Thursday, 25 June 2009

New bag!

I finally got to Thread Den last week (thanks for the invite, Tess!) for an evening of make-whatever-you-want and it was much fun. And making cupcakes to bring along was great - I can't get enough of baking at the moment. Aanyway, I decided to make a new bag, using roughly interpreted instructions from a super cute book and lovely Lara Cameron fabric that's been in my stash for a while. Forgot how fun it is to try new things (mental note: more new = more fun).

Have also been doing more button/badge making, which seems to be a new obsession. I've moved on from plastic to metal buttons, which are much easier and virtually negate the need for my tutorial. So my advice - go metal people, it's better. I might put some big badges that are made with my fabric in the shop soon...

Monday, 22 June 2009

Winter knitting

I've got this knitting obsession going on that keeps me up at night. It can be a bit annoying, but it means I've got a rainbow of scarves - red, blue, grey, cream, a couple of multi-colours. And soon there'll be a yolk-coloured one. Woot!

The wool, from Pear Tree Yarn, is so lovely and soft, is hand dyed and was first spied at Stitches and Craft (didn't buy it then, regretted it, couldn't stop thinking about it but luckily then found a local stockist - phew.) Of course I then spent about five hours trying to unravel the skein, which ended up in a million knots - argh - but eventually got it sorted out.

And I really like these knit-purl-knit scarves that curl up - they can be skinny which makes them light-weight and quick to knit, but can be wrapped around multiple times to provide lots of much-required warmth for this cold Melbourne winter we're having. If only I had a fireplace and a cat. Sigh.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Tea Towel Two Packs

I've added some "tea towel two packs" to my Etsy shop, which are available at a bit of a discount price. As an added bonus, shipping for two is the same as shipping for one, so there's a saving there too. I might add some more combinations soon but for now there's a 'T' Towel in Charcoal + Enka in Red and Cyan (above) and a two pack of Enka in each of two colourways (below).

Tutorial: How to make fabric-covered buttons!

This morning I found some self-cover button casings that I'd bought aagges ago and forgotten about, and I just couldn't resist the urge to straightaway make buttons covered in my fabric (how could it have taken me so long to do this? Wish I had more casings as I could go on all day!)

It's not that hard to do but I realised that part of the reason it'd taken me so long to get around to making buttons is because I thought it was a complicated thing to do. Assuming it's not just me who thinks this, I figured I'd also make a wee tutorial, complete with pics, to show just how easy it is.

Now I need to find some metal casings (these are plastic) and go into full-on production, and make some clothes just so I can add custom-made buttons!

** UPDATE ** I've just got my hands on some metal buttons, along with a fabric-covered-button-making-tool, and the process is different but easier than below, so ignore plastic buttons and this tute, and go metal, people!

Tutorial: How to make fabric-covered buttons

1. Get yourself some self-cover button casings - I used “Self-Cover Buttons” by Hemline, which are from a sewing store.

2. Cut out a circle of fabric as directed on the button packaging (for the 22mm buttons I used, the fabric diameter was 48mm) and sew a gathering stitch close to the fabric edge (as above).

3. Remove the washer from the shank of the button casing and position the button top onto the wrong side of the fabric circle, with the shank facing up (as above).

4. Separating the fabric strands, pull each end until the fabric has gathered around the button casing (as above). Tie all the ends together and cut off the loose thread ends.

5. Position the washer back on the shank with the ‘teeth’ on the inside, facing the fabric (as above) and make sure the gathered fabric on the edge of the button is smooth (unlike mine!)

6. Using a cotton spool end, push down on the washer firmly to secure it to the shank

7. Voila, you are done!

8. Admire your lovely custom button! (And ignore the fact that the button fabric morphed from grey to brown throughout this tute :)

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Not a sausage dog...

..although definitely looks like it. Yep, just a regular dog that's kinda long, that's also now a softie.

It's screen printed with solid baby blue front, polka dot blue back on a cotton/linen base cloth and filled with 100% wool stuffing. Oh, and too much fun to make, especially when you've got other, less fun things you really should be doing.


Finally they're ready - the first batch of cushions that are one part of my collaboration with the lovely Volker Haug, lighting designer extraordinaire (and studio mate).

They're kinda big (more than half a meter square), feature four different light designs (grey on black), are filled with lovely soft duck feather and will be the perfect addition to extended, winter-inspired couch sitting.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

New York In A Bag

It seems like forever ago now but I lived overseas for a couple of years (in London, with a few trips to New York, Paris, Antwerp, Berlin etc, sigh) and my two London shopping obsessions were Paperchase and Muji (kind of like the Ikea of Japan). You can get Paperchase here (well, some stuff in Borders) and there's always Print & Pattern to keep up with what's going on there but alas, there's no Muji here (and no shipping to Australia via their website, boo hoo).

So it was rather lovely of my parents to bring me back the New York In A Bag set of wood blocks from their recent trip OS (following my very subtle hint). And how darn cool is it?

**UPDATE** I've just taken a sneak-peak at Play Muji and really shouldn't have...too much goodness, I'm planning a trip to Japan!

Long weekend of sewing

The only thing I really did this past long weekend (besides eating delicious food and watching movies on the couch due to the wintery weather) was sew (oh, and work). It took me a lot longer to finish these than I thought it would, and there was a lot of unpicking and a bit of swearing (I wanted them to be perfect and that took a while - argh, zips!) but I got there in the end.

New cushions made with lovely new heavy weight cotton fabric from Skinny LaMinx, backed with a charcoal-grey cotton drill.

The fabric looked pretty good online and it really is fab - a lovely textured, natural-coloured heavy weight cotton with ink colours that are slightly muted, which I love (it's only fitting - Heather is a bit of a genius). And these are perfect for extended couch sitting.

It seems I'm not the only one who spent part of the long weekend sewing - look at these snaps Tess sent through of what she's made with some of my fabric (from a recent swap at CWC, which I'll have to talk more about soon).

Photos courtesy of Tess McCabe of Metremaid

I'd never thought of using my fabric for cushions but this looks great (and her green chair is uncannily similar to mine - spooky!)

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Rude Health

Above and below are snaps of my newest stockist in Melbourne, Rude Health in St Kilda, which only just opened last week. It's got the best wallpaper and sells great stuff like contemporary hankies, felt lungs in jars, beautiful clutches made from vintage fabric and a select range of clothing. And thanks to Julia (and her mother, who happened to stop by when I did) for being so lovely :)

Rude Health
Australian-made clothing, jewellery & quirkery
17 Irwell St, St Kilda

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Winter mushrooms

I've never been a mushroom eater but have recently discovered how good they are when fried up in a pan with a bit of butter. And have had this idea of a pattern in my head for a while now, which I finally got to sit down and start playing around with today.

Winter Mushrooms.

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