Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Busy week

This is a very busy week for me, which is why I've not posted since Saturday. For all those who don't know, I'm half way through a career change. In my former life I was a marketing communications manager. In my future life, I will be a primary school teacher.

This is my first week-long prac teaching session and I'm really enjoying it. I have been assigned to a year 2 class in a quiet, leafy school south west of Sydney. My supervising teacher is very cool, very normal and not too over the top.

Becoming a teacher is something I've wanted to do for quite a while. Even before I had kids I wanted to be a teacher, but the thought of leaving a good job to become a student again was a little too much of a leap at the time. So after being made redundant, during the GFC, while on maternity leave (yes - it can happen!!!) and with two kiddies at home, the time seemed right to make the change.

While juggling the study workload with the care of three little ones is challenging, I'm hopeful it will provide me with a more satisfying and flexible career to enjoy. Unfortunately though, with a bunch of preparation work to get through this week, it means I won't be around much - boo!!
I'll leave you now with a photo of some educational bikkies that I made with the boys recently - well that way my excuse for making them anyway.

Stay cool and I'll see you next week.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Funny parenting.

This parenting caper is so funny sometimes.

The new food trick - carrot chips!!
Slice carrot finely, make a BIG fuss and serve. My poor boys are such suckers!

They are wearing their new 'Craig' shirts from Grandma.

Ollie's latest pose for the camera - 'take a photo of me, take a photo of me'

Little Adele in her new dress from Grandma.

Sometimes when you miss the sleep signals, little Adele can sort herself out.

tis all for now.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The nursery is finally finished.

Tiny Adele is now 10 months old, which is very hard for me to believe. Thankfully, I've just finished her nursery! ha!

The last item needed was a wardrobe. It's so disheartening making lovely clothes for your little one, only to witness husband rolling them into balls (his way of folding) and shoving them into over stuffed draws.

Thanks to some Ebay trading I managed to snap up this adorable wardrobe for the little one. It was already painted white, which saves me a lots of time refurbing one myself and I love, love, love the sweet queen anne feet.

Now that the wardrobe is in place a few other things have been moved around, like her cot.
I made the quilt hanging on the back on the cot. It was my first attempt at applique and I used a pattern which was on the Living Creatively website (which no longer appears to exist). The quilt on the base of cot was made by mum, it's a girl version of one of the quilts from the first Material Obsession book, the one with the monkeys on it. The softie in the corner of the cot was a gift from the very talented Rachel.

To complete the tour here's little Adele dressser.
This was actually my dresser from when I was growing up. I think mum and dad picked it up off the side of the road. My older sister and I used to share it, we each had one big draw and one small one - tough times!! I refurbed the chair while pregnant with Adele and also made the crochet hexagon granny blanket hanging over the back of it.

Here's the new wardrobe with some of her little things inside.

So much more space to fill though. Clearly I NEED to keep sewing for her...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Creative Space...

The avalanche continues!! Three garments in three days!!! Woot woo!
This a-line skirt has been in the works (mentally) for a while. I originally mentioned it when I first outlined my wardrobe plans for this year. Actually just looking back at that post, I've now made 6 items from it. All are now being worn, except the kaftan, which is pretty darn impressive if I do say so myself.

Anyway, back on track, the pattern is pretty much self drafted. I did originally cut cut the fabric using this New Look pattern, but it has been modified soooooo much that I don't think I need to credit this pattern AT ALL!!!

I'm pretty happy with the result and think this will be my Wednesday next week!!

For more creative spaces head over to Kirstys!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'm on a roll!

Two garments in two days! Somebody stop me!

(Excuse the bad hair - I seem to be experiencing a bad hair life!)

This wrap skirt is loosely based on this New Look pattern, though I really winged it more than use the pattern.

Both fabrics are older Anna Maria Horner designs from her Garden Party range.

Clearly this skirt is bright, bold and loud - but if you can't wear wild clothes when you teach primary school aged kids then when can you??

