Monday, October 27, 2008

Dye experiments

In Colour on Cloth Ruth Issett suggests making up a sketchbook of colour families.
It is worth giving yourself time to experiment with colour and documenting your trials. Sketchbooks full of colour ideas are always invaluable when you feel completely devoid of inspiration at a later date. Also, the actual mechanical process of mixing colours, watching the change from one colour to another, is all good practice, increasing your knowledge of how colours are achieved. The occasional accidental drop of dye falling in the middle can surprise you with a new colour combination. Overindulgence is not a sin in this instance: a diet of colour certainly isn't fattening and surely feeds the soul!
I don't know why I hadn't done this before. It's like I've figured out the mixes that I use all the time, but by not looking outside what I always do, I felt like I could be missing something special. I've started with 'known' combinations as a way to determine that I am actually happy with the green that I use or the purple. I also used this method today to determine the approximate mix of Red8b and Orange3R which make Red BG.

For reference I use Drimarene-K dyes and not Procion MX. I started with Drimarene-K. I know my colours, and they have awesome stability in solution, so I am loathe to change dyes.

I mixed yellow and violet today which yielded some interesting colours. Not colours that I would use in children's clothes, but browns and other interesting shades could be nice for trees or maybe something for me.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Riotous ribbon and other bits

This ribbon and rick rack is for me. It was my little splurge when shopping with my good friend E. E is going to have a baby soon, so our special shopping adventures will not be quite as free and easy. On Tuesday we went to a pram repair place, Remnant Warehouse, a children's clothes shop in Summer Hill (My Messy Room...cute shop), lunch in Leichhardt with required stop at Mezzapica for cannoli. Then on to Peter Leis to investigate screen printing supplies. The stop at Peter Leis was awesome. Lots of great information. I didn't buy a screen yet, but will be shortly. I'm very excited about adding screen printing to my repertoire of fibre arts. And then finally we had to stop by Prints Charming to pick up my cookies cutters which I left there after the screen printing workshop. There is something about Cath and Kirsten's work where I just want to hang out in their studio. Their colours are just fabulous. So after distracting Cath from working, I left with two items for my little darlings.

We were a little late back to school, but I brought Moo's teacher a cannoli, so all was ok.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ta-dah Tini!

I stayed up late on Friday night and made this Farbenmix Tini top. I took it to the market and half hoped it didn't sell as it's Moo's size. And it must have had that vibe..."don't buy me" because now it's Moo's. I used more of my Farmers Market stash and a tiny bit of Ginger Blossom. I basically followed the pattern except that I decided to do a rolled hem on the sleeves and neckline and then shirr the openings. I was looking at a couple of Moo's peasant style tops and instead of shirring at the neck and arms it had elastic applied with a coverstitch machine. At the moment I don't need another gadget for my coverstitch machine, but it's a thought.
Today I talked to one of my very good friends in the US. She encouraged me to register to vote. Well, I thought why not??? Stop bitching and do something. I have found out that my procrastination means that I've missed the deadline for the Presidential election, but I've also discovered that I can register online. Well, if I was using Windows! Grrrr, is the American government run by Windows? What's wrong with Linux? So in the future I will do it when I boot my machine into Windows.

I would have loved to see a fellow Wellesley woman in the White House, but alas that was not to be. So I'm hoping that America is heading for a change...because 4 more years of Republicans is just going to mess up this world even more.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Random musings

Well, it rained on Tuesday. Mollie's school photos were not taken in THE outfit. Really it's ok because I wanted to make it, and I'm happy that I did. Today I dressed Mollie in this for her photos. Still mama made!

This Saturday 18 October, I am doing my usual market thing at Moo's school. I will be with the playgroup stall. I love it that way. No pressure to have tonnes of stock, and I get to spend the day chatting with my friends.

But I have this thing where I want to sew, but can't figure out what I want to do. I have 'work' sewing to start next week. I decided to start it after I did the market. Sort of like a clean slate, but at the moment I have lots of fabric, lots of ideas, and am also waiting for new patterns. Then again I have quite a few patterns here that I haven't even tried. It's not like I am lacking in resources. It's just like the right thing hasn't come together. And let's be honest the stars have to be aligned to that get that truly special item.

