Monday, May 27, 2013

Nathan's Pants.

Grey he wanted, grey he got. I spent AGES trying to get the pieces cut from the small bit of hot air baloon fabric I had left, but I did it! The coolest thing about these pants, it that you can roll them up and the seam on the inside stays hidden! I completely forgot to take a close up picture of this when I took photos, but if you look closely, you can see it on one of the shots below, where they are rolled up.

The looked kinda small. Very slim fitting. The pattern is Coastal Cargos by Blank Slate Patterns.  Luckily we had no dramas putting them on. They fit perfectly.

I'm pretty sure he's singing loudly here (he has no other volume) because he is so happy with his new pants.

Getting excited about all those pockets...

These are some other favourite bits  - welt pockets. I was pretty please with how well these turned out. Adding my new labels. I should have put it on somewhere else, because now it's on the back. Not to worry. And the zip fly. I did debate not putting this in, for a 3yo, but he thinks it's cool. So do I!

And he had fun riding what is supposed to be a plant holder bike.

Now, I did consider making some of these to sell at the June Perth Upmarket, but since they are a little time-consuming to make, it wasn't going to be exactly viable to make them unless someone definately wanted them.  I'll happily take custom orders.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


I love getting mail. Espeically exciting mail. International mail. Like this mail.

Very excited to get my organic cotton clothing labels and care labels. They are super soft and sure to be fantastic 'no itch' labels.  I didn't especially want organic, in case you were wondering. But it is an added bonus and they feel luxuriously divine!

Ordering 1000 labels in one hit wasn't really what I wanted, so I hunted (and hunted) for cotton care labels. Have you ever wondered what the label is made from in your 'cotton' clothing? I would guess it's most likely polyester. Satin or something like that.

After much searching, I found cotton labels are hard to come by, especially care labels and typically more expensive but Ananemone, who I found on my other beloved - Etsy, were so fantastically easy to work with, I'll be going back for sure. Perhaps it was worth the extra $10 to get her to cut them?!

And my other mail, on the same day...

My prize package from Make it Perfect. There are plenty of friend's babies due between now and the end of the year, who I'm guessing will receive a pair of those cute ruffle bottoms. Or maybe bottoms with no ruffles. 
The ladies Waterfall blouse looks a lovely loose fit, suitable for maternity wear, but also suitable if you're not pregnant too. So perhaps a few of those will be stitched up too. I do already have a copy of the book, but this is a signed one so I'll probably keep it. Unless someone desperately wants a copy? Should I have a giveaway?

And then only a couple of days later, I received a new pattern from Make it Perfect, plus some Creative Cards - patterns for things that don't require a huge pattern sheet, more an instruction card. Love. I am sitting down now to decide what I'll be making next!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to my Mum, to my Mother in Law (who is lucky enough to find herself in sunny...? or is it... London) and to my Grandma (GG) and to Nanna (Gran Nan) and to everyone else who is a mum, but especially special to me are these women. Know that you are loved and appreciated not just on Mother's Day, but every day. I love you for being such wonderful role models, for guiding my path in life but also allowing me to choose my way, and mostly, for showing such love to each and every of your children,  grandchildren,  great grandchildren! 

My Mum is extremely lucky to have taught me to sew. Her Mother's Day gift from me this year is this Michelle-made bag.  I've had the fabric and pattern for this since November, so it missed her birthday and Christmas and I finished it just in time for Mother's Day.

The bag... it's the Amy Butler Weekender Travel Bag.

I spent well over an hour cutting it out. If you cut all the pieces, and correctly the first time, you can probably avoid the 'well over' bit.  Then, say, an hour making piping and the handles. An hour ironing interfacing on. It wasn't as nightmarish to sew, as I had read to believe. Just go slow, try to be precise and use a heavy duty needle. And, definately don't try to finish it all in one weekend, if you have children to feed,  a house to clean (OK so mine isn't always so clean) and a husband to keep happy (so I have to clean up a bit). I spread this project out over a leisurely two or three weeks, just doing an hour here and there.  I was ecstatic with the result. I want one myself now. I'm sure I could find a place to go, to need one. 

I added in a lot of pockets, while I was supposed to be doing kids clothes week sewing. You may recall me mentioning 'other pockets' (or not). These were those 'other pockets'. I added a whole darn lot to this bag. A 10 hour bag, so they say. That's 10 hours without these pockets. Well, perhaps if you have no "mummy I'm hungry's" you might get through it.

I added a small pen pocket in one outside end pocket, plus a little loop for keys or something. I meant to put one inside too, but forgot.

I also put in a zippered pouch to the bag lining, with this tutorial. So simple really, I don't know why I've been putting off finishing my purse which I started, oh, some 12 months ago. It's in that 'to be finished' box, box #2 of 2. That's right, because I wanted to put a zippered section in it and didn't know how! Easy peasy.

