Thursday, December 29, 2011

On Holidays this week....

And it is so nice to be able to just sit back and ...breathe...for a change!! No rushing here or there...and I am getting lots of sewing done! Of course, everything happens when you go on holidays- lots of new fabrics and patterns arrive!


 

I am sneaking them into the shop as I can, so keep checking out the New Arrivals section!
More new season Hilco, other fabrics from Germany and our very own Sweet Things knits have arrived!




Dress is from Otto 3/2011, #40. The Colour Block Dress. 
I have used for the  sleeves and neckband  the lovely new Lilac Gitta.

And followed this up with 2 pairs of leggings and my table is covered in projects at the moment!
More sewing pics tomorrow!

Wishing you all a lovely break!




Monday, December 19, 2011

Ottobre Design Subscription Giveaway!




We have a Winner!!

Congratulations, Bev, please drop me an email so I can organise a subscription for your nominated library!

~~~~

Bev C said...
Hello Lisa,

Oh I have been a member of my local library for many years. I just love books. I put in an order for four this morning. I love that our library has recently had a makeover and is really now part of the community. The staff are ever so good and always willing to get books in. If I am in another town I always check out there library and go home with a list of books to order. The library is one place I can get list in and don't need to call for help. I saw a lovely tea towel that was given to our local librarian this morning. It was from Red Tractor Designs and said something about the two best things in the world are a book/library and a garden. I just loved it.
Happy days.
Bev.xoxo




To wind up a year of fantastic Give-aways, I would like to give away a 6 issue Otto sub...


to one blog readers nominated library!!

How will this work? Simply leave me a comment as to why you love the library!

I'll select a winner Christmas Eve, then contact them to get the details of their FAVE library.

Clear as mud?

Let's share the Otto Love!

~Lisa~

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Five Stones

I am one of "those" mums that gifts children with books, crafty or educational items As an aside, I am also one "those" mums that does not allow Coke or white bread in the house. If the kids get to have McDonalds for a treat, it's the healthy option and NO coke, ever! ( much to the chagrin of our local Maccas, before they bought in bottles of water...

Maccas: " ..you can't have a Happy Meal with no Coke, the drink is part of it".
 Me: " Just keep the Coke, we only want the food and toy"  ..
Maccas" .. " we can't do that.."  
Me:  "  Well tip the Coke down the sink I'm not taking it".

My kids friends think I am a little nuts but hey, they just may be right! We don't do Coke for several reasons, only one of them being the sugar issue and TEETH! The rest are political, and I wont bore you here.

So comes the Festive Season, and the kids want to gift their besties. Apparently, lollies are required, and maybe a card. But it MUST be lollies, Mum, or else we will be BANISHED.  

I much prefer my idea. handmade  Five Stones sets, with instructions. Much better for the grey matter, hand and eye coordination and fine motor skills. There is a free tute here .







 How is your Christmas Crafting going? We need to try and eat here,  somehow...

 ..the verandah 's looking pretty good ( then I don't need to pack up!).

~Lisa~


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hysterical Christmas Crafting!

This year I am so very organised with the purchased gifts..all wrapped and under the tree, but so far behind on the handmade ones! Why oh why, did I not start these during the year??? Here's a few Softie ideas I LOVE...

Bullseye! From Running with Scissors.



Squirrelly from Studio Tantrum


One Eyed Monster by Fiskars

Rocketman by The Long Thread


And a Despicable Me Minion!


Happy Crafting! I'm heading back to the machine!

~Lisa ~


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Make it Perfect Give-away!




We have a winner!!! Congrats Kathy, please drop me an email with your addy?

