Sunday, 17 March 2013

New Crayons

Do you remember how exciting it felt to have a new packet of crayons? All arranged in beautiful hues, neatly ordered, sharp points, endless possibilities...

I got these soft pastels as a birthday present last month. I've not really used these for drawing (they are the chalky kind), but the sun came out on Thursday morning and I decided to give them a try.

Rather than idly flitting on the internet during my coffee break, I decided to draw a picture instead, and this fruity sketch was the result. Sometimes I find it best to crack on and just make a mark on the paper, rather than worrying about setting aside lots of time or effort.

Here's to snatched moments...

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Presenting Mr Wonka!

Fancy dress outfit of Mr Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

It's done, phew! Ok, so maybe a cardboard top hat of unusual size is not the most practical of headgear on a rainy day in Bristol, but we got there...

Willy Wonka

Hat: made from A2 piece of black card, lots of sellotape and swearing
Bow-tie: yellow spotty ribbon hastily stitched to a piece of elastic
Coat: purple velvet, lapels and everything, hurrah
Waistcoat: silky gold dragon fabric, made from my old dressing gown
Golden ticket: model's own

Very Hungry Caterpillar

And not wishing to be left out, youngest was happy to reuse a Very Hungry Caterpillar costume that I made a few years ago (we made a new hat together, so that cutting and sticking ain't faux naive it's just plain naive). The body bit is basically a sack with an elasticated neck and seams popped at judicious points to make arm holes. Thanks to Aunty C for coming up with the idea in the first place.

Next year I'm totally stitching gert big leaves to this costume and calling it a Beanstalk...

You can read more about creating the Wonka costume here. And Mumsnet is hosting a Blog Hop about World Book Day costumes here.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

World Book Day

My son and I have a deal for World Book Day. He's just got into reading Roald Dahl, and one of his favourite books (I've read it at least 10 times mum!) is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. So the deal is... I will attempt to make a Willy Wonka costume for him, but if it doesn't work or doesn't get finished in time then he can go as Charlie Bucket - which is basically your own clothes plus a golden ticket. Excellent.

Having never done any dressmaking (bar a circle skirt for a party last year), it seemed that a purple velvet tailcoat for a six year old was the perfect place to start. I made a paper pattern by drawing round the boy's school jumper, and worked out that one metre of fabric should do the job. Fabricland provided some fab velvet of just the right shade of purple. I cut out the pieces, and was even clever enough to cut out two sleeves.

Then I threaded up the trusty sewing machine with some purple thread and got going on all the seams. It was all pretty quick and dirty, as sewing a fancy dress outfit is all about what the costume looks like on the outside, for one day. Well, that's what I kept telling myself. Turns out velvet frays quite a bit, ho hum.

I re-used the jacket pattern to make a waistcoat from an old dressing gown of mine. Turns out (cheap) woven silk frays even more than velvet.

By this point I decided that velcro was the way to go for fastenings, as I'm not spending hours handcrafting buttonholes for a costume that will probably be trashed by the end of the day. As luck would have it I still had just enough left over from the Dolly Nappy.

Current state of play is that the waistcoat is finished, the coat is just waiting for final touches. When the boy gets home from school we're planning to wrestle with a large piece of black card and make a top hat. Oh and a bit of spotty ribbon has to transform itself into a bow-tie.

Only slight fly in the ointment is that youngest was sent home from preschool today with possible ear infection. Main symptoms seem to be lots of whinging/crying and clutching ears. I do so enjoy craft sessions with the accompaniment of a poorly child. Still, amazing what a dose of Calpol can achieve.*

Suddenly that Charlie Bucket costume is looking very attractive...

*other super sweet kiddie painkillers are available