Friday, 29 December 2017

Festive frock 2017

Yikes another year is almost over. It has been a year of ups and downs. But mostly the upside thankfully.  Family wedding and travel being the major ups.  I've definitely enjoyed making my place very festive this year.  A new tree and some fresh new decorations.  I shall be sad to put it all away next week.  Shall also be sad to have to go back to work next week, but that's not until thursday so plenty of days of recreational activities and some lazing about.  This years party frock come courtesty of vintage Simplicity pattern 7332.  

This is my second outing with Simplicity 7332. I decided to use just plain shoulder straps, rather than use the frill and, even though I liked the v-shape I decided to do something different from the previous dress.  

The material is a cotton sateen from Lincraft. When I first made it I thought maybe I would also wear it on Christmas day as well as the work Christmas party.  However, it was a sorching 36 degrees on the day so glad I made a few other options.  I did wear this a second time for a friends birthday last Saturday.  It's a good special occasion dress for the summer, as long as I'm in air-con.  Damn summer!!!!

I also made a second wreath this Christmas.  This time it's an equine theme.  My sister-in-law's family run a saddlery, and even though she never had a pony herself (outrageous I know) she does appreciate things with a horse theme.  

And finally, I got some lovely presents from friends this year.  And not suprisingly quite a few were cat themed.  I received a beautiful Oxfam cat mat from my dear chum Anna, also a cat book and a green bag from some other friends, and these fabulous Cat Bowie earrings from my friend Steph. They come from the home of accessory whimsy, Erstwilder. Funnily enough I'd bought myself a Cat Elvis brooch a few weeks before Christmas. But I love cats and I love love loved David Bowie so totally pawsome.  

Signing off from 2017.  Hope 2018 is a brilliant one, fingers crossed. 


Friday, 8 December 2017

Frock from Christmas past

It's hot, it's summer in Brislandia so it must be almost Christmas.  To be fair we've had a fairly mild start to summer this year, but that has changed and it will no doubt remain steamy from here on in. Ah, I could whinge about the heat endlessly, but I digress.  This post is for last year's Christmas day frock. I only wore it the one day and then put it away in the cupboard. With festive celebrations starting, I decided to dust it off and start giving it a showing this year.  I bought this fabric on Etsy from Hearts and Found after seeing a green version on the By Gum By Golly blog.  The fabric is just lovely, but being 100% cotton it loves a good crinkle.  

I used McCalls 2444.  With such a lovely feature fabric you don't need anything fussy with the design of the dress.  I also chose to do gathers rather than pleats.  I bought another fabric from Hearts and Found which features a tiki theme.  I'm still on the fence about what to do with it because the fabric will probably be a crush fest like this one.  Still you can't have too many lightweight summer frocks here in the southern hemisphere. Add that to the list of summer sewing projects.  

The only slightly annoying thing with this dress is that no matter how much I iron the neck section, it still has that slightly bubbly appearance.  Everything else about the dress was a breeze to sew because it's a very simple pattern.  

Amongst the many sewing projects I need to get started for the festive season and the summer I've been really getting my craft on this year.  I decided to finally make a Christmas wreath. I was initially inspired by all the lovely decorative pieces you could buy for wreaths. However, it occurred to me that I didn't want just some ordinary looking wreath and my love for all things whimsical led me to create the Jurassic/Fantasy wreath. Sure maybe I should have just picked a theme, like the fantasy one or the one with the dinosaurs, but I'm pretty chuffed with my creation.   

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Cherry Ripe Up in Arms

This was the second top I made from the Up in Arms pattern. I actually just wore it this morning for a trip to Aldi to buy a new Christmas tree. It was time to upgrade from my smaller tree to something that can fit all of my wonderful ornaments that I've bought over the years.  And I've got more to add this year from my trip to the Christmas shop in Banff.  

Unlike my original kitty version of this top, I didn't line the capped sleeves.  The fabric is from Spotlight. Another soft furnishing fabric. I imagine I got it on sale, so it was probably only around $5 per metre.  It is a bit of a crusher fabric being 100% cotton.   

I still highly recommend this pattern. It's very fast and easy to make. Good style to wear with either jeans or shorts.  And if you added some length, I'm sure it would make a cute little dress.


Saturday, 28 October 2017

New Look 6096 Does Seattle

The last stop on my holiday was a trip to Seattle.  I love love loved Seattle. So fortunate that we picked this beautiful Airbnb in the suburb of Queen Anne.  This was one of two balconies at our accommodation with a view down to the harbour.   We stayed 4 days but wish it was 2 weeks. So many things I wanted to do but didn't get around to.  Seattle felt a little like Sydney or San Francisco. It almost didn't feel like the US. It felt like another city in Canada. The people were lovely and so friendly. Well who wouldn't be when you live in such a gorgeous city.  

