Saturday, December 31, 2011

Knitting Bags and Organisation

I have seen a lot of posts and resolutions for 2012 focusing on organisation and sorting out sewing rooms. I probably should focus on this too. I really need a clear space where I can find what I need and see all my supplies. It would make sewing easier and less frustrating. I think it will need to be done in very small steps otherwise I get overwhelmed and give in.
As a start I made some bags to hold all my knitting projects (yes there are at least 5 things on the go). I used this pattern from In color Order. It is a great pattern - I love sewing sometimes when someone has done all the Maths for me. Sometimes I have to sew and not think too much. I made 2 different sizes. One to fit a hat, socks or shawl in and a bigger one to fit bigger projects like cardigans for the girls in.
Happy New Year to you all and hope you all have a great 2012!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Look 6972

Amelia wanted a dress for Christmas from this green Denyse Schmidt fabric. I was going to make a Oliver & S Jump Rope Dress, but Amelia had other ideas and insisted on New Look 6972 View B using the pockets from the the Jump Rope Dress (there is not much made in this house anymore without those pockets). I am glad she chose this pattern, it probably took me less than half the time of the Jump Rope Dress which meant much less late night sewing last week. I used my tutorial for the headband.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Colette Parfait Dress

After making a muslin for the Colette Parfait dress over 6 weeks ago I finally have one finished. I loved this one when I saw it and have made one pretty much the same. I used a navy and white spotted cotton from Spotlight. The muslin fit pretty well and the only change I really made was adding a dart to the front on the side of the bodice. This is the first Colette pattern I have made and I was so excited to cut out a muslin to my measurements and have it nearly fit perfectly (something that really does not happen with the big pattern companies). The instructions were easy to follow and there was nothing really tricky about it, especially if you just follow one step at a time. I think this might be the perfect summer dress and I think I need to make another one soon.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Butterick 3768

I finished all the Christmas sewing yesterday and thought I should make myself a new Christmas skirt. I used a vintage pattern - Butterick 3768. There is no date on the pattern, but it is obviously from the 70s.

The fabric is red cotton spots from Spotlight. The skirt is cut in one piece. So some is cut on the grain, some against and some ends up on the bias. If I made it again (and I have no doubt I will) I would probably use a very soft cotton so it falls nicely from the hips. I think the lawn you can buy at Spotlight would be great.

In the pattern it is meant to wrap at the back and tie at the front, but I am going to wear it the opposite way so I waited until I had finished and then put the pocket on so it would be on the front. I also cut the pocket a little smaller as it is a huge pocket.

The only downside to this pattern is because the skirt is cut in one piece it uses more fabric that a normal skirt (I think I used a bit under 2 metres), but luckily I am short as a tall person would need ever more. If you are looking for the pattern - search Etsy I found mine there.

Merry Christmas everyone I hope you all have a wonderful day wherever you and whatever you are doing!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dresses and Shorts

I made a few dresses for the girls from Simplicity 2437. They all seem to have grown in the last month and suddenly everything from last year is way too short. The same size for all three, just shorter for Eva's dress. I added some of my favourite pockets (Oliver & S Puppet Show shorts or Jump Rope Dress) in contrasting fabric.

I think these might be the best shorts ever. Red and White spots - how could they not be. Pattern - Oliver & S Puppet Show shorts.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Loganberry Tiramisu

Loganberry Tiramisu using this recipe. I used a pink moscato instead of marsala and loganberries from our bush which is spreading rapidly. I think there will have to be some cutting back after it has finished fruiting.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Simplicity 2437

I seemed to have left the Christmas sewing until the last minute, but that is nothing new. Simplicity 2437 is very similar to some dresses I made a couple of years ago, which were based on a picture I had seen and cobbled together from different patterns and a bit of free form pattern drafting. It still never fit perfectly so I thought I would try this pattern for the girl's cousins for Christmas.
I am glad I did, all the pieces fit together perfectly and it was very easy to sew. I made a few changes. I cut a size 5 as all the cousins are a bit taller then Eva and added a ruffle at the bottom as it is meant to be shirt length, not dress length. I did not cut out the facing and just bound the neckline with bias binding.
I think the next one I make will have pockets from contrasting fabric. It is one of those very forgiving patterns and the size 5 fits Eva and the twins (which means I don't have to trace another size - I am not a fan of tracing patterns). The length is the only thing that needs altering.

A matching hat.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Big Butt Baby Pants

How cute it this pattern? And the perfect thing to make for little ones for Christmas. For this one I used light weight denim and some cotton I found at Spotlight. I love the bottoms that you can roll up, it means these will fit for a bit longer.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Spiderweb Mini Quilt

Last year when Amy requested Spider Web blocks for the Around the Block Quilt Bee I thought I should make a practice block. It is made using this tutorial, which is very clear and easy to follow. I found it recently during a clean up and thought I would make 3 more blocks and turn them into a mini quilt.
I quilted about 1/2" each side of the seams.

I'm going to hang it in the hall way which is currently black walls except for the gorgeous mini quilt Mel sent me. I think it might become a gallery of mini quilts when I get around to making some more.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Spiderweb Quilt

What to do when you have soooo much Christmas sewing to do and you don't know where to start?
Make a spiderweb mini quilt.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Baked Loganberry Cheesecake

The loganberry bush is covered at the moment. Well I think they are loganberries, if anyone thinks differently let me know.
Some of them were turned into a baked cheesecake (yes it is a little burnt - after 2 years using this electric oven I am still not used to it).
The recipe is adapted from one in an old Marie Claire/Donna Hay book.

125g Arrowroot Biscuits
125g ground almonds
125g melted butter
Combine the above and press into a springform cake tin and put in the fridge

250g soft cream cheese
250g ricotta cheese
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
200ml sour cream
1/2 - 1 tbs grated lemon rind
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs cornflour mixed with 1 tbs water
250g berries.
Combine the above in a food processor or mixer and mix until smooth. Por over the base and bake at 150 degrees for about 50 minutes or until just set.

We pulled up the garlic last week before it rained and they are hanging under the house. It has such amazing flavour.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Jump Rope Dress

An Oliver & S Jump Rope Dress for Grace. I love this pattern and the finished dress, but this pattern certainly doesn't sew itself. There is hours of work in these dresses. I used some Denyse Schmidt fabric from Spotlight and made a matching hat too.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

New Look 6674

I am back from a really wonderful weekend at the Fremantle Arts Centre Bazaar. If there is anywhere you want to be on a really hot weekend in Perth it is sitting in the grounds there under the trees. The only downside was seeing the bar from my stall and all the people walking past with icy cold beer while I was trying to work.
In amongst the market sewing the last few weeks I realised I needed three days of good clothes for the bazaar. I made New Look 6674 as it looked quite comfortable. It was very straightforward to make. I used a cotton/polyester (I think) blend that had been in my stash for ages. It looks ok in the photos, but it is actually too big and and it gapes at the top. You definitely need a singlet under it.

I tried it again in some lovely lawn I bought at Spotlight in a size smaller and it fits better around the bottom and is fine with a singlet under it, but would need major alterations if you did not want to wear one. I love the lawn - it was perfect in 36 degree heat. I went back to Spotlight yesterday and bought some more in different patterns. I used a press stud on the first one instead of a button, but on the second I just sewed on velcro with the machine which worked really well. I also managed to machine stitch everything on the second one (no hand sewing at all) as I wanted to finish it fast. So the facing on the band was machine stitched down as I top stitched the band on the outside.