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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

From foam & fabric towers to ....... knee pads!

The finished item (well, six pairs actually - not including the three prototypes made on the way to my final version).

Hayley and some of her classmates at the Australian Ballet School (ABS) needed to have knee pads that matched their uniform colour which is a purple (but with not too much red and not too much blue). It looks a lot pinker here than it actually is and the purple proved to be rather a difficult colour to find in a stretch fabric. Thankfully I finally found a very close colour match in Spotlight.... which came just in time as I had various dye colours in my hands thinking I was going to have to go down that route! 

Ideally I would have preferred to use a cotton lycra but ended up with a Polyester Brush Back Knit with 5% spandex which should be very soft, flexible and comfy.

Knee pad - inside 3mm EVA foam
Knee pad - outside 38mm HD foam

My aim was to improve on the bright red knee pads they were already using by giving them a bit more protection so an extra layer of 3mm EVA foam was added on the inside.
What the???
The profile view (below right) looks a bit 'bunchy' behind the knee but as I modelled these for the photo, I did a bit of a test 'kneel down on the floor' and couldn't feel the fabric bunching so it should be good. I can always cut a small hole behind the knee if needed.

(Note the black stockings ... which were essential as my winter legs are not always as smooth as they could be!!)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Towers & Morning Melodies

I've made a bit of progress over the weekend with the 'foam project'. Here's a fabulous foam tower that took some deft scissor skills to fashion ten ovals out of 38mm thick, high density foam.

An electric breadknife may have been useful here but we don't have one of the those which meant that after cutting about seven pieces (and still three to go) I realised I had blisters on my knuckles.

Then, after quite a few step-by-step stages, I had a fabric and foam tower.

Almost there now ...

Hayley (my daughter) was busy baking and decorating some lovely cupcakes this afternoon. I thought they looked so cute that I'd share the photo I took .... yummmm

Marshmallow and Smartie flower decoration
Unfortunately no tasting of them though because she's made them for the Level 8 (final year) students at the Australian Ballet School to wish them well for their first performance of their final year in the upcoming Morning Melodies programme at the State Theatre this Tuesday and The Clocktower Centre at Moonee Ponds next Tuesday.

Hayley is currently in Level 7 and also dancing in this performance which I'm really looking forward to watching :-)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Hottie Challenge

After a visit to CurlyPops blog last week and reading about the Hottie Challenge fundraiser for The Margaret Pratt Foundation (supporting research for heart and lung transplants) I thought it would be fun to participate, as the finished hottie covers are donated to this registered charity for sale.

I received all the details in the post last Friday and have been spending some time thinking and re-thinking what sort of hottie cover I would like to create ... I'm now pretty sure what I would like to do so I will continue to construct and de-construct ideas (in my head) on how best to make my hottie creation. Watch this space ...
There is quite a bit of creative freedom with this fundraiser challenge because it doesn't actually have to be a functional cover :-) But it does need to be around-about hottie size and able to fit on the cardboard hanger supplied. All the entries will be displayed in the gallery at Opendrawer - Art, Textiles and Learning Centre (who initiated the Hottie Cover Challenge) and this is their first project supporting their chosen charity.
A sneak peak at the colour combination I'm planning to use
The aim of The Margaret Pratt Foundation is "to encourage, develop and maintain Australia’s world class expertise in the field of organ transplantation by supporting research that addresses the problems faced by children and adults after heart and lung transplant.  The aim of the research must be to improve the outcomes for heart and lung transplant recipients."

My other current work in progress project involves the following items -
  • 38mm HD foam
  • 3mm EVA foam
  • purple jersey knit fabric
  • 12mm clear elastic 
 ... any ideas on what those items might combine to make???

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Passport Pouch please

One of my sewing projects a couple of weeks ago was to create a Passport Pouch for my sister Naomi who is heading overseas on a wonderful volunteering adventure. The brief was simple ... it needed to be - a little bit bigger than passport size (so it could fit in a few other important essentials); have an adjustable strap, zip pocket and flap. Oh and also important, but not for functionality reasons, not too light in colour as she is going to Cambodia so it will be subject to sweat & dirt!!

I chose some cheerful 100% cotton quilt fabric from Spotlight that just happened to be on their $5 - $8/m specials table - it's always nice to find something you like that isn't full price ... my theory is 'think about how much money you saved!' rather than 'how much money you actually spent'!

As a base pattern I decided to use the Makeup Purse pattern (you could also just as easily use the Coin Purse pattern) from Nicole Mallalieu Design but adjusted the size, drafted a shape for the flap (with a 14mm magnetic catch), and added an adjustable strap. Naomi thought she might need to tuck it into the top of her shorts (on the odd occasion for additional security) so I made the 'flat' version of the purse (without the boxed corner). The photo below is a particularly attractive image of me modeling this 'look' - "yikes" ... that is definitely not going to make it onto any runway in the near future!
The great thing about adding an adjustable strap (using a 25mm small slide adjuster and 25mm small o-ring) is that it can be worn any one of three ways - around your neck, across your shoulder or around your waist. The trick is to get the strap so it's long enough to go around your neck but still able to be adjusted to a short length so it will fit snugly around your waist.

Naomi has just arrived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and has taken her little bag out on it's first outing (see her blog entry here) so it has been officially 'christened' in the 35 degree heat - sweat and all!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Still no bunny at home …

I am still rather mystified about Mr Gold Lindt Bunny’s disappearance but also 99.9% sure I haven’t sleep walked to the kitchen for a spot of midnight feasting. Chocolate can last for a while once opened can’t it??? … unless consumed of course, so here’s hoping I may still stumble upon it in the near future.

Yep, been a bit slack about posting over the last fortnight so thought I’d share a couple of sewing projects from the last few months. I got the camera and tripod out over the weekend just when the light decided to fade as the weather turned sour but took the pix anyway. Then tried to post but found that Blogger was not working so here I am … just a few more days on!

This was made up from a test pattern for the ‘Kiss’ purse from Nicole Mallalieu Design and with its 200mm chunky frame is a very handy size for an evening or lunch date outing (I’ve used it for both). It is available in either a kit that includes everything you need (apart from your fabric) or pattern only.

This cute Kiss was fun to make (aren’t they all?!). I used quilting cotton for the outside and cotton backed satin for the inside. As I’m a bit partial to a lovely, satiny smooth lining I found this flocked back satin (at Spotlight) is a little easier to manage than a lot of the usual slippery fabrics because it doesn’t fray quite as much. The purse feet on the bottom (see first photo) are also a very handy feature because they protect it from getting dirty. 

Go on, you know you’d love a Kiss

This next one was a very quick ‘sew because I need something for Derby Day’ purse using Nikki’s Clutch pattern (Nicole Mallalieu Design). 

Clutch - without gusset

It is the simpler, without a gusset variation with a wrist strap which is actually tucked into the purse for the photo. The flap uses black lace (leftover from a leotard I made for Hayley) overlaid onto cream satin and the black fabric was leftover from a bow tie I made.
You could say 2010 Derby Day was also ‘Happy Husband Day’ – purse (made by me from leftover fabrics), dress, shoes and fascinator (worn before)!

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