Friday, 23 January 2009

Pin Cushion Giveaway

Tomorrow is the last day for my Pin cushion give away. So make a comment on my blog anywhere (you need to be gmail or OpenID registered), and your name will go into a hat (unless you say you don't want a pin cushion)!!

When I draw names on the weekend, I'll shoot you an email to find out your "colour scheme" and I will make a pin cushion and post it out to you.

Yes this is a shameless attempt to generate traffic on this site!

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Crafty Goodness

I love this time of night ... the house is so quiet, the cats are sleeping and I am tapping away at the keyboard. These "before bed blogs" seem to be becoming a tradition!

A busy day was had by all. Tori spent the day with her Scottish Granny while I went off to school to do some work. Granny will probably end up with her most Wednesday's.
After getting my gorgeous daughter to bed at 8.30 (someone fed her lots of tea today ...), I could finally unwind and get some sewing done. So what crafty goodness have I worked on tonight?

Firstly, I finished a "Patch Tote" for a customer and made a matching tissue holder to go inside. All I had to do was finish stitching the lining and the tissue holder is a simple "warm up" project to do.
As you can see, I am getting value from my Wigglesworth Quilt offcuts. I have enough for one more Tote.

The inside was the yummy yellow rose fabric and I tried my hand at putting in a zipper pocket as well.

Secondly, I made a Patchwork Trivet (custom order) to go under a teapot or cold jug of water on the table. A good little project with a little bit of ditch quilting.

Two layers of batting sewn together and the fabric is a Kokka Ouka in Red. I did however, forget to put my label on it and I could not be bothered going back to do it!

Thirdly, I tried my hand at a "Nappy Clutch". Big enough to hold three nappies and some wipes. Alternatively it can be used for other things. I have been wanting to try this for a while, but I just never had the time or motivation until today. I should take some measurement pictures!

Tomorrow night I have to work at finishing some orders so that they can hopefully go out on the weekend to their respective shops. Tomorrow is my first "full day" at work - 8am - 3pm with a pick up of Tori at 5pm.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Skirts for Work

My husband is doing a public transport day today, so I have been up since 7am. It is going to be 37 degrees today and I wanted to finish my sewing projects early. So the cats are in the back room snoozing in the morning sun, my daughter is upstairs peacefully asleep and I have been finishing a tartan shoe order that I plan to drop off this afternoon.

As some of you know, this week heralds the return to part time work for me. Nervous, excited and unfortunately flat broke! So last night I decided to knock up two skirts to wear. I have zips, I have material and machines and I know what style suits me ... what's stopping me???

I loved the colour scheme that I used for the Wigglesworth Quilt that I recently completed and I still had scraps kicking around under my feet *blush*, so I decided to make a skirt to remember my achievement! I present to you the "Wigglesworth wrap skirt"... *drumroll*

I found enough to make a strip to go down the front, the waistband is in the polka dot fabric and the skirt is a proper wrap skirt. Which means if the wind picks up I am not going to be showing people my underwear!

The second skirt is a similar pattern, but with a zip down the back and some hand stamping on the front. I present to you the "Raw Cherry" skirt ... *drumroll*

The red lining is finished raw, and the black is properly hemmed. The skirts come down to just below my knee (where I like them for work) and the waist is comfortably high to make my lumps and bumps disappear! I have more ideas for some more alternative designs, but for work I like to keep it relatively simple.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Fun things with old Moo boxes (and Giveaway)

I decided to make myself a new pincushion to add to the varioud pin cushions I have in my workroom. Previously I was using a little bat soft toy, but it doesn't have a hard bottom to it so it would frequently stab me ...

I had some old plastic boxes left over from my Moo mini business cards and I I thought I would make a pincushion out of them. I had been using them to house pins, but when you knock them over they spill everywhere.

The first one was from scraps from the Wigglesworth Quilt. A bit of a patchworky pin cushion. My lovely husband helped me with the glue to stick the pin cushion to the bottom of the box.

