Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Voila Veronica: A Floral Laurel

Don't we all get crushes on each other in the sewing and blogland? With so many babe-a-ramas around, it's really hard not to get a big crush on peeps. My current crush is Mokosha who has been around a bit, but I kept forgetting to add her blog to my reader, so thank fuckity for bloglovin' as it has reminded me and now I'm just looking at her photos all the time! So my layout today is in ode to her, lots of photos and then the text down here! I'm too chatty to follow her text layout though!

It's a Colette Laurel dress pattern, vintage fabric - something polyester something cotton, as there's a tiny stretch and it frays like heaven's betsy's - that was op shopped sometime ago, and it's almost unremarkable... what do you think?

But it was a REALLY long time coming... I started it in April last year, and you can see it with my white Laurel on Diana the Dressform... and never really got to stitching the sides, and finishing. So while I'm not posting that often here on the blog at the moment, I'm actually sewing a lot and making sure I FINISH up the projects in my sewing room. I don't often have the unfinished outfits (UFO's) but wrapped up patterns in fabric, with notions tucked in... so I have little bundles of 'To Do Lists' taking up space in shelves, drawers and bags and frankly, it all has to go and get done. So, after my December kickstart on sewing month, I'm not going to photograph EVERY outfit or thing... I'm going to finish off my 100 Things with my happy things, and things I wanna show you (and have time to photograph & blog about) xoxo.

The Laurel passed the Mena Test (sewing the sides - one long stitch on one side was going to be the side zipper - and then trying it on to see if you don't have to waste a notion) as I changed the back zipper on the pattern to the side. Sometimes in floral or patterned fabric a side zipper looks nicer so you're not breaking up the pattern on the back. And because the shape is really a 60s shift dress, you can get away with a bit of room. I perhaps won't be bending over in this version though (!), yep, I like the skirts short!

The sleeves are cute with these cuffs and overall it's a really quick version to sew. Especially leaving the zipper out. It makes it super thrifty as well! I'm sure this was less than $4.


Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Holiday Vibes: Around Railay Beach in Thailand

Last month we went to Thailand, for a lovely wedding, and since we've been back, it's peak business time at my work and Husbie's work this year! BUSY CITY! Such a great juggle (I just wrote struggle but meant juggle) of family & working life... Positina Turner strikes again. 

Here are some photos of the location I thought I'd share with you.


Friday, 31 January 2014

Holiday Vibes: Hanging with Adey

Our holiday began in Singapore, so Husbie Darling could meet a work colleague but it was also a great excuse for us Sewing Besties to hang too!

If you're new to my blog, Sewing BFF Adey blogs at The Sew Convert, and we met via The Sew Weekly blog as original contributors in 2011. Later that year, on my way to a bike riding tour of Cambodia, I stopped in to Singapore and met Adey for the first time... which was amazing & fun! Now I had the Darling Family with me, we had a gorgeous family catch up in the new Gardens By The Bay, with a delicious afternoon tea first and then a big wander around the garden's 2 domes!

Have a look at how gorgeous & amazing this place is! (And how sweet Baby Darling & Adey are too:)

 The waterfall is at least 7 storeys high, and the whole place is a surreal temperature with amazing plantlife and such interesting garden designs! We loved it!

You'll see I'm wearing the green dress I made from the fabric Adey gifted me... which is a designer stretch silk blouse-weight fabric. Thank you Adey! I have all the details of putting the dress together with the Vogue Pattern in case you're curious! I also made Baby Darling's tshirt, but the neckline was sooooooo soooo baggy, it kinda looked funny after he wore it all day!

Here are some more photos of the garden, it was just amazing!


Thank you Adey & your family! We loved spending time with you all! xoxo How wonderful that sewing and blogging can lead to international unique catch ups?! I love & appreciate this community so much!


Sunday, 26 January 2014

Australia Day Thanks

We had a wonderful start to the year, visiting Thailand and celebrating our good friend's wedding with loads of other great friends. Such positive energy, great focus on love and friendship and it felt like a great kickstart to 2014. Things are going so well, and it's great to be outside of your everyday life to see how well things are. There's so much to be thankful for really.

Today (being Australia Day), I'd love to send a big thank you out to every single gorgeous person. We don't have a Thanksgiving type day here. But today's 'Australia Day' has so many meanings for Australians. It's sad day, it's a happy day, it's a celebration and it's memorial. But overall, it's a day for looking forward for all Australians. I'm thankful to be Australian, I'm thankful for all my friends & family, I'm thankful our country has a long history of Indigenous people and their stories, I'm thankful we are able to live such beautiful lives.

There's a wonderful Australian of the Year today as well, Adam Goodes, and I'm with happy tears reading his thoughts on today and being Australian. What a freaking legend. Totally thankful there's such gorgeous people in this country.

My photo above is from a children's park in Singapore. What a beautiful place to be a toddler and a Mama of a toddler.


Monday, 20 January 2014

Voila: The Anna Frankensteined Romper!

YAY, we're back from holidays in Singapore and Thailand and I've just been reading through all your lovely notes from my 31/31 pieces from my personal sewing marathon in December. LOVED that you loved my little things (the exciting ones and the boring ones alike! Boring is still good, right!?) and thought you'd like to see the Romper I made for the wedding!

