Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Spring Flowers

I just love love love love love roses. I had hubby plant a whole row of roses during Winter just under the front of our house. They are now flowering and I love their vibrant colours. I took out my trusty Canon and used my macro setting to take these. I wish I was a professional though. My pics just don't do them justice.

I think it's breathtaking views like these which inspire those wonderful designers like Anna Maria Horner, Amy Butler, Michael Miller etc.

Monday, October 27, 2008



Kathleen of Grosgrain is opening up a new on-line store. Hurrah!!! I wish her all the best. She has a bright future ahead indeed. I wish I had half her talent!

I wanna win these skirts and tops!! Fingers, toes, arms, legs, hair, eyelashes... everything crossed.

Japanese Skirt

Spring is unpredictable down here. One week it's as hot as an oven and the next as shockingly cold and wet. In any case, I needed a skirt (or skirts) for summer.
I got this Japanese print from Spotlight. I had to go in twice as the kids went beserk on me while I was in there being soooo undecided. There were mothers who smiled at me with a knowing glint in their eyes.

Last year I was pregnant and I had 8 weeks left til my Little Boy decided to make an entrance. I could have done with this lovely Mama Style Japanese skirt at that time.

It takes a while for a Gemini to decide and decipher how big I wanted my skirt. Many things in my Japanese book aided in this confusion.

1. There were TWO charts for the sizing of S, M, L! What the?? There was one on the illustrated instructions page and there was one on another page further in the book with just written instructions.

2. Then there was the strange waistline measurements: 57cm, 62cm, 64.5cm.
I measured my waist... 86cms... not even close. Half a waistline? Surely they are talking about real people. Perhaps they mean finished waistline size? I didn't have the slightest.
My decision was to first make the largest size and bring it down. Whoa it was big. The rectangles I ended up with could have been wrapped twice around me. So I cut them down to the size Medium - 54 x 48 cut on the fold for the front and back.
It was pretty simple and easy to make. Even the gathering was easy. The Japanese method is two sew two lines 1/4inch apart and pull the bobbin thread to gather.
I was quite happy with how it turned out. I think it was fluffier as I added a light muslin lining. It did end up quite roomy from the waist down so I should have made a much smaller size. I did have to take it in even more once I was done. It also came down over my knees making me look shorter. Uhhh.
In the end I'm still happy with the result. I will try an A-line skirt next though as they look better on me. At least I can breeze through summer now and make a smaller version for Little Miss with my left overs.
Edit: After another squint in my book I finally realised that there are two versions of this skirt. They are worn by two different ladies. One is a shorter version and the other is a longer version. I think I made the longer version. The instructions were both the same.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Save your Selvedge!

No, no, no... I did not make this star. This star is made completely from selvedge by Sarah London. How cool is it!

There's a Selvedge dress here by Ric Rac that's just so incredible. Imagine how many woman hours it would have taken to get that done! Selvedge projects are popping up in blogland and I thought I should share with you. Yes, I admit I'm nowhere near original when it comes to posting but I just gotta share the inspiration I find.

* Selvedge is... the part of the fabric right on the edge, you know, the strip with dots on it with wonderful colours and some times it includes the makers information and name of fabric. Ooooh the colours on it.

Just check out the selvedge of my pj fabric. It would certainly help me choose my colour palette as I am a bit colour challenged.

I'm coming to terms with selvedge now. I know that my grain lines should run parallel to my selvedges and I can measure two parts of my grain line to my selvedge to make sure it's on the grain.

I'm thinking I could make a selvedge fabric ball. Mmmmm I wish I'd saved more of my selvedge.
I need more.

Down here we are feeling the bite of the 'recession'. I have held off fabric shopping :(

Not sure how I will get those Xmas pressies started. I've decided to make some pj's for my sisters with this wonderful pattern - Simplicity 9505

I'm loving how easy it is to sew up and they look great too. I'm going for the singlet top and pj bottoms. I've done the shorts and I'll do the top next.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

For him and for her

I haven't had much time to sew lately. If you watch me at home you can tell. I'm a bit narky, impatient and grrrr'y. I blamed it on hormones but really, it's because I didn't get any 'me' time.

I've been feeling so guilty that I haven't sewn anything for my boy. So, I sat and made the him a fabric ball. The pattern is from The Purl Bee and it's really easy. The hard part was sewing those darn circles on either end. The edges just wouldn't iron down and my hand stitching leaves MUCH to be desired. In any case I think it's so cute. I'm glad I had some co-ordinating fabric in my stash. I also had an old soft ball I bought from a $2 shop with a little kitten bell inside. So I tore up the yucky fabric and made this cover instead. I hope he enjoys it.

