Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tea and cake for one please....

Another use for those scrap pieces of fabric I create from the little bits I cant bear to throw out! My nightly blog reading brought me to one I regularly follow, Ric Rac.  ....and there it was, a  tea set!  Fond of 'mix and matching' my vintage tea sets - I have enough for a small cafe or tea room I think - this project really appealed to me today.



I do love a bit of food related fabric sculpture.  I've made cakes, crocheted vegetable and cakes, made fabric carrots for Easter, tweedy mince pies and puddings for Christmas


Unfortunately I don't see too many of my students having the patience to do all the hand sewing of fabric covered plastic discs and slightly fiddly button attachment at the cup handle, but it will sit on my desk in the classroom and be there for inspiration, and we will see who 'bites'!

I haven't made the teapot...yet, but enlarged the saucer to make a tea plate, for the cake of course!

I love Jodie's work!  Her toys are fabulous and have a cheeky personality to them!  I've previously made the disco bot and have yet to make the animal bag....but they are on the 'to do list' and the fabrics are sitting ready to go with each pattern in a large zip lock bag so I cant be tempted to use them on another project.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Vintage knickers, new style

I started this post last week, thought I'd sew like a crazy girl in the holidays, but life took over. Does that happen to you too?  Of course it does!

My travels through Pinterest brought me to this lovely post and ultimately to this pattern.  I'm thinking my year 9 or 10 girls might like to make these.  I have quite a bit of vintage sheeting I'm probably never going to use in a hurry and this pattern will fit the as 'new' edges of otherwise worn centre panels.

So it's mock up time! I will make one according to the original pattern and one in the same size using the modifications suggested in the blog post...and let the girls decide.  ( the mind of a teen girl can be a tricky one to please...so either way I make them will not please them all and fabric may not be to their liking either....but I'll give it a try anyway.)



About 1 metre of some soft fabric and your away!  As I don't have the 'small' body required in this mock up I've extrapolated the hip and leg sizes for elastic, so its a safety pin for each until 'a body' tries them on for me...I've used some soft lingerie elastic for the casings, but have left out the bows for this sample.

It's a quick little project that someone will make and then the others will probably try out!

Friday, October 3, 2014

More stash busting! A bag from 'the boro' posts!

Did you notice the themes red pink piece from my Boro jacket sewing preparation?  I made an up-cycled messenger bag from it together with a collection of reused zippers, bag hardware and a strap!











I've put a pocket into the flap for keys and quick grab items, an inner pocket for lipstick, tissue pack and other bits and bobs and the overall bag is big enough to throw in 'Greenie' my tablet (yes, it has a name, doesn't yours?) and a book along with my wallet!
Mt glasses always end up in the bottom and I have to delve in to locate them when needed!

Interfaced with the calico backing and iron on batting ( Vilene H630).  together with the calico and home deco scrap lining it has enough body but still soft enough to squish ...
It was good to be able to use everything from previous projects or  items, only the thread and H630 was new or on hand as leftovers from other jobs, of course!

Its a no fuss, 'throw it on the floor' kind of bag, easy for school and a good size!  Just a bit of fun to get back into the swing of sewing after a long time away!

....perfect for a week or two until I make another bag!....so many patterns so little time!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Adapting the Sew Together Bag

Here's a freebie you might like to make!
Craftsy has one from Sew Demented for you to download. I love a new pattern, and thought this one could become a new purse...with some adaptations for me.


Well, its a Saturday night, so lets get sewing!


  1. Go to the stash...spend a rediculous amount of time labouring over the fabric choice...which scrap will I use...do I really want to cut into that piece for this bag?...do these look good together?  Do i have enough zippers for this?...which interfacing and batting do I use, and have I got it?   
  2. Decision made, pattern drafted and ready to go.  read instructions - these are only written, not illustrations or photos other than the completed project.  You can scour the Internet to find a few if you need, otr look at mine!
  3. Pin, cut, press, ready! 
  4. Oooo...a card pocket might be handy for all those I.D.s licence etc
  5. I don't like the zips just being trimmed and fitting into the sides - too bulky...add tabs! (besides some of my zips weren't the exact size!)
read instructions! I put the pocket onto the wrong edge of the almost square piece!

Add tabs to create a total length of 9 inches - 23cm...much better!
While I also call lined pockets, with a zipper, "zipper sandwich" ( and the students look at me confused until they do one.....) I find I like to sew each layer in individually to secure the zip, sewing through the previous row of stitching in the final pass to ensure accuracy.

Not much for pinning, I place one to centre the zip!
Note to self - buy new zipper foot....the foot fell off the post and I did a 'MacGyver' repair job with a paper clip!

And so here I came to a halt - I am much more of a visual learner...I couldnt quite follow how the side panels worked...then I looked at my current purse and found a blog that also made this bag (interesting...eyes raised,.. OK...)  Lightbulb moment!  Ah-ha!  

Side binding beginning to be attached
I did the side seam joining pockets to panel a bit too wide for my liking this time...I will decrease them to a smaller seam.

See how the tab ends provide a neat and much thinner seam?

Zipper pull bling from Janelle at Emmaline Bsgs

Final outer zipper with tab inverted around the lower edge and sewn into position
Manoeuvring the tab and topstitching onto the base


zipper done  up - stitching all hidden underneath
Don't think I'll be using this one as a money purse!  More like a clutch bag!  Or seing kit, or shower/makeup bag!  I can fit my current wallet into it!  Give it a try!  A good evening spent at the machine!

now you see me....

