Saturday, 30 October 2010

Mini-Giveaway Winner

Well since there were only 2 of you who entered this giveaway (Renae was excluded since she can't sew a stitch, haha) there was a 50% chance of Andrea or Little Betty winning. Feeling terrible that there can only be one winner for this one, but the lucky girl is Little Betty.
Congratulations! Let me know if you would like me to pop it in the post, or meet up one day.

Andrea, my next ordering stuff up is yours!!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Thank you!

Thank you to all of you who commented on my post from yesterday. Where possible I will try to reply directly to you. But I don't think I can reply to Joni, so just wanted to say thank you. I am also hoping to get back to playgroup next year with my daughter (who currently has no activities of her own or any friends to call her own).

Now, I ordered a bundle of patterns from the Vogue/McCalls/Butterick group a couple of weeks ago. About a week earlier I had been to Spotlight and paid around $40 for 2 patterns. I know, I am an idiot!! When I saw the prices on the US website, and the current exchange rate, I couldn't resist. Despite the fact that I paid $25 for postage (now what a rip off is that!), I still managed to have 7 Vogue and McCalls patterns delivered for $50. However, silly "never-even-been-bleached-blonde" me accidentally ordered 2 of the exact same pattern. So, I will give one away.

It is a bit specific though..... the pattern is Vogue 1120, but in the larger size range (14-22). Also, since I have already paid a heap in postage to get it here, I might just make it a local (Australian giveaway). I will keep this one open until Friday night. And I guess just to keep things separate, any entries for this giveaway won't be entered in the bigger/destash giveaway (just in case the same person were to win both - I would prefer to spread the love). Of course, everyone is welcome to enter both separately.

So to enter this giveaway, just leave a comment on this post! Good luck!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

So I have been MIA lately. Just from the blog. To be honest, it all comes down to motivation, and trying to work out my place in the world. Basically, I think I have been retreating from society over the last few years, and have come to a point where I don't really know where I fit in.

I am sure other stay-at-home-Mum's must go through this sometimes, but at the moment, there are weeks when the only interaction I have with other adults during the day is a wave to other parents at daycare drop off. There are no phone calls or emails to get me through the day. No courses to go to, no meet-ups to keep me going.

Days are filled with driving my son to dancing, daycare, swimming, Cantonese lessons and drama class. On the quiet days we get to do the grocery shopping. I live in an area where I never just bump into people I know down at the shops, so even chance encounters are incredibly rare.

The only thing that I do for myself is sewing. Once again a solitary event. In a room away from little hands.....

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Blogtoberfest Giveaway

OK, I have finally gotten my act together to organise a Giveaway. There is really nothing special about it. Just a bit of a clear out of some of my stash. Of course, I am embarrassed to admit that this really doesn't make a dent at all in clearing out the fabric stash. But it is a start. If you are the winner I will forward the following to you....

Fabric lengths vary from ~0.5m to fat quarters and couple of smaller pieces (and anything in between). Also a lovely ball of wall.
If you like to be in the draw, leave a comment from now until the end of October on this blog (any post). Every post will equal 1 entry. I will ship anywhere. Well, maybe not the North Pole....

Monday, 18 October 2010

Wild Weekend

So I haven't blogged for a few days.... just busy and feeling a bit blah!

The weather was wild in Sydney this weekend. James and I had to rug up as we headed into the city to see The Nutcracker on Saturday. It was performed by the Russian Ballet and as an introduction to ballet, it was brilliant. There were lots of little girls and boys there with their parents and grandparents. Of course James had a million questions about the story, so we spent the whole time whispering to each other. This outing was actually initiated by James who had been looking over his fathers shoulder as he flicked through the paper. James spotted the ad for the ballet and brought the paper in to me asking if we could go. Why not! He started dance classes last term and is really enjoying it, so I thought it might encourage him to try a bit harder with his dance practice. So far, so good.

I also went to the airport to pick up my parents on Sunday after their trip to Europe. This was their 2nd attempt at the trip, as they had booked earlier in the year but had to cancel at the last minute (as in the night before) due to the volcano activity that occurred in April, cancelling all flights to Europe. I am so pleased that they finally got a chance to go. Of course, they brought back presents, including these t-shirts for the kids. So cute!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Macaroons - Fail

I bought this cook book when in the city the other day meeting Novy.

Pretty pictures, clear instructions - perfect for my first attempt at Macaroons.

Well the actual result was fail.....

I made the basic vanilla macaroon, with my husband requesting the 'Lemon Curd' filling. Perhaps it was the weather here that had an affect, but either way, it wasn't perfect by a long shot.

We are currently scoffing the reject batch.....

