Saturday, March 8, 2014

havent forgotten you......caught up in "life" at the moment...

No sewing going on at the moment......I miss my daily fix at the sewing machine.  I have projects on the desk ready to go and the intention but no time due to renovation commitments and utter exhaustion.

don't go away completely..... I'll be back...

I really dont enjoy prep work.... but I will share after shots of mums house, later...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Hi Dear Reader!
Just a quick post to show you what I did with the small triangle off-cuts from the sashing around my recent quilt top!  Nothing can be wasted...and a bit of mindless sewing is always good I think....

quick pic and upload - no glamour shot editing here!

.....may end up as a mini quilt for Miss 4's doll house, or a mega mug rug!  20 cm x 20 cm....a big T2 cup I think...

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Jelly roll and layer cake, and not a kilojoule in sight!

I love those names!
I have had some days away from school for a number of reasons. Together with the school commitments, I have and a range of other things I am doing and there has been very little sewing at 'Yellow Fibro'!...and little at school at the moment!

But I have been slowly working on another fashion doll - to be revealed later - not too much later I hope - and I spent a day with Mum (Her at the iron and sitting next to me passing the next strip and piece!)  As it is, it covers the top of a queen size bed.  Not my usual colour way but there was something about some of the fabrics and colours that appealed.

...forgive the early evening sun through the tree 

Missouri Quilt company tutorial - Double Slice Layer cake pattern - completely random piecing
Fabric - V and Co by Moda - 'Colour me Happy' for both layer cake and jelly roll

Now to work out a backing with the remaining jelly roll strips and I think I'll wait for the fabric to be released by the metre and pick one out.  Then a 'scrappy'' binding to keep it simple!  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Long time, no see....

Hi Dear seems all I am doing at the moment is letting you know I am still here....

Back to school I have hit the ground running and have made a large number of commitments that are taking my energies...

BUT, I did get a Spoonflower delivery today of a fabric I have wanted to create for some time.  I have a very talented artist mother.  I had a watercolour Mum had done for her Christmas card last season, but didnt quite get around to putting the finishing touches onto it.
...enter me...always on the lookout for fabric.  I loved it and thought the 'Spoonflower treatment' was in order.

The Postie delivered it today!

30cm high Leucadendron and Protea repeated in a half tile pattern, watercolour by Vivienne

I had it printed onto the linen cotton canvas with the thought of cushion covers for the sofa or at the least a bag - surprise!  Mum was amazed and completely surprised,.....and I could tell by her expression she was very happy with the product!  I am very proud of her work...and I think seeing it in this new light, she was too!

"I never thought of that application before"

Well, Mum, guess are my fabric go to girl from now on!  many sketchbooks and ideas  will keep us in fabric ideas for ever!  I left mum over her hot chocolate thinking about 'toile de jouy' using her cottages and landscapes, and how she could repeat patterns.....I'll get her into that studio again!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Back to school...and all that entails.

So sorry, Dear Reader, to have neglected you recently.

I am still here.

Reasons for my absence:

I am in the midst of a sea of planning, reworking, testing and trialling.....

matching the curriculum to the learning and activities I want ot offer.....

.....and I have more 'food' classes now, which means food orders, different teaching style and the opportunities to sew and make are somewhat limited...

The 'to-do' list for the next week, or two:

I am making another doll - now quite slowly.

Who might this be?
I have the February Bag of the Month to play with....lovely work Janelle!

just a teaser...still not too late to join us!
I want to make a sample of another wallet pattern to  to add to this one provide the Year 11 girls some options...

...and I picked up ANOTHER layer cake on the weekend because I loved the some time will need to be spent mulling over what to do with it...

....pretty much 'the usual'.....I will get back into the swing of it once the weather here in Adelaide doesn't keep popping in to the 40's (Celsius)...way too energy draining in a sewing room without an air-conditioner!

I'll be in touch.....

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Adventures in red leather......

