Friday, July 30, 2010

The most fun

I am really having a fun time making my bunting quilt top.  I spent an extraordinary amount of time last night arranging all those little flags across the quilt in a way that pleased me.  My other half kept asking questions like, "What was your taxbable income for last year?", during the process, so I don't think that really helped my concentration...  Tax and sewing is not a good combination, I don't suggest it to you.

Flags are all stitched down and I'm ready to go to the next step.  I am not sure if this was the easy part, or the hard part!

Have a great Friday.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Creative Space: bunting quilt

A first baby is due very very soon to a dear friend of mine.

I was cruising through Whip Up when I saw an idea for a bunting quilt.  You can read the tutorial for the quilt at A Pretty Cool Life.  I think this is a lovely idea, I might even make a little softie to go with it.

So, rotary cutter in hand I am going to make a start on the quilt top today.  Baby is due soon so I had better get cracking!

For more creative spaces, head on over to Kootoyoo.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Alphabet Tuesday: R is for Rabbit

A Dick Bruna frieze couldn't be complete without a rabbit.
Mr Bruna is after all the creator of Miffy, one of the worlds most loved by kids rabbit.

This is obviously the grey field cousin of the famous white rabbit that wears a dress and lives in a house...

Monday, July 26, 2010

After a few drinks...

A friend of mine and I were having a little chat a few weeks ago, in a bar, after hours, when our kids were in bed (obviously with husbands home to keep things responsible). 
We were discussing her recent purchase of a handmade little girls A-line dress.
We were discussing my sewing addiction.
She gave me the "oh come on, you could so make one of those" statement.  

I knew I could, but you know, there's so much sewing going on out there for girls. I usually steer fairly clear of girly sewing as first I am not a real "girly" girl (I grew up with two brothers, need I say more?) and second, my own child is a boy.  Yeah, yeah, yeah...I so knew I was going to do it.  And a kids size 2 - talk about instant gratification sewing, its small, and its cute.

I trawled the internet for a pattern and eventually purchased an e-pattern from Etsy, but I have to say I didn't really trust it because it was just poorly drawn and presented, the printout didn't go together very smoothly either (although the instructions were very comprehensive).  It was also those USA "T" sizes and I am not sure how they translate to Australian kids' sizing.  So I checked my local Spotlight for a pattern and I couldn't say they had anything comparable and their pattern drawers were largely empty anyway.  Then, as if on cue I noticed over on the Curlypops blog that Cam had just made an A-line pinafore dress*.  I asked: "Which pattern?". She replied: "One from the mid-1990s, it seems to be out of print, I'll send you the bits you need in the post."  I was completely blown over by the generosity of Curlypops.  The pattern was exactly what I wanted.

So I morphed the two patterns together, confirmed the sizing, made it reversible, put shiney purple buttons at the shoulders...

...oh yeah, small and cute.

*To see Curlypops's retrolicious pinafore click over to here.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday fashion

Well here I am posing on my back porch again, which means I have been doing some more sewing for myself.

A nice simple top with elasticised neck and sleeves. Its New Look pattern 6892 and of course I couldn't resist giving it a bit of a tweak to my own liking, the sleeves are a different length and finish to the original instructions and I pulled the neck in with the elastic a bit more. I am quite in love with French seam finishing too, feels so much nicer on the inside of the garment.

I want to make a few of these for the summer months with even shorter sleeves, but I will wait until the weather warms up before jumping into summer sewing.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Creative Space: bits and pieces

Lots of little projects are happily simmering along here at the moment.

Cutting and sewing together some scraps of blue.

Thinking about these, where they came from, what they were used for. Where they will go next?

Experimenting with and getting a feel for applique and zig zag stitch.

For more creative spaces big and small, pop on over to Kootoyoo.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Alphabet Tuesday: Q is for Queen

Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl,but she doesn't have a lot to say
Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl, but she changes from day to day
I want to tell her that I love her a lot
But I gotta get a bellyful of wine
Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl
Someday I'm going to make her mine, oh yeh,
someday I'm going to make her mine.

- Lennon/McCartney 1969

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cozy with Robots

I am finally done with my son's new doona cover. He liked it a lot when I put it on his bed, he even called it beautiful which was super nice!

The Bots and Rockets fabric was a 2m length of quilting cotton and I recycled the pale blue fabric from an old queen sized doona cover - so I got the backing, the two side panels and bottom panel from recycled fabric. Not bad, don't you think?

These buttons form the opening of the cover about 20cm up from the bottom edge. The buttons were also recycled from the original, I didn't even remove them, just lined up the button holes to suit.

I also had a matching blue pillow case in storage too. Not sure how I managed that, it must have been fate.

And now I have lots of this fabric from the original cover. Its a bit country, any ideas?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Plate full

There is going to be no Alphabet Tuesday this week. I just can't spend today stitching up the letter Q in a rush. I rushed over the little pig last week and I am not 100% happy with it so to avoid a repeat performance I am going to let this week slide by.

In my head I have so much else to do: a little girls' dress, a dress-up cape and crown for my boy, a simple top for many ideas, not enough time!

