Thursday, December 12, 2013

30. A while...

OK, so I am not good at keeping this blogging thing up but I hope to get back into it sometime soon. 

I did just sign up for another Craftsy course.  I really am a sucker for 70% off and a 'free' pattern.

And no, I have not started the Couture Dress one yet.  This is mainly due to my growing girth but that will gone and screaming very soon, so I should have plenty of time (around 2-3am) to watch it :)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

29. Umbrella trimmings competition

No I just didn't get to making anything with my Umbrella Prints trimmings but my friend did:

Isn't her entry brilliant!  Actually she has entered 2 into the competition.  
Here is her second entry, a playmat:

 Go on, have a look at the other entries and "Pin"my friend!
Umbrella Prints Trimming competition - Hurry as it closes TOMORROW!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

28. And we are back

Don't EVER move house!

Actually the move wasn't too bad and neither was/is the unpacking.

The problem is Telstra (and TPG).  The good news is that we now have cable internet - YAY.  The bad news is that it took 3 weeks and we have a stupid Telstra T-hub2 that we have to return as they have billed us $360 for it when they said it was free.  So we haven't finished yet...

Anyway, after trawling through 1121 posts on Bloglines, I discovered where I first saw that Craftsy course - Did You Make That.  Now that the weather has turned and it is bucketing down, I think the summer dress will have to wait.

No sewing around here at the moment but the new Ottobre magazine has arrived with a pull-up jeans pattern - perfect timing for potty training.  *groan*

Thursday, April 25, 2013

27. Kids Clothes Week - Autumn

I really didn't think I would be doing the Kids Clothes Week this season as the house is in boxes and we move TOMORROW!  I really enjoyed the last KCWC which was in October as it made me use the Ottobre magazines that I had already bought.

Somehow I did manage to make a sweatshirt AND a pair of tracksuit pants for Julian - a complete miracle!

Once again I used patterns out of Ottobre magazine.  This is the sweatshirt (on the left):
Ottobre 06/2012
And these are the tracksuit pants (with stars and made out of a lightweight knit here):
Ottobre 01/2013

Unfortunately I stuffed up the neckline of the sweatshirt and had to cut out the ribbing and use self-ribbing (is that what it is called?) instead.  I also stuffed up the tracksuit pants and the pockets are too big and definitely not big enough to hold a Matchbox car.  Thankfully Julian hasn't noticed yet...

Man it is difficult to take a photo of a 2.5year old!  These photos were taken just as we were about to race out the door to Childcare - in the last photo I asked Julian to turn around so I could see his bum, hence the hand :)

I love the sizing of Ottobre as it is reasonably slim fitting and if it says it fits 98cm tall, it does.  If you do have a solid child, they also have a few patterns in a relaxed fit.  I cut a straight 98cm for both the Sweatshirt and trackpants and they are both quite snug.  I will make another of both but I will increase the length of the pants to give me more wear out of them (Julian continues to grow at 1.5cm per month!). 

I used a printed Sweatshirt fabric with a coral fleece backing which I picked up at Spotlight during their 40%off sale over Easter.  I bought the navy sweatshirting at the same time.  All up this outfit cost less than $10 which makes me very happy!

Friday, April 5, 2013

26.Craftsy course

Have you heard of Craftsy?  Amongst other things they sell downloadable patterns - I bought my Wiksten skirt from here (why can't I seem to find it on there now?)- and they do online sewing courses.

They have sales all the time and I have decided to sign up for Susan Khalje called The Couture Dress.  For a short time it is $US24.99 which is 50%off and the course includes Vogue pattern V8648 which is mailed to you!

Apparently this is what I will learn:
  • Muslin construction 
  • Fit adjustment techniques
  • Underlining
  • How to hand-stitch perfect hems
  • Pattern customization strategies
I haven't even done a "live"sewing course and I have learnt to sew initially from my Mum and then self-taught, so this should be very informative.  The best part of an online course is that I can do it at my pace, in my time without deadlines.  Sounds great doesn't it?  My plan is to wait until the pattern arrives and we are happily ensconced in our new house - only 3 weeks away - eek!

25. And the winner is...

Not me :(

Ok that wasn't too surprising as the competition was tough!

The winner definitely deserved to win.  Check this out:

It even has a name : 'Lekaloru' Coat.  Congratulations to Sandra.

My favourite was Tamie K's top, which was one of 5 special entries to win $100 Tessuti gift voucher.

Now back to the winning Coat - the really awesome thing is that it is made up of 3 different patterns: Sewaholic's Minoru Jacket, Lekala 4170 and Green Pepper 120.  I have never heard of Lekala or Green Pepper but their patterns look really good and excellent value too!

