Thursday, 28 January 2010

My Creative Space

First one back for 2010 and surprise, surprise I am sewing kids clothing!

I'm hoping to turn this pile of ric rac, Heather Ross's Mendocino mermaids, Patty Young's Hummingbirds and some dots into two short-sleeved versions of the Nina pattern shown below.

This is a simple but quite versatile pattern, I've already seen a few lovely versions of the sleeveless top shown on the front here and here.

Head on over to Kirsty's place to see what's on everyone else's creative plate this week.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

We're off...

to kinder.

Friday is a big day for our 'big' girls - it's their first day of Kinder.
It's a big day for me too, because after nearly four years of being their stay-at-home primary carer, I am letting them go into the world.

While I know this is good for them (and I guess for me) I feel a sense of apprehension that they will be exposed to some behaviour, language and let's face it, children that I'd rather they not be exposed to.

But then that's all part of learning I guess.
Learning when to join in or follow as instructed and when to stand up for yourself and assert your independence.

In preparing for their big day I finished their backpacks last night and they've hardly had them off today.
I think they're a hit.

The best parts of the bag, according to the girls, are the hook for hanging it up at kinder, and the sparkly plastic sqaure where I put a little slip of paper with their names.

I won't show you those, or th straps here, because you can see them in the last couple of backpack posts.

This time around I used medium-heavy weight fusible interfacing that I got from Nikki, which was lovely to work with.
It has given the backpacks great support and firmness, without being all stiff and hard. Will definitely use this again.

I also used template plastic in the base and some purse feet, which because this bag was not lined and it put together with an outer loop (the sides, top/zipper and base) joined to the front and then back, I will admit were a bit fiddly to do.

But I really love the final effect.

The finishing touch for these backpacks are a couple of cute heart and flower zipper pulls - which are on their way to me now.

Then we will be ready to go, well the girls will at least.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Feeling groovy

I am still going on the backpack making marathon - two down, one partially completed and one to go.

Here's the second one, for the music-loving brother of the little girl I made the mushroom one for. The fabric is Michael Miller's Groovy Guitars, a great boy-print that I think will grow with him.

This time I used some medium-weight interfacing that I had on hand and it made a huge difference to the end result.

These pics were taken with nothing in the bag (the previous one was stuffed with paper as I mentioned) and it stands up on its own quite well.

My machine might struggle a little with the next ones though as the canvas is a little heavier fabric than this was, so we'll see how we go.

I got this in the mail yesterday (from Hawthorne Threads of course) and have to tell you it is the most lovely soft and 'drapey' material I have ever bought.

It's cotton voile from Anna Maria Horner's Little Folks range and it's to make something for me, something secret of course! One day soon I will be able to reveal all.

I also think I have found the perfect use for this Echino fabric I have had in my stash for a while now, a satchel for my niece.

I ordered some bits and pieces for making this satchel and medium-weight interfacing and d-rings for the next two backpacks and I have to say that the service from Nicole Mallalieu could not have been better. (Hi Leah!).

I ordered before 3pm one day and had the goods in my hands LESS THAN 24 HRS LATER!

Admit it - that's impressive.

And lastly - the smallest decided today was the day she would try on her 'Dorothy' dress as made by Grandma for her for Christmas, so I thought I'd grab a snap of the three together.

Oh - and by the way- that rabbit is apparently called Toto and I was told he was smiling when this was taken, in case you aren't good at deciphering the facial expressions of stuffed rabbits!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Which one are you??

During the Christmas/New Year period I took a little time to embellish a shirt I had using the technique of 'thread sketching' that Gina introduced me to on her blog.

You'll see that my bird, while not as nicely shaped, greatly resembles hers.

That's because I have determined that there are two main types of crafty folk - the 'makers' and the 'creators'.

I'm the former. In the past couple of years I have become quite good at 'making'.

I can follow most patterns with relative ease and make an item according to a set of instructions provided, using a design that someone else has created, but I can't wing it.
My brain doesn't seem to function that way.

I don't 'create' as such, I'm not brimming with clever ideas of how to make new things from items others have discarded, like Kirsty.

I don't come up with musical instruments and games for the kids like Nikki.

