Wednesday, 21 October 2015

A bit of paper craft... R2-D2 party invitations- hand made (sort of)!

The cubs' birthdays are fast approaching and it was time to get invitations sent out for Big Cub's party.  The theme is, of course, Star Wars.  It was time to fire up my lovely new Cricut explore!

Making these invitations was a lot of fun.  I cut out the main piece from white card, and drew the lines on in metallic pens.  I say I- I mean the machine.  The head pieces were cut from blue sticky vinyl, which we stuck onto foil before cutting around them and sticking them down.  When I ran out of vinyl, I cut the rest of the heads from blue card.

We printed out the party details on paper and stuck them onto squares of card.  Big cub was thrilled with the results!

Watch this space for more Star Wars party bits and pieces!

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Cricut Explore- the first week

It was my birthday last week, and Long-Suffering husband had asked, 'Is there anything big you want?'... and I had mentioned that I would love a cutting machine.  I specifically mentioned a Cricut Explore, since I've been reading up on what's available and this seemed like the best option for what I need it to do.  It just so happens that he does a lot of cutting out of little letters etc, so I guess he had a bit of an ulterior motive but... he bought me one!  Hooray!

I haven't actually used it for cutting fabric, yet, because I've been having too much fun playing with iron-on vinyl.  The machine comes with a little piece, and I'm a bit addicted.  You can upload your own images to the Cricut design space, and both Big and Little cubs have been super keen to tell me what they want putting onto blank t-shirts.

Firstly, Little Cub wanted A Fast Train.  So we chose a clipart together, loaded it into the Design space, and got cutting.  Sadly I don't have a picture, because he has worn it so many times, it always seems to be in the wash.

Obviously Big Cub wanted Star Wars. This was more of a challenge- I wanted to do several images in one and do a sort of white-on-black/black-on-white effect.  It came out pretty good!  I'm so impressed with the precision of the cutting, even on those teeny tiny bits on the AT-AT's legs.

Next up was this stripy hoody:

He really likes it!

I wanted to try an Octonauts shirt for Little Cub.  Somehow, though, there were a few imperfections in the cutting, especially around the Octoalert's eyes.  Oh and I ironed it for too long, and kind of melted some bits onto the ironing board.  But hey, I'm still learning!  I also did a row of seaweed along the bottom.  Unfortunately Little Cub wouldn't sit still long enough for a decent photo, but you kind of get the idea...

I tell a lie.  He did sit still for a while, on a giant Duplo dog.  Still not a good photo though:
No, Little Cub.  Don't do that winking thing.  Just do a normal face.
OK.  I give up.

Here's one just to prove he can do a normal face!

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Little Grey Riding Hood cape

I've been meaning to make myself a cape for a couple of years now.  I had a pattern all cut out and everything last winter, but somehow I never got around to buying the fabric I needed.  Then I had a mad pattern buying spree on Labor Day weekend (though I have no idea what Labor Day is, sorry!), when loads of online shops had discounts.  One of the patterns I couldn't resist was the Ladies' Little Red Riding Hood Cape by BigLittle.  I hadn't heard of BigLittle before but it's a shop of "Beautiful woodland-inspired sewing patterns"... eek!  I want to make all of the BigLittle things.  For now, I've had to content myself with just the cape.

Oh, what a cape it is!  The photos don't really do it justice, because the light wasn't great- it was such a bright morning and the sun is so low in the sky now. 

It's kind of more of a capelet, really... I had to lengthen it substantially so it would reach to my wrists.  I really wanted this cape for doing the school run and pushing the buggy, so it's important that it's wrist length.  I had to make some changes to the shoulder shape too, once I'd lengthened it, but that was easily done.

I already said I'd wanted to make a cape for a while, and one of the things which put me off making one with the pattern I already had was the fabric requirements.  It needed something like 3.5 yards.  And in my head, I had a vision of a cape which was going to be lined with minky/plush... which doesn't come cheap.  So I was thrilled to see that I could make the Red Riding Hood cape fits into 1.5 metres of fabric.  I bought some ash grey minky from Plush Addict and some beautiful, waffle-effect wool coating from  It's lovely but veeeeeeeery stretchy.  That was OK, though- it just meant I had to use more pins than usual.
It was super quick to sew up.  I had the whole thing done in one evening.

I found this cute button in the button collection I inherited from my Grandma.  It's just perfect for this cape- big but not too big, greyish with a hint of purple.

I bought the acorn from Greenwich Market.  It's hand needle felted and stuck into a real acorn cup.  As soon as I saw it I knew I had to have it for my cape- it's the perfect woodland addition.

I used the excess length I cut from the button loop to make a hanging loop, as I didn't want to hang the cape by the hood and have it stretch under its own weight.

I love it.  It's perfect for Autumn.  The only problem is... big cub is scared of the hood!  Can you believe it?  Maybe it makes me look like Darth Vader...?

Oh- did I mention- it can also be used as a blanket for a small person on a chilly morning?  How lovely is he?