Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Spring Garden Dress.

This is what happens when indecision creeps its way into my crafty world.

A dress is born that is both knitted and sewn.

Ok it wasnt really indecision, just a big knitting mistake that accidentally turned into something gorgeous. Don't you just love when that happens?
So here is my hot tip for any would-be knitters out there.
CHECK that each ball is of the same dyelot.
That's it.
But I did.not.know.this.
That means those fiddly numbers on the label must all match up.

^^^ See? Matching. ^^^
But of course Im sure you already knew this insider info and Im just showing off my noviceness.
But we all have to learn somehow.
Having taught myself to knit from youtube and books, I somehow managed to miss this step and ended up with an expensive colour line right through the middle of what was supposed to be a Spring Garden Tee.
When balls of yarn have different dyelots, they appear to be the same colour but could very well be slightly different in shade or tone. Which means, like me, you will end up with a notciable line right through your handiwork. D'oh!

So I was on a mission to find the perfect fabric to compliment my expensive cotton yarn and turn my little tee into a dress. And voila!
All I did was measure my little model's waist and times that by one and a half to get my waist measurement and then measured her for length.
No pattern required for the skirt and I love those kind of projects.
The accidentally awesome ones.

Sharing the crafty love by linking up with And Sew We Craft.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Ava Tie Dress.

I love a solid pattern that gets used over and over, time and time again.  
Where the actual pattern becomes so tattered from love and the cost of said pattern compounds per use.
Husband loves that too.
 Let me share with you the Ava Tie Dress by Izzy and Ivy Designs.
First spotted, all lovingly sewn up, over at Narioka many moons ago.

It has a simple construction.
So simple in fact, that when it arrived and I tore open the packaging, I couldnt find the pattern pieces.
Hmmph, ripped off.
Novice Nelly soon realised that to construct this garment, it required the measuring out of a rectangle of fabric which then became the 'tube' of the dress.
Too easy.
It is then shirred at the top end and how good is shirring!
After many attempts I finally got the hang of it and want to shir everything.
Once I wound the elastic thread onto my bobbin for the 10th time, we were good to go.
Tension is everything my friends.
And I do so love a pattern that teaches a new skill and adds to my repertoire as a learning sewist.
Shirring is great because it creates a stretchy, fitted garment without the fuss of carbon paper.
Most excellent.

I prefer the look of this dress with the tie at the back but that's just me.
And here we are in denim this time with little cherries, picked up from Spotlight at 40% off.
Another lovely feature of this pattern is that the designers have included a little sew in label that you can choose to add to your finished garment.

I just love labels on handmade sewing. It takes the finished product to the next level I think and I would really like to get my hands on some personalised ones.
Check out the dodgy lines there on that tie.
I would just like to add that this bottom here dress was one of the first projects I had ever made for my darling little baby daughter back when she was a wee thing.
I didnt know much about sewing. I was borrowing a machine.
And I just wanted to create something with my own hands to express that maternal love.
That was 3 years ago, and I just. cant. stop. crafting. now.
Every day Im creating something, if only for 5 minutes between nappy changes and swimming lessons.
What a journey motherhood has turned out to be.

Im linking up with And Sew We Craft to share the love of all things crafty. Stop by and say hi! It's always good to connect with like minded peeps and enjoy oohing and ahhing over crafty goodness.
My very favourite 'me' thing to do.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The trip that was.

Dear Melbourne,
I adore you.

With all your eclectic and vibrant, people and places.
We walked and walked through laneways and gardens taking it all in. Stopping only to breathe in everything that makes you, unique.

Sitting here pondering, it dawned on me what was different.
It was quiet. As quiet as a city can be.
There were no horns.
No angry pedestrians talking on mobile phones.
Just hushed trendy people moving about the place on trams and by foot.
Oh the trams!
Melbourne, you are peaceful.

Until i found this...

And then I squealed. Really squealed.
Having heard of the guerilla grannies movement that occured earlier in the year, when public spaces suddenly appeared to have been yarn bombed by cheeky crafters, it never occured to me that there might be some left.
Husbands just dont understand but this spot right here, on Lygon St.
This was the moment I fell in love.
With a city.

After devouring the nicest antipasti I have ever had, we moved on to the Museum.
Where matters of the heart will always find me.
A special display on the history of dressmaking in Melbourne.
More squeals.
More embarrassed looks by the hubs.

We caught a tram to St Kilda where the markets had been washed out.
Sad face.
But not to worry, we were both in a market kind of mood and caught the tram back again to the Queen Victoria Markets where a $2.50 Borek gave us both the yummiest lunch and something we will rave about for many years.
Seriously, nothing is $2.50 anymore.