The weather in Sydney is up and down. One day it's warm and balmy and the next there'll be rain, rain, and more rain. Little Miss doesn't have summer pj's so I decided to whip up some for her. I had this Butterfly Garden fabric from Spotlight in my stash just perfect for this project.

Note: The pants were a bit big in the thighs and the crotch hung a bit low. I wish I'd read these tips on how to alter childrens clothes at S.M.S Blog. I'll use it for next time.
The top was a Japanese book pattern which I slimmed down dramatically and I decided to add ribbon instead of bias along the neckline with shoulder ties.

Now... onto some summer pj's for me.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Simplicity 3887

Hurrah. I had some time to trace this pattern and cut out the pieces to make this simple top.

I kinda hurried this one for some reason and even if it didn't turn out I was determined to finish it one way or another. I wouldn't wear this one outside of the house. You'll read why below...

In my mind I thought it was going to be more flowy and I used a 1.5cm seam allowance. This is a size 10 and it turned out kind of just fitting on me (blush). I also want to add that the material I used did not have much 'give' as it was viscose-y type of cheap material. It also made it harder to sew as it needed a sharper needle. I just loved the colour when I saw it and it reminded me of the material mum use to buy to make her singlets for home. I think she even still wears them at home.

Things to note: View E, without elastic on the bottom hem.

1. I botched up the neckline. The back of it is longer than the front. Haven't figured out why yet. No matter how I cut and trace my patterns somehow the notches don't always match up.

2. It needs more room across my bustline. If I twist my chest in it, it stretches out in that area. The sleeves, I could not for the life of me, figure out until I saw some tops from ladies who blogged their version. It's possibly why my bustline is a tad bit small. Funnily enough it fits me without having to do any alteration.

3. The neckline (don't get me started) wasn't as hard as I thought and after I pinned it on (without basting it down) I sewed like a mad woman, not caring how I gathered it and I told myself "well, it wouldn't fit me anyway" to compensate my madness. It could have also been that I wanted to use my time at the machine while the kids were asleep. Hee hee.

As a person kind of new to sewing there were times when I got stumped but the pattern was easy to put together in the end. I'd give it an 8.5/10 for easy to make and 9/10 for how cool it looks. Next time I'll use much prettier cotton fabric.

Still, it did turn out...some what. Don't you think?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Getting ready for Christmas

This year for Christmas I am going to try my best to make my special people their gifts.

Normally my family traditionally buy gifts for the children. They all sit in the lounge amongst humongous bags filled with toys they will probably only play with a short while.

I decided that I would make something more meaningful like bags for my sisters and maybe clothes for my nieces and nephews.

I have A LOT of sisters, 7 to be exact. I am the only one who sews.

I don't think I'll get around to making 7 bags but at least I can try making bags for the ones who need them. I managed to score the Amy Butler Birdie Sling bag pattern (whew, take a breath) off e-bay from a US seller, as it turned out cheaper than buying locally. Our Aussie dollar had to take the biggest tumble it's had in the last 10yrs TODAY, didn't it. Just my luck. Still I was happy it was still under the amount I've seen on web sites here.

I also was so thrilled to see Colette's post about Simplicity 3887 that I thought I should give it a go. I do have a party to go to this Saturday and with absolutely nothing to wear I've got some nice flowy material that should cover my ever growing muffin belly.

I shall keep you .. well.. posted (excuse the pun!)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

While we were offline

The swing top.
In the tree
On the carousel
In mummy's sling

Well I was sick last week, hence no time to post or sew something new. Also, our internet limit was blown halfway thru the month so that hindered me even more.

I'm fine now but Little Miss has Impetigo on her fingers, toe, actually all the places she scratched. She has eczema (darn asian skin) but it got worse and I'm pretty sure Little boy passed it onto her. He's all clear now but she has sores on her fingers, knees (go figure) and a fat ugly one on her toe. It takes me some time to rub the cream on them and bandage them and she just sits there patiently waiting for me to finish. Such a little darl.

We visited Wildlife World in Sydney. It's next to the Aquarium. I liked it but I prefer the Aquarium better. There she is peeking out from one of the fake tree trunks. Of course she did have a hissy fit once I tried to remove her from there. I think she cried for like, 10mins after that. I am learning to ignore it and just re-assure her so she calms down on her own.
I brought my sling along and it was very useful as he just loved to look around and smile at everyone, especially the women. He's turning out to be such a womaniser, I believe it to be in the genes. I can't believe he's now 9months! Time does fly, especially when you've already got one.

My link for you today is about kids : Kidspot.com.au because you can never know too much about children ; )