Thursday, December 31, 2009

Following on from yesterday's post, here are my answers to the questions.

1. How do you fill your space?
With sewing stuff, scrapbooking stuff

With books - a mix of gardening, novels, and parenting/self-improvement

With a lot of stuff waiting to be scrapbooked...I'm very sentimental and keen to scrapbook so I have heaps of stuff just waiting to be scrapbooked. Sigh... some would call it clutter...

2. How do you spend your time? (aka, what do you always make time for)
- being Mummy
- discussing parenting with online buddies

- sewing
- hanging out in sewing forums
- blogging (not enough!)
- making lists :) DH tells everyone that I make too many lists lol.
- decluttering - not that you can tell tho

3. How do you spend your energy? (on activities that energise you, not leave you feeling drained)
- sewing for me (but not sewing under pressure - that can be draining)

- playing with DS
- with good friends
- going for walks with DH
- getting organised/decluttering - this is very freeing, when I'm doing it because I want to, otherwise it can be a big drain.

4. How do you spend your money?
- fabric, patterns
- socialising with a few good friends

5. Where are you most organised and ordered?
- um... nowhere really! I like to be organised, and I strive to be organised, but it doesn't happen that often. I'm getting there tho!

6. Where are you most disciplined, reliable and focused?
- In my list making lol.
- I realibly research everything (this is very annoying, even for me!)

7. What dominates your thinking?
- how to be the best mum I can be - at the moment I'm thinking a lot about communication
- sewing - the next project, what fabric to buy
- our next house - where will it be, when will it be?

8. What do you visualise and dream about that is becoming a reality?
-raising a happy and healthy little boy - he's a stunning little boy and I love his personality
- our new house - tho this one is a little slow on the 'becoming a reality' part

9. What do you talk to yourself about? (what ideas are you constantly telling yourself you would like to persue)
- a tidier, more organised house with less clutter - I guess I notice it a lot more now that I am home full-time instead of out at work all day

- being more self-sufficient in terms of food items. We've been slack at this house as we were never really going to be here long... there's been lots of reading about it and planning but little doing
- that new house of ours - it seems we are going around in circles, don't know what step to take next
- regaining my fitness. It has disappeared since I became a mum. I miss the dancing and karate days...

10. What do you talk to others about?
- DS
- sewing
- gardeing
- strawbale homes
- life
- parenting

11. What is it that inspires you and has consistently inspired you?
- talking to people with similar ideals as myself - it is always inspiring to discuss your thoughts and plans with others and to hear theirs

12. What are your longest held goals?
- um... apart from the big stuff, like a happy life-long marriage (which is coming along nicely), it would be that new house that we have been dreaming of building for many years now. Too many years, it is time to make it happen!

The results? My values and goals:

What does this show about me? That I'm hyper-focused on DS? and my desire for a new house! And that I love being creative and making things. Hmm... I guess that translates into the ultimate desire to provide a homely home for my family and to be part of a loving and happy family.

What are your responses to the questions?

Should Should Should...

Only a couple of hours left in 2009.

I found this over at Romi Jade a few days ago, and a lot of it hit home. I thought I would share it here, as it is so relevant, particularly when so many people are making New Year's Resolutions.

The following is a direct copy of what I read at Romi Jade...

I just read this fantastic article in the current Good Health magazine and it has some really inspirational advice that I thought was worth sharing - so many of my friends (and myself included) deal with these issues and I thought this may help offer another perspective on things :)

The article is called Reach Your Goals and was written by Angela Donaldson, with advice from Dr John F. Demartini, human behavioural specialist (that sounds like such an interesting career!).

Here's a summary:

"Every individual lives by a set of priorities or values, things that are most important in their life. All our perceptions and decisions are based on these values." The reason we don't succeed in achieving our goals is that they are not aligned with these values. We often set regular goals that are unachievable and damaging, because we end up being hard on ourselves for failing.

'I should...'

