Saturday, 31 August 2013

Second Oliver + S Music Box Dress

As promised here is the second Oliver + S Music Box Jumper dress. I blogged about the first dress here.
Little Miss I had been asking me to finish her dress ever since she saw her twin sister's. 

Just like the 1st dress,  it turned out really well.

 I used some cute red flower buttons on this dress

I think the back looks so sweet with all those buttons!

I really like how the denim keeps the pleat nice and sharp on the front. I'm really looking forward to using one of my other Oliver + S patterns now. I have learnt so much just from making these two dresses

Have a nice day!


Sew Nesting!

Last year in July, I was heavily pregnant with Little Mr Z. As my due date loomed near, everyone kept telling me that I would soon start nesting.

So I kept waiting and waiting for the time when I would have so much energy and motivation to make my house really sparkle before the baby arrived.


I was so so disappointed. I really wanted to make my home perfect, but it was such a chore! But then what did happen was I woke up with an overwhelming sew!!

I remember I took over the whole kitchen table with my sewing machine, cutting board and fabrics! When I woke up, the first thing I did was sew. I pretty much sewed solid for the last 2 weeks of my pregnancy :)

I wanted to make my baby a quilt, so after searching high and low i decided that I wanted to use Moda pure by Sweetwater.

But do you think I could find it anywhere?!  It was an older line of fabric, and no where to be found!
Just when I was about to give up on finding any, someone listed a charm pack on Ebay. Just what I was after :) I bid like crazy and WON! (and paid a lot more than I normally would for a charm pack!)

Because this fabric has really relaxing earthy colours, I wanted to keep the pattern nice a simple too. I decided to cut 2 1/2 inch strips of my background fabric (that I found at my local craft store), and just surround each charm square.

You cant really see it in the photos, but the background is a lovely polka-dot fabric :)

Don't you just love the crinkled soft look/feel a quilt gets after its been washed several times?

I bound it with a solid dark brown, and backing it in a blue fabric. I wanted to keep the quilting fairly simple as well, so I just echoed each seam with 1/4 inch quilting. It was such a relaxing lovely quilt to make! 
Just don't look too closely at my wonky stitching :)

This was also the first quilt I used bamboo wadding instead of cotton, and I LOVE it! So much easier to use, with the added benefit of being hypo-allergenic and eco-friendly too! I found that the bamboo wadding didn't slide around like cotton does when its in the 'quilt sandwitch' (the top, wadding, and backing all basted together).

 And here's an adorable photo of Little Mr Z enjoying his quilt today in the sunshine! (Last day of winter!! YAY!)

Take it easy!


Thursday, 29 August 2013

Oliver + S Music Box Pattern!

It seams that I never realise how fast my twins are growing until their clothes don't fit any more!

I like them to have some nice dresses for when we go to church, weddings, etc... However, they have both grown so much lately that their dresses are getting too short! (Sob! My babies are growing up. I already have a sick feeling whenever I think of them going to Kindergarten next year!)

As my girls are quilt tall for their age (they have no choice in the matter as I'm 5'8'', and hubby is 6'3''), I find it really hard to find dresses that are long enough (by long enough I mean past their knees.....gotta love a modest girl).

So why not make them one?  I thought to myself.

I had this pattern in my cupboard, Its Oliver + S Music box jumper pattern. Just look how sweet that paper doll looks :)

There are two versions of this pattern, A and B.

I chose B. I really love the little pocket and button detail on the front (and it had less pleats......anything to make it easier!)

This pattern is only 1 out of 4 scissors in difficulty (Oliver + S's way of indicating how hard a pattern is), So I thought it would be a great one to start with.

I went shopping for fabric at Spotlight (Australian craft store), and picked up some cute denim with red flowers and an adorable green corduroy with white hippos and pink birds *love*.

I just have to tell you, Oliver + S patterns are so professional. They give such clear instructions and the end result is so finished and neat, it hardly looks like something I have made. Seriously!I can hardly rave about them enough! Even the inside of this dress has all the seams tucked away. Little miss E could wear this dress inside out and it would look as neat as the front!

