Author: scrapdragon

January 2018 and a new creative adventure begins

Finally, I found my log in details for the site. I must admit it took some hacking into to recover lost passwords and archived email addresses.  But I am pleased to say Scrapdragon is back crafting!

What have I been doing?   Well in 2014, I sadly ignored this site as I set up a new business creating custom Ballet tutus.  This really took off and you can find the link to the sister page at the top menu.  The business became so busy that I looked for a solution to help organise me a bit better when I   signed up for @girlsmeanbusiness and their #Awesomemarketingplanner.  The course asked what was my goal and a realised that my business didn’t have one!

So in defining my goal I became aware of what I did want to do and what I wanted to stop doing.  Hence the 2018 New year and new changes for a better life.  No I am not going all health conscious and joining a gym;  god forbid anyone hoping to laugh at me sweating in Lycra and becoming an exercise bore!

One of my goals was to concentrate on the high end bespoke ballet tutus at a championship level.  I love creating the structured one off designs.  The large number of stretch ballet tutus might be a bit bread and butter business, but it doesn’t inspire me as much as a quality structured.  So my focus of work is changing.

Second one of my goals was to support other #DanceMums as it would seem today, very few of them can make their own costumes. When my  three dancing children were in the scene, every dance mum could knock up a costume overnight and often was asked to.  When dance mums come to order a ballet tutu, they often say that they wish they could make the costumes instead of having to order them in.  So my second goal was to set up some #DanceMums 101 costume design workshops. to teach the hands on skills of stage dance costumes from basic to advanced levels.

Third of my goals was to do something creative together with my husband. I was alright me having the sewing business but when he retires he will need to become involved.  We both love creative crafts and have both achieved our  City and Guilds 730  adult teaching certificate over the years.  So building on the theme of specific workshops for dance mums, we are going to offer additional workshops for mixed media creative crafts.  In February, I attend Tex Towers to become a certified PowerTex trainer which is a fabulous product.  I already have some workshops planned for Christmas 2018 which are available on our  SCRAPDRAGON facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/Scrapdragon-1888415478155099/

I will publish the events and workshops on here so that interested parties can book in and have fun.

So far, its the 9th January and I have two DanceMums workshops sold out and two partially filled.  I also have bookings for Christmas crafts later in the year.  So 2018 is looking good to achieve the dream and Be AWESOME!

A Foxy Wrapbag

Foxbag web

 

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A rare opportunity to purchase this custom Baby change bag with matching travel change mat.  Made from heavy cotton  drill with small polka dots, the feature accents are a bright apple green with woodland critters on team as a contrast.  The little foxes from the woodland critters have been embroidered on the front flap.

The Wrapbag is designed to be worn when wearing a baby in a sling or carrier.  It  has long strap handles with soft fastening points to offer a range of fastening styles to suit.  Everything is made soft so that there are no hard edges or materials to hurt baby.

The bag has a range of pockets for baby items and places for mummy to store essentals so you dont have to juggle two bags.  The matching change mat features a laminated top fabric with woodland critters and green soft side.

This item was made for a custom order which was cancelled.  Please use the contact form if you are interested in purchase.

 

Violet floral style quilt

floral block with suffolk puff features

floral block with suffolk puff features

As any parent knows, its a thrill to be told that a  new grandchild was on the way.  My son and daughter-in-law has all the scans and knew they were expacting a little girl to make their family complete with a toddler son.  They even decided on her name before she was born.   The name Violet was loved by the mum but was also the name of the baby’s great-great Grandmother.  The middle name of Brooke was a family name as my dad, the baby’s great grandfather’s middle name.  He was so pleased to hear that his latest great grandchild would bear his middle name which had been passed down through several genrations.   It was just a shame he finally lost his couragous battle with cancer and he didn’t live to see her and give her a last cuddle.  Of course a new little girl named Violet Brooke had to have a violet and mauve quilt.

I designed the  quilt  using the quilting software #EQ7  which to be honest I am still getting to grips with.  Although the colour scheme was mostly picked during a flash sale of #KonaSolids from @PlushAddict they complimented the floral design.     The sixteen blocks were complex to put together with obtuse angles.  Which meant that  each had to be trimmed and straigtended into a square to put together in sets of four.  However, when the blocks were set into  four larger square blocks, there was a  distinct mis-alignment on the centre square.

What was initially an error turned out to be a design feature.  the quilting of the large green sections to resemble leaves was just crying out to get a Suffolk Puff hand sewn into the centres as flowers.

The addition of the embroidered name and a range of quilting stitches means that it was finally completed in time for a family get together to welcome Violet into the world and fabric.

