September 30, 2012

Sew: Breastfeeding Cover

On my first public outing with Mr N, I attempted breastfeeding him (all 4.1kg of him) under a wrap whilst sitting inconspicuously in the corner of a cafe. It was an absolute disaster!! The wrap kept falling off, I couldn't see my breast or where his mouth was, he couldn't see me and to top it all off I dropped the breastfeeding shield on dirty Degraves Lane. In full public view...

As soon as I got home, I googled breastfeeding covers and found they were simply a rectangle of fabric with a strap. A few hours later I had a cover that served me well for my two short breastfeeding careers. I made some modifications to the simple fabric rectangle to improve the usability. I included boning and some stiff interfacing to keep the cover open at the top so I could see what I was doing. I also included two towelling pockets to hold the shields while feeding and to wipe up spills.

Multiple friends saw me feeding in all sorts of places with the cover and when it came to their time to have a baby, it became my go-to baby present.

A friend of mine is due in a month and had her baby shower this afternoon. I made her a neutral cover in a Victoria & Albert Museum craft cotton from Spotlight. Mr N picked it. I think he's got a very good eye for fabric!

Project Details
Fabric: 1m Victoria & Albert Museum craft cotton from Spotlight - cut to 90cm x 70cm &  7cm x 90cm
Notions: 0.5m boning, 2 x D-rings, thread, cotton towelling

It has been a very sad week for Brunswick, so it was nice to spend some time with a group of lovely ladies celebrating the impending birth of a beautiful baby. Boy or girl, it does not matter.

L x
September 24, 2012

Home: Laundry

After an extended break from my "spring" cleaning, I got back in to it and finally cleaned the laundry. It was induced by my washing machine dying from exhaustion and the need for a brand spanking new Bosch 7.5kg front loader. Do you know how long it takes to hang out 7.5kg of little kids clothes?! F.o.r.e.v.e.r.

And it has a child-lock!!!

And yes, my laundry is on the back deck...

L x
September 23, 2012

Family: 6 years



6 years ago today I married the man of my dreams. Happy Anniversary my darling! May there be many more adventures to come.

L x

PS. We were married at my parents home in Mount Tamborine, Queensland and our wedding photos were taken by Alex Kennison of the now Savvy Studios.
September 21, 2012

Sew: Scout Woven Tee


A quick and easy sew. Perfect for breaking up the monotony of sewing lined shift dresses for work and cutting out heaps of items including the Lily Linen Dress. That thing takes forever to piece together!

Project Details
Pattern: Scout Woven Tee by Grainline Studio
Fabric: Japanese Cotton (very drapey) purchased in Tokyo last year
Alterations: None. Cut a size L.

My only suggestion for this tee is to select a fabric with a good drape. There are no darts in the front panel so a fabric with good drape is required so it doesn't stick out too much. I would love a Liberty one. Perfect for layering on my "Mummy" days.

This fabric was a holiday purchase on our trip to Japan last year. I was lucky enough to score a day in the fabric district, Nippori, and I bought as much as I could fit into my backpack which was not nearly enough. I considered sacrificing nappies and formula for more fabric but came to my senses! Thankfully as that stuff is hard to find in Japan. I would love to go back to Japan one day. It was an amazing holiday, perfect for children and full of amazing fabric & notions. In the meantime, I will wear items sewn from my holiday fabrics to remind me of my travels. And plan the next holiday!

Do you buy fabric on holidays? Where's your favourite holiday destination to shop for fabric? Any tips?

L x
September 18, 2012

Travel: Brisbane & Surrounds

I've been busy! Super busy. I am missing my machines. Sigh.

We went to Queensland last week for a visit and a spot of work. We visited family and caught up with an old friend.

I talked fabric and patterns with my mum.

I sat on a train for an hour, read trashy mags and ate chocolate all by MYSELF.   

We splashed in the FREEZING water.

I stayed with my brother and his wife in their freshly renovated house. I presented a few topics at a paediatric seminar and pretended to know what I was talking about. We ate Brisbane's "best" crispy skin chicken noodle soup in West End.

