Friday, December 16, 2011

Some Christmas presents - play tent & house bag

This year I made a few Christmas presents. (What a surprise!) So Lilly and her best friend both got a house bag. I forgot to take a photo of Ellen's, but this is Lilly's. (Ellen's is more or less the same, but with a blue and yellow flower print on the outside walls.)

And Connor got this play tent. We had to try this out in the back yard and it was a hit! Love the Ikea fabric.

A few more of these tents may have to get made I think! This one was a 6 sided tent, and I think I might try a 4 sided one next. Electrical conduit (25mm PVC pipe) was used as the poles - as you can see I didn't cover the top ends of the poles - but I really don't think the kids noticed!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Refashion: Remodelling a shirt


This shirt is going to be part of my demonstration at the Viva-La-Gong Festival this coming weekend (Saturday 12th November). As you can see you get the before and the after all in one!

What I did:
Darts in the front and the back, as well as taking in the side seam to shape the shirt a little better. The shoulder was still a little big so I also added two little pleats to take care of that. The sleeve was the trickiest. I did want a puff sleeve. I unpicked the sleeve and traced the shape of the sleeve pattern. I also unpicked the cuff from the sleeve. Then I used a 'slash and splay' technique to create the puff sleeve pattern: I spaced 5 vertical lines evenly spaced across the sleeve pattern (not under the armpit though), cut along these lines, spaced the pattern pieces about 1" apart, redraw the sleeve pattern. I then used the sleeve to cut out the new sleeve pattern (I did need the join two pieces to make a piece of fabric that was wide enough). I then re-attached the cuff (with a gap to make sure it goes over my arm/elbow). The collar was also modified: unpick the back of the collar, turn inside out as much as possible, re-stitch collar to the size you want, trim excess, turn right side out, topstitch opening shut.

Do I like it?:
Apart from the obvious fact that only half the shirt is done, it does seem to fit really well and I can't wait to do the other half!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Refashion: Jacket to Vest

So here starts my "Wardrobe Refashion Month"!

What I had & what I wanted:
I had this jacket sitting in my wardrobe for a couple of years. But never wore it because it was just a bit too tight across the back. I would get it out, try it on again, and put it back in the wardrobe. For a while I have wanted a vest that was a bit military, or a bit worn, but not 'pretty' for the in-between months.

How I did it:
First to come of was the sleeves. I just unpicked them. Next came the collar. Then work out where you want the new neckline to be (somewhere between two buttons, and make sure you miss the button hole on the other side). There is a facing on the front of the jacket up the the shoulder (this one is not lined). So un-pick enough button holes, buttons, and top stitching so that you can turn the facing to the outside. Stitch the new neck line, trim the facing, and turn the facing back to the inside. Fold as much as practical around the neck (around 1/2" if you can) and top stitch the new neck line and back of neck. Again turn as much as practical around the sleeve and top stictch along the edge. To get a nicer finish around the arms, trim the folded seam where needed, and do another row of topstitching. This will not look like a proper made garment, as there should be a facing around the arms too, but we are making do here, and shortcuts are the name of the game! If you really wanted to you could trace the outline of the arms holes and make a facing from a contrasting fabric.

Do I like it? Would I change anything?
I really do like this, and wouldn't change anything. I did this about a week ago, and I've already worn it twice!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

MIA - Where have I been?!

Well, unfortunately we have not been well in this household. Apparently someone invited a nasty bug into the house, and Dad, our 4 year old, and myself all got pneumonia! Luckily the youngest (10months) did not get it - phew! I tell you what, we were all pretty useless there for a while! Thanks so much Nan for saving us, and helping us get through the worst of it, I don't know what we would have done without you. So we are starting to feel a little normal, starting to get out into public, starting to appreciate the start of spring...

I think November I might focus on recycling, re-purposing, and wardrobe refashioning... got a few things started, and quite a few ideas, so keep tuned!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tutus and dinosaur tails!

This is what Lilly's birthday is going to be! The girls at the party with get a tutu, and the boys will get dinosaur tails! So I have made the tutu's:

Lilly's is from voile (it was on special at only $2/m, and I thought it would be nice and soft, but still have enough body). The others have stiff net (pink) underneath, with only the top layer being voile. The instructions I based this on is one from Clairebear's Tutu 2.0. I did only 3 layers for Lilly's, and only 3 cuts for the base (10cm) layer; and I didn't pleat the top layer, just the "zigzag over dental floss" gather.

And for the boys ... here is my trial tail ... RAAA!:

These are from Running With Scissors. Better get a wiggle on for these... the party is supposed to be on Sunday, and I have 5 tails to make, as well as all the organising for the party (last minute thing....).
Will hopefully post some photos of everyone's tutu's and tails after the party!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Reconstruction How To for Girls

The dress on the left was found at Mission Australia, new from Alley for $2, size XS. The one on the right was a random shirt that was way to big for me (size 16). Lilly likes twirly skirts and shirred dresses - I figued these could be put to good use!
First up, the dress to tutu skirt - easiest reconstruction ever!:


Basically the top was cut off, turned over, and elastic added. For a bit of girlyness I threaded some pink ribbon though the eyelet around the top, and added a few on the skirt too. Apparantly a good skirt for spinning jumping.

