I will confess right off the bat that Ive never tie dyed anything before. I may have done something as a young child with a t-shirt and crushed blueberries thats the extent of my experience.

I bought this kit and some thrifted white bed sheets and a ruffled edged white pillow slip as I have the vague idea that I’d try dye dying a large piece of fabric to use in some project or other. After a  bit of googling I decided to try a spiral pattern and madam and I got up to some fun. 

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The kit was super easy to use – fill the bottles with water and off you go. I watered down the bottles after doing the pillow slip so the duvet colours after a wash are actually quite soft and pastel. After dying we wrapped the fabric in cling wrap and left it sitting for about 6 hours before rinsing out and washing.

I think decided that since I have one sheet dyed and one sheet plain i would make madam a duvet cover as she keeps complaining her Peter Rabbit one is for ‘babies’. And I know we have some very cool ones coming with a visiter in the new year, but the handmade one would tide us over nicely. Also the thrifted sheets they are lovely pure cotton so perfect for summer.

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Totally unrelated to the tie dying but a pic of the curtains I made for madams bedroom for her birthday. They are a long way from perfect and are a little small (I was being a cheapskate!) but they have blackout lining and do the job 95% of the way. The fabric was on offer at spotlight and the pinkly sum of 4.95mtr, the blackout lining was about $8mtr and they are the exact width I needed – so un-gathered when closed. So I’m calling success.

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If I can get another 2mtrs of the fabric I’ll all a bit extra to them to create a better fit. But I’m not to panicked about it. 

December 11, 2014 Crafting

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I bough this pattern in the black friday sale. Ive umm’d and ahh’d over it for a while. But at nearly half price it was rude not to buy it! I made this little dress up over an evening, less than 3h from start to finish. Super simple but I think super stylish. I adore the pleats – first time I’ve ever tried them.

The cowl neck got a mixed reaction. Partially I think because when I asked her if she liked the ‘cowl neck’ she though I said ‘cow’ and immediately presumed I was dressing her to look like a cow – oh the mind of a 4yr old. Also it was quite high and stiff as the fabric is a woven. So I took it off her and cut the cowl down to half the hight and stuffed her back in the dress. Success, no complaining.

I can’t wait to make another – I’m thinking the next I’ll do with a plain knit bodice and cowl and do the skirt part in a nice woven. I really like this pattern and I’d recommend it. Its easy to follow and well written. I did change how I put the bodice together, not by a lot but simply so I had enclosed shoulder and side seams but that was my only deviation from the instructions (which is a miracle as I’m terrible at wondering off on my own tangents)

I also think it could look quite cool reversed with the collar points at the front. I might try that …… Or as a button up shirt.

Yup, this pattern gets my vote

December 3, 2014 Crafting, Sewing

2 Comments

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Since coming home from our wonderful break away in Oz we have been busy settling back into our rhythms and routines. Baking muffins (pear and chic chip, delicious! Kind of used this recipe) A little light romper suit that was a last minute make before the holiday. Super easy pattern but so versatile. Breathe and exhale. Think about the next month or so. A birthday party to plan and christmas to prepare for. Dresses to make, recipes to try out. Exciting.

And my veggie bed make, an old pallet. Hubby split it apart for me and removed the worst of the nails. The uprights are old tree stake posts, from one that snapped when we were banging them in. Sawn into the size I needed. It was the fastest make ever and SO rewarding. Some nails that we already had, a hammer and saw and away you go.  I didn’t even crack out the tape measure. 

So if you want some raised veggie beds. But don;t want to spend any money. Go get yourself a old pallet. In NZ your local ITM will likely be giving them away, seriously giving them away. Other countries I’m less sure, may be try local building and landscape supplies. Or the local supermarket. Interesting tip – you can fit a pallet into a reasonably roomy car with a bit of gentle ‘persuasion’. Just so ya know. Not because I’ve done that or anything.

