Sunday, February 28, 2010

So its the last day in February! Sign up for your finished knit projects begin NOW!

Just a reminder, to sign up for the showing off your project is below. If you don't have a blog please feel free to add it to the Flickr group, just add the Flickr link in with your preferred name to the widget. You can add a little blerb in Flickr.
If you have done both, please add either link, but remember to add the link to your blog in the Flickr photo description.
And enjoy browsing!

So what have we learnt? what would we change?

I am NO expert at knit!

I myself made a measly pair of knickers for one of my girls.  I was going to make an Olivia but unfortunatly I had an unsceduled week long stop in my bed coughing- not to mention also the 2 weeks prior my maching was being repaired.

I changed the way that I attached the leg elsastic.  I sewed the front and the back together leaving the sides open, and attached the leg elastic on the flat.  It was far easier to attach, but my finishing was not as neat as if I had done it in the round.  So either this is going to take practice or just do it in the round.  I did the waist the same and had the same problem.  Alot of it was eleviated by top-stitching, but not 100%.  Again I partially blame skill!  The top stitching also kept getting caught so was very uneven.  (and yes need to cut a few threads!)

But hey, they are a great pair of knickers for my girl, and they are not about to fall aparet etc... made out of quality fabrics.  So regardless of how dodgy the binding is or the top stitching, they still work!

so its your turn now to reveal...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

muesli muffins

These are really ugly muffins, but they are so versatile and really easy to make.  Not to mention somewhat healthy.  Please forgive me if  I have posted this before.

Oat and Fruit muffins

1 cup chopped dates

½ cup chopped dried apricots

1 cup sultanas

½ cup chopped almonds

2 cups quick oats

½ cup brown sugar

1 cup SR flour

1 cup skim milk powder

1 cup water

2 beaten eggs

¼ cup vegetable oil



Mix dry ingredients together then add wet ingredients
let sit for 2 min.

Pop into muffin tins.

Put in preheated oven on 170C for about 20 minutes

I often will add chocolate, or banana.  I dont use dates or almonds, I use 2 cups of mixed fruit with cranberries, apricots and other dried fruit.

If your fussy about what you give your kids, maybe go the organic ingredients.

But apart from that they are great to have in the freezer to throw into your bag.  I often take them to work as I know I can eat them quickly. 

Hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Happy (belated) 2nd Birthday to my baby girl

Wow how time has flown, and I tell you what, it has been a most delightful time getting to know this little gift from God.

She has blown my "i have 3 other kids I know what I am doing" right out of the water.

She is so different from the other kids.

Firstly she was born undiagnosed breech (c-section).  She sucks her thumb, she slept through the night, gained weight at a normal pace, met all her milestones exactly when she was meant to, is STILL breastfed! Eats the way that you want a child to eat.  She is such a little character!  No pulling the wool over this little girls eyes, she has 3 other sibblins to compete with and she makes a very good go of it at the best of times!

And as per usual have to show you all the brag pics!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

It brought tears to my eyes!

Look what my oldest son made for me!  He is just over 6yo. 

The other day, during the holidays I was asleep in bed and he brought me in a drink to say good morning to me.

I was so impressed that I didn't drink it!  I left it there looking at it all day.

The straw with the paper is meant to be an umbrella (btw I am not sure he has ever seen a cocktail) and then there is a strawberry on the side for decoration and a straw as well.

This is reminicent of what happened a few years ago.  I had done kinder duty and came home feeling quite unwell.  I rang my husband who was about 1hour away.  I basically collapsed on the bed and sort of fell asleep (which is unlike me).  About 5min later the 2 boys came in with cornflakes with milk and milo on top, for me, to help me feel better. (I have never put milo on cornflakes, so they thought this up themselves).  I think at the time they were 3 and 4yo.

Or when we were in Spotlight, and I said "there is a lot of ladies here isn't there" and he replied "yes but I chose you mum!"

Moments like these still bring tears to my eyes!

Love to hear what happy moments bring tears to your eyes.

Sewing with Knit- some thoughts from Sara...

Sara is from Willow & Moo, and has been sewing with knit for years, and has kindly shared some thoughts about sewing with knit to help us all.

Thank you Sara!

Something in knit is February's challenge. Carolyn has asked me to write a bit about sewing with knits. I am by no means an expert, but I sew a lot of knits, mostly cotton and cotton/spandex. I was afraid of them before I started. I'd heard all the horror stories, but I wasn't going to let that stop me. I did my usual thing of doing a bit of research before embarking upon a project. It's my scientific training. Following are links and bits of information that I've found useful.

Knits always seem a bit scary for the uninitiated, but they are quite forgiving.
Here are two great links with lots of excellent information about knits.
Timmel Fabrics Sewing with Knits Lessons
Denver Fabrics - sewing with knits

With knits choosing the right needle is important. I use either a ballpoint needle or a stretch needle. A sharp needle can pierce the fibres on a knit and make holes. A ballpoint needle will push through the fibres without damaging them. I sew a lot a knits with spandex, and I use a stretch needle on those.

Use polyester thread. I will admit that I do use cotton thread at times, but that is because I am a dyer and need my thread to dye with the garment. Polyester thread has more give in it, so it's less likely to break if stretched. Wooly nylon can also be good to use in the lower looper of your overlocker.

