Friday, October 29, 2010

Bunting to Bulgaria

I have finished my second bunting quilt, this time a very girly one for baby Nya who entered the world a few weeks ago - a daughter for my husband's cousin.

Its a little bit thicker than the other one I made.  This time there are two layers of flanelette, white in the middle and pink on the reverse side.  It is going into winter in Europe after all.

The flag strings are white ric rac, I had the perfect length of this in my sewing box and that saved me trying to find a suitable shade of bias binding.

The postage cost to Bulgaria was very expensive, about $20, and the large Australia Post bag is headed to a very small mailbox slit on the side of an apartment building, so I really hope it gets there OK - also considering my dodgy addressing technique in the cyrillic alphabet!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Creative Space: it's super!

Before my breakfast, before my shower, before either of us was even dressed this morning I strangely found myself sewing.  If you know me then you know its pretty hard to get me to do anything comprehensible until I have showered...

The boy found the beginnings of his superhero costume strewn about the spare room where I had left it in the late hours of last night when I went to bed.  He just NEEDED velcro on the arm cuff, and then the cape was too long and NEEDED to be just the right length.  Who was I to refuse?

There's still another arm cuff and a belt to be made, but I put my foot down and went and had that shower.

The pjs are not part of the costume, naturally.

For more creative spaces head on over to Kootoyoo.

And if you want a chance to win something nice, feel free to enter my giveaway.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Action shorts

Yes I did it!  I revisited my childhood and made my kid try on some clothing that was bristling with pins and command him to "stand still!"  and "turn around, I need to see the back" and "don't worry those pins are on the outside and are not going to hurt you" (wink, wink).  Aside from that slightly traumatising experience for the boy my foray into sewing for him has met with a resounding thumbs up.  He loves his new shorts and I am happy to report they got a good workout at the park this morning (I love that boys wear dark fabrics).

The pattern I used (Burda 9793) has a fancy false fly front (let's call that the FFFF for short) and I was somewhat unhappy with the way the front of the shorts sat when they were being worn, but taking the seam in a bit around the FFFF area fixed that right up.   I might not even repeat that detail next time because I don't think it really adds to the look of the shorts that much.  I also enclosed all the wasit line seam allowances inside the wasit band. I kind of sewed the waist band on like binding and then folded to the inside and top stitched to catch it on the reverse side - very neat!

I also love that these shorts have an elasticised waist - soooo much easier for getting on and off, you know, when nature calls, and usually kids are saving that up right to the last minute when getting pants down is the priority rather than undoing buttons and zips.  For this reason these are going to be great to wear to kindergarten too.

To my delight I found more boys drill fabric while shopping yesterday - the boy is looking forward to car shorts next.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Whats your prize - fabric or a book?

Hello!  Hope your Tuesday has been good to you.  Even if its been splendiferous (and really why wouldn't it?) it might be about to get even better.

I get a lot out of my sewing and writing this blog and....this is my 200th blog post!  I really appreciate everyone who clicks in for a read, weather it be just for a browse, or taking some time out of their precious day to leave a much appreciated comment.  So I am celebrating this little milestone and saying "thank you" to my readers by hosting a giveaway. 

So without further ado here is the drill - leave a comment on this post to win either:

Four fat quarters of House Fall Flowers fabric from Free Spirit Fabrics in the four colourways of sand, pink, blue and teal (the design is the same on all pieces).  This is light weight cotton broadcloth fabric and deliciously soft.  If you want to see more details of this fabric click on over to Funky Fabrix.

Or if you are not a fabric addict but a sewing book lover (although I suspect most of you are both) then alternatively on offer is Lotta Jansdotter's book Simple Sewing.  This is a very gorgeous book with 24 projects mostly for around the home but with a good selection of simple bags too.  The book comes with patterns and has easy to follow instructions.

Just nominate what you would like to win in your comment.  I will send anywhere so this is open to international visitors too.

For an extra entry tell me if you already are, or have just become a follower of my blog.

Alternatively, if you prefer to use Facebook and are not a regular user of Blogger then please feel free to leave a comment there if you want a chance to win.  If you don't have a blog and I don't know you personally then please leave an email address so I can contact you if you win.

I'll draw a winner out of my teapot next Monday.  Good luck everybody!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Creative Space: one for the boy

Its so easy to sew for girls, isn't it?  Those cute little dresses and skirts that take no time at all to whip up, all those beautiful fabrics to work with...  Pesonally I think that making clothes for boys is harder because (for me) there is a higher level of technical difficulty in making shirts and shorts and fabric choices are comparatively limited.  As the mother of a boy I always find myself retreating to the department stores to buy pants and tops, and I try to buy the plainest I can because I hate commercialised rubbish and dumb slogans.

In my creative space I am starting on sewing some summer clothes for my boy, and trying and make it look really good, not too "made by Mum".

I have a pants/shorts pattern and some printed cotton drill.

And some plain t-shirts, ready for an applique or two. I have to make a super-hero costume for next weekend - more on that next week.

For more creative space, head on over to Kootoyoo.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Puppy love

As promised I am showing you the softie that I made for the softie swap
This little Scottie dog loves to sniff.