~~~~


Anonymous KathyB said...
My granddaughters love milkshakes, so they would certainly love this skirt. Size 6-10 would be lovely and I'll purchase the 0-5. Thanks for the fab giveaway Lisa!!
8:42 AM


~~~~~

I had the pleasure of meeting Toni of Make it Perfect recently, we have chatted on the phone and emailed- but it is always nice to meet people in real life! Toni is a sweetheart, and very very talented. Not only is Toni a very clever pattern designer, she knows her way around  the kitchen too ( and she is really making me want a Thermomix!  GO see her blog!) Toni's patterns are just amazing. The lastest ones.. 

 Milk Shake Skirt in 2 size ranges


Sunkissed Hats

..are flying out the door! More Sunkissed Hats in next week!

I have a Milk Shake Skirt to Give away! Simply leave me a comment, telling me which size range you would like to win a Milk Shake Skirt in!

I'll draw a winner on Friday, good luck!

Lisa 









Tuesday, December 13, 2011

MAMU Design LEA pattern review

Mamu Design LEA shirt is part of the Basic Pattern Collection. LEA has several options, a spaghetti strap top, a notched neck tee, round neck or v neck. You can choose between three sleeve options, short, puffed or long ( the spaghetti strap top has no sleeves , of course.).

On the weekend I made up two of the spaghetti strap tops. I first I was not all happy with,it gaped all over and has been relegated to the nighty drawer. The second, I cut smaller in top and added a few gathers in the middle front and back. It sat much better, but still needs a little work. I also lengthened a lot. Still not happy with it, however, so will continue to work on it. I thought it may just be my shape, but not sure.


Then I cut out the LEA round neck tshirt., in a red cotton/elastomeric knit. using some Stenzo polka dot knit for the neckband and sleeves. After my experience with the #2 model, I was a bit nervous. Mamu Design provide you with a 5mm seam allowance, so I stuck with that. I cut the size 52/54 (XXL). ( the great thing about Mamu Design, they go from 32/34XS- 52/54 XXL).

The tee shirt went together like a dream, I did not even read the instruction just went ahead and made it my way. What  doI love about this? The sleeves are quite close cut, so very flattering. The shirt has a graceful flare from the waist out- not too much..but just enough to hide a few lumps and bumps!The all over effect is lovely and I am planning many more! Of course, I just had to add a velour...gorgeous deer head.





Sunday, December 11, 2011

21st and THE BEST cake EVER!




A week ago, our eldest had his 21st birthday. Being away at uni ( studying architecture),


 ..he celebrated in Melboune with his peeps, but made it home this weekend.

Happy Birthday Darcy!


His one request? The same raspberry/malteser icecream cake I had made 5 years ago. I had lost the recipe..it came from a Super Food Ideas mag, and after a mag cull- tossed it.

Darcy looked high and low, and found an online discussion about the recipe having been removed from the Super Food Ideas section of taste.com But, someone had kindly posted the recipe. Darcy then, gleefully, passed it back on to me.



So here it is, in all it's glory. It serves a lot, make sure the servings are small as it is incredibly rich.

 Darcy's Chocolate raspberry ice-cream cake

Ingredients (serves 12)
• 200g butter, softened
• 1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar
• 5 eggs
• 400g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
• 2 tablespoons coffee-flavoured liqueur (such as Kahlua or Tia Maria)
• 3 litres vanilla ice-cream (see note)
• 300g frozen raspberries
• 500g Maltesers (mixture of white and milk chocolate)
Method
1. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
2. Place chocolate into a heatproof microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, for 3 minutes on MEDIUM (50%) power, stirring every minute with a metal spoon, or until melted. Stir chocolate and liqueur into butter mixture.
3. Spoon ice-cream into a bowl. Stand at room temperature until softened. Mash raspberries with a fork. Stir into ice-cream.
4. Line base and sides of a 6cm deep, 24cm x 34cm (base) baking dish with baking paper. Place half the Maltesers into a plastic bag. Using a rolling pin, hit until roughly crushed. Spread over base of dish.
5. Pour half the chocolate mixture over Maltesers. Spoon over ice-cream. Top with remaining chocolate mixture. Crush remaining Maltesers. Press into chocolate. Cover. Freeze overnight. Serve.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Blousette Rose now at Crafty Mamas!

I recently stumbled across this stunning range of sewing patterns in a French mag, and thought " Crafty Mamas needs these!" .






Home Made Sewing















Blousette Rose patterns are in French, ( sadly, I failed French at school, sorry Mrs Mason! I did very well in German though!). The language barrier will not stop you - Blousette Rose come with a well set out sewing guide, complete with pics. Beautiful, classical designs- , details with a twist...is how I would describe these. Sizes range from babies, children to some women's patterns.

Blousette Rose are given a difficulty rating from 1-3, with some very easy, and some more time intensive.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

No More Dog Ears!


 I am always amazed at the clever ideas my customer have for our beautiful ribbons.
Mel from  
