Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday

29th Dec 2007
A new life
A blessing
:: Happy Birthday Michael! ::
One whole year ago I pushed you out without any pain medication.
As I lay there with my eyes closed I envisioned a flower opening.
The midwife wanted to give me an episiotomy. What? Already?
After the first one with Little Miss I really didn't want another one this time around so I gathered up my energy and pushed really hard.
After 20minutes of pushing you came out as quiet as a mouse.
I held you on my chest and said "Hello little one"
Now you're not so little and you find many things funny. You laugh at Peek-a-Boo.
You have a light brown patch on the back of your head along with four teeth.
You've even taken your first step unassisted.
So, here's to many more years of cuddles, fun, laughter, and LOVE.
~Happy Birthday My Son ~

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!

It doesn't feel very Christmassy around here (it's Christmas Eve already here)but after you've wrapped up some presents there seems to be a little excitement growing.

That's my sewing corner and my new (old) set of drawers for my crafting/sewing station. I'm soo excited, can't wait to cram it with little bits that I won't be able to find later ; )

I managed to get Little Miss into her tunic this morning with the turtle neck I made before from the same book. We popped over to our neighbours and gave them a box of chocolates and card. I was relieved we came back without a toileting incident as we're training in underwear.

I think she looks very cute in it even if it is a tad bit long.

Have a very Safe and Happy Holiday. I hope you all have a terrific break or just enjoying some special time spent with loved ones.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Japanese Tunic

When I saw this in my pattern book I didn't think much of it.
Until I saw it made in a beautiful plaid fabric from the Japanese Couture Addicts site.

I bought this nice check fabric from an Asian fabric store. It was cheap and it's very light cotton.
Perfect for our summer down here in Australia.

Oh and I figured out why the shorts didn't fit Little Miss. Can you guess?
I forgot to add the seam allowance when cutting out the pattern on the fabric.
You see, all Japanese patterns DO NOT include a seam allowance. You have to add a 1cm allowance and check that some parts require more.

I decided to cut out the 120cm tall size. Little Miss is only 90cms but this would give her more room. Plus, I also didn't add a seam allowance either in this pattern.
I ended up with this. It reminds me of a school girl's uniform / tunic.

Above: Front and Back Views

Tiny little fake pockets. I figured out the easiest way to do this (is to not follow the book).
I took my two semi-circles for the one pocket, put them right sides together and sewed them together in an arc leaving the top open. Then I turned them inside out and pressed them down. Voila, nice little flappy things. (The book said to fold in each semi circle and top stitch them, yeah right) Moving on...

The best way to cut open your button holes is to pin the end of them so the seam ripper doesn't go right through the other end. DO NOT give this task to your HUSBAND. I've tried before and your buttonholes end up funny looking.

So... in the end:
the top part was a little bit too long for her
the skirt part needed to fit higher up on her waist
the neckline gaped a little so it was too big
It fit well around her torso. Not fitting and enough room for air to circulate.
Still, she could still wear it and run around in it without falling down. That's all that matters, right?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Haircut

Here's my new hair cut (and new sunnies to match)

I was reluctant to cut it short for a long time for a few reasons:

a) I didn't think my face could handle short bangs
b) I imagined having long tresses like Angelina-Jolie
and the infamous
c) My husband doesn't want my hair short

But, I got fed up with it, I didn't care how it looked and I let my brother have his long awaited bob-cut. Well, I love my hair now. I shake it to feel it's lightness whenever I can.

It is now sooooo much easier than having a ponytail or bun each and every boring day.
People seem to say that it suits me and hubby likes it too (bonus!)
Also on the plus side: Showers are faster and so is hair styling.

"How do I style my hair?" I asked my brother, the hairdresser
"Shake it" he says
"Oh" I say and laugh with my sister

I don't think I'll ever have long hair again...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Barcelona (Work) Skirt

Ok, this was one of the easiest projects I've done and it would be perfect for a beginner. You can finish it within a day if you had toddlers or say 2 hours if you had kid-free time.

I really needed a new skirt to wear to work (I'll start part time on Monday) and the Amy Butler Barcelona Skirt pattern seemed the perfect one. Don't mind my daggy home singlet.

To start off I bought some Cavalier Garberdine from Spotlight only because it reminded me of what we used for Home Tech back in high school. At $7.99per metre I couldn't go wrong, even if I did. There were more expensive versions of this black but I thought I'd stick to my budget and buy the nice stuff once I'd worked out this skirt. I totally forgot to buy a matching black invisible zipper and ended up putting a beige one. With that in mind, I thought to myself
'wouldn't it be nice to take some pics for everyone to see how I went with the zip, since it's a contrasting colour?'

So here goes... (p.s it is best to get a matching invisible zipper)

To the left are the instructions straight from Amy Butler. Very easy (tres facile) to do.

Sew in your zip and start your centre seam from where the coils end.
First, I put a small sticky dot label where the pattern indicated the end of the zip should be. You can chalk it in or use a fabric marker but I was using black fabric so sticky labels helped me here.

