Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Way back in July I posted about the book Weekend Sewing and showed a few projects I liked. One was a photo of a sewing space inside a wardrobe, which inspired me to start work on my fabric storage cupboard shortly afterwards. Check. I also liked the All-weekend sundress, and found the fabric I wanted to use in an op-shop in Tauranga that same month. Now, about 6 months later, I can check that one off my list too! This is the image in the book:

And this is me in mine, squinting into the sun and being helped by the fresh northerly:

Close-up of the beautiful fabric:
As you can see, it's more of a maxi-dress than a sundress. I added a few more centimetres to the bottom and really love the length. Other adjustments were adding a lining because of the sheer fabric I used, and doubling the shirring at the top.

The pieces for this dress had been sitting in my workroom for about a month, and I was a bit scared to proceed. All that lining (never done that before), shirring (same) and gathering (so boring) intimidated me and I didn't want to waste all that lovely fabric if it didn't work out...

Things came to a head last week when I started gathering and realised it was actually quite painless. For the lining, I just made a second dress in a very light fabric, then pinned and overlocked it all together at the top. Now I had no excuse and had to tackle the shirring. Thanks to Melissa's timely post on shirring, I had it. She hand-winds the shirring elastic around the bobbin, pulling it tightly. I've read other tutorials that warn not to pull the elastic when winding and then to either spray with water or steam-iron, but this was the one that worked for me. Here you can see the shirred waist from the inside:

To finish the lining, I just folded and topstitched the overlocked top edge to the inside and shirred the two dresses together at the top and waist. I am so happy with my dress; it's very comfortable and easy to wear.

I'm not finished with shirring though, as you will see in my next posts. I've made a little girl's dress and am hoping to make myself a quick top sometime this week. See you later!

Friday, January 21, 2011


At the end of last year I became a Flickr Pro and got a free photo book from Snapfish. I had such fun choosing our best photos from the year and organising them onto 20 pages, and onc I got started it only took me one or two evenings. This seems to be the perfect solution to my laziness when it comes to printing, sorting and putting photos into albums (which explains why my 3 year-old's baby photos are still in printers' envelopes!). This book is canvas-covered, 20x28cm. Here are some pages from our 2010 book:

When they were having a discount recently, I made another book for the boys. It's photos from our recent holiday, with text that is simple enough for the boys to read or make up as they go. We picked it up today and it's lovely. This one's a smaller paperback with custom cover; what a cover by the way!
Aah, happy times...

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I'm always so slow to get back into crafting in January, but his week I managed to make a couple of things for myself.

I found this fabric a very long time ago, but have been too scared to cut into it for fear of wrecking it. I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that it used to be a tablecloth! I loved the colours and the fringing, and knew it had to become a skirt, but wasn't sure how much to cut out of the middle. When I saw the Circle Skirt tutorial on Made, I knew the planets had aligned and the time had come to make this! The fabric is very drapey and it moves so nicely when I walk. A skirt is so much more useful than a round tablecloth, don't you think?

Today felt too hot to even think about cardigans, but another tutorial caught my eye this week and I had to try it. I've been following Grosgrain for a while and think Kathleen is a fashion genius; she manages to make very stylish clothes from the most improbable thrifty finds. I followed this tutorial, but check all her November posts for great ideas for upcycling knits. I found this Sabatini knit top in the op shop for $2 yesterday, and it looked perfect for my plan. It was too big, so I took it in along the sides and arms, and cut the front open.

Sewed some grosgrain ribbon in a beautiful red on the inside to conceal the raw edges, and voila...

A cardigan perfect for layering. I'm planning on having a more colourful winter wardrobe, so this is a good start, especially with how the red ribbon peeks out. By the way, this photo of Daniel and I was taken by Joshua and the Tripod. The kids are growing up fast is all I can say...

Thursday, January 6, 2011


We're slowly easing back into the real world after an unforgettable week of camping in paradise. I really feel like my batteries are re-charged after spending the time with good friends and my lovely family, and doing very little. Just the important things, like reading, doodling, a tiny bit of knitting, flying kites and building sand castles.

Our first job when we got home was to harvest all the bounty from our garden: strawberries, red cabbage, apple cucumbers, green beans, beetroot, potatoes, carrots, lettuce and one lemon. Every vegetable on our plate for tonight's dinner came from our garden. That is indeed a good start to the year, don't you think?

A belated happy new year to you and your people from me and mine!