Tired but Happy

Well it was a wonderful weekend, very busy but I enjoyed every minute of it. Hubby and I both collapsed into bed that night exhausted.

The Xmas dresses went down a treat and looked very cute on the 5 little girls, the oldest three enjoyed having dresses the same! I also got the pillow cases completed to go with the quilts I made for the twins back for their birthday.

The weather was wonderful and it was a very pleasant day. So nice to see the grandchildren getting on and playing together so well. The laughter of children is one of the best sounds in the world.

So a few more days at work before I take a well-earned break for the following 11 days. I think it’s time I did some sewing for myself as I do have a drawer full of lovely fabric from Tessuti that I’d love to make up…. Yummy!


Xmas Dress Project Complete!

You may recall that I mentioned how keen I was to do more shirring.  Well I’ve now finished the 5 shirred Xmas dresses and am very happy with the results.  Of all the tutorials I came across during my research for this project I found the one on Jorth’s blog was the best for working out volumes of fabric and basic construction.  I must say some of the others were very confusing for such a simple dress.  So if you want to make one yourself visit her blog :- http://jorth.blogspot.com.au/2010/11/shirred-dress-tutorial.html.

I must confess I did make some modifications of my own.  I decided to French seam all the seams for a nice neat finish and to add extra strength.  I also did away with the elastic casing across the top above the shirring; I don’t think it needed it and I replaced that with my super tiny hem instead; you can see my test one on my previous post.  I also decided to do bow ties over the shoulder instead of a single piece and I made a border around the bottom of the 3 bigger dresses; that was a result of underestimating how much fabric I would need rather than a brilliant idea!  (I do have a habit of buying fabric before patterns and then trying to squeeze it all in).  All in all I’m very happy with the results.  Still think that tiny hem is exquisite.

I do hope they all like them; I know I do 🙂  So onto the next thing.

Xmas Dresses 2013

How tiny is that?

I did some practising with my narrow hem foot today; first time I’ve used it.  How neat is this?  I think I’m in love!!  I’m feeling pretty chuffed: a 2mm hem!! Truly!!

tiny hemIt’s been quite handy today as I worked on more Xmas dresses.  I’ve now finished numbers 3 & 4.

No 5 still to go; photos to follow

Moving onto the Next Project

Ok I have now finished the 3 rompers and the 3 Eva dresses.  Each of the little girls like them and I’m happy with the results.  The problem with making things as a surprise is that you don’t get to try on before you finish.  While the dresses fit very well, I’ve noticed that the girls need to stand very straight with arms pointing over their heads to get them on; it’s a bit tight in the shoulders.  Once on they are fine.  It’s going to be interesting to see how I can adjust to cater for this.

Oh well journeys always have some bumps!

So onto next project and this will be Xmas dresses for the 3 girls and 2 babies.  I bought some beautiful Xmas fabric from my favourite patchwork store, Calico Patch at Gold Creek, and will be making 5 little dresses following the Shirred Dress tutorial courtesy of Jorth’s blog: http://jorth.blogspot.com.au/2010/11/shirred-dress-tutorial.html

Xmas fabric

The one thing I really enjoyed with the Eva dresses was the shirring on the pockets; first time I shirred and am wanting to do more!  I did the first one yesterday for one of the baby girls (6 weeks old), so very tiny and very cute.

Meaghan's Xmas Dress 2013

Where Does the Time Go?

I don’t know about you but there is just not enough time in the day. So many plans, so little time! And then I read an article today about minimalism and it got me thinking. Our lives become so complicated and we put too much pressure on ourselves to achieve: be the best wife, mum, employee let alone person. I too easily work long hours and then wonder why I’m tired each night when I get home and just drop in front of the TV and then into bed. Sound familiar?

And what’s it all for? Things? And usually things we just don’t need or could be held onto a little longer before replacing.

Last weekend I noticed that it was not the things that brought me joy. Watching my grandson play soccer, having dinner with my son and his family, enjoying each other’s company, watching the joy on my granddaughter’s face when blowing out her birthday candles and then the sparkle in a baby’s eyes when you pick her up and cuddle her. This is what makes life a joy!

Admittedly we need to work and pay our bills but we need to be able to balance…. Life’s too short.

Anyway a quiet night tonight and an early one. So tomorrow I’ll work hard but then leave at a reasonable time. And who knows I might just get stuck into my next sewing project 🙂 I have some beautiful Christmas fabric that will making some lovely little outfits for the girls!!!!

