Sunday, December 23, 2012

Nearly Christmas

Just one last present to finish and I will be ready for Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Enormous Hippos

I received the best email yesterday from Sarah who had used my hippo pattern to make enormous hippos for her son's kindergarten class. They sang "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas" for their holiday assembly and it is now living in their classroom. I love it! I think they are the best hippos I have ever seen. I really want to make an enormous hippo for the girls (ok they might be my excuse, I really want one for myself).
Sarah said she enlarged the pattern 300%. She said the only problem was that she had to tuck the neck a bit to make it fit. I had this problem when I was trying to make one out of  wool or corduroy once. If you find you have this problem at all the best way to fix it is to place the head inside the body and if one is bigger then the other just sew a couple of seams a little bigger and then try it again until they fit perfectly and then sew them together.
Thanks for sharing Sarah!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christms Sewing

I think I am nearly at the end of the Christmas sewing.
It is the last day of school today and I made a few pouches to go in the teachers' presents.
 A few little hats for little cousins.
I just have to finish dresses for the girls and I think the Christmas presents are all done!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Kwik Sew 3776

I haven't had a tiny baby during summer before. The others were all winter babies. So I have been going through patterns looking for cute little summer clothes. You can't go wrong with little overalls.
I chose Kwik Sew 3776 as they are quite wide and can fit a cloth nappy in. I really should have followed the instructions exactly as I thought I knew what I was doing so of course I made mistakes and there was a lot of unpicking.
 I love this aqua fabric. It is by Sevenberry and I think I bought it at Calico and Ivy in Perth last year.
 Somehow I managed to put the snaps on the wrong way, but it isn't that obvious.
  I used cute little pink flower buttons from the seemingly never ending bag of mixed buttons I bought a few years ago at Spotlight.
 I made the 0-3 months size for Olive who is 3 months next week (already!!) as she is a little shorty. They are still a little big so they will fit for a while.
Love this pattern. I think now I know what mistakes not to make I might try some in Liberty.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ice Packs

A few years ago my friend Emma made the girls little ice packs made of rice. They have saved us so much money in bandaids. Whenever they have a sore or bump themselves they go and grab one from the freezer. They are also great when it is hot and they want to cool down. I made a few this week to add to all their cousins' Christmas presents.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Stockings

Four stockings ready for Christmas. I used this tutorial and fabric by Aneela Hoey.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Eeek! How did it get to be less than two weeks until Christmas? Time for some stocking making.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

2 1/2" Square Ruler

Most of the rulers I own are basic square rulers. I own a few triangles, a really long rectangle (which I love) and a couple of others I rarely use. When I saw the Creative Grids 2 1/2" square ruler I knew I could use it a lot. I bought it a few months ago and finally got around to playing with it on the weekend.
 So simple to use. Just put two 2 1/2" strips right side together and cut.

 Take them to your machine and sew them together.
 You can snip off the other tip of the triangle if you want.
 And then press. I pressed my seams open. The second one has the tip trimmed, but I left it on the first one to show what it is like if you don't trim it.
If you love jelly rolls and 2 1/2" strips this ruler is a great investment.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Good Mail

Some days I can throw quilt blocks on the ground and they look great wherever I have put them and some days it takes hours of rearranging and they still don't look right. Today is one of those days.
Luckily this great package arrived in the mail today, I ordered this as soon as Pink Castle Fabrics put it up. I love it even more than I thought I would.
I think some of this will be perfect for a new bag.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tiramisu Dress

Just reposting this as I seemed to have accidentally deleted it.
As soon as saw the Tiramisu dress by Steph was available for pre-order I ordered it and as soon as it arrived I traced it and started sewing. I finished it yesterday and guess what I wore today?
I love this style of dress and own quite a few similar patterns. This one is different to the others I own in that the skirt is cut on the bias and is quite full and it has kimono sleeves.
I thought I would make a muslin out of cheapish black synthetic jersey from Spotlight. This fabric is very stretchy in all directions. Sorry about the headless pictures but I am long overdue for a haircut and colour (a friend asked me what was happening with my zebra hair it's that bad).

I traced a copy of the pattern according to my measurements and sewed. I really should have tried it as a sewed, but sometimes I find it easier to sew the entire thing and then see where changes should be made. When I first tried it on it was really huge in the top and band. I think this was due to the very stretchy fabric I used. I left it for a bit and then had another look at it and with a bit of pinning I worked out how to make it wearable.
I think the big problem I have with it is more a problem I have with my current shape less than three months after giving birth. I am definitely an apple shape and the band was just accentuating my stomach. So I cut off the side seams (about 3/4" at each side) and cut the top front and back from the band (so 1/2" from the top and bottom pieces and from the top of each band) then I cut off 2 more inches from the top of the band, I just prefer a smaller band on me. Then I sewed it all together with a bigger side seam where I needed it and now I have a very wearable muslin.
 The band now sits under my bust, when I make another one I might make it a little longer, I might have taken too much height off. It is hard to see where it sits in black fabric so to make it a bit clearer.
The only other change was to take two inches off the length.
If I was making this with a less stretchy fabric I would definitely make it according to my measurements and the original pattern I cut out and try it on a lot more as I went.

