Saturday, December 19, 2009

Woohoo, my Jap.anese pattern books have arrived...

...and I'm in love!!!

I will admit right at the outset to being a teensy bit concerned that they took so long to get here.  Afterall, they were sent out on 30 Nov.  But taking into account that little festival called Christmas and the fact that an awful lot of stuff is getting sent out of Hong Kong these days I'm guessing that they got here as quickly as they could.  And bless the cotton socks of my incredibly overworked parcel delivery guy who delivered them this morning (yes thats right, a Saturday morning, isnt he the best!!!).

They are so perfect, gorgeous in their simplicity, just like the patterns inside.  Can you believe they even have sweet little dust jackets.  I cant wait to try out one of the patterns, despite being in Ja.panese, they do look fairly easy to piece together.

Simple yet elegant... *sigh*

Thanks for the reminder Tracy I meant to get photos, but with the holidays and all... well you know how it is.  So here they are: Simple Chic and Girly Style Wardrobe

Monday, December 7, 2009

Baby Nay grows up (I'm a wee bit excited about this one)...

OK its fair to say that I have a bit of a Baby Nay obsession.  I love the designs, kind of traditional but with a modern twist and many have a definite Asian influence.  Anyways, The Fabric Fairy has quite a nice array of Baby Nay and I've recently bought quite a bit of the Petit Fleur Stretch Poplin.  The only thing is when I bought it I only saw the design.  True to form I didnt actually read what it was, just did the usual "that looks nice" and into the shopping cart it goes.  In fact, when I finally received it I gave it a bit of a glance "yes that really is quite nice" and into the stash it goes.  It wasnt until a few weeks later that I actually got it out and really touched it (and this is after I put in an order for a bit more).  At that point I'm thinking "hey cool, this stretches".  Yes I know, sad isnt it.

So here I am with my beautiful stretchy Baby Nay and thinking what am I going to do with this.  Because its a stretch it is quite a bit thicker than the usual poplin I work with and felt it was possibly a little thick for something for Chloe.  And given that there are only two girls in this house guess who gets a new Baby Nay outfit - yes me!!!!  And thats pretty damn exciting let me tell you.

But what to make?  I dont actually have a lot of patterns for me.  I've started getting the Ottobre womens magazines but having only just one winter one didnt help.  Flicking through the kids patterns however I came across a lovely summer top I've been wanting to try for ages.

I've recently got myself a massive Olfa cutting mat and an Olfa rotary cutter with guide arm.  Boy did this make tracing and cutting a breeze.  The material sewed up like a dream, it was so nice to work with.  And I even had some really nice buttons which compliment it perfectly sitting there waiting to be used (I had actually bought the buttons for Chloe's cherub outfit but decided to go with the clear ones instead).

All in all I was thrilled with the pattern, I was thrilled with the fabric and I'm certainly thrilled with the results.  I might even have to make myself some more bits and pieces

Fabric: Petit Fleur by Baby Nay from The Fabric Fairy
Pattern: Pattern 39 from Issue 2/2005 Ottobre Design

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Handmaden Giveaway... its a beauty!!!

I seriously urge you to pop over to THE HANDMADEN.  To celebrate her 300th post and just in time for Christmas, The Handmaden is giving away a $50 voucher in conjuction with Corrie from Retro Mummy.  How exciting!!!  I will totally envy the winner of this one... Corrie specializes in cute Japanese imports, because lets face the Japanese have cute all sewn up.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's always nice to have visitors...

...but it's also nice to get back into the old routine as well. There is something comforting about routine.

Back in Sept/Oct we had my SIL and her husband with us for 3 weeks. No sooner did they leave than we started getting ready for FIL and MILs arrival. They have just left (less than a week ago now) and we are starting to get back into the old routines of school runs and shopping. And no sooner will we be back into that routine and it will all be over for the year. Samuel finishes school on 4 Dec - YIPPEE!!!! I'm really looking forward to the school holidays.

This morning I only had Chloe with me, Samuel was at school and Alex at Kindy so I took the opportunity to have a browse around Spotlight. I ended up getting some awesome bargains. Remember the lovely red quilting fabric I used in Chloe's Cherub Outfit - $4 per metre (how typical hey!!!) so I grabbed a metre, I've still got lots of Cherub fabric so I thought I may as well. I even managed to pick up so really nice fabrics for the boys just for a change.

One range that I specifically went in to look at was the new Provincial range. I ended up getting the butterflies and the green scroll featured in the apron. Spotlight are certainly getting a better range of fabrics lately, you just have to look for them.

I've also had a bit of a spend up at Crafty Mamas recently. After seeing this to die for fabric over at Tas' blog, there was no way I was going to say no when I saw it for sale again at Crafty Mamas. And just while we are on the subject of Tas' blog, she was also the driving force behind my first foray into In fact, I ended up getting the Simply Chic one that Tas got plus one called Girly Style Wardrobe. I've also got another 20 books on my wish list for future purchase. And if hubby says anything I'm just going to say "Tas made me do it!!!!"

