Saturday, July 31, 2010

Definately last but not least...well, maybe last...or not...

Garden Party dress

Little Boozle 2010

This Little Lizard King dress pattern is very simple,
made up of rectangles of fabric,
but with a very cute result.

Little Boozle 2010

I didn't like the way some of it was constructed to be honest
so I just did it a bit differently to suit me.

Little Boozle 2010

I also increased the width of the lower band to showcase the cute Japanese print.

Little Boozle 2010

Little goddess loved this one too. It was going to be the last dress for a while until today I found a gorgeous
knit dress pattern that I printed out and have picked fabrics for...

Little Boozle 2010

Never say never...

Friday, July 30, 2010

Channelling Little House on the Prairie

The Miss Alice dress - The Handmade Dress

Little Boozle 2010

With this one, I am thinking less about white rabbits and Wonderland
and more about Laura Ingalls running up the hillside.

Little Boozle 2010

It is a sweet little pattern but I downsized it from a size 5 to a size 4 and my daughter is 3.
Maybe I should have considered length when I made it up.

Little Boozle 2010

I struggled a bit with the yoke corners when attaching and had to fully gather the area to be gathered to fit
but I am not sure that this wasn't just me.

Little Boozle 2010

Anyhow the girl is happy and is carefree about the length of her dresses
and it will be good sun cover.
So after an extended happy dance and a few laps around the kitchen and dining room...

Little Boozle 2010

"mummy, make me another one, please, please, please"

I'll chalk this one up as another win.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Zombie robots

...and other little things for a swap.

This month the Crafty Mamas swap was all about passion.
Send your swap partner something that you make, sew or create with a passion.

While I am generally passionate about sewing and creating,
the specifics of such passion are harder to pinpoint.

I was sending to Lisa, owner of Crafty Mamas itself.

My current passions?

Love making key fobs...

Little Boozle 2010

...have lots of fun making little wallets and purses
(and surely someone who is involved with her own and her hubby's businesses
has a use for business card holder)...

Little Boozle 2010
Keyka Lou business card wallet

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010

...and actually am rather passionate about the old crochet hook...

While I get that little things are cute,
agirum...amugur...those little Japanese crochet things have always filled me with dread at the prospect of repetitive strain injury and tiny tiddly fiddly bits driving me up the wall.

Little Boozle 2010

But when I saw this book,
I had to get it to make some for my boys.

Little Boozle 2010

And who doesn't love a zombie robot?

Little Boozle 2010

...complete with a loose eye,
partially amputated arm
and of course nails and screws embedded in his head.

Little Boozle 2010

I think that she liked it.

My 5 year old son, however, thinks it needs a bit more work-
"Good job, Mummy.
But you need to stitch that arm on properly"

Hats off to the humble beret

Nicole Mallalieu's Quick Beret

I love wearing hats.
I used to wear them a lot at Uni, particularly my vintage op shop ones,
but since encroaching middle age amd domesticity have snuck up on me,
I find that my hat wearing is functional rather than fashionable.

Little Boozle 2010

Nicole's new pattern caught my eye recently
and having seen it made up,
I decided to give it a go
even though berets and I have always eyed each other off suspiciously.
I have never liked them and I suspect that they have felt the same.

Little Boozle 2010

After 2 silly mistakes on my part,
one of which was cutting through the body of the fabric and having to start from scratch,
I thought that I should just let it go.

But it is a beautifully simple and well written pattern
and I do like the result.
I am probably never going to love the beret
but I definately like it.

I used a piece of brown woollen fabric from my stash
and a not-quite-matching grey poly for the lining
but no one will see it.

Little Boozle 2010

And it will be perfect for those manic late school runs
when the hair style, like the children, is running amok and is best covered up.

PS Have you noticed that beret is one of those words that sounds strange and silly when you have
been saying or writing it for a while...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Butterflies and paisley

More for the summer wardrobe.

Little Boozle 2010
I love Japanese pattern books but haven't made use of the few that I have nearly enough.
They are ultimately very simple with clean lines
and I hope to make up a few more patterns sooner rather than later.

I fell in love with the dress on the cover when I saw it
and made it up last year.
It was a bit on the slim side so this year I upped the sizing-
to the point where there should be a good couple of years wear out of it.

Little Boozle 2010

Fabrics- Butterflies-Paula Prass for Michael Miller- papillon
and Paisley- Michael Miller Jan (yes, a line named after the Brady Brunch. Love it!)

