Sunday, January 20, 2013

Finished: The "Berrima" Quilt

Let me introduce to you "Berrima", the quilt I made for my mother for Christmas. I have called it "Berrima", after the quaint village township where I purchased the fabrics with her many years ago. This quilt is made from a pattern by an independent designer that I purchased many years ago (forgive me, since moving my sewing room into the other room I have misplaced the pattern. Once I find it I will credit the designer).

"Berrima" was made using woollen batting and an eclectic collection of quilting fabrics. I decided to contrast the floral prints with the red ticking strips, and also a paisley print binding. This beauty is 2.3 meters square, making it large enough to drape over a queen sized bed. I made a couple of mistakes with my machine quilting, mainly I suspect this was due to my basting. I secured the layers with quilting pins, but I don't think I used enough, so there was a little bit of movement in some parts. 

I have to admit, it was a little hard to give away :-)

I hope you enjoy snuggling under this in the coming winter mum!

Love Sam xox

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Burda Style tracing paper.

I have one of those compulsive personalities that wants needs everything to be in order. For dressmaking this means I spend the first half an hour of any project tracing out the patterns onto paper so that the original is not damaged or cut into in the cutting out process. Yes this takes me time, but it means that my patterns stay all neat and perfect. Plus, if I want to sew the same pattern later as a gift for someone, I still have all the sizes to choose from.

Swedish tracing paper, freezer paper, and interfacing have all been tried as a copy source, however none of these have ever worked for me properly. Some were bulky, some creased badly, and some the marker completely rubbed off! My strategy wasn't working.

Whilst lamenting this to a sewing friend the other day, she pulled out some Burda Style tracing paper she had bought from Spotlight recently, and suggested it might solve my dilemma. How had I not seen this before?!? How I spent all those years tracing out my patterns on sub standard stationary is now unfathomable. I rushed to Spotlight and bought three packets.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet my new Burda Style tissue paper...

I have given the paper a test run on my Colette Patterns Sencha blouse, and it traced out perfectly. I used an Artline marker pen to trace the pattern, and it didn't even smudge a bit. The tissue paper itself is lightweight and folds up as thinly as regular pattern tissue does.

So if you're a pattern tracer like me, and can't find this Burda Style tracing paper at your local sewing supplies store, I found one here on ebay for you :-)

Sam xox

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Ginger skirt in navy linen.

Here is my first project for 2013. A Colette Patterns Ginger skirt in a beautiful navy linen.

One of my new years resolutions (I know I haven't posted about these yet - I will soon I promise!) is to sew at least five different patterns from the Colette Patterns range. I pledged this resolution on Karen's blog post "Put your money where your mouth is". This goal is motivated by the fact I own too many a number of patterns from the Colette Pattern's range, plus the book, and all I have made from the brand to date has been a bunch of Sorbetto tops, and some Nutmeg knickers. That's all! Which is just so silly when these patterns are so cute!

You see, I have a weakness for small scale floral prints, and let's be honest, any Tana Lawn fabric from Liberty of London (Twitter and Instagram peeps you have surely worked this out by now!?). I usually turn these fabrics into dresses or tops. Whilst having lots of floral garments is nice, and quite pretty to look at in my wardrobe, I am in dire need of some wardrobe staples. Classic garments in basic colours to complement my floral addiction. For this Ginger skirt I knew I wanted a plain navy fabric. I went to Spotlight and found the most incredible navy linen.

I cut this Ginger as a Version 1 in a size 8. I didn't take any length off the hem as I like a knee length skirt. I used an invisible zipper and added some top stitching to the waistband.

And I have a confession to make. I just couldn't help myself. I may have added some Liberty to this skirt... see if you can spot where :-)

What I learnt from sewing this pattern:
- Linen feels divine.
- Linen creases easily.
- Waistbands lined with Liberty "Fairford" make me smile :-)

Sam xox

Monday, January 7, 2013

Tweet tweet.

I have finally joined the twitter community! You can find me here.Pop over and say 'hi' so I know your twitter name. I am already enjoying following a number of my favourite peeps from our online sewing community. 

To celebrate me finally getting the hang of tweeting, I bring you a blue bird themed showcase of my favourite Etsy items...

Little blue bird fly high
~ Light Blue Birds from MademoiselleChipotte ~

Blue Bird Novelty Craft Embellishment Buttons
~ Blue Bird Buttons from Firefly Cabin~

Blue Bird, Momma bird necklace, Fully customizable, including birthstone eggs
~ Blue Bird Necklace from Gold Fish Inspirations ~

String of Blue Birds
~ String of Blue Birds from NellieFellow ~

Blue Birds on a Trailing Vine - Hand Stamped in  Royal Blue - 2 yards (0336)
~ Blue Birds on a Trailing Vine from HomesteadTreasures ~

Blue Birds on a wire - ORIGINAL WATERCOLOR PAINTING 8 by 5
~ Blue Birds on a Wire from Cat2Owl ~

Sam xox

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A hand made Christmas.

My loved ones really do know me! This year I was lucky enough to receive a number of handmade items which are true treasures.

This quilt was gifted to me by my husband who knows I have a soft spot of antique quilts, fabrics from the 1930's (feedsacks), and the Grandmothers Flower Garden pattern. I often 'watch' quilts on ebay, and save the images for inspiration should I ever have the time to make my own. Well, he peaked at my account and ordered this one for me from America. A true Grandmothers Flower Garden, with feedsack fabric and the tiniest hand quilting stitches. The quilt is even edged in green fabric typical of the era. My jaw dropped when I opened the box...

The second gift from Jamie was a preserving kit I had bought from The Redback Trading Company. Whilst this is not strictly a handmade gift, it does allow me to hand make preserves and jams, so I think it counts. So far I have preserved cucumbers from my garden in dill pickle vinegar, and made some strawberry jam.

My very clever sister in law and her husband-to-be gave us a cheese board they had made from Tasmanian timber. I know it is not usual to smell ones cheese board, but I can't help it, this board smells divine.

And as if the cheese board wasn't enough, she also made me this delicate Christmas star from vintage sheet music...

My mum gave me a timber sewing box hand made by members of her local Men's Shed. The Men's Shed is a community-based movement aimed at promoting better mental health for men. You can read more about it here.

My dear friend Mel revealed her crafty side, making this owl needle/pin holder for me from a self drafted pattern! His little wings untie to reveal felt patches where needles and pins can be held...

My real life blogger friend gave me the most delicious pesto ever. Check out her blog to see a picture.

I didn't drop the ball on the hand made gift giving either. Mel will receive her gift in February (because I just didn't get her it finished in time), I gave mum a quilt, Mill the book Knitting 24/7, and my other sister in law some hand spun yarn along with Colette Pattern's Sencha.

Sam xox