Saturday, October 29, 2011

Onion 2007

If you need a quick easy raglan knit dress pattern I recommend Onion 2007. It has darts above the bust and on top of the sleeves which gives it a great shape. The only problem was the neck binding was a little long and I should have made it shorter so it sits a little better. I used some king of stretchy knit with very thin stripes I found at Textile Traders which is thicker than most knits. Not much else to say - quick and very comfortable, my kind of dress.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hot Patterns Cosmopolitan Dress

I know everyone was making this about four years ago and I have been meaning to for about that long. I am glad I finally got around to it. My new favourite dress pattern - the Hot Patterns Cosmopolitan Dress.
Excuse the facial expressions, these were taken early this morning. I used a very drapey, almost too drapey jersey fabric which I wasn't going to be too worried about if this was a disaster (I thought I would try this without a muslin). I cut according to my measurements, but by the end I had taken it in a whole size. I cut a new sleeve as I wanted something I can wear all summer and the pattern had a choice of two different long sleeves.
I have read that the Hot Patterns instructions are a little scarce, but I think that is only because there are no illustrations. I read through them and then didn't glance at them again. I think if you have made a stretchy dress the instructions are all pretty much the same.
I also altered the neckline and left off the facings and added a binding like this tutorial, but I did not cut any height off first as I had read it was a little low cut.
I wasn't planning on making the whole thing yesterday, but 15 minutes here and there and it was done. I already have some fabric ready to cut another one.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Family Reunion Dress

My niece Lyssie is 5 today and she requested a pink and white dress. I made the Oliver and S Family Reunion Dress. This is a gorgeous little dress with pintucks and buttons up the back.
I used this pink and white floral fabric that has been in my stash for a while. I have no idea where is came from. It is kind of Liberty-ish, but definitely doesn't feel it. It is quite stiff and fells a bit like polished cotton. I nearly didn't use it as I thought this dress would be better in a voile, but I don't have that much pink and white in the stash so I hope it softens as it is washed.

I made a size 5 and I tried it on Eva (3 1/2) and it is a little big and long, but I would probably use this size for her but make it shorter. I tried it on the girls (6 1/2) and it fit, but was tight across this chest so I would make them a 6 and a bit longer. They all loved them and added it to the list of thing they want me to make them.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Quilt Top

I have finished all the Denyse Schmidt blocks and was so excited to see how they looked I sewed and sewed yesterday until I had a quilt top. I love it. I love all the fabrics together and I think this simple block really shows them off.

Originally I was just going to make blocks and stack them together, but I hadn't pressed any of my seams open and feeling quite lazy this week I didn't want to have to deal with trying to make them match perfectly and the thickness of them so I thought I would add strips between each block and eliminate the problem of sewing a half square triangle seam to another half square triangle seam.

I am hoping to get some time in the next week to write up a mini tutorial on how I made the blocks and put the quilt together.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Single Girl

The Single Girl is finished!

This quilt is huge, so I quilted it with straight lines, the easiest thing I could think of and I love all the ones I have seen quilted the same way. I agonised for ages over the right colour for the background and finally chose artichoke in Kona cotton and I am very happy with it.

Not the best photos, but it started raining as we started to take them. With this finished I can tick one present off the Christmas list. This is for my sister (and I am not giving away secrets, I have consulted with her as I made it). Now to start on the rest of the Christmas sewing.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Quilts, Dresses and Roses

More shoo fly blocks - I can see the end in sight.

When I bought these fabrics there were a few I loved, some were ok and a few I didn't love at all, but I liked how they all looked together. As I have sew them my mind has definitely changed about a few and now it is hard to pick out favourites.

Although I do love these two a lot at the moment.

As I have sewn this week I have thought about making some more fitting dresses. I think the Denyse Schmidt fabrics I have been using for the quilt would be perfect in summer dresses especially Simplicity 2403 (below) and the Colette dresses such as Parfait and Macaron. I have been hesitating about trying these for fear of wasting fabric and wasting time making something completely unwearable, but after making a few muslins last week my new resolution is to not hesitate and just it a go. Muslins do not take a lot of time and once you make one you can make a dress knowing it will actually fit. And if it all does go wrong, then it is only fabric you can cut up for kids or dolls clothes.

