Friday, September 27, 2013

This Moment.

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Stealing a moment to follow along with Soule Mama today.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' at Soule Mama for all to find.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bubble Shorts by E & E Patterns

After eyeing off several bubble shorts patterns for a little while, I recently made the $9 splurge and purchased the Elegance and Elephant's Bubble Pocket Shorts pattern. I'm a little in love with PDF patterns right now. Not so in love with printing them off, taping them together, tracing out each size, etc etc. But I love how easy they are to buy. Click to purchase and now you have it in your email inbox. Can't complain about that for service!

Back to the E& E Bubble Pocket shorts. I was a little shocked that there were 8 pieces of shorts, plus the pockets, plus the cuffs. Four pieces for each shorts leg. What the?!! It does work though, since that's where the pockets are sewn in to the shorts. Not on top of. Neat. I like it. I can deal with the 8 now.

Someone just figured out how to jump! And she's not picking her nose there, she's signing 'again'!

I came across this fabulous linen fabric at a wholesale fabric store in North Perth. Potter's Textiles is a great place to shop for good priced fabric. Not a massive range, but what they do have is good quality. And I made this fabulous linen into these fabulous shorts. I've made a few pairs to sell at the next Perth Upmarket if they'll take me!!  I also have a stack of dark blue-stonewash linen to turn into shorts for myself and maybe a few more bubble pocket shorts.

Not only have I made girls shorts, I've made Barbie shorts. Technically, I think I have to sell them as 11 1/2 inch doll shorts. I don't think I've quite nailed these yet, they are more balloon pants than bubble pants on poor Barbie, but you get the general idea.

Guess what who I found last week? Ken! In a box of old toys, previously loved by Mr T. Tree. He (Ken) might be getting some new strides for Christmas too.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Full Circle Dress...pattern testing

I can proudly add yet another job description to my resume. Pattern tester. I was a little nervous about it after answering a callout for pattern testers. First... sure, why not?! I'm OK at this sewing game, followed by second thinking...can I actually do that? Will I do it justice and actually give them what they want? Will I get ticks in all the right boxes?

Fortunately, this was a cinch. Easy pattern to follow. Awesome result. Yes. Awesome. I made a size 1 and size 5 for a couple of little girls I know.

Little miss 5 year old announced "I don't like it...I LOVE IT!" [insert excited leaping, twirling and spinning here...oh wait, I actually do have that to share with you].

Yes awesome dress. You can buy the pattern here for sizes 3-8.

It also has a sweet bow on the back, plus a smaller one on the front. I'd be inclined to make the front bow a bit bigger with such a busy print.

The size 1 fit Anya (almost 2) pretty well perfectly. She is a shorty (like her ma), so the skirt length is good for her, though perhaps could have a bit more length on it. But as a size 1 I thought is was OK. It was too big for little E, particularly around the back, but really a perfect dress for sitting babies with that full skirt. Sizes 1-2 needed a bit of tweaking perhaps, as they're not included in the Kikoi Patterns store yet.

I'm planning on making the size 2 for Anya to add to her summer wardrobe (which is not as full as you may think...just yet). She had fun modelling this one anyhow.

Would I do anything differently next time?

I would secure the back bow with snaps on one side, to make it easier for a 5 year old to get it on and off by herself. The bow on the size 1 could have been sewn on a bit higher, thus avoiding slipping the shoulder strap you may have noticed above. Or not.

On C's dress, I should have stitched the whole lot of the bias binding on the skirt to the inside of the skirt, so you can't see it from the outside. Maybe in a different colour. This would mean stitching each bias binding twice (once to sew it on, once to finish it), which would be a whole lot more sewing. The velveteen I used on C's dress was a bit to heavy for the bias finish. Too chunky. Lesson learned. In a lightweight cotton, the regular finish is fine.

I'd also definitely cut the bias tape on the bias. The pattern doesn't specify, but you may be able to notice the difference in how the hems hang on the dress below. The printed main skirt bias tape was 'bias cut' (on a 45 degree angle across the fabric), the purple underskirt bias tape was cut in a long straight line between selvages (with me?) and it doesn't curve around the skirt as nicely, in my humble option. If you have enough fabric, do it properly!

I think I must have done OK. Susan from Kikoi Patterns has just emailed me to ask me to test another pattern. Go me!

 Full Circle Dress Pattern by  Kikoi Patterns
 Fabrics all from Spotlight - Cotton velveteen bird print, Red and purple homespun cotton lining, Avignon Tile Blue (purple print fabric)
Bow fabrics - blue homespun cotton and dark brown corduroy (turned inside out) 
Photo credit (top 4 images) - Elke Dous Photography

I should also point out, whilst I was lucky enough to be given a copy of this pattern, all opinions expressed here are my own.

Friday, September 13, 2013

This Moment.

Stealing a moment to follow along with Soule Mama today

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Flip this Pattern...September

Sometimes I scour the internet reading all sorts of things, clicking between blogs and come across all sorts of cool stuff. Like a Flip this Pattern sew along. Turns out the Alphabet Collection from Pattern Anthology is the flip pattern for September and it is, guess what, in my pattern box. Must have been a sign. I just had to join this month's sew along.

For Miss Anya, I flipped her a Recess Raglan t-shirt.

I bought this jersey fabric from Spoonflower, some time ago. I  was saving if for someone having a baby girl (like my sister in law, but no). You'd think out of 4 or so concurrent pregnancies, there would be a a girl in there. So far, boys, boys, boys.

