25 April, 2012

KCWC Day 3

Big sigh. All that work and the great fabric and the Sunki tunic only fits if she stands completely straight and still.  I re-checked the measurements and she should just be within the 6/7 size range, but obviously this fits slim and more towards the lower end of the range of measurements. The sleeves are also a bit short. So. Dress goes next door to Abbie, who fits it, and I try again. This time I will also raise the bottom of the arm scythe as it's too low and causes the dress to lift when the arms are lifted. Boo-hoo. I'm pretty gutted about this, but serves me right for not tissue-fitting eh?

Luckily I also made up a skirt from an old shirt of mine, so the day wasn't completely wasted!


It was so simple to do I almost hesitate to consider it 'sewing'! The shirt was a tunic-style one with a seam that ran around just under the bust, so I cut off the bottom half, folded over the top and put in some elastic. I didn't even have to hem it!


I'm pleased she really likes it because the fabric is lovely, and buttery soft from age. I was kind of sad to give up on the shirt but to be honest it made me look pregnant and I had stopped wearing it almost a year ago. My stomach is a long way from its pre-baby flatness, but I don't need to make it look any larger than it is!

24 April, 2012

KCWC Day 2

Phew! This one was a bit of a mind-bender at times but got there in the end! It turned out there was heaps of the blue flowered fabric to do the Figgy's Sunki tunic, so even though I suspect it's a bit crisp for the pattern I couldn't resist the combination!

Figgy's Sunki tunic

Hazel hasn't tried it on yet, but I thought I could say a couple things about making the tunic because it's not the most straight-forward thing I've ever made. The tricky bits are the pockets that are set into the princess seams down the front. Unfortunately, the pattern illustration shows one piece a totally different shape than it is in reality which is extremely confusing, and the instructions are fairly brief. There is a further tutorial on the Figgy's site but that didn't really clarify things for me at all and I was in despair! Luckily I found Hemoglobinhummingbird's great tutorial on Flickr, had an "ah-HA!" moment and I was away. The rest of the tunic was pretty straightforward and even the pocket thing isn't that complicated once you have it straight in your head. One thing I did notice though is seam finishing happens in some places and not others - so you need to use your own initiative and finish the facings and some of the pocket areas for example. Same with curve-clipping. Not a biggie, but if you weren't paying attention and didn't do it in those spots, you might not be as happy with the finished result. The next time I do this I will also make the pockets deeper because they're quite shallow and Hazel was a bit put-out she couldn't get her whole hand into them.

I like the pleats in the sleeves - very 80s! I like to think Hazel will be wearing the Year 2 version of the power suit ;) You can see the effect the pleats have better on Angry Chicken's example. The overlap detail is neat too, although I couldn't find any reference in the pattern to sewing them down on each other, perhaps I'm just not reading it right - so I just sewed over the top stitching again.


I'd like to try it again in a heavy knit I think, at the moment I'm thinking the fit might be a bit uncompromising in a fabric with no stretch like this one. Wouldn't it be great if it came in adult sizes though?!

ETA: Aaaah! It's too small! Noooo! All that work and the great fabric and it only fits if she stands completely straight and still.  I rechecked the measurements and she should just be within the 6/7 size range, but it's obviously a very slim fit and more towards the lower end of the range of measurements. The sleeves are also a bit short. So. Dress goes next door if they want it and it fits Abbie and I try again. I will also raise the bottom of the arm scythe as it's too low and causes the dress to lift when the arms are raised. Boo-hoo. I'm pretty gutted about this, but serves me right for not tissue-fitting eh?

23 April, 2012

The new AMQG site

I'm so excited about the new Auckland Modern Quilt Guild site that went live this morning - Megan, Karyn, Robyn and I have worked super hard on it for the last month or so. Megan's brother did most of the really technical stuff and the cherry on the cake is a super new header by Robin Purllant.

At the moment we have a mini-quilt challenge going and the entries are up and ready to be voted on. You get to choose three of your favourites! The quilts are destined for the Neo-natal intensive care unit here in Auckland so not only did we get to challenge ourselves with a new-to-us block but our quilts will be going to brighten up a pretty tough situation for lots of parents.

So please pop over and have a look, leave a comment, and have a vote!

22 April, 2012

Fabrics and patterns for KCWC April 2012

I picked up the book on the right in Sydney and am really keen to make a few things from it - despite the fact they're more summer clothes than winter, which is what Hazel really needs! The fabrics are two voiles and a stripy knit. I realised after taking the photo that there probably isn't enough of the blue flowers to make the Figgy's tunic, so I'll have to find something else. I suspect it wouldn't have been a good match anyways, the fabric is quite stiff and the tunic looks like it needs a softer fabric.

Btw the Japanese book is called 'Sweet Girl's Clothes' (or something like that) by Araki Yuki, ISBN 978-4-529-04951-1, published last year. I'll try and take some photos of the patterns this week, they're really sweet.

