Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Dress is revealed!

FAK - this is slow!

The sneak peek I showed of my swap worked far too well. My swapee didn't hesitate to name me as the culprit. So I figure it's time I showed the finished piece...

This 9-12 month shift/pinny is made from some navy drill which has been sitting in my fabric stash for longer than I can remember. The lining is from an op-shopped doona cover you may remember from the apron I made for Dinnae.

I was so taken with the process of hand-sewing self-bias-tape on the hussif that I jumped at the chance to do it here.

The buttons are vintage blue buttons from the stash Lorna gave me, and the dress is finished with pink topstitching.

I'm very pleased and the recipient's mother seems equally pleased.

I cut out the dress from another fabric first, before remembering that my swapee's favourite colour is rainbow. So I decided to make it anyway.

You may remember the lining from an apron I made for Lorna's DD1.

It is not finished because I have not yet found the perfect buttons or top-stitching thread. No hurry, it hasn't got anyone to wear it yet.

These dresses were made with my own pattern, based on two other patterns which were not quite what I had in mind.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Refashioned thermals

A project from a month ago.

Elliot, DH and I took three 14 year old Scouts on a 30km hike in the Cathedrals recently. This meant being able to carry all we needed for 2 nights of camping and hiking. Elliot and I took the Croozer instead of me carrying him and my hike pack. Our Group Leader thought we were nuts to take a 2 year old hiking, but he's gone everywhere else with us, so why not? We weren't being reckless, we had thought through all the possibilities: scorpions (saw one there once, but no, they're not lethal in Australia), bushfire (our last hike in the same place was evacuated due to bushfire), and all the usual stuff like broken limbs and running out of water.

It was so cold at that time (late August) that we assumed it may snow where we were to be hiking. This was something we had not deal with before, and I was worried about the risks of hypothermia for Elliot. So I grabbed an old pair of my polypropolene thermal pants and turned them into this thermal top for Elliot.

This was made exclusively on my new overlocker and I made it with the seams outwards so it wouldn't be scratchy on Elliot's lovely skin. Don't you love the pink thread?

I figured that if I put him in deliciously warm woolley longies over his cloth nappies he wouldn't need thermal pants. We also packed woollen beanies made by our lovely neighbour, fleecey mittens from SIL in Canada, and lots of warm socks.

I'm so glad we did all this because the first night was horridly cold, so I didn't get much sleep, and the first morning was so bitterly cold that none of us could feel our fingers at all and I was blowing warm air on Elliot's hands in desperation to heat them up a little. Once the sun came up we were fine and the next night was much warmer.

This top is nice and big so it will fit him for next year's adventures with the Scouts, but I'm not sure I'll be doing a 30km hike again. It was just too much for my old body. (I'm 30 now, so I can call myself 'old').

If you want to see pics from the hike, check out this entry in my other blog. Just scroll past the birthday stuff.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Hot air balloon longies

A friend of mine told me about some longies she was making for her pregnant friend. Only problem was that the baby is now a year old and there was barely two inches of the knitting done. Hehehe! I know that problem.

So I offered to finish them for her. They're made in Utiku Perendale wool using the Picky Pants pattern.

I designed a duplicate stitch embellishment for the pants. The hot air balloon seemed appropriate since the colourway looked like a sky/sea background. I used scraps of vareigated yarn including other Utiku wool, some Monster Knits yarn, and some yarn I dyed myself.

And I have added a pic of my short rows because I am so thrilled with them. I have finally mastered the short row technique described in this thread on the Wooly Wonder's forum. I challenge you to find my short rows!

And finally - here is a sneak peek of a swap I am participating in. Just in case anyone from that forum is sneaking around trying to pick up clues. It's an upcycle swap. I won't be able to post proper pics until next week.

Package from Oregon

I was the delighted recipient of a big parcel last Friday. I can't believe it has taken me so long to find the time to blog about it. Sorry Mary.

I was waiting for this parcel with anticipation - and it didn't disappoint! This is the other half of the swap I took part in, which I wrote about in the previous post.

Mary handcrafted me a hussif made of vintage linens. She took my favourite colours seriously, using burgundy, blue, and my extra special favourite: apple green.

She included all sorts of things in the hussif: a pair of scissors, a thimble in the little drawstring pouch, two unpickers (LOL!), a tape measure, and a set of button themed stitch markers. She also made me a pincushion and strawberry pincushion. The hussif ties up with a leather strap.

This gift was simply awesome! Mary put so much thought into it and it's really special. But that's not all (no, no steak knives). Mary also filled a box with an amazing amount of vintage goodies: silk ribbons, silk threads, vintage ric-rac, rayon threads, linen fabric, bookmark kits, hand-embroidered teatowels, and vintage buttons.

I must confess to being somewhat naive when it comes to knowing what to do with some of these sewing supplies. Any ideas on potential uses for the silk threads, silk ribbons, and rayon threads would be welcomed.

Thank you Mary for a wonderful swap!!!

Sunday, 14 September 2008

International Hussif Swap!

I took part in a swap on the Down--to--Earth blog. We signed up to swap a needlebook and pincushion. My swap partner, Mary, suggested making a hussif which has a strawberry pincushion in it.

I found these fabric remnants at a market stall. I had trouble with the request for warm colours because I'm such a cool colours person, but Mary tells me this was just her cup of tea. It's a 1970s Charles Parson print on a light canvasy type of fabric.

I also made a little thimble pouch to go with it.

Mary had commented that my nostepinne was made from exotic timber. That made me laugh for days because it was an old fence post which we were planning on using as firewood. I mean, redgum is our main source of firewood here. I couldn't stop giggling. But DH went out to the shed and came back a few hours later with a noste similar to mine for me to send to the US with the hussif. What a sweet hubby! And Mary is pleased with that too.

If you would like to see a few more pics, they're here on my new flickr account.

OOPS!!! For the strawberry pincushion I needed some aluminium oxide (emery) because these pincushions are used to sharpen pins, not store them. It took ages to find somewhere where I could buy less than a 25kg bag. It was only as I was driving home with my $4 worth of emery (100gms) that I realised that I had broken my Challenge. Ooops!

Repaired shoes.

I fixed some shoes for Lorna's girls.

The ones on the left needed the velcro tabs replaced.
The ones on the right needed new elastic across the top.

It didn't take long, but it took me over a month to get around to it. I am such a procrastinator, it's shocking!

I'll convert her to the Challenge soon, I'm sure. Maybe she'll sign up on December 30 for the rest of the year?

No shampoo challenge

I promised an update on the no-shampoo mini-challenge, so here it is:

I have found it marvellous from the start. I was already washing it only once a week to keep the oil down. The bicarb and apple cider vinegar stuff works really well. I use two tablespoons of bicarb in 500ml warm water, and rinse with 2 tablespoons of acv in 500ml of warm water. I find it takes a bit longer to wash as I have to massage the bicarb into my hair really well, but I don't mind any excuse to be in the shower longer.

I had a near disaster when I went to get my hair cut and the hairdresser put all sorts of rubbish in my hair before I realised (not my usual hairdresser). I got home and ran straight into the shower and washed my hair with 3 lots of bicarb to get all the gunk out. Disaster averted. Gosh that chemical stuff stinks! I'm so glad my hair smells of nothing but a faint scent of apples. Lovely!