Category Archives: Sewing

Hey Good Lookin’, What’s Cookin’?

Hi!

You’ll have to excuse me. I’m a little… rusty. This whole blogging business is a bit last decade for me, I’m afraid! But I did want to pop by and show you a very recent addition to the family…

Monster Chef

Do you love him? I do. He’s a little shifty though – won’t look me in the eye, no matter what angle I try and photograph him at. I think he may be plotting…

I’ve been pattern testing for a lovely friend – Claire, of Matching Pegs fame. If you want to create your very own Monster Chef, you don’t have very long to wait – some of Claire’s patterns will be released later on this year under the Creative Abundance umbrella. Keep your eyes open, then get busy and make a whole *mob* of ‘em for the little monsters in your life! (My three have already requested more, in different colours, and yesterday wouldn’t be quite soon enough, if you please!)

Btw, how totally perfect is the ‘mustard spatula’ we found last night as a neat little monster-chef-sized wooden spoon? (Who in the heck uses mustard spatulas, anyway?!)

Oh, and the other prop there? Another recent addition – my definitely-cost-far-too-much-but-I-got-it-half-price-worth-every-penny Anolon non-stick frypan (this is definitely not a sponsored post, coz y’all know I don’t do that!) If it’s possible to be in love with cookware, then I have totally fallen for this baby :)

xx
Mel

Lavender’s Blue, Dilly Dilly

Nikki M - Lavender Bag

When the opportunity came along at the right time last weekend, I raised my hand to test Nikki’s lavender bag pattern, because I happened to be in need of a quick and easy crafty boost.

Ok, and also, I had an inkling that it might be the perfect fit for some certain someones. I was right:

Gracie' s Bag

(You know, just in case you were in need of further evidence that I have gone a bit doll crazy!)

Cute, yes?! And smelly too (in a good way!) If you don’t have a dolly who needs a handbag, you can hang yours in your wardrobe and have nice smelling clothes instead :smile:

You can find the pattern here, or a kit (including the pattern, plus bits and bobs you’ll need) is available here. All complete with Nikki’s most excellent instructions, natch!

No need to thank me!

PS. Hi – how are you? I know, it has been a while. I’ve been busy with… stuff! We’re just back from a family trip to Perth, which was super-ace, and I should probably find time to post some pics. There may also be another doll-related-craft post in the works. Erm… sorry in advance! The doll thing kind of passed me by as a child, I think I may be developing a delayed ‘habit’.

All Dolled Up

Remember this skirt?
OpShop Skirt 1

Well, finally, here’s a look at Gracie modelling the first result of my refashioning efforts:
Doll Refashion

I’m not super-dooper-ooper excited about the sleeves, they were a getting-close-to-midnight effort, and better in concept than execution. I’m going to rework this idea on the next try.

Molly wanted to get in on the action too – she’s showing off a pair of PJ pants I made to match the ones seen on Niamh seen in this post. I thought she (Niamh, not Molly) would be over the moon to wake up and discover them this morning, but she woke up distracted and full of stories about watching The Dark Crystal in her dreams. Go figure!

Thanks!

He’s a Blogging Superstar…
Finn Cool Top 01

…and pretty good kid (mostly!)
Finn Cool Top 02

Thank you for all the wonderful comments on Finn’s post. He was over the moon to receive each one. Every time my phone bleeped with incoming email, I had to check to see if it was for him :giggle:

He also ‘Show and Tell’ed the blog at school – an, um, interesting side effect of letting him guest post, which I probably should have foretold. Not sure how I feel about being ‘outed’ to school! I don’t think I’m in the habit of using naughty words though, so the Year 2’s should be relatively safe.

Being involved with the blog certainly made Finn a more enthusiastic model today! He’s showing off a top I made from New Look #6932 (the same pattern the PJ pants came from). The fabric is awesome too, no? I found it at Spotlight amidst all the boring stuff, and it brightened my day no end :smile:

Finn Cool Top 03

Heh. I just noticed he’s wearing this backwards – there’s a seam in the center of the ribbing because it’s the back! It looks otherwise the same – I guess I should think about creating/acquiring myself some labels so the kids can differentiate front from back.

Creative Space – Refashioning

A lovely mum at Niamh’s pre-school the other day offered me some of her son’s old shoes for Rohan. She was careful to add in the disclaimer – “that is, if you don’t mind hand-me-down stuff. I know some people do…”. I had to smile – that day in particular, Niamh was wearing op-shopped pants, and Rohan was in an op-shopped top and pants I made from an old pair of my own. I most certainly do not have a problem with hand-me-down. I can’t quite believe anyone would turn down a well-kept pair of (originally quite expensive) kid’s shoes. Would they?!