I didn't even try to match the fabric around the skirt - that was waaaay too hard!

With a full week of prac teaching next week, my wardrobe needs a definate boost. I'm not aiming for too much, just 5 decent, presentable outfits, one for each day of the week.

This skirt is very fun - maybe it will be my Tuesday...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New dress for me

I began sewing this new dress on Saturday night and finished off the sleeves last night.

I purchased the fabric online a little while ago and only picked it to fill up a 9 yard bag from the US. It's Denyse Schmidt Hope Valley quilting weight cotton. I wasn't too sure about it when it arrived, but I'm pretty darn happy with the result!

I based the dress on this New Look pattern. This pattern has been used ALOT! I made about 6 tops based on this dress pattern for when I was pregnant with James. I simply scaled up the waist to fit my big belly.
Now I did modify the pattern quite a bit. I deepened the neckline significantly and rather than sewing three large pleats around the neck I created few smaller ones ones. This reduces a fair bit of bulk in this area.

The dress isn't quite finished yet. I need to buy some matching thread for the top stitching and hem. These pull over dresses are just awesome to wear and make - no zips, buttons or fussy fitting to worry about. This dress also has pockets, which I love, love, love!!

I've also just cut out my Echino skirt, so hopefully will have a bit more sewing news to show soon....

Saturday, August 21, 2010

clickety-clack, clickety-clack

Like many others, my creativity is a little obsessive compulsive....
This week I've barely ventured up to my sewing room. When I haven't been studying, I've chosen to knit on the couch.
I'm so worried that if I don't finish this little knitting project quickly, it'll end up on my pile of UFOs. So far I've finished the body of Adele's little shrug and only need to garter stitch edge the little cap sleeves. My hands are hurting though and I am a little baffled about how to pick up the stitches around the sleeves to finish them off. Might have to pop in to see my Nan or her neighbour June for a little tutorial.

Thankfully my first assignment for the semester has now been submitted, so I might try to make a new dress for myself tonight...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Creative Space....

This week, writing a report on learning enviornments for uni has consumed almost all of my creativity.

But in between study spurts I have managed to sneak in a small amount of knitting.

I began the Olearia cardigan about a week ago and have learnt ALOT of important knitting lessons in this time:
1. try to knit items that are within your skill level
2. if you need to unravel your project 4 times it might be too hard for you
3. stitch markers go on the needles
4. KFABing a whole row is HARD
5. YouTube knitting lessons are soooooo super good

This cardigan is well above my knitting skill level, but I've stuck with it so far. Is that admirable perseverence or pig headedness??? Regardless, I am still hopeful it will turn out to be a wearable garment for little Adele.

Now last week I may have posted the wrong link in the My Creative Space linky (I fully blame the linky!) and may have taken quite a few people back to a post from late July - whooopss!!! For the sake of continuity, here's the end result from all that stitch un-picking. You can read more about my finished Socialite dress using Anna Maria Horner fabric here.
Ta dah!!!

For more creative spaces head over to Kirsty's...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Food fishing

Today was my first day of prac teaching and I'm pleased to report that I'm really quite happy with how it all turned out. I lasted the whole day and didn't once try to run for the door - ha!. My morning was also quite good. I was up and out the door with three dressed and fed kids by 7.15am (yes - a record), which gave me plenty of time to get them to my mums house and myself to school. Hopefully this new found optimism in this career change will make writing my first assignment, which is due this Friday, a little easier.

Anywho, pictured below is the latest spin I've given to healthy snacks and keeping the kids occupied for a period of time. It's called food fishing.

In this house, it's also known as chopped-up-things-on-a-plate, but the key difference is it's all eaten with tongs!!

I think anything eaten with tongs is more fun!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Handmade Christmas Challenge

I wasn't planning on making these kiddie kaftans just so soon, but really wanted to try out the Sis Boom Sophie Tunic pattern.
Only the two larger ones are Christmas gifts for my two nieces who are 7 and 9. The small pink one is for Adele and the green/yellow one for another little friend.

