Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Casting one candles - or a neverending story

Outside the sun is shining a lot now, it is getting warmer and the flowers are starting to grow again, the birds singing, you can go out in a light jacket ... short: the spring is coming! So normally not really the time of the year where you think lots about candles. But I already started this in January and want to show you the end of a looong lasting small project!
I simply wanted to recycle the leftover wax from the candles I burned during Christmas time. I also had lots of wax left from the last year too. I like to burn fat candles and there is always one or two cm of candle left, when the wick won't burn any more.
I smashed all the white wax (or better the stearin) to pieces, pulled out the wicks and put it in a big sausage can in a water bath on the stove to melt.
I prepared a cardstock chips can as a mold for the new candle. I made a hole in the bottom and pulled a waxed new wick through and fixed it on top on a stick, so it stayed in the middle. When all the wax was liquid, I filled it into my mold and let it cool down.
So far - so easy! Then I pulled accidently out the wick and had to redo all the steps again :-(
This time I let it cool down really well and get the candle out by breaking the mold. 
Did you see the hole in the middle of the candle on the last picture above? I don't know why it does that, but I didn't mind and tried to light up the candle.
It didn't burn well. In fact the flame drowned always in the wax dripping down from the sides. 
I took it to my husbands workshop and with a hot wire I cut of the top ring, until the top of the candle was more or less in one plane. Now it burned with a stable flame quite nicely! 
But not for long!
As you can see on the top photo, the wick leaned to the side and burned a hole in the wall, letting the wax flow out. 
Aaaaahhhhhrrrgggghhhh :-(  
I had some more wax pieces left and with the remnant of the odd candle I did for the third time all the steps you can see on the first two photo blocks - After eating frustrated another can of chips to get a new mold :-) 
This time I tied the wick under the mold with a double knot and during cooling down I hold the wick under steady tension, to avoid it making curbs again. Also I kept some wax and when the middle of the candle formed again its bizarre crater, I filled it up. Two times!

I can't really believe it, but now it works! 
The candle burned already three evenings without a new disaster!
Let's hope it stays this way! If not, you will hear me using ugly words :-)

A bientôt,
Jane

Thursday, 9 February 2017

An ordered bag

I had an order for a bag from a lady who already bought a yoga-mat bag (of which unfortunately I didn't took a picture) and now she wanted a bag for all her other stuff, but matching the mat bag. Also wanted: zipper pockets and shoulder straps as well as short handles.
I did my best and again I am surprised that sometimes bags that I would never have made like this by myself are turning out very likable anyway:

 The backside was a little boring, so I felt free to add those words!


Inside there is also a zipper pocket and an elastic strap to hold a water bottle.

As recently I am getting more and more orders for yoga bags, I added a yoga-shop page to this blog (look above on the header line). 

A bientôt,
Jane

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Recycling leather - basket

When tidying up some boxes with old stuff, I fell over my old school bag that later I used also in university. 
It looks old and well used, doesn't it? And I surely won't use it again. Our house has not enough storage space to keep things like this out of sentimentality. But it is hard to through away something you had for a very long time. (And actually I have no idea where to give leather for recycling).
So I recycled it myself. The back, the flap and the leather under the front pockets are thick and stable. I re-used those parts to make a basket! 
This is the old backside. For the handles I reused the old shoulder strap. On the backside I left a rivet from the old belt, so it's more interesting looking at, as that side of the basket is quite dreary.
Here you see the old front side. There are some holes in the leather, where the front pockets had been. I stitched a decorative zig-zag-ladder on them.
The form is a little funny, but round wouldn't work with the material I had.
On the bottom you can see the spots where there had been the sticker and the clasps.
I did all seams by hand after punching holes with a belt punch.

It had been fun making and I like the result very much. The old leather has a special charm! 
For now the basket has a place on our couch table containing all the little things always lying around. We'll see what I use it for in the future.
I am very happy to not throw away still usable material. Now my old bag has a new life!

A bientôt,
Jane

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Two unicolored yoga bags

Recently I got the demand for a simple yoga-mat-bag like this one, that I made last year and since I made several alike - all with floral fabrics. 
Now, the demand was a unicolored bag in blue! My first thought was: "Boring! A unicolored bag, you can also buy in shops, you don't need to buy a handmade one." But then I started thinking, and unicolored doesn't mean that I can't use different colors, only the fabrics need to be blue and from one color. See the result:
I love it. Maybe I should start yoga to have a bag like this for myself!  :-)

I liked it so much, that I made directly a second one - this time in pink to blackberry colors. 
Anybody want's to have it? 

