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One block wonder - FINALLY finished!

I have been on a finishing off mission ever since we moved to Sydney.  The now rather high visibility of all the WIPs is one reason, sheer guilt at transporting all these half-made things is another.

Of all the finishing off, I think I am most pleased at myself for finishing this one:



I have had this cut out since my son was young enough to sleep in the Phil & Teds Cocoon. That means he was less than six months old.  He is now 5!

In my defence, I liked the idea and then decided I had chosen totally the wrong fabric.  These quilts work by you cutting out 6 identical triangles, then sewing them together to form the kaleidoscope effect.  The ones I like best have very distinct areas of colour in them - whereas the fabric I chose (which has cranes all over it) made the end result very "wingy".  You can see this more clearly in the picture below (pre-assembly)

The  colours are so terrible in this picture - see the ones below for the actual colours!
I got all disheartened when…

Chambray Bluegingerdoll Betsy Skirt

I recently (ish) won a blog giveaway (on Sew Mama Sew) for the Bluegingerdoll Betsy skirt.

Here is the lovely picture from the site itself:


I won the paper pattern which was exciting for me as I have been mainly buying PDFs recently (instant gratification...).  The patterns are in a lovely envelope with the little string closure and there is a good amount of room in the envelope for my traced pattern pieces (important details!).

I made View A, as those button belt-loops look great.



I love it!  I think the shape is flattering and I (mostly) love how it looks in the chambray.  Being able to add a belt really helps with a smarter look and feel.  My one issue is how little recovery this fabric has - the creases you can see here are just from me sitting down in the skirt to put on my shoes to go outside and take these pictures.  I had literally just put this on and it's already pretty creased!  I haven't done a whole day in it yet but I suspect it won't be a super smart effect.…

Sleeveless Archer (sort of!)

Some time ago (like yonks!), Grainline released the Archer shirt.  Like many others, I enthusiastically bought the pattern, traced it out and set about making one.

Not very long into the process I realised that I didn't have enough of my chosen fabric for sleeves :( Given I was living in the middle of a Tasmanian winter, I put it away and got on with other (warmer) things.

Now I live in Sydney, with a personal mission to finish some shit off (smaller house, more visible WIPs pile, slightly sarcastic husband...). So I got on with sewing a sleeveless version - here it is:


I like it.  I would make it again in a slightly more drapey fabric though to be honest, it's now what I would classify as a "sort-of" Archer.  I had to seriously modify this to get a fit I liked (more on that below) which I should say is less to do with the pattern and more to do with me, my body and my approach and my preferred fit.


I like it less tucked in:

I don't think the fabric is drapey eno…

Guest posting at Sew Sweetness for Purse Palooza!

Am super super super excited to be guest posting today over at Sew Sweetness as part of the third annual Purse Palooza!

Go see what I made :) and don't forget to check out all the other great bag reviews in the series too!


Mermaid Costume for Book Week

Yes I know, Book Week was a while ago.  I am not really keeping up with things so much at the moment, but then I did move state, house and job in July...I think I get to be a bit slack!

Someone at my old work in Tassie gave me this amazing dress.  It was a strapless (with boning), shiny turquoise number, with a ruffly frill thing down the side of the skirt.  Apparently, she used to wear it back in the day :)

I have had it in the dress up box for ages (that's why she gave it to me...!) but it falls off Issy still, so we decided to make it into a book week costume instead.

Another crappy phone picture is below:



I loved making this.  As I unpicked the dress I realised it was handmade (because why wouldn't you pour your hard earned time into such a shiny, itchy and ravelly fabric?).  It was really interesting seeing the boning and how it was constructed.

I hacked it in half, left the skirt fairly unchanged (except to make it fit) and then made the top a lot smaller and put shirrin…

Y Do I Do It quilt (or my favourite quilt EVER!)

This one was actually finished quite a while ago, but then we moved and I forgot to blog for about 6 weeks or more, and I forgot I never shared this.

This is my new most favouritest quilt EVER:




Excuse the terrible phone photos, I was feeling very very lazy...

