Sunday, 26 April 2015


This pair have driven me crazy today but I wouldn't change them!

Big E: He was supposed to be tidying his room not hiding in the garage making a sword with Daddy...

little e: Ooozing cheekiness today but those big eyes and freckles make it hard to stay cross for any time...!

Saturday, 25 April 2015

A rather sharp looking Banksia

I have been looking longingly at the scout t-shirts all over sewing blogs, fab ones here and here, wishing I suited loose fitting t-shirts. I then remembered that I have the Banksia pattern which is similar but a little more fitted and have made it before with varying success.

The first time I made it it was too big. The next time I reduced the size and did a FBA and it was too tight over the back and loose over the front. The third time I increased the width of the back piece just a little and it was just right! It still looked a little tent like but not maternity so I decided some of my novelty print cotton was finally going to see the light of day.

I went with the method for fitting that worked before - cutting a medium  and increasing the width of the back piece. I totally cheated by placing it 0.5 cm from the fold rather than on the fold, increasing the back width by 1cm, nothing complicated or technical but it works!

I did a few other tweaks:
 - increased the width of the sleeves by about 1cm
 - dropped the arm holes by about 1cm.
 - widened the collar piece by the width of the placket as I was not having a placket and wanted the collar to meet at the front.

It worked and I am totally in love with the fabric, my parents bought in America a few years ago so no chance of any more though :(

I think the next Banksia will be placket and collarless, just to see what it looks like!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Culottes x 2

Is anyone else pleased culottes are back 'in'?!

Not that really matters, I have had many pairs over the years, but I might not feel so 'middle aged before my time' when I wear them now...

I have had this pattern for ages and I made a pair a few summers ago. They were made with very old fabric of dubious content and I get very warm in them though so I figured it was time for some made with more appropriate fabric.

I used 2 pieces of linen / linen cotton mix fabric, that were acquired form my friends Mum who was clearing out, to whip up some cooler versions, one mid length and one short.

Seriously white legs!
The pattern is really easy and each pair took a couple of hours max to make.

 I cut a 14 rising to 16 at the waist as usual and they fitted on Sunday, were a wee bit big by the time I took these photos yesterday and today I had to take them in by about 2 inches at the waist due to body shrinkage (I am like a flipping water balloon at the moment).

I think my next culottes will be another pair of Tania Culottes but for now these are great. They will no doubt come in useful during Me Made May since I have signed up to wear at least one me made item of clothing a day for the duration of May!

Back soon with my favourite Banksia yet!

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The quest for the perfect trouser...

I am on a mission to make the 'perfect' trouser. So far I have failed. I thought I was on to a winner when I bought V8961, this is the picture in the latest Sew Today magazine:

They look slim but not skinny and have a side zip so a nice clean line. I bought some navy and white polka dot cotton to make them in but did a trial run in a black cotton I had in the stash. Thank goodness I did as they are not exactly as pictured...

I didn't take a photo in the original state but at first I cut a 16 at the waist and went down to a 14 for the hips and legs. They were baggy in the legs, not at all how the official picture looks, and had enough room in the front crotch that I could have hidden anything down there....

I ended up taking them in up the front crotch seam and tapered the outer leg seam in so it is narrower than the size 8 at the hem. This is what they look like now:

They are ok, wearable, but just ok. There is still loads of excess fabric at the back of the leg and at mid thigh. I'm now undecided whether to actually use this pattern at all or try and draft my own. I bought the burda pattern blocks so think maybe this is the way to go.

Anyone have any suggestions to fix this pattern or on drafting my own?

Tuesday, 14 April 2015


Late again this week, never mind!

Taken last Monday at Tantallon Castle. They like nothing better than a ruined castle to run around!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Lady Skater 5

I think I have a problem, last month I made lady skater dresses 5 & 6.....Only one worked though, this blue flowery one.

