Saturday, April 30, 2011

When your cup of tea saves you

Project weekend is to make a little dress from an op-shopped picnic tablecloth.

Friday I took the red gingham tablecloth with ric-rac trim and embroidery detail, about 90cm square, from the stash cupboard. 

Wish my unpicker really did work by itself...
My heart wanted to be lazy and cut out the dress pattern without removing ric-rac trim.  My head told me that was a bad idea so I duly picked off the trim - and that baby did not come off easily, took nearly half an hour of stitch by stitch unpicking.  I even decided to dunk the trim in a bit of bleach just to make sure it was nice and white for the finished product.

For some reason I left the gingham fabric (now sans trim) on the kitchen bench while I was cooking, I opened a tin of tomatoes and of course tomato juice sprayed on most things in the kitchen, including me, but somehow mysteriously missing the fabric.  After a quick inspection in poor light I decided the fabric had missed serious damage and I removed it to the more safe location of the dining table.

I spent Saturday morning negotiating the tricky business of cutting out the dress front and back with reasonable placement of the embroidered sections of the tablecloth.  The dress front was OK (you have to start somewhere), but the dress back piece eventually had to be made of two separate panels with a joining seam down the middle.  I cut one side out, then pinned the pattern for the other side and was just sitting back for a sip of my cuppa when I that very moment I was just a few seconds away from disaster. I had forgotten to flip the pattern for the second dress back piece!  Whoa!  I still cannot believe that all lightbulbs and alarm bells went off in my head at that exact moment - I say thanks to my cup of tea.  Maybe there is something about those anti-oxidants and what not in tea afterall? Another cup anyone?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Creative Space: the last scraps

Not to be deterred by more wet weather in Brisbane I headed outside between rain showers yesterday to photograph the front panel of a wrap skirt that I am working on this week. 

I'm finding wrap skirts pretty good while being pregnant, well at the moment anyway they add a little variety to my wardrobe.  With the onset of cooler weather I am going with adding some black to my wardrobe, I actually like wearing black but its not a very Queensland colour, I think I like it so much because I was bred in Victoria.

The reason for the stripes? I love that flower fabric and I am down to using the absolute last scraps of it!
For more creative spaces, pop on over to Kootoyoo!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter eggs (real ones, from a chicken)

For the second year running one of our lovely Bulgarian friends here in Brisbane has hosted Easter egg dying and decorating at her house.  From after work onwards last night eager small kids and perhaps maybe less eager adults crowded around a small, slightly wobbly table laden down with bowls of warm dye, lit candles and hot, freshly boiled eggs.  The potential for disaster was high but apart from someone trying to set a cotton bud on fire in the candle and getting dye all over our hands and down under our fingernails everything went without a hitch.

I'm not sure where the dye sachets can be purchased but they are obviously either German or Greek origin, and they come with full instructions if you want to try this yourself.  You simply mix the dye sachet contents in about a cup of hot water and add a splash of vinegar and you are ready to dip in your boiled, warm eggs.  This way you can get nice solid colours...but the real trick it seems is to know how to make some fancy designs.  Many techniques were discussed and demonstrated amongst the attendees, everyone seemed to have a traditional family/childhood "how to" for egg decoration.

You can dip a stick or cotton bud in candle wax and draw over the egg before dying (the wax stops the dye being taken up by the egg shell).

You can add a splash of oil to the dye and this creates a lovely swirl pattern across the shell.

Or my personal favourite is to place a piece of foliage against the egg, pop the whole thing in the end of an old stocking, tie it in as tight as you can and dip the whole thing in the dye. Very pretty.

Or you can just be silly....

We'll be cracking these open on Sunday - you knock them together and the person who's egg shell stays in tact gets the most luck.  They're perfectly edible if you like cold, slightly coloured eggs...

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Photo interrupted

I've been making away, down in my little sewing den.  Well kind of.  My mess has been migrating slowly upstairs as I am finding its a whole lot easier to get some work done in the living areas of the house rather than in a designated (and isolated) area.  Downstairs at night its very, very quiet and I miss the noise of the telly and chatting to my other half - but now that I have a little sewing space set up I also feel that sewing mess in the dining room is not really supposed to happen anymore.  I know nobody cares where I do my sewing, I figure its OK as long as I clean up after myself every few days (which is more than can be said for the mess of cottons and offcuts I have made on the floor downstairs!).

So I was trying to photo a few of my creations against the wall of the house this afternoon (the hot water system provides the perfect place to hang a coat hanger off), and the little man insisted on being included in some of my shots.  It's unusual for him to actually want to be photographed, so I was happy to oblige.

Monday, April 4, 2011

End of the season

Not the world's most exciting post today, really all I did was make a drawstring bag.  My favourite way of making them is to use this tutorial from Kootoyoo

A carry bag for all the small plastic beach toys - just in time for the end of summer.

Why I didn't do this earlier to facilitate carrying toys from car to beach and back to car is really beyond me.  Better late than never I suppose.

The sun and the rain are taking random turns at dominating the weather conditions around here lately.  Just when you think how lovely it is, its bound to start to rain.  I'm just hoping for a last minute fling of beachy weather over the Easter break.  Its only a few weeks away now.


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