Well, hi there! I bet you even forgot I had a blog. For myself, I did a really great job at pretending this didn’t exist and avoided crafting almost completely. A depressingly, disappointingly great job at avoiding.
My last post was in August 2014. At least I can say I didn’t go two years until poking my head back in here? I had a moment of craftiness last year when we were going to a dress up party and I had this brilliant idea I would make our costumes. I got fabric and worked out the patterns, did our measurements, cut everything out and started sewing. I got partway through my top and tried it on and it was enormous. I wasn’t sure as usually I’d be a 16 or 18 but my measurements said I would need to make the 22! In hindsight, should’ve gone with the usual because this thing was just way too big and I couldn’t see how I could save it.
Reduced to tears and depressed as hell by the fail, I threw the crafting in the bin until about one month ago.
A dear online friend, who hubby and I have met through Final Fantasy XIV Online (our shameful yet awesome addiction), who goes by the name of Lona, sent us a box of goodies from the US. She’s an awesome crafter, and she KNITS! And crochets and weaves and spins. Not so much since her little boy was born, but she’s still awesome.
So Lona sent over some starter needles and some yarn to start me off. I’ll do a post in a few days about my knitting escapades. We also got some fancy chocolate and other goodies, and some utterly terrible Crackerjacks. Please don’t ever send those again 🙂 And the prettiest scarf I have ever seen that she made herself. For me!
And so, we had to tag team a gifts back. A multitude of Australian chocolate bars, Aeroplane jelly, chips, bikkies in the shape of tim tams and iced vovos, Aussie toys for her kiddo and some gorgeous red 100% Australian merino wool yarn.
I had to send back some of my crafties. There are two things our Lona loves, sea turtles and daffodils. Without further ado, cookie pictures and sewing pictures!
I grabbed some green and blue cotton fabric from my sewing room in an attempt to make it look like they are swimming. Well, I tried…there were another three of these guys getting ready for their container to the US.
Closeup sea turtle. Say cheese! Aww, check out that cute smile.
These cookies have four different greens on them, the body, and the flipper/head accents, and the two greens for the shell. I used the wet-on-wet technique to get the cookie surface to stay flat, and I’m just amazed at how well it worked. To refresh you, wet-on-wet is applying your base icing colour and while still wet, add the second on top. The second colour sinks into the first so that it smooths into a flat surface.
Lets get a little closer. I use Pavlova Magic as my dehydrated egg whites in my royal icing mix, and this adds this crazy awesome sheen to the cookies. It really shows up in these pics.
And daffodils, which are Lona and my favourite flowers. Because come on, they are just the happiest flowers ever.
Both the sea turtles and the the daffodils were hand-cut from a paper template and a lot thicker than I usually make them in hopes they would then not break when flying overseas. I used the wet-on-wet technique again, putting down the pale yellow across the whole cookie, then adding the medium yellow and the dark yellow. When the icing was wet I could barely tell the difference between the pale and medium colours but they came out great! I left this to dry somewhat, added the raised dark yellow drops and left to dry completely until the next day. I then piped on the black outlines freehand and quickly to enhance that abstract feel.
Almost last minute (the week before) I had been knitting and my project was getting bigger, I realised I needed a project bag stat! It’s not great just to leave your project on the coffee table, or on the couch, especially with a cat around. I figured I wanted to make Lona one as well and visited my local craft store to find some pretty fabrics. Her favourite colour is blue (just like me!)
I picked up this gorgeous fern-like fabric for half-price, so that was even better. The blue I used for the top and bottom is a part of a cotton stash I had lying around at home, same for the gingham ribbon. Hubby is happy when I don’t spend too much money on fabric 😉
I also got this cream coloured fabric with stripes to go in the interior. I wanted a light colour so that no fabric dye would potentially mark any yarn placed inside. They were washed first as you do anyway!
Closer look at the two fabrics. Hmm, maybe I should have used white thread in the bobbin…. lucky I sewed straight!
Finished drawstring project bag with two balls of yarn inside and two balls outside. Lona received these goodies today, and initial comment was “Love them! The other knitters I talk to will be so jealous of this bag”. I got these yarns from Bendigo Woolen Mills, and they are 100% Australia merino wool. Gosh we make some great stuff here in Australia. These colours are Sangria (dark red) and Ruby. I may have gotten some other colours for personal use too…. How could I resist!? Those are 200 gram balls of quality yarn for about $16 a ball. That is just an amazing deal.
One final shot of the bag, it really shows off the fern pattern brilliantly and our delightful ruby yarn, in a more true colour shot. (I suck at taking photos :P)
If you would like to make your own drawstring bag, this is the tutorial I used, just increased the middle section so the bag was tall enough to put in 14 inch knitting needles.
So that’s all for now. I’ll be back soon with a post about my venture into knitting land.
Until next time, have fun.
I know I’ve been hitting the apron pattern reasonably hard, as this is the third one, though only the second one for me. Maybe I’ll sign up AA (Aprons Anonymous) when I hit twenty or something.