Secondly, the shirt top to dress - a few more steps involved, but still pretty easy:

The sleeves were cut off. There was elastic over the shoulder of the sleeve - I unpicked this and added it across the top row of elastic shirring on the front and back, as this seemed to be getting a little loose. I did some basic measurements on Lilly for her chest took the side seams in to brinkg it snug around her chest. A few more basic measurements to get a shape for under her arm. I used a strip of fabric (cut on the bias) from the sleeve and used this to bind the new edge under the arms (hidden on the inside). There was also a strip of shirring on the original sleeve - I took this off to created the shoulder straps. To be honest, this seems to be a bigger hit than the tutu skirt. I think this is going to be great for summer!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Internet Surfing

I love to surf the net. I wish there were more hours in the day to dedicate to surfing. But with 2 kids and a really messy house (to much of my stuff is spread around...), I can't wittle away that kind of time on the computer. Also, being an engineer, I am always looking for efficiency in everything I do. So when I am looking for something I very often do a google 'image' search. I love this! A picture is worth a thousand words, so this is information over-load in a very small period of time - efficiency at it's finest! My request to all bloggers out there - please give your photos a relevant name!

My latest find is Pinterest. Really liking this. You can link to photos that you like, and group them on different boards. You can check out other peoples "pins". While you're surfing you can pin pictures to your boards (added to your favourites, so really easy). Great reminder for all those things you want to make/cook/sew/buy/find/etc. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

ican@7 gallery, Port Kembla

ican@7 have a gallery/selling space at the Redpoint Artist Complex. There is a new show every month, with an opening on the 2nd Saturday of the month, from 2pm to 5pm. All the artist studios are open, and there are also some art markets held on the lawn. A great organic cafe has also recently opened on the corner. Each month some of the ican members hold a special day with different activities. In September it is a social craft day - see the flyer below.

Check out the ican@7 gallery - you never know what great things you're going to see!

Boys Cheese Cutter or Flat Hat

Here is my little man's new hat:

I know I'm a bit biased, being his mum, but isn't he the cutest?! Even when eating bits of grass!
Being a practical mum, the hat is of course adjustable (using the button hole elastic on the inside of hat band so the button is away from his head). This should last him a couple of years (it nearly fits his 4 year old sister!).
If I get some sewing time soon, you may see these at the ican@7 gallery, or in my madeit store.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fabric Doll House

During one of my internet surfing sessions I came across this fabric doll house tutorial by "UK lass in US". Of course I can never do something exactly as someone else ... so here I have used an industrial felt (not sure exactly what you call it, but this is what it feels like) for the internal stiffener (the same that I use for my zippered handbags). This little house was given to Isla Rose who did seem to really appreciate it! (Thanks Isla's mum & dad for the lend of your trailer!).

The last photo is of Lilly modeling the doll house before we gave it to Isla.

Crochet Brooch Series

Here are the first dozen brooches ready to hang at the ICAN@7 gallery at the Repoint Artist Complex in Port Kembla. There are a mix of crochet cotton, acrylic & woollen yarn, old and new buttons & beads, some with a fine wire crocheted around the edge to give more structure. Each one has a brooch back (most are a 25mm back). To hang at the gallery I have mounted on fabric covered balsa wood squares (3" and 4" squares).

Monday, July 4, 2011

Crochet Coral / Rockpools

Finally finished my first crochet coral project. The finished project is very different from what I started out with in my head...and changed many times along the way! My project ended up as rockpools:

One thing I have learnt is that this really does take a long time to do! Making up heaps of tiny little things, weaving in ends, stitching them together. Then you gathering them all up and there seems to be only a fraction of what you imagined there would be (for the time spent!). But I do think it is worth it, and I am still going to do one more project like this.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Different Textures Crochet Necklace

You're all going to think I have gone crochet mad if I do a post on all my recent crochet items! This one is made up of 5 long loops, each a little different (photos below).
Can be worn as shown left (wrapped 3 times), or as shown below (wrapped twice).


Here are the photos of the individual loops:


The first 3 are from Milford Satid 2 Ply, 4th is AIDA size 20 Crochet cotton, and the last is 8 ply acrylic yarn. Most done with the "correct" size crochet hook (or close enough), but the 3rd is actually using an oversize hook for this size of yarn. The last 3 are just play chain stitch. The first is a chain stitch with 6-7 chains are looped back on themselves every 12-15 stitches The second is a foundation row of just chains, the chaining back and joining back to the foundation every 5th stitch with a DC. I wore this today to test it out and was quite surprised how much warmth it actually added! (I needed it today too!) And it's so light you forget your even wearing it!
I think if I make this again I would choose a colour, and use slightly different tones or hues.
Also, most loops are around 54" long, with the first one pictured (above) is longer at about 60". Next time I would make them all at least 60" (152cm) long as a minimum.
If you make this I would love to know!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Crochet necklace

One day while surfing on the internet (do they still use that term, or am I showing my age?), I stumbled across this free pattern for a crochet necklace at creativeyarn. I think it might have been this blog that got me started on yarn & textile jewellery (my current obsession).
Here is my attempt:

Quite happy with the result. Although it really does need a little press to take the 'wiggle' out of it. I think I also made the long strand a little too long. I used 3 different yarns which I really do like. Also love the way the flower/button turned out (will used that in other projects for sure!). Only drawback is that while wearing, the flower does tend to fall to the middle.