Friday, April 29, 2011

Mummy and me

So I have a friend who's been on my back about 'Mummy and me' sewing since I found out Adele was going to be a girl. I've resisted until now.
This dress isn't particularly special, except that it's made with the same fabric as this dress. I only had a thin remnant to work with, which limited my options. I think this will  be super cute for cooler weather with tights and a long sleeve tee underneath.
Adele is proving quite difficult to photograph these days. In these photos, I've perched her on a small side table to try to get her to stay in one place.

I only a few more weeks of university before I get to enjoy a few long months off - can't wait!!

I also have my Liberty dress and Vogue 8028 cut. I just need to get some time at the machine. Unfortunately, even though I have tonight off work, I'm being made to go to a girls only, royal wedding party - poor me!! I think I might try to dig out an old wedding frock to wear - why not right? Are you watching the Kate and Will's wedding tonight??

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tova top

I've managed to squeeze in a little sewing time this weekend and it feels soooooo good!

First up - a Tova. I had already made a muslin of this last week, so knew I should make a size small. Extra small still fit, but was a little snug across the back.
It comes together really quickly and is an amazingly flattering shape. Great for hiding any bulges without being too baggy.
The hardest part was ensuring the corners of the yoke were square. The easiest way I found to do this, is to begin at one of the corners and sew across the gathered part, the pivot up to the top of the yoke. Then return to the corner you began at and sew up - easy peasy.
The shoulders set in nicely, but I did have to unpick them once. The pattern calls for 1cm or 3/8 inch seams, which I forgot about when setting the sleeves the first time and they came up a little tight.
The only other problem I had was with this fabric. It's a viscose, which naturally doesn't take very well to ironing. I ended up top-stitching the collar before stitching it down. Which isn't ideal and made the collar just slightly bumpy in one place. Luckily the fabric hides everything, which you may be able to tell from these bad photos.

There will be many of these tops and a few dresses made this winter. I probably won't use my Liberty Lantana for one though. I've already decided a pattern for it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lest we forget...

That it's my birthday today!!!! Yipeee!!!! We actually celebrated my birthday yesterday with a small party at mums house.

Look at the fab cake my sister made for me. My own sewing machine cake, complete with bright pink pin cushion. The design is based on one from the Woman's Weekly cake book.
There does appear to be a few extra nobs and buttons on it. Maybe this is a better model with more features than my machine. Husband thought it was a Kitchen Aid cake.

Happy family!

The gathering at mums was extra fun for the kids, as they got to enjoy the evening playing in the empty cardboard box.
Adele in the box

Cousin Jett in the box.

Earlier yesterday, the kids got their choccies and began eating straight away.

Then we headed to the Family Show at Fox Studios.
Happy kid.

Happy kid.

Sad kid.

Don't be fooled by his smile, this ride was terrible. Round and round and round and round for about 5 mins - ugg!

It made me regret those few wines over dinner the night before. (Look at the difference in photography skills. This is why I use an auto timer to take sewing photos.)

Hope you are all enjoying your super long weekend. My husband is getting a leave pass to go down to the local RSL for two-up at lunch time, then a few friends will join us for a BBQ tonight. I can't believe we still get another day off!

Note: Sorry - I'm not wanting to offend. Today is ANZAC day, so we do take the time to remember all those who've fought for our country. It's not all about me.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Fabric binge

With a little spare time last Thursday, my mum surprised me with a shopping trip to celebrate my upcoming birthday (it's on Monday and not a special '0' birthday). Mum reads my blog, hears about my sewing adventures, listens to me whine when things don't go right, helps me when she can and generally knows me pretty darn well. So to help me pick a birthday present, she took me fabric shopping. Woo hoo!

First stop was Tessuti, the posh fabric mecca, followed by The Fabric Shop, a little less pricey and just as nice, but slightly less 'wow' factor.

My purchases from Tessuti were some lovely viscose check fabric (top left) in lovely plum and charcoal tones. I purchased this specifically to make Vogue 8028.

The fabric on the top right is a lovely, lovely, lovely Japanese cotton called Blue Hyou which I think I will make the Burda Heidi dress with, after I've modified the pattern a little. I just love the bodice of this dress that I made a few weeks ago and think a slimmer version with slash pockets would be awesome. I need to muslin the pattern though to assess those front tucks.
The fabric on the bottom right corner is super special. In fact, it's super, super, duper special and almost didn't get purchased. It's lovely Liberty Lantana (80% cotton, 20% wool) called Kenzo's Gold and it's just wonderful. Far, far nicer in real life. I love it so much that I stroked it all the way home. I certainly didn't plan to buy it, but my mum did instead. I think I will make a 3/4 sleeve tunic dress with this fabric. I was planning on making the Tova dress, but I like having the option of wearing a belt, to make it appear like I have a waist, and I'm not sure that the Tova pattern will suit a belt. Clearly there is an intense amount of pressure when working with this type of fabric but I'm determined to make something with it soon. I hate the thought of it sitting around for too long while I procrastinate.

The fabric on the bottom left is a lovely light denim from The Fabric Shop. It will be used for bonnets and probably for Village Frock for Adele.