Working on ideas for new projects for my senior school students I have been playing around with the fabulous pattern from Janelle at Emmaline Bags - the Necessary Clutch Wallet.

Ive made it a number of times using fabrics and differing interfacings.  To date, using Soft and Stable has been a favourite for the outer shell - adds structure without weight and crush...I'm thinking the year 11's might like to make this one as a first assessment task.

Anyway - I either make another sample to show them the finished product, or try something new and my existing wallet (I use the NCW for my gear) becomes the sample.
Enter the red leather!

A lovely dress weight red kid.  A Moda fabric for the lining.  Bronze purse twist clasp from Emmaline also. Top stitching thread at the ready.  Leather needle in the machine.

Adventure 1:  Cursing the thicker top stitching thread and poor tension...grrrr

stitching not catching on the flap facing I later did not use.

now that the leather was perforated I decided to try a zig zag
 as a decorative cover  of the sewing line...yuk effect...
Adventure 2:  Stitching dissatisfaction - thread not always catching and then the leather is punctured...

more low growling at the corner.....

Adventure 3:  Marrying the fabric with and reducing bulk

decided against the inner 'flaps' in leather...but needed to stitch the top flap in....slowly
Adventure 4:  Manoeuvring in the machine

decided not to try stiching the lining and pockets through the centre and a small 'dart' was sewn across the lining at the foldline to form an anchor point the anchor point became the spot to stitch all the layers together

...but them I had to hand sew all the layers together tp anchor the pockets on the side flaps

But, it all fits, including the emergency reading glasses

But when all said and done. there is room for more - the mobile phone fits in nicely too!  and I have a funky new red leather wallet!  Woo-hoo! that title should get some reader interest!  :-)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Not quite earth shattering busy work....or 'how to fit even MORE into the sewing room'!

I am lucky!  I have a sewing room, devoted to the pusuit of all things sewing,home to the computer, the sewing machines, all the fabric and everything crafty that I need and use...and Miss 4 loves to use too!

You may remember Dear Reader that I am always on the look out for nifty ways to organise and retrieve 'stuff' will notice I do NOT call it storage!   (Storage means putting it away and never going back to it again while you think you will use it, all the time in denial about becoming one of those secret hoarders soon to be seen on a TV show coming to you! :-) )
While this is NOT an 'earth shattering' post, I thought I'd better check in with you to let you know I'm still here and so you can see the silly but useful thing I did this afternoon....

'How to fit more into the sewing room' instructions:
  1. Turn on computer and locate 'The Paradise' your 'inner Denise'...
  2. Cover the three shoe boxes that really are too good to throw into the recycle bin with some freebie tourist info maps you picked up in Sydney recently (....unfortunately I didn't get to go to the places IN the maps....)
  3. Reorganise the bag hardware into zip lock bags and label them - get rid of the recycled custard tart plastic containers as they didn't fit the cubby hole properly and wasted space...
  4. Slide them into the cubby hole and think to yourself , "Not quite Pinterest but I'm happier with these sturdy boxes than what I used before"....or words to that effect! 
  5. Admire how much room these save and begin planning purchase of next bag hardware order!  (...They'll get used, dont you worry! )
  6. Start looking for more maps and boxes to better put all the purse frames into....

Told you it wasn't earth shattering.....

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Still here?...

I do hope I didn't scare you off yesterday with my mammoth post as I played with new classroom I.T. tools....

Today is very short.


Once again via Booktopia - speedy delivery too!
...just in time too I was about to cut out another doll, but will try another pattern from one of these!  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"Mural . ly" ....and I don't mean the Indian spin bowler either! (cricket reference)

Looking for ideas and working on stuff for school....found another cool site that I am going to try with the Year 10 and 11's for our doll making ideas.  Like Glogster but not, like Prezi, but not, a moodboard with links and  you can invite others to add and collaborate!
THATS the cool bit !.....well, just go and have a look!

I have embedded an image below!

