Saturday, January 31, 2015

New fruits

One of the many things I really like about New Zealand has to be the range of different fruits and vegetables here compared with Ireland.  One of the really fun additions has to the the Cherimoya or Custard Apple - a native of Peru and Ecuador.  Yum!  They're in season from Sept to November and available at the Wellington market.

The taste is like a light but nicely favoured custard.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Remaking the Ensis

I'm so pleased with this make - its the Ensis Tee again using merino fabric from Levana and my black leftovers from the Circle Top from Fabric Warehouse.

I really love the colour combination and as my hair currently matches have gotten a lot of compliments.  

I've managed to suss out the neckline on this one but it might be down to the lack of stretch in the black knit and the heft of the merino.  Lovely warm and so so comfy!

Circling back

Woohoo!  We're up to November!

And circling back to another Circle Top. This time in navy and fabric purchased from the Fabric Warehouse in their Lambton Quay popup shop where I miraculously bumped into Gillian.

This was a gift make for a wonderful and very dear friend - who I've been informed really likes it (I really hope that's not just being nice to me!)

Same as the other Circle Top but with more wavy binding.  Technically a misstep but I like the look of it!

That binding really takes forever to sew on!

I love how the circle top is basically a circle with arms.

I also find the cuffs rather comfy.

I couldn't resist taking a photo of the wrapping too.  Rather pleased with this one!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Filling in the blanks

The blank canvas tee as a short sleeved jumper.

This fabric was originally purchased and turned into a poncho.  I've no idea why, except that the pattern said it was easy!  I've had the remainder in my stash for ages and was rather too chicken shit to do anything with it.  But my prowess in knits is growing and I've ventured into free online pdf patterns too!  

I drafted a different neckline and elongated the sleeves - the top turned out great but the size was off and the hemming wasn't great - in the end it just ended up annoying me even though BM assured me it wasn't noticeable.  I've worn it a bit but its off to the op shop and I'm chalking it up as a learning experience

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

espousing the virtues of Fabric a brac

I finally made it to two Fabric a bracs last year.  They really are a bit of a pilgrimage for fabric lovers across Wellington.  Though it seems the only photos I have are the ones of the cafe!  Oophs!  In my defence I was working in the cafe for the day (still managed to bag some great fabric bargins!).

The tea rooms

The view of al the lovely eats and the hall of fabric goodness!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Belated birthday goodies

I'm really running behind - near the end of Jan and still only posting about October!  Ah well.

Here's my birthday cake ala the Aro Bakery.  Thanks to Gillian for celebrating with me!  It was a crazy week in work so not the most recharging of weeks!

Though I ended up with some really lovely birthday gifts.  I'm still working away on my Q&A 5 year diary - you write a few sentences a day for 5 years and there's a Question prompt on each page.  Some lovely card and envelopes for my card making hobby.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sewing in circles

I love, love, love this cardigan.  

Made up in a linen cotton blend (I think!) from the Fabric Warehouse purchased during their sale this year.  I sized up the pattern to XL but feel I needn't have bothered.  Its pretty much a circle with two arms and a LOT of binding!

Here's it with an Arabian Nights dress up costume - I went as an Arabian Night (black dress with LED lights sewn in!).

I love the cardi, partly because as its black, it fits in my wardrobe well but mostly because it looks as good or better than something I would buy.  I really love the finish the overlocker gives and this definitely something I would have purchased.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Teeing off

Real clothes for me!  Somehow knits were in my far too hard to make pile for far too long.  Thankfully, this past year, I've started to venture into the wonderful world of knits.

The Ensis Tee by Papercut Patterns.

I was rather pleased with this make and wore it quite a bit.  Two slight problems to fix however.  First, the neckline wasn't tight enough so didn't sit where it should have (and looked like it had gotten a bit too well worned and baggy rather than being new).

Second, I used a twin needle to hem the arms and ended up with a serious ridge between the two.  I've found a pinterest link to how to fix this (and will report back the next time I use it to see if I can amend it).

Loved the pattern and the colour combo.

The grey knit was quite stiff while the pink is very drapey.  A nice combination in person.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Fire starter, twisted fire starter

I'm a massive fan of the idea of an open fire in Winter (a bit of a misdirect in the middle of summer but I'll just pretend its for my Northern Hemisphere readers (hee hee, hello mammy!)).

Yes, I'm finally getting through my backlog of projects I want to post about.  This one is a goodie though.  Using up old egg cartons, dryer lint and the wax of used candles to make awesome and environmentally friendly fire starters.

Dryer lint - check (I like to use the dryer lint from my prewashing of my new fabric - makes it extra nice!)

Saved up bag of used up candle wax!

Dryer lint in egg carton soaked in melted and then set used candle wax.

With the added bonus of being as nicely smelling as the original candles when you start the fire.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Belle Bow Blouse

I have a serious back log of projects - 2014 wasn't the best year for blogging but it was a good year for projects!

So I present...Belle Bow Blouse by In-House Patterns

Its a PDF download for a D cup.  Hurray!  Much less of a Full Bust Adjustment to do!  But unfortunately a lot of sticking together and still quite a bit of tracing out.

