Thursday, October 7, 2010

Major Bummer

We had a family holiday on the weekend, a break from the rat race, time to reflect and catch our breath and try and focus on the next few months ahead of us. Invited to a friends 50th in Qld we decided to kill 2 birds with one stone and booked the holiday.

Packing is never pleasant and usually I ALWAYS put at least one days worth of clothes in 'the other suitcase/hand luggage' just in case something happens to the big case. This time I didn't. This time something did happen to the big case and 6 days on it is still missing.

Amongst the clothes, toiletries, shoes and other bits necessary to entertain a 5 year old away from home, was our camera. The camera with Amelia's 5th birthday photos on it, our day trip to Canberra with Grandma for Floriade and the photos of my latest fabric purchases and completed projects. I am SO bummed! I haven't seen either lot of photos, there hasn't been time.

The inconvenience of not having my hair brush, our tooth brushes, the melt down when Amelia realised her favourite new sandals were in the case, and Stef being without his meds for 4 days is getting to the angry point now. Looking for 3XL mens clothes, larger sized womens clothing, kids clothes that weren' blazened with advertising for the location we were holidaying in and undewear on a wet Sunday in a tourist town was not easy. Thank heavens for a somewhat decent IGA and a very expensive boutique. Stef and Amelia were fine, I sort of had to make do with the clothes I was in for the weekend until we hit Target on the way to the last day of our break. And just buying 'the basics' added about $300 to our holiday budget, not to mentin what we have had to replace since we have been home...

Surely someone didn't take the case off the carousel by mistake, there were no cases left over. Surely one of the airposrts has the case sitting in the lost property room. Surely one of the staff on the 'Baggage Blues' counter at each airport has read the emails we have been told have been sent and has looked to see if there is something that fits the VERY clear description of the case.

So, I will have to use my phone to take pictures in the meantime but the picture of the finished cushion that was the gift for the 50th we went to, sorry, you can't have one of those. Might ask my friends daughter to take one and email it to me.

This is supposed to be just for sewing updates but I am SO cross I need to vent and Facebook isn't cutting it for me at the moment!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Funky Flower Pants!

Still inspired by last weekends 'Martha' moments I whipped these up today. They are SO groovy maaan! Flower Power all the way :-)

Same pattern as the PJ bottoms and gee they look awesome in this heavy cotton/ almost denim. I think they could pass as 'jeans'. Now just a matter of persuading a certain little girl that she might like to try them on... maybe tomorrow for swimming/ school...

Oh and PS: The dressing gown is finished... chickened out of button holes (a time factor as well as skill) so we have poppers behind the buttons, it works and has been worn since I finished it last night at about 6pm, went on, removed for bath, worn to bed... think that one is a hit!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pink Dress & PJ's

Well, what a busy few months I have had and that does not translate to being busy sewing... fundraising for pre-school getting in the way of my fun, very much so! All for a good cause sadly...

What seems like a gazillion years ago Amelia chose some 'winter pink' cord from Spotlight, and the pattern from and has been waiting every so patiently for something to be created. With her good buddy Isabella Bella's birthday looming the pressure was on for a 'new dress' to wear!

Sadly all these projects need at the top about 2 hours max from cutting the pattern out, laying the paper pattern on the fabric, cutting it out and sewing. Oh to have 2 hours spare a day, there would be no projects outstanding!

So, we cut and pinned and sewed and tried on and reread instructions and sewed some more and tahdah! Done!

And the best thing is, she has worn it more than once and watches the empty hanger in her wardrobe and asks if she can wear the dress again!

A similar distance in time ago I bought some fabric from and after having had to place an emergency order for my misreading of the pattern and getting an extra half yard of a few fabrics I was set to go.

Nighties were the immediate need, nothing available in the shops in warm flanelette for a start or that was young enough or free from the blazen adornment of some Disney character. I can not abide my child being used as a billboard for these companies!! They have their fingers in enough marketing avenues as it is without it being in my home as well...

