Monday, February 29, 2016

Lavender Fields Forever - 2016

If you have been following my blog for a while, you might remember last January I went lavender picking over in Carterton, it was so much fun I decided to go and do it again this year - this should really be an annual event for me I think!
The lavender fields were beautiful - unfortunately the weather was about a million degrees (I don't like super hot weather, well at least here in New Zealand, can you tell?).
The lavender was full of bees again, I'd almost forgotten how much bees love lavender!

It was the same deal as last year, pick a bunch for $5 so we paid for a rubber band and scissors and off we went.

This is actually a commercial lavender farm and the "picking" open days are at the end of their season.

As the lavender farm is a commercial business as well there were selling all kinds of lavender related treats.
I bought some culinary lavender for my friend Alicia, who loves baking and lavender in equal parts.
This however was the best purchase of the day - sweet sweet lavenade, there's only one thing I love more than hot drinks on a ridiculously hot day and that's a great pun!
 However, I also like taking selfies and hanging out with my friends in lavender fields! Yah!
This guy was at the entrance of the farm saying hello and goodbye to everyone, he looked so hot, maybe he just really wanted some lavenade?
One final photo to finish up, we had a look around Carterton to see if we could find anywhere to have lunch- that didn't work out, but we did see this cute sewing chair outside one of the stores.
Now the question is what should I do with two years worth of dried lavender?

Friday, February 26, 2016

Make a Purse and fill it swap

Here's yet another swap I did recently, this one was through Craftster - I'm kind of on a "swap/craft kick" at the moment, which is a good place to be! Although I am doing less garment sewing - I need to fit this as soon as I'm fully recovered!

Anyway back to the current swap - like the title says - the basic idea of this swap is to make a bag/purse/tote/whatever and fill it. For some weird reason I'm always had a bit of a fear of making bags, I  don't know why. I have made plenty of simple totes but nothing more complex.

I wanted to do this swap for two reasons, firstly make a bag more complex than a tote and secondly use up some of my fabric stash. I primarily sew garments and so most of my fabric should REALLY be at least 1.5 metres, however, I got into the habit last year of buying smaller lengths of fabric from an online Facebook group, Usually because the fabric was so cute I HAD to have it!! But theswn as a garment sewer I never really used these smaller lengths - I mean if its less than a metre I can at least make something for one of my friends kids or my niece or nephew, however, what am I even DOING with fat quarters?

I was really happy with the things I made for the swap and I managed to smash (a little) of the little bits of fabric in my stash and concur my bag making fear.

This swap required a bag to be made for your swap  partner as well as three small items for inside the bag, when I received my partners questionnaire it said she wanted a messenger bag (yikes) and that she liked bright colours (YES! I had that part covered!).


 Look guys!! I made a bag and its actually pretty awesome! I got the instructions for this from "Love Sewing Australia" which has now apparently shut up shop (but there is still a UK version I think), the instructions for the bag were in Issue 9 if anyone is interested.

The outside fabric was bought from this Facebook group,  I bought about a metre and always meant to buy some other fabric to go with it as have it as a "feature" fabric on a garment, but that never happened. I'm happy it never happened now because it makes an AMAZING bag!
I added a front pocket in the same fabric, I didn't make too much effort to match the pattern as the pattern is kind of crazy. Plus I figure you don't want the pocket of your bag too hidden, right?
I lined the inside of the bag with some purple cotton from Arthur Toye Fabrics (RIP) and added another pocket as well - because bags need pockets! As you've realised by now, I really loved this bag and it was genuiely hard to sent it off to its new home. But that's ok, because I can make more.


One of the other things my partner said she would like in this swap was a coin purse - so I decided to make one. I had a flick through some craft books and dug through my stash and found a good pattern and some fantastic fabric,
I decided to make this change purse from Sew Retro which is a book I bought from a second hand store when we were in Oregon last year. My version is kind of deeper that the version in the book (I would recommend this book by the way, its a fun mix of history and fabrics). As my partner liked colours I chose this AMAZING bright star fabric I picked  up at a swap literally years ago. The other light blue star fabric is from fabric-a-brac and I've used it before here, I also decided to use this glitter ric rac which is also from fabric-a-brac and I used it previously here.