A bientôt,
Jane

Friday, 20 January 2017

Transparent owl pouch

Today I executed the good idea I had when writing the previous post, to upgrade the most simple pouch:
 :-)

A bientôt,
Jane

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Transparent pouches

Inspired or infected via pinterest, I started a new "product line": Transparent pouches!
After seeing enough different examples I went to the fabric store and bought two different transparent foils. One has been very thick and I tried that one first.
I really liked the result! The foil was easy to sew, but very hard to turn. But being stiff, it holds the pouch bold, even when there is nothing inside. And even being that stiff, you didn't see any traces of the effort of turning!
I thought it could be easier to turn, when the zip is on top and tried it that way - but no! I had a thinking error, and had to add a seam on the bottom and not only on the sides like for the first one. It had been impossible to form the corners nicely, because of the thickness of the material. I gave it my son for an overnight stay at his friend.
Next try with the thin foil that has decorative dots on it. Easy to turn, but it keeps marks from the turning :-(
So back to the thick material! 
I made a very simple pouch using bias tape for around (means no turning) and press buttons (so no fiddling with the zipper and ironing). It's okay, but not as charming as the others. Probably because the fabric is missing.
(maybe I add a pecker between the two buttons - could be funny for kids!)
I also tried out a tutorial to make a foldable pouch, but it didn't convinced me neither. I found a third typ of foil, but it's not as stable as the others. The pouch is closed by velcro and it's very hard to open the two compartments.
So still the first one is my favourite, even when hard to turn over. My sewing friends, with which I meet every once in a while to sew little projects together, liked also the first one best. So monday, we made some together.
I disliked for my pouch, that the seam allowance from the fabric is visible and not clean inside:
So I proposed to my friends to add a bias tape and it's a much more tidy finish:
I have still material left, so I will make some more and will also try out a bigger transparent bag. I will let you know how that turns out!

A bientôt,
Jane

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Dolls wardrobe

Before Christmas a friend asked me if I could sew some clothes for the new doll of her daughter, as she found the clothes you can buy for those dolls are horrendous expensive and often not very pretty.
Being a mom of boys, this has been a challenging project that "naturally" I would have never attacked. But it had been so much fun! I made 6 out-fits for the poor doll waiting in her underwear in a box. 

My first idea was to search the internet for some dolls clothes patterns. But can you believe it, even the internet is full of pattern, I couldn't find any for this special doll. The patterns I could find for dolls in that height and of that producer are either too large (baby doll) or too skinny (mannequins). This doll seems to be an intermediate. I don't want to make advertising, but the doll I dressed is a corolle vanille 36cm and I will share the patterns I made for her later down!

Of course it needed some tests and therefore the first out-fit isn't perfect. It is an elegant black trousers and a rose blouse. The blouse fit's well, but the trousers are quite large.

Next I made a pyjama. For the top it's the same pattern as for the blouse and made in jersey. It fit's just perfect. The trouser is a little narrower than the black trouser, but still a bit bulky, what's okay for a pyjama pant. 
I love that outfit. Want to have a pyjama like that as well. Looks cozy!

The next try for a fitting trouser is in the winter out-fit for pretty Vanilla (I called her that name, as she has been stinking of artificial vanilla, when I released her first from her box. It got better the longer she stayed in my sewing room)
Those pink corduroy trousers are perfect. The pullover is made of sweat and with the same pattern as the blouse and the pyjama. To go out when it's cold, she got a vest from cotton fur and a head band. I hope she got shoes for Christmas, as her toes are looking cold :-) 

All three patterns you can download below in english or french. I am happy if you try them and leave me a comment how you liked it, thanks! 
Vous pouvez télécharger les patrons en anglais ou français en bas. Merci pour me laisser un commentaire quand vous avez les testée pour je sais comment ça marche pour des autres!


patron pantalon (français)
pattern trousers (english)
This pattern has no seam allowance included, because otherwise it wouldn't fit to the page ;-) If you want to have the trousers larger, like for the pyjama pant, cut the paper pattern vertically in the middle and add a stripe of 2cm!

patron gilet (français)
pattern vest (english)

If you do the shirt in jersey or sweat (what I preferred) you don't need to add the seam allowances au collar or for the hems. As it don't fray out you don't need to bother fiddling around to sew tiny hems everywhere. I just went over the edges with the overlock machine, but you can also leave them blank.
All shirts and blouses (and dresses) are open on the backside and can be closed by very small velcro strips. 

Of cause this hasn't been all. I made one more out-fit with trouser. A jeans-all-day-out-fit! I forgot to add the seam allowance for the trousers, so the jeans are quite slim fit and hard to put on. The t-shirt is made again with the shirt pattern, but shorter sleeves. 

I also made two dresses. A ball gown I made of an old dress of the girl that got the doll for Christmas. (I don't have a stock of glittery fabrics!) I tell you that one had been the only nightmare of the projekt. The fabric slid in all directions and you better don't look inside for the seams! Also the sleeves aren't nice at all. I just hope that little girls don't mind the inside if the outside is glittering.

As I am not at all happy with the pattern, I won't give it to you. And also the next dress isn't jet perfect. It's a beach dress and I also made a little bag that contains a towel.
For once the bare feet are appropriate :-)

For me, sewing for this doll had been like vacation from my usual projects and I enjoyed it a lot!

I hope some might find the patterns useful! Have fun sewing!
J'espère que il y a quelques-unes qui trouve mes patrons utilisable! Amusez-vous bien!

A bientôt,
Jane

linked at: made4girls