Saturday, August 27, 2011

Vintage pattern giveaway.

~ Simplicity 2154 ladies slip dress ~

I recently purchased a few vintage patterns on ebay (more on that later). One of the sellers was selling two of these vintage slip patterns in the one auction. The item description did not say whether the pattern had all the pieces, so I took the chance and bid hoping that with the two combined I would end up with a complete pattern.

Arriving home after work yesterday I found the package waiting for me on the door step. After tea I opened all the patterns to check all the pieces were there, and found that both the slip patterns were complete! I know that I have no need for two of the same pattern, so I am giving one away to a lucky reader!

The photo above shows an example of what the pattern looks like because I haven't yet found the cord to connect my scanner up yet. I have modified the pattern sizes to the correct size in the picture to prevent confusion (36B 39W). The pattern envelop is pretty tatty, or you could say well loved, but the instruction sheet and pattern pieces are in perfect condition.

I think this sized pattern is a good giveaway choice, because it could be easily scaled up or down depending on your size. Due to my 'pear shape' the bust is a little large for me, but it will fit my hips. This pattern would be perfect for underwear or even a summer dress.

Anyone anywhere can enter this giveaway simply by leaving a comment on this blog post.

The winner will be drawn at 8pm 4th September 2011 Sydney time.

Good luck!

Sam xox

Friday, August 26, 2011

One thing I miss about Sydney is...

my favourite beach...

I miss this beach so much.

I used to be able to walk it on the weekend, walk it with clients, stop by and sit for 5 minutes in between visits at work, collect glass from it.

I am yet to find a beach its equal.

Sam xox

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sweet nothings.

~ A very nice lingerie & unmentionables sewing pattern book ~

Hi friends,

Life has finally settled down and I am getting my sewing mojo back. It's amazing ins't it how when you're life becomes hectic and chaotic, things slip away? I let my sewing slip away for too long, and it has made me sad :-(

My machines spent one month packed in a box, another month trying to find their place in the great mess that was our spare room, and admittedly the last few weeks being mostly ignored. Last weekend we were reunited, and I think I have been forgiven.

On Friday I had the day off work and made a point of tidying up and putting away the last few bits and pieces in my sewing room. It is now organised and ready for sewing projects which will just mess it up again. I placed all my patterns on my shelves, and fabrics in their piles. It was a good reminder of all the projects that have been patiently waiting to be made for these past three months.

In the afternoon I went to the Newcastle Craft and Sewing Show. The tag line for this even was "it's sew you"... but it just wasn't! None of the stalls in the 8 aisles inspired me. To be honest about 15 seconds after entering I wanted to run, as it all really wasn't my taste. However, a little voice in my head grumbled "you've just paid $7 parking and $14 entry to be here. You ain't leavin' yet!".

Most of the stalls were focused on either scrap booking or pre-packed quilt kits. Not that there is anything wrong with these crafts, but there really wasn't any stalls that catered to the dressmaking sewer.

Thanks to the little voice though I didn't turn and run. Hiding up the back of the room sat a book stand that was selling more craft/sewing books than I have ever seen in one space, and they were really reasonably priced. I browsed a number of pattern/dressmaking books and decided upon this one...

"Sweet Nothings" by Valerie Van Arsdale Shrader. A book about sewing unmentionables, complete with patterns galore. It was the first time I have found a sewing book dedicated to sewing unmentionable items that include patterns too! I am planning on making some French knickers and have purchased some wide stretch lace from Etsy which will hopefully arrive next week. I guess it is a little too early for me to be giving a book review as I have not yet sewn anything from it, but I have read it through word-for-word...

So this can be considered a pre-book review. And as any good book review (pre or not) wouldn't be complete without some sneak peaks inside the book, here are a couple of shots of whats under the cover (wow cheesy pun, I know)...

~ Some templates need to be enlarged using a photocopier ~

~ Pattern instructions come with detailed illustrations ~

~ Pyjama's made some a vintage sheet ~

~ Double sided paper patterns are supplied too.
You simply trace them onto paper to use ~

You can check it out here on Amazon too.

