Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Sewing from our Bend The Rules Sewing book

The first pattern to be trialled from our newly purchased Amy Karol book is the little bib. Wow what an easy pattern. I did change the neckline slightly after much umming and erring as I my own baby days are back in the distant past and when I looked at my first attempt the neckline seemed a little small. I just re-drew the front curve a little deeper in the centre and tapered this back towards the original line at the shoulder area and I only mean a little - 0.5 cm is all. I have no little ones near me for a trial fit so I am just a little worried about it being too small around the neck.

When my children were little I made lots of bibs from towelling that I edged with my overlocker and added a ribbed stretch neckline. These were great as they could be thrown into the wash time and time again. They always came out clean and ready to use again. Any really grotty ones could have a good soak first.

What I like about the pattern is the fact that you sew before you cut. This makes it so easy to turn through because your seam allowance becomes very narrow after you have cut it out. I made my pattern out of a piece of card which will make it very durable for tracing around.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Amigurumi Elephant

From Crocheted Flo...

From Crocheted Flo...
Almost finished this first try from one of my new books. The book is called "Mr Funky's Super Crochet Wonderful" and is by Narumi Ogawa. I wasn't quite sure as I was making this but quite like the end result. I still need to add a flower on top and I'm thinking of adding a scarf. I am still not sure if I sewed the trunk on correctly but it will have to stay like that now. I think maybe instead of a flat line the trunk needed to be sewn with the end still rounded - a bit like the bottom legs.

Places to Visit

I worked out how to add a link to to our sidebar. I have had a wonderful time looking at all the creative handmade goodies. If you have never visited - it is an Aussie site for selling unique handcrafted items.

Of course Etsy is the other great place to discover all things crafty. I love using the connections tool to find new and interesting creations.

Just recently I have also been spending more than I should on some new craft books. Just can't help it when so many luscious books are shared between blogs. I have used Buy Australian and Fishpond as places to look for titles and have bought from both sites with no troubles. I have some things ordered from Amazon but try to buy from sites closer to home or local bookstores if I can. Just look at the pile that is growing. Just need to rearrange the bookshelf to fit them all on!

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Button Necklace

From Avid Crafter'...

This necklace is adapted from one I saw on somebody's blog - I'm very sorry to whoever's it was but I can't remember which one!

I've made a few now, each slightly different. This one has a couple of beads in the middle on a drop pin as well as the buttons. It's all held together with jump-rings. The actual necklace string came from the local cheapie shop in a pack and already had the silver beads on it. It was given to a friend as a birthday present. 2 of my friends have very close birthdays so I was quite busy making quite a few presents.

This isn't my favourite button necklace but I haven't got photos of the others.

The next one will involve buttons with 3 holes so that a single 'strand' becomes two. Oh the possibilities!

Sorry again to whoever it was who made these originally!

Edit: Thankyou futuregirl, the necklace idea came from Maitreya at craftlog

Pretty Little Bag

From Avid Crafter'...
I made this bag to give as a present for a friend's birthday. It held lots of little surprises all wrapped up. It is made of felt and the heart is just fabric from Mum's stash. It was from an Usborne craft book about fairies with all sorts of stuff to cut and sew. It was fairly simple. I machine sewed the heart on and the rest was blanket stitched.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Starting on Things Christmas

Yes it is time to start thinking and organising gifts and bits and pieces for Christmas. I know it is only October but when you like to craft most of your gifts an early start is a good thing! These little felt mittens with decorate our Christmas tree and will be given to various people as small gifts at Christmas. The pattern is delightfully simple and I purchased it from my local craft store several years ago. The original pattern came complete with the felt, thread and button to be able to make several mittens. Nice and easy to put together using blanket stitch. The star and heart a stitched on with large, primitive stitches and I sew the button on even though the pattern suggests glue.

Christmas has changed again for me now that my children have hit "teenagedom".

They no longer awake early looking for signs of stockings filled with surprises and I am awake before them. Many pleasant Christmas mornings in the past have begun with us listening as the letter from Santa is read aloud and commented on before little rustlings sounds indicated stockings being explored.

They still enjoy the spirit of Christmas and love the gradual accumulation of parcels under our tree. We have a family tradition of not counting down to Christmas until after our son's December birthday. The day after his birthday the tree is taken out of its box and all the accumulated decorations are placed upon it. I am glad that they still both take part in this Christmas tradition. Our decorations are an eclectic collection of handmade and store bought items that have grown with the years of marriage. I love how the tree looks with all the different types of decorations mingling on it.

I am still struggling with an idea for this year's cards. I will be using my gocco machine for part of the idea that I am still pondering at the moment. Every now and then I think back wistfully to when both children wholeheartedly helped with stencilled cards, glittered cards and lots and lots of drawings for calendars that were given as gifts. The calendars are still made but the style has changed a lot and the contribution from my son has shrunk proportional to the years he has grown since we started creating them. Just part of the cycle of family life.

To finish this post here is another Art Rage image I created the other day. The inspiration for this came from an Usborne Art Activity book.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Finishing Off UFO's

At last a little bit of time to add the finishing touches to a few more amigurumi. These two little ones have been waiting oh so long for eyes and and a beak.

See this post for the pattern reference about the little owl and this post for the tortoise. I found a very soft baby wool on sale in Spotlight and just loved the blue/brown colour combination. The tortoise has already found a home with one of my daughter's friends as part of a birthday gift.

These are great fun to make - they don't take long and can be made out of all sorts of scraps!

Had some fun shopping the other day but cannot reveal all the lovelies that were purchased. Someone might see something they are not yet supposed to.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Pencil Rolls - my take on a useful holder for arty stuff.

I have wanted to play around with making a pencil roll for a while. I needed a little thank you gift for a few children I know and thought that this would be the ideal thing. I really liked the one made by Pink Chalk Studio. If I had more time I might have tried coloured sections but I needed these in a bit of a hurry. I also loved the ones made for kidding around's - Made For China appeal.

I wanted to avoid a ribbon tie so I have tried felt with velcro for the closure and I added a fold down flap because I didn't want the pens and stuff to slide out the top when the children were carrying them around. The first one I made can hold twenty four pencils but was just a little big for the intended recipients. I cut the next narrower and when they were finished they could hold twelve coloured pencils plus a grey lead, blue pen and red pen. I am hoping that the children will let me know if they were useful and if the felt and velcro worked to hold them closed when they are rolled up.

I loved being able to choose bright prints for the rolls and if there wasn't quite enough for the size I wanted it was easy to add in a little contrast. I also needed them all to be different so that the owners would easily be able to identify them.

The fabric for the body of the roll is 33.5 cm wide and 28 cm high and most of the time I cut this piece on the fold across the widest measurement. The pocket piece is 33.5 cm wide and 12 cm high with a 2cm fold down hem at the top. The finished pocket is about 10cm high which seems to be a good height - especially for well used and much sharpened pencils. I made each of the pocket channels about 2 cm wide and sewed from top to bottom for each one which gives the whole roll a quilted look. A walking foot on my machine made sewing the channels very easy as nothing moved.

Putting them together became quicker with each one. First step was to overlock and press down the hem on the pocket. Next I lay this right side up on the other piece of fabric. I then folded the larger piece over the top so that the right sides were together and this sandwiched the pocket inside. I sewed around the three sides, leaving a small gap on one of the short sides to turn it through. Once it was turned through I pressed it and topstitched all the way around. I marked the channel lines and them sewed these, using the walking foot. To sew them I started the first one and then sewed along the topstitching to the next line and so on to the end. This meant fewer ends to cut off. The felt was attached last and it had a hook piece of velcro attached to one end.