Saturday, 14 December 2013

Same shirt 3 ways

I have a favourite work top, a designer label I paid way too much for but I love - a t shirt that is dressy enough to wear to work but comfortable and doesn't need ironing. But it's getting a little tired looking , so after looking for a new one - and neither liking any or their price tags I decided to have a go at cutting a pattern off mine - and yes success -finally! I have had a few fails on the clothing front for me so to start I used a cheap green knit from my stash to make an everyday one before I cut into the expensive fabenmix knit I have.

The deer print is a piece of cotton I screen printed at Handmade 2013 in Wellington earlier in the year. I am into green at the moment so have worn this quite a bit already.

This is definitely my favourite, lovely Fabenmix knit I bought off etsy - I made the arm a little shorter and the fabric is a bit thicker and I think sits better.

Then because the pattern is so quick to make with only 2 pieces I had a play around with the scraps and made myself a third one, I like this but don't think it is as flattering as the other two for some reason. The edges are all just overlocked and then turned under and stitched with a double needle - easy. Now I am thinking of extending the sleeve for a long sleeved version as well.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Xmas making

I might be all quiet on the blog front but I have done a little xmas crafting. Not as much as I would like but enough to feel I haven't totally lost my making mojo.

Fabric gift tags, this one was an advent calendar activity. we both sat down and did these, I've gotten out of these little making sessions since school started and it reminded me we need to do it more.

Gifts for teachers - Georgie draws the picture and I transfer onto linen and turn into a book mark.

Tree ornaments - Das clay

Another advent activity - a trip to the bead shop for some quiet making on a rainy weekend.
Furby obsession - another rainy afternoon when off school sick spent using magazine strips to make art.
Lastly a $2 chair from the recycling centre I revamped with new paint and ikea fabric over the seat.
(Having a chair frenzy here at the moment and much to my husbands disgust have filled the garage with the chairs to do up or sell ).
So there it all is , nothing fancy but it feels good to just sit still and take some time out to make little things.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Super heroine cape top

During kids clothes week I chanced upon the coolest cape T shirt, made by Tara at girl like the sea. Georgie was pretty smitten with it too . I unashamedly copied the idea and the text:

( the top words partly hidden by hair  read <<TO DO>> )
I think it is an all time favourite for both of us. I used the oliver and S sail boat top as the base and added the cape using the fantastic tutorial at Girl like the sea. The lettering I did by hand using fabric paint pens - easy. Only problem is that it has been really warm weather since I made it and it gets continuous use - might need to make a short sleeved version.
( mmm - sorry about blurry images - I got a little excited about reducing the images , might have to sort this tomorrow at a more reasonable hour)

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Just like that

Just like that it's summer. Last week there was fresh snow on the hills around us, this afternoon the thermometer on our sheltered back porch tells me it's 30 degrees Celsius - and it feels like it.
We had ice blocks for afternoon tea and then a magic show - lego style

After the KCW sewing week there was the usual lull until yesterday I had a few moments of inspiration and covered the seat of an old chair recently acquired from a friend.

I've had a chair in progress for months for Georgie's art table , this took 20 mins - sewing and stapling to turn it into a cosmetically acceptable comfortable chair to kneel on.

Too easy - kicking myself for taking so long to getting around to it.

Now I have a big pile of knit fabric that arrived on my doorstep today.

In the midst of the sewing frenzy of Kids clothes week I did a bit of impulsive online fabric shopping and bought these 4 fabrics - inspired by the success of the stretch items I made that week. I have some vague plans for these . I thought I might try a lightweight Bimaa top with a cowl neck. I had planned to make one in sweatshirt weight fabric and actually thought the teal green fabric would be thicker than it is but I think the Bimaa will work in t shirt weight.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

KCW 7 days , 7 garments

Yes 7 garments in 7 days.

Yesterday's sewing was interrupted by a school fair, visitors and drinks at a friends but despite all that I managed to cut out and make most of the Olive  & S roller skate dress. This morning it was a 10 min job to fit the elastic and sew the ribbon on the front. Fully rate this pattern it was really easy and the finish being fully lined is good -it could be reversible it you wanted.