  • Any time you hear yourself saying that you 'should' achieve a certain goal, it's not you talking. A 'should' is somebody else's value that has been forced into your life.
  • People who live with 'shoulds' can end up with health problems because it's not their own agenda they're working towards. They've got the brake on instead of pressing the accelerator.
  • You will recognise your highest values because there are no 'shoulds' about doing them. You don't need outside motivation to achieve them and you can always find energy to do them. This is because they are inspired from within.
  • You only need outside motivation when the goals you set come from a 'should', or if they're goals that are low on your list of values and priorities.
  • The life you are already living is the biggest indicator of your true values. So, if you say you really want to get fit but, on closer inspection, see that you don't do a scrap of exercise, then it's not among your highest values and it probably won't happen.
The secret to achieving your goals and transforming your life is to be TRUE to what you cherish most in life - it could be family, work, making money or spending time with others.

When you set goals according to your highest priorities, you'll be rewarded with more energy, vitality, confidence, certainty and purpose.

"You'll be doing what you love, you'll be inspired by your life, work more efficiently and give yourself permission to delegate items low on your priorities list, so you can get on with top priorities."

You can change your values..

..but you need to assign a massive list of benefits to that value. When you associate a benefit with a value or goal, the value will move up the list. We're motivated by rewards and if you can't come up with a big list, then it probably means you don't have the drive to do it.

"Quite simply, you feel you have better things to do!"

Anyway.. that's the main body of the article, the next section helps you work out what you value by asking 12 questions and writing down your top three answers for each. Then you group your answers into similar categories and are left with about four to seven main priorities - the primary values you live your life by. Then you just set your goals to match those values and you'll be on your way to honest fulfillment!

I'll post my answers to the questions tomorrow, along with my New Year's Resolutions.

For now, I'll just say "Happy New Year!"

Monday, December 28, 2009

Mr Purple Pants

This may look like a non-sewing related, cute child shot, but it's not! I made those pants my adorable little man is wearing.

Honestly, I couldn't resist sharing this photo of my poor little boy, he was so sick with weepy eyes and runny nose, but he still wanted to smile for the camera. I just love this outfit! LOL, it's a hand-me-down singlet teamed with a pair of pants I made from an old pair of my pjs :) Now that's thrifty. But I think he looks so cute in it!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Sewing Part 2

Did I mention I was making hats? Here are some photos of them!

Here is DH kindly modelling the first batch of christmas hats - he's got five on :) One each for my nephew and two nieces, DS and two of DS's little friends. It's a great hat pattern although it does call for a heap of hand-sewing. I'm not sure whether to look at how other hat patterns go together or to stick with this one now that I know it so well.

This is about the best photo I got of one close up. I was in such a rush to get all the sewing done and then wrapped and given that I forgot to take proper photos.

And here is DS and one of his favourite little friends. DS is wearing another version of the same pattern that I made as a test run a while ago. Little Friend is wearing her just-opened chrissy present along with a dress I made her ages ago (I think it was nine months ago but it still fits!). I really love that fabric.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Sewing Part 1

I am so late posting these but I'll do it anyway!

First I brought some fabric - lots of it!!

The first four fabrics are to make bags for SIL and MIL - the birds has orange edging/lining and the stripy has the brown edging/lining. The yellow is for the lining of a couple of hats. The last two are furnishing fabrics for cushion covers for my folks. I got all of this from my local spotlight, so I was pretty happy.

This one is definitely my favourite, I was very surprised to see this at Spotlight.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Welcome Back - To Me

Where have I been? I wish I had a story to tell, but alas, I have not. No good reason, not even a good excuse. But I'm back, so I'm happy with that. Let's see if I can manage at least one post a week for the rest of the year...

There has been some sewing, but not much, I will do a post of the things I have made since the last blog entry soon (but don't expect it to be exciting).

For now, I am off to update the to do lists. I haven't even thought about christmas yet, but I am still hoping to give only home-made gifts. A few late nights to come? Perhaps!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Vintage Pattern Giveaway!

or: time to declutter :)

My gosh, this post has been a long time coming. Life seems to have been very hectic lately leaving me with little time to blog. But as of today we have a new super-fast internet connection so I can blog more easily when I get the chance.

Now, onto the patterns.... Please be aware that these patterns have been used (mostly by someone other than me!). Some have been cut and some have not. It's a bit of pot luck really :) If you would like one (or more) please leave a comment letting me know which one(s). I'm hoping at least some of these will be of interest to someone out there!

