Saturday, November 27, 2010

Twinkle Sews - Age of Innocence

So I don't like this. The pattern was rated easy and it was. But I had make design changes. At the bottom where your hips are Wenlan has you gather the lace on the outside the attach it gathered to the lining then insert elastic into the seam allowance where the gathering is RESULTING in massive baggy and puffy poufs ON YOUR HIPS. When I realised this I took the top apart at the hips removed the elastic and removed the gathering from the lace. I then sewed the lace to be the same size as the lining at the side and re-attached it. I then added elastic to the seam allowance using it as a casing as Wenlan suggest but all the way around to distribute the gathering. The back yoke is long and once again you are asked to put elastic in the seam
allowance. This makes the back fit your body but causes the top of the yoke to flop out as its longer and not gathered so your bra is exposed then when I pinned the lace to it as its top stitched on as the last step it just hangs right down. So I took it in with my overlocker before attaching the lace over the top. This photo shows how much I cut out. Its a lot as the lace goes over the top you don't see this at all from the outside. This also meant I had to make to two extra pleats to match the lace up to the lining. All this work for a top that I don't really like now its done.The photos in the book show you a flat picture of the whole top but the bagginess is not obvious  in this picture and when they show it on the model you don't see her hips.

Christmas advent calendar finished

I finished this a while ago. I am really happy with it. Its not perfect I am not a quilter. I think it looks good and it will last us lots of year's. There is no hand sewing at all on this I used the sewing machine for all of it.
 I just stitched in the ditch to sew the binding down to the back of it. I used a gold silky by Gutermann on all the quilted detail and also to stitch in the ditch that way all you see if you notice the thread is a little sparkle. I used to do cross stitch and I had the red, green and gold sparkly embroidery thread. I hand sewed this I just kept looping it past the centre then when I was finished I cut all the loops so it looked like a pompom. I used these colours as the picture used identical colours underneath I just gave it a 3D effect. I may add other little thing here and there if I feel inspired. I have thought of a bell for the little raindear and beads on the christmas trees. 

Twinkle Sews - Skyline Skirt

I love this skirt. Easy to sew but it is rated intermediate and it would be easier if the book had told me that I had to cut the fabric on the flat or I would end up with two half skirts with the points going in different directions by cutting with the fabric folded as you do for most patterns. All other patterns in this book are full patterns so not cut on the fold but when you have so many small pieces you think it makes sense to fold and cut. I noticed before sewing so only my cutting time was waisted. I used the size 4 as the instruction say to add 2" of ease. This meant that I had to take the skirt in by 3" across all seams to keep it looking right. I now realise that the skirt sits lower than my waist so I could have taken more out but its too late now. I used black and white thread as I didn't want it to show through so I re-threaded my machine a few times to make this skirt. I also only lined the skirt to the highest point of the white so more like a facing than a lining this worked well.

I used my first invisible zip with the invisible zip foot. Its okay but I think I can do better.
 I used catch stitch on the hem as I have seen it used in other people's sewing. It worked really well it is a fast stitch to sew.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Belt by Cassie Stephens

Cassie Stephens has a lovely Esty shop full of these fabulous belts. I loved this one and it arrived today. Cassie makes the buckle and the belt and the fabric is mostly vintage.

You can have your belt made to the length you want. I didn't know how long to have mine so I sent Cassie a message telling her my waist and hip measurements and she suggested a length she thought would suit and its perfect.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Imke top - Sewing clothes kids love

With this Imke top I adjusted the pattern before sewing it based on what I thought from making the first one. This is the smallest size this pattern comes in. I feel it is still a little wide for my liking. I made the arm hole of the sleeve smaller and I am happy with it. Once again the fabric is free and the motif was $2. I couldn't pick one photo of my very happy girl who wouldn't take her new top off. So it got dinner all over it and went straight in the wash.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Imke top - Sewing clothes kids love

The Imke pattern comes with many options. Long sleeves straight, tapered or flared. Short sleeves gathered or not. You can use the side panels like I did above. It can be made with a hood rounded or pointed, lined or unlined. If you don't use the hood they add a neck band but I felt this would be too busy with this top so I just turned the 5/8" seam allowance under. The patterns also don't have seam allowance so I must add these at the pattern tracing stage.

