Thursday, April 17, 2014

New Look 6579 - View B

View B is the top right pink dress.

Well, I stayed home yesterday morning (instead of going to the gym) and sewed away determined to finish the dress, or at least most of it. This is most of it done and she tried it on last night. We decided that we didn't like the raspberry flounce and I did not like those pleats. Urghh they look terrible when she wears the dress. It might have been suited to a more flowy fabric than the quilting cotton I used. It's from Spotlight when they had 30% off when you buy the whole bolt.

I had done the bodice which was pretty easy. It was my first properly lined bodice in a long time and I almost gave up wondering what to do with the yoke so I winged that a little. The pictures and instructions on the New Look 6579 pattern were not great.

I love the bodice though. The yoke is really cute and this is a size 8 which fits nicely on my 7.5yr old. It is a bit loose in the back though so I could have gone down to size 7 or maybe even 6. It's meant to be finished with a zipper.

Here are those pleats. The instructions say to fold them to the centre so they end up like box pleats? Anyway, the pattern shows two sets of pleats but the picture shows full pleats across the front so I went ahead and did another set on the centre front. It had to be done as the skirt ended up being perfect width when attached to the bodice.

This is a raspberry fabric I had in my stash which I'd hoped would go perfectly with this beige and light pink spot fabric. I did a rolled hem instead of a narrow hem on it. The flounce was too small for the skirt. WHAT??? How that happens I do not know. It wasn't very flouncy either? Maybe if I ironed it that would make a difference. I ended up taking in the skirt a little so make it fit and as you would guess, the flouncy was too big! Ha I was about to give up but decided to keep going and let some seam out (excuse the pun, totally by accident)!

So what now? I'm going to cut out another set of the skirt pieces and try a different one to attach to the bodice and see if she likes it. She said to me "Mummy, I didn't want to say I didn't like it because it's not nice to say bad things." How sweeet!

On a side note, she has lost two bottom incisors in two days. It's a sign to remind you that your babies are growing up so fast so I am trying to create good memories while they are still young and want me to hang around them. LOL.

I'll see you later with a dress update.

Monday, April 14, 2014

This Week

Hello everybody!!! I took a quick break today to announce the winner of the Scholastic Easter Book Prize. Random generator picked #2 who is: Amber Boyce. So send me an e-mail and I will post the books out to you asap. Thankyou to the rest of you who commented. I like it when I get comments!

We celebrated Palm Sunday and the girls wore their Sunday best. They behaved so well, actually all the kids behaved quite well and I consider it to be a fantastic church morning if none of them ask to go to the toilet. It is alot to ask kids to sit quietly through one hour of mass (or longer) and I didn't even bring any snacks to entertain them.

Yes, I have made a start on the Easter dress. I cut out the pieces today (which I think is the most boring and yucky part). I hope to get started on some sewing tomorrow. I have a charity meeting and church again tonight so no chance of getting to sit at the sewing machine tonight. This week will go in the blink of an eye.
Last week I made this delicious banana and choc-chip cake from the CWA cook book. It turned out well considering I never creamed the butter with the sugar. I am laaaazy. I only melted it and added the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. I shall share the recipe if you like?? I seem to only make banana cakes. What is with that?
It did turn out rather sweet than what I am use to and a teeny bit dry but I really like it. The kids don't mind it either so I'll be using this as my go-to banana cake recipe as it still used butter but only half the block. I can't eat it this week as it's Holy Week and I'm fasting from all meat and dairy products. It's a bit hard when I want to snack on something but I guess it's better for me. I shouldn't complain as we are truly lucky to indulge ourselves when it comes to eating.

Onto other things. Two kids were shifted off to daycare and two stayed home with me today. Wow, can I say how much more I got done since the little ones are not nagging me to take them to the toilet, pour them juice and clean up after their mess? It's amazing how much time I have on my hands! Tomorrow, I promised the school kids that I'd take them to watch a movie. I use to wait until I had another adult to help me but since I'll only have two school aged kids it's easier. I've never actually done that before. I'll be glad to spend quality time with them. I'm afraid the more kids kinda means less special time with each child.

