Thursday, August 27, 2009

My Creative Space - The Green Vest

A few weeks back, I told the tale of a jumper....

...a jumper with a destiny to be refashioned

...a jumper with a destiny to leave behind her Op Shop past and find a loving home in my wardrobe

... a jumper whose destiny was not to end up as a midrif or as pants for my son

Well after much procrastination panicking planning, I confessed to Gina that I didn't know where to start. She told me to just do what she did and that was all I needed. I got cutting and sewing and am happy to report that the jumper has fulfilled its destiny.

I started with a cut up the front then took the side seams in a little to give it some shape. The collar was then cut down to about half its original size and part of it was used for the front piece with the brooch. The rest of the collar and the sleeves were sewn on the bottom of the vest to give it extra length.

So I send a BIG thankyou to Gina and Mim for sharing their creations and inspiring me. I know it might be daggy to say but I really love this vest! I am excited and inspired at the idea of making things I want to wear from things that somebody else didn't want to wear.

And on the thanking, thankyou to Nic at yardage girl for the fabric she sent me. Now, what to do with it... .hmmm....

Head over to Kirsty's to visit more creative spaces...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pants Pants Pants... pants pants!

Since finding this tutorial by Dana, I have been obsessed with the idea of making some knee pad pants for my kids. I just love them. There is something about these pants that just really appeals to me. Maybe because they don't look new, or because they scream "I'm ready to be played in"... not sure. But it did get me thinking.... does the love extend to grown up pants? Would I wear knee pad pants? I think the answer is yes but I'll get back to you on that.

So anyway, I got a little fix on some repairs I did but this didn't stop the obsession. I realised that I would just have to make these pants so I could then move on and free up that brain space for something else. Does this sound familiar?

Not content with making one pair of pants, my kids, my friend's two girls and my niece all now have a pair of knee pad pants. But the best bit is that the black fabric was $1 from the Op Shop, the green was a $3 remnant from GJs and the patches are a mix of old socks, a too small onesie, an one old t.shirt and a bit from my stash.

I wasn't brave enough - I did try and it didn't go well - to make my own pattern so I used a commercial pattern for the actual pants. They are OK but I will adjust the pattern to give the pants more shape for next time. Oh yes, there will be a next time!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Feeling relieved

It is with much relief that I have been able to get my idea for the Quilt Project out of my head and onto paper (do I see other heads out there nodding...??). Stitches have been tried and practiced thanks to a book borrowed from the library, and now I'm ready to start on my "good copy".

After feeling nervous and worried and other similar emotions, now I'm excited and can't wait to get started.

To have a peek some other delicious red goodness, head over here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Creative Space - Pram Bag & Box

The refashioning project is on pause because my creative space has been preparing for my very new nephew (who arrived in this world on Tuesday) and my sister, the mother of the beautiful baby boy.

I must admit to feeling a tinsy bit proud as I handed over the planes to my sister who said "I can't believe you made these". As with many crafters, it wasn't until my babies arrived and my whole world was turned upside down and shaken (then shaken again!) that I rediscovered sewing and craft and creating. A little bit of embroidery has opened up a whole new world of creativity, allowing me to find parts of myself that were hiding so well I didn't even know they were there. Now don't get me wrong... I don't think my little planes are going to change the world! But they are a product of an exciting little journey I am on.

Anyway.... so the planes were for the baby boy and this little purse is for my sister.

I really wanted to give her something that was linked to James' arrival but also something she could use. I stitched a girl and boy on the purse to represent her daughter and her son, and while very stereotypical with the pink and blue, I'm OK with that.

Then inspired by Kirsty's super cute project kit and 'roller' confession, I refashioned a cardboard box into a gift box, complete with a cardboard button. It was the perfect size to fit the planes, purse and few other goodies.

To take a peek into some other creative spaces, head over to Kooyotoo....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Come fly with me

Our extended family will grow by one very soon when my nephew arrives in this world. I remember back when my first niece was born and thinking how strange that this little person had arrived and started the next generation of my family. She triggered lots of thoughts about families and how things change. Without a choice, her birth had made me in to an aunty and I now had another person in my life to love, care for, worry about and enjoy. It was a strange realisation to have, especially when I thought I had finally worked things out... life's funny like that!

Anyway.... in the hope of inspiring great adventures, my nephew will be able to lie in his cot and dream of places far away as he looks up at the planes flying in his room.

Each plane is on its own ribbon so they can be hung close together or scattered apart, like the stars I made for my kids' bedroom.

