Monday, August 25, 2014

I have a girl to sew for!

Okay, so she may be on the furry, four-legged side of girliness. But that won't be stopping me.
 This is Skylar (in handmade reversible coat and linen cowl, ahem). We picked her up on Friday afternoon from GAP - the Greyhound Adoption Program of SA - through their Foster to Adopt program. We've never had a dog before and it could have been dicey introducing one to our cat and chickens, so this was a kind of try-before-you-buy option.
 But heck, she's going nowhere.
Except back on her lovely cushion with Andy's slippers that she stole from the bedroom.
Skylar is 16 months old and was bred to race, but was apparently never interested. She's not very interested in chasing our cat or chickens either, yay! In fact Elodie the cat had her bailed up in Charlie and Jasper's bedroom last night, and Skylar was trying to hide her head in a drawer and pretend she wasn't there while waiting for her people to come and rescue her.
 Greyhounds evidently make fabulous pets. I've been campaigning the family for one for some years. Finally it seemed like the right time. On top of all the other fabulous things about these dogs, they have very little body fat and therefore actually need doggy coats and such loveliness. What fun! I traced a basic pattern off the L-Plate 'greyhound pet in training' walking jacket that came along with her as part of the fostering process and I'm sure I'll tweak the pattern in future.
Welcome to our family, Skylar!

- Jane x

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Does my butt look tall in this?

Oh yes, you can bet I've had that post title in mind since before I even cut into this fabric. (Surely I am not the only person who composes blog posts in my head during the making process?)

I'm not normally an animal print person but giraffe print? I don't know, there was just something silly about it that I couldn't resist. I'm really hoping it says 'this is a fun skirt that is not taking itself at all seriously' rather than 'I'm trying to make some sort of animal print/sexy beast connection'. Plus, it's really lovely mid-weight cotton by Sevenberry of Japan, and it charmingly said 'Made by Japan' on the selvedge. Thank you, Japan!
This is, of course, another Grainline Moss skirt. I had put the fabric aside a while back with the idea of making shorts for one of my boys. However neither of the big boys seemed too keen and Clem, at the time, had plenty of shorts. And so it sat... until after I'd made my woodgrain Moss and had worn it so much I felt there was room in my wardrobe for one more.

A friend bought some of this fabric some months back and told me she'd made herself a skirt from it so there are two giraffe skirts 'in the wild' in Adelaide. Yay! I hope she doesn't mind me being a bit of a copycat.

Once again, love this pattern, hate the process of putting in the zip fly. Still. Managed it all fine this time except for the last part of attaching the facing/guard thingummy, which has the overlocked edge facing outwards instead of the neat-looking folded edge. I didn't realise this until I had the waistband on and it was all too late. It's totally hidden from the outside of the garment so only bothers me. But I later noticed that the diagram in the instructions has it shown around this (incorrect) way, although the written instructions say the right thing. I don't know if this has been corrected in the pattern since.

Nevertheless, I'm quite delighted with this and it is joining my other two Moss skirts on high rotation.

- Jane x

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Deer and Doe Datura

I will be posting this make in more detail on The Drapery's blog soon, but I'm so pleased with how this turned out that I can't resist posting it here first. I'm a bit in love with Deer and Doe patterns right now... you know when you find a pattern company whose designs really appeal and they seem to fit just right? Yep, it's a rare thing so I'm going with it. Don't be surprised if there's more Deer and Doe from me in future.

The Facts:
Pattern: Deer and Doe Datura Blouse, View A
Fabric: Anna Maria Horner cotton voile, a leftover in my stash (yoke lining is from an old white cotton baby bedsheet)
Notions: wee bit of light interfacing in the neckline bias, 4 buttons from my big tin-o'-buttons
Size: 42
Alterations: none for fit, but I added an extra button at the back (pattern only calls for the top 3)

Technically, the bust darts sit a bit too high on me. But I am delighted with the fit and would worry about messing with that if I tried moving them.

We had some beautiful winter sunshine today so grabbed the opportunity for these photos, but in reality it's way too cold here for this floaty sleeveless top right now! But before we know it the mercury will be at uncomfortable highs again so that is not a complaint. See you soon, Datura!

Oh and because I have a hard time posting only serious garment photos on my blog, here's the 'looking at her pigeon-toed feet' blogger/garment model pose, just for fun:
Hmm, don't think I'm getting it quite right there, because that has to be the most unflattering angle possible for my thighs, haha!

- Jane x

Saturday, July 19, 2014

this moment

{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. (joining with SouleMama)

- Jane x

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Mossy Wood... Woody Moss?

I wear my denim version of the Grainline Moss skirt all the time. Like, about three times a week in all weather. So, it made total sense to make another. And ever since I saw the sample of this Kokka woodgrain fabric that we ordered in for The Drapery, I had been imagining this.

