Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Crafting for a Cause!

mila+cuatro recently opened a Felt store.  It no doubt slipped under the radar of most of the world but I'm pleased to announce that we have already made a sale - and to a complete stranger at that!

10% of the sale price (excluding shipping) of items sold in the mila+cuatro Felt store will be donated to Sands (the Auckland Central branch).  Sands is a charity that supports bereaved parents who lose a child close to birth.  Through Sands I have had the opportunity meet other unfortunate souls for whom every parent's worst nightmare is their reality - Sands has helped me enormously and I would love to think that my crafting can in some way help someone else. 

A challenge to any other crafty types out there - why not pick a charity and donate a percentage of your sales to a good cause?

Old nana's nightie refashion

My husband was not impressed when I came home from the op shop with this:

The photo doesn't do it justice: it's huge, it has lovely lace trim, and some special embroidery bits.  Obviously I'm not going to be wearing this anytime soon, but I thought the fabric would look so cute as a top for Ruby, so I chopped it up and whipped up a little popover.

If this looks familiar to anyone then it either means that a) this used to be your nightie, or b) you've read my post about the first dress I made Ruby.  I used the same pattern that I made for that dress but just chopped it off shorter, I also took it in a little at the sides. 

Here is a little closeup of the fabric:

You can imagine how cute this looks on her.  For those who can't imagine, here is a photo:
I want to make a dress with pleats in it for Ruby but was having a hard time working out how to factor pleats into the pattern (I have a self imposed rule of creating my own patterns).  Then I happened upon the Pleat section in my sewing encyclopedia which said that you can actually put the pleats into the fabric before cutting it up - what a revelation!  So I practiced with this popover.  I painstakingly put itty bitty pleats into the fabric because I wanted pleats on the front of the popover.
Itty Bitty pleats
Then, annoyingly, while I was pressing the seams after stitching the popover together my iron ruined my best laid plans.  Something is stuck to the bottom of my iron and it just got too hot and melted either the fabric or whatever is stuck to the bottom of the iron.

Iron Carnage

All was not lost though ... in my quest to avoid bias binding after having such a nightmare with Lola's neckline and armholes, I had made it reversible, so the pleats are on the inside and this nana's nightie lives to see another day.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Zip It!

This morning I was debating whether I should head off to Spotlight to buy a zip to make one of the things on my Pinterest board but decided against it. Instead I visited my local op shop and was pretty pleased to find a stash of zips still in their original packaging.  Some of them are pretty old, I'd go so far as to call them vintage.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Oilcloth starter

Just finished my first oilcloth project, a little something to get used to working with oilcloth.  I'm glad I started small, as there are a few things you need to know before embarking on an oilcloth project: 

1) You can't use a normal foot.  I bought a non-stick (teflon) foot.  I read somewhere that you can try putting masking tape on your normal foot.
2) You can't use pins, you also wouldn't want to be doing any unpicking - needles and pins leaves holes in the oilcloth.  I used wooden pegs.
3) You can't use an iron to press it.  Finger pressing is a good option.
4) You need heavy duty machine needles.
5) You probably need to play around with your tension.  (I didn't do this - you'll be able to tell that from the photos)

These are things I didn't know when I purchased my oilcloth.

So what did I make?  A case for my thread cutter.  Until today my thread cutter lived in the ugly packaging it came in, too dangerous to leave naked in my sewing kit. 

 Yes, I have yellow velcro.  Found it in an op shop and just knew it would come in handy.  There were other colours as well and I'm kicking myself for not buying them.

After I took the photos I decided to add a piece of felt on the fold where the blades hit the oilcloth.  The stiching is really obvious on oilcloth, certainly on this yellow one anyway.  I needed to adjust the tension on the sewing machine, but was too lazy - I'll pay particular attention to this on my next project.

More bibs

A couple more vintage linen bibs.  The blue one looks great on Ruby with her striking blue eyes.

These will soon be for sale in my Felt store ...

A bunting we will go!

I want to make some bunting for Ruby's room but wanted to do a practice run first on some less expensive material.  Here is the practice - a vintage linen bunting. 

It's quite hard to photograph bunting.  There are six flags, two of each fabric.  The stripes and florals are op shop finds.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Chalk it up!