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Cherub Collection Pics

Its been all go here!!

Sorry I've been out of touch in blog land for such a long time - what with various technical difficulties, holidays and visiting rellies its been almost impossible to get near a computer.

At the end of September my wonderful sister-in-law and her husband arrived from the UK. Its always so lovely to have them stay with us and despite the fact that they were in Australia for 3 weeks it seemed to be over much, much to fast.

While they were here we decided to incorporate a family holiday into their holiday which saw all 7 of us head up to Darwin where we stayed with Mum for 10 days. Given that our rellies hadn't been to Darwin before, we did the whole tourist shebang!!! This included (but was not limited to) the Jumping Crocodile cruise, Crocosaurus Cove, Beatrice Hill, Fogg Dam, city centre, museum, wharf etc etc. Paul even took them to Katherine for the day (the kids and I stayed at home in the pool on this day, the 3 hour drive wasnt appealing). We managed to cram something in to every day we were there. Needless to say, by the time we got back we needed a holiday to get over the holiday LOL.

Of course with the end of the school holidays that wasnt to be. It was very quickly back into the old routine.

Just before we left for Darwin I was madly sewing up a few bits and pieces for Chloe. You've already seen the first part of the outfit here, its the little Button Top from Ottobre. But before we left I wanted to make a few other pieces to make a complete set... so I also made the Tie-Back tunic/dress and the Ruffle Back pants from that same issue. I did get started on the Daisy pants as well but in the end just ran out of time before we left (as it turns out it was probably too warm up in Darwin for her to wear those anyway).

So what I've ended up with is a gorgeous mix and match set. The little pants are perfect as a nappy cover under the dress or teamed with the top are just right for those super hot Perth days. The longer pants are going to be great for evenings out when something just a tiny bit longer is needed.

The tunic/dress is a bit longer than the one in the magazine. I added the appropriate hem lengths when cutting but when the time came to do the actual hem I decided to go with a rolled hem instead. The poplin is quite thin and if I had have done a proper hem it would have ended up with a noticable white band around the bottom which was not something I wanted. (All right, all right I admit it... the rolled hem was sheer laziness and it was only after I did it that I thought about the whole white band around the bottom thing.) The rolled hem suits the dress perfectly and the length is just right as well.

And did I mention how easily these all came together. I was thrilled!!! While the ties on the back of the dress look somewhat complicated, they are actually quite easy and the ruffle pants absolutely flew together. I even did my first waist band the "Otto way" and I was really happy with the results.

I'm still yet to finish the pants. Post holiday clean ups and a big 7 year old birthday party have meant sewing time (like computer time) has been non-existant. But from what I've accomplished so far it looks like these pants are going to be just as cute and just as easy as the rest of the outfit pieces.

Pics are on the way...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Found a new blog today... with a competition

I was browsing Cherri-Berri's blog, checking out her daughters' gorgeous new PJs when I found a link to another blog there. This took me to Idey Spidey. Not only does she (that is Sarah Jo of Idey Spidey) have the most stunning fabric to give away, but the clothes she has sewn for her kids are absolutely gorgeous.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Baby Nay... where the love began

Like many of the fabrics in my stash, the Baby Nay has a bit of a story behind it. It began about 18 months ago when I bought this fitted nappy for Chloe from Hyena Cart

As soon as I saw it I knew that I absolutely had to have it no matter what. But at the same time I also thought that an outfit in the same material would make for an divine nappy set. And so with just the words "Baby Nay" to work with I set about trying to find the elusive fabric. And after many a fail attempt I finally did get my hands on some at Show Me The Fabric (and check this out, they still have 1 yard left here).

So yippe, I had 3 yards of the stuff. The very first thing I did was send off some to Zig Zag Wraps to get a lovely nappy cover made but after that the rest of it sat in the stash. This wasnt because I didnt want to use it, it was simply because I couldnt find the right pattern for it. And so Chloe grew out of the nappy cover and then the nappy and still no outfit.

But as soon as I saw the pattern in the Ottobre magazine I knew that was the outfit which Baby Nay was to become.

The contrast material is a quilting fabric from Spotlight. Ottobre use a gingham in theirs and I did start out looking at the ginghams but they had none of the really rich reds or pretty pinks like this. I did find a ticking which had the right red but being ticking it was quite bland, just the stripe, I definitely wanted something more striking but thought I could always come back to the ticking if nothing else presented itself. I only took a look at the quilting fabric as a very last resort, just in case and I'm so glad I did because this pretty material looks like it was made to go with the Baby Nay. The colours are a perfect match.

