Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Dining Table and Chairs DIY

Towards the beginning of the year I bought this table and chairs set off trade me. The chairs have "Yugoslavia" stamped into the wood underneath and they were bought from someone in a rest home, so I guess the family bought them to New Zealand a wee while ago? 

They are sturdy, solid and in great condition, and were a dark brown when I bought them (below).

I spent months sanding these back, painting and varnishing to get it looking this good and I'm so proud of my work.

The table top is great and is a huge step up from the table we had before, which had a glass table top and would always collect spilt weetbix and milk in the cracks between the wood. 

I'm really happy with the finish of this! It's so easy to keep looking nice.

The chairs are a dark navy, although they look a lot darker in this (terrible) photo lighting than they usually do (more accurate colour photos below). 

It took me a long time to decide on my colour scheme. 

Originally I wanted all different colours (green, yellow, blue and pink), but once I finished the table and had it in place I loved how grown up it looked. 

It's probably one of the nicest things we own, and I wanted my chairs to reflect that. I'm on a bit of a navy blue bender right now, so that was the next most obvious choice for me.

I love having my friends over for a cuppa now that we have somewhere nice to sit to enjoy my great view.

Also, the table extends out, so we've had a few dinner parties with everyone squeezed in our tiny dining area. Once you're in, you can't get out! I kind of love it. 

Next up on my project list, I'm thinking a mini wall quilt to adorn the wall in the dining space...

Tall Boy Duchess DIY

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! 


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