Sewing for Christmas and babies, part three: 2018

I promised you cake and cake you shall have! Sewing will also follow later in this post.

My nephew Harvey has his first birthday in September 2018 and I was asked to help with food. I offered to make the cake because I had an idea and if I’m helping with something it should at least be fun for me too.

(I’m sure if I didn’t mention it you wouldn’t even notice but please ignore the lack of splash back in my kitchen. I finally chose tiles the following month but of course they had to come from far far away and didn’t arrive until late December. They’re actually being installed as you read this!)

I began the night before the party with Sally’s Baking Addiction Easy Homemade Funfetti Cake (a new recipe for me that turned out to be delicious) and some sketches…

I didn’t really have enough hands to take progress pictures but here it is crumb coated the morning of the party.

I used the Chelsea Basic Butter Cream Icing recipe for the crumb coat and the final icing.

Some blue food colouring, smarties and pink wafer biscuits later…

And here it is at the party with all the other food:

The one year old babies didn’t seem impressed but I was really happy and the adults loved it.

Ok, sewing!

For Christmas 2018 I added to my nephews Christmas decoration collection. To follow on from the cake success I decided a festive dinosaur would be appropriate.

Anything can become festive with the addition of a Santa hat.

My sister said when they opened it on Christmas day H tried to eat it which apparently is a good sign.

Nerdy Husband also liked the festive stegosaurus so our tree got one too.

I made one other decoration for 2018, inspired by this Etsy listing.

Except for the stitching on the dial I think this one is mostly glued together. It felt a bit weird to use glue for a sewing machine ornament so I kind of did my own thing…

Oh and when I said “one more”, I actually meant three…

One for me and one each for two fabulous ladies I know.

I’ve had these tiny wooden cotton reels in my “I don’t know what I’m going to do them but I have to buy them” pile for a while. They were the perfect size.

I did tack the paperclip “needles” and bamboo kebab skewer “thread spools” in place with some glue.

I formed the flywheel around a bit of cardboard and stitched the sides. A large bead helped me attach it with thread.

I didn’t think about the weight of the thread spool so the hangers ended up needing to be under them for the machines to hang level.

Pretty cute, huh?

They look good on our Christmas trees too!

THE DETAILS:

Pattern – 

Fabric –  Felt from my stash

Other notions – DMC Stranded Cotton, ribbon, miniature wooden thread spool, bamboo kebab skewer, paperclip, beads

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The Great WSBN Sewing Room Tour – My turn!

The WSBN are always in scheming mode and this month’s Plan comes to us courtesy of Gemma of Sixty Six Stitches who announced via our usual communication channel (aka Facebook…or should that be SewingBook?) that September was Sewing Room Tour Month and promptly gave us each a date and hit the “go” button.

Gemma kicked us off followed by Laura, Sophie-Lee, Nikki, Juliet, Sandra JKat, Holly, MaryLouise, Nina and Sandra M.

Today is my turn! 😉

I am lucky to have my own room dedicate to sewing. It has a big window facing north so I get great light during the day, room for a big layout table and a double door wardrobe for hiding all my mess! It’s a bit crazy in there right now, the result of sudden sew-jo return – must sew ALL OF THE THINGS ALL OF THE TIME!

My furry sewing supervisor takes her role very seriously and has her own special spot in the sun on an off cut of wool from my Lady Grey.

My cutting table is a piece of 18mm pre-finished board and it is clamped to an old drafting table that I refuse to sell. It’s great because it’s huge but it also makes me stretch and move around my room. It is a tiny bit high so one day, probably quite soon, I will give up my drafting board and ask Nerdy Husband to weld me a proper frame at the right height.

I have the usual stash of fabric which I don’t think is that huge (?) and a few too many vintage machines that seem to multiply when I’m (read: Nerdy Husband) not looking.

All my fabric used to fit in this Ikea Expedit unit but recently I have had to find additional storage space in the form of a plastic bin. It has clear sides that do little to hide the fact that I own more fabric than I need so I keep it mostly out of sight under the cutting table.

I love my stash so there isn’t any real guilt 😉

Good fabric is like good wine, it needs some maturing time, plus it’s not really my fault. During winter Wellington is cold and wool takes up a lot of space, so does sweat-shirting and who could have said no to those awesome foxes?!

