Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Blog love.

~ Source ~

In the past two weeks I have been chuffed to find out I have received two sweet awards from fellow bloggers. Reana Louise from Curves, Patterns and Pins gave me with an "I am All That" award, and Amy from Sewing Through the Motions gave me a "Stylish Blogger Award".

I am super excited that these sewers, who I find so inspiring, are reading my blog too!
So here goes for the first one...
The recipients of this award are asked to answer the following questions, link to whoever awarded them and then pass it on to five, no six people (who they think will actually be willing to answer these totally intrusive and possibly inappropriate questions). Feel free to snag the badge too, right?
1) What size shoe do you wear? If you wear a size 7, can I borrow your shoes?
2) 30's or 60's?
3) Have you ever kissed someone you shouldn't have?
4) Have you ever been poisoned? Was it by the girlfriend of the person you kissed?? That isawesomely "Knot's Landing".
5) Who's on your "Celebrity Free Pass" list (top 5)?
So here are my answers...
1) I am an Aussie size 7, but no you cannot borrow my shoes (sorry).

~ My wedding shoes ~

2) 30's definitely, because my pear shaped body does not suit many 60's style outfits.

3) Yes, but I was young and stupid!
4) I have recently been experiencing poisoning via gluten! The horrid stuff that it is...
5) Don't think I will share it today :-)


The Stylish Blogger Award asks for 7 things about yourself...

1) I spend my week working as a Community Rehabilitation and Support Worker within the context of mental health. It is a totally awesome job that I find rewarding, challenging, and ever-changing (all ticks in my book).

2) I love camping, but it has to be on the condition that I get to bring with me my sheets, floral pillows, and bed quilt!

3) Wool makes me itchy. As a child I detested wearing the knitted jumpers my English grandparents would send me (sorry Nan!).

4) Speaking of grandparents, I love mine to bits and totally like the fact that there is only a 44 year age gap between my Nan and me.

5) I secretly like fishing. I am even considering buying my own beach fishing gear to use as a hobby. Although, I do wonder what an earth I will do with a fish the day I catch my first one. Could be a potential fad...

6) I am moderately introverted. When I reach my limit of social contact I retreat to my sewing room and spend hours sewing. I like to be quiet and alone sometimes.

7) I give in to my cats demand for high quality food... on a daily basis. Sorry dear Jamie if you read this post, yes I did feed Prada 'Kitty Gourmet' this morning!

Ok, so here are my awards:

The "I am All That" award goes to

Sarah from Ohhh Lulu...
Portia from Miss P
Sarah from Looking In

And my "Stylish Blogger" awards go out to my old quilt blog pals!

Cheryl from My Creative Side
Hazel from Sew Crazy

Hope you all enjoy browsing this fantastic assortment of blogs.

Sam xox

Monday, April 25, 2011

Things that have caught my eye.

I have seen this done on a few other blogs,
and as a reader I really like it because,
I am able to discover blogs/websites,
that I haven't come across before.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Things that have caught my eye:

* Natasha from Samster Mommy made a DIY dress form using duct tape. I think this is a very neat idea, and a great option for any sewer on a budget!

* Claire posted her version of the Walk Away dress. I purchased this pattern last month and have been trying hard to figure out what fabric to use. I am very much liking Claire's choice of white.

* Caitlin blogged about a challenge all of us face when trying on clothes. Very funny and so true!

* I thought Shannon's Easter Bunnies were just the cutest thing, kinda makes me wish I had kiddies to make these for.

* Amy from Sewing Through the Motions discussed pattern inflation. Amy calculated that sewers have experiences a 2750% increase in pattern costs!

* Grosgrain is holding an entire month of free patterns on her blog - head over and check it out.

Sam xox

Friday, April 22, 2011

My new vintage sewing machine.

Two weeks ago I won this vintage Pinnock sewing machine on eBay, for a whole $1.04!!!

The seller said she wasn't a sewer, so could not guarantee that the machine sewed, although she did say that when plugged in the needle moved up and down - which is a start! I haven't yet plugged it in to give it a go, but fingers crossed it stitches. I have found a website that offers the manual for sale, so that will be next on my list to buy, as I have no idea how to thread this thing!

The machine is in great condition, and comes complete with its original cabinet. The cabinet lid folds down and the machine rises up from inside. Once up, the sewer is able to open the cabinet door (which has cute shelves and a bobbin holder), and sit in it to sew.

From online reading this machine dates to the 50's or 60's. If anyone knows anything about these machines feel free to give me advise. My best $1.04 buy on eBay ever!

Sam xox

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My vintage Simplicity 1430 blouse.

I have been feeling in a bit of a sewing slump recently. As fellow blogger Amy put it, I think I lost my sew-jo. I was beginning to get a bit worried, as I really wasn't feeling in the mood to sew much at all. On Sunday morning I sat cross legged in the middle of my sewing room and laid out all my patterns on the floor. I stared blankly at them, trying to select one that I could make in a day and that wouldn't be too much in cost for the fabric.

I really feel like sometimes I am my own barrier, like I build up some of my patterns in my mind to be harder than what they actually are. I know I do it, and am thinking of taking up Tilly's challenge and journaling my sewing productivity.

I think that might give me a little insight into my sewing routine. You see, Sunday morning I was sitting deflated on my sewing room floor, and by that evening I had one blouse completed and three other projects lined up ready to sew. I think I definitely need a happy medium between apathetic and obsessive :-)

As promised, here are the photos of the blouse I made. I used the Simplicity 1430 pattern I purchased from Etsy a number of months ago. Why did I wait so long to sew it? Well, I purchased this pattern early on in my 'discovering vintage' stage and did not understand what "unprinted pattern" actually meant. You can guess my surprise when I opened the envelope to find a bunch of shaped tissue papers with nothing on them but holes of various sizes. It was like sewing Morse code! I was scared half to death and placed the envelope at the beck of the shelf.

