Sunday, 27 July 2008

babies, sewing, and a sale...

Thank you all for your lovely comments about our wonderful news. I have a permanent smile on my face. Minnie is happily telling people about the baby in mummy's tummy. She likes to pretend that she has different animals growing in her tummy!

I WILL complete the applique tutorial soon. I am just madly finishing some orders as I have closed the shop to all new orders for a while as I will be spending every spare second packing - the vendor has finally agreed to accept our amended offer on the house! However, I am having a little sale over at the shop, just to lighten the packing load... I will be adding a hoodie and some other tops (tee-shirts and long sleeved tops) that are all on sale and ready to ship.
I will be back with that tutorial soon and some photos of my softie that I made as a part of the repurposing challenge over at Linaloo. Its a rather interesting little fellow and some how I don't think I will have any requests to have him in my etsy store...
I hope you are having a lovely weekend.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

after a long wait...

Minnie, 6 days old.

It seems like I have known forever. At times its been a lonely wait, knowing what I know, faced with problems along the way and without people to lean on and seek advice from. But now, after a wonderful telephone conversation with a nurse and OB, we can share our news. We are of course having a baby! The little button is due at the end of January next year. We are thrilled to say the very least.

Its a been a tough journey with losses and near losses and scary scan results. The last 24 hours have been terrible as we were told that there were serious concerns on the NT scan. I had mentally prepared myself for a CVS and/or amnio and all the trauma associated with those tests. Waiting for the blood test results just seemed like the longest 24 hours ever. But it turns out there is nothing to worry about. The poor nurse at the Dr's must have thought I was mad as I kept saying 'are you sure I don't need a CVS tomorrow?'

Minnie is of course very excited, in a 2 1/2 year old way. She is having her dinner and was heard just telling herself 'baby in the tummy and it will get bigger, and bigger, and bigger!

So an wonderful new chapter begins in our lives and we can start to really get excited about it.

What a glorious feeling this is...

Monday, 21 July 2008

lucky this a sign?

Not having a great morning with the house negotiations. I am loosing my tough take-no-crap suit wearing ways... But my morning has been brightened in a very special way. Only a fabric addict can appreciate the joy in receiving a special parcel! Thank you so much Jodie for the gorgeous fabrics and trims that you sent me - you are a stronger woman than I as I cannot imagine parting with any of these delights. I am sorry that these photos are not great - I just wanted to get straight on here and thank you! This is the first giveaway that I have won and I am hoping my fabric high continues with a successful negotiation high...

I think I have a fabric addict here in the making. She unfolded, inspected, and said 'isn't it beautiful' to every piece of fabric and trim, she then laid it out and looked at. She is still looking at them.

Sorry Steve, there is no hope. Hand over all the cash for the fabric addict girls in your life...

Sunday, 20 July 2008

A few quick things...

The winner from my little applique giveaway is number 6 and that is Eva. Minnie picked the number from a list but also love the tip. My mother is a brilliant sewer but sometimes drives me crazy when she finds it hard to deviate from a pattern. She could sew anything but really loves a pattern! Eva, please send me your details via email and I will send your little applique pack. Would love to see what you make!

I have closed my Etsy shop for a month or so as we are buying a house! We are still in the initial stages but we are so excited and want it now! But as many of your know buying a house and moving is a big job. Managing a husband that works overseas a bit and a crazy 2 year old while focusing on lawyers, banks, builders, fencers, removalists, and estate agents! Goodness... Plus the cat is still neurotic. I could go on but I would start sounding like the cat.

The house is wonderful. Its old (hence the builders), sits on hill, has sweeping verandas, views to the distant ocean and lakes, lovely garden with citrus trees and herbs and loads of potential. We are currently in a brand new place but we cannot wait to get into this place that is full of character. However, still a long way to go... Fingers crossed. I will show more photo's once it really is ours.

The last part of the tutorial is on its way, please be patient. I am just being pulled in 10 directions at once.

But its all so much fun!