Another thing I loved about this pattern was they explained WHY. When a pattern tells me to do something, if I think I can get away without doing it, I will.
Not so with Oliver + S!
Every step that I would normally skip had a description as to why it needs to be done. Needless to say, I followed every step completely, and the dress really has a professional look :)

I picked up some really cute little pink bird buttons from my local craft store , and VIOLA!! One adorable dress! (not as adorable as the model though, of course!)

Now for the second dress for Little miss I. I'll put up so photos of that one when I finish (which will have to be soon as we will have one jealous twin if its not done by Sunday!)

 Take care!


Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Swooning over swoon!

SWOON is here!! It finally came!

I love this pattern! So beautiful! This is another pattern from Camille Roskelly.  You can check it out here
(There is also a PDF version for those who cant wait!) 

After looking at this pattern, I realised that I must really really like this pattern!
It looks suspiciously similar to the quilt I'm making now....

This is a Quilt-a-long that I'm doing. The lovely Melissa, over at Happy Quilting is hosting it.  I was so happy when I caught the start of it! I L-O-V-E how its turning out. I'm making a queen sized 4 x 4 block quilt. Melissa is the perfect hostess too! On her flicker page, she gives a lovely comment on every-single-photo that's uploaded! Now that's dedication!!

I'm making my quilt from Joel Dewberry's Heirloom fabric. The background is Kona stone. I'm really loving how its coming together! When I showed Mr Handsome my Joel Dewberry fabric, he thought it was way too bright (and so did I), but the stone really tones it down without detracting from the beautiful colours in the fabric!

But, no matter how similar these quilts may be, I'm still going to make swoon & love it just as much!

Ill be sure to update my progress, and gush over my new Swoon pattern some more later!

Stay Tuned!


Twin little fairies

In May Little Misses E and I had their 4th birthday. I decided that this year they could have a party, as we hadn't had a party with other children since their 1st Birthday.
I originally wanted to just have all little girls, and have a fairy tea party, but my friend Kate wanted to come with her little boy, so we decided to have a fairy/pirate party!

I'd had this Simplicity pattern sitting in my cupboard for quilt a while....

I purchased it when the local Spotlight store had a two-for one pattern sale. To be honest I thought I would never make it. It looked way to complicated for my meagre dress-making skills! However when the girls saw the pattern they LOVED it! So I thought I'd give it a go, and if worst came to worst, I'd just buy another present for them.

I gathered my fabrics (sweet, sweet fabric shopping, oh how I love you!), and started cutting.
Cutting is always my least favourite part of sewing dresses, unless they have under 5 pieces. Sadly this pattern had a LOT of pattern pieces so it took a bit of time!

 It was so disheartening to finish cutting one dress out, only to have to start all over again with the second dress! Just one of the joys of having twin girls I guess!

Then for the fun part! Once I figured out the bodice on the 1st dress, the rest was a breeze :)

This Simplicity pattern really was just that! Simple! The dresses looked just like I hoped they would! Its a great pattern.

Sorry for the dark cupboard photos! They were a surprise so I had to be sneaky and keep them locked up in my fabric cupboard :)
The only problem I ran into was Little miss I's dress  (the blue one) was too wide in the neck. It wasn't too bad or anything, but it was definitely not as nice as little miss E's pink dress. I planned on unpicking it, and tightening things up a bit, but after I saw it on her, I decided against it (I loath unpicking, and it didn't look too bad).

I'm so glad I made these dresses. Not only do Little miss E & I love them, but it really gave me the confidence boost I needed to tackle more dress making projects!


Jessica :)

Saturday, 17 August 2013

100 Quilts for Kids

Over at Swim Bike Quilt, Katie Blakesley is having her 100 Quilts for kids annual charity drive.

Once a year Katie encourages everyone to make a quilt for charity (preferably a local one), and then donate it to a child in need. There are some fantastic prizes to be won as well. Once your quilt is make, you can link up a photo to be in the draw.

