Friday, December 18, 2009

Goals for 2010

2010 is going to be a different year in the Ashton household. Jalisa is prep age but for a variety of reasons we have decided to homeschool her. A trial.

See, Jalisa and I don't get along sometimes. We need our own space. I am going to need to find more patience. Add to that more discipline (dedication to work that is). I get far too lazy at home.

I can see I am going to have less time on my hands. Working. Homeschooling. I want to try to do more volunteer work at church (they have a tutoring program that I would like to be involved in). So no more doing craft sstuff that I don't care for. I feel this obligation to make as much as I can, just because I can.

Not 2010. These are my goals crafty wise:
  • Winter coats for the kids
  • Work pants for Wayne
  • Something from ugly fabric
  • Something from a retro pattern
  • A winter jacket for me
  • Flannelette PJs for the kids
  • Clothes for me using non staple patterns - phase out cotton tees from work wardrobe
  • Experiment with my ideas for dyeing with my tray and shaving cream.
  • Crafty stuff with Jalisa, that we can use.

Oh, and blog more.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Marbling on new tray

DH's tray works like a dream - though I had some issues with the day being very windy, not good for flat dyeing large pieces. I did not cure this for very long, as the turquoise dye was running everywhere. I am going to trial using my intense blue for a change.

I have thought of a brilliant idea for using my tray with the shaving cream dye thing, but not getting the marbled/swirly look. Stay posted if things work out.

Friday, October 23, 2009

My new dyeing tray and a meet up

Today I met some crafty mamas. This is Lesley with Katherine, Romi with Jasmine, with Jalisa and me at the front. We had a great time. Jalisa wants to play with Katherine again.
Here is the dyeing tray that DH made. He reinforced all the edges, waterproofed the corners and ever applyed tubing around the edges. The tray is huge 1.3 x 1.1m. I have already tried it for my marble dyeing and it is great (once I get used to dyeing the large pieces again)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Dyed goods, skorts, PJs...lots of goodies

So I have finally gotten around to blogging again. It hasn’t helped that we have been through 3 weeks of sickness and therefore sleepless nights (and everytime I go to use the camera, the batteries are flat). Anyway, I am just finishing my holidays and thought it was more than time to do an update.

First up, some PJs for Jalisa. I shortened a leggings pattern for the bottoms and used a singlet pattern for the top. Orange fabric hand dyed by me. I used picot elastic just on the neckline edge, I was too lazy to do it for the armholes as well.

I have wanted to create a skort pattern for Jalisa for ages now, and being on holidays has given me plenty of time for tracing new patterns. My inspiration came from a Mini Metalicus knit skirt – basically a yoke and a little gathered skirt. Attach some bike pants and it should be good. Well, the trial came out alright, but I did not like gathering the knit skirt.

Here is version number 1 in some hand dyed knit.

No more flashing!

I redid the skirt, flared it out. The skirt is probably ¾ of a circle in total. This looks better and is much easier to attach (no gathering). To do the skorts, I traced off some bike pant-length shorts from a leggings pattern and reduced the crotch depth by the yoke amount (but adding on seam allowances. When sewing, make a sandwich of the bike pants, skirt section and yoke and overlock it all together (having already sewn the pants and skirt seams/hems etc). Then do the waistband and ta-da. Modest girly wear.

