Friday, 24 December 2010

Gifts and Wishes

I made some last minute gifts: 
- A pencil case , using the Cosmetic bag tutorial you can find here. I just made a smaller version.

What do you think?

My second gift is a very easy to make "draught dog or snake"? It is probably a hilarious translation of what we call in Dutch: "Tochthond"
It is in fact a stretched cushion cover with a zipper.
Here is a picture:
I put this at the bottom of the door to keep the draught out.
Can someone tell me what its proper English name is ?

It is now Christmas evening; we are enjoying a simple, warm and paeceful time at home.
Outside it is freezing cold but incredibly beautiful. 
I took some pictures in the garden this afternoon.
Have a look:

A merry Christmas to you all.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

The Art of Liberty.

I am launching a new range of clutches.
For years now,  I have been collecting the beautiful Liberty Tana Lawn fabrics.
I thought of turning them into a work of art and use them to make exquisite clutches.
Each one will be unique, made with Liberty fabrics which are sometimes hard to get or no longer available.
Here is the first one:
Look at the delicate prints! Gorgeous isnt it?

I hope you like them as much as I do.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Christmas Promotion Time!

Christmas for me means warmth and cosiness, peace, family, snow outside, candles , presents under a huge Christmas tree full of tiny lights....

To share this happiness with you I am offering a 10 % discount on all my purses and clutches in my zest4colour shop, from the 1st till the 31st of December .

Have a look ; perhaps you will find that special gift for a friend, a loved one or simply yourself: a clutch or purse to complement your outfit .
Indulge yourself.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Overlock Joy

I have a new toy!
Have a look at my new overlock machine.

How did I ever manage without it?
Together with my sewing machine, this makes sewing life so much easier.
It opens a whole new world of sewing opportunities.
As a trial I made some pajama pants, completely with my overlocker. The overlocker sews and cuts at the same time, giving you a neat, professional result. You save a lot of time: in one go you sew and finish the edges.

This is also the perfect tool to make your own silk scarves.

You will never achieve this result with your sewing machine.
I am over the moon.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

A Reed Case Cover

Mr. Musketeer plays the bassoon.
He bought himself a lovely wooden reed case.

I suggested to make a cover to protect  the wood. He agreed!
So here is the custom made reed case cover:
I used a pale grey-beige linen together with a lovely contrasting cotton. This is a limited edition printed cotton from Liberty Art fabrics for the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
On the back my Bernina sewingmachine embroidered a bassoon for me. Look how gorgeous:
The lining is a beautiful olive green cotton with delicate fine darker stripes. This is a fabric from the wee woodland collection by Keiki for Moda. To close the case I used simple black Velcro.

If you would like a similar case to cover something you would like to protect, let me know. 
It can be custom made for you.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

My Cosmo Bag

I convinced myself I needed another bag.
In fact I did need one to keep my knitting work neat and tidy.
But to be honest , I only wanted to try one of the patterns of the new Amy Butler book.

This is a great book!:
Hardcover-spiral (important if you handle it a lot); high quality , thick paper; stylish design; beautiful pictures.
Clear written instructions and drawings, though sometimes a photo would tell more.
Therefore if you are new to bagmaking,  this is perhaps not the book to start with.
The pattern pieces fit perfectly together. Everything falls into place.
I tried the Cosmo Bag project.
Some pictures:

I used Marilyn - Blue from the Dolce collection by Tania Whelan as outer fabric; a striking matching linen for the lining; the handles and buttonloop are a lovely cotton from the Liberty Art range, made for the Victoria&Albert museum in London; limited collection.

I added purse feet to protect the bottom fabric.
I used a stronger interfacing (Vilene S320) for the bands and handles, to make them less floppy.

To give the bag body more volume I ironed a fusible fleece on top of the advised  interfacing.
I finished with a contrasting button; not the suggested covered button. For me, this one has more character.
I am really pleased with my bag.
What do you think of it?

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Colour makes me happy.

Even on a foggy, dark day like this, there are jewels in the garden screaming for attention with their rich, warm autumn colours.
Look what we have in our garden now:

Such a delicious apple!

Over the weekend I was preparing a red cabbage for dinner together with lots of these juicy apples from the garden.
I have to say, a red cabbage is not the most attractive, exciting veggie in vegetable-land . But look what you get when your small slices are immersed in water:
 At once you have a beautiful purple-blue water. I always feel sorry when it disappears down the drain.

Colour does make you happy , isn´t it?

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Getta Grip Clips

I found an interesting tool.
I was looking for small bulldog clips to keep thick layers of fabric together. I was a bit wary to use them on delicate fabric. Then I found this:
This is a "Getta grip Clip" invented by Paul Gallo.

