The Versatile Blogger Award

It’s the weekend! Hows everyone doing? We ordered in a side of babysitter last night and headed out for dinner. Unfortunately the Japanese restaurant we went to last night had no idea where in Asia Japan actually is… Alongside the expected Sushi on the menu, other items included Indian Curry with raita, Vietnamese spring rolls, Thai dipping sauce for steamed dumplings, and Sweet & Sour beef. Hmmm. Nice atmosphere, but food was a little on the average side. Oh well. Tried something new, got dressed up, high heels, out of the house without baby etc etc.

Anyhow,

Big shout out to Becky over at Springy Stitches for nominating me for The Versatile Blogger Award!! Pop over to Becky’s page to admire the gorgeous dresses and skirts she is creating in sunny old England.

This award is similar to The Liebster Award, being a way for bloggers to share their fave blogs, gain a bit more exposure and to get to know a little more about each other.  If you choose to accept your nomination there are a few rules to follow:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and create a link back to their blog

2. Share 7 things about yourself

3. Nominate 15 other versatile bloggers ***Sorry rules but I’m only going to nominate 5***

4. Tell the bloggers that you nominated them

 

Ok… so all about me….

1. I talk a lot. Apparently, I often talk just to hear myself talk (or so my lovely hubby says…). I’m sure this will come across on my blog…

2. My eyes are two different colours. It has a fancy name that I can never remember, and I’ve passed it down to my nephew too! Crazy eyes!

3. I love going to the movies. I used to work at a movie theatre for years & hubby and I used to go all the time whilst dating. The last movie we saw together was the James Bond movie when Bubba was 6 weeks old (and slept through the entire thing. Loudest movie in history too. Champion).

4. I used to be an international flight attendant. (Think Gweynth Paltrow a la View from the Top. Me. Totally me.)

5.  I met my (Australian) husband on a flight from London to Dubai (yes, while I was working!)

6. I’m terrified of spiders, and once had a monster of a thing living in my rearview mirror of my car. Had to get into my car from the passenger side for about a month…

7. I make an AWESOME lemon meringue pie.

 

Ok, here are my 5 nominations…

 

 

1. Chantal from  A handmade wardrobe . Love seeing what she’s up to, and got my Belcarra inspiration from her. :)

2. The gorgeous Pips over at The girl in a teacup – I just love reading her blog, love her style and beautifully finished garments!

3. Lizzie from Busy Lizzie in Brizzy. Basically coz she’s from Brisbane… Nah, I love trawling through her blog for inspiration

4. Etta of Cheerful Homemaker… I enjoy reading her blog and keeping up to date on instagram too! :)

5. Go say hi to Teri over at Fa Sew La – I enjoy getting some inspiration from what she’s been creating, got my Washi inspiration from her!

 

Thanks again to Becky, and have a good weekend all – my hubby is working today so I’m just hanging out with Bubba and attempting to master a rolled hem on my overlocker…. I have 2 RTW dresses that have a rolled hem, and I really want to take the hem up a few inches. Eek. Weekend Project!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Floral Washi

I have to say, I’m on a bit of a sewing frenzy this week, as I have a few items that I really want to get finished before I leave on Monday. Deadline!! (on a side note, made up 2 small macaroni’s tonight to freeze for the hubby. Good wife.)  Sooo anyhow, last night I managed to cut out the pdf pattern for the Made by Rae Washi dress whilst Bubba was trapped in the highchair eating dinner…. small panic attack occured when I realised I was out of sticky-tape…. so this pattern looks beautiful being stuck together with masking tape.

Then I stayed up late watching Season 1 of Once upon a Time (yay for our English channel having some different shows at the moment..) cutting out the dress from a floral lightweight cotton material that I had picked up for 10 Lari / metre (~$6 AUD) at one of the fabric markets here in Tbilisi. As this fabric is quite lightweight, I wanted to do a full lining for the bodice section so it would hold the shape a bit better and give it a bit more support. I just used a pink/watermelon polyester lining fabric that I had lying around.

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Just noticed how bad my understitching is!!

