Showing posts from 2009

Happy Blogiversary to Me...

A New Year means it's my blogiversary. Looking back over the past two years worth of posts shows how life has changed. I've gone from working part-time to studying at university full-time, finally graduated, and my kids have grown so much. Sewing has been put on the backburner more than I'd like as I concentrate on studying. Some days all I want to do is sew, others I'm too tired to do more than look through magazines. Hopefully this year I can squeeze out a bit more sewing time. 'Cos I'm going to be so much more organised this year. Snort, yeah right! :)

A new year also means time for a new stash stats counter. I don't really make New Year's resolutions (well, not ones I keep anyway), but this time I've decided I really must do better on the whole buying vs sewing thing. In the last two years I've added 55.35 metres to my fabric stash. Whoops. Obviously this is proof that I don't actually have to be working in a fabric shop to add fabric. I …

I own how many?!!

I've been in a "kinda wanna do some sewing but really can't be bothered" funk for the last couple of days. (Curse those foreign cold/fluey bugs that my brothers bought from overseas.) Given that the sewing mojo seems only too keen to go on vacation at the most inopportune times, I thought I better engage in something sewing-related to try to keep the mojo interested. So I decided I'd be practical at the same time and organise all the patterns that had been stuffed into any available spot pulled out and stored for future use and actually file them. You know, with the other patterns, not just in the nearest available spot. Having done that, I felt it was only right to get really carried away and enter them into my Patternreview catalogue. Besides, it meant I could stay sitting down and given the case of the dizzies I had at the time, that was probably a good idea.

The catalogue feature on Patternreview is great. Very useful. Admittedly, perhaps more useful if I too…

A little bit Grinchy

Christmas shopping tends to bring out one of two sides to me. Some years, I'm giddy with excitement and relish the hustle and bustle of scores of like-minded shoppers chasing a bargain and that elusive perfect gift. Others, I'm not.

Christmas Eve eve was a "not" sort of day. Having been lulled into a false sense of security by the civilised shopping pace in town only a few days before, I ventured back into town again on the 23rd. Apparently, everybody gets paid on the Weds before Christmas because they were all in town. If I hadn't known Judy was at home, I'd have said the entire local population was there. But I didn't start out in a state of Grinchiness. I swear I was relatively upbeat when the woman in the blue station-wagon stole my parking space. The one I'd been sitting waiting for with the indicators flashing while I held up traffic for several minutes. The perfect spot outside the store I needed to go to. But I let it go. Obviously.

When I got t…

Thank you

Thank you all so much for the kind comments. My father was a wonderfully kind and generous man who I'm proud to have called Dad. We all miss him terribly.

Some sewing to show at last!

Wow. It's been a while since I posted. Christmas is nearly here and life is busy, busy, busy.

I finished the Burda shirt dress finally and it has been worn a lot, so I guess it passed muster. The sleeves are normally folded up when DD wears it. DD also hasn't decided on where she wants the belt loops set, as she has worn the belt at both waist and hip level. They will probably never get done. :)

After the shirtdress was out of the way, I turned my attention to a project for the junior classes at school. In the past, I have made quick calico stockings for the 5 and 6 year olds to decorate and fill as gifts for their parents. Usually I take the easy way out and straight stitch everything and turn through, with absolutely no inside finishing. This time, I decided to overlock/serge the edges instead. All those curves were interesting, to say the least. Thank goodness for Debbie's tip on serging inside corners. After the time put in, 60 stockings didn't seem to make a very im…

Bits and bobs

Gosh it's hard to pick more blogs for the Kreativ Blogger award. I am so behind on reading bloglines that I really have no idea who has or hasn't got it so far. Sooooo, I'm going to go the wimpy way and say that if you're on the sidebar and you haven't had it, consider yourself nominated. Of course, my blog housekeeping is as up-to-date as my real housekeeping, so there are many of you not on there yet. Sorry.

I had a lovely afternoon meeting up with my friends. They even remembered what I looked like, lol. I must make sure next year to try and set aside a time to meet everyone more often. To address some comments:Thanks for the thoughts about my Dad. It's very much appreciated.

