Search This Blog

Friday, December 23, 2011

Japanese fabric iPad pouch

 In November I had the chance to buy some Japanese textiles from amongst those listed in David Pike's blog. I bought three pieces, without knowing what I would do with them.

They are woven brocade and Dave believes they come from temple ceilings, from constructions like this one.

I decided to have a go at making another pouch, this time padded to protect my iPad. I chose the one with the single medallion (chrysanthemum maybe?) because it was square to start with and required no cutting at all.

I bought some bottle green dupion from Eastern Silk in Adelaide and took the plunge.

I managed the measuring a bit better than I did last time. It is not, however, perfectly straight.

I lined it with the same dupion and put a layer of polyester batting in between.

I quilted the edges in shapes roughly mirroring the border pattern, using dark green Madeira silk thread and a fine gold metalic thread together.
 I quilted around every second petal in the flower using the dark green Madeira silk.

I then folded it and stitched the edges with cotton and embroidered them with a mixture of Madeira and Gumnut silks.

I finished it off with a corded edge and a button Dave had kindly sent me.

I am really pleased with the result. I works brilliantly for my iPad, even though it is square rather than rectangular, and provides good protection. It hadn't occurred to me until I began using it, how Christmassy it looks.

I will always remember when I made it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gingerbread family ornaments

While making the ballet bears for the Christmas tree I was conscious that they would not appeal to my 6 year-old grandson. There wasn't a lot around that were as attractive for a boy, but  a kit for a Gingerbread Family came up on special at Herrschners, so I took a chance.

I have been working on it this week.

The figures come already cut out in three little cellophane packages, with thread included. The beads and a beading needle come in a separate cellophane bag and serve all three figures.

The fabric is stretchy teddy-bear material which I haven't worked with before. The bodies could have been stitched on the machine, but mine is packed up at the moment, as we have visitors, so I worked it all by hand. The instructions offer glueing as an alternative to stitching, but I am much more comfortable stitching!

There is a gingerbread chef-father, shown here before his second wrist was done.

There is no shortage of bling!

The gingerbread mother has a frivolous apron,a ruff and a bonnet, while the child has a spectacular vest and splendid scarf. In the pattern the child has a bow in her hair, which I managed to turn into a small cap for a gender change. My only criticism is that the vest has no back - a bit skimpy when working 3 dimensions.

They look quite jolly on the tree. Will they compensate a 6 year old boy for ballet bears? We will know fairly soon!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

My batik top

One of my ambitions since retiring from full time paid work, has been to make some useful, comfortable clothes for myself from some of the material in my stash, much of it collected while travelling. With this in mind I went on a search for a pattern that I could use for making pants and tops - ideally a pattern I could adapt to smock some of the tops.

I wanted to try out the pattern by  making a top in the fabric my friend gave me on her return from Indonesia - the fabric I used to line the Alison Snepp pouch.

Eventually I found McCalls M5862 in my local fabric shop, but alas, the only size they didn't have was mine! Not to be defeated, I searched online and eventually ordered and received it from McCalls Australia online. This, annoyingly, cost considerably more than buying it over the counter, but saved me a lot of running around and I will use it many times.

I didn't have quite enough to use the border as a frill around the bottom, but I managed to use it around the sleeves. I added loops on the inside shoulders to clip a bra strap.

It is a simple pattern, but works really well - loose and comfortable, just as I had hoped (not the best photo in the world - best I could do taking it myself in the mirror!).

I have now cut out another one in an African fabric to smock around the neck, allowing a little bit extra for pleating. More soon on this, I hope.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ballet Bears for Christmas tree

After my binge last year on Bucilla felt stockings, I bought a kit of Bucilla ballet bears thinking my granddaughter might like to make them. I realised as soon as it arrived that it was far too difficult. A few weeks ago I decided to make the bears to hang on this year's Christmas tree.

There are two each of three different bears in the kit - and the usual Bucilla sequins abound.

I find these kits a lot of fun. I like the variation - embroider a bit on the pre-stamped pieces, cut out, bead, applique, stuff.

This one didn't have a lot of embroidery and quite a bit of stitching limbs to torsos so you get a good sense of the figure emerging.
The first bear has her eyes closed in dance ecstasy, while the second one trips  along in a double-layered tutu.

The third one is wearing leg-warmers - clearly a seriously ambitious ballerina!

It is easy to vary the poses and decoration so each of the six bears is individual. 

I think these are going to be a big hit on the Christmas tree. I put them up this morning.

I think the children will be happy to take them home on Christmas Day.