It's called Y Do I Do It (because it is sewn with Y seams) and it was a class at Patchworks in Hobart.  The quilt is the brainchild of my sewing "mom", Jill Griffin who runs Patchworks and it's super awesome.  The blocks are actually sewn as the Y shape, which was at first fiddly but super super satisfying once you got the hang of it!

The pattern for the class was on a slightly smaller scale than mine is, and was designed to be made out of print fabric, but grouped into three sets (light, medium and dark) to achieve the 3-D effect.  Some class participants used different colours, some used prints which were the same colour but split into the three shades, and I used only three, solid fabrics (mostly Kona and in…

Rockstar Bag Pattern Test! (and I'm BACK!)

It's been a while!  In between this post and the last I have moved house to another state, enrolled the kids in school and childcare, found and started a new job and (mostly) sorted out the new house!

I have also been sneakily sewing...


This is the Rockstar Bag - the new pattern from the lovely Sara Lawson at Sew Sweetness.  I was super lucky to get picked as a pattern tester for this one, and it's frankly my most favouritest bag ever!

I used fabrics from my stash - mostly this super funky Echino large scale polka dot.  The colour looks pretty true here, perhaps a little bit more mustardy in real life?

This bag pattern is (as ever...) awesome!  There are tons of details and the result is super professional.  As ever, I totally cocked one bit of it up (the sizing of the main panels) but not so significantly that the end result isn't great.  I think if you make this according to instructions at appropriate scale, it would be about 1 inch wider.  C'est la vie...


Another t…

Moving house...

And job and state and kids schools and childcare and LIFE!

We are packing up and heading to Sydney - which is, if nothing else, a whole lot warmer than Tassie!


While this looks very organised, the disturbing back story is how many other tubs there are...

I would like to say this is a surprise, but to be very honest the first thing I thought of when we realised we would be moving house, likely to somewhere rather smaller, was what on earth I might do with The Stash of Doom!  Time to be a bit more disciplined about sewing up my stash only (mostly) I think!!!

Anyway - this blog might be quiet for a good few weeks while I move everything and everyone, get settled and get some internet action cranking in the new digs.  Happily for me, yarn club will still be sending me projects of awesomeness (poas, as they will now be known...), so hopefully I can at least keep up with some rather more portable knitting.

See you on the sunny side!


Week 7 of the Wardrobe Architect series focused on prints / patterns and solids.

I laughed when I read the title, as I knew my answers were going to be all along the same vein.  I just don't do prints/patterns very well at all.  The exercise which asked us to pick the 10-20 most worn items out of the wardrobe and see what percentage of them were printed?  HAHAHAHA.  If you don't count stripes, none of mine were patterned at all.

In a nutshell here is what I knew already:

I massively prefer solidsI do like textural variation (so slubby dye variations for example)I love stripesI don't mind an indistinct dot or something like a chevron (which is clearly just messed up stripes...)All other patterns need to be small-scale and non-novelty and not in-your-face-patternyI hate florals.  Even small ones.
What did I learn?  Perhaps that I should be more targeted in making sure I incorporate patterns into my wardrobe and that I buy fabric with pattern!  I also reminded myself that ther…

Wardrobe Architect: Weeks 5 and 6

So I have let this series slide a bit with all the whirlwind changes going on in real life (moving state...!).  However, I was finding it useful and once we have moved, I want to try and apply the analysis to the things I sew in my new life :)

So here is more...

Week five and six of the Wardrobe Architect Series were all about colour.  The first exercise required us to go and play with colours we liked and come up with a palette we are drawn to.

My first effort at doing this is below:


Apparently, I like blue :)

Actually, I don't think this palette is truly representative. The tool I was using made it hard for me to get to the colours I really wanted (as they aren't very colourful) and I am not sure the colours are really representative/true.  The grey-ness of palette 3 looks on the edge of lilac (definitely NOT a preferred colour!) and the mustardy colour I chose in P4 looks too yellow.

What I can say for sure is that I like these colours:
BlackGrey - pretty much all shades.  …

Jellywares Yarn Club - Gaptastic Cowl

I have wanted to make this cowl for so very very long (why have I not?), so I was super excited when the latest yarn club instalment had this as one of the recommended patterns.