I bought some plain white undies to dye using the LWI (low water immersion) method.
I found a white bonds skivvy and dyed if for next year's PJs. Jalisa wanted and rainbow. I am no Sara from Willow and Moo so this is what I came up with. Don't ask about my other attempt.
The other pattern I have been wanted to make is a tennis-type dress. Basically a singlet with a attached flared skirt. The first one is going to be a nightie seeing as the drop waist is too dropped. Fabric is dyed by me, a poor attempt at graduation dyeing.
This is my second version. I raised the waist seam by 4cm but I think it is still a little too dropped. Anyway, the top is a little loose, so it may look better next year. If I make it again, I will make the skirt part shorter too I think. I dyeing (dip dyeing) turned out alright I think.
At Christmas we are staying with my PIL’s at a beachfront unit rather than camping, so I needed some modest PJs…somehow my slip from last year wasn’t going to cut it and I need a cup of tea before I do anything else. the material is the same as the robe I made myself last year.The pattern for the boxers is traced from the Kwik Sew book (for adults) – shortening the pants pattern. I have already trimming the waist down on the pattern for next time – the pattern is pretty old and high waisted is not my thing. My coverstitcher was being silly, so the top was downgraded to pajama wear.
And finally, a basic white tee for me.
Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Other quilty blanket

I mostly followed the directions of Thea's puzzle quilt (available free from Amy Butler's website) to make my TV blanket. Rather than having 9 blocks and borders, mine has 16 blocks and extra fabric at the ends to make up the length.
I used the A3 recipes from this site for the blue, green and pink (using turqouise, mixing red and golden yellow procion MX dyes) and then to get the lighter colours, I used the original dye baths (which is saved when you put the fabric into bags) and adding another cup of water. The purple is ultra violet, which ends up very pale with the addition of the extra cup. This site is fabulous because its recipes are very frugal and there is a huge variety of recipes to try. Of course, if you use a different base of primary colours, like I did, the results are different to the colours she has made.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Spent some time sewing...

How can three weeks have gone by since I last posted? Shocking. I have been sewing, but I haven't really finished anything until this weekend.

First I made myself a blouse. It is from my Burda WOF - there are a few different options to make the top different. You can have flouncey sleeves or little cap sleeves. You can have a collar or have a reverse facing. I used a red rayon/polyester that I found on clearance. It has a nice sheen and I just wanted to test the pattern.

Summer has arrived early, so I whipped up some shorts for Scott. I used my old faithful Kwik Sew shorts and added an extension to make a mock fly and Ottobre patch pockets.

I started this a while back when it was actually cold. We like to snuggle under blankets and watch TV and I thought it would be nice to have something other than the plain blue ones that we have in the cupboard. Jalisa wanted rainbow colours, so I hand dyed the fabrics. The recipe I used made vivid colours, so you kinda need sunglasses when looking at it. Yes, the panels are meant to be uneven. The idea seemed good in my head...
I probably broke a heap of quilting "rules." See, I don't like quilting. Dyeing the fabric, yes. Cutting the fabric, yes. Piecing the fabric, yes. Binding, yes. Laying layers on top of each other, egh. Quilting, yuck. Even just straight lines I am really bad at doing. I also only used, shock horror, polar fleece as a backing and no wadding. I ended up dyeing too much fabric in FQs so not enough for my "quilt" and the backings. Whatever.
It is a really windy day, so this was the best photo I could is not that uneven. :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

I am so rude...

I participated in a survey at snailblazer and my name was drawn out - Cass sent me some fab goodies including her traveller (which has come in very handy). So sorry that it has taken me so long, but thank you again Cass for such a great package. Here is my trophey from the State finals of the cotton creations. I came second for my red Bellville Sassoon dress. Check out the shears that I won - they are positively huge compared to my others. The gift voucher will be spent soon I expect.
I have have huge plans for next year, and I have decided I need to start soon and get some entries made this year. By the time the show arrives at Ipswich, I am generally in full swing with sewing the kids' winter wardrobes. Next year I will be schooling Jalisa too so I will have even less time.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

More curved raglan sleeved tees

I think whoever designed this tee-shirt is a genius. It is my favourite tee pattern.
The latest issues had added a hoodie to the pattern and kangaroo pockets but I am still using the 2/05 version rather than adding on the extra features (already cut before my issue arrived). The dino drawing is from one of the Kwik Sew books (the toddler one I think) and the caterpillar was inspired by an applique I saw in Ottobre, though it must be in an issue that I don't have. Fabric is hand dyed by me.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Felty fun

I saw these little felt "boards" ages ago and added the concept to me list of gift ideas. With an invitation to a 4 year old birthday party, I thought this would be good to try.

