Wednesday, 18 November 2020


 I downloaded the free leggings pattern from “ Patterns for Pirates” ages ago! As the weather has warmed up a bit lately, I decided I really must try and make some bright, funky leggings. Mine are pretty much ALL black, in 3 different lengths ( full, 3/4, and knee - marked with 3/4 or K on the label because I got sick of putting the wrong length on when they all look nearly the same!)

I have one bright pink patterned slinky knit pair, an op shop find which I wore last week for a pop of colour under a grey dress. They were quite comfy and looked nicer than black and grey! Plus being a lighter weight fabric ( the black ones - all RTW Rivers/ Kmart/ Best & Less brands I think; are made from lightweight cotton/ elastane T-shirt fabric). 

( books work as patterns weights right? They were the closest thing I had to hand, using the bed to lay out the slippery fabric!)

So I dug out the pattern, laid my pink leggings on top & used that size/ shape to cut out the pattern. I made the first pair from a  remnant of stretch net print, bought from Rathdown Fabrics years ago. 

Well... why did I wait so long!?!

Super duper quick to sew! Super comfy to wear! I wore one pair yesterday, and another today. Seriously they could be PJ’s they are THAT comfy! 

I made 6 pairs so far ( ok I sewed 7, in all different fabrics, but the last pair in a sort of grey/ lilac heavy spandex sort of fabric are too tight! Same pattern, different fabric, different fit! Exactly what PFP say on  their website! 

I may be planning on making even more...

I just have to do my next sewing task of adding pockets to a couple of my grey dresses! I figured since I had the overlocker out on the weekend, I would cut out then overlock a pile of pocket pieces, ready to unpick some dresses & add pockets ( inspired by a Morgan Donner post I watched recently!). Time to start unpicking...

Saturday, 14 November 2020

Sashiko stitching


Have been of the radar for a while, but I have been doing a little bit of crafting. 
I bought a sashiko kit ( printed cloth, needles & thread) at the craft show about 2 years ago ( remember the Quilt and Craft Show?!). I started it a couple of months ago, and then really got into it. I found it quite soothing, and easy to pick up, you don’t have to get to the end of a row like when knitting! 
The stitches may not be as neat as they are supposed to, and the back is certainly NOT at all neat, but who sees the back?
Planning on doing another one now, I bought a skein of green thread when I bought the other pieces, but no cloth. So I bought some grey linen from Spotlight, and am going to experiment with my light box and a transfer pen. But I couldn’t find any full sized free patterns online, so put a call out on my local Good Karma Network, and found a Sashiko book to borrow, within a good dog walking distance of my house in fact! Time to start planning a new stitching project!

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Quilt design board

I have read on craft blogs about people trying out patterns on a " design board". I realized a few months ago that I actually had something I could use! 
I had made a portable pin board/ display board for work a few years ago, made from corflute boards (old real estate boards) gaffa taped together, and covered with sturdy pin board fabric (which can be used for velcro backed cards too). 
The sturdy fabric takes pins well, so I can pin strips of fabric on to play around with colours - and after all, isn't that the best part of making a quilt?

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Disappearing 9 patch - done!

Finally finished my Disappearing 9 Patch quilt. 
The Dog insisted on joining in with the photo shoot!
Planning the next project now...

Friday, 4 September 2020

budgie business

The new flock of budgies! Sorry the pictures have posted in reverse order - starting with the finished birds and going backwards in the process to the initial painting!

Sewing is tricky with the tiny tail piece - because of the fabric paint the pieces stick slightly, which makes turning the tail right side out quite tricky! I end up using my jewellery pliers, and also sewing with the Teflon foot on the machine, as shown.  

Blue budgie bits painted, cut out ready to sew. I am experimenting with different ways of shaping the tail, seems silly to cut out 2 small pieces when they are going to be sewn into one rectangle anyway!

6 birds ready to sew.

Birdie bits traced, painted and hanging up to dry. The tricky bit is drawing the face on the yellow head - I can’t trace it on the light box so have to draw it freehand.

Sunday, 16 August 2020

a little birdie told me...

Back in 1991 I bought this WW "Handmade" magazine. One of the projects in it that caught my eye was the page of fabric budgies! 
Fast forward to the present day, and I remembered these cute little birds. I had never gotten around to making one before, but thought it would be perfect  to make for a birthday gift for a friend who loves native birds! 
My light box came in handy to trace the pattern from the magazine, and again to trace the pattern and markings on to calico.
Markings were easily done with a fabric texta ( would you belive I have a pack from IKEA? 
Blue paint next, then let it dry before cutting out. While it was drying I whipped up a couple of masks in some Dr Who fabric for another friend who had a birthday the day before!
The painted fabric was ok to sew, but tricky to turn right side out, as the paint made it slightly tacky/ grippy.
The beak and cere were "painted" with the fabric paint pens I won in a craft pack at the Craft and Quilt show a couple of years ago.
The trickiest bit was making the feet/ legs - the instructions were quite vague overall- and I had to stitch the legs in place because it kept moving and the bird just could not stand up. 
I am super happy with how he turned out! And he was the perfect present! 
Think I might spend all of next weekend making budgies!

