Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Cape for all Seasons

I have had the Oliver and S Forest Path Cape for awhile, but with it being summer I had no desire to make it despite having the perfect fabric and buttons.

A couple of weeks ago, wanting something quick, I decided to give it a go.

This pattern is quick and easy to make. My only issue was the buttons were a bit too big for the automatic button hole foot on my machine.  A little bit of duct tape holding it at its widest setting was an easy solution and worked brilliantly.  I swear duct tape fixes everything.

It is a size 3T, but lengthened to a 4T, I probably could have sized down a bit in the width, but at least it should fit next year.  The perks of a small kid.

The forest path cape is a downloadable pattern, and it was a breeze to put together, everything matched which is an added bonus

This cape was perfect over a dress for a birthday party that was cold and raining.  I am looking forward to being able to layer it for winter.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Washi Washi Everywhere

When  the Washi Tape dress came out from Made By Rae, it was the Washi tape fabric that caught my eye.  I don't know if I was living under a rock, but I had never seen it before.  I jumped online and bought a few yards of it from a fabric store that still had it in stock

I thought it would be a bit cheesy if I made myself a Washi dress using it, but there was nothing stopping me from making a Geranium Dress

This was the first Geranium dress that I made.  Again this one is pleated instead of gathered which is a winner in my book.

This is view A with the flutter sleeves, but it doesn't have the little cut out in the neck. As I have a fear for things fraying, I didn't complete the sleeves as per the pattern. Rather than having one layer, I cut the sleeve on the fold.  The only problem with doing it this way it makes the sleeve a lot thicker than what the pattern intends and they stick up slightly. I am OK with this and still love the sleeve detail.

Again it is a size 3T in the bodice and a 4T for the skirt. 

Ella loves this dress and it is perfect for easter egg hunts. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Baby Jack

One of our good friends was pregnant with their third child. Now they are one of those inconsiderate type who did not want to find out before what sex the baby was.  I know people like the surprise, but for people making gifts, it is a bit inconvenient. 

My friend Vicky is also not the type of person to have a long drawn out labour either, she is one that can pop these babies out in a couple of minutes and lucky to get to the hospital at all.

As I like to give/make gifts as gender specific as possible, it did not leave me much time for a complicated present.

Baby Jack was born on 13/03/13, my predicted date, and he was 8 days overdue. As Vicky was only planning to stay in hospital a couple of hours I had to make something that was quick.

Do you remember this picture?

It was one of the pictures that I painted for Harry's nursery. I love this picture and wish that he could keep it in his room forever. OK maybe that is going a bit far.
When I was thinking about what quilt I could make for Jack, this picture popped into my head.
I blew up the picture using the photo copier until it was a couple of A3 sheets in size.  They were appliqued onto a solid piece of Kona Cotton.
I was a little concerned that the animals were a bit too lost on all the white, so I added a borded of fabric, the same as the elephant.
I again used my new found skill of free motion quilting and quilted inside the border with a random star pattern including a few 'Jacks' written in the quilting. 
The border, I added a second style of free motion quilting. I was unsure for the outer part of the quilt whether to keep it the same quilting as I had done inside the border, or whether to do  something different. I ended up going with a pebble pattern on the outside.   My goodness, pebble quilting takes so long and uses so many bobbins of thread. I dont think I will be doing that again any time soon.
For me, I was given a bit more time to complete the quilt as Vicky contracted Strep A from the hospital when she gave birth and ended up getting very very sick and needed a blood transfusion.  She spent 7 days in hospial on the high dependency unit.  Thankfully she and Jack are a lot better and she is out of hospital.  Not that I want any of my friends to get sick, but I underestimated how long the quilt would take to make, so I was grateful for the extra time to get it done before they arrived home.
I hope they like the quilt. I always worry when I gift anything that I have made.  Do you feel like that?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Stop to Smell the Geraniums

When I first saw the Geranium Dress a while back I knew it was a pattern that I had to buy. It looked very similar to the Oliver and S Bubble Dress, but it did not have the bubble skirt.  Another positive to it, was that it had quite a few different versions to it and one was perfect for me - no gathering. Oh how I hate gathering.

