Friday, March 19, 2010

What was I doing again!?

Sometimes it surprises me how completely off track life can get. One moment I'm cruising through days. I haven't been working much and money was tight this month, But I was reading, blogging, sewing, making, cooking, cleaning and cutting out at the speed of light. I even found time to visit friends, play in the garden, learn to crochet. Oh the joy!
And then theres this past week.
Mum went into hospital. I made lot's of nervous Granny squares during lot's of nervous waits. Everything is waiting with hospitals. Waiting in admission to fill out paperwork, waiting for doctors to assess, waiting for tests to be run, waiting for showers and toilets, waiting for meals, waiting for the Angio-gram to be done, waiting for results. More tests, more waiting, lot's of waiting. Lot's of wonky Granny squares. Still waiting.  At least she can come home to Dad for one night over the weekend. We'll call that shore leave ;) before she has to go back into Hospital Sunday night for further tests to be done next week so, I'm predicting lot's more waiting and more Granny squares.

This week at home, nothing got cleaned, washed or cooked. Nothing got sewn or cut out, Nothing got made or blogged or even photographed. The garden forgot to be watered.

The other evening, I managed to rapidly (less than 5 mins) photograph the few items I had previously made to be mailed down to the Edwards family to take across to the Vietnam orphans. They should reach them in time, say Aus post..hmm I hope so!

I made 6 Baby Wraptops with some matching wide legged loungin' around baby pants out of cotton fabrics from my stash.

These I made the teal roses fabric into pants and the Baby Wraptop and used the pastel rainbow fabric for the bias on the wrap top and as contrast on the pants to match.
For these I made the pants from the same pastel rainbow fabric as the Baby Wraptops bias and used the pink fabric as contrast on the pants because to match the pink from the Baby Wraptop.

For these I made the pants from the same pastel rainbow fabric as the Baby Wraptops bias and used the pastel rainbow fabric in a horizontal direction as contrast on the pants because I had run out of the pink from the Baby Wraptop.

For these I made the pants from the same pastel rainbow fabric as the Baby Wraptops bias and used the teal roses fabric as contrast on the pants.

For these I used some of the teal rose print fabric to make bias to match the pants. The pants used the pink roses fabric in contrasting bands to match the main fabric for the Baby Wraptop.

These ones I had unfortunately run out of the teal roses fabric bias but instead used three pastel rainbow hearts appliqued on the Baby Wraptop and 3 on the left leg of the pants to match the pastel rainbow bias I had made and used on the Baby Wraptop.

I also made a couple of dresses and a skirt from some bright coloured 100% Cotton fabric from Mum.

I then appliqued 2 small sleeveless tops and made 2 matching pairs of shorts.

I also appliqued and  finished off  a pair of yellow pants my Mum had cut out a long time ago, (also listed in my UFO box list) and sent them along too. They had a very large GOLD paint fabric makers mark across them, I guess she didn't notice when she cut them out? It was huge! and GOLD! It said 100% Cotton proudly made in the peoples republic of china right across one whole leg. Oddly, the pants dimensions don't make sense either, so, I re-cut the pants, smaller, but using the pattern I made up for the Loungin' around pants. I then cut out an elastic casing for the waistband using some brightly coloured striped fabric from my stash and used the same bright striped fabric to Applique Stars and a big stripe across the leg to cover the massive Makers stamp that not only would not wash out, could be clearly seen from the other side of the fabric! The main fabric is a bright yellow fabric bought to make shorts for us girls back in the 80's for  a Primary school swimming carnival. They then got used for every swimming and athletics carnival. These baby pants were cut out from the leftover fabric after 2 of us had shorts each, and an enormous flag. Go GOLD! Now they are going to somewhere they can be worn and played in! YAY! And strike another one off my UFO list!
I tried to get our school to ask the kids to collect a few things, I thought if each student brought in a new dummy, bottle or an exercise book or a small something, it would add up to lot's and spread the load across many.  But the school executive put the Kibosh on the idea..something about already supporting too many charities already:( that also makes me sad:(