This was a pretty simple project, taken to the next level with both stars and glitter!


Another thing I wanted to make for the bag was a "craft supply roll" - I guess kind of like one of those jewellery rolls that some people take traveling but for craft stuff for projects on the go (or for when you are going to a crafternoon at a friends house).
I found what I was looking for in a book I've had for YEARS, I think I might have got it from Borders Books when it still existed. If anyone is interested this is The Crafter Culture Handbook and it includes instructions for a crafty tool pack - or craft supply roll as I like to call it! The next step was to choose some suitably bright fabrics.
You've seen three of these already, the neon arrow fabric was given to me by my friend Emma and the unicorn fabric (how good is that fabric) was from the same Facebook group I bought the main bag fabric on.

When I had cut out all the different pieces of fabric, this one was actually pretty easy to sew together. I included a few little crafty bits and pieces for my swap partner in the finished craft roll.
Here's a final shot of the craft supply roll all rolled up, the ribbon is from a pack of ribbons I bought years ago from Warehouse Stationary.


The final, and probably least interesting thing I made for this swap was a snack pouch. There's not too much to be said for the pouch, its a drawstring pouch.
However, as it is a snack pouch, it needed appropriate food related fabric! I used a fat quarter I had bought from Pete's Emporium in Porirua at some point. This fabric is SO CUTE! Which is why I guess I felt the need to buy it, even though there was only a fat quarter - I'm glad I've finally put it to good use.

Well that's all for this swap, I do have a few others "on the boil" so to speak, here's to "smashing the fabric stash" in 2016.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Jungle January

So this post is way overdue, its now closer to March than January - opps! Anyway ages ago my friend Emma and I decided to take part in Jungle January. The premise of Jungle January is pretty simple, sew something from Jungle inspired fabric.

I decided to make a simple dress - one of my favourite "frankenpatterns" - the Salme Pussy Bow dress with the sleeves from the Colette Laurel dress. I've made this "mash up"a couple of times before - here and here.

As I decided NOT to buy any new fabric this year (25 of February and I have caved and bought any new fabric) I  had to look through my stash and see what I had one hand. Fortunately I had a couple of metres of leopard print in my stash that I had bought from The Fabric Store that I decided I needed  because "reasons".

Before having photos taken in our Jungle January frocks, Emma and I decided to have drinks and  treats at Louis Sergent - so fancy!

It was a super hot day when we went, so I had this icy lemon drink and a lychee dessert and it was awesome.

Emma also got a tasty treat, I don't remember what it was exactly (because this was back on 31 January) but it sure looked spectacular!

After treats and shopping Emma's husband Paul took some photos of our Jungle January frocks. We even found a wall that was a little bit Jungle like in the central city.

I've always worn a belt with the other versions of this dress and I think next time I  wear this  dress it will be belted, its kind of a weird shape without a belt.
If you're wondering, Emma's wrap dress is made with this pattern and she told me she bought the  fabric ages from Trelise Cooper, apparently Trelise Cooper used to sell fabric!
Also we tried to do animal faces, it may not have been a success. I think I have the opposite of resting bitch face - its resting smiling like a cheese ball face.
It was pretty fun to do a sewing challenge with a friend, hopefully I  can  do more sewing challenges like this on this year!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Secret Valentines Swap 2016

I decided to take part in the Secret Valentines Swap again this year, its the second time I've done this  swap but I think it may have been running for longer than two years. It's a pretty simple and sweet swap where you make a cute Valentines package for your "Valentine".

I like this swap for two reasons, firstly I love Valentines themed stuff, well maybe I should qualify that a bit more. I do love pink, red and white and cute hearts and celebrating all the important people in you life!

However teddy bears, red roses and lame card kind of make me vomit, what can I say, I'm complex.

Anyway one of the things I like about this swap is that it encourages people to use stuff currently in their stash, rather than buying new "stuff".

