What I did today…..

Today was a good day, a very good day indeed. For starters, it was a much appreciated day off from an exceptionally manic run of work, so I treated myself to a lay in rather than being rudely awoken by my pesky alarm clock, ate breakfast in bed, stayed in my pyjamas until after lunch, and giggled in to a cup of tea whilst listening to back to back podcasts of the Xfm breakfast show that I have been storing up for many, many months but not had any time to listen to. I also got some quality time with my much-loved sewing machine who no doubt has been feeling a little abandoned of late. And this, my friends, is what I made:

A bow tie bib for baby Henry

Ta dah! You see, my incredibly wonderful friend Charlie has a beautiful baby boy named Henry, and next weekend Henry will be attending his very first wedding. Charlie has carefully selected a gorgeous little outfit for Henry to wear, and I thought I would make him a little bow tie bib to go with it.

In order to make the bow tie part of Henry’s bib, I used this tutorial from Mumtastic to guide me, but made a few alterations a long the way to fit my design. It was so much fun and so easy to make, and a good way to use up scraps of material. I have a feeling that bows will be very heavily featured in my up and coming creations.

Image courtesy of mumtastic.com

I then used this fantastic tutorial from craftpassion.com to create the bib. It comes with a brilliant free pdf bib pattern that will fit babies that are 6-12 months old.

Image courtesy of craftpassion.com

I decided to line my bib with some towelling to make it ultra absorbent. I simply bought a plain white towel from Ikea to cut the bib from and it worked perfectly well. I’m thrilled with how it all turned out, and I hope that little Henry and his mummy like it 🙂

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Easter ……

Here’s a sneaky little peak at whats been occurring in the sewing laboratory over here at Gizmo and Stitch Towers:20120328-150353.jpg

The sun is shining splendidly over London town, so it’s the perfect opportunity to sit on my balcony, soak up some rays, and do a little bit of hand sewing. I have discovered that I am very much a seasonal crafter; In the autumn and winter I knit, and in the spring and summer I sew. What with all the glorious weather we have been having over here in Blighty recently, I have cast aside my knitting needles, and picked up my sewing box again, and boy am I having fun! I often forget how much quicker it is to make something in fabric than it is to sit and knit it, so I have surprised myself with how many of these little rabbit finger puppets I have managed to whip up in just a couple of hours! They will make perfect little gifts for all the small folk that I know, and a wonderful alternative to chocolate – although I’m sure there will be lots of that being passed around too, it is Easter after all, the perfect excuse to a gorge yourself silly on ridiculous quantities of chocolate and end up feeling a little bit sick, yet very satisfied. Mmmm, chocolate….

Anywho, I digress. I found this wonderful little felt bunny finger puppet tutorial over on the extremely gorgeous blog The Purl Bee.

Image courtesy of The Purl Bee

Image courtesy of The Purl Bee

The tutorial has fabulously clear step by step instructions to follow, and I can assure you that the bunnies are an absolute delight to make. You can find the tutorial by clicking here. I can’t wait to pop the finished little bunnies in to the post for all the gorgeous little children I am lucky enough to know for them to play with this Easter. I am even going to have a go at making my own eggs with a kit that a bought last Easter but sadly didn’t get enough time to use. Fear not Easter egg molds, for this Easter you will fulfill your Easter egg making destiny! Nom nom nom….. x

Ribbons and bows make the world a prettier place

I love ribbon. For years I have squirreled away bits of ribbon in a little box, for you never know when it may come in handy. But alas, my little ribbon box is starting to overflow, and much of the ribbon is not fulfilling it’s ribbon destiny of making the world a prettier place by being kept prisoner in my box. I couldn’t keep it shut away in the dark any more, no, I felt so cruel. It’s time that I set some of that ribbon free, and help them to fulfill their dreams. So I pondered a while, and I hmmmm’ed and I ahhhh’ed, when suddenly I cried out  “bows!”. Of course! I would turn those unfulfilled bits of ribbons in to bows, for they too make the world a happier and prettier place.

Be Happy print by LouisestArt on Etsy

I shall make bow broches, bow hair clips, bows for presents, bows for christmas trees, bows for pups, bowties, bows for jewelry, bows for toys, bows for, well, just about anything. I found some fabulous tutorials out there in blog land to help me on my bow making quest, and I thought I would share them with you, just in case you get in the bow making mood too.

