Monday, June 10, 2013

warmth

My first introduction to the world of craft blogs was Melissa's blog - Tiny Happy. I remember clearly picking up a copy of NZ House & Garden at the supermarket and finding a wee article on Melissa and the beautiful things she was making. That lead me to finding other clever crafty people blogging about the things they were making and inspiring me to start my own blog. 

I've bought lots of things from Melissa over the years and her handiwork can be seen all over our house, bags, a forraging satchel, framed printed cards, a velveteen rabbit and brooches to name a few. So I was really excited to hear last year at the Auckland art and craft fair that she was writing a book - Sweet and simple handmade, that would include patterns for all the beautiful things she's made over the years. I quizzed her for most of the fair (we were stall neighbours) about her book (sorry Melissa!) and the thing that excited me the most was that the patterns were going to be printed on tissue and kept at the back of the book. I love that so much! I've grown tired of getting books out of my library only to find I have to copy out the patterns to start creating, I find I never get around to making the things. 

I couldn't wait to start sewing from this book, here's the first project completed ......
The Winter climate here in Auckland is mild (no snow for starters), so those beautiful woollen coats made from vintage woollen blankets aren't necessary, very disappointing. But I've been lucky enough to pick up a couple of vintage lightweight woollen pleated skirts, a perfect weight to add warmth, but not overheat. All those pleats in the skirts mean there is lots of fabric. After unpicking all the stitches I washed the fabric to remove the pressed in pleats. Melissa suggests looking for clothing that you can "upcycle" in her book, making use of textiles that are in thrift stores, so this skirt fabric seemed the perfect choice for this project.


  The instructions for the "Hooded Winter Coat" are simple and easy to follow, which helped me lots when I decided to whip this coat up for taking away with us on the weekend, ahem, I started and finished on Thursday night! I lined it with some soft brushed floral cotton that I had thrifted a long time ago, it seemed to fit well with the wool.
I made only a couple of changes, I added a pocket on the inside for secret treasures that I know my girl likes  to take with her and I added some pleats on the shoulders, a nod to the past of the woollen fabric. At the moment it's a bit "over sized" but I love that it's something that should be a favourite and see her through a few Winters.

So what else can you expect to see in this book, well it's separated into sections of, "babies - 0-12 months", "little ones - 1-4", "Children - 5-10". Each section featuring an array of wonderful simple projects that would delight those little ones (and their mamas). I especially love the babies section, now that my little ones have grown up (a little bit) this is the section that I'll be turning to, making presents for friends. The soft stretchy pants and modern bonnet being top of the list!

If you are time poor and not really into sewing yourself, you can check out Melissa's Etsy shop - Tiny Happy where you will find beautiful things handmade by Melissa.

14 comments :

  1. This is beautiful, I love how the pattern placement turned out. If you had not revealed it was made from a pleated skirt, I would never have known!

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  2. its gorgeous Louana. i love anything made out of old blankets. and toggle buttons! i NEED that book!

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  3. Its gorgeous Louana - no doubt your girl does and will love it. I especially live the lining fabric, so pretty! Clever you and a great book :)

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  4. Gosh your post really struck a chord with me Louana - as Melissas blog was also really my 1st "intro" into the land of blogging & has always been a favourite. I well remember that magazine article that you wrote about :-)
    I actually ordered myself a copy of her book last week & am awaiting its arrival with anticipation. I think you have done a fantastic job of the jacket, it looks great & yes I am sure it will become a favourite & will be worn to bits :-)

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  5. Louana this is gorgeous and I love that you've used thrifted fabric :)

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  6. Me too! That article got my mum and I both into blogging :) And what a wonderful world it is. I adore the jacket. The fabrics marry beautifully. Love it

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  7. it looks great. I remember that article too! :o)

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  8. wow thank you for the nice comments! so glad you like the book louana and i think that coat is gorgeous- nice recycling and thank you for your kind words.

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  9. I, too, remember that article - it was so strange (and exciting!) to see a friend in a national magazine!! Loving your version of this coat, especially love that it used to be a skirt!

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  10. Ah the Edinburgh woollen mill! Such a familiar part of my childhood :-) I love what you have done with this Louana, I bet it will be worn non-stop.
    I remember that article too. It is a magazine that I never read, but I was staying at a friends house and flicked through- that article really caught my eye. I had just started blogging and it was amazing get more insight into such an inspirational kiwi blogger and her crafting.

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  11. Melissa's blog was also my door into the online world of crafting, and I remember finding out about her in that magazine, read at a café in Wellington quite a few years ago now... Love the coat. I've got the book, so can't wait to make one too!

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  12. Really nice jacket. The fabrics look great together. I wouldn't mind a jacket like this for myself.

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  13. I have this book on my wishlist - more out of love and awe of the writer than anything else.

    I love what you made - I have just such a skirt awaiting transformation into something.

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