Wednesday, 24 September 2014


Coles Creation bathers, pair number two.

This pattern is a definite winner.


These were made to compensate for the fact that the last pair didn't fit her and so went to her sister...

She's very happy with my colour combo of dots and bright pink, and I have to say I am too! 


These are the size 14 to 16 and I added an extra 1.5 inches to the upper green spotted band as I know this kid is long in the body. 

I was amazed recently to find they despite having the same leg length as her twin sister, she is 2.5cm longer through the back. 

The fit is perfect. She doesn't pull at them at all and there is great coverage across her bottom. 

The best thing is that when getting dressed for the pool the girls are choosing their Mama made bathers over the purchased ones every time, so I think I am on a winner.

If you haven't tried making swimwear, why not? 

Next up I am thinking I might tackle some for me...
They will be a little more complicated I know with the need for soft Bra cups and the like, but what have I got to lose? 

All fabric again from Rathdowne fabric and remnants, perhaps a trip to look for some fabric for me might be in order, yes??!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Holiday reading

I love the luxury of being able to sit and read an entire book in a short period of time, as in days rather than over weeks, and this book really kept me turning the pages. 

It's set largely in Germany and then London pre-World War II and tells the story of cousins who are part of the resistance movement that existed in Germany and then later in exile and all they tried to do to warn the world of the inherent danger Hitler represented. 

Despite having read Holocaust texts quite widely I knew little of the resistance movement and so found this a really interesting read. 

While this is a work of fiction it is based on a number of real events and people, with a number of the characters using their real names used throughout the book. 

These people fought so hard to get the message over to British authorities as to the actions Hitler was taking, even as early as 1933, and I can only imagine the abject despair and frustration they must have felt when eventually all the horrors
of his reign were revealed. 

The story is told from two perspectives, that of one if the women as an elderly lady living in Sydney and from that of the lover of her cousin while in exile in New York in the late 1930's. 

It has left me wanting to learn more about these brave people and also a bit embarrassed that I never knew more of those who tried to let the world know what was coming, to no avail. 

There is a quote within the book whereby one person says that they don't think anyone would believe some of Hitler's
actions pre-war, something that certainly rings true when the full extent of his actions was revealed post-war. 

It's not a light and happy tale, but certainly one that leaves you thinking. 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

A Cole's creation

Swimsuit number two.

This pattern is the 'Cole's Corner and Creations Patterns' One 4 All Stylish Swimsuit, and there are several different variation for this one piece swimsuit.  
The combinations that you can make are many and there's something to suit all tastes.

This was meant to be for Miss A - and despite measuring her and then also adding 1.5 inches to the middle band (the floral section over the pink band) to make them longer, they were still quite snug on her, so Miss L happily inherited them.

For the record I made the 10/12 and will now cut out the 14/16. My girls are very long in the torso and so this often affects the measurements.

This is the Retro view with the flat bodice and finished with a halter neck.
You can add ruffles to the bodice or you can add a skirt with or without a ruffle on the bottom.
The straps can be left loose as a halter neck or crossed at the back or left straight.

The binding has elastic through the middle of it so the fit around the back and the bodice is lovely.
As these were on a white background I again chose to layer a white lycra underneath, baste and treat the pieces like one.

Again all the lycra was from Rathdowne Fabric and Remnants, probably from their remnant bins, and quite possibly on special.
I should also say that a remnant from this store is not a small piece, they are all over 1 metre, which for bathing suits, particularly for children, is plenty.

Here are a couple of modelled pics of the first pair I made, as soon as I got the camera out for her sister she put them on and came out so I am taking that as a success!

The fit on these is great too - she says they are a little too big in the bottoms but I think they are just right.

One more pair to come and I am thinking I might combine the green dots with the bright pink for something fun.
What do you think??

PS - In putting the link to Rathdowne I noticed they have some new fabric in from Seafolly!  Now I am tempted to pop in and see what else they have in stock...

Friday, 12 September 2014

Calling Summer!

It's been a long cold winter here in Melbourne and as we are very close to the end of the school term I just can't wait for the warmer weather and the school holidays, HOORAY!!!

My children are part fish (or mermaid they would say!) and with school swimming lessons coming up in term four and school holiday intensives as well, there will be lots of swimming in our future.

As always, the bathers from last year either no longer fit or have faded/fallen apart due to repeated exposure to chlorine. So last night I realised I had better make a start, on six new sets of bathers.

I've used this pattern a number of times before - I think I first saw it on Beccasauras's blog and since then I know Lara has made a number of pair.

I measured the girls and actually CUT THE PATTERN (yes you read right Lara!) in the Large and made up these green ones but after a fitting this morning I decided the older two girls would be better going up a size, so I popped into Spotlight and grabbed another copy of the pattern to cut at the XL size.

In the past I only used this pattern for the bottoms but this time I made the top and the boy-leg shorts. The top has a little gathering in the bust and so I didn't think it would look great on a 3 or 4 year old, but it is perfect now and all the girls want one.