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

The Peacock Dress

I have been taking my time on this dress, as the fabric was a bugger to work with (initially). The fabric was purchased from Spotlight about a year ago. I bought a heap of it, because I had planned to make a top for my sister for Christmas, and then thought it would look brilliant in a maxi-dress for me. Well, I cut out the top for my sister, put my 'stretch-sewing' needles and walking foot into the machine, and that's where things went wrong. I just could not get the fabric to sew nicely. Skipping stitches all over the place. I actually wasn't sure if it was a problem with the fabric. It is a Polyester/Spandex single jersey knit, but it felt like it may have been over stentered...there just wasn't a lot of stretch left in the fabric.

I did eventually pick up some ball point needles, a lovely maxi-dress pattern (McCalls 6070) and set about cutting out a dress for me. And what do you know, it worked. The dress is incredibly comfortable, and I am glad I went down a size (or 2) as it is a perfect fit. The only 'issue' I have with it is that it feels a little short. Ankle skimming, rather than floor length. But in reality, I always struggle with floor length maxi's as the hem tends to catch on whatever shoes I am wearing.

So, can anyone tell me the difference between stretch sewing and ball point needles? I know ball point needles are for knits, but I am guessing now that stretch sewing needles might be for woven fabrics that contain spandex/lycra??

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

New Shoesssss

After seeing these shoes on Corrie's blog and the comments that followed, I had to order some for Layla. With the Australian dollar so strong at the moment, it was definitely worth buying them online from Me and My Feet - around a $25 saving compared to buying from Australia..... and without the hassle of driving over half and hour to the closest stockist/dealing with parking/having to drag 2 kids with me.

Now that we have the first pair, I would definitely consider buying more of these shoes for Layla and possibly myself in the future. But for now, Layla will be enjoying her pale pink pair.... a perfect match for most of her summer outfits.

Monday, 11 October 2010

A Lovely Afternoon in the City

Now there are no pictures for this post. Sorry. But I just had to share that I was lucky enough to meet up with Novy today as she is visiting Sydney. I was lucky enough to just have to take one child in with me (my husband had the day off work so baby was left at home). James and I caught the train into the city. Met up with my sister as she happened to be on her lunch break as we arrived in the city. And then got to meet up with Novy and her two kids.

After knowing each other online for about 4 years, it was so great so be able to meet in person. Conversation was easy, and the kids got on like a house on fire. Seriously, anyone would think they had known each other for years.

We did manage a trip to Kinokuniya, and of course I never walk away from there empty-handed.

James really did not stop talking all the way into the city, and all the way home, and didn't really stop in the city. When I commented to him "You really do talk a lot don't you!" He said, "Well that is how kids learn things, by asking lots of questions". I guess I just need to develop more patience, because he is right.... he is just trying to learn.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Catch-up Day 9

Well, I am late with Day 9 post. Yesterday involved a 1st birthday party for a friends little girl, which I made a double batch of cupcakes for. And then rushing home to drop off the family before heading to our closest 'big' shopping centre to quickly buy some pants that I could wear out to a pub/dinner thing last night.

I wore the new pants with this top.

And I actually got complimented on the top by a girl who had lived in London and "Had a top with the exact same print - slightly different shape, but the same print". She had bought her top from a very exclusive French shop in London (on sale) and had worn it for years before getting a stain on it recently. She was wanting to replace the top I believe. Then I got asked "Where did you get it from?" Don't you love when you can say "I made it!"

Friday, 8 October 2010

Couch to 5K

Catching up with friends on the weekend, I was amazed to see how good our friend looked. She had twin boys last year, and is looking fantastic now - the best we have seen her in the 8 years we have known her. Turns out she has been running.

Personally I have had a gym membership for over a year now and barely used it. But we have our own treadmill so thought, that is it, time to get on the treadmill. I was actually worried that I might have a heart attack the first time I tried to run. Seriously.

Anyway, I had the Couch to 5K app on my iPhone, so thought I may as well use it. It basically involves working though a program which slowly build you up to being able to run.

I survived Day 1 of the program, and actually felt quite good. I have now survived Day 2. Honestly I am surprised I am not dead, I am really unfit.

Layla on the other hand..... well she is fine, but she came so close to being one of those horrible new stories about children getting injured on the treadmill. She came into the room (she had been next door at my mother-in-laws house) when I was finishing my last minute of the program and was actually touching the mat as I continued to walk. When I realised she was there I freaked out, stopped the machine, she cried..... out of fear. Thank goodness she was not hurt. So there you go.... a warning to you all. And an admission that I truly am a bad mother.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

22 months on....

My little baby is approaching 2. I can't stop time, and I am not even sure that I want to, but I really do love the little baby that she was and the little girl she is turning into.

