Softies

A new Humphrey for you

by Helen on February 15, 2014

Phew …. it’s been a busy few days what with one thing and another!  I’ve been working hard on a couple of commissioned designs as well as the March magazine, so haven’t been around much online recently.  But here I am now with a new updated Humphrey pattern.  

Humphrey was one of  my original free patterns – based on a vintage design from my own childhood.  I’ve updated that old pattern and included some a few tips on how to stop fabrics fraying when hand stitching your softies.  If a softie’s quite plain I sometimes feel felt can be a bit (whisper it) boring so it’s nice to use a patterned fabric, though you do have to deal with the fraying issue. I thought Humphrey needed this patterned treatment  which in his case has acted a bit like a face-lift!  He now looks a lot younger than his age recreated in a lovely vibrant pink check …..

If you’d like to make your own Humphrey, please just CLICK HERE to download your updated free pattern.

I’ve had to keep Humphrey – and his friend, the famous super-model(!) Sidney well out of Daisy’s reach while taking their pictures.  I think she is becoming rather jealous that they take all my attention while I’m sewing them …….

Wonder what she’s thinking!  

She enjoyed her walk today though – the first time for ages that we’ve enjoyed a bright sunny morning – perfect for a longer excursion.  But the bridlepath was blocked by a fallen tree – a casualty of the recent gales.  

We approached the problem in various – but very typical – ways.  I stood back – assessed the situation, measured by eye and decided I could clamber over the tree through a gap in the branches.  Ben used his enormous strength to force a hole then shoulder his way through the lower branches, whilst Daisy – oh dear – couldn’t wait to follow her brother through the hole he’d made but  twirled round and round in mad excitement, then made a flying leap, became stuck in the tangle of ivy festooning the trunk and had to be rescued.  Silly puppy!  Then home for a little stitching on another project for the March magazine….

A vintage illustration from “The Rosie Posie Book” by Anne Anderson. I’m really enjoying stitching this – it makes me think of summer days to come and I hope subscribers will love it too.

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Three easy Eco-Totes …. and Sidney!

by Helen on February 11, 2014

Thanks so much to everyone who left comments on my last post or emailed me.  I’m not embarrassed about cutting up my ironing board cover at all now – in fact I shall be looking for even more ways to reuse and recycle and will definitely be implementing one or two of your ideas.  Of course a great way to cut waste and help the environment is to stop using plastic bags, something that we’re particularly keen on down here in Devon.  I always try to have a reusable bag tucked inside my pocket or handbag when I’m out shopping – and as last year’s bag is getting little the worse for wear I thought I’d include some new designs in the March issue of the Bustle & Sew eMagazine.  There are three versions, all featuring easy machine applique.  I started by photographing the Twelve of Hearts bag ….

Rosie’s already claimed this one when I’ve finished writing up the pattern!  But the bag seemed a little flat and empty in the photo.  Then I remembered a small softie who is always wanting to join in the fun …..

Yes, it’s Sidney from the August 2013 Magazine!  He would make the perfect model for my tote bags I thought.  So I brought him downstairs and tucked him inside the Bunny Love bag …

Where he looked rather nice.  Then we tried the Fabric Daisy bag – Sidney was clearly becoming accustomed to his new career in modelling and posed to perfection!

I’ve included these bags in the magazine as part of my series “Making Money from Making.”  Part Two in the March Bustle & Sew eMagazine is all about pricing – and includes why it’s important to offer makes at different price points as well as not undervaluing your time.  The eco-totes are speedy, but attractive makes that I think would prove very popular at craft shows – and  if you’re not making to sell (or give away) – they’ll be great for carrying your own shopping home!

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Publication day for the February issue of the Bustle & Sew e-Magazine is drawing closer and I’m busy working on the last project to be included.  It’s not a traditional sort of pattern …. I’ve started a new series of articles for the magazine “Making Money Making” and I wanted to show how simple shapes can be used in a variety of ways to give great results that are sure to be popular at craft fairs and online.  (I don’t at all mind people selling items they personally have made using my patterns, providing they credit Bustle & Sew with the design).  I’ve chosen a basic sitting bunny shape and so far have worked it into four easy (and saleable) projects.  There’s a set of three bunnies that would make a great Easter decoration ….

Perhaps a larger bunny with gusset for a novelty cushion? Or why not applique the bunny template to a patchwork base for a more traditional look….

And of course it’s always useful to have a little help when you’re trying to take photos ….

Especially when you don’t want dog hair everywhere!  Thanks for your help Daisy, I don’t know how I’d manage without you – a little of your help goes a very long way indeed!

I’m just working on the final bunny idea for this month’s issue – I’m all out of time – but I may include another couple of ideas in the March issue.  Here’s the final work in progress …..

Exactly the same template, but much much smaller with a border of spring flowers.  The bunny project and the first article in my new series about making to sell will be in the February issue of the Bustle & Sew e-Magazine – it’s out next week, so not too long to wait!

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Robert, the Red Nose Reindeer!

by Helen on October 1, 2013

There’s only one thing to do on a miserable wet day in October – think of Christmas celebrations to come!  And so I present to you … 

Robert the red nose reindeer!

Robert, the Red Nose Reindeer!  Already snaffled by Rosie for her Christmas decorations this year.  I made Robert from one of my most popular patterns ever – the Fabric Deer Head which you can purchase here if you want to make your own Robert, Richard, Rachel or indeed any other reindeer of your choice!

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