Saturday, September 21, 2013

Spring has Sprung...

Spring has sprung
The grass is ris
I wonder where the birdies is?...

(either Anonymous or Spike Milligan, I can't remember which)

Feeling all suitably Spring-y, I picked these from my garden today. This turned into a game of bee-dodging lest I be stung.  I've discovered bees are extremely territorial when it comes to lavender!

You'll be glad to hear I'm back from the job seeking wilderness.  After months of putting myself and my resume out there I am now working in the health sector. There were bonuses to waiting in the wings.  A few months at home gave me lots of time to sew and a new Baby Glam bag was born, just prior to my niece giving birth to her first baby, the cute-as-a-button and adorable Lily Mae. I pulled out all the stops and made a baby bag, matching purse and matching nappy change mat, no less. I'm really pleased the way they all turned out.

Kris & Nic just before the happy event - at the baby shower
I took some pics during the process. I added 2 front pockets to the outside, a large one on the inside and a handy inside ring to hang the purse or keys from.

The finishing top-stitching
Decisions decisions, which button to choose?


The extra long handle fits perfectly over stroller handles. 

And on a final note, happy Spring (in Oz) and happy birthday to all fellow Virgoans out there. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Winter Warm-Ups

Well it's the middle Winter in Ballarat. Always a few degrees colder than Melbourne, we have gone below the tide line and reached -1C or lower recently. This is cold for us in Oz.  Given my sewing room now feels like going into coldest Siberia, I have slowed up on the sewing and surrendered my hard-working machine to the local Janome shop for a general tune-up and clean down  (I could hear it whisper a big thank-you for the respite). While that's happening I decided that knitting was a distinctly Wintery thing to do and dug out my wool stash and started knitting two jumpers for my sons. I'm proud to say that one is finished and the other one - a more complicated cable affair - is well on the way.  

Let's hope it ends up looking like this, although they must have paid the model danger money to wear that hat!

I'm addicted to YouTube and found some awesome videos on how to knit hats using circular needles (my new addiction). I'll share it with you here because it made it sooooo easy.

You could probably call my wool stash distinctly vintage now as some leftovers are 20-odd years old, so I was rapt when I could use up some of my wool to make a friend's son a slouch hat for his birthday made from 80s black-with-coloured-flecks wool using the mysterious circular needles.  We worked out that the wool was older than he is!  Also, here is my first effort made from colour-graduated wool and the YouTube video.

Meanwhile, a great winter pastime here is to watch the Tour de France. I am imagining myself in the warm European early summer and skimming passed gorgeous little towns - some of them I have even visited myself.  The Aussies are doing quite well but you have to admire all the riders for being such tough competitors.

Wherever you are in the world, keep cool or keep warm and enjoy your life. Keep your hands busy doing the things you love.

the Flash

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sewing madly...

....and passionately.  That's what I love about sewing, the creativeness of it. You can make something absolutely and totally unique. Whether you're making clothes, hats or handbags.  You can use your wildest imagination to put certain colours and patterns together that no-one else would think of.   

I have been busy with 2 projects.  One is my ongoing passion for little bags, probably because I love sewing in miniature - yes call me mad, but I like the fiddly bits.  I just love the colour combination of these two sugarloaf pouches, hope you agree.  

My other project is these lovely clutch bags. I have added one or two interior pockets and one of my detachable handles because even though clutch bags are lovely, there are times when you need to sling them over your shoulder.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Zippers are scary!

Yes I'm still on the zipper help bandwagon, but hey, zippers and their insertion seems to be the one thing that people are scared to tackle  But there are some really good products out there which save time and angst!   One of them is double-sided tape (DST) and it's great when you are working on projects involving plastic overlaid onto fabric and you can't pin the zipper before sewing without making pin holes in your plastic - a big no- no!

Here's what I do.  Run a strip of DST along the edge of your fabric (regardless of whether it has a plastic overlay or not).  Remove the top paper and stick your zip to it as shown. No need for tacking (basting) or pins.  Really quick!

Then sew 1cm in from the edge using a zipper foot and hey-presto you're done and your zipper is aligned beautifully. PS: sewing in 1cm from edge is to ensure your needle avoids sewing through the DST as it can get a bit sticky. However don't panic if this does happen, you can clean the needle with eucalyptus oil afterwards.

TOP TIP: Recently I discovered you can buy a roll of DST from The Reject Shop for - wait for it - $2.00.  Normally a roll half the size costs me well over $10.00 from Lincraft or Spotlight.

I was a bit skeptical that it would work as well and used it on a project on the weekend.  It worked perfectly.
The finished product - a pencil case for little boys with a very sturdy zipper.


That's all for now - I have several exciting projects on the go - pictures are forthcoming.  
Happy zipping

the Flash...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Top Tip for Tangled Zips

Is your zip drawer tangled and overflowing like mine was?  Is it impossible to open your zip drawer because it is stuffed full and some of the zips have wedged themselves in the back of the drawer?  You're as mad as hell and you can't take it anymore?

Does your zip drawer look like mine did?

Don't panic!  You can heave a sigh of relief - I have the solution. Last week I had a flishy-flashy lightbulb-overhead-moment.

My solution:
I emptied the drawer out and sorted the zips into colours.

Zips that didn't have ends to enable hanging up, I made the ends from some leftover card........

....... and wrote their length on the tab end for easier identification, and used a single hole-puncher.

Then stapled the tab to the end

I then bought a $6 metal towel rail from the local hardware store, bribed the man of the house to dig out his drill (yes I could have done it myself but was busy stapling zips, wasn't I?). We fixed it to the underside of my shelving unit, found some hinged rings and threaded zips all colour-coded to the rail.  

So now they sit beautifully behaving themselves behind my sewing machine and I can see at a glance colours and sizes from small to large.
And no, my shelves do not have a serious bow in them, I  just got too close with the old Nikon!
After all that effort I needed some coffee, Pfeffernüsse and chocolate therapy.

The result? I'm a much happier camper regarding zips now, although I'm always on the prowl to further streamline my sewing room and sewing methods.

I'd love to your your ideas on streamlining your sewing practices.  
Drop me a line and/or please comment on my blog.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year to all.  Have a happy & productive 2013. Keep inspired and keep sewing.