Beangirl asked about my degree. Well, I finally have finished my Bachelor of Arts with a major in Education. More the theory and research of education than teaching. I've also added in Sociology and a couple of Politics papers to widen the theoretical base. Next year I'm starting …

And the Award goes to....

Exams are over! Woohoo! I celebrated with a glass, ahem, bottle of wine. Then I hibernated for a few days. At the end of semester we found out my Dad has cancer and between that and exams, I was left feeling decidely unsocialable. With the kids at school, I got to spend a few days lounging around in rumpty jeans and tees and reading totally trashy chick lit. But tomorrow I'm being sociable and heading off to meet up with my friends. I'm worried I may need a name badge to remind them who I am, lol.

Sue at Quilt, Sew, Sew Sue has been kind enough to award me this:

Thanks Sue! As part of this I need to tell you seven things you may not know about me and then nominate seven other blogs I love to follow. What might you not know about me? (Some of these may not come as a surprise e.g. #4)1. Well you may have gathered this already, but I have finally finished my BA degree and barring some catastrophe will have it in my hand within the month. :)2. I dislike ironing. I really dislike iro…

Lost in the books

Ugh! I am sick of studying. Even studying fuelled by pineapple lumps, jaffas and m&ms. I have definitely decided that dry, dusty, memorize-the-facts politics papers are not for me. BORING!!! It really does spell out how different DH and I are as he did an entire degree in this.

At least this will be out of the way in 48 hours. Then just the exam on Sociological theorists Durkheim, Weber and Marx. Does it sound sad to say I find that more interesting? I'm actually looking forward to revising for that. I know. I've obviously been studying too much and have lost touch with reality, lol. Just to add to the geeky nerdiness look, I'll confess that when I was in the Uni bookstore the other day, I found at least 4 textbooks that I'm keen to read over the holidays. I soooo need to get a life!

Non-stash reduction

Sewing time has been scarce as the semester winds down with the subsequent increase in assignments due and then exams. However, only three weeks to go. I'm still checking in at Spotlight to see if the melton goes on special, but no luck so far. Wish they'd get a move on because I do like that purple, although I've found it will fray a bit. I might have to think about finishing the edges.

Meanwhile, I've succumbed to the joys of Trademe and bought fabric, plus I've visited Spotlight a few times ... - which I really don't need with the way my stash stats are going for the year! I will have to do some serious sewing in November and December to even this out a bit. Something stash consuming.... like bedsheets. Or a tent. Or a cover for the house. That should use up a bit, lol.

I bought 3 pieces of knit off Trademe as a test to see what the quality and service were like. I'd have to say thumbs up! Reasonable prices, very quick service ( I bought on the Tuesday, pa…

Tempted by the Ottobre Coats

Cold, snowy days remind me that I need a winter coat. Of course it's officially spring, the plum trees are covered in blossom, and we've had a few weeks of lovely warm days to end winter on. But today is cold and raining with hail and snowy stuff at times, and did I mention cold? I know that some of you have colder, like if you live in Alaska (Hi Dawn!), but I'm a wuss and I'd let the warm weather lull me into a summer mentality. So I'm declaring it officially cold here. :)

In the latest Ottobre Woman are a couple of lovely coats.

I love this coat and I think it would be lovely out of the navy wool cashmere I have in the stash. But it would need a "little" bit of fit adjustment which requires time.

In the same issue is this coat, which looks like it would be a quicker sewing project. And the sizing is closer.

I even found melton at Spotlight. And in purple. It's so tempting..... but it's $39.95m and this coat takes around 2.6 metres. Maybe I should s…

Technologically challenged

First up - a big thank you for the kind comments and support after my last post. I guess my 'Mommy' panic gene kicked in big time for a bit. But, once I caught up on some sleep, had another chat with the doctor and been sent a whole lot of stats by a friend who works in oncology, I was much calmer. Now we're just waiting and seeing (and crossing fingers etc).

Today I discovered why some people (namely, me) should not be allowed to own modern technologies like mp3 players.

