Saturday, July 30, 2016

draws or drawers?

I belong to a couple of "freecycle" and "buy and sell" pages on Facebook. I've lost count of the times I've seen people offer up draws" for sale or for free. I get a tiny little "grammar twitch" inside every time! Yet this time it's kind of accurate, these drawers have actually been drawn on!

So this is what I started with, not great. I can see why someone decided to put them out on the roadside rubbish collection, but  my eagle eye could spot the Rimu sides and Oak fronts and the potential! They are solidly built and are perfect for the transformation I had in mind.

I nailed and glued them together off centre from each other, creating an ever so slight zigzag effect. I found some little wooden legs on Trademe and my husband helped me get them screwed in the right spot. A quick sand and filled in some Borer holes (the Borer long since departed!). It's not perfect, the sides/ends of the drawers were not designed to be viewed and I could have spent hours trying to get them looking perfect, but as an upcycled piece I don't think perfection is really a factor!

Choosing the colour for the interior panels was a tough choice, in the end I chose Voodoo Molly Pistashio with my favourite Classic White for the rest. I painted the interior first, then decided that it would be nice to keep the wooden edges of the drawers unpainted, keeping the beautiful tones of the Rimu and the lighter tone of the Oak. I finished the wood with Voodoo Molly Vintage Clearcoat (low sheen) it's waterbased and gives such a lovely finish.

I'm really glad I kept the natural wood edges, it blends in well with my Punga Vase collection and is a nice little reminder to their original state!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


So yesterday I shared the Pathfinder vest I made for my son, today I'm sharing the one I made for my daughter. I find my children don't like to be too hot and the climate here means that big bulky jackets have very limited wear (if at all!). These vests seem to be the perfect compromise. I chose the longer length for both of them, keeping their lower backs warm as the climb tress and run about. 

I was part of the pattern testing group, and for this vest I chose the "Crossroads"front option. It's not actually part of the Pathfinder Vest pattern, but a free add on for Big Little Newsletter subscribers. You can sign up here. 

I've had this woollen blanket for a number of years, quite thin and a bit stained on one side, perfect to transform into a cozy vest. I chose the pleated back and I'm kicking myself that I didn't line up the darker stripe with the middle - but you probably didn't notice till I pointed it out!

My daughter has had her eyes on these buttons for ages in my stash (yes I seem to be a crafting hoarder) and they matched the colours in the vest perfectly. She arranged them artfully and I stitched them down. I love the "crossroads"front as it gives a extra layer of warmth across the chest, perfect for the windy weather. I'd quite like one in my size!

Want to make your own Pathfinder Vest? You can find the pattern here, Make sure you sign up to the newsletter to get the Crossroads front option! I can see many more in my sewing future!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Pathfinder Vest - Pattern release

I love sewing for children, not just my own, but making small clothes is so satisfying don't you think? They take very little fabric, often fast to sew and they seem to fit so much better than trying to sew for an adult body!

I recently was a pattern tester for Big Little, testing this fabulous and versatile pattern. Let me introduce you to -

The Pathfinder Vest from Big Little! 

Mix and match styles to achieve over 70 stunning combinations, for both girls and boys.

Curved Dropped back option - keep those kidneys warm
Yoked Pleated Back optionTwo lengths - Classic & Extended for extra warmthFlutter sleevePixie hood & Classic Round hoodCollarV-neck & Round neck2 Pocket stylesOptional overlapping button standNumerous options for closures!

I'm known for my love of upcycling and try not to buy too much new fabric so it will be no surprise that I made this Pathfinder vest for my son using a wool suit jacket that I thrifted for just $3.It was lovely and light weight wool, more suited to our mild climate than a thicker wool. Keeping to the thrifted theme, I used a men's shirt for the lining. I kept the original pockets from the jacket, cutting the pattern pieces out carefully. The pockets were so skillfully sewed that it seemed a waste not to use them!

In my haste of cutting out I didn't quite line the pockets up on either side, so I added some applique to hide that a little and distract the eye from my glaring mistake! The applique has actually turned out to be my favourite part! 

It was hard to choose a pattern combo from all the different options, but for this one I chose a Pixie Hood, a curved drop back for added warmth and a pleated back so it wasn't too tight and straight.

The verdict is that it's an instant favourite! We were away for the weekend and it was hardly taken off. Perfect for exploring the Red Wood forest.  He seemed quite at home like a woodland pixie.

For a limited time the pattern is on sale, you can find the pattern here at Big Little

I also made a vest for my daughter and I'll share that one tomorrow! Once I can workout how to get the photos onto my new computer.