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Crochet Star Garland

I have previously posted about making crochet ornaments for the school fair. I enjoyed making them so much, I decided to make some for us. I used The Royal Sisters patterns, which were easy to follow and gave great results.


I made several snowflakes in white and stars in red and in red and white butchers twine. I then made three garlands which were intertwined a bit randomly.

It was rather hard to photograph:



The stars / snowflakes were stiffened with a mixture of glue and water. I experimented with sprinkling them with glitter but it was messy and overkill.  They look lovely on their own I think



Merry Christmas :)

Christmas Ornament Swap

Amanda at Ellieboo suggested a Christmas  ornament swap, which is now an official tradition!


I totally lucked out with the most gorgeous set of felt ornaments plus a melting snowman and two snowmen chocolates ( not pictured as the kids already ate them! )

I love these ornaments so much - the stitching is super neat and the colours are gorgeous! I feel like I might have done better out of this than my super swap partner Amanda, given how quick the crocheted snowflakes I sent her were to make :)

My two favourites are below - they are just so beautiful



 Despite my scrougeyness I am now firmly in the Christmas spirit!

Thanks Amanda :)





Snowflakes Ornaments for the School Fair

I do have other things to share but my camera battery died so some crapola poorly lit pictures from the phone will have to suffice.  Have been crafting busily away for the school fair, and one of the things I have been making is Christmas ornaments based on this pattern.

They look a bit crap in these pictures, but are actually quite lovely.  I have been experimenting with different yarns and combos - some are plain wool, some are wool with sequins in it, others have either sparkly or shiny coloured thread in with them.  While I would like to say less is more, it does seem like you need the really luridly sparkly stuff to make an impact.  Also, I plan to block these with glue to stiffen, which will dull them slightly, so bling-ier is better (blingier is so totally a word now...)

Here is a close up of one which has been blocked - they certainly get more shape and definition.  Now I just want to make about 1000 more until it's out of my system!

Now I just need to figure out the best…

KCW 10/13 - Day 1 and 2: Angelina Ballerina Tiered Skirt

This Kids Clothes Week is going to be a super boring effort from me.  I am aiming to do mostly sewing for the school fair, so there will be many versions of the same few items...

Today and yesterday I started production lining some simple 3 tiered skirts from some Angelina Ballerina fabric I have had for yonks.



I have cut out enough for four skirts - sizes 2, 3, 4 and 5.  I nearly reconsidered the smaller sizes but I checked if Issy (aged a very grown up six) still liked Angelina and she said "yeah not really".  A little piece of me died inside :)

A larger piece of me nearly karked it when I experienced the ultimate panic of my 0 foot for my Bernina being missing.  MUCH frantic searching and swearing ensured.


It had fallen kind of down the side of the foot case to make me look stupid for looking everywhere else.

These skirts are pretty simple.  I serged the strips together, plus top and bottom of the top and bottom tier.  Then gathered each layer to match the one above and s…

Things I don't like but everyone else seems to...#1 Liberty

Welcome to my new series "Things I don't like but everyone else seems to...".  As a nice person (I believe), I wasn't sure if I should write this series.  Then I realised I was taking it all far too seriously and as long as I remember Wheaton's Law (Don't be a Dick) I will be fine :)

SO - on to the series.  Note there will likely be few or no pictures in these posts - they are just me wittering.

Things I don't like but everyone else seems to #1 is a biggie.  It's liberty fabric.

I can hear the collective in-drawing of breath and shaking of heads.  It's obviously a failing in my taste as everyone else raves about it, but I just don't get it.  I like some of the prints (mostly if they are small scale and colours I am drawn to) but mostly they seem outdated or too busy or just too floral.  Classic liberty for me is just meh. I don't hate it, but I don't understand the serious love there is out there for it.

Phew!  That wasn't so bad! …

Sew Sweetness Park West Bag - or my most growned up-ist bag ever!

I recently had the chance to pattern test the Park West bag from Sew Sweetness (coming soon!)

Like all of Sara's bag patterns this one is well designed and a great looking result.  Her bag patterns have been raising my standards and techniques with each one I get to test, and this one was no exception.

I decided to step it up a notch in this one and take the gamble on making it mostly (for the exterior) out of leather!  I have always wanted to work with leather and am well aware that two of my machines (1927 Singer and Bernina 1130) would have no issues sewing it.  I wanted to replace my main black "work handbag" as it is looking tired and the clasp doesn't shut anymore.  So naturally I went into Country Leather in Elizabeth street and found an amazing, soft, printed leather in brown tones...no black bag for me this time!


Both my machines did super well with the leather and other fabrics and here is the result.  I am in love :)


I used the leather for the main exterio…

Sew Sweetness - Aragon Bag

I recently had the chance to test the Sew Sweetness Aragon Bag Pattern.  I love this bag!

This is a nice big bag, with heaps of pockets.  It was suggested as a good nappy/diaper bag, which I think would work wonderfully.  I am very happy to have two kids, so it won't be used as that for me!


My version is a Kaufmann essex yarn dyed linen, with embellishments of a Japanese dragonfly fabric and a random red piece of something (no idea what) I had in the stash.

Annoyingly, I think I stuffed up in the choice of interfacing.  Sara uses something called By Annie's Soft and Stable (see here for her information on this) in her bags.  She gives a good description on potential substitutes, which in other patterns seems to have gone well, but this time I think I should have erred on the side of more firmness.  It's my fault for using what I had to hand rather than seeking out something more foamy.  So my bad is a bit more flobbidy (technical term) than I would like.