Anyway. In my creative space at the moment, I’m contemplating the future of some more Op Shop* finds. A bit of refashioning is in order for a few skirts I picked up a while back. The first has already undergone the chop:

OpShop Skirt 1

It started out looking like this:

OpShop Skirt 1

Meh. Not really my cup of tea. But perfect for cutting up and making more doll clothes!

The other two are much kinder to the eyeballs. The brown one is a few sizes too big for Niamh – I’m not sure whether I’ll try making this one into a top or just stick with something simple and do a downsized skirt.

OpShop Skirt 2

The pink one is going to become a light summer dress – it has shirring at the top, so I’m planning to cut it down to size and use the excess fabric for straps.

OpShop Skirt 3

Actually, I’m not sure how any of this will happen today. Thursday is crazy with ballet-piano-swimming attendance, and later tonight I’ll be popping in to Cathy’s exhibition :smile: But possibly I’ll carve out a little bit of time in there somewhere.

See what other creative folks are up to today, over at Kirsty’s place.

*Op Shop = Thrift Store

Keeping Busy

Could it be the little trip away that has restored my crafting mojo? Or could it be the recent acquisition of a reliable overlocker? Either way, I have been studiously ignoring the housework for the past several days, in order to craft more. Oh, and bake macarons. As you do.

Nothing especially groundbreaking. The kids were in need of some more winter PJs – darn small people and their incessant growing! I had intended to just make pants and pick up some cheap plain colour Tshirts to go with them, but while I was flicking through some old issues of Ottobre I came across a Tshirt pattern, recalled some many meters of a green cotton knit fabric* hiding in the bottom of my stash, and thought, well, why the heck not. I do now have a suitable-for-polite-company-overlocker, after all!

The result:
Ottobre Slim Fit Tshirt

This is the Slim Fit Tshirt from Ottobre 3/2007. And he doesn’t like it! Well, he does, but I agree he could go up a size or two (the fit is… well, slim!) So I agreed to make another (not done yet), and instead earmarked this one as a coming-up-soon-birthday gift, and decided to give it a little extra character:

Stencilled Shirt

The deer(?) critter is also from Ottobre – the 4/2007 issue has a bunch of cute characters adorning the pages, so I just blew one up about 300% on the copier and stencilled it on using the freezer paper technique*. Perfect!

I got a bit cocky with the next T. Consequently? Not as good. But still good enough for a jarmie top:

Mum-made Jarmies

(Yes, I know I said winter PJs, but my kids go light or nothing on top for bed all year round.)

The pants I made are from New Look pattern 6932. I didn’t end up finding a nice simple pants pattern for all three kids in any of my Ottobre back issues, so I picked this one up. I think it was a good value buy – including pattern sizes from 6 months – 8 years, and several pant/top options.

Here are the first of Rohan’s pants finished:

Ro's PJ pants

I have another two pair cut out for him, and another pair for Niamh, and some more Tshirts waiting as well.

Oh, and while I am slowing down your internetz with my pic heavy post, here’s a couple more. These pants were not made recently (actually they were the pants I was making when Niamh tried to knock her front teeth out), but Ro finally fits into them:

Robot Pants 01

Robot Pants 02

The denim in these is from a discarded pair of my jeans, and the robot print, which I love, and will salvage once he outgrows the pants, is from GJs. (Who are on the brink of another 25%-off sale. Oh dear.)

So. That’s what I’ve been up to. Now has anybody seen my house, it seems to have disappeared under a mountain of laundry. :(

——————————————————————————————

*The green fabric is leftover from when I made myself a Moby Wrap style baby carrier, back when Niamh was a smidge of a thing. I don’t think I ever blogged it. When I went looking for a photo, the best I could come up with was this one. (That’s Rohan in the wrap there, not Niamh). I miss slinging my babes around!

**I first learned about freezer paper stencilling on Craftster many a year ago, but the original post seems to be missing half its images. Amy Karol has a simple little tute on it here. I’m impatient and never let mine dry overnight though, I always blast it with the hairdryer!

So About Last Weekend (Finally)

Five minutes after I left the house last Friday, guess what I remembered? The camera bag… left sitting on the change table at home. D’oh!

Oven Mitts

I didn’t go back. I was already running half an hour late for a rendezvous with my dad to hand over a couple of kids (the smallest stayed at home with his dad, not ready to venture farther afield just yet). And besides… Sewjourn awaited :smile: I did not want to miss one minute.

