New Bedroom Outfit!

staple removing

Since, like, January, Guy has been madly working on a new bedroom suit for our room. He searched buy-swap-sell pages for something suitable. Eventually a gorgeous bedroom suit popped up and we grabbed it. Alas, the tallboy didn’t fit, so we sold it off and found another one that kinda looked like the rest of the furniture. With a little bit of help from me (realistically I only helped with the bed) he sanded everything right back and did a white wash kind of painting technique before varnishing everything.

bedroom suit
Guy sanded back bedroom furniture and repainted it. In this photo you can see the bed and bedside tables. He also redid a tall boy, and is searching for a bookshelf to do in the same way.

All his effort really looks amazing and has bought our room together to look like something out of a magazine! Whilst Guy is still searching for a bookshelf to redo, I decided the chair in the walk in robe needed to be redone too! (I’ve also decided to make a bunch of felted flowers for my bedside table, but I’ll leave that for another post)

Because the walk in robe closes off to the rest of the room, and is basically completely white cabinetry and clothes, we decided the chair didn’t necessarily have to “match” the room. The only stipulations we decided on is that it needed to be arm-less, to make it easy to put shoes on etc.

And because I am completely in love with the idea of patchwork upholstered furniture, I went looking for a very specific type of chair, with fabric cushion and fabric back!

A very quick trip to the Green Shed (our local tip shop) and I had already fallen in love with a chair. It has carved flower features and fabric upholstery in all the right places!

Chair
Green Shed find! Exactly the chair I was looking for!

I got to work removing staples and all the old fabric. I still have a few more staples to remove, but my hands are a bit sore from coaxing staples out, so I’m concentrating on the patchwork element at the moment. Then I will need to evaluate the foam and consider how to replace it.

staple removing
Removing alllllllll the staples! phew! That’s a hard task!

The fabric I am using is up-cycled from clothes I found at the op-shop! I had initially chosen the fabrics to make a quilt, but thought this would be a perfect place to showcase them! And the leftovers will be used to make a quilt anyways.

hexagons
Making hexagons to piece together to upholster the chair! Fabrics are from a skirt, a dress and a pair of pants, which I had collected from op-shops

I will be spending the rest of my week alternating between fixing up the chair, and piecing together the fabric to re-cover it with! I love continuing/adding to the story of pre-loved items!

hexagon prep
Sewing hexagons!

Happy Creating
<3 Cate

Tie Dye Practice

I wanted to get better at dyeing, so I figured the more I practice, the better I will become. Good in theory right!

I really wanted to do a good heart, so I tied several pieces with hearts in them. Some worked, some didn’t, but I think I understand the concept of tyeing a heart now. I also fell in love with the fish scales pattern, and my first attempt at that was pretty good! It has also been a lot of fun to play around with different colour ways.

tie dye patterns
All the different patterns I have been playing around with

I found two brand new, still in packaging, white, bath towels whilst we were cleaning out the garage over the weekend. So they immediately went in my “to dye” pile. I decided on a simple swirl. They took a LOT of dye. I guess absorbency is in their inherent nature.

bath towel

I dyed a long sleeve shirt as well. Testing out some ideas, I will be making some “team” shirts for races later this year. This one might become a gym shirt for the winter.

dye shirt
Dyed shirt

I even managed to dye some alpaca fleece I got for free.

alpaca fleece
Alpaca fleece still drying in the sun

My ultimate tie-dye goal is to dye pieces that I can then work back into with stitching or turn into whole cloth quilts. I have a couple of bigger pieces of fabric waiting, and after a lot of experimenting, I have a few ideas!

Have a creative week!

<3 Cate

Fly Awayyyyy

wings

At my day job, I work with school children, and there is an obsession with birds at the moment. This has spurred on a range of bird related drawing, craft and play.

One afternoon, I noticed some paper and pipe cleaner bird wings costume trickling out of the craft area. It reminded me of this project I had cut out a few years ago and not worked out how to finish it. It was a wings costume.

So I pulled all the pieces out and had another look. I had cut two quarter circle pieces and several rows of “feathers” out of poplin.

bird wings costume base
Firstly, cut two quarter circle pieces. these will be the “base” of the wings. I finished the edges by zig zagging over them.

I think were I had got stuck previously was how to finish the raw edges. Maybe I had planned to back the wings. But with fresh eyes, I decided a simple zig-zag stitch over the raw edges would suffice. The feathers edges I left raw, I hope any fraying that occurs to them through use will add to their feathery look.

feather fabric
feather pieces. I made a simple pattern by folding up a piece of paper, then cutting the shape I wanted the wings to be. I then used this pattern to cut lengths of fabric.

