Saturday, 31 October 2009

BLOGTOBERFEST - DAY 31 ....and the winner is....

Here we are on the last day of Blogtoberfest. I have enjoyed finding new blogs to check out, and seeing new people visiting mine.

On day seven of Blogtoberfest, I reached my 100th post and decided to celebrate by giving away a purse, custom made for the winner with an embroidered and beaded monogram of the recipient's choosing.

The winner is comment number 32,

Miss Muggins said...
Gotta love a sweet little purse, especially when it features your very own initial!

Congratulations Miss Muggins! Please email me your postal address and the letter you would like monogrammed onto the purse.

Wordless Weekend

Friday, 30 October 2009

My Creative Space

A little unpicking...

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Check out this Blogtoberfestive Giveaway!

I was just checking out the links on Curlypop's blog to all the wonderful giveaways that are happening as a part of Blogtoberfest, and I happened to come across this one.

I first spotted one of Melanie's creations on Nikki's blog. I then saw more of her lovely creations on the Flickr group.

How awesome would it be to win anything from this lovely lady?!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Noah's New Hat!

I literally had to chase Noah all around the back yard to take this photo. Here he is peeping out through the apple tree. I love the structure the pinwale cord gives this hat. I made the binding myself using the Trefle, it was a little short, so I unpicked, trimmed and re-stitched. I used the medium-heavy woven interfacing from Nicole Mallalieu Designs, and placed two layers on the upper brim. It's a little big, but I know it won't be by the end of summer.

Lining Fabric: Trefle by Kokka, purchased from Retro Mummy
Main Fabric: Brown Pinwale Cord purchased from Lincraft (online)
Embroidery: Radical Robots, purchased from Embroidery Library (I chose different colours to suit my fabric)

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

My Big Five!

Something I have been meaning to do all through Blogtober, is to tell everyone all about my favourite blogs.

I follow heaps of blogs, but these are the ones I never skip past... (interestingly, they are all Australian, hmm..)

You Sew, Girl - Nicole Mallalieu's blog. Heaps of great bag, hat (and other) tips and tutorials. I have read EVERY post on this blog. I guess by the way I rave on about her here, you would probably understand that I am a bit of a fan... If you haven't checked out this blog, then you ABSOLUTELY MUST!

Ric-Rac - Jodie of the Selvege Dress fame. I went in search of this blog after seeing the Selvege Dress in person at the Melbourne Stitches and Craft Show earlier this year. Jodie makes really cute softies with clock parts and other bits and pieces, and then she goes and makes these beaut little stories with her softies as characters. We all keep telling Jodie that she should publish a book, but she thinks we're all mad - check it out for yourself!

Badskirt - Amy makes Hippo, Kiwi, and Dog softies out of really cool fabric and sells them at markets. I'm not sure what it is that keeps me coming back to her blog. She is very friendly and seems to have a pretty good sense of humour (it might be the humour). Go and check out her blog and come back and tell me what it is that has made me become so addicted.

Curly Pops - Ok, another blogger that I can't stop myself from following is Cam from Curlypops. Cam likes to recycle things she finds at op-shops, and makes really cool bags out of discarded skirts and table cloths. Cam also has this really cool Superpops challenge on her blog that you simply must check out. I don't know how she does it, she must have this really cool magnetic personality thing going on, because I cannot see people making SuperCarmel's (that would be me) and entering them in a competition... Somehow Cam manages to keep it exciting.

My Black Cardigan - Nikki Cardigan. I first came across Nikki as I was checking out something she was pattern testing for Nicole Mallalieu. Like Curlypops, Nikki also recycles op-shop finds. Something I like about Nikki is the honesty of her posts. She will tell you about the stuff-ups as well as the things that go well. Nikki also will take a stuff up, turn it around and make it into a success. Nikki made a man's jumper into a ladies' cardigan, and when that didn't work out, she then turned it into a pair of pants for one of her twins. Nikki is warm, friendly and sweet. Check out her blog, trust me, you will love her....

Who are your BIG FIVE? What blogs can't you go past?


The Fabric Shoppe is Having a Giveaway of some lovely fabric.

Romi at Inspired is also hosting an amazing giveaway of a voucher to spend at Buyster Lighting

Also, there are heaps and heaps of Blogtoberfest giveaways listed on Curlypops blog, Blogtober is almost over, so those that are left end soon!

