Friday, April 14, 2017

Bellbird Take Two


Keen to make another of the Bellbird dresses and keen also to use more of my opshop fabric stash 
( this is one my mum purchased for me on one of our outings, all for a bargain price of $1 )

I cut out what I would like to call a Autumn/Spring version, as this fabric is very light, and I would say likely a Cotton Lawn.




 Due to this, the bodice and the skirt are both fully lined.
But I decided to keep the sleeves unlined, as I liked the idea of the effect from the light shining through



 and if you look closely you may be able to see below it worked just how I planned.....
love it when that happens!



 I decided to make a alteration this time around, because I quite like playing around with patterns, and this is a great one to do that with.

I chose to gather the sleeves traditionally and bias bind the cuffs in a contrasting fabric ( actually the offcuts from the previous dress ) 
 I did this using the same circumference measurement provided for the elastic plus a extra inch.


 Teamed with a contrasting rouleau bow,
 this finished the dress of nicely.

And Lil Miss who was reluctant at first to let me take photos, soon enjoyed it, especially once she decided to accessorize with some of my Nana's collection of earrings, which are now part of her precious collection.  And believe me they are Precious! Even I need permission! hahaha


Bellbird Dress - The Perfect Addition to Your Little Girls Winter Wardrobe


Sophie from Below the Kowhai patterns has just released her first pattern the Bellbird dress.
A sweet timeless design that was just the piece I was looking for to add to my girls winter wardrobe


 With the addition of a optional embroidery on the bodice,
 this makes for a very special piece.
However due to the nature of my chosen fabrics, I found the embroidery design was getting lost, aswell as that, it was making my eyes go cross-eyed and giving me quite the headache.  
 But determined to make this work, I had to find a solution as this fabric was part of my opshop fabric stash, and I am desperate to use more of my fabric finds from local thrift stores, as well as keen to upcycle more ( but more of that on a future post ) 

 The woolfelt worked out to be the best replacement for the embroidered flower petals, which made it alot easier for the flowers to pop against my fabric.  


I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, even though the silk stitch is not my strong point.....I'll leave that to the more talented embroiderers out there such as Sophie.

 I also love to make roleaux loops so I took the opportunity to make one for the button closure at the back, looping around the sweetest vintage button.


The pockets make a nice touch to this timeless design, and I'm sure to find many odd things in these pockets come washing time, including in the washing machine, if I've forgotten to empty the pockets......which I often am likely to do.


 The pattern itself is well written and Sophie guides you through the whole process with detailed photos, including how to line the whole bodice which tucks away all the seams and gives a nice tailored finish to the garment.  
It's perfect for any kid whom itchy seams are unbearable.

I don't know about you, but even though summer didn't really show itself much this year, I'm ready for the change of seasons with the layering of clothes, wool, tights and boots and a dress like this I think fits right in.




Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Pink Princessy Dress Success!


For such a long time now I've been waiting for the day my little girl would reach that age that she would enjoy dress ups......I've tried to introduce them to her plenty of times over her six years

 

but each time, in her own delightful way she would accept them with the utmost admiration, only for it to be left lingering in the toy basket for eternity.


 In fact the local toy library has been invaluable for us lately as her interest is lost rather quickly in conventional toys.  
Her type of favourite game has more of a repetitive structure to it....or one of her favourite's is scribbling in her notebook


So when we started her at school this term, she fell in love with a pink princess dress in the classroom dress ups, and then followed the request for a 'pink princess dress' for her birthday.....and seeing as this year she finally understood the concept of birthdays, I had all the items she wanted including this dress faithfully told to me each time her birthday was mentioned....hahaha!

 

 So putting the past behind me, I threw myself right into it and started collecting all the things needed...metres and metres of tulle and netting and the ideas then started flooding my mind.

I drafted up a little bodice, and with a some sort of concept in mind, I started putting this poofy princessy creation together.

 

I really love how the centre bodice turned out, and I'm very happy with myself that I took the time to baste the layers together at every step....it reduced much of the possible unpicking that I could have faced with such a challenge.


 The only part I would happily not do again, would be all the layers of netting/tulle and satin.....when all these are ruffled up and sewn one at a time onto the bodice, it becomes quite a feat!

