Sunday, 31 August 2014

Something Big


I haven't posted here for a while, because something big came up. Not a second pregnancy, like some of my friends have suspected. A big move.


Us little old Darlings are currently packing up, putting things in storage, selling stuff and giving stuff away ... and we'll be in China, in one of the largest cities, in less than 2 weeks.


I don't think it'll sink in until I'm there, or on the plane maybe.... ? Husbie's got a great job, and it all seemed like a perfect chance for a big challenge and a big adventure and yep... something big for all of us. Our boy turns 2 next month, and why not take in all these great adventures before you turn two?

So! I'm not 100% sure what I'll be doing yet. . . I know I'll be managing the family and helping and supporting us settle in to Shanghai! I'm still not 100% sure of my blog here, because there's a strong part of me that longs to write more than just sewing projects. So I'll see if I stay here or grow somewhere else. But I do know that there are so many of you I want to keep in touch with... and I'll either read your blogs, look at your facebook or your instagrams and many ways for us to keep in touch!

THANK YOU for being a blog friend, a supporter of DIY fashion and a general awesome person in the world! I really appreciate your comments and your emails and all the fun things about the sewing blogging world here online... it has grown SO much since I started writing here. We've all grown so much I reckon! LIFE, HEY?! xoxo

Talk soon,
Best, Veronica Darling xoxoxo

(P.S. these photos are from a good - and patient - friend's wedding in 2012 and you might see a little baby bump as I'm about 4 months pregs here too - taking test shots for Husbie to get the light right. I've packed up all my computer and these photos were my last collection to send off. It's really happening.)

(P.P.S. I am currently writing this in my sewing room, and you can't really call it a sewing room... there's only one dressmakers model here now ... no fabric, new machines, no iron... a room where lots of things once got made. A Room of One's Own - for sewing in this case - really is important.)

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Why Hullo My Foxy Friend

How are you?! It's been a while, but like I mentioned when I was last here, I'm making things, but just haven't got space in my day to photograph and blog as well. You just do stuff and there's no time to stop and reflect.

Here's a foxy little friend I made for a new little human... she was born in September but for some reason with her I was DETERMINED to make her something by hand, so I finished it early this year, and popped it in the post a few weeks back. Or was it months back? CAN'T REMEMBER!

She's just a lovely little fox, this one!

The fabric is a piece from an all recycled stash from my mother's friend Chris who has oodles of scraps after lots of successful quilt-making. I drew up a pattern on butcher's paper, and then kinda winged it! It worked! It was so nice just pottering around here and there in the sewing room with toymaking... I wanted to get a friendly face, so googled a lot of toys and tried to get a little curious happy expression... what do you think?


I'm keen to make more... I've already started a green dinosaur! They're so easy really and a great scrap buster!

Hope you've been having a lovely year so far... I can't believe how quickly time flies! We've just got back from a quick family holiday in Auckland, which was lovely! I might get some photos together soon! My Husbie was also away in Shanghai for work, and we also got to have a wonderful brunch with sewing & blogging bestie Adey and her family. My baby is now a little boy, and we wrapped up breastfeeding recently, so he's extremely independent now! Work has been great, and I've been doing lots of on air projects and events this year already. We're so lucky and lovely right now at this stage in our lives...  and I would hashtag BLESSED but I find it creepy... and saccharine and sappy. LIVIN' is much better.


Love Veronica Darling xoxo

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Little Leftover Boy Jumper

You sew and you make and you sew and you make and you wear and you sometimes wear and you sometimes don't wear. And you don't take any photos. None! And then other times you take a photo of something you made before it gets worn. Rarely!

My boy is wearing this now, but I'll have to update my tshirt template (a cut up tshirt) for him because he's kinda getting too big for this already! Especially the sleeves! His baby arm rolls are still there, little cutie! The fabrics are all knits from the stash, I did start a dress from the mustard fabric, but it's kinda dorky and I might just make it a top ... haven't decided yet. This is the leftover bits for a nice warm jumper!

His face when he realised the pocket was amazing... my friend popped his toy car in there, and he was like "WHAT I CAN CARRY A CAR"! I love how much they're learning about the world at this age... soaking it all up!


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

A Photographic Study of a Mama Darling (With Words)


Missed you! Oh my Darling Blog, I've been thinking of you! It's been busy for us here in the Darling World...