To understand why, you have to know some background - for instance, that I am tone deaf. Can't sing for peanuts. No really - I'm awful. Just ask my family. If I busked, people would pay me to stop. (In fact when I sing at home, my kids do ask me to stop - once they've stopped laughing). On a funny aside - I was in the school choir for years. How you ask? Well I'm also a dab hand at lip synching. :)

Anyways, I like singing along with songs on the stereo,..... and the radio,........ and my mp3.…

I need sleep!

This morning I took DD1 to the Doctors. Nothing too urgent we thought, but the only time we could get into see 'our' doctor. We ticked off the few things that needed checking and then DD thought to mention the 'stiff, lumpy neck'.
Now the Doc is great and very calming, but even though it was preceded by "I don't think we need to do a...", the word 'biopsy' is one word that a mother does not want to hear mentioned in relation to her daughter! Rationally, I know he's not too worried, that we're on a monthly check-up for 6 months and often they go away by themselves.... but in my sleep-deprived irrationality, all I can think is that the possibility is still there that in 6 months if the lump is still there, or if it gets any bigger, there will be a biopsy to check for the big 'C'.

I have been slightly freaked out all day. Luckily I had a paper to write to distract myself, although I'm not going to promote it as my best work.

Tonight …

Last week...

Well, okay.... this post has been sitting, all typed up waiting for photos, for 2 weeks now. So, lets just call it 'Last fortnight....' :)

Week 1:
What does 15 minutes at a time get you?

The sleeves got sewn into the check shirtdress. When DD tried it on I found it was a bit tight across the shoulders so I let the back armscye out a smidgeon to provide a bit more ease. It's still sitting on the desk waiting to be finished...

Oops, you can tell this has been sitting 'folded' on my desk for a while. It still needs the hem done, belt loops, belt, and buttonholes. All those buttonholes.

I dug out and hemmed a UFO - Jalie 2682, to wear out to dinner on Thursday a week or so ago. (Sorry, the photo quality is a bit rough. That's what happens when my photo helpers are all tucked up in bed.)

This top was sewn over a year ago and I blogged about it then. When I looked at it I realised that I'd shaped the sides after I'd taken the original photo. It only took me a few …


As I've alluded to before, I'm studying full-time. On top of family life this means a lot of my time lately seems to be timetabled. Not rigidly hour by hour; more in a structured must-do list type of way. Along the way, as I feel stretched every which way, things get shoved to the bottom of the list. I've realised lately that two of my joys in life (and sanity savers), my special group of friends and sewing, have been getting ignored. Shame on me!

So, having had this insight, what's a girl to do when her husband generously shares his tummy bug and it leaves her unable to focus on academic readings over the weekend? Well, I was selfish enough to keep my bugs to myself, lol, but I did risk a bit of sewing. Rated 'Easy' of course - no point in pushing my luck.

The sacrificial garment in question is a shirtdress for DD1 in checked 'poly rayon stretch suiting' from Spotlight (and which melts impressively to the iron if you let it get too hot....). Both the pat…

Black and White Hoodies

Well, my holidays are over and I don't seem to have got any of the sewing done that I'd planned. It seems my mojo packed and went on holiday too. So, in an effort to kickstart a sewing spree, I started to tackle my DD2's woeful lack of clothing. First up was to use a piece of Mickey Mouse themed sweatshirting I had acquired from my mother. This was apparently purchased in the mid to late 80s, so it was certainly time it was sewn into something useful. Everytime I looked at this fabric all that came to mind was those really baggy 80s jackets. I started with hoodie pattern #36 from Ottobre 04/2007, added extra length to the body and sleeves and used the ungathered pockets, sleeves and hood from #34. I made a size 146 so there is plenty of growing room.

Next up was the 'Emo' sweatshirt as it has been titled in our house. I had a small remnant which was not big enough to allow the hoodie DD2 wanted. A bit of digging in the stash and we came up with some white sweatshirt…

A New Look

You may have noticed changes in the look of my blog over the last couple of days. I decided I was bored with my old blog colour scheme. After spending an evening playing with almost all the Blogger templates, plus having a look online to see what was available, this is what I came up with.

