Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Going to school

Yesterday 5 years ago Amelia cut her first tooth at aged 4 months... in 2 days time she is off to school, not pre-school, big school, primary school... in a blink of an eye 5 years on it is hard to believe.

I have been sewing name labels into anything that is school related that can be sewn, taking up hems and attacking bags and raincoats with laundry markers in an attempt to keep what is hers coming home with her. One tip I was given was to sew name tapes across the toes of the socks, apparently it is the best way to keep the socks from going AWOL, not easy to do without a darning mushroom, might have to have a wee look for one next time I am at Spotlight. I figure I will be naming socks for the next few years, it will be money well spent. I am at a bit of a loss to understand though, why in Australia, in summer, kids are forced to wear closed toe shoes and socks! We always wore sandals in NZ and our summers are not the 35+ sinkers we have here... mine is not to reason why but I am still confused!

One of the big things Amelia wanted was a pencil case and not a bought one, I had to make one. She picked out the fabric from some offcuts, choosing the leftovers from her Dinosaur cushion Lisa made for her birthday. Diving into one of the many many many various storage bits that Stef's mum has filled with all manner of sewing treasures I found a chunky tooth pale pink zip which was the perfect length! Babcia was gorgeous, this was obviosuly removed from something that was either picked up at Vinnie's or sent to the rag bin as it had cotton threads on the tape. With 2 sons it was very unlikely it would be used for something for either of them! There are SO many zips in this particular case, I will be saving a lot of money on zips in coming years :-) Babcia's thrifty legacy lives on!!

She 'drew' what she wanted her pencil case to look like, I should have taken a picture of her drawing... it was beginning to resemble the most elabobrate design any seasoned quilter would be hard pressed to pull off in an afternoon. Squares and flowers and I think there was a fairy wand in there somewhere! Not going to happen, if I had more time I might have attempted a simplified version but not this afternoon in the heat and with a whopping headache.

I made this, with her help and she is pretty happy!
I printed her name off in a massive font, cut it out and used Vlisofix to attach it to the green then used my blanket stitch on the machine to secure it. Both fabrics are double thickness so the pencil case is essentially lined. And I think it will do her for a few years too! Happy Mummy, happy daughter *sigh* all good :-)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

PJ Sunday

Long before the dawn had come this morning (about midday yesterday to be honest), today was declared a PJ day by Amelia and after the past few weeks of racing here there and everywhere, I wasn't going to argue! About 10 days ago we had to pack the sewing machine away when we had a friend over for a sleepover and it has been sitting lonely for all that time... With open homes happening as well there wasn't much point in dragging everything I need from one end of the house to the other. Yesterday when we returned from being out for the open home Amelia said 'I'm going to choose a movie mummy and you are going to get your sewing machine out'!

 And I did, well, I got some fabric out and some half finished projects out ready to be stitched today. Pinning binding on was about all I could cope with last night so I had 2 things ready to sew today.

First on the list was the bias binding and 'collar' and popper stud on the back of the green nightie, DONE!

Not the best shot but it was in the process of being folded and put away to wear tomorrow night.... you take what you can get!

I also put some binding on a top for me I have been working on. It isn't quite as long as I would like so I want to have a 'Disney-free' moment to get my head around how to fix it.

Ages ago I made a curtain for the glass door in our bedroom that goes through into our Sunroom.
With the house on the market we rearranged the bedroom again and this is what I see in the morning and the light in summer coming through the door is intense. I am amazed at the heat this simple $12 length of fabric from Ikea keeps out as well! While it doesn't darken the room it dulls the light which is what I wanted (and in a few weeks it won't matter because I will have a different bedroom, with a street light to worry about!). In the sunroom we have some really old daggy dodgy curtains that hung at some point in a room in Stef's parents house or rumpus room or they may have just been picked up at Vinnie's for a bargain! I hated them! We had them at Stef's villa and the day he had vertical blinds installed (as ugly as they are) it was a bit of a hooray moment for me when I put them neatly in a cupboard. Sadly they followed us here... but they served a purpose in the sunroom, keeping the light off the clothes and preventing them fading faster than some of them did. Our long term plan was to put something more permanent up outside but as we are on the move I didn't like the thought of leaving it blank so I spalshed out another $17 on some more fabric and made some curtains as well today. Shame they weren't up yesterday for the 6 parties we had through... not to worry! They are far from perfect but they will do the job.

