Sunday, January 14, 2018

52 Week Sewing Challenge - Sew something from the last fabric you purchased

I made it to week two of my sewing challenge! Two down 50 to go, I can do this right? The challenge for week two (January 8-14) is to sew something from the most recent fabric you purchased.

For me this fabric was so lovely, but super bright seeksucker I bought from the Spotlight sale table for $4 per metre. I didn't have anything in mind when I bought it, which was during my Christmas/New Years break, but I was inspired to buy it as we have had a really HOT summer (well by Wellington standards at least) so I thought a fruity summer frock would be kind of fabulous.

Like my last challenge, I decided I'd use my sewing book collection to try and find a pattern. This time I chose the "Plaid Rockabilly Dress" from Gertie's Ultimate Dress Book. So confession time, I have all three (at least I think she only has three) sewing books published by Gertie - but this is the first time I've made anything!
This book is pretty great because all the pattern pieces are completely interchangeable, so you can use the pattern pieces as suggested in the book or you can make up your own design.

Also I've recently worked out why I don't sew much from my sewing books, it's because I still haven't found a decent tracing technique/paper. I recently got a hot tip about using frost cloth (which is used in gardening and is cheap) so I'm going to see if that works out better than a tracing wheel and art paper.
This is a finished dress, with bonus "Mia Bomb" I made the bodice based on what was in the book, and added some cute trip I got in a craft swap. It is a wee bit too big, but overall I'm pretty happy with it but will probably size down next time I make one of Gertie's patterns.

I did have every intention of making the pleated skirt, but I had so much fabric left, I opted for a gathered maxi length skirt instead. I'm not honestly usually one for maxi dresses, as for some reason I feel like they are a hot weather thing, but it's been so hot lately it seemed like the right decision.
Obligatory selfie - but also you can see the puffy sleeves a bit better and the orange trim as well - yah!

Overall I'm pretty happy with this make and will probably keep making it as long as the sun keeps shining here in Wellington, hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

TaiyaKiwi and and Aztec Print Laurel Dress

Last weekend Rich and I visited "TaiyaKiwi" I've been wanting to go here forever! It's a Japanese Taiyaki and Matcha Bar, I first saw their sign up before Christmas and really wanted to go, but it's one of those things we didn't "get around" to until now.
I should have really taken more photos inside as it's tiny, but cute! There's a small Japanese style bench, which is where Rich and I sat to have our matcha and taiyaki.
Like the sign says, TaiyaKiwi only does matcha and taiyaki, but they have a few variations of each. We both got iced matcha because it was a really hot day when we went and it was delicious - not at all sickly.
There were three options for the Taiyaki - traditional Japanese (bean paste), Kiwi style (filled with Whitaker's dark chocolate) and a "special" - when we went the special was chicken and cheese.
 I went for the Kiwi style taiyaki and can confirm, it was delicious and Rich went with the chicken and cheese, which he said was like a toasted sandwich.

This post isn't just about treats though, it's also about sewing! I'm trying to share a few things I made last year but never blogged about.
This isn't actually the best photo, but oh well, you all get the idea! The Aztec print fabric is from the Spotlight sale table and the pattern is the Colette Laurel Dress  which I've made many times before!
My favourite thing about this version, however, is the sleeves! You can't see them so well in the earlier photo so here's a bad close up photo of them - I think they are kind of fun (and the first time I wore this to work I found out they were also "on trend" who knew?).

Hope you all have a fun weekend, I started back at work this week so I've just finished my first working week on 2018 and I am exhausted! It will begin to get easier again at some point right?

Monday, January 08, 2018

Christmas Stocking 2018 - Part One

If you've been following my blog for a while, you may remember last year I went a little crazy and made a LOT of Christmas Stockings. This year I only made two, one for Ria and one for another yet to be named recipient (as she's not yet received her stocking and I don't want to spoil the surprise).
Like last years stockings this one is fully lined, I chose some more of this Santa kangaroo print as Ria as originally from Adelaide and also because it's so cute, the kangaroo fabric is from fabric-a-brac.

