Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thanks Dani

Once again I participated in the EB Christmas Swap - I finally picked up my parcel and it was worth the wait. Dani has handmade every single item in the package and every item is sewn so well, and is totally useful to me.

She made an apron, an oven glove, tea towels and a recipe book - thank you thank you thank you.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Dye and show

But first, a baby romper that I made as part of a baby gift for a friend. I quickly snapped this terrible photo as the batteries on my camera went flat. Anyway, it is a Kwik Sew pattern and the skirt section is from Ottobre (skirted leggings, don't feel like checking out the issue number).

I hope they like it - the colour combo was the ones they had in their wedding. I also made a covered photo album and some bloomers.

I have decided to try to concentrate on getting the shaving cream dye method down pat next year, as I have plans for using the fabrics in a show entry next May. The last few days I have been doing little pieces in the laundry - I have got somewhere outside to do bigger pieces but I was doing it in the heat/rain/night so it was better inside using a small tray. Anyway, I want to learn small and then get bigger as I get better.

These are some of my favourites - in pink of course.

I used some white drill and it shows the colours a lot clearer than the poplin or cotton lycra knit.

I discovered a way to make leaf-like patterns (drop dots then run a chopstick through). It is hard to see (and the green faded to a yellow in the wash) but I tried to make roses in the middle piece.

I have heaps of fabric to practice more, but need more shaving cream. Looks like I will be forced to do some sewing after all.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Organiser for work

This project was inspired by various organiser patterns I have seen on the web (Amy Butler 's sweet greeting portfolio and Soule Mama's gratitude wrap). I decided it would be great to have an organiser for work, to hold my diary, post-it notes, pens etc. I was walking through the stationary aisle at a local department store when I saw some A4 folders that I use for holding my lesson plans and worksheets for school.

I thought that it would be easy to make a cover for the folder and just add a couple of pockets to hold the pens etc but it turned out a little more complicated than I thought. See, if you are making a slip cover, you can't have pockets unless you have another layer of fabric to sew onto, otherwise the folder won't slip in at all.

Anyway, here it is.
It's not perfect (the back slip pocket could have been a little wider for more stability) but it does the job.

Oh look, I just noticed I cut the birdie's head off -- ooops.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Sweet tees for a sweetie

Skinny Minnie Jalisa has lots of shorts that still fit her (some are in their 3rd summer). So she needed a few more tops – Ottobre of course.

Pink cotton tee is the Ottobre puffed sleeve tee again. The butterfly appliqué was chosen by Jalisa.
Oops, pasted in the wrong picture...

The lilac cotton singlet has a simple J appliqué (who knew it would be so hard finding the right looking font?).

The lilac cotton tee I finished up this morning. I actually stencilled a butterfly on with some fabric dye thickened with a special paste but I made added too much urea water and it was too transparent (and the colours ran). So I cut a new front and appliquéd a butterfly, using some marble dyed fabric. I am pretty happy with the result and it is another idea to add to my list of possible entries for next year’s show. I accidently cut the wrong sleeve pattern (was meant to be another puff sleeved version) but this one fit perfectly.
Close up of the butterfly.

Friday, November 07, 2008

EB Secret Santa Quiz / wishlist

My SS could probably do a search and find last year's quiz but here are my answers anyway:

Would you like something handmade as a gift?
Handmade rocks. I don't take enough time to make stuff for myself. I am totally open to stuff such as handbags, grocery bags, apron, oven mitts, tea towels, placemats, coasters, hair accessories, fobs (scissors, keyring), fabric magnets, handbag organizers, make up brushes organizer, which I make for others but never seem to make for myself (why is that???)

Do you have a favourite Christmas Colour?
Not really.

Do you decorate the whole house or just a part of it?
Just parts of it. I decorate the coffee table and put up the tree. Oh, and some other christmas things on a shelf in the kitchen.

Do you have any Christmas Traditions?
We go around a look at Christmas lights many times leading up to Christmas. Christmas Eve we celebrate Christmas with Dh's family and Christmas day with mine. Christmas morning for our own little family. This year will actually be the first year we come back home on Christmas night, usually we are already on our annual camping holiday.

What sizes are your children?
Scott is 74cm tall and Jalisa is 104cm tall - both are skinny (so next size down at least in width).

Do you like quick projects or things that take a little longer?
Good mixture of both. I like to be challenged every now and then but like fast projects for quick fixes.

Is there anything that you like to collect?
Fabric of course. I am always on the look out for fun trims, decorative elastics etc.

Is there anything you don't want or need?
White cotton fabrics to dye. I have more than enough at the moment. Ditto plain knit fabrics, buttons, Christmas decorations/Christmas related stuff.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Got some sewjo back

Okay, so I might have my sewjo back but I still am having technical difficulties. I have put a non-sewing picture up first...Scott when he was messing around at dinner time. DH had made the potatoes super runny that day.
Okay, here is one of the dresses I have made the in the last couple of days. I whipped this one up this morning. Fabric is embroidered voile, pattern is Ottobre, Jalisa decided to get changed and wear this dress instead today.
Yesterday I made a dress using the tee pattern from last week (puffy sleeves). Jalisa wore that straight away too, and so has some dinner all over it before I could get a decent picture. And I could not be bothered to show the blouse and the romper that I finished. I have been making such boring stuff lately - it almost makes me feel down when I know I can create more intersting things, but I find being creative exhusting.

Friday, October 17, 2008

For those of you who asked for a picture

Here it is (maybe I should add to my fabric addict list - when you request to see other people's purchases :P) Not much to say - I got over 11 meters of a beige cotton knit, some pink cotton knit, some rayon knit, black stretch drill for cropped work pants and a little bit of voile which I will try to make into butterfly wings *maybe* for Jalisa for Christmas. I while I am writing a blog entry, I thought I should post some more sewing pictures. Mine are so boring because they don't contain any designer fabrics or exciting fabric combinations. This is a little puff sleeves Otto tee (#18 from 1/07) - fabric is hand dyed cotton lycra, pattern is easy peasy. I plan to use it for a little dress soon.
Cotton kimono robe for me. Pattern is from Burda WOF, but I can't remember the issue. Hopefully this will be good for when we go camping and have to use communal showers. Sash is from some marbled dyed fabric.

Another nightie, this time for me. The fabric is a spotted rayon knit (I started with like 12 metres of this stuff, so it is being used for many jammies). I used a vintage Kwik Sew pattern, #717. The pattern is actually a slip but I think it would make a really nice dress pattern for someone with some confidence. I don't really do spaghetti straps in public anymore. I think I am going to alter this to make a singlet pattern.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

You know when you are a fabric addict when...

  • buying fabric becomes a hobby in itself
  • you go to de-stash some fabric and can't bear the thought of selling
  • you spend close to three hours in a car in the hope to snare some bargains at a chain store relocation sale

I only bought 21 metres though, at $1 a metre. I saved more money (over $150 if you base it on the original price) than I spent on fuel (less than $20). Hopefully it was worth the whinging from a little boy for half the trip.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Lemonade and Strawberry ripple iceblocks anyone?

Ah, spring time. I love it when the sun starts to shine and it starts to feel like Summer should be. Oh course, where I live, it is always stinking hot in the Summer and not the most enjoyable season. So I will enjoy some Summer sewing while it is still pleasant.

I made these two dresses yesterday. I thought the seersucker would make a really nice light summer dress for Jalisa. When she tried it on though, it screamed nightie. *Sigh* I morphed a peasant top (Ottobre #16 from 1/07) with a dress (Ottobre #14 2/03). I was planned on adding shirring to the waist but will leave it like this for jammies.

The iceblock dress is Ottobre #14 (2/03) made up mostly to the pattern. I used an invisible zipper at the back and gathered the sleeves with shirring elastic rather than the narrow elastic. I also did not use bias to finish the rest of the sleeve - I just overlocked, folded down the seam allowance and topstitched.
The constrast frill and sleeves are some marble dyed fabric and Jalisa chose the fabric herself from Spotlight on our last visit. I feel like something is missing from the pattern - maybe a sash in the dyed fabric?

Monday, September 22, 2008

I love dog prints

Here is Scott's birthday outfit, not modelled because I was way to impatient to wit until he woke up. I used the woven romper pattern from Ottobre 2/2005 (#5 ).

The only modification I made was to get rid of the back flap - Scott is a nightmare to change at the moment (must hold a book or something to stop the kicks and rolls) so I did not think an opening at the back would cut it when I am in a hurry. (I should try it one day though, as I might find it easier that way, but it appears as though you have to stick their legs back in and that did not seem practical). To make the lower back into one piece, you just have to trace one part and then overlap where the opening would normally go. I added a little extra to the front and back lower pieces so I could put snaps in there.

I was really pleased with this pattern - the sleeves were looking like they would be too big but they were exactly the right length - no gathering needed. The pattern is really easy to put together - just lots of topstitching.

If I were to do this pattern again (already have one half sewn) I would choose a plain fabric rather than a print - you cannot see all the wonderful topstitching on a print whereas a plain fabric would highlight the topstitching and seams better, showing all your hard work.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy birthday Scooter

So mad at myself for not taking more photos - actually, these were taken by my friend Anna.

Here is the birthday cake - Wayne did the decorating and this was the best cake I have made - the cake and icing tasted so yummy.

It ended up storming all night so the house was a mess
as party stuff was placed willy-nilly and then shoved out the way so people could eat their BBQ dinner - ah well. The kids and I are all wearing Mama made - I will have to do a review of Scott's outfit because it is a new Ottobre pattern (for me).

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Some boyish duds

First up is this Ottobre singlet pattern (I size up because it is really tight otherwise) from 2/2005 (or free from their site) in a red lacoste knit. It is paired with some cotton check pants. I used a very simple long shorts pattern so as not to mess up lining up the checks with pockets etc...the fabric is kinda funny in that it has some parts of the check woven tighter or something, so that it has a light texture to it.
Next up is this unfinished romper. I am waiting for DH to draw a car to applique on and I still have to apply the snaps, but I felt like taking a picture of it. Fabric is hand dyed - meant to be mottled. Thank goodness DH has developed a liking for dyed items - I thought it would be too hippy-ish for his tastes but he is digging the dyed stuff I have done. I heart him. This is another curved raglan tee from Ottobre 2/2005 morphed onto a romper from Kwik Sew (any would do!)
Under the sea print using an easy long shorts pattern. Again I did not want extra seams and pockets affecting the look of the print - which is big and loud. I think this took all of 15 minutes all up.

My favourite short pattern - another Ottobre (2/03 I think). With a faux fly, back yoke and bellow pockets, it takes a little more time but the results speak for themselves I think. I can't help buying dog prints at the moment. This pair is destined to be a present for a little boy - Scott is going to have overalls in this print.

I have a few more projects cut but next up I will have to make a birthday outfit for Scott...he is one on Saturday.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I love my coverstitch machine...

...and so here are some projects that I have done to practice on it.

I haven't used this pattern for so long, but it has been my staple tee for many years now. I think the pattern is Kwik Sew 3003 but redrafted the neckline so that I would have a crew neck version too. I did not have enough fabric for 3/4 sleeves, so I made half sleeves instead. The fabric is a lovely rayon stretch knit. And look how neat the neck binding is on the coverstitcher.

These are actually the first garments I made on the c/s - 2 nightdresses and some PJs, made from a spotted rayon stretch knit (not the best to practice a new machine on). The PJs are made from the otto best tees pattern and the shorts are vintage Kwik Sew. The nightdresses are made from the Otto singlet pattern (there is a free one on their website, but I used one from 2/05) with just a gathered rectangle. The one on the right is for Jalisa, the others are presents.
This is the Ottobre curved raglan tee (from 2/05) morphed onto some Kwik Sew rompers (3090 from memory). I had intended to cut the sleeves from a contrast knit, but I couldn't find a blue or yellow in the right shade and the other colours I had just look, well, funny. I did topstitch in a navy so that you can see the groovy curve of the sleeve.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Just some unspectatular sewing - I like to blog to motivate myself. I made these pouches for Jalisa's go fish games. I finally finished these cord pants for Jalisa. They have been sitting in the UFO pile waiting for me to get my act together. They are actually a really nice green colour.
And I finally made a present for my friend whose bday was at the beginning of July. Just have to get around to the post office to send it now.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Vintage Pauline Trigere

I picked up this pattern (bottom right, McCalls 7530, circa 1964) for 20c and decided straight away to make the jacket using the hot pink wool belnd that I had been stashing away for a Winter jacket.
Just looking at the pattern envelope just now and it is a Pauline Trigere design. No wonder this pattern is so fabulous. The pattern describes it as follows - a lined, single breasted jacket, have panel seaming, elbow length sleeves are set into angled armholes.
In time I may make this up again - would look really nice in a lot of different fabrics, over a nice dress (otherwise you may see my tummy like above, I had been wearing a jumper).

Another Pauline link.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Naughty Mummy

This is what happens when I go online when Scotty is awake - somehow he got the left over porridge (still feel Jalisa must have gotten it down for him even though she denies it) down from the table where I left it and spread it all over the floor and himself.

Push it - the sequel

SIL just had another baby boy and I decided to make a small outfit to send with some other presents. Since she likes to dress the older boys in matching outfits I had to brilliant idea (just kidding) to make the older boys matching tees.

