Saturday, November 11, 2006

twitchy fingers

These are not a creation of mine, but have been hand made in Nepal. I found whole tubs of them at Spittalfields Markets in London and had to buy some for my niece. They are finger puppets and there were all sorts of characters...thought they were quite good to encourage interaction and imagination.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Scarf by Miss J

This birthday scarf was a labour of love by Miss J for Merry Risa. Its hand knitted, with beautiful free style beading on the front, and lined with crimson lace on the back. Behold, the tiny stitches and general neatness of the lining!

Friday, August 18, 2006

eating roasted corn

lo lo.
here are some I made earlier. T-shirts that is. Before I almost passed out from overexposure to statistics.

here's how to make 3 pound shirts not look 3 pounds:
1. take shirts home to australia to use mum's sewing machine.
2. use said sewing machine to take in the shirts along the sides and sleeves for that snug fitting look. (Tip 1: don't use pen to mark up seams as this will run and stain when the weather gets warm)
3. doodle some design when you are in transit from sydney to london. I also copied some gift wrap for another design.
4. when arrived in london and over getlag get a fabric marker and draw straight onto the t-shirt, you can use a ruler if you like or just draw free-hand.
5. once ink is dry, wear and look fabulous and thank everyone for the compliments.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

Felt making a go go

A felt making workshop held at work very excitingly resulted in the following beautiful things... Yah!
See also the work in progress.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Knit in for Timor

A local Blue Mountains group does ongoing fundraising to support programs in East Timor for women and children. The next event is a knit-in to make jumpers or blanket squares.

Why knit for a tropical country?? Hato Bulico, the region that the Blue Mountais has formed a relationship with, is high in the mountains at around 2,400m. And so like us, they get cold!

What if you can't knit? You can donate wool to Blue Mountains libraries or Council offices. Or you can send it to me and I will take it along to the knit-in. Yarn must be at least 8 ply, and at least 60% wool.

When? Saturday 30th July 11am-3pm
Where? Carrington Hotel Ballroom, Katoomba (the big old glamorous white hotel on the main street right near the train station)

Bring your own needles and wool. Bring some money for a pot of tea or a glass of bubbly. It should be a great afternoon!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Sewing Jag

Not sure if this counts as crafty but....
I made this skirt for my neighbour to wear to a wedding. It's dupion silk that I found for $10 a metre at the new Spotlight near us. It even has a train! She couldn't find anything that she liked in the shops that suited her personality, so we ended up going for a Victoriana type of style with the outfit.

Underneath the skirt is a petticoat made of poplin with two tiers of recycled tulle from an old tutu to hold the back out.

She bought the blouse from Sp*rtsgirl, which surprised since I thought Sp*rtsgirl was daggy, but apparently is now considered quite groovy by the kids.

I liked the skirt so much I made another one for myself out of embroidered satin. Who knows where the hell I'll wear it, but I'll find something! I'm even hand stitching the hem. My mother would be so proud! The colour is nicer than it looks in the photo and it looks kind of Spanish.

My next plan is to sew my own bras. They're a total rip off and I'd rather pay the money for the book about how to make them myself and have nursing bras made out of hot pink sequined lace with marabou trim than fork out 100s of dollars for beige nanna brassieres. If one is going to have cracked nipples, then they should at least be wrapped up in something glamorous to take the sting out of it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Wardrobe refashion 06

Wardrobe refashion is a blog project I came across to recycle/renovate ones wardrobe or handcraft your own clothes. If you are keen you can take the pledge to abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 2 / 4 / 6 months. If I had a sewing machine I would consider it - my wardrobe definitely needs renovating!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Book plates & quilty squares

Made some bookplates for a little fella in my life. Stuck them in some birthday books. Here is one, the other one has a spotty alien reading a book - as you do!

Also did a series of animals on squares of fabric for a quilt / wall hanging. Here is one of the test pieces that I kept for myself.

Monday, February 06, 2006

get ready to knit...

"the hand knitted Elvis wig pattern is here and FREE.
Brainchild of artist and Shed head Simon Thackray, the
knitted Elvis wig was specially designed by Sirdar to
coincide with the world's first North Yorkshire Elvis
Bus Tour."
see the site.

if you don't know how to knit & want to learn see UK Knitting
where you can also find accounts of the health benefits of knitting (& other handi-crafts)

&/or find your local 'stitch'n'bitch' group

There will also be a swap!knit!darn! workshop as a
part of ChangeX'06 in March which will be at Pine st.
gallery this year- this session is a bit of fun for
people with and without handi-craft skill; for more
info reply to me, or keep checking here
- there should be something up soon.

[Text C/O nita]

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Making Nappies

I know this is somewhat premature, but we are definitely going to use cloth nappies for our bub so I've been sewing some in anticipation! A newborn needs at least 2 dozen nappies, so I figure if I start now then I'll have plenty of time to get all the newborn and infant sizes done. I'm going to be making covers and pocket nappies too, but I've started with prefolds. This means that the nappy is sewed in a square with many layers of padding down the centre for extra absorbancy. Remember how when we were young all those nappies were white towelling? Well that's so 70's man - things are way cooler now. I bought several metres of 100% flannel in groovy colours from Spotlight for $2 a metre on sale, and five colours of microfleece (for wraps and pocket nappies and liners) for $60 in total. This should be enough to keep our baby in not only functional but also incredibly cool and groovy nappies for a year. Considering it would normally cost $100's - if not $1000's - for disposables for that time frame, plus the environmental impact this is a bargain people!