The outside has handles and a pocket for storing the felt shapes.
I still have more shapes to cut, but they are fiddly and I dislike fiddly, so I haven't done them yet. I was thinking of adding accessories such as a hat, bag etc. There are some more hair bits that must have stayed in the pocket.

Jalisa has requested one for christmas. I hope the birthday girl likes it.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Goals for the rest of the year

6 months down, 6 months to go...I need some new crafty related goals to work on for the rest of the year.

  1. Sew two items per week
  2. Try out a new pattern (for me) each month
  3. Blog more often
  4. Sew kids Christmas presents by October 31st
  5. Use my stash for summer clothes

Hmm, I think that is achievable.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sewing for June

This is me trying to get a good picture for a competition held at Crafty Mamas. I did not succeed.
Jalisa is wearing a white cotton blouse (from Ottobre 3/07 I think) with a cord skirt (swirl dyed by me). Trim at the bottom is some mini pom poms. Scott is wearing a jacket ( I used the Kwik sew for toddler hoodie changed it to have a lining, and used the zipper version). I used an applique from Ottobre for the dog. The pants are also Ottobre. I used a brown stretch cord with a dog print for the pockets.
Here is the jumper I am wearing in the first photo. I think it is pattern 2993 from Kwik Sew. I used a mauve-ish sweater knit that I have been stashing since uni.
I made this last night. I wanted to time how long it took to make since someone asked me. Under two hours. This is a nice light grey marle fleece fabric. I found a Barbie zipper pull for $1 so I added that today. This is the same pattern that I used earlier this month, but I omitted the pockets.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Hoodie for me

This is the first hoodie that I have made for myself. I am pretty happy with it, even though the pockets are positioned wrong and I haven't topstitched the zipper.

The pattern is Kwik Sew 2993. The fabric is some hand dyed fleecy. It is similar to the fabric I dyed for Scott's hoodie, but a slightly different shade - mine is brighter. This is a great pattern though I think there is at least one mistake in it. I used the zipper length recommended (actually, it was 1 cm longer) and it is a little too short. I ended up curving the seam at the top to blend in with the hood, otherwise the end of the zipper tape would have shown. I know that when I did a jacket for DH with a zipper, it had me curve the end of the zipper into the seam to prevent this. I did not have enough length in the zipper to do this.

I did trace off a larger than normal size, so it is a little baggy. It is just a casual, around the house - do the errands in type of jumper.

Sewing binge

Shamefully I haven't updated my blog in over a month. Some of that time I wasn't sewing but the last couple of weekends I have gotten my butt into gear and done some much needed winter sewing.

When I asked what Jalisa wanted me to make her this winter, she said dresses. So dresses she got. Being extremely lazy, I just used the one pattern. I modifyed a tunic top (from Ottobre 4/07) by lengthening it and adding more swing. Jalisa picked this fabric herself at the fabric shop...not a fan, but I couldn't persuade her to choose something else. Leggings are from Ottobre 4/04.
This leggings patterns is great - it makes up in 10 minutes if you overlock and coverstitch it. I am not compeltely happy with the sizing of the tunic top - it was huge, even after taking in. Pitty I had already cut out a few others otherwise I would have traced something else out. For the next set, I used picot elastic at the neckline and gathered the sleeves along the seam so it is "bunchy." The leggings are hand dyed by moi.
Nothing much to say about the next set. Well, I say set but they can be mixed and matched a little. I have had these fabrics in the stash for a few year, they are a cotton lycra that I picked up for a song.
Hoodie for Scotty - pattern is from the kwik sew for toddlers book. Fabric is hand dyed by me.
Here is an action shot of the first dress/leggings set. This style of dress is very practical for an active child.
Some pants for Scott - pattern is from Ottobre 3/02. This will have a coordinating jumper made soon - I am going to use a pale blue french terry knit.
PJ pants for the girl - I should have bought more to make a matching button down shirt. I will have to make some tops to got with these.
Tops for me. This is my staple pattern (kwik sew 3003) and I have modifyed the tee to have long sleeves and a crew neck. The pink fabric I have had in the stash for at least 7 years.
Another hand dyed hoodie for Scott.
Another pair of leggings for Jalisa. There is elastic at the legs to make it bunchy. I also made another hand dyed dress but I couldn't find it anywhere, it must be in the wash. I tried to stamp patty cakes on, but the fabric paint I was using wasn't cooperating. I ended up making silver polka dots all over the front of the dress.
I have a pair of pinstripe wool work pants that I need to hem, and a zippered hoodie for me that needs to have the facing inserted and I can update again.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bellville Sassoon gown