Next on the list was a denim skirt for madam. I bought this pattern and fabric from Spotlight LAST winter!!! It looked like a pattern that would have to be concentrated on so I wanted to give it the attention it deserved but am disappointed it took so long to get around to making it. The reviews say this pattern was easy to follow, I don't know that we had the same set of instructions. I have used Burda patterns before and haven't had a problem, or perhaps I blocked it out! I am happy with the result as is Amelia who whipped it away ready to be worn proudly tomorrow. I love that she does this and am going to be sad when a home made dress doesn't cut it anymore with her!

All up I think it took me 3 hours to make this skirt, WAY too long! Lots of backing and forthing between 2 pages of instructions, but I think if I made it again, and I am sure I will whip it up in no time!

So while I haven't made a bit dent in the to do list I have crossed 3 things off. Next up is a pencil case, a dress with some gorgeous Voile we scored for $5 a meter at Spotlight, finishing Lucy's dress, making a bag to match and a duplicate for a jealous 5 year old and some winter nighties for Amelia and my God daughter Alyssa. Wonder what will get done before we move!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas Presents and stitching heaven!

It has been a while... there is a good reason...

Stef's mums sewing machine hasn't been kind to me of recent months. Unfortunately the machine was in the car when they had their accident so took a mighty wollop. When I didn't use it for a few weeks the stitches were less than straight and the bottom thread would always look like a dogs breakfast. I'd get it serviced, sew for a few weeks and have to put it away for a few weeks and then I'd get it out again and off for a service it would need to go. Pouring my sob story out to a lady at the new Hobby Sew store at Top Ryde she suggested that perhaps the machine would be better off being retired from duty. With a service averaging at $80, a few of those would pay for a basic machine.

As luck would have it... my baby brother (he's 40) wanted some cymbals for his drum kit for Christmas. Mummy and Daddy like to treat us evenly so they put the same amount of money into what I would like and I decided with all the fabric I had been buying a sewing machine would be fabulous. With a special offer and free gifts for Christmas orders I went on a bit of an expidition and decided on this machine.
Limited Edtion Breast Cancer Janome 5027LE
Mum and Dad put money towards it and Stef bought the rest. What a nice husband :-)

Having a blanket stitch on the machine for applique it will make the next quilt easier. I have actually already used it on the planet panels for a gift for a special 7 year old and it was SO easy and SO fast. With the machine I got a free craft box, some lovely sharp scissors (don't sharp scissors make a difference??!!), a walking foot and a 1/4" seam foot, what a bargain! There is a good couple of hundred dollars in extra value just there!

In preparation for machines impending arrival I pre-washed  a heap of fabric and come Boxing Day with a tired kid and a weenie hang over and no desire or need to go anywhere I started cutting things out...

Amelia has been asking me for some summer nighties and we bought fabric ages ago to do it at Spotlight. I made nightie A from Simplicity 2831 for her. I tandem sewed 2 but have only finished one so far.

In these pics they need the buttons sewn on the front and a few other finishes. I am waiting on some binding to arrive for the green one but I finished the pink one yesterday...

And had to be worn to bed tonight!

I have also made this one for me a  Big Top but it was too much like a maternity top so I did a dodgy pin and tuck to make it a little more fitting. The jury is still out on what it looks like on, I might ask a friend later this week...

Fabric is from Kathy Davis Journey collection

I have also cut this out and am almost finished it, again waiting on binding. This was one of those 'good idea at the time things' where I got some paper, a favourite top, and made my own pattern up. I am stuffing up the front of it but it might come good!

From Anna Marie Horners Little Folks Voile collection
I am also in the middle of sewing a dress for my cousins daughter Lucy for her birthday in July (getting in EARLY to make sure it isn't a last minute dash like the Christmas gifts) again using this gorgeous soft voile from Anna Marie Horner. It isn't going to be easy to part with the dress but it is very sophisticated and will not look out of place in Paris at all. Lucy has dark hair and almost black eyes, she will look stunning in this dress. I hope I haven't made it too big.

Then I am not sure what I will tackle next. I have requests for more nighties (how many does a kid need, seriously!!) and I know when we do a try on of the dress Amelia will want one as well. I have a denim skirt cut out ready to sew but had some issues with getting the stitch right. I invested in some denim needles today so maybe that is the next thing to put to bed. I also want to make some things from the tutorials I found on various websites and I want, I want, I want....!!!! In a few months time when we are moved, unpacked and have NO money for anything I will get all my projects completed.

There is some fabric arriving this week for some cushion covers for the new house, and a couple of patterns too. And tucked away at the top of my cupboard is a pattern and material for Cinderella and Snow White dress ups... I am quietly looking forward to trying my hand at those... Big surprise for Amelia.

Until the next 'finished' can be posted...