I only added three rows of feathers to each wing. I think its enough of a suggestion of feathers to make them look like wings. I applied the feathers to the curved edge. To achieve the curve, I have put in tiny little pleats along the straight edge of the feathers. I stitched these down with a straight stitch and then a zig-zag stich.

wings
Two wings

I added pieces of elastic at the wrists and in the middle. I over lapped each wing at the centre by approximately one inch, then securing as I attached elastic here as arm loops.

I overlapped the wings at the centre by approximately one inch. I then took a piece of elastic, long enough to form two loops to go around the shoulders. I found the middle of the elastic and pinned it to the centre of the overlapped wings, I then pinned each end of the elastic either side of the middle. I secured all of this by stitching over the edges and through the middle of the elastic.
wrist loops
wrist loops. I simple stitched loops of elastic to the top edge for the children to slip over their wrists.

It took maybe an hour to gather all the pieces and put it all together. Add a little bit extra time for cutting all the pieces out. But this was a quick and easy project, and I’m hoping the children love them. I am concerned that one might not be enough though and anticipate having to make another pair so they can be shared around easier.

finished wings
finished wings
bird wings cosutme
ta da! finished bird wings costume

This coming Saturday (8 June 2019) is World Wide Knit in Public Day. I am yet to lay solid plans for this day, but be assured, whatever I end up doing I’ll have some knitting or crochet with me!

Happy Wednesday! Have a creative week!
<3 Cate

Tutus

A friend asked me to make some tutus for an upcoming event. The event is to be held the first official weekend of the snow season (alas, winter has come early, and there is already enough snow for some areas to open this weekend!)

So with 42m of tulle and some elastic I set about making a set of ten tutus.

tulle and elastic
LOTS of tulle and elastic

I cut strips 6inches wide of the tulle. I cut the elastic 4inches shorter than the waist measurements I was given, and then sewed the ends together.

cutting layers of tulle
Cutting layers of tulle

Then I simple knotted the tulle to the elastic.

knotting tulle
Knotting the tulle onto the elastic. I put them over the chair backs to help hold them in shape whilst I worked

That stuff is hard on the hands! It is quite abrasive!

To make them a little more winterish I added snow flakes. So I was planning on just buying bags of snowflake sequins. Do you think I could find snowflake sequins? Nope. None at all! So I ended up getting a snowflake punch and some shiny stuff and making my own!

making snowflakes
Making snowflakes

We road tripped to Jindabyne to deliver them. I’d never been before, and now I understand why a couple of my friends have moved there in the last few years. It is spectacularly pretty!

Road tripping! with a backseat full of tutus!!

I made some hair clips as well, finishing them in the car on the drive to deliver them. (In my defense, dropping them last weekend meant they were finished at least two weeks ahead of schedule!)

hair clips
Car crafting hair clips

I hope my handiwork is all good and they are enjoyed by many.

tutu
tutu sans snowflakes
tutus
The snowflakes add a needed element of sparkle!
hair clips
Hair clips!

Stay warm and creative!

<3 Cate

A Few Things…

Happy Wednesday!

A friend asked me to do some tutus and shirts for an upcoming event, so this week I have been madly knotting tulle and stressing over screen printing!

Guy and myself have decided that the collective term for “tutus” is “a cloud of tutus” this is quite fitting, wouldn’t you agree?

“a cloud of tutus”

As we speak, I have my whole living room set up as a print studio. I got out the fold up table so I could have everything spread out at once. For some one who doesn’t have a lot of experience screen printing, I went pretty bold, deciding on a two colour print! Only time will tell if I can pull this off!

My living room is a printing studio!

The weekend just gone saw the Old Bus Depot Markets hold their annual “wool expo”. This is a weekend I try not to miss! Its a good time to stock up on supplies, and find new people and shops to buy from.

Some wool to dye! From Glenora
Two new bobbins for my spinning wheel. From Glenora
I tried, but I could not resist! A pair of 30mm knitting needles! And I don’t even knit! From Yarn Hub
A lovely plait of purple to spin up! From the Coloured Wool and Fibre Company
I’m loving this mustard colour lately! And this plait is full of sparkle too! From Raxor Yarns

Guy and myself have also signed up for the Anytime Fitness Tread as One challenge.  We will be running for an hour at our local gym to support R U OK? on the 31st of May. It’s themed “Hollywood” so I suspect my next move is coming up with some kind of costume for it!

Mental health issues sure have hit pretty close to the heart in the last few years, and it’s important for people to know they can reach out. If you would like to donate you can follow this link 🙂
http://treadasone.gofundraise.com.au/page/cateruth

I have a busy day ahead of me! I must get these prints done and the tutus finished!

Have a creative week

<3 Cate

Dye, dye, dye all the things!

More dyeing from me this week!

A pile of white jeans, shoes and plastic bottles. All ready for more dyeing!