Zipper Bow Tutorial by Funny Rabbit

Zipper Bow Tutorial via Handmade by Funny Rabbit

Medallion Bow by Martha Stewart (Click next on the webpage for the tutorial)

Medallion Bow via Martha Stewart (click “next” to see the tutorial)

Felt Bow Tutorial by The Moonlit Nest

Felt Bow Tutorial via The Moonlit Nest

DIY Splendid hair bow by Momtastic

DIY Splendid Hair Bow Tutorial via Momtastic

Bow Ring Tutorial by Elisa Mclaughlin design's

Bow Ring Tutorial by Elisa Mclaughlin design’s 

Bow Cuff Tutorial by I still Love You

Bow Cuff Tutorial by I still Love You 

Bow belt tutorial by Momtastic

 DIY Bow Belt Tutorial via Momtastic

Toddler Bow Tie Tutorial by Say Yes To Hoboken

 Toddler Bow Tie Tutorial by Say Yes To Hoboken

Things I made last year

What with all the crazy-can’t-keep-up-stupidly-busy-ness that I encountered back in January, I completely forgot to post pictures of some of the gifts I made for people as part of my Handmade Christmas Pledge! Oops! Here is a selection of some of them:

A knitted wolf for Josephine

A knitted cat for Kayleigh. She called it Amy Cat! Aww!

A cowl for Jackie

A stocking for the cat.... ahem....

I foolishly forgot to take photographs of some of the gifts I made as I was in such an excited hurry to wrap them and put them under people’s trees! Must remember to take more photos. I absolutely loved taking and sticking to the handmade pledge; sitting on the sofa with a cup of tea and my balls of wool beats going out in the cold and battling the crazy crowds at the shops. I will definitely do it all again next Christmas, can’t wait xx

A Handmade Christmas….

This Christmas I shall be placing one hand on my heart, the other on my pile of craft books, and will be making a pledge; The Handmade Christmas Pledge….

What with becoming a student again, I am all shades of skint. But, I don’t want that to put a stop to the joy that I get from handing my friends and family members a gift at Christmas. It is also Mr Sharp and I’s first Christmas living together, and I am determined to make it really magical and memorable in every way possible. I will be making all manner of Christmassy type goodies to eat, and making a multitude of decorations to transform the house into a yuletide wonderland. I know it’s only November, but if I don’t start now I will never get all the gifts that I want to make finished in time to give to Santa for delivering, and the tree will look pretty bare if I don’t get the decorations finished!

This week, I will mostly be making Christmas tree decorations. Browsing through the wonderous handmade world that is Etsy, I spied these beautiful decorations by some very clever crafters, and they inspired me to have a go at making my own:

‘A very felty christmas’ by gizmoandstitch


Felted Christmas Orname…

$60.00

Dove, Felt Christmas Or…

$12.00

Figgy Pudding Felt Chri…

$8.50

Christmas tree decorati…

$35.00

Felt Candy Cane Christm…

$3.10

LET it SNOW Sign / Bann…

$18.00

Christmas Decoration st…

$4.00

Christmas home decorati…

$20.00

Christmas home decorati…

$10.00

Silver and Blue Snowfla…

$12.00

Mini Felt Mitten Decora…

$8.50

Felt Gingerbread Man Ch…

$5.00

Hand Embroidered Swirl …

$15.00

Christmas Holiday Stock…

$10.00

Felt Christmas ornament…

$13.00

Christmas Decoration 3x…

$10.80

Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

As well as making decorations for our tree, I will be making a few sets to give as gifts. I can’t wait to get started! The felt has been purchased, the tea pot has been filled. With a blanket on my knees (it’s a bit nippy today!), and tacky midday television on in the background my Handmade Christmas shall begin! Wish me luck! xxx

Things I’d like to do this weekend

This weekend will be the first weekend in a very long time that we have absolutely no commitments, and we are very much looking forward to it. Mr Sharp and I are both extremely exhausted from our trip and busy work schedules, and so a weekend to be lazy, recharge our batteries and do the things we love is definitely needed. For Mr Sharp I imagine it will mostly involve lot’s of x-box  playing and sitting around in his pants, for me it will largely consist of making things.

I love compiling lists, in fact, I can’t function without them! All this week I have been jotting down the various things that I would like to do this weekend and growing increasingly excited with each passing day that took me closer to Friday. This is said list:

This weekend I would like to……

1. Remain in my pyjamas from the moment I get home from work this evening until Monday morning, and drink copious amounts of tea brewed in a tea-pot and drunk from a china tea-cup.

I love these rocket pyjamas by Zade Home on notonthehighstreet.com

2. Knit this little pug:

It’s another Barbara Prime pattern, and they are always fun to make. You can buy her patterns on Ravelry by clicking here. I would quite like to knit him some little dungarees instead of a coat though.

3. Stuff and sew these bunnies that I knitted months ago and completely forgot about. I think they will be little girl bunnies, I’m in the mood for knitting some little dresses.

4. Do a little bit of quilting. I was inspired by this quilt that featured on the blog andothersillythings. So beautiful! With a few of my friends expecting babies in the coming months it will make a perfect baby welcoming gift .

5. Now that I know just how much cats like to play with the knitted mice that came from the little blue knitting case, I’m going to create an army of knitted mice to help make cats up and down the country very happy kitties. I will be selling the mice for £2.50 each (plus £1 p&p) to raise money for the cat rescue charity from which we got our Rosie cat.

If you would like to order one of these little knitted mice to make your cat a very happy kittie, and to support a very worthy cause in the process, please leave a comment below or email me at gizmoandstitch@live.com to place your order. Please state what colour combination you would like – you can have any colour you like!

