Wednesday, 31 December 2008

First Aid Pouch

My daughter seems to find pleasure in emptying out my handbag, so I thought I might make a little pouch to put all my first aid things in it (such as Panadol, Band-aids etc). My husband has a little one that came with his car in red and it is the same size as my coin purses that I make, but I wanted to do something different and bigger!

So with M*A*S*H in mind, I used my doggy treats bag pattern and embroidered a red cross on some camouflage material. The back is cotton drill, base is black PVC and the inside is red homespun.
I have some bonjella for baby in there and also some antiseptic wipes and hand wash. Hopefully I won't have to access it much!

Longitude Pencil Cases

A friend wanted me to make some longitude/latitude pencil cases, so I battled with my embroidery machine yesterday to get them done. I don't like to have numbers or letters embroidered with large stitch lengths. They catch in things and the embroidery gets wrecked. So I had to persist with the cheaper thread that kept on breaking .. grr... this afternoon while the family swanned around The Glen, I bought some expensive thread in the colours I was working with.

My "map material" stash is starting to run low, so I might have to go on the hunt for some more. There seems to be real interest in the pencil cases/pouches that I have created. But they really do hinge on the lining material to create the interest. I might have to create some interesting designs at Spoonflower. I hear through the grapevine that their material prints are of a high quality.
I have always had a facination with longitude and latitude and when I was teaching Year 7 Humanities mapping was always my favourite bit of the course. Unfortunately next year I am not teaching Year 7 Humanities, but rather Year 7 Religious Education. I might have to think about how I can bring maps into the course!

Another project that I finally finished was a knitting bag based on the tutorial at Dragoknit. The knitting bag was based around the Shannon Lamden fabric called Knit One that I bought at the Patchwork on Central sale in October (or was it November ..).

The lining fabric sat in my workroom for weeks until I decided what to do with it. Then I decided to use red velveteen as the outside fabric.

I am pleased with the result, but I am also aware that this is the "first prototype" of this type of bag that I have made. So there are undocumented enhancements (flaws) in it. I have a scrap left over, so I might make something small and cute from it.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

A Quilt for Tori

For my little girls Birthday, I asked people to bring along some material that I could make into a quilt for her when she got a bit older. Last night I started making something inspired by this beautiful Paintbox Quilt from Oh Fransson.

The idea is that every time I purchase another colour, I will get 25 cm of a matching fabric and make a block. This quilt uses lots of scraps and I have plenty floating around my sewing room at the moment

Doggy Bag

I have spent most of my day wrestling with my embroidery machine. I foolishly bought a bundle of QA embroidery threads soon after I got my machine thinking that they would be good value. They are not. They keep on breaking under duress! So the money saved was quickly wasted in the time taken to do one embroidery piece ... Grrr

My husband is on holidays at the moment, so I was fortunate to have him take care of my little girl while I wrestled with the machines .. I have to get them to Statewide in Coburg for a service when I get the time.

But the day was fruitful! I made several versions of the "Doggy Bag" a family friend wanted me to make for them.

The idea is that it is a bag that they can put on their belt and carry dog biscuits in when they are training dogs. My first try was a flop. Not big enough to carry biscuits in and the seam inside the bag where the clear PVC met was a dogs breakfast (heh!). But after a few tries with patterns and zips, I made something that I was happy with.
The design principle is similar to my pencil cases. It has a black PVC bottom, but the inside is lined with "bones" fabric and clear PVC so that Doggy Biscuit crumbs don't stick to the fabric.

The back of the bag has loops in it to go on your belt.

While I am happy with the end result, I can categorically say that I hate sewing with PVC!

Sunday, 28 December 2008

More Bats!

I have uploaded more bat shoes to my Konstant Kaos etsy shop. I also went through and altered some of the searching tags. I read an article last night which said that you should use all 14 search tags if you can.
I only have small sections of this colour fabric, so once the shoes are gone .. that's it!

The purple colour doesn't seem to come through well enough in this shot, however the group shot shoes the colour a bit better!

Saturday, 27 December 2008

A bag for Paula

My husbands cousin is currently living in Sydney. He and his family are out from Germany for a working holiday and they came down to Melbourne for Christmas. It was nice to have more family around than our usual place setting for six. It was our biggest Christmas celebration so far!

