Wrap Skirt

Wrap Skirt Complete

After a 6 week absence, I finally sat behind the sewing machine, and made something!

This is my new wrap skirt – made using the “Make it Perfect” pattern – “The Versatile Wrap”.  I love the fabric, but I have to say honestly that the pattern is a great disappointment.  It is very basic and shapeless – something that would not bother me much if it were a free tutorial, but bothers me a lot when I paid $16 for it.  I suspect that all the bloggers who wrote about this being a “great pattern” had not made clothing before.  Having grown up with a prolific sewer for a Mother makes me quite aware of what should be expected of even a basic garment pattern.

Low Light photo of skirt

Forgive me for this low light photo -it has been very grey here, so this is the best “self-photo” I could accomplish.

I made several modifications to the instructions, to try and give the skirt more shape and to finish it more neatly.  I added 2 darts to the back panel (4″ long 1″ wide) and 2 darts to each of the overlapping front panels (3″ long 1/2″ wide).  I also sandwiched the raw edges of both the top and bottom of the skirt, inside the waistband, and hem trim.

I probably would not have made this up at all, once I had a look at the pattern itself, had I not already purchased exactly the required amounts of fabric.

I am going to have to get a copy of Nikki’s book, next time I want to make a wrap skirt, I know that that girl can write a great pattern.

collection of lego minifigures

I thought I would share with you the little collection of characters that are behind me on the window-sill in the self portrait, (beside our front door).  The kids and I have been collecting the occasional Lego Mini-figures.  These little folks come in opaque packs, and it is luck that determines who you find inside.

Lego Minifigure - Vampire

One of my favorites is the Vampire.  The kids have arranged them in order of which series they came from – series 4 is the series in Australian stores at the moment.

Lego Minifigure Kimono Girl

Kimono girl is another favorite – there was much squeezing of packs, trying to work out which one contained her solid-block “legs”.

We are a Lego-loving family, and currently have 9 mini-figures in our collection: Zombie, Demolition Dummy, Deep Sea Diver, Vampire, Race Car Driver, Samurai Warrior, Kimono Girl, Sailor and Artist.

Do you have any at your place?

 

A New Skill

It has been a super busy week here in the house of Matching Pegs.  It is school holiday time, so the kids are home and I am busy spending time with them.

Way back, (last Saturday) I went to a workshop with Kellie Wulfson of Don’t Look Now on Free Motion Quilting.

Here you can see Kellie’s capable hands demonstrating her favorite, and achievable free motion quilting patterns.

Amazingly, I discovered that with a little practice, I can do it too.  Here is the pillow that I started in the workshop and finished in the following few days.

Do you free motion quilt?

Another Tulip – this time a dress.

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I had the privilege of being a pattern tester for one of Nikki’s new patterns last week, which is soon to be released.  This is her lovely, little girls Tulip dress (in sizes 2 to 8 ) modeled by Michaela.  Nikki’s pattern was very detailed, and full of tips and photos, which I really needed, as a garment-sewing beginner.  I made the sleeveless version of the dress, but the pattern also has sleeves (that’s a white tee you can see up there).  Below is a shot of the dress on it’s own.

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Michaela was pretty excited by the whole experience.

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Here she is hamming it up for the camera when I tried the bodice on her, as I was making it.

I have some fabric to make another for Amelia, who has put in her order for one, and I am sure I will be quicker the second time, but not as quick as the girls would like – as soon as they see the fabric, they want it whipped up in a snap.

Make sure you keep an eye on Nikki’s blog, or her online shop, Nicole Mallalieu Design, where this pattern will soon be released.  While you are there, browse through the vast array of hat and bag patterns and related hardware.  If you sew at all, you are sure to find something you like.

You can see two other versions of the dress over at Lara’s blog.

Tiny Tulip

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Way back in August, I went on our guild’s sewing retreat for the weekend.  We were given lots of little freebies, including a tiny little pattern for foundation piecing this tulip, and the bits to turn it into a badge.  Some guild members sewed them up and started wearing them straight away, indeed several of them were made using some of my little scraps.

Unpacking from the move, I rediscovered the pattern.  As I had never tried this kind of foundation piecing (only the string quilt kind for my New House Quilt) I thought I would give it a go.  I thought it was kind of sweet.

20100106-tulipback

Theoretically, it is 2.5″ square, but as you can see, mine is not very square, and the binding (and everything else) is very sloppy.  Regardless, it was fun trying a new skill – I can see while some people are drawn to the accuracy of foundation piecing.

Have you tried your hand at a new skill lately?

Nice, a little bit different, a little bit unusual*

I continue having intermittent problems with uploading images, which is why this post is several days later than I planned – Damm that error 404!

Now I can show you a quilt that is finally close to being finished – one that I started a whole 5 years ago.

20090518-ameliasquilt2

This quilt itself is pretty traditional, but I like to think that the colours I have chosen are a little bit different to the usual choices that people make for little girl’s quilts.  If the colours do not show up accurately on your monitor, they are….. buttery yellow, aqua and pale aqua, dusky mauves and purples, dusky salmon pinks and dusky red.

I used a pattern from Rosalie Quinlan to make this quilt – the pattern is called “Rebekah Amy’s Quilt” and according to the pattern it is named after Rosalie’s eldest daughter.

