Wednesday, 31 October 2012

31. Elsie Cabbage


I was lucky enough to test another one of Jodie's patterns, Elsie Cabbage. I put her in a tree, because she's a tree-climbing kind of girl.


In fact, Elsie is happiest when she is outdoors.


I don't know if it is the lop-sided pig-tails, just like her own...


But Amélie has claimed adopted her.


How could you not love this cute, freckly face?


I don't know why we bothered with the shoes, because Elsie prefers to go barefoot.


...and naked, apparently.


Watch out for Elsie Cabbage, the pattern should be available in a week or two. If your local doesn't stock Ric-Rac patterns, give them a funny look and ask them to order some in for you.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

30. Five things I should be doing RIGHT NOW

Preparing my shopping list.
I have grocery shopping to do tomorrow. I've always found it works best if I do it first thing after kinder drop off, which means having the shopping list ready the night before. Still not done...

Working on my Doll Quilt for the swap I am in.
Final posting date is November 4, which is THIS SUNDAY - not finished...

Writing a blog-post
For Blogtoberfest. I've committed to doing one blog post for each day of October. I think today has been the biggest case of writer's block I've had all month and it's the second-last day. Have I got it sorted with this five things list? You tell me.

Busting patterns out of the stash.
Yes. That's right. I am pretty sure I commited to busting at least three patterns out of the stash during the month of October. Hahahaha. Maybe I will get onto the other two in November? I think this has been my most busy and productive month ever, so I will forgive myself this one transgression.

and the number one thing I should be doing right now?

Getting some sleep!
I always put this off. I stay up way too late.I crave quiet time though, and this is the only time I get it.

What about you? What should you be doing right now?

Monday, 29 October 2012

29. Tutorials

DSCF2136 Bigbuttons Loose Ends 2

This post is just to let you know that I've added a tab for tutorials to the top of my page. This should make it easier for you to find my tutorials from now on.

DSCF1559 DSCF1238 DSCF1022

Is there anything in particular that you would like me to do a tutorial for? What sort of things do you struggle with? Have you seen something on my blog that you would like me to show you how to do?

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Sunday, 28 October 2012

28. Let's Get Maybelle to the Ellen Show

I first met Bianca at Sew It Together, a bloggy get-together in Melbourne in 2010. Bianca was also in Cass's Sample Swap and gave me this cute needle case which I use all the time. During the Friday shopping tour (the first day of Sew it Together), Bianca received a call from her mum, to let her know that they had set the kitchen on fire. Back in Darwin. Not a little fire, they had to move out for a while whilst repairs were done and the mess was cleaned up.

This is the needle case Bianca made for me in Cass' sample swap at SIT 2010. I still use it all the time.

Anyway, that probably seems like a minor hiccup in the Woods' family's life. About a year ago, the family moved to Ballarat (I'm calling it the craft capital of Victoria) and Bianca's oldest daughter (of four children), Maybelle, was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of ten. During her treatment over the last twelve months or so, Maybelle has enjoyed watching The Ellen Show. Now, personally, I really think that daytime tv sucks, but Ellen is more than a little bit funny and she likes to dance, so I can see how that might be entertaining to a ten year old girl.

Now, here's where you come in... Maybelle has a wish. Her wish is to see the Ellen Show, live. There are a couple of little, teeny things standing in the way of this wish which I am hoping you might be able to help her out with. The first is money. I think it's about $9000 to get half of the family, Maybelle, Bianca and a younger sister to the show. If you visit the website: Lets Get Maybelle to Ellen, you can see all different ways you can help.

If you are in the Ballarat Region, or can get there this coming Sunday (November 4, 2012), you might like to visit the Ballarat Springfest Market Sunday Bendigo Bank are holding a Barbecue, and Mazda are hosting a "Hole In One". Proceeds from both of these stalls are going towards the Get Maybelle to Ellen fund.

If you can't get to Ballarat (or maybe if you can), but have a Facebook account and like a bit of hand-made goodness, there will be an on-line auction happening on Facebook from the 5th to the 9th of November, with 100% of the proceeds also going towards the fund. Or maybe you have some handmade goods you could donate to the auction?

Or, if any of these things are difficult for you, you might like to just donate something to the fund, if you visit the website: Lets Get Maybelle to Ellen there is a donate button you can use. Even if it's only $1 or $2 it all helps, and you won't even miss it.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

27. Awesome Day Out

Polly Pratt Pop Up Shop

Mum and I had a big day out today. We started at the Polly Pratt Pop Up Studio which was at the back of the Olive Grove Studios in Brunswick.

