Friday, January 30, 2009

Something to think about

...other than the CPSIA issue. Don't get me wrong. The law passed about the sale of children's goods is HUGE issue, and hopefully something will be done to amend it soon.

But on to what I was going to post about. I read True Up. It is a fabulous blog about all things fabric. Kim posted a video of how jeans are made. In a factory set up to make jeans it takes just over 12 minutes to manufacture a pair. This video made me think about how long it would take me to make a pair of jeans. The answer to that is quite a while. It would probably take me more than 12 minutes to cut the pieces out and many more than 12 minutes to sew them.

I know that I grapple with pricing my creations every time I make something. And many times I just go with a price that I think people are willing to pay. I base my prices on what a similar item would cost in a mid-range shop in Australia. Funny thing is that I consider my work far superior to the clothes in that shop. My work is unique and many of the items that I make are one of a kind. All of it is created with love and to make children smile. How can I or any one else truly compare it to a factory produced garment?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sun Protection

I've had the Amy Butler Blue Sky Hats pattern in my stash for quite a while. You know when you have the best intentions of making something, but never quite find the time. Since I have been trying to make a few things for myself, I decided that I would make a hat from the leftover fabric from my Market bag.
A new hat for me
top of hat
The pattern went together very easily. I would definitely make another hat like this. It's really nice having a hat that keeps the sun off my face. The sun in Australia is so strong!

Fate of the hand dyed poplin Part 1

Rainbow sundress
Simple A-line sundress pieced together from my hand-dyed poplins. This dress was a birthday present. I'm making two others for my Etsy shop. Yes, once again I am going to try to show my Etsy shop some love.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I hate to iron

but it's a necessary evil for what I do. I can't properly cut out patterns on wrinkly fabric. I am a prewasher of all my fabrics and with my dyed fabrics, I have to wash them multiple times. Because it's not PFD, I have to prewash before dyeing. Then after dyeing I put the fabric through 3 cycles on my machine to ensure the excess dye is rinsed out. I have a front loader, so it's not like I am dumping litres away. Then I tumble dry my fabrics. I don't like the idea that they could shrink later. But all this means I have to iron. And I ironed 30 metres of fabric.

12 metres undyed poplin destined to be fabulously dyed
white poplin

Hand Dyed Poplin in a Rainbow Assortment
dyed poplin 2

More Dyed Organic Rib Knit
no ironing required - oh I love knits!
organic rib knit 2
I stuffed up when I was dyeing the knit and thought I had extra pieces, but I was wrong. The green should have been orange and the purple should have been blue. I think I might dye the couple of pieces of organic jersey I have those colours as I can use the ribbing with those fabrics. This is a reminder for me to look at my notebook instead of assuming that I have extra.

Monday, January 19, 2009


I don't have a witty title for this post. Just showing off some of my Farbenmix ribbon. I bought it ages ago, but I only received it last week. It missed my mom's box of goodies that she sent over in December, so she posted it to me after the holiday period. Some of the ribbon I already metres of the original Farbenmix print . It's just not all pictured. The Asia bird ribbon I bought from a friend who didn't want it, and she gave me the green ribbon with the little gnomes on it. It's way too cute!
tidy ribbon

I think I need more ribbon!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Getting ready

For back to school. It's not like I have a lot to do to get Mollie ready for school. I don't have to buy a uniform, books, notebooks, pens, etc. She still has a perfectly good backpack and still has a rest bag. School provides all her materials for the year.

I thought it would be nice to have something new for this year, so I've made her a lunch bag. She has a Tupperware lunch bag, but it's vinyl inside and when it gets dirty it's hard to clean. It's easy to wipe, but things get caught in the crevices. It's also a bit stained which makes it look dirty when it's clean.

