A Break from the Rain

8:36 PM , 3 Comments

Living in an area of NZ that has a great proportion of dairy farmers makes you more aware of the benefits of rain.  Especially when most of your family and friend-base live rural/are dairy farmers.  We were getting near drought conditions, but I don't think that's much of a concern anymore.  The paddocks are long and lush and the water tanks are filling up.

But in all reality I was a little sick of it.  (Our little 'Piece of Paradise' is in town and doesn't need grass to feed stock or water tanks filled.)

It wasn't just rain, it was hot and humid to go with it.  The sort of rain that makes things grow like the tropics.  I love it for the garden, but not for the lawn.  I had to mow it this morning.  I'm sure it took me almost two hours.  I had to empty the catcher after each down-and-back length (that's about 12 or 13 times)  and the trailer was already full to start with.

Though you should see our strawberry patch!

But today is finally a rain-free day and not the burning hot summery kind.  It's a breezy overcast summer day, perfect for a photo-shoot.
This is LittleMiss in the DK/8ply version of my Clara pattern.

It's not for LittleMiss, it's a (rather belated) birthday present for her cousin who is the same age.

Though she did have fun posing for me.

It's currently with the testers and hopefully will be ready for release mid-January 2011.

This will most likely be my last blog post before Christmas if not for the year.  So I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and holiday period, and I'll see you again in the New Year!


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And the Winner is....

10:49 PM 1 Comments

...Comment 99 - Seaside Siblings who said:
Cool giveaway! Just discovered your blog- fellow kiwi.

I have a bit of a thing for cardigans at the moment, just love them on little girls, oh and dresses, they just look adorable!

Congratulations Lou!
Let me know which yarn you would like and your postal address and I will have your parcel off to you on Monday (hopefully!)

Thank you to everyone else who entered my giveaway.  I loved all your comments and wish I could reply to them all!  It's been great to know what you like to see in kids clothing and given me good ideas of where to go next with my designing.  There were a lot of requests for dresses, socks, mittens/gloves, hats and boy styles.

I've already got a few ideas up my sleeve that will cater for some of those requests so keep reading to hear the latest!

Don't be too disappointed if you didn't win this time, I'm sure to have another giveaway at a later date 'cos I enjoyed it so much!

(P.S. You can always purchase the pattern for yourself either through my blog here, or through Ravelry here.  And watch out for the release of the DK/8ply version sometime in January - I'm planning a little surprise to go with it...)


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New Clothes

Hi to all my new followers!  And thank you to everyone leaving comments for my giveaway - it's really helping with design ideas!
There's still time to enter if you haven't already.  I'll be doing the draw sometime tomorrow afternoon and will blog who the winner is straight away, so you have until I post again to enter!

Last week I did some tracing and cutting which has slowly been sewn together (as spare time appears amongst the mess that is our renovations).  Today I finally finished!

These are the jeans I made for MiddleMiss.  I used the 'Clarabella' pattern from the latest Ottobre magazine.  When I got this issue and read that these pants are specifically designed for slim-hipped girls I knew it would be a well used pattern for me.  MiddleMiss never fits any shop-bought bottoms (pants or skirts) unless they have adjustable waists and then they have to be so bunched up it's uncomfortable.  Whenever I sew her pants/shorts/skirts I have to modify the pattern so much to fit (usually 2-3sizes difference between the waist/hip and length).
And, never one to make a plain pair of pants, I had to dress them up a little.  The back pockets are just cut from some cotton I had in stash (I interfaced them to get more 'wear' out of them) with a strip of pink velvet ribbon across them.  The front hip pockets are lined with the same fabric with the edge showing (kind of a faux-piping look) and the same ribbon to accent.  All topstitching is done in matching pink, too.

They fit her perfectly and she hasn't taken them off all afternoon!

As the jeans only had the hems and belt-loops to sew, then the button to put on, I still had enough time left to finish off the other half done project.
This is using the same pants pattern, but cut down to short length.

Even though I had planned on sewing completely from stash, I ended up having to buy more thread for these shorts for BigMiss.  But that's not too bad anyway is it?

I did the same with these back pockets also.

I could have done a size bigger for BigMiss as they're a little tight round the waist.

I think the problem though, is that the pattern is very high-waisted.  These shorts fit LittleMiss also but the button can't be done up because it goes right across her belly button.

I'm going to change my traced pattern so the waist is 1-2" lower and see how that turns out.  If I can get it right I think this will be a well used pattern for my girls!


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It's Giveaway Day! - CLOSED

8:50 PM 220 Comments

This giveaway is now closed, thank you to all that entered!

It's finally here!  Sew, Mama, Sew!'s Giveaway Day!  I'm so excited as it's my first giveaway too!

So, what have I got to giveaway?

The Prize:
I've  just released my Clara pattern this month on Ravelry (if you're a knitter and not a member, you so should be!)  So I thought I would give away a special, signed copy of the pattern and a skein of Vintage Purls superwash merino sock wool to go with it.  If the winner is on Ravelry, I will also gift a pdf copy for free (if it's already been purchased, I will refund the purchase price).

And because I couldn't choose what colour yarn to give away, I'll let the winner decide from the four pictured below!

(Click on the name to see a better picture of each colour)

Make sure you check out my other designs and keep an eye out for the 8ply/DK version of Clara early in the New Year!  I'm also (mentally) working on several other trans-seasonal designs I plan to release in the coming year too!