Once I had attached the sleeves and sew up the side seams I noticed that the sleeve has a very wide opening. I didn't like the way it was going to flop around if I just turned the edge under. To make it more fitted I have gathered a small amount opposite the gathering at the sleeve cap and added the band. I have modified the pattern for the sleeve now for next time. I also felt that the top was a bit wide at the sides So I have taken a small amount off the pattern for next time. The boys pattern for this top is much straighter so I may use that if I want a plain t-shirt or a singlet top.

The fish is a $2 iron on motif  we bought at the local craft shop. All the fabric in this top was given to me by sewers who are no longer sewing. So my thread and the fish is all I paid for in this top.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Simplicity 2364 view A

I really like this top I have sewn it three times now. The first above is mine. I used a remnant of velvet with multi coloured sequins on it and a cream double knit. It looked terrible when I tried it on I was disappointed until I worked out that the shrug part was too loose on me. I pull it up at the back of the neck and it made all the difference. It would have been to difficult to undo it so I pinned it and sewed it at the join at the back of the neck. I also grabbed the pattern piece and measured my adjustment and altered my pattern. This means the the centre back seam is now on an angle not straight. I know I could have taken it out from under the arm but I wasn't confident I would get it right. The velvet fabric has almost no stretch so I am lucky I can get it on and off!
My Mum loved it and
here she is wearing one
of the two I made for her.
I am wearing the other
one (Yes we are almost
the same size). I don't
have a tripod and half
cut my head off. Then
cropped the rest off as
it looked silly. The illustrations of how to attach the shrug could be better but its not that hard. I just pinned then turned it out the right way to make sure. I have made Simplicity 2364 view E,D and F combination. I only need to make this in view B then I am done view C is the suggestion of a combination of fabric. I don't think I would make this in one colour I like it to much with a combination.

Sewing clothes kids love

I am really happy with this book. I have two girls if you have boys you will find there is not so much inspiration for them but the patterns are unisex. You get 10 multi sized patterns this is great value. I have made one skirt for my daughter pictured below. She loves it. The best thing about this book is lots of people have it and there is a flicker group with so many amazing pictures you will never be stuck for an idea.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Twinkle Sews

This is a great book with some lovely patterns for clothes. You really need to know how to sew with this book.  The instructions are all written and brief. I read them over many times before starting my project. Even then I still made fixable mistakes. I printed my patterns on A4 which means my printer misses the very edges of the pattern this is not a problem as I just allow for this when sticking them together. The sizing is hard to work out as each pattern has different instructions for picking which size pattern. I will explain what I have done when I post about the individual projects.

Burda 8361

First Top
Is the one on the right (black, green and white). I had the same problem as everyone who has reviewed this pattern the baggie bust. I have found it is because the gathering goes to far down around the bust to the side of the top your bust is higher than this. The top was way to long from the shoulder to the bust so I had to take 2.5" out of the shoulders at the top. Lucky the arm hole opening is quite long so it still fits under the arm.

Under Bust

Second Top
I adjusted the pattern for this top so that the arm hole would be the original size this is much better. This would be especial important if you wanted to sew the top of the sleeve together. You cant really see it in these photos but I left the sleeve top open as option A suggests. To fix the baggie bust I have only gathered from about 1" away from the centre point until the pattern pieces fitted together. This had made the sides of the top sit perfectly flat against my side. I also angled the line under the bust up just a bit as I felt it went to low for me on the original. This is a great top it is an exact copy of a top that I bought RTW which is why I picked this pattern. I have plans to make this in a few different fabrics.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Burda 7866

I am happy with mine but I made the smallest size which is 10 it looks so much bigger on me than it looks on there model. Its really comfy I used a double knit. It is a little annoying fixing the unattached belt all the time. I have plans to make a modified version based on what I saw someone else do with this pattern. They eliminated the belt by using elastic at the sides of the bottom piece to give it a gathered look.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Chocolate tart. Egg, Nut and Dairy free.

