Thursday, November 25, 2010

coffee sack decorations

I've been playing around with burlap coffee bean sacks - making over sized decorations -
during which I even used a protractor for the first time since high school!

The ginormous five point star came to me in a flash of inspiration was made with a few tips from here. The rest of the process was guided by gut feeling and the added benefit of having no sprogs around offering to "help".
If you are keen to do something similar - it goes a little something like this...
80 cm radius (the average length I could get out of one side of each coffee sack) with 2 pencils and a piece of string and/or a measuring tape to form the circumference. A whopping 1.6 metre diameter...
Pattern folded in four to make a cross and center the protractor...
72 degrees x 5 star points...
Join points to get intersections, cut out petal shapes and use as pattern for burlap and canvas interfacing. Baste interfacing inside seam allowance before sewing up, leaving hole to stuff.
Skuzzy op shop pillow inners are practically free and make for perfect filling.

The star is a little too big to hang anywhere inside the house without it being a hazard. I thought about putting it outside, suspended under the pear tree - only it'll get rained on and rot. See those lovely angles... the wonderful symmetry and awesome accuracy...cabinetry and boat building just might follow.
The sprogs are requesting more of the stockings. I suspect that has less to do with craft and aesthetic appreciation than it has to do with their intended function and fill-ability a month from now. Ho Ho Ho kiddo.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

wool gauze singlet

Beetroot wool gauze.
Slippery and prone to fraying quickly after it's cut.
In hindsight I wished I'd used 'french seams'.
I used pinking shears and zigzag instead.
The bias binding kept loosing its shape and needed to be re-cut much wider.
But it drapes beautifully and is slightly transparent which is elegant and cool to wear.
It has pretty gathers through the front and simple neat shoulder seams.
I adapted the pattern by shortening it to just below the waist with a curved hem.
Adapted from this dress pattern form my favourite Japanese sewing book.

Friday, November 19, 2010

today - I (re) learnt....

That my sometime confidence belies a great deal of shyness.
That just looking at lemons makes me feel healthier.

That I must get back into that habit of having half a lemon squeezed into a glass of water every morning upon rising - it feels so good.
That one bottle of Lemonade is too much in the bellies of a 2 and 3 year old and should be shared - not one each (or they will burp endlessly and won't eat their lunch)
That on a hot day, a mac's pilsner straight from the fridge is a very good idea.
That drinking said beer under the sprinkler is an even better idea.
That cut-up milk containers make for the best tiered fountain.
That hummus always looks best in a wooden bowl with paprika sprinkled on top.
That porridge doesn't look so good 6 hours after it was made, but the kid will still eat it.
That cacti look great in german pottery.
That bottle brush are quite christmassy.
That stainless dutch water pitchers by stelton and travel cups are beauty to behold. (I'm collecting them.)
That the kids are going through a growth spurt not unlike the beans and every time I turn away and look back again they have shot up some more.

Monday, November 15, 2010

just because

Thinking about rustling up some santa sacks for the kids with these 4 from spotlight.
Like these sweet little numbers. More crafty chrissy ideas here and here.
And this song is pretty much the soundtrack of the last couple of weeks. Best played as loud as the kids will tolerate (or even better alone) in the car driving down on a long stretch of road - ...just because I just worked out how to bring it to you. There will be more.

blooming heck!

Bring back BLOOMERS! It's a blooming revolution... a revival... a hankering back to 'The Little House on The Prairie" perhaps...
I for one would like to see a little more modesty regarding girls undergarments.
For practicality's sake - I'm not talking corsets and white gloves, but enough coverage and prettiness so young girls can play freely whilst maintaining decorum.

soooo.... I've been sewing a LOT of them...
I've discovered I think they look quite sporty with leggings underneath (also practical if your lass is riding her bike on a cooler day and to avoid her trousers getting caught up in the chain) Leggings alone tend to look a bit dance, ballet, fame inspired but if you put the bloomers on over the top, I reckon they get this whole new funky street look going on. A pair under dresses and skirts is perfect and worn with sandals and sneakers they look just like frilly shorts. Also sweet for the little ones as a nappy cover like no other!
Have you seen those elasticated shelf bras available in toddler sizes? Why do people put their- still-only -a -child-daughters in bikinis? don't get me started... modesty folks... I'm bringing it back...

The out takes for this shoot were HILARIOUS by the way... 2 boys reluctantly wearing bloomers - one with his extremely skinny scared and very knobbly knees, the other podgy one
laughing like a hyena.

Available in a few fabric options and in sizes 1-2, 3-4, 5-6 from my shop and at the upcoming UTRV Christmas shop (upstairs) from December 10th onwards or email me direct

Monday, November 8, 2010

Steiner fair

The weather on the day was a bit of a disappointment - pouring down at first, easing to a drizzle and clearing to sensational as I was packing up! But alas, the people came all the same with brimming Steiner smiles and made the most of it.

I was determined the rain wasn't going to dampen my spirits and went all out and painted my nails a very cheerful and uplifting blue (a bold move for someone who never usually ventures beyond nude and pearly colours - its the salt waters, they're giving me balls in the polish department where I never used to have any!)
Most popular products on the day were the Granddad's spinners (Grandad really does make them from his garage and I paint them up for optimum optical effect) and my newly devised retro revival game-Elastics. Remember this...we used to play it for hours on end as kids, some of us even used to play it on the trampoline! I also remember practicing with two chairs to get the advantage over my competitors.

Also, the winner of the mamaGhomemade $50 credit is....
Phil Claude. From memory Phil had his eye on the embroidered ten cent tiki cushion. Sweet.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

girl garb

Miss sunshine modelling the size 3-4 Donkey shorts I've been making for this weekends Steiner School Fair.

Available in sizes 1-2, 3-4 and 5-6 years.

As you can see they sit long on a two year old!

I couldn't quite convince the nearly three and a half year old to model them for me today
...something to do with the pink fairy pocket and lack of a lolly pop with which to bribe him!

(but they are the same size as a blue pair he has which sit just below the knee).

I always encourage parents to go the next size up if their child is at the tail end of the age bracket. But if you're a fan of getting extra mileage out of your girls garb, then getting their tooshies into a pair the next size up - and wearing them as 7/8th length trou - is a sensible idea anyway.

To give you some idea, the waist band of size 3-4 measures 46- 65 cms with an outer leg measurement of 40 cms. They are quite roomy too-which makes them non restrictive to play in!
Also shown with a contrast spotty pocket in size 5-6 years.
Corduroy is the perfect fabric for pants like these. It endures. Dirt brushes right off it and it wears as well as denim but with a softness akin to velvet.

It always reminds me of Paddington bear and Winnie the Pooh - particularly in this caramel colour.

To recap: the Steiner School Fair is on this Saturday from 10-3 pm at 19 Ombersley, Opawa. Admission is free. Come along for some good old-fashioned family fun in the sun, with all day music, fairyland, games, books, real fruit ice creams, organic food, white elephants and lots of others stalls. See you there!

...If you're not able to make it, but you're keen for a pair of donkey shorts-check out my shop this time next week or drop me an e mail gretchen (at) imotion (dot) co (dot) nz

I do them in boys colours too!