Friday, September 11, 2009

Notebook and Pencil Holder

Thanks to , yesterday I made a notebook and pencil holder for a friend of one of my girls for her 4th birthday. I think it's fantastic. I hope she loves it as much as I do. I've never made anything 'crafty' before that wasn't an actualy piece of clothing. It was great fun! Apart from turning it inside out slightly incorrectly, thinking I'd sewed it together incorrectly, unpicking it and then realising I hadn't, and then resewing it - it all went well - relatively speaking. To be honest I'm getting a bit sick of making mistakes and unpicking with every single thing I make. At what point do I start to make things without mistakes? Someone advise me please.

Monday, September 7, 2009


There are lots of projects on the go at once here, so I thought I'd try and post about a few of them. Then I got distracted because my latest fabric from etsy arrived this morning.

So, I'll start with the etsy purchases. The first is a whole lot of half yards of the Tanya Whelan Darla range. I love it! Obviously :) It's very old world charm. Reminds me of my grandparents house on the farm where I first lived. I have no idea if they had anything like this in the house, but it makes me think of their house on the farm. I'm planning to turn it into a whole series of frilly tiered skirts for the girls. There are 10 half yards. The pattern I'm going to use is called 'gracie ruffle skirt' and it's from I got the fabric from them as well. I love the speed that things arrive from the US. I ordered on the 29th of August and it arrived today the 7th of September. Actually, when I look at how long that took it doesn't feel so speedy, but approx 10 days is pretty good I think. They also have an etsy shop if you're in the mood for shopping.

I also had another parcel in the mail this morning from, cottonthreadfabrics on etsy. I got 3 yards of Michael Miller fabric. I have visions of the red material as a top for me, and the two dotty ones as ruffle pants or skirts for the girls. Or maybe both. The Amy Butler yard is from the Midwest Modern 2 range and is to hopefully finish the pinkfig Mia top. It is for the underskirt. What a spoilt girl R is that she gets this beautiful material for an underskirt!

The 3 pieces of Pop Garden fabric are to make a colorful top (eek!) for me for summer. The pattern should arrive in the next few days. Hmmm. I haven't managed to take photos of it. What was I thinking? I'll try to add them in later.

I also started my 'Simple Country Sampler' (don't you love the name) quilt on Saturday. Here are my first 4 squares. One I did in class, the other 3 were for homework. Yes, for the first time in my life I have finished homework early! The quilt is potentially going to hang in the family room so it is in blues, greens and with a hint of orange and gold; so it matches all the rooms surrounding it. The hand is provided by my helpful assistant A.

Finally, I have included photos of the flipsy skirt. I am still yet to do the final tie (I know, I know) but I really wanted to show it off. I did lie the material for the tie across the top, so you get the effect. I might try and sew that tonight or tomorrow night. I'm really happy with the way the skirt turned out, and would gladly make another.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 850

So, here it is. My beautiful new machine. We had a few hiccups in the first few days, mainly from me not understanding that I needed to adjust the tension (which I still don't feel confident with) but apart from that we are on our way :) It is so exciting to finally have a new machine and I just love it. I am still adjusting to where everything is, but it is great! The first thing I have made (well half made) is the Mia top below. It's hard to capture what I'm attempting to do, but it's my first go at shirring. So far I have done the whole bodice twice. The first tute talked about steam shrinking the elastic. It didn't. I must have had the tension wrong. I then rang the lovely people where I brought my machine and they rang someone who lives 5 hours away (I love their dedication to sewing) to get me some advice. I finally got a method that works so I've done the bodice. However, I have discovered that my machine cannot read patterns, so when I only cut out two pieces for the skirt instead of four, it didn't tell me where I'd gone wrong. So, I now have to redo the underskirt which involves buying more material as I have run out. Aaaagh! Luckily R is loving it so far.

New title

Okay I've decided to change the title of my blog. It was too negative and implied that I had too little time to do anything! Sometimes that might be true but I don't want it to become a self fulfilling prophecy. So, the new title. It's taken from a poem in a poetry anthology called... yep, you guessed it 'The world's contracted thus'. I can't remember who wrote the poem at the moment so I'll have to look it up. Either that or unpack the boxes of books I packed up four years ago when we moved here. For me the poem is about the centre of the world and the universe is here, and time should stop for those who want this moment to last forever. It's actually about two lovers in bed feeling the demands on their time pulling at the edge of their moment, but not wanting to leave. That's how I feel about my life. It's going too fast, I love it so much and I wish time would slow down so I could enjoy each moment more. Hmmm I could start philosophising about that now, but I won't go on. Suffice to say, I have a new blog title and this is it. Not bad given I haven't read the poem for at least four years. I'll probably look it up now and discover it is totally different to what I remember :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dear Blog

