Tuesday, June 28, 2011

And the winner is.....

The winner of the patchy cot sheet (drawn by random.org, though I can't for the life of me get the little widgetty thing to show up here) is Tania. I have just checked out Tania's blog too and it is beautiful - Ivy Nest - yet another gorgeous blog to add to my reader!

Tania I hope it is that lovely little baby of yours that will be snuggling on this sheet - what a chocolate box baby!

Thank you all for entering, and I truly do hope some of you follow the tute and make a cot sheet - please let me know if you do!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Patchy Cot Sheet Tutorial and a giveaway!

So the stars all aliged yesterday, with sewing mojo in abundance, 'helpful' 3 year old and nothing major scheduled, to enable me to do this tutorial. This is a tutorial for the cot sheet I showed the other day, which I made for my friend's new little baby girl, and I had such fun making it, and it was so super easy, and such a fabulous way to use up scraps, that I thought I would share the secret with you all. Now this is my first ever tutorial so I hope it is ok! Its picture heavy, but that is how I learn best so hopefully it works for you too.

Oh, and because I am feeling generous today, I will make this a giveaway too. Are you excited? To win the sheet in this tutorial, you simply have to comment under this blogpost in the next week.

You can get up to 2 additional entries by:
1. becoming a follower (or add me to your reader, I'm not fussy) and leave a second comment letting me know, and/or
2. Share this giveaway on your facebook or blog page, and leave a 3rd comment here letting me know you have done this

A winner will be picked randomly on 28th June. Good luck!The winner will be announced here on my blog and also on my facebook page.

So, on with the show:

Patchy Cot Tutorial (so easy even a 3 year old can (think they can) make it)

What you need:

  • (Note: this is to fit a standard cot mattress, 70 cm wide x 130 cm long x 10 cm deep)
  • Scraps of wonderful fabric (enough to make a strip that is 114cm long and about 20 cm high)
  • 2 pieces of cream (or whatever takes your fancy) flanellette, 114cm x 88cm and 114cm x68cm (annoyingly, the flanellette at Spotlight (insert swear word here) comes in 110 cm widths, 112 cm widths and 88 cm widths, making for some quick Year 10 maths conniptions at the counter....)
  • Around 150cm of elastic, 6-8mm width
  • Coordinating Thread
Now I must admit I did most of this on an overlocker. It makes it so much easier and cuts out heaps of steps. BUT you could easily do this whole thing on a standard sewing machine. You would just need to add 2 cms all round for extra seam allowance and hemming.

Step 1 - creating your patchwork strip
Cut out 20cm long strips from your scrap stash. You can choose to coordinate, or be radical and just go for it. Whatever. I chose a basic theme of red and just picked out stuff that went well together. Each strip should be 20 cm long. The width is less important, and I quite like the look of varying widths. You will need enough scraps to make a strip that is 114cm wide when they are all sewn together. So to be safe, make it about 120cm. (A tip: put the strips from fabric you don't LOVE the most (I know you love all your fabrics equally) on the ends, as these will be tucked under the mattress on the finished sheet).

Join all your strips together into a loooong strip. You can either overlock or sew them. I chose overlocking.

Arlo pressed the pedal for me. He is good at stopping and starting on command. Does rev a bit too much though....

Then press down the seams so they all face the same way.

 ("This is the boring part", says Arlo, knowingly.)

Could not agree more little fella....ironing sux.

Step 2 - attaching the patchwork strip to the sheet body
Now you are attaching your long patchwork strip to your two pieces of flanellette. If you are now cutting out your two flanellette pieces, you can make sure you get a 'true' (ie straight) edge by ripping rather than cutting. 3 year olds are good at this.

(Look at that face. "You mean, I'm allowed to rip this? Awesome! What else can I rip Mama???")

Place one long side of the patchwork strip against the long side of the first piece of flanellette (it doesn't matter which one you start with). Make sure both pieces of fabric are right sides together. Line them up edge to edge and overlock them (or sew). Repeat for the other side of the patchwork strip.

Press both seams down and topstitch them - I used a contrasting thread (red) and a decorative stitch.

(Man! Check out that dust....!)

Step 3 - creating corners
Now lay the whole sheet down and fold it in half lengthways. Measure a 20cm x 20cm square from each corner and cut out (so you are cutting through two layers of the flanellette in one hit).

Now take the two cut sides of each corner, and overlock or sew them right sides together. Repeat for all four corners. (Sorry I didn't get a shot of this step).

Step 4 - elasticising
Overlock around the entire perimeter of the sheet (or, if using a sewing machine, hem by folding in half a centimetre, press, and then fold in another half a centimetre and sew).

