Friday, 25 October 2013

My New Boss Mary!

Its HERE!!

 Yesterday I received a parcel in the mail, and it was full of lovely fabric from Mary! It feels like I have been waiting for this to arrive for ages!
I couldn't wait to get home, so I snapped a photo in the car then ripped it open!!

And there it was, my currently-most-favourite pattern from Oliver + S! (I must admit to a little girly-squeal in the car when I saw this pattern)
I have been wanting this pattern ever since it was released a few months back, and have been so tempted to buy it, but I thought Id wait until I saw what Mary sent me, *just in case*.
I'm so glad I did! Now, not only do I have the pattern, but the most beautiful fabric to go with it as well!

She sent me some navy blue cotton pique for the pants (which I LOVE the texture of, and I'm sure it will be super comfortable for Little Mr Z too), some light blue cotton blend for the lining, pockets, and waistband facing, and some stitched cotton Jacquard for the vest, which is my absolute favourite!! I am really looking forward to whipping up that vest, just so I can look at and play with that fabric some more! Its going to look so scrumptious on Little Mr Z!!

She also included a little pouch bag for all my notions! Its actually such a good idea, as when I'm sewing, the kiddies like to help. When I say 'help' I mean, nick off with all my bits, so I have to hunt them down when I need them! Also for some reason, Little Mr Z likes to suck the reels of cotton, which is lovely, because then my cotton gets all slobbery and wet! Usually if I'm missing a reel or a bobbin, Little Mr Z's mouth is where I'll find it. Lovely.

Thanks Mary for the bag!! I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner!

As well as all the notions needed for this pattern, she threw in some lovely wooden buttons for my girls. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to use them for yet, but they are so pretty, and I'm thinking perhaps winter coats?

Thanks so much Mary! I really don't think I could've picked better for myself! I think I will really enjoy being bossed around my sewing machine!
Mary hasn't received her parcel yet (I was a few days late in posting it! Opps!), but I'm hoping she will love it as much as I love hers!!

Come back soon to see the results!!


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Quilt Binding Tutorial

 I've decided to make a tutorial for binding a quilt. Its really quite easy, and I hope I can explain it clearly.

If you haven't already, trim your quilt's excess wadding and backing. The backing and wadding should be trimmed to the same size as your quilt top.

First thing you will need to do is cut your binding fabric into 2 1/2'' strips WOF (width of fabric). The WOF is from selvage to selvage.

Once you have your strips you will need to sew them all together to make one long strip. The best was to sew them together is on the diagonal.
To do this lay one strip out like so (face up), and lay the second strip on top (face down). Then sew from corner to corner, as indicated below. (sorry for the scrappy photo, still learning!)

After that is sewn, trim the seam to 1/4''. (if you keep your scrap triangles there are quilt patterns that use these scraps). Sewing your strips together this way (instead of straight edge to straight edge) will not only give you a more professional finish, but it reduces bulk.

Continue sewing all of your strips together until they are all joined.

Once you have your long roll of binding, fold it in half, with wrong sides together and press.

Get one end of your binding, and starting in the middle of one side of your quilt (your quilt should be right side up), line up the raw edges of your binding, with the raw edges of your quilt.

Using a 1/4'' foot, sew the binding to the quilt, leaving about a 4'' 'tail'.

(In this photo, there is an un-sewn 4'' portion behind where I'm starting. I'm opening the fold to show that the raw edges are lined up with the raw edge of the quilt).

Now, when you get to the corner keep sewing until there is only 1/4'' left. Reverse to tie your stitches and remove from machine. (As seen Below)

Now, fold your fabric up, as below.

Then fold it down, keeping the edge of the fold you just made lined up with the edge of the top of the quilt.

Now put that under your machine and sew from the top, 1/4'' as before.

Repeat for all other corners. When coming back to the start, stop 8'' before where you started sewing. 

Now, line up your binding, and cut it (straight), allowing for a 1/2'' overlap. Open up the binding and with right sides together, sew the ends together with a 1/4'' seam. (Some people like to sew this seam on the diagonal too, but I find it much easier to do it this way, completely up to you).

Then finish sewing your binding to your quilt top.

Now flip your binding over to the back of your quilt and hand stitch in place. You'll notice that your corners will be already perfectly mitered in the front. I love that! Its such an easy, professional way to bind a quilt!

And there you have it! I hope that was helpful. Any questions feel free to ask :)


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

The Pigeon Has Landed!!

When I saw that Cloud 9 was releasing a range of fabric from the book "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive The Bus", I knew I had to make it into a quilt. To say that Little Miss E loves that book is an understatement!! She knows all the words, and she cant even read!

When I ordered it, I was really excited, and whipped the quilt top up in record time. Then it sat in my cupboard.....for about 5 months!

I really didn't know how to quilt it. I haven't as yet quilted any quilt with my darning foot (free-motion), so I got it out, made a few 'quilt sandwiches' and had a practise! It was a lot more difficult than I though!

So I put that back into the 'too-hard' basket, and got out my handy-dandy walking foot! (I quilt EVERYTHING with my walking foot!) If you look in the picture above you can see that I have quilted it with pigeon feet! Little Miss E loves that that naughty pigeon walked all-over her quilt! At first I made the 'tracks' go in different directions, but after quilting about half, I stopped and had a far-away look at it. 
It was a MESS! So of course I got frustrated and jammed it put it back into my cupboard. 

