Thursday, April 30, 2009

Something for me - Part 2

I have been sewing lots lately but for other people. I thought it was time to make something for me. Past attempts to make clothes for myself have not ended well. I seem to always have trouble fitting patterns and the finished item never seems to look how I thought it would. Then I feel like I have wasted my time and the fabric and I'm never going to make myself anything again. All very dramatic!

But I decided I needed to stop worrying and just make something. So rather than deal with the stress of a bought pattern, I pulled out a top I liked but no longer fit and made my own pattern by copying what I liked and adding what I wanted. My mum happened to be staying over while all this was happening and as she is a great sewer, was able to offer excellent support and encouragement.

Anyway... after not too many hassles, this is what I came up with.

I am really happy with my new top, but the best part of this whole process is that I did it without worrying about perfection, following steps and what might be wasted if it didn't work. There is hope for me yet!

Something for me - Part 1

Yesterday I met my friend Totem for coffee and when I arrived, was presented with a smile and a gift bag. A few minutes later, coffee arrived and this was what sat in front on me.

A fresh, sweet smelling coffee (made by someone else = always better) and a present wrapped in tissue paper and wool. Almost too good to unwrap.... almost!

Inside was a neckwarmer she had made me for me. It is gorgeous... thick, heavy and warm, and I felt very glamorous when I put it on. Handmade gifts are always special and knowing that Totem's free time is minimal and precious at the moment, I felt extra special that she had knitted this for me.

But there was more! Also in the gift bag was this mug. Not only had she given me something to make me feel good on the outside, but something to make me feel good on the inside.

Gifts for special occasions are great. But gifts "just because" are better.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Many kids get attached to a specific toy that becomes their favourite. For my son, it was this little toy, which he always held by a leg. But for some reason I can not explain, was also drawn to these bibs that I made. They are nothing special - just a basic bib made from a double layer of toweling because he had reflux and we needed lots and lots and lots of bibs!

Because the bibs have been vomited on and washed that many times, to describe them as ferral would be kind! I just couldn't have my boy's need for comfort fulfilled by a skanky bib. So I had to get creative and make something that would so the job.

So I combined what he loves the most from the toy and bib....

the legs....

with the toweling...

added some stretchy fleece hair...

some fluffy eyes, a nose and mouth...

a tail that can be used to tie it to the pram so it wont be lost...

and came up with what we affectionately call "Bug"....

Monday, April 27, 2009

Please meet my friends...

My friends JT and Macca were about to celebrate their 12 year anniversary and I wanted to get them something as special and as excellent as they are. But what? Nothing we thought of seemed right. Finally, it was decided that the only thing as great as them was..... them!

Thanks to the fabulous Kinder Boys pattern that I feel in love with and bought at the Stitches & Craft show from Jodie at Ric Rac, I made my friends a mini-JT and a mini-Macca to celebrate their special occasion.

But what is in their suitcases? Everything they need, of course!

Boardshorts, hats and towels for the beach...

A business shirt, pants and a tie for formal occasions...

Flannelette pyjamas..... with bed socks (I don't want them to get cold feet!)....

Did you notice their 'Softies' to cuddle in bed....

My clever sister Truj made these for the boys.

To carry their important things, I made the boys bags.
JT has a backpack to carry his camera, zoom lens, magazines and books...

And Macca has a satchel to carry his laptop, magazines and books...

The awesome camera and laptop are more Truj creations.

So when I last saw the boys, they were busy taking photos and sending emails!

I completely LOVED making these for my gorgeous friends. Another top secret project done.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My first swap

I am very excited and equally as nervous as I am doing my first swap. Inspired by Sandra from Pepperberry & Co who is taking the leap into her first swap, I have decided to join her. I've read about lots of swaps that happen out there in blogland but doubted I would be able to make something good enough. But I've decided to face my fears and with encouragement from Tinniegirl, I'm ignoring the little voice in my head that says "I can't" and I'm doing it... agghhhhh!

So a big thanks to Snailblazer who is hosting the swap (and who very kindly gave me a late pass!), I have until the 15th May to get my swap items done and delivered. Now... what to make.....

(thanks to Sandra for the super cool swap button....)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Oink, Meow, Woof, Ribbit

My kids have discovered magnets. They pull them off the fridge, chew them, put them back on the fridge, pull them off the fridge, chew them again, put them on the dishwasher, push them under the dishwasher.... you get the idea!

