Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday shop update, and blog update!

Hello there!  I've just added two new dresses to my shop, don't they look delicious?  Head on over there to check them out if you are in the mood for a bit of Friday retail therapy.

In other shop news I have also just completed and sent a custom order for three t-shirts with balloon holding elephant appliques.  I was very lucky with these as t-shirts are starting to disappear completely from retail stores in favour of long sleeved things.  Ridiculous really when you're in t-shirts probably 9 months of the year here!  I managed to fulfill the request for colour and sizes of shirts and they are on their way to New Jersey, USA.  It always amazes me where my little garments can end up in the world.

And lastly, in case you hadn't caught up with this news already, I thought I would mention that last month I wrote a tutorial for the Imagine Gnats blog on recycling a man's shirt to make a pair of small boys' shorts.

I'll be writing a few articles for Imagine Gnats through out this year so I'll keep you posted here on when they happen.

Happy weekending!

Monday, February 3, 2014

A slight name change :: Maika Creations is now Maika Made

The start of a new month, a new blog name - why not?  I am making an announcement here and now that my blog name has changed from Maika Creations to Maika Made.

To be honest I've wanted to get rid of the word "creations" from my blog name for some time now.  Way back when I first named my blog I was doing a lot of soft toy making and trying my own thing with them so they were my little "creations".  But now I more enjoy dressmaking and for myself I feel that takes a lot less creativity and a lot more technicality in using sewing patterns, adjusting fit and learning new sewing techniques and tricks.  I don't feel that the creation part really fits me any longer and I've fallen out of love with it. So I've taken the plunge for a little update that's not drastic enough that I'll suddenly disappear to some far flung corner of the internet.

Breaking all the "rules" of naming blogs and online shops and such I do admit that I have chosen a blog name that is a little hard to pronounce, not even my family get it right most of the time!  The word maika is pronounced m-eye-ka, not may-ka as I hear it pronounced frequently.  The first time I heard someone say it like this I was a bit surprised, but then I realised it was a little silver lining because making is what I do so if you want to pronounce it like the word maker then who am I to worry about it!  For myself though I use the word maika because it translates from Bulgarian (and a few other languages) to English as the word mother. Mother made, that's what best describes what I do for my family and my home so that's what my blog name has now come to be.

I have been subtly trying to will the word "creations" away but it keeps following me around so now I'm being proactive about scratching it out as much as possible.  While I have changed this blog name, the URL will not change, it will still be as I don't want to lose traffic or kill any existing links to my blog.  Out there on social media and the like I have changed my name on Facebook, Instagram and Flickr AND I've changed my Etsy shop name.  I'll be working soon on new header for my blog to reflect the name change, plus I haven't changed my header in such a long time it's nearly got virtual cobwebs on it.

So there you go, I've done it.  Finally.  Feels good.

Friday, January 31, 2014

All dressed up

As promised, and before January 2014 fades into recent history, I'm popping in today to share some pics of us at my brother's wedding.  Luckily they were married in the space between a couple of Melbourne heatwaves and also dodged the downpour and drizzle of the day before.  They had a perfect ceremony in the garden in the late afternoon sun and then the most fun reception in a gorgeous old house in a romantically leafy street.  It think one of the most picturesque places you can get in Melbourne.

As the only guests with children we had a surprisingly great time, the kids loved it - there were uncles, aunts and grandparents to have fun with, endless amounts of bubbles to blow from little mini champagne bottles and while everyone was looking at the bride alighting from the carriage I'm sure my boys had their eyes fixed on the two handsome horses pulling it.  We trotted the kids back to our accommodation for bed at the appropriate times and thanks to two lovely school friends of mine they were taken care of while my husband and I enjoyed some adult time.  Its so rare for us to be dressed up and out together that I think we would have enjoyed ourselves no matter what!

And the boys outfits - a total success for handmade!  They suited the formal occasion perfectly and gave the boys a sense of importance and inclusion amongst all that adult company.  A few people spoke to me about their little outfits and I wasn't shy about explaining how they were made...and then someone asked me if I had made my own dress...well no, but maybe there will be another time for such a project.

