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Stitched Safari

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, isn’t that what they say? So where have I been? Well, truth be told I haven’t been doing much craft of late. I am studying Graphic Design, and have been spending a lot of time playing catch-up on my assignments after breaking for Christmas. My studies are progressing well, I’m a straight-A student so far!

There have been some notable craft related stories in the Australian media lately, and I have drawn much inspiration from people using their skills to help animals in crisis. When fires recently ravaged our bushland, IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) sent out a request for people to sew koala mittens to cover dressings on their burnt paws. The call-out was a huge success and thousands of mittens were sent from far-flung corners of the globe. Australia’s oldest man at 109 years(!), was also publicised for knitting jumpers to help penguins affected by oils spills. So sweet, and what a talent! Two great causes to help out our lovable little critters.

While I’m on the topic of critters, I want to show off my latest acquisitions. A friend gave me these two books for helping with a design job, and I can’t wait to stitch up some of these adorable animals.

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Simplicity 1369 skirt pattern

Happy New Year, dear readers! Hope your break was relaxing. I spent quite a bit of time at the sewing machine over the Christmas break, testing out various patterns.

Below is a skirt I made using Simplicity 1369, View ‘E’ with 2.5 inches added to the length. It took me a while to get the sizing right, as usual the pattern size was too big (by a whopping 8cm!), despite making the skirt to the correct measurements, it sat too low and loose. The “ease” allowed for in the finished garment was just too much. It wasn’t difficult to alter, but it did add unwanted time to the whole process.

A couple of “firsts” for me using this pattern – my first ever pockets! The pockets were so easy to add, and cleverly hidden in the design. It was also my first attempt at interlining, which I had initially thought would be a daunting process. The fabric was too sheer, so I basted a light cotton to my pieces, then assembled as normal. It worked out really well, the only down side was the added time in making the skirt. Combined with the alterations, it took twice as long as it should have. But, now I have some new skills under my belt, so future skirts and dresses will be much quicker and easier. I’ll definitely be using this pattern again, but with a smarter fabric choice and the right size!

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DIY Christmas tote

Five days till Christmas, just enough time to whip up a little Christmas tote! One lucky recipient of my book did exactly that, taking the ‘Spare Pair of Shoes Tote’ and converting it into a Christmas sack for someone special, simply by choosing a festive combination of fabrics and embellishing it with her own designs.

Below is the original project, and Judy’s Christmas sack. Very clever, well done Judy! May it bring much joy and happiness to Indie this Christmas.

I’ve also included the instructions for you, should you wish to make your own (click the image to enlarge). Please send me a photo if you do, I’d love to see your creation!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Kitty x

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