Although there hasn't been much blogging, there have been quite a few makes and designs so if you don't mind, I thought I would show some of them over the coming weeks for Mondays Makes!
I'm starting off with the lovely Beattie and Bertie Rabbit that I made for my parents - named by them, obviously, but otherwise known as Luna Lapin and Alfie Rabbit!
I bought the book - Making Luna Lapin by Sarah Peel - as it includes the patterns for so many different items of clothing that you can really customise your Luna! I ordered a load of felt and some buttons for the eyes, arms and clothes from Sarah's website Cool Crafting as she very handily sells the felt in just the right size for a rabbit or a coat. I can thoroughly recommend the felt as it sews up beautifully by hand/machine and there are so many different colours to choose from!
I started off with Luna and used some Liberty fabric that I had to hand for the T-shirt dress with detachable bow. There is something both immensely satisfying (and at times, frustrating!) about sewing something so small! I found the trickiest bit to be sewing the sleeves in: I'm normally quite happy to go without pins but on such small seams I found it useful to pin/hand baste in position to prevent any fabric moving.
I did go a bit over the top by over-locking the seams on Luna's dress, but it felt like only the best would do for this little bunny: there is so much time and love that goes in to them and they have the potential to be heirloom pieces so I felt it was only right to make her as perfect as I could on the inside as well as the out!
The woollen coat is quite an epic sew with lots of little pieces, but the beauty of using felt is that there is no need to worry about fraying seams, just the occassional bit of bulk that occurs where you have lots of layers together. I finished the coat over a couple of afternoons, with the exception of the buttonholes. I was scared of doing them and ruining the coat!
Eventually I decided to do the buttonholes by hand: they are so small that I figured they wouldn't take long to do and if I made a mistake on the machine the felt would most likely be damaged by the stitching. After marking out the position, I used a pin at each end of each buttonhole - it was a bit like handling a hedgehog for the first couple of buttonholes! - a seam ripper to make the hole and then used blanket stitch to finish them off. Each one only took a few minutes in the end and although not perfect they work which is the main thing!!!
A few months later, I decided that I should really make an Alfie Rabbit for my Dad. I'm not sure if I've mentioned before, but I spent a lot of my childhood at steam rallies as my Dad is passionate about steam engines and has a model traction engine himself. I decided it would be fun to base Alfie on what he normally wears on the rally field: brown work trousers, a shirt, waistcoat, necktie, pocket watch and the obligatory flat cap!!!
I drafted the cap myself over a couple of nights after looking at adult patterns for flat cap/Gatsby hats and the hood from Winter Cape in the Making Luna Lapin book. I made one out of scrap cotton first to get an idea of fit. There were four main pieces;
1 + 2. Front of cap & top/back of cap (bottom left): Cut 1 in main fabric and lining.
These were sewn together from the edge to the pin, between the pins and from pin to edge.
The gaps left between the pins are for the ears to fit through (as per the Winter cape)!
3. Side and Brim (top right): Cut 1 in main fabric and lining.
4. Peak of hat (top left): Cut 2 in main fabric.
To make the cap, I used the instructions from this tutorial that I found, the only difference being that I sewed pieces 1 and 2 together before joining piece 3. And once the cap was sewn, I ladder stitched the lining and outer fabric together for the ear holes and then stab-stitched between the peak and the top of the hat to bring the layers closer together.
The necktie was made using a shorter version of the detachable bow from the t-shirt dress in the book, with a popper to snap it together.
And for the pocket watch a little bit of chain from a necklace that was too long gave the perfect impression of something being hidden in a pocket! My Dad was over the moon with him and I confess to feeling just a little bit proud of him. It's so much fun when you can personalise things, one of my favourite things about making!
A couple of other people have mentioned how much they like them so there will probably be more in my future (Alfie only took me a week from start to finish, so I'm definitely getting quicker!) and Sarah's also got another book coming out in August 2018 - Sewing Luna Lapin's Friends - and I may have already ordered it.......Boy 2 mentioned something about a fox!!!!
Today's sky::: overcast and gloomy
Labels: DIY, dressmaking, Monday Makes, sewing, tips