My linings and interfacings are also in a plastic bin under my cutting table but they don’t count as stash…there might some more wool “maturing” at the bottom of that bin too…

My patterns live in a filing cabinet. It was a great find at the Balcatta Transfer Station in Perth, a kind of recycling/dump-what-you-don’t-want rubbish place. It cost me $40 and it was originally a sad grey colour but several cans of spray paint fixed that. Indie patterns in the top, drawer Big Four next drawer down, magazine pattern inserts below that and drawer #4 is empty.

I sew on an Elna 2130 which is about 10 years old. I got it her on laybuy as a present to myself for getting through University, she’s such a little trooper and I can’t even begin to think about the day I have to think about replacing her.

My overlocker is a Bernina 1150MDA and she is also amazing, almost as amazing as my newest (modern) machine, a Janome Coverpro 1000CPX Coverstitch, which you can read all about here.

They don’t normally sit like this, usually I have the Elna and Bernina side by side with the Janome sitting behind and I swap them around as I need them.

They all also have pretty covers that I made, not to keep dust off, there is not enough time between sewing sessions for any dust to settle! The covers are actually Invisibility Cloaks to keep them out of sight from a certain furry helper who likes to eat thread when Mumma-Cat isn’t at home.

I sew on a $99 table from Ikea. One day I had the brilliant idea to get Nerdy Husband to drill some holes in the top for the plug of my power cords to pop through. The table is too deep and the sewing machine feet were too far under due to the cord length.

TOP TIP: Don’t do this to an Ikea table, the inside is cardboard…oh well 😉 Also with the overlocker on full noise it kind of bounces around so one day I will upgrade.

I have a few things on the walls and part of me is still trying to get out of the renting mentality of not hanging things up for fear causing damage and losing our deposit but I own these walls now so I need to get myself sorted.

I love my Fashionary postcards by Vita Yang, I mounted them on black card to make them stand out.

I also have 2 pin boards covered in heaps of stuff, important stuff 😉

Recently I got this peg board and it is the BEST THING EVER! I have everything on hand, rulers, scissors, ALL THE THINGS! You should get one too.

Gemma also challenged us to show off our favourite make and our current work in progress.

My favourite make is my Le Wise La Sylphide. I always get comments when I wear it and I feel so pretty and girly, plus who doesn’t like owls?!

I am always working on more than one thing, usually three, or four, or eight…it’s how I like to work so I don’t fight it 😉

Right now I need to finish my Miss Bossy Patterns challenge from The Monthly Stitch. This month is Amnesty Month so the perfect time to catch up.

I’m also in the middle of 3 more Papercut Pneuma tanks, I love the colours:

And I just finished two top secret projects that will be revealed next month 😉 but here is a sneak peek:

Now I think you’ll agree, there is only one proper way to finish this post: with a furry sewing helper montage 😉

PS: Tomorrow is Zara’s turn and you can check out the blog list of the entire WSBN here.

PPS: Also you should totally go and check out the new indie pattern company, Muse. It’s the creation of one of our amazing WSBN girls, Kat. Her first pattern is the vintage inspired Jenna cardi (that I really have to hurry up and get under the overlocker) you can buy it as a pdf download so go take a look!

PPPS: Oh, oh, and come join us over on The Monthly Stitch next month for FROCKTOBER, everything you need to know is here.

Cleaning, oiling and re-tensioning the blog V2.0

I’ve decided to try out a new blog theme – I feel like I need a change to something light and clean so I’m going to be tinkering over the next few days.

If things are looking a bit messed up please bear with me while I slowly sort it out 🙂

Happy sewing!

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September in Photos – disguised as a catch-up

I’m a bit shocked that it’s been a month since I last posted, that’s how quickly time has been flying by for me lately!

Work and life occasionally just become ridiculous and something has to give. I won’t bore you with details, this is a sewing blog after all but the good news is that last week I had a holiday and I am feeling super refreshed and now I feel like I am finally on top of all things so watch out world! 🙂

So, in brief, here is what I got up to these last few weeks:

I bought this sewing machine:

Barbie! And it’s wind up, it really “sews”!