I should say, I'll leave this open for a week, till the end of Thursday 26th November :)

Kwik Sew #1954 sizes 8/10/12/14 Girls' Vest, Pants and Shorts

Style #2760 Size 5 Girls Dress

Little Vogue #1250 - Dress and Panties, Bonnet and Bib, Blanket and Pillow Cover, Shoes
This is size medium for weight 8-10kg and height 67-70cm.

Kwik Sew #2071 Girl's loose fitting jumpsuits
Sizes 4/5/6/7

McCall's #9322 Gown or Dress, Slip, Romper, Bonnet, Bootees
In sizes newborn, small & medium

Simplicity #5395 Boys' shirt, vest, bell-bottom pants, short pants or page boy suit with jabot
In size 5 *note the packet says "pocket welt missing and elastic guide all other pieces there"

Style #2437 Girl's dress

In size 5

Monday, July 13, 2009

EB Bag Swap - What I Got!!

Have a look at what I was lucky enough to unwrap!! This came courtesy of Anna from Tillytom Designs. The parcel was beautifully wrapped in a gorgeous purple fabric with silver circles that I just love - still trying to decide what to do with it. I didn't get a photo of it all wrapped up because, well, I was too keen to open it!

The wonderful bag and the two bonus surprises - a purse and a matching hairtie and clip set!

Loaded and ready to go! Inside and out...

Here is the bag ready to go to out to a party - the black and red thing is my ring sling, then there's a drawstring bag with a cloth nappy, handtowel (used as a change mat), facewasher in it. The little purse is sitting there. You can just make out the orange button on the right-hand side which is on a big pocket that wraps around - the pocket has a spare pair of pants and a couple more cloth nappies in it. On the left at the top of the bag you can see a white zip - that pocket has DH's wallet. Then there's a couple of little pocket which have my phone and a little book for DS. Then there's the outside pockets!! Photo on the right shows these - DS's drink bottle in the left one and mine in the right one.

One feature of the bag that I really appreciate is the little elasticised key holder. This is very convenient and should mean I will no longer be dropping my keys all the time.

The bonus purse is great - it easily holds my phone, wallet, lip gloss, with room for a couple of other things. This is handy as it means this items can live in the purse and if I'm going out on my own (very rare but it does happen) then I can just grab the purse and go.

To see some more expert pics, have a look here at the photos Anna took before she sent it!

P.S massive apologies to Anna for taking so long to blog, me and blogger have *not* been getting along.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

EB Bag Swap - What I Sent

Front of the bag

Five or so weeks ago I took the plunge and signed up for the EB bag swap. This is the third swap I've been in, but only the second that required me to sew!

Front of the bag with the flap opened - you can just make out the side pocket and the two along the front - all are hook and loop closing

I spent so long looking for fabric and a pattern. Eventually I decided upon this tutorial. My recipient doesn't have kids in nappies any more but still has three young kids. The design doesn't shout 'nappy bag' and is very functional as an every day bag for a busy mum.

The inside showing just how roomy it is. Note that according to the tute the inner pockets were supposed to be done in the same fabric as the lining, but I quite like it this way!

The tute was great, easy to understand and I am SO happy with how this bag came together. It is by far the biggest sewing project I have undertaken, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to pull it off, but I did! I am very glad I joined in this swap as it pushed me to do things that I would've otherwise have put off learning

New skills mastered (well, perhaps mastered is going a bit far...): zips, pockets, pockets with zips, pockets with elastic.

I am very tempted to make another one of these bags for myself, and possibly as gifts.

The back of the bag - you can just see the full-width zip creating a very large pocket perfect for paperwork etc.

Here are some questions I answered on EB as part of the swap wrap-up

Who I sewed for GetShakey

Type of bag nappy/messenger bag

What fabric/other materials I used:
The outer and lining fabrics were both quilters cotton that I purchased from Spotlight. I can't remember the name...