How to Enter:

I'm always after ideas for new knitting designs, so leave me a comment on this post telling me what children's clothing you like to knit or if you've seen an interesting item of clothing (sewn or knit) that you'd love to make (pictures - or links to - would be great!) or even just a motif/design feature you like.
Or, if you've just spent hours commenting on 101 other blogs' giveaways, just say 'Hi, me too, please!'
(Only comments on this post will count for the giveaway, though feel free to comment anywhere!)

For an extra entry, become a follower - make sure you are a public follower or I won't know you are and it won't count!  (This also guarantees that you'll be one of the first to hear about any new designs as they progress too!)

Please include an email address or link to a Blogger profile, etc to contact you by, otherwise make sure you're a follower so you can contact me when I announce the winner.

The Details:

I will ship to any address, so international entries are welcome!

The giveaway will be open until Friday 17 December, but I will randomly draw a winner sometime on Saturday afternoon/evening to allow for time differences.

The winner will need to make contact by 20 December or I will re-draw.

I will try my best to ship the prize as soon as I have an address but because of Christmas and school holidays I can't guarantee getting to the post office easily so please be patient with me (I will let the winner know when it has gone.)

The prize is as stated above and there are no exchanges - if you don't want it, don't enter!


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Time for Giveaways!

2:50 AM 1 Comments

I had my last child-free day at home today.  There won't be another one for almost eight weeks as tomorrow is the last day of school for the big girls before the Summer holidays.  So instead of the tidying I should have been doing, I spent it tracing patterns and cutting out material.

(Imagine a picture here of two piles of cut & folded material - the camera is in J's truck and he's at soccer so I couldn't take a photo!)

I'm doing some alterations to a wedding dress so had to put my office/sewing room back in order as the change of sleeping/bedroom furniture arrangements messed it up (renovations are still progressing so we've lost two bedrooms to the extension).  The clear desk and easy access to my machines inspired me to get onto the sewing I've been talking about for ages - making shorts for the girls for summer.  But I'm only making shorts for BigMiss first, as J took LittleMiss shopping on Saturday and bought her some and MiddleMiss has a pair of jeans that are ripped at the knee that I can cut off to shorts (I'm making her jeans instead).  And I'm quite pleased to say that these shorts & jeans will be made completely from stash - I don't even need to buy a zip!

Now onto the subject of giveaways!  I have wanted to do a giveaway ever since I started this blog but haven't yet.  Mainly because I didn't know what to give away or a good way to advertise the fact or a decent enough reason.  Then I heard about the Sew, Mama, Sew! giveaway day back in, um, was it May?  I was a bit late finding out about it and didn't really know what to give away, but had fun entering as many giveaways as I could (and found lots of fantastic blogs to follow in the process).
(Click on the image to go to the giveaway info page to find out how it all works)

Now they're doing it again, and this time I intend to be included!  So make sure you check back here on Monday to see what I'm offering and leave several days free (yes, days - it takes that long!) to browse the hundreds of blogs doing giveaways through Sew, Mama, Sew!


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7:34 PM , 0 Comments

As promised, details on my latest design:

Just in time for the Southern Summer and with time to whip one up for Christmas pressies too!

I have a favourite yarn supplier, Vintage Purls, that discovered that a certain batch of superwash sock wool hadn't been properly superwash treated.  This meant that the wool had the possibility of felting with wear/wash/use.  I had 10 skeins of yarn (each a different, limited edition colourway) that were affected and would no longer end up as socks.  But what can you make with 1 skein of fingering yarn?  Something lacy and light, that's what!  And so 'Clara' was made...

The original design was made in the pattern's namesake colourway, Clara - a pretty, girly pink, yellow and peachy-orange yarn.

I wanted to design something with beads in the lacework and settled on a staggered fern lace design for the main body with beads placed at the beginning of each 'fern'.

The pattern is written with lots of options, including a square or shaped neckline, lacy straps, a fitted or full/babydoll body shape and several different hem options.

Here's the Ravelry link.  If you're a knitter and not on Ravlery - you don't know what you're missing out on!
And for those that wish they were knitters, you can always gift a copy of the pattern to your knitter friends for Christmas and hint strongly that you'd like one made!

Pattern Details:

Approx age/chest measurement
3mth 40.5cm/16"
6mth 43cm/17"
9mth 45.5cm/18"
12mth 48cm/19"
18mth 50.5cm/20"
2yrs 53cm/21"
3yrs 56cm/22"
4yrs 58.5cm/23"
5yrs 61cm/24"
6yrs 63.5cm/25"
7yrs 65.5cm/25.75"
8yrs 67cm/26.5"
9yrs 69cm/27.25"
10yrs 71cm/28"

Yarn Requirements:
4ply/fingering yarn:  approx 200-600yds/183-549m
4mm beads (or size to suit):  approx 42-192

28sts x 36rows on size 3/3.25mm needles over 10cm/4" in stocking stitch

Purchasing details:
Price: USD$6
Purchases are made via paypal and a downloadable pdf link will be emailed.


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My Creative Space

It appears that after the marathon effort that was Blogtober my blogging has taken a back-seat again!

But that doesn't mean I haven't been busy...
My Geodesic Cardigan before the sleeves (one down, one to go!)

LittleMiss in her new top - my latest design, Clara, just released yesterday (more on that in a post to come!)

BigMiss in the Clara I made for MiddleMiss (which stretched when blocked and doesn't really look that great on MiddleMiss now)

The original Clara made for BigMiss - it finally has a ribbon!

A series of catch-up posts will be coming in the next little while, but in the meantime check out what the other crafty people are up to over at Kirsty's...


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