Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Missoni Maxi!

Yes, got my hands on even more missoni fabric - this time from the fabulous Gorgeous Fabrics, who called it the "Super Fabulous Milan Novelty Knit - Multi." Maxis being the in thing right now, I calculated that a generously cut yard would go around me, and be long (wide) enough to fit from shoulder to floor. Fortunately Gorgeous Fabrics do cut generously, and this is the result.
80% of the dress was completed in one night - the divine Sarah, who actually went to fashion school, pinned the fabric onto me, we sewed, cut, sewed some more, bound the neckline, cut the binding off the neckline, re-cut and re-sewed the neckline, drank wine and shifted furniture, all in about 3 and a half hours. The binding on the arms was completed in another hour, another day. Sarah tried to get me to use a pattern, but when you are built like a stick and have a tank top you can copy, who needs a pattern? As I kept saying, "let's wing it!" And we did!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cardmaking with Vintage Papercuts

See Vintage Papercuts for details of how to purchase.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A patriotic patch


(And I'm not even Bristish). Inspired by Make it and Love it (via Craft Gossip), I mended a hole in Austin's jeans with some striped fabric:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Austin's Gruffalo birthday party - the play

We held a Gruffalo birthday party for Austin for his 4th birthday. We acted out the story ("The Gruffalo" by Julia Donaldson). The family played all the parts - Austin (4 that day) was the Mouse, Thomas, (7) was the Fox, the Owl and the Snake and Jonathon (old enough to know better) was the Gruffalo. Bronwyn narrated. Click here to see the video.

Some stills:

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Austin's Gruffalo birthday party - the costumes

The Mouse - felt ears and a furry tail

Ears sewn onto an elastic headband

The Fox - an orange jumper, cat mask
painted in fox colours, and two pieces
of fur to make a bushy tail

The Owl - wings inspired by Prudent Baby
and round glasses

The Gruffalo - more fur than you ever want to see, cut into pieces and sewn onto a t-shirt.
Purple spikes, horns and tusks made of felt. Orange sunglasses from eBay


Baby Gruffalos - felt horns and fur ears
sewn onto elastic headbands for all guests

Austin's Gruffalo birthday party - the games

Well, there was really only one game (apart from "Mouse Mouse Gruffalo", a version of "Duck Duck Goose"), and that was "Stick the Wart on the Gruffalo's Nose"!  I printed a picture of the Gruffalo's head onto two A4 sheets of paper and stuck them together. Then I bought some green stickers and cut them into wart shapes (you could use dots, but I couldn't find any poisonous green ones in time). I wrote the guest's names on the stickers too, so we knew who stuck what, where!

Even the Gruffalo got into the game!

To download the poster from a Google Docs site (works best if you are a gmail user) (printable on 2 x A4 pages), click here (documents called "Stickthewart").

Or, right click on these thumbnails to open in a new window and print them:

Austin's Gruffalo birthday party - the party favours

The possibilities offered by the story of "The Gruffalo" for take home party bags were most entertaining - mouse droppings (chocolate covered sultanas), snakes (lolly snakes) and poisonous warts (again) (yoghurt covered sultanas dyed green with food colouring). No prizes for guessing which ones we had left over at the end....

Update May 2014 - After many requests for the lolly bag labels, I've uploaded the photos of the label sheets, below. They are designed to print on 3 x A4 sheets of paper, portrait orientation. Right click on them (if a Windows user) and select "open in new window". You can print from there.

Please contact me (click on my name in the "About me" space, top left) if you have any queries or difficulties with the downloads. And feel free to leave a comment saying "thanks". It makes me feel nice.

Austin's Gruffalo birthday party - the food

Readers familiar with "The Gruffalo" by Julia Donaldson will recall that there are a number of references to food in the book, making catering for a Gruffalo party pretty easy....

There's roasted fox
(potato wedges)
and there's scrambled snake
(made into sausage rolls)
there's owl icecream
(idea from My Cake School
via Craft Gossip)

There are also lots of other ideas in the book for turning into food - the Gruffalo's purple prickles (blue corn chips) and poisonous warts (green grapes). The birthday cake showed the story's hero, the mouse, sitting on a log in the deep, dark, wood....

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A cake for Michelle

For Michelle's 40th birthday. Thank you to Fiona Ell for the royal icing and to Helen Hall for the cookie cutters used to cut the royal icing.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A charming snake (or a snake charmer?)

I had to make a snake costume for Thomas (for reasons which will soon become apparent), and was stuck as to how to do it. I had a "snakeskin" print shirt from a St Vincent de Paul charity shop, but most snake costumes end up looking like a kid in a tube of fabric.

Instead I started a word association, and came up with a snake charmer. Essentially I turned the snakeskin shirt into a long tunic or kameez, which comes down to the knees, with a nehru collar for good measure, and used the offcuts to make a turban - decorated with a jewel and feathers.

Why a snake? Watch this blog!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The zipper foot is really getting a work out!

Having conquered my trepidation over inserting a zip in a garment, I've gone zip crazy!

Thomas needed a new pencil case for school (as, ironically, the zip broke on his old one). He desperately wanted a Smiggle zipper one, but they were all out of the large size at the local Smiggle stores. So, as is the lot of children with crafty Mums, he got a home made one. Initially reluctant, when I pointed out that this meant he could have any colour he wanted, he soon decided it was a good idea and we set to work.

The zips were purchased at The Needlecraft Emporium and Fabric Cave for .50c each, They had a great range of colours. However, if you want a cheaper option, The Remnant Warehouse has them for 3 for $1! Perhaps not as wide a range, but it depends what you are after. The Remnant Warehouse also has other great trims, like the tape measure tape we used.

We laid out the zips in the order we wanted the colours:

These are all different lengths as I was going for particular colours, not necessarily sizes. If doing it again I would make sure all the zips were at least 5cm (2 inches) longer than the finished size, so there would be plenty of length to play with, without the danger of sewing over the metal end point sof the zips.

Then I sewed them together (suing a zipper foot). Put right sides of the zips together and sew along the edge using a small straight stitch. Sew them all together so you have a tube of zips. Then get ready to sew down the sides.

Open the zip at the top that will be your main opening zip during this process so you can turn it the right way out when you have sewn down the sides.

I also sewed a heavy binding over the raw ends of the side seams inside the case. 

Another lesson - make sure you use an odd number of zips, so you don't get all the zip tops meeting at the same place on the sides:


 The happy recipient.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Who's afraid of the big bad zip?

Not any more! First garment I've ever made using a zip! Fabric purchased from The Remnant Warehouse on Saturday 18 June; sewn up on Sunday 19 June and worn out that night! A new record from shop to sewn.

Wool fabric with border design; left over flower appliqued above design on right in photo. Fabric sewn into a tube, invisible zip inserted, and darts in front and back.
$14.95 for fabric (1m) plus .40c for zip.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Baby bunting

Two months, 3 friends, 4 (four) baby boys! Congratulations to Susan, Tina and Caroline. I made each of you a card:
(Spot the two little onesies, above?)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A 1910 costume for Thomas

Cap from Sarah, white shirt from Vinnies, pants from Josephine, vest from a bag of old clothes (again from Sarah's), socks from Dad. Shoes model's own!


My costume was similarly cobbled together - hat, blouse and boots my own, dress from my Mum (made in 1979!), jacket from Vinnies too.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Another cake for Isabella

This time for her birthday party.