Green Pepper is mainly outdoor clothing -raincoats, jackets, overpants - and they only ship paper patterns (3 patterns max for $US18.95 - gulp) but their kids range may be worth the effort.  Patterns hover around $US6.

Lekala also has their own website (they are also on Craftsy)which is full of print at home patterns and they all seem to be $US2.49.  They also have free patterns which included this shirt pattern.  It also sounds too good to be true but you send them your measurements and they send the pattern sized for you!  I am going to try this out with the shirt pattern - it is free after all.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

24. Tessuti Gridlock Fabric Competition

I did it!

I decided to join the competition last Tuesday and I finished it minutes before these photos were taken last night - not bad considering that Julian had gastro on Thursday/Friday and I had it Sunday/Monday.

The Jacket is from an old Burda World of Fashion (BWOF) magazine 05/2009 and the Knickerbockers are from another BWOF 09/2006.

I have to say now that I was absolutely CRAZY to attempt both of these pieces in such a short time period.  The piping was an absolute chore to make and it really got drowned out due to the busyness of the print.  And the print.  Well, what can I say, perhaps only that I like the blue?  The background is beige and it looks genuinely revolting against my face.

I will most likely only ever wear the jacket out of the house and the knickerbockers will be for around the home - I don't have the chutzpah to carry them off in public ;)

Make sure you have a look at the other entries on Pinterest - there are some stunners there!

Pattern: BWOF05/2009
Size: 40
Fabric: 1.7m Gridlock from Tessuti (online) ($12/m)
Alterations: 1cm of sideseams, shortened by 2cm

Pattern: BWOF 09/2006
Size: 42 (and it fit with NO alterations - that NEVER happens!)
Fabric 1.55m Gridlock from Tessuti ($12/m)
Alterations: Nil

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

23. It's in the post

Finally today I managed to get myself, with toddler, to the post office to post out the hand printed swap fabrics.  Unfortunately they all weighed 56g so they were over the letter maximum of 50g (!!) and I had to fork out another $4each in postage.  Oh well, nothing could be done.

So here they are:
 Can you see the "watermark" jellyfish?  I had to take the photos in the shade otherwise it wasn't visible.
 A lighter version.
 This one has 3 colours and is my favourite.
 Not the best photo of this one but it is the best I could get.
Nicely folded ready to be posted.

Fabric: White Primavera 100% cotton from Spotlight (I wouldn't call it white though, probably a very light natural);
Printing: Ezi-carve block using Permaset "Junior Navy" ink.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

22. Affordable Liberty

Why is Liberty fabric SO expensive in Australia?

Tessuti sells it for $45/m
Patchwork on Central Park has it for $50/m

Then when you buy overseas, outside the UK, like we did to New York it is still expensive.
At Purl Soho it is $36.52/m. Until recently, this was the best price online that I had found for Liberty Fabrics.

Not anymore!

Have a look at Shaukat which has an AWESOME selection of all kinds of Liberty Fabrics - knits, needlecord, craft fabric, poplin, silks, wool blends - the list goes on.  There is so much choice here it is really overwhelming.  The really best part is the price for shipping - 1m is 10.72Pounds ($AU15.50) and 8m is 12.72pounds ($AU18.50).  I haven't tried adding more to my basket to see how much fabric I can jam in at this price - way too tempting.  Tessuti charges $10 for posting in Australia!

We all know that Liberty Tana Lawn is not cheap but here is sells on average for 13pounds ($AU20).  I am planning to make long sleeve shirts for work and I need 1.6m, so for $32 plus notions I can make myself a Liberty Tana Lawn cotton shirt.  I can't buy a polyester blend shirt from Target for that price.  Spotlight has the Japanese Tana Lawn for $15/m when it is not on sale, which shows you what a great deal this is for the Liberty Lawn.  Obviously the shipping cost has to be considered but even then if I only bought enough for a single shirt each time it would cost $47.50per shirt which is still a bargin when Country Road is charging $99!

So what am I going to buy you ask?

Seymour Stretch Poplin 98% Cotton and 2% Elastane:
Seymour Poplin
Classic Tana Lawn 100% Cotton:
I am really excited as Hera is my all-time favourite Liberty print and soon it will be mine - I hope I will have the courage to cut into it!

21. Fabric Printing

It was 36 degrees C today.

It is 7:30pm and it is now 34 degrees C.

So what did I do today?

Well I loaded little Julian into the car and drove 1.5hours to my friends house to do some fabric printing for the swap!  Thankfully there was aircon so it was bearable which is important when 3 toddlers are involved.

