Thursday, 22 December 2011

Tick and Tick...

Well I have been very busy all afternoon and actually managed to get a few more things ticked off my 'to do' list.

First of all, I got my SIL's birthday present finished. Her birthday was on Tuesday but I knew that I wouldn't see her until Christmas day so I put it off for a few days to get some other sewing done.

So this is what I made her.

A Make-up bag.

I used a Fat Quarter of Nancy Blues (28959) by Windham Fabrics for the main colour and a cream bold cotton for the lining and the bottom trim. I clipped and sewed the corners on the bottom to give it a bit of a box shape on the bottom.

I really like the way it turned out that I'm thinking of making myself one (maybe after Christmas though).

I have also finished another dress. This time it was for Chelsea. Her Christmas day dress.

I used the left over fabric from Sophie's dress to quickly whip this one up. It is a simple shirred dress but I made some armholes and only shirred the top part of the dress. I then sewed on some lilac bias tape around the armholes and up into some shoulder ties and also as a trim on the bottom of the dress.

This is Chelsea saying "lessee" (Let's see) which she says after EVERY photo I take. It has become a lengthy process taking photos of her now as I have to show her on the preview screen what the photo looks like. Kids!! hehehe.

Anyways, it is almost bedtime, hopefully I can finish my list tomorrow so I can relax on Saturday :)

As always, Thank you for reading and have a lovely Friday...

It's the final countdown!!

Not long now til Santa arrives...3 days to be exact. That means I have 3 days to finish a dress and make a top, pants, a clutch and some pillow cases. Should be do-able right?, maybe!!!

Anyways, I have finished my niece's (Sophie, 5) clothes for Christmas. She asked me to make her a dress for Christmas which put a big smile on my dial. (That means she must like the clothes I make).

This is not a great photo because it was late at night when I took it but this is what I started with. The embroidered cotton is a very light cotton and perfect for a summery dress.

I decided to make a pillowcase dress for her. I love how quick they are to make and they look so cute on. I think it will look beautiful on Sophie and hopefully it fits her. (It looked so big making it because I am used to making dresses for Chelsea who is nearly 2).

I wanted to make her something else as well. So I made her a tunic top too. It will look lovely paired with a pair of shorts in the summer and great with some tights and a t-shirt underneath in the winter.

So there is Sophie's Christmas pressies sorted, now on to finishing all the rest of my sewing.

Are you organised for Christmas yet or are you a last minute person like me??

If I don't post again til after Christmas, MERRY CHRISTMAS and enjoy the festivities :)

Monday, 19 December 2011

Meet me on Monday

Every Sunday, Java from Never Growing Old will post five get to know you questions that you can copy and paste into your own Monday post and we can all learn a little more about each and every one of us!! Here is her link.
This week there are 15 questions as there will be none next week or the week after due to Christmas and New Year.

This weeks questions are:

1.Wrapping paper or gift bags?
2.Real or artificial tree?
3.When do you put your tree up?
4.When do you take your tree down?
5.Do you like eggnog?
6.Do you have a nativity scene?
7.Favorite Christmas Movie?
8.Favorite Christmas cookie?
9.Where will you eat Christmas dinner?
10.Angel, bow or star on top of your tree?
11.Most annoying thing about this time of the year?
12.Do you like Fruitcake?
13.What are you most excited about the holidays?
14.Do you open presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning?
15.Will you still be wrapping presents on Christmas Eve?

My Answers are:

1.Wrapping paper or gift bags?

Wrapping paper. I love sitting down and wrapping presents, takes ages but is fun :)

2.Real or artificial tree?

I would love to have a real tree but we have an artificial one. It is a nice one though but nothing beats that beautiful smell of pine in your house.

3.When do you put your tree up?

1st of December usually but this year that fell on a Thursday so we just waited until the Saturday (3rd Dec).

4.When do you take your tree down?