I feel so guilty! I wish I could have done more, made more, and sent more. I really wanted to :( I had not had time to cut out or sew the boy's things I had planned to make to send down. I also wanted to go buy some exercise books and school related stuff and some Savlon and dummies too, but never made it to a shop this whole week. It is such a heartfelt worthy cause. I hope to God they had enough stuff from other people or that maybe I can make it up the next time they are able to go back across to Vietnam. My husband tried to help me by saying what I made was plenty, but it really wasn't much in the grand scheme of things they need. I just can't stop thinking about all those babies and children in orphanages. Do families ever come and take them home to love and care and raise them? Does that happen in other countries? The thought of children growing up in an orphanage long-term instead of a family makes me so very sad. I just watched a youtube video of a Vietnam orphanage, I want to take them all home and love them. I just can't stop crying. Here in Australia, people are desperate to adopt, with many willing parents waiting years and years on an endless list to love a child. I know it's considered bad to take kids away from their own culture, but to grow up in an orphanage is better? I guess I am shocked that orphanages even need to exist! Today is a desperately sad day! The world is just bogging me down today. I need to find some happy..I'll go in search.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My new best friend is...

Meet Clover! (yes I name everything). She's so purdy...and useful too. We have a certain kind of love, a close tie, a tie that binds. hahaha

I've spent an entire extremely rainy Sunday playing with Clover making pastel rainbow binding...I made lot's! and...Lot's! My friend Clover listened to all my problems and we got very steamy together over a hot iron while reminiscing, (not so fondly) about how I used to hand turn binding while burning my fingers on the iron.
Now that I know about Binder makers...Now that I know how awesome my friend Clover is...I never have to cry over the extremely exorbitant prices of the boringly plain coloured bias binding in the shop. Now I walk through fabric stores eyeing off awesome patterned fabrics for binding...Now my fabric stash is on false move stash and you will become binding!
I don't know why I had never known of binding makers before...I now know that everyone else in sewing world uses them *g*.
Welcome (late) to the binding party ME!

And this is a sneak peak of what I will be using the binding on over the next few days. They are baby cross over tied tops and matching pants. I noticed the preemies in hospitals had these style of tied on gowns (albeit harsh hospital gown fabric ink stamped with the hospital linen services names) for ease of getting to and changing tubes and wires and equipment and nappies and clothes etc. So, I had a quick look at the ugly hospital ones, the cross over tops are made the same way as my own sized, $80 one I bought last year! sheesh! So I made up my own baby sized pattern to make some for my sisters twins now that they are home, but in several sizes for when they grow. Even though they no longer have all the tubes, the changing and dressing of two babies would take up some time each day. Hopefully these will do the trick, as dressing and undressing the bubs should be easier if you don't have to hold them upwards and drag things over their heads? These cross over tie tops can be layed out under the bub and then they tie up with two bows made out of the binding, one inside the top one outside the top. They are longer than usual for when the bubs are younger they can be used on their own, and as the bubs grow can be used with the pants more like PJ's or lounging around clothes. The pants are relaxed comfy pull up elastic waist pants with a contrasting band at the bottom, usually to match the binding on the top. I have used 100% cotton fabrics because it breathes, withstands a bit of rough play and ummm washes out well. Now I am also working on making some for the Vietnam Orphans, to be sent down to the Edwards family early next week, along with some school exercise books for the older kids and some other stuff... so I'd best get a move on!
A heartfelt Thank you to everyones Sewing and Crafting blogs - this is where the internet excels - the internet is for sharing knowledge. I am still in wonderment (and I'm and I.T. teacher...haha!) that we can all share ideas, pics, video, laughter and tears with people across the globe, from our lounge rooms and sewing rooms. I would not have learnt 1/2 of what I now know about sewing and crafting if it weren't for other people generously sharing their failures, successes, triumphs and journeys. And, crafty/sewing people are the most generous of all with the sharing!
In the interests of fostering my love of "the internet is for sharing knowledge"...I am in the process of making up a free tutorial and printable PDF pattern for what I've been making. It's just a matter of translating my butchers paper hand drawn out pattern into electronic drawn pattern pieces no bigger than A4 size. And then translating the process of stitching them up into words, diagrams and photos. Yikes! Should be done by the end of the weekend. - I hope..stay tuned.