While we are on the subject of Giveaways, don't forget to enter my giveaway. It ends at the end of the month. You could win a lovely monogrammed purse with your initial on it. For those that asked, the purse is machine embroidered, but the beads are sewn on by hand.

Tuesday Tip #2

When sewing a 4-hole button, you can make it extra secure by sewing first one side. Tie the thread off, and then sew the other side.
This way, if a thread becomes broken, only one side will unravel, leaving the other side to stop you from losing your button!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Radical Robots

Here's a sneak peek of my next project...

I was lucky enough to receive a $10 voucher from Embroidery Library for my birthday (way back in July). I chose to spend my voucher on the Radical Robots design pack. I may yet go back and get the smaller one as well. If you want to see something super cute, you should check out the Radical Robots Stuffies on there!

Embroidery Library give away two free designs every month, and also have lots of other special deals.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Looking for Inspiration...

These two beautiful fabrics have been in my stash for a couple of years. I have about 3m of the one on the left, and about 160cm of the one on the right. They weren't bought together, and until I slapped them down on the table next to each other the other day, I had never considered they may work together.

I am unsure of what sort of fabric they are, the one on the left is fairly lightweight and a bit like crepe? The other is sort of shirred and has sequins and frilly bits. I don't normally wear sparkly things but it's quite pretty.

I would love to hear what others would do with this fabric.

I should add, I want to make something for me to WEAR.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

My Creative Space

My Creative Space this week was largely dominated by this Laptop Bag. Actually, to be honest, my creative space was dominated by a pair of toddlers. I don't know if it is just me, but the stronger my desire to get into the sewing room and get something done, the more desperately the kids want my attention. I need to practise acting more cavalier...

The laptop bag has a large patch pocket on the front, and a divided pocket across the inside at the back. I made fabric straps out of the pinwale corduroy, and I added a little hook (not part of the pattern) so mum can put her keys in there without losing them. I've added my hand made label to the facing above the inside pocket. The bag also has a hard base and purse feet.

As always, I learned some new things and developed some new skills whilst making this bag. The first may help clarify the previous blog post...

Sometimes it is difficult, or even impossible to use pins to hold things together. There are various things you can do to get around this, like paper clips, bulldog clips, hair clips, sticky tape... anyway, Nikki advises using sticky tape to hold various things in place throughout the project - which is a really, really, good tip. I used sticky tape and then sewed over the top, through the tape (along the entire length of the seam. I am not really sure what the cause was (Nikki uses tape from Officeworks, mine was Scotch Magic Tape, or maybe my needle was a little blunt?) Removing teeny tiny bits of sticky tape from pinwale cord isn't fun... so here's a tip; Use tape in place of pins where required, but remove it before your presser foot reaches it. Actually, another really good tip is to read all of the instructions before you begin a project, because Nikki does advise this in her instructions!

Another thing I have learned from this project is, if you have a machine that struggles with wadding (the feed dogs on mine totally ignore wadding), a walking foot can be your saviour. You will still need to backstitch your ends though, and I have been advised that walking feet are like emus and kangaroos, they don't do backwards, so you need to swivel your project, and sew back in the other direction, and then swivel back again to sew in the correct direction.

Beware of velcro, as it may stick to your clothes, parts of your project, and other items laying around the sewing table, and unguarded sticky fluff removing devices can also stick to projects if you don't put them away. I was having major dramas with everything in my sewing room being stuck together this week!

Sometimes it is nice for things to stick together though, and due to another tip in the pattern, I actually used the applique spray that mum gave me (ages ago), and wow that stuff is brilliant! I will be using it again - LOTS!

If you want to see what is happening in other people's creative spaces this week, wander over to Kootoyoo, and take a look!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Tuesday Tip #1

Don't sew over sticky tape, unless you like picking teeny, tiny bits out with tweezers...

Join in! What is your favourite crafty tip?

BLOGTOBERFEST - DAY 19 - Just one word

Inspired by Kylie...

