25 September, 2010

KCWC Days 4 and 5

I went ahead and made up the Fancy Flower Fields tunic from Ottobre 1/2010 (image from magazine in the previous post here) and although it was a size 128 it seemed like it would be ok. But of course it was miles too big so I had to take it in down the sides on Day 5.

Fancy Flower Fields top

It's turned out ok, I think my vague dissatisfaction with it is more to do with the quality of the fabric than anything else. It looks nice but it tends to stay stretched rather than rebounding to the original shape, so I think it will spend a fair amount of time looking baggy despite being taken in down the sides.  I love the shape of the hem though and it does look very nice in RL.  In this photo the wind has blown it out to the front a bit

Fancy Flower Fields top 2

I can't quite get my head around the Ottobre sizing - in terms of height she's just over 110cm but all her other measurements are more like a 98 which is two sizes smaller. Are Finnish kids incredibly stocky or something?

The funny thing is that I realised after she got dressed this morning that everything she's wearing bar undies, socks and shoes was made by me!  The mess from chocolate icecream on her face, the pastel crayon smudges on the top, and the soy sauce on her leg was made by her. 

22 September, 2010

KCWC Day 3

My hour today was taken up with redoing that Zigzag top, sewing some more dachshunds, and tracing out a pattern. I've decided to try making this top from Ottobre 1/2010

 It's for 128cm and Hazel's only just over 110 so I'm going to try and take it down a size. If it's too big it doesn't really matter, she'll grow into it!

I'm also thinking about this top as I have a perfect spotty voile in my stash.  Luckily this one also comes in a smaller version that's identical except they haven't put the shirring on the bottom, so I won't have to change anything. I've noticed that there is a slightly odd distribution of sizes in the Ottobre magazine and Hazel is slightly in-between the smaller and larger size groups. There are a few pieces that transition across but it would be interesting to know how they decide to allocate the styles and sizes.  The skirt that goes with the spotty top is also really sweet, very A-line so it has a great shape, especially in heavier fabrics. 

Sort of wish I hadn't gone to the Ottobre site to get the images now, the latest women's magazine looks great and I've been hankering after 1/2008 for awhile. Damn...

21 September, 2010

Kids Clothes Week Challenge - Day 2

The pillowcase skirt.  I've been buying old sheets with the aim of making a quilt at some point and Hazel took a shine to a pillowcase in this blue pattern and asked me to make a skirt for her. And I thought "why not?" and did.  Of course when I opened it out I realised it was faded in patches but went ahead anyways. I notice it for sure but I'm not sure if others would or not!  She's pretty keen on it - it got a much better reception than the Zigzag dress, although I'm still holding out hopes on that one and preparing my psychological assault on her to get her to love it as much as I do!  Anyways, this skirt amuses me and I'm pleased I made it.

Pillowcase skirt

The pillowcase opened out to one piece of long fabric so I just sewed it up in a seam at the back, hemmed the bottom and folded over the top to make a casing for elastic. It's trimmed with giant ric-rac and a couple of ric-rac flowers. Unfortunately I pressed them with the iron and can't get them to look as lovely and full as they did initially! And I also slightly melted the giant ric-rac because I thought it was cotton and it's obviously a blend. Oops! But you can't actually tell except that one little spot is slightly smaller and feels a bit hard.

Pillowcase skirt flowers

If anyone has tips on sewing this giant ric-rac I'd love to hear them - as you can see above I did the usual straight line through the middle as waggling up and down was too hard. But it's not sitting particularly nicely and the tips are curling in. Do I need to get the free motion foot out?

20 September, 2010

Kids Clothes Week Challenge - Day 1

Yeah yeah yeah, so I should be writing a lecture but who can resist?!

The brief is to commit to 1 hour of sewing a day for a week. This dress took just over an hour to sew up, I'd done the cutting last week.  Super-simple and I love it!  Whether Hazel does or not is another matter but I'm hopeful.

Kid's Clothes Week Day 1 - Zigzag dress

It's the Zigzag Dress from Tina Givens.  Since I'm hosting her on her book blog tour next month I was really keen to try one of her patterns beforehand and this one looked like it would suit the Fuccra to a T.  It's only 6 pieces - two bodice pieces cut together on the fold, two rectangles for the skirt and two strips for the neck binding.  I love how the bodice is put together

It's still unfinished at the seam for skirt and bodice as I need to try it on Hazel to make sure the neckline isn't too wide.  I'm also considering putting in a lining on the skirt as the double gauze is very 'sticky' and I think it will cling to leggings something awful which would negate the lovely looseness of the dress.  It's designed to be tight along the sleeves and then it goes all big just past the elbows - lots of room to move in! Geez I hope she likes it...