Just noticed how uneven my understitching is!!

After flicking through a google image search for Washi Dress, and thinking the bodice/skirt join might be a touch too high for me, I lengthened the bodice by 1/2in, and I used elastic in the back of the dress instead of the shirring lines. The elastic option is actually in the expansion pack which I also purchased, but didn’t see it until after I had finished the dress… Instead of using the lining as the casing (which is in View C of Expansion pack), I cut an extra strip of the main fabric, same width as the back where the lowest shirring line was, and encased the elastic seperately to the lining. I think it looks really nice that way as well on the inside! I sewed on the casing, then handstitched the lining to the seam allowance all around (top of the elastic casing), then inserted the elastic as the last step.

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I will definately make another few of these dresses, lovely and simple, and perfect for all weather (as you can see – I tried it on in a Summer and Winter versions… still trying to pack…)

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Seriously need to tidy my wardrobe….

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Oooh pockets! :)

Oooh I love these easy pockets! :)

 

I’m STILL at a standstill on my pink long sleeved Moneta dress, I can’t get my twin needle to behave, I’ve tried absolutely everything!!! It’s driving me CRAZY! It is an “unknown” brand of needle and not ballpoint, so that may have something to do with it since the fabric I’m using is more lightweight than the first Moneta I successfully used the same twin needles on!! I think I’ll have to give up & take my dress with me (with unfinished neckline and hem) and find a proper needle in Brisbane and finish it off on mum or sister’s machine while I’m there.:))

Ok, off to cut out another Washi! :)

 

Beautiful Belcarra Blouses!

Ok. This is going to be a gushy post, because I Love this pattern! Sewaholic’s Belcarra Top pattern is really such a simple looking top, but it fits so nicely without darts, and is cute and flattering. Depending on what material you use, you could dress it up with jeans, pair it with a skirt for work, tuck it into a maxi skirt… possibilities are endless…  I am in love!

White Belcarra

White Belcarra

The first one I made from a cheap semi-sheer white crepe-like material, just to check how the fit would work. Honestly, I have no idea what the material is (although it does smell like something my nanna used to wear?)- I mean, obviously I can hazard a guess of knit vs cotton vs satin vs chiffon etc, but when buying from a market where there is nothing on the selvedge and the woman you buy it off doesn’t speak English, its pretty much a guess…

I’m not sure why, but I measured myself straight after a massive dinner with a padded bra on, (and I was just thinking that I’d gotten a bit fatter…) so my measurements were just pushing me out of the sz6 range, so I made a size 8, which ended up much too big on me. Since the material was a bit sheer, I used french seams throughout, after seeing Chantal from A handmade wardrobe doing the same with a similar fabric for this top – makes the inside look so lovely, just takes a lot longer to do properly. This was only my 2nd time doing french seams, and I was so impressed with myself on how they turned out – MUCH nicer than the first time!! :)

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You can see better in this pic how it slips off the shoulders…

 

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French seams

French seams

Anyway, love the top, just a wee bit big, slipping off my shoulders (especially since the fabric is also a little slippery) and is a bit too roomy around the hips. If I get time (and the motivation) I think I’ll unpick the neckline and take in the shoulders a little, then it will probably be more wearable!

Comparison of size 8 (white) to size 6 (pink)

Comparison of neckline in size 8 (white) to size 6 (pink)

So second attempt, I made the size 6 in a Valori Wells cotton voile that I had – I only had a bit over a metre since I had already made a Sorbetto top with this fabric, but managed to squeeze this top out of it! I just didn’t have enough fabric for the neckline facing strip so I used a piece of pink satin bias binding – and it turned out really nicely (you can see that in the pic above!!)

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Valori Wells cotton voile Belcarra

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Excuse the messy wardrobe ‘selfie’, only big mirror in our place! Yes I have boots on in summer, was trialling outfits for Australia trip….

I found a lovely pink cotton/linen fabric yesterday, so think I will make another in that, with the pocket & turned up sleeve cuff. I think this could be nice in a knit fabric as well….

