WIRES looks after native animals who become sick, injured or abandoned. The service works every day of the year to rescue and care for the animals. Volunteers care for the animals in their own homes until they are well enough to be released back into the wild. They do an amazing job. I would love to be a carer but unfortunately I can’t but that doesn’t mean you can’t still help WIRES. If you can knit or you can sew your skills can help WIRES. WIRES are always needing pouches. You can either knit them or sew them. They do require that yarn used be 100% wool 8ply and the fabric be 100% cotton or flannelette. The fabric and wool needs to be breathable as the animal in enclosed in the pouch. Carers go through around 6 – 8 fabric pouches per day per animal and may have 4 – 6 animals in their care at any one time.
In the last couple of weeks I made a batch of pouches and in my spare room found another batch I made earlier this year. I’ve washed them all again (they may get ironed) I will post them off next week. I’ve been doing WIRES pouches for a few years now. I love that my sewing can help others. Native animals are close to my heart and I’m glad to be able to help them.
Flosstyle patterns is having a charity fundraiser in April to support Go Blue For Autism and Beyond Blue. The challenge was to make something blue. Of course I was going to take part in a challenge list this.
The Bucket Hat pattern by Flosstyle is a pattern I’ve had in my stash for ages. I actually attempted to make this hat last year. I say attempted as it baffled me. It wasn’t the pattern that was the issue it was me. At the time I was really tired and I couldn’t get construct the pattern in my head therefor not allowing me to construct the pattern in fabric. I cut out some of the pattern and pieces but was too confused by it all. It sat on my mental “To Sew” list ever since. In March Jess from Flosstyle made a YouTube clip demonstrating how to make it. As I’m a visual person watching the clip suddenly it all made sense in my head and I could see how it all fitted together. When the April challenge was announced I knew it was time to attempt the hat again. I ditched all the pieces I’d previously cut (which turned out to be the wrong size) and started again.
I used the same fabric as I’d originally planned to use. It is the chambray fabric from the October Sew Box, it is a nice pale blue colour. To add another tone of blue I used a medium coloured blue thread to do all my stitching in. I really like the contrast. I even used blue Velcro cause you can never have too much blue!
This bucket hat pattern is great. Watching the clip you can see how simple it is too make. I made the adjustable brim version as I like to poke my hair through the hat. This version is a little more complicated than the basic version but still very quick to make. I took my time and did it over a few hours which included tea breaks. I took my time. Thought about each step before I did. I had my tablet on standby in case I needed to watch the YouTube clip again but I didn’t I had it clear in my mind so I didn’t need to refer back to it.
Some areas I’m really happy with such as my side seams matching perfectly on this side (slightly off on the other side) I’m not worried the hat still fits and it is still functional. When I was doing the final bit of construction where all the layers are put together I was so worried about catching the adjustable brim in my seam that I actually missed a tiny part near the edge. No dramas I had stitched it closed.
Wonderclips were invaluable on this I used them on every step except for closing my turning gap at the end. With the multiple layers of fabric clipping them together was much easier than pins. I even used the larger ones to hold the Velcro pieces in place. When I accidentally knocked them off my table they were easier to pick up than pins. I’m so happy with my hat. The pattern includes sizes from baby to adult so you can make them for everyone. I will be doing these again.
The Flosstyle challenge isn’t just about sewing an item it is also about supporting Beyond Blue and Austim so I have made a small donation to each group.
Softies for Mirabel is a toy drive to support the Mirabel Foundation, an organisation which supports kids who are abandoned or orphaned due to parental drug use.
The toy drive has now been going 9 years, for the last few years I’ve wanted to contribute to it but have never gotten the chance. This year they have a theme “all creatures great and small” After this mishap of making Pony early last year I decided I would donate her to this years toy drive, by chance she fitted right in with this years theme when it was announced towards the end of last year. When I finished her off I was really pleased. The koalas also went to the toy drive. I hope these little guys make some kids happy. They are not fancy toys but they were made with love with the intention to be loved by a child. Every child should be able to cuddle up to a soft toy when they are scared or lonely or just because they want too.