But the end result I have to say I am estactic with, mostly because she just adores it, and walks around pretending to be a princess....It's hard for me to keep my eyes off her as she floats around in it.....shes just adorable!


And here's one more photo because she is too cute! 
Here she is with one of her favourite books at mums...
the tiny bible....(anything tiny with words she loves!) 


 


Friday, September 11, 2015

Update to break my Hiatus!

After a 3 month Hiatus from this blog its time to get back on the wagon and start writing again....nothing fancy just plopping on some random photos and a very brief update.

Some of the reasons for not bothering is life is busy (isn't it always) and I couldn't find my camera charger! 
That and Instagram has just been so much easier to connect with many of you.....if you haven't found me, please do! I'm on there most days, using Mikes phone because mine sucks!
(much to his amusement )



So whats going on with us now that we are mid September?  Well within the month our tiny 2 bedroom home will be moved off and the diggers move in to start leveling out for our new house!!


Yes finally, after many months trying to get quotes from three builders, we finally have nailed one down and we are to start in October!  This is going to be a interesting build as we are taking over from the builders once its time to put the insulation in, then its all us!! And right at our busiest time with our young business......so during that intense Christmas rush we will be insulating, organising plasterers, electricians and plumbers so that we can paint and do all the finishing touches.....
oh and Mike is making the bathroom vanities, kitchen cabinetry and stairs for my upstairs library/craft room!


All this and occupying my mums house for those months!  Oh boy, its going to be one interesting time!


And during all of this, I'm also considering diving in and starting up my own little side business...yip I said it! This makes me accountable! You'll have to hold me to it now ;) ( although I can edit this out! )


I've wanted to do this for so long and now with at least three kids at school now ( my eldest is at home still ) there really isn't much holding me back....lets forget the house build for now shall we? hehe


Not too mention the growing season also! Ummmm yeah....I'll be doing a lot of this....


watering and tending to plants too!

Until next time xxx

Friday, February 6, 2015

An eventful couple of weeks......and some handknit eye candy.

It's been a crazy couple of weeks here lately, from life changes like Mikes mother is going to be moving in with us!.... to our car breaking down several times earlier this week.

We've had builders visiting, real estate agents taking advantage of Mikes mother and car radiators spitting boiling water into my face in a hospital parking lot...... all the while crunching numbers to figure out how to build a house large enough to fit us all in!


Amongst it all though there have been some positives, number one being a larger house on the horizon, you can imagine after living in a two bedroom house with the family bed in the lounge/kitchen area, this will be a dream come true! 
Gosh under this alone I can rattle off so many pluses....our own bedroom, a proper place for the washing machine, possibly even a dishwasher!! Oh yes! And the highlight......a SHOWER!!! 
Oh how much I have missed a shower! 
Baths are over rated! 
Give me my shower back!!! 
Honestly it has more of a relaxation effect on me than soaking in a bath, and I think the sound of the water drowning out the noise and possible screaming of children might have something to do with it! hehe


But other than that what are some other positives? Well for one having Mikes mum and the children's Grandma living with us! There is something to be said for multi-generational living, not only will our kids and Grandma benefit, but we will also....for one Mike's mum is far more tidy than we will ever be, so she is bound to keep us on our toes in that department! And I'm sure my washing will never be left overnight on the washing line anymore! 
 Plus I'll imagine it will enrich our lives in more ways than we can even think of right now.



But how about the broken down car?.........hmmmn yes well partly this is our own fault, a disaster waiting to happen really, and one that always happens when I'm driving the cars......for a quick summary:
 
My First Car = broken down alone in the middle of no where with  3 kids from 3yrs old to 2 weeks old!

Second Car = came around the corner at night in wild weather with four kids in the car and alone again, crashed into tree that had just fallen down on the road....and out of cellphone range.

And this week = after the cars radiator boiling over and exploding at me, I thought I had fixed it, so I cautiously continued to drive to the library, Bunnings and then a food shop at P n S, where with a car full off groceries, the car decided not to start.....again alone with my eldest child......turns out it wasn't the car battery and it was a computer problem, which attributed to telling the car that it was colder than it actually was...hence boiling over radiator.