I also bought this one:

Baby Singer – will post more about her soon

My newest cross stitch project is becoming recognisable:

Come to the dark side…

I worked on a vintage blouse as a combined WSBN Teal Deal/TMS Vintage Pattern project and sort of failed – Time was not on my side and also I think it will be too big but I have promised to salvage it for a second group photo shoot in November with the two other girls that missed out:

Completed night classes in NZSL 1a and enrolled in 1b – starting Oct 16th:

Yeah!

Got serious with planning our kitchen renovation:

Realised I had too many unfinished projects lying around so finally finished Lady Grey and then pulled out my finished Lolita Patterns Sugarplum. I made the Sugar Plum for Indie Patterns Month as a pattern tester but have only just now gotten the go ahead to show photos on my blog…so now I need to take some photos!

Evil sewing machine is evil

I flew up to Auckland for a work conference:

Look how cute my tiny room was!

Then I went on a holiday:

Ohh volcano!

I walked up a volcano!:

Mt Tongariro – Ketetahi trail. You can just see the one of the Te Maari crater vents smoking away in the background. Last year it got grumpy and spat some big rocks out, destroying the Ketetahi hut.

Finished Vogue 1250 – need to take some photos.

Worked hard to try to finish Rainbow Swallows Shirt Dress – it just needs hemming – and again, photos – the story of my sewing-life right now!

Bought some patterns – these are not all for me!:

By Hand London goodies thanks to Penny at dressesandme.com

Then I bought some fabric – this is ALL for me!:

L to R: Black and grey geometric printed silk, some sort of lining with embossed flowers, ribbed knit, 3 meters of each, total $33.00, yeah!

Hunted through my patterns for pretty dresses for Frock-tober – Harri “helped”:

“Make this one!”

Paired some fabric with patterns and then pre washed the fabric, this caused it to rain, but I got it all dry eventually:

Pretty, pretty, pretty!

Then I traced all these patterns, I want to make ALL OF THEM!:

Camouflage Harri supervised the tracing process – it was hard work, many naps were taken:

ZzzzZZzzz…

Then she decided that my paper bin needed emptying…otherwise how else would she fit inside?:

Caught!

Harri and I agreed that as a reward for all my hard work I should cut out a dress – I chose Papercut’s La Sylphide in tiny super cute owls:

Thn I remembered that I also have this dress still waiting to be sewn up – all cut out in a beautiful silk/linen blend, oops:

And finally, last weekend, because I was not in the mood for photos and daylight savings has got me dreaming about summer, I began to plan Vege Garden v2.0:

Current Vege Garden v1.0 – I have marked out the new garden space in blue twine but then I changed my mind and drew some pictures instead.

A grand plan

Getting into the details

Then I helped hack down some trees that were too close to our retaining walls. We will re-pave the lower area, a garden shed and glass house will appear sometime in the future:

Before…

…after!

I think after my new vege beds are in I will begin to investigate the possibility of having some chickens, I think I’d quite like some chickens 🙂

And that’s about it! 🙂 Phew, regular service should resume shortly, happy sewing!

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August in Photos

Putting together a nerdy x-stitch present for a friend

Hot coffee on a cold day

Overlocker thread!

Tidy stash is tidy!

Project Manager Kitten approves of this

Someone called 111 and said that our building was on fire…but it wasn’t…

Waiting for the train to work

Gridlock trying to get out of the city after the earthquake

Waiting for the train again, earlier, pretty sky

First Kowhai flowers = SPRING!

Awesome new spin bikes at the gym

Hot pink and lime green aida, oh yesss!

Harri finds a comfy perch

July in Photos

MiP_June 2013

Home-made muesli bars ♥ New handbag!  Crazy sweet teas

Wellington sculpture ♥ Soon!  Sneaky fabric purchase

Newest eBay find  Catherine Mansfield sculpture  Rainbow!

Post-earthquake scones  New tights  Lady Grey lining

June in Photos

MiP_June 2013

Burda skirt! ♥ Top secret printing  Nerdy cross stitch

Ohh, Lancia! ♥ Top secret cutting out  Harri has you beerz…again!

Colette Lady Grey  Fire trucks outside work, eep!  Indie stash

Hide the threads!  Home-made museli bars  Top secret finishing