Tuesday, 29 January 2013

the Australia Day Dress

or the dress formerly known as the Christmas Dress. In all fairness I had finished all but the hemming for Christmas, but then it was so hot and I couldn't motivate myself for that last step. Hemming is my least favourite thing to do and I don't really know how to overcome that.

I finally decided on New Look 6935 and I did view B. I guess all the work with the kids clothes was worth it, because there wasn't one thing in the instructions that made my go cross-eyed or tearful.

I measured myself and made a muslin of the top in size 14 and it was MASSIVE, so I next up made a size 12 and it fitted quite well. I seem to have a small back, because I had to take quite a bit out in the back, but otherwise the fit was okay. I least as good as I would get buying it. The pictures are a bit dreary due to the left over weather yesterday from Ex-Cyclone Oswald. Luckily we still had power and the flooding was less then expected.

I haven't got a picture from the back, because I ended up cutting a size 12 in the skirt as well (I didn't make a muslin for that thinking it flares out more then it actually did) and I think I should have cut a size 14. It fits as in it goes over my bottom, but it doesn't skim as nicely as it could, ... sigh, perhaps instead of sewing more I should be walking more. Anyway, I am quite proud of its insides ... french seams, and I used some bias take for where the bodice and the skirt connect and it's all neat.

Since I had already sewn most of the dress before Christmas I can't really count this towards the Stashbusting Sewalong, but I did make another little skirt for my baby girl.

It is left over fabric from my sister's pj pants and my girly girl likes it despite it's blueness. Since I was out of wide elastic, I made the waistband out of 2 thinner bits of elastic separating them with a seam, so I feel like awarding myself extra points for that.

This was part 1 of the great Australia Day finish-a-tron, part 2 shall come tomorrow :-)

Thursday, 17 January 2013

First projects of the year

apparently children grow ... a mere 2 months after declaring both kids had enough clothes, my son discovered that he has outgrown not one, not two, but three pairs of shorts. Similarly my daughter now has far fewer skirts that fit then before Christmas. Lucky for me that ties in nicely with the Stashbusting Sewalong and the January topic of Itty Bits.

First I made a little gathered skirt for my baby girl. It was the first time when I sewed something where I thought 'Yes, this is really easy'. I feel I have turned a bit of a corner now I guess.

Secondly I got started on the shorts. I used the pattern I made myself and sized it up.

As my son remarked that they were a bit wide, I made the next pair smaller, except it was late and I made them too small. I could have cried. It was fabric my son picked out over a year ago and that was very special to him, and i don't have enough to start anew. I have put it to the side for now and look at it again on the weekend when I am less likely to burst into tears.

That is 2 pieces off the stash, so onwards and upwards. Both pieces have been there for a while, but they were meant to become skirts and shorts respectively.

On another note, I am trying to make one potholder a week in order to get rid of all the yarns ends that I have laying around. It is actually a square, but the picture is a bit weird.

A potholder a week makes the yarn stash all neat :-)

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Stashbusting Sewalong

Apparently sewalongs are like buses, you wait for ages and then 3 come along at once, well 2 really, but there is time yet.

Cation Designs has announced the Stashbusting Sewalong and it's not an ordinary sewalong, oh no, it'll go for the whole year with themes each month.

So, I, Giggles in the Sun, commit to using 26 pieces of stash fabric in 2013. I also commit to not buy any new fabric until September except for if I find the perfect 'cape' fabric (and lining) to make for this coming winter.

26 might seem a lot, but I have a lot of pieces that are about a yard or so and for kid stuff I don't need that much. I have added a ticker (yes, it is a modified weight loss one, but I couldn't find a different one that wasn't a date related countdown) to track my progress, so let's see how this goes.

This pledge and sewalong will hopefully keep me on the straight and narrow with regards to my New Year plans. Admittedly I have given myself an out with the cape fabric, but I have fallen in love with the Woodland Stroll cape pattern and I would really like to make myself one. The only fabric I have in my stash that would be remotely suitable it some raw silk coating and I think I need to work up my nerve to cut into that.

As an additional incentive when I use up the 26 pieces I will treat myself to something special like a massage or something equally indulgent :-)

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

an Award - how cool is that

see my son, I CAN use the word cool just fine, I merely don't limit my vocabulary to only that word :-b

Jacq C of A Good Talking To nominated me (yes, little old me, woohoo) for a Liebster Award. Thank you, thank you, thank you :-)

Now, the Liebster Award is awarded to blogs with less than 200 readers to bring them into the limelight and hopefully increase their readership. The rules:
  • Post 11 random fact about yourself
  • Answer 11 questions posed by your nominator
  • Nominate up to 5 other blogs for the award and ask them 11 questions of your own

Hmmm, random facts, well

  1. I l-o-v-e the weather, I like looking at weather channel websites, I read about it, I talk about it, I think it is great
  2. I absolutely adore vanilla ice cream with hot raspberries and whipped cream
  3. My favourite season in Autumn, something we don't really have in Brisbane, but, in comparison with the UK (where we used to live) winter here is like Autumn over there, so it is all good
  4. Hurricane Charley hit the US coast two weeks before my son Charley was born and we had decided on the name and spelling months before, so the weather-loving nerd inside me was beside herself with glee
  5. I haven't really watched anything on TV for myself for 4 years.  The kids and husband do, but I when we moved 5 years ago my favourite shows where at different places here in Australia, so I had missed some episodes and eventually I lost interest
  6. I am always puzzled that the spellchecker for blogger does not recognise 'blog' as a word
  7. I was in a classical girl's choir for 8 years when I was a child
  8. my favourite country to visit is Egypt
  9. when I left High School I wanted to study Geophysics, but I had to take a break, because I had no money and eventually ended up studying Criminology, because I thought that Geophysics wouldn't have been very useful in the UK. Of course, Criminology is soooooo much more useful and now I moved to a mining country ... anyway
  10. once I had kids I discovered that I actually really like children. I enjoy being around them, I love their questions and they make me laugh
  11. my father doesn't drive and he lives in the German countryside (a house in the forrest) 2 km from the nearest bus. He either takes his bike or walks everywhere

