Thursday, 31 May 2012

My Creative Space, Spoonflower and Fabric Design


I have been playing around a little with Inkscape lately, with a view to designing some fabric. I have so many ideas I'm not sure where to start, so I've been flitting back and forth, trying out new things. I have found these Inkscape tutorials to be a really good starting point. There are heaps of nifty little tricks you can learn which will help to reduce beginner frustration. I should add that if you are not familiar with Inkscape, it is an open-source, vector drawing program, similar to Illustrator. The best part, Open Source = FREE! It also runs on Linux, Apple and Windows.


Once I get my fabric designs all worked out and I am happy with them, I plan to get them digitally printed by Spoonflower. Spoonflower is an awesome business who custom print fabric. You can get your designs printed on different types and weights of fabric. It is only $1 to get a swatch booklet of the different fabric types, and $1 to get the colour guide, also printed on fabric. There is also a much larger colour guide, with lots more colours, that you can get printed on a yard of fabric for $18.

Have you ever wanted to design yor own fabric? What sort of designs would you do, or like to see someone else do? Have you already designed your own fabric? Do you have any advice for me, or others who are just at the beginning of their fabric designing journey?

Would you like to see what everyone else is up to in their Creative Spaces this week?

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Make It in May - Skirt Complete


I finished my skirt for the Curlypops Make It in May - Skirt sew-along. Using Nicole Mallalieu's A-line skirt pattern and some of the same denim I used to make Liam's jeans, I kept this skirt plain so that it goes with more things in my wardrobe. Nikki's pattern comes with some great instructions to insert an invisible zip (using an invisible zipper foot - if you don't have one you should get one), and the yoke makes for a tidy skirt with no "popping-out" facings as well as helping with that not-so-flat-these-days tummy.


I made the skirt up in the original length and then chopped 13cm from the bottom, before giving it a 2 inch hem. This brought the skirt up to knee length which I think is probably a bit more suitable for running around with the kids.


In addition to changing the length, I added pockets to the skirt. I grabbed a pocket from another pattern and put the pockets into the side-seam. It frustrates me sometimes that I have nowhere to put my keys, especially when out and about with the kids and it isn't always practical to carry a bag. These pockets are pretty discrete, I made them in navy homespun, and nothing falls out of them when I sit down, so I am pretty happy with them.


Have you made anything for yourself lately? What about a skirt? There's still time to join in if you want to make yourself a skirt during the month of May.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Happy (belated) Mothers' Day


Ok, so it's been more than a week since Mothers' Day, but I've finally gotten around to blogging about it. I've been wanting to make one of these knitting needle rolls for myself, and I will, but thought mum might like one to get her needles all organised too.


I followed this tutorial, but I made a mistake when cutting out the fabric. When I was supposed to cut two pieces of the main fabric 16" x 15" I managed to cut one of them 15" x 15". So then I decided that I would use it for the outer bit and splice in the contrast fabric instead of over-laying it. So I did that, making it bigger than it needed to be, and trimmed it back and then MADE IT TOO SMALL AGAIN!!! So I added those bits at the top and bottom, hahahaha. Let's just say it was a lesson in "Measure twice, cut once". Or even a series of lessons....


Anyway, I had a great Mothers' Day. The kids all slept in. AMAZING! Then I had breakfast in bed, where I was gifted Ferrero Rocher, fluffy slippers and some snap-dragon seedlings for the garden. (Any idea why the boys chose snapdragons?) We then went out to visit my mum on the farm and had a lovely roast dinner. We have had a few really beautiful, sunny days since Mothers' Day, which have seen me out in the garden, planting my seedlings and bulbs and moving around some rose bushes, and (ahem) not updating my blog....

What did you do for Mothers' Day? Did you get fluffy slippers and chocolates too? Did you visit your mother?

Monday, 7 May 2012

Ugly Basket


Ugly basket, with your faded fabric and your rigid bow, oh ugly basket, I have big plans for you...

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Update on My Camera


You might be wondering how my camera went, after I blogged about it the other day?


Well, I tested it yesterday. Don't stress, my windows are just very, very dirty. I would clean them but I don't think the kids are finished messing them up yet.


Ahh that's better...

Everything seems to check out ok, except the latch for the battery compartment has been broken (It was prised open to get the batteries out before being left in the back yard), so I have to hold it closed. A rubber band seems to work ok. One of my friends has very helpfully suggested that I keep storing the camera in rice for a while to help prevent fungus from growing on the lens, so I'm going to do that. I'm very, very grateful that my camera still works.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Yarn, Glorious Yarn!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Review: A Field Guide to Fabric Design


Whether you are just someone who likes (and perhaps hoards?) fabric, or if you're a budding artist who dreams of one day being the next Heather Ross, Denyse Schmidt or Amy Butler, A Field Guide to Fabric Design has something for you. The book is an easy read, with lots of interesting topics and plenty of eye-candy for lovers of fabric.


You may already have come across the author, Kim Kight in blogland. Kim is responsible for True Up, a blog that basically is all about the fabric. True up alerts us to fresh, new fabrics, up and coming designers and great sales.

I grabbed myself a copy of this book at the AQC a couple of weeks ago. I have had it on my wishlist since before it was published and can't believe I have waited so long. Once I saw the book in person I just had to have it. As an avid reader, in my pre-child days I would have consumed this book in one sitting. I read the book, from cover to cover in about a week, which is really good going for me these days.


The book explains a little about colour theory, and discusses pattern density and where different styles may be used. There is an awesome section, towards the back that covers different types of fabric and their properties and compatibility to colouring and printing. I can see myself referring to that chapter a lot. Kim also discusses fabic weights and the different ways they can be measured, which is also of interest, praticularly if you buy fabric on-line.

If you are particularly interested in design, there are a number of tutorials that take you through the process of designing a repeating pattern by hand, or by using photoshop or illustrator, as well as how to block print and how to screen print. There is even a tutorial for building a screen printing table.


I would recommend this book to all lovers of fabric, it certainly has me inspired to get out my inks and start designing.

A Field Guide to Fabric Design: Design, Print & Sell Your Own Fabric; Traditional & Digital Techniques; For Quilting, Home Dec & Apparel

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Experiencing Technical Difficulties...


I am really hoping this works. My camera spent the night in the back yard, in the rain...

For anyone who does not know this trick. This is what you are meant to do if your mobile phone, or other electronic equipment gets wet.

  1. DO NOT turn the equipment on. Electricity + Water = Bad (water can cause short circuits which can fry your device)
  2. Remove batteries from the device (provided, of course that your toddler did not already do this) 
  3. Carefully try to dry your device as best you can with a cloth or some paper towel.
  4. Place the device inside a container with some rice
  5. Leave it in a warm, dry place (preferably out of reach of children) for several days. The more you love the item, the longer you should leave it. I understand recommendations range from 2-3 days to a week.
  6. Pray lots, cross your fingers and do good things, hopefully if you are good to the universe, the universe will be good back to you. 
  7. Check item. Hopefully it works.

I am open to any other advice anyone has to offer...?

Update: You can see how I went, over here.
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