My initial plans of overprinting was changed slightly to offset overprinting - a brilliant idea from my printing buddy.

I think the results are pretty good but sorry no photos just yet, you will just have to settle for a photo of them drying on the clothes rack.

We all had a great day - so much so that Julian was asleep before we reached the main road (under 4 minutes) and had a contented 1 hour nap.  Ah, the serenity. Thank you so much printing buddy!

Friday, March 8, 2013

20. Groupies and pinning

I have just spent the last few nights having a look around Pinterest and I have gone nuts.  Don't even think about following me as you will be bombarded with emails because I am pin-crazy!

Anyway, I have just had a look at what Louise, one of my Handmade swap groupies, has been up to:
Nice huh? I Like, I like.

19. Printing block complete

I have just finished carving out my "jellyfish" printing blocks.

There are 2 and the plan is to layer them on top of each other.  I was going to make the first block, the one that is going to be overprinted, a solid circle but during carving I changed my mind.  I hope that by having the negative space carved out, it will provide more of a 3D effect with the overprinting.  Unfortunately I only have one stamp pad, so I really can't test this out until we start printing on Tuesday.

As part of our decluttering for the sale of our house my carving tools, paints and stamp pads are all packed up in storage.  So today I had to buy tools and a stamp pad so that I could get started. I bought the stamp pad at Riot Art and Craft and the carving tools from Melbourne Art Supplies.  I did notice that Riot has some awesome Speedball screenprinting kits which start at $70 for the basic kit and $130 for a large screen kit.  I know I don't need another hobby, but just thought I would tell you in case you were interested.

Monday, March 4, 2013

18. Umbrella Prints Trimming Comp

Umbrella Prints is once again running their Trimming competition and my crafty friend bought me a pack for my birthday.

This is my pack:

I was thinking of a placemat - yawn I know, but I use placemats and damask napkins EVERYNIGHT, so I would use it.

So I was looking through last years entrants on Pinterest and loved this one:

It is by Salty Oat who is my groupie in the Handprinted Fabric Swap - small world!  I love the arrangement and the quilting looks fantastic. 

I am getting excited.  Better get my thinking cap on!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

17. Handmade Fabric Swap

Today I received the group I am in for the Handmade Fabric Swap.
And here they are:
Louise in London:
Stephanie in  Berkshire:
Amber just up the road in Victoria:
Caitlin in North Carolina:

I am excited and nervous all at the same time!  I am not Albrecht Durer but I have carved lino blocks and printed on paper before.  Surely fabric printing can't be that hard!  Gulp.

Thankfully my little group doesn't look as intimidating as my friend whose group includes Leslie (the organiser), 2 professional fabric printers and someone who has just completed a Lotta Jansdotter printing course - No pressure!  I should say that she does have buckets of printing talent, so they may even learn something from her :)

Now fellow groupies don't get nervous, but this is my inspiration:

I am thinking of a layered print but my plans may change once I begin drawing/carving/printing when my ambition outstrips my ability.  I also don't want it to look like a childrens print so hopefully I can pull this one off.

I wonder what my groupies have planned?  I can't wait to see.

PS - we sold our house a day before the auction, so the cushions obviously worked ;)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

16. The you-can't-lose-me Vest

I was at a busy playground a couple of weeks ago and I lost Julian amongst the other kiddies.  He was found without a drama but I started to think about making him something to wear which would make him stand out in a crowd.

When I was at Spotlight picking up some needlecord, I spyed some beautiful animal print polar fleece and next to it was a roll of orange polar fleece.  Perfect.  I guessed at 1/2m each and came home with a plan to make a vest which I had seen in one of my Ottobre magazines (06/2012).

It is on the left with the Union Jack applique.  I cut a size 98cm as Julian is 97cm (and not even 2.5years old!) and this is the result:

All up including the zip and thread it cost just under $12!  Labour wise it took about 3 hours, so definitely worth the effort.

I will update this post when I have a photo of Julian at a playground wearing it (most likely not this week as everyday has been over 30degC!).

15. The Everyday Wardrobe

If you haven't read this post on Sewaholic, read it now!  Cake vs Frosting.  I only just discovered it and I found myself nodding the whole time.  Seriously, how many dress patterns do I own?  How many have I actually made?  How many do I actually wear?  This summer I have only worn ONE.  (It is the Tessuti Lily Linen dress which I have been meaning to blog about but haven't.  Silly really since I have been wearing it nearly non-stop.)

Then read this about The Everyday Wardrobe about sewing clothes you will actually wear!  What a concept!

