Thursday, December 1

Tilda Bumblebee Collection

I was delighted to be asked to contribute to making some smocked garments for the new Tilda Bumblebee Collection.

It is a divine selection of the most delicious fabrics, perfectly suitable for smocking and a multitude of other uses, including bags, ladies wear and home decorating. 

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I made 3 very different garments, the fabric is beautiful and needed little embellishment, so I kept it sweet and simple.

First up a skirt.

I used the Mem Rose pattern from One Thimble - I did alter the pattern to include a fully elasticated back, and I added fullness to accommodate the smocking.

I pleated 10 half space rows and used a baby wave, 3 cable combination.  Using DMC stranded cotton in 3 strands.  Colours were 597, 725, 471, 3804 and 598.

Skirt yoke linings and back lining were different fabrics from the outer and I made mini-piping with the plain blue matching print from the range. 

Next up I made a sweet little round yoke dress, again using different fabrics for the yoke lining and the placket - I didn't think to take inside pics boo hoo :(

Keeping the design simple, to let the gorgeous fabric speak - you can see a peek of the lining fabric in this photo. 

Pattern is Little Bird from Australian Smocking and Embroidery Issue  98 - though I have tweaked it to completely pipe the yoke, original smocking design from me, using the specified number of rows in the pattern.  I also added a sweet little bow. 

And the back is just as cute.

And finally a sundress - this is made from my original pattern Child of Nature (which has been reprised in several forms in Australian Smocking and Embroidery).  The original is what I used for this sundress - it can be found in Issue No. 53. 

Close up of the smocking



So keep your eyes peeled for this delicious collection of fabric, I know I will be.

Tuesday, November 22

Petite Stitchery for Everyday Wear Blog Tour

The girls from Petite Stitchery kindly asked me to join along in their blog tour.  You can find all the lovely ladies participating below.  There is a super giveaway as well.  Rafflecopter link below.

I have been testing some of Petite Stitchery patterns but of course we are in Oz so the weather here is decidedly different to the majority of the testers. 

One of the patterns that I fell in love with was the Rosemary Sweater, but being 30 plus degrees (that's celsius for those of you US gals) it was a bit warm to be wearing a cowl and long sleeves.  But I adored the front curve of it.  So I hacked it a wee bit and made it suitable for our long, hot and humid summer days. 

It was a super easy hack and my DD just adores it and is wearing it non-stop - albeit with a camisole underneath for when we are out and about but at home, with a pair of denim shorts and its nearly her favourite outfit.  

I went with the straight size 10 - my DD has a tiny chest - somewhere between a 7 and 8, but is tall with legs that go on forever, so I 'should' have made an 8 and added length, but given that for us its pretty much a layering top, I went with the straight 10.

To make the top as shown, you'll need the following pieces.

Front x 1
Back x 1
Sleeve x 2 -  decided on a length for the sleeve based off another pattern - for the size 10 I have a pattern piece length of 16.5cm or 6.5 inches.  I turned up a 1.3cm or 1/2 inch hem and pressed this before sewing up the side seams.

Neck Binding
For the neck binding I went with my standard measure the neck hole and do 4/5 of the measurement.  So for the size 10 that is 49cm or 19 1/4 inches.  Once I've made a pattern I mark it on my tracing, but everyone sews a little different, so I do recommend that you check your own neckline measurement, then divide by 5 and times by 4 - if my binding is super stretchy I sometimes make it a little less, but for the most part when using cotton lycra or ribbing for my binding the above method work perfectly every time.

So I've used a Euro 95% organic cotton/5 % elastane in a unicorn print, which I funked up by painting one of the unicorns.  Teamed with Lillestoff black and white stripe available here.

To put her together, I sew the shoulders and then press to the back.  Join the neck binding and then press wrong sides together (I like to pre-press my binding in half before joining it up).  Mark both there neckline and the binding into 4 even sections.  Match up the pins and then overlock the binding on, gently stretching the binding to fit between the pin marks - DO NOT SEW OVER THE PINS - the overlocker does not like them :(

Give it a little press then sew on the sleeves (I have already overlocked the hemline and pressed it up).  Sew up the side seams - I do one side, then overlock the hemline, press it up and then sew the other side seam.  Then you can topstitch the hem and the neckline and ta dah - all finished!

And of course the modelled shots - I used Jo Sonja with textile medium to paint the unicorn and fish.

And whilst I was on a roll I've also made my DD her Christmas Outfit using the Aspen Skirt with folded hem and three different Christmas prints from stash and Sapphire with the flutter sleeves using white knit and gold dots and red stripes all available at Zebra Fabrics.  Embroidery Design is from Embroidery Library.

And as you can see the twirl factor is major!!

There are so many ways to mix and match these patterns and even though they are a Fall line, you can adapt to suit for those of us in the southern hemisphere, you just need to think a wee bit out the box.

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Monday, October 10

Orange and Cinnamon Buns

We seem to be drowning in oranges, so I made Orange and Cinnamon Buns - they are delightfully soft and fluffy and great with a good cup of tea.

For the dough

You can mix by hand (knead about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic) or I put mine in the bread maker pizza setting.

Mix together 
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup of milk
1 large egg
45 grams softened butter
3 cups of bread flour
1/2 cup sugar
grated zest of the oranges
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons of salt (unless you used salted butter and then I don't add this)
2 teaspoons of dried yeast.

Prove until about double in size./

Knock back and then divide into 12 balls - this fits into a swiss roll tin.

Prove again until about double in size - they rise very nicely in a warm spot.

Bake at 200 degrees for 20 minutes, until golden.

Ice with a simple icing of icing sugar, orange juice and know of butter. 

As you can see above I iced mine when still very hot - let them cool about 5/10 minutes before icing.