Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pomegranate Top

Yesterday I took to the sewing machine. I let the kids run wild (they actually weren't that bad) while my littlest slept. I was thinking about thrifting some big mens shirts but I tried that the other day and it just didn't work out. So I went through my stash and found this lovely knit I got from Spotlight a while ago which was waiting for me to make up my mind and cut it up. I had a metre of it and I remember it was on sale. I'm not really into red/coral colours but once I tried it on I really love it on me. You can't see the white detail properly but it really adds a great detail to it and doesn't have any over-powering coral colour.

What I really wanted was to make a top that I could still wear post-natal, therefore breastfeeding friendly. I chose Simplicity's New Look 6697 because it's perfect for knits and I figured I could wing it on the belly and back piece. I will end up making a Spring dress later on.

I used the bodice pieces (view C) for this and it was perfect for a nursing/maternity top.

This is what I ended up with and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

I initially cut out a size 14 (38" bust) and it was too big so I went down to size 12.

It was still loose and gaped a bit too much for my liking so I pulled the wrap pieces across, pinned them and sewed them to where I liked so the front and back bodice pieces didn't necessarily sit flat, if you know what I mean.

The bottom panels were made using the pattern piece of the Front Skirt.

I had two rectangle pieces for the bottom panels. For the front piece I gathered it first to allow the fullness of my preggy belly. Then I lay both pieces together and I cut them out both the same size as the skirt piece except I left the length about 45cms. I didn't bother to measure the length really but when I put it over my belly I made sure it covered it with a bit more length. So I sewed my bottom panels together which created a little skirt (if you like). You can adjust the gathers as you need so it fits.

I enlisted the help of hubby to pin the bodice and bottom panel pieces together.

What I should have done was wear it inside out though cos he said he wasn't good at pinning and he was right, lol. At least he tried. The bodice piece was quite long so I ended up chopping off quite a good portion of the botom part. If you can see from the picture on the pattern the skirt part sits rather low. So fit your bodice first and then start on the bottom.


After the kids were put to bed I spent another hour and a half finishing the top.

It would have been finished in an hour if I hadn't pinned it incorrectly and ended up with a wrong side and right side together! Arghhhh.

* So I unpicked carefully and then lay both pieces the right way out. Then I flipped the skirt over the bodice so right sides were together and pinned again. The great thing about knits is that even if the bodice was smaller than the front panel you just stretch out the bodice to fit it.

*Notes: When you sew the front bodice make sure you sew on the seam where you have gathered. If you sew over or under it you can end up with either yucky pleats or you can see the basting stitch or stay-stitch (depending how you've secured the gather).

* I also stretched the fabric as I sewed so that when you wear it you aren't ripping out the stitches ( you know that horrible tearing noise you hear when you're pulling it over you)

* I was meant to have some binding on hand but I didn't so I just doubled over the edges (1/4" twice) and sewed them down. I think they look fine for the bodice. I overlocked the edge of the bottom hemline and then folded up 1cm and stay stitched it 1/4" from the edge. Strangely enough the length was pretty much straight and perfect so I didn't need to cut or measure the bottom.

There's some light blue knit fabric I have in my stash which I think will be another nursing top in the near future now that I have finally made a top I am very happy with. I shall be buying more knits in the future.

I hope you all had a great Easter! We sure did and I am still eating chocolate!

Cheerio and keep on sewing!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I love walking into my bathroom and seeing these roses from our front garden.

Father in law had pruned them a while ago and now they are coming back so beautifully.

They were just from Bunnings and I think I picked a good variety.

There's an exquisite yellow one with red along the edges. It's actually fallen over in the vase but I have since taped it back up. It also has the sweetest perfume.

So there I am with my almost 33wk belly and counting down the weeks.

Soon I hope to count down days and pull out the winter gear for this baby.

I've never had a winter baby before so it will definately be one of my many challenges.

I still can't believe I am carrying a baby again and everyone says they forget I am pregnant. I guess they are use to me just getting through each day as though it were a breeze. Truly, I tell you, it is not.