So in addition to the oilcloth I purchased recently, I also acquired some chalk cloth, which is essentially a fabric blackboard.  I have all sorts of plans for it, but thought I'd start with something small, so I made some chalk cloth cards.  The first one satisfied my immediate need to pink something.
I much prefer the next one, though.  A chalk cloth speech bubble.
 The speech bubble ones are now for sale in my Felt store.

Saturday, 18 June 2011


A very exciting package arrived in this morning's post.

A few weeks ago I read an article in the NZ Herald about the New Zealand dollar being at an all time high against the US dollar, and we all know what that means!!  (For those that don't know, it means it has never been cheaper for New Zealanders to buy something in US dollars)  So I went a little craaazy with the credit card and purchased some oilcloth and cotton laminates from Kelly at Oilcloth Addict.

The cotton laminates are so soft, much softer than I thought they would be, I can't wait to make something ...

Pins and Needles

My mum needs a needle wallet so I whipped one up for her similar to the one I made myself a while ago.  The fabric is one of the vintage pillowcases I acquired on my recent southern sojourn, I'm quite pleased with how it looks.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Additions to my stash

While I was away recently I hit the op shops with my sisters.  Here is a selection of what I got. Some vintage linen:

Some women's clothes to refashion into clothes for Ruby:

I also went to Annie's Country Quilt Store in Ashburton, I made a special visit there because I had phoned them a couple of days earlier to see if they had some of the Robert Kaufman Celebrate Seuss collection.  I was thrilled to hear that yes, they did have some and it had only just arrived.  I showed great restraint:

Another fantastic recent acquisition is some pinking shears, given to my by my mother in law, probably not used for about 30 years but still in their original box.  I'm just itching to pink.

Spread the Crove

While we were away I spent a bit of time spreading the Crove (craft love).  My sisters and I had a couple of craftathons.  I made a dress for my niece Sienna, similar to the one I made Ruby.  Sienna's one is reversible, with pockets on the front, the lining is a vintage flannelet sheet.  Unfortunately it doesn't fit very well, it is too wide but hopefully in a year or so it will be perfect!

Sister B made a whale softie and some felt elephants, Sister N started a bag.  Another one of my nieces joined us and made all sorts of felt fridge magnets.  I also made a hair tie - I embroidered a lazy daisy on some denim which I then used to cover a fabric covered button, then threaded an elastic hair tie through it.  I also started a donut pincushion, but hadn't taken enough felt with me so haven't finished it yet.

Sadly no photographs of the craftathon outputs (apart from the dress), I didn't get around to it - maybe next time!

I heart Air New Zealand

I haven't blogged for a while because we've been on holiday staying with my family down south.  We came home on Sunday, right when the volcanic ash cloud was making it's way up the South Island causing all sorts of havoc for those wanting to make like a bird and fly.  Our Jetstar flight was cancelled, but Mila was watching over us on Sunday, she sprinkled some of her angel dust on Christchurch airport and things turned out ok:
  • We got standby flights on Air New Zealand for $59 each!  What a bargain, that's even cheaper than the original cost of our Jetstart flight;
  • The cabin crew rearranged a passenger so that we could sit together, which makes flying with a baby so much easier;
  • The plane had to fly low (due to the ash) so we had an awesome view of the Southern Alps and Mt Taranaki; and
  • We only got home an hour later than the time we would have got home had we been on our scheduled flight.
All in all, thanks to Air New Zealand, it turned out to be no drama at all.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Bib city

I have found a few great vintage sheets over the last couple of months, I used some of the fabric from one of them for a market bag and needle wallet, and yesterday I thought I'd see what a couple of them looked like as bibs.  It's like this fabric was designed with bibs in mind, they look so great!

I made matching ones for Ruby and her cousin Sienna - so cute!  I packaged Sienna's one up so it looks like it was bought.

They are nice and big, good shoulder to shoulder coverage which I need with Ruby as she likes to rub her mouth on her shoulder while having dinner.

If your nana is still alive raid her linen cupboard - you might find some gems!  Our own linen is all one colour, lovely egyptian cotton and fantastic to sleep on but I feel like I'm doing Ruby a disservice by not having some special prints that she can reclaim and refashion in the years to come.
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