I found a large stash of white jeans at a factory seconds store and stockpiled. This week I started experimenting with dyeing them. So far I’ve dyed two pairs.

Front. This pair I did a simple circle tie kinda at knee level
back
front. I kinda consatina folded these and then striped the dye. Pretty happy how they turned out!
Back

I also dyed a set of serviettes for my sisters birthday. Everyone loved these! I think they might be on my Christmas make list. Or at the least, I will use serviettes to practice on so I can have some pretty ones on my dining table!

A set of serviettes for my sisters birthday!

Now I’m off to make tutus and t-shirts! I’ll be sure to share that adventure with you in a few weeks!

Have a creative week!
<3 Cate

It’s not always easy…

I’ve spent all morning trying to think of something to share with you all today. I’ve even spent the last few days trying to come up with something.

You see, what I’m working on at the moment is a little bit experimental (for me at least). And I think it has potential. But I also think it just isn’t there yet either.

But I have decided to share it with you anyways. Because, I think it’s important to give yourself the space to experiment, to test ideas, to develop your skill set. And I think we are so used to seeing polished work, that we forget that to get there, there were many hours of experimentation, tears, frustration and things that didn’t work out so good.

So this is my process so far…

I had a pile of black denim. Much of it had bleach marks. In its past life it was worn to work in a night club, and apparently they used a lot of bleach to clean stuff (which makes sense, cos those places are filthy!)

I started with a pile of black jeans with bleach marks

I had a vision. I wanted to make a bomber jacket with some extra bleached detailing. I sourced a pattern – McCall’s M7637. Heck I would love LOVE to be able to draft my own patterns. But I haven’t made many clothes in the past, so working with patterns will hopefully enable me to understand how clothing goes together a bit better before I go down that path!

McCall’s M7637 was the pattern I settled on to experiment sewing a bomber jacket.

I cut up all the jeans. I cut each leg off just below the crutch, then i cut up the inner leg seam, this then opened out into a nice big flat piece of fabric. I stitched these together as required to make pieces of fabric big enough to cut each pattern piece out of.

Once I had cut a back piece out, I jumped right into the bleaching process. I did minimal experiments on a small piece first, the went straight for the jacket piece. I used a white pencil to draw out a design. I filled a small bottle with a pointy bit with bleach gel, and used that to draw on top of the outlines.

This is the entirety of my testing things out before I jumped straight in. This whole process in one big experiment
I used a white pencil to draw out a pattern on the jacket piece before I used the bleach
I used gel bleach which I put in a small bottle with a fine nozzle. I also used hydrogen peroxide to neutralize the bleach was I was happy enough with the results
After bleaching, use a solution of hydrogen peroxide to neutralize the bleach. Any leftover white pencil markings will wash off too.

It’s not that I don’t like how it worked or even the design I did. It’s just that I’m not feeling it. I can’t see it all coming together in a cohesive piece. This is the point I sit on it for a few weeks. Often I have an “AHA!” moment and figure out a way to finish it, others I just knuckle down and get it done to get it off my plate and move on to something else. And there is always the pieces I still have in the cupboard 10 (20?) years later that never came together but I can’t bare to start over with.

The first jacket in pieces
The second jacket pieces. This one the denim has more inherent bleached areas. I’m still brainstorming how to work with these and the best patterns to add. I’ve started cutting out the lining for this one too. I am using an old bed sheet which I will dye after I have semi constructed it.

Some thoughts I’m having at the moment –

Would embroidery add a needed element?

Would applique give it some depth?

Does it just need more bleached patterning?

Am I game to touch the second jacket I have cut out?

Would adding more bleached areas and then dyeing back into it with colours work?

What am I actually going to do with these pieces once I finish them?

Some discharge and re-dyeing experiments. Holds potential.

Anyways, I have a lot to think about. And I’m going to give myself a week to work through those questions before I start more experiments. For the rest of this week I think I will be dyeing. I have a lot of white jeans and fabric to work through. Although, I think that will be another task that will raise more questions than answers! Wish me luck!

Have a Creative week

<3 Cate

Overalls!

I decided I desperately needed a pair of overalls in my life again. Because – who doesn’t?

So I channeled my high school days. That was the last time I remember owning a pair of overalls (They were black and spacious, I loved them!) and it was also a time in my life I was obsessed with up-cycling denim.

Denim is a pretty versatile fabric. Back in the days I used to make bags, quilts, pants, jackets and skirts out of it. It is cheap to buy at the op shop and often people will give it to you for free. It meant I could experiment without worrying about messing up expensive fabric. It also continued the life of this amazing textile.

I have been collecting every piece of denim that has come into my life since then. My small collection has been growing lately with cupboard clear outs and trips to the Green Shed to scour the free clothes bins.

So I chopped into the denim collection. Piecing together sections of fabric big enough for each pattern piece. The pattern I used was McCall’s M7547.