So, the original plan was 3 nighties but with my misreading the pattern and the delay in making one of the fabrics was out of stock so plan B, 2 nighties and a pair of mis matched but somewhat groovy PJ's which are right up Amelia's avenue with her wonderful sense of style :-)

So, Blue Owls, gorgeously soft and lush and warm fabric, easy to sew with and I far prefer the nightie pattern top, there was a lack of instruction with the PJ top so I 'winged' it... But the opening on the nightie is lovely, simple and easy!

But the nightie first. I made a size 7 because Amelia is a giant and I want it to last for next year as well. It is a little big and she has to pick the skirt up to walk but by gosh is it warm and toasty!

And the PJ's. The flowery fabric was not available so I chose the pink stripes and I love them! I'd like to try the top in a thinner fabric. But the pants... I LOVE the pants!

Do they work together? Meh, I don't care! They are funky and Amelia loves them!!! With a capital L!

Next, what to tackle next... I have a quilt to make, a dress to go to France before their summer runs out, another nightie to make before our winter runs out, a pinefore and I should probably make a start on my Xmas projects... yikes! I had better start magic-king those 2 hours in my day...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Night Shift

I have a love/hate relationship with Stef's night shift. I love the evenings to myself when I can do what I want, chat to a friend, sew, surf the net, watch a chick flick... I hate that I have to do dinner, dishes, bath and bed for Amelia by myself after a long day with her. I love having the bed to myself but hate not having him in the bed with me. I find weekends a struggle as there isn't the activity distraction a weekday brings and our usual haunts are busier with weekend crowds. Saturday and Sunday night shift are the worst as he is asleep all day Sunday. Sunday is a family day and I don't like rocking up to friends places unless we have been invited. Sunday in between night shifts is becoming commonly known as pyjama day! Thankfully it doesn't come around that often and after a hectic week and hardly a day at home this month today was declared as such, she set about doing her 'stories' (playing) and I hit the Janome!!

So - the dress pattern bought from here we made view D with short sleeves. I made the bodice and the skirt a few weeks back, again while Stef slept but Amelia was at school that afternoon. I have been very proud of this as it reminds me of something but I can't remember what, perhaps I had something like it as a young girl.

Amelia and I were in a discussion over the length of the sleeves, a very hot discussion! She wanted long (because the pattern has long sleeves) but the fabric is a lightish weight cotton and would need something underneath it and I wanted short because I made it quite big and think it will fit her next summer.

We talked about the sleeves this morning. I put a sleeve on her arm and asked her how short I was allowed to make the sleeve, she put her finger on her elbow, I figured that was a good compromise so ran with it! I need to add some buttons to the front and the pleat on the sleeves but it is done! A proud moment for me... I didn't make the hem very deep but the skirt looks quite a lot shorter.

Then I was persuaded to start the dressing gown I cut out so long ago! I bought the pattern in the same order as the dress pattern. A funny story to tell with the micro fleece, it has been such a long time since I have done any real sewing without anything other than plain safe cotton. Micro fleece has a pile and I forgot about this and cut the whole pattern out upside down! I managed to cut it all out right way up with the pile going the right way but was short enough fabric for one sleeve... So I made a rush order to the lovely ladies from here and bingo, 8 days later my parcel arrived!

This pattern was very involved and did require my full attention and I had to read one part of the instructions aloud SEVERAL times to get them but we got there in the end. Just the button holes to do which are scaring me a little! I think Amelia's favourite thing are the heart pockets. This has a very deep hem as I hope she will get a few winters out of it!

Night Shift, there is good and bad... But mostly I love the fabric allowance, I mean, penalty rates!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

On a bit of a roll

So coming home from the expo I was determined to at least get a skirt for me cut out. Taking FULL advantage of Amelia being busy with her fairy rose circle in the garden and Stef keeping an eye on her while he did some 'stuff' outside I not only cut, but sewed, ironed and completed said skirt!

