Thursday, July 30, 2009

Just a bag lady at heart!

Yep, I am a bag lady - thanks for the compliment Mel.

The title was going to be practice makes perfect, as that is the way that I feel about sewing, I feel the seond time that I make something it is better than the first. This bag is no different. I made it the first time a couple of weeks ago and I followed the directions and the measurements of the bag to the letter.

I was really happy with how it turned out, but I thought that it was slightly on the large size, plus the pockets did not really work for me, so I decided to make it again, this time using good fabric (which was bought for making this bag) and this time to make some changes to it.

When I made the bag this time, I made it at 85% of the original size. It works alot better at that size for me. It is now a practical size for everyday use and for carrying around all of my 'mummy junk'

Amy Butler Wallflower in Cherry

I also changed the pockets. The pattern has a zippered pocket on the outside, I didnt use that this time as I did not want to interfere with the pattern of the fabric. This time I put the zippered pocket on the inside. There was one large pocket on the inside, I changed this to add pockets on both sides of the bag and to divide them up so that I had a phone pocket, some pen holders etc.

The only thing that I am debating about at the moment is whether to add a hard base to the bottom? I will have to use the bag for a bit and then decide.

Giveaway Giveaway.

Again it is time for another giveaway. I am still yet to win anything, but a girl has to keep trying.

Chris from 4lildarlins is having a giveaway on her blog. She makes beautiful bows for girls big and small, and the giveaway is for 3 separate prizes.

Make sure you take a look before 1st August 2009.

Fingers crossed, I am going to win this one.......

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sew, I have been busy!

With all of the fabric that I have been buying, you would not think that I would have time for much sewing, but I have. Yesterday I had a marathon cutting out session and cut out three pieces of clothing and today I have managed to make two of them.

Firstly, I made another Little Sweet Dress. I bought some sheeting material at Spotlight on Friday and thought that the colours would be perfect for a little summer dress. The dress is so quick and simple to put together and having the elastic in the sleeves and around the neck hides any flawes that may or may not need hiding.

Secondly, I made the O+S Bubble Dress. I bought this pattern a few months ago now. I didnt make it at the time of buying it as I was waiting for the right fabric. As I have found before, I am better off making one before in cheaper fabric and then making a second one in good material. So I thought as I had quite a bit of the sheeting fabric, I would make the bubble dress in that fabric and save the good stuff for next time.

I am pretty happy with how it turned out. Like all of the other O+S patterns, it is a great pattern, easy to understand. I have trouble reading instructions and tend to skim, so I had to go back a couple of times and read the instructions properly, but apart from me being a bit of a dero, this was a quick dress to make.

Not a happy model today. Ella is getting her second tooth, and would you believe what is coming through second - her back MOLAR! Ouch!

Move away move away, there is nothing to see here!

I thought after my last lot of material that I would be done buying fabric, but that seems to only be the beginning of my purchases. The guilt, the guilt!

I went to Spotlight to buy one lot of fabric so I could make another Expandable Tote, but once there, I got sidetracked by the fabric. Usually the fabric at Spotlight is pitiful, but this time I managed to buy 7.5 metres! The half metre was the fabric that I actually needed!

Fabric sheeting and Japanese Cherry Trees in Blue

Japanese Spring Leaves, Japanese Cherry Trees in Pink, Plain Pink Quilters Cotton

Flannel - cupcakes...yum

My buying does not stop there. Thanks to Novy and all of her tales of buying many many metres of fabric at Lincraft for 50% off, I had a look on line on Saturday (I dont have a Lincraft store close by) and I managed to buy another 13 metres of fabric. I am now up to31.5 metres! Unfortunately it does not end there either, I was Etsy surfing on Sunday and came across some cheap Oliver+S patterns. So, I had to buy three of them. I didnt want them, but I had to have them.

So now you understand my guilt, but also my excitement! Watch this space for some summer sewing soon!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Strike a pose!

A couple of days ago I blogged the O+S 2+2 blouse that I made for Ella. At that stage it was minus the buttons (and the button holes). I had a few comments asking for some modelling pictures of Miss Ella wearing the blouse. Here they are.....

So there it is.... Modelled O+S.

Do you want to touch it?

I have had an attack of the guilts lately. Why? I have been buying fabric and I have been keeping it a secret. OK, probably not the best thing to do, but I can't help myself. I don't want to buy this fabric, I NEED to buy this fabric. OK OK, guilt trip over, lets get down to the goods bits and take a look at the fabric that I bought.

Amy Butler Wallflower in Pink, Japanese Hippos, Amy Butler Garden Maze in Red and Michael Millar Damask in Black

Amy Butler Optic Blossom, Michael Millar Ginger Blossom Vintage Dots, Amy Butler Wallflower in Sky

The first lot of fabric I bought was an Etsy purchase. I was hoping that I had timed my ordering to perfection and that it would arrive on Monday (my day off) and so I could sneak it in without Mat knowing. I was sorely dissappointed. Luckily on Tuesday I have to leave work on time to pick Ella up from daycare and I got home with 5 mins to spare, to find the package, have a quick cuddle with the fabric and put it safely away.