After a few months, and much vintage sewing blog reading, I finally understood how to use an unprinted pattern. On Sunday morning I went to Spotlight and bought this black fabric plus a cute floral print for Tasia's Crescent Skirt pattern (more about this later this week).

Sunday afternoon was spent sewing and watching the Formula One Grand Prix. This pattern was an absolute breeze to sew! Seriously, the pattern has very clear instructions and the finished garment has a very polished look to it. The pattern suggested fastening the sleeves with snaps, but instead I made use of self cover buttons for the fastenings.

I also made a few other small changes.
- I removed one of the waist darts so that it better fit my pear-shaped body.
- I didn't include bias tape around the neck as the fabric was so sheer.
- I used buttons on the wrist of the sleeve instead of snaps.

This blouse took me around 4-5 hours from cutting to finish. Like I said, it was a very straight forward pattern, and my size only used 1.2 meters of fabric, which made it a very cost effective sewing project.

~ I am so happy with how this turned out ~

~ Side view - you can see how the waist darts give a more 'fitted' look ~
~ Button up at the wrist ~

~ Bow ~

I have this Liberty of London fabric on my shelf, and I think I will use it to make View 1 from next...

Thanks also everyone who left me comments on my last post. It was really nice to hear your good wishes, and thanks heaps to everyone who pointed me in the direction of gluten free help! You're all gems :-) I will let you know how I go.

Sam xox

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Oh Etsy you bad thing.

My latest Etsy purchases (a 30% off sale was too good to refuse).

~ I think these blouses are just divine. I especially love the collarless blouses ~

~ I absolutely love the cross-over collar attachment for the jacket (view 3) ~

~ Not sure how this will translate on my figure, but I will try ~

~ A $2.50 skirt pattern - everyone needs one right? ~

~ And for something completely different... a very sweet pattern book ~

A big shout out to Yours Lovely, the Etsy store I purchased these from.

Have you found anything awesome on Etsy lately?

Sam xox

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The perfect evening.

The perfect way to spend an autumn evening...

Sam xox

Monday, April 11, 2011

A weekend in the country.

Jamie and I have just returned from a lovely weekend away in the country. As many of you know Jamie is an extremely keen cyclist and has recently committed to compete in all the regional road cycling races this winter.

The first race for the winter finally arrived, and very early Saturday morning we packed up our car and drove out to a country town called Bathurst, some three hours west of Sydney. Jamie spent two days racing. Day 1 was a criterium, a 20 lap race which Jamie came second in. Day 2 brought the 110km (68mile) 'Blayney to Bathurst' road race, which Jamie came 1st in! Yep, my man won his group!

~ That's Jamie at the top of the hill leading the criterium! ~

While Jamie raced on Day 2, I spent the time exploring the local countryside. It was beautiful...

~ Evening ~

~ Morning ~

~ Evening ~

~ Morning ~

~ I came across these pumpkins and couldn't help myself... I bought two! ~

~ I just love mailboxes ~

Going away for a cycling weekend did mean I lost two potential sewing days. But it was worth it!

Sam xox

Saturday, April 9, 2011

My own brooch board.

~ Tuppence Ha'penny Vintage brooch board ~

Inspired by the above brooch board (instructions are blogged about here), last night I tried my hand at making my own.

I had a vintage frame, quilting wadding, and some red felt, and within minutes I had my very own board. While my vintage brooch collection is still very small, I am excited to have such a nice display for my dressing table.

~ Small beginnings ~

~ Brooch purchased from LoveMissP ~

~ 80's rainbow brooch purchased from WildTeaParty ~

~ Vintage brooch - thrifted ~

Sam xox

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A thrifty refashion.

I am super excited about this blog post! Do you remember this pillow case I thrifted a few months ago?(If you look closely at the pile of clothes photo you'll see it poking out). I thought the pattern was simply beautiful, and for only 50c, I thought it a steal. I admit at the time I had no idea what I would actually do with the fabric, I mean, it was only a single pillow case right?

The lovely bundle has been sitting on a shelf in my sewing room for a while now, probably thinking it had been forgotten. Not a chance! Inspiration struck me today, and with a little courage I took to it with scissors and thread, and within an hour I had whipped up a cute autumn skirt.
The first thing I did was stitch the hem down. First reason being I hate hemming and figured why not get it over and done with first. The second reason was I wanted a straight hem line so I could line the fabric up with the selvedge of some neutral calico I wanted to line it with (I wanted to keep the selvedge on the calico and make it a feature, by letting it fall a few centimeters lower than the hem of the floral fabric

I then cut out two rectangles of neutral calico the same width as the floral fabric, with the hem of the floral panel sitting slightly higher than the calico selvedge. I then secured the two fabrics together using a large gathering stitch. I stitched the skirt together down one side.

I cut a long thin rectangle from both fabrics and sewed it together to form a thin waistband. I then sewed the waistband onto the skirt.

I then sewed in a side zipper and finished the side seam, and voila! My less-than-one-hour-50-cent-creation was complete!

~ That's calico popping out underneath ~

~ The calico lining ~

Drum roll please! As I was home alone and couldn't find my tripod, please prepare for a photo with a quality so bad it's really not worthy of being on a blog, but here goes anyway...

~ If you squint you can see the skirt on me ~

I am super impressed with how this skirt turned out. It was super quick and easy to make, and best of all, I don't think it looks like a pillow case anymore.

Sam xox

psst! Just wanted to wish my lovely Jamie a happy 12 year anniversary (of when we began 'dating'... not marriage. We didn't get married when we were 14) :-)