Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday photos

Some favourites from the week gone by via Instagram (bubala_jo). Have a lovely weekend!


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Screen printed coffee beans

In my creative space this week I've been screen printing using my coffee design.

It's the first time I've printed a large piece of fabric and I found it fun to wander my way around the fabric first placing the group head in circular patterns and then randomly adding the coffee beans over the top. Every time I do some printing I remember how much I love it and how therapeutic it is. It's a shame there's not more time for it.

This is an old cotton linen table cloth that wasn't getting much use, so I thought I'd print it and make it into a couple of new covers for our kitchen bench seating (hopefully show you when they're done).

I'm joining in with the 'my creative space' fun again this week. Pop over here to check out some fantastic crafty goodness.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pattern love: Deer & Doe's Robe Belladone

I have a new pattern that I'm totally smitten with, the Belladone dress from French indie design company Deer and Doe.

I'd been looking for a nice dress pattern for an event we have on in November but hadn't found anything just right... I thought about the Sewaholic Cambie and also the Colette Peony, but they were just not quite right. But when I came across a pic of the Belladone on Pinterest I was sold - lovely simple design but with the special touch of that gorgeous back detail. I went on a quest to find the pattern and when I found it was French I wasn't deterred, even though I don't speak French... I figured it would be ok, and if not I could ask my lovely French friend Fanette to help me ;-). Incidentally, the patterns are due to be released in English in future, but I couldn't wait of course!

So I sent off for the pattern and was thrilled with both the speed of Eleonore's response to my email and then the post speed from France - 5 days! Amazing!

Deer and Doe's pattern line seems to have been launched only recently (by a 25 year old, no less. Wow, I think I was still trying to just put one foot in front of another at 25!). There's the Deer & Doe blog, and also a great blog called Deer & Doe addicts here where examples of the patterns can be found, and I have been stalking, of course ;-). But my favourite favourite example, and the one that made me go and buy the pattern, is this one. Just gorgeous. (Please go have a look if you're interested, I'd love to post pics but don't feel it's right to do it without permission).

I've now gone through the instructions with the help of Google Translate, traced the pattern, bought a zipper foot for my machine (can't believe I struggled on this long without one!) and am about to make a muslin. Then it will be a cafefully chosen fabric probably from The Fabric Store. So I'm hoping this dress has the makings of a favourite. Hopefully!

Do you have a favourite pattern waiting in the wings to be made? Do you fall in love with patterns like I do? Buy them in foreign languages from countries on the other side of the world? Sounds crazy putting it like that. Oh well!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fete crafting

Just a quick post today to show you some group crafting that's been going on around here for our upcoming school fete - lots of softie babushka dolls. It was great fun getting together with other mums and chatting while we worked ;-). Next up we're going to do monsters. And then I hope to make some pencil cases too with all those Ikea fabric scraps I have squirrelled away. We'll see.

Playing along with my creative space and hoping you've had a crafty week too!



Sunday, October 14, 2012

KCWC wrap up: more shorts


On the last 2 days of KCWC I finished off these shorts, another piece to add to my big girl's spring wardrobe. I also started a couple of new bags for my girls but they'll have to be finished later... ah, so many things to sew, so little time!

Japanese kids sewing patterns

The pattern is from the Japanese Happy Homemade vol 2 - kids book, "L - Knee length shorts". Though they're not knee length, as I ran short of fabric, and also my girl likes them short.

I used a plain medium weight denim so that hopefully they will go with lots of tops.
I only just squeezed the pattern out of the small piece of fabric from my stash (used also in my Minoru jacket and my boy's pants). As I didn't have enough for the pockets I used a blue linen from the stash, then thought I'd trim them with some ric rac, sandwiched in between layers, to add a bit of interest.
Back pocket detail
And instead of the square pockets on the pattern I used the curved design from pattern "M - shorts with a back pocket" to give a slightly feminine feel.

This was the first time I'd used this book and I enjoyed it - the pattern instructions take a little to work out, as they're incredibly concise, so I'm not sure they'd be great for a beginner, but for anyone with a little experience I think it would be fine.

I had to include this twirling pic, even though you can't see the shorts under the cute flowy top (not mama-made)...
and this one too - never one to be left out, her sister got in on the twirling action too :-)

Even though I didn't finish my wishlist for KCWC I'm pleased with the pieces I've finished, I learnt some new tricks, and best of all (as it always is with KCWC), I've been inspired and delighted by all the amazing things people have made. I have quite a few new things on my 'to do' list now! If you haven't already checked it out, have a look at the amazing stuff in the Flickr group. And thanks has to go to Meg for hosting it once again!

Friday, October 12, 2012

KCWC progress: halter top

For those of you in the northern hemisphere these pics of my big girl might make you shiver, but here in Aus we are heading for a hot summer, so I'm getting us prepared (well, that's my excuse!).

My big girl loves halter neck tops and dresses, so when I was coming up with ideas for KCWC making one was on the list.

