Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Alphabet Tuesday: Z is for Zebra

Well there he is, a little zebra to complete my Dick Bruna alphabet panels.

I only started this panel yesterday, I had an "Oh my god, its Monday!" moment and hopped straight to it.  I hadn't had a close look at the illustration before then but did have some half ideas in my head about how it was going to go together.  I realised with some dismay and absolute resignation that it could only be done piece by piece, all 23 of them alternating black and white to hopefully end up with a correct representation of the original.  I cut out all the little pieces yesterday (with a stiff wind blowing though the house = mistake!) and last night spent considerable time shifting the pieces around the backing fabric to get just the right placement.  Yes, I had to move 23 pieces everytime I wanted a slight adjustment up or down, or left or right.  Then hunched over the kitchen bench under the bright halogen lights I started to sew all the pieces down.  I finished this morning (after quitting and going to bed, I didn't sew through the night) with aching shoulders and hopefully not a permanently hunched back from sitting at the kitchen stool.  Looking forward to a good yoga session tomorrow to straighten myself out again.

Next year I have the task of getting all these panels together into a wall hanging for my son's room.  Happily we are moving to a new house next year, finally our own house.  Yes, we will be home owners (gulp!).  The timing couldn't be more perfect for this project.  Don't worry, after setting myself up again after the move I'll be updating how the project is coming along and it will eventually be completed - rectangular? horizontally long? vertically long?  The choices! I'll have to see what fits best in the new house.

Thanks for following along this year, I couldn't have done it without the accountability factor of posting it to the blog!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The finish line

I am looking at the finish line for my alphabet series.  I am aiming to be done before the end of 2010 rolls around.  We will be off to Tasmania at the end of this week, and I really don't fancy taking any sewing with me on this holiday, its time for a break for sure!  So tomorrow is the last Tuesday of the year that I have left to post about this project.

If you've been following along, and even if you haven't, I think you know what the picture for Z is going to be.

Its complicated to recreate in felt though, so lots of little bits of paper template and felt scraps are piling up on the bench.  Its like an ultimate two colour jigsaw puzzle to put together, hopefully it will be all stitched down by tomorrow.

See you then!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Alphabet Tuesday: Y is for Yawn

Does this make you yawn?  Or does just thinking about yawning give you the urge to yawn?

Did you?  Go on, admit it.

Happiness is...parcels, coffee and a stolen hour

Yesterday afternoon I took some time out.

It was very humid weather, I had done all my jobs for the day, and the little one was asking nicely to watch a DVD, so I let him and headed out to relax on the back deck with an armful of goodies to kick back and catch the breeze.

I had just re-filled my coffee bean tin at Merlo coffee, taking home my complimentary coffee in my Keep Cup of course, feeling good about re-usable packaging here.  Coffee is a bit of indulgence for me, I don't drink it regularly any more.

I had two lovely parcels to open, just for me!  One was full of goodies from a close friend, including some delicious Christmas biscuits.  Mmmm, they are tasty and disappearing fast!

My second parcel had just been picked up from the post office.  The post office queue was huge and everybody seemed to have a red parcel pick up slip.  I asked the lady behind the counter if they had missed a delivery or something due to the bad weather (it did look like the whole suburb was turning out to pick up mail) but she looked at me amused and said, "No dear, its just this time of year!".  Silly me.

My parcel was from Nic at Yardage Design with my copy of Handmade Living (devine publication!) and a print of her bunting panel, and a cute little elk decoration.  (I have a moose that is similar, I must dig him out and they can be friends.)

So I drank my coffee, ate some biscuits, read through my new book and felt very chillaxed, well as much as the humid weather would allow for.

And then the DVD was over and it was time to do something else.  I hope you also manage to squeeze in a relaxing hour here and there during this busy time of year.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Rest with the best

Sheets for rest time at kindergarten next year. 

I was putting all the effort into making these thinking why, why, oh why? The boy doesn't do rest time, hasn't for ages, he's a twelve hours a day go, go, go kid.  Enforced rest time is boring, but the powers that be say there will be rest time so sheets are needed, in their own drawstring bag no less.  So you know, if you have got to have them, you may as well have the coolest.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Doily dress

Let me present the finished dress from yesterday.  I stole a few photos in the last afternoon light yesterday, the dress has already gone to its new home.  I only have the doily pinned on in these pictures, I hand stitched it to the dress last night.