 It's a mid-weight 100% cotton, very stable, and ideal for the Moss. It's a little bit silly, but not too kooky for fun everyday wear (in my opinion, anyway!). I was pushed along in my desire to make this when I saw this awesome best-Moss-ever.
 The fabric looked like just a straight woodgrain until we unfolded the sample and saw that along one edge, it has these crosscut sections lined up. We had a good giggle thinking about the placement possibilities of these circles in a dress. But for the sake of an actual wearable garment, I decided against a couple of big circles on my butt or whatever, and just popped a couple of slices in the pockets and around the waistband.
 Inside the pockets, I used some scraps of Nani Iro brushed cotton, which is so cosy to tuck my hands into!
Apologies for the unspectacular-other-clothes-and-hair styling but on a Sunday morning, this is, honestly, better than it usually gets.

As per my denim Moss, this is a straight size 14, made in the 'mini' version without the band around the bottom, but with a couple of inches extra length.

I had a helluva time putting in the zip fly on this one, and really should have gone straight to the online photo tutorial on the Grainline blog. But, having done it before, I thought I'd be fine and followed the written instructions. Sorta. Got my left mixed up with my right, misinterpreted a diagram... basically sewed the thing on three different kinds of wrong with unpicking in between. But I got there. I felt like I should make another five zip flies in a row to cement the technique in my head but that would be simply annoying. Until next time, zip fly.

- Jane x

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Monday at The Block

It's raining, it's pouring
it's getting somewhat boring
we mustn't complain
about the rain
even in school holidays and hey at least we got out on Monday and anyway the kids have been taking it in turns to succumb to some fever sore throat thing and lie on the couch lah dee dah something ending with 'oring'.

Yes. At least we got out on Monday to my parents' block!
 My dad recently had this huge fire pit thing fashioned by an engineer.

 Fungi aplenty in various shapes and colours.
 My favourites, the sundews.
 Echidna diggings - there was a heap along one of the paths, perhaps they like the soft ground after lots of rain. Look, nose holes!
 Clem making a strange face (this hardly looks like him) but he thought these hakea nuts looked like ducks.

 'Bug words' inside bark. (Clem said they are writing 'yum'.)

 Can you spot the red, red robin below?
 Clem and Grandpa found this old jar.
 Cleaned up a bit, it had cup and pint measurements on the sides. (Can't be too old since I assume that is metric cups, but it felt like treasure.)

We had sausages and potatoes and damper for lunch and spent a lot of time wandering about picking up fallen branches and putting them on the fire to help reduce the summer bushfire risk. Honestly I can look at the world with a vastly improved attitude after a day like this. And I'm trying to hang onto that feeling this grey, grey week! Is it grey where you are?

- Jane x

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Wintry days and a new 12 year old

It's been cold and indoorsy here lately. Clem is on a big tent-making thing and has been sleeping in this construction on his bedroom floor for about a week. Andy actually moved Clem's mattress down there for him so it's really very comfy. However, we currently have no chairs around our dining table a.k.a. my sewing table. Am perching on various stools. Dust/fluff level in Clem's room high and rising.

 For a short time this tent below meant we had to climb in order to get into our lounge area. The construction slowly incorporated just about everything Clem could lay his hands on in our back room and spread in a trail off to the right of this picture. (And pegs - argh - where do all my pegs go??)
 One morning Jasper found a silverfish crawling on the floor in the general vicinity of this masterpiece, which gave me the creeps. After the boys had left for school Andy and I packed it up and thoroughly cleared and cleaned the area. It took Clem an hour after school to remember the tent and ask where it had gone. I think you can't do these things by halves. Clean slate. I told him it was because of the silverfish and also so he had a nice clear space to do some more making. And he industriously set about making a new mess with cardboard, scissors and stickytape. He's in a big stickytape phase as well as tent phase it seems. I have to admit I am quite fond of the stickytape phase.

Clem has become much more confident about making things with his hands lately. He surprised me by wanting to stitch a felt creature by himself. In fact he did quite a decent job and did not get too frustrated.
 As our youngest child I suspect we (maybe just I) have been too willing to jump in and offer help, or respond to his requests. I have been trying to more consciously encourage him to give things a go, persist and think of his own solutions. Mind you - speaking of persistence - we haven't finished this little project yet, despite his pestering me about it. Must get back to that. Before the silverfish do, urgh.
 The ring around his neck is an old one I gave to Andy many years ago and Clem recently found down the back of his couch, after it had been lost for years. What treasure!

Jasper turned twelve. He's not taller than me yet but he's not far off. He had some friends over for pizzas and then out to the movies to see How To Train Your Dragon 2, which he'd been plotting and planning about ever since he found out - some months ago - it would be released close to his birthday. Here he is with Clem and a couple of his mates, very interested in some books... about Minecraft, haha. (Computer game where you build stuff out of redstone and lava and spawn zombies and cows, or something.)
 Clem gets very excitable in the company of a bunch of older boys.

 (I think the facial expression above is pretty funny.)

Meat seems to be the favourite pizza topping for boys. Pile on the meat.
 And then, more Eton Mess.
 Twelve candles on a meringue.
 And after all that excitement, a nice quiet day around home today.
The sun came out after some torrential overnight rain and a generally grey and cold week. The front yard is overflowing with weeds and we gently herded / terrified a few of the chooks up there to have a good scratch around. I think they were struggling to believe their luck once they got there.

School holidays have started which frankly around here mostly means even more juggling of responsibilities than usual. Deep breath. Onwards!

- Jane x
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