Thursday, October 27, 2011

Last minute frenzied behaviour

True to form, I have done my usual panicky running around trying to get all sorts of things done before we head off for a short break.

For instance... that tunic seam that's been needing to be mended for weeks - it needs doing now!... the seedlings that have needed tending for days - let's do it now!... form to fill out... photos to take... what is it about going away that gets me running around like a headless chicken? Do you do this, or is it just me? It drives me bananas (and the Mr too, I'm guessing, but he's too polite to say ;-)

Needless to say I had several blog posts in mind this week but none of them saw the light of day... however I will leave you with some pics of a much covetted piece of Nani Iro fabric that arrived in the mail this morning, yay! I hunted high and low for it (it was last year's design so not readily available now) and felt like I'd won the lottery when I finally tracked it down on Etsy. Good old Etsy.

Now I just need to find the perfect summer dress pattern for it. Any suggestions welcome.

OK, there's time to squeeze in just a few more things before we head off ;-) See you some time next week, have a great weekend!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Instant sewing gratification: "The Perfect Shrug"

Last week when I should have been sewing for the school fete I suddenly got inspired to sew something that has been on my to do list for a while now - and you've got to strike when the inspiration hits, right? Otherwise that list will never come down!

This can't really be called 'sewing', there's so little sewing involved that I found it quite amusing... I spotted this shrug pattern (free) on BurdaStyle a while ago and it appealed to me. It's just a cleverly folded 'T' shaped piece of fabric, sewn together in 2 places...

...and your arms go through the small openings. As I made it in jersey and the edges don't fray, I didn't hem it, just sewed the 2 seams and it's done. Feels like cheating.

It folds into a rectangle (pic no. 2), then down again into a very small parcel, so it would be a great one to keep in your bag for when there's a chill in the air.

I haven't been a fan of the shrug in the past, thinking it's a kind of mutant looking cardigan, but this pattern appealed, so I'll see how it goes. And if it's a no goer then there's not much lost... and a bit of fun had ;-)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

KCWC wrap-up +

I'm rather late with this one as KCWC finished last weekend, but I just thought I'd show you a little messenger bag that I started last week and just finished for my little boy. As he's always taking his sisters' bags and wearing them around the house I thought he'd better have one of his own.

I used my usual self-drafted pattern but made this one a bit smaller than I usually do as he's little. Apparently noone has told him he's only 2, I'm sure he thinks he's 10 - he's so independent and just has to try to do everything his sisters do (3rd child syndrome maybe?).

And what better fabric to use for a dog-loving 2 year old than this Michael Miller "Mutt" print. I teamed it with some repurposed denim for a bit of strength and durability.

I was considering reserving the bag for Christmas for him (which is approaching scarily fast - arghh, someone slow the year down please!!). But as we are going away on a little break for a few days soon I'll give it to him for that - for taking some cars and trucks away with us, or maybe collecting shells on the beach?


I'm looking forward to making a few of these bags to sell at the upcoming school fete, then hopefully I will finally get my act together and reopen my Etsy shop with some more bags... that is if I can finish making the pair of these that I am happily fussing over :-)

- - - - -

In other KCWC news I was thrilled to be featured in Meg's wrap-up pics - yay! It's over here in case you want to have a look, staring my little girl as no. 6 ;-)

- - - - -

In unrelated goings on, I have joined the handprinted fabric swap going on over at onegirl. I'm really looking forward to thinking of a design to print and also seeing everyone else's.

Coincidently my friend Lamina from do a bit recently very generously lent me one of her screens to try out some screen printing of my own (and reminded me of the print swap - thanks Lamina!). After doing a course recently I've been keen to try it out. I'll have to have a few practice goes before I do my swap pieces so I don't send my poor partners anything dodgy!

If this sounds like your kind of thing the sign-up is open until tomorrow so pop on over to Onegirl.

Lots of interesting creative spaces over here today, go visit and enjoy :-)

Monday, October 17, 2011

KCWC: big sister's turn

It was big sister's turn for some new clothes after the little girl scored a new dress, skirt and top (whether wanted or not!) from my KCWC sewing. Thankfully, this girl is easily pleased, just happy to be getting something new and some attention from mama too, I think ;-)

Same peasant top, sans tie, and repurposed skirt (I had 2 women's denim skirts waiting to be re-used).

I love how prettily the fabric sits in this style, just as nicely as it does for the little girl's dress. I'll be sad when it's all gone.

Well, I'm glad KCWC is over again, I did get through a few things on my list but missed others. I'd still like to make a wrap dress for the big girl and maybe some shorts for the boy, but they can wait. (The boy did get something, I'll show you soon).

Next up I would like to sew a summer kimono-style t-shirt for myself before I get onto my sewing for the craft stall at the annual school fete, but I'll see how I go... there's a house that needs cleaning, clothes that need folding and people that need feeding first, shame about that ;-)

Friday, October 14, 2011

KCWC peasant top & repurposed skirt

When I spotted a sweet peasant top with a little tie at the hem I thought it would look great on my little girl and decided to make one during KCWC. I used this pattern for the top, then the tutorial from the link above for the tie (follow the links and it's all explained).

I'd been given this cute orange and white spot print fabric by my sister-in-law's mother (hi Margrit, if you're out there, and thanks!). It's a lovely medium weight cotton with a stripey texture. I teamed it with an unusual print for the tie, also from Margrit. The tie is a nice way to use up small scraps or feature interesting fabrics. I'll definitely try it again in future.

