Category Archives: Sewing

Little Posers

I’m not going to admit how many hours of potential sleep I squandered last night, because it is downright foolish. However, I am going to show you the result. Finn is off on a school excursion today to experience what life was like in “the olden days” (for the record, he thinks the olden days were when 1 and 2 cent coins were used, haha*)


Students were encouraged to dress the part, so I hit the op-shop yesterday and dug up a checked shirt for a couple of dollars, and hit the sewing machine late last night to create this waistcoat (pattern is from Ottobre 3/09). Throw in a pair of (non-authentic, Esprit brand, also op-shop purchased) blue jeans and some elastic sided boots, and he should fit right in. Just don’t look too closely at the handiwork, ok, because late-night, sleep deprived sewing makes me incredibly sloppy. When will I learn not to leave things ’til the last minute?! Anyhoo, from a suitable distance it looks good – and don’t you love the model poses?! (Check the pinch-grip though – he’s so tense when being photographed!)

Not to be outdone, here’s another poser – Niamh has recently had a bit of a growth spurt which has allowed her to fit into this tunic a little better (it’s still big though – she should get heaps of wear from it).


I love the second pose – it’s her ‘ooh heck, there’s a bee’ look :giggle:

*For my non-Aussie readers, 1 and 2 cent coins were used from 1966 until 1992!

My Creative Space


I know, I know, Kirsty’s Creative Space meme is for Thursdays, but I did take this yesterday, so it counts! I just wanted to let you all know that I’m here, still alive, and even still managing a little bit of creative this’n’that. Yesterday’s space was captured while I waited in the car outside school – Niamh had bombed out in the back seat on the way back from the shops (a rare occurrence, but the nap was much needed), and Rohan decided he needed cuddling to fall asleep (a frequent occurrence, nap also much needed). So I pulled out my new ‘car project’ to work on for half an hour. I’m playing copycat and making a patchwork ball, much like Christie’s. Look – it even (unintentionally) matches his outfit!

I have retro-blogging to do – pics of Rohan from his first month – it’s been a rollercoaster, but he’s adorable enough to forgive – and a recount of (the perfect) Mothers’ Day. But since I only seem to be able to grab 5 minutes here and there (gee, wonder why!), don’t go holding your breath!

Recent Bits

I mentioned a recent streak of creativity yesterday. Yesterday’s post was going to be much fatter, in fact, and show you all these goodies. But then I went and did some fancy cutting and pasting and accidentally lost a whole slab of bloggity-goodness. Swear words were muttered, and the ‘executive decision’ was made to split the post in two.

So yes, I have been making a few bits and pieces. Several weeks back I went along to Nikki’s sew-along for the Rainbow Comfort Pack effort (goodies for kids affected by the recent bushfires). I spent the afternoon cutting out pieces for bags, but not sewing. It was enough to get the bug again anyway, and in the next week I made up 5 of these cutie pie recycled-woollen-jumper bunnies:

Bunny & Ball

The pattern is a freebie from Betz White, find it here. Four of these went off for the Comfort Packs, but the one above is staying here with us, for the Wee Bairn, whenever he should make his appearance. I think I had a little bit of guilt creeping in, because up until the bunny, there had been no crafting whatsoever for the new addition.

Next up was this lovely Puzzle Ball, which I’ve been wanting to make for a while now. It wasn’t quite as difficult as I had imagined. Tricky, yes, and I wish I’d worn a thimble for those last connecting stitches, but not super difficult. This pattern comes from Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts. There is a similar free pattern here, which Christie has made to great success, but I think I prefer this more ‘solid’ version.

Puzzle Ball

Tunic Top

I also succumbed to a pattern in the latest issue of Ottobre magazine, and made up this tunic top for Niamh. It should fit her in… um… about 2011 or so. Whoops! I did measure her, I swear. I decided to make the next size up, since I didn’t want her to grow out of this the moment I made it. Unfortunately, Ottobre kids’ patterns are graded by height, and since Niamh is fairly slight in build, I would have been better to go with the smaller size but increase the overall length. Ah well. Eventually she’ll fill this one out. Meanwhile it’s still hanging on the wall where I took the photograph – it’s an interesting artwork 🙂 And just how adorable is that ric-rac trimmed heart pocket?

