08 August 2013

For the love of Granny Squares

I LOVE granny squares.  I love their simplicity.  I love their color (or lack of).  I love how they transport me back to my childhood.  I love how I feel close to my mother & grandmother when I'm making them.

Granny squares were the first thing I learnt to crochet - I made myself I giant granny square bag that I took to school for awhile (it was the 70's!).

Here is my latest crochet project - a granny square cushion.  I used yarn left over from my ripple rug.

15 July 2013

A new addiction?

Now cute are these hats?  These are a quick easy project that you can start and finish in an afternoon.  I found the patterns on Ravelry.  My first make, using Blooming Rose hat pattern .......

Miss E thought the baby hat was SOOOO cute she requested one.  I made this in the largest size which is supposedly for a two year old - but this fits Miss 9 well.  The small one is a gift for a newborn.


Yarn:  Creme de le Creme - 100% combed cotton.  Body of hat in Baby Pastels, trim in Fushia - $3.00/ball.  I got both hats from one ball of the white yarn.

Hook:  5 mm

Difficulty:  Easy - great beginners project.  

Then of course I had to make a hat for Miss A!

You can find this pattern here - which I also found via Ravelry.  I enjoyed making this hat, it is a little more challenging, but nothing too complicated - a great project to try once you are feeling confident with your skills.  


Yarn:  From my stash and it didn't have a label - it is a cotton mix (I think), it feels a bit like chenille.  

Hook:  5mm

I think I have a new addiction!  There is something very satisfying starting and finishing something so cute in just a couple of hours.

24 June 2013

A little bit of shopping

One of the things I love most about reading blogs is the great "places" they take me.  Last night I was checking out the latest on the Mood Sewing Network admiring Erica B's DIY Style's latest make, a lovely shirt dress using Vogue 8903.  I googled the pattern number which led me to Vogue Patterns who are having a sale!  Now here in Australia Vogue patterns are NEVER any cheaper than half price, so to find them at $3.88 caused great excitement!  This is what I bought ...........

Vogue 8771

Vogue 8903

Vogue 1247

Vogue 1351

Vogue 8581

Vogue VP901

Vogue 1353

If you are shopping from Australia the postage costs of a hefty $25.00 for one pattern is the same for up to 7 patterns then it jumps up to $55.00 (ugly), so I culled a few patterns off my list to keep it reasonable.  I'm pretty excited to be getting 7 patterns for $52.00.

Now I just have to wait for them to arrive!

20 June 2013

Get the Perfect Fit - a Craftsy course

I've been thinking about trying a Craftsy Sewing Class  for awhile now after following Amy's many reviews of some great classes.   Sew the Perfect Fit with Lynda Maynard seemed to be a great place to start.  As luck would have it, Amy and I have signed up at the same time.  It will be fun following Amy's progress as I plod along!

If you are interested, I think this class is on sale at the moment!

I have to admit that not getting a great fit is the main reason I don't sew as much as I would like.  I made two tops last week (posts coming) that don't fit very well.  In fact one was so big in the bust/armhole but snug in the hip area that I have pulled apart and trying to work out how to salvage it!

So fingers crossed that Lynda can "show me the way"!

10 June 2013

More dance costumes

Whilst it has been quite here on the blogging front, it has been busy here behind the scenes at Dizzidays.  The sewing machine has been hard at work churning out more dance costumes - this time "one off" costumes for Miss A and Miss E's routines for the ATOD QLD state scholarship competition.  Miss E required 2 costumes (purchased one) and Miss A required 6 in total of which I had to make 4 (we used an exisiting costume for fast jazz and I bought her tutu).

For those of you who have children you will know how hard it is to get them to stay still long enough for fittings.  Add in a busy high school schedule, many dance classes a week and a tired crumpy teenager and it is almost impossible!  Another impossible task seems to be getting photos of my creations!  In the craziness of the competition I got hardly any photos and my suggestion that the costumes be put on again for a photo shoot was not met with joy.  So here are the few very poor photos I managed to get:

Lyrical costume - the leotard is sky blue velvet lycra with silver glittery stuff.  The skirt is a steely grey chiffon.  I used Kwik Sew pattern 2796 but made the skirt much fuller.

Polish Ribbon National Costume - skirt and petticoat (just peeping out the bottom) is a self drafted circle skirt.  Shirt and vest adapted from several patterns which I can't remember (opps!).

Tap costume - leotard is black velvet lycra with silver bits and black net bodice and sleeves.  I used Kwik Sew 3445 cutting a higher neckline.  The "self drafted" bustle at the back is three tiers of gathered tulle.  I love how this costume turned out!

I purchased this beautiful black tutu from Emtutu.com.  It looks particularly gorgeous with the purple spotty socks!

Miss E wearing her purchased tap costume proudly holding her 4th place trophy! She got a commended for her Jazz as well.

Miss A did very well - Encouragement Award for ballet, 3rd for tap and HC for Jazz.  I am SO proud of my little dancing princesses.

07 June 2013

Some Burda Inspiration

I am in desperate need of new/more tops to wear.  For some unknown reason I find it VERY difficult to find tops I like.  I've just spent the last hour scrolling through the Burda Style Pattern Store and have loaded my basket with patterns to go and have a second look at.  These three are my favourites.

Jersey Top with 3/4 sleeves - 6/2010 #108

Gathered Cowl Top - 10/2012 #118B

Printed Blouse - 08/2012 #109

Aghhhhhh! I have just gone back to the Burda site and the 12(!) tops I had in my basket to think about have disappeared!!  

I think I am going to make the Printed Blouse first - although it strongly depends on what fabric I can find tomorrow - fingers crossed I can find something a) that I like and b) suitable!  You can't see in the picture, but the sleeves have zippers which is kinda cool.

Do you have a favourite top/shirt pattern?  I would love if you could share your ideas, thoughts etc.

13 May 2013

In the pursuit of perfection .......

WARNING - text heavy post ........ Sorry!

Lately I've been giving a lot of thought about my sewing skills (or lack of) and my approach to sewing.  Many moons ago when I first started sewing I was fearless - no project seemed unachieveable.  I made my high school graduation dress, jackets, ball gowns, bridesmaid dresses and almost every skirt I ever wore to work - and I wore these things with pride.

During the 90's I discovered quilting and all other sewing slid to the wayside.  After that phase passed (eventually) something seemed to have happened to my sewing confidence.  I had become so focused on the skill required to produce a "perfect" garment that I no longer even looked at patterns that were anything but "beginner" or "easy".  And even then, if the item didn't turn out "perfect" it was never worn.

I am constantly frustrated at my lack of confidence these days and also with my "if it's not perfect I'm not going to do it" attitude.  I am NOT a perfectionist in any other aspects of my life.  I endeavor to do the best I can but accept that I am far from perfect.  SO, from this point forward I am going to "just jump in", give the project my best shot and accept (well try to) that it's okay to wear something that I made and NOT feel like it is a poor substitute for some garment I could buy (that has probably been made by some poor impoverished person being exploited by a multi-national.
So from this day forward I plan to be "fearless" with my sewing, endeavor to learn new skills and do the best job I can - and be happy with that!