What do you think? Any suggestions? Is the type easy enough to read? While I'm picking brains, any idea on how to change the colour of the little arrow markers that still show in green? :)

TIA for any suggestions!

Snow Day!

Yesterday we woke to snow to sea level here. As we're fairly close to sea level that meant we actually got some at our house. :) The kids were pretty excited as school was cancelled - which was good because there was no way we could get the car out of the driveway and no buses were running. Instead the kids put the drive slope to good use and had a great time sliding down on old skateboard decks. Then it was down the road for a snowball fight at the park.

This may look like a pathetic amount of snow to some, but for us it's a big deal as normally it's the hill suburbs who have all the fun. Snow this low, that actually settles, only happens maybe once or twice a year at the most.

It snowed on and off for most of the day -

Luckily we didn't have to go anywhere. DH kept in touch with work by phone, not that many others had managed to get in. Fortunately, my exam wasn't until today or I'd have had a problem because the University doesn't cancel exams. Speaking of …

No Sewing, but....

I have a lovely clean bathroom.

Nothing like exam time to get that house sparkling. :)

Oh, and fabric came home with me from Spotlight. Nothing too amazing - black tricot and a printed satin with skulls on. Both have been bought as linings. Yes, I'm shamelessly copying inspired by Judy's idea. I'm sure she'll forgive me. [Insert big cheesy grin here :) ]

Hopefully there'll be some sewing in the next few weeks.

Oh my! Two months? Really?

It's been a while since I posted hasn't it?!

I've been busy studying and getting serious sewing withdrawal. Chocolate just isn't cutting it as a substitute, darn it. Shame too, because I have, ahem, had fundraiser chocolate bars sitting on my table, so you'd think I'd have been home and hosed. (as a side note, if you munch away on blue M&M's, be sure to check the mirror before leaving the house.... cyanosis is not a good look at all!)

I've managed to squeeze in dribs and drabs of sewing, but nothing great. I whipped up a 'quick and dirty' tunic for DD2 to her own design. When I say 'quick and dirty', I mean it. Take a remnant of printed satin, fold in half and cut out a neck hole, fold in a small allowance and stitch, sew up side seams to armhole height, finish armhole edges and hem. It looks like a pillowcase with holes cut in it, lol.

Then DD1 was in the school musical and naturally needed a costume. Luckily the only thing we couldn&#…

Chocolate smilies

It's nice to get rewarded for something you were going to do anyway. :)

Mmmm, chocolate. I resisted the urge to drive around the block and go through the checkpoint again, lol.

The pen I was given for having multiple passengers (my kids, lol), thereby being ecofriendly, was much appreciated too.
The only sewing that has gone on in my house recently is a baby blanket and mending. Not very exciting I'll admit. (Although the fact I have a new nephew is quite exciting.)

The lack of blogging comes with the usual excuses.... life, university courses, etc etc. You know how it goes. That doesn't mean that sewing is far from my mind. I'm still grabbing quick chances to read blogs, although I may not always comment if I'm pressed for time - sorry.

I'm also working on a personal goal to use sewing as an example in every one of my courses. ;) I've mentioned the online sewing community for my sociology paper and am currently working the act of 'sewing a garment' into the Research methods paper as an example of quantitative research: I hypothesise that this jacket pattern will not fit straight from the envelope, test with a muslin, hypothesis correct, modify hypothesis for new experiment 'I hypothesise that making larger darts will help it fit better',…


What is up with these?!

I came across a post about these on a blog I've just found - Fat Girls Like Nice Clothes Too

How the models walked in these is beyond me. (Video here.) The pink glittery pair about half-way through just look too cloven-hoofed, devil-goat to me!

Given the pain normal style heels give me, I think I'll give these a miss. :)
It works everytime - as soon as I sew a heap of cold weather clothing (or nightwear) the weather turns hot again. :) Maybe I should hire myself out. I can see a lucrative income from sports teams, parade organisers.... lol.