This is the inside of the nappy. The centre panel is 6 layers of flannel which is stitched onto a single layer of flannel before putting on the coloured flannel outside layers. My overlocker isn't working, so I sewed the whole lot inside out, turned it and top stitched with some fancy zig zag. When my overlocker is fixed I'll be able to just sandwich the layers and go around the outside which should take about 1/4 of the time. Although it didn't take me long - I made 4 entire nappies within 2 hours tonight and it was my first time.

These are the four finished nappies. So groovy! These are newborn size and are teensy tiny. They have to be washed with detergent about 5 times in hot water before use to make them properly absorbant. I'm going to wait until I finish them all and do them all at once to save water.

This is teddy modelling the finished result. I didn't have any nappy pins so I just used dressmaking pins to hold it on! Once baby has outgrown these I can use them as stuffing in pocket nappies, which are my next project. These are made of polar fleece in two layers, and inbetween the layers you stuff them with absorbant material. They have velcro or snap closures and elasticised legs, so they look like the disposables do in terms of "easy to apply" but great for babies skin and the environment. Here are some links about making cloth nappies and where they can be bought by WAHM's (work at home mums).

Bubba Earth is an Australian site that sells patterns and materials for making nappies.

Bits For Bots is run by a Queensland mum who makes all different kinds of nappies for sale. If you look at the fleece pocket nappies, they're what I'm going to make once I finish the prefolds. But with applique on the bum!

The Diaper Hyena is a great resource for using cloth nappies. Lots of links to free patterns and tutorials and good pictures showing how to use all the different combos of cloth nappies.

Darlings Downunder is another business site with some gorgeous nappies for sale. I think the rainbow colours on the Totbot fitted cloth nappies are divine and would make a great gift to someone using cloth.

Nappycino has great discussion boards for any questions and lots of sewing info on all the different styles.

I know this was kind of long-winded, but I'm very excited about cloth nappies! The general consensus amongst the public is that they're hard work and icky, when they're quite the opposite. The development of fabrics like microfibre and polar fleece means the babies skin stays 100% dry in cloth nappies and they so adaptable and cheap. I think it's sad that not a single woman that I work with uses cloth nappies, so I'll be making sure to take in all my sewing to show it off and inspire trying cloth instead of disposables.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Ugly Dolls

Now I didn't make this.... but I'm going to and that's what matters! It's become very fashionable in lesbo-land to make ugly dolls for the kiddlywinks. Perhaps a reaction to those trollopy Bratz whores? But instead of using commercially purchased felt which is horrid, gals and guys are going to their local op-shop, buying something made of pure wool and putting it on the hot wash to make quality recycled wool felt and then adding their own bits and pieces. Fabbo! Click on the pic for the website of the dude that's selling them, and go to the shop to see the full range for ideas. I know that we'll be banning crappy battery powered toys made in China for our kid, but will be heartily encouraging anything along these lines.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

flat-pack christmas tree

This was a household effort, so I can't take all the credit (if any is due!!). Perfect for those with limited storage space, hanging decorations but nowhere to hang them, and no kids who pester you for the "real thing".

Took some cardboard from our moving boxes, and drew a template that was as symmetrical as possible (we used rulers). We drew 6 "limbs" which started out as triangles of increasing size as you go down the tree, but with little up-tilts at the end of the branches to hang things on. Cut it out with a stanley knife and used it as a template for another one. Drew a line from the tip down the centre, and made an incision up from the exact middle on one, and down from the exact middle on the other. Painted it with green acrylic paint. Assemble simply by slotting one onto the other at right angles, and voila! A christmas tree that will store flat for next year when the 12 days of christmas are over! Why would you ever want a a real one?!!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

creative set just off the jet

Ok, I shall be the first to upload my thoughts to this blog - jetlag and all!

Here is a picture of a album cover I created for my gorgeous niece. I basically bought a standard album from el cheapo shoppe and bought some shaggyish redish fletish type fabric and then added a design on top. I was trying to go for a gothic type theme - well actually, that's not what my original idea was, it sought of just shaped itself. The C is for Cara, my niece's name, and it is made from layers of cardboard fromc ereal packets (Cheerios to be exact!) which I spray painted gold. Same for the border.

I also decorated the space around the C with swirly/floral motifs and what-nots. I had originally hoped to do these decorations in relief - that is cut the shapes from a piece of carboard and then add this as another layer t create depth and texture. However, after seeing how intricate the decoration was I decided that, in the absence of a precision computer guided laser cutter that it would be nigh on excruciating to do the decorations in relief. So instead, I photocopied the patter onto an overhead transperency and coloured the shapes in black and then layered the transperency over a purple coloured carboard. So there was still some sense of depth.

I added some additional detailing at the corners of the cover - which are basically floral motifs cut out of lace and spray painted gold.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

ooh a craft blog..

OK so a few people seem keen to get involved in this one, just have to finish sending the invite emails around and you can all jump right in and get your projects / questions / links on here.