Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010

Goodbye 2010
You've been a hard year.
Next year will be better, it will, it promises.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

More Christmas presents:)

Firstly, I finished off 3 pentagon balls for my nieces. They are pinks, blues and purples but each one is different.
I embroidered each ball with their initial
Recently when the Australian dollar was awesome I bought up some patterns from Above All Fabric. I had intended to just buy Frida but I ended up buying SophieJuliaNina and Frida as well ;).
I'm really sorry to the australian sellers I know we all should support you, but I'm not paying $20-28.50 per pattern from you when I can buy the same pattern for $12.95 per pattern even with international postage on top of that its still very much cheaper, I just can't justify the difference in prices.
This is the first Frida I've made and now I love it so much I have to make more!
For my cousins little girl for Christmas I made a Frida dress and a pentagon ball using mums fabrics.
I love those little cap sleeves.
And I love the neckline.
I love the contrasting band of colour along the bottom.
I love the gorgeous little elasticised pockets and the ties under the arms.
Actually I love everything about this dress.

And the Last pentagon ball, for my cousins bub.
I tagged it explaining how the fabrics came form mums stash, made in memory of mum, for them.
This one is mostly white, orange and yellow.
All of the little kids, (mums great grandchildren) got a ball each, the older 3 teenage boys didn't of course because at their age, I really don't think they have any interest in them:) I am still making them hoodies and board shorts each. I wont see them until mid January, so I still have some time to finish those thank goodness!
Just enough time to show you my Christmas presents from my husband. A couple more Jamie books to add to my collection.
And, a gorgeous sewing box, I totally love it!
Inside it has a little tray as well as pouch and pin cushion and lot's of space for other things.
He also bought me a 1 yr mail subscription to SewHip magazine, which I totally totally love because now we don't have to deal with the crappy newsagent lady who tells us off every single time we pick up the magazine! We've never been late picking it up, we've always gotten it within a day of it being delivered to them but she lectures us and tells us off and tut tuts and looks down her nose at us about all the other people that put magazines on hold and never come to pick them up. She even laughed one time when they forgot to hold the magazine as expected and we couldn't get it.
So a Christmas sewing update and then to sleep finally! 3 hoodies and shorts to go for the boys, and something nice for my cousin, who's been ace and doesn't mind waiting until I finish all the hoodies ;)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Today I made a few tiny additions to the tiny spikey christmas tree.
I made some crocheted snowflakes using 5ply acrylic (same as the star) using this simple snowflake pattern by Sarah London.
I think they turned out pretty cute, and they took all of a few minutes to make.
I've got lot's of partly finished presents still on the go...days are running out! But last night I finally finished off a Christmas present, A pair of boxer shorts for my 14 yr old nephew.
They are elastic waisted, but also have ties (made from the fabric) threaded through the casing to tighten them up a bit more.
I used Simplicity 5314

Monday, December 20, 2010

Spikey the tiny tree & beginning to feel like christmas

Meet Spikey! This year we decided to buy a real living still growing tree. Spikey will be big one day, but for now his pot is almost bigger than he is! He is small enough we have popped him up on the table otherwise he sort of disappears if he is on the floor!
We had to race out today and buy some very small, very light-weight tinsel and baubles because the larger decorations we had would have broken and bent Spikey's tiny little branches! After decorating him we realised we had no star for the top! So I quickly crocheted up an Amigurumi star following Amy's instructions.
The little star is made from a scrap of 5 ply acrylic using a size 3.5 mm hook. (US E 4)
The crochet balls I crocheted with a mind to put on our tree earlier this Christmas preparation season have been strung up across the window next to the tree instead, else the lil tree might fall over!
I finished off another present for my little cousin in the wee hours of Saturday morning- My husband went off to bed, and I simply lost track of time while I was working on it, and the next time I looked at the clock it was 4:30am!
I made several mistakes, who wouldn't while sewing at that time of the morning! For some reason it is pulling funny in the middle of the front panel.
Inside I used the red robot print from a spotlight recent sale and rainbow from my stash (spotlight a while ago). The green bias I used is pulling funny and looks all wrinkled in the photo, but doesn't look that bad in person.
The red robot part is a zippy section we put in a box of crayons but its large enough for heaps of things. The pencil part we bought some cool triangle larger sized kids pencils because he is only just learning how to use them. The blue and white striped section we put in several thin colouring books. He also is getting the pentagon ball with the J on it.

The Last but not least bit of happy that happened yesterday, and then time for bed! My aunt and I have been sorting through some more things of mums, when we came across more of her stash - we'd thouhgt we'd found it all...but no, there are still surprises. Besides another cupboard full of fabrics, we found more plastic bags of yarn. We also found boxes full of threads, patterns, laces and zips and velcro and elastic.
I simply don't have the room here for it, so we made the decision to leave it there and as I make room in my stash I can bring some home with me.
Here are some of the goodies, two tins full - I couldn't resist bringing home yesterday.
Zips, zips and more zips, and some bias and velcro.
A reasonable sized biscuit tin full of zips and velcro and bias and some sort of stiffened mesh tape...not sure what thats for.
This tin is heavy, deep and bursting.
The heaviest biscuit tin FULL, BURSTING even, with laces. So much lace!
Mums cupboards constantly surprise me and I'm a lucky, lucky girl.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Despite the stress of too many Christmas presents to make not enough time! What I did all day Tuesday was oddly relaxing.
Open up a lovely old book named Fun with Fabrics. -Pernelle Sevy
Take one bucket of scrap fabric collected throughout the year. Lot's of fond memories in those scraps!
I didn't have much time to sit and read so I just did my own thing so I'm not sure if the way I did it was different to what the instructions actually were. But my process went along the lines of...
Scan and reduce the size of the pentagon shapes from the book. (because I thought their finished ball was way, way too big.)
Sit down play some tunes and cut, cut, cut and more cut until you've produced a hefty Pile of pentagons and a hefty pile of tiny scraps. The tiny scraps can be used to stuff the balls if you start running out of fibre fill like I did today!
Sort the big pentagons into piles that go together with the small pentagons.
I sorted them a hundred different ways from sunday and then still changed them when I was sewing them together. My brain hurt trying to work out how to place them together without placing two of the same colour touching, so in the end I chose mostly completely different fabric pentagons to go together in each ball that way it would never be an issue when sewing together later.
Now comes the hard part, ironing all the little pentagons and folding their edges over neatly.