The magic wardrobe strikes again! And very quickly too. :) I've worn the brown Ottobre cardy 4 times already. For some reason, I feel like I have no other jacket/cardigans to reach for. I will hasten to say, that I didn't walk around half-nekked up till now! Just that I've gone off, got bored with, or plain old worn out most of my other choices. (I really didn't want to spell 'n_ked' correctly! Think of the blog trawlers that could attract!)

On my desk I have a jumper waiting to be refashioned into a cardigan. After seeing some at a market, I felt very inspired. Now I've reached the point where I've overthought it and don't know where to start. Meanwhile other sewing ideas are whirling around in the grey matter, university has star…

Seeing Spots!

I don't know how many readers will be familiar with Noel Edmonds and Mr Blobby

but you may see the resemblance......

right down to the wrinkles on the sleeve/arm, lol. Those who are familiar with the show may understand why I'm saying "Blobby, blobby, blobby" in a funny voice lately. :) If you're not familiar with it, you'd just assume I was mad, lol.

I came across this knit fabric in my stash and seeing as it's a soft snuggly knit and it had been a cold week, I combined it with Simplicity 4327 to make a tent nightshirt . I had 6m, bought at $2m in a Spotlight clearance. I'm not sure what I was thinking of when I bought that much of a bright pink spotted knit. I chose a size by my full-b ust measurement and it ended up a bit big. Sherril has commented that it's not too bad apart from the sleeve length. And big does = comfy, but I'm feeling very much like I could be this guy -

After I'd made my sleepwear, I decided to spread the pink around ra…

A Tale of Two Cardies...

One wearable, one not.

First up, a big THANK YOU to everyone for their help and suggestions as to how I might save my wadd-ette from full wadder status. I tried most of the tips, from belt (yikes, not a good look) to pinning in waist darts as many suggested. That worked to some degree, but didn't seem to go with the 'style' of the cardigan and also seemed to just cause the front to sit open more. However, I think I have it to wearable status. It might never be a favourite, but it's made it to the wardrobe month-long trial that Belinda/Sew4Fun suggested.

I left the cardy to languish on my desk while I blobbed on the couch relaxed in front of the television until I had a revelation. Dang it - I am a lollipop shape (I'm thinking ChupaChup here, lol). It's my current body shape and, short of liposuction, I can't think of a way to change that overnight. That didn't mean I was going to settle for the octuplet pregnancy look though!

I grabbed the seam-ripper and …

Getting close... very close to wearable. I was even up to pinning to determine button placement. Then I noticed something was awry. Sigh, somewhere between the unpicking, cutting, and resewing, one of the front edges has ended up longer than the other. Well that would explain why the front was rippled. More frogstitching to be done :(

Next post will either see it in the bin, or on me...

Wadder, wad-ette, or wearable?

The sewing mojo hit yesterday. Not for the jacket that has been sitting cut out and waiting for sewing time since before Christmas. Nor for the trousers that have been waiting just as long. Nope, instead I decided to ruin start on a new piece of fabric. Without a muslin. In my defence, I thought I was safe because I had checked the pattern pieces would physically fit.... pity I didn't pause long enough to do a style check! I had to size the pattern up -hmmm, perhaps the Ottobre people were right to stop at a 46.

So, I present Ottobre 2-2008 #10.

With this view I could almost decide to wear it.... a bit baggy but maybe wearable....
then I saw this view -

I could be pregnant with octuplets in there and no-one could tell! I'd like to hope that, because the fabric is fluid, there is enough movement to show there isn't. I'd really, really like to hope that. And I do like the fabric, a chocolate Ponti knit.I thought about shaping the side seams more but that isn't going to …

Ottobre Woman Sneak Peeks

There are a few sneak-peek piccies up at The Wooly Thread. I'm liking that grey jacket, as is DD1. The dresses.... well, I'm not really a dress person, but DD likes the beige.

Only 2 weeks to go....

Everything Just Sew

Another blog to read. :)

My dear friend, Judy, has finally started a blog and about time too!