Little Miss E then asked if I had finished it..... so I got it back out again. 
Mr Handsome told me that it would look better with the pigeon feet going in straight lines. He was so right! So I spent the rest of the night unpicking and re-quilting. 

I used a stripy fabric from the range cut on the bias for the binding. This is the first time I have done bias binding, it wasn't as hard as I thought, and I really like the diagonal stripe.

 The back was the cheater print from the range. I really like how the back is just as fun as the front and that the quilt is reversible.

I also ordered the panel and used the cushion templates as an appliqué. I love how the pigeon is eyeing off the bus!


When I gave this quilt to Little Miss E she got out her book and started matching the pictures on the quilt with the book! So cute! I can see this quilt is going to be loved and cherished!

Then of course when Little Miss I saw her sister getting her photo taken, she had to have some of the action. 

I love this photo!


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Bringing back the Culottes!

 Is it a skirt?

Is it some shorts?

 NO! they are Culottes! (and very wrinkly ones too! Oops...forgot to iron!)

I have been really looking forward to using this pattern from Megan Nielsen ever since I got it! I decided to use this polka-dot fabric for a trial run, as I didn't want to cut into the lovely mustard-coloured fabric I have set aside for this! 
In saying that however, I LOVE the polka-dots, and will definitely wear this in the upcoming summer months! Its the perfect pair of culottes for the beach!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I love the nice little booklet that comes with this pattern, especially the variation ideas and the note taking page. However, what I didn't realise is that the pattern is printed on normal paper. I mean, like paper from your printer. I really don't like that!

It meant that I couldn't cut underneath the pattern to the size that I want, which is what I usually do. So I had to make a pattern out of baking paper! It was SOO AWFUL! 
Ha ha, it actually wasn't too bad, but it did take time and effort. 

 I was in between sizes, so I just traced in between the lines. Quite easy actually. I think I may have measured my waist incorrectly, (or I measured on a 'skinny day'..which is one in which I haven't stuffed myself with food) because the waist was a tiny bit tight. The pattern does say that it should be snug, and it was. It wasn't really bad, or cutting off circulation, and I could still bend and move with ease, but I may make my next version just a few centimetres bigger.

Because I'm tall, the crutch in these was a wee bit high (pardon the pun). If I was going to make another high-waited version, I would definitely lengthen that slightly. Again, it wasn't too bad, or even uncomfortable, but it could be more comfortable a little lower.

It was really easy to lengthen this pattern. In fact, it gives you directions on how to do it. The original pattern is way way too short for me. I lengthened this pattern by 6 1/2'' (you'll have to excuse my switching back and forth between imperial and metric), which was as long as I could make it with the amount of fabric I had. I really like this skirt, but its still verging on too short, so I'm thinking of adding some nice cotton lace trim to the hem. I love lace, and I'm of the opinion that it would enhance ANY item of clothing. You can never have too much!

Overall I'm super happy with these. They are comfortable (despite all my complaining) and flattering. One thing I have noticed is that the back hem is about 2'' longer than the front. If you look at the photo below on the left, you can really see it.


However depending on how I stand, sometimes it not noticeable (see the photo above on right). After a quick search through other blogs, it appears to be a common problem, and most people it seams (I'm on a roll with these puns!) have cut the back hem to be level with the front. However, as a pear shape, a bit of extra bum coverage never goes astray! So I am going to leave it as is.

Overall this pattern is a winner! Be warned however, if your planning on making these longer than the pattern, you will need a LOT of fabric. The legs just keep getting wider and wider as the pattern gets longer.

They're fun to twirl in too, and gives peace-of-mind that if there is a bit of wind about, that its not going to fly over your head. Although, you could definitely do a bit of flashing if your not careful as each 'leg' is really quite wide! Just so you know.

I just wanted to make a small mention of an online shop I found here in good ol' Oz. Its called Indie stitches, and the owner is oh-so-nice!

But the best thing about it is, they stock really nice patterns and have free shipping Australia wide! I know I'm always really jealous of the lucky Americans who can get free shipping for practically EVERYTHING, while I have to pay a small fortune. Just thought I'd share.

Well, the kiddies are in bed, and I'm off for a spot of sewing!


Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Sew Bossy Round One!

Sew Bossy has come early!!

The lovely Mary from Style Me Mary contacted me to see if I wanted to pair up with her.
YES YES one thousand YES!
We decided to change things up a bit and do it with children's clothes! I'm gathering up a sweet little package for her cute daughter, and Mary is putting one together for Little Mr Z!

I found it really hard to shop for someone else! Especially someone I have never met before, but I love what I choose, so I'm hoping Mary will too.
I would love to give you a sneak peak of what I have got so far, but I want it to be a complete surprise for when it gets to New York.

I want to give her a small taste of Australia, so I'm just gathering the last few fun things to put in, then in the mail it will go!

I'm really looking forward to seeing what she has put together for me. I think I may possibly be getting the better end of the deal. Mary has told me all fabric shopping in New York! It sounds like a far cry from the limited supply of fabric shops here in my part of the world.

But I still like what I have chosen. I actually want to get the pattern for myself to make it for my girls!

So in a few weeks, come back to see the *Grand Opening* of our packages. Im so excited!!!

While your waiting you could check out Mary's blog here. (Just look at how adorable her daughter is!)


(Just in case you were wondering, I am still planning on doing this with Anna as I posted about before. That will be coming at the end of the year.)