Don't you just love the japanese hippo fabric. Not cheap, but sooooo cute. Can't wait to use this!

My second package was another Etsy purchase, but was from Fresh Fabrics Australia. I have been waiting for this fabric for a couple of weeks. The Amy Butler Wallflower I had asked Amber from Fresh Fabric's whether she had any left. She did not have any at the time, but because of my request, went and sourced another 8 metres of it. This fabric is in short supply, so I bought 2 metres of it.

My last lot of fabric was from Fresh Fabrics again. I love this fabric. It is Moda Urban Chicks Sweet Peeps. I have been looking for this fabric for a while and it is always sold out, so again I asked Amber to source it for me - which she did and I bought 2 metres of it.

Do you recognise this fabric?

So I did alright. All fabric has been received, quickly cuddled and put away, ready for when it needs to be cuddled again, or cut up (which I am not sure if I can bring myself to do it)

Now, what will be my next purchase?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Oliver+S 2+2 Blouse

It seems that I have been on a sewing roll of late. I have gotten through a few sewing projects. I like the ones that I can finish in a day as I really hate having WIP's around.

It seems a long time ago that I bought the O+S 2+2 blouse - nearly 2 months to be exact .

I bought it, but did not think that any of the fabric that I had would be suitable. I have quite a few metres in transit from the USA at the moment and yesterday I thought I would go through my stash and try and find something suitable to give this pattern a try.

As you know I love Oliver+S and this pattern did not dissappoint. It is well written and easy to follow.

The main material was from an Op Shop. It is quilters cotton and I paid $2.00 for 3 metres, so a complete bargain. The black and white polka dots was from Spotlight - so I am saying that all up this blouse was less than 50 cents.

What a bargain for so much cuteness!

I have my eye on some more O+S patterns, but my bank account has taken a beating this week from having no will power when it comes to purchasing fabric. It may be a few more weeks before I get these.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Do you see what I see?

It has taken 1 year, 7 months, 2 weeks and 1 day to get to this point. What could have possibly taken this long you ask? It is the thing that everyone has been obsessing about. Every time I see people that we know, or talk to them on the phone, they ask the same question. Everytime that Ella is grumpy, not sleeping, has nappy rash or red cheeks, they put it down to the same thing.

So what has taken so long, and what can we finally see.........

A tooth!

Finally we have a tooth! Everyone has been asking us for about 13 months if Ella had any teeth yet. I never realised that it was such a big thing. I was told by a concerned person when they were shocked about Ella not having teeth at 14 months, to take Ella to a dentist at 18 months if she did not have teeth and get an xray to see if she had any in her head!

Not only does she have one tooth, she has another 3 or so that have broken/about to break the surface, so it seems that they are all going to come through at once.

A little heartbreaking that my little baby is growing up, first walking, then teeth, what next, moving out, telling me she hates me?

A familiar combination

What is familiar about this combination. Well the dress is the Oliver+S Tea Party Sundress and the other familiar item is the fabric combination that I used.

I used the same denim and the Amy Butler Wallflower in Pink as in the Mod Dress. I love this material. The Amy Butler, not the demin!

I thought I would post some of our outake pics as, Ella at 19 months does not want to pose for photos.

The only good photo of the dress - minus Ella's head

The only thing I do not like about the dress, is that it flares too much at the bottom. The other version of the dress does this too, but as it is a light-weight cotton it is not so severe. I think this dress will settle down a bit once it has been washed a couple of times.

Next update - we have been waiting for this to happen for a long time and it is finally here. Wait and see!

Friday, July 17, 2009

A girl can never have too many handbags!

You think that I would be all 'bagged' out after making five Birdie Slings. However, I have been eyeing this bag pattern for a while now. It is the Expandable Tote from U Handbag. (the material that they have used does not really do the pattern justice, but I have seen it made using other fabric and it looks really good.

Anyway, as I found with the Birdie Sling, I think I need a trial run before making the proper bag. However, this bag has turned out better than I expected.

It is a great pattern. The file was huge 53mb to be exact! I love the way that you buy the patterns from U Handbag. You pay your money (via paypal) and then you are taken straight to a page where you can download the pattern. No waiting for emails any more!

Anyway back to the bag - this bag is again a big bag. Why is it called the "expandable tote"? There are ties on both ends of the bag, that allow you to expand the bag to carry more things. In the photos, the ties are done up.

You can see by the size of the bag (which is modeled with some of my fabric stash) that it can hold a lot - and this is with the ties done up. It would carry a small child if the bag was fully expanded.

Well there you have it - U Handbag Expandable Tote. Great pattern, well written with lots of photos. Watch this space for more versions of this bag.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Another candidate for the cutest kid on the block

My EB friend Mel, has her daugher Lucy on her blog - she is by far the cutest kid on the block in the NT where she lives. I thought that I would add a new candidate for the cutest kid on the block. Miss Ella of course!

Ella is finally modelling the Oliver+S Tea Party Sundress that I made her in May. I love this dress, even though it nearly drove me to drink making it! So cute with a long sleeved top and tights.