Speaking about knits, I found a gorgeous watermelon pink jersey knit the other day at the market (ummm yes, I have a pink fabric problem…), so I am almost finished a 3/4 sleeve Moneta dress (Colette P, perfect for my Brisbane trip next week! Today’s project is to finish that off, and hopefully get a maxi skirt out of the rest of the material! Off to the machine!! :)

 

Handmade gift love

I’ve just realised that I’m heading off home to Brisbane for a visit in less than 2 weeks (umm 11 days!) … and since I haven’t been there since December, I’ve missed a few of my friend’s babies/kids birthdays, a friend has just popped out a new bubba, and a few other birthdays are coming up in next couple of months that I want to leave some gifts for!

Since it’s “winter” there in Brisbane at the moment (I highlight ‘winter’ as really, people wear beanies, scarves, coats & boots for the fashion not the weather)… I visited my fave yarn stores down in Baratashvili underpass, grabbed my crochet hooks and set about making some crochet beanies for some presents! These are quick and easy and are so cute! I use the awesome patterns from Repeat Crafter Mes blog – she not only creates awesomely cute beanies/hats but if I get time I’ll try her little baby booties pattern too!

I made a puppy dog hat for my bubba during our winter here, and it was a permanent fixture on his head during the snowy months! *Ooh thanks for the reminder to take it with me to Aus. Ugghhh packing…

I’ve almost finished a little Moo Cow hat/beanie for the little newborn. I think I’ll have to make one for my little man too, super cute! It was a babysitter day today (first time in 2 weeks, sighhhh) so I went and sat in my local cafe and finished off the ears while having a coffee. Bliss.

Newborn size Moo Cow hat sans ears etc...

Newborn size Moo Cow hat sans ears etc…

A wee coffee & crochet break

A wee coffee & crochet break

I was also asked by one of my friends here in Tbilisi to make a little dress for her niece – she really wanted to give her niece a dress in a more ‘boy’ themed fabric – what a great project! This is the 2nd dress I’ve ever made for a little girl, so was excited to give it a go. I used the Lilybird Studio’s Tianna Dress, after seeing a friend’s pic on Instagram!  We used “Cars” fabric (as in the movie Cars) – it’s actually a sheeting fabric, but there are limited choices of kids fabrics (*That I have found) here in the stores – its predominately sheeting or flannelette! Anyhow, all’s left to do is the buttons (of which I have never done before…. what?!?!!). Quite impressed with myself, even if the gathering is a little bit (massively) un-even!

"Cars" Lilybird Tianna Dress

“Cars” Lilybird Tianna Dress

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Buttons… decisions decisions!

On my selfish-sewing front, I’ve almost finished a really simple self-drafted pleated skirt, have made another Sorbetto tank (which I forgot to pre-wash the fabric for and now its a wee bit tight under the arms… grrrr!), and have printed out the Washi Dress pattern… I also want to make a maxi version of sleeveless moneta dress (just picked up some gorgeous pink jersey fabric today) – all before I leave!

EEEEK I’m going to be busy, or not sleep at all for the next 10 days!!

 

A letter to my toddler

Good morning bubby,

I’m sorry you didn’t want to go to sleep until midnight last night. Mumma had a lot of sewing planned last night and it’s how much I love you that I watched Bob the Builder & the Wiggles on repeat for hours with you, cuddled up until you fell asleep.
But thank you for finally falling asleep in the spare bed with me. Although if you could work on the kicking my face and trying to push me off the bed, that would be appreciated.

Oh baby, I know that you are running around the house crying now at 7am… you are crying because you haven’t had enough sleep. I know this, because you only had 7 hours sleep instead of 12.

Breakfast? Cereal?…. Oh you want mine that is exactly the same as yours? No, you can’t have mine (because I’ve sprinkled sugar on it…. So actually it’s not the same… hmm maybe you know that?).