This particular quilt was made for Amelia’s bed, and has been sitting in a cupboard as a lonely quilt top, (aka flimsy) waiting to be quilted.  After making a new friend at NOTY Quilters Guild, who happens to be a long arm quilter, I decided it was time to finish that quilt.  Anita (Hillside Quilting in Warrandyte) quilted a beautiful all over pattern on the quilt in a softly coloured variegated thread.

I am super happy with the result and have just finished the binding.  All that is left is to make a nice label, and it is done.

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How many flimsys are in your cupboard?

*One of the catch phrases from Kath and Kim, the original Aussie version of course.

Aprons

Way back when I made a couple of aprons.  Recent events bumped their blog debut.  The first was purpose made for sewing – you heard it, a sewing apron.

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20090224-debbiesapron2Debbie has been wanting one to wear to the guild sewing retreat (not until August – catches all the threads) so I made her one for her significant birthday back in January.

It is of course the lovely Emmeline Apron pattern by Sew Liberated.  I was really pleased with the fabric I found for the front and back (this lovely is reversable).  20090224-debbiesapron3Debbie and I share a love of paisley (the front) and the back features sewing themed fabric and a little applique heart.  Doesn’t Debbie look lovely in it.

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The second apron was for a lovely little three year old called Elena, made with one of my favourite cherry blossom fabrics.

Have you made any aprons lately?

Little Pieces of Happiness

I found this lovely eucalyptus leaf on the path, on the way home from school, and it was so beautiful that I just had to bring it with me.  It was not unique, there were quite a few of the same colour there on the ground, but this one just jumped into my field of view.  A lovely little piece of happiness.

Another lovely piece of happiness that came my way this week was being awarded my first blog award.  Rachel from Contented (over in the UK) awarded me with The “Proximidade” or “Friendship around the World” award.  What a surprise, thank-you so much Rachel. The award is for blogs that are special in some way and extend the hand of friendship around the world.  I have to pass this on to eight of my favourite blogs, and ask that they do the same.

I found 8 blogs a little hard.  So many of my favourite blogs are much awarded, (because they have so many readers), and it feels like guilding the lily to award them some more.  I have picked just 4 of the blogs that I read almost daily…….Block a Day, emzeegee and the hungry three, Peppermint Patcher and Whippet Good.  Thank you to each of you for helping to feed my blog habit – inspiring, amusing and connecting with me.

Today I managed to hang my recently finished quilt (are you sick of it yet) and here is a little before and after to show you.

If only I could “before and after” the ugly, dark brown air conditioning unit you can see peeking in on the left of shot.  Getting through summer would be pretty hard without it though.

I found two forgotten pieces of happiness yesterday as I was attempting to declutter, (watching a show about hoarders will do that to you) and I put them out into the sunlight today to show you.

Two mini quilts that I was making for the kids (to match their teddies) 18 months ago (there was to be 3 – I also have one in pieces for Michaela).

The kids helped me choose the fabric.  They are yet to be quilted; perhaps I will practice free motion quilting on them.

Be Patient

I started this quilt 31 months ago in March 2006.  It has been quite a labour of love, and it is very close to completion, as I am now working on the binding.  I hand quilted around these words a few days ago – it could have been the motto for the whole quilt, and, it seems, the entire week.

In the past 24 hours the Matching Pegs household has been hit by a tedious irritating problem that we have all had to deal with, (a member of the family asked me not to be specific).  The problem is not serious, but not dealing with it promptly would make our problem multiply, if you catch my drift.  So I have been practicing my deep breathing and remembering to be patient.

When I was shopping last week for the binding for this quilt, I also picked up some binding and backing for my Chez Moi – Charisma quilt.

The red fabric (which is for the binding) is a perfect colour match, because it is another Chez Moi fabric, but this time it is from the Posh range.  The green fabric is a plain green homespun – it doesn’t match quite as well, but it will be used only for the backing, and it goes well with the binding.  I am toying with the idea of marking a design on the backing, and free motion quilting the quilt from the back, but I am not sure if my skills are up to it.  It might be a good way to learn.

Today Michaela and I were enjoying the afternoon spring sunshine, and blowing bubbles, as well as our cares away.  A little wander around the garden turned up a surprise, a ranunculi from a few years ago, growing where I thought they had been finished.  I thought I would share it with you.  I hope your week is full of happy surprises, but if it is not, I wish you patience.

Teapots and Haircuts

I have a small collection of teapots on my kitchen windowsill.  There are 3 (I said it was small).  I have been drawing them for my mug-bag design, and now I am drawing them up neatly in Illustrator, so much fun, (the pencil part more than the computer part).

The design is most likely to feature this bamboo handled one, as well as one of my butterflies and a cherry blossom.  I think I will start cutting out paper copies of these drawings at different scales to work out where I am going with this.  I just wish I had a super-teacher to teach me how to use the parts of Illustrator that I need to use.  I keep thinking in a tech drawing, auto cad kind of way when I am using it, and it is the wrong way to approach it.

Here are adorable photos of two of my kids.  It’s my blog, and I like to admire my handiwork – I just gave them both a haircut.


Michaela is going through a skirts and dresses phase, hense the skirt and pants look.  I cut her hair to angle in at the back.

I am no hairdresser, but I think I did OK.

Rory told me a minute before I took that shot that he would only pose if he didn’t have to smile.

I love my son so much that I took both he and Amelia to see Star Wars, The Clone Wars this afternoon.  I almost fell asleep.  Next week we are going to see Wall-E, which I am really looking forward to.  Tomorrow I am taking Amelia to have her ears pierced – so I will probably be posting her new look tomorrow.