Monday, November 23, 2009

A good friend

You know how it is so nice and comforting to have a good friend.  I am so thankful that I have a few of them.  I have one that I see every day that I take Moo to school.  This friend sometimes helps me out when I run late to school by picking up Moo or will pick Moo up to give me a few extra hours to work.

Last Thursday she rang me at home to check on Will whose face had met a brick wall.  She knew that I was busy looking after Will and rather than run over to make a big fuss, she called to check when we got home.  She knows what I'm like.

Will's good side

Will's bad side
His face is healing nicely, so don't worry.  Will is ok.

She brings me coffee because I just happen to ask if her other half would mind picking me up some since he goes to Single Origin Roasters every week.

She has a great sense of humour.


By the way this is a recipe for a yummy sounding pumpkin feta pie that I asked for after hearing what she was making for dinner the other night.

And best of all she can follow what I am saying which is no easy feat. I have this brain that is always popping with thoughts and ideas. I have this bad habit of going from one thing to the next without any apparent connection.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I'm sure I've mentioned this but I have an almost obsessive nature at times.  I had set up the embroidery module to embroider a journal cover.  So while it was set up, I decided to embroidery some more things for other journal covers, some cheeky little devils for a custom order, some monkeys for a custom order and finally some Tulipinas which I had been dying to stitch out for Mollie.  Truthfully I am still hanging out to find the time to stitch out a few more Florierende Frolleins.
My efforts...

 Here are the fronts of the journal covers

The journal backs

The Love Bus journal is a custom order, and I sold the other two at the markets yesterday. Funny thing is that I wasn't sure that I would sell them and had thought it would be ok to bring them home to stash away for birthday pressies for when I don't have enough time to make something. So now I think I might whip up a few more in the future to have on hand for just that reason. One of the journal buyers is Mollie's teacher for next year. I don't think I mentioned this, but Moo's class teacher was announced a couple of weeks ago. It is the exact person who I hoped it would be. Joanne was Moo's teacher in little Kindy last year and Mollie loves her. In a Steiner school the class teacher is a HUGE deal as this is the child's teacher for the next seven years. I've also already been hit up for my first sewing job for the class. I have 30 bean bags to make!

And Moo's SommerLiebe skirt embellished with Jolijou's Florierende Frolleins. I think I need Shiva on a shirt for me.
tulipina skirt

Mollie loves her new skirt, and she better since her insane mama stayed up until 2am working on it. Silly me used too much knit for the waistband and decided it was too big after the waistband had been stitched, overlocked (serged) and topstitched on!!! It was a pain to rip out, but of course, worth it in the end.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

What's the deal with you and rainbows?

Now, no one has ever asked me this question, but I'm sure someone is thinking it every time I post another rainbow creation.  The thing is that there is no simple answer to this question.

I love colour.  I like rainbows. I get all the colours all in one place for my visual delight.

I was a child in the seventies.  One of my all time favourite shirts had an iron-on with a unicorn and a rainbow.  I remember going in the shop and picking it out.  It was the kind of place that you picked your shirt and then you got to pick the iron-on.  Would I wear that shirt now?  Uhm, probably not, but if it was lurking around my mom's house, I'd give it to Mollie to wear.

Rainbows are big in Steiner (Waldorf) schools.  My daughter goes to a Steiner school, and my son will be starting there next year.  Mollie doesn't have a school uniform, but is not allowed to wear black to school.  Clothing that is made of beautiful colours is encouraged.  You will notice that I don't tend to sew for my children in dark, drab colours.  This is one reason for that.  

So why am I waffling about rainbows?  I've made a few rainbow redondos...
It's a rainbow redondo
If you don't know by now, I am huge fan of the Redondo skirt designed by Fledge/Studio Tantrum.  This skirt is so much fun! 

If you're lucky, you might be able to snag one if you come visit me at the Lorien Markets.  I am not listed as a stall holder because I am part of the playgroup parents stall.  So that little blurb about meeting playgroup parents, well, I'd be one of them.  If you happen to be out in the Hills area on Saturday drop by and say hello.  Maybe even do a bit of holiday shopping.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sensational Silk

I love to dye silk.  There is something about how silk takes up the dye that makes it truly enjoyable to work with.  Then there is the beautiful lustre of the fabric when you are done.  There is nothing else like it.