The deadline for this years toy drive is January 28th 2016. The toy drive is usually announced around mid October. This year when it is announced I’ll post the details on here if anyone else wants to get involved.
To add into Christmas Hampers my work is doing this year I have done some more shower mitts.
This year I didn’t follow a pattern but had a play around with crocheting a dual sided shower mitt. One side of the mitt is made from 100% cotton yarn. The other side is made from ribbon gauze yarn (think coat hanger covers). I thought this way you could use it for a regular wash but if you wanted to exfoliate your skin your could use it as well. I was working on these at a Knitters Guild meeting on the day someone had donated a large supply of yarn, by chance amongst the lot was a bag of ready made flowers made from the ribbon gauze. These were perfect to add as a little embellishment to the shower mitt.
I will be making these again. They were very simple to make up. At the moment I don’t have a pattern as such for them I just made up the size as I went along but I’m hoping in 2016 to do a tutorial on them.
This beanie is for me!
I’m generally not a pink person but I wanted a pink beanie for a special reason. For the last couple of years I’ve volunteered at the Mothers Day Classic. It’s an annual fun run/walk to raise money for breast cancer. Volunteers are encouraged to wear pink. Last year I wore pink pants and a scarf that was pinkish but I wanted more for this years event. A beanie is perfect because it is really cold in the mornings of the event. I had pink cotton yarn in my stash so using my favourite beanie pattern I knitted up my beanie. Teaming it up with a pink jumper I brought, my pink pants, and scarf (which I’m considering on upgrading) I’ll be very pink this year.
2014 has been a big year in craft for me. I have no idea of the amount of items I’ve made this year, maybe that’s a good thing as there has been a lot.
Like in previous years I’ve made all the gifts I’ve given throughout the year. There has been sofites, jewellery, bags, books and of course tea sets to name just a few. This year I even designed my first ever softie Lolly-Fly
My sewing skills have developed this year and I learnt new techniques like how to insert zippers and use a twin needle. I learnt how to read sewing patterns and have made clothing.
I’ve gotten a couple of new toys this year my Overlocker and my MC 11000. I’m not good with new things so to be honest both scared me when I got them. I pushed myself to break the fear and use them. The more I played my confidence grew with them Tiny Totes came about after using my Overlocker through the year. Towards the end of the year I even ventured in to machine embroidery and free motion embroidery but I’m still baby steps with them.
Once again this year I’ve used my craft skills to contribute to charity. I’m made both cloth and woollen pouches for WIRES, stitched pillowcases for the Kangaroo Sanctuary and knitted items for KOGO.
One of the best craft decisions I made this year was to join the Australian Sewing Guild. I’d been wanting to attend something regularly with people who had a strong interest in sewing. After my first trial meeting I joined up then told another friend who also joined at the next meeting. I’ve enjoyed the workshops and sewing events that I’ve attended this year through the group. I’ve learnt so much. I love our monthly meetings. The members I now call friends.
2014 has been my first full calendar year of blogging. I reached a small milestone in November when I did blog post number 200 A Ball With Nanna. I love sharing my craft adventures with everyone. I love all the comments and stories people have shared with me this year. The valuable tips people have given me. I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to stop by and read about my little adventures in craft.
So 2014 has been a great year in craft. I already have big plans for 2015.
I’ve made another batch of WIRES pouches but this time I decided to re-look at the process I have of making them and do things a little smarter. So what did I do differently this time?
- I started with cutting multiple layers at once when I was cutting them out. This cut the time down by half.
- I used my overlocker (serger) to stitch the seams and finish the raw edges at the same time.
- I left a long length of serger tail at the end of each seam to weave in to keep the seams secure. It took hardly any time at all in in front of the tv weaving the ends in
- I used a triple stitch on the folded top hem that was more secure.
These little processes cut down the time it took to make the pouches and made it even easier to make up a bulk batch. I have learnt all these sewing skills so it was a matter of using the most appropriate sewing skill at the right time. It was worth stopping and taking a few minutes to work out smarter sewing processes.