But, you can help me make a coffee, yes, grab your little chair, put the cup there & press the button. No you can’t put your fingers in it or drink it… ok, just one lick of sugar…

No, your babysitter isn’t coming this week – she txted me on Wednesday that her baby has measles, and I really don’t want you to catch measles… not least because I would prefer you not to deal with both measles and teething crankiness. That would be really really crap, baby.
Yes, Bub, here in Tbilisi, its not uncommon that babies catch measles. It’s not like Australia where the majority of kids are immunised, and you haven’t had your 18 month vaccination yet. Please don’t catch measles, I’d prefer not to look after a measley teething baby. (And it’s not all about me, it wouldn’t be fun for you either.)

It’s 10.03… Are you ready for a nap yet? No? Ok how about I put a blanket & pillow in front of the TV, and go yell at the man outside the door that is jack-hammering the tiles. He won’t understand me as I don’t speak Georgian, but I’m confident he’ll get the gist. Like the time I went out in the snow and yelled at our old neighbour when he began using a buzz-saw at 11pm at night & it woke you up…. He understood… Ahhh Tbilisi.

Seriously, I'd sleep here. Comfy!

Seriously, I’d sleep here. Comfy!

I’m just going to go change my overlocker threads & think about making bias tape… come get me when you’ve done your morning poo and I’ll come freshen you up. Oh wait, I smell something… let’s go…

Ah crap, I’ve got to go to the supermarket today. Fingers crossed you don’t try and kamikaze out of the trolley like the last 3 times I’ve taken you to the ‘big’ supermarket. Yes it’s the trolley’s fault for not having a lap belt, but you will actually hurt yourself if you succeed, and I kinda like you in one piece!

Ok, good chat Bubba. Please have a big nap today so I can finish sewing the Sorbetto top I cut out yesterday… Although not as big as yesterday as we may be up til midnight again…

Sorbetto Tank waiting for me....

Sorbetto Tank waiting for me….

But I gotta change this first.... sigh.

But I gotta change this first…. sigh.

Love Mumma.

Hello Moneta …

I got so excited about making the Moneta dress that I couldn’t wait for the Moneta sew-a-long, I just had to finish it in one night! Here is my lovely short sleeved version (View B) in a Valori Wells printed knit from Hawthorne Threads.

Trying out some of Tilly's photo tips!

Laughing at my toddler trying to ‘make’ coffee on the nespresso machine

In preparation for my first time sewing with a knit fabric, I walked all over town last Thursday (literally, all over town, lucky it was a babysitter day…) to find a Twin needle and / or walking foot. I saved pictures of both on my phone as I’ve found it hard enough to find and ask for quality machine needles, and I had no faith that my hand gestures would get me there for twin needle.  I did find a twin needle in a little sewing shop, unfortunately not ballpoint/jersey twin needles though, and no walking foot (Note to self- put on the spotlight list for trip to Australia – that list is loonnnnnngg!)

I decided to make the short sleeved dress first up – predominately because it’s summer here and over 30C most days, and I only had 2m of the Valori Wells knit fabric that I wanted to use for this dress. It noted that for a size S, I would need around 2.5m (can’t remember exactly)… but with a little juggling, I easily got it all out of 2m with quite a bit of fabric left over. I just cut the skirts out first on the fold, then re-folded the fabric with selvages touching in the middle so that I could get the bodice pieces out of the leftover amount. Unfortunately, I should have turned one of the bodice pattern pieces over, as the way I cut it out, the print is in the wrong direction on the back bodice piece, but it’s not that obvious!

This was a really simple dress to construct, even for a novice-knit-fabric-sewer like myself! I got into a little trouble with the neckline gaping out – I think I just stretched the fabric a bit too much while sewing it (pulling it through the machine), so I unpicked the neckline double needle stitching, ironed on some hemming tape, and resewed it with a larger turnover & just with one line of stitching. It’s not very pretty inside, but it’s a big enough neck-hole that it doesn’t need to stretch over my head so I think one line of stitch should be fine.

 

 

 

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The only other hurdle was not being able to find swimwear elastic, so I just used a piece of regular elastic…. Then sewed the bodice to the skirt together with a basting stitch to check how it all fitted. I didn’t really like the way it sat with the elastic, so I unpicked the elastic, and just overlocked the skirt to the bodice. I figured its quite a firm knit and I’ll always wear a belt with it, as I think the fabric choice needs it!