The fabric is from the Valori Wells wrenly collection.
I ended up not putting pockets in , mainly because I was feeling lazy but also I thought this print would look best in a really simple design.
I lined it with some Japanese lawn off cut I had.
Georgie wanted to wear it all day , but it was really not the weather for a summer dress -  supposedly spring but it wasn't very spring like as it snowed.
Then I made a super quick witches dress for Halloween. Actually it is not a big thing here and we don't go all in for it but last year friends came around for dinner , the kids did trick or treating in our street and had a great time so wanted to do it again.
Georgie wants to be a witch, so I obliged and made a black dress, complete with silver moons and gold stars we added to the wearer's specifications - on the body only not the arms.
I just used the blossom blouse pattern from this book , made it longer in the arms and body plus put an elastic waist in - easy.
I hadn't really planned to make so much this week , it was a bit of a mission fitting it in around work and after school activities , but I'm glad I did. All the things I made have been sitting in a pile waiting to be made for up to 6 months and it feels great to have finally done them.
Now I have a couple of other projects - some cushion covers, a top for me, a new sunhat for G to make before xmas.

Friday, 25 October 2013

KCW Day 5 - Indecision

Today I hit a wall, tired after work and with no sewing plan for today - indecision struck;
Not sure which fabrics of these 4 options, a spot with each dependant on the pattern below I choose:
All Oliver and S, the one on the right I have made and the pockets are a favourite, but I really want to try the middle one - but I need to add pockets of some sort? maybe side seam or maybe patch.
Now 9.30 pm so I think I will leave the fabric decision for the wearer to choose in the morning and then decide on the pattern.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

KCW day 4 - simple skirt

When you start sewing late in the evening, the photo shoot for the finished item is very limited.
I drafted a pattern using the Oliver and S sailboat skirt as a base I added pockets and a waist band at the front instead.

And yes that trim is just a little wonky, but it's late and I am hoping once on it won't be noticeable. Because I sewed the ends into the side seam then overlocked - unpicking is not an option I am interested in - so wonky it is!

Update Fri 25th: proper pictures

I was going to leave it plain but then I thought maybe a lot of what I have made lately has been mini adult type clothes and Georgie really likes trim and this woodland ribbon is her favourite part of the skirt ( oh and of course the pockets)

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

KCW day 3 - Mustard and Grey

Mustard and Grey is a colour combination I love, I'm probably not on trend any more as it's been in magazines etc for ages. I own lots of grey clothing and tried on a mustard cardigan myself a little while ago - sadly it looked terrible on me. So I decided to make my child wear this combo instead.

The top is a blossom blouse from Meg McElwee,s book: Sew Liberated - 20 stylish patterns for the modern sewist (link here)...., the skirt is an Oliver and S Sail boat skirt (link here).

The skirt is a scrap of cotton sateen from a winter dress and the top fabric is from the Zen Chic range from Moda that I purchased from Stitchbird fabrics in Wellington ( fantastic range online too!)

One of the down sides to a free day to sew alone, is that I tend to upsize everything without my model to try them on. As a result everything today has plenty of room for growth. Note to self when cutting out tomorrow - check pattern on clothing that currently fits.
I have also learnt that skirts and dresses need pockets so I have been instructed to include them on whatever I make tomorrow.
Apparently modelling is tiring and models need frequent carrot breaks.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

KCW day2 - Sailboat top

I have had this striped knit and the sailboat pattern sitting in a pile waiting to be made for 6 months - long enough that it only just fits in the size I had traced the pattern in. Sewing knit is not my favourite but it came together ok

Turns out photographing the fine stripe at night is not so easy , it looks better in real life.
The pattern (link here) was easy to follow, as Oliver and S patterns are, I took a bit of width out of the sleeves but that was the only modification. It's a roomy fit on my very petite girl but I think would be good on most kids.
While I was sewing Georgie found a use for the million small buttons I have.
I have yet to decide on tomorrows sewing- maybe a sailboat skirt in Denim?

Monday, 21 October 2013

KCW October - Day 1

Day 1 of the October Kids clothes week - aiming for a minimum of 1 hour a day sewing kids clothes.

