May To Sew List

I’m pretty happy with my April list. I got my bucket hat done and both softies (even though I haven’t posted it on here it was completed) I finished my entry for Castaway To Couture. This morning I finished off my fairy wings so that was all the main things completed. I never got to my pj shorts or peglegs but they aren’t as important now as I don’t need them so quickly anymore. I will get to them at some point. Having a list helped me to focus on the important things I need to do. At times if I don’t have clear focus I sit there and think what should I be doing.

To Sew May

My May list is

  • Puppy Dog Pete softie
  • Finish soccer ball
  • Child’s cape
  • Mug rug for swap
  • Tea Set softie
  • Colour bag fabric

The puppy dog is pretty straight forward. I’ve looked at the pattern pieces and they don’t look that complicated. It does have a gusset which I’m not usually good with but I’ll take my time with it. The soccer ball is about half done, it is all hand sewing in front of the tv. I wasn’t going to do any sewing craft swaps this year but this week I saw one for a mug rug swap where you only need to make a mug rug and nothing else so I joined up to it, it will be a nice quick hassle free swap. For the Tea Set I want to colour my own fabric using liquid radiance. I want to try a few techniques to get different patterns. I may not get the entire tea set made this month but I want to at least get my fabric done. The child’s cape I’m not sure if I can do. I haven’t looked at the pattern yet so I don’t know if I’ll have enough fabric for it. I want to use an old jacket but will only make it if I have enough fabric. If I don’t I’m culling it from my list. It is only an experiment and not needed for a gift or anything so can be culled if necessary. The last thing on my list isn’t sewing yet but I’m putting it on my list as it is preparation for a future project. I want to make myself a bag but again I want to colour the fabric using liquid radiance. This bag doesn’t need to be finished until Sep/Oct but if I can make it earlier even better.

Ok so a few things on my sewing list. I’m still working on my crochet items plus a knitted item which I haven’t even showed yet



A Year In Sew Box

The April Sew Box marked 12 months of me getting Sew Boxes. When I first ordered my sew box I wasn’t sure if I would use the contents of the boxes but reflecting on things I have actually used them a lot to make different projects and gifts.
Fabric Necklace

May – I used the wooden beads to make the beaded necklace tutorial that came with box. I also gave away to scarf pattern in a craft swap because I actually already owned the pattern
June – The hooded scarves were my go to pattern last year. I still love the pattern and will probably make them again next year as gifts. They are so quick to make up. I also used the corduroy fabric to make myself a skirt
TET Gussett
July – I used the fabric from this box to make my Tiny Essentials Tote. With some of the leftover fabric (I still have more) I made my beaded necklace

Embroidery Hoop Organiser
August – I made the hoop organiser and filled it with some of the notions that came with the box in a craft swap. I made the fabric boxes as Xmas gifts for a friend. I used the fabric to make pouches for work colleagues. The sewing machine pin cushion pattern I made for the gals in my sewing group.
September – The fabric I used to make the sewing machine pin cushions. The A+ skirt I fell in love with it is oh so simple to make, I can make one in a couple of hours.

Bucket Hat
October – I used the chambray fabric to make my bucket hat
November – Nothing as of it yet but I’m thinking of colouring the lace trim.
December – I used the Christmas fabric and zipper to make a Christmas A+ skirt. I now own a Christmas outfit.

Colour My Skirt
January – I made the skirt from the fabric and teamed it up with the markers as a birthday gift. I still have leftover fabric so have a Christmas gift in mind for it
February – I gave the frixon pen away in a craft swap as I had that colour already. I purchased the t-shirt kit that we could get at a discount price to make up the t-shirt pattern in the box.
March – All the notions have gone into my stash and in a travel kit I’m making up. I used the discount voucher that came as a bonus to purchase more of the toy patterns from Funky Friends Factory.
April – The cloud mobile I’m going to make up for charity hamper I always contribute to. The rotary cutter carrier I’ve used to transport pens in and will use it as storage in my travel kit.

Looking back on things I’m glad I decided to start getting the boxes. Some boxes I’ve used more than others. Admittedly there are some patterns I won’t use but that’s ok as that is only rare. I may not make the patterns from the boxes that month but the main thing is that over time I am using patterns, fabrics and notions from the various boxes in the various gifts and items I’m making. I don’t keep the contents of my boxes separated, each month I unpack each box and it into my stash. I still know which box the items come from.