If ever I live in Melbourne. And we will. One day.
Then only the Queen Victoria Markets will do for our food shopping.
The atmosphere was electric and fast paced and Im not even a good cook.
But there I was admiring the frenched lamb racks like I cook them every Thursday night. 
Mmm nom nom.

Along the way we jumped off the tram at Albert Park for a peekaboo at The Block. Becoming parents has turned us into tv tragics of a night time. And excitement levels were huge when we spotted this address. This time it was the man who squealed. Sort of.
Go team Brad and Lara!
I also popped into the Wool Baa and oohed and ahhed over their yarns.
WHY dont we have shops like these where I live?

Onwards and upwards I was ushered.

To the Eureka Skydeck where we pondered life and spotted Tasmania.
Well almost.
And started plotting to return within the year, after just one day.  
Watching the sunset after discovering a new city is a feeling that will stay with me for a long time.
Some times we all just need a little timeout.

To refresh and have a chance to miss all the little things that we love about our daily life, especially the little people in it.
They were missed fierce.
We had excited conversations mapping our future, sharing laughs in only the way two people can who share so much.
Cheers, Melbourne!
Thanks for having us.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Make a bag with Cath.

Have you ever heard of Cath Kidston? I hadn't until I started becoming more and more familiar with sewing and textile type blogs and her name kept popping up everywhere.  She designs pretty patterns for the home and has gorgeous, GORGEOUS fabrics with a country, sweet sort of flair to them. Lots of pastels and flowers and all things pretty. She's me.
But more clever. And famous.
I spotted this beauty of a book last year and to my suprise, it came with a free project inside.
My favourite word.
I just had to get my mitts onto that book and over to the checkout immediately.

There is a TV show out there called 'Hoarders'. I don't watch it but have many friends unable to look away. My husband believes me, to be of the craft book hoarding variety. I have several. But they inspire me and they yield totally beautiful results so rather than buying myself copious handbags.
I just make them.  
And that's a good enough reason for me, to hoard my crafty books.
And the project was free.

All finished and ready to look dapper on someone's shoulder.
Not mine unfortunately.
 This was a present.
But I have fond memories of our time together.
My other hobbies include patting and fondling fabric.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A quilt is nice.

Quilting took my heart right at the beginning when I began this sewing, knitting, crazy crochet journey. But it has taken me the longest to conquer in my crafty pursuits. This past Christmas I finally decided to give it a shot and made a sweet little cot quilt for our youngest daughter. It was the perfect present to make for an 8 month old baby who had absolutely no idea what was happening around her.

I love that it's bright and PINK! We do love a bit of pink in this household.

This was made using scraps of fabric from other projects that was sliced and diced into 4 inch squares. There are no rules when it comes to creating a quilt top. I had no pattern to follow and wanted a quick and easy project to wrap under the tree for Christmas. The whole process was hugely satisfying from piecing to basting to quilting to binding. I have a few more quilts already pictured in my mind just waiting for the oppurtunity to come to life.
P.S. Guess who is flying down to Melbourne this weekend for a rare three night child free holiday?? Excitement levels are HUGE!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Milo for May.

My all time favourite pattern for knitting is Tikki's Milo. So versatile and unisex, every child needs one... or four. And in May we are celebrating three years since the pattern was first released on Ravelry. To help celebrate with Tikki, all you need to do is knit up a Milo in the month of May. Simple.
Here is my very first milo knit last May.

My ovaries ache at how sweet our new baby was in all her little, dozey cuteness. She can't possibly be 13 months old now. This feels like it was taken yesterday. Seriously. I will never come to terms with how quick children grow.

I love the cable detail down one side. The pattern offers a huge variety of cables to choose from and I have another Milo in the works for this year. If i didnt have a queue of projects I want to tackle a mile long, then I would knit one of these in every colour. A great project for beginners who want to move past scarves and squares.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

An Olearia.

I have long oohed and aahed over the Olearia on Ravelry and finally gots me around to making one last year. Tikki is a brilliant knitwear designer and practically holds your hand right throughout the pattern. Perfect.

If you're a budding knitter or crocheter and haven't yet signed up to Ravelry,
then scoot on over and have a look see through the abundant collection of patterns and yarns listed there. A seriously cool space to hang out and meet some like minded crafters all around the world. Struggling through a project at 2am? The only time I get away from the little people. Then pop a question on the forums and someone, somewhere will answer it. I have been saved many a time this way.


I used Bendigo's Luxury 8 ply for this project in 'Denim'. It is so wonderfully soft and inexpensive and the perfect addition to any little girls wardrobe. Im really loving the fact it is not pink too.  The buttons are from spotlight and feature a little girl blowing bubbles... not a pipe. As dear Crafty Daddy pointed out. Hmmm.