I know that you are supposed to wait until the New Year or 12 days or something like that, but after having it up for nearly a month I get so sick of it that I take it down usually 2-3 days after Christmas day.

5.Do you like eggnog?

I have never tried eggnog and I doubt that I would even if given the chance. It doesn't look very enticing.

6.Do you have a nativity scene?


7.Favorite Christmas Movie?

When I was a little girl, a movie called 'Prancer' came on the TV around Christmas time. I taped it onto VCR and watched it over and over and over. I loved that movie :) I watched it all year 'round.

8.Favorite Christmas cookie?

I don't really eat cookies at Christmas time but I do eat a lot of Ferrero Rochers and Candy Canes :) mmmmmmm

9.Where will you eat Christmas dinner?

Christmas dinner this year will be at my parents house.

10.Angel, bow or star on top of your tree?

We have a lovely glittery star on the top of our tree this year.

11.Most annoying thing about this time of the year?

The crowds and crowds of people that line all the shops....not that I can talk, I am there as well :)

12.Do you like Fruitcake?

Sometimes. I really have to be in the right mood to want to eat fruitcake. I like it better when it is warmed up with a little bit of thickened cream over top.

13.What are you most excited about the holidays?

Seeing my children's faces on Christmas morning and watching them have a wonderful time. Christmas is all about them now and it warms my heart to see them so happy and enjoying themselves over the holidays.

14.Do you open presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning?

Ha ha, Nick and I are shocking at waiting until Christmas morning. We are so impatient that we end up opening our presents to each other on Christmas eve but the kids open theirs on Christmas morning.

15.Will you still be wrapping presents on Christmas Eve?

Yes I will be for sure. This year I have been very slack/busy so I haven't even started wrapping the presents yet. I will be assembling 3 bikes on Christmas Eve as well :)

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and New Year. Be safe and have fun!!

Mini Ironing Board.

While visiting my grandparents last week, I mentioned that I had a 'Wish List' and quite a lengthy one at that! I rattled off all the things that I would like to get and on that list was a mini ironing board.

I have a big ironing board with a huge big steam station iron but it lives upstairs (only place it really fits in our ever growing too small house). When I am sewing and have a million little seams to iron, I am constantly running up and down the stairs to do so. It drives me a little bonkers! I should think of it as good exercise but I don't. I think of it as an annoyance.

Anyhoo, after telling my grandparents this, they said that they had one that lives in their caravan and that I could borrow it....YAY!!

So off I went, home with a mini ironing board and 1 more thing off my list.

This is what it looked like when I got it home. I am very grateful to my grandparents for lending me this but the fabric was not really me!

So I styled it up, Vicky style :) I found this fabric a long time ago at an op shop. It was $2 for 2 metres! I made some Easter bags this year for some of my nieces with it and the rest of it stayed in my fabric pile just waiting....waiting for the day to become a new ironing board cover...Ha ha.

I just love it and I no longer have to run up and down the stairs (for big projects only I guess), making the whole process a lot faster which is always a bonus. It stores nicely on the side of my desk and I just place it on top of the desk when I need it and it can stay there while I work. Perfect!

Have a lovely day...

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Out with the old...

I have decided that this Christmas, all I really want is to upgrade and increase my sewing supplies.

So...I started all out with a new desk.

The 'desk' I was using was actually an outdoor table with a glass top!!! That's right, I was sewing and overlocking on glass. It wasn't a big table either so it was always cluttered with stuff and I could never find anything.

It makes sewing so much more pleasurable if everything you need for a project is close at hand just waiting to be used.

Anyways, back to the story...I had a quick look on trusty old ebay to see what was going in the way of a bigger table or desk in my area and success!!....there was a massive L-shaped desk going for auction that was ending soon. I bid and I won.

