Sunday, October 31, 2010

Knitted lady beetle.

If you are a friend of Mill's, and you have a baby, you know you are in for a treat! I know this from observation, not experience, by the way. With the arrival of a bouncing baby boy on the Friday just past, Mill came over today for some craft and whipped him up a cute lady beetle.

I am constantly in awe of Mills knitting - such perfect tension and fast results! Another beautiful creation my dear friend. Oh, and did you see the just-too-cute-for-words labels Mill now sews onto her gifts?!?

Sam xox

Friday, October 29, 2010

Art deco earrings.

My love of Etsy and vintage grows stronger every day. Arriving home from work this evening I found a small yellow package waiting for me in my letterbox. Inside it contained some art deco earrings I purchased from a vintage jewelry seller on Etsy a few weeks ago. Some are clip-ons, some are screw-ons, all are big and all are sparkly...

Thanks again to RustyCharm for selling me such beautiful pieces!

Sam xox

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Circle skirt.

I am going to my first ever Halloween party this weekend! There was no theme for the party other than "dress up" so I was at a total loss as to what to wear. I knew I wanted to sew my outfit and wanted something that I could (possibly) wear again. I also love vintage styles at the moment. Casey from Elegant Musings was able to join the dots for me, when I came across the circle skirt pattern she had scanned onto her blog.

After studying the vintage patterns instructions I went and purchased a teal blue heavy cotton fabric and contrasting white bold ric-rac. On Wednesday night I measured my waist, cut my fabric, and became confused. Why had what I thought would be an 18" waist suddenly become a 32" waist? After standing dumbfounded for several moments, Jamie gently reminded me of Year 10 maths and something about pi...

So, here is my modified version of Casey's circle skirt - I call it my "Teal Blue Semi-Circle Skirt"!

If you want to have a go at making your own circle skirt, you can find the pattern here!

Sam xox

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Craft day.

Craft day is a new concept for Mill and I. For years we have had Craft Nights; a weekly routine during which we would do craft, share a meal, and debrief about what had happened during the week. As our lives changed, our weekly routines began to become tricky to craft around, and we were finding that weeks were going past with no craft nights happening.

Mill and I are similar souls, in that we enjoy the stress relief doing craft gives us as well as having an end product. We call craft our 'therapy'. I am sure most people who do some form of craft would agree with us!

On Saturday Mill and I got together for our second craft day. An eight hour session of crafty goodness.

Mill's craft this month was to make an apron based on one that she gave me last year for my birthday. Mill had been looking at similar aprons at some Sydney markets but the store holders were charging $50 for them. Mill was convinced she could make the same thing for much less money, and she was right!

Below is the apron Mill gave me, a simple apron involving two different fabrics, a pocket, some gathering and a waistband.

Mill purchased some cute strawberry print fabric and a complimentary red and white spotted print. The grand total for Mills apron was less than $12! After a few hours spent at the sewing machine, this is what she made...

How clever is she?!? I will type up some instructions for how to make this apron sometime this week. I am so inspired by this creation, I can't help but want to make one for myself!

I worked on making a dress out of the Liberty fabric that arrived last week. I was well on my way to finishing it on Saturday, but after sewing in the zipper I realised that I had chosen a colour of zipper that was not quite right. After a bit of hesitation and consultation with Mill and Michelle, I decided to unpick the zipper and end my sewing for the day.

Today I went and purchased a nicer coloured zipper and spent an hour this evening working on the dress. It is not completely finished, and it is now dark so any pictures I tried to take of it looked terrible, but it wouldn't be fair if I left you with nothing, so here is a (terrible quality) sneak peak.

Mill and I are now committed to having Craft Day every month. It is so much better sewing in the daytime; sunlight is so much better to work in and we are not as tired as we are during the week. Plus we get in a good eight hours of craft in one session, which means we get more done as it cuts down the set up/pack up time.

Sam xox

Thursday, October 21, 2010

BurdaStyle does Liberty.

Burda Style recently asked ten of its members to make a piece of clothing using one print of the new Liberty range by fabric designer Kaffe Fassette. Anyone who has quilted with a piece of Kaffe's fabric will know how unique his style is. I can't wait to get my hands on some of these prints, perfect for the coming summer! You can learn more about this challenge and check out the finished pieces by clicking here.

Picture from Burda Style.

Here are my favourites:

- Westminster Burda Dress by ajtak7171
- A-line Tunic Dress by PeterLappin

And finally, in the same bright fabric:

Inspiring aren't they?

Sam xox

Orange juice.

Whilst visiting my dear friend Mill on Monday, I was offered a bag full of hand picked oranges from the orange trees in her parents garden, with strict instructions that they needed to be used within 48 hours! What else was I to do but take them home and make freshly squeezed orange juice...


Sam xox

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Liberty arrival.

