Monday, 30 April 2007


I've really taken to this thrifting thing. I've never really frequented op shops and the like, but I've always had a love of a bargain. Now that's going into overdrive, when I bring home bags full of things and then think about how little it all cost. Not to mention how personal and original the items are. In the last week, I've been very lucky with what I've found - but far too many things to photograph or write about. I've found Enid Gilchrist books, Golden Hands magazines, children's books (include one written by an old friend of my Aunty - see the poor confused character in the pic), patterns (my favourite is the one I've included above - can't wait to start on that for Louisa), fabric, almost new leather shoes for Lizzie, and my favourite, this doll's cradle for $5 (photographed in the car - not keen to take it out until its had a good clean up and paint).

Friday, 27 April 2007

Winter's approaching

With winter not too far away, I thought I should be prepared with a long sleeve top for Louisa. I don't really need anything too snuggly - Brisbane's temperature extremes are pretty mild, and my girls are both 'warm blooded'; they don't feel the cold too badly. So this simple top fits the bill. I used this Burda magazine pattern, but it said to 'coverlock' the neckline. I don't have such expensive fancy equipment, so I put a button in the back. I have to admit this part of the top is a little dodgy. At the moment there's a huge oversized daisy that doesn't actually match the colours of the top, but Louisa chose it from my button jar. It was to be temporary, but actually looks kind of cute, so I may leave it! I really like the fabric - the flowers lift it from being just a plain top. I'd love to find some cord in just aqua to make matching pants, or even a pinafore dress over the top.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Baking and bargains

Another lovely batch of Bec's Banana, Date & Sour Cream Muffins - delicious!
And a great day thrifting. Some great finds - a couple most definitely worthy of the term 'vintage'. Also some cream cord, some black ribbing, a couple of paisley pillow cases and some practical fabrics that I can already think of uses for. And all for $9. Very happy.

Friday, 20 April 2007

Kimono top - version 2!

Well, I'm much happier with this version! Using bought binding made it much easier. I wasn't intending to use this fabric for Lizzie, but I think it looks great on her. I used this fabric simply because I had some red bias binding, and wanted something to go with it! While sewing, I was thinking I would have preferred a hot pink binding, but love the end result with the red.

I think part of my problem with the last version was that the material I used had a very loose weave and didn't make crisp folds. So after that diagnosis, I'm on the look out for some floral print material similar in colours to the white and purple I used, but just in a tighter weave fabric that will hold a crease better.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Very dodgy kimono jacket

This is one of those times when my inexperience shows. Just not a good job here. I had quite a lot of trouble making my bias binding from this floral fabric. It started with my wonky cutting and then it was all downhill.
The worst is probably on Lizzie's right shoulder as you can see in this picture. I just couldn't get it to stay folded under, and then maybe got lazy and careless as I thought it was a lost cause anyway.
So back to the drawing board. I'll put this one in the 'look at later' box with every intention of unpicking the binding and redoing with some new binding at a later stage. There's actually nothing wrong with the rest of the jacket, but the jacket itself is also the wrong size. So I intend on having a go at the same pattern, but using bought binding this time to restore my confidence.

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Hello Kitty pjs

When I decided to make Louisa some pajamas, I put a lot of thought into the details: buttons on the back, as she's a tummy sleeper; short sleeves so she's warm but not too warm; elastic around the legs so they don't ride up her legs, etc. But according to Louisa I left out the one most important detail - they don't have fairies on them! So it took a fair bit of convincing, bribery and postive peer group pressure courtesy of the girls next door to get her to wear them, but finally she did and now is happy to wear them to bed. Phew.
She did get her fairy fix this morning when we went to see The Fairies, but no photography allowed so this is all I can show you!A fan-fairy-tastic time was had by all. Louisa was very excited the whole way through and both she and Lizzie loved dancing and singing along with them. A great show!