And then this post by Scared Stitchless about the fabric you buy and the fabric that you would wear.  I have 12, yes TWELVE, 53L plastic tubs full of fabric.  Some it dates back to when Ballantynes sold fabric downstairs and their toilets had a 10c coin slot to get in the door (early 90's).  Without a doubt I will never wear some of it but I have this inability to just let go...

Anyway, the point is that I only work 3 days a week in a very casual environment where if I wanted to I could wear jeans or Hard Yakka to work and I would fit in.  The other days I am a Mum which means comfortable clothes which you can go down a slide in.  I try to get "dressed up" for work but that just means I wear trousers instead of jeans otherwise my wardrobe is the same day in, day out.

As we are moving to a bigger house and consequently a bigger mortgage, it is time to tighten the belt and cut out the unneccesary spending.  I don't spend much on clothes but it finally dawned on me to make clothes out of my stash. 

The first problem is that I don't really have any patterns for Everyday clothes (what have I been buying?).

So I bought a pattern which I first saw on SewBrunswick - the Grainline Studio Scout Tee which is only $US6.50.  A bargin.  I have made one:

 And this is another in progress:

I found that if I added a centre back seam and used pre-made bias binding for the neck I could get the top out of 1.2m - yay me (as this is all I bought of the small flower print).

Both are from the lovely Japanese Tana Lawn range at Spotlight.

I will do a proper post with photos of these tops ON ME as that is so important for you to see the fit.

14. Handprinted fabric swap

If you have ever looked at Spoonflower or read Printing by Hand or Heather Ross prints, you will want to try your hand at this:
The lovely Leslie from Maze and Vale has started another Handprinted Fabric Swap.  I have never (that I can remember) printed my own design onto fabric.  The really scary thing is that I will be giving away 4 fat quarters to complete strangers who are really on me to do a good job.

My oldest friend from high school suggested I do the printing with her, so after she did the research we bought supplies from Cavalier Art Supplies in Geelong.  The service was fast and the prices were the best she could find anywhere.

I have signed up to a Red and/or Navy group.  After our visit to the Aquarium last week, I am thinking of a jellyfish block.  Fingers crossed my drawing and carving skills are up to it :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

13. Stylish suggestion

We are upsizing our house which means tidying our unit ready for sale.
I think I have good taste.
But it may not be the taste that gets us the most money at auction.
Our Real Estate agent suggested a Stylist - I am not reading anything into that.
She drives a Porsche Cayenne 4x4 so her style must be ok ;)

She liked our furniture and our paintings, so that was nice.
She suggested cushions.
I suggested the fabric.
She agreed.
The result:

I bought this fabric AGES ago and covered these IKEA rocking chairs (can't find a link, so they must no longer be available) with Amy Butler Nigella Imperial Fans print in the stone colourway (upside down, but who is looking!).  I bought a fat quarter pack from some US online retailer, planning to make a couch quilt with it.  Now it is cushions, which I kind of like.  If I change my mind, I will cut the cushions up and make the quilt :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

12. Focus on Enjoyment

One of my favourite blogs is The Curious Kiwi and in this epic post she mentions this post from so i sewed this on sewing for enjoyment.

What a great idea - why do we put all this pressure on ourselves?

Monday, January 7, 2013

11. Zara's quilt

The first quilt I ever made was a wedding present for my friend who lives in an 1880's farm house (old for Australia).
It was a Queen size quilt - what was I thinking?
I managed to finish it for their first wedding anniversary ;)
Anyhow, a year ago they had a baby girl and I was planning to finish it before she was born.  This didn't happen.  I bought the fabric before she was born and then I cut everything else the week of my birthday in January.  Things slowed after that and I managed to finish sewing on the label the night before her first birthday partyin December!

And here it is:

 I used the Purl Bee Flying Geese Mini Quilt as the basis of the design and just keep adding blocks until I got the size wanted (approx 90cm x105cm).

The front fabric is all from the first Denyse Schmidt range for Spotlight (Picnics and Fairgrounds).  As I was making it I kept cursing myself for not using a higher contrast range of fabrics so the piecing would be more visible.  There is a lot of piecing with Flying Geese!  However, I wasn't going to change halfway through and now that it is bound and finished, I actually like the busy look to it.  The backing fabric was on sale at Fabricworm a long time ago (Michael Miller?) and I bought it as the Mum loves elephants and I love red and pink together.

 As a link back to her parents Queen size quilt, I used left over fabric from that quilt for the squares in the corners - they kind of go with the rest of the quilt.

 I embroidered the label and I love it! No more printed labels for me.