Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hey Big Spender!

A little while ago, thanks to some lovely early spring weather, I managed to make and sell quite a few bonnets to my lovely shops and online. Yay! While some money was spent on Liberty (I think I'm yet to show you all of it), some was also spent buying a new pair of jeans.

While I gave the whole jeans sewing thing a good go, I still really wanted to own a real pair of Emerson Made jeans. I have been banging on about them for a while now.
  Looking exceptionally wrinkled due to a large portion of my day spent sitting on a bus
travelling to and from our school excursion (field trip).

I'm so happy with these jeans.The fit and style are just what I wanted and the denim feel and colour are spot on. I'm also quite happy to say that my own versions of these jeans were actually quite similar, but I just couldn't get past their little quirks from being home sewn, like a slightly off front fly, waistband inconsistency, top-stitching quality, etc. I guess maybe after sewing a few more pairs of jeans I might be happier with the finish, but until then I think I still need commercially made jeans in my wardrobe.
I don't buy finished garments often, so this is a massive purchase for me. However, considering my past two pairs of jeans were purchased from the Op Shop, I figure a splurge every few years is OK.

So tell me, have you made any big garment purchases recently? What else am I missing out on?

Friday, October 28, 2011

2, 3, 4.

Adele turned two today. So for the next two weeks, just until Ollie's birthday, I have a two year old, a three year old and a four year old.
Talk about a tough photo. I had to threaten James with no cake to join the shot.
Life is kinda wild at the moment. The whole full time teaching thing is tough. I really do take my hat off to any mum with similar aged kids that works full time. Seriously, you are all legends!

Anyway, back to Adele. She got a working mums party. Greasy fish n chips (the choice of the boys), a cake from Woolies and a cheap doll that the husband bought. I don't think I'd have bought the same, but she likes it and it fit the incredibly small budget I gave him.
I wish I could say that I'm looking forward to a weekend of leisure and rest, but I have bonnet orders to fill, school work to prep, about 10 loads of laundry and a house to clean. Ick!

Only 8 school days to go...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Old, but new

Like many sewers, I love vintage patterns. But when does your 'stash' become more of a collection, than a resource for future projects? Do you collect or make?

The more I think about it, the more I realise that I think I am becomming a collector of sewing patterns, rathen than a maker. I hope one day to make them, but I seem to acquire patterns far faster then my current sewing output.

While some patterns have been purchase for a steal from Op shops (Thrift stores), which makes it hard to turm them down, many others have been purchased from Etsy, mostly with the bibs and bobs of bonnet pattern money that comes in.

Just incase you are interested, here are some of my latest acquisitions.
Vogue 7063 (c 1970s)
Op shop: 50c
I really love the simple style of this dress, especially the black version to the left. I have some Liberty assigned to it, but lack the time to make it - boo!

Style 3281 (early 1980s)
Op Shop: 50c
This pattern reminds me of this Miss Mozelle dress by Jamie Christina patterns, but without the 'new pattern' price tag. For some reason it also reminds me of Princess Dianna. Maybe it's the 80's vibe from the illustration.
Vogue 6804 (c 1949)
Etsy:   $14
I adore this shirt dress pattern and hope to make it one day with short sleeves, probably a little shorter than in the pattern, in a deep coloured voile. But without suitable fabric in the stash, it's yet to be attended to.

Simplicity 4390 (c 1960s)
Etsy: $6???
I love the skirt style on this pattern and imagine making a sleeveless version for summer, possibly with those godets starting a little higher. Again, no suitable fabric, or time. Hopefully I'll get to it this summer.

Style 3400 (late 70s, early 80's)
Op shop: 50c
I love the simple red frock on this envelop. Again, this is a Summer goal.

Vogue 7720 (c 1960's)
Etsy: $10
I really like this dress and have attempted to make it. Unfortunately, after checking all the measurements of the dress, which fit me, I forgot to check the placement of the waistband, which sat too high. Hopefully I'll make this successfully one day.

Etsy: 10??
I love this dress and have the fabric (Liberty Mitsi in grey), buttons and zipper to make this dress, but lack the time and a little motivation. It seems too hot to make a shirt dress.
Advance 6120 (1952)
Etsy: $15???
I've had this pattern in my stash since about July. I really want to make the blue version in a solid inky voile, to wear with a grey belt this summer. Unfortunatly I impulse bought a yukky fabric type and have been uninterested in making it because of that.
Vogue 6468 (c1940s)
Etsy: $15
I love this dress style so much. It has a simple darted bodice with kimono sleeves and the scalloped detail sits nicely along the shoulders and sides. I imagine making this in a solid lightweight fabric, but lack solids in my stash,  or enough matching buttons for that matter. Hopefully this summer I'll be able to tackle this wonderful pattern.
Vogue 6460 (c 1960s)
Etsy: $10
This pattern sat in my Etsy favourites for quite a while before I purchased it. I love that it's a simple shift with a little special detailing.

So, I think that's enough show and tell for today. The pattern situation in my sewing space is gettting a little ridiculous, but I just can't seem to part with any of them.

