Friday, 29 March 2013

Mail, the IRL kind!

Yay, I got some great sewing things arrive yesterday! GREAT sewing things! To kickstart my sewing career in 2013, I jumped on the internerds (don't we all?) and grabbed myself a couple of good starting points. Colette's new Laurel (I'm sure you've seen it!) sewing pattern and Sew Liberated 'Growing Up' book (with lots of sewing patterns).

Colette's Laurel has a zillion possibilities as a basic shift dress, and there's prizes prizes prizes to be won. And you should totally get Laurel and enter all of them, because... if I can, I'll try and enter all categories! They are: Print, Colour, Self Designed Fabric (that's going to be hard for me!), Embellishment or Details, Autumn or Winter version & the Reader's Choice. So I'd LOVE to set myself the goal of sewing 6 Laurel's before April 30th... but we'll see how well I go. I'm all 'Go With The Flow' around here, as we all know... so we'll see.

I've sewn Colette's patterns before, and they're always quick and great (with different tips/techniques in the instructions, I've often found), so here's hoping the Laurel is the same. I cannot WAIT to get my freaking sewing room de-cluttered to find some stash fabrics!

But I'm also excited for the Sew Liberated book, I just had a flick through yesterday when the mail arrived and loved the look of a few projects already for Baby Darling (some soft balloon pants for someone who'd love to be crawling!), but how gorgeous is the tee pee tent!

I'd seen the Sew Liberated blog before, but only just discovered it again after googling up sleeping options for children. My only advice for new mums (as I've been told) is to never share where your baby sleeps because there's lots of different opinions on safety and what's best and that you don't want to 'start bad habits'... but late late late at night feeding (in my own bed) I started googling up where children sleep and what other families get up to. Baby Darling has slept everywhere and anywhere (and is not shy of sleep), but once he's crawling and being a proper standing up little human, I'm wondering where he'll park himself to slumber, and I discovered these Montessori type bedrooms, and then found Sew Liberated's post on her boy's bedroom (and a post on after he was born). A lot of this Montessori world isn't new to me, but it's so good to SEE what people do in their homes, so it's so lovely that people post photos on how spaces are used by little ones. THANK THE INTERNETS!

Anyways, I'm keen to be creating for me and my family now I have the inspiration and guidance, so let's see how I go! YAY!

Happy Friday to you, whether it's a good one, or just a NOM chocolate one! I ate a homemade Hot Cross Bun (however it was crossless, and SO yummy) that my Mum brought, and I can't wait to eat more over the weekend. More buns and more food! I love being with family and the meals we make!


Thursday, 28 March 2013

Mama Lyf: Time Shift

When my baby was born & perhaps after the first two weeks, I'd imagine my life when I worked in breakfast radio: I got up sometime after 4am, and worked really hard through the day, with tight deadlines, being zippy, using lots of energy... and then how the job would extend to outside of work hours... like seeing a gig or a show late at night... and the constant overtired, but excitable, adrenaline fuelled feelings mixing with drunkedness or hungoverness.

So having a baby was luxurious in comparison. I didn't have to 'produce' any radio, or anyone... just care for and mother a baby who had his own deadlines, but they're very simple deadlines... because after a while once the 'THIS IS SO WEIRD' brain freeze & euphoria leaves you, it's simply: feed, care, cuddle, kiss, laugh, talk... sleep and change nappy after nappy after nappy. People asked me if I was sleeping or if having a baby was 'hard' and I was like, compared to breakfast radio, this is awesome.

But, it's a huge time shift and I found not needing to care or know about the time has become one of my biggest strengths in these early stages of motherhood. At first, I'd check the time he woke, the time he fed... I'd time the breastfeeding (in case someone like a midwife or nurse asked me) and kept track of 'which side' (AKA WHICH BOOB) was next (Husbie found me an iphone app, of course)... because, I was finally in control of something (you cannot be in control during pregnancy or birth, so my mantra was Let It Go & This Too Shall Pass)... but really... by the time Baby Darling was 3 months old... being in the moment of the time shift (and not caring about the time) became so liberating.

Sure we have to function during the day and be places ON time... but with new mothers people are so vague on starting times for a reason. When Baby Darling was 8 weeks old I met up with an old friend with her baby, who is a few months older (and at 8 weeks that's a huge difference in age) and I remember sitting in the cafe wondering why we weren't 'wrapping' up the conversation... NONE OF US HAD ANYWHERE ELSE TO BE, and we were on babytime. Time is even more fluid and comes and goes. Not caring what time it is makes me happier and a better mother. (I can't believe I just wrote 'a better mother'... what is happening!?!

