Easter Madness

I'm organising the 'Easter Hunt' and what was a simple hunt has become huge....All I've got to do now is sew the buttons on the other dress and maybe I might be able to stop. Because it's already Easter Sunday and I'm still up.....

'Boys and their Bunnies' the cupcake was eaten so
quickly....still got chickens to make. But they'll
have to wait I'm off to bed!

Sewing a Toothbrush Roll

Going away for Easter..make a Toothbrush Roll. It's really easy, you can make it any measurement you want. I used a aqua flannel bought from 'The Warehouse' for $2.90. I also bought a hand towel but that way too big for this project....

   How to make a toothbrush roll
* Fold your flannel to the length needed to hold dental items
* Pin the side edges where you have folded the flannel, then sew
* Place your toothbrush, toothpaste on the flannel to size the pockets
* Pin make sure the pocket fits your toothbrush and toothpaste
* Sew the seams with a straight stitch to finish
* Make a bias ribbon and sew it to the centre on the side edge
* Place your toothbrush, toothpaste in the pockets.
* Now roll and tie and it's all finished ready to go...

You really would think I have 'Gremlins' when I sew. I didn't check the binding before I sewed it on and there was a hole on the under side (I bet that cat did it). So I unpicked it and made a new binding ribbon. I'll blame my eye sight for not seeing the hole.

But on a positive note for all those beginner sewers out there, never give up. We all make mistakes, even when we have been sewing for  many years...This was a fun and very handy project to make!

I changed ends after I pinned it because the flannel wasn't square,
and it annoyed me. So the striped part became the
pocket not the top part for the roll...

Finding Fabulous Fabric

Check my Finding Fabulous Fabric links to the side for fabric shops...I'm adding a couple more shops here because they have no websites.

* Haralds
   47 Birmingham drive

* Kutwell Fabrics
   580 Colombo Street

Just One Apple

Rubee Red is the name of a new apple tree I planted this year. There was one lonely apple on the tree, so I decided to let it grow ( I don't think your supposed to). It's a semi-dwarf tree and it fruits in two to three years. Why has it one fruit on it now? Will it fruit next year? Yes I'm a total apple tree novice...

I decided to let the apple grow and today it was time to taste it. It looked all red and juicy but I think I tasted it too early as it was rather sharp and tart...Rubee Red is a cross between a Pacific Rose apple (love those) and a Liberty which I've never tasted. It's meant to be disease resistant and I'm hoping it is...I just hate spraying all those chemicals...

It's meant to be a good lunch box apple!

Spicy Tomato Sauce

My daughter and I are making a tomato sauce. There are so many ripe tomatoes this year from the garden...Except all I've done is wash bottles and print out the labels. Oh well...I'm just passing my sauce making skills down the generations, 'best she learns by doing'. Well that's my excuse for not really helping that much...I'll just blog about it and keep out of the way...

 Spicy Tomato Sauce
2kg tomatoes
500g of apples (eating are fine)
500g white onions
500g white sugar
2TB salt (plain or sea salt)
2TB Allspice (whole)
2 Chillies (green or red)
1 TB black pepper (whole)
1 1/4 Cups white vinegar (you can use malt vinegar)

* Cut tomatoes into chunks and core and chop the apples.
* Peel and cut up onions (chunky)
* Put all the above ingredients into a large pot or preserving pan
* Add sugar and salt
* Finally chop up the chillies and add too the pan
* Tie up all the spices in muslin and put into pot
* Pour the vinegar into the pot and bring to the boil
* Turn down the temperature and simmer for an hour uncovered
* Mouli the chunky sauce or sieve the mixture
* Now pour sauce through a funnel into bottle and seal

This year some of the tomatoes are really big....
Weigh out 2 kg of tomatoes
Get all the ingredients ready....
This batch had green chillies, grown this year.
 The next one will have red chillies I grew
last year...
I always add a extra couple of
tablespoons of chilli flakes
Bring  all the  sauce ingredients to a boil
and simmer for one hour uncovered
Ready to mouli...You can see
the spices are not in muslin.. I just
chuck them in 
Mouli or sieve the mouli
 is very old. I used to use it for making
veges for the baby. I should get a
newer one
You don't have to do this. The sauce
is simmered again to reduce down if you
feel it is too runny...
Filling the sterilized bottles...
The first batch finished.
I recycle any glass bottles I
can find for making tomato sauce

When I Woke up...

I could hear the sewing machine buzzing away this morning....It wasn't me sewing so who was it? That cat he had his paws on the sewing machine foot, with half of his big body on top of it. The Bernina was sewing away tangling up all the thread...

Looks innocent but...
He's guilty as charged....
Bernina 801: How to remove tangled thread around the bobbin

If thread tangles and bunches up when
sewing you need to open up bobbin
case cover...
Most times you only have to remove
the bobbin case to untangle the thread...
Pic of bobbin cover and hook
The thread has tangled behind the hook.
I'm going to have to unclip the hook
My Bernina needs a clean lots
of lint and fluff...gosh it's dirty
It was rather messy when I took the cover
off...I don't always remove the sewing foot to do
this. But it is best you do it makes it much easier...
This pic shows you where the levers are
Remove all the thread and clean
Now it's ready to lock back together
Put the bobbin back... 
Finally snap the  free-arm cover back on
to the machine

How to Waste Fabric...