1. Where is your mobile phone? Handbag
2. Your hair? Blah
3. Your mother? Clever
4. Your father? Wise
5. Your favourite food? Cheesecake
6. Your dream last night? Forgotten
7. Your favourite drink? Coffee
8. Your dream/goal? Business 
9. What room are you in? Dining
10. Your hobby? Sewing
11. Your fear? Kids' safety
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Here
13. Where were you last night? Sewing room
14. Something that you aren’t? Bored
15. Muffins? Lemon Poppyseed
16. Wish list item? Yudu
17. Where did you grow up? Winnindoo
18. Last thing you did? Sewed
19. What are you wearing? Jeans
20. Your TV? Off
21. Your pet? Gone :(
22. Friends? Supportive
23. Your life? FANTASTIC!
24. Your mood? Relaxed
25. Missing someone? Julie
26. Vehicle? Lanos
27. Something you’re not wearing? Jewellery
28. Your favorite store? Here
29. Your favorite color? Turquoise
30. When was the last time you laughed? Now
31. Last time you cried? Empathy
32. Your best friend? Maxx
33. One place that I go to over and over? Parents
34. One person who emails me regularly? Maxx (yes, even from the next room...)
35. Favorite place to eat? Deck

Monday, 19 October 2009

Let's Go Shopping!!

Want to fill up a shiny new shopping cart with patterns and bits and pieces for making bags, hats and purses?

Word has it Nicole Mallalieu's New Shop is up and running!

Visit if you dare!

Saturday, 17 October 2009

BLOGTOBERFEST - DAY 17 - Laptop Sleeve

Thursday nap-time was great for sewing. I also completed this padded laptop sleeve for my mum's laptop. The pattern is the free Nicole Mallalieu Laptop Sleeve tutorial available from WhipUp. The instructions are also included in the Laptop Bag pattern.
Nikki also includes instructions as to how to adjust the size to fit different laptops. I wasn't sure about the size, but I measured my mum's laptop and found it was the same size as Maxx's. I made the sleeve first, as I figure that if the laptop fits in there okay, then it will fit in the bag too. It turns out it is a really good fit if you leave the pattern as is.

Hopefully, in the next day or so, I should have the bag completed... wish me luck!

Friday, 16 October 2009

BLOGTOBERFEST - DAY 16 (Woohoo! Check out this belt I made!)

Yesterday, a lovely little parcel from Nicole Mallalieu Design arrived with the supplies I needed to make this belt.

Nikki has a lovely tutorial on her blog which tells you how to make this belt, and it really is quite easy and very quick to make.

I whipped this up whilst the boys were asleep yesterday afternoon. Now I have to make another one...

Edited to add ~ I have had a few comments on the fabric I have used. It is available from Retro Mummy's shop for $9.95 per half metre. Retro Mummy has free shipping to anywhere in Australia.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

BLOGTOBERFEST - DAY 15 (My Creative Space)

For last week's My Creative Space, I showed a corner of my sewing room. There is more of that to show, but we'll save that for another time.
There is another part of my house that is also used for creativity, and it sort of helps me to be a little more efficient. It's the kitchen bench. I do heaps of cutting out here, and I can do it whilst the kids are up and about, and still keep an eye on what they are doing. Let's face it, if I was restricted to only sewing while they were asleep, I would either get nothing done, or I would be a walking zombie. The bench is also at a good height for cutting out, and is way easier on my back than cutting at a table.

One of the selling points of our home for us (we purchased in January) was it's large central kitchen. From the kitchen, I can see out through the sunroom to the backyard. Even though it is in the middle of the house, there is plenty of natural light and there is also heaps of bench space.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009


I was going to skip blogging tonight. I spent a little time sewing instead. I was all set to go to bed when I heard an email arrive in my inbox....

I want to see the whiteboard list - so I can be reassured I am not the only craft mad person in the world!!
Go on - post about it!


Haha - here it is! Just for you, Karen. In all it's messy glory! (And sideways too, for some reason, the photo won't rotate - imagine it rotated clockwise 90 degrees) See the bit up the top right? That used to be a shopping list, I haven't wiped it off yet. Oh, and you've gotta love the red whiteboard marker.... The list over to the right, down the bottom is Ottobre Patterns that interest me, mostly pants for little boys. The list above that, is things to order from Nicole Mallalieu. I might get rid of that list because I have most of it now - just the hat pattern to go. I need to put more things on there, though.

The idea of the whiteboard was to get it all out of my head so I could use my brain for things other than storing lists. I still have lists going on in there too. Oh, and I picked up a barrel purse pattern off my ironing board that hasn't made the list yet.. and ummm... there are more things on their way here now that also haven't made the list. Notice that neither the belt, nor the tie have made the list. Also, I want to make t-shirts for the boys. And something for me....

So Karen, I too, am a crazy, red-marker-wielding, whiteboard-using, mad-craft person! Are you going to show me yours?

