Monday, 18 October 2010

I Was a Winner.

Boy, oh, oh, boy, I was a winner in a blog giveaway run by DragonflyCrafts. Look at the lovely goodies I received.
The parcel with lovely photo card.
The contents. The sewing on these is just so even and the colours fit together beautifully. Thanks very much, Fiona.

On the creating front a few felt softies have been created. The first was an elephant - made as a sample to show a group of children. the pattern came from the very useful book on my bookcase - My First Sewing Book Hand Sewing by Winky Cherry. The patterns in this book have been ever so useful over a long period of time.

The eyes are split pins and the tail has been plaited on after the sewing was finished. The idea for the split pin eyes came from the kits I have purchased from Paper and String. The elephants sewn by the children were then decorated with glitter and fabric paints whereas mine was left very plain.

Second on the felt softie creating spree was a little car. This time I created the pattern myself with some help from some images found trawling the web. Again this was a model to inspire a group of children.

When I worked on this softie with the children we left out the split pin idea. I had tried this to see if it would look like a door handle but in the end decided the car looked fine without this addition. I did wonder about adding buttons for the wheels but have not tried out that idea yet.

Last on the creation line were some Perching Doves from Fa La La La Felt. I purchased an ebook copy of this great little book of felt Christmas decorations and chose the doves to have a go at first. I tried out several different variations before settling on the way I like to make these. They are a little addictive - I couldn't just make one!

With these two I followed the directions in the book to stitch the wing detail but I added the curve at the top of the wing and a second row of decorative stitching inside the first.
With these two I experimented with stitching on a wing that I had cut out with pinking shears but in the end found this to be a little fiddly. I also experimented with both blanket stitch and running stitch around the outside and decided that I preferred the running stitch. I love the way Amanda Carestio has designed these to be sewn onto pegs! Instead of buttons for the eyes I again resorted to split pins.

The ripple blanket is still slowly growing - lucky for me the recipient is so relaxed about when she will get the finished item!

Happy Crafting

Monday, 16 August 2010

Long Time, No Posts Probably, No Visitors but...

As always the same old excuse - things get busy and something falls by the wayside.

There has been some crafting going on but getting down to the putting it on the blog has not been happening.

Avid Crafter has made some beautiful gifts for friends. She sewed a patchwork scarf, knitted a neckwarmer, created a bag, cooked chocolate brownies and bestowed these as gifts to four of her friends. Sorry no photos at this stage - they are there somewhere but not easily found.

I have Zentangled and found that it is a great way to snatch a little relax time as you focus on just creating the pattern you are working on. I bought a little sketchbook to do my drawing in and then decided it needed a cover. I had seen something that I liked in Kata Golda's book - Hand-stitched Felt - so I hunted out some felt and created a felt cover with pockets to keep my pen, pencil and shading stub in. I had a trial create first and made the stationary pouch exactly as described in the book and then adapted this for my sketchbook cover.

They were great fun to make and I used a little bit of felting I had made for the pocket. More about the felting later in this post.

Here is one page of my drawings using the Zentangling. I am having great fun experimenting with all the patterns that are shared from the newsletters, flickr pool and various blogs.

Next bit of crafting was gifted to my mother. When the Craft Fair was in town I went and looked and spent and signed up for a felting workshop. It was to make a scarf from a long piece of wool batt to which you added pieces of wool tops and silk to create a design, wet it down, worked it over and over and over to felt it altogether. In the end you get something like this.

Next shot shows a close up of one end.

I was pretty pleased with the result. This was something I had never tried before and I enjoyed creating it. I came home with some more batting, tops and silk to try out some more but stuck to much smaller pieces than the scarf. I have used the pieces for the pockets of my book cover and stationary holder and cut some up into squares for some cards.

One last little link. I stumbled across this set of tutorials and loved the little needle book. Just the thing to keep your needles safe when travelling.

Happy crafting!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Things Discovered

Just a quick post with a few links for you.

I just came across this tutorial and am just waiting until I can try it. I like the idea of a carry strap and the lovely big button holding everything together. This is one of the positive things I admire about the crafty blog community - so many people are willing to share their ideas.

I also came across this art idea. The idea of breaking down complex patterns into easily repeated patterns that are then combined to create very interesting images was one that really appealed to me. I followed a few links and was amazed by the number of images being created.