3 weeks old!

Our puppy is 3 weeks old. An updated picture. Lily is the puppy on the left.

Only 5 weeks to go until we can get our puppy, plus only 5 weeks of relative peace left until we are thrown into caos!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Downtown Jacket Giveaway.

Well you must know that I love a giveaway, but sadly to this date I have not won one, so I must keep trying.

You know how much I love the Make It Perfect Uptown Girl jacket pattern, well now the Downtown Boy Jacket pattern has been released.

In order to be in the giveaway, pop over to Make It Perfect and leave a comment. Draw closes 16th July 2009.

Even though this is supposed to be a boys jacket, I think it would be lovely for a little Ella, as a girl can't have too many jackets.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mods & Rockers

This morning seems to be the morning for posting - three posts already. I promise that this one will be the last one!

Well with Mat being a proud Englishman, I thought that this dress would be fitting for him. Not for him to wear, but something to remind him of home. It is called the Little Mod Dress.

It is an easy pattern to make, but I think that the 1/4" seam allowance is not enough, especially around the yoke. I had quite a bit of trouble folding the yoke under itself to top stitch. So you will have to not look too closely at the yoke it is a bit messy. I will be making this dress again, but this time I will add an extra 1/4" to the yoke so that it will be easier to work with.

Fabric is - demin (bought from op-shop $2.00 for 2 metres) and Amby Butler Lotus in pink. Boots and tights are models own (Osh Kosh)

Look what I got - swap bag

As my previous post advised - today is opening day in the EB bag swap. Thanks to Anna for organising the swap.

This is what I received from the lovely Donella.

This bag is BEAUTIFUL. It is been sewn to perfection! The material has a satin feel, so it would not have been easy to work with and get this finish. The lining is all soft and there is an internal pocket in which the fabric of the pocket matches the strap.

You will also notice that I got a key ring that matches the bag, a really nice touch!

Thanks Donella - the print screams me!

FIVE Birdie Slings and a swap

Today is opening day for the EB Bag swap. Before I blog about the wonderful handbag that I received, I will first blog about the handbag, make that handbags that I made.

From the first time I came across the Amy Butler Birdie Sling pattern I was in love. My Swap partner Chris did not have any preferences as to what bag she would like, so I decided that it was the bag that I had to make.

I did a lot of research (as in Flickr and Google) and had found out that this bag was a BIG BAG. This was the only thing that scared me a bit - it was after I had bought the pattern mind you. I am not a big person and thought that a large bag on me would be silly, so I thought that it needed some reducing. Firstly I reduced the pattern to 75% of the original size, but it was too small, and then I tried 85% - perfect!

Now, what material to use. I immediately decided on for an Amy Butler Bag, you need Amy Butler material. Another comment that came up more than once about the bag was that it was too bulky. There was too much padding in it. I also had some help from the lovely Cass, who had seen the bag and advised to only use pellon on either the exterior or the lining and not both.

This is my first attempt at the bag.

I changed the pockets a little bit. I added an internal pocket - which is on the other side of the bag and I added a pen holder (as my pens always sit at the bottom of my bag and mark the lining and I added a key clip - as keys always go missing in bags.)

This version of the bag, I only used interfacing on the lining, not the exterior. Mat came home, and I showed him the bag - his first comment was - "its a bit bright... it is fine as a nappy bag, but not a handbag"

Ouch...... that is harsh. So I kept the bag main family area of the house and looked at it every time I went past. In the mean time I made another Birdie Sling. (The pattern called for 1 1/4 yards of each fabric. I made two birdie slings with 1 metre) This time, I thought that I would make a second Birdie Sling, but make it full size. When all the comments you read say that this bag is big - believe them - it is BIG!

A picture of both my Birdie Slings together so you can see the size difference. The length of the straps is the same, so there is quite a difference from 85% to 100%. This bag would be great for a nappy bag at 100% of the size - but for me, being small, I would put my back out if I carried this around with the amount of crap that it will hold, and to get to the bottom, I would lose my arm.

With the second birdie sling, the only difference, was that I used a tip from Cass, and I lined the exterior with calico, which this worked really well as it gave it a bit more stability without the bulk.

Now, that is only two birdie slings - and the title suggests that there are 5, so there are 3 more to go. Sorry this is turning into a long post.

I found some fabric in Spotlight - close your mouths, I know it is a rare occassion that you find anything nice in Spotlight, but I did - for once! Anyway it was destined to be another Birdie Sling.

It was this new Birdie Sling that caused my dilemma. I fell in love with this bag. Do I give the first one as my swap, or the new one?

The first of my black and white ones was for my mum. The second one for my mother-in-law and as I loved them so much, I made a third one for the swap. The only difference with the third black and white one was that I put a magnetic closure.

To add to the bag, I made a little makeup purse and a tissue holder, which were both quick and easy to make with the scraps of fabric left over.

So Chris, hope you like your swap bag. There has been many hours of sewing there to make many bags. I think I will be putting this pattern to the side for a while, as I think that I am birdied out!