So the only thing left to do now is add some buttons to the back. I did buy some pink ones from Spotlight but they just arent right. They did have some really striking red foil type ones but they were so tiny. Might have to check out some different stores and see what I can find.

Ottobre Button Top in Baby Nay

I'll have to provide the full run down shortly...

A few things that I've learnt lately...

I'm currently working on this outfit for madam from Ottobre magazine 3/2008 and in doing so I've learnt a few valuable lesson. Actually I'll amend that, I've had a few lessons re-enforced that I should already know.

1. When it comes to doing rolled hems especially around curves, slow and steady really does win the race!!!

2. Pinning before sewing is not necessarily the slower way to do things, particularly when you have to unpick twice before thinking "gee maybe I'll pin this and then sew".

3. When it comes to doing gathers, two rows of stitching is definitely better than one.

4. If your topstitching looks fantastic on the front... something must be wrong at the back (in this case the lining was caught up and wonky).

5. That a little extra time and effort really does produce great results.

I'm really happy with how this is coming together so far despite some of the moments I've had with it. I cant wait to show it off.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Little Munchkins Giveaway

The absolutely lovely Novy of Little Munchkins has an absolutely lovely giveaway happening at the moment.

"Up for grabs is a brand new unopened Claire pattern from Sandi Henderson of Portabellopixie fame. The pattern starts from size 6-12 months through 8 years. More details about the pattern here."
I cant urge you enough to check out the Little Munchkins, Novy's sewing and fabric choices is simply to die for. Head over for the giveaway, stay for all the sewy goodness.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A minute to stop and think...

Dad has recently taken up a new position in Angola. As a family, we've been very lucky with Dad's job. Being in the oil industry has given Dad (and as a extension us) the opportunity to see some absolutely fascinating parts of the world.

Dad's new job is in Angola. He's just arrived home today after being there for his first 6 week stint (which will become 4 weeks from now on). The very first thing he said to me was "life is cheap over there". He didn't mean the cost of living but quite literally life, human life is regarded with very little value. The cost of living is in fact particularly expensive according to him which would explain the sea of slums that exist there.

Now I'm no stranger to what slums are like. Living in Sarawak we saw them on a daily basis. In fact a large open expanse (which was to become a new housing estate) was all that separated our house from a near by slum area. I woke up each morning and could see it from my bedroom window. I've walked through slums, I've played along side the children who live there, I've even preached in slums. But to imagine 1 million people living in such a situation escapes even me. 1 million people??? Its incomprehensible. But that is the sort of situation that exists in Angola (and in so very many other parts of the world unfortunately). Dad has to go out with a guard and a driver for safety. Occasionally he has to drive through a "No Go Zone". Its a slum with over a million people which is avoided by westerners because of the threat of violence. As Dad said, "these people see westerners as rich and they are right, after all we have clothes, most of them dont. Young children, even young women have nothing to wear. The older women dont have anywhere to wash their things other than a dirty river and as you drive past you see hundreds of women on the bank washing the clothes. You wonder how they manage to get things clean, but they do".

Dad has three students who share his religion and Dad is going to be taking back literature for them. As we've just booked flights to Darwin, I've decided I'm going to be taking up lots of clothes that the kids no longer wear, so that Dad can take them to Angola and distribute them (with the help of his three students) to the families in the congregation there that need them. I'd also like to try and make up a few little bits and pieces, maybe some pencil or crayon rolls, maybe one a month or so for him to take over there as well.

Dad's seen a lot in his travels but his voice today more than anything conveyed just how appalled he is that our fellow human beings have to live in such poverty.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A day without coffee...

is still probably livable but I'm not going to take any chances.

In all the excitement, stress, angst etc of this morning (including but no limited to fabric glue not sticking feet on costume properly, not being able to find the face paint when it was specifically left on the bench last night (thanks darling - NOT!!!!) and little Miss being a right little so-and-so), I forgot to have my morning coffee. After the assembly this morning, it was a quick dash over to kindy to drop off Alex and then home. I was going to make a coffee then but got side tracked and now here we are at noon and still no coffee.

So I'm now going to go and change the situation. Afterall, it probably wouldnt be a good idea to take chances today after the way my day has been going.

Making his Fabric Addict debut, I give you....

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Hang on, not that one, this one...

(He's been on his tummy crawling around all morning LOL).

He thinks its wonderful!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Preview 1

Just for the added suspense, I'm saving the full dress rehearsal for tomorrow, but here's a sneak peak at what I've got so far.

(if you look at the cover of the book, the VHC (thanks K!!!) has blue and red spikes so I've used some wool to give my caterpillar a fuzzy look.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Two words...

which appear to be rather innocent on their own, but put together they strike fear into the hearts of many a mum, me being one of them - BOOK WEEK!!!

