"09 Christmas Drop #143"

This dog is my second toy for the Toy Society´s Christmas project… I am not sure what would this be used as, but i thought that would be nice for a hard working mom to find it and maybe use it to pin her needles :-)
It's made of Bits and pieces ... mainly left overs from IKEA panel curtains believe it or not ;-) and some felt.

Dropped: Maiden Lane Estate, London (England)
Number of Toys: 1
Made by: Cristina
Dropped by: Cristina
When: Sunday morning

"09 Christmas Drop #144"

Last Friday, on my way home, i was carrying my sewing machine on one shoulder, a bag full of things on the other, talking to mom on the mobile, and struggling to move amongst hundreds of people… someone approached me and gave me a flower “let me give you a flower to make your day!”

I was so surprised… i had heard of people movements to encourage people being kind and more friendly but never experienced it myself…
Then, i have found my way to pay back! Have a look
This is my first attempt to toy making for the Toy Society Christmas project… I love it ;-)
I decided to do a hand puppet because i like the interaction between the child playing and the one looking... I t is made of any scraps i had at home, but looks sweet.

Number of Toys: 1
Made by: Cristina
Dropped by: Cristina
When: Tuesday morning
And Cristina says: I hope someone lovely finds it

Daruma san

I made a Daruma san for a friend .. to bring him luck!

A few years ago, whilst i was in japan, there were elections. One of the candidates was holding a gigantic Daruma san whilst another one handed him a marker for him to paint black the one eye, that this doll has white.

I asked my husband about this, and he explained that people buy or make daruma san dolls to ask them a wish. When you ask for the wish, you paint an eye, when you are granted the wish , you paint the second one, and you burn the doll.


I bought a pattern on Ebay of what looked like one of those dresses mom and gran used to make for me when i was little… yet, when i received it, it was all a bit too “reto”, and so changes were required.

The sleves were simplified with an elastic band rather than buttons, the neck pieces removed and replaced with a lovely ribbon, the buttons at the back replaced for click rivets….The materials, woolie fabric and polycotton... plus a gorgeous ribbon from the national gallery for the neck

A giraf for a special secret Santa

Sonja is a lovely colleague/friend of mine who had a gorgeous little boy a couple of months ago. His name is Kaspar, and he and Sonja will join us on Friday for out Xmas lunch at the office....

Everyone else had a secret santa arranged against their names, but they did not, and so i made this little something for him not to feel left out ;-)

 I used scraps of the body and felt for the hair on the back of the neck .The pattern was the Gigi Giraf one.

Gabriel's customised spider hat

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Pauline's child minder's father passed away, so she needed help with her 2.5 year old boy Gabriel: the cutest in the world. As my friends Amaya and Fer were visiting London, we decided to get him involved in several museum visits amongst other things, and so we picked him up at 9am.

The weather was awful. It rained cats and dogs.. even elephants at some stages, so early in the morning, we had to get into a bus to attempt getting into the Anis Kapur exhibition at the Royal academy... So rushed that we even took the wrong bus. By the time we realised, we press the bell and left the bus in a hurry... leaving the little one's hat behind too... We felt horrible. The worst "parents" ever, and we could not even chase the bus as we were in Oxford Street, where the stops are alternating!

As it was freezing, we attempted to buy him a new hat, but he kept on saying that he needed no other hat as he had a very nice one with spiders!!! All three of us wanted to cry... Anyway, adult like, we got him a hat for the day (similar feeling to the one he had) and a second one for me to customize adding the loved spiders on to it... This is the result... I like it, and hope that so does he ;-)

A shirt for my youngest niece

She is so cute that I had to do something cute, though nothing will match the little lady who will wear it ;-) I can already see her big smily face there, over the pretty pink neck line ;-)

I used a modification on the Sofia pattern

So... here it is the progress I have made...

...with dress number 2 ;-) I am quite pleased with how it is coming along, but I have to say that I have needed to make changes to the 70s patterns I bought, as I think that if I made the exact dress, my poor sis would flip of shock horror ;-)))

Last week there was a sale on the vogue patterns website...