I do like it, especially the ruffles on the bottom and I am amazed at how quickly it came together but it is almost too long and I don't know if I should have perhaps made a smaller size. I am not a huge fan of wearing skirts but forcing myself to get out of pants and I will keep making them until I find one that works for me!

Craft Expo - Homebush

Well, I wasn't going to go, then I was, then I wasn't, then I did and I sort of had a great time! I didn't manage to completely escape Amelia but it would have been Stef's Mum's birthday today and while the Polish tradition is more to celebrate name days rather than birthdays I sort of suggested that Amelia could come with me giving Stef a bit of time to go and visit his parents. He hasn't been to see them since his Dad's funeral so I didn't mind Amelia coming with me, for a little while anyway.

I knew she would either be bored rigid, be blown away, be touching everything or be a real pain in the butt! Thankfully she was none of the above and all of the above. We were both blown away by the quilts on display, she took an active interest in the things I looked at, she was in awe of the people and the things on display. She chatted to the ladies (and men) at the stands, paying extrodinary attention to the lady on the Better Homes and Gardens stand and managed to talk me into buying more than I wanted to... I really didn't want ANOTHER cross stitch but this one was just too cute and she is Digger Digger Dog mad, this might curb her desire until we get a 'real' one! I also found a plastic thread organiser with a blade incorporated into it for $5 so I thought that might come in handy if I ever get to go on a plane and need a project to take with me... Can't take scissors any more but apparently you can take this! Amelia decided that she would like to go home with Daddy so he popped in picked her up and emptied his wallet about an hour after dropping us off.

I also bought some buttons to go on 'the dress' but think they are a little small and some pom pom trim to go with a blue fabric that will be a summer dress.

And inspired by one of Lisa's purchases I spied this panel and a certain 5 year old space mad boy sprung to mind! I have never made a quilt, no idea on size, what to do or even how to start but drawing from all the inspiration I saw today I am sure I can do something, whether it will be complete for his 6th birthday in July or not is another story, I can always get an extra 5 months on the project and make it for Christmas! Thankfully Lisa had also mentioned that there were fat quarters for $3.50 (not the $6 most palces had them for) and remembering the lost black and gold fabric that has quite a story to it that would be a perfect backing or border or something I figured I'd give it a go... stay tuned!

After I had walked up and down every isle several times and spent pretty much all I had to spend I decided I was done and started walking home as Stef and Amelia had just sat down to lunch. Managed to get over half way. Pleased I got in some me time and some exercise, it has been a great day!

I also bumped into a lady who sold me the rotary cutter and board from the Rosehill Stitches and Craft show which is pretty amazing considering the amount of people that were there and the amount of booths that were there!

Fabric order number 2

Here is a picture of the fabric I ordered in my 2nd order. Micro fleece in pink and white from Michael Miller for a dressing gown for Madam, the Kaffe Fasset for Mum's yoga bag with the pale blue shot cotton to line it and the Oriental for JT's bag

The micro fleece is OH so soft! I think that might be my next project as the mornings have a real nip in them now.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

New shopping trip and completed projects!

So fabric spree number deux and no photo of the stash (it has been a busy week...)

But, this time I went shopping with specific projects in mind. I actually just needed 46inches of one fabric to complete a skirt but that fabric had been discontinued and I really didn't want to miss out on it so I am just fortunate I have some lovely sewing friends I managed to coerse into helping me put an order together! 43 yards of order!

So, my mum and my neighbour both do yoga and have both had recent birthdays and have both dipped out on pressies due to lack of time, ideas and finances. While I was searching a website, not sure which one, I came across this pattern which I declared perfect, and their birthdays were just the excuse I needed to make them!