I tried to embed it here for you but I am going to place it in the left hand column for you to click and link into...worked in the preview of the post but not when its really posted....need to learn a bit more about that....

OK try again - too big for the LH column...Ive tried now to pop it in the bottom of the post....see if that works - sorry this post is very much a learning work in progress!

Click on it (left hand column of this blog) and travel around it! I have organised the info into 'slides' and the first few are links to online resources!  Oooooo, clever! See how you could use this?  Think of all those '21st century learning' boxes you could tick! Online collaboration!

So, I spent  a lot of time fiddling with it - learning the ropes, popping in pictures,framing each shot for the presentation -  it will take you through a directed order....yes, just like Prezi ...but you can invite people to join it, they can add things, they can add comments along with you throughout the the moment this is just my input...if I invited you you could add comments and info to it!  This would mean friends, colleagues, however you decided to do it!

I think it will be a great tool for class brainstorming or recording of plans and ideas once the teacher or students have uploaded their information or links or other bits...

 Free join up for 2 murals...I have to decide do I subscribe and will I use it all the time in access to a large screen is limited in the food prep areas...I suppose given they can all add to it, individual screens on laptops may make it easier...and then everyone has a copy, and everyone has had a part in it!

....hmmmmm, just thinking out loud...let me know if you have seen it used or use it yourself...I'd love to know!

I'm no expert, so expect to see me fiddling around with these over the next few months!  I'll let you know how it goes!

Wooo-hooo!  It worked! The two photos on the left of the mural take you to links if you double click on them...the rest are my progress photos and images from making the doll, without titles or notes....I dint like how they sat on the screen, but I will keep fiddling...

Now, back to the last few days of the school holidays - and another doll -  for me!

1 hour later.....apologies if you view via a mobile tablet wont allow me to access it's off to the PC for you if you are interested....

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Introducing, Lillian - 'New Look' model, circa 1947

I have spent the last few days in a challenging but thoroughly enjoyable sewing challenge I set myself!  No, it WASN'T a new bag!  I have been testing out some ideas for my students at may have read the earlier posts when I was creating the doll and the details about her...

I have created a model and her fashion outfit.
...."Introducing Lillian , looking fabulous in her Dior New Look suit".....

Wish the make a gif app had better pixel size
...or I knew how to alter it...

I have had the best fun, drafting up the jacket, making the hat, gloves, even the shoes - good grief! - the silky camiknickers, making the felt hat and all the stitching, and fitting gloves to fabric hands!  (Don't make me go there again!)

I am mad...a tailored jacket complete with facings....i stopped at a full lining but loved doing this one! Ultimately the jacket ended up with hidden press stud closures and 4 seed pearls from an old necklace as decorative 'buttons'...

a Marilyn Monroe moment with the skirt blowing up - so you can see the petticoat and stockings with seam up the back of legs!

decided against a face....still not happy with it(looks like a toddler
 - and I spent the day with the 'littlies' today so it's no wonder -
and wanted the outfit to feature not the face

making shoes...good grief, with heels and inner soles from a yoghurt lid...

in her silky camiknickers and stockinged feet...risqué!

.......the craziest bit was sewing the stockings!  Do you know how long that took?  Way too long for what they are, but when they were sewn onto the suspenders, they looked the part!

Not sure Lillian would approve of the close-up photo here....
My plan is to have each student make their doll, then have them select an era/movie/ theme and dress them accordingly...inspired by this years Wool4skool project brief I think....some designer research, a mood board featuring a bit about the era that inspired....the list of possibilities continues as I work through the curriculum documents.  I will happily share them with you when I am is holidays still remember here....

I wished I'd wired my doll so she could copy the stance...
image form Voguepedia link above
Why Lillian?  I was talking about this project with my Mum and she remembered my Nan - her mum wearing a pret-a- porter (ready to wear) version she purchased for a small fortune at David Jones in the late 40's....sadly no photographs exist as Nan had the habit of cutting her face off the photo if she didn't like the look, or just throwing them out if they didn't meet her standard....that's a whole 'nother story!  Nan'
s name was Lillian....given the red hair wig I had from a make a doll from a cotton real kit I've had for years, the name seemed to fit - both Nan and I are redheads!  It's a pity no photo exists of her in the outfit....this will have to be the nearest thing!