Still in progress of sorting it out but it is so nice to have an actual desk instead of a table :)

The cutting and measuring area. (please ignore the ribbon hanging behind the child form, looks a bit rude doesn't it. heheh)

The sewing and overlocking area. Notice my 'Brother' sewing machine in the above picture? Well, after getting a new desk, the next thing on my list was to replace my sewing machine. I loved my machine but I was beginning to want more from it, more than it was capable of doing. I upgraded! Spotlight was having a sale on sewing machines and I was going to get one of those until I decided to check out ebay as well. I wouldn't usually get a machine off ebay because it has no warranty etc but I saw one that I really really liked and it was so cheap. And, best of all....I have gone from having 15 stitches to hundreds!

It is a Janome sewing/embroidery machine with touch screen. It is perfect for my needs and I have had so much fun learning all the stitches and even embroidering a few things. It had hardly been used, came with 14 different feet and 3 embroidery hoops and sews like a dream. I am so very very pleased with my bargain.

Next on my list is lots of little bits and pieces from the sewing store like some zippers, basting pins, a hem guide etc etc.

As I am a very impatient person, it drives me insane if I have to put down a project to make a trip to a store to pick something up in order to continue. Of course, if you are a very organised person and actually plan projects out before you start then this would not happen to you but me on the other does. Once I get an idea in my head, I have to start it straight away whether I have the supplies or not! 

Following that on my list is a bigger cutting mat and endless supplies of fabric. OK, I doubt I will ever get the last one but one can only dream :)

Hope you all had a lovely weekend and stay tuned to see what I have made for my sister-in-law for her birthday, which is on Tuesday :) 

Monday, 12 December 2011

Meet Me On Monday

I'm doing it again. I am starting up 'Meet Me On Monday' again. I used to do this weekly on my other blog here and love it. I am going to start doing it on this blog now instead :)
So here goes....
Every Sunday, Java from Never Growing Old will post five get to know you questions that you can copy and paste into your own Monday post and we can all learn a little more about each and every one of us!! Here is her link.

This weeks questions are...

1. Tomorrow I'm going to _________?
2. Pudding or Jello?

3. What book are you currently reading?
4. What is the first concert you went to see?
5. What is your current weather?

My answers to these questions are...

1. Tomorrow I'm going to _________?

Catch up on some laundry. Hopefully the weather is nice and I can get a few loads done and folded away....fingers crossed!

2. Pudding or Jello?
Neither. I don't really like desserts.

3. What book are you currently reading?

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick. It's the second book in a series about fallen angels. My sister lends them to me and I love reading them.

4. What is the first concert you went to see?

I'm not sure. I can remember going to Bjorn Again (the ABBA tribute concert) with my friend many years ago. Her mum and her mum's friends were going and invited us along. We decided to go as a laugh but ended up having a great time :) "Mamma Mia, here I go again...My my, how can I resist you".... (had that song stuck in my head for weeks and now thinking about it again I can tell I'm going to be humming it all tomorrow while doing the laundry HA HA!)

5. What is your current weather?

It is supposed to be summer but our weather of late has been very crappy.

21°C - Scattered Clouds

Thanks for Meeting Me On Monday and hope to see you join in for next week :)

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Hi making my 1st quilt.

I hate December! For us, it is a very busy time of year. Not just because of Christmas and all the jazz that accompanies it but because of the birthdays we also have in December. We have the birthday of my niece, MIL, BIL and SIL...all in laws! Anyways, this year instead of spending a gazillion dollars on presents, I am going to make them. My previous 2 posts here and here are about what I made for my niece's 1st birthday last weekend. Today we had a party (afternoon tea) for my Mother-in-law who turns 60 tomorrow.

Her gift from us, that I made, was a quilt. Not just any quilt FIRST ever quilt. Special eh? I was originally going to make it wall hanging size but then decided to make it lap size instead. So this is what I did and how it turned out.

****Warning: Lots of photos ahead ******

I have mentioned in previous posts that a while ago I bought a FQ 10 pack of spotty negative in various colours, well I used 6 of them in the quilt I made. Orange, Black, Light blue, Green, Grey and Pink.