Little Boozle 2010

Both very busy fabrics but they co-ordinated so well colourwise
that I couldn't resist.
And the little goddess loves them.

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010
Said goddess runs off to show anyone who sets foot in the house her new dresses-
"My mummy made them"-
so my theory of pink and cute seems to be working so far...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Scratching an itch... sew!

Having been away and having my machine in for service, it has been weeks since I have had a really good sewing session.
Granted I made my son a quick library bag for school
but it isn't exactly a satisfying project.

Tuesday is now my one day of the week where I have 6 glorious hours to myself
for the first time in over 7 years.
And this was the first one.
Taking out exercise time and showering and eating,
that should leave me with at least 4 hours of uninterrupted sewing bliss, right?

In theory, yes.

But take out an hour and a half for some act of God or Mother Nature or another unknown entity
that causes a power failure.

I still got a dress made and a hat started
in spite of fate's best go at putting the squeeze on MY time.

Pattern: Farbenmix Madita
Fabric: Quilting Treasures Little Golden Book and a quilting gingham from stash.
Approval rating: "Can I wear it to bed? Can I wear it to childcare? Can I wear it to...?"

It is actually for the summer wardrobe but I think there will be some thermal and long sleeved tees and stockings going underneath. I can't complain can I?

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010

The pattern is one of those that I have had in my stash for ages and keep looking at
and screwing up my nose.
But it comes together really well and is a sweet little dress.
It looks boxy in the snaps but I did leave out elastic under the arms.
I really love the vintage feel (I am guessing due to fabric that could have been made when I was my daughter's age!)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The aliens have landed...

...and apparently laid eggs in our fruit tray.

Little Boozle 2010

Have you ever woken up one morning and felt like you were living in an episode of the Twilight Zone?

Little Boozle 2010

If an extra terrestrial life form had left the products of her rumpty pumpy in your kitchen,
would they look like this?

Little Boozle 2010

Or it could it just be something as simple (really strange but simple) as the fact that your mother wrapped all your lemons in foil because "they will stay good for yonks"


Yes, she was right.

I can say 3 months later that the lemons are good as the day that she wrapped them.


(Well, there has to be a "but" somewhere because using up stacks of foil to keep lemons fresh in your fruit tray "for yonks" just doesn't seem right, don't you think?)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

When good crochet turns bad.

Little Boozle 2010

It went wrong.

Little Boozle 2010

Terribly wrong.

Little Boozle 2010

So I am putting my tail between my legs,
retiring to the corner and whipping up another easier project in between licking my wounds.

This is a coat that I will give another go next winter.
The issues with it where most likely self inflicted. I used a smaller ply wool than was intended
and because I am impatient I made a bigger size
rather than check the gauge.
It did fit my daughter around the back and sides but not the front.
I also did something to the edges that meant the front was just...well, not going to happen.

Next time I will use a bigger ply
and will try to work out what I did wrong at the edges.
Meanwhile the remaining wool and the pattern will be made up into a skirt.
"Good idea mummy" says the wise 3 year old.


Some days...

Some days are brightened by a child's hug.

Some days are brightened by a cup of coffee and a magazine enjoyed in peace and solitude.

Some days are brightened by an hour-long chat with a old friend on the phone.

Some days are brightened by a worry being lifted off your shoulders.

Other days,
like today,
 are just brightened by a beautifully presented box of cupcakes...

JAS 2010

JAS 2010

JAS 2010

(And I don't mind telling you that after the kids have shared some as a special treat for dessert,
and gone to bed,
mummy and daddy are sharing that one in the middle,
with its little pocket of lemon curd
and big dollop of meringue on top)

Monday, July 19, 2010

On this day... 1553...Lady Jane Grey was replaced as the Queen on England after 9 days on the throne 1692...5 women were hanged as part of the Salem Witch Trials 1946...Marilyn Monroe completed her first screen test 1954...the first part of "The Lord of the Rings" was published in London 1961...the first ever inflight movie was shown on a TWA flight 1990...I met my future best friend, future confidante and future husband.

OK So I didn't know his name as I showed him how to frog scull port but that came later.

JAS 2010

Happy anniversary sweetheart.
Looking forward to our next 20 years together,
then the 20 after that,
and the next,
and the next...

Footnote:  Thank you for your best wishes. But due to an "incident" involving post-exam celebrations, myself and a cask of port a year later, I haven't touched port for 19 years.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

White with one and a granny square please

The accepted etiquette of crafting with visitors

Little Boozle 2010

We have recently had a spate of visitors,
family or friends,
for morning tea or afternoon tea or even a meal.