Polly Pratt Pop Up Shop

If you get a chance, you should pop into the Olive Grove and check out their wares. There were some lovely skirts and dresses there made by Finki, Starashan , Dear Someone and Polly Pratt amongst others. I don't think I have ever seen so many items of clothing I wanted to buy in the one shop before. It really made me want to go and make myself some more skirts too, there was so much hand-made inspiration. If you're wishing you could've made it to the pop-up store, I have it on good authority they will be doing this again really soon. When I hear more I will let you know here.

CurlyPops is in the shop!

When we arrived, I was a litte disappointed to see that Cam was not there, so we hung around for a bit and then went to Spotlight before coming back. It turns out that CurlyPops was just having a little trouble getting a parking spot. Lucky we came back! I snapped up a few of the Curlypops mini fabric panels, snapped a quick pic of Cam in her beautiful Polly Pratt dress, and then we went on our way.


Our next stop was Cleggs - I grabbed myself some nice skirt fabric, admired the Liberty of London prints, drooled over some silk suiting and then we headed to Tessuti. Oh, one day I wish to head to Tessuti with a few hundred dollars in my hand. Sometimes you get lucky and find some amazing things in the remnant bin. Today, I found some that were perfect for mum. She agreed and took them home. I am pretty sure they were really good bargains. I was also insanely jealous of the ladies that were there, enjoying their SEWING LESSONS! Oh my goodness. I really don't need to do (beginner) sewing lessons, but what a lovely location for someone to learn how to sew. I hope they know how good they have it.

The Haby Goddess

Our next stop was the Craft and Sewing Show in Caulfield. We pretty much made a bee-line for the Haby Goddess stand, where I said Hi to Jodi and purchased one of her Turn-it-All tools. I also grabbed some Clover Wonder Clips from the Punch with Judy stand and was really tempted by some buttons at the Chocolate Coated stand. I can't wait to try out my new tools!

Awesome price - but I'm not in the market

This was a pretty good bargain. I am totally not in the market for a new machine at the moment, but I spotted this and just knew I should let people know. If you have been thinking about getting yourself a Janome Horizon, you've got until 4:30 tomorrow afternoon to organise yourself. I have never seen this machine so cheap. If you look in the background, you can see the price displayed for the brand new model, which has not officially been released in Australia yet. That too, is a very good price.

My (very tame) haul

I had a great day out with my mum. Whilst there were some really good stands at the show, it really lacked the atmosphere and excitement of some of the other craft, sewing and quilting shows I have been to. There seemed to be a lot less exhibitors to what I have seen before, particularly at this venue. I am glad we went to other places in Melbourne before we went and I think I will be doing my craft show visits this way in the future.

Are you from Melbourne and into the craft/fabric scene? What shops/places do you recommend I check out next time?

Friday, 26 October 2012

26. Tomorrow

Tomorrow, I am heading to the city. Amongst other things, I plan to drop into the Polly Pratt Open Studio at Olive Grove and then later on, head over to the Craft and Sew Show in Caulfield.

What are your plans for the weekend?

25. Hat Parade #4

Reversible bucket hat

I have a few more hats that have come in from the hat sew-along. Renae from The Red Wren made this gorgeous hat, with bicycle fabric, using the Oliver & S bucket hat pattern.

my precious Ms. M

Sally of Virtú made this beautiful hat with some gorgeous strawberry fabric, using the You Sew Girl Kids' Hat Pattern. It looks lovely and summery on her beautiful daughter.

strawberry and flower hat for Ms. M

I really love the hat-band and the flower embellishment on the side. It gives the hat a point of difference, something that makes it stand out from the crowd.

Rachel of Little White Dove made this hat using the free Oliver + S bucket hat pattern. I love the fabric Rachel has used, it has a paisley look and I really love blue with pink. Rachel has some more hats underway, I am sure you will see them pop up on her blog over the next few weeks before Summer.

hat sewalong.

So that about wraps up the hat sew-along. Between us we managed to make more than thirty hats, which I am really excited about! It was great to see that lots of the people joining in had never made a hat before and most people who made them were keen to make more. You can see all the related blogposts here:


Sign Up Post
Getting Started
Hat Parade #1
Hat Parade #2
Hat Parade #3
Flickr Group

And here are the links for all the completed hats:

Ms Midge
Ava Pot Pie
Coco's Loft
You Sew, Girl!
Solomon Sewing
Sew Hot Right Now
No Moa
Sew Red Hot
All the Pretty Threads
Chapter Fifteen
Four Wise Monkeys
The Red Wren
Little White Dove

Thank you to everyone who joined in. Who is going to join in when we do it again next year?

