Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Anna Dress - an obsession

I love indie patterns - and I've recently discovered By Hand London and in turn the Anna dress, which is so simple yet truly flattering, it would seem, for just about any body shape.

So, I bought a pattern from Sew Squirrel (stockists in Australia) and have joined the sew-a-long that BHL are currently hosting via their blog.  I have spent a good part of today doing an FBA (full bust alteration) on the pattern, as there's quite a lot to fit into that beautiful kimono style bodice!  In my next Anna post I'll share details of what I did myself plus a couple of links to other FBA tutorials that I found helpful - I read in detail then ignored them and did my own thing basically!  Ha, ha - but the tutes certainly did help in all honesty.  They also made me realize how different we all are in build, and that no one way is the right way. 

If you look closely you can see marks I've made and pleats I've moved slightly ... now's the time to do that!
Consequently here comes lesson number one - it REALLY is ultra important to play around and experiment with your pattern alterations.  It will take more that one fitting, I can guarantee it, but the resulting perfect fit you will get from this is well, just perfect, and deliciously comfortable, because it will be made just for you.  So don't skimp on time in this area when making your toile (i.e. practise mock up of the pattern) - I'm planning to make 2 or 3 of these dresses, so time spent here will definitely be worth the effort.  Plus I'm finding that I actually enjoy making these patterns fit and using a (very small) smattering of maths to accomplish it before re-drawing on pattern paper - strange I know, don't tell everyone).

Lesson number two - do not cut into your original pattern!  Make one, if not two copies on tracing paper and cut those up instead.  I made the mistake on a different dress and found myself having to stick the original back together like a jigsaw, I was just thankful I'd saved all the pieces I'd cut out!  Not a relaxing way to sew that's for sure.

Here's one of the fabrics I want to use - thrilled to say it was found in an op shop, the correct length for the amazing price of $2 - result!!!

I promise to give continued updates on this lovely make - it's rude not to share such a delightful pattern.  In the meantime, follow the links above and see what all the fuss is about :)

Monday, September 23, 2013

I Ran Amuck!!

I had to leave the blog writing until today, I was so exhausted yesterday - but ecstatic - that I completed the Run Amuck 5km mud and obstacle course.  And I survived the pipes and mudbath!!  My only injury was when I tripped as I jumped off the trampoline and hit my shins - ouch! 

My highlights would be the huge bouncy castle, coming out of the dreaded pipes, the scary rope ladder A-frame, making it through the super squashy mudbath with my shoes still on my feet and watching Superman negotiate a mud slope whilst his friends Iron Man and Spiderman tried to haul him up the slope whilst sliding all over the place themselves!

L-R: Shirley, Me, Sonya, Tash - my lovely team, thanks for a great day!
It was a super day, for those of you who may be tempted to do the mud run in 2014 here's the link to follow and I'll see you there!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Best day ever ...

Looking even more spectacular lit in the evening ... for the second time :)
Yesterday was a special day for the Little Man of the house.  We didn't have a party this year, but a very special friend shared the day - plenty of Lego action as you can see from the photos - we couldn't actually cross the lounge floor at one point!  The lovely thing was that Big B sat down with the boys and helped build the 'six legged walker', what a dude!

It was pointed out by Little Man's dad that the cake had a few creases in the top that looked like a man jumping so I followed the lines to make a stick man from butter icing.  Then the kids had a decorating session this morning at our post-birthday brekkie and candle-lighting session - it's rather creative don't you think?

Chocolate cake featured heavily this year - after a wonderful meal cooked by Big B as requested by Little Man - we had gooey choccie pudding and the cake was made from the world's greatest chocolate cake, both recipes from my Birthday Buddy.  And totally yummy.  Cholesterol city ahoy!  Never mind I'll run it all off in the mud run tomorrow ....

I've promised a big party for next year, but to be honest I think this year's celebrations comes close to being perfect!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mendings and musings ...

Yes, I had to mend my Uggs too ...
Wow - another week over!  Most of it spent in the company of Little Man who's been home with a chest infection.  I'm going to have to think of a new blog id for him as he's not so little anymore :(  He has his birthday at the end of the week, the end of single figures in age!  And I look at my other two and wonder where the time has gone - Big B had his first lesson on his moped on Friday, another move towards independence!  So, two at uni and one still with 10 years to go in the school system, currently obsessed (OBSESSED) with Lego.  I wonder if it will ever go away, but I think we have a prospective AOFL on our hands (Adult Fan of Lego to mere mortals like you and I!) 