The second is from scraps of the "skull love" material I am using at the moment ... owww! I am going to refine the pattern and then post it on my blog when I am finished!

What a fun project!

The Giveaway...

I have two empty boxes left and I am going to giveaway two custom pin cushions to people who make comments anywhere on my blog. doesn't matter where you are, I will post them to you!

So I am going to give you until the 23rd of January to make a comment ANYWHERE on my blog and I will put your name into a hat (a top hat no less!) and draw out two names. The more comments you make the more entries you have.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

New Baby Shoes!

I am busy building up stock so that when I go back to teaching next week part time, I can focus on that for a few weeks.

I have just uploaded the following to my Konstant Kaos Etsy Shop.

The fabric that I used for these pirate soft shoes (0 - 6 months) was one of the first lengths of fabric I bought last year when I started making things for babies.

Initially I had the idea that the fabric would be a bib and I made a few for friends, but the fabric looked a lot cuter when it is on a pair of shoes!

This fabric is rather nice. It looks aboriginal-esque in style. The name of the fabric is boomerang and I have a pair of (6-12 months) available in these. Last year I did a boomerang gift set for a customer.

The last pair I uploaded is by far the most popular style for boys. Airforce Soft Shoes (12-18months). I made this size large because they look so cute on a walking babbling little toddler!

Enough for now!

Quilt for Wigglesworth

I finally finished a baby quilt I had been working on. I was hoping to have it finished last Sunday for the baby shower, but the universe clearly wanted me to take my time with it. The new parents to be have the quilt so now I can talk about it.

When I walked into my local patchwork store last week with a sample block, the lady in there teamed me up with some teal coloured backing fabric to go around the quilt. But when I got home I re-thought what I would be backing the quilt in and decided on the black and white. It was more "me" .... less old lady quilt. I'll use the teal to make something else for someone else ...

I started off with the freebee "bee" embroidery file that I downloaded from Secrets of Embroidery, and when I was happy with that, I downloaded the other bee's. I love bee's and for an unborn baby when I don't know the gender, bee's tend to go with both boys and girls.

I was laying out the four bee blocks on the kitchen table wondering whether to make another two bee blocks, when my daughter was watching Playschool and they were singing the "bee" song, so I thought I would work that into the design. I have Embird on my workroom laptop, so it was quite easy to do the writing in the font I wanted.

It is probably cheating doing most of this by machine, rather than by hand, but I am rather happy with the overall result of the quilt. Of course, it is a protoype, so mistakes mistakes, but I won't tell you what they are!

Friday, 16 January 2009

Ume Komachi Obi and Bag

A while back I fulfilled an order I had for an Obi with the Ume Komachi Kokka Fabric, a beautiful burnt orange cherry blossom fabric.

I had some off cuts so I made a little coin purse with it as a little gift. I was feeling rather creative that afternoon!

I made a wristlet handle for the little purse and lined it with a peppermint polka dot fabric. I got some postcards made at Moo with my star on it for occassions like this so that I could write a little note to the person that ordered the product.

The coin purse was about 10cm across the top, I think that if I am making a half circle wristlet, I might make it a bit larger than I did. I attached it with a D Ring and a small clip that could be used for keys or other things if you didn't want to attach it to the purse.

The Kokka Ume Komachi fabric is lovely to work with and I have been making all sorts of things (such as the wine bag I made for my lovely MIL ...) .

A friend wanted me to make a pair of shoes for her little girl with the fabric ... so I did! The lining was the peppermint polka dot fabric.

Material Goodness

It has indeed been a busy week. I have been working on a "special project" which has left my fingers bleeding and my machine smoking and I am looking forward to sharing it with you all once the intended person has received it. My husband said that it is my best work to date ...

