Monday, August 31, 2009

choc muffins and a to do list

Mmm, not much craft action this week. Busy with everything else. Did get inspired and get into some baking this afternoon. Nic and son from Yardage decorative design are coming over tomorrow morning for a chat so I have made some triple choc muffins. I didn't have the third chocolate type though so I added walnuts instead. Hope you enjoy them!
With no other progress to post about, instead I am publishing a project to do list. Perhaps I might motivate myself to find the time to finish them. On the list:
  • Green playmat for baby (still stuck on this one, hand embroidery won't work, the padding inside is too thick, so I am rethinking this one)
  • Refashioning green jacket (I've done the cutting apart, unstitching and button buying. Now I just need to put it back together again. Sounds like a good one for Spring)
  • Baby's quilt (I have almost finished the centrepiece, stay tuned for update)
  • Spring skirt for me in baby blue linen (another Spring must have)
  • Putting plans into action. Do I want to start up a home business?
  • Denim dress for baby's summer wardrobe. (Bought at sale for $2, had ribbon missing and the press studs were broken so they need replacing. Plus a little embellishment to jazz it up).
  • Next Ottobre dress pattern (I have chosen the Russian peasant top from the latest Ottobre magazine, I have my fabrics and notions ready to go, it just needs starting...)
Speaking of lists, we are heading away for a trip for a week next week and I have to get myself organised with some projects I can take away with me, that don't require electricity. Maybe something new? (All my to do list projects require a sewing machine...) I am looking forward to an interesting My Creative Space when I get back!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tessuti stash and seersucker musings

An excursion into the city yesterday to catch up with a few friends from my work. And how could I resist a little walk down Flinders Lane to visit Tessuti. Picked up some cotton stretch (always useful for things), some cute red /brown butterfly fabric (I was thinking trim on a red skirt for a little girl, however I'm leaning toward trim on a skirt for me?!) and some beautiful coordinating Japanese seersucker cotton in navy blue. I first saw this one is red/orange, but after seeing this navy/pale pink version, I couldn't resist.

I will have to look up seersucker fabric as I have seen a bit of around around the blogs lately(which is also what attracted me to it at Tessuti), but I had never heard of it before and I don't really know what to do with it, or how it should be used. Might require some blog investigations I think.

Plus one baby wrap finished and ready to go to its new owner, Toby - a four day old baby boy - today!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My creative space

Today I dragged out my pinking shears, inherited from my grandmother. They are so heavy and so sharp, even after years of use. Even the box is in excellent condition. Must keep it that way. Maybe I will pass on to a granddaughter one day..

Cutting back seams to ease curves. Two warm baby wraps in the making. One due tomorrow, the other the end of August. Today's creative space includes my laptop, so I am checking out other spaces at the same time as cutting and pinning.
Check out other creative spaces over at Kootoyou...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The story of a fabric

I just read the story of a fabric by Curly Pops about some vintage fabric finding its way into her hands. It reminded me of a similar story I have, so I thought I would share it here.

When I moved out of home (a few years ago now...), my parents had just had new carpet put in. To save the new carpet from getting dirty from the moving traffic, I got some old material from the cupboard - a rather large bulky piece so it would do a good job - and laid it on the carpet to protect it. After traipsing over it a few times (laden with heavy moving boxes), the fabric caught my eye. Nice pattern, nice colour, Mmm. I picked it up off the floor, dusted it off and realised it was a really nice fabric, 100% wool and it had a great big geometric pattern. There was also about 3 metres of it. Perfect! A few months later, I had made it into a great Winter coat which I still wear!
I still have almost a metre left I think. Maybe I should drag it out and make something else new?
Funny, as I don't think I have ever told my Mum this story, so I really don't have any idea where the fabric came from, other than from the cupboard. I don't think my Mum will know either, but I should tell her this story one day over a cuppa and see what she says.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Nappy change emergency pouch

Whipped this one up on the weekend to give to my sister in law for her baby shower. It's a pouch with velcro closing to keep an "emergency" supply for nappy changes. I have one permanently in my handbag and it's great. It means I can keep using my handbag, and don't let the nappy bag rule my life, but am prepared for the emergency.

