Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lunch bag for the boy

Will used this lunch box last year

He likes it because he can see everything in one place, but I don't like that I can't put a normal size piece of fruit in it. I hate sending stuff in a separate bag, so I decided that he needed a bag to fit his lunch box, drink bottle and whatever else I feel like putting in (like a banana).

I had a look for a tute because I thought that I couldn't be the only person who'd want a lunch bag that would fit this container, but I didn't find one easily, so I ended up drafting my own. I can give details if anyone wants them. When I am in the process of making, I am not very good at stopping to take photos especially the first time around.

Here's the lunch box in the bag
lunchbox inside

The front of the bag
lunchbag front

The side view
lunchbag side

Will modeling with the bag. He'd been running around all day without a shirt. I asked him to put one on for the photo and he chooses long sleeves (and too short in the body!).
lunchbag modeled

Col called it a man bag when he saw it. I will admit that I think it looks pretty big, but it will be functional.

I fused some Pellon to the lining and outer fabric. I also used Insul-bright for insulation. I added a base to the bag using Fast-2-Fuse like Nicole M's tute. I also used a 16/100 heavy needle. The outer fabric is a Japanese robot print and the lining fabric is a batik from Indonesia that was given to me by a friend.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sewing small things

I have this box of scraps and unwanted fabric that I'd given to Moo.  It was overflowing, so as part of the culling process, I thought I'd use some of the scraps to make some clothes for Moo's dolls.   If I used my fabric from my stash, the outfits would be a bit different (more coordinated!).

Also by using scraps, I don't feel so bad when my alteration or the pattern itself isn't quite right.  I used Simplicity pattern 5733 and the book "All Dolled Up" by Joan Hinds.   The leggings and t-shirt were from the Joan Hinds book.  For the dresses I just extended the t-shirt pattern.  I tried to add a bit of flare to the skirt like an Olivia.   The pants and raglan sleeve top are from the Simplicity pattern.

dresses & leggings
doll dresses

velour pants with raglan top & rose print shirt with jeans

doll clothes

I still like the Mod Kids Kyoko doll pattern best.  I need to make up the Frida doll pattern.  But in all fairness I picked the fabric specifically for the Kyoko dress, so naturally I'd like it more.  And Kyoko did take longer to put together than this mish mash of clothes.

I thought the rise in the pants with the Simplicity pattern was too high.  I didn't like the hem allowances in the Joan hinds book.   I also thought the neckline on the t-shirt was too high (I lowered it 1/4 inch).  I am thinking that this is to cover the neck join on the doll, but it makes everything look like a mock turtle neck.  The one item that I didn't photograph was the pink t-shirt which I made according to the pattern.  Do you think the necklines on the dress and red rose top look ok?

At the end of the day Moo is happy to have some new clothes for her dolls.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cha Cha Cha Enchilada

It's been 4 years since I've been stateside, and I've been having a hankering for enchiladas.  I normally make either cheese enchiladas or chicken enchiladas with blue corn tortillas and green sauce. 

Right before Christmas I put in an order at a Mexican food place that is luckily located not too far from my house! 

The impetus for the shopping was that I can't stand the corn tortillas sold in the shops here.  They are nothing like what I used to get when I lived in Texas for obvious reasons.  Since I own a tortilla press, I figured it was time to buy some masa harina again and make them myself.   We've had corn tortillas a couple of times since then.

Then this week I stumbled upon The Homesick Texan blog.  And while I was looking through the recipes, I saw one for Squash Enchiladas.   I thought that it sounded interesting, and I had what I needed already in the house!   I try to make a couple of meatless meals a week, and this recipe fit the bill.   I don't really go on about it, but like most every one I try to stretch the food budget.  We eat a lot of organic produce, and it comes with a price.

Now I did make a few changes.   I didn't have cascabel chiles, but I do usually have guajillo chiles as they are my favourite, so I used guajillos.  I didn't used tinned tomatoes because I didn't have a tin of whole tomatoes.  I had some ripe ones that needed to be eaten, so I skinned and seeded them and cooked them with the onion and garlic for the sauce.   And I used 4 yellow patty pan squash because we don't have the same yellow crookneck squash that you find in the States.  And I'll confess I used some pizza cheese (a mix of mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan) on the top with some added Nimbin Natural cheese.  I was just using what I had and was convenient.  I have to confess that I am hanging out for Costco to open in Sydney, so I can get Monterey jack cheese.

