Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Complete Satisfaction!

Oh so pretty, even if I do say so myself.
As always, my girl is involved in the process.

I really love the end result of this type of quilting.

The baby boy getting this quilt will have it on his bed in his college dorm room. I can see it all now.

Finished size, a generous 47" X 60" (approx).

Monday, 24 May 2010

Boy's Quilt: Almost finished!

I am working on my first quilt commission. I have made about half a dozen quilts for myself, family, and friends, but have never done it for money. That is about to change. I think that each time I endeavor to get a quilt done, I am surprised by the amount of work and hours it takes to get it finished - like childbirth you forget the pain when the end result is so beautiful (and of course, it's not pain all the way through)! Yesterday, I finally finished the quilting part. I also treated myself to a new ironing board before getting started on the binding (isn't it just lovely? Simple pleasures, I tell ya.)

The person I'm making the quilt for only requested a certain color palette, but the rest was up to me. Let me say that making a quilt without a specific desire laid out for you is like cooking a meal for someone whose tastes you are totally unsure of. She seemed to like simpler square forms so once I decided on the fabric I thought the best way to show it off would be a modified "around-the-world" pattern, which is similar to the quilt I made for my daughter earlier this year. It really shows off color and fabric in a way that doesn't get dated over time, and I think it is especially nice for a boy. I will post the finished photos soon!

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Before and After

I love to redo old ugly furniture. Actually, I've only redone about three things, mostly simple projects like this one, but I'm working my way into more difficult projects. In this case, I had this old plant stand, decaying in my garden for a few years, when I finally decided I wanted to bring it into the house to use as a small table in my bedroom.

I used some Mexican oilcloth in an interesting silver pattern (found here), got out a pair of scissors and my trusty staple gun, then simply re-covered the worn out base. The cast-iron bit could use a new coat of paint, but that will come later.

VoilĂ ! A beautiful new little table for inside the house.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

New Work

Check out the shop for new aprons, bibs, and hopefully homewares soon!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Aprons on Film

Check out the latest photos on facebook from the filming of Florentine and Pig - you can see some of my aprons in several of the photos!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

For a little boy...

I was in an amazing Swedish department store that had tons and tons of fabric I loved. When I saw this striped fabric (along with a few others I have yet to touch) I immediately envisioned this little boy's overall set.

Months ago, I bought a packet of patterns from a thrift store for mere pennies and I have been working through the packet, redoing and redesigning some of the almost frumpy-style kids clothes. Amending patterns can be daunting at first, but as long as you cut conservatively to start with you can always adjust sizing later.

I've been primarily sewing for little girls but with this creation I'm absolutely sold on boys clothes. Actually, the overalls could be worn by a little girl as they're not especially boyish.

You won't see these in my shop - I'm just too in love with them to part ways. If I ever have a little boy they will be his! Unless one of my friends is very lucky :).

Sunday, 9 May 2010


Last week, I was contacted by a rep from an up-and-coming children's cooking program in the UK; she found one of my apron designs on my folksy shop (www.folksy.com/BellaLou) and wanted me to create a variety of aprons for use in the first 10 filmings. The brand and name of the program is Florentine & Pig, and presenters from CBBC (Children's British Broadcasting Corporation) will be hosting the show from a quirky cottage in the English countryside. And most importantly for me, my aprons will be featured on one tiny wearer - very exciting!

Friday, 7 May 2010

And we're off!

I sewed this adorable little girl's summery handbag for my niece this week. I got the pattern from a brilliant magazine called SewHip! (no online version, unfortunately). The pattern called for adorning the top ruffle with with a mixmatch of buttons, but I love how it looks now, so I've decided to leave it as it is.

It was a bit time consuming to make the ruffles because the seams are all internal, but it adds such whimsy and texture to the bag. My niece is going to adore it: she's five and full of spice!

Second Post!

On Sewing

I started sewing over a year ago, inspired by a working mother (a busy lawyer, in fact). She sews for her two children in the tiny amount of free time she has once the kids are in bed. I thought to myself, If this woman can put together these beautiful things for her kids, with even less time than I have, sure I can try, right? So I bought a sewing machine and began sewing scraps of my husband's old shirts. Just after getting my machine, I met a passionate quilter who went overboard in lending me all kinds of her expensive materials and giving me free lessons. I had no intention to ever sew a quilt, because for me, quilt piecing was too far into the domain of domesticity and I thought I was entrenched enough as it was. Long story short, one year later I've sewn five quilts (!) and dozens and dozens of other projects - from clothes, to accessories, to homewares. I'm a devoted student and once I get going there's no stopping me.

I adore sewing for my little girl. I love sewing for my nieces and nephews. My friends can count on handmade gifts. And now I sew for my shops on etsy and folksy!

As it turns out, we're all busy, but we make time for the things we love.

First Post!

After lots of deliberation, I decided to start this blog, Bella Lou, inspired by my etsy shop and all the other things I create. My intention is to post photos and descriptions of my projects and the process I went through the finish them. I also intend to publish my frustrations - there are many of those! I originally thought I would name the blog "The Seam Ripper," because I'm pretty sure I undo more seams than I sew. BUT, someone cleverly thought of that domain name before me , so I will be sticking to what I know, "Bella Lou."

More to follow soon!