I had dropped by Patchwork on Central the other week to see what fabrics they had and I picked up these ones. I have already cut out the lining for a money belt for *me* from the Alexander Henry pattern fabric and I have used the space fabric for both a special order and also resin badges. The red Ouka will be used for something special and the fat quarter of the black flowery fabric will be used for a dress for Tori. Too much goodness. I must admit that I am like a kid in a candy store when I visit either Patchwork or GJ's ...

Anyway, must get back to the sewing machine. Tori is in childcare, the cats are sleeping on the bed in the work room enjoying the chaos around them and I should be sewing the orders I got from two shops the other day!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

The Fez

A few years back, I developed a Fez pattern for my Year 7 class. The "house" that I was in at school had the Fez as it's symbol. So each year we would get the Year 7's to make their own Fez and then they could wear it at all the "house" functions. It is quite a simple pattern.

Last Saturday night there was an occasion for my husband and I to use the Fez pattern again. My husband braved the hording crowds at Spotlight South Melbourne to grab some red velveteen and some tassels and on Friday night we proceeded to make the legendary Fez. Normally I would use black tassels, but there was none left ...

Photo's of our fez making in front of one of our favorite cook books, Saha by Greg Malouf. The event that we were off to was a Middle Eastern evening at a friends place and the food was absolutely divine!

So I thought that I would upload my Fez pattern to the interweb for all to enjoy!
The pattern is quite simple and can be made more sophisticated using different materials and construction methods. The pattern needs to be on A3 size paper and you can adjust it by changing the size of the pattern. It's not perfect, but enjoy anyway! And please, if you use it, post a picture for me to see!

Friday, 9 January 2009

Baby wraps

I can't believe that it has been almost 16 months since my little girl looked like this ....

... it just seems like a distant memory when I look at this in the back seat of the car!

She has been the constant inspiration for many of my sewing adventures as of late, and about 6 months ago I pondered the idea of hand stamped baby swaddles. I hunted out a stamp of a bee and thus the "Buzzy Bee Baby Wrap" was born. I have made a handful of these swaddles and they have either been gifts or I have sold them to friends.

But over the last few days I have longed for an inner harmony and I found myself again wanting to stamp fabric. Reality is that I would also love to screen print, digital print and do all sorts of things to fabric (ooh!) ... but we are going back to work in two weeks time :-(

So ... I have been busy hand stamping baby swaddles and I have finally uploaded them onto my etsy store. I am selling them for $30 AU or $21USD per item. They are all hand made and the fabric dyes survive a 30 degree warm wash quite nicely (although it is always better to hand wash in cool water for prolonged life).

Lets start with the most radical wrap. Reactions to the Black spiders web wrap at the Northcote Christmas Market was quite interesting. People didn't quite know what to think of it! (And yes that it my daugthers life sized newborn that her Oma gave to her)

What do you think? A bit too black? I wish I had this when my daughter was born! Maybe the white version looks better?

This White spiders web wrap looks clean and crisp and works well over the pram on a hot day as well!

Then I started playing around with cherry blossom stamps and came up with this.

The pattern uses a really cute little cherry blossom stamp as the eye for a skull! I'd love to develop this idea a bit more and get some fabric printed off through Spoonflower.

Then I started thinking of how mothers actually use baby wraps. And yes they start off as a swaddling tool and then they end up over the pusher to help the baby sleep. So this one has snaps at two of the corners so that you can do that easily.

Phew! What a long post. Kick on over to my etsy store and check out the other things that I make.

Stasis Creations

Andreas and I have started to cast things into resin, we are going to record our adventures here!

Birthday presents for Heike

It has been a while since I have posted and my fingers are raw from the sewing I am doing!

My lovely mother-in-law had her birthday earlier in the week and I made some gifts for her. Firstly, my father-in-law bought a custom money bag from my etsy store (naughty Opa!).

To make it more femine, I put the D-rings at the top of the bag and the inside of the money pouch was done in a space fabric (to match the business). I also made a strap as well (as seen in my etsy store)

It also has one of those hidden compartments for money and a pouch for coins.