Stack of freshly made corn tortillas

tortilla stack

Guajillo chiles soaking after being dry-fried

chiles soaking

Onions, garlic and tomatoes sauteing up for the sauce

tomato onion garlic

The actual sauce after the ingredients go in the blender.  The sauce is cooked again after blending ingredients.  This is typical of enchilada sauces, and I think it helps to meld the flavours.

enchilada sauce

The zucchini and squash filling which tasted very nice all on its own.

squash filling

Tortillas get dipping the sauce and rolled up with the filling

enchiladas rolled

Here they are out of the oven after having all the sauce poured on them and cheese put on top.

enchiladas with melty cheese

I had the blender out to make the sauce, so Col suggested making margaritas to go with the enchiladas.

made margaritas

The margaritas were a good call.  The enchiladas came out quite hot, as in spicy hot.  I noticed my chipotle in adobo was really hot.  I wasn't too concerned about the heat of the dish because I knew Will wasn't going to eat it.   I served the enchiladas with a simple salad of lettuce, tomato and corn with a vinaigrette.   It helped cool the heat along with the margarita!   I am always blown away by Moo's tolerance for spicy food.  She ate two enchiladas, the same amount as me and Col.  I am no wimp with spicy foods, but both Col and I kept commenting that dinner had quite a kick.  You know when your lips are still burning 5 minutes after you are done eating. 

I would definitely make these again.  We really enjoyed them.

Auction Closing Time to change!!! Please note!

I am going to change the auction end time to 9pm on Monday, January 24.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Delightful Destina

Pattern: Farbenmix Destina. I've loved the look of this pattern from the very first time that I saw it. It's one of those patterns that is just made for mixing fabrics.

Fabrics: assorted Stenzo and Hilco poplins. I had originally thought this dress would be more pink, but when I laid out the fabrics this was the combination that came together.

I dug into my stash and used some ribbon, and I used my snap press to put snaps on the front.  I asked Moo her preference, and she chose snaps.

Size 134/140, so it should fit Missy Moo for ages. I'm thinking a pair of leggings in campan or campante will come along soon to go with the dress.

Excuse the expression on her face. It was bright to her eyes since the lounge lizard has been inside all day.



Moo wanted a Farbenmix tag sewn on.  I have a little collection of them from the patterns that I've purchased.  She looks through them every so often.  Of course she picked the one where I only had one, and I wanted it for myself.  I think she has a sixth sense about those things!

I just noticed that you can see the topstitching quite well in this photos.  I happened to find a spool of turquoise topstitching thread which I used for all of the topstitching.  It makes it stand out a bit more.

Don't forget to check out all of the fabulous auctions and raffles.   The tally of funds raised as of today (it will be more as the auctions and raffles haven't closed) is about $45,000.  Isn't that fantastic!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Auction #2 Covered Journal & Key Fob

Up for offer is a covered journal and a key fob.

One denim journal cover with embroidery and ribbons.  It comes with a spiral bound A5 journal (acid free, blank pages).   There are 3 different journals to choose from:

nesting doll journal frontmushroom journal front
love bus journal front
A key fob made up in the colour of webbing and ribbon that you choose.

key fobs

Ok, just to make it clear.  I worry because there are multiple pictures.  The auction is for ONE covered journal and ONE key fob.  I will make the key fob up to the winner's specifications.  I have the webbing colours above and a good size collection of Farbenmix ribbons that I can use. 
1.  Bidding will start at $20 (Australian).
2.  You can place a bid by leaving a comment on this blog post with your bid amount and email address.  Please make sure that your bid is higher than the previous bidder.  
3.  Your bid must be in whole dollar increments.
4.  This auction is open to everyone, however $20 will be charged for International addresses.  Postage is FREE for Australian residents.
5.  The auction begins NOW and will END at 9pm AEST on Monday 24th January 2011.
6.  At the close of the auction, I will contact the winner (please make sure your bid comment includes your email address).  The winner will pay the winning amount directly into the Premier's Flood Relief Appeal and send me proof of payment via email.  Once proof of payment has been received, I will post the book to you.
7.  Thank you for participating and happy bidding!

Auction #1 Sewing Clothes Kids Love

A brand new copy of Sewing Clothes Kids Love by Nancy Langdon and Sabine Pollehn


Here's a description of the book:
This is a book of colorful and imaginative children’s clothes to sew, designed with kids in mind. The authors are designers and owners of two popular pattern companies for kid’s clothes—Farbenmix and Studio Tantrum, known in the sewing community for their creativity, versatility, and fit. This collection of exclusive patterns, included with the book, offers step-by-step instruction for making boys’ and girls’ clothing with a variety of fabric styles and decorative embellishment—including embroidery, patchwork, and trims. The patterns for pants, tops, skirts, and dresses include variations for long and short hemlines and sleeves, various necklines, and adjustable lengths. The patterns are sized from 18 months to kid’s size 12.

If you are a reader of my blog, you know that I adore almost everything Farbenmix and Studio Tantrum.  This book has some really fantastic patterns that can be sewn up into something simple or can be embellished to make something special.  I will say that it is really suited more to those who sew for girls as the boy patterns are light on.   I wish I could say it was a signed copy (it's not), but I can say it was touched by Nancy because she sent it to me.