Information I want to share with regard to construction or sizing?
The only problem I ran into with the construction was that I used quilters cotton rather than the oilcloth that the tute used. As a result, the elastic on the inner pockets pulls the lining in as the fabric isn't structured enough to support it. I did interface the lining piece that has the two pocket in it, but I don't think it made much of a difference. The piece that has three pockets, I used a longer piece of elastic than recommended, and I think next time I would go longer again.

What I'd do differently next time
Two things: include a key ring and make the shoulder strap adjustable so it can be more easily worn across the body if need be.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A pilot hat for a cute little pilot

Well, winter is well and truly upon us here in Melbourne - brrrr! My little man needed a nice warm winter hat so I made this from some polar fleece I already had. What do you think? It was really very easy to put together, I'm hoping to try a reversible version this weekend.

Mothers' Day Sewing

A little late in posting this but better late than never - right?

The inspiration for this apron came from this tute (warning: if you've not visited craftster before, chances are you will spend hours wallowing in all the great tutes). I know mine doesn't look much like the tute, but it was my inspiration. The fabric for this started life as a single bed quilt cover (it's just a normal cotton though). So all that great gathering on the skirt of the apron - not my work! That's part of the skirt of the bedspread :)

What did I learn from this project? Don't blindly follow tutes! I love a good tute, they save me from thinking, and this was a nice, clear tute. But if I had of thought it through I could've saved a fair bit of time on all the straps - each of them was two pieces sewn together, turned and topstitched - very time-consuming. Next time I will cut the strap twice as wide and only have one seam to stitch. And there will be a next time, I love the way this turned out, I didn't want to give it away, lol. I love the fabric, I'm thinking it will make a great summer dress for me.

Oh, and I also made two matching pot mitts :)

P.S. sorry for the ordinary photo - we were racing out the door to mum's when I realised I hadn't taken a photo yet.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Putting his best foot forwards

DS has been on his feet for a month so it was time to put some shoes on them. I didn't want to buy any and I'm glad I didn't! These cost me next to nothing to make - I got a bag of craft leather for five bucks at the op shop and used some old jeans for the denim. The elastic was the only thing I paid retail for!

So, h,Here is my little man showing off his cute new shoes. They have leather soles and the rest is denim. I made them from a tutorial on this site. They go together very easily - even more easily if you extend the back piece and fold it over to make the casing like I have here. Have a look in the gallery on that site for some inspiration - so many cute pairs of shoes.

The cute little duckie shoe below is the first shoe I made with leather. It is lined with denim. It was harder to do than the leather/denim purely because of the bulk. I did one shoe a while ago, decided it was huge, and made the denim pair at a smaller size. The denim pair fit, but not for long so I made the second duckie one. In between the first and second shoes, I got a new sewing machine, and as a result, the second duckie shoe is much neater than the first. I find it much easier to go slow on the new machine.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

So much to do...

I've just updated my To Do list again. It is forever growing. I am adding to my Completed list as well, but it can't keep up with the To Do list. I need more time!

My sewing room is in a bit of a mess after I switched the desks around last week. Trying to get everything in its proper place so when I do have the time to sew I can do it easily without spending half my time searching for everything. FlyLady tells me I need to spend 15 minutes a day and then my sewing room will be great, neat and functional. Once it's neat and functional I MUST spend five minutes at the end of each sewing session to put stuff away! This means no more rushed, late night sewing sessions.

At the top of my To Do listed, marked URGENT is shoes for my little boy. He's walking now, and it's coming into winter so he needs some shoes to keep his little feet nice and dry. I have a pattern (that I'm too tired to link to now) that I need to adjust down in size. I have the leather (a $5 bargain find at a local op shop). My mission for tomorrow is to resize the pattern and do a test run out of cotton. If the test run fits first go hopefully I will get the leather cut out and ready to go as well.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What foot is this?

I got this for $2.99 from Savers the other day. I have no idea what it (or they?) is or if it will work on my machine LOL.

Can anyone tell me what it is?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

This is new...

It's a pram (well, derr!). But anyone who knows me will realise what a big deal this is. My little man is 13 months old and this is only the second time he has been in a pram. Till now, he has always been carried - in our arms, in a ring sling and in an ergo. But, well, he's getting heavier, and as much as I LOVE carrying him, it was getting hard. Plus I hoped it would help him get to sleep those days when he was tired but resisting.

