Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Hope you had a happy Christmas!

I had a busy one, with my parents and one sister up from one part of the country and my other sister and her new husband up from another! Lots of little projects I wanted to get done beforehand, on top of planning Christmas. Including a table runner for my parents inlaw, and some coasters for my mum (photos to follow).
We also had a last minute trip to Noosa - lots of fun!

Monday, 7 December 2009

Christmas is coming!

Presents for teachers have been wrapped and given out...

The girls have written out cards for their friends...

And Lizzie has said goodbye to her kindy/creche, as she prepares to move on to a new c & k kindy next year - the same one Louisa attended...

And of course the tree is up!

Also the girls' new rooms are almost organised. They both chose their own new bedlinen, and I think they did a pretty good job. Louisa's is the top one and is very grown up, I think. Lizzie, no surprise, chose pink with fairies!

The walls are a bit bare, which I don't mind, but I'm planning to get some special prints framed (these ones are 38 years old - pics to come). Lizzie scored a new bed too, and Louisa gained a 'kind of' new bookcase. One that was my parents, which I painted hot pink!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

The new paint job

We've been busy.
Moving house for a start, which is always an epic. But add to that, the chaos of having flooring and painting done as we're moving in. So we've not really been able to unpack properly or organise the house. So still quite crazy at the moment and I haven't been able to have that lovely 'Ooh, ahh, I love my new house moment' yet. But I'm expecting it shortly follwing a massive garage sale to declutter the junk we've accumulated - and the possiblity of buying new furniture (yah!)and refreshing some old stuff.
I'm so happy with the colours we've picked. For anyone who's looking for a lovely fresh white for walls, that's Fair Bianca (1/2 strength) and Hogs Bristle (1/2 strength) for the trim, a bit topsy turvy to the way most people do it, but I really wanted a fresh white for the walls, but didn't want it to look too 'refridgerator-like' so broke it up with darker trim and Bluster Blue for the features. All Dulux. Boy, did those decision take some thinking through!
I'll add more photos once it's a bit better 'styled'!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Some pretty mail and some stripes.

With the Aussie dollar so strong, I couldn't resist some fabric from Heather Bailey's online store. 20% of Freshcut fabric and Trash Ties added to the appeal. Having quite long hair, I've always thought about ordering some TrashTies. But I also had to order some Pop Garden beauties as well. I'm planning some Christmas gifts with these. I also made myself a simple tiered skirt, using knit fabric so no need to finish the seams. The gathering was a bit fiddly, but I'm happy with the result. My husband couldn't help comparing the skirt though to some 'pirate cushions' I'd made recently for my stepson's room, using a new tea towel and backed with one of Peter's old grey marle top.
We've had our house on the market, so there were lots of those little projects to make things look a little more pulled together. Also, some stool covers to make some bar stools form Peter's work a little more tasteful.

It looks like we have (finally!) sold, so I'm looking forward to moving and no doubt there'll be more sewing projects for the new house this time.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Another ruffly tiered skirt

One of the issues with having two daughters is that if you make a pretty skirt for one, you have to make it for the other! So I did. This time I used contrasting fabrics, and I didn't use my buttonhole stitch for the top of the tiers, just a simple hem. It worked just as well. I realise now that this photo only really shows the bottom two tiers, the third is the same fabric as the bottom tier. Oh, and the photo also shows a Milo face! Oops.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Monday, 5 October 2009

A ruffly tiered skirt

We own quite a few skirts in this house, even excluding the handmade ones, and my favourite of the store bought ones are those with an exposed seam. I'm not sure what the technical term is, but the ones that are gathered with the top of the bottom tier sitting on the outside.

So I thought I'd have a go at that, and I'm really impressed with the results. The top of the tier acts as a little ruffle and looks so frilly and girly. I love it. Lizzie does too, despite her reluctance to be photographed!

The fabric is from Spotlight, and I love the mix of colours - it will pretty much go with most of Lizzie's Tshirts.

A bit more info. I hemmed the top of the tier using my buttonhole stitch, and hemmed the bottom just with a straight stitch. I guess it takes a bit of time, but is very simple. One of Louisa's store bought skirts uses a bias binding in a contrasting fabric for the top of the tier. I'd like to try that soon too. Just to add to the girls' skirt collection!!

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Monday, 28 September 2009

A pretty spring dress

We decided that Louisa needed a new dress. She quickly chose some fabric from my stash, but then I realised that most of the patterns I own are not going to fit her anymore. She's moving into a size 7, and while I've got lots of patterns up to size 4 and a few to size 6, tha's about it - save for some very daggy old patterns I've inherited (think 80s oversized numbers) and one dress up pattern.

So I managed to modify the dress up pattern, using the top section and changing the skirt section to come up with this peasant dress. There are some changes I would make if I made it again, but I still quite like it, and Louisa loves it.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Clothes for grown-ups

I finally managed to do some sewing for myself, making the top above from some quilting fabric. The pattern, a Built by Wendy, is extremely simple, and as I was sewing it it occurred to me that it would be easily converted into a maternity top - no, not for myself, but for someone I know who's expecting.

So I simply added more length in the front and gathered the sides so it was even with the back. I made it in a stretch fabric to give even more room.

It's a bit hard to photograph yourself modelling clothes, and even harder modelling maternity clothes when you're not pregnant, but here's my best attempt.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Friday, 28 August 2009


Here's Louisa dressed as Pippi Longstocking for Book Week dress up. The brief from the description in the book was a blue dress with red patches. I made a pinafore dress, expecting the weather to be a bit cooler than the higher than usual August temps we've been having! I used a light denim with my favourite red fabric for the contrast band, pocket and heart patches.

