January 30, 2013

Celebrate: Australia Day "extended" Long Weekend

Me and the boys hot-footed it to Queensland last Thursday for the long weekend as Mr Sew Brunswick was gallivanting (aka working) around the world for a few weeks. Everything started well. I flew solo with the two "monsters" to Brisbane and Gran was there to meet us. We swung by the hospital to pick up Dad, day 1 post shoulder replacement, and headed down the highway and up the mountain to Mum & Dad's place on Mt Tamborine.

Things then went a little unplanned. It started to rain. And rain. And rain some more. Then the wind picked up and we were in the middle of an ex-cyclone. We had at least 35 inches of rain in the gauge between Friday and Monday. I reckon most of it was coming down sideways and didn't even get in to the gauge! Monday morning we were due to leave for Brisbane and the airport but there was no way I was flying in that weather and a big gum tree fell across the drive so we were stuck anyway. Plus all roads off the mountain were closed. Thankfully my brother managed to get through on Monday arvo with nappies and milk plus the skills to operate a chainsaw!

We did get to see my family on Friday and Saturday before the weather turned too bad. The boys got to play with their cousins and I got to see my brothers and sister-in-laws. I also got to spend some time with my sewing-tailoring-knitting ninja of a grandmother. She helped me fit my drape jacket and even hand-basted it for me. She also gave me some knitting tips. And of course, I got to spend some quality time with my parents. I knitted lots while watching the tennis and Madagascar. I did give mum's vintage Elna a spin but I was all out of sorts with a different machine and sewing space.

We made it home today. So much for work this week. Oh well, we were in good company and everyone was safe and sound.

Time to fire up the machines!! I'm itching to sew something.

L x
January 21, 2013

Table: McCalls 6611 Drape Jacket

What's on my sewing table this week? McCalls 6611 drape jacket is still on my table. I am determined to get this jacket right and finished before moving on (or back) to my next project, The Moss Mini skirt. This jacket should be called the labour of love jacket. I almost threw it in the bin last night but Rachel convinced me not to.
This is what it looked like yesterday afternoon....
My original alterations were disastrous! I lengthened the jacket by 10cm and left the peplum off. The jacket was very boxy and bunching over my hips. It also made me look very wide through the waist. Not flattering at all!
So I went back to the drawing board and cut out the peplum as well as removing 8cm of the extra length I'd added. The waist seam really needs to sit on my natural waist. I also reshaped and reduced the size of the drapes.
This is what it looks like tonight...

I am liking it soooooo much more with the addition of the peplum. The peplum really balances out the drape and defines the waist.

It is at the point of hemming the sleeves and lining. But I wonder about that extra fabric along the princess seam. Should I pinch out this fabric before finishing it or not worry about it?? I've already finished the sleeves so I don't want to mess with those. I find most patterns are a bit baggy at this upper chest area and I probably should have looked at this before now...

Any suggestions? Does it still look like a dud or am I being a bit harsh on it? It has just taken so much time and energy.

L x
January 20, 2013

Sew: Kwik Sew 3149 Boy Shorts

Mr H is forever in need of new shorts. Just plain navy or denim. He has so many shorts made of funky patterns but some days call for normal, ordinary shorts.

Plus my stash was in need of a good cleansing....

Project Details
Pattern: Kwik Sew 3149, size 3
Fabric: Navy cotton drill & ocean zin linen, both from Tessuti (left over from Colette Clovers and Vogue 8805)

I really like the navy linen ones as they are lightweight and cool on these hot summer days.

L x

Knit: Progress Report

I received my new bamboo circular needle and Lion Brand chunky yarn during the week and got stuck right in to knitting the GAP-tastic cowl. After a few false starts where everything was twisting around, I think I'm doing alright.

 A bit of a difference to last week!!

L x
January 18, 2013

Garden: Summer

I love my vegie garden in summer!! It is going nuts this year and I can't keep up. After a few years of poor production, I've finally found my groove and it's paying off. I do love a bit of peace & quiet in my garden watering. That doesn't happen due to my very insistent helper but one can always dream...

I've got zucchinis, cucumbers and basil coming out my ears. Mr N has taken to eating whole cucumbers straight off the bush. He's not so keen on zucchinis but the CWA comes to the party with a great zucchini slice recipe. 

The beans have been a great success this year. They are my fave vegetable and Mr N is also very keen on them. You have to be quick and pick them before he finds them. The beans are slowly being overtaken by the pumpkin vines.

It does look pretty cool though and it is starting to sprout little pumpkins everywhere. The eggplants and capsicums are coming along nicely and will be a good change from zucchinis and cucumbers!

So there's my little vegie garden patch. Not bad for a carrot farmer's daughter who ended up in the middle Brunswick. But not a carrot in sight...