The stocking is lined with some heart shaped batik fabric, which I'd like to say I bought when we were on holiday in Indonesia a few years ago - but when we were in Indonesia I didn't find any batik I actually liked! This fabric is from a Facebook destash fabric group.

I filled the stocking with treats that I bought for Ria during our trip to South Korea and Japan in November - I really should do some posts about that trip right?
I really wanted to give Ria her Christmas Stocking before Christmas, but I was feeling pretty sick the week before Christmas (endometriosis again!) so we weren't able to meet up for our present hand over until last week.
On the upside, when we did finally meet up for our delayed Christmas date it was really sunny and we got to have freakshakes at Crocodile - so it's not all bad right?
I've been sewing for a while now, but I still get nervous about giving handmade gifts, especially when the person I am giving them too is a costumier! However, Ria was so happy with all her treasures including her Christmas stocking.
As you can see, we both ended up with the same freakshake - it included a whole ice cream and I pretty much didn't need dinner afterwards!
I also got my presents from Ria and I was so stoked with them! I got some cat print spandex (yah!), a kuromi (my favourite Sanrio character), a cat note book and a cute purse that's styled like a pattern envelope.
It was such a fun, but later Christmas get together - also, I think this selfie is the cutest!

Friday, January 05, 2018

52 Week Sewing Challenge - week one - sew something warm/soft

I've been thinking a bit about what I want to do this year, one thing I really want to do is sew more and specifically sew more from my collection of sewing books. That bookcase is pretty much all sewing books and I've only really sewn from a few of them, I love books in general and craft/sewing books are my favourite. However, when I want to sew something I generally reach for my patterns (paper or PDF) and don't consider all the gems in these books. So 2018 is the year of sewing from my sewing books!
I felt like my general idea of sewing from all my sewing/craft books was good, but it kind of lacked any structure which basically meant I wouldn't end up doing it - because I'm just the kind of person that needs some kind of structure!

While searching through a few sewing blogs for something to give me some kind of structure, and I came across the 52 Week Sewing Challenge and decided it was what I wanted to do this year in terms of an ongoing creative challenge.

As the name suggests, the 52 Week Sewing Challenge gives a sewing challenge for each week of the year. I really liked this particular challenge as the challenges are fairly diverse, and there's some easier challenges and more difficult one. I think basically that even a beginner sewer (with maybe six months experience) could even do this challenge.

As this challenge is based in the Northern Hemisphere, the challenge for the first weeks challenge is sew something warm/soft. It's currently summer in New Zealand so making a snuggly cardigan or something similar is out of the question.

So I did make something that kind of fits the warm/soft theme, but maybe not entirely, I decided to make an oven glove! The project is from Learn to Sew with Lauren by Lauren Guthrie and to be honest, I didn't really pay that much attention to the instructions! I used the pattern pieces and kind of just winged it.

I used this Japanese style fabric from my stash, I've had it for a while, but I never had enough to sew a garment so it's just been sitting there waiting for the right project.
I had most of what I needed for the project, but I did need to buy some batting, which I got for around 10 a metre at Spotlight. The instructions for this project called for drawing the quilting lines on with a pen before sewing, but I just free-handed it and while it's not perfect, it's pretty ok for my first attempt at this type of quilting.
The worst part of the project was, by far, adding all of that bias binding around the outside! The sewing of this is a little wonky, I think I'm going to try sewing it on a different way next time around (hopefully that will make it easier).
One of the nice things about doing the 52 Week Challenge is that it comes with this planner for all of your projects, which is super helpful as it's easy to look forward to upcoming challenges and think about what you're going to do. For me, it's also helpful to know which weeks I can have a "quick win" and which weeks will require more planning.

Well that's it for now folks, hopefully be back with some more sewing or other stuff soon x

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

A return to blogging for 2018 - Orange Moneta Dress

Hello anyone who may still be reading my blog! I don't want to lament too much about the lack of blogging in 2017, but instead look towards 2018 and my New Years Resolution of getting back to both sewing and blogging (about sewing and life in general).