I am working on recipes that look like they are made with milk or egg but have none. This is my first attempt and the family loved it. I wanted it to be light and fluffy but I ended up with smooth and creamy. Which I think was to do with the temperature of some of the ingredients being to warm. I have lots of ideas to try. I would love to perfect a light and fluffy mousse.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Enid Gilchrist, Pattern Book No.7

This book which came to me from my mum but originally from my Nanna is one of the many lovely vintage patterns that I have been given. This book offers lots of variety for young girls dresses 6 -12 years. You have to draft the pattern as per their diagram with measurements. Each pattern piece has a starting point and it gives good directions. Seam allowance is not included so you must remember when you cut your fabric.

These dresses are just so cute and you can see some of the pattern pieces with the measurements for drafting them. I will be attempting to make some dresses for my girls with these patters at some stage.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sewing a Christmas advent calendar

With allergy's advent calendars aren't something you can just buy of the shelf. I have wanted to sew one for a few years now but I always leave it to late and the panels are sold out. The other week I noticed my local craft shophad some

Christmas stuff out and this lovely snow man was there.At this stage I have lined all the pockets and sewn them on by machine no hand sewing here. Which I think looks fine as you can see in my close up of the pockets. I have to get some padding and fabric for the back and to make loops to hang it up. I will fill each

pocket with two small goodies for the girls to find each day on the count down to Christmas.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bannana and Blueberry Muffins

I made these muffins out of the Woman's Day cook book The ABC of kids cooking.
Its not an allergy free recipe but it was easy to adjust it. I didn't follow the directions of sifting the flour and folding in. I put the bananas and all the other wet ingredients in the food processor until smooth then mixed in the flour and other ingredients adding the blueberry's last and just using the spoon to gently mix them in so they wouldn't squish, I used self-raising flour not plain like the recipe said. I used nuttelex instead of butter and 2 no eggs to replace the 2 eggs. Easy and the mixing up of the bananas with nuttelex and no egg has given me an idea I will test it out and share.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Simplicity 2364

This was quick and fairly easy. I combined VIEW D, E and F because I wanted the sleeve plus I like to ware a bra so I wanted the strap. My husband didn't tell me I was showing my bra strap rather than covering it up when he took the photo. The only alteration I made was the strap was way to loose for me and I had to unpick it at the back and make it tighter then it was fine. I found the gathering part a bit tricky as when I sewed it up I used the stretch stitch and it just stretched right out so I pulled the gathering up and used a straight stitch so then it held. But its not as neat having to fix it up as it would have been if I had straight stitched it in the first place. This will be a great top when its warmer.

Star Tracksuit

I used an old knit-n-stretch pattern for this track suit. My daughter is 5 but I made the size 8 top. The pants pattern was for baggy tracky dacks and I don't like them like that. So I measured her waist and the pattern and made them slightly smaller than the size 12mth and slimmed the leg past the knee then made them flair slightly at the bottom. I made the pocket on the front of the top myself and added the Sparkly star ribbon to the top of the shoulders, the pocket and the sides of the pants.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Kwick Sew 3694

Bad photo I know but the ones my 5YO took weren't any better. Supper easy to sew even with the slippery fabric. Bohemian evening knit from spotlight. This is a size small but as you can see the sleeves are not 3/4 length on me and its not as fitted as I would like. Hard to tell in the photo as the fabric drapes really nice so its okay. I will make the next one in a xSmall and maybe adjust the sleeves as they are too baggy when they get to my wrist but if I push them up they fit my arm like a 3/4 sleeve would. I will make more of these there is a sleeveless version too.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Back-Loop Sweater

