29 April 2012

The Owl and the Pussy Cat.
With a bit of left over fabric and a squidge of spare time yesterday I decided my Beijing Cat required a friend. So now I have an owl and a pussy cat to give to my friend for her birthday.

Once again here is the process . . .

Grab some cardboard and draw your shape, trace off on your fabric and cut around.

Trace off wings shapes, cut and check they look OK.

 Stitch wings onto body. 

 Using felt trace, cut and stitch.

 When I stitch features like the eyes and nose I usually run the machine around twice. It's a habit from when I had my lovely but less reliable machine so going over the area twice always guaranteed a better finish. For the wing I only went once as I still like to get that slightly rough and hand made feel coming through.

Work out eye placement.

 Dont forget his beak.
Label goes on.

 Eyes in, then stitch together.

Turn the right way around, stuff and fill and hand-stitch to close. For this little guy I filled him with about 1/3 fibre fill and then put rice in the rest of him so he will be able to stand on his own.Don't forget to store your patterns in a place you can find them easily. I like to hang mine (a habit from Uni) but it also helps them not get squashed in a drawer etc.

The end result - one little owlet.

27 April 2012

Beijing Cat.
Well I've done it! I have finally managed to get my first real softie made since landing in Beijing in Nov 2012. I have been kitting softies but I really am not cut out for knitting no matter how much time and effort I put in. I did try, really I did, with a sub zero winter and a massive language barrier outside I had plenty of time in the apartment for knitting. The result - four fish, one nest, 4 eggs (2 incomplete) a couple of snuggle bunnies and an elephant (I hope you weren't expecting a list of socks, beanies and jumpers)  . . . I don't work that way!

I have tried to be a good blogger and take pics as I worked today. Hopefully I will get better at the blogging and I will have to start taking more pics around Beijing as it really is a fascinating place.
Final result - I didn't bring any hh labels with me so I substituted some printed airmail tape I bought the other day. I figure most of my new handmaidies will be finding themselves on a plane at some point in their lives so it's appropriate.
Body. The fabric underneath is new,  I will have it for sale in my new Etsy shop handmadesource as soon as I manage to get everything listed. It will be a combination of supplies and my creations. I am trying to source only things I like. I am not doing it for profit rather just a way to pay for my handmaidies so I really want to make sure I like what I sell.

socks going on . . .
the process . . .

Face on, boots on, kind of like getting ready for a night out!
He looks so much more like a fox on the inside.
A new blog look, a new town, a new country and a new sewing machine. 

I am going to try and keep this blog on track, although those who know me know how sporadic my blogging is. I love looking at all the wonderfully creative people in the world through their blogs and really feel after many years of sewing I need to commit to this and get more of my images out there.

Today I start my first sewing project in Beijing. 
A present for a new expat friend I met here in Beijing. A present for her birthday on Sunday. 

She and her husband rescued a cat when they were in Dubai and brought him here to China last year, does that make him trilingual? They are from the UK so they speak to him in English. 

Here in the internationals schools they speak of 3CK's and according to wiki  "Third culture kid (TCK, 3CK) is a term coined in the early 1950s by American sociologist and anthropologist Ruth Hill Useem "to refer to the children who accompany their parents into another society".

So I thought I'd try my hand at creating a 3CK cat for them.

Now to choose some fabric and draft a pattern . . . .

The Work Space . . . 

I have organised our spare room into my studio and last last stole my daughter's lamp as I could no longer bare the harsh overhead light in the rented apartment. One of the worst things for me about renting is dealing with other peoples light fittings. We don't want to buy too much stuff here as we have a full house load of furniture in storage in Australia. However this little baby from Ikea (yep there's an Ikea in Beijing) saved my soul last night and this was the result.

Lovely soft light - can't sew by it but it is heaven after dealing with nasty overhead lighting.

The beginning of my new studio.