If you have an overlocker, use it. It's quick easy and gives you a seam that can handle the stretching of the fabric. If you don't have an overlocker, you can still sew knits. I use my sewing machine for some things when sewing knits like topstitching or when I need the sort of control that I can't get with the overlocker. If I use my sewing machine, I use my walking foot. A walking foot isn't just for quilting. It walks the fabric through the machine. This keeps it from getting stretched out. If for some reason I want to use a different foot on my machine then I lower the presser foot pressure. Not all machines can do this though.

If you are sewing a seam with a sewing machine, you can use your machine's stretch stitch. You can also use a wobble stitch - a regular stitch length (2.5-3.5 whatever you like) and a 0.5 zigzag. I also reduce my tension a little. Reducing the tension provides a bit more give in the stitches.

After reading the draft of this Carolyn said to me, but how do you deal with curling edges? And my reply is that I just deal with them. It's jersey knits that have a tendency to curl on the edges and this can make it difficult to line up the edges of the fabric. To be honest it drove me mad when I first started sewing knits, but now I don't even think about it. If I am trying to match stripes, I either use some pins (and more pins) or Wash-a-way Wonder Tape. Some other things that you can try to tame curling edges are starching and pressing the edges or you can use a gluestick. I've read about people using washable glue stick to stick the edges together. You need to let the glue dry before sewing!

After you sew a seam or hem, steam is your friend. Even if the seam appears a bit wavy a quick press with steam will usually bring it back into shape.

Now if you haven't done a neckline, it can seem scary. There are two main ways in which you can finish the neck. One is with a rib style band, and the other is to bind the neck. Lesson 2 on the Timmel Fabrics site shows you how to do both types. I found this link invaluable. Here is another great tutorial for a bound neckline. The one thing to always remember that the length of fabric that you use for the ribbing or binding will depend on the stretch of the fabric. With experience it becomes easier to know how much to use.

There are several options for hemming knits.
1.Coverstitch machine – this produces a hem like you find on a store bought shirt. It's two rows of stitches with a sort of zig zag on the back which covers the edge of the hem.
2.A twin needle – a twin needle can be used to give the same effect as a coverstitch on a sewing machine. You need a stretch twin needle and a common width for hems is 5mm, but if you like a narrower gap between the stitching, look for a 3mm.
3.A stretchy decorative stitch on your sewing machine. I do this a lot. For girls' items I use something that looks like a curvy or wavy stitch.

Rainbow sleeve

For boys' items I sometimes use a honeycomb stitch.

Knut Hilda pocket close up.

The honeycomb stitch is on the pocket openings.
4. Lettuce hem

Olivia in pink knit with white flowers

I do my lettuce hems by setting up my overlocker for a 3-thread rolled hem. Then I stretch the fabric as I sew it. This creates the lettuce effect. Not all knits lettuce well. The very first time I tried it. I thought that I was doing it wrong. Turned out the knit I was using just didn't lettuce. So before you get your heart set on using a lettuce hem, test it out on a scrap of fabric.

I use Steam-a-seam 2 on my knit hems. It's stabilises and holds my hem without pins, so it's easy and quick to stitch. Even though Steam a Seam is a fusible, it still has some stretch and give to it. There is also another method of hemming knits using Solvy (If you haven't visited Pam's blog before, have a look around. She's an inspirational seamstress).

Do you have a pattern already? Or do you need a suggestion? Kwik Sew makes lots of knit patterns as do Jalie. If you are looking for great fashionable tops, Ottobre Design always has fabulous t-shirt patterns in their magazines. They also have a stand alone basic t-shirt pattern, Ottobre 301 for kids and 303 for women. The first knit pattern that I ever made was the underdress of the Farbenmix Olivia pattern. It is still one of my favourite patterns as it is quick and simple to put together and the end result is fantastic.

addit: there is some project ideas in amoungst the commnets ;)

Monday, February 1, 2010

February Challenge- Sewing with knit fabric-Sign Ups!

This month is about sewing with knit.

Knit fabric is fabric that stretches, and it can be a little more challenging to work with as it moves a little more, and stretches under the foot if you dont know how to work with it.

To help everyone along I have asked Sara, from Willow & Moo fame to write a tutorial on how to sew with knit fabric, I will post the tutorial after this sign up! Thank you Sara for taking the time to write this for all of us!

Now what you can make...

Well for the fabric side of thing, Crafty mamas has beautiful knits to work with (I can vouch for the Stella).  She also has a selection of patterns that use knit fabrics, such as Farbenmix and Ottobre just to name 2. 

Working with good fabrics can make the difference. I have recently made PJs out of stripy knit from Spotlight, it was ok.. nothing like the squichyness from the Stella.

I myself am going to invest in some more knickers from That*Darn*Cat (also at you can make this).
In the past I have used old op shop teeshirts, as well as Stella.

Unfortunatly my hands are tied till I have my sewing machine back from the Dr, so I wont be posting any piccies just yet.

There will be a giveaway as well, so stay tuned!

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

So sign up here.

Again sign ups will close on the 28th of February, and we need to show off our new piece at the same time. Again feel free to join the flickr group and/or post on your blog.

So who won the Jan giveaway?

So this month is sewing with knit, and I'll post a seperate blog post for sign ups for the Feburary challenge, so dont sign up here for the challenge.

So I thought I would make the draw for the Januray challenge....

I am having trouble pasting the screen capture, so you will just have to take my word for it that the winning commnet is :


Rose W- I hope you like the apron that I have made!

Can you please make sure that I have means of contacting you ;)

Will be making a Feb blog post and giveaways soonish.