...now you don't!

fits a good range of sewing bits with ease!

You wouldn't even know it was full!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Making Buster

My Year 9's have been playing around with the idea of Buster from Shiny Happy World.  He's a cutie and very cuddly!  I had lots of windcheater fleece and polar fleece that I knew I wasn't going to use to make things for me...so in true teacher tradition,..' raid from home to take to school'!  (do those of you in school do that too?)

I created a few skills steps for the pin up board - most ignore and and go straight to "Google Teacher" - a.k.a. me - who sends them to the board anyway....

"...read the instructions!  Look at the samples - THEN come see me if you need!...PLEASE!"

First results are coming in....








...then of course someone decided they would make a monster...no probs!  Same skills, different application!  ( and used up more from the scrap bins!)  The boys love this book as the patterns are already in it and the instructions are well illustrated.  They added velcro to the end of the arms so they could wear it around their neck!  ...as you do!  :-)

Adapted from Kathleen Ricketsons 'Kids Crafternoon - SEWING'  book!

I've been playing around with an assessment task for those of you into the Australian Curriculum - Tech/Design area.  I use my design brief task and then adapt it for each task.  that way the students get used to the format and just work their way through it! You're welcome to have a look at it.

Still to compete the teacher assessment tool - yes, I know, it should have been done in conjunction with the task but some weeks are more demanding and it was assessment time here! At this stage I have used 'one I prepared earlier' from a softies task.So Ive included this complete task here too!   Please feel free to comment if you think its good bad or indifferent!  its an idea, play with it, throw it out, up to you!  

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Boro Progress...aka sewing with scraps

Denim side completed!



Very happy!

It weighs a tonne!  Definitely a winter coat!


hanging on the trusty broom handle...the front

the back

the lining

Yellow stitching secured the lining scraps, the white secured the denims


I will stitch up the sides and pop on a front 'collar' soon.

More to come!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Scraps and straight sewing...

Is it a bag?
Is it a quilt?

I'm thinking of a coat!....yes I know its a bit over the top, but I find myself looking closely at Japanese Boro on Pinterest,  a LOT!

I cut a basic kimono shape in calico and began to sew!  No thinking except which scrap can fit into each spot..think jigsaw without the rules!

surrounded by scraps

row upon row upon row, random placement and all raw edges!

after a wash and tumble dry...all scrunchy, LOVELY!

another piece with controlled colour choices...


...and now onto the blue side...straight onto the calico backing!

Its definitely a stash buster!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Upcycled rugs...

Some of the finished weaving task pieces from last week were submitted today....so we began to pin them onto a felt backing.  There are a number yet to be added...and I will have to really push them to get finished but the students are pleased with how it looks.

 
The students are trying to work out if they go with a rainbow effect or random...and some were discussing what colours they should have done to get a better look to the piece....Thats OK. I'm pleased they are talking about these things!

This was a relief lesson task set with an accompanying 'tartan' design activity, I had year 8 and 9 classes work on for three lessons last week while I had some leave.  The weavings are A4 size in most cases and we DID make a dent in the scrap bins!

Monday, August 18, 2014

A 'stash busting' task for my classes this week...and why it is so!

OK, I have a confession to make!  I am reluctant to throw out fabric.  I have the students keep bits they think are still useful and we go to these first when we think about making a new project.  ( cost cutting and also minimise waste!)

We store them in big bins in the laundry alcove of the classroom.

Today I looked at the laundry...
..."expletive deleted..."
Under this pile of scrap are three big bins, and a tiled floor!

Time to de-stash!

...thinking cap on.....

Let's weave some tapestries and join them all together!

So, the focus of lesson this week for year 8 and 9 will be to reduce our stash and create some fancy artworks!

I've made a sample.

Guess Who?

I've collated some YouTube clips.  I've laminated the info sheets....rock and roll!

I'll share what the students make when they are done.  A double and a single 50 minute lesson has been allocated to make the card loom, design their tapestry, collect the scraps and start weaving!

Friday, August 15, 2014

...playing with paper ...part 2

Here are some of the completed pieces.  On display in the classroom, other year levels are quite intrigued and impressed by them.  Good promo for the subject!

Cinderella s gown?




Hollywood tape required!

Creative use of pattern envelopes!

Addding pattern to fabric

...nipped in and asymmetrical!
Each design had to be 'inspired' by the designer they researched.  Now they are onto the fashion storyboard - photo, sketch and details, with their designer inspired logo.  They have done a great job....but are itching to get on the sewing machines.
Our next project is a bag - the oval Lisa Lam/You Sew Girl make-up case.  Year 10's, ready for a challenge!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

....playing with paper...

working it all out

...a tuck here and there...

"would it go like this?"

... a bit of head scratching then down to work...
My Year 10 class  have been looking at the work of fashion designers.  We have created boards using Polyvore, and today they have created paper fashion for their store window display, featuring aspects of the designers' work.  Some elected to work 3D , draping and tucking.  Others worked flat on silhouettes to make their outfit.  Slow to start, and a bit apprehensive but as they got a feel for the papers (very old and incomplete commercial patterns, newspapers, paper towel and kraft paper), the conversations and problem solving has been fabulous to overhear!

my 'here's one I prepared earlier'....


Add my go to Dior The New Look design

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