They have a little girl, Paula, who is about 5 years old. So I decided to make her a bag for Christmas, something unique. The base fabric I had was "crafty" in theme (scissors, measuring tape, etc), but I did find it hard to decide on the colours of the complimentary fabrics. If I was sewing for an older person, I would have gone for a more "classic" look, but as it was a little girl I decided to stick to bright fun colours. The bag had nice long arm straps so that she could put it over her head.

I embroidered her name on the outside of the bag and I sewed on some fun buttons to make the bag a bit more dimensional. If I had had some more time I would have done some hand embroidery over the print design as well (silver thread on the scissors and pins).

On the outside there is a nice big pocket either side to put things in, and the inside of the bag had a pocket and the Konstant Kaos logo. You can see some of the buttons as well!

Friday, 26 December 2008

More Crafty Christmas Gifts

Now that Christmas Day has passed I can blog about the other gifts that I made!

The first is a money belt for my father in law who runs an opal and meteorite business called Rocks on Fire. Both my in-laws sell their rocks online and also markets around Victoria. My father in law was impressed with my money bag that I made for Northcote Kris Kringle Market so I decided to make one for him for Christmas.
I used my Janome 350e to embroider the name of his business onto cotton heading tape and then I sewed it onto the pouch. The back of the pouch has two belt loops and the side of the pouch has D-rings that can connect to a strap if you don't wear a belt.

Inside the pouch I put the flame fabric that he liked and I made a secret compartment closed with velcro at the back to put the larger notes. There is also a pouch inside the money bag for smaller change.
Hopefully he will get some use out of it! I have put a custom pouch for sale on my etsy shop with the hope that I might get some business from it!

I also knocked up a little pencil case/costmetic bag for my mum for Christmas and I put some hand cream into it. I might make some for my etsy shop in the next few days.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Pouches on Etsy

I am trying to upload at least two items a day to my etsy shop. I have lots of things left over from the Northcote Kris Kringle Night Market that Jellibat and I did leading upto Christmas. Angelica does the most gorgeous soft toys! It took me three weeks to make the sign! Every night of the market I would sit there and sew the letters on - sad huh? Black Velvet piece of fabric and letters in felt which are then applied with double sided interfacing and then I stitched around each letter to give it a "sewn" look.

Anyway, I have uploaded some of my cute little pouches onto etsy ... the Ume Komachi Pouch with a black velvet back and a green spotted interior.

Japanese "crests" fabric inspired by the crests on the roofs of medieval japanese buildings. I love this fabric!

I am trying to think of another creative thing to make with the crests fabric ...

Merry Christmas

Wishing all that visit this blog a very Merry Christmas. May you spend time with the people you love and enjoy some good food and wine.

This is a picture of my gorgeous daughter and her cat Natasha. And although this is not her first Christmas, it will be the first Christmas that she is more aware of.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Boomerang Gift Set

A few weeks back I was asked to do a gift set for a little girl. The client picked the fabric and we embroidered her name on the bag. The thought was if she went to childcare, this could be a good sized bag to put all the essentials in.
I was given quite a bit of freedom with the components of the gift set. The client wanted a bag and the shoes and whatever else was upto me. She had fallen in love with the Boomerang fabric as it looked quite "Australian" in design. I decided to do a little changing mat with a toweling backing. I use one of these with my daughter and it is very useful for both changing, eating and general moping up of baby mess. Once I did the embroidery on the bag, it was quite easy to do the embroidery on the face washer (the finished gift set had a red and black face washer). The embroidery machine required both back interfacing and also "ultra solvy" to prevent the needle pulling the toweling back through. Ultra Solvy then rinses out under some warm water

The bag was lined with the same fabric and there were some pockets sewn into the inside of the bag, along with the pockets on the outside of the bag.
The size of the shoes were 6 - 12 months. Hopefully little Elisa will be cruising by then!

Kokka Bat Shoes

About 6 months ago I went to the Quilting and Beading show at the Melbourne Exhibition Building (Jeff Shed) and Patchwork on Central had a stand with lovely Japanese Linen's. A friend had told me about working with Japanese linens and cottons and I thought that they were gorgeous, but not my colours. Very pastel and flippy colours. I like stronger colours!

