About three weeks ago I was sitting at home checking my e-mails. Then there was a knock on the door. I opened it and there he was - Secret Squirrel in all his glory! He said, 'G'Day, may I come in?'
Ok that's not what really happened, but saying that I was dancing in the middle of our kitchen after receiving an e-mail from Victoria from As It Seams passing the Secret Squirrel mission on to me would have been a tiny little bit embarrassing... Oops, I just said that!
I am a huge fan of Secret Squirrel and have been sewing along for a few months. Here are my previous Secret Squirrel projects. Please feel free to click on images to read corresponding posts.
I was very pleased when Secret Squirrel contacted me via Victoria from As It Seams and gave me these five acorns of inspiration:
Where the wild things are. Blue. David Bowie. Pockets. Great Britain.
In my view these were the trickiest acorns Secret Squirrel has delivered so far! However, While she was sleeping, I managed to create an outfit for Little Monkey that incorporated these acorns - all five of them!
I have had so much fun sewing the Mara blouse by Compagnie M last time I had to give it another go. I made a dress version this time and I love it! Doesn't Little Monkey look so smart in it? And oh so grown up!
Ding-ding! The dress is blue! Well, it is made out of denim, the most beautiful and soft denim I have ever touched. It is so incredibly light I did not believe it was denim at first, which amused the shop assistant I think. The colour is so rich! Perfect for this challenge. I bought it from House of Cloth in Bendigo. A shop well worth a visit if you are serious about fabrics you are using.
I opted for butterfly sleeves again. They are such a cute shape and cover gentle skin from harsh Australian sun.
Apart from being the most adorable kids book, Where the wild things are proved to be a tricky acorn! I am sewing for a girl, and the main character is a boy (although any parent of a toddler will recognise their child in little Max). In the book Max tames the wild things and becomes their king. I was not going to make a wild creature costume for Little Monkey, although she probably would have enjoyed it. Instead I used the colour of kings. What colour is that I hear someone ask? Purple. Purple is the colour of kings. I picked this lovely fabric with purple flowers on it for the yoke of the dress. Apart from being the colour of kings, purple is also Little Monkey's favourite colour. When I bought this fabric I became the best mummy on the planet right until I said no to watching cartoons at bedtime!
I actually went to House of Cloth to buy this fabric for the yoke. It is Liberty fabric. Do you know much about Liberty? Liberty originated in London. I am not sure if Liberty fabrics are made in the UK nowadays, but I thought that was enough to cross Great Britain off the list. Yep. No Big Bens, double decker buses or anything else that would usually come to people's minds when they hear Great Britain. Liberty fabric is what comes to mine.
What do you think about the buttons on the yoke? Aren't they gorgeous? They are vintage buttons. I also bought them from House of Cloth. I used one to make a hair clip for Little Monkey to match her new dress.
Buttons is one thing Little Monkey loves. She also loves pockets. In fact everything I make for her has to have buttons or pockets. Preferably both. At first I made patch pockets for this dress with pin tucks on them mimicking pin tucks under the yoke, but they made the dress look too busy and took attention away from the yoke. In-seam pockets seemed like a better solution. I used this tutorial by House of Estrela to make the pockets and a trick from this tutorial by Sewaholic to make them invisible.
The last acorn left was David Bowie. I did not even know where to start! I Googled images of David Bowie, we played his music which Little Monkey did not appreciate. I even quizzed my husband! Poor husband, I think by that point he wished I was never chosen to host Secret Squirrel!
David Bowie stars in the fantasy film Labyrinth. The film opens with an owl watching a teenager, Sarah, reciting lines from her favourite book called The Labyrinth. A little later on the owl transforms into Jareth, King of the Goblins, played by David Bowie.
I made a Del Ray bolero by Cali Faye Collection for Little Monkey and embellished it with a funky owl (David Bowie) based on this tutorial by Me Sew Crazy. In fact, I made two Del Rays. The original bolero was too small for Little Monkey. I made another one a few sizes bigger, and it is rather roomy on her. Oops, but not an issue as Little Monkey will get plenty of wear out of it. This bolero is very stylish and can be worn with just about anything!
What do you think about the interpretation of this acorn? I thought it was very clever and out of the box. My sweetest husband called it cheating - again! He said there should be a rule that there can't be more than 5 degrees of separation from the original acorn. Well, let's see... David Bowie - Labyrinth - Jareth - Owl... only 4 degrees. Sweetest husband, surely this must fit your strict criteria of interpreting acorns of inspiration ;)
This was our third attempt as taking photos of Little Monkey's new outfit and she was well and truly over it by the time we finished.
That's it. Five acorns of inspiration delivered by cheeky Secret Squirrel, one new outfit for my Little Monkey.
Secret Squirrel and I have had a lot of fun getting to know each other. It is sad he has to leave. But he is ready to travel again and has a new set of acorns for those willing to accept his challenge:
St Basil's Cathedral. Snowflake. Buttons. Harry Connick Jr. A long time ago.
If you would like to join Secret Squirrel on his journey, leave a comment on this post and check your inbox in a week’s time… you may be the chosen one to pass on the baton of creativity that is SECRET SQUIRREL!!!
If you don't receive a message form Secret Squirrel you can still sew along and share your creation in the Secret Squirrel Flickr group. But please do not blog about or upload photos for January's Secret Squirrel until January 2nd. Secret Squirrel's next stop will be revealed on January 1st!
C'mon, I know you want to join the adventure! There are some amazing prizes to be won!