Friday, September 13, 2013

C is for...

Cuddles and Coastal Cargos, of course!!!  Thanks to Melissa of Blank Slate Patterns for designing this fabulous pattern, I managed to pull off two pairs of awesome looking and fitting pants!
The Coastal Cargos are an intermediate level sewing pattern.  That said, I didn't find them hard and with Melissa's instructions I was able to pull off my first successful welt pockets and fly zipper - two things I have avoided or failed at in the past.  With two growing boys I decided it was time to roll up my sleeves and get serious!
I love the detail on these which includes welt pockets and fly zipper, as already mentioned, as well as back elastic casing, slash pockets at waist, cargo pockets, button tubs for rolling up on hot Queenslander days, belt loops AND last but most importantly bias tape finished seams!  I love this detail, not only does it look cool it means there are no raw edges to worry about when you roll them up!!!  As I said, these weren’t hard but they were fun and interesting to sew and will be fave’s in my boys cupboards no matter the weather, and let’s face it in Australia it is more Summer than any other season, ‘beautiful one day, perfect the next!’
MrT is 6 and at 125cm tall and 25kg, he’s a big six year old.  I made him a size 7 and to be honest, next time I’ll be making him a size 8, and quickly before he outgrows the pattern, which finishes at size 8.  I didn’t take into account his ‘cherry bottom’ and I will need to add some extra in that area for next time.  His brother, XMan, is just 12months younger and at 110cm and 16kg, he easily fit a size 4 and needed me to reduce the back elastic by an extra 5cm or 2 inches for the pants to stay up, he’s soooo petite in comparison.  It always astonishes me how different my two boys are!  I omitted the zip fly on XMan's, mainly because he can't really use one yet and his hips are certainly not bigger than his waist.  I followed Melissa's 'How to Sew a Mock Fly' tutorial, it turned out great.
Because I sew I don't get hung up about size, but I always check the measurements carefully.  I ummed and aahed abou the 8 for MrT and should have gone up the size, I mean he is growing and even if they are slightly big now it won't be long and they'll fit pefectly and then, before you know it, they are too small.  I guess I'm lucky that most of my handmade clothes go through two kids, it makes me happy that they get some extra love, if they aren't worn out by the first!!!


The boys chose their own fabric.  I love that they call it ‘fabric’ too and they correct people when they say ‘material’!  I wonder if I do that??? Oops.  XMan the youngest, in the yellow, loves coming fabric shopping and strokes it and oohs and aaahs, I’m teaching him well!  He chose the yellow because it makes him happy.  Why else would you choose fabric???  It is cotton twill, so I approved.  I chose the grey accents and he was lukewarm about it until I had sewn it on and then this huge grin spread across his face and he was like ‘Are they done?  Can I wear them yet?’ and I heard that at least three times a day until they were finished, funny boy! 
MrT went with the herringbone, which I love!  It's a quilting fabric from Michael Miller and is actually a perfect weight for these pants and our climate.  He picked out the green trim too.  I thought they would be a bit OTT but funnily, they are understated and just a bit edgy, which fits his style perfectly.  I decided to jazz up a plain white t-shirt and added a herringbone pocket and a piece of the green contrast fabric as detail.  It turned out well, and is now soaking due to Daddy not taking it off before eating spaghetti last night, YES, the dreaded spaghetti stain on a white t-shirt! Sigh, they are boys and it is white LOL! 
The boys had a great time putting these pants through their paces.  I love that they are so active at this age.  XMan is doing acrobatics and he was showing off on the trampoline, his older brother was trying hard to keep up but is certainly not as agile, he had us in fits of laughter.  Thankfully, nobody got hurt and the laughter and good times continued so Mummy could get her photos.
Their imaginations went into overdrive, with the boys turning into secret agents and fighting bubbles gone bad with pirate swords!!! Ok, we do love a bit of dress up at our house.  I guess their is no crime in combining characters and props in any long as you are still having fun.  MrT wore a sword to the finger and there were a few tears, smoothed over quickly by cuddles from his younger brother.  They make my heart melt with how much they love each other, all bickering aside.

The Coastal Cargos are a cracker of a pant!  And the sewing of them was made even more enjoyable by the joy my boys bring to wearing them in everyday life. 

Just a couple more photos incorporating a few of my favorite things –
The details of sewing;

Being appreciated by the loves of my life; and last but not least

The joy, love and journey of two brothers!


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

It was a Monster Bash

XMan turned five this year!  I know, we all say it 'Where did the time go?'.  It's so true that time just flies, especially when you're having fun; and we generally do.  As five year olds do he wanted to host a 'Zombie Party' - aahh that would be a NO!  So we compromised and came up with a 'Monster Bash'.  Not the ghoulish kind - the cute, cuddly and slightly offbeat kind.