The pattern was really concise with lots and lots of different sizing options, but unfortunately was drafted with only 1/4 inch seam allowances. I'm really not happy about this and read it only after I had cut the pieces, meaning I couldn't add more on. There is a standard 1/2 inch seam allowance generally included in garment sewing, 1/4 inch is best for quilting. Small seam allowances make moving the overlocker a little tricky leaving less margin for error.

Anywho, they are just devine and I'm quite happy with them.

And I love the little tuck at the top of the sleeves!!

Check out Knicky Knacks for more Christmas preparations...

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Baby Bubble.

Every baby needs a bubble romper right???

This is the most adorable little ruffled, bubble romper I think I've ever seen!

I made it with the Sis Boom Baby Bubble pattern which I purchased recently on sale from QuiltHome.

The pattern makes a fully reversible romper from non-stretch fabric with the option to add ruffle sleeves or cap sleeves or no sleeves. The romper also fastens with snaps for easy nappy changing. I actually just purchased some snap pliers at Spotlight yesterday and after a few trial snaps I'm absolutely in love with them!!

I made one side with Micheal Miller Ta Dots and the other with Jennifer Paganelli fabric from her Pretty Please range. Better yet, even though the pattern called for 1 yard of each fabric, because I used fabrics with no direction to the print I was able to get away with just 1/2 yard per side.

It came together quite quickly in just one night, though it was a relatively late night.

Considering Adele is 9 months now, I'm not too sure she'll be able to wear little designs like this for much longer. So I will be making a few more of these for summer.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My creative space....

Is a little bit hodge podge at the moment - lots of little things happening, while I decide which big project will be next....
 Checking the fit from yesterday's one hour sewing projects...

Both are a little big, which is good, they'll probably fit well this summer...

Sorting through some op shop finds - some lovely bright cherry red wool and a bunch of vintage trims...

 And dealing with two little super boys jumping from every piece of furniture in the house.

 At least we've moved on from Toy Story, for today anyway.

And a little crochet on the side, progress for the Pleated Pretty Yoke dress outlined here.

For more creative spaces head over to Kirsty's....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Illegal sewing

Uni is back and assignments need to be done. Today I have no kids and no lectures. I'm at home alone and I need to work on my first assignment for the semester, which is due next Friday. I've stayed on task most of this morning, so as a reward allowed one hour of sewing time and this is what I made.

The wrap dress I drafted myself just quickly before pulling it together. I've been inspired recently by the awesome wrap dresses with little flutter sleeves that this Etsy seller makes. If this fits I have some super cute japanese fabric set aside to make a proper one for Adele.

The other dress is the Revesible Snap Pinny dress by Bettsy Kingston, but rather than using snaps or buttons, I've made ties. I'll probably add a pocket to the front tonight not only for a little interest, but also so there is somewhere for me to attach Adele's dummy clip.

Do you recognise the binding that I made a little while ago - how awesome is it???

Now back to the assignment.....

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bella Baby Dress for Adele

Thanks to a little travel time over the weekend during our adventure down to Ulladulla, I was able to finish this little dress for Adele.
I wasn't sold on the ginger colour when I began, but now I love it!

The only problem is it's a little difficult to accesorize with. I don't think red, grey or pink tights will go with it and they are the only colours I have.

I think this will come out for sunny day's only until the weather warms up a bit.

Ravely details are here.

Now I know that I said a few days ago that a knitting project would be next. Well, you know, I changed my mind. You see, I need to buy supplies to knit the cardigan including two sets of circle needles and yarn . I've been hunting through op-shops for a few weeks now and have not found what I need. Understandably, I really don't have time to hit the shops, so have begun another crochet dress for Adele, which I already have the supplies for, to tie me over until I get some shopping time.

The pleated pretty yoke dress with 4 ply Bendigo Cotton in Latte which I think will be lovely and light on a hot summers day...