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Archive for July, 2008

The prettiest thing

I’ve held on to this secret for long enough, appalling as it is…

The Stitcher’s Closet is going out of business.

Sheryl’s physical store closes this Saturday, but the web store will stay up until the stock is gone. Everything’s discounted, but, as sad as that is, a parcel of embroidery thread in the most divine colours can really brighten your day.

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…these knitted toadstool baby rattles from The Purl Bee.

Could be the steady stream of grey and miserable weather we’re having, but the colours make me so happy.

Pattern available here, for free. Love it.

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Recycled notebook

I’ve been meaning to do this for ages, and last night I finally got around to making one of Martha Stewart’s recycled notebooks (A5 size, with a few alterations).

Because I don’t have a wondrous (and wondrously expensive) stapler as shown in the video, and because I’m fundamentally lazy and dislike the idea of having to make a new book every time I run out of paper, it’s held together with one of those metal folder clip things. Does anyone know what they’re really called?

For bonus environmentally friendly points, the cardboard covers were cut from a FedEx envelope we received at work, which was itself made from recycled material. (Let’s just not go into the aerosol spray adhesive I used to glue the fabric to the cardboard, okay?)

I left the ‘spine’ exposed, and cut a notch top and bottom to loop a snagless hair elastic around — it keeps the pages from flipping up — as the front and back covers both have little flaps so the clip doesn’t show on the outside of the book.

If you do this yourself, don’t forget to fold the fabric to get mitred corners. I didn’t, and now they’re fraying. Oops.

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Fabric shopping

And it’s not mine for once! I got a plea for help in the comments:

Now, I’ve come here in the hope of being directed to some seriously cool fabric places… you have a lot of different kinds of fabric in your pics so I’m thinking coming to you for sage fabric advice is a step in the right direction. I recently bought the pattern for this little lovely…  and I adore that fabric. It seems a little Amy Butler-ish to me…. do you know anyone in Welly that might stock that style of fabric? Or any online places that can be recommended?

How fabulous is that bag? Can’t wait to see the finished item.

For craft fabric I mostly just cruise the front half of Arthur Toye in Willis Street, or the quilting fabric section of Spotlight. Spotlight has a larger selection, Arthur Toye has better prices. Plus, my decision-making time gets out of hand when faced with too many choices, so it’s best to keep focussed. I know the shop assistants must see hundreds of people vacillate their way around the store, but it doesn’t stop me feeling shady if I’m there ‘too long’.

There’s also Global Fabrics on Garrett Street, but they don’t usually have a lot of craft-esque material. That said, it’s where I got the fabric for the less-than-50-cm-of fabric tote so it can be worth checking out. (The tote fabric isn’t plain cotton, but since it’s lined in cotton it makes almost no difference.)

I haven’t ventured far into buying fabric online, but in New Zealand Blooming Quilts and Scrapbooking By Design both carry Amy Butler fabrics and patterns. SBD also has Joel Dewberry-designed fabrics, which I love but never know what I’d do with. Probably use it as very expensive wallpaper. Further afield, I’ve heard good thing about Fabric Tales and Repro Depot.

Does anyone else have any suggestions? Fire away in the comments if you do!

In case anyone was wondering, I’m the worst decision-maker in the world when it comes to fabric – sometimes I just make a leap of faith that the fabric in my hands will still look respectable/appropriate/wearable when I’ve finished with it. I um and ah and dither and pick up and put down and half the time leave with nothing — only to go back later and repeat the process. And this is leaving aside the question of how much I should get, once I’ve made up my mind… Some little part of me thinks haberdashery should just have bolts labelled ‘skirt fabric’, or ‘warm winter top fabric’, or ‘the fabric that pattern X is made out of’.

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…if I only just put it into my stash?

Pear Dress No, I didn’t think so. Oh well.

On the bright side, my newly acquired fabric was all half price, as was this toddler’s dress pattern (McCall’s 5304) that I completely failed to resist.

Granted, Hannah probably has a year or so before it’ll come anywhere near fitting her, but I swear it looked small when I was cutting it out. Perhaps it’ll be a Christmas present… which also gives me time to find the perfect button for it, because even I know you can’t give a kid clothes held together by pins.

The pattern calls for miles of bias binding on all the seams, but I figured I’d fully line the dress instead. It does away with the need for facings on the front edges, but I still had to bind the armholes (and even cut my own bias binding to do it. I didn’t think that would ever happen).

Initially I tried to sew the outer fabric and lining together at the armholes to eliminate the binding altogether, but empirical evidence showed it would no longer be possible to turn the dress right side out. To those with a modicum of spatial awareness this is apparently self-evident, but James wasn’t around to ask. (I say that as if I would’ve asked if he’d been home, but I think it’s safe to assume I really wouldn’t have.)

Hit the jump for full front and back views, if you’re interested.

(more…)

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Rubbergob has a downloadable ‘tooo doooo‘ list – print it out and away you go!

(They also have a couple of lovely four-petal envelopes to print and fold – one with owls and one without)

[via: Whip Up]

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