Sunday, October 23, 2011

Brown Owls :: freezer paper stencils

Freezer paper stencilling is one of my very favourite things I have had the chance to try out through Brown Owls - the results are always amazing!

Today was gorgeous sunny weather - perfect for laying our work out to dry

I took inspiration from here, and used the this free pattern, to print some calico...

...which will eventually become napkins with the help of this tutorial.

Ooh I love the internets! =)


Monday, October 17, 2011

In October I am reading...

I'm sticking with the Corinna Chapman series in my novel reading again this month - I'm up to the third in the series, Devil's Food

I'm also doing loads of crafty book reading - on her visit last month Mum brought along her pattern books for quilts using jelly rolls and charm packs and all those other lovely precuts, and we did a bit of looking around at the ranges moda have out at the moment and now I am a bit obsessed!

So on my bedside table this month I also have these two gems:

Jelly Roll Quilts



What are you reading this month? Leave a comment, or a link if you post on your blog, to let every one know what you're up to and join our bloggy book club for October!!

Enjoy your reading!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

a new spotty dress!

I've been super busy the past couple of weeks - both at work and with lots of crafty bits and pieces at home too!

On Friday night I did the most part of the sewing on a new dress to wear to our friends' wedding, which was yesterday (there's nothing like a deadline to get me sewing!).

This isn't the most flattering pic of me or of the dress (the bloke scrubs up alright though! =)), but it was the only one I got that shows the full dress! (bad blogger, I know!)

The fabric, I am almost positive, is cotton - its silky and kind of shiny, and so very crushable (just putting on my seat belt in the car ruined my front pleats!) but it was gorgeous to wear! I have another good length in the opposite colours - yellow with turquoise (it's just a bit greener in real life than it looks in this pic) spots - which I picked up for $5 a metre and that might just also end up as a dress!

I used a bit of a mash-up of two patterns - with quite a bit of creative drafting! I wanted the same skirt as my other spotty dress (simplicity 2886) it does have pockets, after all!!) but, inspired by Michelle's gorgeous tea dress, I wanted a bodice with pleats at the neckline, and then gathers under the bust for shape.

I found a pattern with the bodice details I wanted (New Look 6966), but when I got it home I found it only went up to a size 16 (I generally need a 16 or 18) - and after measuring the pattern pieces and comparing to my own measurements I could see it was going to just be a smidge to small. So I had to add a sizing-up to the FBA I would usually do! I mostly did this just by comparing the pieces to the corresponding pieces from simplicity 2886 - which was actually really helpful for putting the two together, because it meant that the skirt and bodice fitted together perfectly.

I learned a lot from this project - mostly that with the help of online tutorials and my Cal Patch book I can add whatever details I like to any basic pattern I have. In this case I actually did the sizing and FBA on the bodice lining piece which doesn't have pleats, then used a 'slash and spread' method to add the pleats in - of course the gathering across the bust made it very 'forgiving', but it was still exciting to see that I could draft these details into the patterns myself, and that they would work out!

It was really helpful with all the tweaking I did to the pattern to work with a (kind of) muslin before I cut into my lovely fabric. Really it was more of a 'practice' dress - I did a lot of the drafting with tissue paper, a pencil and my french curve and ruler - but I also did quite a lot of basting, trying on, tweaking, unpicking and resewing. Each change that I made I transferred back to my paper pattern so I have it for later, and - best of all - I have not one by two lovely new summer sun dresses! (and both with pockets!!!) =)

In the end it turned out just a teeny bit to big in the bodice, but overall I think it pretty lovely (even if I do say so myself! haha) - it did get lots of lovely compliments at the wedding yesterday!