Now there are probably thousands of mums out there that think, no probs we'll just go to the dress up closest and pull out something appropriate but for some reason dress ups arent a big thing around here. Samuel and Alex arent fussed and heaven forbid I put some sort of fairy costume on madam, it would end up black in 5 minutes flat I swear.

Last year wasnt a problem. Good old Aunty Helen gave Samuel a Harry Potter costume and after a quick lightning blot addition with a makeup pencil we had a pretty good Harry Potter. However according to the rule (which were made up on the spot by a certain 6 year old), you cant go as the same thing twice *sigh*

OK so this has been at the back of my mind for about 3 weeks now and it would seem that just like back in my days of English Lit essays, procrastination is my friend. For some unknown reason it hit my last night - The Very Hungry Caterpillar!!! Its a classic tale and a green tracksuit with a red hood should fit the bill, no problems.

If is a very sad fact of life that green tracksuits dont come with red hoods. Its also a sad fact of life that behaviour of two children will decrease in direct proportion to the increased urgency of the errand you are undertaking. Such is life. Fortunately the green tracksuit situation was easily fixed, although tracking one down proved a little harder.

I managed to find a tracksuit top at Big W. Given that its the tale end of winter, it was being thrown out for $5. So as you can imagine I wasnt going to argue when it rang up at the cash register for $3 BONUS!!!

Kmart yielded nothing in the bottoms department but Target had some albeit in sizes 14 and 16. Still that was all we had to work with and at another bargain price (this time $6.88 down from $15.99) I figured we'd just chop them up.

So green tracksuit safely bought (plus 2 pairs of shoes and a bonus free handbag - yes it was my lucky day, then again something had to make up for the two little devils I had with me), a trip to Spotlight got me some cheap red fleece for the hood, blue and black felt for the antennae and feet and some milliners elastic to create that chubby caterpillar look.

Ottobre 1/2004 pattern 14 had the perfect hood pattern which was quickly traced off, cut out and attached. The antennae have been cut out, stuffed and are waiting to be attached and I'm currently running the elastic through at intervals in order to create the caterpillar bands. Then its onto the feet and then the pants. Slap on a bit of red face paint Wednesday morning and I reckon we'll have a fairly passable Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Its coming together so quickly and easily that I'm very much afraid something is going to go wrong, probably something along the lines of "I dont want to be a caterpillar" on Wednesday morning (I did make sure he was ok with the caterpillar idea but 6 year old minds are subject to change without warning).

Look forward to providing the first dress rehearsal once Mr 6 is home from school.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

S.A.D. makes me sad

I know, I know, SAD is something that you would normally associate with a country shrouded in darkness for half the year, not a country like Australia. Although its not prevalent here, its still estimated that 1 in 300 Australians experience "winter blues" to some extent.

Beyond Blue has this to say about Seasonal Affective Disorder:

Seasonal Affective Disorder - More than the Winter Blues

It's not unusual for people to dread the passing of summer and the onset of winter. Balmy nights spent outdoors are replaced by colder, darker evenings which force people to spend more time indoors.

For some people however, disliking winter can be much more than simply missing warm weather and summer activities. Winter can become a severely debilitating and isolating time as they try to manage symptoms associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) - but is it depression?

Associate Professor Michael Baigent, Clinical Advisor to beyondblue says SAD is a depressive illness that has a seasonal pattern. It's characterised by mood disturbances that begin in winter and subside when the season ends. It's usually diagnosed after the person has had the same symptoms during winter for a couple of years.

"The behaviour associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder is quite different from the mood changes a lot of people feel because of the change of season and the disruptions to their summer lifestyle. With SAD, the depression symptoms are more about 'slowing down'. People sleep more, eat more and usually crave carbohydrates which leads to weight gain. They'll have a lot less energy and won't want to spend time with others. SAD has a cluster of symptoms that makes the person look like they are going into 'hibernation'," Dr Baigent said.

The cause of the disorder is believed to be a lack of exposure to light. There is a much higher prevalence of SAD in countries with shorter days and longer periods of darkness such as Finland, Alaska and northern parts of Russia.

The pineal gland, located in the middle of the brain responds to darkness by secreting melatonin which regulates daily biorhythms including the sleep/wake cycle. It's believed that when this is out of balance, SAD can occur.

"It's important for people to get up in the morning and get some exposure to sunlight, ideally before 8am. Dawn and morning light is believed to be integral in regulating our biorhythms. Combining this with exercise is really important. If people feel this is not helping they should go to their doctor for more advice," Dr Baigent said.

On the whole I dont have too much of a problem with SAD. I try to spend time outside everyday but when its cold and uncomfortable outside its not really something you want to do. I also find that by about July my body has simply had enough and hibernation mode really takes over. I find it incredibly difficult to do just about anything. I find that even after a good nights sleep I'm still tired. And lets not talk about weight gain shall we...