20 April, 2012

Sydney holiday

We're back from our lovely Sydney holiday - nice to be home but too much unpacking and laundry takes the shine off ;) Here are a few Instagram photos from the trip:

Arriving Sydney

We had brilliant sun and warm days for almost a week, which was lucky since we spent a weekend up in the Blue Mountains with friends. It was gorgeous as usual, we used to head up there as often as we could when we lived in Sydney so we could enjoy the bush and views. It was a bit busier than usual what with the holidays, but I managed to take photos without any people to preserve the illusion that half of Sydney wasn't up there with us!

Blue mountains

We also did the obligatory tourist stuff and saw the usual animals. Which aren't actually all that usual anywhere else in the world of course! The thing that always gets me about the birds in Australia are all these darn parrots flying around loose and being all native and free. It's unnatural! The Queen Victoria Building in the CBD was amazing as usual, but for some reason I was having trouble making myself take the touristy photos by this point. Perhaps I was beginning to feel like a native again :)

Sydney sights

Then the weather packed it in and all my photos got edited into black and white. There is nothing like wet feet to get you all emo and stuff.

Sydney sights

I fell in love with the Harbour Bridge all over again - Opera House bedammed, this is the real Sydney masterpiece!

Harbour bridge

Usual programming will resume shortly, KCWC is starting up on Monday and Hazel is back at school so it'll be full steam ahead! Of course, we did buy her quite a few things in Sydney but I also bought a new Japanese pattern book for kids (ohhhh Kinokuniya, why aren't you in Auckland?) which is delightful so I'll try and do something from that at least. I have all this fabric that needs using up!

07 April, 2012

Fluffy*Stuffy bunnies

Look who I found out in the garden!

I've been making Hazel a bunny for Easter for the last few years, and almost left this year's too late! Last year's was Binky Bunny, this year it's the Fluffy*Stuffy Bunny from All Sorts' cute tutorial.


The one on the left is Hazel's and the one on the right is for another little girl. Hazel's was supposed to be given to her tomorrow, but yesterday morning she was in the spare room and called out and when I came in there she was with one and half bunnies, wondering what they were. Oh well! It meant I could finish them up openly instead of doing it at night. She also made the pompom for her bunny's tail, and chose the buttons on the dress.


The pinafores are reversible. Hazel's one has its nightie side on (as determined by Hazel) and the other has its daytime dress on. They really make the bunnies!

This is such a cute and easy bunny to make, I really enjoyed the process! So nice to be able to whip something out like that without any swearing or ripping out or major issues. Well ok there was one major issue - when I put the eyes on Hazel's bunny on the back of its head. Luckily the fake fur was pretty forgiving and the holes were easily sewn up and don't show. The fur isn't the softest ever, which is the only downside to them. The upside was that it's been in my stash for several years and it's nice to actually use a bit more up! In fact everything was from the stash, so they're economical bunnies to boot.

03 April, 2012

Cross with no buns

ETA: I was contacted by Baker's Delight in the comments below to assure me that the Pt. Chev store should have accepted the voucher for hot cross buns and they will be contacting them about it. Another reader commented that she had had the same reception from the New Lynn store this time last year, so unfortunately it wasn't an isolated incident. While I don't really care about the buns per se, I do care about the bloggers who are lending their good names to this kind of promotion and I hope Baker's Delight can ensure that stores honour the vouchers in the future.

A couple of weeks ago several NZ bloggers had posts about how they'd been given some Baker's Delight Hot Cross buns and how nice they were and they were also giving away $10 vouchers so you could get some "fresh bread" yourself. I was lucky enough to win a voucher and have been hanging out to get over to our nearest shop in Pt. Chev to get some of the buns that sounded so nice in the reviews. The voucher also suggested that we "might like to write about it". Yes Baker's Delight, I'd like to write about it but I don't think you're going to be very happy with what I'm going to say. If you sponsor posts about hot cross buns, before Easter, and give away vouchers with those posts, I don't think it is too much to ask that you to make sure people are able to get hot cross buns with the vouchers. I was informed that hot cross buns are not "fresh bread" and therefore I couldn't use the voucher. I left it and walked out of the store seething. Either you don't think very hard about your promotions or you cynically manipulated bloggers to promote your product in the full knowledge that people would be mislead but buy the buns anyways. I chose not to spend my money in the store. One one level I'm thinking it's stupid for me to get so het up about not getting some bread considering it was free; but on the other hand it's the principle of the thing - that was half an hour of my life, plus petrol, and time and postage for the blogger who kindly sent me the voucher, not to mention that I felt vaguely silly for going all that way for nothing, and slightly used.

And now I'm going to go and make some hot cross buns and they will be delicious. And fresh.

02 April, 2012


When I saw the Critter Community panels by Suzie Ultman for the first time I thanked my lucky stars there were babies being born who needed (yes needed) quilts made from it to justify buying some. I figured that it would look great with the squares and animals quilted, and a simple border around that. And you know what, it does! Or did. Or whatever tense I should use there.


The blue border is a scrap from the new blinds in our spare room and the brown is linen I bought to make a bigger quilt but it was just so perfect I used it on this instead. In retrospect I doubt there was enough to use in a larger quilt anyways! The binding is a spotty fabric by Lecien. I've already done a post on the FMQ 'issues' I had, but after a wash and a little blurring of the eyes I don't think any occasional wonkiness was too obvious. At least I hope not!


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