I based the shape on Oliver & S' free ruffle halter pattern. Do you know it? I made one of these lovely tops for each of my girls early on in my blogging days (here) and they still love them. It's a really great pattern.

This was a test run before I use a more substantial fabric. And I'm glad I did the test run as there are a few things I'll change for the dress version. I tried out a circular pocket on this one to add some interest, something I'd been wanting to try for a while.

Well, I've got some shorts on the go for KCWC and something little in mind. Hopefully I'll get them done and not run out of steam before hand!

I'm playing along with my creative space again this week (belatedly!). Head on over here for more creative goodness.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

KCWC kick-off: shorts

After a not-so-great start to KCWC where I felt uninspired and couldn't get one of my original ideas to work, today I decided on the spur of the moment to make something not on my wish list but practical. So the other project was temporarily shelved and I cut out and sewed these shorts for my girls while the littlies played in the back yard with worms from the garden (as they do!) and their water play toys.

This afternoon the girls' gymnastics classes resumed for the term and they desperately needed some new shorts. So I got out the pattern I'd used for leggings from Meg McElwee's lovely book Growing up sew liberated and altered it to give the legs a bit more room.

I used stash fabric for the big girl shorts, a cute orange and grey fine striped knitted fabric, adding a yoga-style thick band and a ribbon for decoration. For my little girl I repurposed a thrifted t-shirt (she squeeled when she saw the rainbows :-) with a longer leg length (re-using the original hem of the t-shirt), a folded and elasticised waistband and decorative ribbon.

Though I like sewing with stretch fabrics I never feel super confident that the garments will last the distance. My old machine is great in every other way, but as it doesn't have a stretch or zig zag option the stitch doesn't always work out well, and I was a bit nervous that a seam would split during their class! But these pics were taken after the class, and they held together thank goodness, but I did find some broken stitches :-( I'll have to go and do a bit of finishing on them so they don't fall apart soon!

OK, now hopefully those other projects in my head will turn out over the next few days, hmmm... How are you going? Sewing like a demon or feeling out of inspiration?

PS. Those tummies so need a raspberry ;-)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

School holiday highlights

School holidays are kind of irrelevant in that period of your life after after you leave school yourself and before you have school-aged children (should that be the road you go down), don't you think? For me these days they are pretty important. They punctuate the year and give our family life structure, but they're also a time to reconnect with each other and enjoy letting the routine relax.

Some of the highlights for me this holidays have been:

Enjoying some cooking (the strawberries this spring - amazing) - - - a bit of sewing and having time to flick through a favourite magazine - - - catching up with several lovely friends and their families, including a super-crafty one - just look at those amazing crocheted cats! They're cuddling :-) And there are more too, a whole family!

And also, having the Mr home for a week and going away for a few days to a lovely cottage in the bush... watching the kids enjoy nature...

enjoying little still lifes at every turn, both in our little cottage...

and outside...

and adoring all the native flowers, collecting little posies on our walks, destined for our dinner table. And finding creative inspiration everwhere...

- - - -

As it's KCWC this coming week I'm hoping to stop in here most days this week to keep me inspired to keep sewing... see you soon.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Burdastyle Sewing Handbook bag

This week I finally tried my first project from the Burdastyle Sewing Handbook that I received for my birthday back in May, the bag.
I'd worn out my current bag to the point where I was getting embarrassed to take it out, so a new one was in order. Wandering around Spotlight looking for fabric inspiration I spotted a silver vinyl in the upholstery section. I wasn't sure if it was interesting and a bit of fun or just plain tacky, but I didn't want to go with a plain fabric and just needed something, so off I went with half a metre of it.
I really enjoyed making this bag. The pattern instructions were straightforward and I thought the pattern was well designed. And the vinyl was actually fantastic to sew with. I thought it might be a bit challenging as obviously it can't be ironed but it was great - pliable but not slippery, able to be pinned (!) and my lovely old machine sewed like a dream with an ordinary needle and foot. 
The only thing I changed about the pattern was to add inside pockets and a magnetic snap closure. For the lining I used an Ikea cotton from my stash.
When I'd finished I still wondered about the vinyl, so I asked the Mr what he thought (can you see what's coming here?). Looking sideways, he said that maybe he wasn't the right person to ask... hmm. So I'm thinking this might be one of those 'blinkered' sewing projects - you know the ones where you suspect it's not quite right BUT you:
1. are so thrilled to have finished the pattern,
2. feel a bit pleased with yourself that you have something new
3. are excited to have learnt some new skills and
4. feel chuffed that you have spent such a small amount of cash on it too
So you go with it anyway.
But hey, that's OK. I'm so happy to have a bag that is not stained, fraying and faded, one where I can find my keys easily (LOVE the elasticised side pockets - no more swearing when I can't find my keys ;-). And those straps - so comfy on my shoulder...
Tacky silver bag, I love you x

Tagging along with My Creative Space this week.

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