SewPort 2016 – many thanks to Sew Busy Lizzy

It’s a bit delayed, but I really should write about the fabulous weekend’s sewing I enjoyed with a group of lovely ladies in Port Macquarie organised by Liz of SewBusyLizzy.   Liz had promised us sun, sand and sea and the opportunity to stroll on beautiful beaches, but the weather was terrible, as NSW was lashed by amazing storms which caused awful flooding in some parts.  However, this made me feel not at all guilty about spending the entire weekend inside sewing as the wind howled outside and the rain lashed the building.

We had a wonderful set up of large cutting table and a big desk space for each of us, complete with power.  Pink hippos, greyhounds and children asking for food (all key features of my sewing experience at home) were notably absent.  Instead there was wonderful knowledgeable company to consult and laugh with, the hum of sewing machines and yummy chocolate brownies to fuel the creativity (thanks Emma and family!).

I now have a shift/pinafore dress pattern that fits (Lekala 5202)  , and a completed dress (thanks Alison for stopping me from throwing it out the window and suggesting ways of handling the lining!).

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Fitting my toile (yes I actually made one!)

I also feel I’ve made some new friends and have come back refreshed and feeling on a sewing-roll, continued absence of sewing machines not-withstanding!  Some photos of creativity in action can be found here (thanks Maria) and here (Rachel). It makes such a difference to actually meet other people who sew, I sometimes feel a bit isolated here, just ploughing my own furrow and making mistakes by myself!

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Koalas on rollerskates – I got some culture in!

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Demand for weighted lap pads

I hadn’t originally intended to sell the lap pads – they started out as little projects for children I knew who needed them.

IMG_3562However, there seems to be a demand for them, so I’m adding them as an item to the Products page.  They will be made to order, so that you can pick the colours/themes for your child, with a 2 week turnaround time.

There will be 2 options available – the first is simple patchwork squares on the front with fleece backing, the second, a more ‘budget’ option, is to have a single fabric on the front, again with fleece backing.  Both options will be have piped/bound edges with poly satin ribbon.

A weighted lap pad

Weighted blankets, lap pads and other items can be helpful for kids with sensory issues.  In this case a little possum with autism needs a lap pad so that she can sit on the sofa with her siblings and watch TV or listen to a story without soooo much wriggling and kicking that it becomes unbearable to everyone else.   A very tolerant family cat used to have the same effect when he sat on her lap, but unfortunately the cat is no more :(.

The pad weighs about 3kg (small cat weight) and measures about 70cm x 55cm.  It is filled with poly pellets, which means that it is washable.   I strip-pieced the top from cotton fabric (leftovers from the little possum’s own dresses so that the fabric is familiar), the backing is a luxurious pink fleece (my house now looks like a pink snowstorm has been through, as it sheds horribly when being cut!).  I bound it using satin ribbon.

This way the pad, not only has the nice weight, but is also very tactile and ‘strokeable’ – a sensory feast for someone who needs constant sensory input.

As you can see, my Baby Possum’s hippo had to try it out before it was given to its new owner!

Always learning

I don’t buy sewing patterns very often – most of what I sew for children is either self-drafted or an adaptation of a range of ‘tried and true’ patterns that I keep in my metaphorical back pocket.

I do, however, have a soft spot for Jalie patterns.  They tend to be well-drafted and also come in 27 sizes, suitable from about age 2 to adult size 22, making it easier to make clothes for my children as they grow  (after all, t-shirts, leggings and bathers are always in demand, and I need stuff for me too!).

Jalie’s latest batch of patterns includes the Eleonore pull-on jeans, and given that Little Possum dislikes conventional jeans I thought I’d give them a go.  It’s a straightforward sew, but sometimes it’s the little details in patterns that make you love them (or give you an ‘aha’ moment).  With these jeans it was the very simple technique for elasticising the waistband – no threading, no swearing, no twisting of the elastic, just some simple zig-zag stitches which are invisible from the outside of the garment.

I like to learn something new every day – that was yesterday’s.