Tunic Top - Pocket Detail

Finally, finally, something for me, me, meeee. This Wildflower Pincushion has been calling my name for a while. It’s a pattern by Anna Maria Horner, and can be found on the Better Homes and Gardens (US) website, here, should you wish to make your very own. Again, fiddly, but not too bad. I probably made it a little bit trickier for myself by reducing the size by about 25%, since I didn’t want a whomping great pincushion. This is just the right size. Love it – it looks like some freaky spore-flower from outer space.

Wildflower Pincushion

Fabric With Intent

Quilt Fabric

I’m not quite sure how it actually happened. The stars aligned, or something. For ages I’ve been dithering about maybe possibly sometime making a quilt. Dithered and done nothing about it. Actually, I do have a few quilting books around the shelves. Also, a kit for a baby (girl) quilt, which Mum bought for me, and which I was supposed to make up for my niece (oops). But so far, I’ve essentially done nothing about the urge. Then I started to get a (late-pregnancy induced?) creative streak going, and then this started up, and then Amitie decided to have a sale, and so naturally the urge struck once more. So I hopped in the car today and headed out with a purpose. Some hours later (Amitie is quite the hike from here, and my poor heavily-pregnant lower back does not thank me for all that extra time in the car), I returned, bearing the goodies above. I’m not going to suggest that I’m 100% happy with my choices, but I am pretty close. The best bit is that I chose these, they didn’t come as part of a kit, they aren’t even all from the same range (though three of the prints are from ‘Another Iota’ by Robert Kaufman). For someone who considers herself pretty terrible at colour-pairing, I’m pretty happy with the outcome. Also, there were the contributing factors of a) having Niamh with me, and b) being restricted to one hour by my car park. (Actually, since Amitie has a dolls’ house and assorted goodies, Niamh wasn’t really the limiting factor). In the end, I decided to stop questioning my choices and just go with it. Now to get on and actually start cutting/sewing, and hopefully it will all turn out the way I envisage.

PS. The fabrics are better in real life than they look here on my screen. I fiddled the colours as much as Picasa would let me, but in reality they are richer, more vibrant than this. Better photos once the sewing is in process, I hope. Can’t seem to get any decent light into this house.

Markets and Crafty Things


Thanks for allowing me that little sidetrack off the sanity wagon. For your patience, you get to (finally) witness some craftiness around here.

I have a bit of a problem with craft markets – occasionally I walk in and get a bad case of I-can-make-that-itis. Then I get an attack the guilts, because crafters gotta eat, too! It’s a fine line though, between supporting small makers and blowing my budget. So I do my best, but frequently I leave with a head full of ideas, and my money still in my purse.

Mathilda’s market yesterday was bit like that. I went on a whim, since I was heading that way anyway. I spent 40 minutes or so dodging baby-bumps and uber-prams (I took neither, since the kids stayed home with Dermot, and to be honest, my ‘bump’ is still more fat-like than bump-like), but left almost empty handed. I did say a brief hello to the lovely Leslie on my way our, and immediately felt kind of blog-stalkerish and awkward 😳

The afternoon proved much more just-what-I-needed – I picked up a friend, and we made our way to the Shirt & Skirt market at the Abbotsford Convent. Which is sensational! I had a really good time. We grabbed some yummy lunch at Lentil as Anything and had a catch up, then wandered the market (markets, actually – there’s a second ‘Maker’s Market’ inside the refectory) and the convent grounds for much of the afternoon. I still managed to avoid parting with much cash, but there was much less I-can-make-that-itis, and much more How-awesome-is-that-I-wish-it-would-fit-me-itis!

I did buy the nifty stone necklace you see above (hello cleavage!). I’m convinced there’s a name for stacks of rocks like this (are they cairns? or something different?), but for now I’m calling this my Makka Pakka necklace (that’s a parents-of-young-children reference 🙂 ). I like it a lot. The artist is Martina Öhlinger. She doesn’t sell online, but is definitely someone to seek out if you’re at a future S&S market.