Made with denim and cotton. The inside lining has been contacted. I got the idea for the lining from here, it can't be machine washed, but you can wipe it clean, and I think it works well for a nappy change pouch.
The outside:

And the lining on the inside.

It was gifted yesterday. I hope she liked it and gets as much use out of it as I do.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My creative space

This is my first addition to My creative space, by Kootoyou.

This is my new blog, which I am having fun with so far. My creative space today is the leftovers from yesterday's efforts. Seems to be a green theme going on, projects sitting there waiting to be finished (maybe not finished today, but hopefully progress made). I like the light through the window, and the way it is overexposed.

A green jacket I have had for ages, but never wear. I am going to refashion it so I like it more, replace the buttons, add some contrasting cuffs to the sleeves and trim to the hem (maybe). On the chair is a green and blue playmat in the making for the bubba. It's a smaller one that can hopefully be taken places along with us without being too cumbersome. Picked up the bright fabric at the Amitie sale last Friday. Love it. I am having trouble with it though and the more I think about it, the more I think I need to unpick and start again. Oops. I tried backing it with a fleecy material, which is stretchy. And its fine, I can control the stretch on the edges (sewing stretchy material to non-stretch is always difficult), however I was also hoping to top stitch some of the pattern to keep it together and so the other plain side is also decorative. I think this will be too difficult to achieve. So I have two choices, unpick and get new backing material. Or hand embroider it. Hmm.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rainy day and a new gadget

It's a rainy day out there, nice time to stay inside, keep the baby occupied and get some stuff done. Yay for the rain. I hope it is falling in the right places, and not just making a miserable Melbourne day.

A visit to the shops yesterday and I came away with a new funky gadget- the magnetic seam guide. Looked interesting, was only 3 bucks and, as described on the packet, is an 'invaluable tool for topstitching'. I've got to say, it worked a treat. It is so easy to use, as it is magnetic, it stays in place, 'stuck' (is there a word for magnetic adhesion?) to the metal plate and keeps your topstitching lines looking straight and VERY professional. Definitely worth the investment.
It is really worthwhile checking out the various notions, bits and pieces as there are some very interesting and useful tools out there. The last one I got was a bias tape maker, as recommended by the lovely Nicole Mallalieu at the Melbourne Stitches and Craft show. Actually, she was so passionate about describing the wonderful things this bias tape maker could do, I couldn't walk away without buying one. Nicole also has a great tutorial on her website. I've been so impressed with it, I have since bought another in a different size.

Until the next sewing gadget comes my way...

Friday, August 7, 2009

From oranges to apples

This one was completed a little while ago. A simple summer dress in size 1 made with cute apple material I have had for a while. The sleeves are elasticised and gathered which will look very cute on a chubby one year old's arms. The dress was simple and quick to whip up, and completed in one day after I got inspired from shuffling through my stash.

The pattern is Simplicity 3853, from the It's so easy range. Definitely a winner. I have also thought of many ways of altering it, cutting the bodice out of a contrasting or a base colour, gathering the skirt a little, or pleating it, buttons down the front, no sleeves, plain material, hand print something along the hem... The possibilities are endless. Perhaps another trip to my stash to see what other ideas come up?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My orange tree

My orange tree, my pride and joy at this time of year. The oranges are ripe, sweet and juicy and plentiful. See here for an orange close up (yum yum). Does anyone else living here in cold Melbourne have an equally beautiful orange tree? I think it produces so well each year because it is espaliered against a north facing brick wall which absorbs any Winter sun and keeps my oranges warm and toasty for their ripening season. Fresh oranges every day for me!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A little person's jacket

This is my entry into the world of craft blogs. I've been thinking about it for ages (and have been formulating blog entries in my head for ages) as I've been reading and drawing inspiration from the many other blogs out there. So here goes, I will just jump into it, post what I have to show and hope you enjoy.

After receiving my first edition of the Ottobre design kids fashion mag, I was completely inspired and energised. This is my second project from the mag from the Autumn 4/2009 edition. The pattern was easy to follow and really enjoyable to make. I love the coloured leaves, perfect for Autumn, and the bright happy colours.

Now I just have to wait patiently until Winter next year when bubs grows into it, and hope it fits!