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!!