So this is why I've had a month off so to speak. As spring gradually starts to take over I'm finding that my enthusiasm is once again on the up, starting in the garden (how could it not with all the beautiful spring blossoms starting to come out) but now progressing to inside activities too. And nothing beats waking up to daylight, absolutely nothing!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Modern day warfare...

I've got heaps to do and with school holidays on at the moment its just that little bit harder to get things done. But I've found recently that my greatest obstacle is hubby... or more accurately, hubby's latest project. I've recently inspired hubby to start researching his family tree, a project which he's jumped into with a great deal of gusto. In a previous life (ie the one I had before children) my line of work was in archaeology and here lies my inner turmoil of late.

I'll be at the kitchen bench cutting, or at the sewing machine/overlocker etc and I'll hear... "Honey, come and look at this". And I just know whats going to happen. The inner archaeologist will sudden emerge and the pull of the past will once again light up inside me. And despite the fact that I know full well that an entire evening of sewing will be lost, I'm helpless to resist.

I'm currently sewing up a gift for Mrs M@sk from Behind the M@sk. The only problem is, she's finshed cooking up her little projects... and I havent finished sewing up mine. Fortunately, knowing that new babies tend to end up with more clothes than they can possibly wear in a year (let alone the 2 to 3 months that they actually fit into them if you're lucky), I've gone for two outfits for next autumn/winter in the 6-12 month size range.

So now all I've got to do is entertain 3 children on school holidays in the midst of a massive though early spring clean/house overhaul, while trying to find the time/energy to sew all the while smothering the inner archaeologist who sits in the background awaiting those golden words "hey honey, check out this headstone!!!" with gleeful anticipation.

Not too hard at all...right??!!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

And a few more cause I can

And just while we are at it, I can't help but have a little gloat. I was at the school fence this afternoon waiting for class to finish and two mums walked past and asked where I bought her gorgeous outfit. I was pretty stoked to be able to say well actually I made it!!!

Its O+S but unlike any we've seen before Cap't

I would like to introduce you to the Mock Wrap Swing Top and Pants set formerly known as the O+S Bedtime Story PJs (with cameo appearance by Uptown Girl Jacket).

After I made my first set of O+S pjs (which I still havent blogged, but I promise it is coming) the pants reminded me of a really comfy yoga type lounge pant, in fact the whole thing did. So I worked on the idea that by sewing up both seams you could make a nice tracksuit. Now this works well in theory... it doesnt work quite so well in practise.

First thing I should have thought of. My first pair of O+S were made up in knit which is of course nice and stretchy, this velveteen isnt strechy. Also the ties help to give the pjs a bit more room. Suffice to say, once I'd done the side seams nothing short of removing body parts was going to get Miss C into that top. Back to the drawing board.

Once at the drawing board I decided to put a panel in the back. This actually gives the top a really nice swing look and gives the extra room needed to get a head, arms and torso all in all at the same time which is quite an important feature of any shirt I'm sure you would agree.

So there we have it Swing Top tracksuit from O+S... I bet they didn't even know it existed.

Doesnt she look sweet... its all a charade I tell you!!!

Thats it people, shoots over, I'm going back to my trailer!!!!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Head over to Little Munchkins...

...firstly because her sewing is simply incredible. Her attention to detail is superb and her fabric and colour choices are a delight to the eye.

Secondly because she is currently giving away 2 O+S patterns, one for boys and one for girls.

So pop by the Little Munchkins blog, post a comment, then hang around and soak up some crafty goodness there.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Uptown Girl Debrief

YAY its finished!!!! I've kinda been taking it slowly, just doing bits and pieces in the evening as I never seem to have enough time during the day. Its a great pattern and very, very easy but as it turns out I have some issues (like I dont know that already LOL).

I'm 99.9% sure that my issues stem from the pellon. I got it from Spotlight and they gave me 640 pellon whereas the pellon specified on the pattern is 630. I didnt realise this until well into it so I carried on regardless. Its made quite a bulky coat probably more than is necessary for a Perth winter. It looks great though!!

The first issue is a sizing one. As far as it goes the sizing is excellent however there isnt enough room in the back. I'm confident that this is because of the bulky pellon though NOT a problem with the pattern. Because I dont plan to use pellon in my next one it shouldnt be an issue next time.

The second issue I had was with finishing the sleeves. Boy is that fiddly to do at the end. Because they are fairly narrow for little arms the sleeve doesnt fit around the free arm of the machine. I took one look at those sleeves and then let laziness be my guide - I bound them with some of the gosgrain ribbon that I've used to embellish the front. Personally I think the bound hem looks awesome and I shall be doing that in the future as well. I'm also extremely happy with the ribbon embellishment in the front. I've found that as I get more confident with my sewing I'm willing to divert from the pattern a bit more and make the items uniquely my own.

