Sunday, 31 July 2011

On my needles

This week became a bit crazy - school holidays, snow storms, extra work covering a sick colleague,   friends to stay...   So I put the sewing machine away and started a new knitting project.  Much less messy and easier to pick up and put down.

I'm hoping this childs beanie will fit as I never knit the test tension square - so sizing is a bit pot luck around here, as are the colours because I'm using up some of the  yarn scraps from this cot blanket I made while I was pregnant 5 yrs ago.

I'm thinking of adding a few crochet flowers like these ones here which I saw in Mollie Makes - the British Craft magazine I recently subscribed to , just need to learn how to crochet first - mm - maybe next week.

The only other new project was this little play cape from Growing up Sew Liberated by Meg McElwee, again scraps from my stash, this explains the silver hood with red velvet and cow print flannel combination.

Maybe next week will go to plan and I may fit some more sewing in  as I have a couple of projects from Growing up Sew Liberated I want to try.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Easy machine Applique Tutorial

1.The first step is to find a simple design, I used a picture from a magazine but lots of books like Meg mcElwee's Sew Liberated, or sites like Martha Stewart have a lot of free templates.  Alternatively you can purchase templates on etsy , here is one of my favourite sellers.

2.Draw/trace and cut out shapes for each part - I use kitchen baking paper as it's a bit more durable than tissue.

3. Next use vliesofix/bondaweb or similar iron on adhesive and place sticky side down on the back side of your fabric and either  iron this on by placing the iron directly onto the paper visafix backing or flipping it over and iron through the front side of your fabric.( Avoid getting any sticky stuff on your iron as it's really hard to remove - I often use a thin piece of cotton between the the visafix paper and my iron to stop any stray sticky bits from the sides getting on the iron)

4. Then cut out the shapes remember to check the orientation of the shape especially if cutting from the back side.

5. Next peel off the paper backing of the visafix and place pieces on the fabric which the applique will sit.  If you want to applique onto an already complete garment I would recommend making your applique on a light piece of cotton first and then cut out closely around the edge and fixing the finished piece on - it's much harder to get a tidy finish if you can't manoever your presser foot easily .

6. Set the machine on a narrow zigzag stitch with a short stitch length.  I use a stitch width of 2 and a stitch length of 0 on my old Benina 931.  An applique or wide mouth foot is really useful here as you can easily see where you are stitching

7. Sew the bottom pieces first and layer as you go. You will see here I haven't zigzagged the inner edges of my pieces as they will be covered under the body of the rocket.

You can either use contrasting or matching thread - your choice. The hardest bit is the corners - I put the needle down and then lift the presser foot up and swing the piece around the corner and put it down again.

Continue to iron on and then sew the pieces in layers until finished.  I sewed the blue dots on the rocket last but if you are using thick fabric you may want to attach them to the grey rocket before the grey fabric has vliesofix attached (to avoid sewing through too many layers).

Pull all the threads through to the back as you go , knot and cut off excess threads.  Then continue on and finish the rest of your project! In this case a library book bag.  Hopefully this tutorial makes sense - please feel free to put extra tips in the comments or ask questions.

Friday, 22 July 2011

This moment

A Soule mama inspired Friday ritual , a single photo from the week, no words ( I'm cheating today - couldn't decide so there are two.)

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Gifts bags

This week I've done a bit more sewing, firstly a library book bag for a 6 yr old nephew's birthday

The pattern is from the Sew mama sew blog here, it's a really easy free tutorial, the 2nd picture is the button on the library card pocket on the strap in case you are wondering. I was asked about how I applique with the machine and so took photo's as I made it and will write a tutorial for easy machine applique in the next week.

The 2nd bag I made was another even easier one from the Martha Stewart site here, there was a video also which made the instructions much easier to understand. 

I had intended it to be for me - I was thinking for car keys, phone and $ when going out for dinner etc, unfortunately I think I didn't print it out at the recommended 200% as it's really tiny - perfect 4yr old size so it's been claimed for carrying small treasures already. (being small also made sewing the curves at the end really tricky so I'm going to try enlarging a bit and will make another) .

