The end of Zip-tember

Yesterday was the long awaited 'putting zippers into bags' course at Addicted to Fabric run by Nicole Mallalieu.  I did wonder before going how on earth I was going to spend 5 hours in a course on zippers, but the time flew by and in fact it took me all that time to get 2 zippers done- an exposed zipper pocket and a zipped gusset.  There was a lot of waiting around for the irons you see.  That's my excuse anyway.  So this afternoon instead of going to my first vinyasa yoga class (sorry Michelle!) I finished off the tote bag from the class, so that my new little sewn zippers had a home.  And do you know, I'm pretty proud of this.  I followed the pattern (which obviously helps) and it is easily my best finish - ever - on a bag.
This is a pretty dodgey shot of the innards. You can't see it but there is a nice pocket on the inside and then the whole bag zips up nicely.  I was originally going to give this to my mum but I think I might have someone else in mind.  The material is very 'Australiana' which she would like but I don't think she's really a messenger bag kind of lady.  
So where does that all leave me for Zip-tember.  Pretty darn fine I think.  The course has helped me overcome my zipper phobia - a bit - and I'll aim to make some zippered things for the fete.  This month I made a pair of pants with a zipper, this bag with different types of zippers and I made a little cardi with buttons (to re-enforce August is Buttons).   So I'd call it a success.
What's my improvement project for October!? (Apart from a whole lot of craft stall sewing....!!@? and KCWC)  We will see.,

P.S.  No surprises but I didn't manage to leave the shop empty handed. Still no fabric for the PAVOT but I did find this jersey which I think will look amazing made up into a drape dress.  I'm not sure it's really me but I just loved the electricity of the blue.  The only thing better would be if it was in fluro pink!!

In the mail..

Look what arrived in the mail yesterday!  
How quick was that to come all the way from France. 
I bought it less than a week ago!
Through some good fortune, we have two long weekends in a row here in Canberra (which correspond to school holidays) AND I have my zipper course at Addicted to Fabric tomorrow so I will be able to linger around the fabric to see if anything calls out to be made into the pavot.

kids clothes week challenge: 8-14 October 2012

I have been a long time fan of Elsie Marley and I have watched from the sidelines as a number of her Kids Clothes Week Challenges have come and gone.  This year, prompted by the need to sew a few pairs of shorts for the boys for summer, I've decided to sign up.  The idea is that for ONE week you sew (cut, knit, etc) for ONE HOUR a DAY on kids clothes.   This is during school holidays for me so the timing is good.. and I have quite a bit of material in the stash that needs to be used up.

FINISHED! pink bolero drape cardigan

P9230205With the dark pink Jersey I bought yesterday I made myself, in no time flat, a little bolero / drape cardigan.  Influenced heavily by the drape cardigan I did here (and have since worn heaps and heaps of times) I wanted one similiar but didn't want it so long and drapey at the back.  In fact, I was never going to be able to make it as I only bought 1 metre of the dark pink jersey... so.. I pulled out the Japanese Pattern Book: Clever and Unique Clothes My Style, which I was supposed to have sent to my sister last Monday (sorry J!) and used view H as a basis.  H is made from woven material so I improvised a bit and used the same technique as the drape cardigan to attach a binding piece all around.  It kind of worked.  With a binding piece on the sleeves as well.
The sewing on the back is a bit messy as I first had the V going the wrong way but I'm not too worried about it and the curve which I made at the front seems to have worked ok.... and because I used interfacing I was able to put some buttons on 'a la the original drape cardigan'. Who would have thought a month ago I'd be applying buttons where they don't need to go!
I'm all 'buttoned up' in the photos but obviously I'll be able to button it anywhich way you like!
Buttoned lower makes it longer at the back!  Ta da!

SPRING PALETTE (and officially too many things to do)

I went to the fabric store this morning as next week I am doing a zipper class with You SEW Girl and I needed to get fabric for the bag (the course is all about putting zippers into bags using this pattern).   I tell you there just wasn't anything in my stash so this was a must do trip (yeah right).  After wandering aimlessly around for ages trying to work out who would get the bag and therefore what fabric would I use, I finally decided that I would make the bag for mum and once I'd settled on that the rest was easy.  I got this Waratah fabric for the outside and the Australian places for the inside.  I think she will love it.
I also picked up some hot pink linen (you should have seen the range!).  I've got something going at the moment with the brights.. maybe it's starting to feel like spring and the sun is shining.  It seems a bit daring to be making something in hot pink but I'm running with it .. although this calls into question my thoughts yesterday on making a chambray coloured veste pavot..... Chambray seams so might end up being in a super bright linen!
So with the hot pink I'm either going to make another pair of pleated pants (in the right size) or the Miss Chalmers Skirt.
I also bought a darker pink jersey to make another drape cardigan (although I will try to make this a bit shorter at the back).
I have seen a few people using colourlovers, so in a trip into the unknown and clearly using only very basic skills, I've tried to depict the colour palette that is presenting itself so far this Spring.  It's probably not unlike that in the shops but it has a nice happy feel about it.
And as the title suggests with the excitement over the purchases this morning, I now have too many things that I am working on or wanting to start:
  • Wings using this tutorial:  for a birthday and Christmas present
  • More undies (hence the foldover blue elastic in the shot)
  • Drape cardigan in pink jersey
  • Pleated pants/miss chalmers skirt in hot pink linen
  • Crafty things for the preschool fete(including the start of a super hero mask seen in pic) 
  • Oh and French homework (of course) - not sewing but still on the to do list for this weekend 