Bits and pieces

Last week we had an office clear out. This past year has been such a horror that we have been left with a lot of un-identifyable paperwork and stuff. Amongst a lot of rubbish, I managed to salvage this gorgeous timber box (originally to organise stationary) which i now use to keep all my bits organised. How happy I am ;-)

A couple of weeks ago, I bought these leather buttons on Ebay to update and upgrade a jacket i bought on  a vintage shop... The bag was pretty big (around 30 buttons) and for the cost well worth considering as an alternative to expensive shops....

Also around that time, and possibly because it is that time of the year again, I found at the National Gallery, the most gorgeous linen ribons do decorate my pieces... I have already used them in a pocket for a bag i have made as a present to my mother in law ;-) I cannot believe that people can waste such an amazing piece of material to wrap something up which will last a milli second!

Finally, I would like to thank my dearest friend Amaya, for the bestest present I could have dreamt.... the good seamstress manual!!!!!

Bag for my mother in law

I made this with "Basque linen" I bought back home as my mother in law loves it... I wanted to make a bag that she could fit enough things without making it too heavy.

I needed: 1 m x 50 cm of linen, same of a white cotton for the linining. 15 cm of Gift ribbon from the National Gallery and a 15 cm x 15cm more rigid white cotton piece for the pocket detail, around 75 cm of  hand bag handle i got at the Chapel market in Angel and two large fifties buttons I bought in Kempton Park

I cut 2 squares of 43 cm x 43 cm in both linen and cotton. Then 3 pieces of both linen and cotton of 43 cm x 8 cm and 1 piece of the tougher cotton of 15 x 15 cm.

Asuming a hem of 1.5cm, you need to sew the 3 long pieces to form a strap, joining them with the same kind. I chose a plain piece for the bottom of the bag and strappy ones for the sides, but it is entirely up to you. 

Then you pin the resulting "articulated piece to one of the squares and sew it. Then the other and sew it. Remember to always do it good sides facing eachother.

You will do the same for the cotton, but first you need to sew the ribbon to the "top" of your pocket-to-be small 15x15 piece. Then fold in 1cm around the other 3 sides and pin on to one of the large cotton squares, and sew. Then proceed as per previously described.

Now you will need to fix together the inner/outer bags and the handle. I did it by folding in a hen line of 1.5 cm, pining it, fixing the handle where i liked and then sew it.

The final touch is to choose the posiitoning of the button holes, make them and fix the buttons accordingly... As you have to go through 2 pieces of fabric, pind them together first.


I am getting into the idea of changing things i dont like.

For start, I have plenty of cloths which are not "perfect" and that would most definitely benefit from a change.

Earlier in the year I changed a jacket which was far too large for me and by making a few (reversible if needed) changes, I now have a jacket which I have used quite a bit.
At the time, i was considering to bring another one to the charity shop, but hanged on to it on the hope that a success would encourage me to take action with that one too.
Today i have pinned and basted the jacket, and even had a crazy idea to do with sorting out an awfull ribbon/belt-wanna-be/bow... See the images and feel free to comment if there is anything that may bennefit the progress. (I have to confess that I am a bit nervous about my mom´s reaction ... :-)

Also, yesterday, I bought my first "vintage" jacket.... which looks good enough to accept a few changes like the buttons, which I would ideally like to change for some leather ones... I am going to do a bit of research to give iot a twist.

Update on my sewing projects

I am close to admit that i am as near to coo coo as one can be :-) Not happy with one dress per niece, I decided to make two versions of the same to one, and to complicate...sorry, enrich... the detailing of the one i am making for the youngest.... So here is the dilemma.... how much time will i have left to make toys? I begun to count and i have 2 new babies. 2 babies on the way to friends and family. 2 less-than-a year old babies and 3 toddlers! plus I am taking part, as i said, on the Christmas plans of the toy society!!! OMG, OMG!!

