Sunday, June 29, 2014

weekendish stuff

Nothing earth-shattering here, just a few pictures from lately.

Elodie declares that it was so nice of Clem and me to create a little framework for her bottom to sit down in.

Jasper seems to have the Etch-A-Sketch thing figured out.

Inspired by the astonishingly good beers we tasted (in goodly quantities) in New Zealand, we have dug out the homebrew kit and made a batch, bottled last weekend. Ready to taste next weekend!

Charlie and Jasper weren't sure if we were taking advantage of them by asking for their help with a brew they can't drink, but the lure of the bottle capper gadget won them over.

And another New Zealand-inspired taste sensation: Eton Mess, which Jasper discovered over there at a restaurant and has been wanting to try making ever since. He did today, using the recipe in the River Cottage cookbook and oh, it was so good. He wants to make it for his friends who are coming over to celebrate his birthday next weekend.

And we have just wound up the weekend by watching The Secret Life of Walter Mitty with these big boys - the second time they've seen it - and it really is such a great movie. Highly recommended if you haven't seen it yet, and really nothing unsuitable or even mildly embarrassing for the 11 and 13y.o. viewers!

- Jane x

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Garments are the main reason I sew. They can be both creative and practical. So satisfying. But sometimes a completely impractical project comes along that makes me all
and so on.

This Sunday morning just past found me pottering around at the sewing machine, when Clem approached.
"Mama, I want to make something with you."
"Mmmhmm... what?"
"A toy."
"Okay, well you go and design something and we'll see." (Put ball in his court and be non-committal.)
And then he came back with this.

"It's a mummy kangaroo, and those are the two babies sliding down her back, and that's her patch (pouch)."
And if, as his indulgent mother, I may say aaagh! CUTE! you will understand I was rendered helpless, and it looked like I was helping make a toy.


I cut and sewed and Clem stuffed. We agreed that the pouch and babies might be a little difficult for now. And, voila. Corduroy-and-felt kangaroo.

(I'm afraid Clem's panda hoodie is a bit small on him now, but he still loves it. 
Might have to make a new one.)

He might stay there if I tie these leaves really tightly around his neck....

Kangaroo had a nice day outside.

- Jane x

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A pair of Plantains

I have joined the Deer and Doe Plantain party, a little later than many but very pleased!

First, this one in Australian-made 100% organic cotton jersey - a plain basic that I think I will wear rather a lot. When we were in New Zealand I survived on a very minimalist wardrobe, which was quite satisfying. I felt quite liberated and had a substantial wardrobe clearout when we got home. But I did realise I could use a few new long-sleeve tops for winter, to replace some old faves that had seen better days.

The Plantain is just what I needed, and seems to really suit my 'pear shape' with fitted sleeves and upper body, and ease over the hips so it won't do that annoying creepy thing where it all ends up bunched around my waist.

As the pattern suggested, I graded out from my size 42 bust to size 44 hips, although a straight 42 probably would have been fine. It was quite long on me so I made a deep hem.

On a high from the success of this one, I nabbed a bit of Birch 'Elk Grove' organic interlock from the shop, washed it and dried it by the fire overnight so I could launch straight into another one. And here it is!
I could perhaps have thought a bit more about the print placement on the neck band but, eh, who really cares? I'll wear a bit of strange chopped up deer (elk) body, no worries.

Here's me 'directing' Jasper as photographer:
(This was after a series of shots where he neglected to notice - okay so he's an 11 year old boy - that I had Visible Bra Strap.) Ah, the joys of blog photography... awkward at the best of times.

Aside from my denim Moss skirt that you see here, the other staple I wore to bits on our holiday was a a very plain A-line denim version of Stylish Dress Book Dress A, that you can vaguely see here:
(This is my Cate Blanchett as Galadriel in Lord of the Rings impersonation, in case that is not entirely obvious. She stood by this exact tree.)

Anyway this photo is pretty representative of my holiday 'uniform'. I love the layer-able shift dress, all year around. And being half-owner of a fabric store and all, and if the perks don't currently include drawing an actual wage, y'know, well surely I can make the most of the fabric at hand. So....
Brumby Frock! In the ridiculously simple Dress D from Stylish Dress Book 2, without the sleeves and with different pockets. In stunning eco-friendly, hand-printed fabric by Cloth, from Sydney. Great as-is and supremely layerific for cooler weather. Yay!

And let's round off this blog post with a bit of special stylin' by Clem, with his beloved Pillow, and back-to-front pyjama top.

- Jane xx
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