Sunday 27 September 2020

Flowering Crabapple

An overload of blossoms. because we all need some beauty in our lives at present.
Seen at the Auckland Botanic Gardens yesterday.

Happy weekending to you all.

Friday 18 September 2020

The Mallard Coat Jacket

Collar Up

So, I've made myself a new jacket.  I'm beginning to wonder if I have a slight addiction to them.

This one is the jacket length version of the Mallard Coat,  a pattern from  New Zealand company The Sewing Revival.  Initially I had seen the pattern, thought that the coat was nice and not worried about the jacket.  However that changed when I saw a version made in this exact fabric, and I decided I needed my own.  (They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery)  After finding out  from the maker that Spotlight stocked the fabric, which is a cotton canvas from the upholstery department, I duly purchased it and lining and  downloaded the pattern.

Assembling the pattern was nice and easy, and I actually enjoyed cutting out the fabric, it was nice to have a heavier weight one to sew after the light rayons I've sewn lately. I found I did need quite sharp pins though.

The pattern itself was a pretty easy sew, it's fully lined too, in a lovely fuschia bemsilk also from Spotlight.
Instructions were detailed, with good diagrams also.  I made a straight size 10 and opted for the square collar which can be worn standing  up or folded down.  It is meant to fasten with domes or buttons, but I think I am going to leave these off.  I also omitted the large front pockets, which I would sew on the coat version.  I didn't worry about pattern matching as such, but made sure that the bottom hems were aligned when I cut out the pieces,  so it is a random placement of the floral print.  I also decided to topstitch the collar and front edges of the jacket also, to get a neater finish on the seams edges.

Photos today were taken by Miss B at Nathan Homestead, a heritage building which is used as an arts and events centre not too far from where I live. There are some lovely old trees and gardens, to walk around. It was just start to drizzle and the wind really picked up so we were limited to where we could get sheltered photos.  Luckily there is a nice little cafe  there, that we could revive ourselves in.

I'm really looking forward to wearing this, I think it will be a great layering piece for warmer spring and cooler summer days.  In fact all year round if I layer under it properly.

Happy weekending !

Wednesday 9 September 2020

Fresh Cut - a new project

Last year some time I bought myself Sue Spargo's Fresh Cut quilt pattern, a mix of wool and fabric applique embellished with beautiful embroidery.  Then it sat unused while I deliberated over background colours.  Much as I love how the black felt background made the blocks POP, I thought it would attract too much dust and be impractical.

Fast forward to June this year, when I spent a day in Rotorua with my Mum, and we visited Cottage Flair quilt shop. They had a fabulous sample made up with different black fabrics as the background, and ironically this really appealed to me. I bought some of the patterned black fabrics but have had to wait three months till solid black fabric arrived in New Zealand, before I could actually start this project.

 A week ago I received a call from my local quilt shop to say they had it in stock, and it was subsequently sent out to me.  I have started my first block, which is block 5, and am slowly rediscovering how to make all the fancy stitches required. 

I can see this will be somewhat of a long term slow stitching project.

Monday 7 September 2020

Lockdown Learnings


I have plans!

Santa Claus decoration - pattern from here

Black Bean Chocolate Brownies

While I haven't enjoyed being in lockdown again, there are somethings I have learned from both of them.

  • Little treats - life's little luxuries help make it seem not so depressing. Scented candles, magazines (luckily I have some subscriptions that turn up monthly in the post) yummy homebaked treats, fresh flowers.
  • Exercise - daily walks help, I can see other people, say "hi, how are" from a socially appropriate distance, get fresh air and exercise which is good for the mind and body.
  • Books - I need to read. I have learned that I should always have a pile of library books on hand.  While e-books are convenient (and at least life saving when one has no books), I enjoy the physical act of holding a book, turning the pages and immersing myself in another world.  Phones or e-readers are not the same.
  • Sewing - my interests are important.  I am so glad that I create, craft, sew.  My creating has given me a way to keep sane and having time out in the sewing room gives me a break from the family, as well as meaning that I can make numerous masks to keep friends and family safe. I have a good sized quilting and clothing fabric stash, I just need to make sure I have matching threads, buttons and patterns printed. It also gives me time to start and finish (Santa Claus decoration) some small projects I have been putting on hold.
  • Gardening - when you are outside gardening, one cannot worry. Fresh air, exercise, sunshine if you're lucky, hearing the birds, smelling freshly cut lawn or newly turned soil - all contribute to a somewhat relaxing experience, though my muscles may dispute that the next day.
So while I am glad to be back at work, talking to real people (albeit wearing masks), I do miss aspects of the lazier days of lockdown.   Fingers crossed we don't have to again though.

Stay safe, wear a mask. Kia kaha.