It also doesn'…

Lovely "Yellow Brick Road" Cowl, for the lovely lady

I love the lovely lady who gives me lovely massage.  I can't begin to describe how much I love her.  I love her in many ways...

Firstly, she gives me lovely massage.
Secondly, she is just a lovely person.
Thirdly, she and her lovely massage (which to be honest is less than lovely at the time), are the only reason I can still even contemplate knitting.

I think in order, those reasons actually go second, third, first, in priority terms for me.  When I realised that item two on that list was the reason I loved her most, closely followed by item three, I knew I needed to make her something.  That, plus her truck sized hints about loving button up neckwarmers.


I made the Yellow Brick Road Cowl, which you can find here.  This pattern is lovely and an easy knit.


Here it is on Jesse.  In traditional form.

I chose Cascade 220 (100% Peruvian Highland Wool) for this pattern, from The Stash Cupboard here in Hobart.  The original link to this pattern has many ways to wear it such as this aw…

Action Kivu - donation time!

Just a quickie to say I just gave to Action Kivu - a charity helping women and children in the Democratic Republic of Congo through various initiatives to send children to school and also via a sewing workshop.

I can't imagine anything better than enabling people to make a living and secure place for themselves and their families via sewing and education.  If you feel that way too - please head over to Handmade by Alissa and donate.  There are some amazing prizes just for donating, and the fundraising drive ends tonight (US time) - so be quick about it!

Sew Sweetness Peas and Corn Lunchbag - Pattern Test

The lovely Sara of Sew Sweetness is quite clearly the bag queen (that sounds better than bag lady...).  I was lucky enough to pattern test her latest bag pattern, the Peas and Corn Lunch Bags pattern, and it didn't disappoint.
This pattern includes instructions for the (pictured) round lunchbox, a square top lunch box and two reusable snack bags.  

The zip top lunchbag is deemed advanced, with the round lunchbag being an intermediate pattern (I think the snack bags would be confident beginner probably).  I chose to make the lunchbox out of oilcloth which I had to hand.  Having never worked with oilcloth before, I decided to make the intermediate bag :)
Overall the pattern was well thought out and easy to follow.  I love the little hints to make things go better and I am really pleased with the result.  I would be happier if I had in fact followed one of the hints to keep the shape more regular which I chose to ignore :)  One day I will learn to believe that people writing pattern…

Happy Birthday to Me!

A lovely lovely day and an amazing set of presents including:


This gorgeous Fossil bag from Nick and the kids

A great ring from my sister (sorry - ghastly picture...)

A French curve - also from Nick and the kids (more on the plans for using this later...). It arrived from Tessuti, beautifully wrapped in a pattern piece from some McCalls pattern - great packaging!


A nice glass of bubbles and a new Breaking Bad :)

A family and friends party on Saturday and lots of love and cuddles from the small people (not pictured).

What more could anyone want?

Haul from the craft fair (Melbourne)

For the last two years (three including this one), I have headed off somewhere to one of the craft fairs somewhere else in Australia.  We get one here in Tassie but there tends to be fewer stalls and to be honest, it's a good excuse to go fabric and other shopping elsewhere :)

I have yet to revisit the previous posts on the craft fair - I like to check what I was planning and whether I fulfilled any of it in the intervening year, though it can be depressing!  I will do that later...meanwhile - here is the haul from this year, complete with grand plans for most of it :)

(That's an Australian twenty cent piece for those who might know what that means in size terms!)

This does not photograph very well at all (and to be fair, it was snapped in poor light...).  This is Italian wool and is black with a kind of textured stripe which is just about visible in the above picture.  Amazingly, this was $20 a metre at Cleggs.  I plan to remake my "smart" winter coat in this, poten…

KCW July 2013 - Pyjamas for James

Finally - the finished pictures of my only KCW "summer" 2013 efforts.  Some "proper" pyjamas for my nephew James:


Overall I am quite pleased with these, though I don't know if they fit him yet (arrives tomorrow!).
The top is Butterick B5586, which I picked up in a discount bin in a fabric shop in Brisvegas when I last visited (that's Brisbane to non-Australians...).


The last PJs I made for him were the pants only, with a (purchased) t-shirt top.  Apparently he loved them but did express a desire for Harry Potter style pyjamas (everyone else hears "cute request", I hear buttonholes...sigh!).

Overall I am happy with the top:  I did lots of super finishing on it like for the pants, to make it as nice as possible.  However, the crappy fabric I used (flannel, Spotlight, nuff said...) was "out" so the lines didn't match the grain.  I could either cut with the grain and have it look out, or cut with the stripes and have it be out. Rock meet…

Not KCW (camera fail) but cute kid stuff anyway...

I wanted to share my finished pyjamas for KCW "Summer" 2013 (my one and only project).  Sadly the camera battery is beyond flat (I may have left it on....) so I have to be patient and will show you something else I have been meaning to blog.


This was my present to a good friend having her third baby (a lovely little girl).

First the bunny:


This is from Debbie Bliss:  Booties, Blankets and Bears.  He (I somehow feel this bunny is a boy, despite the pink accents) is made from gorgeous Milla Mia yarn, from The Stash Cupboard here in Hobart.


He has a cute little tail, made with a pom-pom maker and more of that gorgeous wool.
His wrapping is the free baby snuggler pattern by Lotta Jansdotter.


I made this from some super soft knit (the outside grey and white stripe) and a snuggly flannel with sheep on it from my stash.
The pattern is simple to follow and it looks useful - I must follow up with my friend to see if she is using it (I haven't seen her as much, given the newborn b…