handcrafts the most stunning bookmarks and gifts. I ordered one for myself and Miss B, in our fave Farbenmix ribbons. Finished off beautifully with crystals and charms, that you get to select. Mel even embroiders your initials on your bookmark! What a beautiful Christmas gift idea!





No More Dog Ears also make dog collars, so I'll be back to order a few of them too!

Drop over and say hi to Mel! 







Coming soon to a Crafty Mamas near you!!

Of course, there is only ONE Crafty Mamas shop- and that's this one. Often copied, but never equalled.





I have been busily packing orders and thinking..
" Wow, Crafty Mamas really DOES rock." 

The pretties in store just take my breath away, so I guess if I am still excited by what we have to offer, I must be on the right track! I have some amazing stuff heading our way from Europe,  including new Nordic patterns, just you wait and see. 

2012 is going to be a very Crafty year, indeed!

Another one of my small projects, has been getting our own fabrics printed here in Australia. It's been quite a journey as initially, I knew very little about the process involved- and I am also very fussy about end products. Lucky for me, I have excellent people to help, to listen to my never ending questions, and to direct. My first foray into fabric printing has been helped along by the very clever Gaby of Janeas World. Gab went to work and came up with an exclusive design- just for Crafty Mamas!

Today I received the strike offs, which is the first test print to see how we like it and adjust colours etc.
Here's a peek...

This is printed on our  Aussie made STELLA,  our much loved cotton/elastomeric knit. 
There will be a few different colourways. So exciting!











Sunday, December 04, 2011

Easy T Shirt Neckline Binding TUTE

We looked at applying a simple banded neckline here so today we'll look at doing neckline binding on a t shirt.
This would the #1 finish that customers mention confuses them. Don't be scared to do these, they are so easy and look fabulous. You often see this type of neckline binding on Ottobre Design t shirts and sometimes on the sleeves too. This finish looks equally as nice on round necks, v necks, boat necks etc. It works well with all light/med weight knits. Not so well with chunky knits as you can't get it all tucked in nicely!



As discussed is our last neckline tute, you can either use the same fabric as your main garment, or do a mix match kind of thing as I did here. I prefer to use a fabric on the binding with a bit of lycra in it, as it gives you that snap back recovery.( so no baggy necklines). This t shirt is STELLA in Blood Red and the Scarlett and White striped knit.( no longer available).  Check out the last tute for a little method of calculating neckband length.

I start out by sewing up one shoulder ( again see previous tute as to why I prefer to do my necklines in the flat).


Then press open your shoulder seam. Here is our trusty neckbinding strip...

 This tee has small gathers in the middle of the front, so just ignore those bits for now..we will simply bind over the basting stitches, leaving pretty gathers.

Now flip your garment over, take your binding strip and begin pinning it  RIGHT side to the WRONG side of your neckline. Begin at one shoulder....I only put in a couple of pins at this stage....as you sew you will  be stretching the binding piece ever so lightly.

And so we sew on the binding piece. For your first couple of tries use your sewing machine people- in case you need to unpick.  Sew all the way..stretching the binding piece only- ever so slightly as you sew. This will help to incorporate more stretch into your neckline.

Here we are all sew on! Now turn your garment to the RIGHT side and give it a press, pushing your seam allowance upwards. This will be enclosed  within our folded binding ( don't get skittish on me, it's easy!).



Now the fun bit. We are going to fold our binding down once in half...then again.  The second time we fold, we will be enclosing the seam allowance from where we initially sewed on our binding strip.
It is sometimes easier if you do the first fold down..press with the iron, then come back and do your final fold. This particular knit is a bit curly and springs back when you press so I did not bother. I have heard others like to use a starch spray to keep their bindings stiff. I am happy to just "finger press"  as I go.


Continue all the way, folding your binding to enclose the seam allowance. This is a dreadful pic, sorry!
Use plenty of pins as you go here to secure all your layers.

Now to sew down your binding. I either use a sewing machine straight stitch set a bit longer ( 2.7) or the Coverstitch machine, a twin needle or a fancy stitch on my Bernina like this wavy serpentine stitch..


...from the RIGHT sew, stitch along the bottom of your binding piece, (the edge closest to your garment- not neckline). Go nice and slow, stitch from pin to pin...removing pin just before you sew.  When you have finished, give it a nice press with the iron to make it all sit in nicely. Then sew up your other shoulder seam as per previous tute and continue with your t shirt.



Easy Peasy? Clear as mud?







Saturday, December 03, 2011

Things I am loving at the moment... Milli meet Lilly



Featured are:

Clockwise from #1:
1; Milli  fairy tale ribbon
2: Janeas World Hearts knit
3: Oh My Deer woven label
4. Milli Pure Love label
6.Milli Pure Love ribbon