ETA: Mixed reaction from Hazel (she laughed because it was too big). It's too wide across the neck so I need to dismantle it and increase the overlap. The sleeves are close-fitting on her lower arms; it looks nice but she's a bit funny about things being tight. She hasn't complained yet so I'm not about to ask about it!

16 September, 2010

They Might Be Giants for kids

Ok, hands up who remembers They Might Be Giants?  Me! Me! And I've discovered they have a whole lot of very cool songs for kids over on You Tube - Hazel's class is often watching them in the mornings before the bell rings.  This is my favourite, and Hazel's, because she wants to be one, but they also have a cool one about Mesopotamians. Though that's a bit above Hazel's head at the moment!  Now if only they'd do one for Archaeologists...  Actually I must admit I do sometimes sing the chorus and put in archaeologist instead.

15 September, 2010

I am Sir Brian

I did it! I cut into my Nani Iro Fuccra!  Almost exactly two years ago I bought 2 yards at Purl Soho when we were in NY for my brother's wedding.  I loved the fabric sooo much but it's been languishing in my stash since then and I finally came to the realisation that it's because it just isn't a colour that I look good in.  It's the middle colour-way from the 2008 collection.

As soon as I acknowledged to myself that not being a pastel kind of person was ok, I also realised that there is someone in this household who is blond and blue-eyed, with peaches and cream skin, who would look utterly fabulous in it.  Mat! Haha. Just kidding sweetie.  It's Hazel of course. With the Kid's Clothes Week Challenge coming up I decided that it would be my project.  Hazel wanted a dress.  So I'm going to do Tina Given's Zigzag dress and I think it's going to look fah-bu-lus (darlings).

Tonight I cut into that Fuccra and it felt ok

Bad Sir Brian Botany

by A.A.Milne

Sir Brian had a battleaxe with great big knobs on.
He went among the villagers and blipped them on the head.
On Wednesday and on Saturday,
Especially on the latter day,
He called on all the cottages and this is what he said:
"I am Sir Brian!" (Ting-ling!)
"I am Sir Brian!" (Rat-tat!)
"I am Sir Brian,
"As bold as a lion!
"Take that, and that, and that!"

13 September, 2010

Mondays can be a good thing (really)

I had to pop into University this morning to organise some skeletal material for a tutorial (syphilitic skull, depressed cranial fracture, deformed skull, broken limb bones, gunshot wound, trephanation etc. - all the good stuff), so to lighten the mood* I dropped into the The Little Craft Shop on the way home to see if Helen could help me with a little fabric-matching issue I was having, and then there was felt and some ric-rac. Of course. When I got home there were two little parcels waiting for me - one from Hawthorne Threads with my deer fabric (holy smokes fast delivery!) and one from Amy at Badskirt with some Kei honeycomb fabric. I have to give a big shout-out to Amy for some above-and-beyond customer service and I'm looking forward to dealing with her again!

Fabric and felt

The Kei will be perfect for the quilt, but the deer...not sure.  The blue is darker and has more of a grey cast than the blue in the seahorses and the red is darker. It's gorgeous though, and if it doesn't end up in the quilt it'll be something else fabulous instead!

Last night I spent a bit of time cutting fabric, and now I have two WIP. One for Mat and one for Hazel (not hard to guess which is which!).  And look at the brand of the pattern there - Kwik Sew! See I do listen when people tell me not to be a snob about the brand.  We'll see how it goes :)

September WIP

Ok, back to work on Wednesday's lectures, it's going to be hard switching from fabric to evidence for disease and plague in skeletal populations!  Oh, and  big hello to the new people who have started following the blog in the last few days :)

*not really, I love that kind of thing, that's why I'm a bioarchaeologist!

09 September, 2010


Look where my mug cosy ended up!

I love How About Orange, it's one of my favourite blogs, so when I went to read it this morning and I saw the mug cosy up top there I was more than a little surprised. In a pleasant way, like when your friends throw you a surprise birthday party. Not that mine ever did (ahem) but I imagine that's what it's like. ;)  The other projects look pretty neat too, I think I'll go help boost their stats as well. Thanks Jessica!  The mug cosy tutorial's here if you haven't seen it.

08 September, 2010

Kid's Clothes Week Challenge September 2010

I enjoyed the last Kid's Clothes Week Challenge that Elsie hosted earlier in the year so much that I'm doing it again, sore back or no!  Join in, it's a lot of fun and your kids will love you for it.

More quilting progress

Thanks for all the nice comments yesterday about my proposed quilt fabrics!  Ellie over at Petalplum suggested adding in a bit more blue to go with the blue seahorses which of course sent me off on a search for red and aqua fabrics - I looooove that colour combination!  Oddly enough though, there aren't many that combine both together in one print, but this morning I stumbled across Joel Dewberry's Antler Damask in Sky which fits the bill. I've ordered some from Hawthorne Threads, partly on the strength of the pictures they have on the site of cool customer projects that have been made in it, including a red quilt. I'll have to make sure I don't use it all up on the quilt so I can do a cushion or something from it!