To find out more about this, head on over to Swim Bike Quilt or click the button below :)

I have always wanted to donate a quilt, and now seems like a good time to start. I'm thinking it could become an annual thing for me :)
I know the Royal Children's Hospital where Little Miss E had her heart surgery accepts quilts and other things (well they did 4 years ago when we were staying there). I'd love to give something back to that place as without the dedicated nurses and doctors, she wouldn't be here with us today.

Quilts have to be finished by the 30th of September. I'm going to see if I cant round a few friends up to make one with me as well :)

Watch this space!


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Minky dust

A few months ago one of the mums at little miss E and I's kindergarten was expecting a baby! She was due any tick of the clock and having a hard time, especially with her two little ones.

So I decided to make her something (that's my answer to everything! Having a hard day? Here, let me make something for you). Its also really nice to have something handmade for a brand new bub,I loved receiving handmade items when I was expecting.

I played around with the idea of making her a quilt, but decided against it. I didn't have the time or motivation (I know! The very idea of me not wanting to quilt is hard to get your head around, but it did happen! Right after I made my sister in law, Susan, a quilt. But that's a story for another day).

So as i didn't want to sew clothes I decided on a toy!
I've had this book, Storybook Toys, by Jill Hamor, sitting on my self for a while now, and I hadn't made anything from it. I decided I needed to rectify that quick-smart!

This book is amazing!! If you are looking for the most stunning dolls in-the-entire-world, then this is the book for you! Its full of vintage 1940's inspired patterns and the instructions are so easy to follow.

As well as dolls, there are other toy patterns, including this adorable Cottontail bunny! (isn't he sweet?)

As soon as I saw him I knew he would be an adorable baby gift so I raided my stash and found the perfect bunny material!

The cream coloured material is rosebud minky, and the white is a cuddle minky. The rosebud minky is so lush! Its unbelievably soft, (believe me, you cant imagine just how soft until you feel it!) and the way the minky fibres form little roses is adorable! Perfect for a newborn babies toy!

So one night, after the kids went to bed, I traced the pattern and started cutting. That's when things got really bad!

I had never used minky fabric for anything, and what I didn't realise is that when you cut it, the fibres go absolutely EVERYWHERE, and the rosebud minky was the worst!

The fibres were in my mouth, nose, and eyes, all over my clothes, and lets not mention the kitchen! Seriously, the air was full of tiny little minky fibres. I was sitting in a Minky dust cloud! It was so bad that I swore I would never use that fabric ever again! (However I did change my mind after I saw the end result).
I have since been told that when cutting minky fabric one should wear a mask. So if your planning on using it, my number one tip would be to get one before you even THINK about touching those scissors! (and a pair of goggles probably wouldn't go astray either!)

I found once I had cut it, and got rid of the loose strands of minky from the raw edge (and had a shower), it became bearable.
The pattern on the other hand was a dream to use. Clear diagrams and instructions, and so quick. I whipped it up in one evening (minus the stuffing).

The next day, little miss I woke up with a terribly sore throat! Poor little thing had tonsillitis. When she saw the nearly finished rabbit, she loved it. She wanted to hold it and play with it, and was so miserable and sore, that I gave it to her (so much for my friend at kinder!).

I took her out to the local craft store and let her pick the eyes and the ribbon for its neck, then we came home and I sewed it all up for her. She loved it, and loves it still.

The only things I will do better is the nose (you can hardly see it on this bunny!), and its head was a little misshapen. (But that just adds to its charm right?) I also want to try this pattern using Chinelle.

Here is another picture of it with some Sarah Jane Fabric, because everything looks better with a sweet pile of Sarah Jane fabric! :)

Until next time!


Tuesday, 13 August 2013

A Churn Dashing Baby Quilt!

To kick off, I'm going to share with you my latest finished creation.

In June I splurged and purchased both books from the amazingly talented Camille Roskelly (who happens to also be the designer of the beautiful quilt pattern 'Swoon', of which I am anxiously awaiting in the mail!).

