Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Christmas 2011

Things you can't capture on camera:

The sleepy realisation that your 4 yr old is awake at 5am on Christmas morning
The relief that she has gone back to sleep in your bed rather than get up and check out the Santa loot
The excitement on her face when she finds (at the reasonable time of 7.30am) the pink two wheeled scooter she wanted so much
The sound of excited kids gathering in the cul de sac outside to play with new toys
The smell of the turkey cooking
The laughter around the table
The taste of fresh strawberries , cream and home made meringues
The contentment as you sit after lunch in the warm sun outside ( Southern hemisphere thing!)
More excitment as presents from family are opened
The peace in the evening when visitors have gone home and the 4yr old is in bed asleep wearing the new nightie you made her for Christmas.

Camera captures:

New scooter, new mama made clothes

Late night xmas eve crafting to gift to a friend. (Apple pot mitts - link to pattern here on an older post)

Boxing day dress, because I am on a sewing roll.

Scooter adventures

Hope your Christmas was a good one too.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Easy Xmas crafting

Over this week we have done some easy decorations for gifts and around the house.

Junk mail snowflakes seen here, our one here is behind the sunscreen. Michele on her blog has lots of fantastic ideas for recycled gifts and decorations - many of which you will have all the supplies for without needing to head to the shops.

We also made a few of these felt ornaments for both our tree and gifts - super easy just a couple of seams, cutting and glue.  I got the idea from Craftsy.com here, I did one of their crochet tutorials which was really good and got a 50% off offer after that so signed up for the Fab Holiday felt one - I have yet to watch it all yet but it definatley had ideas I will use.

I also did a little late night sewing and made this simple skirt for a gift - a long rectangle with a seam up the back and elastic waist with a few iron in appliques and some braid - 1/2 an hour to make. I still have a few more last minute gifts to make , all easy but probably no more blog posts till after xmas.

Merry Christmas

Saturday, 17 December 2011

More xmas sewing

For the youngest member of the family I have made a car cozy - a travelling /storage roll for small cars

I plan to buy a few dinky cars to give with it, just so you can see how it works I put some random toys in

And it folds in half and rolls up to close with velcro

I used a tea towel to back it, originally I had intended to use car pattern fabric but it was a bit flimsy .
I copied one I saw here, I liked the idea of the numbers but for the sake of sleep I skipped this as it was getting late and I needed to get to bed.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Thursday, 15 December 2011

I've been sewing - can you tell?

Over the past few evenings I've had a sewing binge - the result - our spare room looks like this!

So far I've made all 5 of the smaller cousins gifts - I've not yet decided what to do about the teenagers?
First up are the 2 Oliver and S bucket hats I made for the 6 yr old boys

Both have world map fabric on the outside, for the inside I used different fabrics so the kids don't get them muddled up when together

I like this pattern so have plans for a few more - this was the larger 6-8yr old size. It was pretty easy just needed a bit of tweaking to get the brim to fit - it takes 2-3 hrs to complete a hat - the top stitching takes the most time.

Just so you know I don't sew in a tip all the time - this is the room post a late night clean up

Friday, 9 December 2011

This Moment

A Soule mama inspired Friday ritual, a single image for the week, no words.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Christmas sewing

It's started - the gift making and xmas decorating. Today I made bunting

                                     Chairman Mao just needs a little bit of tinsel to dress him up.

Plans for some gift making for nieces and nephews are underway and more posts coming soon!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

A unfortunate (sewing) experiment

I think I need an "everything dress" in my wardrobe.  A dress I  can wear to weddings, work functions, dinners -not a little black dress but the day time equivalent. I've had this discussion with several friends recently - it needs to be knee length, flowing fabric, can be worn in winter with leggings and a long sleeve top under it or with a jacket or cardi. It also needs to in a plain colour or small print - nothing that stands out too much as then no one will notice when you wear it multiple times.  Sounds like a tall order huh - but I know girls that have one in their wardrobe.

So I went on a shopping trip recently on a rare child free afternoon.  I rather hopefully tried all the chain stores hoping for something not too expensive - no luck.  I then decided to see what was in a designer store I rarely enter - too pricy and not the sort of thing I need much of.  I grabbed a couple of dresses off the rack to try on (noting they were not too expensive although a bit more than I had hoped to pay)

I'd just put the first one on when the sales assistant suggested I step outside the cubicle to look in the large mirror - she then looked me up and down and said -

" Your wearing your best sports bra are you?"
Me: "mmm no " ( I was a bit taken aback and did not mention that acutally it was my best one I had only just bought last week when I realised all my pre baby bra's were a bit ill fitting - now my baby is almost 5!)

She then stepped forward and grasped the bra straps and pulled upward and said
" well you need something with a bit more lift for this dress"
me "oh, well I'm not sure I like this dress anyway"

I then proceeded to try on the next dress, and some others the assistant bought in for me - all of which were double the price of the ones I chose and accompanied with helpful (not!)comments like
"well your not wearing any make up are you and you would need to with that dress"  and
" oh you are are lot smaller than you look aren't you"

Just as my ego had just about had enough I did find one I liked - a simple slip type dress in a lovely soft, light flowing fabric with a belt which gave it some shape - but with a $400NZ price tag - expensive enough to make a woman who sews have a good long look at it before looking at her watch and declaring she had to go and would think about it.  Truth be known if the assistant hadn't been so rude I may have bought it knowing I hate sewing sheer fabrics.  Instead I headed to the fabric store for a pattern and a plan to transform the green silk in my stash into an everything dress.

