Saturday, 21 July 2012

Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows

...everything that's wonderful is what I feel when we're together.

Continuing on with the winter wardrobe theme, I picked up this bright yellow knitted (but I think polyester) fabric from the Fabric Cave about two months back. There was only about 1.5 metres it in and I was so desperate to use it to make a dress. After a bit of time fiddling around with various patterns, placing on fabric, tilting fabric, re-moving fabric (this must work!) I discovered it fit almost perfectly with my McCalls 9526.

60s swing dress style -would it work with knit?

I eliminated the zipper because the fabric is stretchy enough to just slip over my head. I also follow Gertie's instructions for ease and measure all the pattern pieces before I started cutting. Although it says it will fit my bust (which normally means I need to add a bit at the waist) I ended up taking off the seam allowances on all the pieces (5/8 inch all around). To add a little spice to the mixture I embroidered these little houses on.

 This was actually incredibly easy to make and brightens up these cold winter days like nothing else! Thanks again to my little sister for helping me take photos. It was bloody freezing outside and I had no shoes!

One, two, three...remove jacket!
Thanks to Bodie dog who wanted to play while we took photos.

What are you doing off there? woof woof woof!

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

My first jumper

I am so excited! Big news to share......I finally finished my first jumper!

Let's jump for joy!
I'm feeling pretty chuffed about this one. I've been knitting for a few years but never really made it beyond tea cosies and scarves. I wanted to start with a nice easy pattern, nothing to tricky to fit. One of my friends at work has this gorgeous wrap jumper she's been wearing a lot this winter so I've been keeping an eye out for a similar pattern. When I saw this one on Ravelry by Perl Grey, it was love at first sight.

I was down at my folks place, about 20 minutes outside of Canberra, this weekend for my brother's birthday dinner. My little sister has a great camera and sweet photography skills so I actually had a chance to do a little photoshoot.

A nice one out in the garden
I knit it in a Morris and Sons yarn, they were having a sale, I was in a desperate knitting stage and wanted wool RIGHT NOW so it worked out quite well. It's a wool, alpaca, silk blend. It's incredibly lovely and warm, I've worn it about 4 times already. Pssst, little secret...I'm still yet to actually block it! I was just so excited to darn the ends in and wear the bloody thing I couldn't bare to think of having to wait for it to dry in this cold weather. I will do it at some stage though.

Not sure what's happening with my hands here....wacky wrists!

I also wanted to share with you the delicious and crafty cake my little sister made for my brother. He's an accountant .....

It tasted as delicious as it looks!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

The 20-something dress

Well well well looking grown-up. I call this the 20-somethings dress, for some reason whenever I wear it I feel just that bit more grown-up. Apologies for the poor pictures but there's only so much photography a boy can be roped into doing. I need to invest in one of those stand things that you can tie to trees and stuff.

Guess what pattern this is??

Not sure what that creepy smiley balloon's about...

Guessed yet? It's the Sewaholic Renfrew! I've had this wool knit in my stash for a while now and was meaning to make a general Renfrew with it. But as usual I got excited and couldn't really see myself wearing a top on it's own so decided to lengthen it into a dress. I didn't actually re-trace the pattern I just keep drawing when I traced the fabric till I hit about the right length. This wool is a bit thin so it could probably use something underneath it, which I will look into. Just a petticoat or something.

The Refrew pattern was SO easy to make. Just whoosh, whoosh, whoosh and volia! There's a top (/dress)!.

I'll definitely be making more of these, probably a few t-shirts come summer, and perhaps using this as a base for some more t-shirt dresses.
The lovely cowl neckline.
Oh, also, loving the neckline on this. Simple but elegant. I've already got lots of comment on this dress from strangers (who have no idea I sew!). I paired it with some bright red tights the other day and it looked great. I think definitely the kind of dress to match with bright tights.

What's that over there?

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Up Walcha Way

Last weekend Benj and I took off in a van and headed up north a bit. It's school holidays round these parts so Benj has a fair bit of time off.