Have you seen the envelope project coming together at Meet Me At Mikes. I am enjoying watching the window display grow. We sent our envelope off and it was very satisfying to see it in amongst all the others. Check it out over on Flickr.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Photos and Chitchat

I am still working on the ripple blanket. It is slowly growing in size.

Even though winter is definitely here there is still some lovely autumn colour around. Here is an autumn leaf photo collage of some leaves that found their way into my back garden from a tree in a neighbouring garden. The colours are just so rich.

Have you read about this little project. the envelope project
Meet Me At Mikes are asking for decorated envelopes to make a window display and to be part of little bit of crafting goodness and sharing. Inside your envelope the folk at Meet Me At Mikes are asking for a little bit of crafting ephemera. One lucky person will receive all the goodies after a lucky draw. Avid Crafter and I are putting an envelope together soon.

In the mail this week I received my copy of Mettazine by iHanna. It is all about art journaling and I have been waiting patiently for it to arrive after I purchased it from her Etsy shop a while ago. I love it - there are definitions, explanations, inspirations, prompts and some ephemera to get you started. I like the wallpaper cover and the touches of colour sprinkled through it. Thanks very much iHanna.

I am making some recycled books as well. They are A5 in size and all the pages are old photocopies folded in half so that the print is hidden and there are lovely white pages ready for some drawing or writing to be added. There are 15 leaves which makes each notebook have 30 pages. The covers are made from scrapbooking papers or decorated watercolour paper and the back is a piece of sturdy cardboard. They are bound with a stitched binding. Each one had a piece of brown paper tape on the front for a label. They would not be any good for collage work as the binding would not have enough flexibility.

I am thinking of putting some in our Madeit shop - the poor neglected place. Would you buy something like this? What price do you think would be good?

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Skirt Sewing

A request was made from Avid Crafter for a new skirt. I was shown some examples, in a few of the local shops, of skirts her friends had purchased and was asked did we have any fabric that could be used to create something along a similar idea. Next step was to hunt through the accumulated fabric stash to unearth some grey wool that had been purchased some nine years earlier and not used. It was a piece of fine merino wool suiting that had been bought to make a pair of light but warm trousers for Avid Crafter when she was much younger but they never happened. Wasn't she lucky.

The skirt style requested was of the pencil variety with front and back darts, back lapped zipper and a length of slightly above the knee. I had drafted a similar skirt for her some time earlier but when the shell was tried back on there was no wearing ease left so off to look through the pattern books we went as I was feeling too lazy to go through the drafting process at the time. We settled on a Kwik Sew pattern - no 2957.

The correct size was traced off and then I had to remember all the lessons learned a while ago to get this little skirt made. The zipper was first and it went well apart from forgetting the excellent tip I had been taught about adding extra to the seam allowance in the zipper area. If you do this it so much easier to do a lapped zipper. We have made a note to alter the pattern for the next time.

Darts were next and the back ones looked fine but the front darts were angled in an unusual way and did not look at all right. In the end I undid the darts up to the waist seam line and left them as sloped tucks. These were OK as they mimic the shape and style of the examples I had been shown. These front darts disappointed me as I had not, up until that point, bought a Kwik Sew pattern that had not met with total approval of the design.

We wanted a little bit of design detail and ended up with a red oraganza ribbon strip down the front. It is slightly off centre and has a piece of the grey wool underneath that has been put on without the edges being neatened. Three vintage buttons were added to the top of this strip.

Side seams were sewn and the waistband was added - again I forgot some of the good tips taught to me until part way through this part of the sewing but in the end the waistband was on and I had even managed to make both sides of the zipper even after they looked very uneven after inserting the zipper. Time for a fitting. All was good but we think that a little more room in the waist might be needed when the pattern is used again. A buttonhole and red button were attached rather than a hook and eye as there is no shortage of buttons in this crafting household. The buttonhole went well until the cutting time. I did not line up the buttonhole chisel correctly and cut the stitches on one side so then it was out with the needle and thread to add some hand buttonhole stitches to make sure all was OK.