And then there are the felt flower crowns that I am supposed to make for a customer, but can't seem to focus to do hand sewing. Maybe I will get motivated over the weekend. Maybe I should take some felt to the markets, so that I can sew up some flowers or cut out leaves or something.

I think sleep might be the answer!

Monday, October 13, 2008

School photos tomorrow...

So I made Moo a new outfit for the event. I have had this outfit in my head for quite a while, and it was so nice to get it out.
Somehow I feel like I've been bitten by the Sandi Henderson bug. I will say that I have more Ginger Blossom and a fair bit of Farmers Market in my stash, so you will be seeing more creations out of these fabrics

The outfit is from Ottobre's fabulous Spring 2008 issue. The top is the "Hug" t-shirt #12 and the "Misty" skirt #13. The Hug t-shirt was easy to put together. The only confusing part was figuring out which pieces had bound edges as you don't add a seam allowance to those edges It just took a bit of thought. Oh and then there was that part where I forgot to put the grain lines on the pattern pieces, so cut one piece going the wrong direction. All was sorted in the end.

The skirt went together well. When I finished it and held it up, I thought that can't fit Moo. It looks too big. But it does. It fits. My girl is growing up. The skirt sits on her hips, but with the bound waistband, I don't think it's meant to be right at the waist. Astrid at Connecting the Dots made this skirt with an elastic waistband. I think it was a good call as it's fiddly to gather the two skirts, baste them together then add binding for the waistband. The main reason I stuck to the pattern was that I wanted practice with putting in the zipper. It's my 4th zipper...I'm getting better.

Let's hope Moo can crack a smile for her photos.

Farm Gate shopping

Moo had a playdate in Galston on Friday and on the way home I stopped at a few farm gate stands. And here's what I bought...
Tomatoes, cabbage, strawberries, potatoes, rhubarb and red onions. Everything was so nice and fresh. And the money goes to the person who grew these lovelies! We stopped at one of these stands the week before and had noticed the rhubarb growing. Moo commented that she would like rhubarb, but there wasn't any for sale. We were very excited the next week to see it.

For dinner that night we had chicken schnitzel with mashed potatoes and cole slaw. It was yummy! And of course for the big people had a glass of wine with our meal.

Nighty night

This is the first of a few...I won't say many as Moo doesn't need a zillion nightgowns.

I used an Ottobre pattern as a starting point. It's a lovely blouse pattern from 02/05, #11. I extended it with a bit of an A-line Then added a ruffle on the bottom. I have to admit that I really enjoy that bizarre looking contraption called a ruffler foot. The fabric is a cotton voile that I purchased at Spotlight off the clearance table. It was maybe $3/m. Not a bad deal for a nightie!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Being American by birth and having most of my Chinese food eating experiences over there...these are dumplings to me, possible even potstickers. Here in Australia they are commonly referred to as dim sims.
I love these things. And they have to be pan-fried. Cooked with a tiny bit of oil so they get crunchy on the bottom. Then they are steamed, and after the water cooks off, they are crispy on the bottom again. I am not a big pork eater, so I use organic chicken to make mine. This time I used chicken thighs instead of breast, I believe the dumplings were juicier. I buy my wrappers. I think making 90 pastry circles would take the fun out of it. Filling 90 dumplings takes long enough!

This time I used a cookie scoop that I had. It made it easy to portion out the filling. If only the kids were a bit older, they could have helped me make them. They are too little to be playing with raw meat.

They were totally enjoyed by me, Moo and my other half. Will was not sure about them.

The best thing about making 90 is that there are still some in the freezer for another night!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Farewell Feliz!

Today I farewelled the aforementioned Feliz dress. It hung on the wall for a few days, so that I could admire my work. Plus I just had to make up a little something for the new baby of the house before I could post the package.

So without further ado...
I was so pleased at how the back of the dress came out. I love the ruffles, and I love the bias I made from the coordinating stripe fabric. I also used the stripe fabric for the button loops and covered buttons. I hope the girl who receives this dress loves it as much as I loved making it. Oh dear, there is a lotta love!

Moo, of course, has insisted that I must make her one just like it. She may well get one similar, but not exactly like this one.