The wee chicky and his mum are a gift for someone I quite like, if I can bear to part with them. I didn’t get the details from this stall (inside, in the Makers’ Market), but there were a bunch of other lovely Steiner/Waldorf-y playthings to be found there.

Also seen above are two things made… by me! The amigurumi boy-in-dragon-suit I finished up quite some eons ago. This is the first ami I’ve ever finished. He’s a little bit wonky, and I’m not quite happy with the stuffing showing through the stitches look, but he’s still cute! I bought the pattern from Owlishly (Etsy shop here, Blog here), and it’s very well written and easy to follow. Highly recommended.

Little Ms Red Riding Hood is an entirely-by-me creation. A few weeks back it was badge night at Brown Owls. The badges I made that night are currently all AWOL (blame Niamh, she took a liking to them!) – but I found this ‘in progress’ shot on one of Steph’s many blogs. Aaaanyway (geesh, this is getting rambly and long), we had a bit of a felt-badgy-tutorial from Ms Anna Laura, she of cute lady-badges, and I was inspired a couple of days later to whip up Ms Red here. I won’t point out her flaws, because I’m starting to realise I do that a lot. She’s pretty ace, if I do say so myself!

And now. I’m off to bed to make a start on Twilight. I wasn’t going to, since I’ve already done the whole Anne Rice vampirey thing in my youth and all, but I finally gave in and decided to borrow it from the library. Then I went and bought it instead, because I didn’t feel like waiting until next century (seriously – #64 on the holds list? Stuff that!) So it better be all everyone says it is.


Leopold is up for auction, over here, along with some other great softies. All proceeds go to the Mirabel Foundation, so pop along and see if there is a lovely Cuddly you’d like to give a new home to, and support a wonderful cause at the same time.

Gifts & Toadstools

Please excuse the blog’n’run. I just wanted to show you Jane’s gift to me, from mixtogether while I have a ‘spare’ moment (not that it really is. Is it ever?) Anyhoo:
Jane sewed this lovely ‘portfolio’ for me – on the inside, there are journals left and right, and a spot for things to write with:
On the left side is this journal, a compendium of different bits and pieces (music stave, graph paper, vellum, recycled photocopy paper) bound together by Jane. I love this idea, it makes a wonderful eclectic little book. Great for doodling bits and ideas in:
And on the right (not actually pictured, because the camera battery ran flat just at that moment!) is a larger size Moleskine journal – my very first ever of the ‘legendary’ Moleskines. A nice big unlined Moleskine definitely demands something more classy than doodles or todo lists as long as one’s arm (which is what I have today)… I shall have to take up watercolour painting or something!

Also. While I am showing off gifties, I must apologise to Barbara, who sent me this wee little floss tag a little while ago as a Thank You for sending her a chart. Aren’t these just the cross-stitch ‘thing-of-the-moment’? I love it, and I am definitely going to have to make some more of these. Niamh snaffled it the moment it arrived, as you can see:
(This was an ‘experimental-bed-in-the-loungeroom’ day. Did I mention already I was not coping with the demise of the Afternoon Nap?)

Also, just very quickly (because this has turned into less of a drive-by blogging, and more of an essay!), a little snap of my toadstool pincushion from Brown Owls on Monday night. You might have seen them doing the blog rounds already, but here’s mine. Complete with ‘ten-minutes-left-to-go-what-shall-I-do-now’ ladybird addition (which is also out of focus, I am just now noticing. Pfft).
One of the things I love about Brown Owls is the spontaneity of the projects. Normally at home I will agonize over materials and details for way too long. But once a month or so on a Monday, there’s a whole lot less ‘how should it look’, and a whole lot more ‘let’s just have some fun’ (and some tea and some biscuits and some gossip chatter). Cool.