A friend of mine recently had a baby girl, and I just had to make her a silk/flannel blanket.  In my haste to give it to her I forgot to take a photo. Baby Zara's blanket has a 16 point flower mandala with a purple flannel backing.  While I was making Zara's blanket, I also made one for a request on Etsy.  An 8 point star mandala is dyed onto silk.  The backing is a mottled orange flannel.


I thought I'd write a bit more about some of my favourite notions.  Working with silk made me buy some nice glass head pins.  I have these super sharp and thin pins from Clover.  I love them.  Although I don't love them when I stab myself with them.  I even stepped on one the other night. OUCH!

A walking foot is useful too when sewing silk.  It helps to keep the fabrics from slipping.

And using the right needle is important too.
This is my collection of needles. I use microtex needles for sewing silk. I also like microtex for sewing wovens. I use them when top stitching redondo skirts. In my collection I have sharps, denim, stretch, ball point, top stitching, metafil, heavy duty 100/16's.  I think I have some universal in there, but don't use them very often.  Maybe something else is hiding in there too.  My special needles for the cover stitch machine live with the cover stitch accessories, and my needles for machine embroidery are with my embroidery supplies.

Friday, November 6, 2009

I could be ironing

but I thought I'd write this post instead.  A while back, I was asked if I could copy a top.  SJ had this fabric, and wanted a top like this one which she already owned.

And this is what I made

I also made a top for her daughter with a simpler ruffle

So while I am showing off this bit of handiwork, I thought I would also take the opportunity to talk about some of the things that I used to make the top.

I think it would be obvious that I used a ruffler foot.  I used it to do all the ruffling and gathering.  The pleated ruffle was done by altering the settings on the foot to pleat every six stitches.  If you are are considering a ruffler or have one, but don't know what to do with it, I highly recommend CarlaC's The Ruffler Unruffled

To construct the top the body was cut a few centimetres down from the neck edge.  The longer under ruffle is inserted into this seam.

To stabilise the bottom piece of the front I used Vilene Formband along the curve. I also use Formband to stabilise shoulder seams.

To attach the pleated ruffle I used Wash Away Wonder Tape. Wonder tape is incredibly useful. I used it to stick things on where I don't want to be fiddling with pins. Wonder tape worked particularly well to attach the ruffle because it also acted a bit of a stabiliser as it doesn't stretch. I use Wonder Tape to stick down my labels or put bits of ribbon in a seam.

I have some more favourites which I will share in another post. I fear this one might get too long if I keep waffling.

A little house update

I know I've been a bit quiet on the house developments.  That was because not much has been happening.  It took a bit longer to have the frames manufactured than the builder thought it would take.  

Here are the kids at the back of the house.  You can see the bearers and joists are done.

Will watching the frames being delivered.

Frames laid out ready for putting up.

Frames up! From this view you can see my kitchen window on the left and the places for the two sliding doors. The builder did ask us if we wanted to change it to concertina doors, but we get mozzies. I know you can get a screen which you roll across the opening, but then that feels like it defeats the purpose of having these doors that totally fold back. The kitchen window will actually be slightly lower than it looks on the frame.

Trusses were delivered today. I think we will have some more exciting photos by the end of next week.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Stripes was the first R rated movie that I saw in the theater. (somehow I don't think it would R rated these days!) Tonight I was happily folding and tying redondo pieces in preparation for dyeing. I watched two episodes of Weeds and figured when they were done, I would stop tying and get ready for bed. Then a movie came on. Colin only heard the intro and said, "It's Stripes," and he was right! I can't help it. I've had to watch it. So that is what I am sitting here doing.

Since I'm talking stripes here are some rainbow stripes or strips or whatever. Rainbow pieced Antonia top from hand dyed organic cotton/spandex. One for Mollie, one for her friend, and a couple that are going to be for sale.