Never mind. Little girls do outgrow their clothes too. Enter supercool mermaid fabric and recess raglan mix. This little possum also loves pockets, so it was a no-brainer to add them to the front. I was going for a cowl neck look, which turned out errr, way too short. My inspiration for that came from here. She doesn't seem to mind. She says the sleeves are 'too big'. The cuff on the sleeves is twice as long, but I've folded them up. I was going for loose long sleeve look, but she didn't dig it.

She does however love her 'pocks'. She deposited a few rocks from the carpark at school this morning into them.

I had already traced off recess raglan pattern for each of the kids, so it was pretty easy to decide which pattern to use. Here I have made the size 2, which is a perfect fit for Anya. There are variations for elbow length sleeves and short sleeves, so I'm thinking I will get good use out of it this bunch of patterns. The W-pants are kinda cool and I'm really interested to see what other sewers do to the study hall jacket and the BBC vest too. The Alphabet Collection patterns are all unisex. Awesome because there is a plethora of girls patterns out there. Let's face it, we look at the lovely dresses and sigh and "oooh, I wouldn't mind making that myself". But I kinda don't do that with the boys stuff. Yeah, that's cool. And that's about it. But this collection definitely caught my eye.

And lets not forget the winner for the Toffee Tree giveaway. A big congratulations to Elke who's name was randomly drawn. I did say you didn't have to get the right answer to win! You should have received an email from me. Yes, Santa was up the top in an icecream van with a Christmas tree on the roof!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Car Play Mat...Quilt...Tutorial and WIN WIN WIN!!!

You know when you are so, extra proud of something, that you can't stop looking at it? This is one of those (for me it is anyway).

I started this quilt at 10pm last Friday night, with a pile of this...

And managed to turn it into a (to quote my 3yo) 'really really cool' car mat for my nephew who was turning 3 during the week. I finished it Saturday night (AKA early hours of Sunday morning) and slept extra well, knowing it would be a winner.  I probably slept with a smile on my face.

Keegan saw the pieces layed out on Saturday morning, before it was stitched together, "is that for me, Mum?". " Um, no," I replied, "it's for Thomas, for his birthday". "Oh, OK".  A few seconds later, "can you make one for me?". I told you it would be a winner.

I can't decide if my favourite part is the motorbike stuntman, the beach umbrellas...

Or the fact that I had the foresight (or perhaps it was an afterthought) to write his name in the sand!

I can't take credit for this idea. The inspiration for this car play mat came thanks to my sister-in-law, Jessica and this link. To be honest, I actually can't remember if this was the exact link but it was something along those lines! I have pinned a couple of other cool boy toy ideas on my 'For the Boys' pinterest board.

A big fat happy birthday to my nephew Thomas xxx

PS Can you spot Santa? What is he driving? Leave a comment below between now and 10pm on Wednesday 10th September to win a $40 voucher to The Toffee Tree on Etsy. Winner will be selected by a random draw and  I don't even mind if you don't have the correct answer! If you comment anonymously, please include your email address! Giveaway now closed.


If you are interested in making one yourself...I should do a proper tutorial for it, but for starters:
* a large piece of grey (or black) fabric for your base - this becomes the roads
* scraps of green for parks, gardens, etc
* scraps of blue and cream for the ocean
* scraps of whatever else you want to include in your scene - Eiffel Tower, caravans, hot air balloons, motorbikes, houses, etc, etc.
* heat 'n' bond or Vliesofix or applifix. I prefer heat n bond, available in Spotlight, but it is probably the most expensive. There is a version of heat 'n' bond that you don't have to stitch at all, but I haven't tried that one. At the moment I have Applifix from the Craft Cubby (craft fair purchase). You need a fair bit to iron to the back of all of your colour scenery pieces, before you sew them on.
* a large piece of flannelette fabric (you could use something thicker if you want it to be more quilt like) as your 'inner' layer, cut about 2-3 inches bigger than the front
* a large piece of fabric for the backing, cut a bit bigger than the front

1. Construct your scene on your grey fabric first, just laying it out. Don't stitch it on.

2. Go back and iron Applifix to the back of each piece. You ideally should leave room around your pieces of fabric so you don't iron sticky stuff to your iron, or ironing board. I haven't perfected this myself yet!

3. Iron all the larger scenery pieces on to the fabric. I did the bottom first, then the top to make sure the pieces in the middle were the right side to put in.

4. Here you have two options - A. iron the small pieces on too, stitch around the small pieces through just the grey layer (and through the large pieces, which you have NOT stitched yet).
OR B. iron the small pieces on and leave the all the stitching until I say later on!
I chose option A, as I only wanted the back of the mat to have the stitching for the roads showing, not all of the extra little things too.

5. Lay the three large pieces of grey, flannel and backing together. Pin them together with pins or safety pins so it doesn't move about too much.

6. NOW, stitch through all three layers, starting at the beach scene or your longest pieces, smoothing the fabric as you go and making sure is isn't bunching up as you sew. Work your way to the top of the quilt, checking and re-pinning as you go, if you need to.

7. If you didn't do so earlier at 4A, sew around the edges of the smaller pieces now.

8. Bias binding finish. There are a bajillion tutorials on how to do this, the best one I've come across is here. I used Dana's cheating method, but if you haven't sewed with bias tape much, perhaps stick with the 'proper method'!

As I said, this is no perfect tutorial. I will endeavour to put one I'm making one for another lucky boy...another time!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

This Moment.

Stealing a moment to follow along with Soule Mama today

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.