 He sits and shakes hands politely.

Is irresistably cute and loves a kiss.

And when he's tired loves a bit of a lie down on a soft mat.

I hope he finds a happy home with Tracey.

Monday, October 18, 2010

New friends in the letterbox

This month I have participated in the "Send Me a Softie Swap" which was organised by Vanessa from The Clip Cafe.

Last week these two lovelies arrived in my mailbox from Tracey of Mistea Crafts.

Tracey chose some gorgeously cute designs to embroider, and they are beautifully stitched, its all so even and perfect I am in awe of her embroidery talents.  The little friends even came with their own carry bag!

Thanks so much Tracey.

I'll be revealing what I sent down to Tracey in Victoria tomorrow...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Purple spaghetti

I made my own bias binding!  It wasn't so hard, the hard part was finding the time to do it.  The strips were cut on the kitchen bench in between dashing around making dinner for a hungry tummy and I managed to sew them together and do the ironing part in the space of a Playschool episode.  It was all a little dive in and slap-dash but it worked.

I cut a lot of strips from 1m of fabric, I'll have plenty left over for another project (or more).

Crafting time this weekend is dedicated to binding the bunting quilt, excuse me while I retire to the couch for hand sewing once again (I really do love it).  Enjoy your weekend, whatever you are up to!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Surely its not too late

To talk about last weekend, that is.  I had a little trip to Melbourne last weekend, mostly the purpose was to visit family, and I managed to squeezed in a catch up with precisely two friends.  I missed the rain deluge that hit Brisbane and instead enjoyed marvelous sunshiney Melbourne spring weather, and made it to the Finders Keepers Markets at the Docklands.

I had a fabulous time wandering around all the stalls, there were almost too many stalls to take it all in.  It was great to see it so busy and so successful for everyone there who was selling their wares. 

There were some stall holders that I have seen at the Brisbane markets so it was good to see them again, and I absolutely made sure I had a chat to Nicole of Yardage Design, she's really lovely.  I was pleased to take home a little bit of yardage myself...

...and Mum and I shared a purchase of a pair of house slippers each from Chimney House Shoes...

...and this tea towel caught my eye from Almond Tree Frames.

I left with $5 still in my wallet too! 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

At it again

Another baby.

Another snuggly bunting blanket.

This one is going far way to this lovely couple.

I have to overcome the making my own binding thing this time though.  A little challenge for my week, hopefully I will get around to it as I am doing a little travelling off to Melbourne soon.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Today I'm...

...wearing my heart on the outside.

Thanks to Dear Fii, the original creator of the 'I heart buttons brooch'.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

On being afraid of the feed dogs

After many cups of tea and neglecting people/food and ignoring conversations/noise going on around me I have finished this baby quilt.

Its not my finest work by a long shot, but in a way its the most "quilty" I have done yet - let me explain...

The quilt top I made from stash fabrics, all cut to a 15cm x 15cm template and sewn together in a 7x6 grid, all seam allowances the same, of course.  Sounds very basic but I had a terrible problem with matching the seams and there was a LOT of wonkiness at the junctions of the pieces.  I am not being nit-picky people, this was serious, and noticeable.  The funny thing was that around the very edge everything matched up pretty neatly.  This was so very frustrating and I almost chucked the whole thing out.  But then I thought to myself that if I wanted a totally perfect quilt I could go to a shop and buy one made in a factory by a computerised sewing machine.  So I embraced my little bit of handmade wobble and pressed on.

When I finally took the quilt top to the fabric shop to find a suitable backing fabric I agonised with a capital A over cotton vs flanelette backing, and batting vs a second layer of flanelette.  I am totally self taught in this quilting caper and I just can't make the leap to using actual batting (plus it seems you might need superhuman powers to take the enormous with a capital E roll of it to the counter so they can cut you off a relative sliver of the stuff).  There I said it, I am afraid of batting.  I am afraid of putting it in my machine, I am afraid of these things called "feed dogs", they might bite, and I am afraid of wobbly quilting lines.

So the double layer flanelette won out.  I actually "quilted" a layer of white by "stitch in the ditch" down the seams that matched up on the quilt top, and then did the old trick with the pink backing by basting the edges of all layers together and finally binding the edge in white.  And yes, I do a kick butt mitred corner, if I do say so myself.

I think I need a quilting class so I can experiment further in a controlled environment where there is scope for discussion and consultation, and therapy for when it goes wrong.

Friday, October 1, 2010

What went down at the party

Hello!  I have been taking a weeks break from my blog as I discovered that organising parties for little people does induce a certain kind of burn out that requires much rest and recuperation.

So now without further ado I am going to share some photos of the party we had last weekend for our boy's 4th birthday. 

The preparations from the sewing room included party hats for all, six metres of bunting and a tablecloth for the picnic table (I finally found a use for that fabric).

The picnic shelter got dressed up nicely for the occasion...

...there were presents to open...

...and good things to eat...

...and rocket ship cake (candles applied hap-hazardly by 4 year old)...

...and lots of play...

...The End.


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