The boys spent a few days with their grandparents. Mr Sew Brunswick went on to Mt Isa to do some work. I went on a few runs and saw the sights of my "home" city.

  It was good. It is lovely to be home. But a little bit of me will always miss Queensland...

L x
September 10, 2012

Sew: Vogue 8787


Item 3 of my work wardrobe overhaul is Vogue 8787 in a black ponti knit. This pattern was a complete impulse buy whilst I was searching for another pattern. There are very limited versions of this dress on the internet which made me quite suspicious. Nothing to worry about, I am really pleased with this make. Well, I should say I was very happy until I saw these photos... Lumpy bumpy!

The pattern is a Very Easy Vogue (which I think is a bit of a stretch) for a fully lined dress with two neckline variations and two skirt variations. This was my wearable muslin as I was planning on the cowl neckline in a blueberry ponti but wanted to check the fit first. I made two sway back adjustments, removing 2 cm from above and below the waistband. I re-straightened the grainline following this adjustment to remove approximately 2cm from each side of the back neckline. Most dresses gape at the back neckline on me. I made a size 20, removing an extra 1cm from the side seams and centre back seam. I will make a size 18 in future. I could also size the bodice down another side as well. It is slightly too big and bags a bit.

I recommend sewing the dress and lining as separate pieces and wait until all the fitting is done before putting them together. The pattern instructions have you making the lined bodice first and then the lined skirt before attaching them together.  I could have done a better job of the fitting but the bodice was all lined and sealed by the time I realised and there was no way I was unpicking it.

I have now decided on a peplum top and pencil skirt for the blueberry ponti so will have to find another fabric for the cowl neck version. The ponti knit is probably a bit thick for this pattern. I quite like the idea of an emerald green or burnt orange crepe.

Project Details
Pattern: Very Easy Vogue 8787
Fabric: Black Ponti from Rathdowne Fabrics (same as my Simplicity 2250 jacket), lining from Clegs
Alterations: Sway back adjustment, lengthened by 10cm, removed excess from back neckline

So, what do you think? A winner or a loser?

On another topic, what do you use for managing your photos and loading them on to your blog? I'm having trouble with the quality of the images I load. Any suggestions? Tips or programs I should use?

L x

September 09, 2012

Sew: Freddie Vest

I was lucky enough to grab some time away from home and do the Freddie Vest sewing class at Tessuti with Rachel. What a lovely way to spend a cold and windy day!

I almost finished the vest during the class. I just had to do some handstitching to complete the vest.

All of my fabrics were from Tessuti at some stage. I used a doubled sided linen for the front and a metallic coated knit for the lining. For the back, I used a metallic blend salvaged from a failed skirt.

Overall, I'm quite happy with this vest. It is not really my style but I think that worked to my advantage as I was willing to mix up the fabrics and take a chance.

Project Details
Pattern: Freddie Vest, The Makers Journal
Fabric: Various fabrics from Tessuti Melbourne
Alterations: Size 14 - added 1cm to each centre back seam to widen the back (total 2cm)

I wore it out last night with a fitted pair of black Clovers, a kimono tee and a pair of black high heels. I totally rocked it!

The tee in the pictures is a Kirsten Kimono T-Shirt made using a free pattern download from Maria Denmark. I forgot to add the seam allowances to this version but it turned out ok. Unfortunately the fabric does not wear well. It is a great simple pattern and I see plenty more of these tees in the near future!

L x

Cook: Curry Beef Noodles

My mum used to make this for us when we were kids. It is now one of our favourites for an easy and super quick dinner. It is fabulous for work days as it seriously only takes about 10 minutes.

500g lean beef mince
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt flakes
1 tsp curry powder (I use Keen's)
1/4 head of cabbage, roughly chopped
2-3 grated carrots
2 x packets of instant noodles (I use Maggi 2 minute noodles), discard flavour sachet

Brown mince in frypan. Add garlic, salt and curry powder, mix well. Add cabbage and carrot and toss well to combine. Fry for 1 minute max. Smash up noodles and mix in as well. Serve immediately.