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

BLOGTOBERFEST - DAY 13 It's Tuesday and I Can't Wait.... go to my violin lesson tonight. I even practised!

To see more things that people can't wait for, visit Buttons by Lou Lou.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Blogtoberfest - Day 12 (My Ever Growing List of Things to Do!)

I am very fortunate to have two little boys who both usually will have an afternoon nap. Things have been a little stirred up around here lately, and between trips to the hospital and the doctors, unplanned interstate trips, as well as the usual Mums' group things, and grocery shopping, etc, etc... We have kind of shaken up th eroutine a little, and as a result, I haven't really had a lot of crafting time over the past week or so. Hopefully this will soon change...

I am working on a Nicole Mallalieu Laptop Bag for my mum. Mum bought the pattern and the bits and pieces to make it. Then she asked me to do her a favour and make it for her. I said it was a deal if I can keep the pattern. Sound fair? Anyway, I am about half-way through completing the sleeve... This is on the top of my list of (crafty) things to do.

A friend from Mums' group had a baby girl about six weeks ago - so I have to make a gift for her. I have a plan, so stay tuned!

Noah's head is getting too big for his current sun hat, so I have a hat to make.

My Sister in Law has a baby boy due in only 4 weeks, so I need to make something for him too.

I bought myself some new sunglasses recently, but the case that came with them, although lovely, is a little big for my bag, so I have to make myself a sunglasses case as well.

So my list (in order of priority) is
     1. Laptop Bag
     2. Baby Girl Gift
     3. Sunglasses Case 
     4. Hat
     5. Baby Boy Gift

I have a HUGE list on the whiteboard in my sewing room of things that I want to do, but I think what I have written here is enough for the month of October. I dreamed up more ideas whilst driving up north and back so I may have to add some of those to my great big list. One of these ideas included some embellishment techniques (inspired by a dress) that I really want to try out. Nikki also blogged a tutorial on how to make a kid's belt that I want to do, and Christie also just blogged a link to a tutorial for a really cute kids tie that I now feel the need to make. If I get through my list, I may add these to it.

I really don't need to be on here, looking for inspiration right now...

What is on your LIST OF THINGS TO DO?

Sunday, 11 October 2009


I've gotten a bit behind with my Blogtoberfest Blogging. Things went a little haywire when we took an unplanned trip interstate to attend a funeral. We left Thursday and arrived back yesterday afternoon. I'm almost all caught up now and thought I would do a little mish-mash of a post.

First of all, here is a picture of Noah wearing his Ottobre outfit...

This is what we did today. The original plan was to do it yesterday, but it is done now and next weekend will involve getting rid of it. It had to be done as it was touching the line that brings power to our house. The tree was looking a bit shabby, as it was trying to grow beneath an elm tree, so was a bit bare on one side anyway. It looks very different both from the house and the street, I am glad we did the curtains first!

Also, I never took photos of the bibs that Sarah won in my giveaway. I ended up sending two bibs, I was feeling a little generous. Sarah has blogged one of the bibs here.

Wordless Weekend (Bright/Hotham 2005)


"Aunty" was actually my partner's, mother's Aunty Vera. She was so much more than that though....

Aunty was heavily involved in the community, including the Girl Guides, was District Commisioner and received an award for 50 years of Long Service. She was also involved with the Red Cross and the CWA. Aunty also played tennis, and later bowls.

Aunty never had children of her own, but she raised four of her brother's children as if they were her own. Aunty looked after her mother in law when she was sick, her husband when he became unwell, and then later, her own mother.

Aunty turned 100 in March and received her letter from the Queen. She lived in her own home, before she moved into the Nursing Home after a fall the day before her 99th birthday.

Aunty passed away on Tuesday night at 9:30pm, peacefully in her sleep. She is survived by 4 children, 10 grandchildren and 13 Great Grandchildren.

Rest in Peace, Aunty. You were a fine, strong woman, who will be remembered and loved always.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

My (belated) Creative Space

Okay, I know the My Creative Space thing happens on Thursdays, but I have been away from the internet for a couple of days, so I'm doing a little catch up. This would technically also be my Blogtoberfest Day Eight Post...

Anyway, I thought I would actually SHOW you my creative space. I am lucky enough to have my own sewing room, which is great, as it means that I can leave everything all set up and just shut the door. If I didn't have this, I think I would really struggle to get anything creative done at all!