What's your favourite vintage pattern? Do you feel that you collect more than make?

11 more days to go - well I have one excursion in there too, so 10 days to go!

Monday, October 24, 2011

All bad days come to an end....

I've had a bad day today. Nothing went right. Following a full-on weekend, my morning with my own kids was tough. At school the kids were a little tougher. My supervising teacher was the toughest. I may have even had a little cry when I got home. I'm not normally a crier.

Thankfully, tomorrow we can start fresh.

I hope your Monday hasn't been as bad as mine. :)
Obligatory blog post photo - "Cheese!"

12 more prac teaching days to go...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Charity Auction: Juvenile Diabetes

I've donated a lovely bonnet to an upcoming Facebook auction for Juvenile Diabetes. It's actually the last bonnet available in this popular fabric combination.
Look, I don't do Facebook. I'm late to the game and it's not my thing. I can't really tell you how a Facebook auction works, but I figure, if you do the Facebook thing, you'll know how it will work.

Kirsty's son, Eden, was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes recently and she's been on a massive fund raising mission since, to help in finding a cure for this disease.

Kirsty sells lovely, boutique baby linen through her company, Kaile Boutique Baby Linen. Can you believe I met her in a supermarket car park, far from my home, after she complimented me on baby Adele's handmade dress?? Turns out she is married the brother of a boy that I went to school with (I could probably word that better). Small world huh??

Anyway, the auction starts tomorrow at 9am, so head over here and start bidding on some of the cute things on offer.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Giddy-up! Simplicity 2599

I am so happy with this top!
How adorable is the fabric? I purchased it from here on Etsy. They now also have the same design in navy and pink, which I think I may purchase to make another top like this, but possibly with short sleeves. 
The pattern, Simplicity 2599, is a basic top pattern with a few different neck variations. While I do like version E, I really wanted to try create a pleated neckline similar to this Emerson Made blouse. My sister has one, similar to the link, in a lovely charcoal and white striped seersucker that I just adore.

I made a straight size 8 and the only modification was to lower the front neckline by 1 inch and to sew a few tiny tucks to the front neckline, which thankfully are hidden under the pleated strip, to prevent the front gaping. I'll have to fix this properly in future if there's nothing to hide them.
The pleated neck was made by cutting a 4.5 inch strip the full width of the fabric. I used my 1/4 inch foot to sew the long edge, turned right side out and pleated to fit. I really love that horses run two different ways around the neck.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A little life....

Life has been a quite full on these past few weeks, I've managed to squeeze in a fair bit of sewing, but I fear this will now end for a short while. You see, tomorrow I begin my prac teaching block.
In other news, our family car was in an accident this week and was pretty much totalled. While this is crappy timing (I guess there's never a good time to lose your car), the good news is that the kids weren't in the car with me at the time. I really think they would have been hurt if they were. We are also insured and able to buy a new car, so I am grateful that things aren't worse.

Anyway, despite this crappy hurdle, at least I know that I only have a few more weeks (very hard weeks) until I finish university for ever and ever and ever*.

The other good news, is that I have a such a back log of draft posts about other bibs and bobs that I've made recently that this blog will probably still be updated during this time. It may appear that I'm enjoying my obsession hobby, but in fact, very little sewing will be occurring :( I may even get my machine serviced or something....

So only a few more weeks to go. That light at the end of the tunnel is shining a little brighter!

* My husband has advised me that if I go back to university again, for anything ever, ever, ever, he's outta here!
Obligatory blog post photo. We are still obsessed with Spiderman!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sister Sewing: The Blanket Tova

So it appears I'm not the only one that liked my blanket Tova from this past winter. It was on high rotation in my wardrobe on chilly days.
I made this Tova tunic for my sister with a wool blend fabric from My Hung. I think it's a most suitable garment for the upcoming Toronto winter.
From a sewing point of view, I really need to point out how awesome my fabric matching was on this garment. I matched and reversed the fabric check pattern at a number of points, not just the side seams, which took some extra time and thought, but I think it makes a much nicer garment.

Tis all for now - happy sewing all!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Kids Tee Pee - Butterick 4251

My sister purchased this pattern, Butterick 4251, and gave it to me so that I could make a tee pee for her son, Corin. This was the first project on the list of 'sister sewing' that I've fit in my life these past two weeks.
The pattern came together very quickly. I made her tee pee in about three hours and then proceeded to make one for my own kids.
The one pictured here is the one for my kids, although Corin is playing in it in these pictures. I used this fabric from Ikea. The pattern uses a lot of fabric, like 8 meters, so this project isn't cheap. The kids love it though. We can use it inside and plan to play with it outside in summer. It folds down relatively small too and can fit under a single bed. What more could you ask for??

More 'sister sewing' show and tell will follow.

