely only get to wear them next year.  Until then I’ll display them for all to see and admire (poor guests).  These were some seriously complicated and time consuming shorts to make and I’m pretty sure I could buy similar (even nicer?) ones in H&M for a fraction of the cost to make them.  But I guess I shouldn’t think about that…

IMG_8374I also finished this simple summer sleeveless shirt.  Very quick to sew up and comfortable to wear (even if I did make mine 2 sizes too big).  Fabric is from Max Mara and the pattern is Simplicity New Look 6871.

IMG_8356And today in my sewing group I managed to finish up this boxy shopper bag with zipper closure.  Just what I needed in my life…another bag.  I think I could open up a shop with all my hand made bags and wallets that I’ve been stockpiling over the last few years. Stay tuned for details of my Etsy Shop in the near (or far?) future.

I’m still finishing off the last of my projects and I’m feeling great about it.  Now to get busy with my new projects that I’ll most likely have to finish in a few years time….

Folkabilly Apron #2

3 Oct

Last year I received some really beautiful vintage apron patterns from my mother who had inherited them from her mother.  I think they are from the 50’s and 60’s and I have a (long term) goal to make as many as I can.  Last year I wrote a post about an apron I made from the collection and it turned out to be very folkabilly (cross between happy homemaker from the 50′s, a folksy peasant lady and rockabilly).  In the end this latest one, in my opinion, turned out pretty folkabilly as well.

It seems like the type of apron one of the ladies from this amazing festa would wear.  Seriously, all those gorgeous people in the photographs look so unbearably cool.  I want to be them.

So my sewing group and I decided we’d kick off the year by making one of the vintage aprons.  We thought it would be a quick and easy starter project.  We decided on the pattern with the handkerchief skirt (bottom row, 2nd from left, red and white apron).  In the end it wasn’t a one morning project.  With all the bias and fancy edgings etc it took a lot more time than we thought.

Very pretty on the mannequin.  Pretty ridiculous looking on me.  From the pattern you can tell women had very different shapes back in those days.  Tiny weeny little waists and a full bosom.  Wow, I just used the word bosom on my blog for the first time.

I can just imagine a good 50’s housewife greeting the man of the house after a long hard day of work in this apron.  Maybe with a drink and the newspaper as well.  Oh my poor husband and the fact this scenario will never happen under my roof.

The back view of the apron.  Very fancy.  And difficult to put on.  There were obviously no housewives wearing sweatpants and crocs back in the 50’s my friends.  And that was a good thing.

%d bloggers like this: