Monday, September 22, 2008

Fabric Flashbacks

What do you do when you just want to test a pattern before cutting into more expensive fabrics? Raid the local op-shop of course! Both of these prints remind me of rather daggy 90's leggings. They did a good job of testing pattern and fit though, on this maternity t-shirt (roughly drafted from an existing top) and basic premmie nightie (a combination and modification of patterns in 'Kwik-sew for babies'). The nightie is not super tiny, perhaps 0000 or 00000 and meant for a 33+ weeker who is stable enough to be in an open cot in the special care nursery. After testing the pattern I made a handful for my hospital bag, just in case the next bub decides to make an early entrance like the first one did! If they aren't required I will donate them to the nursery communal wardrobe, for people who find themselves with a premmie and aren't prepared for it, and need to use hospital clothes in the early days.
This fabric has been in mum's stash forever. It is now destined for really thick flannelette for winter PJ bottoms, and a cotton sari-style print for summer PJ bottoms, both for me! The tops will be t-shirt style, but won't be made until the baby bulge is out of the way!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Paying it forward, eventually!

Many months after starting my Pay it forward, I am getting back to it!
My random winners were Kylie, Karen and Kys who left a comment, even if it was so long ago they don't remember!
I will send a pm to the lovely winning EB sewing girls who were kind enough to leave a comment. I would love it if you could leave a comment to point me in the general direction of a handmade goodie you would like to receive and favourite colours or sizes! It's very daunting to be sewing for such talented sewing folk, but perhaps you've seen something here you wouldn't make yourself?

Would you like a handpainted T-shirt or pair of PJ's?

How about a charming handbag from 'Bend-the-rules Sewing' by Amy Karol. A handmade teddy for someone special?
Jemima? From the pattern in the original Play School 'Useful Book'.
Are softies your thing? Not necessarily this pattern! Although he is my son's favourite at the moment, he has named him 'Gabba Gabba'
Perhaps something to get in early for Christmas?
I am enjoying making Dolls clothes too at the moment, my patterns are mostly for 35-40cm dolls. So, anything here take your fancy, or anything else on my blog?
Please give me some clues, as I would love to have a new project or two for the next few weeks!

More pyjamas!

Yup, using the same freehand + freezer paper stencil painting technique as in the last post! And the same Kwik sew pattern too....

Freezer paper meets freehand painting

I am still loving freezer paper stencilling. I first read about it here. I use the same basic idea, a cut out freezer paper shape on the front and plain sheet of freezer paper ironed on the back to reduce fabric movement during painting. However, rather than one colour I mix up several colours with some fabric medium and just go for it!
On darker colours I use white first, let dry for a little while, then add in the other colours as required. The lion on this shirt was inspired by a Little Golden Book 'The Lion's Paw'.
Although it reminds me more of the story of the lion and mouse, where the mouse is able to rescue the lion by chewing through the net in which he is captured. Especially when teamed with these net-like checks on the PJ pants!
Both the shirt and pants (more or less) are from the 'Kwik-sew for toddlers' book, and have been well used throughout the winter. And my son like them too!

Catching up again

Hmm, I'm really not too sure where July and August went. I have squeezed in quite a bit of sewing and crafting but not a lot of blogging. I whipped up a simple velcro bib, a nappy wallet and a toy bag for my friends beautiful baby boy back in July and that seemed to get the sewing bug going again. Around the same time this hoodie was created for my own little boy using a combination of fleecy knit and some groovy retro inspired MM fabric. The colours go really well together. The hoodie is made from scraps and there simply wasn't enough fabric to make it with out the inserts anyway!
Meanwhile I have had several weeks off work on sick leave to rest and do my best to not have a premmie baby yet. You can't see the computer in the pic, but I am both cruising blogs and chatting on the phone all while keeping my feet up!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Alterations and a fun day out.

You may recognise this t-shirt. I appliqued and puff painted round the star and used it as a summer t-shirt, but now winter is here it has been modified. The PJ pants are recycled flannelette and the t-shirt sleeves have been lengthened with other recycled fabric. More PJ's are in the pipeline but this is the first pair for winter.
We spent a lovely day visiting the Halls Gap Wildlife Park & Zoo recently. It was just perfect for our 2 year old. Not so many things to be overwhelming, but definitely enough to fill a few hours, get up close and personal with several animals and have a lovely picnic lunch and a play afterwards! There was a nice mix of native animals and several exotic species. My favourites are always the beautiful peacocks. And all the friendly deer, wallabies and young kangaroos who love to eat out of your hand as you wander around checking out the other animals.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Thank You Karen!

Last week we received a wonderful parcel in the mail from Karen. I was a very lucky recipient of one of her Pay-it-forward gifts. Inside was a gorgeous outfit for my little boy-I love the guitar print patches on it. And a tissue case which has been incredibly handy as the cold virus has swept through our little family this week. And last but not least, the lovely set of coasters, which look too nice to use but will be loved and used anyway!

And the ric rac ribbon is most definitely going to but recycled onto something in the near future I hope. Thanks again Karen, we really appreciated your lovely gift.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Easter Holidays...

are almost over.We enjoyed our Breakfast on Easter Sunday all the more because I'd made the Hot Cross Buns myself. I just wish I'd flipped one over for the photo so the crosses showed!