Special Time: Family Time

The past two weekends have been special because both of them have centred on family events.  We had a special birthday last weekend which resulted in the coming together of all my brothers and sister for the first time in over 5 years.  We gathered together on the NSW Central Coast with us coming from all over the country and the world.  These times, as is obvious, are too infrequent and were especially important to my mother; even more so that the birthday boy!

This weekend we celebrated the baptism of one of our newer members of the family!  This also resulted in our family coming together for the day.  I so enjoy seeing my grandchildren excited about being together and revelling in each other’s company and I especially love having my children together.

I delivered the long-awaited quilt to my oldest grandson this morning, a little late but now he joins his twin sister with his own Nanny-made quilt, made especially for him.  I do hope he enjoys it!  Maybe that is why it is so wet and cold here today – give him a reason to snuggle up in it!!!  What do you think?  Pretty neat I reckon

Shaun's quilt

And the 2nd of the 3 little girls got her reversible dress and romper today as well!  I’m happy with the result and the 1st of them wore her dress this morning; enjoying it which is very satisfying as any sewer would appreciate.  So now that the celebrations are over this weekend, I’m back to the machine to get the 3rd of this set done.  Besides it is too wet and cold to do much else!


It’s Really Only Spring

With the way the weather has been and the awful fires continuing to burn across New South Wales, you could be forgiven for thinking that summer had arrived a couple of months early. But this weekend was just beautiful spring weather here in Canberra. I love days just like the one we had today.We went out to Spotlight this morning and got a few pieces that I needed. We cooked a lovely lunch and saw a good movie this evening; About Time. And I still managed to get some sewing in yesterday!

I made a lovely little romper for one of the g-daughters. It’s all but finished – just need to try it on her to adjust the elastic. I made it with some lovely voile I got in my last batch from Kelani Fabrics, it’s very pretty with turtles on it; The Birds & the Bees Ladybug Sky voile.  I also got to test out my new bias binding maker, very cool. Anyone need some pink bias binding! Got plenty!

Starling Romper

The pattern is Starling Girls Romper from www.mychildrenstreasures.com and it made up very nicely. I’ll make it again for the other little girls. The perfect project to knock over in an afternoon and perfect for the beginner. So with the Eva dress from last weekend that’s one 4 year old’s birthday taken care of.

Pretty happy with yet another productive week and some great results.


Don’t You Just Love It?

The first of the granddaughter dresses is finished!! Feeling very pleased as it worked out beautifully.  This is my first reversible dress and my first effort at shirring: both worked out very well.  Onto the next one 🙂

The Eva Dress is a PDF pattern for a reversible dress that I bought from Angel Lea Designs – www.angelleadesigns.com.  My first experience with a PDF pattern; I’m a bit old-school and tend to use the store bought tissue patterns.  I found the instructions excellent with great photos to follow.  It’s for size range 6 months to 6 years and I made the size 5.  I followed the pattern exactly except for the shirring on the pockets; I gave it a 3rd row for extra strength.  A really nice pattern that I will use again.  By following exactly and pressing religiously it all came together very well.


The fabric I bought from Kelani Fabrics – www.kelanifabric.com.au – the first side in Alexander Henry’s Lupe Multi and the second side in Alexander Henry’s Vivienne Stripe Blush.  Both cotton, the fabrics handled really well and pressed up nicely.

Unfortunately the photos don’t do it justice; the pockets are really cute but hard to see in the photo but I am just thrilled with the results.  I just need to tie the shoulder straps a little better!


Don’t You Love a Productive Weekend

After several evenings of hand stitching and some tired eyes, I have finally finished my #1 grandson’s quilt. The end result is very pleasing; the pattern looks good, the quilt is square and the machine quilting isn’t too bad. It now needs a wash before I give it to him and I can enjoy it for a few days beforehand.

With the much appreciated assistance from my dear husband we made a padded cutting board for my sewing room. I wanted something to protect the desk top that I’m using as my cutting and preparation table. So we bought a large piece of board, 3 cutting mats, batting and fabric. We glued it altogether and viola … a reversible cutting/padded table top! It looks so fabulous and was put to an immediate test drive!

And then there was my 3rd accomplishment for the weekend. I got the first of the dresses for my granddaughters started. I need to pickup some shirring elastic today for the pockets and should be able to finish this first one tonight.

What a great start to the week! Shame I have to go to work for the next 5 days!