Thursday, 20 December 2007

Lizzie's Christmas dress

I've finally completed Lizzie's Christmas dress, although 'completed' might not be the exact word. The pattern also included an underskirt, and I had some red fabric sewn up and hemmed ready to go. But I had a last minute change of plans, for a few reasons. Firstly, it looked so lovely as it was when I tried it on Lizzie. Secondly, I'm anticipating a hot muggy day and the less layers of fabric, the better. And lastly, I must admit the thought of gathering another skirt if I didn't really need to wasn't that appealing.

Lizzie loves it and Louisa has been eying it of enviously and asking when she can have a dress like that! Please excuse her messy hair, she'd not long before woken up from a nap!

I'm also including here a sneak peak of our photos we had done for various Chrissie presents. I only picked them up a few minutes ago, so I'll go through the CD and pick out my favourites to share at a later time. We went with Moods Photography based in Woody Point.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

6 more sleeps!

I'm starting to get excited about Christmas. One of my favourite things about Christmas is Christmas music. For at least part of the year, radio stations, stores, etc play music with melody and beautiful arrangements (Can you tell I'm not a fan of much modern music?). I was going through some of my favourite Christmas albums to put together a CD for my family to listen to in my car when they're up (they'll be driving my car around for the duration of their stay).

I'll start with an artist who feels like an old friend to me. He's always been on my CD/tape player for as long as I can remember, and I love this Christmas album of James Taylor's. My favourite tracks are Who Comes This Night and Some Children See Him, as they're not done to death the way a lot of Christmas songs are.

Next up, Michael Buble does that Christmas crooner thing really well and the absolute best track is Grown-Up Christmas Wish - quite often makes me teary when I hear it.

Josh Groban has a universal appeal. The oldies love him as well (even my father). The track I love on that album is Angels We Have Heard On High, I simply love hearing that song at Christmas time. His version of I'll Be Home For Christmas is pretty popular too.

We're fans of Sarah McLachlan in this house, and so her version of O Little Town of Bethlehem is on high rotation at the moment, as is the rest of her Wintersong album

I also can't not include come country music (quite the closet country fan, I admit). I love Vince Gill's Do You Hear What I Hear? - just ignore the mullet on the album cover.

For something different Trans Siberian Orchestra does a kind of 'rock/almost heavy metal' take on Christmas. I love their Joy/Angels We Have Heard on High track.

Okay, so that's completely nothing to do with sewing at all, but something to listen to while sewing, I guess.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

December the 12th!

Today was an exciting day. Finally us EB sewing gals got to open our Christmas swap. I was lucky to get this bundle of goodies from Jacqui! Very thoughtful and useful gifts! Thanks Jacqui!!The felt Christmas decorations look wonderful on our tree:

The other excitemnt for the day was Louisa's kindy concert- a nativity play in which Louisa played a very lovely angel This was followed by a selection of Christmas songs (the highlights being Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, and Six White Boomers) and a feast!

Friday, 30 November 2007

Santa photo

Well, a much better result this year than last year - when I had to be in the Santa photo too! This year, both girls had a great chat to Santa. When he asked them what they'd like for Christmas, they were both speechless, so he offered to bring them a special surprise. A very lovely Santa.

We finished off by doing craft at the shopping centre, having a play in the playground and eating a yummy chocolate muffin each. What a great morning!

Monday, 26 November 2007

Oxfam Unwrapped

If anyone is struggling to find a gift for someone this Christmas, you may want to consider Oxfam's Sewing Training. I think it's quite appropriate for someone who loves to sew themselves, and would get a kick out of people affected by HIV/AIDS being taught this skill to help earn an income. It costs just $63.
Lots of other great gifts to consider at Oxfam Unwrapped or World Vision Smiles.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Tiered skirt

Here's a quick tiered skirt I made for Elizabeth to wear yesterday. We had our first ever professional photos for the girls organised and I wanted something she could wear when Louisa wore her twirly skirt. So rummaged through my stash to find this love heart fabric. I don't remember where or when I got it to be honest, but the colours blended nicely with Louisa's skirt, both worn with white tops.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Birdy top

Just playing around with an old singlet top and some scraps of fabric. Lizzie is quite a fussy dresser, and often protests about things I want her to wear, but no problems if there's a pretty bird on it.
She's modelling it with Louisa's skirt from the same fabric. But alas, no fabric left to make her her own. I certainly have used this fabric for lots of projects.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

One of those dolls...

