Thursday, May 26, 2011

Edible Melbourne.

Melbourne is a revelation for the taste buds! Today's post is completely dedicated to (some) of the food we sampled during our three day stay.

Some of the places we tried and I recommend if you are visiting Melbourne:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Melbourne in May.

So... life has thrown Jamie and I a couple of curve balls this week!

As a result I will have to postpone my One Pattern Seven Bloggers self-fabric belt tutorial post until Saturday. In the meantime I wanted to share with you some photos of my recent trip to Melbourne. Michelle and I were very lucky with the weather, as it only rained on the last day of our trip. We had a wonderful time, and it was a much needed break for me. We walked a lot and ate much too much yummy food (more photos of this to come!). Time went far too quickly, and I already have a list as long as my arm of the things I want to do if I was to visit Melbourne again.

Melbourne truly is a beautiful city.

Don't forget to check out the other girls posts this week!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Scalloped jacket and skirt progress.

I realised the other day that I haven't given much of an update on the progress of this pattern being sewn together...

I was planning on having this outfit sewn up ready to wear during my trip to Melbourne this weekend. Unfortunately, I procrastinated too long on the lining and it will just not be ready in time.

A month ago I made a muslin of both the jacket and skirt. The skirt fit perfectly, even though the pattern size was smaller than my measurements (does this ever happen to you when using vintage patterns?). The jacket muslin worked well, but I still need to perfect the scalloped edges (does anyone know of any good websites that give tutorials on sewing scallops neatly? Mine are just not sitting right).

This is the gabardine fabric I purchased to make View 1:

It is so luxuriously soft that I am sure it will break my heart a little to cut into it!

I have been waiting patiently for the perfect lining fabric to find me. As you know I love Liberty of London's Tana Lawn, and really preferred this for the lining. But after almost two months spent searching ebay I couldn't find the perfect fabric. That is, until I found this pink Betsy...

I was instantly in love, and just had to bide my time for the right amount to be listed on ebay for a reasonable price. I watched 4 auctions end before I finally won this fabric. My heart was set on it but I just wasn't prepared to pay too much for it, because it was lining after all.

Pink Betsy arrived in the post yesterday and it is perfect. I am hoping that there will be enough left over after lining the jacket to make a simple top to make the suit complete.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Sam xox

Thursday, May 19, 2011

One pattern seven bloggers #3

I am only 1 hour and 24 minutes (on Honolulu time) behind posting my next Wednesday update on the sew along. I apologize for not having photos of my muslin. It is dark here and the photos I did take of it were terrible!

So my muslin turned out pretty well. I have only sewn up the bodice pieces, as I am still undecided on how I will make up the skirt. If I will gather or pleat? I decided on moving the zipper from the side to the back, as that is where I prefer my dress zippers to be. I will need to buy an invisible zip during the coming week.

As I am a 32" bust I cut out the smallest size, but left the neckline on the largest size. I then cut out one muslin with the largest size neckline, then cut another muslin with the smaller size neckline. I am undecided as to which I prefer, but both did turn out ok.

The darts were ok, but I am not 100% happy with the shoulders. I am considering sewing a small cap sleeve of some sort, what do you all think?

I am planning on making a self fabric belt for the dress, and possibly the neck piping that Casey posted about, and a few of my fellow sewers have mentioned (perfect timing from Casey I'd say!).

Speaking of my fellow sewing ladies, remember to visit their blogs and see what they're up to:

And just because I lacked any photos of interest in this post, here is a shot of some beautiful roses Michelle gave me last week.... 'just because'. She is a sweet friend!

I will be a whirlwind of packing over the next 24 hours, as come Saturday 7am Michelle and I are flying to Melbourne for a 3 day mini-break filled of lots of girly activities; shopping, dinning, and a few cocktails!


Sam xox

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Walk Away dress - Butterick 6015.

As promised here are some photos I took this weekend of my Walk Away dress!

I whipped this dress up in a couple of hours last weekend, but had to wait for a sunny day to take some photos. This dress was very easy to make. I have the reproduction pattern so it has the various sizes on the pattern pieces, which was useful for me, as I have a pear-shaped body. I was able to cut the bust to one size, and then the waist and hips in a larger size.

There has been a lot of hating towards this pattern, the general consensus online seems to be that it has no shape and looks like a large apron/hospital gown. I totally disagree. I think (for my shape at least) that it turned out to be super cute and is a perfect dress for our warm Australian summers. I do think though that the success of the dress relies on good fabric pattern choice, and the correct contrast bias binding - otherwise I do see how it could end up looking like the wearer was disappearing beneath 4 meters of fabric!

I wore this dress out today, visiting a cafe and doing a bit of shopping, and three people complimented me on the dress! That never happens when I wear the clothes I make - so for me this dress was a success :-)

I teamed the dress with Casey's latest romantic Edwardian updo. This was my first attempt at the hairstyle and I think its a cute look.

Positives for this pattern:
* The pattern fitted my body perfectly and required no altering.
* The bias binding was very easy to do and finished off the sides nicely.
* Sewing in snaps and button fastenings was a nice change from the usual zipper insertion.

Negatives for this pattern:
* It requires 4 meters of fabric, so this is probably a pattern I will only make again if I find some fabric on sale.