Everyone loves wedding photos so without further ado, here's a selection:


And finally, one of my favourite pictures from the afternoon, me and my brothers and my crazy toddler chasing bubbles and getting in the way of an otherwise great photo - love that kid to pieces.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Summer days :: a no sew zone, almost

Not much sewing going on here at the moment, I'm flat out just muddling my way through the summer school holidays with two little boys.  Trips to museums, galleries, the movies, a theatre show, a puppet show, swimming lessons and water play with friends at the local pool.  Mucking about under the sprinkler in the garden, Saturday afternoons on the beach, watching The Muppet Show on DVD, coping with the odd heatwave and a short but sharp runny nose thing that swept through our family.  I'm exhausted just thinking about all that we've done.

In my "spare" time I have squeezed in making a couple of pairs of pants for the boys to finish these outfits for my brother's wedding this coming weekend.

They are Made by Rae's Parsley pants pattern with pouch pockets and the tuxedo stripe options, in a charcoal quilting cotton.  I took a little bit of the flare out of the leg and also for the first time made a flat front pant.  The pants are an easy make even though there were lots of new little details I've never tried in pants making before.  The final fit is really great and the boys can't wait to wear them - win, win.  I'll treat you to a few pics of them in their outfits in due course.

I've also started to make what is possibly one of the easiest garments to sew and it's taking me the longest time ever to finish them...I'm making some sweet pillowcase dresses from some lovely embroidered pillowcases I've had in my stash for some time.

These dresses will be headed for the shop in a few weeks once school goes back and I have time to set up my photography gear sans seventy billion interruptions.

We are off to Melbourne tomorrow (eek, I've still got to pack!) and returning just in time for the first day of the new school year.  If you want to follow what we get up to just come and follow me on Instagram.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Makes 2013 :: looking forward to 2014

Hello 2014!

I really thought 2013 was going to be a year of change for me, and while it didn't really pan out that way I learned to accept things more and enjoy this moment in time in my life.  Particularly in the second half of the year I realised how lucky I am with my little family and our relatively trouble free life.  I ate better, I slept better, I felt happier, I embraced the every day more and worried less about the "should have, could have, would have".  I was offered a great job and then was un-offered it which was just crushing but it made me start to make some serious plans and find connections that were there just waiting for me all along.  The big changes I was looking for didn't happen but in the end I think I was happier for that.

That said, I hope again that there's going to be a lot of changes for me this year, I'm ready to shake off the full time stay at home mum label, I'm ready to use that teaching qualification I finished four years ago, I'm ready for more sewing and ready for having more fun with photography and I'm ready for a few changes to this blog for sure, nothing like a little shake up and refresh. A new look and a slight name change are brewing in my mind, but I will be tackling that all in good time (I've got my fourth party of guests for the holiday season arriving this afternoon...toilets need cleaning and beds need making!)

Due to a lack of access to my sewing room over the Christmas/New Years break I thought I'd start the year by looking back at some of my favourite makes for 2013 ::

I've never done a recap of a whole year of sewing and making before and I'm really pleased to see it all laid out like this.  A range of clothes for my boys (who says boys are hard to sew for!), skirts, tops and dresses for me, a spot of crochet, one cushion, one daycare blanket, one hat, one toy and some quilt blocks started this time last year that remain unprogressed 365 days later.  I started experimenting with knit fabrics (I'm still in the experimental phase there I think), did a good amount of upcycling/refashioning from found fabrics and op-shop garments and took part in some community sewing events such as Selfish Sewing Week and Kids Clothes Week (which is on again soon by the way, click here to find out more).  I also started making the clothing in my shop to a better standard, taking time to add trims and pockets and buttons that give the items a little more finished and polished look, and I've got plans to sew some new patterns to increase the range of things on offer there.  (I say every year that I must do more with my shop but it never happens, it remains a study in what happens when you put things for sale on the internet and then never promote them! And I'm happy with that right now.)

Here's hoping that 2014 is a happy year for you.

Now, lets get sewing!


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