Deer and Doe Veste Pavot

Like a lot of other sewers, I too am excited about the debut release of patterns by Deer & Doe. You can see the collection here. I've just bought the Veste Pavot  which according to google translate is a  "Mid-season jacket unlined, fitted at the waist with gathered sleeves and a subtly retro-inspired round neck. Pockets made at the seams."  It was the pockets at the seams that did it!
Veste Pavot
This pattern will take a while to arrive all the way from France, but I have to go to the fabric shop this weekend so will be keeping my eyes out for the perfect material.  At the moment I am leaning towards a chambray colour as we move into Spring...mais on verra!  Oh and the fact that the pattern is in French is good homework for me....!?

a quick birthday present

We work with this gorgeous girl who is having a birthday next week and one my colleagues said that she thinks she hangs around with really intelligent people (she probably didn't mean her work mates) and that she wishes she sometimes had more  intelligent things to say.  I find this hard to believe - but anyway, it was decided that as part of her present we (meaning me) would make a little cloth book and then we'd collect little facts that she would have readily available to impress even the biggest geek!
So, I remembered I had this cute little japanese pattern book at home with a pattern for a book cover in it and got to work deciphering the pictures and Japanese instructions. 

Her favourite colour is blue, so I tried to use blue where I could and I managed to use up a few Liberty scraps in the process.
The finished product is small - the perfect size for a credit card. It's a bit wonky (obviously), so don't look too closely at the lines, but I think this has great potential.  The instructions were in Japanese so now I've done it once I think I can improve my construction... and if I can work this out, it might just replace the tissue holder as my new go to for the end of year 'teacher Christmas presents'.

Renovation on the finished pleated pants

Today I returned to work and was very excited about wearing my new pleated papercut pattern pants.  But, to be honest, I had been worried about the fit of these since I made them... I had made them two sizes too big and wasn't sure that I had adjusted them sufficiently.  I thought I might be able to get away with the 'baggy look' and so on the weekend I bought a cute belt to go with them thinking this might help. But, well, not so much!
Before - not so bad from the front with my hands in my pockets..
I wore them because I was committed to them and it was my first day back and I wanted to wear some colour. And I did get lots of lovely compliments.  Think was clearly because of the pattern and colour rather than the fit.  Check out this photo of my bottom I made Oliver take when we got home this afternoon to confirm my worst fears of bagginess.
Eeek - crotch too long and way too baggy!!!
All day I was fiddling with them and working out how I was going to adjust them.  I had even contemplated taking them to a local adjustment place rather than face major renovations myself.
Anyway, I devised a plan to adjust in the crotch and in the leg a bit.  It was a cheat sort of renovation.  More like a slap of paint rather than any wall removals, but I think it does the trick sufficiently.
I really love these pants and couldn't face not being able to wear them so I think is a good compromise.
Next time...  The right size!!  So here they are post adjustments:
Better from the side now..
An embarrassing bottom shot but better than before - not hemmed properly in this photo
And now pretty happy despite the look on my face.

FINISHED! a pair of undies!!!

I have been thinking for a while of making a pair of undies and you may remember a while ago I bought some slinky jersey and fold over muslin elastic.  Well today I did it.  Thanks totally to Zoe's how to make panties/undies/knickers...   I drafted up a pattern using an old pair that I love.  This pattern will need a bit of tidying as I was a bit rough and ready with it so I'll even it up when I transpose it onto some card. Also, my cutting was pretty dodgey so if you look closely through the elastic (maybe next time I won't use semi transparent elastic to hide my sins better) then you can see the uneven cutting.  But you know what.  Who cares.  They actually fit pretty well and despite unpicking several times to get the material in between the elastic, I don't think they will fall apart in the first wash.  Success. Although the true test will be in wearing them!

care package and washi tape

Today I was lucky enough to get a care package from my sister.  Sensational!! She had generously made a trip to Tessuti and picked up some fabric for me.   Liberty!!  Yes, new Liberty - Virtual Light A from the 2012 Autumn Winter Digital Story collection . I might just make up another sugar tee tshirt with it! The colour match is great with the pants I made earlier in the week.
And two remnants: a cute batik type material (I think there is enough to make a little pair of shorts)
and this one...  a stretch, sheer, jersey, stripey fabric.  It will be fun working out something to make with this one.  This material is not something I would normally use, but it is so fun thinking about how to use it!
And as for recovery, I'm still sporting moustache bandages which were previously  secured using some industrial medical tape provided at the hospital.  This morning I decided that there weren't enough layers of skin left for more of that after four days of constant changing and ripping, so have been sporting washi tape ever since.  Classy isn't it. 

