Thursday, December 20, 2007

Quick Christmas present

It really is a good thing that these were quick to do - I haven't been this stressed in a long time.

I am just having constant headaches and can't concentrate on anything, and have a million things to do.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A star is born

Okay, so it probably isn't a big for anyone outside of the family, but to me it is super exciting. Scott played Jesus in our church's annual Christmas concert. Here he is:
He was a professional and was settled for all appearances (twice on stage over two nights) and there were a lot of people who thought he must have been a doll! Big thanks to Katie and Ryan (I think) who looked after him well.
And here is Scott relaxing at home. He likes to have his arms out now, but still swaddled. Can't believe he is 3 months next week. Time is going much too fast.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Just some pondering

Over a couple of days, between feeds, nappy changes and the general motherhood-things that we do each day, I was thinking about my fabric stash and how it wasn't really meeting my needs.

My stash is mostly built on fabrics that I liked; were (mostly) on sale; and I had a plan for - mainly clothes for me and the kids. But with more and more invites to birthday parties and the like I am beginning to think that my stash needs a little more substance suitable for gifting.

Shopping is one activity that I don't really enjoy and I would much rather whip up a little handmade creation then spend the same amount of time and energy going to the shops and choosing a present.

So I need to remember to stock up on canvas for aprons (placemats, tea towels, bags), muslin and flannelette (wraps, jammie pants), cute prints (everything from hats, baby overalls, shirred tops and knitting needle/crochet hook/pencil rolls) plus everything else that I forgot and can't think of at the moment.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Candy cane stripes with a touch of reindeer...

I swear that I don't normally dress my children in ridiculous outfits just to take a photo but this hat was too cute and I wanted to get one with the other part of his Christmas outfit.
Isn't he a doll?

Monday, November 26, 2007


Now, I have been sewing for some time and I make 95% of my clothes and Jalisa's...

This shelf is children's woven fabric
This is some leftover polar fleece and other smaller knit - only good for baby clothes or something. In the background is a bag full of knits for me that I forgot to get a picture of.

Hmm, just a couple of pieces of knit - plus my sewing magazine collection.

This shows a bag of terry knit, a box of slinky knit and a pile of smaller cuts suitable for clothes for Scott - some of it was gifted to me.

Two shelves of fabric for me. Top is woven, bottom is knits (there are also a few gifted ribbing pieces shoved in there - oops)

The two nappy boxes are full of knits (like french terry etc) for tracksuits. Plus this is where all my newer boy fabric has been shoved.

Bottom drawer is full of various knits. Top draw is for patterns.
Bag of fat quarters and half yard cuts of "cool" fabric. Have also bought a few tees to applique - (need to cut down on some of my sewing somehow).

I also have just washed a small pile. Now that I think about it, the fabrics for me would last longer than the kids stuff because I am only adding to my wardrobe rather than needing new things constantly. Plus adult fabric cuts take up more room.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Do you put your hat on your elbow, on your elbow?

Your hat on your elbow? Uh-uh, uh-uh!

This hat is from Ottobre 2/2003 (#13). Very fast to make, as it is the only one pattern piece for the whole hat. This will be just a spare for around the house - I just felt like doing some fast sewing and wanted to test out this pattern.
This is the other hat I made. I actually fished it out of the bin, as I had thrown it away the other night (I sewed the panels up the wrong way - there is a particular way so not to get a huge lump in the middle). I made these flower pins yesterday - the bigger one is for the matching dress. This set will be given to Jalisa for Christmas - she actually (accidently) saw the dress yesterday and asked if she could have it. I had to distract her and quickly put it away. I think she may have forgotten about it for now. Hopefully.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Sorry for the long self-indulgent post

There are not many things in life that I have failed at. Many times I feel like I have failed but haven’t really. And there are a lot of things I won’t attempt because I am pretty certain I may fail them.

I am a bit sad to say that I am no longer in business. I wasn’t going to make a big announcement because to be frank it is very hard to say that my business failed.

For some time now, I was feeling a little rejected because it felt personal - I had put so much care into sewing the garments that I felt very attached to them. But yesterday as I was looking at them, trying to figure out which ones I could use for my own children, I realised how proud I was that I had had a go. How proud I was of my sewing too (I did good work!)