Thursday, 25 October 2012

24. Where Angels fear to tread...

The most darling little shoes EVER!

There is only one person I know who would be brave enough to design shoes this tiny. They were actually easier to put together than I expected. You will have to come back later to see who they are for...

Check out some more Creative People over here.

23. Fob off your Christmas List


I recently was lucky enough to test another "You Sew Girl" pattern, the USB Key Fob. I am currently using mine to house my USB stick for my Embroidery Machine. I don't even have to take the stick out of the fob to be able to use it, with the neat little hole in it, I can plug it straight in!


This key fob is great for keeping your USB stick safe and sound as well as being easily identifiable. It would make a great addition to christmas stockings if you choose your fabrics and embellishments wisely. If you choose more masculine fabric, it would even make a suitable hand-made gift for a man. Because we all know how tricky it is to find suitable hand-made gifts for men and teenage boys.


Pop a USB stick in there and your teens might like it to store their MP3s on or for schoolwork. Maybe you could pair it with an iTunes gift card? It would also make a great teacher gift if you do that sort of thing. You could pop some photos on the USB stick and give it as a gift for the grandparents for Christmas. It could even be personalised with the child's name. Or you could get them to draw a picture for Nanna using some fabric textas or crayons.... (mind going into over-drive here).


Nikki gives you all the nifty tips and tricks you need to make this USB-key fob, and I am sure that you will use some of these tricks when making other things too. The best part is that you can down-load it right now and get cracking on your hand-made Christmas gift-list.


How would you "giftify" a USB stick? Who would you give it to and how would you embellish it? Would you put stuff on the stick, or leave it empty for the recipient to do what they wish?

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

22. Un-Tangled


I was at my machine, sewing away today, when I reached down for a bobbin. I keep them close at hand in the top of my sewing box.


No matter how much I tidy them though, they always end up in such a tangled mess. You only have to breath near them and they unwind and very soon they are in a bigger mess than this lot are.


The bobbins above are for my old machine. I love this (yes, it stops the bobbins from unwinding) but it also annoys me because it's shape is not really very storage efficient. It takes up way more space than I would like. I know there are lots of other storage solutions, and clips you can buy, but I am reluctant to spend money that could be better used for fabric and other fun stuff.


Anyway, after I popped my instagram photos up on various social media, my friend Amy found me this tutorial. I nipped out to the hardware shop (well as quickly as you can nip to the hardware shop with three kids) and grabbed some tubing in exchange for some small change. I've done a couple of test bobbins, using both 12.5mm and 16mm tubing, and both work fine - I do prefer the tighter curl of the 12.5mm though. My tubing is thinner than what was used in the tutorial but that seems to be okay too.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

21. Noah & the Beanstalk

Noah's Beanstalks

Just over a month ago, Liam, Noah and I planted some vegetable seeds. We planted Heirloom Favourites (tomatoes), Dwarf Peas and Sweet Basil, all ordered online from Yates, and some Capsicum, Dwarf Beans and Sweet Corn all from Aldi.

Week 1 - Noah (Peas Basil Capsicum)

We planted a punnet of each for Liam and the same for Noah. You can see Noah's peas, above, after just one week!

Day 17 - Noah (peas, basil, capsicum, beans, tomato, corn)

By day 17, most of the seeds had sprouted and were going quite nicely. Noah is convinced we are going to grow a beanstalk up to the sky and really soon we'll be meeting giants. Liam's peas had been tipped out, so we planted some new ones.

Day 17 - Liam  (tomato, corn, beans, capsicum, sasil, peas)

I had almost given up on the capsicum, but some of them have now sprouted, so they might be okay. We planted some snow peas as well, it says to sew early spring, so I hope they will be alright. The basil is still very tiny, we'll see how it goes...

Day 32 - Liam's beans and peas

Yesterday, we planted the beans and peas into the garden. The tomatoes are looking a little young yet, I would like to see more leaves on them before I plant them out. We also lost a punnet of them when they were tipped out by one of the kids. I might plant some more, but a different variety, Grosse Lisse instead.

Day 32 - Noah (snowpeas, corn, capsicum, basil, tomato)

This morning I took a few photos of Amélie and Noah watering the plants.


Do you have a vegetable garden? How do you contend with snails? I'm a bit reluctant to use snail bait with small children around. We're going to try putting some beer in a saucer for them. That sounds really friendly, doesn't it? If you can't beat them, join them, yeah!

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