Here is it as a wip:



I love it.  So much so that my terrible phone picture put this in soft focus.  OR, the camera is dirty :)



The Gaptastic cowl is a free pattern from Jen Geigley on Ravelry.  It's pretty much an awesome seed stitch big loop and the colour of the wool that Jodie from Jellywares sent in the latest yarn club instalment was the perfect colour for this pattern

The cowl itself is so spongy and soft and can be kind of adjusted to sit however you want.  Here I a looking like I just found a very difficult maths problem in the bathroom mirror:



And again, wearing it with my super power suit (in my work bathroom) as a non-wrapped cowl.  Again a truly fabulously bad photo, but despite that you probably get the gist of how awesome this cowl is (it truly transcends my crappy photo skills!)


Carnaby Cape Pattern Test - Handmaker's Factory

I was lucky enough to get the chance to pattern test the Carnaby Cape for Handmaker's Factory a little while ago.


I was interested to see when I got the pattern that there were no actual cape pictures.  Instead a rather lovely picture on the cover as above, and some extremely clear line drawings as shown below.  
 The first thing I noticed when I finished the cape was how much it resembles the line drawings.  This might seem like an odd point, until you see how many pattern reviews have comments like "the sleeves seem longer than in the drawings" or similar. Score one for the cape!

The cape is an interesting take on the usual buttons-to-create-sleeves approach as it uses a tie belt instead.  The tie feeds through some rather lovely bound buttonholes, and I was super impressed by the clarity of those instructions.  The pattern calls for a medium to heavy weight fabric with some drape, which does not fray (unless you want to finish the hem with a bound edge or similar).  I…

Captain America Pyjamas

A very special young lady was in search of some super hero pyjamas.

Here is a truly terrible picture of the result :)


The bottoms were the Alex and Anna Winter Pyjamas pattern without the cuff and the top was a Skinny Flashback Tee from Rae.
I cut the sleeve piece for the top in two at what seemed like the right point for the contrasting arms, then made two new pattern pieces from that single sleeve piece (you just have to add seam allowances on for when you sew it back together - it needs to end up back at the same size as the original piece would have been).  
I cut a star out of some wadding stuff I had left over (I think it was Annie's Soft and Stable, though I can't imagine it would matter awfully, as long as the stuff doesn't fray or shed fibres everywhere) and appliqued that onto the front with a zig zag around the edge.  
I then made the stripey curved front  piece to go on, and came up with the super (I thought!) clever idea to make that a kangaroo pocket instead …

Jellywares Yarn Club! It's where the cool kids are at...

I have followed the Jellywares blog for a long time now (as one of those silent, slightly stalky blog reader-but-not-commenter people).  Jodie lives somewhere remote in New South Wales, in a life which couldn't really be much different to mine (I have always lived in a City, though my current-and-forever hometown Hobart isn't exactly New York...).  Her blog is a gentle and natural narrative about life there and is mostly craft-centric (which pleases me).  She is also ridiculously prolific in her makings (also pleases me, I am not a patient reader!) and she sells gorgeous yarns too!

So when she launched a yarn club, I looked at the unfinished wool-related projects I have (crochet shrug, knitted beanie, knitted top and knitted socks) and thought - why not?  I love surprise packages of craft stuff in the mail, and I love distractions from all the WIPs I have lurking ready to depress me at a moment's notice :)

The yarn club was launched via her Facebook page here, though there…

Wardrobe Architect: Weeks 3 and 4

I am falling a little behind on the architecting.  But that's OK - I intended to work through this process when I had time and only if it seemed useful to me (it does!).

In weeks one and two we explored how style changes over time and how you feel about your personal style (argh!  feelings...!).  Week three was a little more specific - allowing you to explore shapes and how you feel about them and your style.  My preferences are apparently exceedingly middle of the road and can be summarised as below:

Pants and skirts can be any length except really really short and I like a mid to high waistTops and jackets are generally fine but never loose (that pregnant look...mmm!) and never croppedI don't like high necklines (round, turtle) - I find them really unflattering with a large chest. I also don't like strapless or spaghetti straps (again, the boobalinas are influencing preferences).
I enjoyed this week's exercise, probably because it was easy for me and not overly threa…