This peasant dress is a super easy pattern from Libby Lu's Boutique (on Etsy).

I thought I knew better than the instructions when it came to the sleeves, and it turned out I was wrong!  The instructions say to sew the seam of the sleeve first, then do a very fiddly turn under and stitch to create the casing for the arm elastic.  I thought that was unecessarily complicated and turned under the long edge of the sleeve to make the elastic casing first, put the elastic in, and then sewed the arm seam.  The difference is hidden raw edges if you follow the instructions and a not so neat looking raw edge and elastic ends showing affair using my method.  Grrr.  Lesson learned.

I added a litle tag to the back using some floral ribbon, just so the recipient knows for sure which is the front and which is the back when getting dressed.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Speed sewing

Just trying to get these made up into a little dress.  I have been hoarding that embroidered doily for some time, now I have the perfect use for it.

But I'm very busy, its going to be a case of speed sewing (not sewing on speed though, don't worry).

Must get on with it!  This one is going to be my first 100% recycled fabric garment.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Alphabet Tuesday: X is for Xylophone

Have you ever seen an alphabet chart without a xylophone representing the letter X?  Its a bit of a pet hate of mine because the spelling of the word is hard and the sound of the X is really more a Z.

So I wondered today if there was a good alternative.  I looked up X in my pocket dictionary, there were about 25 entries in the X section (none of them X rated).  There were other X things - xenon, x chromosome, x axis, xerox, xylem, X-ray, even Xmas - so no, all very scientific.  I had to concede that xylophone is the most recognisable for children.

X doesn't really mark the spot, does it?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Big Butt Small Pants

We had a quick stop visit from a close friend over the weekend so I got back to the sewing machine and whipped up a pair of baby pants for his six month old son. The pattern for these "Big Butt Baby Pants" is from Made by Rae.  Just a few clicks and a very small payment and the pattern dropped into my email inbox - shopping should always be that easy! It was a quick afternoon project with very satisfying results. 

The pants are designed for cloth nappy wearing babies (hence the big butt name I suppose) so as the instructions suggested for a disposable nappy wearing babe I made a size down (size I made were for three to six months), and cut to the length for a six to twelve month.  It sounds complicated but its not really.  They are made of soft blue flanelette and I added an up-turnable cuff that enclosed all raw edges so that the pants can be adjusted as the wearer grows by folding up and then letting down, the pattern is very generous in the leg length.

The little bloke in question has already been wearing these colours from me, which he has now obviously outgrown!  He should get lots of wear out of these pants.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Creative Space...Doodling

I haven't been up to doing any sewing for a little while, but the break away from the machine has enabled me to concentrate on one task that constantly gets pushed to the bottom of the "to do" list, or placed in the "too hard" basket.

I am attempting some drawing.  To have a little image of my own to be able to print on some cards or make into a little web shop banner in the future.  Nothing like a few aspirations for 2011.

Problem is I don't draw very well.  I don't have a very artisitc brain in that way.  I was listening to an interview with the illustrator and animator Adam Elliot on Radio National yesterday and he said that at about the age or nine or ten a lot of kids tend to give up drawing because their desire for their drawings to be realistic does not match their ability to actually do so.  This was certainly the case for me, I actually hated art classes at school with a passion, I preferred to be collecting data in the science labs.

So while I doodle away today I will no doubt get frustrated when my ability doesn't meet my expectations.  I must try to tap into my inner six year old and draw like it doesn't matter what it looks like!

For more creative spaces, the last lot for this year, click on over to Kootoyoo.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Maika in store

I did mention not long ago that I was lucky enough to be asked to sew some gifts for pocket money.  Well the end results are now for sale at Nest Nappies in Paddington, Brisbane.  Let me tell you, Nest Nappies is the best one stop shop for modern cloth nappies and accessories in town.

Bunting, small and large pencil rolls and super hero capes are listed for sale in their web shop, or for direct purchase of course if you pop into the shop in person (15 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington).


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