I didn't really have a plan or pattern for this quilt, I was just going to go with my gut and see what happens. I got an idea in my head to somehow put all our hand prints on the quilt in a square for each. I wasn't 100% sure of the best way to do so whether it be fabric marker, applique or embroidery. I went with embroidery and matched the same coloured thread with the fabric. I drew around our hands, each onto a different coloured square, using with my erasable marker and then used a back stitch to go around the outline.

1 hand down, 4 to go and an extra square to fill....

Since I had 6 squares and only 5 of us, I needed to put something cool in the extra one. I appliqued the word LOVE. I interfaced some matching fabric to 'stiffen' it up a bit and cut out the letters L, V and E. I had a heart mofit that I ironed on as the 'o'. I then did a rough applique stitch around the lettering.

This is how the panel of my 6 squares turned out. I added our initials in black thread and also added some sashing in between each square to make them stand out a little more.

I cut 3 1/2inch squares out of the spotty fabric - 4 of each colour and made 2 panels to run along the top and bottom of the quilt.

This is the quilt top finished. I used a beautiful yellow fabric for the sashing, borders and other panels.

For the backing, I used a gorgeous vintage blue floral fabric that I found at spotlight. I was excited that it was only $8/metre so took it up to the counter and the sales lady told me it was on special at $4/metre....Bargain!

So this is how it turned out....BRILLIANT! I am very happy with my 1st quilt. There were a few things that I will do differently and change up for my next one though but I couldn't be happier with the final result. I used a black binding which is a little hard to see in this photo but it framed the quilt well :)

I made some cupcakes also to take along to the party, wrapped up the quilt with some tissue paper and a pretty pink ribbon and the headed out the door - Nick and kids in tow.

The afternoon was lovely. The party was held at my MIL's parents pool area (they live in a big retirement village) and as it was a nice morning, we were all looking forward to a swim. The weather decided to pack in and a storm crept in. Luckily there was a big undercover area :)

And my favourite part of today....
My mint chocolate cupcakes with vienna cream icing....YUMMMMM!!!!

Hope you all had a lovely Sunday as well...

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Charlie's Party

This is an update on yesterday's post - (Lemon Shirrr-bet).

I didn't have enough time to make some PJ's last night like I have originally wanted so this morning when I woke up, I knew I had just enough time to whip up a skirt instead.

I brought a Fat Quarter pack from the fabric shop ages ago and it was 10 FQ's of 'Spotty Negative' in various colours. I decided to use the purple one and paired it up with some plain white fabric and made a 'Market Skirt' using the tutorial from here. I have made a few Market Skirts and just love how easy they are and how cute they look.

Here is the one I made my niece Charlie to accompany the 'Lemon Shirrr-bet' dress...

She will look adorable in them both.

Charlie's party was great fun. The kids had a lovely time and it was held in a park that has Rock pools beside it. While getting the kids in their swimmers before we left (ready to go straight into the rock pools when we arrived), they decided that TV was way more important than me dressing them and this is how I found the 3 of them...

Cheeky right?? ha ha.

I must say, parties that are held at a park where all the kids can run around and burn off the copious amounts of sugar that they have just eaten, are my favourite parties!!

Playing ball with Uncle Chris.

A lovely Sunday indeed.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Lemon Shirrr-bet.

Hello there,

Remember me?? The slack one!

Well the boys 5th Birthday Party has came and gone and I didn't even have the decency to do a post-party post or even tell you how everything I made turned out. Well, I will do a post on that in the coming days (I will!!) but for now, this is a post on a little dress I made for my niece for her 1st birthday which is Monday.

I have been busy for ages..*ahem* 3 kids lately with lots of things going on and it wasn't until yesterday that I thought to myself..."I better get cracking on making something for Charlie (niece), her birthday party is on Sunday!".

I put my thinking cap on and came up with an idea to try something I haven't tried before....


I bought some elastic thread to do so a long while ago but never got around to experimenting. Yesterday was the day.

