Baby number two is well on the way and I’ve started making things for him – if I blog about those things will Molly see a time in her future where she can lay claim to them due to the title of the blog? Wth solicitors on both sides of her family I fear an argument, she is already adept at arguing her point even though no one quite understands the words she is using.
In anticipation of a forthright 10 year old I hearby claim that Made for Molly is only in title and not in deed!
On to the making.
After lasts years failed entry to the Lambeth Country Fair Knitted Wear category – not Knitted and not wear and then stolen (see full details HERE)- I decided to knit a top for the new arrival.
My knitting has been neglected over the years due to my love for crochet – with only one loop to worry about it the perfect travelling craft. Knitting with all those stitches to drop is much more of a home craft and having Molly has made home crafts much more appealing.
I found THIS pattern on Ravelry, completely free, and sent it to my Mum for assistance in working out what it meant. Back comes the message – oh that’s quite tricky. Great! I’d chosen what I thought was easy turns out not so. The little whales were too cute to not give it a go though.
What I loved about the pattern is that there are no seams – the amount of times I’ve almost finished a project only to be bored to tears with the making up. I have a list of works in progress that I bribe myself into finishing. You start at the neck and then work down sectioning off the stitches for the sleeves – just do this with spare thread though rather than a large pin as it makes it easier to work with.
The tricky bit is the knitting and then purling with two colours. I used THIS tutorial to help me along and went very slowly. I pulled too tightly in a few places but it’s not too bad – it has however made me want to have a go at some more fair isle patterns and do a bit of steeking.
I only had two instances where I had to unravel and do a section again – this was due to dropping a stitch on the edging and although with more practice I could do better I’m generally pleased with the result.
1. This is far too advanced for Molly to play with at the moment.
2. I just had to make it.
My first page and pattern is Hickory Dickory Dock. As mentioned in my previous post I have chosen to use single pages which measure 19.5 x 23.5 cm.
I love how the mouse moves up and down the ribbon. I considered having the mouse as a removable item but decided due to Molly’s age I keep it attached for now.
The pattern attached details how I made it. Please be aware that all patterns and products are untested. I have tried my best to make everything as safe and secure as possible but if you make one for your child ensure all seams are secure and any choking risks are kept to a minimum. This is also my first time writing a pattern- if you notice anything that is wrong or it doesn’t make sense please comment and I will help out where I can. I would love to see pictures of the bits you make too.
Back to the quiet book for this post- getting prepared with some pages
All of the patterns are made to fit on the same page. Before starting to design the different activities for each page I made a selection using different fabrics. I have a rediculous amount of fabric and this is a great way of using bits up.
Again I used felt to give the page, like the cover, a bit more strength and structure.
1. Cut you felt to the size you desire for the page. My pages are 19.5 x 23.5 cm to fit my book.
2. Iron your fabric (this is the only time I iron! My clothes are creased my makes are not)
3. Using spray adhesive attach your felt to the wrong side of your fabric and cut leaving a 2 cm allowance around all sides
4. Fold the fabric over to meet the edge of the felt and then fold over again sewing around all edges. This is the cheaters way of doing a quilt edge. It’s quick and easy.
5 Add the rivets making sure the match your binder spacing
6 Add snap fasteners to the opposite corners so that the pages are interchangeable. If your page fabric pattern has to be up a certain way to work then you will have to decide now whether it’s a left page or a right page. If the pattern is not then you can decide later. Make sure one is an inny and the other is an outy (and other such technical terms)
7 Get ready to make your first quiet book activity
Well snow last week, blazing sun this week and a baby with very little hair means I’ve been caught off guard. Time to get the sun hat made.
I found a darling pattern (completely free) and had to try it out. Make sure you check the two inch square to check your printing is accurate. Mine was a little small but I went for it anyway and low and behold the hat is a little small too. I also think the pattern contains too much hand stitching, is a little messy and makes it more difficult to make than it actually is.
So I had a little Google and found that this blog has a much better method of construction so after I reprinted the pattern and followed the medium size I finally have a reversible and pretty special hat.
Now I am far too excited about making this. A quiet book. A mostly fabric book full of activities that are made to entertain, educate and, well, keep children quiet. Ideally for ages 2 to 4 I’m starting early predominantly so I can spend lots of time developing the pages.
There are so many different ways of doing them and a few hours on Pinterest will give you hundreds of ideas but I’m going to share my one and hopefully create some patterns along the way.
I have chosen a ring binder style book so that I can add and remove pages as Molly grows and learns new skills. Also I can then add pages that appeal to her character and nature as I learn who she is.
I haven’t created a pattern for this but I will go through the steps so you can get an idea of how it was achieved.
Firstly I chose two fabrics that complimented each other to use as the outside and inside of the cover. The outside is another wonderful Rose & Hubble fabric of Russian Doll characters and so I chose a smaller Russian Doll pattern for the inside.
I sandwiched these two fabrics with two layers of felt between them and ran a few quilting lines across the full width with a spine quilted in as well. Tip: I have just discovered my new favourite quilting accessory which is spray craft adhesive. I then cut it all to size and attached bias binding around the outside.
Depending on how you’d like to fasten the book, if at all, you may need to add part of your fastener before sewing everything together. I have used a magnetic clasp attached to a belt which I made in the complimentary fabric.
Add rivets to where you’d like you binders to go and add any embellishments and your done. I had personalised labels made so Molly is in no doubt this was made for her
This Christmas I planned to make 14 personalised stockings. Ambitious I hear you cry, surely that’s too many, you’ll never make it and you’d be right. I made a paltry 10. The four that I put off were our ones and I’m going to hide this post once Molly learns to read so she will never know of my festive betrayal.
But January came and as a way of putting off my tax returns for a few more hours I got on with the business of making family stockings. I bought some wonderful Christmas material from Emporium Fabrics and I was ready to go.
Just a quick note on Emporium Fabrics – it is a Facebook page where you can order fabric. Usually £5 a metre or less with free p&p. Mostly Rose & Huble (which conforms to CE testing if you make toys) and you pay via PayPal. Maria is a lovely lady and I can’t recommend her highly enough. She’ll be getting in her Christmas fabric around May/June so get in there early.
I embroidered names and a bit of extra detail and set about sewing them together. A stocking with no frills or fancy bits is fairly straight forward and you can follow this tutorial for a good idea of how to do it. Don’t forget like I almost did that if using patterned material on the inside it needs to be upside down so that when you fold it over for the collar it’s the right way up.
The eagle eyed amoungst you will notice there are four – no I’m not expecting – I’m just prepared for when another may come along. I can’t wait til Christmas morning and Molly coming in to find what Santa has left in her stocking.