I used a easy pattern that I've used for Louisa before. That time it was size 5 and it was way too big. This time it was a size 7! I did want it to be bigger so she could wear it as a dress next winter, but still - it made me realise yet again how quickly my girls are growing up!

We teased her piggy tails to make them stick out (I tried using pipe cleaners but Louisa's hair is too thick and heavy), and used some red coloured hairspray. Stripey stockings and some freckles completed the look.

Monday, 17 August 2009

A big bouquet!

Just a quick post to mention how wonderful it has been to receive comments from Natalie, Becky, Andrea and Novy (Little Munchkins) over my last couple of posts. I've been a real slacker with my sewing and keeping up with the EB online sewing community and I feel so happy to know that people are still reading about my little adventures. Thankyou for taking the time out.

I have high hopes of keeping up one day. I may even get some sewing done soon, as Louisa has BookWeek dress up coming up. I must admit, I'm loathe to get out the machine though as the house is currently immaculate ( it's on the market) and I'm a terribly messy sew-er.

Off to blog crawl!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Lizzie's Party!

We held Lizzie's party yesterday at one of our favourite parks. Magical weather and lots of fun playing with her friends, and, of course, a cake. In the shape of a four, per Lizzie's request, and decorated in her favourite colours.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Happy Birthday, Elizabeth!

My 'baby' is turning four tomorrow! I can't believe she's that old now, and I'll have to remind myself not to treat her as a 'baby' now. For a start, I guess I should stop carrying her everywhere.

She is starting to show signs of being a real little girl now. Our conversations are hilarious, and she's showing a lot more confidence and enthusiasm for being out and about around other kids now, shedding that shyness and timidness that I thought was part of her personality. It seems it was just a stage, part of getting used to the world.

She's a real character, with a magical imagination and a talent for drawing and making her family laugh.

Happy Birthday Lizzie!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Louisa's party

What is a teddy makeover party?

I'm glad you asked. I had this question a lot when I sent out the invites to Louisa's party recently. Basically it was an idea Louisa and I had which was 1) closer to home than the Teddy Bear Factory and 2) more fun. A teddy themed party probably isn't something you could get away with beyond six, but I think the term 'makeover' made it seem a little more grown up.

We asked the party guests to bring a plain bear from home (or borrow one of ours). Most babies and children seem to get way more stuffed toys than they could ever possibly play with, so this was a chance to drag those neglected teddies out of closets and storage boxes and actually use them!
We spent a short amount of time choosing new outfits for the girls bears that I'd sewn, and putting cheap jewellery on them, and then onto playing games (including Musical Bears instead of musical chairs and a Teddy Treasure hunt) and having fun.
I cheated a little by using a very easy summer shirred dress with ribbon straps. It's a good thing teddy bears have all that fur to keep them warm! I sewed party bags but cheated by using a non fraying material and simply folding a rectangul in half and sewing two side seams and tying up with some curling ribbon. Great effect, without much effort.
We had a low key cake this year too, just a love heart shape with pink frosting and sprinkles. If we had grandparents and other relatives nearby, we'd most likely not have had a party this year, but with no family dinner as a substitute, I'm happy to give the girls a party each year, just not too over the top.
I think the guests had a fun time, and I know my two certainly did. Now to plan Elizabeth's party for next month!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Friday, 5 June 2009

Louisa's birthday is coming up, and my last chance today to organise and wrap presents. Apart from some Belville lego, it's all books (including a lockable diary), so it doesn't look all that exciting. So I've quickly sewn some PJs to add to her presents.
The applique is very rough here. I disobeyed my own 'always use stabiliser rule', but as they're pajamas and not to be seen in public, I'm not too worried. I know she'll love the unicorn fabric.
Anyway, off now to sew some teddy bear outfits for her teddy bear makeover party!

Monday, 25 May 2009

Och aye, what do you think of this wee lassie?

One thing I never realised before I had kids was the number of milestones that would leave you a bit teary. First day of school, sure. When the squiggles on the page suddenly make sense and your child can read, I could have predicted that one. But buying your first second hand kilt? Never anticipated that!

Louisa's been Highland dancing for over a year now and is still as keen as ever. Much more exciting than boring ballet apparently (although her sister would disagree!). So with a competition coming up in July, and many more to follow no doubt, I've bitten the bullet and bought this second hand one. A full dancing outfit can cost hundreds of dollars brand new from a fancy store (I think someone mentioned $900!) , so thankfully our studio organises for the costumes to be sold and resold and resold again second hand.

Now keep in mind we have a few adjustments to do: more elastic on the sleeves so they puff out more, a zip on the vest to replace the fiddly hook and eye, and of course hemming the kilt so we can see Louisa's legs when she's wearing the matching socks. We would have loved a green vest with gold braid and buttons to match to bring out the green and yellow in the kilt, but there were none available secondhand that fit - and I'm not sure I'm up for sewing one. Maybe a project for later in the year anyway?
And just for contrast, here's Lizzie from her end of year concert last year!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Catching up...

I've been a bad blogger, I know. I've been taking some time away from the internet to enjoy the last of the warmer weather and get some projects done. We're contemplating a move (same area,bigger yard and newer home), so we've been trying to fix our older home up to make it a bit more presentable for sale.

The big question is where do you stop? So far we've removed bubbled tint from countless windows :

Finished laying flooring in the study (more credit to DH for that one):
Made various pieces of 'artwork' to brighten up corners of the house (Pooh to the designer on HomeMADE who doesn't like homemade artwork - I don't like his show - so there!)

Not to mention, loads of gardening, oiling of decks, painting, getting various quotes for reno jobs, only to scratch most as being too costly.

I have managed some sewing. Here's some pants for Lizzie: