Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Random acts of crochet

Crochet, crochet, crochet. 

It's supposed to be white and blue, but I've just realised taking these photos that I have just re-stocked with cream wool instead of white, so I'll have to do a little unravelling.  That will teach me for working by lamp light in the evening, can't see my colours properly.  At least it's more like two steps forward and one step back. 

At first I was just practicing, but now its getting rather out of control - I really don't know where I'm going with this, I need some kind of a plan!

 Hope I don't have a case of...

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lisette sew along

I've finished my dress for the Lisette sew along hosted by CurlyPops and today the weather was perfect for some photography of the results.  Usually when I am trying to take photos of myself I am doing it during the week when I don't have neighbours, you know, they're all at work and not hanging out in the 'burbs like me - so they probably thought I was a complete idiot posing like this in my front yard on a weekend.  Believe me or don't, but a girl rode a horse right past my front fence while I was trying to do these photos.  Weekend traffic around here is a bitch!

I haven't actually used the pattern for the Lisette Continental dress, but used instead Dress A from the Japanese "Stylish Dress Book".  I did use a Lisette fabric though, a cotton lawn with a small pattern in a kind of peacock blue and green combo.

Dress A is very, very similar to the Continental dress, the only two differences I can see are that the neckline of my dress is higher and there are darts at the bust.  I also added a smidge of length to my dress, and made my own waist tie (a waist tie is not part of the original pattern).  Now that I have stepped back and looked at these photos I have to admit that I actually like the lower scooped neckline of the Continental pattern better, I think it would more suit my upper body shape.  If I get really motivated I might have a go at adjusting that some time.

Mmmm, and it really looks like my legs don't get to see the daylight very often, and I think I need to go shoe shopping for some snazzier shoes to do this dress justice!

But, oh happy days, I did dig out a long lost green cardi from the back of my wardrobe that does match rather perfectly with this fabric, don't you think?  And yes, I look a bit grumpy, but I'm really not.  It was hard enough posing and knowing where to look so whether to smile or not was really too much of a decision.  And that horse was majorly distracting, yes really, there was a horse.

So there you go - that's my story of Dress A (with added waist tie).   Pop on over to CurlyPops to see what  delightful creations other sewers are producing, or take a visit to the Flickr group.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My creative space: Oh, that old thing!

I started making a wrap skirt way back in April 2011...confession time: I didn't finish it.  Something to do with being preggas at the time probably.  Last week on the reduced table at Spotlight for $4/metre there was a small black and white floral print that suddenly hit me as just the thing for the reverse side of this particular "work in progress" (cough, cough). 

It's raining again here so I'm doing a little bit of cutting out while the bebe naps.

Every project has its day, right?.

This is certainly a record long time for me to finish a project, I'm a finisher (99.9% of the time).  Is there something you made that took longer?  Please spill to make me feel better!

Today I'm linking up over here.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Doona diversion

Late last week and for some of the weekend the back stairs which lead to the sewing room looked like this:

When this happens I sometimes feel a little cut off and isolated upstairs, it doesn't make me a happy sewer when I look out and getting to the sewing machine means getting wet in the bargain.

"Curtains?"  I hear you say.  See those wrinkles?  That's where I picked off the curtain tape.

The summer feeling is definitely fading away here.  A massive pile of gifted cotton fabric (aka Mum's curtains) was calling me to divert from all other sewing projects and make us a new doona cover to snuggle under.  Ten dollars worth of plain white quilters cotton was all I needed to bring the width of the fabric to queen size (roughly 190cm x 190cm), then I hemmed the bottom edge (where the doona goes in), and sewed it all together leaving a 1m opening for, well, where the doona goes in. 

Cozy, yes?

I am getting quite good with the handmade doona covers, I made one here a few years ago, and here for my  eldest boy.

Oh, and I did make some progress on my new dress too.  I'm loving the colour, but where is the sunny weather to wear it??

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fluffing it

Ah, today I stuffed up.  It was partly my fault and partly the fault of strange sewing directions (that I didn't read in close enough detail).

In heading off to the Spotlight sale on Monday I grabbed my Japanese sewing book and checked how much fabric I would need for a dress, 1.9m it said, I bought 2m of very nice Lisette fabric for the Lisette Sew Along (I'm not actually making a dress from the Lisette Continental pattern, I'm doing the very similar Dress A from the Stylish Dress Book).

I added a little extra length to my pattern pieces and then went to pin the pattern to the fabric and realised that the layout instructions of the book had the pattern pieces laid out on the width of the fabric, not the length.  This means that the dress pattern pieces could only be as long as the fabric is wide (ie. 112cm - not long enough for my liking), and the layout was not taking into account that the printed pattern on the fabric was running across the width, not down the length, and the stretch of the fabric is in the width direction too....oh man, it was all kinds of wrong and I was short 10cm of fabric at the very minimum.

This mistake does have a silver lining though - it gives me plenty of "spare" fabric to cut out a generous waist tie for the dress, and plenty to make the bias binding for the neck and arm holes.  Unable to get this project to the sewing machine I made a start on cutting the bias binding, and burning my fingers near the iron doing all the little folds.  Mea culpa.  Next time I will be studying the diagrams in that book with a magnifying glass!

Monday, March 12, 2012


This weeks sewing starts with this gorgeous apple fabric.  A little project for a friend that I have been very slow to start on.  My turn around time for friends and family is way slower than for complete strangers. Does that happen to you?  My brother just asked me to make him a new ironing board cover, he might get it when he comes visiting in May...

I'll reveal what this little number actually is in a few days, and I'm writing a tutorial for it so stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like...


I hadn't been to Brown Owls for the longest time, but they were holding a learn to crochet class a few Saturdays ago so I made sure I was able to pop along.  The lovely Rebecca of Edward and Lily was on hand to teach the newbies the basics and I was lucky enough to sit next to a very gorgeous lady called Danielle who was also a most awesome crochet teacher and all round great to chat to.  At the end of two hours I hadn't made much progress, had stiff shoulders, slightly strained eyes, it was hot and the baby needed feeding. Sigh, I still couldn't see much to love in this crochet thing.

But I have persisted - the little stubborn character that I can be.  Lots of unravelling and starting again from scratch, plenty of consultation into the Meet me at Mikes craft book, looking at a few video tutorials on YouTube and persistance, persistance, persistance - I can now do myself a chunky granny square in one colour, thread ends are still dangling, still got to work that one out.  This is interesting, I'm not bored yet.

Monday, March 5, 2012

New Look 6705

As promised here are some photos of the two tops I have recently made using New Look pattern 6705.

Firstly I made version C, sleeveless with a square neckline.  I cut the main body pieces using the pattern piece for version A because I didn't want the ruffle section at the hemline, mostly I'm not really a fan of the ruffle hem.  The square neckline took a bit of poking and prodding and careful ironing to make it sit right but otherwise this top was very straight forward to make.

The yoke sits above the bustline and there are six pleats in the front of the bodice to make it that little bit roomier which a style I like for several reasons - don't have to worry about it fitting exactly at the bust, it's a relaxed fit over the tummy region, easy to lift for feeding baby and beautifully cool to wear in the hot weather.

Swishing it up at a weekend BBQ with Elk necklace and the babe.

And the second one I made was view E, sleeveless again with the rounded yoke.  A round neck is a style I really love and although it looks a bit more complicated than the square neck it was actually slightly easier.  Careful ironing and pinning before sewing were really the key to getting a super neat finish.  I totally, totally love this fabric too so at great risk of stuffing it all up I added a bit of white edge trim to the neckline...and then because it looked so good I added more to the hemline.  The cut of this version is slightly longer than version A/C for some reason, and I liked that as it gave me more of a decision about how long to actually make the top.  A bit more fabric in the hem allowance also adds weight to the bottom of the top which makes it sit rather nicely too.

Oh, and all the tops have back ties in the pattern, but I omitted them entirely because I didn't see the need, a nice time saver.

It's a little creased, I was wearing it for the day when I took these pics.

The fabrics are both Tana Lawns from Spotlight, about $15 a metre and you only need 1.5 m to make a top, so pretty economical.

These tops have both been welcome and timely additions to my wardrobe in the hot weather and to help make me get away from wearing t-shirts (which I find are actually quite hot to wear now I have these lovely light tops!).  I'll have to attempt the version with 3/4 sleeves when it's "winter" here.

Next I am moving onto a little bit of dress sewing with the Lisette Sew Along over at Curly Pops.  Maybe you would like to join in too?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The craft fairy meets the tooth fairy

So many bags for my boy on a busy school day - school back pack, lunch cooler bag, swimming bag.  But wait, he needs another one, a really small one....

...something to put those tiny pearly baby teeth in.

The tooth fairy has had to come visiting around here for the second time.  Last time we put the fallen out tooth under an upturned glass on the bedside table, as I remember doing as a child, but this time the five year old insisted that the tooth (wrapped in a tissue) really should be left under his pillow.

I couldn't just go throwing a dollar coin under his pillow now, could I?  About half an hour of night time couch craft resulted in a little blue felt bag with a happy tooth embroidered on the front flap.  

In went the coin, under the pillow, and (toothless) smiles all round in the morning.

Today I'm linking up with Our Creative Spaces.


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