Sunday, 29 May 2016

Sun Hats

One of the lovely things about being able to sew is the way you can cobble together, often at very short notice, solutions to problems - like accessories  for dress up days at school, last minute gifts, or ..... sun hats when the sunshine miraculously returns and all last year's hats seem to have mysteriously disappeared.

There are lots of patterns/tutorials available out there for sun hats, from the ones I saw I think they all tend to be free patterns and they don't need a large amount of fabric, so they're basically a very cheap make. I used this reversible bucket hat pattern and it was straight forward and fairly quick to make.

After making one for each of the girls I decided that I really needed one too. I had to enlarge the pattern for mine so if you're making a grown up one you might be better finding a different source for your pattern.

Maria's hat was made from part of a thrifted shirt and an old sheet, mine from a slightly strange, reversible, thrifted scarf, and Venetia chose some 'new' fabric which I've had sitting around for several years, with her contrasting fabric coming from an old napkin which just happened to be the perfect shade.

Maria and I both prefer our hats one particular way, but Venetia likes changing hers up with the reversible nature of it.

I can see myself making a few more of these before Summer hits properly, Venetia in particular will want to be able to colour coordinate with her outfit, and we all have a tendency to mislay such things, so basically there's no such thing as too many sun hats around here!

Especially if you wear three at once!


Monday, 23 May 2016

Ballet Teacher Gifts

I'm under pressure from one of my friends - who apparently has nothing good to read on the toilet anymore -to get back to writing here! So this is for you, I'm staying up late to try and make it happen!

For the past 6 years we've been going to a wonderful, local ballet class. First with Venetia and then Maria too (sadly I could never persuade the boys to give it a go!). The 2 teachers there were lovely; relaxed, warm and very inclusive. They were all about the children enjoying their dance and being creative, but they still made lots of progress. Both my girls were involved in several amazing shows, these were experiences I'm sure they'll always remember and it did lots for their confidence. But sadly this weekend saw the final performance from our ballet school. One teacher is retiring and moving away to be closer to her family, and the other is soon to have a baby .

Of course we had to make presents. Venetia has been crocheting away for the past couple of months now here and there, and the big day looming gave her the final push to finish a baby blanket.

It did look amazing to me, still struggling to make any progress at all with crocheting, and Venetia was very proud of it.

For our other wonderful teacher, I made a cushion with a dancer machine embroidered/appliqued on to it.

Her skirt was made from tiny Liberty scraps patchworked together.

The final show was very special, but also emotional. After only 6 years I felt we were part of the family, but there were girls who have been dancing there for 15 years, Mums who started ballet there years ago and now have little ones of their own dancing there. We are very grateful that we had 6 years, and that they gave both Venetia and Maria a love of dance, but we're sad it's over. I think I will remember this last performance, more than any other, not just because of the occasion, but also because I really loved the performance in isolation. Particularly the last section in which they danced to excerpts of quite a contemporary ballet - 'Still Life at the Penguin Cafe'. It's not one I'd ever heard of before, but I've come to love the music after listening to it during weeks of rehearsals! And the inspiration behind the ballet was to highlight the plight of endangered species on our planet, and in particular our lack of action as humans to prevent extinctions. Sadly a theme just as relevant to our world now as 25 or so years ago when it was first created. Seeing it performed by our children felt very powerful. If you're interested you can see a clip from the ballet (not our version from the weekend!) here on You Tube.

And I have got a few more bits and pieces to catch up on here, so I will try to get back to a more regular pattern round here, or at least a brief flurry of posts!