In the past week alone I:

  1. Made Hot Kissed Buns
  2. Produced a national radio comedy show for Good Friday, with 1500 audience members and countless radio listeners - a success!
  3. Saw over 15 comedians at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival
  4. Made Rice-Almond Milk twice 
  5. Made Peanut Butter for a cutie bestie
  6. Worked my normal 2 day a week job
  7. Re-arranged the lounge room
  8. Built TWO IKEA sets of drawers for the boy's room
  9. Built an IKEA table & chairs for little boy to draw
  10. Built an IKEA chair for the lounge room
  11. Changed the lightbulb in the lounge room
  12. Took the boy to play with his friends on a rainy day play centre
  13. Made gold leggings to DIE for (or DIY for - LOL)
  14. Made a gold mini skirt for my friend to wear at the radio event
  15. Got drunk at a party (!)
  16. Had a hangover (first time in over 2 and a half years)
  17. Made date & macadamia nut bliss balls for a dinner party 
  18. Took the boy to playgroup in the Gardens
  19. Took the boy to his 18 month old immunisations (even though he's 19 months - we've been sick; ear infection, sinusitis, chest infection and pneumonia!)
  20. Made gozleme for tea for the first time!
Twenty things, that were significant for me in the past week! Now I'm listening to Future Islands & Hall & Oates and freezing the rest of the gozleme dough for next time. I have one more chair to build... might try and tackle that after the boy is asleep. 

Hope you've been well! 


Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Voila Veronica: A Floral Laurel

Don't we all get crushes on each other in the sewing and blogland? With so many babe-a-ramas around, it's really hard not to get a big crush on peeps. My current crush is Mokosha who has been around a bit, but I kept forgetting to add her blog to my reader, so thank fuckity for bloglovin' as it has reminded me and now I'm just looking at her photos all the time! So my layout today is in ode to her, lots of photos and then the text down here! I'm too chatty to follow her text layout though!

It's a Colette Laurel dress pattern, vintage fabric - something polyester something cotton, as there's a tiny stretch and it frays like heaven's betsy's - that was op shopped sometime ago, and it's almost unremarkable... what do you think?

But it was a REALLY long time coming... I started it in April last year, and you can see it with my white Laurel on Diana the Dressform... and never really got to stitching the sides, and finishing. So while I'm not posting that often here on the blog at the moment, I'm actually sewing a lot and making sure I FINISH up the projects in my sewing room. I don't often have the unfinished outfits (UFO's) but wrapped up patterns in fabric, with notions tucked in... so I have little bundles of 'To Do Lists' taking up space in shelves, drawers and bags and frankly, it all has to go and get done. So, after my December kickstart on sewing month, I'm not going to photograph EVERY outfit or thing... I'm going to finish off my 100 Things with my happy things, and things I wanna show you (and have time to photograph & blog about) xoxo.

The Laurel passed the Mena Test (sewing the sides - one long stitch on one side was going to be the side zipper - and then trying it on to see if you don't have to waste a notion) as I changed the back zipper on the pattern to the side. Sometimes in floral or patterned fabric a side zipper looks nicer so you're not breaking up the pattern on the back. And because the shape is really a 60s shift dress, you can get away with a bit of room. I perhaps won't be bending over in this version though (!), yep, I like the skirts short!

The sleeves are cute with these cuffs and overall it's a really quick version to sew. Especially leaving the zipper out. It makes it super thrifty as well! I'm sure this was less than $4.


Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Holiday Vibes: Around Railay Beach in Thailand

Last month we went to Thailand, for a lovely wedding, and since we've been back, it's peak business time at my work and Husbie's work this year! BUSY CITY! Such a great juggle (I just wrote struggle but meant juggle) of family & working life... Positina Turner strikes again. 

Here are some photos of the location I thought I'd share with you.


Friday, 31 January 2014

Holiday Vibes: Hanging with Adey

Our holiday began in Singapore, so Husbie Darling could meet a work colleague but it was also a great excuse for us Sewing Besties to hang too!

If you're new to my blog, Sewing BFF Adey blogs at The Sew Convert, and we met via The Sew Weekly blog as original contributors in 2011. Later that year, on my way to a bike riding tour of Cambodia, I stopped in to Singapore and met Adey for the first time... which was amazing & fun! Now I had the Darling Family with me, we had a gorgeous family catch up in the new Gardens By The Bay, with a delicious afternoon tea first and then a big wander around the garden's 2 domes!