Friday, 11 July 2008

How to...the giveaway

In preparation for the final chapter in this tutorial series, I am giving away a little 'everything you need to appliqué' pack. It’s just something little that may get some new comers started and may renew interest in some old hands…

I will send one lucky reader a small pack containing some Vliesofix, some Fusable Tearaway, a piece of baking paper, 2 little patterns, some little fabric squares from my collection and a little babies tank/singlet on which you can create a masterpeice. All I ask in return is that you share either one of your favourite sewing or craft tips (you know, like don’t cut a pattern out on your lap as you made cut your pants – that is my tip for the day). Or if you don’t sew or craft, share something that your love about winter or summer (depending where you are in the world).

I will announce the winner next Friday (18th July 2008). Part 3 of the appliqué tutorial will be out over the weekend.

Monday, 7 July 2008

How to...appliqué (part two)

I apologise for the delay in getting this to you but here is part two for your reading pleasure.

As outlined in the first part of this tutorial, you need the following things;

Things you will need
Tee-shirt or onesie
Fabrics for the appliqué
Vliesofix (or Wonder-Under) or similar iron on fusible webbing
Fusible Tear-away (if required)
Baking paper or one of those iron mat things
Thread – either plain white or contrasting or colours that match your appliqué fabric
Scissors, pencil, tracing paper
Sewing Machine (that has a zigzag stitch)

Step 4: Getting your fabric ready – the sticky stuff
Now that you have nice clean dry fabric you need to get the fabric ready for appliquéing. As I am usually making multiples of the one design, I like to cut enough fabric for few designs. For a single design I would cut a piece a little larger than the apple, for example. To make appliquéing ‘easy’ some clever people invented a double sided fusible webbing that you iron to your fabric which then enables to you iron your fabric to the garment on which it will be appliquéd. I use one called Vliesofix but I am sure there are others available. For ease of use I now use the paper backed Vliesofix (it’s perhaps a better option for beginners).

This photo shows the wrong side of the fabric, the double sided fusable webbing (Vliesofix) and the backing paper
Cut a piece of Vliesofix the same size as the fabric you are using. I like to protect my ironing board and iron by using some baking paper (I buy a generic one from the store that is much cheaper than 'Gladebake' that I use in the kitchen). Put the backing paper down on the ironing board (with enough excess paper to fold over on top of your fabric). Place your fabric down on your baking paper on the ironing board right side down (wrong side facing you). Place your Vliesofix web side down onto the wrong side of the fabric. You should have the backing paper facing you. Fold over the remaining piece of baking paper to enclose the fabric/Vliesofix stack. With your iron at the setting required (depending on what brand fusible webbing you are using) iron the web side down onto the back of your fabric. Repeat this with smaller pieces of your fabric for leaves and for the apple stem.

Above photo shows fabric and Vliesofix between baking paper being fused together

Vliesofix is around $11.00AUS per metre retail (I use the widest version).

Step 5 Cutting your design
Now copy your design from your template onto the backing paper of the Vliesofix. Remember to reverse the image if you want it to be the other way around on the tee-shirt (if that makes sense). Or rather than using a template, you can just draw directly onto the backing paper - I use this method a lot. Now cut out your design. Leave the backing paper on the design until you are ready to go.

Step 6: Fusing your appliqué to the base garment - more sticky stuff
Now we are getting to the exciting bit. Iron your tee-shirt or onesie and place it nice and flat on your ironing boards. Remove the backing paper from your cut appliqué and place it on your tee-shirt. Fiddle around with it until it is perfect as once its ironed on, there is no moving it! When you put the stem and leaves on the top of the apple, make sure a little of the stem is under the apple. Once it’s perfect, I place a piece of your kitchen baking paper over it all and iron it for the required time. The baking paper protects the design from any stray Vliesofix that may have stuck to the iron – if any of you have accidentally ironed this stuff, you will know what a pain it can be.

Above photo shows design laid out waiting to be ironed on the singlet.

