Saturday, November 29, 2008

Crafter's remorse

There was no time to make anything else for Jemima for the wedding, so I did what I have avoided as a new crafty type, and BOUGHT her a dress. I feel a bit guilty actually.... but I keep telling myself to cut myself some slack and remember that I bought that sewing machine and made my first garment since 1989 only 9 months ago, so there will be a bit of hit and miss and trips to the shops instead.

So this cute little number is from Cotton On Kids. Not the best quality admittedly, but super cute, no? You can see the mexican dress spirit is haunting me somewhat. I did consider popping her in the mexican dress I made, but it is still a little big too. A familiar phrase in this blog.

I have no crafter's remorse when it came to the button up shirt and black jeans I bought for Caleb to wear to the wedding. Shirts and jeans with pockets are a little beyond me just yet. 

But I am still a crafty type, there is no denying that, as I have successfully hinted my way to a Ottobre subscription for Christmas. I think this will pose many a challenge but I am very excited about it and am pretty certain the folk in sewing blog land will be a big help if I run into too much trouble! ;-)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Op Shop Break

I started my new job at the beginning of the school term, 2 days a week. It is situated within walking distance of about 4 op shops. Work has been pretty busy, but is slowing down with people unable to attend their appointments which is not unusual for this time of year. It is week 7 and Tuesday was the first chance I got to take a look at a couple in my lunch break. 

A nice big wooden button, a little belt buckle, a single vintage sheet with yellow flowers, almost 2m of black denim for $2 (the biggest bargain of the lunch break) and a flannelette cot sheet. 

I am making a quilt out of mostly recycled fabrics for my brother and his bride-to-be for their wedding present. I have taken such a long time to decide what colour to make it that I haven't even started! (Yes this is the same brother who is getting married on Saturday!) I have finally settled on a cheery yellow quilt and have been bidding up a storm on ebay. I will probably do a simple "checker board" pattern with quite large squares of patterned fabric alternating with calico? Undecided. I am certainly not patient enough to do anything more complicated, especially since it will be quite a big quilt. The yellow op shop buy above will certainly feature and I plan to back it with a cream chenille bedspread I bought on ebay a while ago and tie it using this tutorial. 

Obviously it won't be finished by Saturday, but at least I've made some decisions about it!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Wedding dress

Well, a dress for Jemima to wear to my brother's wedding on Saturday to be less misleading.

The simple servant dress that I made for her a little while ago seemed to be getting a little small, so I made her a dress in size 3 using the same pattern and cute duck fabric I found at Spotlight a little while ago. Jemmie loves ducks, or at least pictures of them and singing "3 little ducks".

Cute? Undoubtedly. Fit? Not so much.

It's a little on the big side. A little "off the shoulder". That coupled with the colour makes it look a bit like a hospital gown, which is why I am going to buy a nice wide ribbon to make a sash. I'm thinking white. But I'm open to suggestions.

Jemima was wearing the dress yesterday afternoon so that I could stare at her for a while and try to solve the sizing problem. She then jumped off a cushion and face planted into the wooden frame of the lounge. With me standing right there looking at her. Bad Mummy. She has a raised bruise just above her eyebrows which makes her look like an adorable albino Cro-Magnon man (girl). Hopefully the swelling will have gone down by Saturday for all the family photos at the wedding. 

You know, it really is too big so I'm going to save it for when she is a bit older. I have 2 other siblings yet to wed, so perhaps she can wear it to one of their weddings. No pressure sibs! Just thinking ahead!


Thanks Madeline for tagging me! I will play along, but I won't pass it on as being quite new to blog land, I don't think I have a total of 7 blog buddies. (Don't feel bad for me, I have loads of friends, truly.) So I invite anyone who visits and would like to play along to do so- and let me know in the comments so I can learn more about you.

The Rules..
Link to your tagger and list the rules
List 7 random facts about yourself
Tag 7 people (and make sure you check back and see what they say)
If you're tagged play along and pass it on!

1) We have an iMac and lurve it.

2) I am awesome at Guitar Hero on the Nintendo DS. Really.

3) I have a patch of hair in the back of my head that is quite curly. The rest of my hair is wavy, but not like the patch. It's really weird. And hard to get to with a hair straightener

4) I am a preacher's kid. I grew up in a rectory behind the church, said grace at McDonalds and everything. I still go to church each week.

5) I don't own a pin cushion. 

6) Both my children were 10 days overdue. And both ended up being born by caesarean.

7) When I first met my husband he had hair past his shoulders in a curly mullet. It wasn't even the 80s. I was very unimpressed. I was 16.

So there you go. 

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lazy man's advent calendar

So my house is a mess, I have a bizillion Christmas gifts to make, as well as a couple of birthday presents and a wedding quilt.. but I decided to make this advent calendar instead.

Because I get bored easily and am essentially lazy, I did a 10 bag countdown instead of 24. I finished not a seam and heavily used my pinking shears. I was wishing I had a set of number stamps because then I think the overall look would be nicer, but these will do the job and I wanted to use only what I already had. The fabrics don't coordinate particularly well, but they were scrappy scraps and I wanted to use them.

Caleb likes it (it will involve lollies after all) and has reserved the black bags with skulls on them. So Christmassy.