I hemmed it a little shorter  than my knees. Ahhhh I’m in loveeee.

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Trying to get a good shot & the best one has the toddler in it. Fail!

The fabric is not that lightweight so will be a little too warm for the weather here at the moment (but PERFECT for my Brisbane visit next month!!)

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As you would know if you have read previous posts, something I need to work on is my photography skills! Unfortunately our apartment is ALL white walls (& renting so staying that way!). Also there aren’t many places to set up a camera for timer pics, and the only long mirror is in our walk in robe. So I got creative after reading Tilly’s post on her blog (Tillyandthebuttons) and set up my version of a tripod (see below….). Toddler could not understand for the life of him why his little chair was on his highchair. Did not like it one bit.

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So thats my run-down of my first Moneta. I say ‘first’ as I’ve already got a second sleeveless one cut out, and have grand plans for a Maxi Moneta inspired by Cashmerette… Oooh the love….

 

Colette Sorbetto Tank

Proud braggy moment… I made my first ever top for myself on Saturday! Since I got my sewing machine almost 2 years ago now (and it’s been in storage or travelling for about 9 months of that time!!) I have only made items for my bub or gifts for other friends’ babies… with the exception of a long dress for a black tie wedding in October last year! (Simplicity 6223 with modifications!!).

I am getting ahead of myself though – the whole reason I’m able to make tops for myself is because I bought a printer last Thursday! Super exciting people! The (sewing) world is my oyster!!

Anyway, so I was up late reading some blogs Friday night and saw the various Colette Sorbetto tops made by Navybluethreads and thought it was a super cute and simple top – what a great one to start with. Even more ahhhh-mazing was discovering the pattern was a FREE – yes – FREE download on Colette Patterns website! Thank you Colette Patterns!

So while my husband worked on Saturday, I plopped the toddler in front of the Baby TV channel (great parenting there…), made myself a coffee and spent the next couple of hours creating the first ever top for myself! He also had a super long nap that day. Awesome.

The pattern was so simple to put together. After reading comments from others that had already made this top (yeh I’m a little late to the game..), I lengthened it about an inch, and after sewing front & back together, I also took the seams in at the bottom of the top as they flicked out a little too much for my taste.

I used a Valori Wells Cotton Voile that I ordered through Hawthorne Threads – the weight of this fabric is perfect & light for the hot weather here in Tbilisi at the moment.

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This was a really easy top to construct, the part that took the longest for me was making the bias binding to use for the arm and neck holes. As I don’t have a bias tape maker, I got a few steam burns on my thumb while ironing the strip of bias into binding. Ow. It would definately save a massive amount of time to use pre- bought bias binding (but I haven’t found any here…).
For my next one if I can’t find a bias tape maker (which I haven’t got a lot of hope for here..) I think I would just fold over the bias strip once and use it as a facing instead of bias binding.

top without bias binding

top without bias binding

urghhh making bias binding...

urghhh making bias binding… but love my pretty ironing board cover :)

I will have to make a couple of modifications to my next Sorbetto as the neck hole gapes out a little bit, it may also be because I didn’t do a stay stitch along the neckline ….

Such a cute top with so many possibilities though!

Apologies for the awful pictures (yes I’m sure I’ll say this everytime) as my husband has taken our camera to work so trying to take photos of myself in our walk in robe on an iphone. eek. You can tell I don’t do it much.

 

 

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Last night I purchased, downloaded and printed out the Colette Moneta dress pattern, so this morning I have assembled the pattern and cut out all of my pieces – Stay tuned for a super duper exciting blog post about it – please wish me luck that my teether cranky toddler will go to sleep at his actual bedtime tonight, not like last night.. and I really want to sew something more exciting than mending a hole in my hubbys work coveralls. (yep. Thats how I spent my morning. Fun.)

Why hello new printer! Hello Moneta dress!

Why hello new printer! Hello Moneta dress!