June 29, 2012

Harvest: Lemons

My lemon tree is seriously rocking this season! This is the second batch and I'm about to harvest the third. I love all things lemon (except diet coke with lemon = morning fresh...) and am a huge fan of lemon curd.

The Cook's Companion by Stephanie Alexander has the goods. It is the best lemon curd recipe I've found. The key is to strain the lightly beaten eggs as you add them to the hot ingredients. I also use slightly less sugar than suggested as I really like tart lemon curd.

I'm off to make another batch as this jar is already half empty. I'm about to crank the oven and bake some Macaroni Cheese and Lemon Delicious Pudding for dinner tonight!

Have a good weekend!

L x
June 27, 2012

Sew: Abstract Simplicity 2215 Skirt

Let me introduce my third Simplicity 2215 skirt! I do love a full skirt and this pattern is fantastic. Super quick and easy but beautifully put together and finished. If you haven't tried this pattern, give it a go!

The fabric is a printed cotton sateen from Spotlight that was a complete impulse buy. You know how you have to wait FOREVER to be served at Spotlight, especially if you go on pension day?? Well, there was a huge pile of freshly unpacked abstract print cotton sateen right next to the counter. Two rolls accidentaly fell into my shopping basket...

My first version was a great hit and is in high rotation. The second version is yet to be blogged (or worn) but is made in a beautiful soft denim.

Project Details
Pattern: Simplicity 2215 skirt
Fabric: Abstract Printed Cotton Sateen from Spotlight
Alterations: Added 10cm to length and used a 4cm hem at the front grading to a 2cm hem at back. I prefer adding 15cm to allow for a deep hem.

So I now have THREE versions of this skirt... Too many? Or is there potential for a few more??

L x
June 26, 2012

Idea: Fabric Tissue Box

When I was in The Fabric Store a few weeks ago I spotted this fabric covered tissue box. How cool is that?! It is basically just a box of tissues wrapped in a scrap of fabric, like a present, with a slit cut for the opening.

Simple but very clever and pretty.

L x

June 25, 2012

Review: Rathdowne Fabrics

Rathdowne Fabrics is a little to close to my house for my comfort. It is an easy walk and an easy place to spend a lot of money on fabric...

It is basically a big shed or warehouse full of fabulous fabric and notions. The ladies are lovely and the fabric is super easy to peruse. I really like how the fabrics are sorted according to type. Knits, swimwear, rib trim, craft cotton, corduroy, silk, dress, printed sateen... The list goes on.

If you're after t-shirt material, I've had great success at Rathdowne Fabrics. And out the back, there is a whole section of upholstery fabric.
Store Details
Store: Rathdowne Fabrics, 154-158 Victoria Street, Brunswick (near Lygon Street)
Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 8.00am - 4.30pm & Saturday 9.00am - 3.00pm.
Parking: Limited parking spots out the front but plenty of street parking. 
Access: It can be a bit tricky to get down the aisles with a pram, but there is plenty of room around the counter to park it.
Extras: Public transport options (Lygon & Sydney Road trams), good coffee around the corner on Lygon Street, near other fabric shops on Lygon Street (Clegs and GJ Fabrics), limited seating for uninterested shopping partners.

All in all it is a great shop with lovely and helpful service, a great selection of basic and fancy fabrics, a great knit selection, and a large range of notions and supplies. The only thing is it can be a bit hit and miss with the fabric (so you just have to come back again!)
This is what my latest haul looks like.

I've got a charcoal knit merino for another Renfrew, a spotted denim for a skirt, a textured spot knit for a casual tshirt, a lovely super soft Collette Dinnigan cotton for a Hazel dress (even though I don't have the pattern yet), some swimwear fabric for a new swimsuit for our upcoming Fiji holiday and a geometric cotton.

I'm not sure why this view from our back deck is one of my favourites but it is. Maybe it is something to do with the tin roofs, galvanised fence and autumn leaves.  You can see my fabric and elastic drying on the washing line.

Happy, happy days!

L x

June 24, 2012

Sew: Black Knit Merino Renfrew


My sixth Renfrew! However, this is the first time I've made the long sleeves. From previous experience I've learnt to make the bands tighter than suggested to stop them stretching out and becoming baggy. I also made it two sizes smaller than previous and shortened the long sleeves. I am going to make another of this style in a charcoal wool. They are perfect for layering for a Melbourne winter.   

