Showing posts from September, 2011


One in the morning is a perfectly reasonable time to get up and do some sewing and blogging, isn't it? That or nothing this week. I did buy some more sheets (errr yes. Cheap.) from the Sallies and St Vincent de Paul. Those Catholics have expensive sheets. Three whole dollars vs the Sallies only charging $2. So I've made up the bodice of the Colette Crepe dress in a plain yellow, using my new pattern piece for the front with an FBA and adjusted neckline. I pinned down the sides and tried it on and indeed it looks like the adjustments work. Hurray hurray hurray. I don't have enough fabric for the skirt as well, but I did buy some sheets which I think complement the yellow fabric and so this time the skirt will be a contrasting colour. I am getting faster at sewing. Once, the bodice would have taken a week of evenings. This time round, I think my blood pressure is even stable when I sew darts. Other blogging sewists have suggested they would fully line the bodice …

The Runaway Hug

My favourite picture book at the moment is The Runaway Hug. The blurbs don't show the best bit which is the illustrations. The story is sweet but I love how the house is messy and that is just normal.

I've been looking at my garden with a new eye since I read Dennis Greville's Colourful Gardens. He talks about restful colours with red rather than the full on drama of red and yellow which I had been planning for the red fence garden. I have since noticed how the yellow looks good against the old mustard fence.

I don't have a photo of the blue borage and the globe artichokes together, but the silvery foliage of the artichokes and the blue-purple of the borage would be the perfect gentle foil for our dramatic red fence. Given the self seeding proclivity of the borage and the ease of division of the globe artichokes, it will be labour with no financial cost to create my new red fence garden vista. When it stops raining.

Amongst the parenting today, did I clean the house…

The finished Colette Crepe

Do you see that? For the first time ever in my entire life, I have finished sewing a dress for myself. This is the Colette Crepe dress and the fabric comes from two rather thin but lovely sheets from the Salvation Army op shop right here in Wetville. I highly recommend sheets for sewing this frock given it uses almost five metres of fabric. It was a bit cold for wearing in summer mode this morning, so there is a t shirt and leggings underneath.

The dress is quite wearable but not quite the right fit. What I really want is to make a dress that I can wear to work. I had cut a size 16 straight from the packet after much umming, ahhing and endless reading of blog reports by other people who have sewed this dress. Actually, if I had listened to many of them, I would have downsized, but I fear the dress too small more than the dress too large. It is a little big all over but the wrap function hides that effectively. The front darts are strange. They are so long that they complet…

Milly Molly Mandy, Thomas the Tank Engine and Feilicty Kendal

Hmmmm. I wonder if we have a rat(s) stealing eggs. I've been googling possible solutions.

The nice garden seedlings man was over from Blenheim again today. We bought snow peas, celery and more polyanthus.

Milly Molly Mandy still has some appeal. Though if I read her as often as I read the complete stories of Thomas the Tank Engine, my enthusiasm could fade. The pastoral idyll is not confined to the adult market. I wonder, if The Good Life had been real, what Felicity Kendall would write about her life now? I do feel sure she would have left Tom eventually.

I cut two more pieces of skirt for the Colette Crepe dress. That is because I didn't read the instructions properly the first time. The weather was so sublime today that black and purple seemed rather sombre after all. The weather for wearing a summer dress is now on the horizon.

I have had only three glass of wine in ten days. Eight of those days were alcohol free.

Tomorrow is green prescription exercise class. Ap…

Juggle jiggle

It's time to resign.
Not from parenting.
Not from paid work.
Not from blogging or gardening or sewing.
Not from cooking or cleaning.
Not from doing the night shift with poorly and nightmare-spooked children.
Not from the Green Prescription exercise class which I actually liked.
Not from spending time with my elderly cousin.
Not from daughter stuff, especially given Dad has an operation coming up.

But it is time to face the fact that I can not fit the Blackball working class history project into my life. I'm waiting on an email from my co-curator for the care workers' exhibition and then I will decide whether to resign immediately or as soon as the exhibition is completed. It hasn't been an easy decision but it is the only tenable one.

So. Yesterday I sewed. I ignored all other claims upon my time and worked on my crepe dress. I reached that amazing pinnacle of multi-tasking which is that I could sew while the children were chatting or playing around me. I remember reading…

Obesity (yawn) epidemic: what about changed work patterns?

I'm part way through making Simplicity 6951, a child's top/very short dress which in the pattern is accompanied by matching frilly pants and a hat. The pattern was published in 1975 and comes from my Mum's collection. Given the date, I imagine I wore a version of this ensemble as a kindy girl.The fabric is darker in the photo than in reality, but even so, it is quite a dark print for Brighid. The top is reversible and the grey with mushrooms fabric of the pockets is the lining/reverse dress fabric. I'm hoping to press out a lot of the puckering around the armpits and neckline, but if not, then at least I'll learn something more about handling these shapes.