A+ Skirt Denim
One thing I’ve noticed is that I’m doing more “selfish sewing” now as it is nicknamed. I’ve made skirts and accessories for me. Before I would never make anything for me but now I am. Starting in May Sew Box is producing another subscription box called Seasons that comes out every 3 months (hence the name) It is featuring ladies clothing patterns and fabrics. I’m going to try it. I want to push myself out of my comfort zone and try making different items.


Workshop Fabulous Fabrics: Advanced

Day 2 of the workshop with Anne Mitchell from Genesis Creations was all other techniques we could use in colouring fabric. After day 1 we had an understanding on how to apply Liquid Radiance and the basic ways to colour fabrics with it so now it was time to learn more advanced ways to treat the fabric to give us different results.

Silk Mop Up

Silk Mop Up

Our first task for the day was learning how to use a spray bottle to apply the Liquid Radiance. You mix up the paint into a plastic spray bottle and squirt it onto the fabric. You can colour large areas with this much quicker than other methods. I was expecting it to be messy but your controlling where you are spraying so when it came to doing it on our projects we were able to spray them inside with our fabric on a towel.

Batik With Wax

We made batik fabric in 2 ways. Before the workshop I wasn’t a fan of batik and to be honest even now I still don’t like the ones I see in the shops. However I loved creating our own batiks. I guess it was cause I could create the pattern I wanted and make it look the way I like things. The first way we did it was with soy wax. We did it over a number of hours building up layers of wax and colouring them in between in the form of spraying them with colour. We created the designs on our fabric using objects and shapes you would find around the house or foam stamps. My favourite was the grid in the middle which is a potato masher.

FF Batik Wax Mop Up

We used a folded layer of fabric to mop up the excess after spraying each layer. We sandwiched the fabric between the mop up pieces each time to removed the excess. I really like the mop up from this one, it reminds me of doing butterfly paintings as a child.

FF Batik Water Soluble

The second way we did batik was with applying a product called water soluble resist to silk over a stencil cut out. We also freehand drew some shapes. When it was dry we painted it with Liquid Radiance, where the resist was the colour never took. Once the paint dries your able to washout the resist and your pattern remains.

We also use the resist product the day before to draw patterns onto our fabrics.

Another thing we learnt was how to make a salt sandwich. You colour 2 pieces of fabric than place salt on one piece before lying the second piece on top. Over time the salt makes random patterns on the layers of fabric. You can remove the layer of salt when they are nearly dry before rinsing when they are fully dry.

Unfortunately I think I rinsed my fabric when it was still wet so I lost half my colour in the end. Oh well lesson learnt make sure your fabric is fully dry.

FF Marbling

We had a go at marbling. Firstly we used a powdered medium which was a thick gelatinous consistency. The colours were really clear and bright when you placed in the solution after you made your pattern. The solution didn’t go grey and murky even with all the different colours added to it. If you were really into marbling this would be a great thing to use.

FF Shave Foam Marbling

The second way we did marbling with using shaving cream. You make a base up of shaving cream then apply your colours on top of that. You can get some really pretty colours on your fabric with this. It does go murky after a bit but if your using the colours you like I think it adds to them. I decided to try it on socks after I did my fabric, by that stage the foam was getting murky but it was a blue murky colour so I actually like it. Shaving cream is in expensive so if you wanted crisp colours all the time you would just squirt out another base.

FF Discharge

One of the more unusual techniques we were taught was called discharge dying. This isn’t what it sounds like (working in the medical field the name grosses me out) I like to refer to it as bleaching or stripping as essentially that is what you are doing. You spray or paint dark fabric with bleach to remove the colour. Once you have finished you neutralise the fabric to stop the bleaching process from continuing and then colour the fabric if that is what you wish or if it looks nice leave it with no colour. Despite the official name of this I love it. I had to laugh here I am doing this to fabric on purpose and years ago this would happen to my mum’s work uniforms by accident. In the workshop we wrapped marbles in our fabric before stripping the colour, it created fantastic patterns. We never got to colour our fabric on the day but it would be easy to with a spray bottle.

FF Luste Play

We experiment with Lustre paints. Lustres have a metallic sheen to them and can be painted on over stencils to fabric or use with just a paint brush. I have an idea on how to use them already. I think they are lovely.

FF Stenciling

By the end of the 2 days I had so many ideas ticking through my head. I have at least 3 projects in mind in which I’m going to colour my own fabrics or use the Lustre paints. I’ve got ideas on how to use the colours in future. Sometimes you go to workshops like these and its all fun and games whilst your there but when you come home you don’t do any thing with them. This isn’t going to be one of those times. I’m not going to colour every single piece of my own fabric on every project (but you could) but I am going to incorporate these into my sewing and crafting. I’m going to experiment and colour bits and pieces for different projects. Over the 2 days there were some techniques I really likes, others that weren’t really for me. There are techniques I haven’t even tried yet but I have read about in some handbooks Anne sells. The workshops opened a whole new world to me. Now its time to play.



