Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Taking Stock

I haven't done one of these posts for awhile, and sometimes I think it's quite nice to have a little overview of the things I'm doing and liking, not just the big finishes. For the inspiration for this list check out Pip's lovely blog, Meet Me at Mikes.

Making: a sea-glass pendant,  I pulled out my old jewellery making tools and wire, watched a couple of tutorials and had a play,  Not perfect, but definitely wearable.

Cooking: lots of new dishes from some new cookbooks I treated myself to.

Sipping: lots of cold drinks - mainly water, but I am enjoying an icy cold G &T in the evenings

Reading: all the time.  Lately I have enjoyed these books.

Looking: forward to my weekly yoga classes starting up again this Wednesday after a long Christmas/New Year break.

Listening:  to Mr J practicing his electric guitar - lots of hard rock and what his tutor terms as dad rock.  Most of it I like.

Enjoying: the antics of Meeka

Eating:  cherry tomatoes from my garden

Loving: my dahlias, even though they are now suffering from the excessive heat, lack of water  (we have to pay for water usage, so unfortunately I do have to make some sacrifices over summer)and mildew.

Buying: back to school supplies, and always groceries for the teens.

Watching: Little Women at the movies the other day - beautifully filmed, such a nice movie to wile away a couple of hours in air conditioned comfort.

Hoping: it rains where it's really needed in Australia and New Zealand, without causing more flooding and damage.

Needing:  to finish attaching the joining pieces to my Ice Cream Soda blossoms - I only have 27 to go, so in theory, I could get them finished by the end of February, if I get motivated enough, then I can start joining the actual blossoms together.

Wearing: as little as possible while still staying decently dressed - it's hot!  My linen dresses are on high rotation, as is a new Ogden cami I made from some rayon scraps. I made this one a size up from my first attempt a couple of years ago and am much happier with the fit.

Getting: just a little excited for our family holiday over Easter at Hahei Beach, I'm really needing some vitamin sea, and we're going to take Miss J and Mr B to Cathedral Cove for the first time, one of my favourite places.

Bookmarking: recipes in my new cookbooks

Coveting: lots of the dahlias I see for sale, I could go quite mad with purchasing tubers for next year, but I only have a limited space and water supply for them.

Feeling: Hot, it is summer in New Zealand finally.

Hearing: cicadas during the day and crickets in the evening - signs of summer.


If you'd like to Take Stock too, copy and paste the prompts below onto your blog, and pick the ones you want to complete.


Monday, 20 January 2020

The Red Lois Dress

The Scout and I have a wedding to go to in early March.  It is going to be a garden wedding,  so I figured it was a good excuse to make a new dress.  My tried and tested Lois dress pattern was hauled out, some beautiful rayon purchased just before Christmas with my sister, was prewashed and starched to make cutting slightly easier.  This was the first time I had sewn anything bigger than a top with rayon, so I was quite worried about how it would work.  Also the first time using my invisible zipper foot - gosh that makes a difference.

I lengthened the skirt by 3", the last one I made sat just under my knee, and I knew I wanted a longer more floaty dress this time.  The low v bodice,  I ended up stitch up another .5" ,  Overall it was an easy make, I suspect the hem is a little uneven in places, but with the dress being floaty and drapey,  I don't think anyone will notice.

I had the good fortune  to find the perfect shoes to wear with it too, in the New Year sales, so now I'm hoping for a fine and warm day to enjoy wearing it.

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Sculpture in the Gardens 2019/2020

Breathe by John Ferguson

If Ever I Should Walk on Water by Gina Ferguson

The Guardians by Oria Rapley

The Head of John Doe by Sean Crawford

Detail of the above sculpture

Hand in the Dirt by James Wright

The Safety Gardener by Aaron Frater

Entwined by Chris Moore

Dinner Plate Fig

Beehaven by Jane Downes

After a few cold days, it's finally feeling like summer is here again.  I went to the Auckland Botanic Gardens for a wander around the latest sculpture trail.  My favourites were the The Head of John Dow,  Entwined and Beehaven.  Of course a few flowers and plants caught my eye too.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Burda Style - a New Top

Last year sometime, I issued myself a pile of Burda Style magazines from Auckland Libraries.  I usually just look through them for the beautiful styling and photos, never intending to make anything, cos you have to trace the patterns, and add seam allowances - all things which fall into the too hard pile.

However issue 02/2018 had a top which intrigued me, so I photocopied the instructions and using a few sheets of lunch wrap, traced the pattern and then promptly lost it in my sewing room, only to find it a month or so later, make a rough toile from the old sheet, then ignore it.

Fast forward to a new year, and I decided I wanted to make a new summer top for me.  I debated using some of my rayon stash, but couldn't face cutting out a slippery slidey fabric, so I used an embroidered stripey gauze from the stash, and made a mix of both versions a and b. Omitting the gathered neckline from version a and the sleeve tabs and longer back from version b.

The pattern itself is relatively easy, though Burda instructions are a little on the light side.   I suspect my fabric while light weight was not quite the right choice for this, it doesn't have quite the drape and feels a little boxy and heavy around the hem.  I also had a problem with the back neck not fitting the shirt, I am not sure if I traced the wrong size, but I was easily able to rectify it by taking a large seam down the middle which is hidden among the embroidery, and trimming it off,

Overall this shirt will be a useful wearable addition to my summer wardrobe, and I may make it again'with the gathered neckline I feel in love with originally.

Pattern details:  Burda 108-2/2018
Fabric:  embroidered gauze
Size: 38

**Photos by Mr J - iphone6

Friday, 3 January 2020

Sewing Intentions for 2020

Midnight in the Tulip Garden

Fabric for my sister

I have a lot of sewing intentions for 2020 - some garment making, some quilting, some felt and embroidery. Some are to be completed fully, some to be assembled to a point for another year.  Anyhoo, in no particular order here is my list of intentions

Quilting and Stitching
  • Midnight in the Tulip Garden  - my medallion quilt top - finished,basted, quilted, bound
  • Folk Flowers quilt - make more blocks, and the edging pieces, so I have an assembled top
  • Ice Cream Soda Quilt - joining pieces on all blossoms (I've done half of them) and fully stitched together with borders
  • Santa and Mrs Claus felt and embroidery decorations
Garment Sewing
  • a new dress for a wedding I am attending in March - the red floral, will be a Lois dress, the other floral - I'm still undecided on, I love the colours and the drape of the fabric, however I'm a little scared I'll look like I'm wearing the curtains - a la The Sound of Music.
  • three tops for my sister (cos I'm a sucker)
  • two peppermint wrap tops -  I'm intending to remake the lilac one in a longer length and  also a white version.
  • a new winter coat (can a girl have too many?)
I am also hoping to start a new wool felt applique and embroidery project - probably late autumn when it is a little too cold to spend a lot of time in my sewing room.

Of course all these intentions are subject to change should something more exciting come along.

What are you planning for 2020?