Leaving Thursday night we made our way up past Newcastle. Stopping at Myall Lake National Park we slept in the van and woke up to a delicious breakfast of pancakes (yep, I'm spoiled). Om nom nom. We kept driving up towards Crowdy Bay National Park, stopping at Taree so I could look at the op shops and Benj could buy a fishing rod (all about priorities folks). Unfortunately nothing much in the op-shop there but never mind. After we finally made  it to Crowdy Bay (narrowly dodging many a pot hole and Benj having to suss out the probability of getting bogged) we set up camp. And then the rain set in! So while Benj stood in the ocean and fished I sat in the van and read 'In Cold Blood.' If you haven't read it, do so. It's fantastic. Slightly creepy to read while camping but never mind.
A giant kanga watching us as I made a cuppa, pancakes for breakfast! Benj testing the water levels, will we get bogged?

On wards and upwards! Moving towards Wauchope we stopped at lots of great little op-shops where I got some of these delights...

Cute doona cover with birds on it, thinking about using it for a dress. The red fabric is kinda like linen and I'm still not sure what inspired my to pick up the holey fabric.

We ended up driving along the the Oxley highway which is a gorgeous drive, along winding roads and ducking in and out of forest and rainforests until you reach the highlands. Staying overnight at Tia Falls we did a lovely walk, lit a campfire and watched the stars. Gosh I love camping sometimes!

The next night we stayed in Walcha in a little B &B and headed out for dinner. We came across the only place in town that was open the 'Chinese Restaurant' (actually called Chinese Restaurant). As soon as we walked in the music playing sounded really familiar but I couldn't quite place why. Then I realised! Ah a pan pipe version of the wind beneath my wings. That's not all! They had the Beatles panpipe style, songs from the Bodyguard, it was never ending! I love places like that.

Benj enjoying a left over meat rissole. He's looking at that with pure joy. Building a campfire, sitting next to campfire, cows on the way.
Now we're home! A lovely little break away. I managed to get lots of knitting done and am already ready to share something with you!

Monday, 2 July 2012

The latest in sewing accessories

I recently picked up three of these cute little strawberry pin cushions at my favourite Fabric Cave, Useful to string around the neck with the snippers (I'm sure there's technical name for these) and then I never loose pins or snippers!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

The Green Hornet dress

Photo time!
Excuse my recent absence, I recently finished up a TAFE course so I've spent all my free time knitting, sewing and sitting on the couch. Ah to be free again!

Today we went to the dog park (read about the awesome dog park over here) with Megan and Ben x 2. They have a small dog called Poppy. I'm not quite sure what breed she is, I think a mixture, but I do know she's fluffy and very very cute!

I owe you about 3 posts on various dresses (count 'em, 3!) and finally got around to taking some happy snaps today.

First up, the Green Hornet dress. I've had a recent attraction towards colour and love the colour of this fabric. It's this grassy green and a kind of stretch jersey, originally meant to be made into something else for my winter sewing plans.

Ok, this dress turned out nothing like the pattern.  It was meant to be Vogue V1257, faux wrap type dress. Now there was only about 1.3m of this fabric, I bought it on a sale roll at the Remnant Warehouse. 
I just managed to squeeze out enough pieces to make this dress and was all 'hurrah, what a success!' until I started the tricky skirt part and realised I had cut the one skirt piece on the fabric on the wrong side instead of right, meaning the wrap bit at the bottom linked to a non-wrap bit at the top. You with me? 

Anywho, I scrapped that plan and decided to just add some pleats on the other side so that it would all match up. This was working fine till I stuck in on my mannequin (still yet to be name, any ideas?) pinned it and place and sewed top to skirt. Uh oh. Now I don't have a tiny bust but I have a pretty flat one. So it was all 'hello ladies' when I tried it on. That really wouldn't work. Not even with a singlet underneath. So I painstakingly unpicked it (how much of a pain is unpicking zigzag stitch?!) and then re-adjusted. To make it work I had to not only pull the wrap over bits across but also down a bit. Basically I winged it. 

The improv-wrap.

 Despite all the difficulties and a bit of frustration (I may have flung it onto the floor at one stage), I actually really like this dress. It's comfy, a great colour and a nice style. I'd like to make another but perhaps in a slightly more organised fashion.
It covers the boobs! Success!

An obligatory  photo with Alexander the beetle for @Perfect Nose.

Here's some cute photos of Poppy, isn't she just a gorgeous fluffball?

Snuggle snuggle!

cutie wootie wootie, She really was loving these cuddles. Maybe not so much....