Thursday, May 31, 2012

My I Heart Toe Up Socks

My third pair of socks knitted from the "Socks from the Toe Up" by Wendy D Johnson are these I Heart Toe Up Socks.  I love heart shaped motifs.

These are knitted up in Cherry Tree Hill yarn in Wild Cherry,  and the colour looks great with the sweet peas that Matt and Maya have been growing in pots.

The kids are waiting for their turn for some more socks but I am enjoying working through this book and increasing my skills.   I think I will celebrate the first day of winter with these socks on!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Where are the button sleeves?

Usually Maya is so happy to wear clothes that I make her.  She pours over patterns and Ottobre magazines with sticky notes so I won't forget to make her what she likes, and opens every fabric purchase to see what is for her.

I made most of this shirt at Sewjourn,  and it still needs a couple of buttons on the front.  When I showed it to Maya she was a bit put out and asked where were the sleeves that had the buttons on them,  the ones that roll up and stay there with a button?  Memory of an elephant that child and I had got it wrong.

The pattern is McCalls 6156 and I love it.  I've bought the pattern in both pattern sizes and thought it would be a great go to pattern for leggings,  a few shirt options and a shirt dress.

To convince Maya to have her photo taken I agreed to put her hair in a bun, wear her new boots and have a photo up a tree... and then change the sleeves.  I'm also going to remove the elastic from the the bodice and next time I will make the curve around the bottom less,  it was tricky to hem.  My version has the manderin collar option and I did not add the waist ties.

Next time you see this shirt it will be on a happy girl with the matching leggings I have made!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Curlypops Make it in May Skirt Challenge

Last weekend we went away to Sewjourn. Oh,  it was so good.  Just what we all needed and so perfect to catch up with the crafty girls, Lara, Katherine, Annie, Nikki, Megan, Karen and Tanya.  More pics on their blogs too. 

This time I was determined to cut out my sewing before I left so I might get a bit more finished.  It was a battle with work, commuting to Melbourne for meetings and Matt's birthday,  but even more that I am a one project at a time person.  As soon as something was cut out I wanted to sew it and work on it until it was complete.  It was very hard to put it aside and cut out the next one.

I joined the Curlypops Make it in May Skirt along challenge where you pledged to make a shirt for yourself during May.  I've had this Collette Ginger skirt in my stash for awhile and I was keen to make it.  I wasn't sure if the high waist would suit someone who has had four very large babies but a nice bit of stretch in the denim was forgiving.  I like the cut and it did come together perfectly. 

The Collette pattern was also nice to work through, with clear directions and good illustration,  and I am looking forward to sewing some more of their patterns too.

Thanks Cam for the challege,  and thanks girls for the fun weekend away!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Anita Peasant Top designed by Style Arc

A few Style Arc Patterns are making their way into my stash.  They really appeal to me with the boutique style, modern illustrations and regular new patterns.  I think the pricing is reasonable,  the postage is quick and the single size patterns are not a problem for me.  The sizing should be the same as ready to wear,  This top is a size 12.

These patterns are not for everyone as the instructions are industry based and are basically just dot points,  however nothing in this pattern was a challenge.  No seam allowances to add and the pieces all fit together perfectly.  I had made split front facings like this before which was the trickiest bit. The website does have tutorials for some of the techniques.  The Anita Top had arrived as a monthly free pattern with my order too.

The top has a relaxed fit with a drawstring neckline that ties at the front, elastic gathered sleeves and a generous length.  I made the top in a voile that has been in my stash for a long time but a soft knit can also be used.

Once again I am not sure if I will wear this top.  Most of my clothes are fitted and the voile doesn't seem to flatter me but looks a bit stiff on.  Maybe with a few washes to soften it up I can give it a go with my jeans and see how it looks.  I am trying to sew a bit out of my comfort zone and encourage myself to wear a few different things too.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Best Dress by You Sew Girl

I was so pleased to be able to pattern test the "Best Dress" pattern,  designed by Nicole Mallalieu from You Sew Girl.  My version is made from a light cotton voile spot that Maya picked out from Spotlight.

There are several variations on the pattern and you can see a few here on Nikki's blog.  I made the gathered cap sleeves, the v neck with pin tucks, tied belt and the full eased in skirt.  As you can see the details are just beautiful.  The pattern is rated intermediate but following the steps in the pattern make it achievable,  even the zip at the back!