Mum is a bit of a plain Jane with fabric so I chose the stripey fabric which I think is a Kaffe Fasset (and I managed to match the stripes, quite proud of that!), and my neighbour has Japanese connections so I took these on board when I was searching the site for fabrics. Mums is lined with a simple pale blue shot cotton and JT's with a slightly heavier cotton I was given with a massive fabric order ages ago at Spotlight - it is faded and was in the remnent bin. As the Oriental fabric is quite light it gives the bag a bit more structure but it made it quite thick to sew in places.

I hope I have got the fabrics right! Well I know one is as I gave JT her's yesterday and she was thrilled! Isn't the green flowery oriental fabric divine! She has 2 boys so something pink and slightly girlie is in order I think!

The pattern is quite easy to follow, although I did have to read some of the steps aloud v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y to understand them! I made these parallel (as in at the same time) and I think all up it took me about an hour and a half to finish the 2 of them, with numerous interruptions! I have a few other friends who do yoga and I have a funny feeling there may be a few more of these go through the sewing machine before the month is out!

I've been shopping!

Actually I have had 2 shopping sprees since my last post! It is insane that it is cheaper to buy fabric in America, have it shipped and even with the exchange rate it is cheaper than buying it here. But it's true. Add to that patterns for $2.99 (on special) and I am one happy little vegemite!

I don't know the names of each of the fabrics but I bought this lot from here
There is some of the Pillow and Maxfield Whimsy
some flannel (which is SO soft and super cute!)
there is some voile which is so light and silky smooth
and some cotton.

Some of it has projects allocated and some I just bought because it was nice, who needs a reason? Right?

And I bought some patterns as well. I can't believe I paid nearly $20AUD each at Spotlight for two of these and I paid $2.99USD for each patter from here

I have made a skirt for me which I don't think I have photographed. It came out okay but I regret not making it a little bit longer. I can't wait to start the winter nighties for young lady!

And I have been making this for Amelia, it obviously isn't finished yet as there is some debate over the sleeve length... She wants long but I want short! The fabric is quite light, too light for a proper winter dress. And I made a size 7 which is a little big on her.

There is a bit of a puff of chest with this dress, it really is lovely! And I did the contrast without instructions, there aren't any on the pattern (or at least I couldn't find them)

I think I am going to have to make a second dress with long sleeves out of her next favourite fabric and keep my fingers crossed I can get away with popping short sleeves on this one! I know it is easy to wear a skivvy under a dress but we have a few fashion faux pas going on, I really don't want add another round to the daily getting dressed battle...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Birthday Cushions

We have 2 little girls birthdays this month, Alyssa my Goddaughter is turning 3 and Jemma, one of Stef's friends daughters, is turning 2.

Alyssa has another gift coming as well as the cushion and Jemma no doubt will have something added to the cushion gift. We are on a bit of a budget and with the sewing machine taking up residence at the end of the dining room table for the past few weeks I have been on a bit of a roll making things. Spurred on by the prospect of a BIG parcel arriving from America filled with delicious fabric I have numerous projects to complete before I can get started on the patterns and fabric that will arrive!

I bought the pink gingham (Spotlight home decorating section, massive 2. something meters wide sheeting) with the intention of making a single duvet cover Amelia got for Christmas into a double to fit the duvet on her king single bed. The width of fabric I purchase was cut wonky. And when I made the cut I needed by my measurements and looked closer at the gingham the print was wonky on the selvege edge so I have ended up with 2 bits of material the wrong width and not able to do anything with them, so I bought the plain pink. The duvet cover is almost done with some jiggery poker and something that started out as a simple pattern idea but husband got involved made it incredibly complicated and my measurements are stuffed and with the happenings in the street (smoke alarm across the street going off for 10 days now) and being pretty wrecked on the overtired front I decided to put that to one side.

Sewing 2 square things was about my limit today and 'should' be easy!

