Friday, December 31, 2010

Pendrell blouse made.

I guess it is fitting that on my final day of my 'no-clothes pledge' I end it by making a blouse. Over the past 6 months I have been trying (hard) to not buy any clothes and instead sew any new clothes I want. The pledge was off to a good start until I got a full time job (yippy!), when I went back to working a 40 hour week. Less time for sewing - but also less time for shopping. So it balanced out.

This is my final piece of clothing for 2010.

The Pendrell Blouse.

Made from Tana Lawn fabric Claire Aude in red by Liberty of London.

An original design by Sewaholic.

The cute pattern. I chose View A for my first blouse.

Sewing machine I have had for 12 years.

I traced the pattern onto Swedish tracing paper.

Cutting out.

Pleated sleeve detail.



Blurry side.

More detail.

Very happy with my new blouse!

This blouse only took a couple of hours to make, and fits perfectly. Tasia designed this blouse for pear shaped women, taking into account the size difference between the bust and hips. This blouse is very easy to make as it has no buttons or zippers. I was a little skeptical about how it would fit without these fastenings but it really does slip on and off easily.

You can purchase the pattern for this blouse here. Tasia is holding a Sew-Along for this blouse on her blog beginning January 10, 2011.

Wrap up of the 6 months no-clothes project.

Wishing you all a very safe and happy new year!
Sam xox

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Vintage dress patterns.

While I spend today packing away our Christmas decorations and trying to find homes for the lovely Christmas gifts we received (seriously, our table is completely covered in pressies!) I thought I would grab 5 minutes and post about three patterns I bought recently on Etsy.

I have a bit of a 'thing' lately for dresses with jackets that match. It could be something to do with this awesome skirt/jacket combo Tilly made that I fell in love with!

Sam xox

Friday, December 24, 2010

1 more sleep.

Hoping this red man will be kind to me this year!

Sam xox

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Clever girls.

I think I have the cleverest girlfriends ever! Last night I was lucky enough to be the recipient of some beautiful handmade gifts.

Mill gave me these gorgeous cushions, both made from antique pink silk. One has mother of pearl button details. The other has a line of lace from her great-great-grandmothers stash!

The second gift was from Mel. Remember a while ago I posted about the blanket she was crocheting, and I was encouraging her to "keep going"? Well, she had been madly crocheting in secret this beauty...

Mel has spent the last few months making this blanket for me as a Christmas gift. She worked on this blanket during her commute to work. She worked on this blanket during a holiday down the coast. I am still getting my head around the hours she has spent making this blanket for me! It is so very beautiful and so very generous of her to give me this. It is also the first crochet item she has finished too which is extra special.

Thank you girls! I am in crafty-gift heaven!

Sam xox

Christmas party.

We held a Christmas dinner tonight at our apartment and invited 3 couples over to share the meal with us.
We drank wine.
We laughed.
We ate.

~ Gingerbread men baked and iced by Mill ~

I received amazing handmade gifts from Mel and Mill! Seriously cool. You'll have to wait until tomorrow to see them as I can take better photos of the presents in the daylight.

Sam xox

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Itsy bitsy teeny weeny.

Seeing as it is summer and all, I have decided to try my hand at making myself a bikini. And yes, it will be polka dot!

I stumbled across Sew Happy Clothes the other day, and have to admit I have spent hours reading Meg's blog. All the clothes she has made are beautiful, and I love how she sews/knits to the seasons (knitters would love her blog too). I fell in love with Meg's tropical bikini, and just had to go in search of the pattern she made.

I'm glad I saw Meg's swimmers first before seeing the pattern, as I know that if I had seen the pattern first, I would have been put off by the bikini photographs and fabric combinations. (On a side note, I have been trying hard lately when looking at patterns to see past the colour/print of the fabrics used for the display, however I am still not good at it. Maybe I don't have a very good imagination?).
I found the pattern on eBay for $8 and it is now on its way to me.

I then went in search of appropriate swimwear fabric. The website Meg uses is an American-based one called Spandex World and had a great selection of fabrics. However, the postage to Australia was going to be $50 (yikes) so I decided not to buy their fabrics. If you do live in the US though I would seriously check it out.

After much googling with search results for 'spandex' and 'lycra' coming up with lots of unhelpful images, I turned to eBay and voila, 1 yard of this polka dotted print is on its way to me.

I am going to make bikini 'C' with this fabric. I needed lining also, and again eBay delivered the goods...

This weeks Sewing Homework is to research more about swimwear fabrics with a "4 way" stretch and work out what type of needles to use, what stitches to use, etc.

Hmm... I like the idea of Sewing Homework! Maybe I will make this a weekly thing?

Lets hope I can make this polka dotted beauty before summer ends!

Sam xox

Christmas decorations.

My sister-in-law Ally's post about beginning her Christmas decoration collection has made me reflect on my own growing collection. I began my collection some years ago now, when I was living with my dear friend Mill in a share house on the outskirts of Sydney. During my first Christmas in that house, Mill opened my eyes to the possibility that you did not need a neat, coordinated, and huge tree to decorate your home during Christmas. Mill's tree was modest in size and so full of Christmas warmth as she took the time to explain to me the origin and meaning behind every Christmas decoration on it. Some were from overseas, some gifts from others, some were even handmade.

At this time I was "only a quilter". I was not doing any other craft. So the thought that "hey, I could actually make Christmas decorations" really appealed to me. Mill explained that she made a decoration each year to hang on her tree, and the result was a beautiful Christmas tree that made you stop and actually look. To look at each decoration individually, rather than at the tree as a matching, coordinated display (hello massive department store trees!).

The Christmas tree that stands in my home today is testament to my creative friend...

2007 - Handmade felt star.
Design by Mill.

2008 - Paper bell coloured in and glued together with a wool hanger
(hey I was on teaching prac, all the kids were doin' it!).

2009 - Knitted Bell.
Mill was living in the US and I missed
my Christmas craft buddy terribly.

2010 - Handmade felt heart.
Design by me.

Even Jamie's crafty skills are represented on our tree!

c.1992 - Handmade peg reindeer.
By Jamie age 7.

Another sweet tradition we began thanks to Mill was collecting one decoration each year from David Jones - the nicest (and most expensive) department store we have in Australia.

2009 - David Jones Red Bauble.

Drum roll please for our latest addition...

2010 - David Jones Nutcracker Man!

Only 6 sleeps to go!

Sam xox

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Summer time.

It has been very hot in Sydney this past week. The days are getting longer and the humidity is rising. I cleaned up my balcony this weekend so that I can possibly buy a little three piece outdoor setting to have outside. This summer I would love to spend the hot summer evenings sitting on my balcony, watching the sun set, and sharing a meal with Jamie.

In this fantasy I am sipping iced tea from these beautiful tumblers...

Sam xox