Friday, 22 November 2013

Gift for a Niece

One of my nieces has a birthday soon so K and I made her a flower purse.  It's very pink and very girly so I'm sure she'll love it.

Just the sort of thing that can be used for play and for taking on real shopping trips!

The pattern is a free one on the Ottobre magazine's website.  The direct link for the pdf is here.  I recommend the pattern as it was easy to follow and quick to complete - the only thing was that all the measurements are in metric so you have to convert back to imperial if you are like me and need to use your patchwork rulers.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Garden Update

The garden has been keeping me very busy recently - and it is mainly the vegetable side - I have barely done anything to the flower garden apart from water it.  I did plant out some buxus and perennials, plus two pear trees, at the edge of my boxed vegetable garden.  See this post for earlier photos.
The obelisks have either runner beans or sweet peas growing up them.
I am really pleased with how it is looking - I love the 'english' style of gardening.  I need to add more bricks and when possible, continue the edges to meet up with other bricks.  Apart from the large pear tree ('Conference') I grew everything from cutting or seeds.  The smaller pear tree is a Williams' bon chretien and as they are used as rootstock for most pear varieties you can grow them from seed.  The rose in the distance is a cutting from my mother's 'Graham Thomas', but it looks very neglected as it has been in a pot for too long.

Everything is growing fast - including the weeds - and it is the season for planting out those frost sensitive vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes and pumpkin.
From back:  Potatoes ('Rocket'), Peppers (Capsicum - the rest are in my glasshouse), spring onions, and miserable looking carrots and radish.
From back:  Strawberries and lettuce - with the odd potatoes sprouting through.  I'm going to plant cucumbers where the lettuce are.  Young rhubarb are in the background.
From back: Celery, cabbage with lettuce, then broccoli with lettuce - I'm trying to maximise space.

My 'ordinary' garden has tomatoes, carrots, more potatoes, leeks, onions, more rhubarb, asparagus, and the berryfruit.  I now have the paddock garden fully planted with potatoes, peas, yams, heaps of onions, garlic and shallots, pumpkins, corn, some beet (for chickens) and sunflowers (for K).

We're eating heaps of asparagus and strawberries.  I almost filled a 2L container with strawberries yesterday, but that was a catch-up on the previous few days.  Time for jam!
An earlier pick!

Our wee chick is growing fast: but we now think it is a blue cochin rather than an orpington.
Photo taken a week earlier - the chick moves too fast for my camera!

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Puppet Theatre for Playcentre

K and I go to a local Playcentre twice a week and it is a great opportunity for her to get involved in all sorts of exciting play.  She loves dressing up and acting out stories and adventures.  One of the goals at our parent-run centre is to get children more into storytelling.  So I volunteered to make a puppet theatre to help facilitate this.

I chose to make the Oliver + S 'Little Things To Sew' Puppet Theatre.  This pattern is from my favourite craft book and was great to follow - and I was even able to add width to my theatre easily (just 4").  I have also used a thicker piece of doweling for the top and drilled holes in each end of it to thread some string - so I didn't need a tension rod.

I have plans to make another one - and will remember next time to use quilting weight fabric (or similar) for the curtains - I used curtain fabric and it is too thick for a child to pull across the rod.  I'll also make the next one a bit fancier and may play with the layout of the windows... plenty to plan for!

This is number 66 in my O+S count!  Whew!

I'm going to join in with the 'Little Things To Sew: Cover to Cover Challenge' run by 'Bartacks and Singletrack' as I have plans to make even more from this wonderful book.

Bartacks and Singletrack : want to go all the way with me?

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

A Little Pouch

After working away in the garden and making presents for male family members I decided I wanted to make something pretty - so I had a go making one of Noodlehead's Open Wide Zippered Pouches.

I made the medium size using a print from 'Sew Stitchy' by Aneela Hoey and various matching pink homespun cottons.  The outside is made using a 'quilt as you go' method on to batting and canvas.  This did make the sewing of the pouch tricky because of the thickness involved - but it all worked well and I am super happy with the result!  The pattern is fantastic - for the first time making I wondered how it was all going to work but the pattern repays that trust with a very clever design.  I can see why this is such a popular tutorial in the blog-sphere.

I made it as a Christmas gift - but somehow my knitting has used it as a new home - and well it was easy enough to make I might have to sew up some more!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Oliver + S Items 41 - 60

I've been super busy in the garden... lots to do in spring!

And I have made a good start on Xmas gifts - but of course I can't share most of those until after the big day!

So I thought I'd better finish of my list of Oliver and S sewing.

See previous posts here and here.
  1. Pop-over Sundress in Cape Ann pink dahlias.
  2. Pop-over sundress for 4 year old niece
  3. Pop-over sundress for gift - here
  4. LTTS Bear Carrier in pinks - here
  5. Another LTTS hat in chambray and pink (Cape Ann - remnants of #58)
  6. Sleepover PJs in light pink with broderie anglais trim - here
  7. Sleepover PJ pants in green and blue - here
  8. Badminton skort as skirt in fine red/white stripe
  9. Field trip cargo pants as shorts - yellow
  10. Field Trip raglan in striped merino - here
  11. Field Trip raglan in white knit
  12. Field Trip raglan in cream merino - here
  13. as above - I made two!
  14. Field Trip raglan in blue - here (as above)
  15. Hopscotch top in white - here (as above)
  16. Fairy Tale dress in blue - here
  17. Sunday Brunch skirt in denim
  18. Family Reunion dress in Cape Ann fabric - one of my favourites
  19. Roller Skate dress in pinks
  20. Roller Skate dress with flowers - here
I have also cut out a LTTS apron, another hat and have plans to use one pattern for Xmas presents.  Plus many other plans!

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Something Old and Something New

I have three sewing machines and an overlocker - all of which work. 

My first machine was a Globe Cub I got pre-loved for my fifteenth birthday.  It was a gem and I sewed many miles on it.  Then when I got into patchwork and realised that any form of quilting was impossible on it (no walking foot, no lowering of feed dogs) I purchased a Bernette 65.  It does a good applique stitch but I can't really think of many other ways to praise it.  A year after that my Nan passed away and I was lucky enough to get her Bernina 930 - an awesome machine!  It's a really solid machine and great for both clothes sewing and quilting.  I think of my Nan every time I use it and I'm sure she's pleased it is so well loved.  I also have a Bernette 004D overlocker (serger) which I am assured is as good as a Bernina.  I'd be lost without it too.

But.. recently I've been wanting a machine for purely decorative purposes so have been browsing our local auction website.  Last week I won a vintage Singer sewing machine for the great price of $1.50 (one dollar fifty - this font is hard to read).  I don't think they made much money out of me as I noticed that it was first listed for $75.  It doesn't have a powercord or a foot pedal but does appear to work by turning the handwheel.  It is in 'good' condition but I'll try to clean it up a bit.  For a first attempt at buying a vintage machine I'm happy.  I've googled it to find that it was made in February 1932 in Clydebank, Scotland.

Dear H asks if I'm going to sell any of my machines - but no - I'll keep the Cub for K and the Bernette is a back up for my Bernina. 

Onto the new - I've been sewing in knits and the only thing I've completely finished and am happy to share are these gorgeous undies for K.

They are from the pattern 'that*darn*kat Children's Undies' that have appeared in numerous blogs.  I like how you can use any knit fabric for the main and match it with a cotton lycra for the bands.  The fabric I used was a small piece of Hilco (I think) interlock that feels really nice.  Next time I'll lower the front slightly but K is very happy with them so I am too!

The fabric reminds me that we've eaten two strawberries from the garden and see many more starting to turn red!  Yum!
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