Some time back I signed up for a blog meetup – ‘Mixtogether’ – held by Nichola & Justine (aka the crafty girls behind Mixtape Zine). Sounded good – come up with a crafty gift (the theme this time being Creative Journals), turn up, meet & greet other crafty-bloggy girls, eat & drink yummy stuff. Yay. Only we know how good I am with deadlines, so it’s probably not terribly surprising to you that – with the Mixtogether on today – I was just starting my gift two days ago!

Anyway, long story short (too late!). I got it all done in time with only a few moments of panicky stress and swap anxiety (would it be good enough? would I be laughed out of Amitie in shame?) I’ve been meaning to have a go at some bookbinding for ages (Dermot gave me this book for Christmas – it came in handy). This binding is a Japanese stab binding, with a hinged front cover. I’m pretty happy with the outcome, and I’m pretty sure Nichola liked it too 🙂

Here’s the inside of the journal so you can see the funky end papers (it’s difficult to photograph a book that by design does not lay flat):

And to go with this, I whipped up a pencil roll which is a slightly more grown up version of the crayon and pencil rolls I’ve made before. This kind of just evolved from fabrics I had in stash. It’s a little bit reminiscent of the aesthetic of two of my very favourite bloggers, I think (Tree Fall and Soulemama).

Here’s the inside – Finn helped me to pick out floss colours to match all the coloured pencils (they’re watercolour pencils, in case you’re wondering about the paint brush there in the middle):

And a close up, coz I just can’t get over those little circles! They were fun to stitch while we were watching the Olympic opening ceremony last night:

Despite me feeling less than perfect (random virus #27 (or so) for the year is still hanging about, and I have an ongoing headachy thing), the mixtogether afternoon was lovely. I received a beautifully made portfolio from Jane, but that will have to wait for some morning light before I get photographs. I’m dragging me and my sore head off to bed.

Grrrrrr. And Aaaaargh. And Rawr.

It has not been a great day. Let me just tell you two things which should never be together. Sand. And Laptop.

Yessirree… fun and games in the Sugarlemon household this morning. The F-word may or may not have been used 😳

Anyway, we aren’t going to dwell on that now, are we? (Fear not – I talked Niamh into a nap, and spent that time taking the keyboard apart and judiciously applying the vacuum and canned air. All is well.)

Instead, I have an actual post-with-photographs lined up! For starters, here’s the pic I grabbed yesterday with the intention of joining Kirsty’s On My Desk meme. So here’s my ‘desk’. Aka the kitchen table. Let’s be generous and call it a ‘workspace’ shall we?

On my desk Jul 30

This is pretty much all leftover cruft from Monday and Tuesday craftiness. Do you see that little sketch of an idea just there? And the pattern pieces, and the scraps of fabric? And that really looong needle? Well, lookee here:

Leopold 01

Yay. I had an idea come to fruition for once! I’ve taken off the softy training-wheels. This here is Leopold – my very first ever original stuffed critter. I’ve had a couple of ideas rumbling around in my head for a while, and I finally decided to just go for it and see if I could make them work. You can see a bit more of how he’s constructed in this photo:

Leopold & Niamh

He’s basically four ‘2D’ components stitched together through the middle (hence that very long needle). After a bit of faffing around, I’m really happy with him. I’m really happy with the ribbon-tag mane.

Leopold 02

King of the jungle indeed. How convenient that our backyard is looking particularly jung-ular (!) at the moment 🙂

Leopold is off to Pip, hopefully tomorrow, for the Softies for Mirabel cause. Niamh is not totally on board with this idea, and I have a feeling I’m going to miss his friendly face as well. I think there may well be a Leopold Mk II in my near future. In fact, I was also considering a hand puppet version…

Out of Uniform

Finn’s school had a dress-up day today to raise money for another local school recently damaged by fire. The theme was SUPERHEROES & CAREERS. I know. Weird combo. Don’t ask me.

Anyway, I spent yesterday on the sewing machine (pants, apron, super big toque) and today our little super hero went dressed as a chef. (Niamh decided to get in on the crazy hat action too :giggle: – told you she really liked it!)

I have another post lined up for you – almost as cute as this one – but I figure that you’d die of shock if I posted twice in one day… so you’ll just have to wait!