In addition to the book I have embroidered some patches to get you on your way with with some fun Euro styling!   Nic of Luzia Pimpinella has given me permission to stitch out these patches as part of this auction.   (terms of use for these embroideries does not allow me to make patches to sell, so you will not see me selling these in the future.  I can only use the embroidery designs on finished garments.)  As far as I know Zaubermasche is the only place you can purchase Nic's designs stitched out as patches. 


And I've thrown in 3 metres of coordinating ribbon (3 x 1m cuts).
Patches only need to be fused and sewn onto whatever you desire, tops, skirts, bags, etc! 

I'd put the over all value of these items book, ribbons and patches around AU$95 (based on the price of the book from the annoying Fishpond site, price of the ribbons per metre from Crafty Mamas and the cost of similar patches from Zaubermasche).

1.  Bidding will start at $25 (Australian).
2.  You can place a bid by leaving a comment on this blog post with your bid amount and email address.  Please make sure that your bid is higher than the previous bidder.  
3.  Your bid must be in whole dollar increments.
4.  This auction is open to everyone, however $30 will be charged for International addresses.  Postage is FREE for Australian residents.
5.  The auction begins NOW and will END at 9pm AEST on Monday 24th January 2011.
6.  At the close of the auction, I will contact the winner (please make sure your bid comment includes your email address).  The winner will pay the winning amount directly into the Premier's Flood Relief Appeal and send me proof of payment via email.  Once proof of payment has been received, I will post the book to you.
7.  Thank you for participating and happy bidding!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Gossamer Dreams stocking tonight!

I really should have mentioned this a while ago, but with everything going on up in Queensland I've been distracted.  I am a guest stockist with the fabulous ladies at Gossamer Dreams this month.  The theme for January is Eden.

I've created a series of tops using Jolijou's Florierende Frolleins.  I don't normally use these designs on items for sale because they are "stitch heavy" in embroidery speak.  Miss Daisy has just over 25000 stitches.  More stitches = more time = more thread.


These designs also have a lot of colours in the designs and take an hour to stitch out.  That time doesn't include me picking thread colours.  Each design comes with recommended colours, but it is not unusual for me to go through and change colours in the design so that it coordinates with the fabrics that I am using.   Actually it is the norm for me to change the colours!    Because of the extra time that it takes for me to stitch out these designs these tops cost a bit more than the usual embroidered Antonia tops.

Miss Daisy is amongst the flowers on this tunic length Amelie top with a hood.   Size 7/8 (Euro 122/128)

Mollie is a bit over 130cm tall to give you an idea of fit.

Shiva is on the front of an ocean blue colour raglan sleeve top.  The sleeves on this top are a mandala print which was the inspiration to use Miss Shiva.  The Stenzo mandala print is one of my most favourite fabrics.  Gitta has a relaxed, roomy fit.  The top is a size 9/10 (Euro 134/140).


Tulipina just screams for red and turquoise.   This top is the Farbenmix Svenja pattern.  It's a very sweet A-line tunic top.  The top is a size 3/4 (Euro 98/104).  Will is modeling for me and he's a size 110/116 which is why the top looks small on him. 



I also created a dress and a skirt using Farmers Market fabrics. 
An Insa in size 5/6 (110/116)Each panel of the skirt is a different fabric.  The overskirt is trimmed with a ruffle and the underskirt is finished with ric rac.

This skirt was very much inspired by Lola Nova's lovely vintage fabric Insa.

Apple Roxy, size 5/6 (Euro 110/116)



I am also working on some things for an auction that I will have here on my blog as part of the auctions Toni is organising for the Flood Relief Fund.  I'll hopefully have the details of that tomorrow morning.

And a HUGE thank you to Karen who bid on and won the Strawberry Set that I had up for auction at Possum Pouches!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Please check out the auctions at Possum Pouches

I have a very sweet strawberry set up for auction.  All proceeds go to the Queensland Flood Relief Appeal. 

strawberry set
The set is a size 3/4. 

In addition to Possum Pouches Toni Coward of Make it Perfect is coordinating more auctions of handmade goodness and so are Handmade Kids & Rudy & the Dodo

I'd like to do more.  I had said that I wouldn't be doing any dyeing in January, but these are extenuating circumstances.   Is there anything you'd like to see from me?  Dyed or embroidered or tarted up in glorious Euro ribbons?  Please let me know!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It's a tree

Today I had a shopping adventure with a friend and Miss Moo.  I needed to go to Jurlique because I'd run out of some things, so we went to Chatswood Chase.  Wow, it has been ages since I'd been there, and it has changed a lot!  

We had a good look around at the shops.  In Shack they had these woodland trees with lights at half off.   The lovely homewares shop at Round Corner had these trees, but I just couldn't justify the full price.   At half price I just had to buy it.  For ages I've been wanting a tree for us to decorate at the holidays, but I didn't want a traditional Christmas tree.

I was going to put it away for next year, but Col suggested that we make sure that it worked first.  So out it has come.  And now Mollie is making decorations for it out of paper.   I'm thinking the tree is going to need some of these for next year.  I'm definitely going to make a tree skirt for it.