The letters I used Vlisofix on (cut the J out the wrong way to begin with but that was easily fixed) then used a stitch around the letter, sewed them to the plain square and the plain square to the front of the pillow. The back was 2 bits of material that I put a clean seam on one edge and that is where the slip opens to pop the pillow in. I toyed with the idea of cutting an old dacron pillow in half and stitching that to be the cushion insert but remembered I bought some white calico in the Spotlight 'buy the bolt' sale last week and had a bag of stuffing in the cupboard buried from years ago, et Viola! 2 cushions made to fit the covers!

Now I will say that I was in a hurry to take pictures today and the front of the pillows looks a little wet from where I have dabbed the fabric pen to remove the ink, probably should take better photos but the to do list is already a little long...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Layer Skirt

Last night my friend Lisa and I were salivating over fabric and patterns till almost the wee small hours of the morning and she sent me the link for this lovely little skirt.

Bored rigid this afternoon because it was hot, I am tired and Amelia had ticked me off no end this morning I decided to give the skirt a go. I have had some assorted purple/mauve fabric put to one side with the idea of making a summer dress or another Oliver+S skirt but threw caution to the wind.

Sadly I got a big caught up in the layers and wanted to add 2 more but forgetting Amelia is only 115cm tall (only!!) I had to leave 2 layers off and take a few cm's off the top layer but it is done and looks great! Amelia loves it and can't wait till the morning to wear it, could be another story when the sun comes up but... I might have prefered more gathers, if I make this again I will probably play with the layer length a bit.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

2 skirts for 2 pre-teen girls

The family of our flower girl have been very generous to us in many ways over the years and being that the only have one child, a tall daughter, we get a lot of hand me downs. I know this is out of the kindness of their hearts and they don't expect anything in return but I still feel bad that we gain and they get nothing, so, I asked if K would like a skirt in return for her donations.

I made an Oliver +S skirt initially but then thought I would get brave and make somehting with a pattern!

Once again Amelia and I headed to Spotlight and searched books, short listed a few patterns and settled on this one (mainly because it was the only one in stock!). We did skirt D.

Fabrics purchased, we headed home and sadly it has takne me many weeks to sew something that uninterrupted essentially would have taken an hour from cutting the pattern to final press.

So the Oliver+S skirt was whipped up in a thrice but no photo was taken. And these are the the 2 skirts I made, one for K and one for my niece G. K's is the 3 colour skirt, G's is the stripey one. Both size 10 but I think, even though both girls aare very tall, they will be miles too long!

Gift for JB

My very good friend, lets call her JB, has just purchased a house and has done a substantial amount of minor improvements to the house, mainly outdoors. One of which has been to add a massive 72 square meter pergola out the back. We went shopping one Sunday and found a gorgeous 10 seater wooden table and chair set and she did a deal with a bbq, heater and some cushions for the chairs.

Really stuck for something to buy her for Christmas I decided to make her a table cloth and runner and, you guessed it, placemats! I was on a bit of a role and this was pre reports of disintergration. So, Amelia and I set off to Spotlight once again with measurements in hands and returned triumphant and set about cutting and pinning and sewing.

So we have a massive table cloth, the runner and the placmats. I really like the placemats, my own design! JB was thrilled with her haul, very proud indeed as was I that something so simple could give such joy.

We went to JB's for dinner a few weekends ago to Christen the table and the cloth, and in true Sarah style I think I was the first person to dollop a drip of Nacho sauce on the cloth!!

Christmas sewing

Wow, what a long time since a post and there has been a lot of sewing action!

So, Christmas... I had some grande idea of making placemats as gifts and table runners. I managed to make 10 placemats for Christmas Day which sadly some of them partially disintergrated on their first wash... And the lovely stars on the sheer material in the runners melted away as well. Quite disheartening. But here are some images anyway.

Pretty huh?

I made most of the runners with borders and mostly rectangular or square depending on the table they were destined for.

With the set back of the disintergration I have decided to start my Xmas sewing a lot earlier this year AND pre-wash the fabric this time :-) I managed to score some beautiful fabrics from Spotlight in the 50% off sale so will set about making even more beautiful things for this year (that wont fall apart!).