I used a pattern from Favorite Things. It went together well, but as I was cutting it out I was thinking to myself I could have knocked this together myself. That's ok, I didn't have to take the time to think about dimensions. I used Insulbright instead of the cotton batting that was suggested. When I started to baste the Insulbright to the fabric, I was using a standard foot, but it was shifting, so I switched to my walking foot and it was a total breeze to do. The fabric is Farmers Market on the outside and Ginger Blossom on the inside.
Favorite Things Lunch bag

Inside of the bag
Inside of lunch bag

Doesn't she look excited?
surly model with her new lunch bag

Friday, January 16, 2009

For moi

An Ottobre shirt for me. It's from 02/08, design #1. I substituted the sleeves from #3. I love being able to swap sleeves. It's like you can easily make your favourite shirt for whatever season. I've used my fave cotton/elastane knit. Because it's in black, it's hard to see the pin tuck detail on the front. It's a great detail and makes the shirt just a bit more than a plain t-shirt of which I have many.
Otto t-shirt 02/08 #1

Excuse the goofy expression and my hair. My not very long hair was pulled back because it was 40degC!!! Way too hot for me!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Roxy & Katrin

Mollie in the Katrin by Mamu Designs.

Katrin tunic/dress
I made a size 116/122. It is more like a tunic length on Moo. She's about 120cm tall. I should have measured and lengthened the pattern a bit as I intended it to be a dress. The pattern went together easily, but the directions were pretty vague. Luckily I've made a similar style before. I used a rib knit for the dress, so I stabilised the bottom edge of the bodice, so it wouldn't end up stretching out of shape. Moo likes it, so it can get a tick.

But Moo really likes the Farbenmix Roxy and so do I.
Farbenmix Roxy

Because my girl is growing like a weed, I thought i would make a size 122/128, but based on the fit, I think a 110/116 would have been fine. I used some cotton jersey that I bought on clearance at Spotlight. I also used FOE for the first time.

I think I didn't stretch it enough as I put it on. But on the other hand it could be because of the size.

I used some ruffly elastic from my stash on the sleeve edges. Mollie loves it.
Roxy - sleeve
The bottom of the dress was finished in ric rac that is the same colour as the FOE on the neck.

I am definitely going to make Roxy again. Next one will probably be in a woven.

Random ramblings

I really need to take some photos. I don't like having photos taken, and one thing that I made recently was a top for myself. It's an Ottobre top with pin tucks on the front. It's in black, so the shirt won't photograph well.

I made myself a couple of shopping bags similar to the ones that I made for Will's daycare teachers.

I also made Mollie a Farbenmix Roxy. I love that lines of that dress. I'll write more about that when I actually take a photo of the dress. Mollie wore it the day after I made it and now it's in the wash.

I have a Mamu Katrin cut out and ready to sew for Mollie. I wanted to just test out the pattern.

I also have lots of things floating around in my head. I've been trying to plan things that I will make for the markets and Etsy this year, but at the same time I have lots of things that I want to make for Moo, me or even Will and Col. I have stacks of fabric begging to be made into things and I have rolls of fabric yelling at me to be dyed. And let's not forget about screen printing. I want to spend some time playing with that.

Time, does anyone sell some time? I need more!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Market Bag

market bag
Originally uploaded by sarabean
I bought this fabric last week at Ikea. I was going to make some shopping bags with it, but then decided to try out my Portabello Pixie Market Bag pattern.

The pattern is quite easy and straightforward. The bag went together quickly. It's reversible, so the other side is the black fabric with an orange pocket. I toyed with making it all orange on the outside and all black on the inside, but in the end decided to mix it up a bit. I figured that if I didn't love it in the end, it's not a huge loss.

I think because it's designed to be reversible there isn't a clasp or closure on the bag. I find this annoying because i feel like my things could just fall out. I am a klutz, so accidentally dumping my bag is a good possibility. I also feel like I need to be mindful about how I am carrying my bag. I don't want to leave it exposed at the back of me. It's not like that it usually a huge issue for me. Maybe it's just top of mind because I spent the morning out with Moo at Circular Quay taking photos of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Then we went to the Rocks Markets.

Overall it's quick and cute. I am going to make some shopping bags with my left over fabric which btw, is Ikea's gunilla fabric. It's a home dec weight fabric and comes in some other nice prints too. At $9/m and 150cm wide I think it's great value.