So here is one corner of my sewing room, this is the part where most of the action happens. The machine on the left is my fabulous Janome 350e Embroidery machine which I purchased two years ago.. The machine in the middle is my "Globe" M-44. I earned the money to pay for this machine by working in my parents shearing shed about 18 (OMG!) years ago. I am told it is a generic-Bernina. The machine over to the right is my Janome My-Lock 134D overlocker. I sewed many a pair of school tracksuit pants for my step-daughter when I first got this machine about 10 years ago.

For more Creative Spaces, visit Kootoyoo.

Thursday, 8 October 2009


This is my 100th Post! To celebrate, I am giving away a personalised purse, like these ones here. You pick the letter and I will do the rest. You might choose to have it made for yourself, or it might be a nice little Christmas present for someone you love. Just comment on this post and I will draw the winner at the end of the month.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009


Ok, so I missed a day. But I'm not behind, because I did an extra one the other day... To be honest, I don't have a lot to show. Everyone likes pictures of cute kids though, right?

Liam and Noah are reading "That's Not My Frog" by Fiona Watt & Rachel Wells, "In The Night Garden - Igglepiggle, The Bouncy Jumping Game" by Andrew Davenport and "The Little Mermaid" by Jane Hammerslough.

I'm reading "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger.

What are you reading?

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Wordless Weekend

BLOGTOBERFEST - DAY FOUR (Checkout this giveaway!)

Thanks to Blogtoberfest, and the wonderful list of giveaways on Curlypop's blog, I found out about a really cute Etsy shop!

The shop is lilla lotta, they have the most gorgeous illustrated and printed cotton tape. You really have to see it to understand how beautiful it is.

Anyway, Sweet Tidings are having a Giveaway! Go visit their blog, and go in the draw to win 5 metres of Lilla Lotta cotton tape. You only have a few days!

Saturday, 3 October 2009

BLOGTOBERFEST - DAY THREE (Calling all Quilters!!!)

Excuse the wrinkles! This was just pulled out of my sewing room (from under a pile of fabric, in case you can't tell) to show an example of an unfinished quilt. I have yet to sew the yellow spot sashing around the outside - it is cut, and has been sitting in a tray on the end of the ironing board for weeks months. It's a bit wonky in places (though not as bad as I remembered it to be), but I guess, since if I ever finish it, it will be my first quilt, so I can't really afford to be too fussy...

I also have fabric for backing, and for binding (although I haven't cut either of these yet) as well as some wadding. I don't know if it is suitable though. The wadding is bigger than my quilt top so that is a good start. It's poly-fil (R) Traditional Batting that I got from Spotlight and it's 100% polyester. It has a diagram on the side that indicates that the loft is around 1/4 of an inch. It recommends a quilting distance of 2-4" apart.

I also have a walking foot. So far I have used it to make a couple of oven mitts. If I don't do something else with it, that means they were very expensive oven mitts! So I was thinking straight lines?

So anyway, are there any quilters out there that can offer me some advice? Suggestions? Do I have the right wadding? Should I be using wool? I'm planning for it more to be a floor rug I guess than a bed topper, but not really sure.... Can I get away with quilting closer than 2 inches apart?

Friday, 2 October 2009


I bought this book a couple of weeks ago...

Do you really think it is possible to make a kid's quilt in a weekend?  I have started many quilts, but I have never completed one. I might show some of my WIPs during blogtoberfest. I think part of it is that my ideas are too big, and maybe I should attempt someof the simpler projects in this book....

Maybe this other book that I bought on the same day might help me...?

To see more Blogtoberfest Blogs, or to sign up, visit TinnieGirl!

Thursday, 1 October 2009


I have joined the Blogtoberfest, which means that I have made the commitment to blog everyday for the entire month of October. To find out more about Blogtoberfest, or to sign up, you should pop on over to TinnieGirl's blog and check it all out.

I finished this shirt for Noah, yesterday and he wore it to Mum's group. Needless to day it got very, very dirty and is in the laundry soaking away.

I used Ottobre 2006/6 and used snaps instead of buttons and button holes. I didn't use my snap press for this one, as I only have dyes for the resin snaps and these ones are metallic. They have a pearlescent type finish just like the old style Miller shirts from when I was a little kid. I had already planned to use these snaps for this before I ordered my snap press. My favourite part of the shirt is the snaps on the sleeves so that they can be rolled up. I also like the binding on the inside of the neckband.

Anyway, I will be back in tomorrow sometime to do another post, so see you then!
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