For the skirt I was inspired by this tutorial for refashioning a women's skirt into a girls one. I'd bought a denim skirt in a big bag from my favourite thrift shop (the one that sells unsorted clothes by weight) and I liked the wash but the fit wasn't right on me, so I thought I'd put it to use. The waist front is flat and there's elastic in the back, for easy dressing. It took a bit of adjusting to get the fit right for her but eventually it came together.

Just as an aside, in another thrift shop I recently came across these rolls of thread that I've been using for top stitching. I don't know if that's what they're for but they do look thicker than ordinary weight and work well with a size 18 machine needle. The brownish one at the front looks very similar to regular denim stitching.

Our conversation after the little photo shoot:
Me: "You look lovely sweetie, that top is so cute on you!"
Her: "Yeah. 'Cept I probly won't wear it coz the sleeves 'noy me"
OK then...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

KCWC paisley dress

I found this purple paisley-ish patterned light weight cotton in my mum's stash last time I visited her and instantly envisaged a dress for my little girl. Not sure where it comes from but I seem to have a bit of a thing for paisley, and when colourful little flowers are added it makes for a design that's kind of crazy but sweet at the same time - a bit like my girl ;-)

As my girl loves to dress herself and gets extremely upset if she can't get something on (she is 3, after all) I wanted to make it as simple as possible (unlike this one) so made the front section elasticised and then stitched down the bows so that they are purely decorative - no more "mum, can you tie it up" ;-)

There are plenty of patterns and tutorials around for this style of dress known as the 'Pillowcase Dress", but it's pretty easy to make up if you've made anything like this style before. I traced the basic shape of the armhole and length from one of my girl's existing dresses, and used this tutorial for the elastic & bias binding combo.

To stop it looking too much like a nightie I added a little gathered pocket to the front and bound the top in matching bias binding.

And despite the 'sooky-la-la' look on her face in the above pic she loves her new dress and wore it happily today.

I also made something else from this fabric, hopefully show you tomorrow, as well as a repurposed skirt that's not gone so well but I'm hoping to salvage. Oh well, you win some, you lose some!

Monday, October 10, 2011

KCWC prep

I wanted to be really organised for KCWC this time. So yesterday, with the girls out with their dad and the boy having his lunchtime sleep, I sat down with my sketch pad and worked out a plan including on the list:
repurposed denim skirt for big girl
• wrap dress for big girl
pillowcase dress for little girl
• peasant top for little girl
• shorts for boy

I collected my pile of fabrics, elastics, threads etc and was feeling very organised... only to have the girls come home, see the pile of fabrics and start requesting different things altogether!

Oh well, I think I'll just start tonight and see how I feel...

Hopefully I'll be checking in here with something to show in the next couple of days.

Let me know if taking part in KCWC too.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Quick crafty update

As the school holidays here start to come to a close I give a sigh of relief (I'm over the fighting and mess). Keeping me sane over this period I've been:

• Casting on for a dolls pram blanket:

... after being inspired by these beauties from The Purl Bee:

• Making a start on crafting for the school fete:

• Trying to keep the kids busy with various activities... this one lasting a matter of minutes:

• In love with this new piece of fabric that just had to come home with me after a recent trip to Ikea (points off for re-stashing). Lots of ideas spinning around my head involving this one:

And enjoying pinning kids clothes ideas for KCWC next week.

Hope your marbles are intact (not sure whether mine are) and you have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

That bloggy black hole

* This post is interspersed with images from the 'Love Lace' exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum.

I came across a final blog post recently on a craft blog and at first I thought how sad it was that they were finishing, but then I thought again...

We hear about that great big online black hole that contains all the discontinued blogs. Of course each blog needs to end up there some day. You can't keep going forever, I guess?!

I've always wondered how long I will go on with my blog, and whether I will feel I've failed when I'm done. As with a lot of craft/mum bloggers I don't have a hard and fast plan for blogging, I just do it because I like connecting with the online community (you ;-), it encourages me to be creative and it adds another aspect to my life at the moment. All of this is bound to change sooner or as my life moves on and changes.

But I don't mean to sound negative... I found it fascinating how the author of that post explained that her blog used to sustain her in many ways but because her life has moved on it now holds her back... it just doesn't serve her needs anymore. When I look at blogs that have endured (Soulmama's an example) they have obviously evolved and changed, and the authors freely admit to ups and downs, ebbs & flows, which is just like life in general.

So I guess that made me relax and think that I'll just do it while I enjoy it, and when the day comes that it doesn't feel right then that's the time to move on.

Do you have a plan or do you just 'go with the flow'?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Neighbourly neighbour gifts

Hi there, how are you? I always feel a bit disconnected from my blog on school holidays, I guess because I'm needed so much by the kids and also because we're out of routine (which I'm finding I like more as I get older - oh dear!). But it's really nice to be here today.

I thought I'd show you a couple of gifts I've been making for 2 separate very considerate neighbours. One has been letting me use her washing machine in our month without one (hopefully new one arriving this week!). I made her a little set of zip purse and tissue holder in a black & white Marimekko print for the outer and a coffee coloured linen for the inside.

The purse has turned out a weird shape (I love using metal zips but they can be stiff and a bit hard to use). I hope she can use it for something!

Neighbour no. 2 is an older lady who has been giving us jars of her homemade jam and Italian sweets. I made her a reversible shopping/book bag.

I found it harder to guess her taste in fabric design, so I figured if she doesn't like the Ikea contemporary floral print on one side she can turn it to the oatmeal coloured linen on the other.

I really love making gifts and hopefully the recipients will get some use out of them. But even so at least they'll know they're appreciated. Having good neighbours really is a valuable thing.

Hope you're enjoying your weekend.
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