I have since made three Geranium dresses. The one that I am going to show you today is the last of the ones that I made.  It is View B, with a rounded neck.

The fabric is from Spotlight. It was on sale for only $6.00 a metre. I bought a couple of metres, but wish that I had bought more. It is a lovely soft cotton sateen.

The pattern, firstly it is a PDF. Do not let that put you off.  All the points on the pattern actually match (which is really nice) and it comes together really easily. The instructions are very clear and this dress is super quick and easy to make.

For Ella as she is very slim, I have made my usual alterations and made a 3T with 4T skirt length and it is a great fit.

It is a shame that Ella is at school now, as she only gets to wear her dresses on the weekend. If she wasn't I am sure her cupboard would have quite a few more versions of this dress in it.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Heart and Soul

Do you remember this post . I started on a heart quilt for one of Ella's day care teachers.  I ended up getting all of the hearts sewn on, but didn't get any further than that.

I wanted to free motion quilt it all over, but as I have never done it before, I was a bit overwhelmed with it all and so put it to the side.

A couple of weeks when Mat was on nights I bit the bullet and started to quilt.  

I am quite uncoordinated and I am blaming it on being left handed. I have practiced stippling, but I can't seem to get it, so I made up this all over pattern which included loops and hearts.   To say that I love it is an understatement.

I am super proud of this quilt, more proud than I have been with any quilt that I have made.  I know it has to do with the free motion quilting, as I actually overcame one of my fears and it worked out.

Another reason I love this quilt so much is it has some of my favourite fabrics in it.  My favourite heart of all is the small liberty one.  This is the first (and only) liberty fabric that I have bought, but I love it so much that I want to buy many many yards of it.

The backing and the binding have a little story to it.  My friend Fiona gave me a pillow case a couple of years ago.  Her sister had burnt one of the pillow cases and so she gave me the other one for me to cut up and use.  Fiona was out shopping one day and saw a doona set the same as her pillow case. She got me a set and I have been keeping it to use for a quilt backing.

I am hoping that the teacher will love it.  I have since found out more of her story and can't believe that she has given all of her love to the kids when she is going through a marriage breakup and has had to return to work for the first time in many years in order to support herself and her two daughters.

Monday, March 11, 2013


I can't remember the amount of times I have made the Oliver and S Bubble Dress. Despite the numerous times I have made it, its still a favourite.  I have definitely gotten my monies worth out of this pattern.

I made two bubble dresses for Ella over Christmas.  She is still slim, so I left the bodice at a size 3T while lengthening the skirt to a size four.

I made the dress a couple of months ago now, but Ella must have grown a few inches as it is looking a little shorter than it was before.

The fabric is Laura Gunn Big Poppies.  I loved this fabric when it first came out and bought a couple of yards of it. I did not realise when I bought it that the flowers were so big and when it came I had no idea what to do with it, so it has been sitting in my stash waiting for something to come along. 

I love the scale of the flowers and being over-sized has really worked on the dress.

Next time I think I am going to have to lengthen the skirt to a size 5, maybe even a size 6. 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Painting Smocks and School Frocks

Ella started school today.  I have mixed emotions. I am happy, I am excited, but I am also a little sad.  Sad that my little baby is now a big girl. From this,

To this

Ella is not sad at all. She is happy and excited. She has been counting down to big school for a long time. Today she wanted to get dressed just after 6:00am and was very disappointed that she had to wait more than three hours for school to start.

Don't you love the puffy sleeves. I am hoping that they will sit down once her uniform has been washed a few more times.  At Ella's school you can choose between skorts and a polo shirt or a dress. All of the uniforms start at a size 4.  The skorts were miles too big (Ella is a size 1 in the waist) so we had to go with the dress. It is still huge, but the plus side is that she will be able to wear it for years.

One of the things that we had to provide for school was a painting smock.  Mat suggested I go and buy a cheap one - why buy it when I can make it cheaper.

Pattern - Oliver & S Art Smock from their Little Things to Sew book.  