Second crochet project complete a cute little top for my 2 year old. This means my third project will be the same thing only size nearly 5 years old. I have also made my husband a windcheater for work which he hasn't needed yet. Nothing like sewing a much needed windcheater to make mother nature warm the weather up when it had gone cold. Its navy and boring so I wont be showing pics and surprisingly the first one I have ever sewn. I have made some cute pants for my girls too that I will show soon, but of course its been too warm to ware them. I used a free pattern Back-Loop sweater & hat I didn't make the hat and wont be. I took me half a ball more using the Panda brand yarn.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Pineapple Shawl crochet finished

This vintage doily inspired shawl was easy to make. I made it smaller than the pattern as I wanted it to wear as an accessory rather than to keep warm. I am going to buy a broach to pin it together in the place I want it as its quite versatile. This kind of pattern takes a bit of concentration as each row has a variety of stitches repeated all the way across. I missed a few that I didn't fix and some that I pulled 3/4 of a row out as they would have been too obvious. I have already started a jumper for my 2yo and will then do the same one for my 4.5yo.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cross Stitch

I started this about 7 years ago and finished it about a year or so ago. Its now been hanging up for a week. I would pick this up and do lots of work on it and then leave it for ages, if I had worked on this consistently it would be done a lot quicker. I did birth samplers for my nieces and nephews (all 5 of them) and always had them finished and waiting for the birth so I could add the names and dates. This is the only cross stitch I have made for myself. I did originally pick a spot for this to hang. Then we sold that house, move 3hrs away rented for a while and brought a house that it wouldn't suit. Sold that and brought our current house (which I love). I think it will be easier to pick projects to start and complete living in this house.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Party Dresses for Christmas

I made these dresses in October/November. I measured my daughters and made them up from their measurements as I didn't have a pattern. I am really happy they are both a little different. I made the bigger one first. Then with the littler one I decided to use a half circle skirt for the skirt part of the dress which I liked better. My confidence was up and I made the bodice in one piece instead of adding straps like I did with the first. I didn't want them to be identical just similar. Two party dresses for Christmas cost me less than one dress from a shop. (I bought something for me last year I will have to make myself something lovely this year too).

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Egg, nut and dairy free Easter

I recommend The Cruelty Free Shop for Easter Eggs. They sell Alpha brand and they are a lovely dark chocolate (has to be with no milk). They were a hit with my daughter last year I only got one egg as they are quite large. They are also nut free and they came very well packed. I will be ordering them again this year. So easy shopping online for Easter eggs.

This year I have brought some moulds and foil to make small eggs so she wont miss out at Kinder. She wasn't too happy when she missed out at playgroup last year. They gave her lollies but its not the same.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Pineapple Shawl crochet

My first ever attempt at crochet

I have been working on this for about a week. I have just used one ball of yarn so far and this will be smaller than the pattern as I am using a handed down 4mm crochet hook and this requires a 6mm. I am using this Pineapple Shawl pattern its free on the Caron International website. I am only up to row 11 of 18 plus two edging rows. I am really happy, there a few mistakes and I have undone small sections a few times but I think I will ware it when its cold enough (its 30 degrees C outside right now). So I will post the finished product hopefully by next week, unless I get back onto the summer dress. The pattern is inspired by a vintage doily

Friday, February 12, 2010

eBay patterns

I just purchased 10 patterns off eBay for $17. Some of them I love and some I may pass on to someone else. Either way I am happy with them. I haven't opened them just scanned them to show you. Then I decided to make a folder to put the scanned pictures in an named the files with the pattern brand and number. This way when I want to decided what to make I don't have to get the patterns out and make a mess. I can just browse through them on my computer.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I picked this up at the op shop this week. Its an ex library book I paid $1.50. Its all about creating your own unique style. It shows ways of mixing and matching patterns to make your own look. With suggestions of making your own fabric buy sewing ribbon and scarf's together, using crochet accessories, monograms and bold patterns to add flair and re-fashioning skirts and dresses. All accompanied by helpful hints and diagrams. It also has history about fashion trends like Lord Spencer cutting off his coat-tails after burning the ends standing too close to the fire. He then avowed, so absurd were the vagaries of fashion, he could start a completely new style simply by strolling around London in his chopped-off attire. "In two weeks," according to one journalist, "all London was wearing the 'spencer'."