I was lucky enough to get this off freecycle yesterday. And, after a short walk around the block he fell asleep - happy days! But I am a little confused by the whole world of prams. I mean, these things are BIG! How do people fit them in the car? This thing barely fits in our house! I also found it quite awkward to push, I seemed to be stepping on the wheels. Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't be admitting all this! It also took us a loooong time to work out how to collapse it, and how to get it to recline. This is a whole new world. I can't imagine taking it on public transport. And there is no way we could put it in the boot when we were going shopping or away - and that's with a wagon.

So, I've entered this strange world of prams, I'm not ready to pass judgement just yet...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

where does the time go?

it's been over a month since i last posted :( I hereby resolve to do do a weekly post, each Wednesday for the next four weeks. Then maybe I'll aim for twice a week LOL. Babysteps... I'm also aiming to get some non-sewing stuff back in here, it's been too long. Today is not Wednesday, therefore this is not a proper post. Be back tomorrow :)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Pin-cushion Swap

I picked up my pin-cushion from the post-office on Wednesday after a bit of a mix-up with the addy. I was so excited to get it that I couldn't wait till I got home to open, hence I have no pic of it all wrapped up nice and pretty.

But here's a pic of the actual pin-cushion :)

I love it. I really like the fabric, simple colours, a pretty design. Thank you so much to Roxys at

I made a little something for Beebeejaybee ( I'm really happy how it turned out, I'd never made a pin-cushion like these ones before. I used my fave fabric which BBJB used as a clue as to who made them as I forgot to add in a card. Hope you get a lot of use out of them!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Look What I Made!

With the horrible horrible bushfires here in Vic in Feb, sewing became a lower priority than usual. But I did manage to get these spunky overalls made in time for DS's first birthday. I rushed them, I didn't measure DS, so they are big in the top and a bit small for his cloth bum. But they are SO cute! I absolutely love them :)

They are the Little Explorer pattern (doh! can't get link to work properly, bbl). I will definitely be making more of these.

Habby Swap

I feel so bad that it has taken me so long to post about this. Over on EB I recently participated in my first swap. The idea was to buy a bunch of haberdashery for your recipient.

I was so excited to receive my parcel in the post. My DH hid it from me to remove any temptation. I had had a really rough week and I must say that opening the parcel was pretty much the only highlight. You could say it came at the right time for me. Anyway, what did I get? Here are a couple of pics:

I love the little organiser, I would have been happy to get that and the mag! But the organiser (in my favourite colour, no less) was full of goodies. There were buttons, piping, elastic, strap adjusters for when I make my first bag, thread, safety pins and more. The mag is great, I never buy them so I keep pouring over this one. It has got so many inspiring photos in it. I have decided to make the memory card game for DS's next birthday. I figure if I start now, I may get it done in time!

Oh, and there was also a bunch of fabrics, including some from the Very Hungry Caterpillar. These will make great feature pockets on some pants for DS. I am yet to buy designer fabrics, so another luxury for me :) Thank you so much to Estherp ( for this lovely gift. I will be back for more swaps.

Oh, and I nearly forgot. I sent off a little package to Ingrid (you can see pics here: I must say I was nervous as she creates amazing things and I so didn't know what to get her. I decided on using my fave fabric as a bit of a theme and built it up from there. Ingrid says she liked it, so I am very glad.

It's been a while...

I haven't posted on here for a long time. I've been waiting for the right time but I don't think that's going to happen for a while yet. So I'm going to post while I can. I think I will do a bunch of separate posts for all the things I've missed since I posted last in early Feb.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Do you like this?

I got this material a while ago in a bag of stuff from Freecycle. What do you think? I am trying to decide whether it would work as some item of clothing for me. It is a stretch knit - i think - like a t-shirt.

Thoughts anyone?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

My To Do List

I started this a couple of days ago, but with the heat and then power outages, I'm never going to get it finished... so I'll post what I've done and update it later!

It is way too hot to do any sewing - 43 degrees for the second day in a row :(

So I'm trying to get organised with my to do list so when the cool change (to a nice and cool 30-something) comes I'll be ready to pop into Spotlight and buy all the stuff I need to proceed.

