Monday, January 28, 2013

Sewing for Moi!

Happy Australia Day everyone!! I hope you enjoyed whatever you did on Saturday - hopefully something around sunshine and water, lamb chops, pavlova, perhaps even Tim Tams or a milo cheesecake with chocolate crackle. I would have done all of the aforementioned except I didn't get time for the milo cheesecake... but it looks really cool!!

Now for what this post really is out about...Sewing something for myself at last!

I had fun sewing this. Mostly. I didn't have fun ironing 24m of bias binding. No kidding. I measured it because I is SOOOO much.  I cut 50cm (20 inches) of 150cm (59inch) wide fabric into 4cm (1.5 inch) wide bias strips and stitched them together. After looking at this pile of bias on my sewing room floor for a week, I finally ran it through my 18mm bias tape maker. That took, oh a while. I did iron 6 business shirts first for Ever Thankful Husband. Luckily I did that first, or I would never have go to them.

And then I wound it only a piece of card. Then unwound it to measure it because I was loving that I made so much and wanted to be able to SHARE with you how much. And how great I am at it now.

And to answer a question I had and couldn't find the answer to, you need 5 metres of bias binding to make the Poppy Tunic. The pattern says to use 40cm of 115cm wide fabric, cut into bias strips.  And a half yard (45cm) of fabric makes around 9 yards (8.2m) of half inch, double fold bias (so I'm told), so I was figuring I'd do a bit more of my bit wider fabric in a narrower cut (as specified by the Poppy Tunic pattern) and then I'd have enough to make two. Well. I could make three of these babies and still have left overs!

If you're looking for a quick guestimate on how much bias tape you can make from your cut of fabric:
* 45cm x 115cm makes 8.2m of 12mm double fold bias (or  25mm wide single fold)
 * 50cm x 150cm makes 24m (yes a whopping 24m) of 8mm double fold bias tape (or 18mm single fold)
OK a pretty huge variation in lengths depending on your width of bias you cut and the width of your fabric, there is probably some great mathematical formula. I should ask my friend Warrick. He knows maths!
Confused about the folds? Visit Dana here.

I ironed and ironed for what seemed like hours (probably was close to an half hour), I got back to my Poppy Tunic and here it finally is! I love it. I think Husband does too, though he would like the next one to be a little shorter! I laughed because I did actually make this one 3 inches longer, as Toni did with her own tunics at Make it Perfect!

I wanted to get a photo of me in it, before I wore it and got little people's food over it. I asked Keegan to take a photo of me. This is what he got. He did well, considering I was sure he was looking off to the right the whole time.

And then I tried to get myself!

Do you hate it when people look at you over the top of their glasses? My Husband does! The time is coming for new glasses anyway.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Holiday happy snaps & Happy Birthday Dad!

Our recent holiday to...we tell the kids we're going to Esperance, but actually it's closer to Condingup. Close to a beautiful spot along the south coast of Western Australia, The Duke of Orleans Bay - more affectionately know as being at 'The Duke'. This is Wharton Beach. Simply the best beach. Ever. It should be in the "1000 places to see before you die" book. It might be. I'm not sure. If you've never been, you should go.

A bit of apricot picking off Mum's tree on the farm...deliciousness. The farm is about a 40 minute drive to the beach. So not that close, but it's so good it's close enough to drive down each day or two.

 Then some playing in the dirt with a new garden set (Christmas present from Nan and Grandad).  A little too much weaponry for Nathan, for my liking...

Don't these boys look like they had fun!!


We didn't do much else. It was quite hot, so the beach was mostly the best place to be. A drive out to Thomas River in the Cape Arid National Park to visit my Uncle Paul, Aunty Tracy and their boys, who were camped up, enjoying the peace and quiet of the beach, river, fishing and waves with only a handful of others. The boys had a ball playing in the river, trying out their new fishing rods (another Christmas present) enticing my cousin Patrick to swim with them and squelching their toes in the river slime!

Oh, of course... We celebrated Dad's 60th Birthday!  Happy Birthday Dad!! I doubt he's ever read this, so maybe he will today :)

Mum made him a little cake, which I was to decorate with a map of Australia. And even though her idea and my idea weren't quite on the same page,  it looked pretty darn awesome, even if I say so myself!! My page was quite a bit bigger and the grand plans I had for licorice or coloured piped icing for routes travelled, town markers and a great Ayers Rock...Uluru.. well they weren't written on my page for anyone to read about, or get supplies for, so at 6pm realised that I actually had to come up with something on a cake a quarter of the size I was imagining! Oh. The usual luxury of being able to nip to the shop to get said bits and pieces was out of the question (too far), so I improvised with food colouring as my friend.

How do you ice a cake to look like Australia? Easy goes something like this...Print map of Australia..Cut out...Place Australia on cake... Ice around outside of map... Poke toothpicks through paper at major towns... Lift paper map off cake... Fill inside of Australia with orange icing ...hmmm luckily there was yellow food colouring and a dribble of red left (I swear those bottles was at least 20 years old!), there was also a lovely violet colour that I remember from oh, probably 1994 at a guess...I digress...go carefully so you don't move your toothpick place markers too far out of place....Place spare icing in fridge, so that later when someone asks where Tasmania is, you can put that little island on the cake that you forgot to get back to doing earlier, because your kids were hungry. My sister, Lauren, was sent to the office to print out a list of towns, which we stuck to toothpicks, noting many (actually not all that many, I keep thinking of that song...I've been every where, man) of the places Dad has travelled over the years with Mum on his annual grey nomad trips. He's hardly grey though.  What we came up with was great!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Finishing things off...