It is the first time that I have used a pattern from this book, and I was quite impressed with it.  The instructions were not as good as a normal O+S pattern, but it still easy and quite quick to make.

It is a medium size - which the pattern states it is a size 4 - 6. It is a good length so hopefully it will catch any paint splatters.

The back is open, but closes with a couple of pieces of velcro. I am hoping it will be easy to get on and off.

I just have a library bag to make and she will be set. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Chevron Love

I know I am not the only one who has a love affair with chevrons at the moment.  They seem to be everywhere and I really can't get enough of them.

I am currently waiting on an order from Girl Charlee of chevron knit fabric so I can make a couple of t-shirts - a blatant rip off of Christy's recent creations. 

My step father-in-law asked me if I could buy a kindle for him to give to my mother-in-law for Christmas. She has since been carrying it around in her handbag wrapped in a tea towel for fear that the screen will break.  

I offered to make her a cover for her kindle - using the same tutorial that I used for the iPad cover. I just changed the size.

I have had this chevron fabric in my stash for ages. I bought it thinking that it was normal cotton, but it is thicker than that, with quite an open weave, so not suitable for clothing. It was just waiting for a project like this.

The dimensions for the case are 6.5" x 8.5". It has the same two layers of cotton wadding like the iPad cover

I used velcro for this cover for a couple of reasons. I had run out of magnetic snaps and i wanted to make it quickly, so it called for using what was in my stash.  I think the velcro works here as it covers the width of the flap.   I wish that the velcro was white, but I did a Tim Gunn and 'made it work'.   What I also found handy was the velcro was sticky and it was very easy to position on the main part of the cover, no need for pins.

My mother-in-law was over the moon with the cover and it fits which is an extra bonus.  Now I just have to make a cover for my own iPad.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Vintage iPad Cover

I finally joined the 21st century and got an ipad for my birthday in December.  As I have already broken two iPhone screens, the first thing I wanted to make was an cover for it.

I didn't end up getting around to making a cover for myself, but I did make one for my good friend Fiona when I found out that she had been graced with an iPad for Christmas.

Fiona is starting an Etsy business soon selling vintage sheets.  I never really understood the interest in vintage sheets when I first saw them, but they are starting to grow on me.   I asked Fiona if I could have a stack of her scraps.  She asked what they were for, but I assured her I would tell her once I had tested out my idea.

I based the cover on this tutorial. Mine is a little larger so that all of the patchwork squares would be even.  I wasn't sure if Fiona had a hard cover for it already, so with the dimensions of this cover, it will take the iPad with or without a cover.

Ella chose the layout of the back of the cover. I was pretty impressed with it - maybe a future quilter!

The tutorial uses velcro for the closure. I am not a huge velcro fan, so used magnetic closures instead. I was going to use only one, but as the flap is larger than the tutorial calls for, I was worried about the corners sitting up, so I used two magnetic closures and it works really well - as you can see in the first picture, you have to look closely to see the flap.

There are two layers of quilt wadding and it is lined with Kona Cotton in Ivory, so it is pretty snuggly and will protect your iPad if dropped.  It is hard to tell from the photo, but the lining is quilted as well. I probably wouldn't do this again, as it takes quite a bit of time and I don't think it gives any more protection.

I've made an iPad cover for Ella as well - yep she got an iPad for Christmas as well. I will have to come back and show you that one as it is made with one of my favourite Echino fabrics. Now I just need to make one for myself.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I {heart} you

Ella has been at her daycare centre since she was 18 months old. She only has two more days left and she leaves to start school.

There is one of the teachers that has been at the centre for about 18 months. I did not know how to take her when she first started and was looking after Harry's room, but when she moved into Ella's room she came into her own. Ella loves to go to daycare and always talks non-stop about her.

As this teacher puts so much of her heart into looking after my kids each day, I thought I would put my heart into a gift for her, just to say thank you

I am using up quite a few of my scraps on a heart quilt. I am hoping she will love it. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Quilt That Nearly Killed Me

OK, that is probably a bit of an exaggeration, but this quilt did put a needle through my finger.  I will spare you the photo again to remind you, but you can see it here if you feel like looking at it again.

