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.