Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Red Beanie and Washi Tape Pegs

The very cute hat I made with earflaps apparently drives her crazy and under no circumstances can it stay on her head so I knit one that maybe won't annoy her. Though I think that is being wildly optimistic. Details on ravelry.

 Thought I had better use some of that washi tape I had collected, although is does look so pretty stacked up on my desk.
Tape on the front of a peg, trim it to size, cut some adhesive magnet, stick it to the back and it's done.
Now to use them to tackle the mess of notes, pictures and various random apparently very important things stuck to the front of the fridge.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

McCalls 5484

I discovered another great stretchy dress pattern recently which typically was out of print, which of course means I really, really needed it. Luckily I found a copy of McCalls 5484 on ebay which was reasonably priced.
I have some great fitted dress patterns for woven fabrics I wanted to try this winter, but they are not really practical when you are still breastfeeding, so more stretchy dresses it is.
This patterns looks a lot trickier than it is. There are only 3 pieces, back, front and sleeves. I cut the size I thought I'd be and didn't make any alterations, except to take it up an inch and it fits perfectly. It is rather low so it either needs something underneath or a safety pin (which is what I did).
I found the fabric in the bargain section at Spotlight for $2m and bought the last 2m which was perfect. I think you can make one with only 1.7-1.8m.
I can see myself making some sleeveless ones for summer.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Citrus Pudding

The cooking magazines have long outgrown their allotted space in the bookshelf and I have started to sort and throw, which means going through and ripping out the recipes I want to keep. Now I have  a huge pile of ripped out pages and I have no idea how to sort them.
On the up side I have found some great recipes I had forgotten about like a Citrus Pudding from the August 2010 Delicious magazine. I made a couple of minor changes to the recipe (I didn't have any vanilla beans on hand) and it was delicious. I'll be making it again soon.

Citrus Pudding
125g soft butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
grated lemon zest and juice of one lemon
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup milk
2 tbs cornflour
grated zest and juice of two oranges

Beat the butter, vanilla, lemon zest and half the caster sugar and beat until pale. Add the eggs and beat. Fold in the flour and baking powder and then the milk. Butter a baking dish and spread the batter in the dish.
Mix the cornflour and remaining sugar and spread over the batting.
Mix the lemon juice, orange juice, orange zest and 1 1/2 cups  boiling water (the recipe said 1 cup, but I like it a little runnier) and pour over the batter.
Bake at 180 degrees for 50-60 minutes until cooked inside.
Eat with lots of cream.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Collaborate for a Cause

Collaborate for a Cause is on again this weekend! I have joined up with Vic from Diddums Designs, Lee from Padalacs Photography, Ang from Girlfriend's Gift and Kendra (our wonderful model).
I made a Noodlehead Sidekick Tote to go with the tunic and cowl. I love mine and use it all the time, it is the perfect size, not too small, but big enough to cart around everything I need.
All the money we raise with our collaboration goes to Freeset. If you want to have a closer look and live near Bridgetown it is being displayed in Loft.
Go have a look at all the other Collaborations and bidding starts on Friday.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Crochet and Knitting

There has been very little knitting while my had has been healing. I could manage to crochet fine so I have now completed three colour repeats. I think I will do two more and then a border which will make a pretty big blanket.

 I did try a little knitting last week, a little Offset Wraplan for Olive in Rowan Cotton Glace. I just can't bear anything touching the cut on my finger so I have had to knit with a bit of an odd style. Crossing my other fingers that weird numb, intense nervy feeling slowly goes away.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Elephants, a Bunny and a Quilt Returns

 Some elephant sewing for the wonderful new shop, Loft, in Bridgetown that is full of amazing handmade things.
I used my elephant pattern. I am running low on felt and only had 9" x 12" pieces so I used them for the main body and used cotton for the under body.
There was a little experimenting yesterday. A couple of things were disasters and need work, but I am happy with this basic little bunny.
This lovely quilt arrived back from Martingale today and I am already snuggling up under it. It is freezing and you can't have too many quilts in this weather.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Onion 2037

After a few years of searching I think I might have found it - the perfect wrap dress pattern. To be honest I haven't tried a vintage Diane von Furstenberg pattern. They are probably the ultimate in wrap dress patterns, and unless I find one cheap in an op shop it is unlikely I will try one.
Onion 2037 comes pretty close to perfect. It is really quite simple and has a great way of attaching the ties and neck binding and it doesn't gape at the front.
The only thing I might try and change is to lower the front a little so it ties a little lower.
I used some polyester (I think) jersey from the stash which was annoying to sew, but has the perfect drape for this pattern. I am not sure where it came from and has been sitting in my stash a while. I'm not really a pink person, so I haven't grabbed it out to sew with in the past. I thought I would just try it with this pattern and if it didn't work then I wouldn't have lost much, but I really like it sewn up.