Have any of you ever made this pattern? Would love a link to see your version :-)

Sam xox

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Things that have caught my eye #2.

~ Image from here ~

Things that have caught my eye #2:

* I nearly died when I saw Calico and Ivy's latest blog post - the are now selling Liberty of London bias binding! This is a must have for any Liberty fan who needs that special something to finish off a piece of sewing.

* Rachel, from My Messings, made some embroidered map cushions for her mum for her birthday. If you are wanting to make a gift for a loved one that has a deeper meaning, this is a very cool idea!

* I am loving this breakfast recipe.

* Tilly wrote up her results from her Sewing Productivity Project.

* I think this baby quilt is just beautiful.

* I had no idea you could make rhubarb wine?

Thanks for all you nice comments yesterday about me making the skirt and dress in a day. I am a bit obsessive when I begin sewing something, and can't really stop until I get it finished :-) Will post photos on the weekend!

Sam xox

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

One pattern seven bloggers #2

In this weeks post I will be introducing my fabric choice to you all. Drum roll please...

I found this 'autumny' cotton during a fabric shopping trip last weekend when Jamie and I spent a night in Canberra. The shop was called Addicted to Fabric, and supplied the typical amount of quilting and dressmaking fabric to local sewers. Most of the fabric I had seen in the chain stores in the city, but their book collection was pretty good. I was able to flip through a number of sewing books I had not seen before (although they were full price so I didn't buy any).

Like I said, most of the fabric was the standard fabrics available in most fabric stores in Australia. It does make me wonder if Australia just doesn't import enough variety into the country, if the demand just isn't there, or if the importers themselves don't have much of a variety of taste?

Anyhow, I was lucky to find a fabric that was a bit different to the rest, 100% cotton, and on sale!

Don't forget to check in with the other girls and see how they are doing,

Sam xox

Oh, and remember the fabric I purchased for the dress and skirt pattern on Saturday... I have already sewn up both patterns! Can't wait to show you all - the dress is fab!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lemon tart.

I made this lemon tart recipe over the Easter weekend when we had my family visit. It is dead simple to make but looks impressive when removed from the tin and served.

- 185g biscuits, processed to fine crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 90g butter, melted
pure icing sugar, to serve

Lemon Curd
- 3 lemons
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 125g butter, chopped

1) Lightly grease a 2cm deep, 24cm (case) loose-based round flan pan. Combine biscuit crumbs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter in a bowl. Press into base and sides of prepared pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
2) Make lemon curd: Finely grate rind of 1 lemon. Juice all lemons. Whisk eggs and sugar together in heatproof bowl until well combined. Add lemon rind and 2/3 cup lemon juice, whisking constantly until well combined. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bare to touch water). Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 20 to 25 minutes or until thick and custard-like. Do not allow to boil. Remove from heat and whisk in butter.
3) Pour lemon curd into chilled tart case. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

~ Trying my best Julia Child impression ~

Sam xox

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Projects in the works.

Yesterday morning I had brunch at my house and invited Michelle and Mill over to eat it. I made a recipe from my new gluten free cookbook (given to me by my father-in-law, who has totally embraced my new dietary requirements by the way! He is finding all sorts of awesome gluten-free products for me!). I made baked eggs on a bed of leeks, spinach leaves and ham, accompanied with grilled tomato and mushrooms. It tasted so good that it was gobbled up too fast to get a photo.

After breakfast we sat on the couch and soaked up the autumn sunshine that was filtering through the windows, and talked craft of course. We helped Mill brainstorm a knitted wedding gift for a close friend of hers. She decided on a knitting project from a magazine I had. We then planned our next craft day and the three of us agreed to do a skills trade (an idea we have seen a few times on the net) at the next craft day.

The girls left, and I was so pumped from all the crafty talk, I headed down to my reliable Remnants Warehouse and picked myself up some fabric. Silly me never realised that all the rolls of fabric in the bins out the front of the shop were actually priced for the entire length on the roll, and not per meter.

Here is what I got:

The classic Walk Away dress pattern in my size requires around 4 meters of fabric, which is quite a lot when most of the nicer fabrics in Sydney will cost you between $10-$20 per meter. I managed to find this burnt pink and black spotted cotton for under $5 per meter. I teamed it with some sweet little rounded black buttons. I didn't have the pattern with me so will need to buy the bias binding later in the week. I desperately want to sew this dress up in time for my mini break to Melbourne later this month.

I wear jeans all week at work during winter, so I am desperate to have a bunch of skirts I can team with tights to wear on the weekends. This fabric has a very classic print (the tag called it the "David Jones" print - any Australian will know what I am talking about). I will line the skirt with the black fabric. This pattern looks promising as it is only two pattern pieces, and my size requires only 1 meter of fabric, which makes these skirts cheap to make.

This fabric is not appropriate for winter, but I thought it could go in my stash for maybe a summer skirt or dress? It has a silky feel to it and a nice shine. I picked up 2 meters of it.

I thought this fabric was just so beautiful. I have been thinking of making a white dress for a while, but had neither the perfect pattern or fabric. Now I have the fabric. It is a lovely weight and has a beautiful lined detail.

I'm going to be a busy girl!

Sam xox

P.S Also wanted to say "Happy Mothers Day" to my fabulous Mum. Love you heaps!