Monday, 31 March 2014

Saturday Sewing Sessions

I cut out the top of this dress last Saturday - but then got distracted sewing a MAGNIFICENT jumpsuit to sleep in :) its certainly something else.
I finished it off today, in time to wear it out to dinner - Yey for impromptu date nights!  So what is this dress I hear you say?  I tried my hand at a vintage pattern a friend gave me.
And... Finished

Woops - Might have needed to press it!
Added a little patch for the bottom of the collar :)
I really love the cap sleeves on this dress,  Pretty happy with how my first punched pattern turned out!
I also learnt how to make thread belt loops - Yey!
Belt loops!
 I made just a few adjustments:
  • to the bust darts, goodness they had teeny tiny waists back in the day!)
  • I re-shaped the collar into a curve rather than point. 
  • Added a little patch at the bottom of the collar  
  • Using a different skirt (I cut up a dress I made last year that I never really wore, so I just popped that one on with an extra panel in the front)
  • Used a side invisible zipper - Still not sure what the pattern actually specified, the instructions were a tad scarce. 

And most importantly - It matches my helmet!

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Liberty Scout

I love the Scout pattern from Grainline Studio, It's one of those beautifully easy projects that leave you with happy thoughts and a versatile top!  (As its such a simple pattern, its also really easy to modify! Have a squiz at the flickr group at other peeps projects )
Lately I have been trying (and succeeding) with using up my fabric stash - Using my favourite fabrics first!
As you might know if you read this blog regularly I am a MASSIVE sucker for florals - Liberty fabrics is like crack to me!
Not sure how that metaphor goes when its made into a top - Crack top?  Anyway the boy snapped some pics as we popped out for a coffee on the gloriously sunny day that was sunday- so excuse the contrast!

Liberty Scout top (with lace detailed pocket)

Not sure if you can see in these pics - but I adore those shorts- I got them at a clothes swap (Round She Goes) in Sydney, they are quilted in geometric patterns!

Liberty Scout top 
Have you made the Scout top and do you love it as much as me?

P.S I'm obsessed with this song - George Ezra , all amazing

Friday, 21 March 2014

Indie Pattern round-up

I must be out of the indie pattern loop for the past few months as I keep seeing wonderful projects popping up all over the internet using awesome new patterns!
While others such as Tilly's new Coco pattern I was anticipating (Love her blog!)
I really love the contrasting pockets! Pop over to her shop and look at the funnel roll neck option- its delice!
Some that have caught me by surprise -

  • Tasia from Sewaholics new pattern - A maxi skirt named Gabriola - oh la la Gabriola I would like to sew with you!

  • Oh squeeeee - Named are a new pattern company (ok not THAT new - but they have a few collections out!) - I love love love their styling! Dreaming of some free time to sew up Leini and Kielo and the confidence to wear Ailakki :)  

The beautiful Kielo wrap dress - How lovely would this be in black!
  • Bluegingerdoll, has the lovely lovely Winifred dress - and is currently doing a Sew-along! Pop over and take part! The pattern is soo pretty - but I don't think I can be motivated doing a SBA from a D to an A cup! 

  • Kitschy Coo drafted the Lady Skater dress - I've been seeing some lovely version popping up- so versatile.

Ahh if only there were more hours in the day :)
What treasures have you found in the indie pattern blogosphere?

Monday, 17 March 2014

Weekends at Home

How precious are free weekends? We had such a lovely weekend at home- gardening, preserving, experimenting, cleaning (eurghh) and cooking.  After today at work I'm ready for the weekend all over again!
I went to a Honey tasting and bee-keeping workshop! YUM
Extracting honey from the combs- in a shiny shiny centrifuge!
The workshop was run by the Urban BeeHive! Pop over and have a look at the cool things they are doing in Sydney!
As well as making Lilli Pilli Jelly I also popped some preserved lemons on - Our tree is finally yellowing up!
And do you spy the hunk of ginger??? YEP WE GREW IT! first harvest - excitement plus!

Had a clean-up of our teeny tiny courtyard - we had to do some shuffling to make sure all our planters got sun AND rain!  

A nice little project - pesto spread - Great for using up basil prunings :) just a splash of lemon juice, a big splash of olive oil, a hunk of parmesan and a handful of almonds! YUM 
How pretty is our yellow nasturtium- It really likes our gas pipe!
And our passion fruit is flowering AGAIN  - I can never get over how lovely their flowers are! 
What did you get up to?

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Lilli Pilli Jelly and such.