I then was given some red velvet fabric ( it had a big chunk damaged on the edge by transport) when I went into my local fabric shop last week to buy buttons and so tonight I made a play cape from the book Growing up Sew Liberated by Meg McElwee. It took just over an hour from tracing the pattern to sewing the button on- instant gratification  ( except that the free velvet fabric was actually really horrible stuff to sew, so I won't be buying any more!) Picture to come tomorrow.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Sewing Frenzy

Over the past week or so I have had a little sewing binge - firstly a little dress for a 2 year old birthday

Having learnt some new tips for applique at my sewing class and inspired by the Sew Liberated book by Meg McElwee I got last week - I then made a bigger version of this dress with butterflies for my 4 year old.

( sorry i took the photo of this dress and the skirt below at night with a flash so quality is not as good)

I then made another Insa skirt for a niece's birthday from the book - Sewing clothes that kids love.

I was about to put away my machine but have  just remembered that I need to make something for a nephew about to turn 6 soon. I have been trying to make as many gifts as I can this year but am a bit stuck on what to make a small boy - maybe a bag of some sort? - I did think about knitting a hat but at my rate that would take several months and I only have a week.  Any ideas as to what I can make? - remembering it is mid winter here . 

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Two finished projects

In a productive burst last night I finished 2 projects.  Firstly the hooded vest for G - so glad to finish that one - only to find this morning that it is enormous on her - ha, I could have had another year to finish it! She can wear it but it will probably fit better next year. No pictures of it on - she wasn't  in the mood at all to have a photo taken this morning .  A little over knitting after this effort, wasn't supposed to be a hard pattern but I struggled even sewing it together and think some seams I unpicked 3 times to get it to sit correctly.

The other project was a skirt I started last week at sewing  - very happy with this as I cut the pattern of another one I have and this new one is a great fit too.  A line style with stretch waist band, the fabric doesn't look much in photo but is really nice Japanese print that has been in my stash for about a year waiting to be made up.  I also lined it - usually I am too lazy but since I was at sewing class I was on best behaviour .  I am acutally most pleased about the fact that I managed to do a rolled edge on the lining with my overlocker - with minimal swearing and get a good finish - yeh, finally getting a grip with how to use it.

 Another snowy day here and childcare all closed so hoping to get some sewing done this afternoon as 2 birthday parties for niece and another little friend coming up .

Monday, 11 July 2011

Winter things we are loving

Snowy winter weather

Cozy warm fires

Lego /duplo creations

Mousetraps/toasties made with havoc pork free range bacon

Colourful 4 yr old clothes

Sew Liberated book by Meg McElwee that arrived in the post today

June's chocolate biscuits from my Mums recipe book

June's Chocolate Biscuits
 4oz butter (approx 125g)
4oz sugar (3/4 Cup)
5oz flour (1 1/4 cup)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp coffee essence
dark chocolate

Cream butter and sugar, add essence and mix in then dry ingredients.  Roll into balls and push down with a square of chocloate on top of each biscuit.  Bake for 15 mnutes at 180 degrees C until golden.

(I have found Olivio also works really well and tastes/texture very similar to  butter ones, I tried another spread one day but it wasn't nearly as good.  I have had trouble getting coffee essence so have just made it without and these are still yummy biscuits and a bit more child friendly too.)


Friday, 8 July 2011

This moment

A Soule Mama inspired Friday ritual, a single photo from the week, no words.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Flower Press Brooch Swap

I was pretty excited when my brooch arrived late last week in the mail from the brooch swap

Isn't it beautiful, whats funny is that I actually saw it already on the flickr group for the brooch swap and while there were lots of lovely ones this brooch was one I really loved and I hoped I would get something like it - so yeh lucky me and thank you so much  Suzy at floating world views I'm going to really enjoy wearing it.
I also had a nice surprise when I opened the parcel as  Suzy had  included an Amy Butler " Domestic Goddess" Apron pattern in with the brooch - I'm going to have to make one to go with the apple pot holder.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Apple Pot holder

I saw this cute pot holder pattern here at a while ago and this evening finally got around to making myself one.  I really wanted patterned bias binding for it ( you know how it is - you get an idea in your mind what the finished item will look like and plain would just not do) so last week over the course of 3 days I made about 6 m of pattered bias - a tedious task if you ask me.  The pot mitt itself was easy but my machine was not so keen on the final bias down the middle - I used 2 layers of old blanket as padding in each 1/2 so I broke a needle sewing the 4 layers of blanket plus cotton.

Of course now I need two, because you never just need one pot holder when you get something out of the oven

Friday, 1 July 2011

This Moment

A Soule Mama inspired Friday ritual.  A single photo , no words, capturing a moment for the week.