First of all, I went through my fabric stash to see what I could find and voilĂ ....found the perfect fabric for the job. I am a sucker for seersucker (ha ha pun intended) and found some on special at Spotlight a few months ago at $2/metre. Can you believe it?? I just love a spotlight sale!! Anyhow, that's the fabric I used.....Yellow Seersucker.  

The dress itself was very easy to make. I wound (by hand) the elastic thread onto the bobbin, threaded up my sewing machine and I was ready to roll. I measured around Chelsea's waist and used her measurements because although my niece is only turning 1 and Chelsea is nearly 2, Chelsea is quite petite and Charlie is quite big for her age. I took that measurement and doubled it. It worked out to be roughly selvage to selvage so I went with that. I then measured from Chelsea's chest down to her knee and got 43cm (17in). I ended up with a big rectangle like this.
Next, I hemmed the top and bottom of the rectangle then drew some lines on the fabric with my magic fabric marker 1/2 an inch apart. I drew 10 lines altogether like this....
Then the best bit...shirring. The shirring was rather fun. I back stitched the start and end of each line and it was cool watching the fabric bunch up after each stitch.

After sewing 10 lines, I was happy that it looked good. I then folded my bunched up fabric (right sides facing) and sewed down the side seam. I also overlocked the side as well to tidy up all the threads.

I then ironed my side seam and also ran the iron with steam over the shirring. It makes all the elastic gather up tightly.

I turned it in the right way, put some straps on it and I had a cute little dress for my niece. Well so I thought.....

I tried it on Chelsea to see if it was a good size and looked OK...which it did! She looked adorable... but then she wouldn't let me take it off her. She was having that dress. She was twirling and posing in it. It was hers. So back to the craft table I went to make another one.

The second one was so quick and easy to make as I was no longer a shirring virgin. I did make a slight change though. For the second one, instead of just hemming the top and bottom, I hemmed the bottom and made an elastic casing on the top. After shirring my lines (dropped it down to 8) I threaded elastic (waist measurement) through the casing, securing at each end and then sewed it together in the side seam. It made the dress look a lot neater. I then added some ties and topped it off with a lovely yo-yo.
This is how the second one turned out.

I still haven't managed to get the first dress off my daughter's back so I thought I would just take a photo of her chilling out on the sofa wearing it...

Doesn't she look cute?

Anyways, I am off to hopefully find enough time before tomorrow to make Charlie some PJ's as well. If I don't manage to get them made, at least I have a lovely dress to give her :)

Thank you for reading and I'll be back soon...

Monday, 24 October 2011

I can do the 'Can Can'...

As I mentioned yesterday, I went to the Brisbane Craft and Quilt Fair. I also said that I brought a few more things than I mentioned in the post. One of those things was some Can Can wool.

I hadn't heard of Can Can wool before but when I saw it at the Craft Fair, I realised that I had actually seen it in the form of a scarf. A local craft shop was selling them and I also saw a lady about a month ago wearing one and at the time I thought to myself "Nice scarf". These scarfs were made using the Can Can wool. 

It is very different to regular wool. It is like a netting fabric that curls up and it comes in a range of colours.

The instructions of how to knit with it are on the inside of the band around the ball. I found the instructions to be very brief and didn't help me much. I turned to the Internet for further advise and was surprised that there were loads of instructions available. Here is the one I found useful but there are plenty of others out there.

This would have to be the quickest knitting project I have ever done. In about 15 minutes, you have yourself and lovely long scarf. I brought the aqua blend colour as I am in love with this colour palette at the moment.

Photo courtesy of Hunter....not a great shot of me but that's the scarf.
They will be great for when we live in Melbourne next winter. I'll be able to wear a scarf everyday :)

Also, the good thing about the Can Can wool is that 1 ball can make several scarfs. Great for Christmas pressies I reckon. Give it a go!!

Stay tuned and Thank You for reading....