This is really a clip that has everything you need: it has grip (I turned my project upside down; the clips stayed where they  were); it doesn´t damage the fabric; it doesn´t leave marks (except on velvet).
The gripping tip has no sharp edges.
These clips are very easy to work with; see how close you can sew?

And.. they have a lovely design.
It can be that they are somewhat heavy to use on fine, delicate fabrics like silk, but of course for those fabrics you don´t need clips.
For small projects they are a bit large, so it would be nice to have a smaller version,

I am really pleased with these clips.
You can get them here.
Warm regards

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

The Candy Clutch is born.

Here´s for you a sneak preview of my new themed clutch: "The Candy Clutch".
Look at the delicious fabric; a mountain of red and white sweets.

 This clutch will soon be available in my zest4colour etsy shop.

I also promised you a picture of the finished pencil case for middle Musketeer. Here it is:

I like this sweet owl.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

The recessed zipper closure challenge.

A few weeks ago I made myself this bag:
Fabrics: dark brown linen and a Kaffe Fassett print.
I use it to hold my clarinet case, musicnotes, reed case, pencils etc.
As you can see it has difficulties standing upright; I interfaced it with Vilene S 320.
When my sister saw this bag, she asked me to make a similar one for her." Of course, I can do that", I said. "And... I would like it to be closed at the top".
"Sure", I said, "no problem".
Only afterwards I realised, I had never installed a recessed zipper closure before!!
Online, I went, in search of a suitable tutorial.
For me ,the best one is this tutorial from Sarah of ´My spare time`.
Sarah explains all the different steps very clearly.
The only problem with all the tutorials is , that they are made for narrow bags.
My bag has a broad base and I also wanted the top to be wider.

 See what I mean?At the top, the bag is too `sharp`
I wanted it to look this way:
I achieved it by sewing, from the inside by hand, some 6 cm of the lining, which is hanging loose, to the outer bag. This way, the side of the bag is pulled to the middle.
Are there others ways to get this result?
Anyway, here is the bag!

Fabrics: brown linen, lovely eyecatching leafpattern cotton fabric from Philips Jacobs.
I used Vilene S 520 as interfacing; this bag is much sturdier and can stand on its own . It is just a little tricky to turn the bag inside-out, once you stitched outerbag and lining together.
The bag closes with the recessed zipper. I added pockets inside and a key hook. 
Ironing gives the finishing touch.
I learned a lot by making this bag; but I especially hope my sister likes him/her...

Friday, 24 September 2010

Pencil Cases and more.

My youngest Musketeer needed a new pencil case.
All the shops I tried didn´t have one in his favorite colour blue.
So I said I would make one myself and he agreed!
He chose this lovely fabric from my stash:

It may look blue in the pictures, but it is a gorgeous, rich, dark purple fabric with sweet owls, called "Eerie alley" by Robert Kaufman. For the lining I tried a laminated fabric from the Nicey Jane range by Heather Bailey. It is very easy to sew with. Just take care with pins, because they leave permanent holes.
For the inside of a pencil case, oilcloth is stronger and easier to clean than cotton.
Here´s the result:

My boy loves it.
At once middle Musketeer decided he absolutely needed one too.
He chose this fabric:

This is a lovely, bright fabric, from the Opal Owl collection by Tina Givens.
I will show you the result in one of my next blogposts.
You can find a very good tutorial for this kind of pen cases here. Just change the length and width to the size you want.

My firstborn Musketeer wanted new curtains for his bedroom and , he said, "it must be dark in my room". So they have to be double layered. I am working on it....
Last but not least: a new themed clutch for my shop is on its way. I will give you a sneak preview when it´s finished.
So, you see there is a lot of work in progress going on here.
Have a nice weekend.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Remnant Gems.

Do you also have a pile of fabric remnants?
Lovely little pieces of fabric you just can´t throw away?
Well, here is one example of a possible use.
Refresh your towels. They will brighten up your bathroom.
It is a very easy and quick little job.
Look at the result!!
I love them!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Delicious Fabrics

Look what the postman brought me today!
Gorgious isn´t it?
I love fabrics. It´s a bit of an addiction actually. But there are worse addictions than this I think.
I love them, not only for all those shades of colour they come in; but also for the patterns, the textures -the feel of it.
The smell isn´t always nice though (some people seem to smoke).
I haven´t tasted them yet, so I can´t commend on that.
Anyway, here are the pics:

Here some colourful fabrics from Tanya Whelan, Kaffe Fasset and Philip Jacobs.
The 2nd fabric on the left is a Liberty art fabric.

Lovely fabrics from Timeless Treasures

All these beauties are waiting for me to use them in one of my zest4colour projects.
Warm regards
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