Wednesday, 25 July 2012

A Crafty Retreat

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Ever feel the need to escape?

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To get away from the normal hum-drum of life?

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Somewhere that you can relax with some like-minded friends and sew to your heart's content?






















You, my friend, need a weekend at The Retreat Woodend.

I know I do....

Would you like to win a weekend for you and up to nine of your friends at The Retreat Woodend? Visit Abbe, over at Copper Patch to find out how. And if you do win, remember who sent you ;-)




Thursday, 12 July 2012

Sketchy Plans

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I thought I lost my sketchbook earlier today. Luckily I found it, because I had a few little ideas I wanted to sketch. I find sometimes, when I sketch or write down an idea, it leads to other ideas. Do you have a sketchbook? How do you manage your ideas? Would you like to check out some more creativity?

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Kwik Sew Hoody for Liam

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Excuse my blurry photo, but I think the smile is irresistable. That's my handsome Liam in his new hoody that I made for him last Friday. It's one of the items I promised to finish in this post. I did the embroidery a bit earlier, whilst I had a bit of a cleaning frenzy in my sewing room (not that you can tell anymore). We've used it before, but it's the one Liam chose for this top and it's from the Embroidery Library. I have a voucher they sent me for my birthday*, I must remember to go and spend it.

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The pattern is from Kwik Sew's Sewing for Children. We've finally moved up from the Toddler book. Now that McCalls have taken over Kwik Sew, I'm wondering if these books will stay, or become a thing of the past? Apparently, the lovely paper patterns that Kwik Sew has are disappearing and being replaced by tissue. What sort of patterns do you prefer, paper or tissue? Do you have a favourite Kwik Sew pattern that you think should be snapped up before it gets switched to tissue paper?

*they do this for everyone, if you have an embroidery machine it is well worth signing up

Friday, 6 July 2012

If a tree falls in the woods....

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I know I said I wasn't going to start anything new until I had finished four items from this post.... but if I don't blog about it until after I've done them, does it really count?

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Warm Winter Coat

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Dolly now has a lovely, warm coat for a cold, Melbourne winter. The pattern is from the kinder wardrobe pattern for kinder girls and boys by the lovely Jodie of Ric Rac. I used a built in embroidery pattern on my machine to do the lovely flower edging. I really need to make more use of those patterns. I used some G├╝termann upholstery thread, so it stands out just a little more than it would if I just used normal thread.

You can check back through Dolly's progress here, here and here. Or if you want to see what other people have been doing in their creative spaces this week, you can check that out over here.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Knot-less Embroidery Tutorial

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Today I am going to show you how to do embroidery without big knots all over the back of your work. It keeps the back looking almost as neat as the front and there is less chance of getting big tangles going on. I always thought that knotless embroidery was just where you didn't tie any knots in the back, so the ends were all loose (and very,very messy), until my friend Jodie explained it to me. For this tutorial, I am working in backstitch. You can see a tutorial on back stitch at The Purl Bee.

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One of the down-sides with this technique is that you can only use an even number of strands of thread. Not to worry, for the leaves in my current project, it is recommended that you use three strands of thread. I chose to use four instead. Rules are meant to be broken and we don't really want our project to be a clone of the original. So I peeled off TWO strands of thread. TWO strands, because we are going to double it.

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So now we have our two strands of thread, folded in half, with our cut ends together. You might expect that we thread the doubled end through the eye of the needle...

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...but we don't. Instead, we thread the loose ends through the needle. You may need to wet them a little to get them to stay together.

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So now we have our needle threaded, and we have the neat folded ends all down the bottom, and the loose scruffy bits at the top.

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Take your needle, and from the wrong side, push it through where you want your embroidery to start. Leave a decent sized tail at the back of your work.

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Form your first stitch, and take the needle back through from the front to the back.

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This is the back of my work, please ignore the pink markings, I had a couple of goes at doing my transfer and instead of washing the fabric or getting out a new piece, I just flipped it over and started again (but it's really neat, isn't it!). Now take your needle through the loop at the end of your thread.

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Before stitching back through to the right side.

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Pull your knot-less knot tight and continue with your stitching.

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When you have finished your stitching, work the needle back along your stitching before snipping the ends. In this case, I just worked the ends into the branches of the tree.

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Tuesday, 3 July 2012

A Pretty Dress for Dolly

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Dolly has a dress now, so she can go to the party. I hope the birthday girl likes it. The clever lady who designed this pattern made the dress reversible, so she gets two for one.

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A little tip, if you are making this doll; When you are cutting out all the arms and legs, if you can copy the arm and leg patterns, so you have two of each, you will only need to lay them out on your doubled fabric once to get your four of each. This really helps when you have a tight fabric layout. (Somebody remind me to order more Doctor's flannel, so I'm ready for the next dolly).

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When you sew the dolly's face on, you need to mark the face with a disappearing fabric marker. I love this pen for drawing the face, because it has an eraser on it. So if your mouth is a bit wonky, or your nose not quite right, you can erase it and start again. Of course, test it out on some scrap fabric before you use it on dolly's face, as it would be terrible if it didn't come out.

I'm thinking that Dolly looks a bit cold. Should I make her a coat?

Monday, 2 July 2012

Well, Hello Dolly!

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I managed to get the dolly together last night. All she needs now is a party dress. We've had a bit of a rough day here, with two exuberant pre-schoolers who want to get outside and a really unhappy toddler who just wanted cuddles all day. So the dress isn't quite finished. Hopefully tomorrow.

The dolly pattern, in case you didn't know, is the Ric-Rac Kinder Girl pattern.

***Update: The Kinder Doll pattern is now available as a downloadable pattern from Craftsy. Get it Now!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Fingers in Pies.....

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Jodie says she has so many irons in the fire she could be a blacksmith. Me, I have my fingers in so many pies I could possibly be Little Jack Horner. Starting with a dolly I need to finish before next weekend.

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In an effort to head off second-sock-itis, I have started my second tropical fish sock...

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Slowly working through my cherry tree swing embroidery...

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Trying to keep up with my growing boy and supply him with some long sleeved tee-shirts to keep him warm...

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As well as a wind-cheater...

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And of all things, a picnic basket make-over.... and I believe I may have promised someone a sashiko tutorial? Busy, busy, busy!

Here's the deal. Let's say I finish at least four of these before I start anything new...

What are you working on? Can you stick to one thing at a time?

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