If you have ever wondered about pruning your roses with a chainsaw - don't hesitate. Mine are looking better than ever at the moment.

Friday, October 21, 2011

School House Tunic #2

I have worn my first School House Tunic a lot this winter and wanted to try it with some lighter weight cotton. This is a voile I bought at Spotlight at the start of the year. Made using exactly the same modifications I made to the first one. Still not the most flattering tunic, but so comfortable and it goes perfectly with my new Elk beads.

As I made Amelia's Shirt last week I remembered that Jorth had made some pants from the same issue of Ottobre. I had not even noticed them before, but I loved hers made in denim so I made a pair for Grace from some soft lightweight denim. The same denim I used for the Puppet Show Shorts.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ottobre Sewing

I have been wondering if I can make most of the girls clothes for this summer. I don't think I can commit to making them all. I know I will end up buying them a few basics like t-shirts and leggings, but everything else I think I will try and sew.
This shirt is from Ottobre 2/2005. There has been a post it note stuck on this pattern since the twins could fit into the smallest size and now they need the biggest size I thought I should get round to making it. I didn't put on the ties, I thought a few buttons would be easier. I bought this fabric at Spotlight last year - it is a beautiful weight for shirts.

A dress for Eva from Ottobre 4/2011. An easy quick dress. Great as a sundress or with a t-shirt and leggings. I omitted the big bow which I could see just getting in the way.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Puppet Show Shorts

I made a couple of pairs of Puppet Show Shorts (now available as a digital download) last week. A size 3/4 ish for Eva (I will definitely make sure they 4 next time) and I sized up the pattern to a 6 for Amelia. Great pattern, easy, great instructions. I love them and the girls love them. The perfect shorts pattern.
These are the most sensible pictures I managed to take.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Knitting is meant to be soothing and relaxing, not nail biting and stressful. I really wasnt't sure if I would get this finished before I ran out of yarn, but I did with less than 2 metres left over.
Here it is pre-blocking.
I love the colour, the pattern and the yarn. This is a fantastic, easy pattern. I didn't do the garter stitch section, it is just all stocking stitch. More details on ravelry.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


It feels like I have sewed all day, but I have nothing to actually show yet. Today was muslin sewing day. I have so many patterns I want to sew, but I know they will all need a few adjustments. I found some cheap old fabric I don't like in the stash and just went for it.
I have had this book (ISBN 4579111831) for a while and I was seriously thinking this tunic on the front would never work on me. With a few adjustments it is not too bad and made out of voile it will make a cool summer dress. It is still not the perfect fit, but it is not going to get better unless I decide to add a zip to the side, but it is no worse than the schoolhouse tunic.
I really meant to make Colette Crepe Dress last year and never got around to it. I think I have managed to get the top fitting, but it is a little tricky to do by yourself. I have some very soft lightweight denim I found at Spotlight last year to use. I am still not sure whether to do a contrast tie.
Another pattern which has the potential to be really great or a complete disaster is Vogue 1228. I have read many reviews saying the front was low and they were right. It was quite tricky to adjust this. I took it up at the shoulder and it is still not perfect, but I will give it a go. This really is an easy straightforward pattern otherwise.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I've completed a few more blocks. I really love how these are looking and the fabrics in them, but I am over making them now and just want them to be done so I can put the quilt together. I really love the green and blue fabric on top, I might have to look for more of it.
I am up to the bottom part of my Damson shawl and wondering if I will need a second skein to finish it.

Yesterday was Strawberry Jam day and while I was in the cooking mood I tried Salty Caramel Ice-cream from my new ice-cream book. Mmmm I'm thinking I should practise making caramel before I try putting it in ice-cream. Then I made Chicken Phanaeng from South East Asian Food. Yum. Will definitely be making that again.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


We are in the middle of the school holidays and besides the few days in Albany where it was typical Albany weather it has been beautiful. The children were outside from 8am until 6pm yesterday with the wonderful neighbours children and I only saw them for food. By the end of the day they had made a flower garden and a scarecrow and there were plans for many more projects.

Shave a Sheep was great on the rainy days we had. You can't go wrong with anything lego.
Macarons have always scared me a bit so I thought I would try the Donna Hay packet ones. They may not look like something on Masterchef, but they were very easy and I am ready to try them from scratch.