A dress failure

You may remember that I bought drape drape 2 the other day and was pretty keen to make the stripey mini drape dress from the book using fabric my sister had given me back in September to round off the 'It's all about me November sewing'.  After all tomorrow is December and it will be all about presents and parties and a whole log of rushing around without much time for selfish sewing.   Well I made the dress and yes, it has fantastic potential as a pattern, but unfortunately the dress I made just is not right.
The fit is o - k- but because the material wasn't wide enough to fit the full pattern, I just left a whole middle panel of the pattern out.  Yep, just like that. I didn't bother with the middle section when I posted the pattern pieces together.  So, yes it fits, but it is a bit hard to sit down.
The real probem is not the fit, but the way I've sewn it.  The pattern calls for binding around the neck and armholes but I freaked out not knowing what to do given the material I was sewing.  I probably should have just bought a plain jersey, but instead panicked about the texture in the material and decided I was just going to overlock and turn and hem.  Well the result isn't pretty.  I wonder whether I should have just rolled hem the whole thing. ??!   Stretchy material really does baffle me.
So, here is a photo of me wearing it.  You can see the neck isn't right. Oh well. Might try with other material.

FINISHED! Virtual Light Wiksten Tank

Wiksten Tank in Virtual Light
The Wiksten tank seems to have some kind of cult status, so who am I to resist it. As planned earlier in the month, I've made one using Liberty of London Virtual Light A from the 2012 Autumn Winter Digital Story collection.  Unfortunately this tank took me ages to finish.  Although the pattern is simple, I seemed to have been jinxed from the start. Every time I started to work on it, I was interrupted, including two trips to the hospital with Oliver after he ran into the cupboard and cut his head in the excitement of having two friends over.  (He's fine - the plastic steri strips they used originally didn't work so I had to take him back, dripping with blood, to get some glue).
I'm not really into wearing low scoop necks like this one, so it's something to get used to.  Also, I think this top needs yellow pants!!?!
Oh by the way, it's my birthday today and I got lots of great things including an entry level SLR canon camera.  Yay!!! Could this be the start of some better photos on this little blog!
Just under 4 days left of 'It's all about me November sewing'.  I wonder can I squeeze any more sewing in before the run into Christmas.

Covent Garden - papercut patterns

La Sylphide Dress
La Sylphide

Yay! New patterns from NZ papercut patterns.  I really like this little company, the clothing is great, the patterns are clear and the packaging is to die for. If other projects didn't keep popping up I would have made another pair of the pleated pants by now (seeing them made up in the flowery material in the new collection photo shoot has convinced me that I NEED to do a pair like that!).  
Now with the Covent Garden collection I have more temptations... just right for the southern hemisphere summer.
Here are some of my favourites.  All photos courtesy of the papercut patterns website.  The patterns aren't cheap but there is 3 weeks free world wide shipping!
Rite of Spring shorts and Petrouchka top

Midsummers' Night Dream Dress
Midsummer's night dream dress
Midsummers' Night Dream Cami
Love the material used for the pleat pants

Off to a party in the mini drape tree dress

.. and here is the dress in situ, on a way to a party, just where it should be (on the way to a party that is!)

drape minie dress
mini drape tree dress
mini drape dress

Drape Drape 2

Drape Drape 2 isn't a new book but I had completely forgotten about it until recently when Ginger makes had a competition to win it.  As soon as I saw some of the patterns I really wanted it, but alas I didn't win...I have Drape Drape 1 which I made only one dress out of, but this one seems to have a lot more patterns that interest me - maybe also the fact that it is in English.  So, when I saw it at the Portrait Gallery Store yesterday (this is conveniently across the road from where I work), and in English (!!)  I knew I had to have it.  I made the excuse of an early birthday present to myself. As if I needed an excuse!
I had only planned to make 3 things* during 'It's all about me November' but now I feel compelled to make a yellow skirt using McCalls 5591 to go with my new shoes (I've changed my mind on the culottes) and now something/s from this book.  I'll be pushing it as there aren't that many days left in November, but I am really taken by some of these patterns.  In particular, I think this dress is super cool for Summer (and I think the stripey fabric my sister gave me here would work perfectly - so that could be a goer).
I love this tshirt and skirt below as well. 