I really like everything to be crunchy, so you'll want to cook it very briefly and eat it immediately. Surprisingly, this meal is a huge hit with my boys. Just go easy on the curry powder!!

L x
September 08, 2012

Cook: Sausage Rolls

Who doesn't like a good sausage roll? One of my boys is a huge fan, so I made these for lunch the other day.

500g lean beef mince
1 x grated carrot
1 x grated zucchini
1 x grated brown onion
Plus a good whack of salt, pepper, garlic and worcestershire sauce
3 sheets of puff pastry

Mix mince, vegetables and seasonings together until well mixed.

Cut each sheet of puff pastry in half and put a decent line of mince mixture down each half. Roll pastry around mince and press to secure. Cut each roll into 4 even pieces. Brush with an egg wash and bake in a moderate oven (180C) until golden brown. 
Serve with tomato relish for best results! Yum!
L x
September 06, 2012

Plan: Spring & Summer Wardrobe

I have a cupboard full of beautiful fabric ready to be made into a new spring wardrobe. So I am going to shop my stash and wear all that fabulous fabric.

Are you ready for my list? It's quite long. I even have a few photos. Here we go...

Work Wardrobe

  • Vogue 8815 Peplum top & Butterick 3597 pencil skirt - blueberry ponti
  • New Look 6000 - black ponti & grey geometric print
  • Simplicity 2591 - black & white stripe (add pleated band over shoulder)
  • Vogue 8787 cowl neck dress - not sure which fabric yet
  • Butterick 3597 pencil skirts - 3 x remnants in my stash
  • Black blouse - silk crepe de chine

Casual Wardrobe

  • Cambie Dress - cotton sateen & CD floral
  • Lonsdale dress - Liberty
  • Simplicity 2215 dress - Liberty
  • Grainline Scout Tee - black Japanese floral
  • Grainline Tiny pocket tank - yellow floral (refashioned), navy birds, emerging spots
  • Simplicity jacket - gold/beige washed linen
  • Colette Hazel dress - Japanese "industrial" border print
  • Simplicity 2250 jacket - Kelani denim
  • Kimono Tee - under fire & black spots
  • McCalls Maxi dress
  • Tessuti Lily dress - red linen
  • Vogue 1027 - Tessuti Eruption jersey
  • Vogue 1250 - Tessuti Mystery Girl jersey
  • Little Black Dress

  • I want to make something out of this pink and blue cotton print but I have no idea what. I have 1.5m and it is 150cm wide. Shift dress? Simplicity 2599 tank with asymmetrical pleats? Any ideas?

    • Black ponti pencil skirt
    • Black wideleg pants
    • Doily skirt
    • Freddie Vest
    • Kimono Tee - Under Fire
    • Vogue 8787 dress - black ponti


    L x
    September 02, 2012

    Sew: Colette Negroni for Father's Day

    Happy Father's Day! When asked what he would like for Father's Day, my husband replied with "to sleep in until 8am". That's all he wanted. Admittingly we are usually up well before 6am, so 8am is a luxury. He made it until 7am before emerging.

    I also made him a Negroni and the boys gave him some chocolate.

    Here's my first attempt at a Negroni.



    This is a size XL. Many will say it is too big and not fitted enough but this is how he likes his shirts. He hates feeling restricted. Plus I am not a huge fan of very fitted shirts. He asked me to copy the sizing of a fave Ben Sherman shirt which was very helpful during the construction process. Next time I will make the next size down just to see. I'm hoping for a nice crisp cotton.
    Project Details
    Pattern: Negroni by Colette Patterns
    Fabric: Some kind of blended shirting from The Fabric Store
    Alterations: Shortened sleeves by 7.5cm and hem by 4cm.
    Mr Sew Brunswick is very happy with his new shirt and I think he's pleasantly surprised with the final shirt. He's wearing it today! 
    Happy Father's Day!
    L x
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