I used a blanket stitch this time for the appliques - took a lot more time but it shouldn't fray this time. The tees are Ottobre and the romper is Kwik Sew 3090 ( I think).
The only difference in the appliques is the size of the dirt being pushed. It gets bigger as the size gets bigger - hopefully the boys will be able to tell the difference when it is time to get dressed.
If you click on the title, you can see the original post I made about the applique.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

English Rose

Jalisa looks like an English schoolgirl in this outfit - well, she is 1/4 English so I hope she gets away with it.

The patterns are from Ottobre (#301 Best Tees, #14 from 4/2007), the fabric care of some clothes found at Lifeline. These were whipped up in no time, especially as the hems were already done. The skirt has little pleats at the front and back and I will definetly be making lots more of these as they use up very little fabric and are so easy to do.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Flowergirl dress

Flowergirl dress is done (thank goodness). I quickly snapped this picture when I finished - I need to learn to take better photos. I think I might do a tute for making the gathers - I think they would look good on a regular dress/skirt too.
I have been making some cards too - very basic sew some fabric on type cards. I was planning to make patchwork-type ones, but this was much easier. They are going to be good to keep on hand rather than make the card at the last minute. I wasn't feeling very creative when I made them, but they will be handy for the moment until I am feeling more creative.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Space dye and dolly duds

I decided that the space dye that I did last week needed to be made up into a tracksuit. I finished it the other night but I ahve been waiting for some good weather to take a photo. Still overcast so I decided to take one anyway. It looks really good made up, so I plan to dye some more. I made up some nappies for Jalisa's dolly this morning. I overlocked the blue one the wrong way, so it is fleecy on the outside and smooth in the middle. Jalisa loves them and I think they would make a great present for a little girl, along with a little nappy bag or something.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Experiments in dyeing

I felt like experimenting with dye this last week, so I made up some dye stock, pulled out my white fabrics and went for it. For whatever reason, I always rush into my dyeing and don't really take the time to make s'ure things are right. Big lesson for me, as I did not get the results I thought I would.

These are my attempts at space dyeing...it looked easy in a book...Top left is fleece dyed red and turquoise. I used a lot of water in the red so I thought it would turn pink, but no. I ended up leaving it sit in a bleach bath to tone down the colours. The right is the red/turquoise combo on cord. Bottom is Turquoise and yellow on fleece. I love how the colours blended, but there is too my white left over for my liking.
I also did some more marble dyeing. I also took notes (a suggestion made by Sara) of my experiments and have lots of ideas for the future. My favourites are the pink and oranges - the orange at the front has a lot more subtle swirly patterns in them that I just can't capture...my miserable attempts this morning managed to capture all the wrinkles of the fabric and blur the dye patterns.Hopefully I will be able to create larger pieces of marble fabric when I get Wayne to build me a dye table - at the moment I am using a lid of a storage container and while it does it's job, I can only do small bits of fabric.

Hopefully other people like this, since I am including some pieces in the snailblazer swap.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A playdate and some fab-ulous patterns

I looked after a little boy for a friend for a couple of hours yesterday. The boys had a lot of fun together.
And this is a couple of the patterns I picked up on my op shop crawl. I especially love the bottom right pattern. I am going to make up the jacket soon I think - it has be most gorgeous lines to it (there is a side panel and the sleeves are set in square).
Thank you to who ever was cleaning out their sewing book collection. I mananged to pick up Kwik Sew Sweatshirts Unlimited, a vintage lingere sewing book, a pattern drafting book, two machine embroidery books...there were other ones there that I had to leave, I had already blown the budget enough.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Very seventies

I took some time to trace, cut a sew some clothes for myself this long weekend. The jumper is made from a lovely sweater knit I picked up at an Op shop. I used Kwik Sew 2900 and drafted the cowl myself. The knit was unravelling very fast so I played with my differential feed and used my overlocker for everything but the hems.
The wool pants are made from my trusty Burda staple pattern. I found this remnant at an op shop too and there was just enough for the pants but I had to cut the yoke facing from a seperate contrasting fabric ( I chose a purple hand dyed piece).

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

3 little presents

I finished some artist's folder's. Andrea made them some time ago and I added the idea to my list of gift ideas. With a party to attend on Saturday, I thought they would make a good present for all the three and four year old girls in playgroup. Apparently the tute is at CraftApple but I couldn't actually find it. Anyway, I made my own pattern up, using the dimensions of the scrap books I had already purchased.
This is the inside - room for pencils and the scrapbook.
I have another one to make up - I cut a piece wrong (and it has made me not want to sew it up)