This would be my third try with the New Look 6096.  I bought the knit fabric at Spotlight. It turned out to be the best travel dress. I only wore it a couple of times to go out to dinner.  It will definitely be a staple in my wardrobe for any future holidays.  It was weird working with a knit fabric and this was very stretchy. But I managed to make it work. I'm trying to branch out and use more knit fabric.

As luck would have it there was and old school haberdashery/fabric store in Queen Anne, Nancy's Sewing Basket. And, and, and they had 20% off while we were there. The fabric gods were smiling on me. I'm so glad these older style stores still exist somewhere. Nothing, big, nothing fancy, but plenty of decent priced fabric to choose from. I had to limit myself with only 4 pieces of fabric as my travel bag was already packed to the max.  

I think travel fatigue set in at the end of our trip so we didn't pack as much into our days. One of the places I was keen to see was MoPop (formerly EMP museum).  

I'm a huge music fan, particularly of the early 90's Seattle music scene.  Whilst I was let down by the absence of a dedicated exhibition to the 90's music culture, I was impressed by all of the amazing exhibitions at hand.  It was great seeing all the fantasy and science fiction costumes and props from some of my favourite movies and fortunately they had a Jim Henson exhibition while we were there.  The highlight, getting a photograph with some of my favourite Muppets. Yay!!! Or as Beaker would say Memememe.  

So sad to the much awaited holiday is well and truly over. Back to reality alas.  But good to be back home with my fur kids. Now it's time to start planning festive sewing.  

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Chipmunks, Elks and Bears, Oh My

Warning, this post does not contain any actual sewing or anything sewing related. I just wanted to show off some photos from my Canada holiday.  

I have to say I became a bit obsessed with chipmunks on my travels. I had never seen any before and they are cute little critters.  This photos is of one in Lake Louise.  He thought some people had food for him so you can see he's got his cute begging pose down pat.

Our first major wildlife encounter was with female elk in Jasper.  This lovely lady above was about to try and cross the busy road.  We found some more driving around the back roads. As you can see they did a very good job of featuring their rear ends for the photos. Thanks girls.  Unbelievably we never saw any male elk on our travels. 

Also in Jasper we came across a group of male long horn sheep.  We actually got very close to these hansom beasties.  And they were very chill.  If you are ever in Jasper, try to do your tour with Jasper Tour CompanyJoe, who runs the tours is just fantastic.  Very enthusiastic and passionate about the wildlife of Jasper.  We also saw a mumma bear and cubs on this evening tour. Alas we couldn't get any close up photos.

And finally, meet Boo the Bear.  Our last wildlife experience was in Banff. We had a long day tour which included a trip to Kicking Horse Mountain.  There we got to meet Boo a rescue bear.  He has an amazing large area to roam around in and it's only luck really if he decides to make an appearance.  It was a super hot day and we had spotted Boo relaxing in a pond from high up in a gondola which takes you up the mountain.  Now while we were listening to the rangers talk about Boo's story I was feeling very overwhelmed by the heat.  We had already heard about Boo from our travel guide for the day, Aaron, so I asked if there was somewhere I could sit down for awhile while we  were awaiting (hopefully) the arrival of Boo.  I was pointed to nice little shaded platform near the entrance.  Ah the shade, and somewhere to sit.  Aaron said I might be lucky and Boo might come up at that end.  I was joined by a couple of other people and then suddenly out of the forest came a big ol grizzly.  Don't be alarmed, there was a fence, but lucky for me the platform made us higher than the fence so I think I probably got the best photos of the day.  Yay!!! 

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Lulu does Canada

So many great things to say about Canada. I can't recommend it as a holiday destination enough. We only did the western side, unbelievable natural beauty.  And onto things sewing related, my new Lulu dress got quite a few wears on the trip. So versatile and comfy in the warm weather.  I also took my tartan Lulu which I wore to the Beck concert in Vancouver. Alas the weather was too warm the rest of the trip to wear it.  

So here we are at Lake Louise. I started my day wearing jeans and my Up in Arms top, but the day just got warmer and warmer so I changed for our afternoon at the lake. I'm so glad I chose to make this dress in a lightweight denim. I used the reverse side of the fabric for the binding of the neck to give it a contrast.  This the perfect travel dress because you could wear it with tights or leggings if the weather got cool. 

Lake Louise was as beautiful as you imagine, but then again there are so many beautiful lakes with that same amazing glacial water. The only thing is they don't have a fancy cheateau on them.

And then we arrived in beautiful Banff.  Unfortunately we were in Canada during one of their worste wild fire seasons. We were pretty lucky regarding visability in the Rockies. This was the first time the smoky haze was really noticeable. 

I shall have to leave more holiday picks for another post.  I tried to add some further photos but blogger had a freak out. 

Until next time.