How cool is the tshirt pattern.  I really love interesting pattern pieces like that.
I will have to choose soon - can't make them all by the end of November.
*The wiksten tank is cut out - just need to sew it now.  Oliver has 2 friends coming over today so hopefully they will busy themselves and I will be able to sneak in some sewing. Oh, and we are off to a party tonight so I'll be wearing my drape tree dress for the first time. Hopefully I'll be able to get some photos. 

Wiksten tank, new shoes and Mary Stewart on the Kindle

After a short hiatus to catch my breath after the Veste Pavot, I've now started on the third of my selfish sewing projects for NovemberWiksten Tank.  Well, I've stuck the pieces of the pattern together anyway. I'm looking forward to what should be an easy project. (Famous last words). Hopefully it won't be long before I have a new finished item to show off.
In other news, this morning in a rash decision, I bought these See by Chloe shoes on sale when they arrived in my inbox... so, (hoping they fit when they arrive in the post) am now dreaming up a suitable outfit to make/wear them with... because of course there wouldn't be anything in my wardrobe that could possibly go!**!?!  I'm thinking culottes, but then I do love culottes . so if anyone has a good culottes pattern let me know! (Must. have. pockets!) They remind me of when I was younger and used to wear 'boat' shoes all the time
cover for Madam, Will You TalkMoon-Spinners image
I'm also on a Mary Stewart reading marathon. I read about her on someone's blog a few months ago (I'm sorry I can't remember who) and now I'm up to my 5th book!  Has anyone heard of her? She was born in 1916 and is apparently the 'mother' of romantic suspense. So as you would expect, the stories have both mystery, yes usually someone has been murdered and there is always a fabulous romance and they are always set somewhere gorgeous and exotic. Yes, it's probably not high literature, but they sure are good reads and after the story ends I'm always dying to know what happens next to the characters...oh yes, they have (well in the four that I've read) a happy ending so no doubt they all live happily ever after. Yay to that.  Sometimes in life a happy ending is what we need  They are the perfect, by the pool, holiday book.  Unfortunately I'm neither by the pool or on holidays..and am reading them late to get to sleep after some late night sewing.  I believe all her books are still in print. Read all about her and the books here.
Airs Above the Ground imageThis Rough Magic image
These are the covers of the books that I've read so far.  I'm reading My Brother Michael now.  Yes, these covers look somewhat dated don't they!?  Don't be put off.

My Brother Michael image

FINISHED! Pretty Pink Pavot

Et voila! A very pink veste pavot in pink linen. The second of my selfish sews for November.
I think it looks super cute and I am really proud of it (except the button holes which I blame my machine for..).  The pattern came together really nicely, even in French and I love how the collar is attached.  In fact, I found this a nice calming sewing project...   except for last night where I stayed up very late last night to sew on the buttons so I could wear today, I mean why wait until Sunday to wear it!  
I made a size 38 because I didn't want it to be too tight.  I like how it is  a looser fit, although I had to take about an inch off where the sleeve slips in as originally the sleeves were really puffy and sitting completely off my shoulders.  I'm not at all sure this was the right way to do it but it achieved the desired result.
The only problem with the coat is that because it isn't lined I feel as if I should carry around a little pair of scissors to snip off lose threads. I did try to catch them all as I sewed but they seem to be breeding.  If I ever make this again I think it would be nice lined... but for now it is a perfect weight for spring/summer coat.