So my positives are.....the car is getting fixed finally and I didn't get burnt, it hurt, but I'm okay......those 3 hours waiting for help in the car park were a good life lesson for my boy and I, and what started off being an anxious experience, resulted in him being more positive than me!  
And this week we've enjoyed swimming lessons in the back yard of a local home-schooler, meeting with other home-schooling families and being thankful for the use of my Mum's car!
Phew!!
  So life has been full, and it doesn't look like it will be slowing down in the near future either! 
But that's our life, so we will just continue to roll with the punches!
 


Pictures of a Tropical Lily top, pattern by Tikki Knits.  I knitted my Lil girl this a couple of years ago but it never fitted her until now.....details on my Ravelry Page


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Home schooling and learning difficulties - 3/52 Things I made 2015


This year is our second year of home schooling and it's also my Lil girls first proper year of learning, so I have been gearing up to start making resources to help her learn her basics.


I've been wanting a Laminator for ages! And now that I have one its all go go go go, creating learning binders etc, to assist her with processing all this information.

My children's learning is not something I mention much about on my blog, but it's something that's a big part of lives....learning in all areas of life as well. 
 Around here it's not just about presenting all the basic academic information in a format my children understand, a good part of it is also teaching social rules. 


You see, my kids all have learning difficulties to varying degrees, which has been a huge focus for us in the last couple of years.  

Last years absence on my blog was the result of one of those....2014 was consumed by an added condition on top of another, and it was a dark year to say the least! Thankfully we are on the other end of that journey and things look brighter than they were. 


 However last year we got a second diagnosis for my little girl, amongst it all.

 I had been in denial for many years, quite aware that something was amiss from when she was as young as 6 months....that's when alarm bells starting ringing, I'd 'been here before' I thought, but I pushed those thoughts away, denying what I knew deep down.  
Then when she was close to 3yrs and her speech and language was not on track compared to her peers I started the process of involving a Speech Language Therapist, which in turn led us to her second diagnosis late last year and a sigh of relief to put the naysayers in their place...there is always the naysayers isn't there?!



And throughout this journey, we have been involved in many courses, I have read so many books and scoured the internet on these subjects, that all I want now is a good fictional book to absorb myself in! since reading non fiction is not my strong suit, unlike my eldest who loves it!

But instead because of our hard work, I find myself now, armed with a plethora of information, a laminator and a big roll of Velcro dots! 

So this term we are learning the alphabet!  I'm pretty sure she will have many of these figured out quickly, since thankfully she is a very quick learner! ( and she will keep me on my toes ) 
It's just all comes down to how the information needs to be presented.  What my little girl may lack in auditory processing, she certainly makes up for it in processing visually!
So now we have the key, its our time to unlock the door!



Friday, January 23, 2015

Saturday Routine and a Floral Tiered Skirt - All the things I made 2014


Good Morning! 

Another Saturday in our household, and that means 'Game Day' which my boys eagerly wait for each week!

We don't have any TV connection now ( 3 months and not missing it! ), so when Saturday rolls around, those boys are up early talking gaming and what each of them is going to do....
Me?, well I'm not a fan, as they always end up arguing and grumpy at the end of it, and it stretches on longer than I would like, but looking at the bigger picture it does give Mike and I some time-out of our own, and its only for Saturday, so right now I can live with that! 

Aren't you all sick of the Mummy guilts? They seem to come with the territory, and right now for me its the Gaming! I've never liked it, and I'm unlikely to in the near future, so who wouldn't want free time to sew? Knit? Garden for hours without interruption? 

Exactly! So I'm leaving the guilt behind, and I'll take what time I can get!

And one of those days last year, was spent making this skirt for my Lil Miss.



Made in a pretty cotton voile, it's my first tiered skirt, a nice easy sew and from the book 
 

 Captured how she attempts to open the front door....despite it looking like 'Strike a pose'

I love that book! I must make some more clothes from it!
A few more items to add to the ever increasing list!

What about you? What's one of your mummy guilts? 
Is it really that bad?  
 


 
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