The dresses are coming along well.... I have the feeling that the one on the photo, that for my youngest niece, is looking rather good :-)

Using a woolie fabric from the charity shop in leather lane market and a pink ribbon i bought at Habitat, I have managed to give a little twist to the original pattern to make it more... festive :-)

The detail on the neck is similar to one i have in a top myself and i think it will look super cute on her... I am sure that my mother will be pleased too as I am pretty sure that a simple grey dress is not her idea of a child dress :-)

The other two dresses are going well, but as i am still working on bits, i decided against taking pictures yet....

The toys are looking good...

I have cut 2 "Gigi giraf"s from a free pattern at the Burda website, a black apple doll, a pointy cat, scotty dog (all linked previously to the blog)

1 lamb

1 rabbit

1 ruby doll

Now i just have to sew them and stuff them :-) OMG OMG

(To think that this is only the beginning...)

Black apple dolls

If , like me, you want to join the xmas toy making project...here there is another nice example to make... with a "pattern" and instructions too.


When i grow young....

Last Friday, on my way home, i was carrying my sewing machine on one shoulder, a bag full of things on the other, talking to mom on the mobile, and struggling to move amongst hundreds of people... someone approached me and gave me a flower "let me give you a flower to make your day!"
I was so surprised... i had heard of people movements to encourage people being kind and more friendly but never experienced it myself...

Today, at lunch time, i have found my way to pay back! Have a look


"forest friend stuffies "

I was looking at something else and i cam across this great blog with a lovely "how to" on making little felt woodland creatures.... I love it!


I have been terribly focused on making my nieces and friends' kids' Christmas presents and so i am on the look for anything cute.... This seems to fit the bill ;-)

great news

A while back i mentioned how i purchased the first of these two books "pattern magic"... Having found it through a blog i bought it off Ebay...( http://sew-ing.blogspot.com/2009/05/pattern-magic.html )

Well, yesterday, i went with my husband to the Japan centre ( in Piccadilly street, off Piccadilly circus) to discover, that the food section has been moved down to another building around the corner in lower regents street.

As a result, the used-to-be tinny book shop is now large enough to cater for crafts books as well as magazines, manga or cooking books... we were very happy to find that they do, in fact sell, the same books here, at the price i bought them from the Internet (a tat too expensive when you know the "real" price) but without having to depend on the good will of the postal strikers!!! And so, I am happy.

There are books on children crafts, knitting, sewing projects, kimono books and many more :-)

Current projects

The next thing i need to report on is that i have, with some of my colleagues/friends, started to meet on Tuesdays to sew! we have officially reinstated the Tuesdays sewing tradition, and it was great! so much fun... i personally took the opportunity to begin work on my Xmas presents to my two nieces... two lovely dresses...
For the younger one, i used a kind of knit in deep grey which i am going to adorn with some contrasting flowers. The pattern i chose was "Sophia #BS-005" (which i got for free months ago, from the Burda website... http://www.burdastyle.com/patterns/sophia...it appears to be $2 now...)
For the elder one, a girly dress with a beautiful "end of the roll" bit of fabric i bought at my local charity shop.... the pattern is a bit "traditional" but i will do it with a "twist"... something like this could be great fun... keep you posted ;-)

V&A buttons

These are buttons I bought on Saturday at the V&A (Victoria and Albert museum) shop... months ago, my friend Sylvania got me some gorgeous ones and i thought I better check for some more, now that the cold is coming, and i need to be making projects... for me and the two little ones ;-)

I love, particularly, the ones with the crayons... so cute...

Japanese fabrics

These are some of the super cute "detail" fabrics which my mother in law brought for me from japan. She explained that they are not silk, and so I should not feel the pressure... which sort of makes me feel better, but you must agree with me that they look gorgeous still, so I will be needing to carefully consider where to use them :-)

Last weekend, probably you have read it on any of my other blogs, I was at a market with two of my friends promoting our work and our friends´, and I made little aprons for all three of us to put the coins from the postcards that we had at the stand. They had nothing in particular, but 3 "pockets", but I was temped to use one of these on mine, as they are quite feminine... I think it is good that i did not, as i am sure i can do better than that and find something more special to make.... now that i come to think so, my "secret Santa" wallet is breaking :-)