 This week has been a little bit productive. But if you want to come and visit us, don't expect a tidy house!

#1. Toffee Apple Tunic for Anya. It's a size 0, so really it's a bit snug. She doesn't seem to mind. 

#2. Placemat...
Almost finished a couple of weeks ago, now it really is.

#3 Placemat...
Technically this wasn't a WIP, but it needed to be done before a certain little boy had a birthday. I almost forgot the 'cup circle'. The Lorax is eat all your dinner Flynnie.

Bless this little girl who slept for 3 hours today so I could actually get these things done.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Lorax...Organic Cotton Fabric For My Stash

Don't ya just love getting parcels in the mail?!!  Especially a little bit of fabric mail. Makes me smile... awesome is this fabric?!! 

It is organic cotton 'The Lorax' by Robert Kaufmann. Yes, ordered on Etsy from the US, from Sunnyside Fabrics (no, I don't get anything for mentioning them!) for so much cheaper than you can get it here. I'm not even sure that you can buy it in Australia. So there
I've been on the hunt for organic cotton to make little baby toys and cuddlies. I have made taggie owls but wanted to go for something different. I'm thinking kookaburra? Is that still too owlish? Or maybe a platypus. Everything I sketch looks a bit too duckish.

Anywho, back to the Lorax fabric. I have a little friend who loves (actually I think it's his Mum who really loves it, but none the less...) The Lorax, so I thought I'd source some of this fabric while I'm on my organic hunt, to make him his very own placemat for his birthday. I'd better get cracking! I have a couple of days.

I think this one is my favourite...

Or maybe this one...

But I do like this one too...

And aren't these bunny tails (or thing heads??) truffula tops a bit cute...


I also ordered a panel...for...I'll think of something...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sewing Parade...Super Saturday!

Super Saturday and super special for one last post in the Sewing Parade! I was going to do a bit of an addendum to Tuesday's post with these photographs, since I blogged about them there. BUT they are so beautiful I thought they deserved one of their own! Thanks again to the talented Elke of Elke Dous Photography for these beautiful photographs of the Picnic in the Park Capelet!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Sewing Parade...Day 5.

Sewing Parade Friday is here and I am a bit sad that I didn't get the "make something for myself " finished. It is cut out, the 9 meters of cut fabric strips are still sitting in a crumpled mess on the sewing room floor, waiting to be ironed into bias binding!

I did however whip up this completely cute Princess and the Pea play set today for a little 5 year old miss, who's birthday party we're going to tomorrow. I hope she likes it!

Don't you think this 'sleeping beauty' fabric is perfect for the Princess' sleeping bag. The pillow you may recognise from my fabric yesterday - it is the fabric I've chosen for my Poppy Tunic.  I really did stick to my 'scraps only' rule in making this.

There is a little green pea, but do you think I could find it, between making it, bathing kids, putting dinner on and coming back to take photos?!! Aaargh. I'll be quicker to make another than hunt...the house...the sewing room...the kids bedrooms...down!  I've just realised her crown is a bit crooked on her head! It's not that I did completely random zig zags in no particular order. I didn't. It is quite symmetrical. I might still put a jewel or two onto it tonight.

This Princess and the Pea is super easy to make. A tutorial for something similar can be found at Sewing in No Mans Land.  Cool name, huh?!  I cut some extras as I went so that we (I) would have one to play with ourselves (myself). I have seen a little bed made to go with it, which would top the cake!

Speaking of cakes, Nathan and I make cake pops today!  Fiddly, not sure I like cake coated in crunchy sprinkles myself, but the kids LOVED them!

 Batter in, lid on...

Spoon licking and  bowl scraping...

Spatula breaking...

 Spatula fixing...

 Finally, some baked deliciousness...not sure why there are four that didn't rise, perhaps more oven time required...maybe too much batter in the mould...

a taste test...pop...into the mouth...

and those that didn't get gobbled up straight away, into completely sugar coated, cake pops!

Worth the effort...still deciding!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sewing Parade...Day 4

Yes, I still have December-ish sewing to show so the Sewing Parade continues!

A peg apron...something Husband says is the best thing I've ever made! This one is not mine, but a was a custom order for a Christmas gift.The brief was 'any colour, something bright'. I think that covers it!!  The 'skirt' part is made from an old skirt (thankyou op shop, it was actually pretty new so I got a bargain), shortened and then bias tape (want make some? it's easy!) added for a neat edge and some super long ties to wrap around your belly. I like them extra long so I can tie it at the front. But if you have a big belly, then the long ties will let you tie them at the back with plenty of room!! 

I'm digging back through archives. Well not quite, but this is from a little while ago...October...I was excited to get the pattern in the mail and get sewing! It is the Sprout Dress from a Make it Perfect in a size 5 and added a little bit of length too, for the 5 year old sister to the tiny bubby boy from yesterday's post. I think I should have made her a 4, but at least she might wear it through winter and spring and maybe a bit longer! The Make it Perfect patterns are said to be a bit on the smaller side, so I was playing it safe! I took photos on my phone before it was gifted, so apologies for the poor quality.

I bought the Poppy Tunic pattern for myself at the same time, along with this gorgeous fabric from Kelani Fabric. My list of 'to make' is getting longer and longer. Perhaps I should actually write it down and cross it off as I go!