Friday, 24 February 2012

Instead of a Bedside Table

We have B’s crib in a corner, with one side detached and our bed pushed up right beside it. This makes it possible for me to comfort and sooth, or just check on him, without having to get out of bed at night – very comfortable. It does however prevent me from having a bedside table. Up till now, when he’s been pretty much immobile, and been sleeping in a sort of improvised baby nest within the crib, I’ve been able to put my glasses and other little things in the crib without him being able to get to them, but that won’t be possible to do safely for much longer. Beside, I’d grown tired of the clutter surrounding my baby. To solve this problem, before it became acute, I made a hanging pocket storage to put on the outside of the crib.
The material in the base is a self fabric lined piece of simple cotton sheeting; the pockets are made from old shirts (charity shop finds that I’ve bought because I liked the fabrics), lined with the same sheeting. The middle pocket still has the breast pocket left, so there are actually four pockets. I thought it was a cute detail (not that it shows in the pictures).
I made running stitches in red round the edge, and sewed buttons to the corners for decoration, blue ones by the blue pocket, and green ones by the green. The ties are made from the same fabric as the middle pocket, and, tied together, rest on the bottom of the bed right now, under the mattress. When B is beginning to start crawling we’ll have to lower the crib bottom and put the side back on; the ties of the pockets can then be tied to the rail instead. I’m sure it’ll look prettier when they’re not hanging so low as they are now.
The plan is that he’ll be able to use the pocket storage himself when he's a bit older and I no longer have a need for them, so I tried to make them appealing to a child, while only using materials I had at home. Not sure how well I succeeded there, but I think them rather nice.
So now he has a safe sleeping place when he starts moving around, and I don’t have to have my things in the other side of the room. And it looks nice. Win - win.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Giveaway Winner

So, I just picked the winner of the giveaway. I did it by making a slip of paper for everybody that entered, give the slips a good stir and then pick one at random. The winner is Cindy Eppich - I hope you'll like the pincushion!

Cindy, if you'd please tell me your adress in a comment (which I won't post), I'll send it to you :)

Sunday, 12 February 2012


Last April I promised to give away my brick stitch embroidery that I would make into a pincushion. It took me ten months to actually start the sewing, but this past Friday I did, and I finished it yesterday.

It’s embroidered in wool on a linen fabric, and the design is a 14th century German one, the pattern of which can be found on the Medieval Arts and Crafts blog. The mustard fabric is a wool blend with a cotton interlining, decorated with simple embroidery at the seams. The pincushion has a base (8,5x9,5 cm) of cloth covered cardboard to prevent pins and needles to go through. The colours are not “me” as I said before (which is why I’m giving it away in the first place), but I still think it has a certain what’s it.

The pincushion is not medieval. I’ve never seen one in pictures, so I’ve no idea if they even existed, or how they looked if they did (if anyone knows more than me about this, please tell me). It can however give a medievalish flavour to your modern day sewing table, box or basket.

If you would like the chance to receive this, please post a comment. The giveaway is open until midnight Sunday next (19 February), after which I will randomly pick a winner.

Friday, 10 February 2012

An Old Shift and a New Pair of Socks

After finishing the pillow cases I posted about before, I decided to make nursing slits in one of my medieval shifts. You can sometimes see nursing slits in period art, situated on the dress in front of each breast, and as you have to be able to gain access through the shift as well, I decided to make some in mine. I put them slightly to the side, to prevent the breasts from poking through. I have heard of reenactors making one deep slit in front, or a neck opening wide enough to pull down, as well as nursing slits, but for me, this seems the most discreet and warm method – I wouldn’t want to risk blocked milk ducts…. (I had it last week, and it was unpleasant, I felt really ill, and it hurt!) As my dresses laces in front I think I’ll be able to wear them unaltered while nursing.

I made the nursing slits by simply cutting a slit where I wanted it (following the grain of the fabric exactly to prevent stretching), cutting a corresponding slit in a narrow strip of linen, folding each under three millimetres or so, and whipping them together. I then sewed the outer edges of the strip to the shift. I suppose you could just sew buttonhole or blanket stitches around the edges of the slits, or make simple hems, but this seemed the best method to make them strong as well as preventing them from gaping more than necessary. I’ll let you know how they work out in action.

Right side of nursing slit

Wrong side of nursing slit

This past week’s project has been a pair of needlebound (nålbundna) socks for Tobias. They’re made from wool yarn, bought at an outrageously low price at our local grocery store of all places. This is my second pair of needlebound socks, and I think these turned out better than the first pair. Not perfect though, the heel on one of them turned out a bit funny, but it won’t affect the fit that much. I think my needlebinding will improve with practice though, I felt I understood the technique much better this time. We have not yet decided if we will full them or not.

I love my wooden needle, it's a joy to work with :)

I have a long list of things I want to do now, but although I may have time to sew by hand or needlebind when little B is sleeping close to me, he sometimes find it hard to come to rest if not in my lap. That effectively prevents me from doing more advanced things, like drafting patterns, cutting out new dresses or machine sew, so we’ll see what the future may give me opportunity to work on.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Blue Pillows

A couple of weeks ago or so I finished two pillow cases I’d been working on.
One of them is the patchwork one I wrote about earlier. I did a chain stitch embroidery with "Once upon a dream" in Swedish. Most of the fabrics used were once clothes belonging to me or one family member or other.
The second one has a simple strip of cotton plaid, appliquéd with spaced back stitches to a herringbone cotton fabric, with folded fabric strips between, like flat piping. Simple, but I like it very much. Again, the fabrics used to be clothes of mine. Waste not….

These little things I’ve been able to do when little B is sleeping in my lap or next to me on the sofa between feedings (so they’re all hand sewn). Sometimes it’s felt like I didn’t do anything but nurse, but here is clear proof that I do get to do other things :)