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Stylish Dress Book - Dress 'N'

I can't stop dreaming about summer and as you can see, I'm planning for it already!
I can just imagine wearing this light summer dress on a hot humid day, watching the kids wading in the pool and eating watermelon.... As soon as the first heat wave hits, I'll be ready!
This dress was made with an Autumn Winter 2011 seasonal Liberty tana lawn called Rock & Roll Rachel. The muted red tones with a hint of gold and orange are just lovely.
The pattern is dress 'N' from Stylish Dress Book. It is very straightforward and fast to make. I only recently purchased this book and am already planning a few projects with it. I purchased the English version of it, and while I don't have a problem with using any Japanese patterns books, it is nice being able to read the text :)
I used french seams throughout, just to keep things neat. The only alterations made to the pattern was adding 4 inches to the length, which enabled a deeper hem to be sewn, and making the back elastic a little shorter. I also added a couple of wooden beads to the back ties, just because.

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Girls Night Out

I'm not sure  if I mentioned earlier that my sister from Canada has been here these past two weeks. Tonight we enjoyed a wonderful girls night out - no kids, no husbands!
Pictured L to R : Big sister Sarah from Toronto, Me wearing Vintage Simplicity 5034, Sis-in-law Mary with babe in tummy,
my younger sister Sam, and my lovely mum Dianna.

Unfortunately, my sister and her wee boy, Corin, leave this week to go back to Toronto. Gosh these past few days have been busy, but gosh it's been good! I wish she lived in Sydney, or even anywhere in Australia. Why would you want to live in Toronto?? I'll miss her when she's gone...

She's kept me busy sewing these past two weeks. Hopefully I'll be able to get some photos of the fnished goods tomorrow to show you.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Vintage Simplicity 3461 & 4841 again

Well I loved the first dress so much, that I decided to make it again.
This time in a seasonal Liberty tana lawn called Becky Jane. Did I mention that some more Liberty has found its way into my home again? I think I'll save that news for a different post.
I really love this fabric and I LOVE this dress. It's so fast to make and easy to wear. As with my first version of this dress, the bodice was made with Simplicity 3461 and the skirt from Simplicity 4841, both from the 1960s.
I really love the shape of the skirt. The two pleats at the front add a little interest, but all the darts shape it nicely. I think next time I'll shorten the bodice to the petite size as it does sit just a fraction below my waist. I also inserted the zipper on the side this time, just because the fabric is so lovely I didn't want a nasty zipper to break up the design.

I've been so busy lately and have much more to show you.

Happy sewing!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Giveaway goodies

I recently won a couple of bloggy giveaways that I'm super duper happy about. I don't enter giveaways very often, but some prizes are just too tempting!

First up, Kat from All the whimsical things had a giveaway recently and I won this awesome stash of goodies.
Can't keep little paws off my things!
I'm so excited about the Gutterman thread. I'm such a tightwad with certain sewing consumables and often use much cheaper thread for a lot of projects. I know it's bad, I know it's not so good, but good thread is soooo expensive when you go through as much as I do. I'm also in desperate need of pins, some of mine are so old they are blunt, so this prize pack of goodies is so much appreciated.

Next up was another super awesome giveaway from Passiona at Le Courtureve.
I never thought I'd own a piece of Missoni fabric, but look at this! It's a skirt length piece with some Mokum fold over elastic. One of my friends has already put dibs on this yet-to-be-made skirt and while I don't often give away such awesome-ness, I do owe her a 30th birthday present from January this year... whoops - what an awesome friend am I??

Thanks again Kat and Passiona!!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Thrift store finds

To reward myself for finishing another assignment, and a day early at that, I headed to my favourite op shop to see if I could find any treasure. While today's isn't a massive score, it's still pretty darn good.
A vintage, hem marker and a super cute day dress pattern from the 40's, complete with scalloped shoulder and button front detail. Sweet!

All I need now is a dress form to use the hem marker with and possibly some more time to sew...

Tis all for now. Hopefully I'll get a little time at the machine tonight.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

More fast sewing

Everything I'm sewing seems to be fast these days. With so much stress building due to upcoming uni work, I can't seem to concentrate on anything difficult. Despite having a stack of sewing projects lined up for me, with fabric, patterns and notions ready to go, I can't seem to even think about them.

This time I've made simple, fast cushion covers to brighten up our home.
These first two were made with Anna Maria Horner Lou Lou Thi fabric. I love the colours in this fabric and they are so bright and summery. I backed them in another fabric from this range and the trick to making them a super fast sew is making them envelop closures. No zippers or buttons, just a doubled-over back to enclose the cushion insert.
Next some fat quarters from Joel Dewberry's Heirloom fabric line. These are nice, but not awesome like the Anna Maria Horner covers. I really thought they needed to be pieced, but I like my cushion covers serged so they can be washed easily. So I cut the fabric into different width strips, serged them together and then made the big strips into covers, again with envelop closures. I hate zippers and buttons at the best of times and have no intention of using them unless absolutely necessary.

Now I did have a length of fabric strips made up that wasn't quite long enough for a cushion cover. What was I to do with it???
Make another skirt for Adele of course! I added a waistband and trimmed it with ribbon to add a little length to it.
"Those cushions are wearing the same outfit at me!"

Clearly Adele wasn't in the mood for taking photos yesterday.

Now that Adele has all of these new dresses and skirts, I really must start making some bloomers to cover those horrible nappies.