The final request was for a fancy hem so we settled on creating a wide band at the bottom. This was done as the hem which made hemming so easy. Fold up the required wide band, machine tack at the bottom edge, fold back and run around it with the overlocker and fold it back down.
One small incident with melted organza ribbon was the last trouble spot. Luckily that was rescued by undoing some stitching and inserting a new piece of ribbon. Whew!!!

The end result - what do you think? The back view show how the waistband is a little on the tight side as the line from the zipper to the top of the band should be straight but I need to allow some breathing room!

There is some more vintage fabric to use up so I think there will be another skirt produced with this pattern. A top is also almost finished using the same pattern as these. The fabric is a patterned rib knit with some red in it so it may well be teamed up with the new skirt at some time.

Happy sewing.

Friday, 4 June 2010


Have you heard of tawashi? The cute way of washing things!! I recently wandered through Ravelry looking for quick things to crochet. I needed something quick and easy to do if I wanted a break from rippling. I found lots of tawashi patterns and decided that these would be fun to create. Have a look at this flickr pool called Tawashi Town II.

In the end I chose this one. It is a great little pattern and I have made several. The first two were from cotton and the only difficulty I have was getting the size right. The first one was too small so I doubled the cotton and found that this created one that would be just right for in the shower.

Next up I experimented with some nylon net and ended up with the above cute dish scrubber. Much prettier to look at than the very practical scrubbers found in the supermarket aisle. It has been good - wearing out slowly but no more than anything else I have used to scrub my dishes. I have washed it in boiling water with no damage and the only difference now is a change of colour in some places because of the washing of curry containers.

Happy Crafting!!

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Bits of This and That

Wow more than a month since this little space has seen a new post. Things have been progressing slowly but steadily with the ripple blanket - probably a quarter of the way to being finished. This has been a great TV crochet. It has the added benefit of keeping me warm at the same time. No more pictures of this yet.

A book I have had on hold at the library for ages and ages was ready for me to pick up last week and that has sparked a little flower crafting. The book is called Kanzashi In Bloom and whoohoo is it one I think I may need to buy to add to the bookshelf. The instructions are very clear and the projects offer all sorts of inspiration.

Take a look at my efforts so far.

The little blue flower was the first one I tried and I added a button to it that I bought about 10 years ago in a button shop in Melbourne. I bought two of them and each one cost five dollars. I am not sure what I will do with this flower next. Maybe I will add a brooch back or possibly put it on a pretty pincushion so that I can look at it every time I sew. The big blue flower on the little board with the pegs and buttons was much larger and I found it more difficult to get a nice shape - all the petals seem to twist sideways. This is now hanging on my wall waiting for a few postcards to hang from it.

Check out the flickr pool of blooms made by people who have used the book.

Must go now. Happy Crafting!!

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Wool+Hook+Pattern=Blanket in Progress

With this wool:
and the help of this lovely blog - attic24

this blanket is in progress.

There is lots of rippling to go but so far I have been pleased with the progress. Hopefully when it is finished it will fit on a single sized bed. The wool is from the Bendigo Woollen Mills with some other yarns from the stash thrown in for good measure.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

A bag and a felt softie to share

It has taken a while but a I have made a new bag with help from Crafty Things. The pattern was Huntington Hobo by Pink Sand Beach Designs.

I had a bit of trouble with some of the instructions. The photos in the pattern instructions were hard to see as they were too small but with some help from Crafty Things I finished it. I used a different interfacing so the bag is floppier. This picture shows the back of the bag with the zipper pocket and there is another pocket inside without a zip. When I test ran the bag I found the inside pocket to be a little on the small side and some things fell out. It is going to be used for carrying books to school and probably not as an everyday handbag. I like how it looks and it is very roomy. This was the first bag I have made with zippers and these were the bits where I needed the most help. Thanks, Crafty Things.

Here it is part way through construction.

A while ago I made this cute kitty. It was a kit from Cupcakes for Clara and came with everything you needed to make the kitty. I think I might have run out of one of the threads but everything else was perfect. I wasn't quite sure if I liked him at first but he has been growing on me lots.