The fabric I ordered from Shaukat arrived this week. It is the first time I have every purchased 8 meters of fabric in one hit, and I have to admit that it did feel particularly decadent to have it shipped to me from the United Kingdom! They are all Tana Lawn fabrics and feel and look so beautiful.

I was thrilled to open the parcel and unwrap my bundles of joy, however something wasn't quite right. I had been most excited about purchasing the navy Mauverina fabric. I had fallen in love with it months ago and knew that I had to - needed to - buy some. However, I could not understand why, looking at it in my hands, I was not excited by it at all...

Take a close look. You might notice that the Mauverina isn't the colourway I had originally ordered. The Mauverina fabric of my dreams was a navy print with popping yellow flowers, and in my hands I held a dark and dull purple mess (a tad dramatic I know). Disappointed and not expecting much help, I emailed the address listed on the website and was surprised to get an almost instant response! Leila was very apologetic and more than helpful, giving me many options that were all very reasonable. I decided to exchange the purple fabric for the navy (as I did not want to keep the 'dull mess').

I am thrilled with how easy this error was to resolve with Shaukat. I am now a very happy customer and would highly recommend Shaukat not only for their immaculate fabrics and swift delivery, but for their superior customer service too!

I cannot wait for craft day this Saturday! What do I make first?!?

Sam xox

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Burda Style printable patterns - how they work.

I have been purchasing and printing a number of Burda Style patterns recently, and find that I am really enjoying the hassle buying these PDF patterns online takes out of dressmaking. You see, in the past I have driven over half an hour to the large homemaker stores, only to spend another few hours looking through their monstrous pattern books trying to find 'the perfect pattern'. Guaranteed, I then either end up purchasing a pattern that looks the closest to what I had in mind (a purchase I later regret), or I go home empty handed and disappointed (aww).

Three of my favourites at the moment...

The range of patterns offered in our Sydney stores leave a lot to be desired. Most are very dated and cost $15 or more to buy. Here's where Burda Style comes in. Their patterns are current styles costing between free and $7 (the highest I have seen on the website, but there might be higher ones). Most are graded patterns and their size ranges are really generous. To get the free patterns all you need to do is sign up for a free account and log in. For patterns that have a cost, you simply pay for them securely through paypal and then you can download them and save them onto your computer or USB stick.

What I also like about this form of pattern purchase is you can save the PDF files to your computer, but you can also access them online - which comes in handy for me when I am sewing at my Mums place!

If you are as much of a neat freak as I am, you will also like the fact that if you cut your pattern to a certain size, but then need a different size down the track, you can print yourself another one.

Printed pattern ready to be taped together...

Once you have downloaded the PDF, you simply print the instructions and pattern and then spend a small amount of time gluing or taping the pages together following the number/letter coordinates (warning, some patterns are 25+ pages so have lots of paper handy and print in a low resolution setting on your printer).

A skirt pattern ready for cutting out...

Cut your newly made pattern out with scissors (not your dressmaking ones of course!) and there you have it - a sewing pattern!

And there you have it, a skirt pattern ready for use!

Some things to be aware of though:

There are two main types of pattern on the website: & Burda Style Magazine. The main differences between the two are that the Burda Style Magazine patterns do not include seam allowance in the patterns and also have strict copyright laws. See here for more information.

Happy sewing!

Sam xox

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Eastern suburbs quilters.

Remember a few weeks ago I found out there was a quilting group that meets really close to my house? Well, last night I went along to the Eastern Suburbs Quilting Group to check it out. I took along my wedgewood quilt I am hand quilting and settled in for a night of meeting new people, ohhing and ahhing over their quilts, and getting some hand quilting done! It was a fantastic night that was over too quickly.

I thought I would share with you two of the quilts Bronwyn brought with her to the group, as I love her colour taste and quilting style! She kindly let me take some photos on my iphone of her projects - thanks Bronwyn!

Hand pieced curved nine-patch quilt in repro prints.

All the blocks sorted and ready to be pieced together.

A baby quilt. Beautiful!

A close up of the beautiful fabrics.

Beautiful red ticking binding.

Thank you Bronwyn for letting me take these photos. Your work is very inspiring.

Sam xox

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mel's crochet quilt.

Crocheting is a skill I am still trying to master. My granny squares are coming along very slowly and I still am finding it hard to find my crocheting groove. Rather than show you my poor excuses for squares, I thought I would treat you all to something a lot more pleasing to the eye.

My dear friend Mel joined me for a pancake breakfast yesterday. I begged her to bring along the blanket she is working on, so that I could take a few photos for my blog. I think her blanket is looking so beautiful, and I am willing her on to get it finished. Her choice of colours is perfect and I love the pattern that is beginning to emerge.

This is going to be a beauty.

Keep going Mel - it is looking fantastic!!!

Sam xox