Monday, October 3, 2016

Tall Boy Duchess DIY

Earlier this year we met our new neighbours, a lovely family direct from Australia. They ended up moving out a month ago to return home and told us to come over for some pickings at their furniture they weren't shipping back to Aussie.

I've been wanting a tall boy for a while now; Our clothing storage was in a dire situation and our room isn't big enough to accomodate much else. 

And! They had one to give us! So we quickly nabbed this tall boy that had been their parents, it was in great condition, aside from the varnish needing a spruce up so I rubbed my hands together and went straight to Bunnings! 

A week spent sanding, varnishing, painting, spraying and watching in every spare moment, produced this! 

I am so happy with the results! The wood has a beautiful satin finish to it that looks SO great up close.

And now Graeme and I have enough space for all of our clothes, rolled up the KonMari space saving way.

Kia ora Lavender whānau xx

Friday, September 30, 2016

Jungle Dress

Warm spring weather is almost here!

Now I have a fun jungle dress to wear when the sun shines, yipee!

This is a Tilly and The Buttons pattern, from her book Love at First Stitch which I rented from the library. It looks much sweeter on her little petite frame.

I lengthened the bodice by 2cm, and added in some back neckline darts after all was said and done. One of these days I need to try a full-bust-adjustment, because I think I border line need one. Also, sway back adjustment should have been added. I did do an acceptable toile! I swear.

If I was in the Great British Sewing Bee (watch the latest season 4 on YouTube!) I think Patrick would critique that there are some fitting issues, but I've made a wearable garment. 

I've binged the GBSB so much lately that I hear Patrick over my shoulder when I sew now. 
Not such a bad thing, really.

And also, I've sewed the best zipper of my life, so there's that to be proud of. 

That, along with the colours, stretch and fullness of the cotton sateen make it a great dress! I'm looking forward to wearing it more and more, just as soon as the weather decides to kick it up a notch! 

I think I inherited this fabric from Debs stash, along with a free pattern from the Library, and a $8 zipper make this a pretty cheap dress! 


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Scrappy Quilt Complete

2 years in the making this quilt is done!


This has been my longest project, and definitely the largest in volume! 

Although I started out with much gusto, spurred on by the quick sewing of Deb and Clare who seem to whip quilts up over night, it turns out that no matter how motivated, sewing little 2.5inch squares in rows and blocks is bloody boring. 

So much cutting, so many tiny seams, so much ironing, arranging, mess.

However, over the years I've been learning perseverance, and also I must be upping my standards.

 What would have been "fine" is no longer "fine", and I found myself unpicking 24 meters of top stitching of the quilt top so that I could hand stitch it again. My machine quilting skills were below par, and after musing over it, I set about with the un-picker and spent another month unpicking and restitching by hand for a much nicer finish. 

 All that to say, even though I cursed and loathed this quilt, and went through the 5 stages of grief over it, I eventually came to love it (stockholm syndrome?), and wanted it to look its best. And, it was really great having a project handy that I could pull out whilst watching tv, or something to sew in the sunshine.

I absolutely love the binding, the backing, the bright colours, the yellow thread, the flowers, the spots, the patterns...

I might even go so far to say, I miss creating it.

But now I have a bright and happy quilt to keep our family warm, and the satisfaction of creating something that has a purpose and is of use to our family is at an all time high.

2 years ago to the day I wrote this Guest Blog Post on Debs Blog, so today I am calling it Finished! Done! 

Thank you for the box of scraps Deb, and for the endless amount of inspiration!

And here's looking at you Clare, for all those tidy rows of squares. Keep on stitching, Sister! 


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Millas Monarch 5th Birthday

Rā whānau kia Camilla! Now you are FIVE!! 

To celebrate, we had a monarch butterfly afternoon, as you have requested for the past year. And threw in some My Little Ponies too at the last moment. A girl can change her mind if she wants to! 

I made you some monarch wings to wear as well as for decoration, we had rainbow streamers, and a huge monarch cake! You were a pretty happy girl having all of these dreams come true!

We played a treasure hunt game where we found pictures of My Little Ponies in our garden, and then had an obstacle course! The obstacle course started our taking the ping pong ball (EGG) on a spoon and throwing it into the bucket with the leaves on it. Then, crawling through the tunnel (CATERPILLAR). Then, racing to the finish line with rainbow ribbons (BUTTERFLY). The little children were so happy to find out they could keep their ribbons!

You can't wait to be starting school in the new year, and you are loving being a 5 year old. You know you're a big kid now, and as always responsibility is high on your priorities list. You are nailing this 5 year old, big sister, growing up thing. I am so proud of you Milla.

For the last term, and until you start school in January, we have been having Mondays to our selves while Katie is at Kindy having her "special day" by herself.

I love Milla Mondays! You are such fun to hang out with. You talk my ear off all day, and we do something special together. Some times it's tumble times, or the library (our new favourite place to go together), or just to a cafe, or to Willowbank, or painting at home together, or ... where ever you want to go! It's lots of fun, as I said!

You've been practicing your phonetics, recognising more words in books and on signs and have been writing little notes. The other morning you came into my bedroom saying "look mum, I wrote 'Katie is in bed'", and sure enough, you had! Clever cookie. You'll love school! In the mean time, we've been playing word games, practising writing and trying to do fun creative learning to tide you over.

At Kindy you had a special celebration led by Kaiako Duncan. They sang you the whale song (a humongous whale, spouting out the water...)(aaaa... great white shark, great white shark...), happy birthday, presented you with your cake and card and Kindy book and talked about your time at Kindy. You were so excited to be up there, you spoke clearly and loudly for everyone to hear (which I was very proud of), and loved your time up the front under the cloak.

As a gift to Kindy on your birthday we presented them with a book we made together called "he iti kahuku". It's a story about a little butterfly who finds its mum at the park and dances under a rainbow. Kindy loved the book, and you were so creative to have made it! 

When I thought about it later, I realised it's about you! You are our little Monarch.

He iti kahuku tā māua, kei raro ki te kahukura

{Our little butterfly, under the rainbow}

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