Project Details
Pattern: Sewaholic Renfrew Top - View A (scoop neck and long sleeves)
Fabric: Black Wool Knit Merino from The Fabric Store
Alterations: Shortened sleeves by 4cm, cut size 14 and took in an extra 1cm each side, removed an extra 1.5cm from waistband so it was tight fitting.

Love our coffee at the markets! This sums up my little family perfectly...

In other news, I got my hair cut yesterday. It has gone really crazy curly (for me) after having the boys. What is with that?! So my hairdresser is slowly getting me used to curly hair. I'm starting to come to terms with this... Has anyone else had this issue after having kids?

I finally caught up with Rachel from Boo Dogg and Me yesterday for coffee and a spot of fabric and pattern browsing. Oh my, we have so many things in common and it is fabulous to finally have a friend that is as sewing obsessed as me. We actually went to a cafe that had a sign on the front door "No Hawkers - or bloggers!". That provided a bit of a chuckle. Thank you Rachel! Let's do it again soon.

And a quick question, does anyone know where to buy boardshort fabric? You know the stuff that is quick drying and is a bit shiny on the inside?? I need to make some swim shorts for our upcoming holiday.

L x
June 18, 2012

Sew: More Kids Pants

The latest batch of kids pants is done. More Kwik Sew 3149 and Burda 9793. I think I've finally finished sewing this winters kids pants. Once I finished them all, I then had to take them all up again before he would wear them as Mr N likes to walk around à la Huckleberry Finn...

L x

June 17, 2012

Eat: Taco Truck

I have been stalking the Taco Truck for quite a while without any success. Today, I finally tracked it down for lunch in Coburg. And it was right next to a playground!! Double satisfaction.

I opted for the Taco set - two soft tacos, one chicken and one fish with a side of corn chips. The chicken taco was an absolute winner! Served with corn salsa, chilli, lime and a bit of baby spinach. The fish was good, lightly battered and crisp, with slaw, poppy seed mayo and lime juice. The boys devoured their corn chips and guacamole.

So if you see this little truck parked on the side of the road, I highly recommend you stop and get yourself some taco action!

L x
June 16, 2012

Explore: Napoleon at NGV

Mr Sew Brunswick is in Canada for the week, working and hiking and hopefully avoiding bears... To keep me company my mum came down from sunny Queensland to visit. I am sure she is looking forward to a bit of peace and quiet after a week in my household.

High on our list for the week was a visit to the National Gallery of Victoria to see the Napoleon: Revolution to Empire exhibition. I highly recommend this exhibition. It is truly amazing. The audio tour is exceptional. We took it in turns to see the exhibition and mind the boys. They don't appreciate the art but they do enjoy the NGV Kids Space.  

After my turn in the exhibition and a picnic in the NGV gardens, I wandered over to Federation Square and the other part of the NGV whilst the boys napped in the pram. It was a beautiful winters day. 

A lot of people don't like winter in Melbourne. I think it might be my favourite season. For many, many reasons. Boots, jackets, leggings, football, gallery visits, museum exhibitions and hot coffee on a cold winters morning. Just to name a few!

PS. Clegs is having a half price remnant sale!! I got a few sneaky bargains on the way past.

L x

June 13, 2012

Decorate: Paper Pattern Flowers

When I was in Perth a few months ago, I stumbled across an amazing stall at the Kick Start Youth Markets in Northbridge. Lauren from Little L was holding her first ever market day and her stall was jam packed with gorgeous goodies. I spotted these paper flowers made from paper sewing patterns and snatched them up. Lauren very kindly agreed to send them over to me in Melbourne.

When I opened the package, I found that Lauren had included a few extra goodies.

Check out these fantastic earrings!!

Thanks Lauren! If you like things like vintage books, paper patterns, buttons and postage stamps, check out Little L

In sewing news, there is not much happening around here at the moment. I have roped my Mum in to cutting out kids pants and I am procrastinating in sewing them up. What is everyone else sewing? Please give me some inspiration!!

L x
June 08, 2012

Sew: Vogue 8363 Pencil Skirt

Project Details
Pattern: Vogue 8363 Easy Options (OOP)
Fabric: PR Black Polyester suiting from Clegs
Alterations: Reduced width of waistband by half

Simple pencil skirt pattern with four front darts and two back darts. Enough said.