So a very spendy, but very enjoyable day. I wish I could sew tonight, but the husband is making me go out to dinner with him to celebrate my birthday.... poor me!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The postman delivers

So I caved and purchased what is likely to be the most expensive pattern that I'll ever purchase.
PlayPay, PlayPal, how I love thee! It really is pretend money. I would never normally purchase a pattern for this much, but as I didn't actually have the money or see it in my account, it doesn't feel like a bad thing. And there's no point taking money out of PayPal at the moment as we lose money transferring to Australian dollars.

The pattern is traced and I'll hopefully make a muslin later today, after I've finished some more uni work. I think I'll be making a few of these this winter. Lovely cosy flannel dresses over tights with boots. I also don't have anything in my stash for a wearable dress, so will have to hit the shops.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Stashbustin' - Tiny Pocket Tank

The weather is cooling down a little in Sydney, so I decided to make a tank.... yep, quite appropriate.

After handing in my second mega assignment this morning, I needed to sit in front of the machine and achieve something. Now that I have, I am feeling a little less stressed.
This cute little pattern, the Tiny Pocket Tank, is available for download from Grainline for only $2.50!! Bargain! I can't get my stupid computer to work properly, here's the link -
It's super easy and quite cute. I was hoping there would be enough ease in the garment to wear over some of my daggy long sleeve tops, but I think I'll have to make one in a larger size to do so. The fabric is some random cotton blend fabric from my stash - yay! Stashbustin'!!

Apologies for the bad photos. I must be a little out of practice.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

This is a sewing blog, right??

It's been a while since I posted about anything sewing related. Looking back it's been over two weeks - eeekk! So despite the business, stress and drama of life, I allocated myself 1 hour of sewing time on Monday night, to treat myself for making it through the day without going completely nuts.

Even though I have two unfinished projects waiting for my attention, I knew I needed to work on a quick and easy project. Something that I could start and finish in one sitting. Here it is.
This sweet little dress is made with the new Wonderland pattern by Toni at Make it Perfect. I just love the ribbon trim around the hem and the sleeves. It makes this dress so quick to make.

I won this pattern last week and it arrived on Monday. Perfect timing for a little quick sewing and Adele just happens to need a dress to wear this weekend to a little, pre-Easter party we are attending.

I made the dress with just half a meter of this lovely fabric from Clothworks called Le Jardin Butterfly. I managed to squeeze it from such a small cut, by lining the dress in a different fabric.
Clearly, the dress was a breeze to make. It was pretty much all completed except for the hem (for measuring purposes) within 1 hour, including tracing. The only tricky parts were attaching the sleeves, as there is a little resistance against the bodice when attaching, and the pleats do take a little time to get neat. But the result is fantastic and did I mention super cute??

Looking forward to more sewing time. I might be able to squeeze another hour in over the weekend.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Being a mum

I don't mean to sound cliched, but being a mum is the most rewarding thing that I do. I just love getting cuddles and being told, by my kids, that they love me. But gosh, I don't think I need to tell you that being a mum is also be the hardest thing I do.

The trouble at the moment, is with the middle child. It was awesome, when at two and a half years of age, he toilet trained himself. Not only did he manage himself during the day, but also at night. (I remember when I was in the throws of toilet training the first child, that when I heard about kids toilet training themselves, I wanted to kick something. Seriously, it can happen, but I think it's more likely to happen with subsequent children, not first born kiddies).

Anyway, over the past month, things have changed. He's gone from being totally capable, to a bed wetting, pant wetting mess. He needs help with everything and most times doesn't even try to go to the toilet, choosing instead to just wet his pants and IT'S DRIVING ME NUTS!!

Yesterday, he wet his pants 4 times, then wet his bed during his lunch nap, then moved to his brothers bed and wet it too!! I think it's easy to say that mums should remain calm or relax during these trying times, but it would take a saint to stay calm for this long. I sway from being a calm, 'it's OK' mum, to being a wild, angry mum - why won't he go to the toilet!!!!!

Yesterday, I took him to the doctor, hoping that he has a UTI or something. I desperately want there to be a magical pill to fix this drama, but I'm not that lucky.

So, we've taken a back step. Last night he wore a nappy to bed. Today, I tried to get him to wear a nappy and he refused. In the end, I just asked that if he wasn't going to use the toilet, that he should stand on a hard floor to wet his pants. I'm so tired of cleaning the couch or the carpet.

Clearly, I just need to give us both a break and try to reduce some of the tension and anxiety. He's at daycare for the next few days, while I'm at uni, so hopefully that will help.

I'd be more than happy to hear any helpful suggestions from mums that have been through this.

Now a photo for the post. On Sunday, we attended a fun little party at the Train Shed in Luddenham. The kids had a ball, riding on James from Thomas and Friends, and enjoying party food on an old red rattler.
Train ride on James

The weather was a little chilly, but the kids didn't mind.
Looking at Gordon

Tis all for now. I'm supposed to be finishing off an assignment.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Busy and tired

So you may have noticed that my productivity has dropped significantly this past week or so. Looking back, I can see that I haven't blogged any finished items or even any WIPS for over a week now. This is because other life priorities are stealing all of my time. When I'm not being a mum, I'm either studying or working (extra shifts to help out - boo!).

