As I mentioned Boy Lacer has a school trip tomorrow, I’m going to and just the prospect of the logistics involved in the stuff I have to take and the thought of keeping my hands and arms free prompted me to make a quick largish over shoulder bag (I’m still using the Clothkits Rob Ryan bag I made last Christmas as my main bag and supermarket reusable bags to carry anything big) so I’m currently lacking anything that can go over my shoulder and carry a bit more than my phone and iPhone). I actually have been planning on making a larger bag for sometime and have two patterns I want to try and still will but for a quick, stash busting bag, I quite like this one, although I would have preferred to have top stitched the handle but I was very conscious of how late I’ve been using my sewing machine, so I didn’t. (The bird fabric is by the way Ikea).
Boy Lacer has a nursery trip tomorrow and all school trips require sun hats and unfortunately he doesn’t have one because his head is so large that I have trouble finding men’s hats to fit him. So I had two choices; I either scoured the shops, placing a variety of (normally expensive) men’s hats on my son’s head in an effort to find one that fitted or I made one, as you can see I went for the second option (and spent most of the time whilst making it, wishing I’d gone for the first option). The pattern was drafted by me using a tutorial from Indietutes, I’ve been planning on using this tutorial since I spied it last summer and now I have and I’m thinking “hmmm, need to find another method now”. Not that there was anything wrong with the Indietutes tutorial, it’s more that my pattern drafting and access to materials ain’t as good and also I think whereas this design would look good on toddlers, it’s not so good on someone approaching 5*. I think I really need to find a bucket hat style or something (I’ve been closely looking at what hats Girl Lacer’s male friends wear and generally, when they’re forced to it seems, they wear bucket hats).
Anyway, like I say my drafting skills weren’t up to much, this was especially noticeable when it came to attaching the brim and I discovered it was way too big and it was getting way too late into the project, with me not feeling enough love for it, to have to go back and recut the piece, so there is some ‘interesting’ bunching at the back.
As for the materials, this had to be a stash hat and this was the most masculine non-directional fabric I had in large enough quantities (I think with boys’ hats you really need a plain fabric but I have very little plain fabric in my stash, probably because it’s boring), I actually think the fabric is ok and the pattern on the material helps hide some inconsistencies (of which there are plenty) but Mr. Lacer loathes it (which prompted a discussion that Mr. Lacer was not that in touch with the modern males ability to wear pattern these days). The fabric (which is Amy Butler and therefore of lovely quality), is also a bit too thick and that combined with the interior lining and the sew in interfacing (which was meant to be iron on, that didn’t help) has given the hat the whole effect of wearing something made out of a duvet.
Boy Lacer (who thinks by the way that it is the ‘greatest hat’) will have to wear this tomorrow because he literally has nothing else (and I literally sweated blood over it; there’s my blood on the lining from where I pricked my finger whilst sewing in the lining by hand whilst watching The Men Who Stare at Goats last night – very good by the way) but I am quite pleased that the forecast is for cloudy!
* Much as I love the general international vibe of the crafting community, some designs just don’t translate well across borders I think. This design has optional press studs to turn it into a cowboy hat, which I’m sure looks great in the US.
Boy Lacer starting school in September is never particularly far from my mind, now it’s not all “Argh no I’m going to miss my little boy!!!” (although some of it is), I also happen to be thinking about all those working opportunities, hmmmm. Anyway, a ‘regret’ is that I distinctly remember when Boy Lacer was a baby and I was having the same thoughts pretty much all mums of second babies have “Argh no, I’m not spending as much time fussing over my new baby as I did with my first baby because I’m too busy chasing after a toddler,” but I comforted myself that by the time Girl Lacer went to school me and Boy Lacer would then be able to do lots of fun stuff. As it turns out fun stuff for Boy Lacer is pretty much going shopping so he can go up and down in the lifts, carry shopping baskets, charm shop assistants, eat biscuits and look through fabric tubes and when he’s at home, ‘fun stuff’ is going on the computer or recreating Total Wipeout (multiple, oh so many multiple times).