I caught up on loads of washing but it sprinkled a little outside later on. We are heading into Winter so the days are a bit rainier and cooler. I got some vacumning (sp?) done and basically have a pretty tidy lounge room, which of course, will not last very long once they are home again. I even created a boring new header. Yayy.

I'll leave you with a picture of my niece doing the cutest smoulder look on her face. She is adorable! She kept blowing out the candles thinking it was birthday candle and kept getting me to relight her candle. God Bless her sweetness.

How are your school holidays going? Any ideas on how to entertain the kids without blowing the budget? I need some.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Little Readers Giveaway.

Scholastic sent me these First Readers recently. They are A5 sized books and are very much like the home readers the Kindergartens read. I like them because they are a good size for the kids to hold and are a good start in basic reading. These ones are written by award winning Australian Author/Illustrator Kerry Argent.
Here is the boy reading One Woolly Wombat which is an International Best Seller and a great Australian counting book. It presents the audience with the magic of dancing kangaroos, koalas sipping gumnut tea with lamingtons and goannas creating havoc in the kitchen and kookaburras writing with old-fashioned fountain pens. He would get a word wrong on some pages but he's a funny reader like that. He'll just add in words or make up words he thinks it would be. I'm forever telling him to read the words properly but he is a pretty good reader anyway.
I really love these little beauties. They are smaller books called Little Mates. There's a collection of them from A-Z and they're specifically designed with each letter of the alphabet for each book. For example, Easter Egg Express which uses lots of e words throughout the story. This is excellent because my youngest girl has some speech problems so we're using the Zippy Zoe book to concentrate on her getting the 'z' sound pr-nounced clearly. The more repitition she gets the better she will be saying those sounds.

See the example above of the 'e' words used in the sentences.

So, in honour of books and Easter I'm giving away three books! Hurray! The books are above: Two Kerry Argent books: At the beach and One Woolly Wombat and one Little Mates: Easter Egg Express.

You'll just need to enter a comment by Sunday 13th April so I can announce the winner that night and post the books out on Monday/Tuesday so they get to you in time for Easter.

I'm scrambling to find some time for those Easter dresses I promised. At least the kids will be on holidays next week and I'll be at home sewing them up in time for Easter Sunday! Fingers crossed they'll be done.

Hope you have a great weekend and for those who celebrate Palm Sunday I hope you have a wonderful time with loved ones and also at church, of course.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Singlet sewing and an Egg Hunt book.

Hello everybody! I actually sewed something up for myself yesterday. This literally took me one day! Yes, I make simple sewing sound like it was a huge task but some times it is when you have four kids, plus husband, to take care of. But I digress, the other day I was at Big W and they had a clearance of these Avella brand knit shirts. They were only $3.50 so I grabbed the biggest size in this navy and white stripe knowing that one day I would make something from it.

I spent yesterday afternoon cutting it out using a singlet top that I wear to work as a pattern. I basically cut and eye-balled it all. I zoomed it through the  overlocker (even being too lazy to change the white thread) and only needed to finish the binding on the neckline and back bottom hem. I kept the front hem. Good thinking 99!

I kept going after the kids were home from school (disregarding the fact that I still have dinner to prepare). I didn't have enough of the knit for the binding though so I ended up using a knit polo shirt that hubby brought home from work as it was a freebie. I did cut out pants for my son but I think they may be too wide. We shall see.

Anyway, to cut a long story short I stayed up last night after the kids were in bed and finished off the binding. Boy was that a bit of a task. I had no idea how much to cut up but eventually I had two strip pieces that I pinned in the arm holes and finished it all by midnight!!! I tried it on and I really like it. I thought it might be too big but it actually did some magical shrinkage as I sewed and it fits just right. It will be perfect for our Autumn which some days is still quite warm. But Winter is fast approaching and so are the cooler evenings. I'm so stoked I knocked this one out and it was a bargain. 

