Teeny Tiny Dorset Buttons

Hello again!  I promised you buttons!  I found a beautifully illustrated tutorial on Dorset buttons here.  I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make them tiny enough, but had a go – and here they are.

They are made from 9mm jump rings and stranded embroidery thread:

Blanket stitches are worked around the ring:

At this point the stitches are supposed to be turned inwards, but the size of the ring made this step impossible so I just carried on.  I quite like the ridge effect this gave.  The last step is to weave the spokes:

All done!  I made some spares…

A couple of stitches and the shirt is finally, properly finished.  Phew!

Self-Discipline and Shirts

More than a year ago I offered to make a shirt for a friend…

Not just any shirt, an 1830’s style stand-collar shirt.  My friend is a volunteer on an early steam railway.  He assured me that, as he had been driving the train for years in an ordinary shirt, there was no rush.  I took him at his word!  Having sourced a pattern by Kannik’s Korner I decided to stitch the whole thing by hand for authenticity.  Although this was considerably slower than using a machine, I enjoyed the discipline and was able to do little bits in between other projects.

The shirt is made from linen, the pattern is by Kannik's Korner

This week realisation dawned that I would never get the shirt finished if I didn’t set myself a deadline.  I decided to get all the stitching finished by Sunday… Ta da!  Now all that’s left to do are the buttons.  The pattern calls for Dorset, or thread, buttons, so I’ll have a go at making them myself, and try not to take too long over it!

Back to School

September has brought us all back to Earth with a bump.  It’s been back to school for Workerbee, and Littlebee1 started primary school this week while Littlebee2 is going to “big girl playgroup” in the mornings.  All this will give me hotly anticipated child-free time in the mornings for smocking and craft.

Hmmm.  So far my mornings have been spent assembling flat-packed furniture, cake decorating (it’s been a big birthday week in our house), in fact doing anything but sewing, despite the many projects I have up my sleeve.  Still, it’s early days and I have good intentions!

Earlier this month I visited the Great Northern Quilt Show with my mum.  As well as spending more than I should on lovely fabric I was greatly inspired by the many wonderful quilts on show.  I am determined to finish my Irises quilt.

The quilt is based on “Irises” by Stephanie Parker in issue 49 of Fabrications: Quilting for You.  It is made up of 11 small panels and one large, each with an appliqued iris made of lots of small pieces of fabric.

small panel, before stitching

I chose a mixture of real and pretend batik fabrics and am really pleased with the result.  I fused the designs with bondaweb, then stitched around each piece with invisible thread.  This took months.  Now I have given the panels borders and pieced and sandwiched the quilt.  I am now quilting around every piece….watch this space!

large central panel

with the borders

the assembled panels