Anyway, the Patchwork on Central stand had a basket with some lovely Kokka fabrics in them and I fell in love! I had previously attempted to make my daughter Tori a pair of skull and crossbone shoes, she was slowly wearing those out and I was on the search for different fabric for her next pair.
This was when I fell in love with the Kokka Bat fabric. I first spotted the black design and I bought a fat quarter worth of it. Then on my second take I saw the red design and I grabbed some of that as well.

I love working with the medium weight cottons that Kokka makes. They are durable and lovely to handle. The "Bat" design is absolutely gorgeous. To date I have made shoes and pencil cases with the fabric and I am fortunate enough to have a bolt of the black bat design sitting in my workroom. I want to do some special things with it and I haven't unwrapped it just yet.

I uploaded these to my Konstant Kaos etsy shop last night, I hope people fall in love with them as much as I did!

Monday, 22 December 2008

Japanese Coin Purse and Pouch

Earlier on in the year I went off to the Australian Quilt Market and I got 4 metres of this gorgeous fabric. It has been sitting on my sewing desk and I thought I would at least start using it and I made these!

I just uploaded these to my etsy shop. The material is 100% Japanese cotton and the lining is cream homespun. I love the origami pouch, I might make myself one!

Crafty Christmas Goodness

I finished one of my gifts last night for my brother who is travelling overseas in April. I noticed that at the bottom of his backpack he generally had his addressbook and other important things kicking around. So I made this pouch out of hardy 310gsm cottom drill, the lining is Japanese 100% cotton "World Map Allover".

I machine embroidered the longitude/latitude of his destination next year.

I do hope that he likes it, do you think I should make some for my etsy shop? I could put random longitude/latitude destinations on the front!

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Etsy Shop Update

I have just uploaded some more items to my etsy shop! Including some really cute pouches that you can use for a pencil case, cosmetic case or to carry first aid items.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Entering the Blogspot world

Well I have decided to enter the blogspot world. There are so many other crafty people in the blogspot world, and I want to connect with these people and create my own crafty community. So lets see how this goes!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

My foray into Totes ....

I have been thinking about attempting to make bags for a while and the opportunity presented itself when I had some library books to return to the library and no bag to put them into!So I thought I might make a Tote to carry them to the library. This is the second Tote that I have attempted, this time the bottom is shaped, the handles are more heavy duty and there is a front pocket to put wallets or library cards into.

Konstant Kaos Tote

As you can see, I tend to work in bold colours rather than in pastels. The Skull love heart fabric is a Michael Miller Patchwork Cotton. Very high quality. The lining is a red homespun 100% cotton as well.

Tote - Lining

The next tote will probably have a zip and maybe an inside pocket. I generally find that it takes me about four versions of product development before I actually get a design that I am happy with. If I wait for the “perfect design”, it takes me ages to decide where to start. So I just hop on the machine and see what I produce.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Pirate Shoes

I am fortunate enough to be a position to purchase some bulk materials from one of the local textile houses. I had visited their show room a number of time and one of the ladies on the front reception asked me to make for her something cute for their little grandchild (0-6months). I presented her with a selection of fabrics and she chose a pirate theme.

Pirate Shoes

I have used this fabric in the past for bibs and changing mats, but it looks cuter on shoes! I now make my shoes with natural fibre batting and the heel of the shoe has my logo embroidered up it and the size embroidered on the inside. Every batch of shoes that I made improves and looks more professional.

I have often dreamt of doing a range of pirate wear clothing. I can imagine my daughter running around in a little wench or a little pirate outfit. I keep on thinking that my sewing possibilities for her will open up when she starts to walk around. At the moment her clothing is horribly practical as anything too loose will hamper her ability to pull herself up on furniture and skirts just get in the way of her crawling.

In other news, I have my first retail order for 6 pairs of “bat” shoes. Three shoes in 0-6 months and 3 shoes in 6-12 months. So the last week has been spent getting packaging and marketing materials together so that my product looks professional. The process for making the shoes has become more streamlined and I have tops, soles and heels sitting there waiting on being sewn together when an order comes in.