Plus an inside pocket, big enough for an iPad, or magazines in one section and kindle (or perhaps a block of chocolate) in the other section. I also added a couple of pockets in the main print to the inside for pens, note pads or other random bits and pieces. It's like a pocket on a pocket.

I first saw this bag on Pinterest and shelved the idea because I had no idea what Peltex or Timtex were for part of the interfacing and stiffening the bag. Still not 100% sure really. I used bag felt batting.  Milly from Tin Whistle she quilted her bag and just used cotton batting, but I think that would have taken me a fair bit of time since I'm rather inexperienced with quilting. She did mentioned adding pockets, so I did.

I was very impressed with myself cutting the outer pockets and matching the print up so perfectly!!

I made the straps longer, as advised by Milly. I put magnetic clasps on the outer pockets and am so glad I did. They would gape terribly without them. I also put faux leather on the base of the bag, so it wouldn't get quite so grubby. I would have put bag feet on too, except the ones I had were minature.

I wasn't so happy with the topstitching on the outer pockets. I had thread tension issues, which I worked out when I was finally stitching the zipper in place. Don't put the topstitch thread on the bobbin too. Is that like some sort of der-Fred moment?! There was no way I was going back from there. Mum won't mind a bit of wonkiness. The zipper was hand stitched to the lining. I completely impressed myself, but this was an hour of work, on top of the 10hours after the cutting and ironing and piping.

I'm pretty sure the only other way I could better this bag, is to have put a zipper with two zipper pulls in. I could have got two when I bought the length of zip from Spotlight, but didn't really think about it way back then.

I'm sure my Mum will get loads of use out of this bag.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Kids Clothes Week Recap

I have to admit, I didn't exactly 'sew strictly for the kids'  for an hour per day for the week.  I snuck in a dress for myself. I had to. I had a wedding to go to and simply nothing to wear. So that kinda chewed into my sewing hours. Oh well.

When I was putting together these images, I realise that I probably did manage to churn out 7 hours of sewing for kids in the week, plus the following Monday. Does that count? Absolutely, I say!

So I will present to you each hour's work. I know you've seen the first of these pics before. They still make part of this story so I'll show you them again!

Hour 1: Ottobre Sortilege leggings, plus a half hour for sewing on buttons after we'd been button shopping. No, it probably didn't take me that long. A little artistic licence just helps the story. See you're not noticing that the stripes don't all, exactly line up, you're admiring how well the buttons match the fabric.

Hour 2: Button shopping! Technically I'm counting this as contributing towards sewing for kids. These are Keegan's buttons, for his shirt which is still in planning. We shopped for grey drill for Nathan's pants, too.

Hour 3: Cutting. Pockets, bias tape.Yep a whole hour. Probably longer as I was trying to squeeze in several, double sided pockets and flaps for TWO pairs of pants and bias tape, and a waistband...out of a bit less than a half metre. I did it! OK, OK, almost did it, though I'm sure Nathan's going to love the inside of his pockets.

Hour 4:. Sewing pockets. Welt pockets. I love these! Pockets sewn in, Pockets sewn on, Cargo pockets, Pocket Flaps. You name it, I probably sewed it. (grammatically...I have probably sewn it...that sounds a bit posh)

Hour 5: More pockets on pants for my nephew Lucas. I think these were finally finished up in hour 129, the following Friday!

Hour 6: Ironing = making bias tape, then stitching it onto leg seams. Not overly tricky and what an awesome idea to hide the seams so you can roll your pants up. Love. (Actually, I forgot to take a photo of this, so will update it soon)

Hour 7: More cutting. Probably should have been the waistband for these uber cool pants. Unfortunately, the waistband is still sitting on my work table. Next to the pants.

Hours 8-143: spent on... other things that I managed to squeeze in during the week...a blue dress for me, some 'other' pockets - which I will save for another time. Most pleasingly, I wore the blue dress twice in one week - once to a wedding and once to Cirque du Soleil. Such a treat to go out with my husband, without the kids, twice in a week. Did I mention that was twice in one week. Looking forward to having you back Mum and Dad ;)

P.S. Thanks to my friend Wendy for this ridiculous photo, though I thought you might like to see the blue dress in action! The dress had spent the past 5 1/2 years cut out, still pinned to the pattern, in the 'to be finished' box. So never give up on those projects you put aside for another day. You might just need it.

My 'to be finished' box is pretty big. I have two.

P.P.S. If the blog header looks a bit weird to you, let me know with a comment below. It looks odd to me too, but not for everyone... I was hoping to share my new logo with you all, so go look at The Toffee Tree on your mobile phone or iPad instead.