Friday, 7 August 2020

weekend plans

make some more of these...

eat some of these...
read some of this...
and walk this one...

Sunday, 19 July 2020

Mask making 101

So it has just been announced that masks are mandatory as of midnight this Wednesday.
Luckily I have been trialling patterns this week, and did some batch cutting yesterday.  The Craft Passion pattern is the most comfortable and is quick to sew, with no darts or ironing. I mean you could press the seams but I have neither the space nor time for that! What I do have is the overlocker set up on my cutting table ( not much room left for cutting though!) and the sewing machine over its little table, and a clear pathway between the two!
Pattern wise I realised when I printed the pattern it is slightly under the scale, but fits ok. I printed the mens size, which measures along the bottom at 13.5cm ( to fit me) and  I enlarged the pattern ( by drawing around it with 2 pencils!) to be 14.5cm , which fits the tall 19 year old comfortably.

So my instruction for batch making masks are:
Cut out 3 layers. 1 outer   2 liner   3 inner ( the bit that touches your face)

I have been using either some weatherproof fabric for the outer ( a random Spotlight find years ago, knew it would come in handy for something! Catch is I only have pink or a dull orangey- red) with a liner and inner cut from old sheets.
 Version 2 is cut from poly- cotton outer, liner from cut up shopping bags ( made from non-woven polypropylene / viscose), inner from poly cotton sheeting. Lucky I have a pile of second hand sheets I use for quilts, and pattern muslins!
Elastic or t shirt yarn (strips of t shirt fabric - which is more comfortable on the ears than elastic) is used to hold it on. I prefer 1 long piece about 65 cm, that goes around the back of the head twice. Can be worn over or under the ears.

Black= outer
blue= liner
13.5 cm  or 14.5cm across, handy that it randomly lines up with the 10cm mark on the cutting mat!

If you want to include a removable piece of wire my method is to use  a scrap of t shirt fabric or something that won't fray or require a hemmed edge. Sew a little rectangle ( drawn on to pattern above) onto each  of the INNER pieces BEFORE sewing together/ Much easier than trying to sew a pocket into the 3D shape once it is sewn together. Use the gap in the centre to insert/remove wire for washing/ But I have found the mask sits ok on the face and doesn't really need the wire.

Sew curve edges together, I find it easier to start at the flat base side, otherwise the pointy bit can get stuck in the feed dogs of the machine. Sew each pair together.

Now I swap to the overlocker and overlock the edges for a neat finish and to save having to do a double hem later. Sew right sides out.
By overlocking the outer and liner together, I can then treat it as one piece and not get the wrong layers together, which I did on one of my practise ones!  I had a slightly textured fabric for the liner but it ended up as the inner, and it tickles my nose to much.  A nice smooth sheet is much better, or even something softer, might try some satin lining fabric, although  it can be a bugger to sew as it frays like crazy...

Now there are 2 pieces to work with.

Pin or clip the 2 pieces together, right sides together. Sew  TOP and BOTTOM but not the short sides.
Turn right sides out, I find a chopstick is handy.Hand roll the hems to make the edges neat ( quicker than ironing!) Nearly there!

This is where the overlocked sides are handy. Fold the edges in about 1cm on  either side to make a casing for the elastic. Sew one side, then turn and top stitch the top or bottom edge ( depending on where you started!)

Done! Cut about 65 cm elastic, thread on a large needle or bodkin, in one loop through each side. 

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Off to the beach pt 2

Once I finally figured out how to place the strips - pinning them to a large pinboard really helped!- and that I needed to stagger each strip by half a block, not a whole one ( which looked like bricks!) things started coming together!
The finished quilt!
When I gave it to my sister she said " It's the beach!" - yay! 

Monday, 6 July 2020

Off to the beach pt 1

Looking for ideas for a gift to make for my sister’s birthday, I came across this image on Pinterest. I lot if searching ( Pinterest is garbage for anything other than just pictures!) I finally found the pattern had come from a book on Bargello quilts.

I coudn’t find anyone with a copy, but my quilting pro MIL did have this book, which I borrowed. It was very helpful in planning my design. There was a lot more involved than I had first thought! But after weeks of trying to puzzle it out myself, the book was really helpful to understand the process.

It even has graph paper to photocopy and plan with.

This was my colour plan, crinkled from being carried to Rathdown Fabrics and Spotlight to find some fabric!  

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Quick craft fix

Sometimes I just need a quick craft fix, to satisfy the urge to be creative, but also working with in a limited time. 
Reading about the Emerging Writers Festival in The Age last Sunday, the necklace worn by one of the authors interviewed in  the article caught my eye. I took a photo, got a paintbrush and some timber beads, and got painting! Conveiniently the paints were already out, as my H had been painting some of his handmade fishing lures earlier in the day.

Some old knitting needles and bbq skewers are handy for holding the beads while painting them!
Quite happy with the finished product! Finished with a quick rub of beeswax polish and anop shop silver chain, tah dah!