Catch-up. A Totally Non Sewing Post.

Ooops just realised how long its been….  sleep has won out over blogging most nights! 

The last month has been just cray-cray (oh seriously did I just say that?), as my toddler & I made the massive trek from Tbilisi to Brisbane (Australia) and back, by ourselves, which due to the nature of connecting (or should I say non-connecting) flights, gave us over 12hrs in Dubai both ways. 

Toddler was “not-too-bad” on the way out, and since he is still under 2 (just!!) I had booked just one ticket with him as an “infant” (on-my-lap-seat), and used my frequent flyer miles to upgrade the Dubai-Brisbane flight to business class (woooooo!). Now it so happened that the lovely lady sitting next to us moved to give us an extra seat (possibly because toddler was putting the partition between seats up and down, up and down)…. so Bubba had a seat to himself to (not) sleep in. Seriously, I got to watch ONE movie in 14hours and I didn’t sleep at all. Thats how much he didn’t sleep. ONE movie. Seriously, toddler, not cool. I did however get 2 glasses of champagne, and the time he slept was during the dinner service so I got fancy food in peace and quiet (and thats when I watched the movie..)

Had a lovely time in Brisbane, saw loads of friends, used mum’s machine to make a few little gifts for pregnant friends, and the 2.5weeks were over before we knew it, and the dreaded journey home awaited us. 

Again, was able to use points to upgrade us to Business class (thanks dad for the 6000 extra points I needed!) and once again somehow had a spare seat next to us. Bubba fell asleep straight away (thanks 9pm departure time and a flat bed seat!) and the 14hour direct flight to Dubai was looking pretty sweet…. I got in 2 movies, dinner and a glass of champagne. Then… we got diverted to Singapore with a cracked windshield (wtf??) and spend 6hours there in the lounge waiting to see how the “heck” we were going to get to Dubai… 

The lounge staff eventually got around to us, and were going to put us on the next flight from SIN-Dubai, and told me that because we were an upgrade ticket, they would be putting us in Economy class. I chucked up a stink and refused to go in economy, and they ‘managed’ to put u in Business class. Luckily, as the 2 young girls that ended up sitting next to us in Business class had been upgraded (complimentary) from Economy. Anyway, Bubba fell asleep on my lap again for the most part of the flight.

Dubai… waited at the baggage carousel for 40minutes before realising that one of my bags was definately having a holiday in Singapore. Confirmed by baggage man. Put in missing bag report …Doubtful that it would make our next (non) connecting flight to Tbilisi.

Got massively poo’d on while getting a few supplies at the massively busy Dubai mall. Gross. Got out of there in a hurry! 

Flight to Tbilisi, uneventful. Sent bubba running out through the doors to Dadda in Tbilisi Airport while I waited for missing bag to magically appear in Tbilisi. Filled out lost bag report (again) and went home and slept for 2 days straight. 

Anyway, have had hardly any time to sew since then….

I did however, begin a muslin Sewaholic Cambie dress (but in pretty scraps of fabric) this week. I did also however, measure myself a little wrong (or read the measurements on the envelope wrong) and made a size 10, where I should have made a size 6. I did try it on a few times before putting the zipper in and thought it would just be a little big. But its MA-HOOOO-SIVE! No way its wearable, I made the View A skirt without pockets, and only lined the top section as I knew it wouldn’t be a wearable dress anyway, so off to the market today to find some gorgeous fabric and make Cambie #2!

I have also started a Simplicity wrap dress in Jersey but overlocker is playing up so it’s a WIP. In saying that, need to fix Overlocker ASAP as I’ve come back from holiday, threads are broken, and something is up with the upper looper thread. The invisible sewing goblin has been at it. Grrr. 

Ok apologies for boring text post today…. stay tuned for a Cambie dress post!

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

Pdf vs Printed

I’ve been reading a lot of sewing blogs lately, and have absolutely fallen in lust with some of the patterns that are popular at the moment… think Cambie Dress, gabriola skirt (ok EVERYTHING by Sewaholic… ) Scout Tee & Tiny Pocket Tanks (Grainline Studio), Miette Skirt (Tilly & the Buttons), Anna & Elisalex dresses (By Hand London), Bombshell Swimsuit (Closet Case Patterns)…

Oh but there are more… this is a short list and I’m sure it will keep me busy for a while!

I did head out today to try and find a printer here in Tbilisi….easier said than done… going to multiple places in a taxi and dragging along a 20 month old squirmy toddler…on a side note, I really miss ‘seatbelt straps’ in the supermarket trolley, my little monster cherub *cough cough* decides he’s had enough halfway through a weekly shop and tries to kamikaze out of the trolley, then I have to carry him while pushing around a full trolley.

I digress…

Realistically, if I wanted to pay the equivalent of $300 I could have easily gotten a basic scanner/printer at either of the 2 shops I visited, but since I paid under $100 in Australia for our last basic printer/scanner, I just felt like I was being robbed! And I don’t see the point in getting the printer without a scanner function these days, as especially living overseas, there is ALWAYS something to print, sign & scan…

Anyhow, so I got a ream of paper at the market, but came home empty handed on the printer. Boo. I had such grand plans for this evening…

I am also considering whether to order a few of the patterns in hard copies, as I actually don’t own any proper paper patterns and these Indie / Boutique designers patterns look really fancy as a printed pattern — Seriously, go onto the By Hand London website, and have a little drool at their patterns on their front page! TO. DIE. FOR.

On other TRES exciting news, my first Tbilisi bound fabric.com order should be ringing my metaphorical doorbell (as we are yet to get a doorbell…) in the next 2 hours….. EEEEEKKKKKK! I have some fabric intended for placemats and cushions (as funky homewares is a serious hole in the market in Tbilisi), some gorgeous Amy Butler lined up for a Miette Skirt (if I can just get the pattern….boooo). Pretty impressed with the cost of shipping as well – we use a freight forwarder service from USA so as long as its over $35 (uhhh of course!) I get free shipping to our USA mailbox then it was $15ish for the courier from USA – Georgia! WINNING!!

It may have to be a cushion/placemat/table runner/storage basket couple of days until I can get out of the house without the Bub and not have to worry about chasing a toddler around an electrical store while trying to talk in broken Georgian/English about printer attributes.

Ok BORING non-sewing type post today, but I was itching to post something – I will at least share some picture of some gorgeous cotton dress print that I found at the market yesterday (Think Cambie Dress!!) and a lining fabric that is going to go with one of the voiles that I bought last week – for a maxi skirt – I’m not sure how the print will go with a Gabriola Skirt, else I think I may just wing it with an elastic waist…

A printed voile and a lining fabric - possibly for a maxi skirt....!

A printed voile and a lining fabric – possibly for a maxi skirt….!

 

 

 

Pretty! I'm thinking a Cambie Dress for Summer?

Pretty! I’m thinking a Cambie Dress for Summer?