So one day I was watching them and decided that I wanted to make them some magnets. After lots of thinking and planning and some design help from my friend Daws, this is what I came up with...

I used a basic circle as a starting point, then morphed it into each animal. I liked the idea of combining material and felt for texture, so each animal has a felt feature. They are lightly stuffed with polyfil so they are soft and easy to grab, and I sewed ittle magnets on the inside back so they are "chew-friendly"!

As you can see, they have been very well received...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Purse and Slice

It is my gorgeous friend's birthday today. In my new tradition of making gifts, I made her a little coin purse...

And because she loves coconut, some Coconut Jam Slice...

I was very happy to be one of her many friends to spoil her today.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Toasty and sound asleep

The second part of my present for Totem's girls was sleep sacks. I truly believe sleep sacks have magical powers when it comes to babies sleeping. My two always sleep better when they are in sleep sacks. Anyway....

I used a McCalls pattern (4236) given to me from my mother-in-law and modified it in a few places. The pattern says to use stretch knits and the edges are finished off by turning and hemming. I decided to use cotton for the main fabric and flannelette for the lining. I thought this would make them lightweight yet toasty for those cold Winter nights.... and a bit cuter! I also put a fabric back behind the zipper, a snap button at the top of the zipper and used bias binding to hem the sleeves and armholes.

Totem emailed me tonight and I quote... "The girls are sleeping soundly in their new sacks and look super cute."

How great does it feel when you create something for someone and they love it.....!!!

Monday, April 13, 2009


As I mentioned in my last post, I made some fabric letters for my friend's daughters for their birthday. They are to go on the end of their cots using sticky-backed velcro.

I experimented a lot to get the finished product. Because the letters were just 7cm tall, they were very tricky to sew then turn because I had to be delicate so the 1/4" hem didn't fray and make holes (lesson learnt from experience!). I started by sewing pellon into the seams but this made some letters (the Es and Z) near impossible to turn. I was thinking I wanted them flatter rather than puffy which is why I used pellon.

So then I ironed stiff interfacing onto the letters, which while still tricky to turn (I never want to see a skewer stick again!) , made it easier than using pellon. I then stuffed them with wadding and hand sewed them closed. I was worried they still didn't "sit" right but forgot how magic a good ironing can be!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The girls turned 1

Totem's girls turned one today. A first birthday is a reason to celebrate but especially for these girls who were born very premmie and had to work hard to get healthy. Remembering how they once looked so little and delicate, it was great to see them today.... happy, healthy 1 year olds.

For their birthday, I finished two of my top secret projects. I made the girls flannel lined sleep sacks and fabric letters spelling their names for the end of their cots. To finish off the present, I made cards by embroidering a felt balloon on one, and a felt birthday present on the other.

There were a few hiccups along the way but as with any sort of project, it was good learning and mistakes I (hopefully...) wont make again. I'll write more details of sleep sacks and letters in future posts.....

Easter Bunny and his carrot

I was lucky enough to spend Friday evening with two of my favourite people, JT and Macca. We had planned to head over to their place for dinner which based on past experience, I knew would be delicious.

True to form, Macca did not disappoint and cooked up an amazing meal of homemade gnocchi and cannelloni (yes, I said homemade.... from scratch!). Impressive doesn't seem to explain it. This was then followed up with rhubarb crumble. It was an incredible meal.

Knowing they would spoil us with delicious food and good company, I wanted to take something to give to our gorgeous friends.

I pulled out my box of felt, came up with a simple pattern, then cut, stitched and stuffed to end up with the Easter Bunny and a carrot. As these were presents for grown ups (and to make them slightly useful!!!), I sewed magnets on the inside backs so they can sit on the fridge.

I was pleased that was where they ended up in their new home.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Just 4 sleeps until Easter

I was in a panic yesterday when I realised it was just 4 sleeps until Easter. Even though my kids are not old enough to know it's Easter (or old enough to ask for chocolate....yet!), I wanted to start a tradition of making my children something for Easter.

But what to make? I came up with a few ideas and searched the net but had the problem of minimal time and no chance to get to the shops to buy materials. So given my time constraints and the fact that the kids will most likely put whatever I make them in their mouths, I decided on a knitted Easter Egg each. I found a very cute pattern on Little Cotton Rabbits and headed to my box of knitting stuff.

Because I used the wool I had and kept the pattern on my eggs very simple so I could get them finished quickly, my eggs are a little less gorgeous than the ones on the pattern. But I got them done and it means my kids will get a homemade present for their first Easter. I am happy now!