Two evenings later and the dress was made - but unfortuately it's not what I had hoped
no not impressed,looks frumpy not drapy so I tried putting button holes either side of the front so the sash ran behind the front like the one I liked in the shop

mmm - no worse, so I tried using the sash differently

aside from the very unflattering photo's I think this was better but it's just too big and I think the pattern needs a viscose or very drapey type fabric so this one is not going to stay in my wardrobe. I'm going to see if it's better on my sister who is a size bigger than I am and continue my search for the perfect dress.

Friday, 2 December 2011

This moment

A Soule mama inspired Friday ritual - a single photo for the week, no words.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Blossom blouses

This week I made up two versions of the Sew liberated (see here from the first book) - blossom blouse

Another nightie for G - pretty much the same as the first one

It's a cute flannel print I got from Sew Pretty (here),I'm super impressed with the prompt service and great range of fabrics, I have a few other bits of fabric I bought which I am planning on turning into xmas gifts soon.

I also finally got around to turning some stash fabric into a summer blouse for me - I used the adult blossom blouse pattern but modified it a bit to try to make a similar version of a favourite in my wardrobe. 

It sort of worked?  I wanted a more rounded neckline and slightly longer sleeves than I ended up with. Also the quilting cotton fabric is a little stiff , my original top is made of a fine lawn and sits a little better so I am hoping this will soften a bit with washing . On the plus side it was really quick to make , so I might try again with some lawn in a pale green print that I have in my stash.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Monday, 21 November 2011

Colouring salt

This morning we tried this fun activity - using chalk to colour salt ( which I saw here).

I set up the bowls the night before and as soon as G finished breakfast she rushed to play with them, no time to get dressed when new stuff to play with.

The abrasive nature of the salt rubs off some chalk and we ended up with these pretty layers. Much of the fun was in the spooning and pouring of the salt and it got pretty messy but thats cool as it's easy to clean up.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Set of four

Slowly, between other projects, over the last month I've worked on completing a set of table mats - the first of which I made (earlier post here) in October.

I re made the binding on the first one as it was terrible to make and I wasn't very happy with the corners.  This method was way easier, I made a straight bias and handstitched at the back as it was easier to get a tidy finish.  They weren't hard but with all the hand stitching they were time consuming - they were starting to play on my mind getting in the way of xmas sewing I have planned. How come November has come so quickly? - I always have good intentions to start xmas stuff earlier but looks like a December rush coming up.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Wedding Bunting

Here is the wedding bunting made the night before a girl friends wedding.  The idea belongs to another crafty wedding guest who started it and made the letters which I just helped applique on and provided the bias we used to hang the banners from.  Cool huh - we thought so.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Sew out of Season

It's Spring here - cool mornings ,warm sunny days , but here I am sewing a flannel nightie.  Georgie saw her cousins night wear when we stayed there for a couple of nights last week and wanted a nightie instead of pj's.  When we were in Spotlight she saw this flannel in a heart print.  So yesterday I took advantage of a rainy day at home and made this little number.

Sorry about the back view - uncooperative model.  The pattern is from Sew Liberated ( see here )- Meg McElwee's book - I used the blossom blouse pattern and just made it longer and omitted the elastic in the back .  Literally took me about 30 minutes to make.  There are lots of really easy patterns in this book - it's one of the few I have found I use often and most patterns are really easy.
I plan to make a blouse and a dress using the same pattern - and now there is a request for a summer nightie too!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Super speedy dress

Last week I had a bit of a blog holiday when we went to stay with friends in Dunedin. In between visiting Museums, the cadbury chocolate factory and the swimming pool we squeezed in a quick visit to spotlight for a stockup.

All sorts of crafty tools for xmas projects - was a good thing that I had a 4 yr old in tow as it limited my time in this shop - so much amazing xmas stuff in store already.

We also managed to do a spot of op shopping in some of the small towns on the way

Georgie is pretty pleased with this  - apparently it's the perfect mini flower vase.

If you were wondering about the post title - this is what I made with some of the above fabric.  I managed to find my machine  tonight in  the piles of washing that a week away generates ,to make this little dress.

Easy easy easy, I cut a pattern off a borrowed dress - this looks very long so I may need to shorten it tomorrow after a try on. If you are a novice this is a great dress -  and if you need a pattern there are lots  around like this one that I saw on etsy.  Just looking at my big pile of new fabric - going to be lots of work in the next few weeks turing it into some summer clothes for my girl and I.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Friday, 28 October 2011

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Mollie Makes Coin Purse

I subscribed to Mollie Makes magazine from the UK several months ago- it's a fantastic visual craft magazine if you haven't seen it and today I saw it was available in Whitcoulls here. Each issue now comes with a craft kit - last months was a coin purse

I decided that I would rather use my own fabric so embroidered a piece of linen for one side and used an offcut of canvas I had for the other side. I merrily started using the (very brief) instructions in the magazine and all seemed fine until I tried to push the folded top edges into the clasp - 20minutes later ( and more than a bit cross !) I went on a google search.  I discovered that others too had found the instructions pretty inadequate too , Kerry at verykerryberry had recommended U-handbag. This is a great site for bag making with - I lined mine and used her method to fix the clasp - way  way better instructions.

Mine is a little wonky ( thats what happens when your 4 yr old tries to help you while you are handling toxic type glue and trying to do it in a hurry) and very small as I did not have extra fabric to recut with.
I recommend using U-handbag instructions if you want to make this bag.

I also made this little bag with a zip

Much easier - I found a free tutorial - sorry can't remember the blog name , again a bit wonky but 4 year olds don't care and it only took about 20 minutes to sew together.