Love to you, and I wonder if you have some holidays to enjoy over the weekend coming? I'm NOT producing radio tomorrow, so might enjoy some of the comedy festival as a punter (a punter with a 6 month old, so limited perhaps) and relax with the family.

Enjoy x

Monday, 25 March 2013

A Darling Little Baby Dress

YAY, took me all week to post this, but finally I get to show you my little dress for a darling little one year old!

The fabric is (more than likely) an 80s print bedsheet, and I followed a little vintage children's pattern, but I couldn't find it to show you. So many things are lost in my sewing room, one day all will be well there! I have taken some 'before' photos to get myself in the mood.

The times I've been in children's clothing stores (now that I have a child), I'm a little wary of all the styles, colours and just how boring the clothing choices are. The boy section is very limited in style choice, not to mention colours. And I don't really like prints, graphics or words on clothing, so I'm kinda grossed out by the 'builder' and 'car lover' types of clothes in the boys section. Now the girls section (perhaps if I had a girl) would also gross me out because there's a LOT of frilly & pinky stuff there... but there's a lot more variety in style (than just jeans/cargo pants & tshirts choice for boys) especially in the onesies (and yes, he's a baby so I still dress Baby Darling in onesies. So cute) in the girl department. AND, FFS, I'm not even in the market for new clothing for Baby Darling, as we have mostly handmedowns YAY!

But, just my observations... and so when I'm going to make clothing for children, I'd like it to be interesting & unique. So this darling little frock (that's very Pebbles-esque, don't you think?) is to be the beginning of my Baby Friendly Fashion... Yep, I want my creations for babes to never be boring. And even though some people might thing brown fabric for a girl is boring, I think it's delightful with the vintage buttons, and orange stitching!

Unique! My friend's child got 3 compliments in 15 minutes from wearing the dress, so I'm extremely pleased with how this one turned out! I think my sewing mojo is back with animal prints!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Reading Blogs

You've probably seen around the internerds that some people are changing to Bloglovin' as Google Reader is closing down? Everyone reads blogs in different ways, and I've always been more of a 'sit down at the computer/desktop when I have spare time and click through to your blog (from my blogroll on my page - to the right there) and have a million tabs of sewing blogs open' kind of person. I then keep tabs open forever and sometimes get around to commenting or pinteresting things I like ... and only sometimes I've used Google Reader & Bloglovin to read blogs.

Maybe Bloglovin' changed recently because I have used it more in the past year or so ... and in the flurry of lots of bloggers moving over to it in the past few weeks (thanks for all the follows you lovely peeps) I have used it daily and it is a lot better than shitloads of tabs in my browser, and I've even had time to COMMENT... so YAY! In a very time poor Mama Lyf world, that is AMAZING!

Anyways, I've been on there for a bit, so you'll find me ok I'm sure... but just to remind you (and perhaps to get on there if you're not already on there for your own blog, as I'll follow you) here's a photo I took of my desktop comptur screen to get you a bit 'meta' and into it. I have also tried the app, but realised it is iphone size, and not a happy ipad size... I'm sure they'll update. 

See you around soon, where ever you read blogs! 

Thursday, 14 March 2013

My favourites

I was very lucky, for summertime was a flurry of friends and great catch ups with my favourites! So, when I was cleaning up the place, I spotted a little momento from bestie Claire who lives in the UK and is amazing at all things, and especially Dahn Yoga. But now I'm sad because there's no yoga the same here in my part of the world, and then I was equally sad finding my brochure momento because my other favourite Amy is now not in Melbourne. She moved away... to SYDNEY. So we've totally done a life swap of following our dreams and being awesome and such.

Oh my darling favourites are spread out across the world again. It was just gorgeous to spend time with them both and all together before we all got back to real life.

xoxo to you both!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The Handmaker's Factory

Hi! Back again! I've got about 5 minutes in between Baby Darling catching some zzz's and running a few errands (you can run errands online, no? Online banking et al!) here, but I wanted to let you know about The Handmakers Factory that is very happily bubbling away already (I'm pleased to see!).

My online world completely opened up when I discovered Nikkishell & her Wardrobe Refashion community, there wasn't a strong online sewing & fashion community like there is now back when I started blogging... and it was a little harder to find inspiration for my sewing... but I totally *got* Nichola's ethos and started feeling stronger in my writing/sewing/creativeness through seeing her posts.

Over 5 years the Wardrobe Refashion grew to be a huge sewing & creating community, and now Nichola has launched the next chapter to her passions! I'm excited to see what it'll become and where it'll grow both online & offline (IRL!) and I'm sure you'd want to be a part of it. My macrame tshirt refashion (above) was my first project over there, and I'm going to try and keep the refashion theme going in my work (when I can make stuff of course, give me time!) at the Handmakers Factory!