And I realised that I wasn’t being rejected. My heart is with sewing and not with business. My priorities were for myself, my growing bubba and my family and friends and somehow my business was not near the top of that list. Plus I am not good at promoting myself - I find it a bit embarrassing. I am just not a business person.

Aquaberry may come back at some stage, but for now I am just sewing for me and my family.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Splash of purple

Dyeing is all about experimentation I have found. Oh, and learning that I need to use my brain!

Last time I found that I could have added a lot more water.Two things I learnt this time around: 1. When dyeing large amounts of fabric, you will need to add more dye powder. Logical (but then again, I never did that well at maths plus I was thinking of my previous experience of being able to add a little more water than I did). 2. When dyeing using secondary or teritiary colours, the other colours will come out if you don't use enough dye powder.

I actually used a ultra violet coloured dye. I thought I might get shades of mauve through to the deep purple. I wasn't expecting blue to come out too (though that is once again logical since violet is made by adding red and blue together).

So here is my outfit. Fabric is dyed cotton lycra knit. Pattern is an old Kwik Sew favourite. Jalisa requested a tee and shorts for her too, but I will wait until she actually needs some new clothes. she is just swimming in outfits.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Worth dyeing for?

These were the result of my first experiment with using procion dyes. I had added more water to one to make it pastel, but I learnt that you have to add a lot of water to make a difference! I love the mottled look too. I will probably make the rompers into tees though, since I could never get this style to fasten over cloth nappies.

Here is a close up look at the mottled (well, closer)...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Shopping totes

After quite a bit of umming and ahhing over what to make as gifts for two little girls, I decided on making them these little tote bags and purses.
The purses are filled with play money - if the girls are anything like Jalisa, they will love playing with the set (I am already making another bag and purse for Jalisa, with fabrics that she selected).
I felt free and reckless while making these. See, I am one to work out the dimensions, add allowances and have it all square and right. With these, I did not care whether the dimensions ended up being an odd number, and I did not even measure for the pocket placement.
In a way it made me feel good to not worry but at the same time it kind of rubbed me up the wrong way so I know I won't do that too much in the future - it just doesn't suit me.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Infants friend is a parents best friend

These last three days/nights we have seen our little cherub become one very cranky crying bubba, totally different to how he had been the other 2.5 weeks of his life. Anyway, it was getting to a point where we had exhusted all possible causes and I was just frustrated at not knowing what was wrong.

Wayne found some infants friend, which was useless with Jalisa but seems to do the trick for little Scott...thank goodness. I can finally feel confident going out and might think about trying to get back near the sewing machine really soon (once I catch up with some washing).

Monday, October 01, 2007

No sewing

Life is pretty good at the moment. I just need to clean off the bench so I can do some more sewing. I am getting a bit excited about the new possabilities for sewing for a little boy plus Wayne is already putting in orders for overalls, pants made in the construction flannelette he bought. Not that I will really need to sew for Scott any time soon - we have a bunch of stuff that should get us through but if I can manage it, I might sew up a few little rompers anyway (depends on how I go time wise...still not sure what life will be like when Wayne goes back to work and I have to look after the two all day by myself.

I will have to get to that bench sometime before Wayne goes back to work. If I can't manage that while he is home...

Friday, September 28, 2007

Small bit of sewing

It seems like an eternity since I have used my sewing machine (though in reality it has really only been just over a week).

I got a bit of a hit this morning, sewing the waist on a black rayon knit skirt as well as the velcro on the bouncer cover. The bouncer cover will be completely finished when I apply the snaps to the right location.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Hello little man

We welcomed Scott Jonathon into our lives on the 20th of September at 11:15am.

He was worth the wait.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Getting restless

Baby, when are we ever going to meet you. At this rate, Jalisa will have more clothes than she needs (who am I kidding, a little girl can never have too many).

I was going to make this top different by rolling the hem and then shirring the bottom, but I don't like to roll hem in the round (and I forgot to do it at the right step) so I just double hemmed it.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Post bub skirt and a belly shot

So here is the skirt that I made yesterday. Super quick to make - rolled hems and shirred waistband. A very comfortable too. I still have it on at the moment and it is nice and airy.

So this is not the most flattering of shots (face has puffed up - noice) but it was my favourite from what Wayne snapped. Inside shot since it is a little windy outside.