L x
June 04, 2012

Sew: Black Wool Clover Pants

The lovely Clover pattern again. This is my third pair and I'm starting to perfect the fit. I'm thinking of a fourth in a rich red or cobalt blue...

Project Details
Pattern: Colette Patterns Clover
Fabric: Black wool stretch suiting from The Fabric Store

I made the same adjustments as before, starting with a size 16 and taking the side seams in 3cm. I straightened the side seam curve from the top of the thigh to the waistband and took the inseam in another 1cm due to the stretch in this fabric. I also did a lower flat tummy adjustment to remove excess fabric in the groin area. For this pair I used a polka dot cotton for the waistband facing to avoid the wool itching and to add some stability to the waist band.

I also sewed some of this funny looking stabilising stuff into the top of the waistband. Sorry I have no idea of its technical term. I bought it from Clegs many years ago. My previous pairs of Clovers stretch with wear and the waistband turns down. I found this in my stash and decided to try it out. It certainly doesn't give (at all...) so those extra macarons last week were certainly acknowledged but it served its purpose.

I do still find that the crotch (particularly the groin) of the Clovers is a bit baggy, especially after wear. Any suggestions?

L x
June 03, 2012

Build: Thread Board

A few months ago, I asked my husband if he could make me a board for all my thread spools. They were overflowing from the large jar that previously stored them neatly and it was time to upgrade the thread storage situation.

This is what he came up with!!

I am one super happy sewing obsessed gal!!

L x
June 01, 2012

Update: Autumn Winter Wardrobe 2012

The leaves have fallen, the trees are bare and Winter is here! Time for a progress report on my 2012 Autumn Winter Wardrobe. Way back in March, I compiled an extreme sewing list and chose a colour palette that was full of reds, yellows, charcoal and cream.

Although I have not completed everything on the list yet, I have done really well. I also finished a few extra garments plus made a bucketload of kids pants and t-shirts. Plus, it is only just Winter...

  • Sewaholic Minoru Jacket - Black Wool Coating with Liberty Lantana lining
  • Clover Pants - Charcoal Wool Suiting
  • Clover Pants -Navy Stretch Drill 
  • Renfrew Top View C (cowl neck) - Black Wool Interlock
  • Renfrew Top View C - Yellow Merino Wool Knit 
  • Renfrew Top View B (plus 3/4 sleeves) - Charcoal Marc Jacobs Mesh Knit
  • Renfrew Top View B - black linen knit
  • Vogue 8028 Shirtdress - Suda Night Check
  • Infinity Scarf - leftover yellow merino knit

  • Black Wool Interlock Renfrew

    Mesh Renfrew with Merino Infinity Scarf
    Black Wool Minoru with Liberty Lining
    Yellow Merino Renfrew with Charcoal Wool Clovers

    Navy Cotton Drill Clovers

    Vogue 8028 Shirtdress

    In Progress (various stages):
  • Vogue 8560 Skirt - Black & White Doily Fabric
  • Simplicity 4237 pants - lightweight denim
  • Simplicity 2451 skirts - lightweight denim
  • Clover Pants -Black Wool Crepe

  • Not Started:
  • Leggings - found the perfect ones instore...
  • Simplicity 2451 skirt - charcoal cord
  • Tessuti New York Cape - fabric just found!!

  • Extra Items:
    Pink Infinity Scarf
    Print Simplicity 2215 Skirt
    Bird Vogue 1086 Dress
    Emerging Spots Simplicity 2360
    Burda Style Cropped Jacket
    White Linen Knit Renfrew
    Argo #4000 pencil skirt
    Autumn Skirt - Simplicity 2343

    Autumn Skirt - Simplicity 2343 

    Simplicity 2215

    Emerging Spots Dress and Burda Style Cropped Jacket

    Pink Merino Infinity Scarf

    White Linen Knit Renfrew

    Party Dress - Vogue 1086

    Argo #4000 Skirt

    Phew! I'm exhausted after that lot. I'm resting this week after two weeks of madly making party dresses. Next week, I'll be back at the machines!

    Check out what my little men gave me for my birthday...

    I'm super excited about my upcoming Tessuti New York Cape!!

    L x
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