YAY to more sewing & refashioning and even more YAY to things being 'Made in Melbourne'! I look forward to catching up with you soon Nichola, now that it's cooler Baby Darling and I are hopefully going to be back to normal! (I say cooler, but it's probably still 27 degrees right now!)

And to all you creative types, go sign up to the Handmakers Factory!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Pattern Pieces

Here's my little pattern pieces for the Refashioned Baby T I made last week (or whenever it was - I have completely lost track of times/days) for Baby Darling.

The piece on the left is the sleeve, and the larger piece is the front and back piece, because of that baby neckline (where the shoulders have layered fabric/edges so you can stretch it out and get their head in) you don't need different front and back pieces.

You can see my sharpie pen link fix up on the front/back piece... I had to make the top piece a little thinner that I'd previously drafted. And by drafted, I am seriously just drawing the shapes of the underarms of a baby, how I thought they'd be... no science to it. So I've made the underarms a little deeper (I just shaved off the fabric on the pieces once I realised it was too big on the shoulders)... on both front and back pattern pieces.

It was pretty much:

Cut the pieces (two of each) and flat bit of the bodice piece on the fold

Attach neck binding to both bodice pieces

Overlap (right side to wrong side) front and back pieces with shoulder/arm holes to where you think they'd sit well, and baste

Pin sleeves to bodice pieces, right sides together and stitch through everything

And then stitch the sides, right sides together.


You may cut yourself some corners by using an existing hem for the bodice and sleeves if you're refashioning like I did here... sometimes you look at the most fiddly bits of sewing and try to get that OUT of the equation... saves hassle & time. I love having something finished so quickly!

This week, I'm hoping to post the CUTEST dress... made for a 1 year old... it's just gorgeous! I think I'm starting to be SEWINGTASTIC again! (If that's a saying, not sure!)


Saturday, 9 March 2013

Weekend Flowers

I'm always in love with flowers in the home, and take just as many photos of them (and my splashback) as my baby. Maybe it's the Mama Lyfe taking over but don't they always look so P-R-E-T-T-Y? (Kill me now, I'm such a sap!) I have no idea what these kind of flowers are, they're from the shop and have lasted forever...

Once again, it's another freaking hot day and we've spent it trying to be cool ... but our house just has not been able to cool down. I know I'm like a freaking broken record around here, but man... I think there's just another week. I wish we had air con, I wish I didn't sleep next to two boiling hot boys (I run cold, so don't get too bothered usually), I wish I wasn't breastfeeding in this heat (lying down to feed helps) because it's hot sharing body heat but also I have nothing to wear that's cool and that's accessible to feed! Such dilemmas.

But don't my flowers and kitchen splashback look interesting?! LOL/HEATSTROKE.


Friday, 8 March 2013

A Refashioned Baby T

And here's my final thing from that large orange tshirt I bought from the op shop to make my friend's macrame birthday present! YAY! That's 3 things from one tshirt, how refashionably thrifty can one gal be?

Sorry I've been out of action here, we had the insides of the house painted, so went away for a bit, and it's been unbearable hot (32 or there abouts every day!) in Melbourne, so my baby just isn't sleeping very long (but seems to be so tuckered out right now, he's gone over an hour!) during the day... he's a sweetpea at night though, sleeping while it's cooler... or kinda cooler at 20 degrees. GUYS I LOVE SUMMER, don't get me wrong, but with a baby? With a hot baby? And consecutive hot days? YIKES!

So you've seen the other orange long sleeve baby T I made, so this one I used a singlet top my mum was going to send to the op shop, and the leftover sleeves of the original orange tshirt. I did make a template/pattern piece just by doing some guesswork on some other baby clothes (Baby Darling is still wearing them, so couldn't pull them apart to get the right template - which is always the BEST).

I folded the singlet in half but with the side seams together, and a proper seamstress would have probably turned the thing inside out first, so it's right sides together like normal sewing... but I don't feel very proper or normal as a speed seamstress... I have small windows of sewing, and go like the wind!

And gotta top it off profesh style with a label! YEW! Oh, and now looking at the close up photo, I also used some leftever tshirt as the binding for the neckline here... YES! I love the 'raglan' look that baby clothes have with this crossover neckline. Before I had a baby I just thought it was a 'baby' style, but now having a big head baby who has little shoulders and little neck (I'm sure they all do) it makes sense to design it this way!

Hooray, ok I hear some rustling from Baby Darling, gotta whirl (sorry for spelling mistakes or whatever! I'll check over perhaps next week when I get back here! LOL). xoxoxoxo

Dongmen Lu Fabric Market

Happy Wednesday! Time to get some fabric inspiration from the Dongmen Lu Fabric Market here in Shanghai! Can't believe how quickly 201...