I have a major assignment due this Wednesday and it's already over 21 full pages at 11pt! Waaayy too long, but that's what needs to be done. Thankfully, it's not a research assignment, just a very wordy one. Then the week after I have another assignment due, then one week off, then three more assignments, one due each week for the next three weeks. After that, I'll be on holidays for almost three months - yay!!! But that still doesn't help me get through the work right now.

Anywho, hopefully I'll be able to show off something soon. I'm part way through a full skirt made with some lovely turquoise and violet gingham silk make with Simplicity 2215 and I'm almost finished a denim Beignet skirt. I just need to make some fitting modifications.

I also have a stack of plans that I'd love to see materialise, including Vogue 8028 and the Heidi dress from Burda Style, totally inspired by this one. As well as the Village Frock and the new Make it Perfect dress pattern, Wonderland, that I won this week from Toni.

So many plans. At least there's a light at the end of the tunnel and I'll get to them soon.
Because every post needs a photo, here's Ollie's in his favourite photo, with his favourite toy and wearing his favourite PJs.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The postman delivers

Finally - it's here! I know I've batted on quite a bit about this bag, but now that I have it, this is likely to be my last post about it... I promise!
I'm so in love with this bag. Words cannot express how happy I am with it. It's the perfect size, colour, quality, smell, everything!
Here it is on, with me wearing grubby house clothes. You can buy yours from Valhalla Brooklyn. The one I purchased is the small larch.

Big shout out to my sis in Canada for showing me her awesome Valhalla Brooklyn bag when she was here earlier this year.  I couldn't have found such a lovely bag without you. Now, can you find me a new wallet??

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Pin Place

I just thought I'd take a short moment to tell you about this very cool little invention that makes my sewing life a little easier. Seriously, I don't think I could sew without it! Well that might me a little over the top, but I definitely love this little contraption and it certainly makes sewing a lot easier.

Here is it - The Pin Place, aka the Scissor spot:

Here it is on my machine:
Basically, it's a little magnet attached to a suction cup that you stick to the front of your machine.  Even though I have five pin cushions, I don't always have one on hand when I'm at the machine. I'm sure the boys hide them when they are in my sewing space.

My old machine used to have a little channel across the front which was handy for stashing pins when a cushion wasn't handy. Like pictured below.
This new machine has no such channel, which makes this little magnetic spot so handy.
Now that I'm used to having this little gadget, I don't know how I could ever sew without one!

I can't seem to find many places that sell the pin place online, but if you do stumble on one in a shop, I highly recommend buying it. I picked mine up on holiday when I was down on the south coast of NSW, from a little shop called Sew and Tell in Berry. If you haven't been there, you really should try to go. It's a wonderful place that you could easily get lost in for hours and hours.

Tis all for now. I'll be back later with real sewing news, once I finish another assignment - boo!

Monday, April 4, 2011

The postman delivers.

No, not my handbag. Hopefully I'll have that by the end of the week, but I did receive a super, sweet print from the Black Apple.
Oh my, it's adorable! This photo doesn't do it justice. I love the colours, the sweet red lips and shoes. I love her expression and I love the elephant. I was thinking about putting this in Adele's room, but now I think I want it somewhere in the house that I can see everyday.

I love PlayPal money, but my account is empty now. Anyone want to buy a bonnet or three??

Friday, April 1, 2011

Things I'm loving.

Just some things...
This bag, well not this one exactly, but one like it should be arriving for me any day now. I'm super excited! I've had two very, old leather bags break recently and kinda 'need' a new one. Yes, I could have found a cheaper one, but I sewed a few extra bonnets to get this one. When will the postman arrive??
This cushion is just stunning. I'm sure I can knock one up myself, possibly while I make my Hello Birdie cushion from the Red Thread pattern that I received at Set It Together.
I also love this one. Clearly I'm into flowery, birdie cushions at the moment. When will I find the time?? I still have this long crochet project to work on. Eeek - I haven't touched it since January!
I'm really keen to make a vibrant coloured full skirt. I have one in pieces in my sewing space. I'm just waiting for a few moments to get it moving. My one is based a new Cynthia Rowley pattern Simplicity 2215. I'd also like to make the short sleeve version of  Cynthia Rowley Simplicity 2497, but just need to find a nice fabric.

Speaking of fabric, I have a crush on these fabrics from Tessuti, but am a little short of funds and need to knock over some other projects using stuff from the stash, before I worry about anything new.
This is a linen, viscose black check, perfect for Vogue 8028.
This Japanese seersucker and rayon cotton blend look amazing, but heading into winter I have no immediate need for them - bum!

Speaking of Tessuti, why do they always review patterns that you can no longer buy?? Now I want to make Tova dress out of posh wool/cotton liberty. Does anyone have a copy I can borrow? I promise I'll  keep the factory folds.

Lastly, I can afford the download for Butterick 5600 and I do have some lovely, soft, drapey rayon twill in red, in my stash, that might make it fun.... so much to do, so little time.

That's enough of my blabbering for now. Tell me - what do you love right now??