This is the biggest quilt that I have ever made.  It was approx 150cm wide and at least 2.0m long.  That was probably a little too big for my little machine

I ended up only quilting 1/2 inch on either side of the rows of flying geese.

The back of the quilt - I was not too crash hot on it. I actually didn't want to use it, but I didn't have anything that was wide enough and that I had enough of to do it in one piece.  Once it is on the quilt, it is still not the best, but a lot better than I thought it would look.  It is from Ikea and only $4.00 a metre, so I guess it was not too expensive and sticks with the black and white of the quilt front.

I find it quite hard to give away my quilts. I love each of them and feel like it is a part of your self that you are giving away. With this quilt, when I made it, I intended to keep it, but my brother asked me some months ago to make something for him. It was only when I was quilting it, I decided it would be perfect for him.

My brother has been going through a pretty hard time over the last couple of years. He ended a turbulent relationship and the scars are still with him today. I care for him greatly and want him to be happy. He wants his own family and I am hoping that the quilt gives him a little bit of comfort.   When I gave it to him, he was shocked and chuffed that I had spent all that time making something for him.  It has now got me thinking of other things I can make him, just to show him that we care for him.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Take a Bow 2012

As 2012 closes today, I am looking forward to the year the lies ahead for my little family.

Ella turned 5 at the beginning of the month, not sure how that happened. Remember my little girl when the blog first started

She thinks she is all grown up and she is ready to go to school in the new year.  I have found her school visits to be quite surreal that I am the mum of a school age child.  I am excited for her to be going, but quite nervous as well. I am sure she will thrive.

She has been well and truly spoilt this year. A quad bike for her birthday from her Uncle Mike

And an iPad for Christmas - how times have changed.

Harry, apart from the wrist breaking,  we have turned a corner with his hearing.  He had a checkup with his ENT and the best news we could have been given.  His grommets are still stuck in his ear canal, but they are OK and not doing anything anymore. There is no more fluid in his ears and he does not need to go back to the ENT for 2 years.  He still has his hearing issues, but it does not effect his daily life and his speech has exploded.

He had his plaster removed early December. He was a trooper having it taken off and took it all in his stride

We are grateful that the weapon has now gone and pets and people are safe once again.

He is a little monkey, so I am sure this is not the last of his scrapes

The house, well it is coming along slowly.   I am a little discouraged at the moment with it.   We finally made it through council and started the 'construction phase' on 31/10/12 - the day that Harry broke his wrist.  We have now been under construction for 62 days and only had tradesman on site 14 of those days.  When we first started we were promised the frames complete and waiting for bricks by the end of November and fully bricked and half the roof on by Christmas.  We had a slab only by the end of November and currently we have frames completed and waiting for brick layers.

I have no doubts that we will have a stunning house at the end of it, and it will be worth the wait and the anguish, but it is hard to see it sit there day after day without anything being done to it.  If you have a look at the top storey of the house - back right, that is my sewing room. I cannot wait to get in there - the view is lovely and looks over the backyard

Talking of sewing, my machine and I took a break from each other. I think it is not having the dedicated space to sew that was putting me off.  A week before Christmas my sewjo came back with a vengeance and I have been sewing up a storm.   I have since made 6 dresses for Ella and a couple of iPad covers (all of which I will blog soon) however, it is my WIP quilt that has caused me just a little bit of pain this week.

Yesterday I decided to baste and finally finish my flying geese quilt. It has been sitting in the linen cupboard for months.  The basting it was OK.

The quilting not so good

I took my eyes of quilting for a second and ended up with the needle through my finger.   Yes it hurt and I am glad I did not see it happen or it would have been worse.  Mat had to pull it out with a pair of pliers - that hurt more than actually doing it.    Thankfully all it needed was a bandaid and I went back to finish the quilting.  I am up to hand sewing the binding and I will blog it when it's done.

Well that is my year.  I hope you have a good new years eve no matter what you do.  We are out tonight, with the kids I am sure we will not last until midnight, but that is OK - I would rather the sleep anyway.