bags · craft · patterns · sewing

All those little beads took forever to sew on!

They have been sitting on my desk for a long time now, cut out, staring at me reproachfully, willing me to hurry up and put them together.  Lots of Puff purses!

Puff purses by you.

Sadly, my stylist must have been unavailable when these were photographed, since they’re all a little squashed.  I thought you may like a peek at the lining fabrics.

Puff purses - open by you.

They remind me a little of shells – maybe oysters?

Puff purses by you.

Kirsty has just completed a beautiful version of this purse as well.  The pattern is by Nikki.  I’m keeping the brown Japanese cotton one for myself.  Mum bought me some fantastic little self-adhesive leather thimbles to help with sewing on all those tiny little beads – my fingers were much happier once I started using them.

craft · patterns · sewing

Brown floral hat

I’ve been pattern testing again!  Thanks to Nikki, I now have a new summer hat.

Brown floral hat - outer by you.

The fabric is from Joel Dewberry’s Ginseng line, and is decorator weight.  There are three layers of interfacing in the brim, and the brim is topstitched as well to help it keep its shape.  I hand-stitched the binding into place – I’ve learned my lesson about attaching binding; I’m never happy with the finished result unless it’s been hand-stitched into place, even though it does take much longer.  The lining is also hand-stitched in place.

Brown floral hat - inside lining by you.

I really, REALLY love this hat pattern! I wear hats all the time in summer, trying to protect my lily-white skin (yes, I am very pale – my legs are so white that the glare is almost blinding).  I’ve made cloth hats before, but as usual Nikki has that something extra in both the drafting of her patterns and the instructions and tips that go with them.  This is definitely the most successful hat I’ve made.  It fits perfectly!

Brown floral hat by you.

See, check out that grin!  Nikki is having a give-away for the pattern over here.  I expect that the pattern will be released any day now.  There are many more hats in my horizon – maybe a whole collection with varying brim widths?

bags · craft · craft magazines · patterns

Blowing the trumpet for Jodie

Did you know that Jodie is actually a shy and humble lass?  See this current patchwork/stitching mag?  That she hasn’t mentioned at all on her blog?

Mag with ballerina bag by you.

Have a look at what is inside (and on the front cover):

Little Ballerina Bag by you.

The Ballerina Bag!  Yay Jodie, you’re published!  Congratulations – I’ll definitely be making one of these for Clare (and potentially a few for her little friends).

By the way, I have a spare copy of this magazine:

Handmade Annual by you.

If you would like it and you’re in Australia, leave me a comment – first in who wants it gets it!

craft · crochet · fabric stash · patterns · sewing · softies

I’m a winner (well, sometimes)

Lucky me, I was a winner in Audrey and Maude’s recent pattern giveaway, and received these two sweet softie patterns.

Audrey & Maude softie patterns by you.

I saw these in real life at the Quilt and Craft fair recently.  They’re now added to my to-make list!  Which first … I think maybe one of the robots.  Thanks so much to Louise and Cathy for their generosity (and their talent – I love these softies)!

In today’s mail was the latest blog VIP swatch mailout from Amitie.

Amitie August 08 fabric swatches by you.

These are all from Anna Maria Horner’s Garden Party line.  What beautiful saturated colours and swirling lines.  Will I need some more pieces I wonder?  I’ve done a little more work on the loopy loops too.

loopy loops with edging - detail by you.

They’re all now edged, thanks to Sarah’s excellent instructions.  They’ll probably be a scarf for a little while – at least until I crochet some more loopy loops to join together into a blanket.  This length is made up of 105 loops.  The edging yarn is also scrap stash yarn – hence the change of colour half way through.

craft · fabric stash · patchwork · patterns · quilting · sewing

Surely I can squeeze a tiny bit more fabric into the stash?

After seeing these gorgeous Amy Butler fabrics over at Chaletgirl, I couldn’t help myself – I clicked on the link to Pink Chalk Fabrics and before I knew it I was ordering some fabric!

Amy Butler fabrics by you.

These are all from the August Fields line and are decorator weight.  Each “sugar cube” is about 75 cm square.  While I was there I stumbled across some Joel Dewberry fabric, also decorator weight.

Ginseng - Joel Dewberry by you.

Whoops, how did that jump into my shopping cart?  And to finish off, a quilt pattern!

Bento Box quilt pattern by you.

My mental project list is growing so long that I think my head might explode.

bags · craft · patterns · sewing

Teardrop Purse

Remember the Puff Purse?  Here is its big sister – the Teardrop Purse!

Teardrop purse - front by you.

I know I’ve said it before, but I love being a pattern tester for Nicole Mallalieu Design!  This purse goes together beautifully, and as Miss Clare said “it’s just like the little purse, only bigger”.  Although this one has a handle.  The handle on mine is still waiting for two beads to finish it off – it’s just pinned together at the moment – but because I know it will be a while before I get to the shops to buy the beads I decided that it was “blog finished” (I love that phrase – thanks Jodie!) and I would show it off anyway.  The other side:

Teardrop purse - back by you.

The inside:

Teardrop purse - open by you.