Speaking of making items uniquely my own... I firmly believe that Uptown isnt just for girls. Stay tuned!!!!

(PS, it seems that not only is my middle name stubborn, but its also indesicive!!!! You might remember that I ordered ricrac to use on the jacket. Well I decided against that and went for the gosgrain instead. I'm really pleased I did because it looks great. What do you think?)

Pattern: Uptown Girl Jacket by Make It Perfect
Fabric: Crafty Mamas

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Stubborn is my middle name

I bet you're thinking "gee does this woman actually do any sewing or does she simply talk about it a lot?" Believe me, you are quite justified in thinking that. The sad fact of the matter is, I do talk the talk more than I sew the sew (or something like that). Take for example my recent "challenge". For some reason once it was "out there", I just couldnt do it. Its like I have this internal resistance device and it triggers once I have to do something. I can do just about anything on a whim or a fancy but once I have to do something the internal resistance device takes over and says nup, I'm not doing it because I have to do it. So I've come to the rather rapid conclusion the challenges are probably counter-productive for me and I'm best left to whim and fancy.

Thats not to say that I haven't done anything lately. I've actually tackled a few things. Firstly, I finished off a scarf that I started for Samuel last year. I'm not the greatest knitter in the world, not by a huge way, but slow and steady finally won the race. I love the result so much that I decided to make one for myself and guess what... start to finish 48 hours!!!! Awesome!!!!! This one was a little bit tricky as well (probably not for seasoned professionals obviously, but 'twas for me) because I put in a small gap to allow one end of the scarf through. I absolutely love it!!!!

Next thing that I tackled was the Oliver + S Pyjamas. I'm going to do a separate write up for these as I've got to get to Spotlight in order to get more white cotton to finish the hems but suffice to say I think they've come up a treat.

And last but by no means least, I've started cutting out the Make It Perfect Uptown Girl Jacket. I've decided (last minute as always) that red ric rac is definitely called for and so a quick stop by Ribbons Galore fixed that up, ric rac now in transit. Gotta love the internet for (almost) instant gratification.

I also found some absolutely gorgeous fabric at Spotlight which will soon become Uptown Girl Jacket #2. I'm thinking that this time rather than using the pellon, I'll use Procare lining to make a waterproof type raincoat. Still tossing up this idea but just for sneaky peaks here it is (and it was such a bargain - $5/metre)....

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Love getting mail...

and this one was full of snuggles...

I have to admit that I did almost died when I read the postage - US$51 eekkkkkkk, but totally worth it.3 metres of buttery goodness, so thick, so soft, so warm. Forget PJs, this one is all mine *sigh*

Thursday, May 14, 2009

And in news just to hand...

I've just received my Uptown Girl Pattern from Kelani. How quick was that!!!! I also got the Oliver + S Sunday Brunch pattern.

Still blown away by how quickly they got here... left me quite speechless I tell you.

Someone must have heard my despair

OK so after complaining about the lack of lovely fleece in Spotlight yesterday, I can only assume that someone at Mill Direct Textiles (the home of Malden Mills) heard my sulking and came to the rescue, for what should I find this morning other than an email in my inbox from MDT saying they had 35% off their recycled fleece. HOW COOL IS THAT!!!! And I refuse to think for a second that this sale had been planned from quite sometime, it suits my egocentricity much better to believe that they are doing this just for me LOL.

Anyway, as I was saying they have 35% off recycled fleece. What is recycled fleece I hear you say. Well no its fleece that they have sourced from the local op shop (or worse still the local tip) but according to MDT:

Recycled fleece is brand new fleece, made in the United States, straight from Polartec® LLC. The difference is that its content includes items from recycle bins, such as your discarded milk jugs and manufacturing by-products of the required content. The resulting molten polyester is purified, and spun into yarn.

Polartec® LLC is the world leader in eco-friendly recycled content synthetic fabric and has been developing recycled fleece since 1993.

In 2007 advances in recycled fiber options and quality allowed Polartec® LLC to release a new greatly expanded line of recycled fabrics. With recent yarn technologies the possibilities to expand and improve are endless.

Isnt that cool, empty milk bottles to fluffy, snuggly fleece, what will they think of next? And recycled fleece appeals greatly to my greener side. Off to place an order...

PS if you've never handled MDT fleece you seriously dont know what you are missing. When I say snuggly, I mean its super snuggly. And the feel of it is indescribable, its like silk in fleece clothing or is that fleece in silk clothing, get some and decide for yourself.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Spotlight was disappointing... (but check out the cute tute)

but its all we have to work with so we soldier on regardless.