I pieced sections of fabric big enough to fit the pattern pieces onto
front view of overalls
Back view
I used pieces of an old sheet that I had cut up and practiced tie dyeing on to line the bib front and back

I learnt a lot making these. Like actually measure yourself before starting. These do not fit me (no matter how much Guy tries to persuade me they do). They are too tight across the thighs and belly.

No doubt I will try again in the near future, because I still really want a pair of overalls to wear!

What are working on this week?

<3 Cate


Happy Easter

I hope you all enjoyed a safe and happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

I spent mine with my family, painting mum and dads dining room.

We spent three days prepping and painting it.

Day 1 – Wash, wash, wash the walls. And fixing up holes.
Day 2 – We painted the ceiling with two coats of paint!
Day 3 – we painted the walls. We left the architrave for mum to finish.

We managed to fit some down time in amongst all the painting! My mum, my sister and myself had a small dyeing session. My mum dyed two shirts for herself, whilst me and Jodie dyed a pair of converse each.

Jodie dyeing her shoes
Me painting my shoes
Mum dyeing a shirt
results drying on the line
our shoes

Jodie had this amazing pair with iridescent toe and heel. I thought the pink and purple combination went well with the sparkles!

I still have another pair of shoes to dye, but I’m still trying to decide what colours they should be! I think some colour swatching is in call.

Lets not forget about the epic food that always happens when family gets together! Mum had most of the dinners sorted before we even arrived! Tuna mornay, lasagna and roast pork! Whilst Guy had us sorted for breakfasts!

It’s a bit of a tradition to light our mud oven at Easter and to have wood fired pizza for a lunch! We then cooked a pork roast and potatoes in it!

pizza cooking in our mud oven
Dad cooking pizzas. This is always a collaborative effort. Mum made dough, Guy assembled the pizzas and Dad gets the oven ready and cooks the pizza.

Another tradition is drinking baileys out of Easter eggs!

Baileys in Easter eggs – it has become a tradition!

Now for a short week of work for the last of school holidays, and back to a normal routine next week!

Have a creative week!
<3 Cate

Happy Birthday to Me!

It was my birthday last Friday! And I have been in celebration mode all week!

The day started early, getting up to have breakfast with Guy before heading off to do the morning shift! I donned my sparkly converse and pleather jacket and off I rode on my bike!

Riding to work in style!

I had a “chicken burger friday” date with Guy for lunch. The cafe at his work used to do an amazing fried chicken burger with pineapple relish. Alas, I got there, only to realise they had taken it off the menu and replaced it with a sub-par grilled chicken burger! Still, was pretty awesome to be able to have lunch with Guy, that doesn’t happen often!

I only had a small amount of time between the morning shift, chicken burger Friday date and the afternoon shift, but I made the most of it! I filled it with something that never fails to make my heart hum! Sewing hexagons!! I’ve been collecting fabrics with a lot of texture – they have come in the forms of skirts, dresses, jackets, pants and shirts so far.

Making hexagons on my birthday!

I had an amazing pair of velvet pants, but I hated the cream colour, so whilst I had the dyes out last week, I threw some dye on them as well. I love them and they are going to look fantastic in this new hexagon quilt!

a pair of deconstructed velvet pants await the dye treatment!
the velvet pants marinating in their dyes (The finished fabric is the hexagons in the above photo)

Guy got me a copy of the new Lego Movie 2 PS4 game. But of course we couldn’t play it without first seeing the movie! So we went to the mall for dinner and a movie!

And then the celebrations spilled over into the rest of the weekend. We stayed in the city Saturday night. Setting up the PS4 to play the Lego game. We had an amazing four course dinner at Courgette, which was epic, to say the least! Then Sunday morning we finished off the celebrations with pancakes at the Pancake Parlor!

Heading off for Birthday dinner!

We also managed to hit up the Green Sheds free clothes bins for some denim jeans to add to the up-cycling pile!

Yeah, I’m pretty spoilt!

And now school is on holidays, so I’m working longer days at my “day job” which hasn’t left me much room to be super creative. I’ve been trying to get a pair of up-cycled denim overalls finished, but it just hasn’t happened yet!

The beginnings of my up-cycled denim overalls
The pants part of my overalls. I have made the bib and back, I just need to attach them to the pants.

We are also digging up the garden and getting ready for winter crops. We harvested one of our sweet potato plants! It came up in one big tangle!

Sweet potato tangle!

Easter is also on our doorstep. I’ll be heading home to help Mum and Dad paint their dining room. My sister has suggested we try and squeeze some dyeing in there as well!

Hopefully I’ll have something finished to share with you next week! (hopefully its the overalls haha !)

Until then – Have a very happy and safe Easter!
<3 Cate