Category Archives: Crafty gifts

Have you seen Wonky Wilma?

I meant to add to my warming up to Christmas post yesterday that if you were in need of an idea for a Christmas sewing idea for a young ( or not so young) one how about popping over to kitchen table sewing where Janet is hosting a fund raising challenge ( and it’s gone global, let me tell you!).

The challenge? Spreading wonky wilma love around the world in aid of Great Ormond Street Childrens’ hospital.

And just who or what is Wonky Wilma I hear you ask?
Wonky Wilma is rather an adorable sewn elephant, many versions now appearing around and about and collected by Janet at her blog.

She can be made out of your adored scraps, a gorgeous girl to give as a gift, or if, like me you have an elephant fixation, someone to keep for yourself!!

Now my problem is that I’ve not had the time to even think about making mine (hence taking a while to even spread the message) …but I have just got the pattern waiting in the wings to make the most awesome retro fabric wilma, ever. I’m planning her to match my living room curtains!

The deal is that the fiver you pay for your pattern gets donated to Great Ormond Street, and you get the chance to make wilmas all over the place!!

Go on over and check it out! Janet’s target is to raise £1000, how’s she doing?

Now on my sewing table this afternoon is finishing my Drafting Top and some creativity involving a tacky velour Santa dress ( strapless and clingy) that needs to be transformed into some kind of runners’ fancy dress for next Sunday’s Christmas Cracker 10k! Hoping to get more than a hat out of it (& this will be my first fancy dress race, maybe I’ll get a taste for it?!?)

By the way, comments still seem to be busted …sniff…..

A jacket for my technological lifestyle

I feel almost embarrassed to state that I’m a noobie iPad owner, something that I feel so lucky about yet slightly ashamed as it was such an expensive treat….but I kind of saved up for it & am truly enjoying it even more than I thought I would.  Anyway, I am an apologist about it & the less said about my guilt the better, however, I wanted to share a brill tutorial to make a cover/ jacket for it.  Not  a sleeping bag to keep it safe & warm, but a robust flappy reading folder, a jacket, an IPad cover to protect it from bumps and what’s more, it’s been designed to prop up your iPad for when you’re watching a sewing or knitting tutorial on You Tube, following a recipe, reading a blog, watching a programme or whatever else use a tilted screen could have for you (you tell me?!)

In full tilt

I followed this tutorial by Chica and Jo which required some hardboard & wide elastic plus fabric, of course.  I had a revelation when I remembered that I had some Snoopy fabric in my stash ….

It was a piece printed with pages to be made into a soft book showing the dude himself doing his grand tour of Europe.  The printed “pages” were almost the right size for the iPad template, but I admit I spent ages trying to cut the fabric to design which picture appeared where.  And I still got it wrong!   I had no idea Italy & a Harley would turn out to be on the front!

The design is clever: you create the elasticated cornered area for your iPad to sit, then the tutorial takes you through the process of creating the bagged fabric that is stiffened & segmented by appropriate sized pieces of hard board (jeez this stuff is a pain to cut with a Stanley knife, I tell you!).

Once you have your fabric bag, you pop in each piece, in order, sewing them into place as you go so that you end up with a “jointed” & very firm robust case.  It also has an elastic to hold it all closed when your iPad is not being used.

Ipad cover back

You may have noticed that I scooped some awesome rainbow elastic for mine.  Unfortunately despite thinking & rethinking, I attached it the wrong way up (yes, my elastic has a right & a wrong side)  grr.  I only discovered this after sewing the 5 boards & their 4 separating seams in place having not truly worked out the mechanics of the case until that point.

Twisted it to enjoy Rainbow Bright

I was not going to undo all that because my boards were also quite a tight fit & I didn’t fancy drawing them back out of the fabric.  Therefore the elastic is either upside down, or I twist it to get max rainbow benefit, or I use this hairband I bought 🙂

Give it a go, this is a really good tutorial, & now I have something (apart from its original box) to use, I can get on with some other sewing.  And what may that be you ask?  Well, nagging at the back of my mind is the 40s Minnado dress I need to alter (it could be very useful for Autumn methinks) plus I am in the final throes of trying another trouser pattern, & trying to get a good fit.  That is where I am off to now …..hope you are all enjoying your Sundays 🙂  what are you sewing this weekend?

Handmade gifts, Episode IV, A New Cape

Once upon a time I used to sew only for myself, but since November it seems I’ve been fully engaged in sewing/ knitting gifts for Christmas (apart of course from my Pan Am dalliance with New Look 6000).  This week I’ve been on holiday, but right up to Christmas Eve I’m still finishing things off.  Must start earlier next year. Or do less.

So at last I can start showing & this post will be devoted to a gift I made a friend who is most definitely not a Star Wars nerd, but you’ll see why I chose to have some fun with it ….and how it links to Karen’s (DidyoumakethatMan Craft post a few weeks ago….

  I saw a hooded cape on Crafty Christmas Club last year, a gorgeous blogger posted something heavenly made out of Boucle.  She was swirling, it had a hood, she clearly had “the Force”.  But I haven’t.  Try as I might, I could not find the post, nor any other replication of the type of simple hooded scarf I’d seen.  Was it a vision that visited me via a droid?


I therefore had to use my loaf & summon all my Jedi sewing skills.  It was to be lined in sari fabric & made out of some teal wool with bobble trim.    I’d make the scarf out of a length 1.3m long, cut in half lengthwise.   The hood would be made by sewing the two short ends together, & then another seam at right angles to this equivalent to a head height plus some.  There would also be pockets at arms length, sewn to the scarf once I’d assembled the hood.  I’d make the lining & scarf separately, sewing together right sides together once the scarf was one piece.  The finishing touch was a tassle on the hood sewn through all layers that also served the purpose of attaching the lining to the hood.  (See diagram below if you want to have a go at this).

Here follows a few different views …a bit of twirling….& something sinister …

Now you see me ….

Now you don’t …


It seems to have evil properties …

Too many similarities with this chap for my liking.  But why can’t I be Obi Wan?  I want to be good, not bad!



Although as part of Gary’s education of me & my boys in 70s gentle (& at times unintentionally comedic)  post apocalyptic films there is also a striking resemblance to Matthias from Omega Man, don’t you think?


So to explain, this is the clay head that I boasted about on Karen’s post on Man craft.  Made carefully by Gary using the touch of his own head to capture bone structure curves & skull shapes (he’s so handsome isn’t he?!).  It has holes for the eye sockets & the mouth, originally intended to stick candles in.  (It rests with the face facing upwards).  It now has glitter eyelashes (false of course).    The best bit?  Until its recent adoption of the cape, I have images of Gary sporting it, his own head hidden inside his shirt collar, with this (small) head on his shoulders as he danced around to Kraftwerk (Autobahn) in the front room.  The best bit?  He’s still got it on video!!    When I can work out how to upload it, I’ll delight you with it, but we’re getting an error message so it will have to wait.  What a star !

Anyway, back to the cape – if you want to make one yourself I’ve tried to create a kind of map below.  Let me know how you get on?

But until then, I hope everyone has a fantastic Christmas – you deserve it!