And there's no way in the world I could develop a pattern from scratch like Nikki does.

So I loosely copied Gina's bird (she states on her thread sketching page that this is OK!) and stitched him onto a comfortable and loose plain cotton shirt I had.

And while I will in no way claim the idea or the technique to be my own, I really love wearing this little bird shirt and am very gratefully for people like Gina, Kirsty and the two Nikki's for sharing the clever things they come up with.

So, which are you?
A 'maker' or a 'creator'??

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Packed and ready

I have hoarded, I mean kept, some Wizard of Oz fabric I bought from Corrie ages ago for just the right project, and when I saw the Made by Rae backpack that Joy made for her son Austen, I knew I had found it.

But before cutting into my precious material I decided to make one up using things in my stash, so here is my test backpack.

This is a really sweet little pattern and I found it easy to follow, but it took some time as there were lots of processes to it.

This was probably partly due to the fact that I wanted the piping to match really well so made my own (a first for me), then the cotton twill I bought for the straps were not wide enough and so were slipping so I made them too, and I am glad I did as they now match really nicely.

It's not lined so the inside you can see the seams - I bound the ones inside near the zipper panel for neatness.

It is a really cute little bag but after I started it Joy suggested interfacing the fabric and I will definitely do this for the next one so it 'sits up' better on its own.

I filled the bag with paper to take these pics.

You can't really see it too well, but on the back near the top between the straps I sewed a small piece of plastic (with glitter through it as that was all I had on hand) on three sides, so the new owner can slip a piece of paper inside with her name and address on it.

Now I have another cut and ready to go for the twin brother of the girl who will be getting this for her birthday.

Then it's on to the kinder bags.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Slowly, slowly...

That's how we've been taking the past few days - to recover from our ultra-busy start to the year.

Mind you, in 44 degree celcius heat, there is little you can do with three small children but barricade yourself into your home and stay cool.

Things have been a little slow on the sewing front too, only one little backpack to show so far, apart from the things my niece and I made - but I can't really take credit for those as she did most of the work.

So what have we been doing...
we took my gorgeous niece to the airport and said goodbye to her - always a fun outing in itself (and yes one of my children did go dressed as 'Dorothy'!)

I didn't get a great pic but here's the huge bag we made for all the extra stuff she had to get home.

It was 'plumped up' with pellon and has two internal pockets and a key hook inside, and a pocket with snaps outside as well as snaps along the top.

We used Milly's fabulous bag tutorial for the basic bag and just added the extras.

Then we made a matching mobile/iPod cover and made her a luggage tag to match as well just for fun.

We've been playing with hair styles

there's been lots of dancing on the deck in suitable attire (bee gumboots go with everything don't they??)

There was a little shopping for shoes ready for kinder girls and I got a couple of new pair that suit my current lifestyle.

Oh and I managed to corrupt another niece into the joys of sewing!

Life is returning to normal so I hope to be back soon with the backpack, I still have another three of them to make so get ready for it!

Friday, 1 January 2010

Looking back...

What happened?

One minute I was here, the next I seemed to only blink and two weeks have gone by.

They were full weeks though.

There were cousins for overnight stays, taking the number of kids in the house to six, there was a road trip to my parents (east of the city) and the man of the house's parents (to the south-west of the city).

Hats were made, presents finished and wrapped and dresses sewn.

Family visited from interstate, a lovely niece came (and is still here) allowing us all to enjoy her company.

Somewhere in there was also Christmas, New year and a 50th wedding anniversary celebration.

Phew - now it's time to stop and do the things we love as a family; go swimming, see a few shows, ride our bikes, visit the zoo and hang out in the backyard.

I will admit I didn't get all three 'Feliz' dresses finished for Christmas Day, but I came to the realisation that given my mum was making them 'Dorothy' dresses, they were unlikely to be worn. (and I would have been right!)

They wore them for the first time yesterday, at their Grandparent's 50th wedding celebration.

So I will leave you with something I saw a lot of yesterday, and will for days to come I am sure - small girls twirling joyfully.

I hope 2010 provides you with new and exciting experiences, and the heady rush you get from twirling too much.