Monday, May 28, 2012

Escape artists

On Friday we skipped the whole school thing and ran away to the coast.  We were tired, sick of our relentless daily routine and personally, I needed to get out of town.  I took a leaf out of Kate's book, bundled the boys into the car and hit the highway. The weather was terrible but we barreled along in the rain to the Gold Coast to have lunch with my little brother and his girl who were holidaying from Melbourne.  I haven't seen my brother for about 18 months so a catch up was long overdue.  We ate toasted sandwiches and coffee and milkshakes, and finished with a serve of ice-cream for the five year old.  Simple and satisfying. Heading home the boys both caught up on some sleep in the back of the car and arriving home mid-afternoon we flicked on the heater and got cozy inside to while away the last few hours of our day.  A day off well spent in my book.

On Sunday we escaped again and had a lovely morning tea with friends and their brand new baby, decided going home was the least desired option so grabbed some lunch at a cafe and finished the day up down at Sandgate.  There was lots of rock throwing and splashing about, even a little bit of crocheting on top of the sea wall.  With the tide going out you could look like you were walking on water.

The afternoon weather was beautiful, definitely one of those days to appreciate all over again the place where you live.  Nothing like starting a new week refreshed in mind, body and spirit.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My creative space: adventures in pattern making

The more I sew clothing the more I am thinking about the patterns I use and the different results they give.  I used to accept the pattern pieces as ridged, fixed and mysterious in their own ways, I knew nothing about making adjustments to fit.  But now I see more about how they are shaped and how they work and I start thinking of changing this bit or that bit to please myself, and sometimes I am sure, an other times I am really unsure of what other changes might flow on from that.  It's an interesting learning process.

I have a pile of traced patterns in front of me today, I've been looking at things I've made in the past, things I've made more recently, and clothes I have bought from the shops.  I'm thinking about what I like about those garments, what I don't like...and I'm trying to morph two different patterns together to produce a top for myself to my own liking.

I'm adjusting sizes and making things less fitted and more roomy.  It's a peasant style where the sleeve pieces make up the shoulders of the top, but I don't want all the elastic around the neck to draw it in so I'm going to try gathering or pleats and some bias binding; short sleeves because that's what we wear for most of the year in our climate, maybe elastic in the sleeves, maybe not, I'll see how I feel about that as I start constructing it.

I kind of promised myself I wouldn't sew clothes from quilting fabric anymore, but when I found a substantial amount of this green and pink floral fabric in the remnants bin at the store I decided I may as well be wearing it rather than leaving it there.

After some sketching, measuring, calculating and eyeballing I've cut out the pattern, pinned it down and am ready to cut...

For more creative spaces, head on over here.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Japanese sewing: top B

I've just completed top B from the Japanese sewing book - "The Stylish Dress Book".

The fabric is a printed cotton voile, its very light and soft.  I don't like high necklines, so I substituted the neckline from dress O.

For my own taste it is a little bit too roomy in the body, you can't really tell in these pictures but there's a fair bit of fabric there, I'll probably take it in down the sides slightly.

But for now I'm just sitting back and admiring my efforts.  I'll going to make this one again soon for sure, maybe a short sleeved version.

Friday, May 18, 2012

By the book

I'm studiously working from my Japanese sewing book at the moment.

Tracing patterns, adding seam allowances, cutting fabric.

It's slow and careful work.

I'm making top B, moonlighting with the neckline from top O.

Hopefully the weekend will allow me to squeeze in some sewing time.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A little bit about me

That five year old, he's eloquent all right...

...and artistic.

Happy Mothers' Day to all the proud mummies out there.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Snake in the grass

I'm not sure what sparked it but of late there has been serious pestering for a toy snake.  Who am I not to oblige the whims of my five year old?

I was sewing away at this during the week seriously wondering if my life had truly come down to baby care, school pick ups and drop offs, housework and...toy making on request.  A little known fact on this blog: I actually have a PhD in reptile research.  I really do.  Is sewing a reptile an acceptable departure from former scientific like reptillian intellectual pursuits?  I don't know, those kind of questions make my head hurt these days.

The 'results' of this particular sewing 'experiment' were that the snake (more like python) ended up a lot longer than I imagined it would.  It goes on,

and on,

and on.

Scientifically, to scale with a representative 5 year old - it's 'this' long.

And this feisty!


Conclusion: The backyard chicken had better watch out.

Thanks to Funky Friends Factory for the pattern, and Alex for being such a good sport. xx


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