Sam xox

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How great is bunting.

~ The Maitland Aroma Festival ~

Sam xox

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Maitland aroma festival part 1.

Today was the annual Maitland Aroma Festival, and since we are now Novocastrians (and Jamie is addicted to caffeine) we figured we should attend.

The weather was kind to us as we walked to High Street sampling coffee, wine, chocolates, jams, oils and spreads. We are actually really lucky where we live now, as we are so close to the most amazing wineries, cheese makers, and condiment makers in New South Wales. We were quite good and only purchased some little jars of jam.

There was a great turn out of people considering the weather threatened rain most of the day. Jamie and I had a most enjoyable afternoon together!

I have broken the blogging of festival into parts for two reasons. Firstly we are still running out laptop off iPhone internet which is very slow and painful. Secondly there would be too many photos for one blog post it would be a bit much really :-)

Here is your own little tour of my favourite parts of the Aroma Festival...

For medical reasons I can't have caffeine... but I can pose with a coffee though!

The most beautiful store selling handmade half aprons. The fabrics were mostly vintage, or vintage inspired, and the finishing of them looked very professional.

A Turkish food stall. It smelt amazing.

This guys crocheted beanie was super cute!

I never realised how old Maitland actually is.
That's right, an 1836 building by our standards is old.

This guy knew his coffee!

Newcastle is beginning to feel like home for us now. We are truly spoilt up here with the beautiful beaches, countryside and towns we have to discover. I am enjoying sharing these little places with you all, and I hope if you do live in, or ever come to, New South Wales you take some time to come and visit this area, as it is just beautiful.

Sam xox

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Nested bibs.

This week I was lucky enough to meet my friends newborn baby boy. He is super cute and super tiny! I decided to give a handmade baby gift, and settled on making the Nested bib pattern. I really like Nested patterns, I have used them a few times now for baby gifts and they work really well and have a nice finish. This bib pattern is free and can be downloaded as a PDF. The printable size is best suited to a new born baby, but you can enlarge it on a photocopier for a larger bib.

For these bibs I used some blue and white striped fabric that I thrifted from a men's shirt. I like business shirt fabric from the thrift store as it is so much softer that shirt fabric purchased new. I am even making an entire quilt from vintage men's shirts. Click here to check it out.

I decided to sew the front and back fabric wrong sides together. I trimmed the edge to within 1/8" of the stitching line, then sewed some bias tape around the sides (the corners were a touch tricky). I decided to use buttons as a fastening rather than snaps as I think they give a nice touch.

I backed the bib with some plain muslin.

* * * * * * *

Life has finally settled down for us. After six weeks of living in two different cities, and only seeing each other on weekends, I have now finally moved into our new place in Newcastle and begin my new job tomorrow. I interviewed for two positions a couple of weeks ago. One with the organisation I am currently working in, another with a similar community services organisation. My organisations position was the same as what I work now, as a support worker working with people living with mental illness. The other organisation role was as an early intervention worker working with people who are, or are at risk of, homelessness. I was totally shocked when I was offered both jobs and felt really chuffed. It gave me a confidence boost knowing that I am doing well in this field, as it was only this time last year that I jumped into community services work from previously working as a primary school teacher! Although the early intervention role was a tempting one, I decided to stay with my organisation and accept the role within their Hunter Region. I am excited to start tomorrow and meet the new staff and consumers I will be working with.

This weekend has been lovely. We are in the middle of winter here in Australia, but you wouldn't guess it, as it's been so warm lately. Yesterday Jamie and I packed a picnic lunch and headed north to a beautiful secluded beach. We ate lunch on our towels in the sand, and I even managed to have a quick swim (the water was a little cool though!). I think I am going to get use to this beach lifestyle.

Now my sewing machine is (finally) unpacked, I will get back into my regular blogging.

Glad to be back!

Sam xox