Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Do you think I could leave a perfectly good 'official' school scrunchie alone..............not this crafty mama. 
No siree, I had to cut it up and make accessories galore for Miss A.

First came the headband

then the hair clips

followed by the hair elastics

and finally the hair bobble  (I loved my bobbles when I was a little girl!)

I also made a couple of simple headbands, embellished with a single flower just for the heck of it!

She might be ready for school but I certainly am not!

I spent quite a while at the park with the girls today, attempting my first real 'photo shoot' (where I tried to get them to pose, as opposed to just running around after them clicking away).  Let's just say there was alot of bribery going on................

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Australia Day


Miss A and Miss B painting their very own Boomerangs at our local Australia Day Festival
Here's to living in this wonderful, sunburnt country.

Monday, January 25, 2010

One Per Month - January

At the beginning of the year, Chaletgirl set herself a challenge to choose one craft book per month from her collection, and make at least one item from the book.  She invited anyone interested in doing the same to play along.  I immediately signed up.

One down eleven to go!  I managed to finish this months project with a week to spare - so unlike me.  Having a 3 and a half year old eagerly awaiting the finished product kind of spurs you on.  So here it is, the Fashion First Aid bag from Debbie Stoller's The Happy Hooker..........................

I modified the pattern in several ways.  Firstly I added a flap and button so I could close the bag and keep all of Miss B's medications safely inside

Then I lined it with a lovely spotty quilter's cotton.  This I did because as you change colours to make the cross in the design you carry across the main colour yarn leaving rows of loose yarn on the inside of the bag (I didn't think to get a photo before I lined the bag).  So the lining not only covers this unsightly mess but helps protect it as well.  I hand stitched the lining in place.

I also added a pocket to the back of the bag using some clear plastic vinyl so I can keep Miss B's asthma plan and allergy plan in there safe and sound and on hand should the need arise (let's hope it doesn't though!)  I punched holes evenly around three sides of the plastic and using the red yarn whip stitched it into place.  I will add a piece of paper to keep at the front of the window with Miss B's name, my phone number and the fact she has asthma and allergies, something like this:

This bag belongs to Miss B
Mum's phone number is 040* *** ***

Please refer to my asthma and allergy plans
which can be found in this pocket

One very happy Miss B!

So good bye zip-lock plastic bag, hello Fashion First Aid bag. 

A slight improvement wouldn't you say?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Am I too old for this (mutton dressed as lamb)??????????

I'd had this project sitting on the sewing table since before christmas, but what with all the presents to make and celebrating to be had I've only just gotten around to making my..........two tone dress.  I've been seeing this fashion around all over the place and after making these t-shirt dresses decided to have a go at one for myself.  I had the Erin McMorris Wildwood fabric in my stash, I looove these fabrics and really wanted to use them in something together. 

While the citrus/lime green isn't a colour I would usually wear I was willing to go out on a limb and try something different for the love of the fabric.

So here's how I made it:

  1. I bought myself a plain black singlet

  2. selected four co-ordinating pieces of fabric from a fat quarter pack

  3. cut each of these into thirds along the long edge to make 12 panels (I didn't want the skirt to look too boxy by just having four panels).

  4. I put one panel aside to make the pockets out of

  5. joined the remaining 11 panels together at the long sides alternating the various fabrics to make a tube of fabric (I zig zag stitched all raw edges)

  6. I then machine stitched a gathering stitch along the top edge.........(well in actual fact a did this along the bottom edge much to my chagrin so now the print is upside down.  Yes I did contemplate unpicking it all - for three days I thought about it.  I then decided that I would probably be the only one to notice it and I'd rather be wearing my new dress than looking at it sitting in my to-do pile for the next decade, so there)

  7. I then decided where on my torso I wanted the singlet and skirt to meet and cut the singlet, allowing a 1/2 inch seam allowance

  8. I then gathered up the top edge of the skirt along the gathering stitch until it was the same width as the bottom edge of the singlet

  9. I put the singlet inside the skirt right sides together and lining up the raw edges sewed the two pieces together using a straight stitch and a 1/2 inch seam allowance, I then overlocked the edge using a zig zag stitch.

  10. Then I ironed the seam down towards the skirt and from the right side of the fabric sewed another row of straight stitch just to hold the seam down nice and neat

  11. Almost there now!  I added a strip of black fabric to the hem for several reasons.  1 - to add some needed lengh, 2 - to finish off the raw hem, 3 - as the fabrics are so bold and busy I thought it needed something to just calm it down abit and tie it back in with the black singlet.  I made 4 inch wide single fold bias tape out of some black cotton I already had and machine stitched it on.

  12. With the remaining panel of fabric (remember the one I put aside for the pockets - because all dresses need pockets, right? - I cut it in half along the short edge, folded down and pressed the top edge 1/4" then again 3/4" then I folded down and pressed each of the remaining three sides 1/4"

  13. I straight stitched along the top edge to hold it in place

  14. then positioned and pinned the pockets in place on the dress

  15. sewed around three sides, leaving the top edge open, as close to the edge as possible then again 1/16" from that to make sure it was nice and secure

A very important afterthought - if you use cotton fabric (ie. fabric with no give or stretchy qualities) for the skirt as I did, make sure you don't make the waist too fitted as you need to be able to get it on and off over your head/shoulders/bust.


Ta-da!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  As much as I love my new dress it is a little unflattering as is, so I went out and bought a nice wide belt to go with it.

But the question remains, mutton dressed as lamb??

