Thursday, 30 May 2013

Never Try, Never Fail.....


....never learn anything new! I have flicked past this cake, in this cookbook* so many times, searching for birthday cake inspiration. Each time I see it, I think to myself what a fantastic cake that would be, but it would never, ever, in a million years work. I have even made the cake itself, but decorated it differently, because I didn't want to risk making a big mess of my cake.


On the weekend, Maxx celebrated his birthday, and at the last minute, I decided I was going to have a go at making THAT cake. I must admit, I was a little afraid, ok, VERY afraid, when it came time to attach the chocolate collar around the cake, but it worked. The result wasn't perfect, there were wrinkles, some paper tearing and the white spots are a bit blurred, but I still felt like the cake was a spectacular success. I was after all, expecting a spectacular MESS!


I have learnt a few things when making this cake. I took a short-cut when making the dots. Since I already had "dots", I decided not to melt white chocolate to make spots for the cake and just placed them on the paper. This meant the dots were bigger, but I was ok with that. I now realise, that if I had melted the dots, probably they wouldn't have been blurred from the dark chocolate bleeding underneath. The other thing I learned was that it is ok to sometimes take a risk.


I felt that the kids probably wouldn't enjoy the cocoa dusted over the top, so opted for some pink sprinkles instead. I now have lots of ideas for different ways I can use the things I learnt making this cake. For some reason, when taking photos of cakes, there is almost always a hand appearing in at least one photo. Does this happen to you?

*affiliate link

Monday, 20 May 2013

Fancy Flappy Welt Pockets


You might remember this pattern from before. It's the Ottobre Relaxed Cotton Pants from the Spring 2013 issue. I made Liam some school pants, using some gabardine back in March.


This time, I decided to include the fancy welt pockets on the back with the flaps. Instead of making button holes and sewing on buttons, I've used my snap press to apply some jeans snaps. I love the way they turned out, don't you?



I also think I may have mastered the fly, although there is a mistake here, can you tell what it is? Clue: these pants are for a boy! Yes, I have the fly back to front, just like Lauren did in The Great British Sewing Bee. I am sure that I followed the directions properly for the fly shield and that dictates which way the fly goes, so I am not sure what went wrong there? Anyway, the fly still works, I doubt anyone witll notice, but next time I will be looking carefully at which way everything goes before I start to put it together.


Oh, and I used a completely different technique for putting the fly together this time too, and I think it really made the whole job way easier and quicker. I watched this video, by Sandra Bezzina on how to insert a fly, but I put the fly shield on first, and just flipped it out of the way as I sewed the rest of the zip (there is no zipper shield in this video) and then flipped it back when I did the bar tacks.


The fabric I used was the stretch drill that mum got for me recently. It is quite sturdy, and has a really good stretch to it. Perfect for climbing all over the play equipment at school as Noah demonstrates here. These are actually Liam's pants, but it was tricky finding time to photograph him in them when the light was right, so Noah is my model.


I also made Liam this windcheater. It's not exciting enough for a whole blog post, so I will pop it in here. I just used a pattern from the Kwik Sew, Sewing for Children book. Between the pants and the windcheater, I estimate I used about seven fat quarters.

YST13 Running totals: in = 172, out = 51, total = +121 

PS. If you would like to add more fabric to your stash, then I suggest you enter my giveaway. There's a rainbow felt pack and an Anne Kelle FQ pack up for grabs!

Saturday, 18 May 2013

You have to spend money to make money...

(Sometimes) you need to buy fabric in order to use fabric....

....and sometimes you need to buy fabric in order to use it up. At least that is my story and I am sticking to it! I already had the fabric at the top of the pile, but added the purple and the floral this morning. This adds four fat quarters to my "stash" but more will come off when the dress is made.

SYST13 Running totals: in = 172, out = 44, total = +128

PS. If you would like to add more fabric to your stash, then I suggest you enter my giveaway. There is a rainbow felt pack and a fat quarter pack up for grabs!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Two Blue Birdies


My cousin, Sonya has a fantastic on-line shop, Two Blue Birdies, with beautiful, brightly coloured quilting fabric. She also stocks premium quality pure new wool felt from Holland, fun toy patterns from Ric-Rac and Melly & Me, as well as an array of zippers in multiple colours and sizes.

Two Blue Birdies is celebrating their first birthday this month and to celebrate, Sonya has asked me to have a giveaway! There are two awesome prizes up for grabs including a rainbow felt pack and a fat quarter pack.

The felt pack is valued at $40 and consists of seven pieces of pure new wool felt as per the above photograph. They are 45cm x 25cm in size.This felt is 2mm thick and is perfect for all sorts of projects. You can see the full range of felt in the shop, here.

The fatquarter pack is made up of six fat quarters of Anne Kelle fabric as per the above photo. Three from the Ready Set Go collection and three from the Remix collection. This prize is valued at $30.50. More Anne Kelle fabrics can be found in the shop, here.

All you need to do to enter, is visit the Two Blue Birdies shop, and then leave a comment on this blog post telling me something you would buy from there and what you would make with it.

The two most unique and creative answers will win! 

You can enter once a day, for each day of the competition, but each entry must be unique.

Terms and Conditions can be viewed here

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Hottie Challenge - 2013

The Hottie Challenge is on again! You may remember that I participated in the Hottie Challenge in 2011? You can see my entry below. If you are new around here, you might need a bit more background information....

Hottie Challenge - Front

The Hottie Challenge is organised by the Margaret Pratt Foundation who raise money for research to help improve the outomes of organ transplant recipients. The basic idea is that we make a (creative) hot water bottle cover and donate it to the foundation to sell. The hotties don't have to be functional, and can be made from any medium that you like.

Ahoy there, me hearties!

My friend, Cam, aka CurlyPops is a recent recipient of a double lung transplant. Cam has heaps more information on her blog, where you can sign up and she will mail you the stuff you need to get started. It only costs $5 to enter and it is such a great cause.

It was a great feeling last time, when my Hottie sold on opening night and raised much needed funds for the foundation. Are you going to join in? Do you have some creative hotwater bottle cover ideas that you could share with me?
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