FINISHED! papercut pattern pleated pants in socialite blue linen

I think I may have just made the almost perfect spring time pant.  I am loving this colour and love the high waisted pattern from papercut patterns in NZ.
Almost perfect.. because I'm not sure I have put the hooks and eyes on exactly right (either that or I need a third one and secondly, because I had to do quite a bit of fussing around to get the size right...
Monday morning I made a lot of progress with the pants managing to get the zipper in, the pleats and the pockets.  Unfortunately, after looking at the size chart I marked out my approximate size and decided to cut out an S.  Now, you can see from the 'X's that my measurements were smaller than the S but bigger than the XS so living in fear that I wouldn't be able to get the pants done up I went with the S. MISTAKE!  Would you believe that I had to remove about 20 cms from the waist!!  I took about 12 cms from the back and redid the the pleats at the front.  Urrgh. Next time I make them I think I'll just cut out the smaller size
Anyway, having said that, this pattern was nice to make and it turned out better than I thought I would be able to do. The instructions come in this cute little book and were easy to follow and not overwhelming.  And hooray to a zipper clothing project completed in Zip-Tember!
I'll post a photo soon of me actually wearing the pants but for now you have some stuck on the wall shots. The tops in the photos I have worn regularly with a much darker blue pant and of course with denim, but the colour of this linen really lifts the outfits.  I could have put up another 3 tops that I think will go great.  I think these will be the ultimate versatile pant.
And here is one last shot with the melting icecream mini bag that just arrived this morning from Harvest Textiles.

FINISHED! the super easy but wonky lo fi baby blanket

It's finished! Finallly! It is fair to say that the knitting on this blanket is very lo fi and wonky with funny skipped stitches, but I hope it will be loved anyway.  Amazingly enough I finished it prior to the baby being born (he or she was due Sunday 9 September).
(p.s I'm out of hospital with bandages that need constant changing taped under my nose. Gross! Let's hope it's worth it)

sunday sewing dr suess style

I made some progress today on the pleated pants.  Well I cut out the pattern and fabric. I'm still trying to work on not rushing things!  A super neat feature of the pattern is the hole in each of the pattern pieces so that you can hang them up.  I took full advantage of this!

I am in charge of the craft stall at this year's preschool fete (!!!!?)  It's not til the 27 October, but thought I'd try something with the laminated dr suess material I had in the stash.  The original plan was to make little zipper bags out of it, but after reading this  article and finding my own zipper foot rated as 'the worst', I decided to go for a bit of relaxing Sunday sewing.  So I tried my hand at making some bunting.
Yes bunting.  My first ever! I'm thinking that even if it doesn't sell at the fete, then it will make some nice decoration for the stall.

I'm sure as the sewing heats up for the preschool fete, I will post more items, but I will try not to bore you too much!

present wrapping

Re-usable wrapping (drawstring bag!) with stitched card for 4 yr old birthday party tomorrow. 

don't forget the soup!


I'm having next week off work as I'm having sinus surgery. Just one night in hospital.  Is it bad to be looking forward to the week off from work!?  I have lots of sewing planned so I hope the recovery isn't going to get in the way of making those pleated pants.
Anyway, the gorgeous people I work with gave me a little present.  6 containers of fantastic home made soup by Karralee who is one hell of a chef.  It had been in the freezer at work so there were signs everywhere, including on my hand to 'don't forget the soup!.
And this cute book: 'What I Wore Today' by Gemma Correll.  Do you know this book?  Check it out it's so fun!
There is flickr site where people can upload the drawings of what they wore and a blog too!!  I love it.  What great presents.


Photo courtesy of
 My sewing plans for September (zip-tember) revolve around making the pleated pant from Paper Cut Patterns.  Yes, they have a zipper so I will be able to stand tall and proud (hopefully) at the end of the month.  I bought a bright blue linen this morning at Addicted to Fabric.  My poor photography skills have once again let me down, so I don't have a picture that does the colour of the fabric justice... but I did look on the Pantone web site and it is somewhere between Dazzling Blue and Socialite Blue.
Also while I was at the fabric shop I bought some of this spotty greyish black stretchy fabric and some green folded muslin elastic.  The plan is to make one of zoe's vests and maybe try a pair of undies as well.  But lets not get too far ahead of ourselves!  I'm not even sure the green elastic will work!?