Sunny CAL Week 7

SC - Square 9 Completed

In the last 2 weeks I’ve made some progress on my blanket. I finished square 9

SC - Square 10 Completed

Square 10

SC - Square 11 Completed

And square 11. I’ve made a start on square 12. I’m still in love with this pattern. I’m not so anxious now by my counting as I can pretty much tell if my stitches are off just by looking at my row. If I do get any stitches wrong it’s usually in the last 6 stitches where I have only done 5 or added an extra and done 7. My foundation row of each colour I count twice the other 2 rows of the colour block I’m only counting once.

Yarn Card Sunny Log Cabin

I’m still referring to my yarn card at times. By now I know pretty much all the colours but if I haven’t touched the blanket for a few days sometimes get my purples mixed up.

Squares 13 and 14. If you are up to these you can find Lucy’s post here

Square 13

SC - Square 13

Row 1 – Wisteria Row 9 – Petrol
Row 2 – Claret Row 10 – Shrimp
Row 3 – Violet Row 11 – Aster
Row 4 – Spice Row 12 – Lipstick
Row 5 – Turquoise Row 13 – Meadow
Row 6 – Plum Row 14 – Fondant
Row 7 – Sage Row 15 – Lime
Row 8 – Bright Pink Row 16 – Magenta

Square 14

SC - Square 14

Row 1 – Bright Pink Row 9 – Lipstick
Row 2 – Lime Row 10 – Meadow
Row 3 – Spice Row 11 – Plum
Row 4 – Violet Row 12 – Turquoise
Row 5 – Shrimp Row 13 – Magenta
Row 6 – Aster Row 14 – Sage
Row 7 – Fondant Row 15 – Claret
Row 8 – Wisteria Row 16 – Petrol

This week I’m aiming to get square 12 complete and make a start on square 13. The squares are really starting to pile up as I make them. Confession I haven’t looked at my ends yet. I’m thinking I’ve gotten this far I may as well complete the blanket and then spend a couple of weeks doing the ends in before I block the individual squares and join the rows. I can’t believe how fast this blanket is coming together.

Useful Links
Sunny Granny Square
Sunny Log Cabin Pattern
Yarn Card Instructions
Sunny CAL Begins
Sunny CAL Week 1
Sunny CAL Week 2
Sunny CAL Week 3
Sunny CAL Week 4
Sunny CAL Week 5
Sunny CAL Week 6

Happy Crocheting.


Workshop Fabulous Fabrics: Basics

Possible Ideas

Possible Ideas

Last weekend I attended a 2 day workshop with Anne Mitchell owner of Genesis Creations. Back in February I saw Anne demonstrate Liquid Radiance, a fabric paint that is similar to a fabric dye but it isn’t a dye. Liquid Radiance is non toxic and Australian made and owned. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it and couldn’t wait for the work shop. Day 1 was all about learning the basics.

FF Splot & Scrunch Before

Salted Splot & Scrunch Before

The first thing we were taught was how to apply the paint to the fabric. You can dap it on in sections and spread with a paint brush or use the even more handy method (excuse the pun) the 5 finger foam brush which is essentially your hand in a rubber glove. Liquid Radiance is very concentrated and you only need a tiny amount to give you coverage. If you use too much of it not only are you wasting the products your actually making your fabric look dull and have a plastic feel as Anne drums into you “Excess is the Enemy” After you apply the paint the way you handle the fabric next will determine what patterns you get.

FF Splot & Scrunch After

Splot & Scrunch After

If you apply salt to your painted fabric a reaction occurs as it dries and it draws the dye and makes patterns. Different size salt such as rock salt or pool salt will form different patterns. If you use salt you need to rinse your fabric well before you sew with it

FF Bottle Wrap

You can wrap your fabric around objects such as bottles or pipes (even a tree) and use rubber bands or strings to create patterns.

FF Socks Before

We made a funky pair of socks by sticking the coloured socks over the end of a empty bottle and scrunch them up.

FF Socks Dry

One of my favourite things was heliography where you place objects on your fabric to create patterns. You place it out in the sun to dry. Afterwards you remove the objects and the shapes still appear on the fabric.

Another method we tried called air exclusion is where you crumple the fabric up and stop the air from getting to it. Once the fabric is dry and pulled open it gives a gorgeous crystal effect.