I like to use Fusible Tear-away on my garments. Fusible Tear-away is a fabric stabiliser – simply it provides a slightly stiff backing that ensures your machine will not pucker the garment while appliquéing. I think this is essential if you are using base garments that are made of very light weight fabric. For example some little tops and singlets from stores like Cotton On in Australia are thin enough that they may pucker without this. It’s an easy step – just cut a piece larger than your appliqué design, turn your garment inside out and iron the Fusible Tear-away shiny side down to the back of the design, ensuring you have a good ½ inch around the design. The brand I use is around $4.00AUS a metre retail.

Above photo shows the Fusible Tear-away being applied to the inside of the singlet

The next and final tutorial will cover stitching the appliqué design and finishing off the garment.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

A break from regular programming...

The next part of the how to applique series is coming very soon but I have been tagged in a meme and thought I should respond to that one first (I have not had the chance to cut my Red Delicious apple for the accompanying photos).

I was tagged by Kris at Garden Variety and Anna at Griffin Creek, so a brief pause in sewing to respond to this meme.

The rules:
1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player tags 5 people and posts their name, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

What was I doing 10 years ago?
Mmm, mid 20's. I thought I had it all worked out of course but I didn't. I was living in Hobart (Tasmania) and working in a gorgeous but freezing historic blue stone church in the middle of the city (in welfare). I was living in fantastic Battery Point, with a lot of wonderful friends close by. I was getting ready for my big overseas adventure and watching one of my best friends die of leukemia.

Five snacks I enjoy in a perfect, non weight-gaining world (and in this world as well):
All sorts of cheese - any of them and all of them (perhaps not the one made in the caves in Italy with the live wormy things). Crisps - Salt and Vinegar (preferably the Salt and Balsamic vinegar ones I lived on in London). Biscuits - sweet or plain or cheesy. Pate, anything by Maggie Beer. Pickled onions but only Tassie's finest Blue Banner - they really are the best in the world

Five snacks I enjoy in the real world:
Cheese, salt and vinegar Vegie chips, salted pistachios. Yes, I do enjoy salty and unhealthy snacks... apples and biscuits. And raspberries if I could get them everyday.

Five things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Supply essential life saving drugs to the developing world and tell the drug companies to go '#$ck' themselves. Build good, safe parks for children in all areas, not just the nice, wealthy middle class suburbs. Produce a range of biodegradable sanitary pads for girls in Africa (and elsewhere) so they could go to school when they are menstruating. Buy a house for my family. But spend most of our time travelling and exploring the world.

Five jobs that I have had:
Working in a cafe, doing research in broad acre housing estates in Hobart, nanny, working for a big snazzy company in London (I could call in a drinks trolley if I felt like a glass of wine in the late afternoon), looking after staff health and OH&S for a Government agency.

Three of my habits:
I don't finish things that I start, I forget things in the fridge and I turn both our cars into mobile playrooms/tips within moments of driving them.

Five places I have lived: Hobart, Launceston, London, Campbell Town (TAS), St Louis (USA). And I moved to Sydney for love...

Five things to do today: Talk to the cat who is suffering a stress disorder at the moment (do not ask), play with Minnie, do some of the washing that appears to have taken over the laundry floor, finish some orders, and try put away the folding that my mum did for me about a week ago (I am hopeless).

Five people I want to get to know more about:
Although I cannot expect them to respond, I would love to know more about the woman I have bumped into twice that is from Turkmenistan with her husband from Iran. How did they end up here? What is their story? And would love to know what happened to Car Park Mark - the car park attendant from my work in London. He was from Belfast. He once told me that I was one of the only people that stopped to talk to him everyday - most people ignored him. He came to my leaving drinks but left without talking to me when he saw me with my work mates - I tried to catch him up but I was too late. Was he nervous? Did he feel out of place with the 'suits?' I wished he had not felt that way.

So unless my 2 'friends' are reading this, I would like 5 other new friends to respond, if they have the time.

Mary Beth

Bex (who I know is very busy so I will understand if she takes a few months to get to this one)