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Thursday, 21 January 2010

Applique on Drawstring Bag

A quick post to share this little applique. I needed to repair a pair of denim shorts - they have been so well loved that the fabric had worn thin on the front. I added an applique flower just like the one in the photo with a smaller one on the other leg. I did some repair work to the inner leg seams with a multi stitch zigzag, some bias tape and a bit of fusible webbing and will now get a little more wear from the shorts before they fall apart. I fused the bias tape to the inside of the seams and then used the multi stitch zigzag on the outside to hold it all together.

I like the colours I had chosen for the applique so made another and added to a lined drawstring bag. This bag will come in handy to hold those little bits and pieces that need a home in my creating space.

Off to sort some of the accumulated stash of fabric, felt, yarn, buttons and other things crafty.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

A New Bag

I have had great fun with the sewing machine this week. A few little fishes, a few drawstring bags and then this. It all started with a little piece of patched fabric - just a few rectangles sewn together and the thought of "what will this become?"

I added two strips of osnaburg either side and then some more fabric top and bottom. At this point I was thinking of a tote. I then hand-stitched the three rows of running stitch using Perle cotton and found the the three buttons. It needed to be a bit wider if I wanted to use box corners at the bottom so I added two more fabric strips at the sides and at this point thought I would experiment with a different back.

For the back I used osnaburg with a layer of flannelette and added satin stitched ovals with two different coloured threads - the idea from this came via the book "Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts".

At this point I joined the front and back together. I added a backing of flannelette to the front as well. I added box corners on the outside instead of hiding them on the inside of the bag. I had tried this on a bag before Christmas and like to look of it. The lining was a piece of light weight cotton.

What kind of handles was the next step along with a closing of some sort. In the end I went with a drawstring top that was the same as the one I tried here. The last idea was for it to have a long strap so that I could use it messenger style - I like this style as it is hands free. As always I made the strap too long and had to shorten it by folding the strap on itself for a little bit and adding another button. I added some more patchwork to the strap but should also have interfaced it - it is a bit soft.

The end result is OK but the drawstring doesn't work very well hence the addition of some beads that can slide along and help keep it closed. I have been using it for the last couple of days and I think I will like it. I have a zipper pouch and smaller drawstring bag inside it to keep things organised. Avid Crafter likes the fabric I created for the back of the bag.

I think it is now time to get stuck in and finish the crochet food and then move on to working on some of the kits that are just waiting to be finished.

Happy crafting.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Go Fish - a gift in the making.

Some sewing has been progressing and a few little drawstring bags and zipper pouches have been made. More fabric has been purchased - the stash grows ever larger and a gift has been created.

Here is a little fish in the making. It is part of a set of ten that will be winging their way to a little nephew and niece. Each little fish has a washer sewn inside so that they can be caught with a magnet. I would love to link to the site from which the idea sprang but in the mysterious ways of the Internet it is no longer there???? This blogger has also made some and linked to the original site but has noted the disappearance of said site.

I have used the freezer paper method to create each fish and simply tucked a metal washer (I had some of these and decided to use them instead of the suggested magnets inside the fish) in the centre of the fish as I sewed around the edge of the freezer paper fish shape. There are two layers of fabric with a piece of batting in the middle add a little bulk.

Once I have sewn all around the edge I removed the freezer paper fish shape and cut outside the stitching with my pinking shears. Then I moved the washer to the mouth end of the fish and used my zipper foot to sew a curve around it - trapping it in place. I was able to reuse the freezer paper fish for each of my different fabrics as I just pressed it in place with a warm iron and then peeled it off after the stitching was done.

In the end there were ten little fishies. They will packed in a post bag very soon and my lovely Mum with help by acquiring the required magnet and pole to create the rest of the fishing game at it's destination.

I can remember making a set of fish for my own children but they were not as colourful as these. I made them from scraps of fleecy fabric (I cannot remember what used inside to be caught by the magnet) and used safety pins to add numbers to the bottom of the fish so that they could play a game and see who could catch the more valuable fish with the higher numbers to win the game. They were also just as happy to go fishing with no numbers attached - they would use my cane laundry basket as a boat and sit there quite happily fishing away. The magnet was a big horseshoe one that we tied to a cardboard tube with some very thick white cord. Not very attractive but very practical and created in minutes.

I think I will be making some more of these for me and others.

I am still creating the crochet play food and and now made pancakes and a salad bowl with lettuce, tomato pieces and onion strips but have no photos yet.