So... here goes...
*2 soft blocks for a couple of new babies using this tutorial
These are my #1 priority as I want to go and visit a very new baby and cannot do so without a gift! I'd like these done by Fri 6th Feb.

*toddler apron This is for the big brother of one of the new babies so also needs to be done by 6th Feb. I already have the fabric for this so I could probably get it cut out tomorrow.

* something special for DS's birthday. Hmmm.... Needs to be done by Fri 13th so I'm not stressing. Haven't left myself much time, have I? Especially given I don't know what I want to make...sigh...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Before, and.... more before shots

It has been HOT here this week, far too hot to sew. But I wanted to do something. So I tried to tidy my sewing area. Here are the before shots. Warning: photos may disgust!

This is my sewing desk:

Alongside my sewing desk:

On the next wall - the wardrobe which has a lot of my fabric in it - note most of this is old clothing waiting to be remodelled.

Continuing around the room is a little bookshelf:

And last but not least, another desk - this is on the wall behind my sewing desk:

The theory is that once I have the place tidy, I will post after shots. And thereby have my motivation to keep the place tidy! It is a lot easier to sew when everything is where it should be and the desk is clear. The reason I have such trouble with this is that everything seems to be sewn in a rush. So my main goal is to not leave projects to the last minute. Everything else should fall into place. Hopefully.

I'm not exactly short on space, but I am low on organisational skills!! This was meant to be our study, but DH seems happy for me to have completely taken it over :) He seems to like how happy sewing makes me.

It is actually a little tidier, I managed to find my main desk on the hot days, using FlyLady's [] 'you can do anything in 15 minute's' theory. I just haven't taken another photo yet... save that for another day

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cutest Little Model

Isn't he just the cutest?!?

These were meant to showcase the dress, but well, J wanted to show the world how cute he was :) The dress is the same pattern as the last one, but in a different fabric - obviously. I love this fabric - it's just from Spotlight though. The dress is size 9 months, J is 11 months, and it is pretty big on him. So it will swim on the girl it is for, but better to be big I reckon.

You can see here his lovely new squinty smile. I have no idea where it came from, but I love it.

I will endeavour to get a proper photo of the dress this week. I have made it twice in size 9 months, once in 12 months and I am sewing it up in size 2 years :) I am actually enjoying doing the same pattern multiple times. It is enabling me to do it better and better each time. For example, the top-stitching, of which there is two lines is actually almost parallel now :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Toddler dress revisited

The little dress I made - it is Burda 9708 -

I picked it up from Spotlight just before christmas. I made view C, without the applique, simply because I thought this would be the easiest one to do :)

It was really easy. The hardest part was the straps, which was funny given I chose a dress with tie-up straps t avoid button holes... but really, the straps weren't hard, just a little fiddly to get the curves right when sewing , and then you have to turn them in the right way (I don't like turning things, don't know why, but I always find it fiddly).

I've already started making two more of these dresses. I'm leaving out the interfacing as I really don't think it is necessary, if anything it made the bodice too stiff (probably would be different if you used a lighter-weight material, I used a quilter's cotton, so already quite thick). So, there are four main pieces to cut out, plus eight for the straps, and it goes together really quickly. Highly recommend it to anyone looking for a little girls pattern. When I have more time I will try one of the other views. Oh, and it is from 6 months to 3 years, so I'm going to get heaps of use out of it, making pressies for all the little girls I know.

Will update this with a photo of it on as soon as I can.

Tension sorted

Today i spent some time playing around with the tension on my sewing machine. After a bit googling, I found this site:

I followed it right through, thought it wouldn't hurt given my machine is older and I don't know it's service history. I have wondered in the past whether the top tension adjustor-thingy actually worked. Now I know it does, so that is handy :) I also adjusted the bobbin tension and I can now get a lovely even stitch. Woo Hoo! This should make my sewing a lot less stressful. If you're at all curious about tension, give the link a read, it's written by a machine servicer, but it is easy to read and indeed, quite humorous.

I'll see how the machine runs over the coming week or so and rethink whether it needs a service. Hopefully I've saved myself a hundred bucks!