Now I'm thinking of a 20's inspired doll named 'Violet' after Grandma - there IS a photo of her as a teen, in the Sunday best of the era....maybe a 'Vivienne' in her favourite 70's blue shift, and a 'Tracy' in her Cyndi Lauper 80's look.....oh, dear....looks like 2014 is the 'year of the doll'!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bag of the Month - January

I have been testing a pattern for Sara (a.k.a. Sew Sweetness) and decided to make a 'sister' to the Honeymoon Case I made earlier. same fabrics in a different combination.  A big shoulder bag - lots of goodies can be carried in this one!

Fabrics from Spotlight (as used with the Honeymoon Case, previously made)
I decided to keep the bottom of  the bag 'serviceable' by adding a panel over the top of the front and back in the heavy upholstery fabric. Two rows of thicker top stitching thread finish it off nicely!

I added a fabric tab piece to the ends of the long zip. I knew my thicker fabrics would create a bit of a machine obstacle later on - I was right!  Using Soft and Stable interfacing gives bags body and stability but when combined with heavy upholstery fabrics....lets just say I was suitably challenged and my patience was tested a bit....

The white triangle behind the bling is the zipper tab I stitched on before inserting the zip

back view - mandatory label and pocket - tabs on the ends of the zip here too!

The popular 'Flapper' fabric for lining again!

Top stitching galore and the easy to use magnetic snaps.
 I reinforce the tops of pockets with a triangle of sewing too!

Hold your breathe as you turn the corners and manoeuvre the bag through the machine!
Once again the bag 'bling' - this time in antique bronze - from Emmaline Bags - gives the finish a 'did she make that or buy it ?' look.

Two really big divided pockets are on the inside to keep wallet and items from jumbling into each other, and a large zippered pocket on the back of the bag helps for quick access to things with a sense of security.  The front pockets have magnetic snaps.

As I was on holidays when I made this one I'd say it took about two full days and an evening to put together....pretty much nothing else gets done when I sit to sew! (sandwiches and reheated meals or takeaway is the go!)  I don't know....about 30 hours?  I think the cut out and preparation of all the pieces took the longest, and then before I realised I was sewing up the bottom of the lining!

It is a terrific pattern with lots of skills.  Give it a try!  You will get a great bag for your efforts.

Not too late to join!  Go here to find out more!

Two days later - I made another!  ...slight front pocket size variation to introduce a larger gap between the pockets, two pieces joined for the strap, added a key fob to the side seam so I can locate my keys to get into the house in such a deep bag!, silver bag 'bling' from Emmaline again,  higher bottom long will it stay white though?  I know what I'm like!

Now I'm all out of Soft and Stable again!  ...and the jeans and leather needles!  I should buy shares in them!
All the fabrics for both from Spotlight stores.  Home deco and quilting fabrics for bag 2.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Am I crazy? ...or 'the shape of things to come'!

How did you spend your New Years Day?

Still some refining to do, oh, and a head required!

Is it crazy to spend the day hand sewing camiknickers for a doll?  ...and the day before drafting a basic pattern block for 'her'?

It wont hurt a bit....
...despite no bust she still required considerable darts!
still needs some adjustments, gotta love paper towel!

Working on ideas for the Year 10s and making samples ready to inspire or at least explain what I am thinking...The big question is, will the students be prepared to sit and create tiny things by hand?  It will test the patience of many I'm sure!

I don't even have silk and lace...but the doll does!  

Even though the knickers are from the 1940's, I'm thinking of making the Dior 'New Look' suit....hmmm, thinking....

Pattern for doll and camiknickers is this one from here...amazing work in it!
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