A strange bit of info - my hair seems to be going curlier by the week. I always did have a bit of wave in it, but when I turned 19 it went super curly. As Jalisa's hair grew and grew curly, my hair grew straighter. I always said she stole them. Perhaps this bubba will have straight hair and that is why I am going a bit more curly again.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Just some waffle.

No pictures of the things I have just finished (Pjs for Jalisa, skirt for me) but I felt like blogging.

Today is my due date for baby #2 if you go by the scan. Monday is the due date that my GP and I worked out. I am so looking forward to having another baby - Jalisa and I have been looking through all her baby pictures, talking about the baby and I just feel so ready to hold another newborn in my arms. Actually, the funny thing is I feel nervous and not totally at ease holding other babies but I can't wait for my own again.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Finished some WIPs

I started this project some time ago, so it felt very good to finally get it finished. I picked these fabrics out of the stash because they vaguely coordinating (and I wanted them used).

I had wanted to make one of these for a while (to take to hospital and for sleeps during the day) but only just got around to making a pattern this morning. I used a scrap of black cotton jersey so it is super comfy and won't make me sweat.

One of Jalisa's good dresses. This is #12 from Ottobre 2/2003 (I picked this issue as my free gift when subscribing - as its a summer edition, there are lots of great garments suitable for our climate). I would have preferred to make the straps in the same fabric, but it was a remnant (a very yummy cotton stretch woven from my local fabric store) and there was no more.

Both the front and back have tucks sewn first before binding the top edge.

I am finally coming close to the end of Jalisa's summer wardrobe. Cutting out a number of projects and working on them over time has ensured there is always something to sew when I feel like sewing and will be a great system when the new bubba is here.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Big Sister outfit

Here is the finished big sister outfit - the back of the top is shirred but I left the front un-shirred so that all Jalisa’s shirred tops would not be exactly the same.

You can’t tell from the photo how full the skirt is. Not quite as full as a circle skirt but there is plenty to twirl with. The pattern is Ottobre #18 3/2007 (minus the lace at hem). Very easy to make, though I disliked the waistband method - made something that is a cinch just, well, annoying.

And a big thank you to Corrie for the lovely pressie - the name that I suggested was chosen for Retro Mummy's flickr group.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Paper doll fun and a side of shirring

I am sure that being pregnant has made an impact on my creativity (being much less able to think of ideas at the right time, leading to many stalled projects).

Anyway, I had to think for some time of a gift I could make for the last minute party invite we received (well, I did hear about the party happening at MG last week, but without a paper invitation I had no chance of remembering all that time). It was a good thing I found an old list of suitable presents to make - I think I should update it and at least put it on the computer so I know where to look for it next time.

I decided a pencil roll would be appreciated by the birthday girl (the bonus being I did not need to guess any measurements like I did the hats the other week).

Rolled up


It occurred to me this morning that I needed to start making a big sister tee for Jalisa and, needing an applique idea for a shirred top, thought I could just do it on the shirred top instead (and get another project finished - yay!). Here is the work in progress.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Floral knit top

After having some trouble with the grains on some voile, I decided to ditch that project and start on something else. I used the #9 pattern from Ottobre 3/2007 but made the straps continuous (rather than tie up) and didn't add the frills.

I think I will make the coordinating shorts (#10) - with the changes I made, this project was super quick and I am sure they will be staple summer items for the years to come.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dyeing is fun...

We always have a lot of fun at MG, I think because we do a lot of crafty type activities. These are the rompers that I dyed the other day. The red was scrunch up randomly, banded and dyed, the yellow was folded and banded up, and for the orange I made a few rolls and banded them up. The orange is my favourite and will stay as is, the other two I want to make into tee shirts.

I also took along the new shirred top that I had finished for Jalisa to dip dye. Not so happy with the results, too much polyester in the content = a washed out colour.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Vintage linen dress

This fabric was a recent op shop find. I managed to get a bias cut skirt and a dress for Jalisa out of the 3m piece (though the skirt is sitting half finished in my WIP box).

I used my own basic bodice pattern. The skirt is between 2.5 and 3 times the bodice width - which makes it quite heavy and hard to gather, but the results look lovely. I added elastic to the straps so it can be slipped on. The photo is not the best - there must have been some dust on the lens, but since I have only 3 weeks til bub comes, I could not be bothered to organise to reshoot some photo (and have to drag Jalisa away from here new cubby.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Daddy's girl

So while Jalisa enjoys playing Mummy to her dollies, having tea parties and "going shopping", she adores anything mechanical (except the vacuum). The picture tells it all really.

