slow sewing

Sunday 22 February 2009
I've finally finished sewing my second garment of this year - this is slow sewing to the extreme! Which is fine if you are sewing couture garments that deserve slavish attention to detail, but not so when I'm just doing a simple skirt and desperately need some new clothes because my maternity clothes are way too big now (yay for me!) but my pre preggo clothes still do not quite fit (damn chocolate bullets I ate during my pregnancy).

Anyway, I made a denim skirt which I'm not sure is in fashion anymore but I always find them to be a good basic staple in my wardrobe. I made this from a dark lightweight denim I've had maturing in the stash a while, that has a little bit of stretch to it so that it's more forgiving to wear. I used Butterick 3132 which seems to be OOP now, shame on me for having a pattern for so long before using it the first time it's no longer printed! But it is a fairly simple style with some nice detailing at the back:

And here it is modelled in front of the unpainted walls in my soon to be new living room:

Happily those walls got a coat of undercoat today by my obliging husband, and hopefully next weekend will have some paint on them. I'm pretty excited at the prospect of having a lounge room again...

The fabric is a bit dark to get any details, but you get the idea. I topstitched the front pockets and pleats on the back with a dark orange thread like you see on most RTW jeans , so nothing unusual here. Of course the downside to such slow sewing is that I have lost weight in between cutting this out and finishing this, so I'll have to take it in somehow, maybe by putting a centre front and back seam in because with a side zipper and the rear vents it will be too much effort to take it all apart.

Happily I've dropped 10kg of baby weight, but still have about 7 - 10kg of pregnancy comfort food weigh to get rid of, depending on whether I get to my pre-preggo weight or my ideal weight. But no real hurry I guess, it took 9 months to get that way so I'll have to be patient in getting rid of it especially when I'm so hungry due to breastfeeding.

Well I'll finish this post with a totally unrelated photo of Anna, but hey I like showing her off and I know you all like it too! Here she is doing a baby eskimo impression in a fluffy jacket when the weather turned cold last week:

why I'm not sewing baby girl clothes.....

Friday 13 February 2009
because I keep receiving the cutest baby outfits as gifts and hand me downs from friends that's why! Seriously, Anna has so many clothes that I'm not going to sew her any for quite some time to make sure we get good use out of all the clothes we've been given, such as this gorgeous dress Anna received from one of my close friends:
Red and white polka dots with ric rac, what's not to love about it? This photo was taken last Sunday when it was really really hot here, but now the crazy weather has turned and it's so cold I've put my flannelette pyjamas on tonight. So here's another photo of Anna in some warmer clothes, giving Oscar the nosy dog a kung fu kick to the nose 'cos he's always sniffing around checking what she's doing:

Hasn't it been a dramatic and extremely sad week in Australia this week? I'm sure you've all heard about the horrific bushfires in Victoria, the likes of which are unprecedented in Australia and just seem surreal to me. Terrible floods in far north Queensland, with a crocodile taking a little boy. And then there were two shark attacks in the last two days, one in Sydney Harbour and the other at Bondi and let me tell you as someone who used to swim in the sea every day as a youngster there's nothing scarier than being in the water when the shark alarm goes off. It feels like those dreams you have when you are being chased but are moving in slow motion: you just can't get out of the water fast enough.

So let's all be thankful for the good things in life, big or small. I'm thankful that Anna's gone to sleep 'cos she has been a bit crabby this week, staying up from 2am to 4.30am most mornings and then only sleeping for an hour during the day, which is unpleasant for all of us. But I'm sure it will pass all too soon so I'm trying to be positive and look at it as being extra time spent with my little girl - because earlier in the week I was doing the cliched new mum lament of "what have I done, I've ruined my life!" LOL

And I have managed to get some sewing done, probably because I'm only doing minimal housework in the rooms not affected by construction at the moment so I've had a bit of spare time in between naps. Also my husband does all the cooking and grocery shopping (I know, I'm extremely lucky) so I do manage to find time to do some things for me which is great for my sanity. Also thank god my mum is so calm and full of common sense, she always points me in the right direction as well as holding Anna whenever she's here which gives me a break.

Well I have some homework to do thanks to Jean for pointing out the machine hemming technique. I admit that I've never read the manual that came with my sewing machine and I assumed because it's a basic machine that it wouldn't do anything so fancy, so I'm off to explore and experiment. Thanks Jean, you truly are my sewing godmother! Of course now I'll have to find a different excuse for all my UFOs......

Finally some sewing

Wednesday 4 February 2009
Well I have officially upgraded my birth experience from painful to traumatic: I spent most of last week back in hospital after suffering a post partum haemorrage due to some retained placenta. It was an extremely scary few days but it has all been resolved now without the need for a further operation (a D&C). On the bright side however, Anna and I got to stay in the airconditioned hospital during the hot weather Sydney has been having (I feel for you Vicki, Melbourne has been ever hotter) and whilst the hospital is pretty noisy what with those annoying buzzers going off every few seconds it had nothing on the noise my builders create around here so a few days bed rest in hospital wasn't a bad idea in the end.

But the enforced rest gave me some time to finish sewing a top I have been making for the last two weeks and just needed to do those pesky handsewing of hems that we all seem to put off. I've made this pattern a few times before and I can get it done in about 2 or 3 hours, but now with all the interruptions thanks to a certain little miss who has suddenly taken to exercising her vocal cords loudly and often it has taken me two weeks. But slow and steady gets you there in the end, just ignore the lack of hair brushing and make up in this photo!:

I really need some half decent breastfeeding clothes to wear out on the few occasions I do leave the construction zone that is my home, and while I did make a few dresses that are b/feeding friendly last year, I wanted to make some seperates that I could wear with pants and that would be ok for the rest of the year as well.

For Elizabethe who is having her own baby in 5 months and expressed interest in seeing how I would modify patterns for b/f clothes (there's a challenge if I ever I heard one!) or for anyone else who wants ready access to their breasts (the mind boggles but you never know.....) I based this top on an Elizabeth Lee design. This pattern company are one of the few that do specific nursing patterns, and whilst I think the patterns use really clever techniques to enable access for nursing, the actual styles themselves aren't really me, so I decided to modify some patterns I already had inspired by these designs.

Using Simplicity 4589, I modified it based on this technique:

I used a crisp cotton pale yellow with khaki green leaf print fabric that I've had in the stash for a few years, from Spotlight originally I think. I also changed the pattern by making the sleeves a little longer because cap sleeves aren't so flattering on my chicken wing arms, and I also lengthened it a litle, but added slits to the bottom of side seams for movement ease. The print fabric was a good choice too, because by lining up the leaf print the opening is barely visible, especially since I topstitched the opening closed at the top and bottom along the vertical black lines:

I tested it out and it does actually work so I am pretty pleased with the outcome. I gave it a generous overlap so that there would be no peep shows, but it hardly gapes at all. I will make this again, but I will delete the gathers across the front and back under the yoke which are part of the original pattern because I think it adds volume around my middle and since my stomach is going back to pre-pregnancy shape (not my rear end though) I don't really want clothes that make me still look preggers! Of course if I'm going out somewhere fancy I could always put on a belt and cinch it like this:

And in exciting house news the works are nearly finished except for a little bit of wall lining and electrical work to do. Then we get to do the fun bits: painting, laying the flooring and setting up furniture. Well it's fun for me because all I have to do is pick out the colours and sit back while my husband and dad do the hard work LOL!