Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lilly-Dee Designs

One of my favourite things about receiving a fabric order from my shop is imagining what the fabrics are going to be used for. This is especially so when I get an order for a fat quarter bundle (a random selection of four fat quarters). Sometimes my customers write me a wee note to let me know what their favourite colour is, or more often what their least favourite colour is, but usually I have no idea so I just go about imagining what my customer might like and send them off what takes my fancy that day. I'm pretty sure I don't always get it right, but that's the fun of ordering in this lucky dip fashion. So, what do you do with your fabric? Do you turn it into clothes, cushions, bags or simply store it up for a project that will come along one day? I'd love to know.

One customer of mine who has let me know what she does with her fabric is Helen from Lilly-Dee Designs. She has a small business making gorgeous soft toys for kids, based right here in NZ, and she sent me some pictures of a couple of the toys she made using fabrics a recent order. I think you'll agree that these guys are very cute and a great gift idea. So, if you're in the market for something handmade and just perfect for a little person in your life, check out Helen's website: Her prices are extremely reasonable and she makes to order. What more could you want?!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Don't forget ... Stash reHash is this Sunday!

Hi everyone, just a quick reminder that Stash reHash is on this Sunday, 18 April from 11am - 2pm. Come prepared with an empty shopping bag, lots of cash (no eftpos facilities on site sorry), an eye for a bargain and your elbows ready to give other fabricaholics a gentle nudge out of the way if they get a bit bolshy.

I'll be there with all my new fabrics, plus some treasures from Nana's stash ... get in early so you don't miss out!

Here's what else you need to know:

Sunday 18th April 2010
11am - 2pm
at the Scottish Society Hall
corner of Edgeware and Caledonian Roads
St Albans, Christchurch.

There'll be dozens of stall-holders including Arthritis NZ selling a huge variety of fabric (new, old, designer, vintage, retro and for dressmaking, crafts, interiors and upholstery), buttons, yarn, haberdashery, patterns, vintage textiles, embroidery and other craft supplies.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Oven Mitt

I made this oven mitt for my Nana. It was supposed to be a Christmas gift but it's somewhat late - hopefully she'll be forgiving over my relaxed schedule when it comes to making promised items for family! Anyway, her criteria was that the wanted a single mitt design rather than oven gloves, and she wanted it in navy. Unfortunately I didn't have any navy fabric (plus navy is rather boring don't you think?) so I've made this one in Narrow Stripe in Blue for the top and Circle Pane in Blue for the Bottom. I did use navy for the trim though, so hopefully she'll forgive me for digressing from her wishes.

I used a Cath Kidston pattern which I found on the internet here. To be honest, it's a bit hard to follow and it didn't have a scale, but I muddled through. I made my oven glove 70cm long, with the hand pockets 20cm long each and I made the whole thing 20cm wide. Using those measurements, I got away with 0.25m of each of the exterior fabrics (note - cut as a strip rather than as a fat quarter). I also used 0.25m of wool batting, 0.25m of some special heat reflective stuff (not sure exactly what it's called, but just ask at your local fabric store - I don't stock it sorry!), and about 2m of 25mm wide bias binding. The Cath Kidston pattern doesn't call for the heat reflective stuff, but I'd definitely recommend it because there's nothing worse than burning yourself on hot dishes. If you wanted to do that you wouldn't bother to wear an oven mitt now would you?!

Now, it all seemed straight forward enough, but never having worked with bias binding before (should I be admitting that?) I did find this somewhat challenging. Firstly I bought the wrong sized bias binding and had to go back and get some more as the smaller stuff just wouldn't fit over all the layers. Then, because of all the layers my machine had a bit of a hissy fit and kept choking on the bobbin. And then, to top it all off, I struggled with the very act of sewing the bias binding on using a nice straight topstitch, so it's a bit all over the place. Oh well, despite the end product being less perfect than I usually accept, it's turned out ok and will be functional enough. And, since Nana is nearly blind I don't think she'll be inspecting it for its imperfections! Thank goodness!