The book also includes patterns for all the crochet, knitting and embroidery. Plus stencils for the monograms. I love the pink knitted dress, it has all the instructions for the dress, hat and scarf. Its probably above my current knitting skills, seeing as the scarf is the same knitted pattern as the dress, if I master the scarf, I could one day attempt the dress. I will be attempting a crochet belt, not so wide as the one above, nor will it be in shades of pink.

I scanned the pages and made a collage with Google's picasa. It was so easy and much better than adding heaps of photos. I used the cover of the book as the background as the library had used double sided sticky tap to stick on a plastic cover (which my 2 year old removed before I could stop her). This has left some dark marks on the front. So setting the cover as the background has hidden the sticky marks and unfortunately most of the lovely butterfly's.

Sewing something for me

I found this at the local op shop I don't know what year it is or how to find out. Its got pre cut pattern pieces with no lines so it cant be too modern. Although Butterick claims on the back that "Modern sewing is easy with the very newest Butterick new sewing book". I am going to do the neck of view c with the short sleeves of view b and I am going to add the holes from the long sleeves of view a. Its the holes I like about this pattern it just adds something so will see how I go. I have the fabric cut so time to sew.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Herb Spiral

Some one I know is building a permaculture garden. I had no idea what this was so looked them up on-line. The concept sounds good but what caught my attention was a herb spiral. We recently moved into a new house (new for us we didn't build it). It had a very big very weedy veggie patch. So after some hard work we had a very bare veggie patch. In this hot summer I have managed to get some beans to grow and they have flowers so fingers crossed they will give us a meal or two. The previous owners of our house left lots of bricks behind from when they built so I decided to put these to good use. I followed these instructions from tipnut the second video down was very helpful and I copied his method exactly.

My herb spiral used less than one bale of straw its amazing when you open it up how much it expands. Once I wet it down, we made holes in the straw to put the plant in. It makes a nice stable little basket for the plant I have started with some mint, oregano, thyme, sage and palsy. This was easier to do than we thought it would be.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Peach Upside Down Cake

Its not chocolate but people love it. For my Daughters I serve it with Soy Ice cream when its warm but its nice on its own cool. It's a moist cake and lasts well kept in the fridge. This was one of my first allergy free recipes I tried that I really liked. People are surprised to know that it's allergy free. The batter tastes fantastic, so good that I have thought about making it just to eat the batter. Like you always say you will do one day when your a child.


3 tablespoons of dairy-free Margarine
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 400gm can of sliced peaches. Canned in a blend of fruit juices.
(I tend to get the SPC peaches in mango juice)
reserve the juice
1 1/2 cups SR Flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 no eggs (I use Organ brand)
or you can do it your self with a mix of 3 tbl vegetable oil, 3 tbl water and 1 1/2 teas baking powder.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Melt the dairy-free margarine in a microwave jug then mix in the brown sugar. Put a baking tray under you 9-inch spring form pan and pour in the sugar mix. Drain the juice from your peaches and reserve the juice. If any of the peaches are a bit thick, slice them in half lengthwise. Arrange the peaches in a circular pattern in a single layer in the cake pan, placing peach slices on top of the brown sugar.

In a bowl mix the flour, sugar, 1/2 cup reserved juice (if necessary add enough water to equal 1/2 cup of liquid), vanilla and egg substitute. Mix the batter until its smooth and well blended. Note: The batter will be thick.

Spoon the batter into the cake pan, covering the peaches. Don't worry if there's not quite enough batter to cover all the peaches - the batter will rise and spread as it cooks. Put the cake in the oven still on the baking tray this will catch any drips. Bake for approximately 35 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and firm to the touch. Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes, then carefully invert onto a serving platter. Serve warm or cooled. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.