And so a request was made for Monster costumes, no zombies allowed!  And I'll admit they do look a little 'Dinosaury' but I couldn't resist the foiled jersey when it jumped out at me.  XMan picked the disco sequinned fabric in green for his costume and red for his brother's, their favourite colours.

So I fankenpatterned a few patterns together to create a pair of pants and a hooded raglan long sleeve tee.  Really any pants and hoodie pattern would do.  I just cut down the middle of the hood and back pattern pieces and included a seam allowance, so I could insert all the dragon spines and sew it back up.  I made a tail for each but seriously, after all my efforts they had them on for all of oh, five minutes!!!
I basically used tutorials from Pinterest for the dinosaur hoodie how to and this one for the dinosaur tail inspiration.

The party was a great success and all the little monsters had a great time.  Grandma was visiting and set up a spooky spectacular photo booth.  Which was really just a piece of black calico as the backdrop, shredded organza for spiders webs and spooky cut out eyes sourced from Google Images.  We made the spiders from pipe cleaners and Chupa Chups - needless to say the kids weren't scared of them and they got gobbled up pretty quickly.  And XMan got the opportunity to be a zombie for part of the party!!!!
It was lucky the party went ahead at all.  My husband was away and as usual I was trying to do too much and all though my Mum and I worked fairly consistently all week on party related items, it was still a rush.  It didn't help that XMan woke up on the Friday with an upset tummy and given he'd just been in hospital for vomiting for MrT's birthday party only two weeks before - a whole other story - I thought I would keep him home and let him rest up for his party...wrong move! 
Whilst I was hurriedly trying to decorate the cake before school pick up time, so we could all have a relaxing family night without party preparation, XMan got his finger stuck in a Nerf gun!  He'd obviously had it stuck in there a while before he started screaming as his finger was already swollen and purple and wasn't budging - no matter the ice, oil or soap used!!!
It is the third time I have had to ring the ambulance, and of course, only since I have had children - Boys!  They were great and suggested, as we were only five minutes away and he was able to travel, to take him to the Fire Station as they have instruments for cutting.  After a horror drive of screaming, they were extremely helpful and had it cut off within five minutes without damage to XMan or his finger, happy days!  Ha ha, bad mother, he's still in his pyjamas and it's after lunch!
Love my boys, think we'll have birthday parties off site next year so Mummy can have a rest!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Kids shorts workout

So, I'm back!  After a blogging hiatus, after only a short introduction, I have been induced by the amazing and awe inspiring creative blogging community to start sharing my own creativity, again. So, without all the blah blah blah let's talk about the fun stuff? Yes? YES!

Have you seen the Kids Short Pattern by the amazing Dana?  Do you have children who outgrow shorts, hell clothing!, in the blink of an eye... Yes, me too!  Then you should do yourself a favour and check out these babies.  And she has all these great tutorials on simple ways to change them up.  I really am a      fan and so are my boys!

I made the racer shorts version first and really, I'll let the pictures do the talking.  The boys couldn't wait to get them on and head off to the park on their bikes!  I know we live in Brisbane, Australia and we don't really entertain a winter, for us though this afternoon was cool - overcast, rainy and really a little bleak.  However the sun did try to shine and we were all so active we didn't even feel the cool.  They
really put those shorts through their paces and told me they were comfortable and even 'Stayed up Mummy!'.  (Just between you and I, XMan, the youngest has trouble keeping his pants on due to a 'no bottom' issue - lucky I sew!)

XMan had a small accident on the way home and his older brother, MrT, came to his aid as the ambulance man.  Ever the goose, he continued to cheer his little brother up by faking his own accident.  They really do love each other.  The obligatory weed, ahem - flower - picking ensued and the song and lyrics  'How sweet it is to be loved by you' always comes to mind.  A gorgeous afternoon making memories.

So, what's next?  Have you seen the April Rhodes Staple Dress? Well, it's half taped together sitting under my iPad as I'm typing.  Better run, need to finish tracing before I head off for school pick up - less than an hour!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday again!

Well, it's Monday again!  How time flies, especially when you are having fun!  I weighed myself again today and surprisingly (and I say that sheepishly) I am still 77kg!  I wasn't particularly good last week, not really bad with food but shocking as far as exercise goes - I walked once!  Shocking!  So, I got up at 5am in the dark this morning and went for one whole hour!  It was gloriously cool and quiet - blissful!