I love saying Lilli Pilli, it just skips off the tongue! I also love seeing the bright purple bunches of fruit in the trees all through Sydney.
My mum used to make Lilli Pilli jelly when I was little, and as I couldn't eat tomato sauce (too acidic) we used it as a substitute, Whilst not tasting anything like tomato sauce it was yummy all the same, and I remember being particularly fond of it on sausages.... weird perhaps!
<For those overseas, Lilli pilli's are from a tree of the same name, scientifically called Syzgium australe, they are a pretty popular tree and are even used for hedges, they have nice glossy leaves, and the berries grow in a range of colours depending on the variety and the climate, the berries are edible - if a little boring- they have a crisp texture texture, and taste watery and a little peppery/piney> 

Lovely Lilli Pillies - all washed and ready for jelly
I bullied my boyfriend into going foraging with me, as I had found a nice patch on my ride home, and we brought back a good haul!
I started making some Jelly (as its really easy!), interestingly I found that the colour must be sensitive to temperature - I came back to my fruit and water as it came to the boil and ALAS it was all a boring light pink colour - gone was that vibrant purple!  I thought "oh well" and kept going, but as it was hanging in the jelly bag the colour slowly come back, finishing at a dark rose colour, while there were purple streaks all up the jelly bag!  It didn't gell within the first 5 mins of a rapid boil - so I popped some jamsetta in (musn't have been enough pectin in there) and it was happy after that!
What a clever food styling, label making and photo taking boyfriend I have :)
I also found some inspiration at this blog on making a salsa! I thought the crunchy texture would go quite well in a fresh salsa, so I created one using a recipe I made up (pretty similar for any salsa really!)

1/2 cup of washed, and deseeded lilli pillies
1/2 small onions diced finely
Dash of Mirin (or add some sugar!)
Juice of a lemon
2 small sprigs of mint
1 low heat chilli (or 1/4 capscicum)

I like to soak the onion in warm water with a generous pinch of salt for ~1hr, before straining and rinsing as this removes the bite from it - alternatively you could use red onion (we didnt have any!)
Other than that- dice everything up- and mix them together! Simples!
We had it with home-made sausages that I made back in Meat Week - a grown-up version of old times.

The lilli pillies are used just for their pretty colour and crunch!

Have you ever wondered what you could make with this stunning coloured fruit?

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

A cup of tea with me

What are you having? French Earl Grey, Oolong, English breakfast? Don't worry it may as well be T2 here - there's something for everyone.  How about you have a nice cup of Lapsang Souchong with me and we will get down to business.

Based in Sydney with a mini urban garden, some funky housemates, too many hobbies and a PhD in the works I'm pottering through life!
I'm a curious being, I love nothing more than pondering the world around me!
How does crackling puff? What type of fungi is that? How are batteries recycled? Why aren't my cucumbers cucumbering? Where's the best coffee in Sydney? How do I cook with endives?   

Things that I now know are: How to record with Souncloud, How to use some tip top picture editing programs, What domain hosting is all about, What the heck SEO is!  Why do I know all this great stuff now? 
So lately I have been taking part in the Blog with Pip course, meeting lots of lovely ladies and learning oodles of information about the blogosphere.  This post is linking with her website Meet me at Mikes and other students or Pipsters as we call ourselves- pop over, introduce yourselves and have some more tea!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

An amazing find...

We poppped into Reverse Garbage and the Bower at the Marrickville community center on Saturday... I love those places. It's so much fun trawling through the masses of ....stuff!  AND they were giving out delicious watermelon at the Bower!  I wanted to get some cool containers for some terrariums and to see if they had any pot saucers.
Jackpot! Not only did I find some glass dishes and some glass bowls but also these cutest little glazed ceramic dishes- and all for $10. How gorgeous would they be with bulbs in winter? In the meanwhile they make nice little homes for some succulent babies!

Little glazed pots - full of succulents
Had a nice morning of repotting ferns and succulents -  And here are the glass bowls.
Gave the garden some love- pumpkin flowers, germinating lettuce, aloe vera  taking off and disguised purple runner beans. 
I wrote this post as part of a blogging challenge devised by the Kitty from Polka Dots & Frocks for the Blog With Pip alumni on the topic “An amazing find”. Have a read of some other amazing entries, or add in your own here.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Circle Skirt loving

I have definitely had circle skirts on the mind! I'm seeing them everywhere -Short ones, colourful ones, pocketed ones, long ones, wool ones, patterned ones.
Some beauties from the Internet I documented below...
Sourced from: 
One: Pretty Partner Skirt from Modcloth
Two: Lucille Skirt by Sandra Murphy 
Three: Circle Skirts by Katy and Laney
Four: Organic Chambray Circle Skirt by Bow&Arrow
Five: Thrifted Black Circle skirt from Being Dana
Six: Blue Skirt by Heinui
Seven: Bright Floral Circle Skirt at Adored Vintage
Eight: Full Circle Skirt from Bombshells&Babes

I've had so little time for sewing and crafting that on Monday when I had a free evening I had a bit of a FRENZY! The thing I love the best about circle skirts are how damn quick they are to sew up!
Three hours later (judged by watching Frozen and an episode of Green Wing)  and the "The Circle Skirt of Awesome" was born- heres a taster :)
"The Circle Skirt of Awesome"
Theres so many amazing tutorials on making them -here- here- here-
 -or else you could do as I did and just wing it with good ol' C = pi x D
So excited about having a mostly free weekend - The boy will take some piccies and many more circle skirts to come! Yey!