I bought the fabric in a sewing shop in Ilford, Essex, in 2003. It's taken a while to use it... I have a bit more of the lining fabric left. Rather than the frilly knickers, I might make some longer style shorts if there is sufficient fabric. I am, slowly, reducing the fabric & mending piles and c…

Green Prescription

A while ago a couple of friends mentioned an exercise class they were going to. When it came up in conversation again, it turned out it was a Green Prescription class. Which got me thinking, because I had imagined that Green Prescriptions were for people with lots more barriers to exercise than me. But not so. Busy Mums who are a bit plump and not very fit at running (as differentiated from making lunches, listening to the radio, organising breakfasts, mediating disputes and checking on short people's getting dressed progress ALL AT ONCE, which we are very fit at) may also qualify.

So I make an appointment and about a month later I actually get to see the doctor and I explain that I heard about this programme and as I am fat and unfit, I thought I too might qualify.

Doctors are BMI country. I'm not so into BMI myself, but if you want a freebie, then needs must. I nearly disputed her technique of getting me to leave my shoes on for the scales and to take them off for the he…

Girl with Curves

Clothes stuff. That seems to be my main evening interest at the moment. Just for my own personal record really...
1. I have nearly finished the night shirt. I shortened it a lot compared to the last one. Looking at it unhemmed, I think I will make pyjama bottoms for it and it can be a long pj top with bottoms for the coldest nights and the nightshirt can work alone when it is warm.
2. I was thinking about cardies the other day? This looks useful:
It is McCalls 6408 and is apparently easy to sew. Not just now, but maybe after I've sewn the Colette Crepe. I suspect I'll have to buy fabric outside of Wetville for it. I like the red version. Indeed, I would like a red version myself.
3. The Colette Crepe pattern arrived. Gotta get the night shirt jammy bottoms made up so I can sew the big spring project. The instructions do look very accessible.
4. Found a blog called Girl with Curves. Tanesha Awasthi is totally gorgeous and what makes her blog appeal to me is that I look…

Rain? bah, rainCOAT.

I spent today in the garden. In a week where I've barely been at home, today was wonderful. Thursdays are Mummy Days for Brighid and I, each one particularly precious as next year she will be flying off to school five days per week. After a stint of grocery and chook food shopping, we came home and, ignoring the rain, dug and sowed, transplanted and de-stoned. I buried two buckets of bokashi, cut back some really overgrown lemon thyme and sage. Interesting to see how the sage propogates of its own accord by layering. I transplanted the seedlings I bought last week (various Asian greens + cavole nero + beetroot + primulas) and I sowed peas, carrots, beetroot and alyssum. Brighid helped with the transplanting and the de-stoning of two gardens which are far too stony. I was crouched with bent knees this time, but de-stoning always reminds me of when I was pregnant with Brighid. First she was transverse and then she was breech. Given that I wanted a home birth,…

A Sunday

in which I began to deal with this:

a small section of a small room. Another view, in case any orderly readers were not sufficiently shocked by the first photo, is here:

Now that the sun is down, the children asleep and I think there are enough clean clothes to send the four of us into the world tomorrow, I can report that I have cleared one sqaure metre. Leaving the most difficult two square metres remaining. Still. Progress of one kind or another.

Interruptions to the cleaning project centred around Fathers Day and the rugby league breakup. Favourite Handyman had to go to work for much of the day but I took pity on them all and took them to my least favourite shop, the one in the big red building, and they chose gel pens and dora stampers to embellish the cards they then made for their Dad. We took pizza to work to share with FH and then it was time to go to the league breakup, an event involving many many speeches and presentations, artifically coloured fizzy for the kids and…

Colour and the Colette Crepe

I've been reading Dennis Greville's book Colourful Gardens and learning more about colour combos in the garden. That should really read 'I am now starting to learn about colour combos in the garden.' As well as thinking about what colours I want where, I've also experimented with where I put flowers ever sine we moved into our home nearly five years ago. At first I chose the places where I thought they would look best. But that wasn't actually where we could see them very often. Now that the daffodils are in flower in the old chook run, looking wonderful against the blue green of the cavolo nero kale, I see that that is the best place. It is the best place because I look that way from the kitchen window a lot. Also at the beginning of our gardening experiments, I didn't bother with the front garden as I figured that was for onlookers and I didn't care about them at all. But now that I've changed my view on the front and planted some flowers,…

chook news

The sun shone and it was time to let the chooks out of the poultry palace. We've had these chooks for a month now, but kept them in the run (5 x 2 metres plus a large laying coop) as they were noticeably more jittery around us than previous chooks. But they have definitely become tamer and I knew the endless green would be good for them.

Hmmmm. They did enjoy being out of the run. They did not want to be caught again. The fifth one took about an hour to catch. Not that I chased her for the entire hour but I did weed the garden and wait and wait and wait until my moment to catch her and boy did she have a lot to say about it when I did gather her up under my arm. I put a pot of seeded salad greens in the run later which they liked. I may have to grow pots of greens to put in the run for them as a supplement for the dock and wandering jew which we pick and poke through the chickenwire. No photos. I was too busy with the problems of reincarceration.

Tonight, the sewing urge…