My weekend was busy and fabulous!  I went to my first ever Australian Sewing Guild Industry Day!  It was so fabulous to be in a room full of 60 women who love sewing as much as I do.  Nearly everyone wore something they had made, the eye candy was great, so many talented seamstresses out there.  And the good news is I got lots of compliments on my dress and several women asked me for the pattern, and several gushed over my fabric choice!  How nice, and to think I ummed and aaahed about wearing it, I mean I'm no size eight, as the pictures tell.  But it felt good to wear something girly.  Note: the shoes in the pictures are not the ones I wore on the day, they were far more dressy.  These were taken by MrC at the end of a long day and he had little patience for making them look nice.  He'd had the boys all day whilst I had been swanning around playing ladies, and he was a little tired.  I, on the other hand, was still very merry as I think I portray in the pictures...maybe the glow was just on the inside, OR was it the wine...GRIN.

Oh, and here's a close up of my haircut...I love having a fringe again, I think it is much softer on the more experienced and succulent wild woman me!  I'm very happy with it, although it took a bit to get use to having hair hanging in my eyes again.  Oh, and the photo is soooo blurry, so I sharpened it a bit, so you can get a better idea.

And I finished my girlfriend's little girls dress for her Birthday on time!  Can you believe it?  I even did buttonholes, my first ever using my machine (which I have had for about seven years now), they were ok, if you don't look to close at them.  

I couldn't go to the party which I was very disappointed with, it clashed with the Industry Day, which I had already paid for or I would have cancelled it and gone to the party.  Always great to catch up with good friends. 

MrC took the boys and they had a great time, although the XMan did a disappearing trick and was halfway down a couple of hills before he was spotted by the search party!  Wouldn't happen on my watch, although that's probably because I know exactly how fast he can move. 

I got a phone call from the birthday girl on Sunday and sadly, the dress is a little too short for her, but with some pretty tights she should be able to get a couple of months out of it, before the summer is over...and then I'm sure it will get handed down to her sister. 

Anyway, here are some photos of it all pressed and finished.  The dress is the 100 Dreams Twirly Patchwork Dress that you can purchase the fabric from Spoonflower and make up yourself.  It was really very easy and went together no problems at all, all thanks to the great design work of Monique Daley.

Well, will tell more about my Industry Day experience once my head stops spinning from all the great hints and tips they passed on and sort my notes out, yes, I wrote notes, copious quantities of. 

Here are some photos of the boys enjoying the pavers being pulled up and revealing SAND underneath, they thoroughly enjoyed helping Daddy and spent all of Sunday playing in the sand...and spreading it everywhere, including in the house! 

All this is in prep for the extension to our house that commenced at 10am this morning.  As I sit here there is a hammer demolishing our outside back wall to make way for a new dining room.  Will post pictures eventually!  Must run!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Time Flies

Wow, I can't believe a week has passed and I haven't been back for an update! 

What did I do in the last week that was oh so important that I couldn't update anyone?  Well, let's see hhhhmmm, well when the boys were sleeping I have been busily sewing my black coffee date dress which is all done excluding the hem; sewing the lotus version of the coffee date dress; sewing my girlfriend's little girl's 100 dreams twirly dress for her birthday; and making a present for my girlfriend's birthday too!  In between this I have been looking after boys, lots of painting and play outside (which does not help sewing!). 

Speaking of boys, today I took them to a play centre!  My first foray!  I went with another girlfriend and her two boys!  The centre is aptly named "Go Wild" and oh boy, do they what!  The noise was deafening, and it was midweek.  My boys loved it, which was no surprise and because there were no school aged kids there today they were allowed to play on everything.  MrT had me a bit worried when he climbed all the way up to the ceiling (it's all netted), he loved it, he wasn't even worried that he couldn't see Mummy!  The XMan, thankfully was a little less happy to be out of sight of Mummy which made it a little easier. 

Well, it was a success and we'll go back.  Now we just have to wait to see if they picked up any nasty bugs whilst there!  I did take the hand sanitiser and used it religiously, but you can't stop a boy from wanting to taste everything in sight - The XMan was sucking all the ball pit balls, I'm having a bad feeling about that one; and MrT, who should know better at almost three and with Egg and Peanut allergies, was licking all the structures - what's with that??  Guess they take after their Mummy's tactileness (if that is even a word).  I have to touch everything, but I draw the line at licking it!

Oh well, they were tuckered out and slept for an age I progressed nicely with my sewing.  Promise to post some pictures tomorrow.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fabric, Fabric, Fabric EVERYWHERE!

On Tuesdays my two precious munchkins go to Daycare, they love it!  They can't wait to get up, get dressed, have breakfast, put their shoes on and get in the car!  It's about the only days we don't have to ask them to do anything twice.  So while they are away I do the housework...I know, boring!  But it has to be done, and it is so much more pleasant, easier and faster without Mummy's little helpers.  The tradeoff for doing the housework in the morning is that I get to do whatever I want in the afternoon...sewing, of course! 