For my swap package I decided to create a cross stitch (no big surprise there!) and I used all materials from my stash with the exemption of the pattern, which I bought new.
If you've been following my blog for a while, you will probably know from first glance that this is another patter from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, I love their patterns as they are just so cute!
Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery has a bunch of seasonal patterns, and this pattern is their Valentines Day pattern. I've also made the Christmas Pattern and I'm pretty sure I'm going to make the Halloween Pattern later this year because I love it so much.

I don't have too much more to say about this swap, this was a lot of fun to make and I really hope my partner enjoyed her "secret valentine" present.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

In recovery mode

I'm still here and still in recovery mode from surgery, but today I got this epic card from my fried Alicia that made recovery that little bit easier. Space cats with lazer eyes forever xo

Friday, February 19, 2016

Lovely Club Fabric Swap

One of my goals for this year was to buy no knew fabric, however, I can attend craft/fabric swaps to "refresh" my stash.

So a few weeks back I organised a fabric swap with some Lovely Club friends, the turn out was smaller than I expected, but that's fine with me as everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and come home with some new treasures that made them happy.

I took over a whole suitcase of fabric, patterns and other "bits" and I am glad to say I came back with less than I took to the swap which is an improvement, even if my sewing room/cave is still bursting at the seams, perhaps its bursting a little less right now than it was before.

I thought I'd share a few bits of my 'new' fabric with you guys, I really got so lovely things.
First up is this lovely kind of tropical drill fabric that I got from Rachel, I don't know what exactly I will do with it because its quite heavy. I was originally thinking maybe a skirt, but a tote or some other kind of bag would be pretty useful as well.
I got this soft fabric with a lovely drape from Patricia, I love the colours so much. I am thinking I'd like to make a few more separates this year and I think this would make a great pussy bow blouse, I have this pattern I got free with a sewing magazine which looks pretty simple so I'm going to try and make it with this fabric.
This super cute fabric is something else I got from Rachel, I didn't think too much what I'd use it for when I got it. I just wanted it because I thought it was so pretty! There is quite a lot though and as its kind of summery I think I will try and make a dress with it for our upcoming trip. I think it could look pretty great as a simple fit and flare dress using this pattern.
I got this kind of satin stuff from my friend Emma,I have a metre or maybe a metre and a half of this. I'm not quite sure what to do with it yet. I would make lovely  lining in a jacket/coat or I could make a simple top with it like this one
This fabric is another one from Emma, she made a cute shirt dress from this fabric! I love it so much, I don't have a lot of  it, but I am hoping to squeeze some kind of simple top out of the bits I have.
This was another find from Emma, a whole lot of tulle to make some kind of giant tutu - obviously.
I got this faux leather from Rachel, I've been making a lot of smaller things lately like bags and purses and I thought I could use this as part of those kinds of projects. I'd also like a new passport cover so I will probably use it for that project as well. I just need to get the right fabric for my machine!
This is another fabric from Emma and I am hoping I have enough of this to make some kind of blazer, or light jacket. I only have one jacket at the moment and its a heavy wool jacket for cold days. I'm not sure the pattern I'd use yet, but I have a Japanese pattern book that has a couple of jacket patterns I'd like to try out.
This stuff is so cute! It's from Rachel as well, I think its going to be used to make an apron for one of my friends that loves baking.
So many scraps! Normally I don't pick up scraps but this year I have been doing a lot of smaller projects as well as dressmaking so I decided I'd actually use some of these. The butterfly fabric is actually stretch fabric so it will end up  being underwear! The blue fabric with gnomes I  picked up with a particular swap in mind. The other scrappy bits are because I'd like to make my niece and nephew quilts for their birthdays this year. Sophiia's birthday is first and she is the ultimate "girly girl" so pink and bows will work in well with her quilt (I also have cupcakes and cutesy things).
This photo does not justice to this fun cord I got from Joy, it's a really fun cord with some stretch. I originally took it to try and make some cords for Rich, but he doesn't like the fabric. That's ok though, I still really like it so when it get's a bit cooler I am going to make this dress with it and the remaining fabric can go back to another swap (there's a tonne of this fabric!).

I just wanted to say thanks to those who were concerned about me due to the operation, I'd doing ok now, but still in recovery mode. I've laid pretty low this week and will be working from home need week. I am on the mend, but as always these things take time xo