7: Red Gingham Bias Binding8: bambi Mini-Art woven label
9: Sanetta Red Gingham jersey
10:  Milli Cotton Woven 11: Happy Mushroom green label
12: Hilco fabric Campan knit Red and Pink
13: Crafty Mamas own Iron On velour DEER
Finally, Centre is TUCI Piroschka Party Dress


In the past two weeks, Crafty Mamas shop has had me ran off my feet! Hardly surprising, when you pop over and see the amazing products we have to offer. The downside, of course, in being busy is my lack of time to sew. So as I pack and fold, I dream up design boards....like above.

Inspired by a favorite little dwarf from Bavaria, Milli.


design:  GALERIE TAUSENDSCHOEN

Milli, you see, is a little dwarf who adores red and has long dark brown tendrils. My littlest dwarf, Lilly, loves red and has long, dark brown tendrils. Lilly has drawn the conclusion that Milli, is designed for her especially.  So let's not tell her otherwise?

~Lisa~

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Pattern Review: JoCole "Womens Easy Cap Tee".

The lovely Margo of The Climbing Tree reviewed  one of our recent additions to Crafty Mamas, the JoCole Womens Easy Cap Tee pdf pattern.

Margo has quite a reputation around the traps for producing stunning tees, both for herself, her hubby and  for children.  Let's see how she went?!

Pattern front:

 Pattern description:

A snug-fitting hip-length tee with extended cap sleeves. Binding around the neckline and armholes. Perfect for everyday wear, excellent for laying under more revealing tops, or under cardigans and jackets. Easily pairs with jeans, or dress up with skirts -- plus it can be embellished in many ways (ideas and multiple instructions included).

Includes FOUR different neckline options (jewel neck, scoop neck, v neck, boat neck), and five different techniques to finish the neckline and sleeves. Can be worn reversed with the scoop/v/boat in the front or in the back.   Each page of the pattern is clearly marked, making assembly easy. 

6 sizes included: XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL



Margo in action!

Margo's Review!


Jocole Easy Fit Cap Sleeve Pattern – Review

The e-Pattern

What I liked:-
The instructions are fantastic, not just on the actual garment construction (which is super easy) but also about sewing knits, so for a newbie knit / t-shirt sewer this is both a super easy pattern as well as a great intro guide.

What I didn’t like:-
I like to know what pages to print as I never print the instructions – so having a quick table that says for round neck print pages 26, 29-36; for V neck print XZY – would be nice.

The fitting guide (to determine size) was perplexing and where I came unstuck.  It refers to the measurements as the finished garment measurement.  I read this to mean when you sew up the pattern your t-shirt should measure “this”, but the finished garment measurement was a range.   For example the Large size had a finished garment chest measurement of 37-39 inches, which left me wondering how, if you sew the garment to the pattern inc the prescribed seam allowances how you can get up to 2” variation in the finished garment.  I know fabrics stretch differently but measured garment is generally taken unstretched / laid flat.

The Actual Pattern
Nice easy 12 pages, with good markings to stick them together. 

I decided to make a medium after comparing the pattern piece to another t-shirt I’d made recently – and discovered that “hip length” is really long on this pattern.  I took 1.5” off the pattern for my first attempt.

I also debated long and hard about incorporating a full bust adjustment.  I measure as a 12 in most patterns, but know that if I make a 10 and alter for a fuller bust (I’m a D/DD cup) I get a much better fit.   The pattern made no note as to what bust it was sized on so I assumed it was a B cup as per industry standard. So I decided to incorporate a small-ish FBA on the pattern, about 1.5cm in total across the bust.

Making it
Front and back and some arm and neck bindings! Super quick and super easy – In truth it took me about 2hrs to make but I had a 3yr old making multiple interruptions.  Realistically it should took about 30mins all up to make.

The Finished Product
Overall I’m happy with the fit,  except that the bust is still a little too snug for my liking.  I was worried about the placement of the arm bands in terms of wearability and them becoming annoying but they are excellent.

Will I make it again
Yes I have.  You can see version 2 in the picture – the white daisy floral.  I re-cut the pattern to be closer to a small size and added a much larger full bust adjustment – closer to 2.8cm” in total, giving a fit I am much more comfortable with .  I also took a further 3cm off the length.

The Verdict
Like most commercial patterns this is made to the industry standard of a B cup and 5’6” or similar height – I am neither.  Adjusting the pattern is easy and well worth taking the time to do. I now have a fantastic, easy to make go anywhere top that can me made in a myriad of different fabrics.  I think my next version will be in some lovely lightweight merino wool jersey I have stashed!

Thanks Lisa for the opportunity to test this pattern, it will become a summer staple around here.  Off to try the girls version !


Thanks Margo!!


About Me

Crafty Mamas SHOP blog. Aussie agent for Farbenmix, Studio Tantrum, Stenzo fabric, Ottobre design. Stocking Hilco fabric, Mamu design and other cool stuff!