Now of my four items I got a grand total of none. Yep, huge effort on my part. But that does not mean we left empty handed because I'm pretty sure that there is some sort of sewing law which states "thou shalt walk through the valley of pretty fabrics and thou shalt beholden fabrics. And she that beholden fabrics shall never be left wanting but for gold and will never leave the valley with empty hands"... or something to that effect anyway.

So yellow fleece, the only yellow fleece they had was baby poo colour, so not what I was wanting. I need bright yellow. The bright yellow they had was in polar fleece but I dont want polar fleece. To be honest I would love to get my hands on some bright yellow Malden Mills. Shall have to scout around some nappy stores.

Curtain stuff, well I'm decided to recycle the curtain bits and pieces already there. As Bob would say, reduce, reuse, recycle. Go Bob!!!!

Girly stuff for new found patterns. Once again, specifics already in mind. Hat, dress, jacket and I've got a fabric already here which I love and want to use for this but it needs a co-ordinating fabric and I was thinking a burgandy velvet or velour or something and guess who didnt take a swatch of the fabric I already have.

Lastly buckles, well I didnt expect to get anything even remotely resembling what I want so not in the least bit disappointed about this one.

I did get some blue mottled cord (I have this thing about cord, love the stuff!!!) and some bracelets for this extremely cute (and easy!!!) little purse/bag (Zofia of Crafty Mamas found this one so I'm passing it on too). Chloe loves putting things in bags so we got 6 bracelets for 3 bags which she can fill up to her hearts content.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Out and about

Anyone with a few little ones running around the place will well know just how difficult it can be getting out and about. Even though I try about go out while Samuel is at school, Alex and Chloe seem to have the innate ability to tag team - you go that way and I'll head this way. Add to that Chloe is rapidly approaching 2 and she's getting a head start on the terrible twos. It seems like she has gone from divine, angelic blonde angel to hellish, demonic blonde devil in just a matter of weeks. What happened to my sweet little petal *cry*

Anyway, I never seem to get a chance to head to Spotlight. Way too tempting for little fingers and trying to supervise two sets of little fingers leaves no time to actually look at anything. So from now on I've made a date with myself. Every Wednesday morning is going to be Spotlight morning. Samuel will obviously be at school, Alex will be at Kindy and Chloe can tag along with me. I've even got my shopping list ready in anticipation:

1. yellow fleece. Samuel wants some AIO pyjamas (the kind with feet). Actually if you ask him he'll tell you that he neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeds pyjamas with feet. And they have to be yellow. At least we have specifics to work with. Which is good because I can see them already completed in my mind. I know exactly what I want them to look like.

2. curtain materials for Pimp my Windows, pretty self explanatory really.

3. girly stuff. Last night I was going through a box of patterns and found some gorgeous girly winter patterns which I had totally forgotten about *kick in the bum*. So I'm really looking forward to having a look for a few girly bits and pieces so I can use a few of these patterns. Fortunately most of them are size 1-4 so still have a fair bit of use out of them for little miss.

4. overalls. Last visit I found some sensational striped cord and I've decided that its going to make so seriously funky overalls for Alex. Firstly I need to find the right patterns and I want some nice buckles. Not holding my breath that I'll find anything tomorrow, I think this is going to be something I'll have to look online for but you never know. If you dont look, you'll never find.

And on that rather philosophical note... it'll be happy shopping for me tomorrow.

Competition time!!!!

Have you seen "Make it Perfect"? If not, here's your chance to A. check out some fabulous patterns and B. possibly win one of those fabulous patterns.

I like them because they are fresh and funky without being fiddly. I find some pattern seem to be a bit over done. "Make it Perfect" aren't like that. Sensible, dependable with an added dash of funk. I like it!!!!

Now you can win the Uptown Girl Pattern as part of a giveaway.

Now if only it came in Mummy size... speaking of which, I'm getting a Summer Fling.

Good luck, have fun and dont blame me for credit card abuse LOL.

Oops... have ended up buying Uptown Girl anyway LOL so I now know for sure I have one on the way. Knowing my luck I'll end up winning this one too. Wouldnt that just be typical.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

OPERATION: Pimp my Windows - Intro

I love my house. I love everything about my house except one or two minor elements which I'm slowly correcting. One such element is the curtains in our bedroom.

Now when I think master bedroom I think elegance, sophistication, decadence. But in keeping with the style of the house (which is a federation style) I've opted to go for a slightly medieval style. But at the moment the curtains are letting down the whole effect. Thus begins Pimp my Windows.

The bed linen is Dorchester from Australian Heritage Linen. As soon as I saw it, I knew that was what I was looking for. It reminded me of the bedroom we stayed in at Clearwell Castle where my SIL was married in 2006.

So stunning bed linen - check, obviously the curtains are the next thing to tackle. Only problem is trying to get material to match. At first I was thinking of getting another sheet set and using the material but given that they are a little on the pricey side I left it for a while.

