Sunday, 30 May 2010

One of the things I miss about London...

Lucky for me I got my grubby little hands on this pack courtesy of Frannie. It was delivered along with a bunch of other goodies, including my Cath Kidston iPhone case, a matching bag, and several cardis from Primark.

YAY for Frannie!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

The Macaron Trial

It actually looks better on than it does on the dummy (and once again the poor lighting doesn't help but I tend to get things done at night when there are less distractions and I am more awake) but you get the drift. I'm actually really happy that I won't have to make any drastic changes to the fit.

The finished trial with one sleeve tucked in (you'll see the reason for this soon)

I was umming and ahhing about a couple of things:

1) Sleeves or no sleeves?
I was set on the sleeves but I saw Antoinette's version and quite liked it.

I decided to be a smarty-pants and see for myself what mine would look like both ways. After a bit of copying and flipping of my original picture, this is what I got.

Sleeves vs Sleeveless

Seeing as I'm not a massive fan of bias binding since I seem to be useless at it, I'm going to go with the original sleeve design. Also, it's winter over here and the thought of no sleeves at the moment gives me goosebumps!

2) Middle band or not?
Antoinette decided to remove her middle band - or rather she left it there but didn't use a contrast fabric. Gertie's version on the other hand went with no contrast but has what looks like a thin ribbon around the waist. Then when I look at Kathie's dress where she kept the contrast and added piping, I am TORN.

Once again, copy/flip gave me a better idea of my options.

Original pattern / No band / Slimmer band or ribbon

I think no band is the safest but as my contrast band will be in black, I might be doing myself a disservice since black is always slimming ;)

Black for the top and contrast band against the black-patterned white cotton

I think I'll have to cut the band in both materials and decide as I go - it shouldn't be a problem since I always buy extra fabric to allow for mistakes!

Monday, 24 May 2010

This week... all about getting a whole lot of things done - I've taken a week off between jobs to sort out some personal admin and I guess prep for a new job I'm starting next Monday (hurrah for me!) but to ease into it all I've taken a couple of days to just get back into things sewing-wise.

This does not of course mean that any of my mending is going to be done - no time for such things when I could be having fun buying materials for my stash:

Especially loving the 3 Minny Muu prints from Lecian at the top

and making a start on my trial Macaron dress so I can plan out the real thing properly.
Halfway done - excuse the shoddy lighting and my half naked dummy

I just need to remember at some stage that I have other priorities... :)

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Thursday, 20 May 2010

This just makes me smile

Source: Unknown*

*Courtesy of a forwarded email. I tried my best to look for the source of the pic but no luck.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

The Stitches and Craft Show

With only 2 hours of sleep, I struggled out of bed and headed off to the Stitches and Craft Show with CC. It had crossed my mind that maybe I’d be better off going on Sunday instead due to the chance of me collapsing from lack of zzz’s but CC reminded me it was Mothers’ Day that day *oops* so I decided to suck it up and head on over.

Woohoo – got my ticket!

Check it out – everyone waiting in anticipation

I have to say my first thought upon entry was that the layout of the Show wasn’t too great compared to last year’s venue. The stalls and displays were spread over 2 levels with the Studios and Craft Labs located on a 3rd level above everything else. I much preferred the layout last year where everything was on the same level, even if the Studios and Labs were in a separate building.

After withdrawing some cash in anticipation of all the goodies there, we rushed upstairs to hear a few talks in the Studios.

First up was Kathreen Ricketson of whipup blog fame. Kathreen recently put together a book called Mini Quilts - and seeing as CC has just decided to make a quilt, we thought it would be interesting to hear what she had to say.

Immediately after this we attended a session by Sandra Sanders of Pepperberry & Co. who shared advice on starting your own business. She was well presented, eloquent and really knew her subject matter inside out - so in short, a fantastic speaker! Her drive and passion really came through during the session.

The rest of the day was divvied up with wandering through the stalls selling gorgeous fabrics (Amitie and Kelani were highlights and looked pretty busy throughout the day), checking out the beautiful handmade crafts from so many talented crafters (too many to name individually so here's a list), and sitting at the Craft Bars making up a couple of things ourselves!

Handmade pincushions and photo album

Proudly displaying our handiwork

Funnily enough, other than 2 fabric scrap purchases from Pepperberry & Co., the only items I bought were Space Savers - some nifty hangers to help out my currently bulging wardrobe full of clothes I don't seem to wear. I think that being so tired and being surrounded by so many pretty things was just too much for me and all I could think of was that I needed to get my craft projects and personal wardrobe organised before any more purchases were allowed!

Needless to say, I was out like a light once I got home. My 7pm 'nap' ended at 4:30am, making it just a tad too late to catch up with some friends for Saturday night drinks, so I decided to just go back to bed. I think I deserved it after the previous night's session of tossing and turning.

Now to Save some Space with my new set of hangers...

Monday, 10 May 2010

Adore Fedor(a)

I am totally in love with this Fedora from Nicole Mallalieu Design. I saw examples of the actual hat made up using several different fabrics on Saturday at the Stitches and Craft Show (I know - overdue blog post!) and figured I had to have it, but got put off by the 'Advanced' label on the pattern. It's now top of the list of things to make once my sewing skills improve a bit!