Fifteen years ago I met Judy at a 'New Mothers group'. I'd just had my son and had sewn the grand total of two garments for him. Imagine my surprise/horror when this other new mum leaned over and asked if I'd sewn the all-in-one DS was wearing. Of course, what went through my head was "OMG! Does it look that bad?!!!"

One thing led to another, we chatted, babies played and I borrowed an awful lot of Burda Baby magazines. In a very short time I'd been encouraged to well and truly dive into a sewing hobby. In fact, it's amazing my DH talks to Judy, lol, because I certainly didn't have any fabric stash before I met her!

Over the years, Judy has patiently weathered many phone calls asking for sewing advice and tips (and many requests for buttonholes and invisible zips). She has been my sewing teacher, mentor and friend.

Welcome to the world of blogging, Judy!

All done

Phew! I finally finished the mattress covers for my brother's caravan! I have of course procrastinated over these. First I had to get the more urgent projects out of the way and lets face it, when it comes to a 'have-to-do' project, anything is more urgent, lol. Then I had to wait for the continuous length zipper to arrive at Spotlight. (and wait....and wait....). Then, when DB rang to ask if they'd be ready for the weekend, I had to play imaginatively with the zippers that were in store, eventually coming up with an arrangement butting 2 zippers end to end (pullers in the middle) to get the length. Finally, after facing the fact that I needed to get these finished at some point, I readied myself to tackle them.

In reality these were just very large box cushion covers. They shouldn't have been difficult. However, DB and DSisIL had chosen the fabric from hell.


I mean, this fabric has knocked satin from the top of my 'hate-to-sew-with' list. It even p…


We've had a glorious summer here. Yes, I know I'm rubbing it in for those with snow. :)

Of course, sunny, hot days demand a trip to the beach, so last week we packed the kids up and headed south to Curio Bay. This isn't a swimming beach as such, although there's great swimming in the next bay. Instead, this was a leisurely sightseeing trip (in an air-conditioned car! Very nice in the 30+ degree temperatures).

On the way, we stopped at the Tunnel Hill walk - an abandoned railway tunnel, 246m long and pitch black. And we didn't have a torch. The minute we stepped in, all I could think of was the movie, Cloverfield, lol. DH and the kids went all the way through guided by cellphone screen light, while I kept my nephew company in the first half of the tunnel.

Amazing to think the whole thing was dug out and built by hand.

We also stopped at Purakanui Falls. The photo doesn't do it justice.

Very pretty. Except for the toilets. Note to the authorities - calling it a '…

Gosh, thanks...

Thanks, Sherril for awarding me the Kreativ Blogger Award - although I feel quite fraudulent as I've not been feeling at all creative lately. Sherril inspires me constantly with the wonderful clothes she makes and her impressive ability to manipulate patterns to create 'knock-off' tops which are far better than the RTW originals.

Here are the rules of the award~
1. Copy the award to your site - done
2. Link to the person from whom you received the award -done
3. Nominate 7 other bloggers - ummm....
4. Link to those on your blog
5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominated.

I really haven't kept track of who has, or hasn't been nominated already so instead I'd like to point to Carolyn's post. I think she says it so well. I think all bloggers deserve an award for putting the time and effort into sharing their creative endeavours and a part of their lives with us. Through blogs I've learned about people I'd never have a chance of knowing otherwise and I…

Patternreview Quilt Blocks

I finally got around to making a quilt block for the PR Friendship Quilt. Thank goodness Deepika extended the deadline to the 19th. I'll pop it in the post tomorrow morning but I've no idea how long it will take to wing halfway across the world. It never seems to take too long coming this way.

(As an aside: I am so impressed with - I ordered on Saturday Jan 3rd NZ time, which was Jan 2nd US time, and received them the following Saturday! Wow! Needless to say I'll be using this service again as the local Spotlight never seems to receive new stock. Not the staff's fault.)

I used Kiwiana fabrics (except for the multicoloured border). The boots in the top block are decorated gumboots which just appealed to me. I'm not even going to bother counting this little bit off stash, lol.
As I suspected, I found this small dabble into the quilting world quite addictive. I'm doing my best to ignore it though - the last thing I need is another stash to house!