To fold and iron the edges over on the small pentagons, I use a thick piece of paper to fold the fabric edge over and iron it down and a skewer to poke any uncooperative bits to make sure my fingers survive.
Theres a pentagon under there!
Yes I iron over the paper, the heat penetrates it, just don't hold it on for long enough to flame!

I then give them another iron over the edge to flatten each one as I go.
Once all the edges are folded under iron them again and then fuse them to the centre of the large pentagons.
The next part involves sewing the small pentagons to the large ones, it's easy once they are fused down they don't move. I used an open toe embroidery foot even though it was just a straight stitch so I could easily see where I was stitching.
I like to embroider something personal for the intended on one of the pentagons on each ball.
Next Sew 6 large pentagons together. Choose One central pentagon and start stitching the other 5 to each edge of the central pentagon. Don't start joining the sides to each other until the 5 are sewn to the central one. Also as you sew, do not begin to sew right from the edge and don't sew right to the end. I measured from the centre of my machines needle, to the edge of my foot and marked it on each of my pentagons to remind me not to stitch past the red lines, then I used the edge of my foot to line up the the edge of the pentagons when sewing the seams.

This way, when you join the edges of the pentagons next to each other it it wont buckle up on the edges.
It should look like this when all 6 are sewn together, a bit like a bowl.
Sew another 6 together in the same way.
Turn one inside out and put the two halves together right sides facing, the best way to describe it is, like putting together a puzzle, the points go into the valleys. Sew the 6 to the 6 in the same way you sewed the first 6. I also stitch in a loop of ribbon so the ball can be attached to elastic for games, or hung from a ribbon or hook. For smaller bubs you can also add in more looped ribbons into the seams so they can grab hold of them easily.
Do not sew the last remaining gap. Leave this so you can turn it out and stuff. I also like to pop into the centre of the stuffing, a cheap cat toy like a rolling ball with a bell inside. They are much cheaper than the official softie ones from craft stores.
Once stuffed within an inch of it's life, Ladder stitch the last opening closed and admire your work.
And here is the first finished pentagon ball from a few sides.
It's very stuffed and still bigger than I expected
So many of this years projects in there
Many fabrics from mums stash in there too
I also finished off some booties for my husbands cousin whos expecting a bub soon.
Time for sleeping now, tomorrow will bring the beginnings of 4 more balls for the youngest girls and one for the youngest boy. (mums great grand children)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Imke & some shorts

Well I'm in the middle of the Christmas Crazy!
I am attempting to now make 12 more presents in under 11 days and prepare and then cook for 17 people on the day.

Imke hoodie and some long shorts - For my nephew. (Size 10 so he can grow into them.)
Last night I stayed up late to finish One Imke hoodie from the book Sewing Clothes Kids Love for my nephew. I had cut it out earlier, so at least that part was already done. One thing I am not happy about with this books patterns, (and myself for not realising) under the section earlier in the book about cutting out it does say the patterns do not have seam allowances. Sheesh! why on earth wouldn't you include seam allowances in a pattern, what is the reason not to!
Then I decided it was a bit plain. I liked the way the book had shown the girls imke with different panels under the arms, but it was curved for girlie shaping. There was pic in the book for a boys imke with panels, but no pattern. I cut two strips from the tartan fabric i had used for the lining of the hood, and shaped them under the arm using the pattern. I overlocked and turned under the straight edge, and sewed the curved edge into the seam allowance for the sleeve and sides. I really like how it turned out.
At around about 2am for some unknown reason, it seemed like a good idea to make some shorts to go with the hoodie. I pulled out Simplicity easy to sew pattern 7043.
Photo linked to from eCrator
and cut the leg length off as long shorts from the basic pants pattern.
I stitched in a loop of the tartan into the seam so he can hang something off it if he needs or not  (whatever kids do these days;) it was mostly just to add some colour to that side of the pants.
I've also changed the pocket cutting out one in tartan one in black and stitching the tartan inside the pocket to the leg and then the black actual pocket over the top. I put a loop of tartan on the velcro to pull open the pocket, instead of the twill tape the pattern suggested.
I had to unpick the pocket a couple of times which just got me all irked up! It's still not quite right :/
BUT I finished them!
Finally I crawled into bed at 4:30am! The absolute worst thing about it is that as a result today I'm cranky, I'm tired and I'm making mistakes! So I've decided to not sew today (Monday), but to cut out shapes for my next 3 presents for my sisters twins and my cousins bub. Surely I can't go wrong cutting out pentagons!

I miss my mum everyday but coming up to Christmas it's so much worse.