She was so excited going with Daddy and Grandad to pick up her Uncle's new truck.
All she could talk about on the way home was the new truck and today she is still loving looking at the pictures Daddy took of the truck.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Polka dot bouncer cover

This has been a work in progress almost all of this year. It had been stalled for some time because I needed to trace of the strap and once the strap was cut, I had trouble figuring out what to appliqué onto it. This morning when I was up really early (3ish) I thought I might as well try and finish the project before the baby is born, that a finished not-so-creative project is better than an unfinished waiting-for-inspiration project.

Actually, forgive me. It is not quite finished - it needs snaps (to be done once bubs is here for placement accuracy) and some Velcro. But I am showing it off anyway.

I made the pattern by tracing the frame of the bouncer and measuring the old cover to get the measurements for each panel. When I started the cover, I think I was going for a funky, modern, gender neutral. It would have been better with a different coloured strap, I think, but I did not have any suitable GN/non stretch/non pattern fabrics on hand other than the black.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A slice of watermelon

Ages ago I made a pattern for some one piece pants/shorts but I realised today that I will need to change it so that it is easier to hem. At the moment they are way to narrow. Yesterday I finished off these pants, but according to DH, they are strictly stay at home pants.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Some pink for summer

Finally can show off one of Jalisa's summer outfits - I have been sewing quite a bit but until this morning, had not finished a complete outfit.

I adore these shirred tank tops (two others cut out at the moment, plus plans for others). I was inspired by a top from Ottobre (#11 from 3/2007) but since I had a pattern I had drafted myself, I just needed to shir in the same position as they did. Usually I shir most of the front or back but I quite like the gathered effect in the space between the shirring.
I picked up this vintage linen fabric while out op shopping in Boonah. My first thought was another summer dress for Jalisa, but since there is 3m I may make a skirt for me (bias cut and flared knee length).

For a while now, I have put off sewing a lot of things for me because I tell myself that I already have plenty of things to wear. But I have decided that it doesn't matter that I already have x amount of skirts or dresses or tops etc, if I have the time/opportunity to sew and the fabric on hand, I should be sewing for me as well as for my children. As long as the kids have enough clothes that fit, I will no longer excuse myself from sewing non-essential items for myself.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Thread problem - or is it the machine

I really do not like having a bad sewing day when I am making stuff for other people. I am having a problem where the thread is not feeding through to the needle properly - it bunches up and kinda only lets 1 little strand through. Is this the thread or is this the machine? FYI, I use Guttermann thread, and it has happened with several reels.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Girls night in

Our mums group decided to throw a hen's night for bride-to-be Sarah, since all her family and friends live out of town. We all had a great night (lots of food, talking, dancing - you get the idea).

What do you think of Sarah's dress? It features bows on shoulders, gathering under bust (delightfully highlighted with a little alfoil bling), thigh high front split and a bustled back. Very glamourous and cost effective.

Unfortunately it did not last the night, so with much regret, Sarah will have to find another dress to wear for the big day.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The V8s are in town

Jalisa and I were able to visit the track at Willowbank (which is only 15 minutes away) to check out the V8 supercars yesterday (with Wayne of course). We were able to get a whole 1 picture before the camera died, so at least Jalisa was standing in front of one of the HRT cars --the one Todd Kelly drives.
The cars were practicing on the track - a lot louder (with more backfires) than I expected but overall it was fantastic.

I have been working on this nappy bag for a little while (I blame lack of mojo) so I am glad it is finished. The bag is based on a Burda WOF (8/2005) pattern, though I added fabric handles, changed the base/sides, added internal pockets and did not do the 6 pleats (decided to do a central inverted box pleat instead).
I used a heavy black pique fabric for the outer, with a very stiff interfacing (probably a little too stiff for pleats). The lining is a poplin, the pockets are the pique and the binding is a stretch poplin with a soft interfacing.

I have learnt that pleats do not mix with pockets and that it is a better to use similar weights of fabric when adding pockets to the lining. I added snaps to keep the sides in at the top when out and about (I liked that better than having the sides stick out).

I thought I would add a picture of Jalisa for good measure, jumping on her new trampoline that Wayne thoughtfully assembled in the lounge room (meaning hours of jumping and tantrums when it was time to go out)...