Monday, January 31, 2011

First dress for baby girl...

Okay, Asha is not quite a baby anymore since she turned 2 a few weeks ago.  But still, this is the first thing I have ever sewn for her.  I used the same a-line pattern as I have done for Samantha (New Look pattern 6504) and "cheated" by using some iron-on motifs.  Hopefully they will stay on!

I did make it in a size 3, so it will be a little bit big on her (she's currently a solid Size 2 girl), but hopefully it won't matter too much.  It's going to be a casual summer dress for run-around, so a little loose won't matter.  Asha is so excited to have her own dress, it's very cute.

Cool green summer dress!

Hopefully the fold line will come out in the wash ... I couldn't seem to iron it out

The iron-on motifs - let's hope they have stuck on good!

Once I can get Asha to stand semi-still for a pic, I'll post one up.  :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

First dress for 2011!

So I had all the best intentions to whip up a dress each for my two girls at the start of the new year, preferably within a couple of days.  Then I was stumped by fabric choice (I am seriously woeful at knowing what fabrics go together).  I also had great intentions of inserting flouncy sleeves into the pattern I was using (New Look pattern 6504), as well as inserting a box pleat into the skirt. And then I was stumped with how to insert the sleeves.  Mum was visiting me for a few days, so she helped me adapt the pattern (thanks Mum, couldn't have done it without you!).  I ended up ditching the sleeve idea, but we did managed to alter the pattern to include a box pleat in the skirt with a contrasting fabric.

I also had a go at doing some applique.  I have never attempted it before, so I was a bit nervous.  On advice from some other sewers (thanks EBers!), I used vlisoflix to attach the applique fabric.  I found out afterwards that I should have used a stabiliser underneath it all when I was doing the applique as that would have stopped the puckering.  It looks okay, but the stabiliser would have been good.  And I did get better as I did it.  I did the top applique first and it definitely looks rougher than the applique done on the skirt (probably should have done it the other way around).

Anyway, although I am rusty, I finally finished it.  Here it is! 

Samantha's pink 60's style dress!

The skirt applique (the better one)

Edge-stitching on the yoke top

The yoke

Yoke finish on the inside (no scratchy seams to bother Samantha)

Hopefully Samantha will love it.  I'll try to get a photo when Samantha wears it first.

Now to do Asha's dress ... and then a few potholders are beckoning ....

Edited to add a couple of photos with Samantha wearing the dress -

Feeling groovy!

And Asha was all excited too.  :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Honey Oat Slice

My family loves this!  I made it one day when it was raining and the kids were screaming for some food.  We didn't have much in the house (yet another time when the grocery shopping needed to be done) but I realised I had enough to throw together this slice, which is along the same principles as a museli slice or anzac biscuits.  It's super easy and I have yet to meet anyone who didn't ask for seconds.

Honey Oat Slice

Makes : 20-24 pieces
Prep time : 15 minutes
Cooking time : 30 minutes
(taken from Woman’s Day, 2010-08-31)


3 cups rolled oats
1½ cups plain flour
1½ cups caster sugar
  cups desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon baking powder
300g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons honey


1.    Preheat oven to 180°C.  Lightly grease and line an 18x28cm slice pan with baking paper
2.    In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
3.    Melt butter in a small pan and add the honey.
4.    Pour butter and honey mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well. 
5.    Press mixture firmly into slice pan using the back of a spoon.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Cut into shapes while warm and in the pan, using a sharp knife.  Leave to cool in the pan.  (If you would prefer to cut it out of the pan, allow to cool completely before removing it from the pan.  I've been caught out with that.)

Store in an airtight container for up to 10 days.


  • Substitute golden syrup for honey
  • Throw in ½ cup finely chopped dried apricots
  • Throw in ½ cup of sultanas

Friday, January 14, 2011

Please bear with me!

I only started this blog yesterday and really, I have no idea what I'm doing.  So, please bear with me - I appreciate your patience. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My first ever quilt!

So, for the past year or so I have been mulling over an idea to make my girls a quilt, something they can keep for always. To start me off, I decided I would make a "practice quilt" for my friend's newborn, due in early November 2010.

I used this "recipe" from the Moda Bakeshop (Christmas Table Topper) but I extended it at both ends with some extra sashing & piercing to give it more length.  It's basically a disappearing 9-patch block quilt, but I made sure that each block would have a different arrangement of fabrics.

I cut all the fabric in one night (the rotary cutters are amazing, totally worth buying + a green mat to cut on). It probably took me about 4-5 nights to sew all patchwork blocks. Some weren't square , so they are all about 1/2" smaller than they should be as I trimmed them all to the same size before adding the sashing. Sewing all the sashing on took another night (no rush). A lot of time is used pressing the patchwork as you go!

It was originally going to have navy sashing, at the suggestion of the quilt shop people (since it was for a boy, less likely to show dirt, etc). But once I had sewn the patches, I didn't think the navy sashing would show off the colours in the patches as much as a white fabric, so I decided to change to white sashing. I think the white looks great with the vibrant colours of the patches.

The star quilting was done by the local quilting shop (which I am so in love with, amazing range of fabrics). It took them 24 hours to get it back to me, so fast! I just gave them the front patchwork and the backing fabric (lime green with a small white spot). They suggested the star pattern and lime-green contrast thread for the quilting & selected a cotton batting for the quilt (its new home will be in Brisbane, Qld). The quilting came out beautifully.

I made the binding and sewed it on the front panel one night after the girls had gone to bed. It took me about 8-10 hours to handstitch it on the back. Two of the mitred corners didn't work so well on the back (look fine on the front though) but other than that, the binding was easier than I thought.

My friend just loves it and I have to admit, I was a bit sad to give it away!
Laid out on a single bed
(okay, maybe it's a little big for a newborn - he'll grow into it!)

 Hopefully you cab see some of the star and twirl quilting here

Full length photo (taken from above). 
It's about 48" wide and around 70" long.