Scraps of fabric can give more than a quilt

A Baby quilt is more then just a few scraps of fabric sewn together.  the design and thought processes which carefully place each strip of colour and pattern can make a difference from one quilt and another. This cot sized baby quilt was commissioned by a neighbour for her new born long awaited grandson.  The customer wanted something unusual that others would not provide for a baby that had everything.  The commissioned brief was just a quilt with his name on and the design was left up to me.

I used the @ModaFabrics #Jellyroll #BlueberryCrumbCake. a wonderful range of blues, browns and whites.  I chose the light colour range for this quilt and a simple log cabin style block.  Once the four large blocks were completed I twisted and turned them until this pattern emerged, then the borders added.

jelly roll leftovers!

jelly roll leftovers!

Once the patchwork was done, it was time for layering and quilting.  Here I had fun and chose a range of different stitch options on my #Janome 12000 machine.

This baby quilt was ordered with love, stiched with fun and happiness and  given for snuggles nd cuddles.

Its not very often I succumb to creating  quilt for order but this one was fun and the beautiful subtle tones of the fabric made it all coordinate beautifully,

Sew a simple summer dress

One of the nicest things about Summer is the crisp cotton dresses for little girls. My grandaughters love the ‘twirly’ dresses which are made on a traditional design  I used this style for their mothers so often that I must admit I no longer use a pattern. As this style is so simple to create for a child its quicker to draw round them!

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I am writing this post as a tutorial for those who want to have a go. Fans of the The Great British Sewing Bee #GBSB will have seen sewers creating without patterns.  The simplest way for children is to lay them on the floor and draw around their shoulders and sides on newspaper or brown paper. then add the centle curves of the neck and arms. If you get stuck, cut out the paper pattern and then hold onto the child front to get the neck edge in the right place. dont forget to fold the pattern in half down the cente front to make sure both sides are cut even;y!

Cut out two each of the front bodice and two each of the left and right back bodice shapes. This style is for a sleeveless self lined bodice which is an easy technique once you know the tips to make it.

First stitch the front bodice to the back bodice by sewing the shoulder seams on both bodices.

Stitching bodice

 

The next task is to carefully pin the right sides together of both external and intetnal bodices together. being careful to match round the neck and sleeves.

Starting at the bottom of the back edge. stitch all the way round the back edge, back neck, front curved neck, back neck and down the back edge to finish off at what will be the waist.

Next stitch round both armholes. The bodice side seams should still be open at this stage.

The secret of a nice edge is to trim the curved seams by cutting little triangles out of the curved seam allowances.

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Next turn the bodice right sie out by from the front of the bodice, reach through to drag the back bodice through the shoulder seam.IMGP0590

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Repeat for the other bodice back and you should now have a bodice which look like this. Now press the seams carefully.

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By doing this way, all the seams are inside and neat.  At this point if you want to add a back tie or buton belt into the side seams pin them in place now. A ribbon belt also looks good.

The next task is to open it up slightly so that you can match the side seams front and back and stitch right round the outside and inside of each side seam.

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Turn the bodice so its right side out and  press the side seams.

The skirt is easy. its just the width of the fabric cut to the length required from the waist to the hem length multiplied by two.  Both selves edges are sewn to form a wide tube and then I cut up the middle of one side of the tube to form what will be a back seam.

Then either by a basting (long  and loose) stitch on the machine or by hand, run two matching rows of gathering stitches around what will be the waist edge of the skirt. ending at the open back seam. Pull up the gathers to meet the width of the bodice top. If you just pull up the bobbin threads it creates a nice even gathering which can slide along the thread.

Now is the time to sew up the skirt back but stop and leave at least 3 inches from the top gathers.  The seam allowance will need to be turned back on the inside to form the self facing.

skirt gathering

Line up the skirt with the front bodice piece, matching the side seams of the skirt with the dress side seams and pin or baste.  Make sure you align the skirt facing right to the end of the bodice back.

Stitch the skirt to only the front bodice piece making sure the gathers are spread evenly around the bodice. The inside bodice is still open at the waist edge.  this can either be hand slip stitched into place or pinned and tacked and carefully topstitched from the front.

The back bodice can have buttons and button holes, or for ease of toddler dresses, My grandchildren love the Kam snaps poppers which are really easy to use.

I also like my belts to contrast at the front and are top stiched on the front bodice only at the end of the finished dress.  The addition of a belt pulls in any slack at the back waist.

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One twirly dress finished, which was made in an evening so that my granddaughter could wear a ‘finding nemo’ dress for the last minute school under the sea themed day.

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