L x

Make: Basil Pesto

My garden is going nuts this summer! I have more zucchinis, cucumbers and basil than I know what to do with. Recently, I gave the hedge of basil a severe cutting back and made basil pesto.

I make my pesto using the following recipe. You can change the quantities depending on how much basil you have, or how much basil pesto you want!

Blend 6 cups of basil leaves with 200g pinenuts, 6 garlic cloves, salt to taste and enough good quality olive oil to form a nice consistency in a large food processor bowl. Once blended, stir in 350g finely grated parmesan cheese. Store in fridge with a film of olive oil covering pesto at all times. Makes about 3 cups of pesto.

It lasts in the fridge for about a month as long as the olive oil is covering the pesto. It is very tasty and makes a great weeknight meal with pasta. My boys love penne tossed with this pesto and served with grated parmesan on top. 

What else can I do with excessive amounts of basil??

L x
January 11, 2013

Table: McCalls 6611 Drape Jacket

I love seeing what other people are working on so I thought I'd start posting what's on my sewing table. I'm going to call it Table. Simple.

I'm working on McCalls 6611 which is a drape front jacket with a peplum. I cut out the pattern yesterday afternoon and altered it a fair bit. Today I'm going to draft the lining pattern pieces using Grainline's tutorial.

I'm really excited about this jacket! So much so, it might skip past these projects which have been waiting patiently...

January 10, 2013

Knit: Progress Report

One of the good things, if there is such a thing, about breaking my foot is that I've started on one of my aims for 2013. Knitting! After a full day of work my foot aches so I've been sitting on the couch with my circular needle and yarn, watching You Tube videos about casting on, knit stitch and purl stitch. I've decided to start with the GAP-tastic Cowl. And boy, is knitting more complicated than I thought. I bought the wrong yarn and learnt the hard way. It involved scissors to get myself out of the mess. It wasn't pretty but I'm persevering and I've order some new chunky yarn and a longer circular needle.

Wish me luck!!

L x
January 06, 2013

Sew: Floral Collette Dinnigan Cambie Dress

Another birthday party, another party dress!! Mr N turns 4 tomorrow so we held his birthday party this morning. It was all about Lightning McQueen.

For the occasion I made my first Sewaholic Cambie and used a prized piece of Collette Dinnigan cotton floral that I've been sitting on for a while waiting for the perfect project. A total match made in heaven. I love this dress. The fabric is gorgeous. It feels like good quality bed linen that has been washed a million times, soft and lovely. I used a white silk cotton lining from Tessuti which is my fave fabric to line summer dresses.

I took a chance and did a swayback adjustment without a toile. Every dress I've made in the last 6 months has required this alteration and all my old dresses probably should have had this alteration. I removed a 1.5cm fold (3cm total) from above and below the waistband. To re-align the grainline I removed 1.5cm from the centre back (again 3cm total), which removes the back necline gape issue. I was spot on with this alteration.

The colours of the dress are lovely and soft without being pastel. Here we are "controlling" pass the parcel with a bunch of 4 year olds. It's a good photo of the true colours of the dress.

Project Details
Pattern: Sewaholic Cambie Dress, View A
Fabric: Collette Dinnigan floral cotton from Rathdowne Fabrics, silk cotton lining from Tessuti
Alterations: Swayback adjustment (above & below waistband), size 14 bodice grading to size 16 waistband and skirt

I am so glad I jumped on to the Cambie bandwagon! I am also super glad that our Festive Season is now officially done and dusted for the year. December and January birthdays certainly take it out of you.

Check out the birthday cake I made!!

L x
January 03, 2013

Meet: Sydney - February 9

The husbands and flights are booked. The accommodation is sorted. Prepare yourselves people!!
Rachel and I are coming to Sydney!

We're staying in Surry Hills, close to Tessuti and The Fabric Store and we'd love to catch up on Saturday 9th February. It would be good to meet at Tessuti for a spot of shopping and then find somewhere that serves good food and chilled champagne! Let us know if you're keen or if you have any suggestions. Christy, I know you're keen and full of ideas! 

Can you tell we're excited?!

L x
January 02, 2013

Celebrate: The New Year

Happy New Year! We had a lovely quiet night at home with friends. It was all over and done by 9.30pm as the kids were going feral and were completely freaked out by the fireworks. It was still a nice way to see out 2012 and enjoy a bottle of bubbles.
Earlier in the day, I found out that I had broken my foot! I am now accessorising with a "Moon Boot" that thankfully I only have to wear if I'm walking around a lot.

No running or walking for exercise for 6 weeks! There goes my New Year's resolution of running the 15km Run for the Kids and losing the next 7kg.
And it's my sewing foot!! I hope it doesn't slow down the sewing production too much. I did go and buy some knitting needles and yarn to start on my knitting resolution...
L x 

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