This is what happens on rainy afternoons:Here's an outfit made for one of those dolls (a Christmas present of Louisa's from her big brother). It's taken me almost 12 months to come to terms with having a Bratz doll in the house, but making nice clothes for it helps! Louisa wanted a purple skirt for her, so I thought I may as well make a matching top.

She looks particularly fetching in her Fairies mask too, don't you think?

Monday, 5 November 2007

My girls

No particular reason for a post except to show off my cute girls again.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

My baby's in a big girl's bed!

The time had to come eventually I guess. I just didn't expect it to be so soon.

Putting Elizabeth down of an evening is actually much easier now she's in with big sister. We used to read stories in Louisa's room, and then go into Lizzie's room for round two. Now she'll draw and chat with big sis before calling mum in for a final breastfeed for the day. We've temporarily got a swag mattress on either side of the bed to avoid nasty bumps. So far she's only fallen of bed once. She called out, I went to see what was the matter and she'd fallen back to sleep curled up on the floor. She hardly woke when I put her back in bed. That was over a week ago now and no falls since.

I just realised since I uploaded the photo that I haven't blogged the quilt I made for Louisa. That's partly because it's still not technically finished. I still have some sewing to do, and manage another row every now and then.

I am so very pleased with it, not because it's a great work of quilting (far from that) but because it is much loved by it's recipient. Louisa loves it, and it is often dragged downstairs to snuggle up in while watching TV, or as part of one of her games. It has been a mermaid tail, a river and, of course, a picnic blanket for her soft toys. She loves the colours in it, and has added red to pink and purple as her favourite colours. I really love how it looks in her room too. So it definitely is a success despite a bit of wonky stitching here and there.

Elizabeth's other great 'growing up' thing is her drawing ability. All of a sudden her scribbles have become faces complete with eyebrows, round open mouths - and in most cases a mermaid's tail! Don't tell anyone, but she's a far better drawer than her sister at the same age, and actually isn't far off Louisa's basic drawings. I'll have to scan some to show off.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Louisa's Christmas Dress

Today's the 25th so officially 2 months until Christmas! My Christmas sewing is getting there, but slower than I'd like. Not enough hours in the day, and certainly not enough when I'm feeling fresh and productive. Still, I managed to get this very red dress finished for Louisa:A very simple looking dress, and just a plain red drill, so it definitely needed some kind of decoration. I contemplated an even more Christmassy green trim, but compromised on this pretty green ribbon.On another note, these guys have decided that our pool is a great place to have their morning dip. Why they've chosen ours, we're not sure - pools aren't exactly a rarity in our part of South East Queensland. We're not happy for them to be using it as a toilet, so we shoo them off as soon as we see them. I felt a bit guilty the other morning when one of them flew into a glass fence we have out the back, but thankfully he recovered and flew off before I had to put my CPR skills into effect.

Friday, 12 October 2007

My sister's new skirt

My sister needed a new skirt so I offered to make her one. This is quite a simple skirt, but I think the ruffle makes it quite pretty. It has an elastic waistband, but I also added a drawstring so that she could tighten it up if she needed to.
(Photography courtesy of Louisa)

Monday, 8 October 2007

What a busy weekend we had! It began with our usual weekend morning coffee and a dip in the pool, then in the afternoon the girls and I headed to the kindy for their 50th anniversay celebrations - a mad hatters tea party. Loads of fun, the highlihght being the traditional Punch and Judy show. My girls were so gorgeous sitting side by side and looking at each other and laughing at al the good bits. They are sisters, I know, but I love how they really enjoy each other's company.

On Sunday morning, following the coffee ritual, we stumbled upon a vintage car rally, officially The Great Gatsby Picnic, with loads of vintage cars, reproduction wooden boats, camels rides, bagpipes, the works!

In the afternoon, with my dear husband happy to stay home in front of the TV to watch Bathurst, I took the opportunity to leave the girls at home and begin Christmas shopping. I headed to the larger shopping centre we have, and did the whole bit. The best bit was being able to get to the Myer Christmas trim shop in its first day of opening.