I used my rotary knife for the first time and am a little unco with it...I had visions of happily slicing through fabric in effortlessly perfect straight lines, and it was almost like that, but not quite. That said, it is easier than using scissors for a quick and dirty project like this.

I was inspired to advent action by this new-to-me blog and this lovely creation. Thanks Lisa!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Jeans to a skirt

I borrowed the book 99 Ways to Cut, Sew and Deck out your Denim from the library a little while ago and made this skirt. As a book it is OK, but a lot of designs seem aimed at a younger and well, thinner, audience. This skirt was most appealing of all the patterns to try because I knew I would wear it and it was pretty easy looking. It wasn't too difficult, but because they were wide leg jeans, I needed more fabric than the instructions suggested, so I had to keep snipping and sewing until I had it right. It actually works well that there is some extra fabric in it as there is nothing worse than a wrap around skirt that flies open revealing more than you had planned. This one wraps around about one and a half times, so I feel safely enclosed.

I have several pairs of jeans that I don't wear as I can't seem to get a pair to fit. Word is that you should buy jeans a little tight as the denim stretches. So I do that, and get a pair of jeans that are too tight. Think muffin top. Better yet, don't. 

So then I buy a pair that fits well and they stretch and are baggy and fall down, which has never really been the look that I go for. 

I have borrowed the book again, but really I can't see that I will be making anything from there in the near future as I have a lot of gift sewing to do. Not sure if I will get it all done! 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A posty post

Caleb and I got amakin' the other day. He is really into "writing letters", pops them in envelopes and I find them on my pillow (aw). So we made a post box while the Jems was having a snooze.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Just a little twirly skirt and a pained expression

I made this skirt a little while ago using this. Her twirling skills are still in development, but the skirt is good to go. 

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Black Apple Doll

I've made a few of these dollies, but this little lass is my favourite. I made her this weekend for a 4 year old girl in my mum's group as a christmas present. I struggled over dolly's face for a while and got a bit grumpy when she looked like a creepy Bratz doll, but I think she turned out quite sweet in the end. I hope she is well received. I might throw in a bright pink (child sized) tutu to cover my bases as the gift recipient is partial to bright pink. I was especially inspired by this post in making this dolly. Emily's dolls have an x-factor that I could never hope to replicate. 

Making doll clothes is so much more fun than I ever thought it would be. A fun way to practice "designing clothes" without using much fabric, and the way it fits is not all that critical. Try it. You'll like it. 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A little mexican

Well, I finally finished the mexican dress. I think it's finished anyway. I had intended on doing some more embroidery on the skirt, but the way the pleats ended up, I wasn't sure how it would look. I quite like the simplicity of the current design, but who knows what might happen if I start to feel stitchy.

I'm quite happy with how this turned out, especially considering some of the problems I had during construction!

For some mexican dress inspiration, look here! That's what got me going in the first place.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Ads as inspiration

The ad was a Heinz baby food ad- a photoshopped picture of a girl riding a toy dinosaur figurine. I thought is was cute so I painted a picture of it. I quite like the look of water colours but I find them quite difficult to use- there is less room for error I find. 

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Library Day

Every 3 weeks or so Thursday is library day. Since Caleb has just been getting into drawing, I picked up Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Trucks and Trains. It's a little old for him, but if we both draw together I can guide him through. The train track and the colouring in are all his however. 

I have some arty plans of my own. A little painting based on a sketch I did a long time ago. The little girl figure is somewhat inspired by Jemima and her short hair with little curls springing out from behind her ears (aka "flaps" in my family). Also at the time she also had 2 teeth. Now she has 6.5. How time flies.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Made by Norma

There is a beautiful lady at my church who has been generously showering my children with handmade gifts and second hand treasures for the last couple of years. Knitted cardigans haven't always been my style, but my tastes are changing, especially as I am learning about the time, effort, cost and love that go into handmade clothes. So much better than Best and Less really.

Norma used to sew and gave me this pattern which I must sew up quickly as it goes up to 18 months. She has assured me that the sizing on these patterns is always big. Hope so, because I am quite keen on the pinnies- and call me crazy, but I am liking the little bubble romper too.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

An afternoon's labour

Apologies for any head tilting required to comfortably view this photo. Blogger and I are having a little fight. Never mind.

I finished the construction of the mexican dress on Friday night. And now the fun part is underway. In regards to the dress's construction- the pattern is very easy to follow, though I did a few things differently to what was suggested (just little things like finishing the seams as I went).

The most frustrating thing was that the pattern is for an adult and *should* be reasonably easy to resize as it is based on body measurements. The only parts that weren't I made far too big... like the neck, hence the "tucks" in the neckline which are front and back, and the sleeves which were originally very wing like. I don't consciously think that my one year old has a thick neck, or arms but I keep overcompensating.

The past 2 afternoons have been spent embroidering away which I quite enjoy. There is a lot of value in a portable project. Especially one you can do while watching Australian Idol which I intend to do tonight. I haven't done a lot of embroidery, and perhaps should have done some practice before I started sewing onto my dress, but I was excited to get going, and I am happy enough. Fortunately I am not too much a perfectionist as I don't think I would enjoy crafting as much as I have been if I was.

I have a fair bit more I want to do with this little number, but wanted to put an update "out there".

PS I think I am a little crazy making this in white. But for the 20 minutes she looks all fresh and lovely, before she turns into a grublet, will be totally worth it.