As per usual I have a big list, but this time I scaled it back and have chosen easy and quick patterns, super pleased with todays choice - Slouchy Cardigan by Heidi and Finn ( link here ).

Love this pattern , it was fast and easy to make, fits well and she loves it - what more can I say.
I like the long cuffs, not just because I think they look cool, but they are practical, don't drag food, paint etc and stay up when she pushes them up to wash her hands . Am tempted to make another one of these in a colour but vowed to stick to what was in my stash this week so will keep that for another time.
Next up is the Oliver and S sailboat top - cut out and ready to make tomorrow.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Over the top

This week I made an early settler costume for a school dress up day where the kids will have a day where they act out a typical school day a century ago. I might have gone a little over the top on the costume front - I started out to make just the apron and bonnet.

I then couldn't stop myself and so made a cape out of an old blanket.

And then a pair of bloomers. I think this outfit is Georgie's all time favourite of all the clothes I have made her, she can't wait to wear it.

Next week is kids clothes week and I plan to make a few spring things for her wardrobe - more on that later.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Sewing Binge

September turned into one big sewing ( and skating ) binge. My girl and I were both in an ice show, and I made costumes - lots of them!

This pile doesn't look that impressive but it represents - 6 adult ball dresses, 6 adult tunics, sparkly tops and dresses for kids and flying monkey wings. I've never been involved in a big production and it was really fun - we had Friday night sewing bees complete with wine and nibbles, up to 5 days skating a week - and a lot of laughs. I've yet to actually see the whole show because I was backstage or skating for most of it - waiting for a DVD copy of the show this weekend.  I had the best intentions for photos but it never really happened - I got a few backstage shots but nothing blog worthy.

Along with all the skating Georgie was in a school production:

I didn't have time to make the full outfit so just made some grey pants and top and put some elephant toe nails around the sleeve and pant cuffs, plus a little tail (haha - here is a little action shot for you.)

Consequently it is chaos around home - piles of fabric, washing, dishes, uncut lawns - the list goes on, luckily this week is school holidays so we are hanging out at home tidying as we go.

Next up is a school dress up day - early settlers style - there is a pattern lying on my desk for a bonnet and apron ready for tomorrow.

Monday, 2 September 2013


Even though we have all been struck by various forms of a cold/cough we still packed a lot into the weekend: 2 mornings of skating, skiing, flower fairy wands, playing with water in the backyard in the afternoon sunshine - a beautiful spring weekend.
Reading: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Cooking: Spinach, Pear and Haloumi Salad, and French toast ( not together)
Enjoying : warm sunny afternoons, spring skiing
Making: ice skating costumes
Watching: silly kitten antics, eating a piece of string! then watching the litter box for it's appearance
 - oh the joys.
Wishing: this cough we have would go away
Loving: my daughter's developing sense of humour
Thinking: I need more exercise and more time outside
Hoping: I get some inspiration soon to tidy the garden before it turns into a jungle
Wearing: My ski pants a lot, the ice rink is still cold as are the slopes
Needing: more hours in my day - always
Wanting: our new washing machine to arrive - laundry pile is mounting
Liking: Having time to enjoy the remains of winter and the spring starting

Wednesday, 28 August 2013


The Blossoms on our street are out, spring is here whether we like it or not.
August has turned into a blur of skating, sewing skiing and work.
I have been sewing spring clothes out of this Japanese sewing book

I made pattern B

I like the details , like the gather on the sleeve.
I made a couple of modifications - binding the sleeve rather than elastic cuffs and I shaped the bottom hem a little. Unfortunately it is really a size too big so my sister is going to end up with this top, but there are several other patterns in this book I like so I will try the next top in a smaller size.

Our other news is Otto ( Othello.)


He arrived late last week, he is a very cheeky 4 month old Burmese/Mandalay cross kitten . I haven't done any sewing or knitting since he arrived but I think it may be a challenge, might have to shut him in another room while I sew as he likes to play.

He is desperate to get outside but needs a bit of time to settle in before I let him go outdoors. It's like having a toddler in the house again - playing in the curtains, chewing things...mmm what was I thinking!