November 10, 2014 Crafting, Food

3 Comments

When Lisa from Big Little asked for testers for an adorable caplet I just had to put my hand up and say yes. Actually it went more like .. “yes .. yes, me …. pick me, pick me” with much virtual handwaving, like an over enthusiastic primary schooler.

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Since I didn’t have all the required extras (pompom trim and a front toggle) I went a little freestyle with it. The fabrics are both op-shop finds. The green was handprinted by someone, possibly as a textiles project I think. The lining is the same fabric as the dress she’s got on.

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It was a great little cape to sew up, fast and easy and came together beautifully. As always Lisa included step by step instructions and plenty of pictures to help guide you along. It took an evening to make, so it’s a perfect pattern for your stash for costumes and quick makes.

I have plans to make a modified summery version as well with a button under each arm to help it stay in place during very active play or windy days and use a nice light linen as something easy to thrown on to keep the sun off.

It’s a great pattern, check out Lisa’s Etsy shop Big Little and grab it. Just think how adorable it would look in red wool for christmas!

November 5, 2014 Crafting, Sewing

3 Comments

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Modified Lazy Susan by Brownie Goose (haha again, yes I know I make this pattern obsessively, but damn is so versatile) – I wanted a faux cap sleeve so I altered the pattern over the shoulder a little. Love how it came out. I think there will be more of these in my future. The skirt is just tiered – bottom strip is selvedge width, top is a little under – with what were originally indeed to become cushion covers, but it looked good with the bodice. Leggings are from Cotton On.

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Quilt top, 10×10 charm squares, well, mostly. Some are 10×9 as my cutting was dodgy. Lots of favourite fabrics, so its a hodge podge. I decided it wasn’t big enough so added a parallelogram across the middle. Wee Wonder fabric. It pained me to cut into it but I’m glad I did. I quilted with a old wool blanket and a floral flannel sheet for the backing. I’m hoping it will make a nice quilt top for her bed to see her through the next few years.

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I still need to trim it up and bind it (and make the binding first) but the quilting part is done. Ok, admittedly not all that well, the lines are wonky and random but it’ll do. Its going to be a birthday gift I think, to go on her bed as its almost single quilt size. For her birthday it’ll be this and new curtains as her main presses. 

I was inspired by Sally at Wonky Patchwork and all the beautiful things she is churning out in the run up to the festive season. Seriously if you don’t read her blog already then go and check it out. Its great. She has the best ‘can do’ and ‘get up and go’ attitude and its contagious.

Also, bothering to put the walking foot on before quilting, and using a possibly unhealthy amount of spray glue – totally awesome.

October 21, 2014 Crafting

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We have been doing lots of crafty bits this holiday. There has been a real change in madam being able to actively participate in making things, rather than watching and occasionally helping me. The letters we bought from the DIY store, just card letters, I cut up coloured tissue and left her to it with some white glue. Of course there had to be glitter added. After that I just sealed them up with a coat of modpodge (to stop the glitter shedding over everything) They now have pride of place above her bed – I hung them as a surprise while she was at preschool, and she was delighted when she saw them. The cutest “go my goodness, I made those!”.

She also chose some fabrics from my stash to put in the hoops, just to add a touch to her room that she really selected and chose. And one that we can change and alter as she wishes. The birds on the lantern wire she found in a sale bin. The lanterns she’s had for ages, they act as her night lights. I sort of wish I’d chosen white ones and she could have stuck coloured tissue on herself, but we can always do that another year.

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We also had a tidy and ‘spring clean’ in the main room. Swopping sofas around has given her a much larger area to play/read – yes thats a cat in her chair. Ask the cat and she’ll tell you its her chair not madams. We use the back wall to hand the bits she’s proud of or wants to display – the fridge can only hold so much art!

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My fabric mail arrived in the week, its been washed and folded ready for me to stare at it, to afraid to cut use it. I think some of the Heather Ross and Wee Wonder stuff I’ll keep until I have a really specific project in mind. The pink with gold birds will be her christmas dress. And apparently she wants the owls as trousers! Its arrival made me have a tidy in my craft room ….. Which led to me planning a new quilt and ……

a GIVEAWAY – wow so exciting, never done one before.