My grandma used to have some lovely glass bird ornaments. Each year, Dad would risk life and limb on the local railway tracks to get a tree for both her and us and we would help dress her tree. Clipping those beautiful birds onto the tree was my favourite thing. Over the years the delicate birdds have lost bits of beak or feather, so although Mum still has them, they're not really usable anymore. I've often seen similar birds advertised in catalogues, but everytime they've been sold out before I've got to store, but not this year! I bought several, mostly in more subtle golds and browns, but couldn't resist this colourful one. I knew the girls would love it! As I mentioned in my last post, I finished Lizzie's apple dress (yes, I've decided they really are apples). It's a little big for my 'Thin Lizzie' and she didn't show much appreciation for all my efforts. I'll put it aside until it fits better and hopefully by then she'll be happy to wear something other than souvenir Tshirts.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Christmas will be here before we know it!

I headed to Spotlight again last week to get some ribbon for Lizzie's new dress. No photos of that as yet, as the camera has gone walkabout (in my husband's car?). I'm very pleased with it, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see a pic.
But here is the fabric I bought on the same trip. A bit of a red theme. The top fabric is for another dress for Lizzie, to wear to any pre Christmas festivities and maybe christmas day. We're hosting this year (first time ever), so I also bought some goodies for table decoration and presents.

Friday, 28 September 2007

Pretty, pretty

Perhaps it's spring, perhaps it's just a phase, but my mind is turning to our house, and how to make it and the things in it reflect us. We've been in our home for over a year, but have made fairly minimal changes so far. But I am very keen to do a kitchen reno to begin with. It hasn't been touched since 1989. It still looks okay( Tassie Oak is fairly classic, I guess) , but I'd love an update. Deep drawers instead of poky cupboards, new appliances that actually work properly, bench tops that aren't stained laminate, you get the picture. Still lots of planning and getting our heads around all the options, so I'm starting very small. With a dinner set.
I've always loved blue and white, even if that is a bit predictable when it comes to kitchen ware. I have a little collection on display with bits and pieces from all over the place. Bits of Spode I've picked up in DJ's sales, minature tea pots, Wedgewood cups with no saucers and a tea pot without a lid. The latter I picked up from a funny little junk shop I loved when teaching in country SA years ago - the OKMart at Cobdogla. I wonder if it's still there. Anyone know?
Anyway, I found a set that, while thankfully not in the price range of Spode Blue Italian that I love, is pretty, and blue and white - and has birds on it. Oh, and proper tea cups. Our last set had straight cylinder shape cups which I never liked. Never liked the whole thing really, but I won it in a magazine giveaway and put up with it for over a decade. I'm very happy to be passing it on.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Some shorts

Here's a little pair of shorts I made for Lizzie. Not hugely exciting, but pretty and almost the same blue as her eyes. I bought a bag of fabric scraps at a local op shop - and it was the only thing I could make with that amount of material.

Excuse the mess in the play room. We're so lucky to have this space for them, and they do love to spend as much time as possible in there.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

I've been tagged

I was tagged by Karen so here goes...

A. Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves.
B. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed.
C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog...

1 I failed year 8 Textiles!! Mainly due to the fact that I neglected to hand my applique project in. I was quite studious and considered sewing to be quite trivial compared to Maths, Science, etc. How times change!
2 My dad and one of his sisters are fraternal twins.
4 My mum and dad still live in the house where I grew up - but not for long. They're currently building a new single storey home, more suited to doddery old senior cits (ie. no stairs)
5 I taught at School of the Air in Port Augusta for my first year of teaching
6 I am terribly short sighted. -8 in both eyes. But I wear contacts because I'm really really vain.
7 I dropped Art in year 8 when we had to choose between that subject and French, and I've never done any Art studies since, something I regret.
8 I studied French to Year 12, but have never been to a French speaking country. One day...

Looks like we've run out of tag-ees!

Yet more fabric!!

Yes, more fabric. I think that's enough now!
The first collection is from Fashionable Fabrics who are holding a nice little sale. I have no real plans for any of these fabrics yet. I really love the bottom one and wish I'd bought more.
The second photo is my little purchase from our local clearance shop. It has a lot of quilting fabrics for $6 a metre, so I thought this one would be quite popular with my pink loving eldest daughter - and I was right. Some cute little buttons I couldn't leave behind either, plus the ribbon I actually went there to buy. Does anyone ever leave a fabric shop with only the item they went there to buy?

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Lemons and limes!!

Okay, so it has just occured to me that what I thought were apples on my new fabric purchase are actually lemons and limes!! I blame sleep deprivation, which I've been experienced for about 4 years or so. Acording to this article, sleep deprivation can not only make you a bit dippy, it can lead to heart problems, diabetes, "burn out", road accidents and even cancer, so I think I better go have a lie down!