BTW - can I just say I hadn't intended on writing a tutorial of sorts for this dress, so absolutely no forethought or planning has gone into writing these if you do want to try and make one and you are having trouble with my instructions please just let me know and I'll try to help if I can :)

Phew, that was a long one!!

On their way for a good cause

Afew weeks back I signed up to make a block for the 65 Roses Quilt Project.  I enjoyed the process so much I ended up making three blocks, each embelished with a different rose motif. 

For the first one I used a lace trim rose I made some time back when I was just playing around with learning different techniques.  I had afew bits of lace trim laying about so I ran a gathering stitch along one edge and gathered it up to make the rose.  I think it looks lovely, but it just sat there on my sewing table............obviously waiting for the right project to come along.

The second block I embelished with a felt rose using the design provided by Kathreen.  I've been wanting to have a go at using felt for a while now, so I went all out and bought umpteen different shades of wool blend felt to play around with.    After choosing four shades of pink/red I used a simple running stitch in a lighter shade of embroidery thread to hold it all together.

For the third block I decided to pull out my cross-stitch supplies which have been packed away for a good four or so years and have a go at stitching straight onto the cotton fabric, something I've never done before (I've always used Aida cloth).  I searched around amongst my magazines for a nice rose pattern and went for it. 

It's far from perfect, but I'm happy with it.

I popped them in the post today so hopefully they will reach Kathleen safely by the deadline of January 20th.  I really enjoyed participating in this project and I achieved the aim which I went into it with, which was to challenge myself to try out some new crafting techniques as well as doing something for a good cause!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

getting side tracked again.....

With our time before Miss A starts school drawing to a close we have been trying to squeeze in as many family outings as possible.  Yesterday we went to the Royal National Park where we had a lovely picnic/bbq, using my patchwork picnic blanket of course!

Miss A snapped a photo of me carrying the drawstring bag I made to carry it in, I don't think I posted a photo at the time.  I'm so glad I made it - it's big enough to hold the blanket with plenty of room to fit in other stuff which lets me keep my hands free for something else!!

The National Park is such a peaceful beautiful place, somewhere Mr Sweetpea and I use to frequent alot pre children.  We were shocked to realise this was the first time we had taken the girls there.

They were both keen to see some of the local inhabitants - the best we managed were a flock of cockatoo's and a kookaburra - still, pretty cool.

I took along some bubble mix to keep the girls happy while we waited for the food to cook - all in all we had a blast, a really great family outing.

Even though I've got about five other projects on the go at the moment I've decided to join in with Chaletgirl's One Per Month challenge.  For the crafting part anyway, I'll see how I go with the cooking part of the challenge...........

So this month I've chosen The Happy Hooker for my craft book and my project will be the Fashion First Aid bag (page 145).  I've chosen this project to make for Miss B to carry her asthma and allergy medications when she goes to Occasional Care.  She's not too keen on the idea of going without her big sis so I thought if I make her something it might make her feel abit special, you know?? 

I have plans to adapt the pattern abit but we'll see how we go.  I'll keep you posted - better get hooking!

Monday, January 11, 2010

making progress

I found a little time today to piece the backing for my quilt.  I think I like it just as much if not better than the front!  I've basted it and now just need to decide how to quilt it.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

weekend wading

The simple pleasures of a HOT summer weekend!  Miss A and Miss B are at just the right age for enjoying frolicking in their little tarpaulin wading pool. 

They spent the best part of the weekend splishing and splashing, lolling and laughing................leaving mummy to sit and watch and stitch.


Friday, January 8, 2010

A-ha moments

1. Chain piecing really makes whipping up a quilt so much faster

2. Changing the blade on your rotary cutter - I'm in love again!

3. Changing the needle on your machine - like wise

I started cutting 5 inch squares for the 65 Roses project on Wednesday and found I just couldn't stop.  The guidelines called for "fresh spring coloured florals or prints with a vintage/romantic feel." 

As much as I love modern, bold prints I am really a sucker for vintage/romantic prints so I had plenty to choose from in my stash.  I ended up putting together three blocks for the charity quilt and liked them so much I decided to make a smallish quilt for myself.

Enter the chain piecing.  How had I forgotten about this wonderful technique???  I put together all 36 squares for my quilt top in an evening.  I made a trip to my local fabric warehouse today to get some cotton batting, binding and homespun for the backing and border and I'm sooooo itching to get this quilt finished.

Kids in bed?  Check
Husband at work? Check
Sewing machine on? Check


Sunday, January 3, 2010

What to give mum for her birthday?

I ummmed and aahhhhed over this question until the day before mums birthday.  I made a trip to Spotlight and came away with an 18 inch cushion insert - so a cushion it was going to be.  I really agonise over fabric choices, trying to choose something the receiver will like as opposed to what I would like, and as my mum is partial to brown (ahem) and is nearing her eighth decade this is what I came up with

I pieced the front on New Year's Eve, stopping just before the countdown to the new year (at least I finished off 2009 doing something I love!!).  I then got up the next morning and basted, quilted and finished off the cushion(starting off 2010 doing something I love - that's my defense anyway). 

Then I immediately jumped into the car along with my wonderful husband who had gotten together all the food I was taking to mum's to cook for her birthday/New Year's Day lunch...........well that's me in a nutshell, aLwaYs leaving things to the VERY last minute.

Can't say I'm in love with this, but at least it's something I made with love......and mum really seemed to like it.  I even caught her using it later in the day as she sat back and relaxed watching abit of telly!

So, that's my first sewing project for the new year/new decade off the rank - what have you been making?