I made up a muslin (and due to my swanky new sewing machine I now have a one step buttonhole!). In terms of fit, I ended up making it too big as I changed a bit between cutting out the fabric, sewing it up and getting up the courage to actually do the buttonholes!

The pattern eats quite a bit of fabric if you make the bow version so unfortunately I didn't have enough with my fabric a brac purchase and had to dip into some textured navy I bought at the Swonderful fabric sale.

The fabric is far less see through than it looks in the photos.  More like the one below.  And its quite stiff so not as much of a loss that it doesn't fit any more as it could have been.

Rather pleased with the buttons as they were recycled from a shirt I used to love.  The one step button hole is fun but doesn't give as polished a finish on all of them as I would like (but much better than it would be if I were doing them all as a four step!).

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A visit to JaffaVille

I went up to Auckland for work at the start of Spring.  BM joined me for the weekend and we did the coast to coast walk on the Saturday.  It was great to get my bearings in the city and also to have a nosey around one of Auckland's private schools.  Auckland Grammar was having an art exhibition so in addition to a nosey around the main auditorium we also got to see some great art.

I really liked the texture and the colours of this piece by Heather Wilson* (Colour Bomb).  

This one was my favourite.  I really loved it.  I have a fondness for toy soldiers and tin robots are always cool.  We come in peace by Ross Jones.  

This appeals to my sewing aesthetics.  Tui Halo by Sarah Brill.

I loved the colour and lines in this artwork.  Shane Hanson.

This chap seemed rather down but contented!  Annie Mciver.

It was wonderful to see the early signs of Spring.

And walk up one tree hill.

As well as see the lambs.  The coast to coast wasn't always as well signposted as I would have liked but it was definitely worth it (and it finishes near Dressmart so I was able to pop into the Cue outlet and stock up!)

We earned our end of day feast at Al Brown's Auckland eatery the Depot.  The lamb was amazing.  Well worth a visit if you're near sky city.

I can't remember where this was but the doorway was beautiful.

Sunday saw my visit to Auckland's fabric shops - the fabric warehouse.  I wasn't especially fired up by the selection but it was interesting to visit.

The fabric store was a more immersive experience - a lot more light and airy.  And there was a bit more fondling. I came home with two pieces of merino that will hopefully become a Jenna Cardi.

Breakfast near the train station on Monday morning and then the overland train home.  The journey was lovely but I got a bit antsy by the time we were half way home.  But very glad I did it. The train has been on my list for quite some time.

*I took down the names of the different artists at Auckland Grammar and have googled their names to provide links to the sites - I can't be sure they're the same artists though!

Monday, January 19, 2015

random purchases

I sometimes have a buying habit that is very hard to break.  Here's a round up of a number of purchases from this year so I have an idea of the timeline from purchase to production!

From the swonderful sale on Cuba Street,  I haven't used any of these yet and unfortunately the black lace isn't stretch.

At Gordon Harris, I got this fimo mould for letters and numbers.  I hope this will be useful for card making - especially the vowels as they tend to run out first in the alphabet stickers left in my stash.

Knit merino fabrics from the fabric store Auckland.

The fabric warehouse pop up shop on Lambton Quay.  I've used (and abused) the royal blue/navy knit, cut out a patter on the black dots and still haven't touched the sheer.

Evans in Lower Hutt closed down this year and I bought these three stretch fabrics in their sale.  I've made a pair of espresso leggings with all three and a further two bike shorts from the grey for under skirts.

The same day I was at Evans I bought this lining from a pacifika store across the road.  Not yet used.

Random purchases from Evans - lots of stretch lace.  I really want to make my own lingerie this year.

A few spotlight purchases from their sale bin.

My fabric a brac purchaces.  I've used the flamingo, swirl and black dots so far.

I also got the most beautiful lace from Desiree at fabric a brac.  Not sure what I"ll do with it yet.  But oh so lovely.

A recent trip to Levin and Levana resulted in some elastane cotton (yellow), merino all the others.  

Cotton voile from my trip to Brazil.

Sheer from the Brazil trip.

A stunning (and too expensive) sequined fabric from Brazil.  I'm going to make a tailored evening dress and I'm damn well going to find places to wear it to!

Levana's pop up shop in Porirua resulted in 11 metres of fabric for $11 as they were all seconds.  I got one of each of the light green and blue, two of the pink, three of the darker blue and 5 of the grey. I'm hoping to use them for muslins for knit garments this year.  This year is the year of the knit!

Kimono fabric from a fabric hoarders swap.  I intended it as a table runner but have now painted the dining room so not sure it will suit as much any more.  But I've washed it at least!

 10 balls of wool company wool.  Ballet, Raspberry, Amethyst, Azalea, Aqua, Plum, INk, Gentian, Capri and Sky.  Hopefully this will finish off my blanket...

A Dea Yarns Cotton to finish off my baby's blanket (done and blogged!).

Stickers from Pink Flamingo in Bulls.  Lovely store.

And finally beads from Brazil.  At least this is 6 months worth of craft purchases!  Eeek there's rather a lot.  I think I need to go on a buying freeze until I worth through most of this stuff (that said I have more fabric being washed today so that'll have to be recorded too!).