Many have waxed lyrical about the marvel that is Sewjourn. Even if I was capable of waxing lyrical at this hour (I am not), I could hardly do it justice.

It was ace.

There, how’s that?!

Green Bag - Folded

Green Bag

Seriously? I had a wonderful weekend, with a great bunch of crafty girls. We ate, drank and made merry into the small hours (well, some of us!), and I sewed a lot. Never mind the knitting, crochet, cross-stitch and some other bits and pieces that came along for the ride – they never got a look-in! It was all about the unencumbered sewing, and all about the GREEN, as you can probably tell. (Unplanned, that, though I should probably just accept that I do have a favourite colour after all).

In approximate running order, my crafty weekend went like this:

:love: Oven Mitts, this time for me. As before, made roughly to Sooz’s Slack Arse Oven Mitts tutorial.

:love: A greener grocery bag. A tute for this one can be found here on Craftster. These bags are really strong, I love ‘em. This one is for Mum. I am still making good on her Christmas present. The shame!

Sling Bag 01

:love: My first ever Nikki bag – the Sling. Love love love.

Sling Bag 02

(More on this later, as I do plan to write up a review of the pattern for Nikki’s July competition).

ANNNNNND……..

Ta-daaa:
First Quilt Top
:love: My first finished quilt top! Well. Finished-ish :wink: At 3.30 Sunday afternoon, with flagging energy, and us due to vacate by 4, I decided that was as far as I was getting, so technically I still have to sew on the outermost rows of sashing. (And, you know, piece the back, sandwich it together and quilt the darn thing. I’m not sure this quilting malarkey is going to catch on with me you know – I’m all about the instant gratification.)

So big huge thank-yous to Cathy, Gypsy, Liesl, Caitlin, Bec, and day-trippin’ Cam for having me along and being such excellent camp buddies. You girls rock!

(Liesl has some location shots over on her blog, btw, if you’re more interested in what I didn’t take photographs of!)

Hmmm. Perhaps next year I’ll bring a quilt to finish.

Useful Swap (Part 1)

After the ickiness of last week, once Dermot got back from Sydney, we took off for the mountains and spent a few days doing blissfully little. There was a little bushwalking, and a bit of scenic driving (with ulterior motive), but otherwise we stayed in, kept warm, watched movies, and enjoyed the view (a bit more sleep was had too… although not on night three, that was dreadful).

Useful Swap

On Monday, I came home to my package of goodies from Susie’s very Useful Swap. I hoped to blog those today, but the day has got away from me (again), so I’ll just have to give you the what I sent version, and leave the what I got part for later. Dreary old Melbourne weather has made photo taking a bit of a pain of late, so please overlook that and marvel at the fantabulous oven gloves and fingertip mitts I made for my swap recipients (I’m not quite sure who got which yet, though I know Suzie has the fruity ones. I love that fabric – I picked it up from Earthgirl fabrics at the Stitches & Craft show). I checked out a bunch of oven mitt tutorials online, and ended up basically using Suzie’s method – simple and effective. ‘Nuff said.

Useful Swap

My personal favourite is in the top left, that cream and green flowery print. I’m making a set of gloves for our kitchen in the same fabric this weekend. This weekend, when I go away to Sewjourn with some other crafty peeps. Yes, that’s right… kid free for two whole days and nights! Sewjourn! Yippee yay! I am loading up the boot of my car with far too many projects, and it won’t matter whether I achieve a lot or a little, it will be nice just to be able to leave the (good) scissors out with no danger of someone chopping off a finger :grin:

(And to finish a whole cup of coffee before it goes cold.)

Oh, by the way, if there happens to be anyone (a cross-stitcher type anyone) out there who owns the Dimples Designs Wee Beasties part 6 design (Blue-eyed Darner dragonfly), I would be forever in your debt if I could get a copy of the key… mine has gone awol, and I kind of need it if I’m ever going to finish the darn thing!

While I Was Gone

Parenting has been kicking my butt lately. You might have guessed, based on my absence. Every time I think about breaking the blog-drought, I’m either too exhausted, or I can’t seem to form two sentences, or I get a bad case of ‘if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything’.

There’s nothing special about tonight, except perhaps all of the above apply. This week is kicking my butt even more spectacularly. Husband in Sydney, School holidays, and kids all sick. Monday night I had a miserable Niamh in bed with me with a suspected ear infection (though she did seem okay by morning, after medication and a night with Mum). Last night was Ro’s turn in with me, and tonight, well… he’s currently napping fitfully on my lap (one-handed blogging, y’all!) and won’t go down in any bed. This is after the excitement of a few hours ago when his big brother coughed until he vomited. Awesome times.