Scholastic sent us some more books and since Easter is just around the corner the kids devoured these Easter inspired books. In the picture above, my son has the book We're Going on an Egg Hunt by Laine Mitchell. It comes with a cd and Jay Laga'aia sings the story. My kids could spent hours listening and following the story. They never tire of listening to the song and they all love it, no matter the age.

Michael knows how to use the laptop so he keeps playing it for his brother and sisters. He doesn't need me to do anything which helps me out when it's cooking time. They all crowd around eagerly waiting for the music to start.

We've also got some first readers so I will see how he goes with those books and let you know and I shall run another giveaway too! Just thinking out loud, books would be a great present instead of chocolate eggs and bunnies since my kids recieve an abundance of them and it's not good for their diet.

I've come up with this idea that I could possibly get some Easter dresses make up for the girls. Remember that pink spot fabric I bought in the last post? Well, I do have some patterns I could whip up some dresses from and the girls should be so happy to wear on Easter Sunday. I shall get started soon but for now, my floor needs mopping. Hope you all enjoy this hump day and the rest of your week.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Coupons and discounts

Howdy peeps. It's true. I like to use coupons. It's not a huge thing here in Australia. I think we've only just started to see coupons popping up here and there and they can be quite worthwhile. Spotlight sent out a recent 40% off one full priced item until 24th February. It's sooo worth it if you have a project in mind or there is something you need at this greatly discounted percentage. I bought these sharp scissors and got $10 off the marked price. Say with me : "Aaaawessooome".

They also had the get 30% off when you buy the rest of the bolt so I did exactly that with this quilting cotton called Rose Frost. I'm sure my girls would love a dress and there was about 3.5metres of this pretty fabric. It could even be turned into a pair of lovely curtains I suppose.

I felt mother guilt and so I had to come home with these tiny elephants. They were on sale too at just under $10 a metre so hoping to come up with a good sewing project for the boys. I find it difficult to be inspired to sew up something for the boys so I've made it a point to rectify this.

Just next to the store was a outlet. I popped in to see what bargains I could get as that store was closing down. We were thinking about buying some bunks but they were pricey and we didn't have the luxury of spending hundreds. It's normally my job to hunt down these bargains and so when I saw this bunk I was quite excited. I asked the guy and he said he would give me a new set for $200 plus $50 for each mattress. Mind you, these are King Single (which I believe are just a bit longer than single size). Great! Sold. 

I had to enlist my brother in law who has a van and after a bit of time we got them paid for and at my house for a weekend job. Note to self, most petrol stations have atms so don't waste time waiting for atms at stores to be re-filled and working. 

It also means I need to scour the bargain table for King Single mattress covers, lest I make them myself?? Oh the thought! Can I get sheeting locally? Might have to print out another coupon then....

Here is my eldest wearing an item I had to pick up for her from Coles. Now that they sell clothing they have some really cute items. This was a bigger size so it's quite longer but she'll grown into it. I just needed something for her to wear that was fuss free after a swimming lesson (hence the wet hair). I wish it came in my size though. It's adorable in any size. And you gotta have a dress with pockets.

So that's it for now. Thanks for popping in again. I've skipped the gym today as I have too much to do. It was raining a lot yesterday and the sun is out today. This weather is so up and down you cannot tell if you need a cardigan, shorts or pants. I end up bringing almost a whole luggage bag when we go out with the kids.

Hope you are all well. I'm going to have some sewing therapy!

Monday, February 10, 2014

End of summer

This season we had quite a few pomegranates fruiting from our tree in the backyard. What I love about our tree is that it is minimal fuss so I can't really kill it through lack of love/maintenance. I did, however, pick a few nice looking fruit and placed them on the table. I was a bit afraid of picking them as I saw some spiderwebs. But can you see my little surprise hiding in there???

