Since making my cotton nightdress on my new sewing machine, I have been intending to make something else similar so that I can consolidate what I learned about my machine and start to sew a bit faster. Luckily this fits with another aim I have which is to fill my wardrobe with pretty and practical shifts and tops to wear underneath some of my more revealing or see through summer dresses.
Last summer I made a shift using this free pattern. In some ways the pattern was a success and I certainly appreciate it being offered gratis, but I've never been entirely happy with the garment which resulted. It would be very pretty on my 'tween daughter or teenage goddaughter but, on me, it highlights bits which are better de-emphasised or even covered! Today I tweaked the pattern, widening the neckline to shift the straps outwards and adjusting the bust darts to suit my body better. Once that was done, the sewing up went smoothly and quickly and I am more appreciative of my machine's merits.
I used some shot cotton from Kaffe Fasset's range (colour: viridian) and it was beautiful to handle. I still have a metre each of a couple of other colour ways and I am wondering what I might make.
I am also wondering if I should avoid use my manequin for fitting as the shift which fits my body so well is completely wrong for the manequin's shape judging by the bust darts.
More hot weather is coming. The calendar might say autumn but the message hasn't got through. Daytime temperatures for the next week or so are all over 30 and the nights are not much better. Ugh.
Hot nights call for cool cotton so both girls have new short pyjamas and I have finally remade my favourite nightgown. I bought the original version about a decade ago and loved it from the first minute I put it on. I continued to wear it long past respectability but finally had to acknowledge its passing and it has been sitting in my sewing room ever since waiting for me to cut a pattern from it. The pattern should have been an easy make but turned out be a frustrating fiddle, not least because I'm learning the ins and outs of a new sewing machine. Now that it is finished I am glad I persisted and I am about to pop the end result in the washing machine to be ready for bed tonight.
It is Australia Day today so I wasn't surprised to see neighbours flying a flag or two. Looking closer, I was a bit taken a back to see that the large flag belonged to New Zealand rather than Australia.
I'm hoping that the explanation includes a cross-Tasman migration rather than outright ignorance.
The girls and I were left to our own devices on Saturday while the girls' dad worked. We hopped on our bikes with a plan in mind. First stop was a newish cafe ideally located next to a playgound on the edge of the bike path. Last stop before home was the library. Along the way we did a lap of a local park and playing fields and stopped to visit this little person. She was a regular destination in the days when I whipped around on my bicyle with a small girl in her bike seat clutching on to me as I rode but we haven't visited for a while. Clearly she is still well loved.
The title says it all. I am hoping for a happy 2013 for us all. Not that 2012 was bad by any means, just busy and tiring and short on time for anything but the necessary.
Despite moving house and acquiring a gorgeous sunny sewing room all to myself, not much making went on last year. I am determined this year will be different. I have had a lazy summer at the beach catching up on lots of sewing blogs and discovering new ones and I am feeling inspired and ready to sew.
Today I am wearing one of the few things I did make last year:
The pattern began as Colette's free Sorbetto pattern, but I have tweaked it to suit my body shape and personal preferences. I did a small bust adjustment to remove the side darts, re-sited the centre front pleat on the inside and used my favourite binding method at the neck and armholes and for the hem. I deliberately used a single, unfolded strip of bias to emphasise the linen's weave and left the outside edges raw.
The fabric is a small piece of Irish linen purchased several years ago. It seemed horribly expensive at the time, I only bought half a metre of it and I have been waiting for the perfect pattern to use it. While I love the fabric, it is not particularly flattering to my colouring unless I am suntanned so the top has not had many outings before now.
For me, this simple top is a success because it is comfortable, practical and fits as it should. I'd like to do more sewing of the same kind this year and hopefully I will.
Spring snuck into our garden while we were away.
It is a funny thing, inheriting someone else's garden. It has happened to us a couple of times now and this garden is the closest to the one I would have planted myself. It is missing a few of my favourites and there are far too many roses for my liking, but I am loving the espaliered citrus and the salvias and sages scattered through the beds. I am also watching with interest as unfamiliar plants blooms.
It is not a particularly native garden but that doesn't seem to worry the local birds who spend plenty of time in our space. We also have a resident ringtail possum, complete with his own possum pad, in a large weeping myrtle near our back door. The girls say they have seen him, but I know him best by his work. He is remarkably good at destroying any leafy greens I plant. A nearby friend is having the same problem and we've decided to experiment with garlic and chilli sprays. My fear is that this is a possum with gourmet taste buds and he will just come back for more!