I finally have finished something to post about - one of my entries for the show. The pattern is Vogue 1031, a Bellville Sassoon design. It was chosen based on the look of the finished product as well as it's difficulty (rated advanced). I also thought that the design would work well in a cotton based fabric, which is a requirement for entering in the competition.

I have used a red cotton poplin. I can't remember if it has a touch of elastane in it as well. Here is the front:

The back ( couldn't check my rear view, so pleats are a little weird)

The side
From reading the instructions, I wasn't sure exactly why it was given an advanced rating but after completing it, I now know. Each piece looks like a squiggle, it is very hard to tell each piece from the next and look at all the pleating. It comes together beautifully, it is just time consuming.
If I get into the state finals, I am going to have a beaded hairclip and necklace made up.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Swap goodies

Boy do I love swaps...Jalisa is starting to love them too. Her she is modelling the outfit sent to us by Natalie.
Hmm, what to say. Lots of girly goodness going on here - rickrack, ribbon, applique, shirring - this outfit has the lot. Patterns are Ottobre, I recognised them immediately. The outfit is topped off with some gorgeous bows and clips. Jalisa loves these. No doubt they are available from Natalie's shop.

Onto Scott (aka grumpy pants)
Isn't this gorgeous too. Joy has appliques the dinosaur on her embroidery machine. I love the combination of coloured that were used - very noice. There is some more applique on the back.

The workmanship of both outfits is amazing - the topstitching is perfect, the finishing is done well...thank you both so much from all of us here

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I am so not getting sick of the swirls

...though the sickly lemon-y smell of the shaving cream does my head in a little.

The pink on the left is the first "print" and then I recycle the foam and reuse as the base for some more swirls. The swirls aren't as clear but then again, I did not leave these ready-made tees on the dye for as long as I normally do.

After seeing me swirl dye some singlets for Scott (which worked okay by the way), Jalisa requested some of her own. Now, all of her singlets have been dyed on a previous occassion so I thought I could dye up some plain cotton knit and make them into singlets for her.
Pattern is Ottobre 4/04, number 33. Very straightforward, easy pattern but there is a printing error in my copy. The pattern said to trace green patterns on sheet E, but it is actually sheet F.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Peppermint swirl tee

Well, here is my favourite tee pattern (curved raglan, Ottobre 2/05) made up with some green swirl dyed jersey. I whipped it up in between cooking dinner (you know, chuck some meat into defrost, sew, cut up vegies, sew...) I will have to see if I can find the link for these cloth liners. I just used 4 layers of flannelette that I had swirl dyed. My stitching is embarrassingly crooked, but I am really happy with them being my first time and all. The colours look a little bit off - lefty is a turquoise blue and righty is deep purple with a hint of pink.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Dye day - more swirls

Dyeing is addictive. Need I say more. Above is some flannelette.
These started off as beige jersey (yes, desperate for a fix that I am using beige instead of white...I have metres and metres of the stuff). They will end as tees for the kids.

The above is a piece I did last week. This is my favourite that I have done so far - rainbow colours on mauve. You will have to check back later (much later) to see the final product (it is destined to be a show entry)