Source: Nicole Mallalieu Design

Sunday, 9 May 2010

I'm not sure what sounds giraffes make...

... but this one says hi!

I know I was quick in getting started, but I've only just managed to finish of my version of Mrs Perkins using the pattern I bought last week.

I think I underestimated the amount of work required to make up a softie, or maybe it's because I suck at hand sewing, but ta-dah!

Things I learned while making my first soft toy:
1. I am very sloooow at hand-sewing
2. Stuffing certain shapes require stuffing, re-stuffing and then sometimes de-stuffing to get things padded out evenly
3. You use a lot more stuffing than you expect
4. Ladder-stitching isn't too hard once you watch a YouTube video about it
5. Sometimes patterns really could be explained a little better - so read them over three times, and then three times again
6. Doll making needles are long for a reason - I only just made do with some tapestry ones I bought because the giraffe had a relatively thin frame. I'm glad I didn't choose to make an elephant first up!
7. The Mentalist isn't a bad show (I watched about 5 episodes over the course of giraffe creation) - it is quite entertaining and Simon Baker-Denny sure has come a long way from dancing in with no shirt on in video clips

I definitely have areas to improve - right now this little giraffe has slightly lumpy legs (even if I did go about with Point 2 above several times) so I'm going to have to work on that. I also need to get better and faster with the hand-stitching as this was quite time consuming even if it didn't seem to be the case from reading over the pattern.

I love how cute it is though - and I'm already getting excited thinking about other colour combinations I could put together!

Saturday, 8 May 2010

I need some zzzz's

So Fezbola and I have big plans to check out the Stitches and Craft Show - we're going to get up early, meet at my place and then head to the Caulfield Racecourse (it'll be my first time at this venue) right on time to get there just a little before the 10am opening time. If all goes well we'll spend the whole day there attending various talks and classes and probably spending a bit of cash. I've been looking forward to going for awhile, and even more so now that I've seen various posts about the past 2 days from blogs such as Ric Rac and Two Little Banshees.

So why is it that I'm still not asleep at 5am of the very same morning?? Sure I'm looking forward to attending but I guarantee you it isn't nervous excitement keeping me up. I worked a full day and got my 8 hours of sleep last night so I am definitely overdue to be catching some zzz's right now.

So far, reading craft blogs, chatting online, watching the idiot box (that's TV btw) and reading a book haven't helped. Warm milk has also been ineffective.

I really think I need to get my sleeping patterns sorted. Admittedly getting only 4 hours of sleep during the week due to having an early morning drop-off to the airport hasn't helped but if anyone has some suggestions on how to get to sleep I'd sure love to hear about them. Of course, it'll probably be to late to put them into practice but I'm sure this will happen again - and articles like this don't help!

No sleep = an unhappy SuBoo. I'm just hoping this doesn't happen to me in the middle of the show...

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Keen for Mrs Perkins

The weekend has been jam-packed but I couldn't help myself. I know I only bought her yesterday and have a lot of other things I need to get done, but I've already started to lay out my stencils for my Mrs Perkins giraffe softie.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

The Australasian Quilt Convention and Expo (or What I did on Saturday)

Quilting has never been my thing but I have to say I had a great time at the Australasian Quilt Convention and Expo. Not usually a something I'd attend, especially since it's so close to this year's Stitches and Craft show (I can't wait!), but I figured my Ma would enjoy it. CC was also keen to check out quilting and see what the fuss was about.

The Expo had several free seminars lined up over the course of the day but after examining the timetable we decided we were better off just wandering.

The venue was was split up into 2 main sections - the exhibitors and the stalls - and unfortunately I didn't get any pics of the stalls area as I didn't want to step on any toes and have people think I was going to steal their designs. I did ask one stallowner if I could take a photo of a quilt that was on display at his stall (CC bought the pattern for it so I wanted to share it here) but he wasn't keen, which was understandable.

I did manage to snap a few pictures of some of the quilts that were on display as part of the exhibition - mainly the ones I found particularly appealing. I tend to appreciate the less traditional quilting designs - some of them were just great works of art for wall hanging more than anything else.

The display section included a whole range of quilts by Gloria Loughman, who Ma pointed out was very well known in quilting circles.

'Backwater' by Gloria Loughman - the sunglare on this isn't great but you can still see the colours glowing

There were also entrants to the 2010 quilting competition on display - here are a couple of my favourites:

'Double Happiness Shoes' by Margaret Lamb - love the bright colours.

'First Kiss' by Anne Davis - the close up shows the detailed quilting that you don't notice from afar. My personal favourite.

Of course, on top of checking out all the quilts, we also came away with quite a few goodies! I bought a Melly & Me Mrs Perkins softie pattern and a fabric pack from the Patchwork with Gail B stall, which is where Ma came away with a dozen pretty fat quarters. Also purchased for Ma was a Jelly Monster to help with the cutting of quilting shapes.

Purchases for Ma and I

CC must've been really inspired with everything she saw since she ended up coming up with fat quarters, a pattern, a cutting board, a rotary cutter and a ruler - so I'm just waiting to see what she whips up.

We ended the outing with some pizza on Lygon Street and managed to get a seat outside since the weather was fantastic - not bad for a month before winter I must say.

The day ended with dinner and a viewing of Iron Man 2 at the IMAX. All in all a great day out.