Dear Blog
I have no time to visit you at the moment. Hence your title I guess. And I'm sorry, I have no photo for you either even though I have done a photography class since we last made contact. I have done a little sewing of part of the pinkfig Mia top, but it is slow going at the moment. I also have my new machine, and I have no time to describe the wonders of that either. Or even really enjoy it properly. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I miss you, and I will be back, perhaps on Thursday. Hmmm - maybe Friday. Does next week sound do-able?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My Monday promise

I have promised to myself (oh silly me, why do I do these things?) that every sewing day one of the girls will wear something that I have made. That sounds great in theory, but there's only so many times one girl can wear the same two pairs of boutique bottom pants (which are due a post all to themselves one day soon). So I spent the weekend busily sewing this top so that Alice would have something new to wear.
It's based on a dress pattern I've forgotten the name of atm and I just cut it short. The material is from the lot I ordered from pinkchalkfabrics last week. I love the bright pink color and she looked just gorgeous (not that I'm biased!)with a denim skirt, pink leggings and white long sleeved top.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Pink Chalk Fabrics

My first internet order of fabric arrived yesterday! I had been waiting and waiting for it to arrive, although really it was very quick. It was all discounted too, so I was very happy.
I've learnt already that color is deceptive on the internet. I knew that already, I guess it's just confirmed. Also, given the plans I have for this fabric, I have no idea why I didn't get a second colorway for most of the fabric. That has now been sorted by another order (only $10 this time) for four half yards from pinkchalkfabrics this morning.
So, these are the materials I got. I've taken multiple photos of some as the weak winter sunlight here created a shadow on some fabrics. I ended up with 16 pieces of fabric, 3 of which were half yards.
Now comes the fun part of deciding what to make with them and who for :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


These are the hands of my wonderful friend Adrienne. Since I have started sewing again, she has helped me so much with all the mistakes I've made. I've led her into temptation - a new sewing machine (where is that evil grin icon?); and she has helped me work out where I'm going wrong with my patterns. So, with these hands comes a wonderful, patient sewing brain. She's holding the Ottobre tunic I've been working on for over a week, and she's scrutinising the non-sensical Ottobre instructions below it. Who knew that when you add seam allowances, you don't add them to the hem? Yep, that would be me.

Adrienne is also very understanding when despite her counsel, I still managed to sew the lady beetle skirt (see previous post) too big and have resigned it to the cupboard until Ruby is bigger next winter (it kept falling down at kinder today), and have managed to lose my way with this current Ottobre pattern.

Although our main purpose tends to be sewing, or knitting or helping others in Adrienne's case, we meander and philosophise through all manner of topics. I'm lucky to have Adrienne in my life. Thanks Adrienne it's wonderful sharing this sewing journey with you.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sewing Day

Today was our sewing day and I finally took some photos of things I have made.

The second item I have made in the recent past is these pants as modelled by Alice.

They are meant to be 3/4 pants but she's a little bit of a shorty, and I figured they're great as longer pants in winter.

This skirt is the never ending skirt that took ages because I had trouble with feeling confident about cutting off a zip and whip stitching it, and then using it shorter than it was made. Who knew you could do that??

I'm also making my first ever Ottobre item at the moment and am using a cheaper material to practise with. Yes, I've got lots of things wrong. I've learnt that when you add seams to a pattern piece, only add them where seams would go. (Now that sounds pretty obvious, why didn't I work that out before I sewed bits together!) I've also learnt that when using elastic thread always have extra long threads so they can stretch with the material when you are sewing near it. I have now 'lost' my elastic threads on these cute little sleeves twice!! Oh, I've also learnt what to use as tracing paper, and that you don't need to have the patterns sticky taped to the window to trace them. See, lots of learning going on here.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I spent way too much time today trying to work out how to do shirring on Mum's machine. If anyone has a Husqvarna Quilt Designer II and knows the answer, please let me know! Although tomorrow is our sewing day, so I will use a friends machine and finally get it done! Yay! I've also had no time to even take photos of my material today, with lots of family visiting. Hopefully I will achieve that tomorrow as well. I think I need a 'to do' list, except that sounds too organised; something a little gentler like ' future projects' sounds good.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The beginning

Okay, so how more obvious can a post be? But, its 8.51am, Emily has to be at ballet at 9.30am and I'm sitting here creating a blog! Hence the title of the whole blog :) This is my life.
So, my aims are manyfold. I really want to record what our lives are like, and what I'm loving about my life. Hmmm, sometimes future posts may not present that I imagine. :) So, I want to blog our lives, with a focus on my hobbies, and trying to keep them going. A little space for me. Sometimes that is hard to find. So, sit back and enjoy the ride. If you ever come back that is :)