I've also narrowed down my pattern to a style, but I'm going to have to make up the measurements myself to get it the right size, which should be fun (not).  I came across this gorgeous quilt on Red Pepper Quilts:

Red Patch Quilt

and really liked the simple blocks of three fabric strips with larger blocks interspersed.  Then I found the quilt-along at Old Red Barn Co. for the same style of block (does it have a name, I haven't been able to find one?) that shows you how to do it with 5 strips, but I prefer the 3 of Red Pepper Quilts' one so I'm going to adapt the sew-along to my dimensions and three strips.  I think this will give me the intense red that I'm after, but let me break it up a bit with larger blocks that feature the prints - like the deer's head or the medallion on that one fabric.

07 September, 2010

Doxie winner!

The random number generator chose

Which is Melinda who said
They are too cool!  I have a 3 year old that would love, love, love one of those.
Happy three year olds are rather gorgeous so I'm pleased they're going to a good home.

I've been auditioning red and orange fabrics for a lap quilt for me, and now that my back's less painful (though I'm still scheduled for an operation darn it!) I'm starting to think about sewing again. I discovered that if I prop the machine up on a few phone books it gets it to a much better height, I should have started doing that ages ago! Though perhaps something more solid might be required eventually, it does vibrate alarmingly when I get up to full speed.

These are the fabrics so far, I need a few more but I'm really happy with how they look. Not sure about the seahorses though, the colours are right but the pattern is...well I love it but does it "go"?

Red/orange fabrics

The last additions are the first and third from the right, are Valorie Wells from The Little Craft Shop. Remember when I was all excited about going to the opening and the reds I'd spotted in one of the photos? Well they're perfect, just like I thought they would be.  And she's getting in more fabrics soon so I'll have an excuse to head back for another visit :)  At the moment my favourite fabric from the lot above is the second from left, it's a wonderful big medallion print from Spotlight. I know, I know, but the lady who cut it said that they've got a new supplier and that's why all the new fabrics.  My previous favourite was the little daisy-like print, which is reds and oranges.  As usual, my monitor isn't rendering reds very well although I notice my monitor at Uni handles them fine so I'm hoping this photo looks better on computers that aren't MacBooks :)  I'm still undecided about the quilt pattern, I'm veering from one pattern to another. Originally I was going to do a wonky coin quilt, but then I decided I wanted it more intense with no white sashing so I might do a simple disappearing 9-patch or something like that.  I'm going to find it hard to commit to one pattern though, I'm going to have doubts and regrets and second-guess myself right till the end!

04 September, 2010

The Tina Givens blog tour!

I'm really excited to announce that Hazelnuts will be hosting Tina Givens as part of her book tour for "Sew Tina! 30 Cute Projects and Adorable Décor Items for Kids"

Sew Tina

I'm scheduled towards the beginning of October and will fill you all in on the details closer to the time, but I'll be grilling Tina about the book as well as doing a giveaway and I'm going to whip up one of the projects from the book too. Let me tell you, it was hard choosing which one and I mean that. So more details to come but it's something to look forward to in a month! Better get sewing...

This morning at 4:30 Christchurch was hit by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. That's pretty big and it's done a lot of damage. Auckland's just over 1,000km from ChCh and we had a big storm going on so I doubt I would have felt it anyways, but it's a very sobering reminder of exactly where I live and that it's very tectonically active! Not that I could really forget, considering I see extinct volcanic cones every day...

02 September, 2010

More springiness

This photo is for my friend Jess, who loves freesias and is jealous because I have them in the garden. But I'm jealous she can grow peonies so I guess it all evens out.  These are the survivors of the Great Onion Weed Purge of '09.  I must get some new bulbs in to replace the lost ones!

Spring flowers

Growing up in Canada mandarins came in boxes, wrapped in green tissue paper.  It still astounds me that they also grow in my garden.

We bought a couple of these little chrysanthemums a few years ago and were very disappointed when they died out half-way through summer. But then the next spring up came a bunch of new ones, and again this spring. I think they might be taking over the garden but they do it so prettily I think we'll let them. For awhile.


01 September, 2010

A slight issue with giveaway wording...

...I've suddenly realised that I may have inadvertently given the impression that only followers of my blog were eligible for the dachshund giveaway - it's for everyone, no matter how you read my blog! I'm just celebrating a milestone and I'll be honest and also say there is NO WAY I'm going through everyone who enters to check them against a list of followers, many of whom may be private anyways. Laziness triumphs! I'd hate people to think that I'm trying to bribe anyone to follow me, buying friends is kinda fake isn't it, I wouldn't treasure our relationship quite so much :) So please, throw your hat into the ring, follower or no!



More spring photos.  And yes, that's the camellia's name, not just an adjective :)


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