I ended up buying a new iron this year as my last Philips one was a bit scorched and started to smell a bit (the steam smelt). I made the huge mistake of buying one on-line during Christmas but it wasn't from a reputable dealer and they haven't sent it to me! Arghhh. I checked later only to find out that they were prosecuted by Fair Trading for not complying with their consumer laws. So lesson learned, make sure you buy from a company that has good reviews! Caveat Emptor! I should have known it was too good to be true.

Regardless, I will try to shake off that mistake whilst I actually am a bit excited about my iron from Target. It's the Philips Azur and although it's a bit noisy between irons I love it. They had a 15% off sale so it was good timing for me. I even covered it with a cloth to prevent dust from getting into it, how's that for iron love??
 Little Miss reading on her makeshift reading space...

Oooh I went to Ikea and picked up Skubb drawer organisers. They are awesome. However, they don't fit in my own drawers so they are in the kids Malm dresser. It makes finding their clothes easier and looks more tidy.
Loving more life hacks. Found this cardboard tube from possibly cling wrap?? Used it to keep my contact plastic rolled up. Are you a book cover expert yet? I did quite a few books this week but it has slowly subsided. I still get bubbles, lol.

See my yucky surprise? I got shivers when it popped out when I put the fruit on the table. The small spider was hiding inside the pomegranate. Urghhhhh. I squished it though. Not going to pick any more fruit any time soon.
Kids are back at school. I'm still working part-time plus running a St Vincent de Paul Conference. Life is busy but I've made a few changes. Quite simply I am asking for help when I need it and I've let things go that aren't so important. I've prayed and let things be according to God as he wishes and to give me strength. It's worked so far and I'm in a much better place than I was a few months ago. I'll make time for myself and to enjoy the good and the bad. Things are worse for others and my mantra is that I am so lucky to have the life I have now.
So looking foward to getting back into the swing of things and hopefully a bit more sewing or knitting or something!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

My new ironing board cover

The only bit of sewing I did this past holiday season was this new ironing board cover and hitching up some pants for a wedding we have this Friday. Hubby was forced to finally got around to getting these new pants as his old ones don't button up anymore. So I cut the bottom and did a blind-stitch on them. I love the blind-stitch using the machine. It takes a bit of jiggling around but it's a lovely quick finish.

Next, I had seen a tutorial for making your own covers so I had a go at my own as this is not your standard regular size board. I got mine from Aldi and it's like extra-wide and a bit longer so no shop bought covers actually fit it unless you get the ones from Aldi; if you're lucky that they are selling them. So as I was going through my stash I found this Robert Kaufman quilting cotton. I don't know what it's called because I sewed up the selvedge. Anyway, it's dotty and I really like it.

Oh and here's a skirt I forgot to blog about. It's from the Ottobre 2009 Summer edition magazine: the Velma Vintage Skirt. It actually requires one long piece of fabric to make the skirt so I only had this Spotlight cotton on hand. It's bigger than what I expected but the 7 year old loves it. I cut out the 110cms and it just fits around her waist. I still need the hook and eye for the back and I made a lapped zipper which was fine. I really like the ric rac and the pockets are a great addition.

I'm not sure if I like the fullness of the skirt. I mean the girl loves to twirl in it and she loves the fluffy-ness but I find it too full. Also the hem requires a lot of fabric as well so if you're short on fabric and you're using the pattern I'd suggest you could get away with a smaller hem. If I recall it was at least a 6cm hem (what?!).

Anyway, the youngest wants one too but I better get to it. Does anyone have a really good skirt pattern? Not too full? I'm not having luck with drafting my own skirt pattern to use with the lace I've jut bought. Maybe it's just the ruffling that is getting to me....

So I better go now. Time to make some dinner (even though I am so totally over food now) Too many parties... but still a few more to go...