While I also do many other things (sing, sew, play harp, write, other crafts) I’m mostly known for my portraits – so I’ve decided that’s what I’m going to concentrate on – at least for now.

I’ve started an instagram account @elizaleahy and you can find me on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cute.by.eliza/

And here is my latest portrait…

dalmation

The Project

The student stood nervously beside his project. He was proud of the end result, but still a little dubious as to the validity of the possible outcome.

“Hmmm” the examiner said, tapping his teeth with the end of a pencil “Did you have any help with this?”

“No” the student said proudly “It’s all my own work”

“Are you sure? Some are saying that you didn’t do this alone.”

The student was shocked. “Who is saying this?” he asked.

“Well,” the examiner said, peering closely at the project “These people here are worshiping you…”

“It happens in 90% of cases” the student said, feigning modesty.

“Yes, however, your worshippers are saying that you have several “guises”. I’m supposing that means that you had other people helping you.”

“Not at all!” The student said self righteously. “It’s all my own work.” Then, because he was young and curious continued “Where are they saying this?”

The examiner pointed. “Here they know you as Jensa, but also mention Kaleri and Shen. Are you sure you didn’t have help?”

“Not at all! Is it unusual to be known under different names?”

“Usually when a project turns to worship it is towards the one that created it. Here I am finding more and more conflicting…. hold on and let me look closer.”

The examiner turned the project thoughtfully. “It doesn’t seem to be as conflicting as I first thought. But it’s definitely odd. Here” he pointed “they worship you as the single creator and credit you with giving love and peace.” He pointed at another spot “And here they worship you as the single creator and credit you with giving love and peace.”

“But that’s the same thing, you said they both worshipped me for the same thing!” The student looked puzzled.

“They seem to – and yet this group” pointing “are fighting and killing this group” pointing “for saying… This is very confusing. I think we need more details.”

The examiner and student both took seats and zoomed into different areas of the project.

“Yes, here they are saying that you force women to cover themselves, and here – here only a selected group, again women, are forced to cover themselves.”

“And they are killing each other? Actually killing each other over this?” The student’s brow was creased with confusion.

“That seems to be a point. Interestingly, the “selected group” of women here have to cover themselves because they are your wives.” The examiner tried, rather unsuccessfully to cover a smile.

“My WHAT?” the student exclaimed.

“Oh, hold on, my mistake…” the examiner started

“I’d think so. What would I do with wives?” The student said, sagging a little in relief.

“Not your wives, no. The wives of your son. Yes that’s it, your son. Who is, apparently, also you.”

“What?”

“Yes, and – ah! There is a book.”

The student looked a little shame faced. “Well, I did take notes, and I guess some of it filtered down.”

The examiner shrugged. “It happens. What’s odd here is that there is more then one book.”

The student looked puzzled. “More then one book? How many books are there, 2? 3?”

The examiner paused for a time “Nine million, three hundred thousand and forty eight. And a half.”

“Nine million, three hundred…” the student started to repeat in shock “Hold on, a half?”

“Yes, it is just being written.” the examiner explained. “Of course, that covers all the time since you started.”

“But I only just finished!” the student said.

“They have been busy. It would seem that they are a very creative bunch as well. That shows that you have a creative mind, that shows promise.” the examiner said approvingly.

The student smiled, a little nervously, mollified slightly by the praise.

“Unfortunately most of that creativity has gone towards creating new and spectacular ways of killing each other. It seems they started with a rock and now they have rockets. Oh listen, they even have a song about it…”And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air”. Nice tune.”

“But that’s dreadful!” the student said, aghast.

“Yes. The whole question of your worship is what is driving this project and it is developing quickly. This person here…” the examiner scrolled back slightly “arranged for the death of thousands of these people because apparently they killed your son.”

The student covered his eyes with one hand. “Is this the son that is married to those women and who is also me?” he asked, shaking his head slightly.

“Yes, that’s the one. Apparently these people have been given the blame for killing him. Let’s go back a bit further and look at this “son” of yours. Ah here it is.”

The examiner paused for so long that the student finally looked up. “What is it now?” he asked.

The examiner licked his lips. “Well, this “son” – nice piece of work, by the way, good philosophy, is – it’s very confusing – but he is a member of the people who are being blamed for killing him.”

“They killed one of their own? What am I saying? They are all the same!” Tears came to the student’s eyes.

“Not exactly. I have to say this is the most complicated set up I’ve seen for a long time. I think you had a very good base, but it seems to have escaped your control. It will be interesting to see where these people end up. And all in your name.”

“I don’t think so” the student said “I think I’ll just start again.”

And so God destroyed the world, took a deep breath, and started to plan his next assignment.

The examiner patted him on the shoulder. “I think you did the right thing.” he said, and moved on to the next student.

Gathering

There is the usual way to gather – sew a row, pull a thread – but there are easier ways.