I bought a load of jersey from someone selling their stash on ebay a while ago, it included this floral one and a textured maroon one. Both fabrics were destined to be Lady Skaters, one winter one and one spring one....

It was only when I was sewing it up the maroon version that I realised its stretch goes the wrong way... It has vertical stretch but not horizontal, very very strange. Unfortunately it means the dress looks like a sausage skin on me and is now destined for my much smaller friend!

odd face - was speaking to E who was my photographer for the day.
The floral jersey is very light weight and has lots of stretch, maybe a little stretchy, but I love it. I have worn it loads already although I am struggling to choose shoes to go with it when I can't wear my boots anymore - any suggestions? I love shoes but they don't love me so I have very few...

I think I should probably stop making skater dresses for a while now, unless that perfect jersey comes along of course :)

Friday, 10 April 2015

A Renfrew

I realise I am very very late to this party but I finally bought the Renfrew pattern! It has been on my wish list since it was released but I held out and got it in the sale Sewaholic had a few months ago. It certainly has not disappointed.

This version is a wearable muslin to check fit so I used some sparkly jersey I got on ebay a while ago (I didn't realise it was a sparkly when I bought it, the joys of ebay). The fabric is scratchy , does not press and generally not very nice so it will have to be a winter top to wear with a top underneath type of top!

I cut a 10 over the hips grading to a 12 at the bust and it turned out perfectly. I love jersey :)

I have plans for a few more of these and need to get a move on since I have signed up for Me Made May again this year. Panic sewing, me, never!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

14/52 - Easter Sunday

What a lovely day, warm, sunny, family and chocolate, what more could you want?  Hope you have all had a lovely day as well.

We had a egg hunt in the garden

I chose some good hiding spots!

We had our traditional Easter pavlova, with cream and blueberries this year (I ran out of mini eggs - disaster) and far far too much chocolate, I will not be standing on the scales for a while!

Best of all though we were all together, Mum even made it to church this morning!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

March in Review

I know this is a bit late but here is my review of March.

Finished Objects (all still to be blogged):

2 Lady Skater Dresses, one was a fail.

Another cord skirt, 3rd this year...

A Renfrew with cowl neck in random sparkly 
jersey that I bought in a bundle on ebay.

1 Elsa Style Skirt for a birthday pressie.

It appears that blue was the colour of the month!

Books Read:

Finished 4th of July by James Patterson.

A book.... can't remember but I did read one between these two!
Summer and the Beach Street Bakery - Jenny Colgan
Started The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes book 
Started An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield

Weight Lost:

3lb, all in the last 10 days - being at Mum's bedside has been great for weight loss and rubbish for grey hairs :)

Mission for April:

Relax and eat chocolate! March was stressful - Mum underwent major surgery to remove cancer in her oesophagous. She spend a week completely out of it in ICU and a few days in a normal ward but got home yesterday and is recovering amazingly well, it really was Good Friday! April will be a month for walks with Mum and plotting where to go on a family holiday.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Darling Ranges Dress

I have been meaning to make a Darling Ranges dress for a year, since I made this muslin,which was massive. I do love Megan Nielsen patterns, did anyone see her brilliant April Fool's this year? It was brilliant!

I cut the L for the muslin so this time I made a straight M and it is practically perfect, maybe a teeny bit tight over the bust.

this face is much better than the one I was pulling

I had to drop the but darts by about 3 inches (I am not sure, even pre kids, that my bust has ever been as high as the darts are on this pattern... )  and I shortened it as I ran out of fabric. I used a cross weave organic cotton that I got in a bundle from here.

My right bust dart appears to be a bit pointy.... I will need to deal with that.

I have plans on a summer version to use up some of my enormous cotton stash that really needs attention but for now it's back to a couple of pairs of trousers that are WIP's.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015


I have not spent much time with the kids in the last week and a half, my Mum is in hospital, so it is husbands phone pictures this week. Late.

Big E: mid conversation!

little e: learning to drive the mini digger!