now to answering the questions
  1. You have enough money in your purse for one project - yarn or fabric? neither ... it's notions only this year
  2. How did you learn how to sew? Books, more books and blogs, oh so many blogs, and still learning with each item
  3. What is your 'turning point' garment - the one that made you think you might actually be able to do this? The dressing gown/Jedi Robe for my son 
  4. What is the most unusual material you have used in a garment? well, it's not unusual, but the dark brown flannel was certainly the most frustrating. It kept dulling the needle sooo quickly.
  5. Where is the one place you have always wanted to visit and why? as I am sweating along here during a heat wave, Alaska seems like the place to be, but in reality it is probably the rest of Australia. We have lived here for 5 years and we have really only travelled to my husband's mother in northern Queensland.
  6. Would your teenage self have imagined your life now and, if not, what would it have been like? During my teenage years I had what people describe as ' an unhealthy family situation' so during that time I just tried to keep keep my head down. I really only lived from day to day, the future mattered very little. However, my teenage self now thinks she won the lottery of life :-)
  7. If somebody asked your advice about learning a new craft, what would you recommend? Figure out your style of learning i.e. books or demonstrations and just keep doing it.
  8. What piece of equipment is on your Wish List and why? It is a large cutting mat and a good rotary cutter. I lost my cutter and I only have a little mat. Ideally I'd like a sewing room, but that's not really possible right now.
  9. Do you have the telly or radio on in the background when you sew and, if you do, what is on? There is usually some kids stuff on, but my New Years Resolution for them was less TV, so blissful silence it is (well, you know, as silent as 2 children can be)
  10. What is your favourite snack when you're crafting? cucumber and hummus
  11. Do you enjoy making things for yourself or others and why? I enjoy it both equally. My children love wearing mummy made stuff, and when I make things for myself I feel great about myself.

AND NOW, my nominees for the Liebster Award are ... drum roll please ...

  1. Megan and the (Sewing) machine I really like her and wish she would blog more often :-)
  2. Girl, Guy, Dog, Cat Her pictures are just wonderful (her latest with the bird party in the snow make me want to move back to snow, despite not liking the cold) and she is just learning to sew too, like me.
  3. How good is that? She is very good and she sews for her elderly mum, which is very awesome in my opinion.
  4. Dennis Marquez at Unbound Knits. He's had various blogs, but I do really enjoy both his knitting adventures and travel photography (he works on a cruise ship), so this is his newest adventure.
  5. Sew Brunswick she is like wonder woman in the sewing world. She's done over 90 items in the past year and it's not like little things either, it's proper garments. How she manages to do it all is beyond me, but she is great :-)

Questions ... or the section that shows I have no imagination ...

  1. What is your favourite craft?
  2. How do you learn a new craft?
  3. Have you ever lost interest in a craft and why?
  4. How do you make time for crafting?
  5. What does your family think of your crafting?
  6. Would you do your crafting for a living?
  7. How did you get started crafting?
  8. What is your favourite item you have ever created?
  9. and already I am starting to run out of things to ask, so what is your favourite weather or season?
  10. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
  11. frosting or cake? Do you create more basic items in your sewing/knitting/crocheting that get used a lot or do you have a tendency to go for the special occasion items?
This is, I think, the longest blog post on this blog to date, so thanks again to Jacq C of A Good Talking To who nominated me. Till next time ...

Friday, 4 January 2013

Goodbye 2012 and Hello 2013

Well, it's done ... the sewing machine is not gathering dust anymore and I actually managed to sew some stuff.

  • For the son:                     5 shorts, 3 PJ pants, 1 dressing gown, 1 elephant
  • For the daughter:             3 skirts, 2 dresses, 1 cloak, 2 elephants
  • For myself:                      3 skirts, 4 tops, 1 sleep mask
  • For the husband:             1 sleep mask
  • For the house:                  3 pillow cases, 1 duvet cover
  • For the sewing machine: 1 sewing machine cover, 1 needle cushion

all together 33 items
Before I started sewing I hadn't realised the amount of time it takes. Doing something in 2 hours is really quick (for sewing), but to carve 2 hours out of my already rather full schedule seems like a mountainous task until I broke it down in both time slots and tasks. I also realised that I am a bit like a magpie and what love most about sewing is buying things for sewing ... fabric, patterns, notions ... more more more ... its rather chaotic and a bit off putting actually.
This year I am going to try to do things differently:
  1. I will reduce my fabric collection to the size of the toy box that I already have. i.e. I shall not buy more plastic containers or stuff it into suit cases or just leave it under the bed
  2. In order to achieve point one I shall not buy any fabric or patterns until my birthday in September.
  3. Furthermore I shall stop trying to keep every scrap of fabric. Once I have finished a project and there is substantial fabric left, then fine, but 15cm will really not do much good anywhere.
  4. I will have 2 days each week when my youngest is in Kindy, so during those days I will try to sew.
  5. I will not let WIPs accumulate randomly
  6. I also want to conquer button holes
  7. I shall blog at least once a week (hopefully we will have a better Internet connection soon)
In terms of projects I am hoping to do the Hollyburn skirt and the Thurlow trousers (maybe) from Sewaholic. I want to sew some more practical shirts, maybe another one of the Dolman sleeve tops or an Ariadne tunic.