Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Pins and needles...

I've been 'pinning' on Pinterest like crazy lately...
You can find me here: http://pinterest.com/nzhomesewn/.
Mostly sewing/crochet/DIY type stuff, with a few gardening ideas and baby & kids stuff.

Follow Me on Pinterest

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Easiest Christmas wreath ever!

We have an over growth of ivy at our place, so I though it might work well in a wreath. Took me all of 5 minutes to make!

1. Stretch a wire coat hanger into a circular shape (don't destroy the hook)
2. Cut some lengths of ivy
3. Wrap ivy around the coat hanger, covering up gaps and trying to coax the leaves out front
4. Add a few decorations
5. Hang it up!

Might add a few more decorations to it or tweak the ivy a little, but for five minutes work it's not bad.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

MTOTD: Car Seat manuals

My mum tip of the day!
If your car seat doesn't have a pocket for the manual, make one yourself.

Mine was made by folding a ziplock bag to size, then taping it onto the back of the seat (where exploring little fingers can't get to it), taking care not to tape up the bag opening. Keeps the manual handy if you ever need to refer to something while you are out and about. :)

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Spring Planting 2012

With our new hothouse, our planting schedule has moved a lot earlier than last year. We're able to get seeds going, sprout potatoes etc for moving outside as soon as the frosts passed (fingers crossed!), and all the stuff we're leaving in there is kicking off already.

The outside garden is slowly getting going too for spring. Sadly we lost most of our cabbages and broccoli to a very clever sheep that was hanging out in our paddocks, and worked out how to push the vege garden fence just far enough to munch up our brassicas! Boo....

First up, here are our first lot of potato bags out in the outdoor garden area. They were started up in the hothouse, and were moved down last weekend. Some have been topped up a bit as the leaves are going for it! We have seven bags going already, and another three getting started up in the hothouse.

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Outdoors there is a lot going on. Broad beans, garlic, Cavelo Nero (sp?), Kale, Peas, Cabbages, Cos lettuces, leeks, onions... prob missed something! And the compost bins are doing their job nicely too :)

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And in the hothouse.... basil, various tomato seeds/seedlings, Cos lettuce again, Peas again, mesculin mix, chives, radishes (might do some outside too), Corn seedlings getting going, loads of peppers (hot and capsicum), okra, aubergine, cucumbers, silverbeet seedlings (for the chickens!), zuchinni/corgettes, strawberries (YUM!)... again I think I've prob missed something.


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If all this lot takes off and works, we'll not need to buy any veges this summer hopefully! And be able to do some preserving/storing for winter. Our fruit trees and vines are slowly getting going too: fejoias, an apple, a double grafted pear, dwarf nectarine, raspberries, blueberries, boysenberries, a few grape varieties and more strawberries outdoors. Yum yum! Some might not fruit this year as they are newly planted, but fingers crossed :)

Monday, 6 August 2012

Le Hot House

Our new hot house (like a greenhouse, but made with heavy duty plastic instead of glass) arrived last week, and we finally put it up on Sunday. Looking forward to filling it with lots of tomato, cucumber, pepper and aubergine plants!


Hot house


Hothouse


Hothouse

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Nap Time Project: Fabric covered magazine file box

Title pretty much says it all! Was looking for a nice way to store patterns, and we had a whole lot of cardboard file boxes lounging about, and I've got soooo much fabric I can spare some for this!

Finished and full of patterns
Process is pretty easy - cut two rectangles to fit the sides + a bit of overlap, PVA glued them onto the sides and over the edges of the box. Then cut a strip to fit the front, ironed the edges in so it looks neat and tidy, and PVA'd that on top, tucking the ends inside and under as well. Went over all the edges with a good lot of PVA smeared on my finger, and left to dry. As the PVA dries clear, it's fine to smear it all over the place, it won't be seen once it's all dry. Didn't take enough care to smooth the fabric out properly as I was in a hurry (could hear Le Bebe stirring!), but next time I'll use a ruler or straight edge of some kind to smooth the glue on first, then smooth the fabric on top of the glue.

I used cotton quilting weight fabric, which is thick enough that the black text printed on the box doesn't show through, but almost any woven fabric should be fine - could always paint or cover up the black printing some other way (blank labels, a layer of cheap calico fabric or similar underneath before the final fabric).

I think I'll be off to Warehouse Stationary to pick up a few more magazine files and cheap cardboard storage boxes now! :)

File box drying
File box drying

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Sewing: baby cargo pants

Sewed my first ever pair of trousers over the weekend, a pair of cord cargo pants for Le Bebe.

Used Burda Kids 9716 pattern - which goes from 3 mths to 3 years and has two sweatshirt/hoody patterns too, so should get a bit of use :)

They turned out pretty well - Le Bebe is 9 mths old, but the 9 mth pattern turned out a little too big, but still wearable and should last a few months hopefully.





Next up, stretchy monkey pants!


Monday, 14 May 2012

One for the phone nerds :)

Life has been dominated by Le Bebe and Le Sewing Machine lately! Was working like mad for all of April to get ready for the Martinborough Fair, where I had a great day selling my sewn wares (bibs, baby shoes, cushions and handbags).