Well, birthday present arrived in the post at 10.30am...Fabric from Spoonflower!!!!! I KNOW!  Drool, drool, am I ever going to get any work done now?????  For those of you who haven't heard of Spoonflower they custom print fabric on demand.  Yep, you can design your own, or as I did, cheat and buy other people's beautiful designs.  Each designer will even get a portion of the amount you pay for any of their designs you purchase.  What a great idea.

I'm in heaven, aren't they just divine :-) Happy, happy girl! Happy Birthday to me!!! This is what Mr C gave me for my birthday, took me till February to choose it, and March to receive it, but boy am I happy!!!!

I'm going to spend the afternoon washing, drying and preparing them for each of their projects.  Yes, I brought each piece with something in mind...that's why it took me sooooo long to get them.  Any excuse to just touch them, I am in heaven. I can't pick an absolute favourite I love them all for the projects I have in mind. I do LURVE the two yards of bamboo cotton it is sooooo soft, with beautiful drape and the big pink peonies are heaven, I'm thinking either a simple dress as the fabric is quite wide or a soft flowy, ruffley top...hhmmmmmmmmmm.

Hope you enjoy drooling over these as much as me.

The two above are two yards each of the softest bamboo cotton, just heaven.  These are large scale prints.  I plan on making some lovely, flowy, ruffley tops.

The three in the forefront are samples 8"x8", I thought I could make a glasses case with the middle one (very kitsch) and tissue cases out of the left, and maybe some zip purses from the right sample.  The one at the back is a FQ and is the most darling print.  Thought I might make a clutch purse.
This is the 100 Dreams Patchwork Twirly Dress by Monique Daly, just love this.  Have three yards, and each yard is printed with the pattern to make the dress for a little girl.  I am making them as birthday presents for my niece and dear friend's little girls.  Can't wait to get started, this afternoon! 
These are all FQs.  Starting from top left is a treasure map, I'm going to make these as pillows for my boys beds, we can talk about them when they are going to sleep and imagine far off lands, will be fun.  The next piece will be little zip purses, as will be the Wizard of Oz print, too sweet.  And the Car print will be a lunch bag for my oldest boy, we are making them at the March Sewing Guild meeting.
The Yard on the left are dolls, how awesome, what a great design.  The piece on the right, I adore, and I'm not sure yet exactly what to make...will let you know.

This is an old envelope that has been scanned in.  Gorgeous!  I'm going to make a pillow for my craft room.

Well that's it.  Hope you enjoy!


Monday, March 1, 2010

A Weighty Issue

It's Monday again!  On Monday's two of my girlfriends and I religiously get out of bed, go to the toilet, shed our clothes (you'll understand in a second) and weigh ourselves!  We then email the good, the bad or the ugly to each other!  It's our virtual support weight loss program.  We are all doing something different to lose weight, we all live in different towns in Australia and this was the easiest way we could think of keeping ourselves honest.

Today, as I have for the last six weeks, I weighed in at 77kg!  We started in November 2009 and I have managed to lose and sustain 4kg.  Which is great, but maintaining 77kg for six whole weeks is depressing!  Admittedly I have not been as diligent with my exercise as I was when I first started.  I walk for an hour three times a week, including hills and some running and I go to the gym two times a week.  Anyway, it's good to have to check in each week and it keeps healthy eating and exercise at the forefront of my mind.  I turn 40 in December this year and I'm really hoping to be back to my pre-baby weight of 70kg.  I'll keep working on it.

That aside I still haven't put my zip in my dress.  As it is a very rainy day today and the boys were going stir-crazy by 9.30am, I decided to head out to the shops and buy my ironing board for my craft room.  I no longer need to run up and down the internal staircase and leave threads lying around in the spare room, it will make 'Mr C' very happy indeed.  Now I just have to reorganise my craft room to get it to fit...

The boys had a great time running around in the rain this morning in their rain coats.  They were catching teeny tiny snails climbing up the wall and putting them in the bug catcher, boys will be boys.

Here's a sneak preview of my almost finished Coffee Date Dress designed by Elaine May and located as a free pattern on Burda Style.  This is my second dress and I'm pretty happy with the fit and the style, it is a beautiful, girly design.  Also, included a photo of the material for my next project, Kaffe Fassett's Lotus in Umber, I just love this material.  Kaffe is a fabulous designer. 

Well, that's it for today, better go and get those beautiful boys up from their nap or they'll never sleep tonight.