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This is a pile of off cuts, pieces of fabric that I cannot use in my newest quilt. Some pieces are little scraps – the sort that are perfect for craft or log cabin style quilting. Some are bigger than fat quarter size. There’s batiks, Heather Ross, Michael Miller, Art Gallery, Sarah Jane and others. Its all quilting cotton. I cannot stand it to go to waste but its sat being unloved in my (messy but getting tidier) craft room.

So on friday next week I’ll put all the names of all commenters who fancy it in a hat and get madam to pull one out. 

October 9, 2014 Crafting

5 Comments

Little notes from our days

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Some crafting, a top and shorts have made there way through the cut and sew process. The top is a Brownie Goose mash up, I altered the shoulder/sleeves a little. And the shorts are the Little Big Pixie Shorts pattern that I tested. Love them as they come together so easily.

We have been planting seeds inside and out. Kohl rabi in the trays and sweet peas to climb the trellis. And reading in quiet moments. Love my kindle. Ok, nothing beats a real book, but at the rate I read we would need a second mortgage just for books. And my patience doesn’t stretch to the library ordering in the ‘next’ book in whatever series I’m devouring.

Madam has really been into her writing and drawing this holiday, the drawing above she did totally by herself – I was in the shower. I came out and she proudly showed me her picture of daddy and his ‘name’ – she was upset that she ran out of room for the final ‘dy’ of Daddy.

We hit the theatre today. Such fun. A trip in with her buddies and a fantastic production of ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’. A modern edition with a rapping Goldi and the worlds funniest Humptydumpty.

I’m also trying to get back on the exercise wagon. I fell off it over a month ago. And when I say fell off, I mean jumped wildly away from it and ran in the other direction. Oh the pain. And the good intentions.

Tomorrow I promise a pictorial post of more interesting bits and bobs. Fabric mail, pony pics, shorts being worn and some other crafty projects that we’ve got on the go.

October 7, 2014 Crafting

6 Comments

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I finished Madams ‘Cushy Cardi’. It only took me a couple of evenings of pretty full on crocheting. It was simple, easy to follow and I really like how it looks. Don’t look to close as there are a host of mishaps and wonky bits, and some spur of the moment improv – since I seem incapable of just following a pattern in a straightforward manner.
Its a great pattern and free as well. It goes up to a 3 but I found that a loose crochet stitch, and a few extra increases have made a pretty generous sz4. Its not overly long but that’s a matter of not getting bored (like me) and adding a few more rows.

The yarn is a cheap acrylic from the Warehouse that I bought on sale. I got a 600g ball for 10 bucks. Perfect for an experiment. This one will be her summer card for preschool. Easy to wear and easy to wash! I plan to make a few more of these! I have already started the foundation chain to do a little one for a friend who’s expecting any day now.

I had hoped for a nice photo opportunity with madam in it, but she decided modelling was not on her day planner for today. This was a close as I got to a worn pic

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September 26, 2014 Crafting

2 Comments

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 I was incredibly excited when Lisa from Big Little asked for pattern testers recently. I have a few of her patterns already and love them. I was even more delighted when I discovered the pattern I would be testing was for the Pixie Pants and shorts.

The pattern that Lisa has created is great. Pretty much all my patterns are PDF’s and the quality of instruction and pattern differs greatly between creators. Lisa’s is right up there with the best I have. Her instructions were concise and accurate and very easy to follow. The pattern pieces went together well and didn’t use half a forest to print out – one of my pet hates is patterns that use masses of paper through printing, only to have to cut 2/3 of it away once the patterns taped up.

They are possibly one of the nicest, most stylish pants/shorts patterns I’ve come across and also beg to be customised – belt loops, contrasting trim, a touch of lace. So many options! The peices go together nicely and the finished pants and shorts look really smart.