I think my job is having a good influence on me.  I spent the day mending - a pile of clothes that has sat on my bedroom floor for a good few months.  Now it's all neat and tidy and ready to wear for the summer.  My best item was the t-shirt I bought from Next last year.  It's very comfortable, but a little on the plain side, when I first put it on it reminded me of the scrubs shirts surgeons put on before going into theatre!  I removed the pocket as they never look good on someone with ample tops and put some shirring in to bring in the top under the bust.  It looks much more flattering!  And extra special with it's accompanying sparkly (pretty ...) scarf. 

I just love that sense of order and a job completed :) 

Monday, September 9, 2013

What makes you YOU?

Not sure if I've shared this but it's the most recent thing I've done

Do you know what your signature style is?  Me neither :)  Tilly of Tilly and the Buttons fame (if you haven't heard of her, where have you been living?  She was on the Great British Sewing Bee and is a very talented seamstress) has written a fab post about defining what makes you, you.  She created a mood board of her style 'wants' and 'likes' to help build her new look website, taking the inspiration from the fabulous projects she makes for her wardrobe. 

I think this concept could work for all sorts of areas in life, so today I've been contemplating what I like, how I like to present myself and what is important to me to do in my life.  The obvious thing that came up was that I like making - anything.  I love my craft, my dress-making, knitting, crochet, photography and blogging.  But I also love painting and drawing, and came to the realization that I actually haven't done any for quite some considerable time.  I don't think I've painted at all this year.  And I really, really miss it.  My first love is working with textiles, but the ideas always come as pictures into my head and it would be amazing to be able to transfer them to paper first.  So now I'm aware of this omission, hopefully I'll be able to do something about it!

Style-wise, in my dressing, I think this summer it's going to be about dresses!  I love them.  And the look I go for is decidedly boho (hippy to you dad :)), vintage, slightly whimsical and pretty!  I'd love to embrace my arty, slightly eccentric side, and by making my own clothes I should be able to do just that :)  A good excuse to make more dresses and more material for posts.  So stay tuned ...

Also time to go exploring Pinterest, you can find me here too - mood boards aplenty - a time vortex that you'll never get out of if you're not careful.  I love it!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

On decluttering and sewing machines ...

Pretty ...
Today has been a cleaning up and making room kind of day :)  We've started weeding in the backyard in preparation for summer.  We've only cleared a third of it, but already the yard feels bigger and just simply nicer to be in!

I actually cleared away the piles of clean clothes in the laundry ... happy, happy ...

My wardrobe is being decluttered, I'm being honest about what I wear frequently and what I'm keeping just because I like the colour or am hoping I'll get into again one day when I'm superslim - and those items will make it to the op shop in the week!

very, very old, but very much loved ...
And lastly, I re-discovered my old sewing machine when decluttering my wardrobe.  And my lovely husband spent his Sunday afternoon giving the old Viking some TLC - a good dusting and oiling.  Now the machine works like new and is soooooooo quiet compared to my new Singer 160, which sounds very clunky, but has fab stitch patterns and lights up when you switch her on.  So now I have two machines to choose from and my old faithful, which my mum and dad bought for me when I was about 19, doesn't have to go to the sewing machine graveyard.

Hurray for decluttering!

Monday, September 2, 2013

There's a CloneTrooper sleeping in my Campervan ...

Seriously, there is ... look ...

I have a few things in my mind to blog about, but today I wanted to post pics of something that made me smile.  And it is to do with creativity, it's no secret that Lego is massive in this house :)

There I was, enjoying a cup of tea as a break from the most boring job in the world apart from ironing - data entry for bookkeeping - when I spied my Campervan which is being used with permission as a holiday home for Star Wars clone troopers, complete with sleepyhead guest.  To say that Little Man is OBSESSED with Lego, particularly Star Wars Lego would be a gross understatement.  Not only is it impressive to witness self-designed, well-built creations but he also creates alternative worlds complete with storyline.  It just delighted me so much to see this evidence of a game well played when I wasn't looking for anything in particular.

And here's the Campervan in all it's splendour - it was a Christmas present for me a couple of years ago. I spent the entire day building and would not be disturbed by anyone!  I LOVE IT!! And by the looks of it, so does Little Man ... and the clone troopers ...