I'm better at planning though so when some of the kids are asleep (esp. the youngest) I can pull out the mop and clean my kitchen and bathroom. When they're awake I can vacumn even though they can't hear the t.v for a while. I've culled down lots of toys in the lounge so there is less tidying up. I try to fold in my laundry and put it away the same day or next morning.

I am looking forward to being at stay at home mum full-time again although I am aware of the sleepless nights soon to come (not that I get un-interrupted sleep!) I am .going to rely on a weekly milk and bread delivery from Aussie Farmers Direct so I don't have to worry about starving my children. I am going to take each day as I can and get help from able and single sisters!!! There's nothing like accepting help even if it is a little. A little goes a long way.

I have been sewing in between my busy days. Friends ask me where do I get time? I MAKE time. There is always time in the day to sew or craft. If you have time to go to the toilet you have time to sew/craft/create. It might be the same amount of time but there is time. For me anyway.

I did end up making these flat front pants using the MADE tutorial.

They fit my 3yr old perfectly and came in handy over the Palm Sunday weekend when I had no pants for him to wear. I might even try and squeeze in another pair for the Easter weekend but not sure on the fabric to use. The linen looks lovely but I don't have any with me at the moment.

There he is trying to sing on the mic at the birthday and gave us all a laugh.

You gotta love boys and I am truly looking forward to little baby boy cuddles come June.

I've also sewed up some quick cushions but haven't got around to photographing them.

One is a really cute bambi one with a button closure at the back. Seriously I don't enjoy doing zippers on cushions cos I always muck it up somehow.

Anyway, back to the hum dum of kids, working and looking forward to easter treats!

Hope you're enjoying your time too.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

One hour skirt

After reading the post on MADE about super simple skirts for little girls I knew it was something I could do in the short amount of time I had available.

I even found this remnant in my stash from the baby quilt I made last year.

The primary colours were just perfect and I feel so happy when I see it.

So I took to work on my rectangular piece. I used the full width of the material which was 112cm and chopped the length to 60cms. I even dragged out the iron and ironed my seams! Wowzah!

Here she is the next morning adorning it for preschool.

It does look slightly long but that's fine, she will wear it through Autumn and still fit into it 6mths from now (our summer). I love that it will go with just about any colour top as well.

I think post baby I will even make one for myself!

Friday, April 1, 2011

My Space

Ever since I saw the desk on Grosgrain I knew that I had to have that desk. Co-incidentally a week later I was in the vicinity of Ikea during a surprise birthday lunch and seconded my youngest sister to help me grab that desk. Luckily I bought the 1.5mtr Vika Amon desk because it just fit in the back of my car with it sticking over the top of one of the toddler seats in the second row. I was actually considering getting the 2metre length desktop which I would not have been able to take home with me. I was so anxious to get this desk together that I decided to do it myself with the cordless drill. I knew I was either going to stuff it up or at least try to get it done and it was actually easier than I thought. Those Ikea people are clever I tell you. I was more than thrilled when I turned it the right way up and adored the huge desk space for my sewing/crafting/anything! I have been doing some knitting as well. This is the Heirloom Baby Hat from The Purl Bee. I didn't have a proper marker and found one of my cheap earrings in my bag so that would have to do in it's place. I am learning how to do stripes for the first time and hope it turns out ok. On the cooking front I made thick yoghurt! It's so easy. You buy a tub of Greek yoghurt, you empty it into a cotton bag (or un-used baby pillowcase as seen here) and add a tsp of salt. Leave it to drain over night in a strainer of some sort (mine is an empty ricotta bowl) which sits in another bowl so that the fluid drains (mine was a perfect fit Pyrex bowl). The next morning you should find that most of the liquid has drained away and inside the bag you will have nice thick Labneh. Turn the bag inside out and keep the yoghurt in a airtight container. It should keep for a few days if it lasts that long. I must run, lots of little children crying out for my attention.