Friday, April 8, 2011

Numbat - a lesser known woodland creature!

On a recent visit to the Perth Zoo I encountered a Numbat and wondered why I had never seen one of these Australian marsupials before.  I was struck by her beauty.  The colours in her fur were vibrant - appearing orange with black and white stripes on the lower part of the body.  She seemed very happy foraging in her enclosure, oblivious to being watched, hoping and jumping and scurrying.  Numbats are endangered. Once found right across the lower half of Australia, they are now only found in a very small region of Western Australia. The introduction of the red fox has been one of the major causes for such small numbers of numbats. Loss of their woodland habitats has also exacted a toll. Numbats eat termites and are active in the day - making them even more vulnerable.  The Perth Zoo has a breeding program and has so far been able to release 100 numbats back into the wild.

The red fox, which destroys so much of our native wildlife, has been a popular motif in recent times.  I thought I'd have a go at adding a numbat motif to a skirt.

Using a photo I found on Google images, i sketched my version.

Then translated this into fabric and stitched it on to one of the skirt front pieces I had cut out before stitching up the skirt.  Here is the finished result.  I'm happy with it.  I wanted a soft, light approach that blended, almost camouflaged, with the rest of the skirt

Monday, April 4, 2011

Goodbye Kitchen, Hello World

I really enjoy taking fabric that has had another life and turning it into something new  - for example other clothes, tablecloths, bed linen or homewares.  Clothes made from tablecloths all have a name that begins with "Goodbye Kitchen, Hello World"  These are some of the things from this series:


Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Merry Mishap

Some weeks ago I had an idea for a tunic that kind of lapped over at the back and which, I imagined would look great over leggings or tights and a jumper.  I drafted the pattern in three sizes - small medium and large and so enthusiastic was I that I didnt bother making a muslin first. I cut straight into some beautiful Echino linen fabrics.  Not once, or twice but three times. one in each size.  I sewed the first one.  Making some big blousey pockets.  All went well ... until it came time to test the garment on an actual body.  It looked suspiciously like an apron,  but still I was confidant.  On it looked dreadful  - like an old fashioned pinnie; a shapless sack.  I was so disappointed I cast the garment aside.  The only consolation was that I had only stitched up one.  The other two, I knew I would be able to use the fabric in some other way.  The completed one, though.... Normally, I would unpick a disaster and just start again but this garment had french seams on linen and a whole lot of binding. I couldnt bear the thought of all that unpicking.  So it stayed, sadly slumped in my sewing room for weeks.
One day I had another idea and got to it.  I'd cut the top off the pinafore, form some pleats, attach a waistband and turn it into a wrap skirt - with big blousey pockets.  And here is the result:
So happy with this result I went on and turned the other two cut out pinafores into skirts as well!
I've learned my lesson though,  next time I'll be making up new ideas in less valuable fabric in case I cant resurrect the disasters!