Progress of the PINK Pavot

PAVOT in progress
The dodgey shoulder in this photo is a result of the way in which this coat is stuck to the wall.  Promise!
I am making some good progress on the pink (it is very very pink - pinker than the photo can convey!) PAVOT.  Some late night cutting on Sunday, late night sewing Monday night and a little bit of day time sewing in between things today on my day off has meant that the coat is starting to take shape.  It isn't lined, so the babylock got a big workout on all the seams (sometime unnecessarily so - thanks to mis reading the French instructions).
gratuitous photo to show my matching nail polish !
Originally I was going to make this in a chambray but, I had this pink linen* in the stash and it is summer after all.  So why not a bright pink statement piece! A super bright bright pink pavot!
This Sunday, with another family, we are catching the steam train to Bungendore and then having lunch at the French restaurant there, Le Tres Bon.   So, now I'm thinking I need to finish it in time to wear this Sunday.  Perhaps teamed with my playsuit...... There is quite a bit of sewing time between now and then afterall

* Is it just me or do other people have trouble knowing which is the right side on linen!??

Mr Goop jumps again

The boys went to a 'SPOOKY' 5th birthday party last evening. Elliot was pretty excited to get another chance to wear his Mr Goop costume.  Mr Goop is now a swamp man covered in slime by the way, rather than the sticky guy who can attach to walls.  An orange swamp.
I had to share this photo taken on my phone.  I'm calling him up to join everyone else for a party game inside the house.  Clearly he is less than interested when he has the biggest trampoline in the world to play on (our own trampoline which is now sadly broken, was about 1/16th the size of this one.  I love the look on his face and the iridescent nature of the material.  It was sunset and he was glowing.   I wish he'd also had the top part of the costume on.
As for me, I have tried very hard to do one thing at a time this weekend (as opposed to trying to do too many things at once).  I spent most of my day today in my pjs cleaning and then took the boys for a ride down at a new park.  It was hard going with Oliver wanting to race ahead, gaining confidence now that he isn't on training wheels and Elliot stopping every 2 minute to look at something.  I was on a scooter so could go between them.  Mmm.  An icecream helped calm the nerves on the way home.
So, I'm just about to start on the PAVOT.  Finally.  Yes, it's true.  It's only been sitting on top of the pile for two months.  Just in time as Ben comes back from Barcelona tomorrow so he'll be able to help with the translations.  Now to some cutting out.

FINISHED! Drape Tree Mini Dress

I didn't go to work today as I have an ear infection which has rendered me painfully hollow, well actually like a big blocked echoey tunnel.. in one ear (so happy I had that sinus operation which I thought was going to stop this constant ailment??@!), so I pottered around the house, checked in on work now and then, watched the US Election coverage and did a bit of sewing.  It was pouring with rain here so it was kind of nice to be indoors.

As foreshadowed, November is all about me and today I sewed up Mini Drape Dress No 12 from 'She has a Mannish Style'.  The material is a jersey silk and the plan is that I will wear this to a party later in November. In-situ photos will come later.

I've sewn this pattern up before and did think about making this one longer but thought the colour at the top of the material would wash me out, so wanted to start where there was a bit of colour and honestly, I'm short and I like a mini dress!  I added pockets into this dress, which might have been a mistake but I think with a few well placed stitched the pockets will sit better.

Robot party wrap up

A quick wrap up on Elliot's robot party.
This was the invitation (with details a bit scrambled).  I stuck the picture of the bubble robot (who was a special guest at the party) on card I had printed with some computer code.  Good to have a geek in the house who could generate this for me.
Party bags made with the boys.  
One of the activities was to colour in a tshirt.  I had painted silver squares onto tshirts and the children had to draw a robot.  Some masterpieces below as you can see?!  I wonder whether anyone will wear their tshirt.

I also spray painted a whole lot of boxes and things and hid them in the garden for collecting and to make into a robot..this was harder than I expected and the robot never really came to life (all the parents were busy being entertained by Ben with cheese and champagne to help assemble - this is usual at our parties :)) but the kids had fun hunting in our garden and enjoyed decorating him and I think with those little legs and long tail (!?) he was never going to stand by himself.
 I also had a big box of LEGO Hero Factory on a mat which was a big winner for the kids
And here is the cake (and me with a birds nest for hair - but see I'm wearing my playsuit!)