The pattern is from girls sized 5 - 10.  Maya's version is so light and floaty and perfect for twirling around in too.  Perfect for parties and when you want toss on a dress for a bit of simple style. I made a size 6 and it is a good fit on Maya,  especially with the tie at the back to give it a tighter waist if necessary.

Maya likes it so much that she was trying to wear it to swimming lessons! 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Review ~ Dove Nutri-oil

Dove Nutri-oil is a part of the Dove Nourishing Oil Care range, formulated to smooth away any roughness and frizz.

Maya and I have very fine, flyaway hair.  It's so fine that tying it back or even wearing hair clips for Maya will break our hair.  Not so great when I tie mine back every day to exercise and go to the gym and Maya needs to wear hers back to school and just to keep it out of the way.  As our hair breaks it often looks frizzy so I was happy to give this a try.

Dove Nutri-Oil Serum claims
- A unique blend with natural coconut and almond oils.
- Rapidly absorbed and doesn't leave hair feeling greasy.
- Deeply nourishes, tames unruly hair and revitalizes shine.
We have used the Dove Nutri-oil for just over a week and so far I am really pleased with it.  I've used it in my damp hair before blow drying every second day with good results and I have used it on Maya's hair after washing and again on her dry hair to help smooth it before braiding it.   When I have unravelled Maya's hair at night it has been beautiful and soft and very controllable.  I love that it really doesn't feel oily and absorbs quickly into our hair and adds shine. 

Available at supermarket and chemists and retails for below $10.  I'll be dropping some more into my shopping basket!

*I have reviewed Dove Nutri-oil as a part of Product Talk and was not paid, but the product was sent to me at no cost.  These are my own words and opinion.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Finch Shorts and new PJ's

This week I managed to get Maya's Finch Shorts designed by Clever Charlotte finished.

I know Maya looks like one of those before and after weight loss pics,  but it's just the way she is holding the shorts out from her body.  They are just one size too large, so they should fit for summer.   Maya loves the shorts and  I think her favourite thing about them is that I grabbed some "chino drill" from Lincraft without realising that they are the same type of fabric that Matt's work pants are made out of.  So these are now Maya's work shorts so she can be matchy with her dad.

The pattern comes together so well.  I had been putting it off a little as it has a lot of pieces and looks complicated.  It has lovely detail and everything works.  I will definitely be making the Finch shorts again and hopefully the matching top too.

I've been testing the fit for the Ottobre 303 Women's Best Tops for me.  I cut my muslin down and refashioned it into the top of these new pajama's for Maya.  I used the Make it Perfect Basic Tee's boys top pattern and the leggings pattern from McCall's 6156 and added cuffs to the ankles and the wrists.

Maya really loves the M that I have ironed on to the front. I found a pack of 3 for $1 at Spotlight a while ago, and it ties the colours together well.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Simplicity 2599 ~ Blue Ruffles

To try and make clothing that I will actually wear,  I've decided to make a muslin first to at least get me to the closest size to me possible.  I'm finding this hard and can be between a 16 to a 10.  I started this top by cutting a 14 with a D cup but then had to reduce it all down to a 12. It is still a bit generous. The instructions had me at a size 16 for bust size. 

The camera has drained the colour of the top which is a deeper dusky blue in voile that I picked up in Melbourne.  After seeing Lara's cute version of this pattern, Simplicity 2599 at Sewjourn and its ranking on Pattern Review I though it might be a good go-to pattern.

I think it is pretty cute but Matt doesn't think I will wear it with the ruffles.  Not my usual, very simple style so he may be right,  but I thought it might add a bit of fun to a work outfit in summer.

I'm going to keep this pattern as a good maybe and make one or two more shell top styles and pick a favourite before summer.

Ayden named my mannequin "Creepy".  Apparently it would give him a fright when he got home after a night out..

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The wrong sort of stitches..

Five stitches in a curve under one slightly black eye, two more stitches under that,  one skin lesion under my eye still to be removed in June, three stitches on my chin.

I may have been sun burnt 4 or 5 times in my life and I wear sunscreen, not daily but often (we do live in Ballarat!).  See any new moles or suspicious pigment on your face,  worth having it checked out.

I'll be wearing make up next time you see me!


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