I outlined the sewing construction details (By Hand London's Anna top, vintage 1970s pattern for the shorts) in the blog post but here's me in it with my darling friend Jo (and cousin of the bride) who is from the amazingly gorgeous Melbourne band Big Scary! Aren't we vintage pastel fabric queens:

We loved being away and just adored Thailand, such a beautiful spot for a wedding! I'll post some scenic shots soon, there was just really gorgeous landscapes with the water, huge cliff faces and bush land, jungle spaces! Anyways, I loved wearing my romper, it was really comfy and good for crouching down with the children at the wedding or running around taking photos here and there. It was also great for dancing in later!

The fabric wasn't as see-through as I first thought when sewing it, and the only downside (not that anyone noticed) was that later on in the night after excessive dancing/jumping around (who knew I can still remember all the words to De La Soul?) the facing would flip out the front... so next time I'll stitch or glue/fuse that down... but all in all a successful Frankensteined outfit!

Here's me with my bestie Amy, and I gave her my Red Christmas Anna Dress for her birthday, and it fitted PERFECT! The FBA I did on the bodice was just right for Amy, as it was a little loose for me. Love being on holidays with my bestie! What a stunner!

And I did my hair myself (who knew I've turned into a hairstylist?) by twisting and pinning bits of hair around a topknot... but I bought a little fan from one of the local shops to use as a fascinating fascinator! It stayed in all night as well, even with the dancing!

And my friend snapped a little family photo as well:

Baby Darling wore a little vest & shorts suit I bought at the Salvos Op Shop on King Street in Newtown when I last visited Sydney. He couldn't leave his motorbike out of the wedding party! Plus it matches his sandals, accessorise people!

xoxo thank you again for all your love & gush with my sewing last month! Loved doing a little mini marathon on the machine... for this year (as always) I'm not really setting sewing or personal goals. Being away with my family has made a beautiful start to the year, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to love all the things I do personally and with my friends and family. Now that we're back in the house, we've always got little odd jobs to do, but I'm feeling very low-stress & carefree and plan to keep that vibe going in all aspects of 2014!

Wishing you a wonderful year ahead though, and hope you are loving the year as much as I am. Sew Forth and conquer queen sewing bees!


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

31/31 The Full Circle Skirt

Thanks to By Hand London's new (to me) online app, I made a ridiculously good full circle skirt!

I haven't made a circle skirt for ages, I think since maybe Sew Weekly days, and this fabric was also a Sew Weekly creation as I made a lovely little 1960s number from it in 2011. It wasn't hard to follow the By Hand London instructions (you fill in your measurements and length and it calculates the waistband radius - SOOOOO helpful... ) and the whole skirt came together in about an hour I reckon. There's just a simple waistband and a side zipper (also thrifted) for this one... and a simple folded hem... 

The fabric is very swishy and as I made a straight skirt last time, I fully didn't realise how gorgeous the fabric hangs. I still have over 2 metres of it as well! Go op shopping in Ballarat!

Hooray! So that's 31 things made in 31 days! 

Monday, 13 January 2014

30/31 Hot Weather Hat

Ooh, I've almost finished showing you all my December creations! I made 31 things last month, so I'd get a feeling for sewing a lot again and overall I think I've learnt how to sew with scraps (especially in the last few weeks) which helped clean up the sewing room as well.

We're away on holidays this week, so have been catching up on blogging my things, and it's another holiday thing: a Toddler Hat. In November I made an Oliver + S sunhat  from the free Reversible Bucket Hat pattern and it's been great, but the interlining that I used to stiffen it out makes the 3 layers of fabric quite thick and hot for my BD. He's a hot boy anyways, so wearing a hat and playing in the sun gets him very warm indeed! So I've used super cool fabric, super cool colours with no interlining and hoping that this will be cool for him in Singapore & Thailand.

The fabric is stash fabric again, leftover from a work party where I made heaps of bunting (surprise surprise) and it's just cotton from Spotlight but has a cool feel to both the stripes and spots!

I made it reversible (and didn't use the instructions, it's now my third hat, so I've already lost the instructions) but instead of attaching a necktie/spaghetti strap like last time, I used the sewing machine magic button hole to make two button holes on either side and threaded the ties through, so it can be reversible ... with the chin strap tide around the back of the hat like above while the other chin strap is doing its job. BD is quite happy leaving his hat on when it's tied on... but always takes it off if there's no strap.

Anyways, hope you've had a lovely weekend! We'll be back soon from holidays, so can't wait to catch up then.


Sunday, 12 January 2014

29/31 A Button Snake

OK, Mamalyf just got real.

I've made a learning toy for my child, and yes I saw it on a Montessori page that my friend shared on Facebook and yes I'm a learning nerd (my mother was an early learning educator for her entire career) for children's things and yes... I'm showing this to you because once again, I'm blogging every project I make in December and have made 31 projects and whilst I'm a bit behind in my blogging, I'm being honest and real and maybe a bit boring...

But HEY.

I have always wanted to be real life Mama here, real life seamstress and real life babe (self confident today, obviously!) and this 'no frills' stuff I keep talking about is quite important to me. Especially since I really looked at what I was writing about last year and what aspects I enjoy in blogging and sewing and creating and blah blah blah.

So, yes! Here's a learning toy and here are the instructions for you to make your own via this Montessori on a Budget blog (my FAVE kind of blog is always about thriftiness), and if you have an automatic buttonhole function on your sewing machine this takes no time to make. Because it's a learning thing as well, it doesn't have to be super perfect and matchy-matchy... it has to function as a button snake!

I've NEVER heard of a button snake before, and now... it makes sense! I've seen my child spend half an hour (sometimes longer) putting a lid on and off on a container... so why wouldn't he love buttons (he calls them 'ball') and threading them through buttonholes. I'm hoping this would be a great project on the aeroplane. We'll see.