So here's my first make of 2017 and the blog post to go with it, another Colette Moneta dress.
I've made a number of versions of this dress already so it's a tried and true pattern (no risk of messing it up and losing confidence) and also it's easy to make a short sleeved version as it's approximately a million degrees right now.
I bought a tonne of this fabric when Spotlight in Porirua was closing down, because I love orange and I love stretchy fabric and I love retro prints and I also love fabric for $3 per metre!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Years, I do have a lot to post about, including our trip to Korea and Japan in November and my plans/resolutions for the upcoming year! But I will leave it for another day when the heat hasn't sapped all my energy x

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

So hi, I guess?

So it's been a long while since I blogged anything, I do admit I've missed it and I do really want to get back into it to keep running record of all my sewing and craft projects if nothing else.

The first eight months of this year have kind of gone in a BLUR to be honest and I hope to be able to take some time to post about some of the projects I've made (both garments and other things) as well as go back to blogging more regularly - who know if it will happen but I will try.

As for what I've been getting up to since I last blogged in MAY (YIKES) here's a really brief snapshot.

I've spent a lot of time hanging out with this ridiculous chubby cat - do you think she's high on catnip in this picture? She's not, she's just REALLY loving the heater in this cold winter weather.
I've been reading a lot and Ria introduced me to the world of True Crime podcasts so now I'm obsessed with serial killers (not weird at all) - this is my recent haul from a recent book fair.
I had a midwinter Christmas celebration for my birthday and it was a fun time as I hardly took any photos (that's a sign of a good party right?).
Rich took me to the Wellington Chocolate Factory for a factory tour as a birthday surprise, it was really interesting to learn how they make chocolate from bean to bar and it was also incredible how different the chocolate tastes depending on where the beans were sourced.
We went to a Regency Ball that Ria organised, I made my dress and altered some op shop finds for Rich's costume (it was a lot easier to pull together a men's regency costume that I thought!).
Ria and I also went to Armageddon in Princess themed outfits, mine is made from vintage Snow White Fabric and Ria's is Belle inspired.
I have been continuing with craft projects and craft swaps, like this wee fox in a tea cup cross stitch.

So that's a REALLY brief update of what I've been doing - hopefully I will be spending more time blogging about stuff I'm making and doing. In the meantime, how have you guys been? 

Friday, May 05, 2017

Fundraiser Tea Ceremony

A few weeks ago I read about a fundraiser at the innermost gardens, the fundraiser was to repair a castle damaged by earthquakes in Japan. 
The fundraiser included a traditional tea ceremony and lots of Japanese goodies so I had to come along and Ria was happy to come along with me!
When we first arrived a tea ceremony was already underway, so decided to check out the stalls which we selling a lot of cute treats.
Sorry the picture is slightly blurry! I thought these rice balls were so cute, once you bought one you could draw a face on the glad wrap that they were wrapped in with a felt tip pen.
Ria bought one of these bears and drew a face on him, I looked up this character and he's call "Kumamon" and is "Japan's most popular bear".
There was a bit of a wait before we could join the next tea ceremony, but it was ok to wait as there was cute stuff to look at including these cute cranes.
As part of the ceremony we got to have the most delicious matcha ever and these crunchy sweet biscuit things (no idea what they really are!).
The team ceremony itself was pretty amazing to watch, there was so much ritual involved. I just wish I knew more about what each movement and action actually meant.

Before leaving we decided to explore the innermost gardens where the event was held which is a community garden, it's a little over grown, but that's part of it's charm.
Before we left we asked a couple of the ladies if they would mind having a photo with us in their beautiful kimono.
It turned out all the people in traditional Japanese clothing were just as excited as we were about photos, so for the second photo a bunch more people joined in!
I just thought I'd finish up this post with a Selfie, because that's who I am! Ria made her adorable dress and mine is from Lindy Bop. I'm also wearing a bunny because this was the weekend before Easter!

I hope you have a lovely weekend, I think its going to be a chilly one here in Wellington x