Instead I am going to share with you a little bit of work from late last week. I made myself an obi wrap, I just made it up off the top of my head, its not rocket science sewing. I had a last piece of a navy blue oriental style cotton that I used for this patchwork, and this doll, and I wanted to be able to wear the last little scrap of this fabric. I had left over bias binding from my wrap skirt.

If I make another I might make it thinner width and the ties a little longer so I can double wrap them around myself. A nice result though for an experiment.

OK, back to the sewing machine to finish a doona cover. Hope you are having a productive Tuesday!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Timely greetings

Today the sun is shining beautifully, nice bright winter sun, and its low in the sky so it feels like late afternoon no matter what the actual time is. These kind of days seem to stretch on as you look expectantly at your watch only to find its a lot earlier than your body clock is telling you.

It was definitely fitting that I received my swap postcard in the mail today and it really fitted my mood and thoughts about this winter day. The card is a lovely mix of painting, beading, fabric and free stitching in beautiful washed out blues, reminiscent of clouds in the sky at the end of a day. A touch of glitter and sparkly beads and threads make it shine and a little floaty ribbon with the word TIME typed on it wings its way across the bottom of the card. The more I look at this card the more I see and appreciate the effort that went into its creation.

It came all the way from Northridge in California, thanks to Margarita. If you want to see more of the postcard swap loveliness, pop on over to the Flickr group here.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Creative Space: fiddly fingers

Sewing has all been a bit technical around here lately.

I found pieces of my sewing machine that I never knew existed. They caused some curiosity, and frustration, while I tried to work out how it all worked and went together.

There were lots of mistakes that were both useful in the learning process :), and just plain stupidity on my part :o. Things started to get a bit sweaty and smeared and the unpicker got a real workout.

And then, triumph! A row of six buttonholes. (Things were a bit tired and slightly out of focus by this point.)

For more creative spaces, head on over to Kootoyoo!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Alphabet Tuesday: P is for Pig

Pink pig, to be exact.

If I was strictly following the colour scheme of the original frieze then this pig should be red. I can't do a red pig.

Last time I was hanging out with a pig, it was sure pink (and ugly and hairy, and it ate whole apples with one chew...)

Monday, July 5, 2010

An anti-photo shoot

Yesterday some sunshine, a bloke with a camera and me wearing my new smock top happily collided to produce some dorky photos of me and my recently finished garment.

I kind of half posed in front of the garden fence.

We tried the on-the-angle-headless thing.

Took a series of shots that looked like the Hills hoist was an extension of my head.

And then I gave up and went back to hanging the washing. Sunshine for drying washing waits for no one around here at the moment.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Saturday seam ripping

Nothing is safe from my scissors at home at the moment. There's nothing like the satisfaction of turning old, tired or boring into something with a new life and purpose.

Today I am ripping apart an old queen sized doona cover, its about 10 years old and is still usable but I've just grown out of the style of it. I often find getting the seam ripper into commercially made items is tough and I am always amazed at how many seams I have to get through and how tight they are, this doona is no exception. The seams are all top stitched so its pick, pick, rip about a centimetre, pick, pick, rip another centimetre. Little bits of cotton are flying everywhere as it comes apart.

My prize from all this picking and ripping is the chambray style cotton from the back of the cover to go with some Bots and Rockets fabric, for a small boy's bedroom. I am even going to keep the button closures from the original doona cover, which means one thing, I am going to tackle button holes on my machine. I have no fear of the button hole, I have no fear of the button hole...oh groan, who am I kidding?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Wrap dancing

Thanks to Leonie from Ragland Guld and her lovely tutorial I have made myself a wrap skirt. It has turned out fabulously.

Fabric was an op-shopped kind of brushed cotton in a riot of oranges, pinks and purples. I lined it with plain red cotton, nothing else was going to contrast well with that floral.

I kept the original width from the tutorial, but made a few other fiddly modifications. I rounded the lower corners.

And added a back bow tie with shop bought bias binding (25mm) that I folded in half and top stitched to create two ties, and then just sewed these into the side seams, hard up against the top edge of the skirt. You have to drop the ties down between the skirt and the lining when you are sewing it all together. I think you know what I mean here. The ties are each 40cm long, in case you were wondering.

When I bought this fabric about two years ago I never imagined that I would end up wearing it!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My Creative Space: keeping warm

Whoa, its been cold lately! We are sucking energy running heaters of various sorts, shapes and sizes. But there still is nothing like the winter comfort of good old wheat bags and hot water bottles.

This week my little warmers have each had a make over. One of my wheat bags was bought in a rush from a large cosmetics chain store when I used to work in an office in the city. It was a really, really ugly dark green cordurouy, and starting to look worn and tired, so when I spied a remnant of spotty cord for $1.80 at the fabric store I knew it was going to become my new wheat bag cover. Now it both feels and looks great for keeping toes warm when relaxing on the couch.

I don't use a hot water bottle much. I mainly have it for travelling because Australian airport customs very nearly confiscated a very nice wheat bag from me that I took on holidays to New Zealand because of the wheat inside. But a hot water bottle doesn't look or feel good without a cover, so I chopped up an old cardigan I had...

...and stuffed and pushed it around under the needle of my sewing machine, and spruced it up with some embroidery in blue wool. All ready for using at home, and abroad.

For more creative spaces, grab a hot chocolate and a wheat bag and pop on over to Kootoyoo!


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