I made these pants in both a thicker winter weight wool and in lighter quilting weight cotton for spring and cooler summer days. By the time I made a 3rd pair I was down to a 90 minute make time, and that’s including those all important stops to grab a cookie or cuppa. So not only a great pattern but also fast!

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Great news! Lisa is offering 15% of the Pixie Pants Pattern here and the Pixie Shorts pattern here for the duration of the tour. All you need is the coupon code PIXIEPANTS15, valid until Tuesday 23 September.

Be sure to check back in on the Big Little blog on Tuesday for a giveaway too!

Mon 15 Lisa @ Big Little
Tues 16 Leanne @ Paper Moon
Wed 17 Jenny @ Mend & Make New
Thurs 18 Leonie @ Sunshine x 3
Fri 19 Aimee @ Small Steps Big Noises
Mon 22 Orsolya @ Borsoo
Tues 23 Viki – posted by Big Little and a GIVEAWAY!

September 18, 2014 Crafting

8 Comments

The dress pattern in this tutorial is the wonderful Hattie from BrownieGoose. The collar is from the VFT Josephine. But you could use this one or this one. Or you can draft you own. I hope those links work. In some ways drafting your owns probably easiest. Just remember to leave the back opening where the dress buttons up.

Firstly cut your Hattie (or dress) and sew up the shoulder seams, if its a Hattie do the front pleat as well.

Cut out your collar (4 pieces – mirrored pairs). Your inner curve should match the neckline of the dress you are making and be the same length as well as same curve – allowing for seams. The VFT Collar fits the Hattie pretty perfectly, for a Lazy Susan I draft my own so the collar fits nicely against the boat shape neckline and right to the back opening.

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I like to pop a little interfacing on one side of the collar fabric, its optional not necessary. I leave a gap without interfacing for the seam allowance as it makes it tidier and easier to turn (on this one I should have left a bigger allowance!)

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Sew each collar piece right sides together leaving the ‘top’ or side that will be joining the neckline open. clip your seams. 

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Turn and iron really really well. Now you have your collar.

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Make sure you’ve done the back seaming and folding before you attach the collar. – I topstitched this down after taking the pic. I’ve not yet attached the sleeves (for the sake or speed – I was juggling work and a kid while making this tutorial)

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Lay the collar onto the dress (right sides out) and line it up before pinning it on – ignore my reversed pleat – I was experimenting.

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Sew it in place using a scant 1/8 seam allowance – see it looks pretty already! 

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The back should line up with the folded over back seam – that’s where measuring your neckline length before making your collar came in at the beginning.

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Right, now to tidy it up and leave no nasty seams showing. Clip off all the threads. Make/buy/steal/beg a little matching or contrasting bias tape – you only need the length of the neckline.

Open your bias tape right out and sew it onto the top of the collar – along the 1/4 fold line, with the right sides together (bare with me – this will (might) make sense in a minute). At the ends leave a 1/2 inch over hang.

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Still with me? Now if you fold that bias over towards the inside of the dress you’ll find it will encase that nasty seam where we joined the collar to the neckline. I recommend playing about with this before sewing it so you get the idea in your head. It seems counter-intuitive until you’ve done it a couple of times. Once folded over your bias will be back to 1/4 inch wide and be encasing that raw seam. At the ends fold the 1/2 inch overhang back under its self to give a nice neat finished edge. 

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So now we sew it down, right on the edge of that 1/4inch tape. Make sure you ease the dress as you sew so you don’t get any tucks or catches in it. From the outside this seam will be hidden by the collar. 

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Ok, nearly there, this is so much easier to do than explain! see how that bias is sewn down and you can’t see any raw edges?

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Grab your iron and press the collar so that the fold starts at the point the bias joins the collar – this will give a almost invisible seam and make it look tidy. In the pic below Ive orined a little to far into the bias so you can see where it will be. The bias should lie flat inside the neckline. 

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Ok, thats it. Clear as mud? Have a go, its not that hard I promise.

August 7, 2014 Crafting

8 Comments
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