I love this dress, it is so comfortable. I love the arms- perfect for those of us with bigger upper arms and I love the full skirt and it is perfect for breastfeeding in.

Pattern Winner

The winner of the pattern was Waverlee!
Please let me know your address and I will get it sent to you.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sleeping Bag

I have found it really tricky to find a good sleeping bag for Olive that was just the right weight and not completely out of my price range so I was a bit excited to see a pattern for one in Handmade Beginnings. I managed to make it out for things I already had in my craft room (this is not surprising - there is a lot of stuff in there).
I used some charm squares I had for the front.
Instead of velcro I found a packet of snap fasteners. I have no idea why I had them, this was my first time using them. I think I much prefer them to velcro on things like this, I think the snaps are much more likely to stay shut.
I love this green fabric and there was just enough for the back, side and the binding.

I don't tend to have a stash of flannel fabric, but I found a metre of this and used it for the lining.
The pattern is meant to be for 0-3 months, but this is quite big on Olive still at 2 months. I added an inch to the length and I think it will fit for quite some time. It was very hard to get her to stay still yesterday. It is not often she is still at all when she is awake.
I think this would be great in winter using some cotton batting between the lining and the outside and I think it will be quite easy to size up.
It was worth buying Handmade Beginnings for this pattern alone.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Vegie Patch

I love this time of year in the garden (except for the snakes, we had our second one for the year in the garden on the weekend). The garlic is nearly ready to pull up, my mouth is watering at the thought of fresh tomatoes, lots of herbs are growing and there are potatoes to eat. The silver beet is nearly at the end. We have been making the yummy silverbeet crustless pie out of Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion to finish it off.
We made the decision to not plant zucchinis this year. Pretty soon there will be people begging us to take some of theirs. There are a bit like broad beans - everyone grows them as they are so easy, but you always seem to have more than you can eat.
 The girls and Chris dug up some huge potatoes. I think this will feed all of us all one night.
I prefer the tiny little ones and I have been making them into a nice salad by boiling them and then adding chopped spring onions, lemon juice and wholegrain mustard.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Butterick 4914

I started Butterick 4914 the other night and finished it while Olive slept yesterday. I added the band to the neckline which I cut to just under 2" wide. I think I have found the perfect width and this is definitely my preferred way to finish a stretchy neckline at the moment. I made this with more cheap polyester stretch from Spotlight.
Once again I used the sleeves from Simplicity 3775. I have not thought much about sleeves before but the shape can completely change the look of a garment. Even though this looks a lot like Simplicity 3775 the pattern pieces are different shapes. The Butterick one fits me a lot better.
I would have taken some photos of me wearing it but that would have involved brushing my hair, shaving my legs and finding a decent bra so I threw it on the ground artfully arranged it on the floor.
This pattern is out of print, but you might be able to find it on ebay or etsy.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Breastfeeding Dresses

I made a couple of the Hotpatterns Cosmopolitan Dresses last year and I knew they would be perfect for breastfeeding as the wrap goes the whole way across the dress. Because they are made from stretchy fabric they are also perfect for those of us who don't immediately lose that post pregnancy stomach (I still haven't lost mine after having the twins 7 1/2 years ago).
I love this fabric from Spotlight. Yes it is polyester, but it is pretty soft and I love the colour and it was on special. I can't remember for how much, but this was a pretty inexpensive dress. I think I managed to get it out of 1.8m. I left off the tie as it just drew attention to my stomach and I used the short sleeve from Simplicity 3775. I also added a band around the neckline as before. I cut it 2 1/4" wide, but would make it even thinner next time.
 Will anyone notice if I wear the same style of dress every day this summer?
 I made this one earlier in the week in the same way. I'm not loving it like the other one. I am not a big fan of the fabric. It has a completely different feel to the other one. It feels like polyester and just does not hang the same.
 I have a couple of other dress patterns that would also be easy to breastfeed in. I have seen some great versions of Vogue 8379. I think I am just a little put off by the facing, I have never had much luck with facing on stretchy fabric.
I have already cut out Butterick 4914. It is very similar to Simplicity 3775, but when I compared all the pattern pieces, the tops are quite different, so I thought I would try it and see what it is like.
Have you made any good breastfeeding clothes? Can you recommend any patterns?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


On my bedside table.
Triburbia - kind of like 'The Slap' in that it is told by different people and so far most of the characters aren't likeable.
Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing - love this book, I am learning a lot.
Handmade Beginnings - I think Olive needs a dress and some pants. I love the little coat pattern.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Red Whirligig Shrug

The Whirligig Shrug I made Olive when I was pregnant is perfect for the in between weather at the moment. I love this pattern for babies. It is quick and easy to knit and the arms are easy to fit tiny baby arms and fingers through.
I thought I had better knit another one in the next size up for when she grows out of it. I used the same yarn - Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK - in red which is really quite difficult to photograph, but it is a really lovely red.

 More details on ravelry.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Colour Blocks

While Olive slept in my arms I played around with quilt block ideas.

 Then Eva made a picture of the beach.
It is beautiful beach weather today. I wish it was just a little closer.