 I have already found some more fabric to make another one. I think that is a sign that this is a great pattern.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Ombre Briar

I have seen so many lovely Briars around, it is the perfect pattern for an overshirt/sweater/jumper. I used some ombre stretch fabric I bought in Bali. It is a little bit slipperier than I would have preferred, but I really like the colour. It was in panels and I bought two. Unfortunately the pattern was longer than the panel so I decided to just pin and cut and not worry about the colour graduations. I was quite happy with how it ended up. The only bit I didn't like was the change of panel, and therefore line, at the lower back, so I cut the back off a bit shorter, but there is still a height difference between the front and back and it works well with skirts at this length. 
Now to find the perfect weight wool jersey that I know is in my stash to make another one.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Corduroy and Simplicity 1717

Amelia and Grace have both been wanted to use the sewing machine and make something over the holidays. I thought the skirt from Ottobre 4/2006 would be a good place to start. They did the straight sewing and some overlocking and I did the elastic. We used corduroy for both, some from the stash and some of the new Prints Charming from Spotlight. There is nothing better than corduroy for winter skirts. It is easy to sew and it washed well. I always try to grab some when I see it in a good print.

 I couldn't resist getting some of the red Prints Charming corduroy for myself.
I used Simplicity 1717 which I think could become a favourite. I know I have said this about other patterns, but this is really comfortable, not too straight, not too A-line, and I think it could easily be changed by adding piping or different pockets. I just used the pieces for the average shape which fitted perfectly. I had a quick flick through the intructions but couldn't see any information on how to choose which shape you should use. Other then that the instructions were good and if it is your first time sewing a skirt it does give you more fitting tips than other patterns.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Liberty Necklaces

Mum has worn and worn the necklace I made for her a few years ago and requested another one. It is always hard to choose your favourite Liberty fabric so I ended up making four.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

A Winner and a Circular Needle Holder

The winner of the Tonga Treats 6 Pack is Carin! I have emailed you Carin, let me know your address and I will pop it in the mail.
Head over to the Timeless Treasures Blog and you have another chance to win another pack in the Sea Glass colourway!
The tangle of circular knitting needles finally tipped me over the edge on the weekend. I remembered there is a pattern for a holder in the Stitch 'n Bitch book. I used a Japanese print for the inside that has been in the stash for a while (it had a nice bit of white space to stamp the sizes on) and some orange Sketch for the outside. I made a couple of adjustments to fit the length of fabric I had.
And used some stamps and a fabric ink pad which I found in the mess that is the craft cupboard.

 I sewed the handles  a little differently to make a tie at the top so I can hand it on a picture hook or nail.
 And it can also be used to tie it when it is rolled up.
Now I can find the exact needle I'm looking for and they are not tangled in the bottom of the knitting basket.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Sewing Patterns and Lime Trees

 Some good mail form last week from Maria at Shop Onion. Obviously one can never have too many patterns for knit wrap dresses.
A friend dropped off the best surprise last week, a bag of vintage patterns her Aunt was going to throw out. I don't think she realized just how exciting this was for me! These are just a few of them. I love old patterns, even if I don't intend to make them I love to look at the construction and techniques that are used.
 I finally found and planted a kaffir lime tree, they seem to be very hard to find at the moment and a few nurseries said they can't find any at the moment. Mum eventually found one in Albany for me. I planted a Tahitian lime while I was at it. Mmm curries with Mojitos.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Abra Alba Fingerless Gloves

I am so glad I finished these before I cut my finger last week. It has been freezing and it looks like it is staying that way for a while. Made from left overs from other projects these are a pretty quick knit, basically tubes with a thumb hole.
All the details are on ravelry.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Bon Bon Cushion

This is another block that is perfect to make from 6" strips of fabric like the Tonga Treat 6 Packs.
If you would like to win a pack you still have a few days to enter over here.
This block reminds me of the wrapped chocolate bon bons we used to buy my Grandpa when we used to go visit him. We used to have to sneak them into the house past my Nan, who always knew what we were doing, and then he would share them with us

To make a half block you will need:
1 printed square 6" x 6"
1 printed rectangle 6" x 3 1/4"
4 white squares 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" 
With a pencil draw a diagonal line on the back of each white 3 1/4" square. Place a white square in the corner of the printed square and one in the corner of the printed triangle. Sew along the drawn line as shown.
Trim, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance.
 Fold the triangle out and press the seams open.
 Repeat for the other side of the square and rectangle.
To make a whole block you will need:
1 printed rectangle 6" x 11 1/2"
2 printed rectangles 6" x 3 1/4"
8 white squares 3 1/4" x 3 1/4" 
Make 2 flying geese units with the small rectangles as above and add triangle corners to each end of the larger rectangle.
To finish the blocks sew together as shown. I can get a little lazy when I piece and often don't use pins, but I recommend using them here to make sure you get the points to match.
Sew the two half blocks together and press the seams open. Sew a whole block to the top and one to the bottom. Press the seams open.
 Place on a piece of batting slightly bigger then the cushion top and quilt. I quilted swirls and loops.
Cut two backing pieces 17" x 11 1/2"" and 2 binding pieces 17" x 2".
Fold the binding pieces in half and press. Open them out and then press either side into the middle as shown.
 Pin the binding pieces to the wrong side of one backing piece (the side that is 15 1/2" long) and sew.
  Fold the binding over to the right side and pin. Sew the binding down. Repeat with the other binding piece on the other backing piece.
 Lay the cushion top right side up and lay one backing piece on top right side down as shown.
 Lay the other backing piece on top, right sides down. Pin and sew all the edges. My backing pieces were slightly larger than my cushion top (it shrunk a little as I quilted it) so I found it easier to turn mine over and sew from the other side.
 Turn right side out and place a cushion insert inside.

It's a little tricky to sew with my finger all bandaged up so I spent last night making quilts on Electric Quilt. I'd love to see the Bon Bon block as a quilt.