Next thing to do, you will need to iron your invisible zipper to open up the back part so it's flat. Do you see the two lines at the back of the coils? That's the part you iron. I would start on a low 'wool' setting so you don't burn the coils. Use your finger to push the coils down.
The picture is a bit on the side but you can still see the double row of stitch opened up and it looks squarish (if that makes sense), underneath that part are the coils.

Pin or hand baste one part of the FRONT of your zipper to the FRONT of your back panel. It doesn't matter which side you start with, as they both are the same method. It matters that you position your zipper correctly on the other back panel so it will zip up right.
I aligned the dot with the zipper end and pinned the first part of it in place. Front of zip to Front of fabric.
To start sewing down your zipper, centre your needle on your foot and sew very close to the zipper coil. The closer you are, the less you will see on the outside of the skirt.

You'll get stuck sewing when you get to the end. I only figured out later that it's best to move your zipper foot UP so it frees the space for you to sew the rest of the way down to the end where the coils finish.

Here is the left side finished and my right back panel pinned in place. These are the right sides showing. I made sure that when it's zipped up it was all correct. You don't want to be un-picking your seams.

Here is the back of my finished zipper. You can almost see the extra lines down the end.
And the zipper closed with the inner seam sewn up too.
When I tried it on at this point the waistline was too big. I could have gone down a size to small in this pattern. So I added two darts on the front. It seemed to help. I already sewed up the waistline and found the sides were too big and flowy. So this is how I took the sides in.
I lay the pattern piece on the wrong side of my skirt with the small size folded in. I re-drew in the 'small' marking line on the fabric with chalk. I repeated this step for the other side. I then sewed up these lines to take the skirt in a bit more.
The only thing left for me was to hem the bottom to knee length. There was about 10cm more that I chopped off the end as the pattern is very long. It proved to be difficult for hubby to do for me but he managed somewhat. I ironed it down trying to keep it straight, pinned it in place and sewed up the hem.
You can add a lining but I chose to omit it from this skirt.
Ta dah!!! My very own Barcelona A-Line Skirt.
I hope this helped. There are other versions here and here.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

And the winner is...

Well, it's now Sunday evening here in Australia. I've been really pleased with the comments and so happy that you like the shorts and my blog. I couldn't wait until I could type out those names, put them in a box, give them a shake and let Little Miss pick one.
So, the winner is trinitylou!!! My sympathies for the others, I wish we all could win every givewaway. I ,myself, have not won one yet so I know the bitterness of not winning.
On something totally off the topic, I gave my hair the CHOP yesterday. You know how it is. You have long hair for such a long time and then you have children. Then, all you do is tie it up in a ponytail every day. I've been wanting to chop it off for a while now and finally decided it was time, plus I'd had enough and didn't care whether it suited my face or not.
I'll post a pic of my new hair do later.
Off to find a contact for trinitylou...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Linen Spot Shorts Giveaway!

Entries now closed.

Today I decided to make some shorts for Little Miss Two +3mts.
*edit: now part of the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day. Click on the hand for the list.

I found inspiration from the French site for Japanese Couture Addicts from the Sassy Girls Clothes Japanese book I own. Yes, it's a mouthful. I just wanted more time and luscious fabric.

I really love the plaid tunic and I have always admired the shorts that were made from the pattern. I had bought some double-sided gingham from Leslie (as you do) and had no idea what to make from it. It's like a linen blend and being double-sided I really did want to make use of it. However, double-sided things are not to be... for now.

I digress, I made up the shorts in the usual size (the smallest - 90cm Toddler) and guess what? the darn waist was too small!!! About 10cm too small to be exact. I don't know how or why the pattern is like that. I yanked off her nappy and it just fit. I squished her into it. What a shame. Even hubby liked it alot.

So, I am giving it away! The waist measures 43cms so if you have a skinny 2T you might get away with it. Otherwise, it should fit a 1yr - 1.5T (if that makes any sense)

** Just leave a comment and I'll draw out the winner on Sunday evening and announce Monday morning (AEST 8 Dec) **

I'll get DD to draw a name out of a box. All tags will be the same length so it doesn't matter if you have a longer name.

Off to do my normal duties and clean the house ; )

Monday, December 1, 2008

Lil Cowgirls Lamp

I bought these lamps when we first moved into our home. They matched our walls and were a plain beige with a slightly greenish tint on the base. They also started to come apart.
I bought this Michael Miller Lil Cowgirls fabric a while ago just for this project from Quilt Fabric Delights.
I traced the template for the lamp and glued it in with fabric glue. I think a spray adhesive would have worked better. I should have added a little more to go over the edges. It's been sitting near my sewing machine for quite a while. I mulled over how I would finish the edges. Since it's quite round, the bias I cut wasn't working well. It would wrinkle a little as I pressed it into the edges. Then I bought some frilly edging to put on the bottom but I'd underestimated the length and you know my pet peeve about measuring [blush].
Finally, I used the Ric Rac I bought a few weeks ago. I decided to have some of the edge stick out so that it hides the unfinished edge of the lamp. I used the fabric glue and voila!, a lamp for my little girl's bedroom. I feel so good whenever I see it. I hope she does too.
*Pinch and a punch for the first day of the month. Only 25 days til Christmas!!!