OK slightly tricky step here. (But this'll be a breeze if you've ever made a cloth nappy!) Change your sewing machine stitch to the elastic stitch, aka the 3 step zig-zag stitch. On mine it looks like this (number 6 stitch):

Now measure 30cm from either side of the corner seam, at the perimeter of the sheet. Use your fabric marker to put a little dot at each point (on the wrong side). Place the elastic slightly to the left of the edge (on the wrong side), and tack it in place at the first dot. (Don't precut your elastic, just feed it off the roll as you sew). Now stitch the elastic down all the way to the second dot, pulling it as tight as you possibly can with your left hand, and using your right hand to pull it fairly taut behind the needle. (or vice versa if you are left handed). When you get to the second dot, tack it down again, and cut. Repeat with all four corners.

Sewing the elastic a bit to the left of the overlocked (or hemmed) edge gives it a nice little ruffle. You can just see it in the blurry back part of this picture:

Add a  label, if you are so inclined. Trim all your threads. Admire your work. Congratulate your 3 year old helper, and put it on his cot to model. Then patiently explain that actually after all that it is not for him after all but for some kind stranger on the internet....(a small chocolate biscuit works well here).

I hope this all makes sense. And I would love to see if any of you make one.

So, once again, you wanna win this? here's how:

Leave a comment under this blogpost in the next week.

You can get up to 2 additional entries by:
1. becoming a follower (or add me to your reader, I'm not fussy) and leave a second comment letting me know, and/or
2. Share this giveaway on your facebook or blog page, and leave a 3rd comment here letting me know you have done this

A winner will be picked randomly on 28th June. The winner will be announced here on my blog and also on my facebook page. Good luck!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Can't. Stop. Buying. Fabric.

If only fabric designers would stop doing their thing, then I could stop buying fabric. But when all this sort of stuff is coming out, daily, I just cannot help myself. Echino is definately my poison:

And I finally succumbed to Sherbet Pips.

One day I will stop buying. May need a bit of support at that point. Fabric-rehab style. One step at a time.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Scraps for a lullaby

I have just finished making this present for my friend's new little baby Soleil. It is a cot sheet, made from flanellette (its been cold here! truly!) and scraps from some of my favourite fabrics in green and purple. She has been lamenting the over-abundance of pink for little girls (or maybe the under-abundance of other colours) so I hope this helps. These sheets are so easy to make, and such a good way to use up scraps, and I am thinking about doing a tutorial for how to make one on my blog soon.

Sweet dreams Soleil!

mangolimeing it beachside....

Today I received the most beautiful photo from one of my lovely customers who ordered a skirt for her little girl's birthday. Firstly, this is how the finished product looked:

And this is exactly how it is meant to be used:

Doesn't that just make you want to go to the beach immediately?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My 5 minutes of fame (not even)

I was so very very chuffed to have one of my nappies pop up on Melody Miller's blog. She is the super-talented fabric designer, responsible for one of my favourite new fabrics, the funky retro viewfinders. I am just feeling very cool by association......

Friday, June 10, 2011

June stocking

The Jue mangolime stocking will be on Monday June 13th at 8pm Darwin time. Happy Birthday Queenie (republican though I am). All stock can now be previewed on the site.

There is also quite a lot available now on the site in the clothing range:


I am polishing off some customs today, having been given the day off from the usual Friday (school-kindy-shopping-kindypickup-cleaning-cooking-tantrum-lunch-schoolpickup-cleaning-cooking-tantrum(me)-shabbasdinner) by Mr mangolime ♥

So off to Bondi Beach (my old stomping ground) is this Figtree nappy wallet:

And, a bit more local, this little skirt and matching bobbles for the lovely Zakera. Happy Birthday!

This is the last of my Emily Bloom fabric. Would you believe me if I told you I found it at Spotlight? Tis true! If anyone knows where I can get more I would be so so happy!

I am really enjoying doing customs. I'm gonna go get started on an owl dress and some nappies and (drumroll...) an adult skirt! I am excited about this one and will reveal it soon. There will be a ministocking soon with all the leftovers from the showcase last week.

On a techy note, would it be useful to have tags on my blog posts? And if so, how does one do such a thing?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

How can it possibly be June?

I know things have been a bit quiet on the blogfront. I think the action on the blog is in inverse proportion to real life action. Things have been kinda crazy in the real world - nothing bad, just busy and sleepless and careening from one deadline to another, working three jobs, while sectioning off time for kids and relationships and, you know, doing the washing and stuff. I am looking ahead to a bit of a break at some point, maybe July, when I can get my machines serviced, do a fabric/notions stocktake, and clean all that fluff out from behind my desk. In the meantime, I will have a June stocking soonish, and I do have a handful of customs on the go. I hope there is peace in your world tonight!