Our little family is slowly evolving our own set of traditions for important holidays. Hopefully this one will stay!

The woolly/string eggs were made with my Grade 1's a few years back, and have become part of our very modest Easter decoration collection.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Change of Pace

Our Boy makes friends with the locals......whilst on holiday near the ocean for a blissful four days. The break has really made us question why we live on the edge of the desert-particularly after two months of no rain and a run of hotter than average weather...

Garage Sale Fun Finds

We recently spent a morning checking out the local garage sales. Here is about $8 worth of my favourite finds. Some plastic dress up hats for my little boy, a wooden block puzzle, a few patterns and a 1985 Cabbage Patch doll who looks pretty good for her age. She was sunbathing after a ride in the front loader when this picture was taken.

Back in the '80's I was desperate for one of these somewhat odd looking dolls. Several weeks of odd jobs and pocket money later I had enough for a cheap copy, which I loved anyway. I still have her tucked away, with all the outfits my Aunty made for her, and she comes out to play if we have small visitors. Now she has a playmate, and I can't wait to sew her some clothes!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Wednesday's WIP shot!

Please excuse the bad lighting! Here is part of my first 'Charming handbag'. So far, so good. Just need to do minor repairs to my machine and then I can proceed a bit further on it! And here is a pic of my washing line the other day.
Makes me smile!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Better late than never!

Some months back my enthusiastic husband collected and dried the seeds from a capsicum while muttering loudly about the inflated prices and dubious freshness of what was available from our only supermarket.

Well, it has taken a while and we'd almost given them up as a waste of our tank water when suddenly we spotted this. It's currently as big as an egg, and there are many more smaller ones on their way too.

More experienced gardeners (ie-just about anyone!) tell us we should be able to collect the fruit until the first frost which will probably knock the plants about and put an end to our fun.

Last time we tried this experiment our chooks at the time got in and demolished the plants completely, but this time we have a better fence for the vegie patch and for the chooks!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Finally Paying-It-Forward!

New books-My long awaited Christmas present! I love it, thanks H!

A while back I saw this idea on Karen's Blog

Here's how it works...
I will send a handmade gift to 3 random people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this Pay It Forward exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week… LOL… but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

What a lovely idea! I decided I wanted to do it but it's taken a little while to get from thought to action!
I'm not sure yet what I will make for the random winners but it will probably be a little something from my new books
'Bend-the-Rules Sewing' or 'Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts' ...because I really need a good excuse to make some stuff out of those cute patterns!
Any comment on any post between now and 25th January 2008 might just win a prize.
So come on and be part of the fun, leave me a comment!

Last minute party outfits

We had a lovely few day visiting friends and COMPLETELY FORGOT about the fancy dress theme of 'Uniform' for a friends party until the morning of the party. Oops. Luckily I love a challenge and have an interesting collection of crap, I mean, bits and pieces, (stuff I save because it might be useful in the classroom) to help me out. Hubby was easy, his Kenny styled 'Splashdown' uniform was mostly out of his wardrobe. All that was needed was a VIP tag (Thanks Publisher) and a 'Splashdown' logo for his hat. (Scrap of black fabric stitched onto hat, words written in Puff paint).

My son was a bit trickier, but my easy pants pattern came in handy, and the sailor style collar was a bit fiddly, mainly because I didn't have quite enough trim. Dont look to close or it will become apparent the stripes are made from bias binding, ribbon and twill I even managed a hat but he wouldn't wear it!

And for myself, well by this stage it was 7pm and party time was in one hour. Take one old bedsheet, upsize the easy pants pattern, and create one very basic top requiring only side seams and a tiny bit of a neck facing and what have you got? Scrubs! Yay, so easy and finished within the hour. Accessories from the dress up box.

We all had a great night too.

Feeding the family

It's so very satisfiying (and economical) to feed your family from your own garden. This basket became a quiche. And later we used our lemons to make a mayonnaise. Oh yum.
And its nearly three monthe since our chooks arrived from the egg farm and its a relief to see them almost fully feathered again.
Thanks for the eggs ladies, keep up the good work!

Packing up Christmas 'til next time

As I was packing all our christmas stuff away I was pleased to see the handmade stuff is multiplying every year. And the Christmas UFO box is gradually emptying!

This funny little nativity was a kit Mum bought for me from a discount store years ago, and it finally made it together this year. The intructions called for lots of gluing but it was so slow and messy I substituted sewing wherever possible. The Holy Family have already survived being ripped off the tree for cuddles by a toddler.

Also completed this season was another discount store kit from Mum, this funny looking angel, in front of our very simple cardboard advent calendar.

These are a mixture of crafts from this year and past years, experimenting with different media! A few years ago everybody got fimo angels with their gifts. I remember making heaps of ornaments with fimo and was surprised to only find six amongst my decorations. Then I remembered I gave most of them away and my parents have a vast collection of fimo for their tree!

This is a half finished Christmas card holder from Handmade Magazine a few years ago. It's the only thing not packed up because I want to finish it while I've got the bits out. The embroidery was a lovely portable project and much of it was done in the car between Christmas visits to relatives (hubby was driving!).

Ah, our wreath! It's a work in progress. It was started when I moved into my own flat about 8 years ago, and has been added to each year. It's evolved quite a lot since its first outing.
Only about 320 days 'til I can unpack it all again, I wonder what will be crafted for next time?