This is the first time I have made a pattern from an idea in my head. so there was lots of trial and error and test planes before the final design met aviation standards!

While there were moments of frustration, a bit of unpicking and some corners that aren't quite perfect, it was very satisfying to make something from scratch.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My Creative Space - The Past, Present & Future

The Past
An unexpected gift with a simple "you'll probably need to dye it because the colour is not great. Is that OK?".

"Of course not," I replied, filled with an equal mix of love from this act of kindness, and fear of not having a clue on what is involved in dyeing. Hazy memories of tie-dyed tshirts came flooding back to me... an arty phase I was not eager to relive.

The Present

I decided to try and step outside my comfort zone and not go for black. A dark green seemed like a subtle shift in colour I could manage. But standing in the chemist - overwhelmed by all millions of little tins - I panicked and stuck with what I know (and love). So armed with my $4 tin of Ebony Black, I read and reread the instructions.... it felt like a recipe for disaster!

Maybe it was the original colour of the jumper or something I buggered up in the process, but my should-be-ebony-black jumper is now a gorgeous deep green.

I'm not at all disappointed and sort of love that the jumper took control and helped me stick to my original decision.

The Future refashion this deep green jumper into a fabulous top I love to wear. I have been completely inspired by some awesome refashioning here and here. And of course here.... the post from the gorgeous unexpected gift giver that started all this craziness! Cross your fingers for me.....

Check out other spaces full of creativeness at Kooyotoo...

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Well that isn't exactly true... I should have said...


I was lucky to be able to test Nikki's new pattern, the yet unnamed baggy-pursey-thingamy!. It has a working title of the 150mm Barrel Purse because, well, that's what it is! But it could also be called a little bag. It is a great size, perfect for carry the"essentials". Check out Nikki's blog for lots of gorgeous examples including different variations on the handle.

I made the version with a detachable handle using a swivel hook. I love this version because it changes the bag into a small clutch purse.

This is another FABULOUS pattern from Nikki's ever growing range. As with all her patterns, there are lots of photos, tips and notes that accompany the clear and concise, step-by-step directions. While explaining a fiddly part of the process, Nikki writes "It gets easier with practise - I promise!".... and she's sooo right. I felt more confident sewing this purse after following her other patterns and feel that my overall confidence as a sewer is also improving.

The pattern will be on sale very soon and if you are in Sydney, you'll be able to grab yourself a copy at the Stitches & Craft Show.

Now if you think you have the perfect name for this cute little thing, quickly head over to Nikki's blog and let her know. Hmmmm... maybe I should suggest "The Voldemort"....

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Creative Space - The Big Picture

So this is my first 'Creative Space'. I thought it was about time I joined in after quietly peeking through your blog windows into your creative spaces for so long. So given that this is your first official glimpse into what is called my creative space, I thought I would give you the "big picture".

This..... is my creative space...., not the verandah (although it is used to handsew while watching children play).... my creative space is my house!

We have a great little house at the top of a too big hill... but.... it is a little house. It was bought when "we" were 2 but now we are 4 which means we have double the stuff we used to have. So my creative space is spread across the house.

Most of the actual creating takes place on the dining room table...

... where it is delicately shoved to one end at dinner time.

Supplies are kept mostly neatly on a shelf in the corner of our bedroom....

... with some fabrics of the everygrowing stash finding their home in the bottom of the wardrobe.

So that's it. A little peek into my house, my life and my creative space! Head over to visit Kirsty at Kootoyoo to be inspired by lots of Creative Spaces.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Jumper, jumper, cardigan, pants

Remember that man's jumper that I refashioned (unintentionally) into a midrif... well I didn't give up on it. Out came the good scissors and I cut up the front to make it into a cardigan. Because of the extra fabric in the neckline, it hung really well... but it still sat too high, especially at the back. Even though I could wear it with layers, I didn't feel comfortable in it so I knew if I left it, it would sit in my wardrobe and I would never wear it.

Still not wanting to give up, I laid a pair of my boy's pants on the cardigan and started cutting. Again, I found the whole "sewing without a pattern" thrilling.... (this could become addictive!)....

...and ended up with a pair of Size 1 pants. I used the sleeves for the legs and the band that was around the bottom of the cardigan as the waistband, folded over to hold the elastic.

So that's the refashioning story of the jumper, jumper, cardigan, pants.... a story I am so glad I started and preserved with, and that ended well!