So finally I'm back to doing a few things for me and mine at last, along with trying out new patterns and filling a few custom orders from friends and people I met at Martinborough Fair. Currently I'm doing some smartphone sleeves - top one fits a Galaxy Nexus phone (prezzy for the Monseiur) and is made from a recycled suit jacket, and bottom one fits my iPhone nicely (canvas and cotton fabric).

Phone covers - Samsung Galaxy Nexus on top, iPhone on bottom

Phone covers - iPhone on left, Samsung Galaxy Nexus on right

Nothing too fancy, just a basic sleeve. Not 100% happy with the finishing at the top of the cases, so looking out for good patterns with different methods to what I've been doing. Would love to put a pull tab in to help with ejecting the phone, and a closure tab of some kind that doesn't add too much extra bulk/height - that's the next pattern to conquer!

Some of the tutorials I've spotted which have some good ideas:


Friday, 23 March 2012

First foray into Crochet

(hey, that almost rhymes!)

Crochet is one of those things you try as a child and throw away as too hard. Well, 20 years (or more?!) latter I've tried again, and am finding it pretty enjoyable!

After a few false starts, and totally undoing these twice, I've finished a pair of baby boots using a pattern available on Etsy from Yarn Blossom Boutique. Also have another pattern for adult fingerless gloves from the same seller which I'm pretty keen to try out!

Love them! I can see all the mistakes still, but wanted to get something actually finished. Hope le bebe agrees :)

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Nap time project: quilted cushion

Decided to up the difficulty on today's cushion, and quilted a comfy pillow top on a cushion.

Also used an invisible zipper foot, and that zipper is totally invisible! Almost want to rip out the earlier cushion zips and redo them now...

Love this fabric, and want more but can't find it anywhere. Any ideas? Bought it from a fabric stall at Battle Hill market a few months ago, the car boot sale I think.

Cost: $5 for front fabric, about $2 for back (homespun cotton, also used on back of quilting), about $0.50 of batting and a $2(?) invisible zip. Thread no idea! Insert is usually $5.99 at Spotlight, think I got this one during the storewide 30% off sale.

Time: about 1.5 hours, mostly working out the quilting as I've never done it before, and fiddling with the invisible zip.



Top tip: use a cushion insert that's slightly too big for the cover for that 'overstuffed' plump look :) happened by accident but I like it! The cover came out at 39cm in the end after quilting (whoops!) and the cushion insert is 41cm.

Bias tape

Made my first bias tape yesterday! Did it the old skool way, cutting strips, sewing together, then hand ironing.

Couldn't get my little tape maker to work, cut the strips to exactly 48mm as the instructions said (for 25mm tape) but it came out bunched every time.

Next time I want to try the sew before cutting method, or get a bias tape ruler to make the cuts easier. Rotary cutter helps too, lovely straight edges yum.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Comfy Cushion

Today's mission was to sew a cushion cover, the first one I've ever done. Stupidly I thought this would be really easy and be a good nap time project, but ended up taking me about 2 hours once I unpicked everything a few times! It's the greeny coloured one in the front.



My invisible zip isn't so invisible, but apart from that it came out pretty nice! Hopefully the next one will be much quicker. Much cheaper than buying the funky ones in the cool shops, but not cheaper than the Warehouse, don't mind tho as I can choose the fabric, and nobody else will have one like it. Exclusive!



Also on a good note, one of the few sunflowers that survived the chicken attack on the front garden has finally flowered.


Anyone know what this flower is? Prob from one of the wildflower mixes I sowed in this garden last summer.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Nap time projects - scrub hat and baby shoes

Today I had time to do two quick sewing jobs - both new patterns which I also tweaked a little :)

A scrub hat for my sister (final year vet student):


(I don't make the best model at times...)

Baby shoes for my lovely boy - denim soles and heel, cotton upper, and brushed cotton lining:



They haven't fallen off yet, and he's kicking preeety hard! Couldn't tell you how long each of these took - there were a number of very short naps and lots of interruptions :)

I've spotted a few improvements that can be made on each of these, but I think the shoes could be added to my online store (once I get around to ramping up production on the bags and bibs as well!).

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

The harvest has started...

... fingers crossed it continues! Peas and dwarf beans are having their first harvest today, yum yum! Ended up with 2 cups of shelled peas, and a big handful of beans. Enough for a few dinners for us.

Here's some pics of the gardens, and the first tomatoes and corn ears.


Ed helping with the harvest
Ed lending a hand


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Peas and beans

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First tomatoes - these look like Romas

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Corn, beans and pumpkins, and a LOT of random stuff

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Harvest! Yum

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Nap time project - bandana bib

Today's project while le bebe is having his morning nap is a bandana style bib.
Waterproof PUL (same stuff the modern re-usable nappies is made of) backing, absorbent hemp middle, metal popper to close it with, and a great cotton front. My PUL is from Greenbeans, and I use it for anything that needs waterproofing - change mats, bibs, wet bags - has a nice soft side for going against skin.

As my usual model is snoring away in his cot, here it is on Teddy bear. Once le bebe is up I'll try it on and modify as required.

Time: 30 mins to set up, make a pattern and sew.