Random Craftiness

Hello my beautiful crafty types.

I apologise for my silence -many reasons, but mostly because whilst i’ve been busy doing things, I’m not sure which of them to tell you about!

Would you like a post about Tasmania? The housemate and i went there last month and whilst there is a supreme plethora of novelty yarn in Tassie, we did manage to find some delicious yarny goodness to bring home. Yes? Ok I shall post about that soon.

In the meantime, I will tell you some random things…

With the arrival of warmer weather, I have gotten out the sewing machine in earnest.

I bought some beautiful silk chiffon to make Chantilly from Colette at the fabric place in the South Melbourne Markets. It was the end of the roll so she gave it to me for $10pm! I couldn’t bring myself to cut it yet, but i did trace and cut out all the pattern pieces and make sure i could get all the pieces out of my fabric. Which i can! yay! so that project will be happening soon.

In the meantime, I decided to finish off a project that has been hanging around since 2008! Remember the apron workshop i went to? Well, as well as picking out fabric for aprons for my mother and my grandmother, I also picked out fabric for my own apron. I found some images on google, used Leanne’s letters and created a stencil for my ‘name plate’ and embroidered it and cut out all the pieces before it all went into storage last year. So all i needed to do was sew it all together!

I apologise for the weird colouring. It’s purple not blue, but can’t seem to get a good shot of it!

This photo is more true to the colours and you can see the kitties!

The very observant amongst you might notice the stray fibres on the apron – this is because it is going to be a crafting (namely spinning and sewing) apron, rather than a cooking apron. It’s too nice to get food all over, and it means i can spin loose fibres, or unpick things, or lay things on my lap without getting my clothes looking any more fibrey than they already do with 2 cats in the house! There’s also useful pockets and the pocket at the top will be primarily for tissues so i don’t always have to stick them in my bra!! (stupid sinuses)

The other sewing adventure in recent times pertains to a certain Cabaret i am performing this week! (if you’re in melbourne, please, come  along). I bought a new corset at Antons (I only have crappy photos so i won’t share yet) and decided (because i am CRAZY) to make a knee length circle skirt to go with it. One trip to clegs and an awful lot of money later, I had some GORGEOUS silk satin and italian lace… Thanks to a circle skirt tutorial from Ruffles and Roses – and a little bit of pinning from my awesome house mate – I now have this…

The lace is unhemmed at the moment and is likely to remain so since it is sitting at a really nice height compared to the hemmed silk now. It won’t fray so as long as i trim any loose bits is should look neat. I used the scalloped edge of the lace fabric to create the waistband. I’m really proud of that!

So already planning some more sewing projects. The wrap dress I asked your opinion on a while ago, the chiffon dress, a maxi in gorgeous light aqua silk with a grey and white print on it, plus all the projects that have been sitting in my sewing box waiting to be made. Sadly patterns and fabric do not mate in the dark producing gorgeous wearable offspring. I have another maxi, a shift dress, a 50s dress and a 70s-ish dress in 3 fabrics all ready to be made, plus a houndstooth 50s/60s style shift cut out and only needing sewing!

Meanwhile, the knitting and spinning continues… but this post is getting long, so next time, k?

weekend workshop

On Sunday I went up to Tacoma in the Melbourne foothills to Foothill Fabrics and Threads – the home of Leanne Beasley –  with a good friend to do an apron sewing workshop. (you can even see a picture of me on Leanne’s blog – and underneath the apron is my awesome handknitted 50s style cardi!)

Now I can sew – I can follow a pattern and put stuff together and make 3D objects from flat pieces of fabric, but it was nice to go to a class and learn some new techniques which can be applied to other items besides aprons and to hang out with some not-knitters (mostly quilters and patchworkers) and generally begin to appreciate why i probably should press my pieces BEFORE i sew them (fine, fine, I get it now!)

I decided to make an apron for my mother for christmas, since when i mentioned the workshop to her she reminded me that all good aprons should have pockets!! With E’s help I decided to do my first stitchery on the pocket! I used to do cross stitch a lot as a child (and this has actually inspired me to FINALLY finish the winnie the pooh xstitch i started over 4 years ago for my little cousins) but I haven’t even stitched onto a proper existing fabric before. But E showed me how to trace the pattern i want and we picked out some thread and i spent sunday and monday nights finishing it off! I managed to sew up the rest of the apron during the class so I only had to sew the pocket on, wash and iron it… and here it is!

finished apron

finished apron

pocket embroidery

pocket embroidery

I’m really happy with it and i think she’ll like it. I’m now also planning two more! one for myself which I’ll probably not get round to till after xmas – with a kitteh and my name on it. the background will be a mid to dark purple with diagonal lines of paler purple flowers, the pocket will be a pale purple with little grey and purple flowers on it, and the stitchery will go on a plain cream before going on the pocket – i might even make a double pocket!

and one for marmie for xmas, even though she’ll tell me off for it! I’ve picked out this gorgeous fabric wih oak leaves on it, and will embroider an owl and ‘marmie’ on the pocket for her.

I hate to think how much i spent *sigh* I deliberately didn’t ask for the total and just chucked a bit of money back in the account when i got home. but mum sill had to rescue me today! ooooops. still, it was worth it to totally learn how to a) make an awesome apron b) do a stitchery (i can always borrow E’s lightbox to trace the image – i even have keys to her house!!) and c) put fabrics together for that sort of project.

while i was there i also asked Leanne about some fabrics for a bag – a sequel to this one made from her pattern!

a bag for knitterly things

a bag for knitterly things

she ended up agreeing upon the combination i had selected, so that will be made sometime soon so i can have 2 knitting bags – I will make the handles longer though – and maybe it will just be my new bag? who knows!

so (ha!) those are my sewing adventures in recent weeks. but that being said, there are many many things i want to sew before i travel next year!

I have already cut out a gorgeous 50s style dress which needs sewing up

I have material and pattern for a 50s fullskirted dress

I have material and pattern for a maxi dress – which i really need for summer

and i have material and pattern for a kaftan style dress – again i really need it for summer (and this one will hide mah belly!) – and that one is TWO summers old!! *sigh*

it never ends!

PS: one more xmas present off the list

Kates bowtie scarf in pure baby alpaca

Kate's bowtie scarf in pure baby alpaca