Have a look at how gorgeous & amazing this place is! (And how sweet Baby Darling & Adey are too:)

 The waterfall is at least 7 storeys high, and the whole place is a surreal temperature with amazing plantlife and such interesting garden designs! We loved it!

You'll see I'm wearing the green dress I made from the fabric Adey gifted me... which is a designer stretch silk blouse-weight fabric. Thank you Adey! I have all the details of putting the dress together with the Vogue Pattern in case you're curious! I also made Baby Darling's tshirt, but the neckline was sooooooo soooo baggy, it kinda looked funny after he wore it all day!

Here are some more photos of the garden, it was just amazing!


Thank you Adey & your family! We loved spending time with you all! xoxo How wonderful that sewing and blogging can lead to international unique catch ups?! I love & appreciate this community so much!


Sunday, 26 January 2014

Australia Day Thanks

We had a wonderful start to the year, visiting Thailand and celebrating our good friend's wedding with loads of other great friends. Such positive energy, great focus on love and friendship and it felt like a great kickstart to 2014. Things are going so well, and it's great to be outside of your everyday life to see how well things are. There's so much to be thankful for really.

Today (being Australia Day), I'd love to send a big thank you out to every single gorgeous person. We don't have a Thanksgiving type day here. But today's 'Australia Day' has so many meanings for Australians. It's sad day, it's a happy day, it's a celebration and it's memorial. But overall, it's a day for looking forward for all Australians. I'm thankful to be Australian, I'm thankful for all my friends & family, I'm thankful our country has a long history of Indigenous people and their stories, I'm thankful we are able to live such beautiful lives.

There's a wonderful Australian of the Year today as well, Adam Goodes, and I'm with happy tears reading his thoughts on today and being Australian. What a freaking legend. Totally thankful there's such gorgeous people in this country.

My photo above is from a children's park in Singapore. What a beautiful place to be a toddler and a Mama of a toddler.


Monday, 20 January 2014

Voila: The Anna Frankensteined Romper!

YAY, we're back from holidays in Singapore and Thailand and I've just been reading through all your lovely notes from my 31/31 pieces from my personal sewing marathon in December. LOVED that you loved my little things (the exciting ones and the boring ones alike! Boring is still good, right!?) and thought you'd like to see the Romper I made for the wedding!

I outlined the sewing construction details (By Hand London's Anna top, vintage 1970s pattern for the shorts) in the blog post but here's me in it with my darling friend Jo (and cousin of the bride) who is from the amazingly gorgeous Melbourne band Big Scary! Aren't we vintage pastel fabric queens:

We loved being away and just adored Thailand, such a beautiful spot for a wedding! I'll post some scenic shots soon, there was just really gorgeous landscapes with the water, huge cliff faces and bush land, jungle spaces! Anyways, I loved wearing my romper, it was really comfy and good for crouching down with the children at the wedding or running around taking photos here and there. It was also great for dancing in later!

The fabric wasn't as see-through as I first thought when sewing it, and the only downside (not that anyone noticed) was that later on in the night after excessive dancing/jumping around (who knew I can still remember all the words to De La Soul?) the facing would flip out the front... so next time I'll stitch or glue/fuse that down... but all in all a successful Frankensteined outfit!

Here's me with my bestie Amy, and I gave her my Red Christmas Anna Dress for her birthday, and it fitted PERFECT! The FBA I did on the bodice was just right for Amy, as it was a little loose for me. Love being on holidays with my bestie! What a stunner!

And I did my hair myself (who knew I've turned into a hairstylist?) by twisting and pinning bits of hair around a topknot... but I bought a little fan from one of the local shops to use as a fascinating fascinator! It stayed in all night as well, even with the dancing!

And my friend snapped a little family photo as well:

Baby Darling wore a little vest & shorts suit I bought at the Salvos Op Shop on King Street in Newtown when I last visited Sydney. He couldn't leave his motorbike out of the wedding party! Plus it matches his sandals, accessorise people!

xoxo thank you again for all your love & gush with my sewing last month! Loved doing a little mini marathon on the machine... for this year (as always) I'm not really setting sewing or personal goals. Being away with my family has made a beautiful start to the year, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to love all the things I do personally and with my friends and family. Now that we're back in the house, we've always got little odd jobs to do, but I'm feeling very low-stress & carefree and plan to keep that vibe going in all aspects of 2014!

Wishing you a wonderful year ahead though, and hope you are loving the year as much as I am. Sew Forth and conquer queen sewing bees!


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...