I also made her a tote with "Oma" on it and Tori gave it to her as a present. The material I got from spotlight and is a Camel print, as she likes camels.

The inside has some pockets for mobiles and other things as well. Lined with a cotton to match the Camels on the front.
We also got her a nice bottle of wine, and looking at the pathetic brown paper bag that it sat in, I quickly whipped up a wine bag to carry it in. I quilted the inside so as you can keep the bottles of wine cool during transporting. The material at the bottom of the bag is the Ume Komachi dobby fabric that I have made some things from.

Phew! Now on with the sewing for the online shop!

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Crafty blogs worth further investigation ...

There a handful of crafty blogs that have sucked my time away over the last few days. Which is a pity, as I have a number of projects that needed to be done yesterday!

Making it Fun: This blog is tied to Michael Miller fabrics. High quality quilting cottons that are a delight to work with. There are a collection of free patterns and tutorials on this web site as well.

Stardust Shoes: Another wonderful crafty blog, with lots of ideas and pointers to free patterns.

The sky is pink: A maryland mother of six (yes six). Lots of entries on crafty things for kids and handmade kids clothes.

Quilting Arts Stitch Magazine has some free skirt patterns to download in PDF.

jcaroline: Another crafty mum and her sewing adventures. In particular, I want to make one of these for Tori when she learns how to properly play with cars. I just have to find the fabric first! I'd better shoot Lynn at Patchwork on Central Park an email to see if she can get it for me. If you haven't made an effort to get down to this patch working store, you need to know that it is worth the effort. Beautiful fabrics, beautiful range and Lynn is a wealth of knowledge.

As you can see I have been bitten by the quilting bug. I am working on a piece at the moment as a present and enjoying every moment of it!

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Quilting Goodness

I have finished another two blocks for Tori's Quilt. Only 60 to go! I am trying to use fabrics that I already have and that I have used on other sewing projects. So it will be nice and colourful for her and a pile of early Konstant Kaos memories for me!

In my quilting travels I came acropss the PK Fabrics home page, they make the moda quilting packs. They have a section of their web site that has free patterns on it. Some nice quilts to select from and some nice ideas for future projects.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Dotty Smock or Pinafore

The challenge was thrown to me to make a smock or pinafore for a little girl. I had been previously looking at apron patterns and I came across an etsy shop called CreativeJnee's which had a pattern for sale which looked interesting. So taking a the 70s Misses apron idea and a pattern for pinafore I had previously made, I made this!

It is quite a simple design that crosses over at the back and lends itself to a growing toddler.

To make it more girly, I put some pockets in and added buttons as embellishments.

I also decided (for an extra degree of difficulty) to make the dress/pinafore reversible.
I am going to refine the pattern a bit when I get feedback from the customer and make my daughter one to kick around in.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Creative Inspiration for 2009

2008 has been a year of creative awakening for me. Not sure if it was as the result of having my daughter, or actually having the time and space to be creative. Normally I am so busy with teaching and "life" that often I denied myself the indulgence of creativity. Anyway, hopefully 2009 will be as creative as 2008.

I want to try my hand at (too) many crafty things this year:
  • Resin casting. Two of my girlfriends have fabulous ideas for resin goodness. My husband does a lot of model casting, so he has the chemical knowledge ... I have the ideas. I want try my hand at making pendants and badges, initially for my inlaws business "Rocks on Fire".
  • Digital printing of material . I definitely want to get some funky Konstant Kaos designed fabric printed off at Spoonflower. I hear that the quality is good ...
  • I'd love to try my hand at Screen printing or Print Gocco. I have plenty of ideas for screen printing kids wear (or material). The idea of textile design excites me!
To motivate me in this quest, I am hoping to book in for a few markets now before I start back at work part time in mid January. That way I'll have to do them!