Monday, 27 April 2015

Anything but not everything

Six months ago the opportunity came up to job share a position I have been wanting to do for probably 10 years now. A six month position where I took leave from my job and get to return after six months away - hopefully better skilled .

Gold panning in the local river

I knew when I accepted it would be a juggle, the reason I had not done it sooner was our family didn't want to shift for just 6 months and going away for a full time job seemed impossible .  The 6 month stint is almost up and while I've loved the work the balance in my life has suffered. The saying -" you can do anything but not everything " is ringing true.


A few weeks ago I pulled out my winter work clothes  where I discovered , to my horror that while my trouser do up - just- they are so uncomfortably tight I can't really wear them.  Exercise has been scant and too many takeaway meals. I mulled over this for a while thought about diets and extreme exercise plans - then I read This blog - the body image movement - and I went out and purchased a comfortable stretch pair of work trousers. ( I put the tight ones up high on a shelf in my wardrobe - sure when I return to routine my body will return to its former self in good time.)

Crafting has also come to a grinding holt but this weekend - a 3 day weekend because of ANZAC day - I made a floor mat for our neighbours baby. We baked ANZAC biscuits.

Only when I started going through the pictures I took of it I realised I didn't get one spread out the mat - there were 6 wide 20cm strips of colour I stitched together for the top.

It hasn't been all work, we did go on an Easter trip to the West coast of NZ , tramped, gathered shells on wild beaches and ate plenty of chocolate.

We also went to Dunedin in the school holidays and visited all the museums, we went twice to the Chinese gardens - Georgie loved the zodiac treasure hunt, feeding the carp and the tea shop with steamed red bean buns.

Our garden, despite it's wilderness state, has produced a late flush of Autumn blueberries and strawberries. As well as garden taming I have a few projects in mind for my own wardrobe when I get back in the groove.

Sunday, 1 February 2015



I realised it had been 2 years since our daughter last stood on the beach, we are inland dwellers , we need to head to the sea more often.

I played with my phone camera to get some shots

She loved it so much she begged a repeat visit , so we headed back for more of the same on the second day - instead of the planned museum visits - the weather perfect for outdoor time. 

The warm weather means we have spent very little time inside, I made a scout T

In linen and too big , not a success, so I tried again in a voile and a smaller size

Better but I'm not sure I like it that much

Today I tried to salvage a dress I made last year, the staple dress in a silk. I wore it once but decided I didn't like the look of the shirring in the waist so took it out.

I like it more, but there was too much fabric in the back, so I put a few pleats in the back

I think it's better.

Then the sun came out and so we headed to the river

February looks like a bit of a sewing right off - I have the Anna dress I want to make and also I want to try making a top in voile using the staple dress pattern , but work looks like it is going to push my sewing plans out til March :( 

Friday, 2 January 2015

Summer Making

Summer has arrived with beautiful weather and hot days after a cold and rainy spring:

A Tui feeding on the flowering flax in our garden
Fast forward from Kids Clothes week in October to now: a new job with a longer commute, the end of the school year and all the social events that xmas and the new year bring - making was at a minimum.  We started by making some new pillowcases for summer - fabric paint on white cases:

This was a quick easy project, G did the top two cases pictured on her bed - it was a good project for kids and if I had time I would have churned a few out for nieces and nephews.

I then did some late night making ( and low quality sewing that I just decided to let go), I have set a tradition of opening one present on xmas eve - new pj's and so far the past 3 yrs have been handmade . Next year I will start these earlier and maybe choose an easier pattern.

This is a Burda pattern for a swimming cover up ,temporarily misplaced in a spring clean tidy up but I will come back and amend this post when I find it.

The buttons don't match as I didn't have a set of 4 in the correct size , and the spacing of said buttons - ugh! But at midnight unpicking the seam to change the loops was just too much so here they stayed.
 With a few days off after xmas I made two scout T's - no photos - the first was way too bit and the second better but I am a  bit indifferent about the fabric. So I went to a sale at spotlight and have several different pieces of light cotton lawn to wash next week and then will try again.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Kids clothes week oct 14 -wrap up

Today I finished off a hat I started on Day 5 of my sewing week and stalled because of work.

A bucket hat from the Oliver and S - Little things to sew . It's reversible with my choice of the grey adorn it floral on one side and 

G's choice of red cotton gingham on the other.

Then I came across the cutest free shorts pattern from the purl bee called the city gym short
I Couldn't resist 

These are a really simple and quick pattern, I can see these being a summer favourite.
I think the wardrobe is full now . I have some selfish sewing plans for me - the Anna dress and a needle cord jacket.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Day 4 KCW - fox cape

Today's cape is supposed to be a fox - inspired by the childrens book - Rosie's walk

It is made using the Oliver and S cape pattern ( from the book Little things to Sew by Liesl Gibson)

The outer fabric is orange needle cord - more of a pumpkin colour orange than it looks in the photo
With linen for the cream parts. The lining is a patchwork mix of cottons from my stash ( the greys are from the adorn it range ) it's a light weight, spring /summer cape.

I used black buttons for eyes and hand embroidered the whiskers on , because it looked like a deer according to G.

here's what the lining is like, it takes a surprising amount of fabric to make - 2 metres lining , which is why I did different fabrics as I did not have enough of any one colour in my stash. Aside from the many seams (7 panels in the body for both the lining and main colour ) it's a super easy sewing project.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

KCW - day 3 and the miffy dress

Inspiration today was the miffy books. Georgie wanted a dress with rabbit pockets so I did a quick pinterest search and using the sailboat dress again in stretch lightweight denim came up with something we are both happy with.

I also made another pair of tights - full length this time

The sock choice is hers

A close up of the dress pockets

As we walked into school I looked at what other kids her age are wearing - track pants or tights and sweatshirts mainly ,not many girls in dresses and I realised that soon she won't want cute clothes . She must have done the same appraisal , as we dropped her bag off in the cloak room she suddenly stopped and whispered that she wondered if the other kids would tease her about the rabbit pockets.  I replied that I thought not and she went off happily , I asked how her dress was at the end of the day and her reply - "great" , so no teasing but I am sure her requests for clothes will start to change soon.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Day 2 of KCW Oct 2014

I had a little teaser picture yesterday but today have the complete outfit.

I bought this fantastic trio of fabrics on etsy here, the pattern is the Oliver and S sailboat top which I lengthened and added a little width to at the bottom and some side seam pockets. The pockets don't quite work as well as yesterdays top - they sit out a little but I think that's prob just me being fussy and no one else will notice. The sleeves are 3/4 , and the tights just below the knee. The buttons could actually be omitted for knit fabric as there is enough give to get it over a head without undoing them , but I like the detail so I left them in.

I think this dress will get lots of wear - comfortable and seems popular so far. I have another Oliver and S tunic cut out and ready to go for tomorrow but in a stretch cotton drill insteas.