Back to Business - November sewing plans

I have now officially finished the KCWC/Fete/Children's party craze and am now gathering my thoughts and energy for a completely selfish month of sewing.  I have quite a few projects in the wings that I want to get finished this month before I start on Christmas. So this month will be NO- new projects/NO new fabrics and sewing for NO-one but me! VEMBER.  Bit of a mouthful but you get the idea.
Lining up for completion in November:
1.  A dress using this material for a party on the 24 November.
2.  Pavot or pleated pants using pink linen bought back here
3.  A top using this liberty fabric.

Playsuit in situ

I finished the Salme Playsuit in Liberty of London D'Anjo a couple of days ago but this is my first chance to take a photo of it.  It's probably user error, but I can never work out how not to have the shine on a photo..perhaps I need a new camera!  Oliver took these for me.
Salme playsuit
Salme playsuit

children parties and sponge painting

On Sunday, we have Elliot's 4th birthday Robot Party.  I love lo-fi craft and I love having a party for my boys.  It's a toss up who's more into the party - them or me.  Well obviously they are because they are thinking about all the presents, but I love it as well.  Well, I love the planning that is,  a few weeks out I'm all about the party and doing the invites. Come closer to the time, I get myself all worked up and stressed.  And I hate the cake. I have too much pride to actually outsource the making of it, so I stress and stress about it. Having said that I know I only have a couple of years when I can get away with lo-fi birthday parties before the boys become all 'OH MUUUUM!!!' on me, so I'm making the most of it.
One of my favourite lo fi crafty things for a kids party is sponge painting.
Last year Elliot had a dinosaur party and earlier this year Oliver had lego star wars party and I pulled out a bit of sponge painting for both of them ... and would you believe I have managed to squeeze out a bit of sponge work for the Robot party on Sunday.
My piece de resistance is the AT AT walker from Star Wars that we did for Oliver's party bags this year using cut up sponges.  I then revisited the sponges for a tshirt for a friend of Oliver's who was moving to New York.  I love this I think it is so cute.
AT AT Walker sponge print
For Elliot last year, we sponge painted both the invites and the bags for his dinosaur party based on an idea from this book.
So for the Robot party, I have sponge painted rectangles onto tshirts and the children can then draw robots using the painted on shapes.  I'll see how it goes and you might see pictures of this - if it is successful!
I'd really like to work out how to do freezer paper stenciling one day as it looks much neater. But for now I'm all about the sponge.

A cute tshirt and Mr Goop

 Firstly here are some gratuitious pictures of Elliot yesterday morning (doing the typical blogger pose!) wearing his new tshirt from his Mamie in France.  Yes that is a pompom for a nose!  I wonder how long it will stay on.  It was bought from one of my favourite shops on my favourite street in Strasbourg Rue des Juifs (the shop is down near the river end if you are there and looking for it!!??).. of course I can't remember the name of the shop but it is a little children's boutique and it is beautiful. There is (was) a girl who works there who has been to Australia. Yay.  The brand of the tshirt is Emile et Ida What a great brand, So so so cool. I wonder do they have a stockist in Australia.  Oliver got the tshirt with the top hat and moustache.
This was him tonight and the only photo he would let me take of his costume for the halloween disco.  Exhausted. (him and me).  You get an idea of the colour of the material anyway.
So, after his photo reluctance I tried to get a picture of it on the wall but it looks more like an orange dementor.  
It is a very lo-fi costume inspired by those little sticky toys that you throw and they stick on walls etc. He got one at the fete and promptly called it Mr Goop and then wanted a Mr Goop costume which then became a Mr Goop/Slime costume - which had to be orange.  Bright orange. I found some workman orange material so it is a bit reflective. I made a hood piece that wrapped around with dangly bits.  Of course he didn't quite look like anything at all really but he loved it.  It was perfect for a halloween disco for preschool children at an indoor play centre... I could easily find him!
At the disco all the kids had to walk around at one point showing off their costumes and he was pretending to 'slime' people with his 'dangly bits'.  Such a showman.  I can't believe he didn't win best dressed can you?!!