Then in December 2007 (well I did say it was a project with a long history) Spotlight were doing there regular Xmas markdowns. I had the most incredible luck getting a curtain set in a very, very similar navy jacquard. I was stoked!!!! However, there was only one set and they were for very narrow windows. In order to make these fit the windows, the one set of curtains would have to be sewn together which of course means I only had enough for one window. DAMN (but oh so typical)!!!!! I bought the curtains anyway, just in case.

Next I turn to my good pal Ebay and I wasnt disappointed but once again it was simply a matter of patience. Around December 2008 another set of these exact same curtains went up for auction. So it took another 12 months, but finally I had two pair of matching curtains.

What with one thing or another its now May 2009 and I still dont have the curtains up hence I've decided to make Pimp my Windows my main project for this month.

You name it, April's got it...

... birthdays, school holidays, public holidays, lurgies and all the rest. And as April draws to a close we begin to farewell those balmy autumn days (at least we should be) and so outdoor activities which need to be completed take precedence. Thus Operation Shed Move has taken over much of this month. April it seems is the month where routine is sent to live out in the chook pen for a month and chaos reigns supreme.

However all good (???) things must come to an end and routine is once again invited, nay begged to return. May is going to see the commencement of "Pimp my Windows" a little project with a long history. I cant wait to get started, I've been looking forward to this for a couple of years now!!!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Ideas needed...

Last one for today. I bought this gorgeous fabric last year. It is a piece of recycled kimono. I got it from kimoYES (kimo-no, kimo-yes, it took me a while to work it out) and its a sleeve from a child's kimono. The colours are so beautiful and vibrant. But its small, so it wont ever be a whole garment but will only end up being used for embellishments.

So does anyone have any ideas? I'm thinking maybe a pair of jeans for Chloe with the fabric peaking through in places. Possibly a short sleeve top with this material as the sleeves. I just dont know yet.

Just had to share...

this gorgeous material...

First off, no I did not make this. The dress is by Catimini, but isnt the material in the skirt just to die for. I absolutely love it and it fits Chloe like it was made for her. Very soft and silky, it just flows.

The skirt and jumper is all one piece and the skirt has the most beautiful box pleats. I can guarantee this will get a good wearing this winter.

Finally, a satisfied customer...

I tried the Safari shirt on Alex yesterday. Expecting his usual reaction I was quite surprised that he didn't make any fuss. Maybe he didn't realise it was made by mummy.

What do you think, he looks rather impressed right?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

You have GOT to check this out....

These cushions are soooooo beautiful

Stunning cushions

I'm in love seriously. I cant even begin to imagine the amount of work that goes into these.

There is also a little giveaway associated with the cushions so might be worth having a look-see just for that alone.

Safari anyone???

Yesterday I said that I was going to make finishing a couple of items I found a priority. Well last night I finished one of them. Its a shirt that I was making for Samuel but it looks like Alex might end up scoring this one too. Oops, probably not a good idea to finish things for the kids after they've outgrown them.

I probably started this about 18 months ago (yes truly it was that long ago). Its quite interesting to see how far I've progressed. I've noticed things, mostly with the overlocking, that I'm not quite happy with. Some very small areas on the inside havent been finished quite right but hey they are on the inside and its great to see that I'm get much fussier as I get better. I still love how it turned out though, it looks awesome. I love the epaulettes on the shoulders.

So without further ado...

Boys shirt: Ottobre 2/2005 Pattern 25
Fabric: Spotlight

Chocolate Frogs

In the world of frogs, one frogs stands out in a league of his own... the chocolate frog. Freddo truly is the king of the frog world and boy is he yummy (especially the strawberry ones, my favourite).

When I saw this fabric at Spotlight I initially thought about making shorts for both boys but the idea didnt really grab hold and I set it aside for a while. Recently I pulled out my winter fabric stash and found a long forgotten piece of chocolate cord and inspiration hit me because frogs really do look better with chocolate.

There is also plenty of the cord to make another pair of pants so I'm going to do the opposite effect, chocolate pants with the frog trims for Samuel.

Alex isnt particularly impressed by the pants at this stage but just wait til he sees the jacket that I'm dreaming up to go with them...

Pants Pattern: Ottobre 3/2005 Pattern 15
Materials: SpotlightThe back yoke isnt really this crooked, its just from where they were hanging on the line .

I've not done a waist band like this one before. Usually I just make the casing then thread the elastic through once its on. This one the elastic is attached to the casing then the casing is attached. It was fiddly and to be honest seemed like more work than the way I usually do it.

One silly thing I did (there is always something), I made the pant measurements in 104 but the length in 98 . But I should have moved the patch and knee pocket to reflect the 98 length but I left it at the 104 measurement hence the patch is a lot lower than it should be. Doh!!!!