Have a happy weekend folks! I hope you have a good’un xx

Jumble Cat’s holiday

Jumble Cat is off to Portugal on holiday with his new family, lucky thing! (Apparently there just wasn’t room for me in the suitcase. Pah! Excuses, excuses!).

Jumble Cat clearly wasn’t dressed for a sunny holiday in his wooly jumper, so I made him a more suitable summer outfit.

First I made him some shorts:

And then I made him a vest.

Happy holidays Jumble Cat, don’t forget to send me a postcard!

Night-night Jumble Cat.

I made a deal with little Jospehine (Jumble Cat’s owner) that if she was a good girl, did her homework nicely and behaved well all week I would make Jumble Cat an accessory of her choosing.

All week Josephine was on her very best behavior. She did her homework without complaining and she did as she was asked with a smile and without having to be asked twice.

And so, when Friday came I asked little Josephine “what would you like for Jumble Cat as a reward for being so good?”. She paused for a moment and considered this very carefully. “I think”, said she after much thought, “that Jumble Cat needs a proper mattress to sleep on as the poor thing cannot be very comfortable sleeping on the toilet paper bed that I made for him. Besides, he needs his sleep so that he can have lots of energy to play with me”. “Very well” said I, “I shall see what I can do”.

I went to my drawing board and came up with a plan. I went to the sewing laboratory and set to work. “Snip snip” said the scissors. “whir-whir” said the sewing machine. “stuff-stuff” said the stuffing. “ouch-ouch” yelped I as I stabbed my bloomin fingers for the millionth time that day. As the sun went down and the work was done, I stood back to gaze upon my creation. “I hope she likes it” thought I.

Thankfully, she absolutely loved it! I received yet another uber hug and she told me it looked “very professional”! Bless!! Jumble Cat seemed to quite like it too, and apparently he slept much better that night.

Bluebell Babbit

Meet Miss Bluebell Babbit. Bluebell Babbit says “Jingle Jangle” which translates from Babbit to English as “Hello”. She’s very excited to meet you.

While I was away on my holibops, the sewing laboratory was left unattended. I had warned the creations to be good, and not to cause any mischief. When I returned, all seemed in order, nothing was out of place and I was proud of the creations for behaving themselves. “Phew” I thought.

However, when I picked up Miss Babbit from the shelf to finish her she made a sound that little babbits don’t usually make. “Jingle Jangle” she said. At first I dismissed the unusual sound and carried on with my work, I thought I must surely be mistaken by what I had heard .  Alas no, for when I began to stitch on her new shoes she said “Jingle Jangle” again!

After some investigating I got to the bottom of the mystery. It would seem that while I was away, Miss Babbit had snuck into the woods behind my house for a little explore. She had seen the woods from the sewing laboratory window and was curious. While on her little excursion she had grown rather peckish and stopped to nibble on some beautiful bluebells. They were so tasty she ate, and ate, and ate! Oh dear, little fabric rabbits shouldn’t feast on bluebells, they stick in their tummys and cause them to make a jingle jangle sound forever more, there is no cure. Luckily, this Miss Babbit quite likes her new Jingle Jangle tummy, so I called her Bluebell, a name she thinks is simply wonderful.

Miss Bluebell Babbit is now finished and ready to leave the sewing laboratory. She’s wearing her Gizmo and Stitch label, and is all ready to find an owner. Bluebell is completely child friendly (she loves babies!), no choking hazards here! She measures 14 inches tall and is fully house trained. She is for sale at £15 of your English pounds plus £2 p&p within the UK. If would like to purchase her and give her a new home please email me at gizmoandstitch@live.com. Happy weekend people! xx

Lovely, lovely people.

My lovely mummy has a lovely friend called Jean, who has a lovely sister called Ruth. These two sisters have both been very kind to me. When I was living in remote Africa going a little stir crazy, lovely Jean sent me a wonderful parcel filled to the brim with DVDs and books to prevent me from going insane, and I was blown away by her thoughtfulness and kindness. Her sister Ruth, a very talented dressmaker, heard that I love to sew and since I have been back in the UK she has been very generously donating beautiful fabrics to me. I have a bit of a fabric obsession, and a serious lack of funds as a result of my travels meant I couldn’t afford to get my fix. But thanks to Ruth’s amazing generosity I have been able to feed my guilty pleasure once more. Just look at some of the delights I received today;

As well as a copy of American magazine ‘Stitch’, a Quilting Arts publication.

Its brilliant! It’s got so many projects and patterns in it that I don’t know which one to make first! I feel like a kid hyped up on oodles of sweeties! Yummy!

I definitely will be making one of these:

So very cute!

There are many, many more delicious things to create in this magazine, all of which can be downloaded for free at the quilting arts website – www.quiltingarts.com.

So thank you dear Ruth and Jean, thank you for helping to keep me sane! I am really very grateful to you both. I am an extremely lucky little lady.