And here's a picture I have to included just because Lizzie's grin is just too cute:

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Kitchen themed Swap

Kylie's received her swap now, so I can post the items I sent. An apron (which my husband thought was 'saucy'), an oven glove and some criss cross coasters.
Some sewing materials: And some knitting patterns I found at my local op shop which I thought were too lovely to leave though even though I don't knit! But there was a link to our kitchen theme. One of the books contained this pattern:How cute is that!

Monday, 9 April 2007

Burda mag top

I was determined to make something from a Burda magazine. I borrow them by the truckload from my local library and trace out the patterns, but hadn't made anything yet. So I started with this top for Louisa:

The jersey for the top part seems quite delicate and I'm not sure how well it will wash. There are also a few little flaws here and there, but overall I think it's a lovely top. I'm especially pleased with the bottom flounce (made with left over shirred cotton from a skirt I made for Louisa). I'd never finished a hem like this: folding it under, using my buttonhole stitch and trimming away the excess fabric. I wish I'd used it on the original skirt!

I finally got a picture of it when we took Jake (who's visiting for the school hols) to the park to kick the footy with his Dad. The girls found a huge puddle to play in and ended up soaking wet.

Saturday, 7 April 2007

On the water

We enjoyed a lovely morning on Moreton Bay yesterday. We took the girls around past Redcliffe on the boat to witness the start of the Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race. Fantastic weather and Lizzie enjoyed her first real boating outing (apart from the pre-Christmas canal tour and another very )short trip. She had a great time, and the faster and noisier the boat the more she seemed to relish it. On the other hand, Louisa, who has spent more time on the boat with Dad, suffered from sea sickness. I think it was so much time not moving, waiting for the start of the race, rather than the usual full speed to Moreton Island. Plus the wash from so many other spectator craft.

Below is the race leader Ichi Ban who raced right past us - very exciting!

Thursday, 5 April 2007

A good day!

Well, it is a good day when you have a birthday party at the lagoon for one of Louisa's kindy friends who turned 4 (Louisa is quite the baby of the group). A fun morning, eating way too many cupcakes and sausages and lollies. It was all too much for Lizzie.

Louisa was trawling through her party bag on the drive home and found a lollipop, opened it, had two licks and decided she didn't like lollipops and handed it to Lizzie who promptly popped in her mouth and fell asleep. A bit too much like a dummy, only even worse for your teeth!
Then we arrive home and find a lovely parcel in the mailbox from Bec.

Very lovely and useful things, and very happy to finally have some silicone bakeware in my possession in the form of these lovely cupcake/mini muffin ones. Louisa has decided they're perfect, but I don't think her sugar levels could handle anything today. But we'll definitely be trying Bec's Banana, Date and Sour Cream Muffins very soon. They sound delicious and just the kind of thing we love.

Thankyou Bec! And wishing you all the best for the birth of your precious bub.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Op shop visits

A very successful outing to our local op shops this morning. I found some great fabric and just one pattern - but a very cute one. It's the first time I've purchased fabric at a thrift store. I haven't been game, especially at this store where it's all sealed up in plastic. I guess that keeps it nice and clean, but it also means you can't get a good look or feel . I'm glad I took a punt this time though.
I wish I was better at identifying fabrics. Two are clearly a nice cotton, but the purple and the paisley ones seem to be cotton with a flanellette backing? So I'm not sure what their original purpose is. I'm sure they'd make great pjs, but I can't help thinking the pasiley one especially would be great as some groovy pants or another pinafore dress. Would that be silly?
Lizzie scored too, with a pretty doll. Although I gave the doll a 'bath', she still has a drawing mark across her face that I can't remove despite careful scubbing, but I'm not too worried. With Lizzie's penchant for scribbling on anything and everything (as evidenced on the flip out sofa she's sitting on), it was bound to happen anyway.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

The same dress

Okay, I know I already posted this dress but I love it on Louisa - more than just on the hanger. So frogive my indulgence.

Another dress

Another item that had already been cut out. Louisa hardly needs another pretty dress, but when I saw this fabric at my local fabric store, I knew I wanted to make this dress. So here it is. And here's my little secret: I left the selvedge folded under the hem, not visible at all. A little thing only I know (oh, and now you).