Monthly Archives: November 2009

Sewing Lessons


Last Friday a friend came around to my place so I could show her how to sew a dress for her daughter.  Of course, I’m ill qualified to be teaching anyone to sew garments since my skills are pretty rudimentary… So I thought I’d better make a trial dress before she arrived (above)

I drafted the pattern based on one of the dresses in that Japanese pattern book I recently bought.  The pattern had a gathered skirt which I replaced with an ‘all in one’ A-line shape. 

I think it worked out pretty well 🙂  I tweaked the hemline a bit for the final version which my friend sewed (and FINISHED!) during our 5 hour long marathon sewing play date. 

She used a red print cotton out of my stash to make up the dress and I think she did a marvelous job considering she’d never sewn before, my general lack of experience, and that we had her 5 month old daughter and 6 month old Jasper demanding our attention.

It wasn’t until that night that I realised that these patterns (which you trace off a big sheet at the back of the book) need to have seam allowances added.  No wonder everything works out so small!  What made me finally twig?  The shoulder straps on our dresses are very skinny compared to the pictures of the dress in the book.  The dresses still look pretty cute I reckon!

In other news: I’ve been sewing blocks together for the red and ‘neutral’ quilt.  Yesterday I had the moment of truth where I put the two block types together and realised that it isn’t going to work. 

Luckily, today my workroom is being converted into a spare bedroom as Chris’ mum arrives for a short visit tommorow.  I’m going to put the quilt away and think about it for a little while.  Meanwhile, I’ll be distracting myself with some hand embroidery. Yay!

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Linen goodness

Yesterday I braved the $AU/Yen exchange rate and made a huge order with Linnet.  I had a good excuse… I’ve signed up for a Linen Tea Towel swap.  Linen saps up water brilliantly, launders beautifully and will only get better with use*

I just realised that I didn’t blog about this linen tea towel that I embroidered last year.  It took me about 2 weeks to finish including hemming by hand. We use it as a hand towel in the kitchen.

I’m not going for anything so time consuming with my swap tea towels. But at the moment I’m tossing up between an embroidered design or turning my hand at stencilling.

So, I’m super excited about this swap because I’ll end up with 5 uniquely crafted tea towels from wonderful crafty people in internet land and I’ll have fun (and hopefully not too much angst) putting together 5 tea towels to send out in the world.

* I’m reading a book called Prehistoric Textiles by Elizabeth Barber.  According to the bit I read last night, linen was known to become more soft and pleasant with use and there’s even a great quote relating to linen from Pliny; ‘ever the better for rough handling’ or ‘semper iniuria melius’ if you are into latin.

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On my table today


Taking up most of my table today is the makings of Jasper’s christmas stocking. The embroidery isn’t quite the right dimensions, but I should be able to make it work, I’ve just got to start on it.

In the bottom left hand corner of the photo you can see the plastic pocket display book I’m using to organise my traced out patterns.  A big improvement on my previous ‘system’. 

And on the top left hand corner of the photo is the quilt that I’ve been working on.  This afternoon (baby willing) I’ll do some cutting.

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Little Shoes

Oh look! I made a cute pair of shoes.  You can get the pattern from Shara Lambert’s etsy shop if you’d like to make a pair too.

Even though I made the 9-12 month old size, they turned out too small for Jasper who turned 6 months old last week (JEEPERS!).  He’s got big feet :-). 

In other news:  I think I have an allergy to Mangoes.  Two years in a row of unbearable itchy rashes and this year it was on my lips and eyes as well.  Woe is me!!! I love mangoes.

In more other news: I am sad to say that Jasper is REALLY hungry.  He’s waking for feeds 3 times a night now.  AND the worst thing is that when he was weighed at the clinic last week it turns out that he had not put on any weight for 5 weeks. 

So over the weekend we got serious about solids, 3 times a day, and none of that ‘baby led solids’ palaver.  Nup, we’re shovelling it in and he doesn’t seem to mind.

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THIS is more like it


Broccolli was a hit.  Not mashed up with rice cereal mind you, no that was spat out with great haste.  But Jasper took to the whole steamed floret with great enthusiasm.

He sucked it until only mushy stalk was left.

And I have to report that I had a good weekend – Chris took care of Jasper and I got some sewing completed.  YAY!

These pants FIT!  Woo Hoo.  I just added an inch to the width of each leg piece.

And Chris’ Christmas Stocking is done.  I hand printed the blue fabric years ago using a found piece of plastic.

AND I’ve also completed the linen hooded jacket for Jasper… but I’ll save that one for a dedicated blog post.  Here’s a sneek peek.

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