Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Summer Sewing! Kids Shorts!

Will they look back at these photos and the Summer of 2014/15 as the daggy Summer their mother made them half a dozen pairs of shorts out of any bit of fabric lying around? Okay. Probably.

But so far I haven't resorted to matching shorts for the twins nor have I sunk to the Von Trapp family level of using curtain fabric. Not yet anyway.

I have cut up and recycled two wrap around skirts though.... The pattern was too high-waisted and too short at first... but I think I've made the adjustments now. How many more can I make before our beach holiday???

Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Garland with Crochet Words! How to

This was relatively quick. There's still time.Do you have an odd ball of cream/white wool and one of red? A crochet hook?

I crocheted the stars from this pattern - I found them to be wonderfully quick easy and a bit addictive once i had the knack.

The letters are from a Handy Kitty free pattern HOWEVER - with 8 ply wool and a 3.5mm hook I found them to be a little too eensy weensy small so I changed the pattern ever so slightly.

1. chain 14 
2. turn and work one slip stitch in each of the next 6 chains (7 slip stitches in all.
3. insert hook in next chain and pull through loop, insert in next chain and pull through loop (3 stitches on hook) then wool around the hook and pull through all three stitches on the hook (this makes the bend in the J)
4. slip stitch in the remaining 4 chains and slip stitch into the start chain and fasten off.

1. chain 15 and join with a slip stitch in the 1st chain
2. work 1 slip st in the next chain, 2 slip stitches in the next chain and repeat this pattern. 
Join with a slip stitch into 1st chain. Fasten off

1.chain 5, turn and work 1 slip stitch into second chain from the hook, 1 slip stitch  in each of the next 3 chain
2. chain 6, turn and work into the 2nd chain from the hook, 1 slip stitch in each of the next 4 chain
3 chain 5, turn and work 1 slip stitch into 2nd chain from hook, 1 slip stitch in each of the next 3 chains. join with a slip stitch in 1st stitch of step 1. Fasten off.

The worst bit is sewing in the ends.

I then made some little fork pom poms.To make a loop for attaching to the garland I tied the ends in a knot over the hook making a little elevated loop.

Next: Plan out your garland.
Then grab your wool and hook: 

To make up the string, chain 12 and join with a slip stitch in the first chain,  creating a loop for hanging the garland

chain 14 (or less of you want you dangly bits closer) and join your first dangle piece (star or pom pom) with a slip stitch through the top of the star or the loop of the pom pom.

continue with 14 chains between stars and pom poms.

when it comes to the word I found it easier to work the whole garland backwards - 

with the "Y" first. 
slip stitch into the top of the y, chain across the gap (around 4 chain)then a slip stitch into the top of the next arm of the "y" 

chain across 6 chain and join with a slip stitch across three slip stitches at the top of the "O"

chain 6 then slip stitch into the top of the "J" 

continue with the 14 chain gap between dangly bits alternating stars and pom poms.

finish with 14 chain then create the loop - 

12 chain and back into the 11th chain from the end to create another loop.

Fasten off

Sew in pom pom ends and string ends.

Stretch the garland chain or press with an iron if you like.

Hang it up! Gift it! 

Or make the letters and stick to a card. Crochet alphabet garlands are pretty exciting! It opens a world of possibilities for funny quotes and song lyrics. I'm possibly a bit too excited.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The last of the coffee sack decorations: STARS!

I've settled on the phrase "coffee sack". Hessian/burlap - got too confusing. Coffee sack is what I used and it covers it best, I reckon!
 The last of the decorations I tried with the coffee sack were stars. Made the same way as teh birds with recycled wall paper backing....

I prefer the birds.
Stars were very prone to the fraying factor.

But still. Recycled coffee sack stars...here they are...still quite lovely...with recycled doily and embroidery details.

Monday, December 15, 2014

vintage kaftan birds - still keeping it eco...

I thought you might be sick of seeing Christmas decorations photographed on my kitchen table. So here are the ones I finished today hanging appropriately enough on the apricot tree. (Don't say I never do nothing for youse. I do care, dear reader.)

The fabric is from a vintage kaftan - but panic not! It was stained and unwearable - obviously! Or I'd be wearing it! I love turquoise blue and silver.

The template is on this previous post.

The stuffing was recycled pure cotton stuffing from a friend's futon. The wings are coffee packets and doilies. The feet are pom pom trim.

A flock of them sewn on the machine one sunny morning and finished today in readiness for gifts for teachers and neighbours.I'm sure you could make them sweeter than me!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

blingtastic glamtastic disco wreath - keeping it eco

This was recycling on top of recycling - recycling to the power or recycling??? Way back in 2011 I made a wreath from an old kids bike tyre . Over the years, hanging it on the west facing front door it has got a bit shabby. In fact something very strange happened to the polystyrene. So this year I scraped it clean and with the help of my crafty seven year old twins we did some mosaic work with old c.d.'s.
I used scissors to cut the c.d.'s and the twins glued with craft glue. Good job girls!

We recycled the see-through bow from the old wreath, added some disco balls and bunches of silver flowers from the craft shop. I stuck the stalks of the flowers into ploystyrene pushed into the tyre cavity. Now get down and boogie Santa!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Crochet Round up!

It's not too late to whip some of these up.

Here's some free patterns and tutorials for lovely hand crocheted ornaments.

My sister made me some of these last year and I love them. Here's a free tutorial on craft stylish

Miniature delicate hearts from craft penguin

And it's worth having a squiz at slugs on the refrigerator website - for ALL THINGS CROCHET.
But for now - the ornaments. 

 And from whiskers and wool blog we have:


Get hooking....

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The all too Familiar Story of Sewing a Dress.

This story has happened before and will happen again. It is probably a story you are familiar with. There are trials to overcome and disaster afoot. it's the story of sewing a dress, as old as time itself.

Once upon a time a girl found an old pattern in a treasure trove op shop back room. She knew the pattern contained all the instructions to become the carefree girls shown on the cover. They were stylish - simple, tall and thin. They laughed and flicked their hair in care free friendship. The girl wanted to be them.

But a pattern is nothing but a set of rules and instructions. The girl went shopping for the right fabric to create the dress of her dreams. It took many years of searching. Then she found this fabric at Rathdowne Remnants and it had that 70's retro charm....

Bravely she got out the scissors and made the cuts. But the instructions were not quite right for her - the measurements were wrong for her size so she made adjustments.
Alas in her rashness and delusions she didn't think it through and cut the pieces too small.

She put the dream away for a month and wondered what to do.... Then, she awoke one morning with the solution! 

She went back to the fabric store and got extra cloth. She re-cut the bodice in a larger size and cut the waist lower in the skirt, which was fortunately possible because of her short stature.

She finished the dress! Alas, she isn't anything like the young carefree hair flickers on the pattern front. But she finished the dress. And it's wearable.