Blah. Let’s have a little recap on some of the good stuff that’s happened since I was last here, shall we? Good then. Point form ahoy:

:love: We moved the babe out of our bedroom and in with his sister. This was monumental. And, of course, led to him finally, finally sleeping through the night. I should have remembered that from last time, really. Ok, so I did remember. I was just really reluctant to boot my baby out. So the sleepless nights – all my fault. Obviously. Next!

:love: My blog turned five. FIVE! That’s a really long time to be saying nothing much at all. Less than 400 posts total… gosh, I really am a crap blogger! (But really… I have got to say, blogging was way less pressure back in the days. Now… I don’t know. Every now and then, I see a favourite blog go ‘pro’. Or ‘pro-ish’. Suddenly there’s Sponsorship. And Product Placement. Cash for Comment. Or competitions to enter, but only if you ‘Follow’, and Twitter and Facebook about it. Often, the original, entertaining, unique voice of said blogger is lost amongst it all. At which point I mercilessly drop them from my feed.) Ok, sorry. Rant over.

:love: My best girl turned four. Way, way more exciting than the blog turning five. Niamh is such a party girl, she always has been. We had pretend party play for weeks around these parts. Culminating in a totally fun, but also totally soggy pink-and-green party at the Bundoora Children’s Farm. Kids don’t care. Rug ‘em up, they’ll have fun no matter what. And we did.

:love: I am quite bad at point form-ing my thoughts!

:love: Someone introduced me to the Sookie Stackhouse series. Thanks, Someone :razz: I read the books almost without coming up for air (don’t worry, I still managed to clothe and feed my children. Just.) Then I went out and bought Series One of True Blood on DVD, and we watched that over a week, then rinse and repeat with Series Two. Totally loving it. Series Three, of course, isn’t on in Australia yet, so we’ll be (cough, cough) waiting for that for a while. :wink:

:love: After 44 months of breastfeeding, I finally closed up shop. (That’s non-consecutive months, obviously. I meant the total for all three children). I truly thought that would be harder for both Rohan and I than it was, but I just knew time was up, and we just… stopped. Now he goes to bed with cuddles and a few sips of water, and even (sometimes) for Dad, not me. Another monumental step. (And I just realised I can burn my maternity bras now. Or, you know, just bin them. Probably more environmentally friendly that way.)

There’s probably more good stuff. Just can’t quite drag it out of the brain cells right now. Between up there ^^^ and here, I managed to get Ro back into his bed, and the clock ticked over to Thursday… Must. Go. To. Bed.

Oh, but before I do, I also managed to get a few crafty bits and pieces in:

I finally finished off the doll stroller seat for my friend’s little girl:
Doll Pram

Seen being test-driven here by our recently arrived good friend Gracie, another Bamboletta sweetheart to keep Molly company.
Doll Pram (Gracie)

Also, I joined in with Sooz’s Useful swap. My original plan involved crochet, but then I stupidly managed to sprain my crucial-for-crochet-right-index-finger. So since yarny stuff was out, I broke out the fabric instead. This is only a peek, mind you, but I’m hoping the recipients love these – I certainly do, and I intend to make myself one or two now.
Useful Swap

Once my finger began to recuperate, I started back on those tricksy DPNs (to help the recovery, you understand!):
Fingerless Mitts

And emerged victorious, with a smashing pair of red fingerless mitts to bring some happy to the coldcoldcold mornings we’ve been having.
Fingerless Mitts

Ravelry details over here if you are so inclined. I love my mitts :smile:

And, folks, as Peter Cundall used to say, that’s yer bloomin’ lot.

My Creative Space – In and Out

In: snapped while the kids were waiting for their porridge this morning. Creative Space/ Kitchen Table reality, don’t you love it? I admit to an occasional green-eyed-monster moment when I see other spaces which are actually dedicated Craft Spaces, but my time will come!

May 13

I picked up a Pocket Bot kit from Jodie at the Stitches and Craft show (More on the show perhaps tomorrow.) Pieces were cut out during last night’s Masterchef. Hopefully it will be less in pieces later today.

Out: car crafting while Niamh was at her Kinderballet class and Rohan was sleeping in the back.

May 13

Trying to make sense of the Blair-Witchiness of DPNs. I am determined to conquer this circular knitting thing and make myself a cute pair of fingerless mitts for winter. Note everpresent iPhone, complete necessity for catching up on crafty blogs whilst out and about :giggle:

Hmmmm. I seem to becoming the just-Creative-Space-nothing-else blog. Must work on that! Meanwhile – see other Creative Spaces today over at Kirsty’s.