Saturday, December 4, 2010

Flooffy Cat Bloomers: Slightly Tutorialish

IN the tradition of making handmade gifts for all birthdays the Chicken's are invited to, I stayed up rather a bit late making a pair of Flooffy Cat Bloomers.
The first pair I ever made was about 7 years ago, when Chicken 1 played "Whiskers on Kittens" in a "My Favourite Things" play at Kinder. These are still squeezed into regularly around here, even though no-one is quite a size 4 anymore.
The slogan around our house at the moment: "Flooffy Cat Bloomers: everyone needs a pair!"
I took a few snaps so I could make this post a wee bit instructional.

1. If there isn't any Fake fur, or even, at a pinch, felted jumpers about, one needs only about 40cm of fake fur fabric. and some lining fabric. I used some cotton fabric I picked up years ago at an op shop.

2. I used this old pattern from Butterick, but the size only goes up to 3 years, so I kinda cut a very big seam allowance and made each piece longer, and it kinda worked!

3. Next, I cut out four pieces of fabric (2 in fur, 2 in lining):

4. I then sewed the right side of lining to fluffy side of fur, leaving the top (waistline) open, and then turned inside out. I then sewed around the edge with zig zag (love zig zag!), joining the top edges by zig zagging at the edges.

5. I then placed the fur side together and sewed up both rises (that is curvy edges).
Then I turned inside out, and matched the sewn edges together, and all of a sudden, they looked like shorts! (Wouldn't you know it, I got so excited I forgot to take a photo of this stage!).
The you turn inside out again, and sew up the crotch. (I like to sew down the seams of the crotch with a  wide zig zag.)

6. The sew down the top of bloomers about an inch, leaving a bit of a gap so you can slip in the elastic.
Thread elastic through with a nappy pin, and sew the two ends, then slip inside and sew over the hole.

7. The turn pants inside out, and sew elastic straight onto the inside of the leg opening, stretching the elastic a bit so it gathers to create the bloomer effect!
8. THE TAIL! Cut a long piece of fur, sew into a tube, turn inside out and sew onto the bum of bloomers!!

Give to birthday child and watch the pussycats run off into the sunset tails a-bouncing...a great quiet moment of victory for handmade!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

"Even a River Can Drown"

My gorgeous very, very loyal and wonderful friend Beth Knights is making a CD.
In fact, she has pretty much recorded it all and almost ready to make the actual CDs so people can have her gorgeous voice at the ready by their cd players at all times!
She also has a gig at Peat's Ridge Festival this year, and would love to have a CD for folk up there. 
Very exciting,  and lovely for the world, as her music is beautiful, captivating, authentic, stirring, beguiling and...well, you get the idea!
There is a wonderful website/initiative called Fundbreak, which helps artists rally financial support for their projects. Beth has her CD project up for support through this website, and it's kinda like pre-ordering a CD too. I think it's a wonderful idea! A very democratic Arts Grant!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Craft in the Steiner School

My daughter's school had an art show last week, and the Steiner Craft completely stole the show!
The colours and incredible work involved was remarkable.

The children develop their skills year after year, become adept knitters and craftspeople, (check out the Class 4 Fair Isle pillows!!) and are able to make themselves the items they need for their school day.

In Prep they make pom poms and God's eyes;
In Class 1 they sew up and decorate their recorder bags, ready for the day they receive their recorders and start playing every day. They use this bag for years.
They make socks for wearing inside in the cooler months, water bottle carriers, pouches, music bags, pillows, dolls, knitted animals...

Not only do the children develop pride in their work, an appreciation for handmade things, and feeling that they are capable of making what they need and incredible dexterity, their academic work is enhanced through their highly developed sense of order, proportion and number. There have been studies in Scandinavia showing knitting aids children in maths.

Friday, October 22, 2010

how to make a dark alley friendly

We stumbled upon this rogue artwork just off Little Bourke Street. What was an intimidating, rumbling, grey gash amongst the megaliths became a sliver of fun and mischief.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Crafty Goodness at the Spring Fair, inner city style

We went to the Spring Fair.
We saw amazing craft!
Including Celia's dolls:

And the parent's  Craft Stall :
I particularly love the doll's undies which match the birds!

and my favourite moment, the merry dancers!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

it's not every day...

This post is about my friend.
I met her one lovely Autumn Saturday morning.
She was sitting quietly amongst her basketry and recycled craft supplies at a children's pre-loved market at our local park. We made a b-line for her, being mad crazy dollmakers ourselves, and promptly met her.
Since then, Anna has shared her writing for children with me, asked my opinion, which was most flattering, really, and invited me to join her crafty exploits at times, as have I her.
Well, last night, she (not the "cat's mother!") came to our house for Friday night lasagne, and we made a few items, which I failed to photograph.
She also brought over copies of two of her books as gifts for the Chickens,  inscripted especially.
At bedtime she read a few chapters of Violet Mackerel for the Chickens.  They were a tad excited! It is not everyday an author comes over to your house to read you their book, I remarked, and they grinned, feeling very special.
This morning they had the books out, Chicken 2 reading Sophie's Salon in bed, and then Chicken 1 reading Violet to her sister.
Thank you my friend! and CONGRATULATIONS!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Faster than guinea pigs...

Every week...maybe day... a new Melbourne cafe sprouts! Faster than guinea pigs!
Met my fellow godmother at a fine establishment for some posh donuts and coffee and inspiring chatter!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Time for tea, at last!

Finally I finished Ivy's tiny tea leaves. She is very pleased with the result, and to prove it, she had it on all day, despite the lovely Spring warmth which led all her friends to shed to t-shirts!

The weekend provided sublime weather: for three diverse and delightful activities
1. knitting, of course
2.washing, thank god!
3. becoming a godmother! (more musings on this one later!)