FF Scrunching

Other ways to create patterns in the fabric is to wrap objects in them and place the paint over the top. We tried this with marbles. The colours I chose don’t really show how effective this can be. You can form flowers or sun bursts if you choose the right colours.

FF Marbles

One thing I was surprised about was how quickly things were drying inside. Pieces that were lying flat were dry by the next morning (or even later that day) The socks were dry overnight. The more crumbled or scrunched an item the longer it took to dry however it didn’t take too long. I did have some pieces drying for a day or so when I got home.

FF Drying Items

With Liquid Radiance you do need to heat set the items. This can be done with an iron or for non ironable items a hairdryer. I ironed them when I got home. Once they are heat set they are fine to be washed. It was the first time I’ve ironed socks but yep even they needed to be heat set.

FF Helio Ironed

As mentioned too much paint in the fabric is bad so you remove the excess paint from each item with another piece of fabric. These pieces of fabric sometimes turn out so beautiful and can be used as complementing fabrics in their own right. This blue fabric is the mop up piece from the socks. I left it to dry scrunched up

Socks Mop Up

Socks Mop Up

Other time the mop up fabrics turn out ugly. It really depends on if your wanting to use them as a feature piece in your work or if your treating them as a rag cloth. This piece was a rag cloth for me but I guess it would make a nice piece if it was cut up.

FF Mop Up Ugly

I had so much fun on day 1 of the workshop. I must warn you it is a busy day as Anne has so much she wants to teach you and is so passionate about it. She gives you a list of items to bring to the workshop and if you have prepped them like she said it makes for a smooth day. At the end of the day your brain is buzzing with ideas it is fantastic. She gives you lots of hand outs so you can remember how to do things when you get home.



Sew Box April 16

I’m a little late showing this but the April Sew Box has been revealed, this month the theme is April Showers

SB Apr 16

This month the box contains

  • Rotary Cutter case
  • Mini Pom Pom trim in blue and pink
  • 1m of Cloud fabric
  • 50cm of Rain drop fabric
  • Rainy Days Ladies Jacket pattern by Amy Butler
  • Puddle Jumper Raincoat pattern by Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop
  • Sewing machine oil and needles
  • Felt Cloud applique set
  • Cloud Cushion / PJ Keeper pattern by Sew Boxes
  • Metal Snap Fastener Set
  • Mini Clouds by Bee Stitchin Embroidery In The Hoop Pattern
  • Bonus copy of One Thimble magazine

Ok so I may have been the only person to scream out yippee eyebrows when I opened this box.. Mini pom pom trim makes the best eyebrows on stuff toys. I was needing more of it and now I have some. The fabric in this box is lovely. I have no projects in mind for it just yet but I’m sure it will get used on something. I’ve already used the rotary cutter case to transport pens in last weekend whilst I was at a workshop. I think it will go and live in my kit I take to sewing guild, it is a very handy size. To be honest I’m unlikely to make the kids raincoat but it is a cute pattern. I like the ladies pattern, I should test my sewing skills and have a go at making it at some point. The oil and needles have gone into my stash. I need to research about how often I should oil my sewing machine. The felt cloud set can be made into a mobile, I’m thinking it might be a nice little item to make up and stick into a charity hamper at Christmas. Any child would like something like that hanging in their room. Since I have an embroidery machine I have no excuse but to try out the mini clouds design, again it something that might look nice on items for charity hampers.

So many ideas are ticking from this box, now to transfer them from being ideas to actual items


White Unicorn

This is the softie that I finished at the start of this month.

DADD Unicorn

Unicorn is another Dolls and Daydream pattern. She was super easy to make. This is the basic version you can do a more advanced one where she has more accessories. I decided to use polar fleece to make her instead of cotton. I wanted a more textured toy. The fleece was easy to work. I used clips to hold her pieces together before sewing rather than pins which helped the fabric from slipping.

DADD Unicorn Horn

I’m proud of her horn. I didn’t have any stripe fabric or ribbon to make the lines so instead I embroidered the lines with rows of chain stitch. I’d forgotten how nice chain stitch looks. I must use it more. I did her mane differently to the pattern. I made a small wig from yarn I had in my stash that is too rough to knit with. I stitched the wig within the seam line.

She is very much a stash project. All the fabric was from my stash. The fleece was leftover from a blanket I made a few years ago. The stars I’ve used in baby blocks before and that was from my stash originally. The wool felt on the face and horn again was from my stash. Even her eyes were buttons from the stash.