The pattern is extremely well drafted, although it’s not for novice sewers.  I love the tiny seed beads that are sewn to the frame, and the instructions for making the rouleau tube handle were excellent.  Another triumph Nikki!

Teardrop purse - sides by you.

The fabric is from the Chocolate Lollipop range by Anna Maria Horner.  It’s such beautiful quality to work with!  I fused a layer of interfacing and a layer of wadding to the outer fabric, but didn’t use any on the lining.  There is also a layer of fast-to-fuse inside the centre panel of the purse to provide support and structure.  Nikki is giving away a kit for this purse on her blog at the moment, so leave her a comment and you might be lucky!  August is her blog month of bag-making tutorials, so keep an eye on it for terrific hints and tips.

There is also a fabric voucher giveaway happening over at Kimono Reincarnate and if you are quick Boutique NutMeg Designs has a giveaway to win a gorgeous bag.  Wow, there are so many generous bloggers out there!

craft · crochet · patterns · planned projects · sewing

The postman rings twice

As you know, when I don’t have much time for crafting myself I seem to rely on my postman to bring me crafty goodness.  These arrived on Monday in two deliveries:

postman rings twice by you.

The beautiful mini patchfolio is from Linda at Craft Apple as a little thankyou for testing her car organiser pattern.  It is absolutely gorgeous – what a delightful combination of fabrics!

Mini patchfolio inside by you.

The inside fabrics are particularly lovely together.  I intend to use this patchfolio for noting craft and sewing inspiration.  Thank you again Linda!

The other delivery was a crochet book (via Amazon):

Crochet bouquet by you.

There are lots of lovely floral motifs in this book.  I must have been inspired because I found enough time to flick through the book properly and then to make this Gazania for a work colleague.

Gazania for Jess by you.

It has a brooch back attached to it.  I’ve been crocheting at work in my morning tea and lunch breaks lately, and Jess has been fascinated about the whole process.  I reckon that I might be able to get her hooked too!

I had better get up to the sewing room while Stella has her day sleep – Nikki has a fantastic giveaway going on her blog for her latest bag pattern, the Teardrop.  And since I am a tester and she needs some feedback before she can actually give away her bag pattern and kit, it’s time for me to get cracking!  Jump over to her blog and leave a comment to be in the running to win a kit.

bags · craft · patterns · sewing

Puff purse

Oh I do like being a pattern tester for Nicole Mallalieu Design!  The pattern for the Puff purse arrived in the mail on Wednesday – by Thursday night it was finished – I just couldn’t help myself.

The outer fabrics are from the ones that Ravenhill sent me.  I’m really enjoying using them; thanks again!  Other supplies, including the frame, interfacing and wadding, came from Nicole Mallalieu Design – oh, except the seed beads.  They were in the stash but I think they were originally from Spotlight.  The lining fabric was from my stash.

And guess what – there is a larger, hand-bag sized version of this pattern coming up soon as well – I managed a sneak peek today when I dropped in to Nikki’s studio to pick up some more frames and other supplies.  Fingers crossed that I get to test that pattern too!

I can see many more of these little purses in my future.  They fit into the palm of your hand, and are a terrific way to feature small pieces of fabric.  It took me about two and a half hours to make from start to finish, albeit in half-hour bursts fitted in around the kid’s activities.  I think that this pattern is about ready to roll off the presses, so keep an eye on Nikki’s blog or website if you would like one.

adult's clothing · patterns · sewing

Simplicity 3786 View D

It has taken me a couple of months but I finally finished sewing up Simplicity 3786, in View D.

The fabric is a light cotton from Spotlight.  I like the style and the details such as the tucks on the front and the gathered sleeves.  I made my usual alterations to make the proportions better for my short figure, by folding out an inch or so through the body and from the sleeve length.  For once I included the gentle elasticated gathering at the back that gives the top a little more shape – I usually leave back ties and shaping out, since I don’t have much of a waist and don’t like my clothes to be tight around it.

I’ll make this pattern again, but probably in a less busy fabric – take another look at that first photo and the shocking job that I did of misaligning the design placement on the front.  I really should have cut each front piece individually.  I think that I’ll consider this top to be a wearable muslin (since I am actually wearing it today).  There are lots of nice design options in this pattern, and it is comfortable.  The finished top looks pretty much like the design photo on the front of the pattern envelope, which is always a good sign!

bags · craft · patterns · sewing

Car organiser

A little while ago I was lucky enough to be a test sewer for Craft Apple’s latest pattern – the Car Organiser.  Here is my effort, in the front passenger seat:

although it usually lives between the booster and infant seats in the back.

It has a flap pocket on one of the short ends which holds pens/pencils and a mobile phone, and a large pocket on one of the long sides.  On the other two sides I put a flap that closes around the seat belt, so the organiser won’t fly off the seat when you brake suddenly (great idea hubby).

The fabric is from the Nigella range by Amy Butler – sadly, I have now used it all up.  It’s a great pattern, especially in its final completed and tweaked form.  Linda has done a terrific job designing it!

The Timtex took a bit of wrestling, and I did manage to break one jeans needle, but overall it wasn’t really difficult to construct.  Thanks again Linda for letting me be part of the creative process!