I was browsing though our photos on the computer the other day and remembering what Layla was like when she was smaller. Of course we have hundreds (maybe a 1000??) photos of Layla, but I just thought I would share some that had been taken by a good friend - Tanya Tindale. We are lucky to have a photographer friend that we can trust to take photos when we want them.....

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

The Number 6

I have given up on trying to get pictures of some things I have made - on my body. I have gone for the 'hanger shot' instead. They probably look better on the hanger anyway.

First up is a dress that I made earlier this year to go out for dinner for my 10th wedding anniversary. Pattern is McCall's 5622 - looks like it is now out of print. I wasn't sure which version to go with when I bought the fabric from The Fabric Store. When I finally placed the pattern pieces down, I realised that I wouldn't have enough fabric for Version C. I headed back to the store to find the fabric sold out - argh!

So I went for Version B adding a black band at the bottom. I was happy enough with the result, but as with most things I sew, it was too big around the neckline. I managed to hide a couple of little pleats in the gathered neckline. Also, this dress hangs very wide. I probably would have taken it in about 5cm on each side, had I not painstakingly handstitched the bottom border in place.

Now despite the fact that I didn't have enough fabric left for the bottom of the dress, I did have enough to make up a top the other day.

I first saw this pattern on Suzy's blog and although I am not pregnant, I still look like I could be, so figured this top could be good for summer.

I can see this pattern being one that I use again and again. I loved the result. Now for the warmer Syndey weather to return so I can start to wear it....

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

News Flash...

Don't enter this giveaway... cause I want it so bad. How gorgeous are the tutus from Meika!!!

Day 5 - A Question....

OK, this post is a bit weak. We had friends visit over the weekend, which meant the housework had to be amped up. As a result, the sewing stopped and I haven't got back to it yet.

So this post is dedicated to a Retromummy Giveaway I won about a month ago. I had been having a bad day when I 'won' so it definitely improved my mood. I received these charm square packs in the mail the next day....

Within a day I had sewn up a little pram quilt top.... in preparation for some babies that were being born. We didn't know the sex of any of the babies, so wanted to be 'prepared' when they arrived. Of course 2 out of 2 babies so far have been boys, so the 'girl' finished quilt is still waiting to be made up.

So, 'the question'.... I can't be the only person with hobbies who struggles with housework?? Is the only way to have a showroom home to just not have hobbies? Or kids? Unfortunately in our house, both my husband and I have hobbies (and 2 kids). Hence we have 'stuff' - and stuff makes mess. When the kids are finally in bed, I would just rather be doing something for me, rather than cleaning. Oh, and I am also crappy with my time....

Monday, 4 October 2010

Getting Wear Out of the Top

I made a top for Layla when she was a baby..... born in December, it was a summer top that could be worn in winter with a top underneath.

Well 2 years later, it still fits!! Yay, that will be 3 summers that she will be able to wear it. Love it!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Grumble, Grumble, Grumble....

I don't think I normally complain too much on this blog. But since October is a long month, I thought I should put a complaint in now, get it out of the way and move on.

My son had a dress up birthday party to go to today. It was a fairy party. He was going to be the only boy. That is not a problem, it really doesn't worry him. Of course he would need a 'new' dress up outfit, as we didn't think 'Racing car driver'/Wizard/Superman would cut it at a fairy party. So off we went to Spotlight on 'Sale Day' to look for an Elf costume. There were no Elf costumes... grumble.

We settled on a "Woody" costume..... no price attached.... full price $50, sale price $40..... grumble, grumble.

After wearing the Woody costume for half an hour, there are already snags appearing in the cheap polyester fabric...... grumble, grumble, grumble.

What have I learnt from this?? Make it yourself, lazybones. I have actually got plans to replicate this one in a much sturdier non-snagging fabric. I will take my time, and get it right. Because I am not paying $40 for rubbish in future.

Of course despite all this grumbling by me, James loves looking like Woody. And I think he looks pretty cute too.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Wet and Rainy Long Weekend

It is a long weekend here in Sydney.... and like most long weekends, it is raining. So, of course, I can't get outside to take a picture of the top I finished for myself last night. Perhaps tomorrow.....

Instead I will share with you a picture of the patterns I received recently in a giveaway from Sasha.

Sasha is making some lovely bags, and runs bag making courses too! Thanks Sasha!!

Friday, 1 October 2010

Blogtoberfest 2010

OK, I have decided to participate in Blogtoberfest 2010. I have never participated in something like this before, but since I have been on a bit of a sewing roll lately I really should make the most of the opportunity to blog more often - starting tomorrow, haha.