I haven't shirred fabric for a very long time so I thought I'd make one of the girls a shirred sun dress....That couldn't be too hard, I was confident my sewing machine would handle the shirring elastic. I had all the measurements, double the chest size...but I forgot the seam allowance and an extra one or two inches. Now I'm sure there is a maths equation for all this (size, plus shirring, and shrinkage).

When ironing the shirring stitches the dress started to look awfully small. Ironing shrinks shirring, why didn't I know this? I then double checked everything else and realized I didn't have the right chest size in the first place. This is what I sewed...a mouse sized sun dress, well not a mouse really, a doll's sized sun dress.

Never mind, the wonderful thing about being a sewer is you can recycle and re-use your mistakes most of the time. I'll finish it some day with thinner straps and give it to the doll! shirring SHRUNK!
I was very proud of my shirring too...I
used my old Bernina and she purred away
happily, not a skipped stitch or cotton
tangle in sight...

Raspberry Vodka: The Final Stage

My raspberry/sugar mix is now ready to infuse back into the bottle of vodka. Check out my blog post here for the first stage of making my 'Christmas Raspberry Vodka'.  This is the process I use and I serve it straight from the fridge cold into in a nip glass.

At this stage I haven't tasted it...I've got to drive to the other side of town and our roads here are bad (there are so many roadworks you need to have your wits about you). I'm just hoping the raspberry vodka is okay...The males in my family can taste it next time we have a celebration. They'll know if it's good or not. Though maybe I'll taste it tomorrow and let you all know...

You need a good clean (sterile) piece of
muslin to drain the berry mix through into
a sterile jug. I usually use glass but I
settled for plastic this time. My glass
jug broke in the earthquake..
 Strain through the muslin and squeeze...No that
 cat is not supposed to be there...fur
might get into the vodka. He's a
really naughty cat!
Ready to mix  and infuse the
raspberry mix into the
 neat vodka...
Pour strained raspberry liquid straight into the
vodka bottle...'s all ready
You can top the bottle right up with neat
vodka, except I ran out. I keep the
 raspberry vodka in the fridge....

Janome CoverPro: How do I use my Extra Feet?

If you you want to find or need help with using the feet for the Janome CoverPro1000CP. Here is the Elna online site which I have found useful when sewing with my Janome CoverPro. Here you will find information about the Elna 434 coverstitch machine and it's accessories.

Because Elna and Janome are one company under two brand names you will find that this machine is the same as the Janome CoverPro (I apologise in advance if I have this wrong, I did read it somewhere though). I have not tried out this machine so personally cannot compare them. I believe it is not stocked in New this present time. Perhaps someone somewhere might have much more information than me on the comparison of both machines. Please feel to e-mail me with it and also correct me if I am mistaken.

Well enough of my blurb and I will get straight to the point. There is a lot information in form of PDF's that you can print off on the different Elna 434 feet...These are the same feet used for the Janome CoverPro 1000CP.

I bought the 'Centre Guide Foot' foot from the Janome sewing shop and then downloaded the Elna 434 PDF for this foot to refer to. You do get some information on the back of the Janome accessory packet for the Janome foot....But is you are like me I threw all mine away and  then put away the new foot. Having this this print-out is a really great to keep as a reference guide...I don't know why the Janome site doesn't do the same thing.

Janome Centre Guide Foot
Instructions from Elna 434 on how
to use the 'ElnaCentre Guide Foot'

Janome CoverPro 1000CP: Lost Manual?

Have lost your instruction booklet for this machine? Don't worry you can find it online. All you have to do is print it out so you'll have it handy while using your CoverPro machine...Here is the link for the Janome CoverPro 1000CP Manual.

What's in my Cover-pro Accessory Box?

In the Accessory box there is:
* Needles (Schmetz EL X 705), 2X80/12, 3 X90/14
* 1 large Screwdriver
* 1 Screwdriver small
* Tweezers
* Spool holder caps
* Nets
* Lint Brush
* A needle threader
* Attachment screws for other accessories, like a binder

Messy I know, but that's me,
always in a creative mess...

I keep all my extra Janome CoverPro 1000CP feet in the accessory box too. I'm rather guilty of not using the nets or the spool holders and I can't live without the needle clamp screwdriver to get my needles out. The needles I believe come in two sizes per packet (EL 80/12 & EL 90/14). Mine are 90/14 and there is also a sticker on the machine that states to use only these types of needles too...

I wonder why I have only one needle in here?
I bet I have two different ones in the machine.. 

I see 'Organ' do a brand too but I am yet to try them...I hope this all helps those who have not got the accessory box for their Janome CoverPro.

Cover Pro Accessories

A good visual resource on the Jamome CoverPro.

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