Anyone familiar with Richard Hammond’s opus will recognise Boy Lacer’s recreation of the Tipple Topple Towers to the left of the photo.
So we haven’t had quite the adventures I had anticipated all those years ago (but we’ve still had so much fun, as it happens he is an excellent shopping / biscuit eating companion and very handy for pressing lift buttons and pretty much all the staff in John Lewis know him by name). What has been a shame though is that now with his developmental delay he is only now getting to the developmental age where he would appreciate more adventurous adventures, right when he has to then go and sit in school all day, typical! So I’m making the most of him while I can and dragged him out to Hampton Court this morning to go and see a display of embroidery at the Royal School of Needlework (oh I know, big fun for a 4 year old).
Now I go to Hampton Court relatively frequently as we live close by and although I’ve known for years that the Royal School of Needlework is there, I’d never been able to spot where it was, so when I noticed on their website that their shop sold Appleton Crewel wool (which I can’t get hold off) and that this week they had a display of their students work, well I was a girl determined to find it, specially as the entry to the gardens this week is free. So off me and Boy Lacer went on the bus, we get to Hampton Court, we wonder around the bit where according to my researches I think the School is, eventually a member of staff asks me if I could do with some help and she gives me directions to the school which is nowhere near where I thought it was. We eventually find the school (for those that know Hampton Court, it’s a small doorway just within the palace gardens entrance to the palace itself, it’s a real blink and you’ll miss it sort of thing). We go into the shop and to be honest it was a little disappointing, there was a very nice range of books but it wasn’t so great on their range of practical materials (I couldn’t see any Appleton Crewel wool at all). We then went to see the display of their students work, which was lovely, to varying degrees. The Royal School of Needlework has always been high up on my ‘if I won the lottery I would do’ list, I’ve always really fancied doing one of their courses, maybe even their degree, but I could see from their display I lot of their work is very traditional, which is great, but I’m more personally about taking traditional techniques and using them in more modern pieces. There were some more modern pieces there though, I really liked the first piece in the collection, a blackwork piece about anthropogenic pollution and then there was another smaller tapestry style piece of someone in the bath reading their Vogue which was quite fun.
So me and Boy Lacer saw the display, left and started to head back out towards the exit, through massive crowds of people all heading the other way to go to Hampton Court Flower Show, when this man chases after me in the crowd waving this big bunch of tickets at me, “I’ve got a whole load of tickets, would you like one, they’re free, I don’t need them,” and I was like “Ooh, ok!” and the guy melted away in the crowd again and me and Boy Lacer turned back towards the Flower Show entrance, me slightly apprehensive that I was going to be discovered as a fraud and turned away (as today is members day at the show), but no we got in! I’ve always wanted to go to Hampton Court Flower Show (I went to Chelsea once, pre-kids), specially as we live so close but was always put off by the price, so to get in on a members day! Unfortunately I was a bit concerned about getting Boy Lacer back in time for nursery, specially as the traffic was bad but knowing this we deliberately didn’t aim to see everything, just to appreciate what we could see and we ended up seeing quite a lot. From the Small Gardens,
The Sleeping Beauty Garden – one of Boy Lacer’s favourite gardens, there was a very strong smell of apple with this garden, no idea how they managed that.
Round the corner of the small gardens we saw Alys Fowler! Sigh, I think she’s excellent on Gardener’s World and I loved her The Edible Garden (which always made me roll round on the sofa going “Oh I want to be her when I grow up! Never mind she’s actually younger than me).
We then went onto the Floral Marquee, where there was the most excellent display of lavender.
And then across the (sorry can’t remember the name) ‘large watery thing’ that doesn’t normally have bridges on it.
We then went onto see the vegetable growing area, one day I want an allotment like this, with flowers on one side and vegetables on the other.
Next door to the vegetables was the most gorgeous field of sunflowers!
Then onto some bigger gardens, this one according to Boy Lacer was another Total Wipeout garden.
And we both absolutely loved this one.
And we both squealed with delight when we saw this one (which I think pleased the man from Lego who was standing nearby – there weren’t that many kids at the show today).
All in all a fantastic day!