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

What to make first?

These are my latest additions to my stash and pattern collection. I love these patterns and can't wait to start on some summer clothes, mainly for Lizzie. The apple fabric is already cut out to make the cute dress in the middle. The MM christmas fabric will be for gifts for Christmas. The party fabric was on clearnace and I thought it would be great for decorations for someone's party next year.

And yes, that is some heavy weight denim there. I really want to make a denim pinafore for Lizzie, as ridiculous as that might sound at this time of year as we head into spring. The main impetus behind this is the Fifi iron on we received as part of our magazine subscription. We've also got a headband, so the pinafore would be part dressup and part actual dress, if that makes sense. If you haven't discovered this sweet character yet, check out the website. I particularly love the Fizzy Lemonade song.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Reversible Pinafore Dress

Here's the latest knit pinafore dress shown both ways. The hem is straighter than it looks in the photo. It was a bit windy on the day. The brown side isn't quite as well finished as I simply turned up the hem and sewed it that way. I couldn't think of a way to do the hem that was reversible. If anyone has any ideas, let me know. Louisa will no doubt be wearing it her favourite way - with the pink stripes of course. I didn't topstitch the bodice as I did with the green dress. I tried it, but this fabric stretched and looked afwul, so I quickly threw that away and did a new bodice which looks fine without it.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Monday, 3 September 2007

Fathers' Day weekend

We took a lovely drive up to the mountains on the weekend to celebrate Fathers' Day and to take Peter's new car out for a spin. Very nice! Here he is with his biggest fan (next to me, of course)Here's big sister trying to show her affection for her sibling, but as you can see, Lizzie wasn't sure what to think!

Here's a very sweet looking Louisa. People have been saying lately how much alike we are - I wish!

Saturday, 1 September 2007

A knit pinafore dress

I made this pinafore dress with no pattern so very pleased that it turned out so well. I think it must be super comfortable too as Louisa hasn't stopped wearing it since I made it (save to go to bed last night!). I think the green really suits her colouring as well.

I'm also happy to use some of this knit fabric I've had for ages (3 and a half metres in fact!). I thinking of making some leggings to go with it. Louisa has also put in a request for gathered pockets on the next dress, so looks like I'll be making another one.

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Lovely fabrics and swap stuff!

These fabrics were purchased at Spotlight yesterday. A nice little collection, although I'm not sure what I'll be doing with them. Obviously the Christmas fabric will be used for something Christmassy, but whether a gift or something for our table on Christmas Day, I'm not sure. The transport fabric I have no idea, but I loved it so much I couldn't not buy it! And the spots will be something for Lizzie for summer.
I was also lucky enough to score some great goodies from IngridK in our EB thrift shop swap. Loads of patterns, especially useful will be the rash vest pattern with long sleeves! My little Queensland water babies need lots of sun protection.
This fabric she sent is just beautiful. Lizzie in particular loves it being such a little bird watcher and has taken to stroking it and saying 'pretty birdies'. She's a big cutie, that one.

So a big thankyou to Ingrid for all my goodies.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

The last twirly skirt

I promise I won't bore you with many more of these, but I do love them. I especially love the potential for mixing fabrics. This one was made using that fabric: also used here, here and here.
And here's Louisa modelling it's 'twirling' properties:

Sunday, 26 August 2007

A cherry on top! (Well actually it's on the bottom)

Another twirly skirt, made for a mums group friend who likes to twirl! I'm loving these skirts.
(Not loving my photography at the moment. Not great at the best of times but we're having dull grey weather and my husband has taken the better camera on a motocross adventure!)
This skirt has a bit of a thirties feel to me, or is it just that it's something my late Grandma would have liked? Sad to part with it, but happy that the party girl will enjoy it.

Friday, 24 August 2007

A twirly skirt

I made this beautiful skirt for Louisa. The photos simply do not do it justice.

I knew as soon as I found this fabric that I wanted to make a twirly skirt, but where to find a pattern? Andrea from our EB sewing thread gave us this link. Suddenly twirly skirts were everywhere: here, here , here, here and here- and I'm sure I've seen other great examples. It did take me awhile to finally finish it, but now I have and realise how quick they are, I'm determined to make two more before the weekend's round of birthday parties!

Monday, 20 August 2007

My little ragamuffins!

Here are my girls - complete with breakfast still on their faces, unbrushed hair and ill-fitting dress-ups! Aren't they cute? And here's a visitor to our backyard!