Because of the white dots being a little see-through I decided to line the shorts and I also lined the bust section of the top.

To do the shorts I just baste the pieces together on the edges and treated it all like one piece when constructing.

I got all the fabric from Rathdowne Fabrics and Remnants who really have the most amazing array of swimwear lycra and when they have a weekly special you can pick it up at 30 - 40% off. This piece was quite large and was labelled at $8 (so I probably paid about $5) and there is enough for one more pair.
Excellent value.

I used my overlocker for the seams and my machine on a long zig zag for the hems and elastic.
The other thing I used, and would highly recommend, is this little gadget.

It's called the 'Turn It All' and it is brilliant for turning out little thin straps and ties such as the neck ties for these bathers.

I got mine online from The Haby Goddess and can't recommend it highly enough - I use it all the time.

One pair down five to go... wish me luck!

Friday, 5 September 2014

A magnificent villain

Let me clarify that title - I am not saying I am a magnificent villain - but rather that Malificent, the wicked fairy from Sleeping Beauty is a particularly magnificent villain.
So when the school trivia night was on earlier this year with the theme of 'Heroes and Villains' I chose to go as a villain.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you'll know that this all took place a while ago - but I thought it might help someone who needs a costume idea.
I won't attempt to catch up on all my sewing over the last few months - just a few things here and there...

I thought it would be a pretty easy costume to make and there was not much too it.

I felt that the horns were the major part of the costume so I started with them.
I scrunched up some newspaper and then using packing tape, taped it into shape with the curves and pointed ends.
Next I fastened these to a headband using felt and lots of hot glue from the hot glue gun.

Lastly to get the gnarled finish to them I cut bias strips of fabric - the same as what I used for the cape and wrapped them around the horns and base.

They were quite tall and it was a little hard to look down when I had them on but they certainly had impact - and left no doubt as to who I was.

I also made up a cape using pattern Simplicity 8289 - which I have had for ages and is a good one to have in the stash, I suspect it is out of print now.

I made the cape up using black satin outer and deep purple lining.  To get the pointed collar I modified the shape of the collar and lined it with very firm interfacing.

 It didn't really stay up exactly the way I had hoped but it was pretty good.

I couldn't find a black bird so I asked Mr Google and found a pattern to make a crow (sorry can't find the link now), but I should have left the legs black or grey as my crow looked a little too cheerful!

Then just a simple long black dress that I had in my wardrobe, some pointed eyebrows and darkened cheekbones and we were good to go.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Filling the void


Yeah, it's been a while...

This year has taken us by storm. Lots of things new and, mostly exciting, things have happened.

It took me a while to get into the swing of being a stay-at-home parent with no kids at home during the day.

Someone turned six!
Once I got used to that I found my feet and a number of job opportunities each as diverse as the next have, serendipitously, come my way.

I've become part of some really wonderful communities; at school, groups that are an extension from school and of course my gorgeous crafty friends and am enjoying some amazing friendships and experiences  from such.

We did the snow in style, with snow cones!

We've had road trips and holidays and play dates, seen stage shows and exhibitions, celebrated birthdays, had dress up days, taken up new hobbies and interests and welcomed a new fluffy member to our family, and these three fabulous people continue to make my heart sing and amaze me every single day.

Our new family member at the beach for the first time
And then of course there's been sewing - quite a bit of sewing, none of which is never enough, and most of which I don't have photos of.

Bright eyed and enthusiastic about the world and learning like never before

But I have missed this little space.
A place to share and to record my experiences and to offer advice or opinions or just have a little rant as the case may be.

I plan to be back here more often in the future.
I hope you might be too.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Keeping it clean

Clean, neat and tidy for art at school of course - what did you think I meant??

The smallest needed an art smock for school so I let her loose in the stash and didn't even baulk when her love of all things green lead her to some of my Sandi Henderson stash.

Long enough to cover her dress so there should be no accidental spillages.
I used the ever-reliable Oliver+s smock pattern - from Leisl's book, Little Things to Sew, a brilliant book full of well considered projects that are beautifully executed.

I made the large - I have made the mistake before of making a smaller smock only to have to make another the following year.

Two size 16 snaps keep it secure.
Because it's still a little large I added two snaps at the back so it keeps it a little more secure on her shoulders, when she's bigger she can just do up one snap.

Painting the toadstools in the garden...
She is absolutely loving school - I've never seen her so happy and full of joy.
She bounces around the house singing at every opportunity - it makes my heart feel warm.

Oh, and the poses and props in these photos were entirely of her own doing!

I've also made a couple more back to school items - a new library bag for both her and her little friend.  Both were very happy to have their names on them, it's still a novelty.
We teamed it up with classic Roald Dahl for a nice little birthday gift that both the birthday girl and her lovely mum appreciated.

Excuse the late night dodgy iPhone pic!!