Tuesday, January 4, 2011

reds and blues

paws, from the brenneman.
Well, after making pants last weekend, I felt like I'd opened a door, one that since being in high school - choosing what I'd do after year 12 - I had firmly closed. I may have said before that I really wanted to be a fashion designer back then.

The sewing part just seemed so out of my grasp. I wish I had found out (or was shown!) then that it is actually quite enjoyable. So with my new-found confidence and the doors to the clothing world wide open, I thought I'd have a go at a skirt. Which is easier to do than pants. Just elastic waisted no frills or anything. My little cherub Eliza loves red, I knew. After dinner I asked her to choose what fabric she'd like her skirt to be made in, she picked red with tiny white polka dots.

Great this was good, she wanted a skirt and a skirt she'd have. Well off to bed she went, whilst skirt making was taking place. A great free pattern is offered on lazy days skirt free pattern, It makes a skirt for any age girl I can attest to, seeing as I have three of them. You just measure their waists and figure out what length they'd need or like.

So not-even-my-bedtime and my skirt was all done. I was really pleased with the ease and quick result, you can make one in an hour. By her bed it sat till morning.
embrace me
She woke to find it... One would have thought, she picked out the fabric, the colour, she'd be happy, ahhh ahhh. Still bleary-eyed and waking after a second night of croup, I guess she too was tired. That is the only explanation I have.

"I hate it, I hate it, It's stupid." I made it for you, I said, "no you didn't dad did!" Was it that bad. I mean it's the right-side out there are no strange fringes, I was not comprehending. She tried it on, I'll give her that, but I wished she hadn't, after.

There were sequinned shoes (as you do, first thing in the morning) and as soon as the skirt was on she wanted it off. Really wanted it off. Pulling it down, getting the sequins all stuck, the rubber heals all tugging. Her temper and frustration like a volcano, she and this red skirt were going to explode. When the skirt did come free, she threw it over my head, and stamped her sequinned foot "I hate it, you didn't make it", crying so furiously.

Off to her room she went, I'm back to buzzing around the house. The sound of blocks was there, and somewhere in my head 'maybe she went straight to playing blocks.' No it was her bed, the slats coming off her bed, the mattress being already thrown, the blankets all of it. What, it was a skirt?

Later that day when things had calmed and memories of the morning were behind us, I spied big sister brushing and tying Eliza's hair back, what do you know she's got her into the skirt. You look very nice, "I like the skirt sometimes" Ok then.
Another take on the same design was had by Beatrix. She wanted a linen top with a yellow-orange floral border, and with orange polka dot pockets! Drawings were made, fabric was sought, a bit coming from our neighbour after she'd found a great sheet at the op shop that day.

Pockets were the trickiest here as I'd never done them before. Once the first had been unpicked I'd realised, after looking it up, that they were not too hard after all. Seeing as how ours were cut separate, in a slight deviation from the pattern, Beatrix and I needed to work out how to connect them back on. The result, a beautiful tulip skirt with floral border and a peek a boo polka dot pocket. Miss Bea has been wearing it for three days straight. We'll make you another one, I say, in charcoal linen next with a light blue border. Her eyes go wide, "Really? Mum I am loving you making me clothes." That's all the affirmation I need.
I was in a sewing whirlwind now. My kitchen, what kitchen, the table is under there somewhere. It's infectious, too... Aaron is sewing, he never takes my advice. His fabric choices are girly and, well, because he never listens to me, it's always a little wonky in the end. Corners don't match, or it won't lay flat, always something.

But you know, how many husbands will sew with you?

I will add, too, that when I am close to tears because I've gotten to some weird bit in the pattern where, after doing something that seems unnatural and impossible and everything gets pulled the right way out of this tiny gap you've left... he is always able to help. Being more technical and logical than I can be. He used to be my bobbin boy before I learnt how to do it for myself. I like getting one over him. He likes it too.

This room still morphing in and out of sewing studio to eating cooking space. Somewhere in these days that are fast becoming one, raspberry and cream crepes were made at breakfast. Phoenix's obsession with pancakes was getting a little, well, old. Crêpes, lets have crêpes. These were so good, we ate them dusted with icing sugar, two each was almost not enough for some of us.
sugar crusty thumb
Fuelled up, natural sugars. Mostly.

More fabric was bought. Miss Bea and I took a couple of hours negotiating a massive fabric sale. And consequently how to hold seven rolls of fabric, and buttons, and thread, then line up in an equally massive queue. I didn't care, she didn't care, she in her skirt. The two of us realising we'd had only toast and it was almost three o'clock, we were going to have to tough it.

When we did get out of there, we found a café except they shut the kitchen at three. So we sipped tea and added extra sugar.

My own project from the night before had been needing a button, and in the sale I found these button covers to do your own fabric buttons. In love with this idea, and eager for the kids to be all in bed that night so as I could try this out. Now complete, the "cute as a button vintage clutch" from my Meet me at Mikes book and may I say a darn professional looking item.
toy story bluesclutch
Thank you Pip Lincoln, this clutch is going to be my saviour: keys, mobile and lipstick will all fit nicely. Now I need to actually tear myself from all this sewing business and get a sitter and have a date night with Mr. technical and logical, because this clutch is too cute for just looking at.

But if you spy the top picture I am sewing the next piece, a little surprise...


  1. You are right - this sewing is infectious. Thanks for making me a part of it :)

  2. this makes beautiful reading, just what I needed for inpiration, I looked across to my sewing machine and thought 'I got to organise some lessons' at least how to thread you!!!! (sis)

  3. It has taken me a while to take the whole sewing thing on. I am now so thankful that I have, I am willing to brag on about how useful how good and how enjoyable it is to anyone willing to listen. I didn't know it when I began this blog but if I can make people step outside their comfort zone and get them to be a little creative,then I think I will have achieved something grand.