The first way is to give yourself a very definate thread that is very easy to pull. To do this you just use the zigzag stitch and a piece of something like crochet cotton. You can use a bright colour to make it easier to see as you will probably get rid of it when you sew the gathered part to the band or whatever it is you are going to attach it to. Here is a video to demonstrate. Click here (will open in a new window)

Another, even easier way is to use a piece of elastic. For example, if you are attaching a skirt to a band and you want the top of the skirt gathered evenly, cut a piece of elastic UNSTRETCHED the length of the band. Then spread the elastic evenly along the bit to be gathered, using pins to hold at 4 places and stretch the elastic as you sew to take up the material. Here is another demonstration Click here (will open in a new window)

The finished dress (nothing special, just made to test my pattern)
cross front dress test

Sewing Tips (in a bundle)

In no particular order, and I’ll add to them when I think of it.

* In woodworking there is a saying “measure twice, cut once”. That goes for sewing too. I’d even expand on it – “the cost of the material is in direct proportion to the number of times you measure”.

* If your material is very expensive and the event is very important take the time to make the whole outfit in a cheap cotton first – to make sure it’s perfect.

* Buy cheap material for tests from second hand shops – cheap sheets do the trick!

* If you don’t have an overlockers (serger to some) people always say “never mind, you can use your sewing machine”. I’m going to say “save up and buy one. You will see why when you use it.” If you are in Australia Spotlight often has 30% off everything in the store – wait until then and go buy one. BUT if you can afford it go to a specialist sewing shop and pay as much as you can for the best brand. But any overlocker is better then none.

* Buy the best cotton you can afford. Cheap cotton breaks – as does old cotton (yes, it has a use by date!)

* Same with scissors. Treat yourself and buy a pair that isn’t disposable. You can have them sharpened at your local sewing repair shop.

* Make friends with your local sewing machine shop!

* Change your needles every 8 hours of sewing! If your machine starts jumping stitches – change your needle. Don’t just change them when they break.

The trouble with tips…

The trouble with tips is
A. working out what order to put them in
and
B. finding the time to write them.

I’m usually either sewing, cutting out or out buying sewing supplies. When I am on the computer I’m usually distracted by a new pattern I just HAVE to make RIGHT THAT SECOND!

So I’ve decided I better make a start on my sewing tips – even if it’s just for me to look back on when I forget something.

I’m not going to worry too much about what order to put them in. As long as they are here somewhere!

Little Girl Heaven!

Spent the afternoon with my granddaughters the other day. They live in Dubai, so I don’t get to see them very often. I may have overdone the sewing a little bit – the frustrated grandmother in me! My son groaned when he saw me turn up with a suitcase!

Enough with the words, here are some photos.

So much pink! So much pink!


Little Eva


Luen seeing how many things she can hold at once


Luen loved her new sunglasses!


As long as it’s pink, it’s a hit with Mia!


You have to twirl in a twirly skirt!

Sweet little peasant dress

Some countries need a more “modest” outfit for the girls – they absolutely must have sleeves. The easiest, prettiest, bestest pattern I found was the one from “Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom” (pattern link here)

It’s from this pattern that these dresses were made…

The dress sews up quickly, and as it doesn’t need buttons it’s perfect for this project!

I hope that you will have a go at making this lovley dress, and letting Jamie know about it! She loves to see what people make from her patterns.

Sewing – the patterns!

The clothing that I’m making to send overseas are all made from very simple patterns. In some cases the only “pattern” is the shape of the arm hole.

The dresses with the straps are called “pillowslip dresses” because they can be made from pillowslips. Mine aren’t, they are all made from scratch from lengths of fabric. This is because they are made in different sizes.

You can find patterns for pillowship dresses all over the net. Some are fancier then others. Here are some that I like.

http://www.themotherhuddle.com/tutorial-front-or-back-tie-pillowcase-dress/

http://www.redinstead.com.au/pillowcase-dress-instructions

http://sewlikemymom.com/easiest-pillowcase-dress-ever/

The dresses I make are slightly different in that they have elastic across the front and back and tie around the arms. The measurements I use are these – worked out and donated specifically for projects like this one.

Here is the pattern for the armholes

http://www.dressagirlaroundtheworld.com/5%20Piece%20Final.pdf

And here is the sizing chart.

http://www.dressagirlaroundtheworld.com/Fabric%20measurements%20NEWEST%20S_M_L-1.pdf

I’d like to thank everyone who came up with these patterns for the use of those who sew for charity – and for mums who sew.

I’ll put up more pattern links in my next post.

Keyrings

It’s actually cold here, we must be having our one week of Winter! I have my ugh boots on, and it’s hard to sew with them on, and my fingers are cold as well, which makes fidderly things even fidderlier.

I made a dress, and have started another, but I also made some keyrings to go to YOU, the backers. Anyone donating $20 or more gets one if you live in Australia. If you are outside and you would like one I’m more then happy to send you one if you pay the postage.

We are half way there! In donations that is. In dresses, I’m up to number 31, 4 pairs of shorts, 2 t-shirts, 2 other shirts and 5 bags. I found some more grossgrain ribbon and I’m expecting my “wholesale roll” to arrive tomorrow or Friday, so I can make some more. In fact, I think I’ll do that this afternoon as I get to use the iron more and that will warm up my hands!

I hope you like the keyrings. They will be reminders of your generousity because they are made from the material left over from the clothing.

Please help me post the dresses!