Her books 'Simplify' and 'Simply Retro' contain some stunningly amazing quilt, and also look fantastic in my book shelf! What more could one ask for??

She takes your everyday classic, time-honored blocks then loves and nurtures them till they grow into a happy marriage between modern and vintage. Her quilts have all the fresh-facedness (is that a word?) of a modern quilt, but the comfort and familiarity of a traditional. Genius!

So anyway, when I received her books I just knew I HAD to make them all!! So I called my Sister-in-law, who was 8 months pregnant to tell her I was going to make her a quilt!

Now is a good time to mention that when Sarah Jane's first two fabric lines came out, 'Children at play' and 'Out to sea', I was completely obsessed! Who wouldn't be, I mean fabric covered in little girls with their dolls, rockets, ships, and the most adorable boarder print you will EVER see!

Just look at that! Scrumptious!
So since I have a rather embarrassingly large pile of Sarah Jane fabric in my cupboard, I decided to use some of it to make this pattern from 'Simply Retro', which is a take on the traditional churn dash block.

This Quilt calls for charm packs (5'' square blocks), and once I cut those from my cherished stash, the quilt came together rather quickly. It was surprisingly easy, although I did make a mistake when reading the pattern and accidentally cut double of what I needed. Eek! After a brief panic that I'd cut my Sarah Jane fabric unnecessarily, I remembered my sister is having a baby boy in October. Cue one big sigh of relief *phew*. I decided then and there to make her the same quilt :)

So here it is. Ta-Daa!
I decided to add a 1 1/2'' white boarder, followed by a 1'' red boarder then finished with another 1 1/2'' white boarder. I did this purely to make the quilt bigger as the original pattern was too small for my liking (I also think it improves the look of the quilt too!). I ideally like my baby quilts to be around the 1 yd x 1.5 yd mark. This is so it can be used for longer, as children tend to have a habit of getting bigger, and I like my creations to be used for as long as possible.
I know what you must be thinking! But this quilt is square! Yes I know, but it ended up around 45 inches square, which satisfied my frugal-ness better than the 36'' square quilt in the book. 

I quilted this by echoing the inside small white square, and stitch in the ditch around the 9 larger blocks. Not very exciting I know, but time was of the essence, as my SIL was headed back to sunny Townsville in Queensland the next day and I had to have it done! (Did I mention Mr Handsome grew up in Townsville?)

 For the back I used a nice spot fabric from Riley Blake. Its not the best photo, but if you squint a little, you can almost see the quilting :)

Needless to say, my newest nephew (I have 3 now!) was so adorable. In fact it made me clucky all over again. Luckily for me the sane part of my brain was still working and reminded me that if I get pregnant now, I will have 4 children at home, as Little misses E & I don't start school till 2015! As much as I would love another, I value my sanity too much.

Signing off!


Monday, 12 August 2013

Hello there!

So if your reading this you've obviously stumbled across my blog! Welcome :)

Since this is my first post I had better write a little about me (to save explaining myself later).

I'm a quilting, crafting, sewing, creative mother of three beautiful children. I have twin girls who are 4, lets call them little miss E and little miss I, and a one year old boy who we can call (yep, you guessed it) little Mr Z.

I'm also the wife of Mr handsome (sounds soppy? Well let me tell you that this is the shorted version! Yes, if I were to give you his full name it would be something like Mr incredibly handsome and muscled, funny, loving, awesome father, helps-me-with-dishes-EVERY night (yup you read that right!), most awesome best friend, perfect-for-me-in-every-way!)

Perhaps when I feel more comfortable sharing personal details on here I will, but since I don't know you and you don't know me, this is what were doing to start with.

My name is Jessica ( I feel comfortable telling you this as I share this name with my fellow 1/6th of the worlds population who also have unimaginative parents) and I'm 20-something years young.

I'm starting the blog to share with you my crafting adventures. I have many dreams and goals, which I'm sure I will bore you with soon enough, but now I can put a big tick next to "start my own blog"!

Over and Out!