I had bought this butterfly print cotton quite a while ago; if I estimate right it might have been close to two years and was one of the first after I purchased my sewing machine. Well, my intention of sewing with it finally happened. I paired it with a blue cotton poplin for the back skirt waistband and ties. I had to add an extra layer of off-white fabric behind the butterfly print because it was a little see-through. The pattern called for rickrack as decoration along the bottom of the skirt which I didn’t have but I had a lot of ribbon on hand.
But what really grabs me in this pattern set, is that each apron has a different technique that I haven’t learnt before. This time I was learning pleats and there were two types. There are box pleats (below). These look pretty casual as they haven’t been pressed all the way down the length of the apron skirt. I remember my school uniform skirt had box pleats that were a pain to iron but looked good.
I think these are called knife pleats. These took what seemed forever to mark up from the pattern, fold, press then stitch. And what really bugs me about these is that it makes no sense to me why they are even there. The front skirt covers up the back skirt completely. All that work never gets seen – it’s frustrating and disappointing.
I had some issues with the pattern and instructions this time around. I didn’t feel that the pleat instructions were very clear, so much so that I had to go to a second source to confirm the process. The pattern was incorrect as the circles on both sides of the pleat in one section were the same, when one side should have been small and one side large so you knew which way to fold it. And lastly I discovered that I would do some things differently. See below in the picture. The bottom hem is sewn, then the side hem over it and then the ribbon attached across the bottom hem stitch line. That ribbon fold over the side hem just looks sloppy and unprofessional. It should be (and how I will do it next time) bottom hem, attach ribbon, side hem.
Lastly, I trotted out to Spotlight yesterday with the intention of picking up some cotton and sewing machine needles to take advantage of their 2 day 30% off everything sale. Which is always a dangerous trip because I rarely buy fabric at full price. However I had every intention of staying away from fabric this time due to two overflowing enormous plastic tubs full of fabric which did not include the fabric I picked up last month at Lincraft’s 50% off all fabric sale. All of that aside, from left to right – grey and white quilting cotton (love the polka dots), some black drill to attempt shorts-making for Jason with spring and summer fast approaching, and the most divine fleece in blue for me and black for Jason. I was searching all winter for some nice fleece and nothing caught my attention until now. Expensive without the sale, justifiable with, surely? So I am making hoodies, even though as I said, spring and summer are just around the corner.
Until next time, have fun.
We’ve always had a dodgy peg bag purchased from the supermarket. When approximately two months ago the hanger inside of it snapped, I went to buy another one. My cheap-ass side hyperventilated at the $4 price tag and refused to purchase it. Some support from the masses please – if you have another option would you really buy the thin, blue and white striped, plastic-hangered atrocity from the supermarket for that price? Come on, I can buy a block of chocolate with that money.
“I can do better than that, I’ll make my own!” I said.
I procrastinated by looking at tonnes of sewing sites and Pinterest trying to decide on what my peg bag should look like. In the meantime my broken disheveled peg bag lay on the back step instead of hanging from the line while I hung my washing.
But here is the masterpiece! If you are interested, I followed this simple tutorial. http://blog.lovemesew.co.uk/2013/05/03/how-to-make-a-pretty-peg-bag/.
I used a little bit of this cherry-print cotton sateen with the lining and button hooks in cotton poplin.
Jason’s opinion is that it looks like a hungry frog, but other than that he’s a fan. I like that the “mouth” is wider than the supermarket version so you don’t get your hand stuck inside while fetching pegs. The fabric hooks fold over the line and loop over the buttons. No pesky buttonholes here! There is also no hanger to break, woohoo!
The pegs are happily snuggled in their new home
And look! The button hooks double as a hanging hook when not in use.
Until next time, have fun!
You can’t imagine how much of a thrill it is to finally make something for me. I always have intentions of doing it but then time or motivation or other people’s presents get in the way.
My indecisive husband helped me choose the main fabric for this apron, in that I asked him what he thought and he immediately agreed. Pretty rare moment that! I adore the birds and roses and real vintage feel of the print. A dark blue polka dot to match and apron-making was all set to go.
Fast-forward approximately six months and I finally made it. The skirt pattern matched the one as seen in this post but I went with a simple bib on top.
The skirt and waistband were top stitched in black and white respectively I love the professionalism and design quality that top-stitching brings to a project.
Can’t wait to use it and also dread getting splatters on it. I think I’ll need a dark apron for those extra messy kitchen endeavors.
Until next time, have fun!
As promised, I made a couple more soft toys in the style of the dog from earlier. The panda design came with the pattern but I created the cat myself. You can also see my dependable sewing machine – A Brother BC-2500 that I brought on special from Spotlight about three years ago. I think it even has automatic sewing, but that scares me – I much prefer using the footpedal.
Cat has his whiskers machine sewed randomly. I think in hindsight this stitching is too thin and I would hand sew them in future.
Jason asked me what I would do with more toys, to which I have found a wonderful solution. Panda is becoming my pin cushion! Can you believe I do not own a pin cushion and I have been sewing for years. No more pins everywhere on my sewing table.
Until next time, have fun!