This is packaging version 1. I spend about two weeks vising various packaging wholesalers on this side of the city. Paper boxes, plastic bags and I decided on clear PVC boxes.

Packaging Version 1
The back of the box has a little hang-sell tag for shops and the internal graphics were refined by a close friend who is a graphic design artist. Overall, I am quite pleased with the result and the boxes look good all lined up with shoes in them!

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Bunting Bag (Custom Order)

I never really knew what a bunting bag was exactly before I took on this custom job. It is very much an American term used to describe a travel garment commonly used in prams.

The client wanted a bunting bag that would suit the personality of the recipients. We discussed some ideas, I sent back a few sketches and then I did some embroidery samples. Decided that the embroidery would look better on red rather than black and then started to sew. The end of sleeve mittens were the trickiest part of the project and I am sure if I made one of these again, I would do it the “easier” way. I want to make my little girl one for next winter in purple with little bat embroidered on it.

Bunting Bag

Anyway, onto the technical stuff! The Bunting is made from Arctic Polar Fleece, PolyCotton Tartan and Wool Wadding for extra warmth. The brief that I was given was “warmth”. The Bunting has a custom Wolf Howling embroidery done on my trusty Janome 350e and the “tags” with Konstant Kaos on them are also done on the Janome (how I love my Janome).

Close up

For more images of Konstant Kaos creations, check out my livejournal scrapbook.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Baby Gear for Georgia

I am quite busy getting a number of custom jobs done. One of them was a "collection for a baby girl" inspired by a few pictures that were given to me (Confederacy, The state of Georgia, American Civil War). The task was very much a Project Runway moment ...but on project runway the designers don't have to take care of a grumpy 11 month old at the same time! I sketched out a few ideas and decided on five items; a dress, a hat, shoes, a bib and changing mat.

The dress took me longer than expected due to the hand sewing that I had to do on the cord work. The design is from the cuff of a confederacy general's jacket. I definitely have to buy the attachment for my sewing machine that makes cording easier to sew on! Here is my gorgeous daughter modeling the dress which is a little big for her.

I had to also make a matching hat, so I opted for more of a "bonnet" style hat.

I did some matching shoes and decided to do some cord work on them to see how my machine would handle the stitching of the cord.

The changing mat and bib had embroidered stars on them and also a lining that was water repellent. These two items are quite striking.

Last night out of frustration I spent a some time working out how to make garment labels on my embroidery machine *grins* ... at the moment I am embroidering twill tape - doesn't look too bad. Better than the cashs' labels that I got done as a trial, and certainly cheaper than the $400 I keep on getting quoted for "real" labels. The advantage of doing them myself is that I can change the colours, size and tape colour to meet the needs of the garment or object I am making.

Yesterday afternoon I went off to the etsy meet up at fed square. It was a worthwhile afternoon, lots of ideas and things to follow up on and lots of interesting people to talk to.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Pram/Picnic Blanket for Rosemary

A few months back I met Rosemary in my doctors surgery. My daughter had a fever and we had to get her to the doctors.

Rosemary had noticed the Tartan pram blanket I had made for my daughter after a picnic trip to the Convent in Abbotsford, she wanted to know where I bought it. I told her to ring me in a week and I would tell her a price. And so .. she did, I sourced the materials and made it for her. Rosemary was very patient as she waited for her products. I rang around and couldn’t get a hold of some red stuart tartan, so got some black stuart and lined it with some red polar fleece.

Pram/Picnic Blanket Folded up

The Pram/Picnic Blanket opens out and then you “fold” the baby into it. The nylon straps gives you some flexibility on how you can wrap them up. For example, my daughter does not like her feet covered. So I can wrap her up tightly and leave her toes peeping out the bottom.

Pram/Picnic Blanket Open

Once the straps are unclipped, it is easy to get your baby in and out of the pram.

Picnic/Pram Blanket Closed

Picnic/Pram Blanket Closed

The clips do up securely for a snug ride.

Tartan Baby Slippers

Tartan Baby Slippers

As a “reward” I also made her a set of tartan baby slippers for her niece, she was stoked