I am the courteous hostess,
baking up a storm,
setting up a lovely table,
 ensuring that the kids are playing nicely.

So I make sure everyone is laden with food and coffee
then sit and chat...and crochet.

And wait for the inevitable (tongue in cheek?) apology from my husband
"Yeah, sorry, Tas will just sit there and crochet in front of you"

Am I being rude?
 I mean, I openly admit that, with age and child bearing,
 my multi-tasking skills are diminishing;
yet I can drink coffee, follow a conversation
and crochet a  few rows of double crochet
even with some occasional eye contact.

I also find it hard to sit and not do anything with my hands.

And if I can kill 2 birds with 1 stone, so to speak,
then bring it on, I say.

It never occurs to me that anyone might be offended by this.
I make sure that hot drinks are kept topped up,
that any blood from the kids gets a "Dora" or "Cars" bandaid pronto,
and I never run off quickly to my sewing room to run up a dress while the kettle is boiling
(as much as I might want to, depending on the visitors)
Most people that come into our house know that I am forever sewing or crocheting or the like
and really I just think that they accept that it is what I do.
Even if it is just a bit rude.

So what do you think?

Given that most of you are sewers and/or crafty people,
I am expecting y'all to support my cause
and say that it is entirely respectable thing to do.

(But regardless of public opinion,
I don't think that I am going to stop)

A big burst of Cherry Blossom

As a journal cover.

Little Boozle 2010

I'm not really a journal person but I am a person who has a more placid life with lower blood pressure if I have pen and paper on hand to jot down reminders,
shopping lists,
cute guys' phone numbers,
(just checking if you are still with me),
recipes from cafe mags (so I don't have to cough to cover up the sound of me ripping out the page
and hoping that I don't get smited),
somewhere where I can find them.

So I love having pens and note pads with me all the time.

I have wanted to make a journal cover for a while
and was torn between using some of my most beloved fabric
or doing a trial first.

I am not a patient person.
I don't tend to try out a pattern in muslin or an throw out fabric first.

Little Boozle 2010

So I compromised.
I love cherry blossom
and I chose some of my Japanese style fabrics.

In fact, to my eye,
the Smila's World ribbon probably made the whole thing a bit too busy
but I never tire of looking at it so I am happy to risk the social embarrassment of
excessive flower embellishment.

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010

In the end,
it went rather well.
It is easy to do,
even easier if you use a tute already written up on the web.
I did some extra stitching down the inner pocket margins
and used my sewing machine rather than my overlocker so I could get a finer finish to the corners.
It is reversible but I chose the fabrics without intent to reverse the cover.

Little Boozle 2010

I would, however, suggest that you don't forget to avoid the ribbon with that hot iron.
It has what I would call the "shrinky dink effect"
and pulls in the journal cover.

But it is usable,
though not perfect,
and I am glad that I kept my bestest fabrics till next time.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

When you are on a good thing...

Revisiting Barcelona.

Just three more times.
I love this pattern.
Fast to sew up.
So much room for versatility.

I hav one in wardrobe already,

But a girl needs more!

In Stenzo cord...

Little Boozle 2010

(this Stenzo being one of my most loved fabric prints of all time)

In luscious soft denim...

Little Boozle 2010

(to go with anything)

And, finally, another quilting cotton print...

Little Boozle 2010

(Michael Miller's Lantern Bloom- Hanging Cages)

Little Boozle 2010

Finished with a simple velour ribbon.

Aside from my personal issues with birds being kept in cages,
I adored this fabric the first time I saw it.

OK. Now perhaps it is time to move on
and sew something else,
at least until I decide on what I how I want to sew up number 5.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Granny squares rule!

Little Boozle 2010

I lost a lot of momentum with my crocheting on my last project
but, since finishing it, have thrown myself with enthusiasm into my next project
and the ones beyond that.

Yarn: Bendigo Woollen Mills Rustic Elm 8 ply.
(Actually a mossy green as shown in the last photo)

Little Boozle 2010

I really wanted some rustic wooden buttons to finish it
but didn't have any and was too impatient to wait till I could go and find some in a shop.

Little Boozle 2010

Note to self: trying to take a photo of yourself wearing a skirt to show it off
is not going to work...

Little Boozle 2010

...but it will give a better indicator of colour!

What is not to love about the gorgeous granny square?