Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Monthly Stitch - April Challenge - Sewing Double

Just wanted to say thanks so much for all your lovely comments on my last post! It made me feel a whole lot better. I'm slowly pulling myself up an out of that slump, I do have some exciting news, this month I ACTUALLY completed the monthly stitch challenge. 
This challenge was open to a little bit of interpretation - but I decided to make a second version of something I have been meaning to make for about a million years. Some of you will remember the wee dressing gown I made for my niece Sophiia, well I have been meaning to make one for her brother Lukah for the longest time. However, I just never got around to it, I decided the sewing double challenge was the time to make it happen!

Again Kuromi was totally keen to model the dressing gown - I couldn't ask for a better model! 
This dressing gown has a hood as well - because all dressing gowns should have hoods (in fact I'm sad my dressing gown doesn't have a hood!).
Here's another view of the dressing gown - I love this polar fleece, I bought it at the Arthur Toye closing down sale. I am now wishing I bought more!
Here's a close up of that fabric - skulls forever!
Then I decided I couldn't really send Lukah something without sending Sophiia anything - so I doubled up on my double sewing!

Recently I was gifted a bulk lot of patterns - which included quite a few patterns for kids, including this one.
Lately I've been thinking I need to use more of my stash. Making kids clothes is a perfect way to deal with some of the small pieces of fabric I have. 

I decided to make Sophiia a couple of skirts, fortunately being kids skirts they have elastic waistbands so they can be easily altered if needed when she receives the skirts.

You guys most likely remember from my previous posts that I'm not into making (or even buying) my niece and nephew gender specific stuff. There is no way Sophiia will be receiving pink, flowery skirts from Aunty Trees.
Kuromi couldn't really model the skirts - but still wanted to be in the photo (she's so demanding). 
These wee skirts have pleats! My pleats are less than perfect - but I'm pretty happy with them. Plus Sophiia isn't even at primary school yet so I'm sure she won't be bothered by less than perfect pleats.

The blue skirt really could have done with ironing pre-photo - oh well, nothing is perfect in life! 

Now I just need to get around to my next challenge - braving the post office to post these goodies out to the "kidlets". Hope you're all enjoying your week xoxo

Sunday, April 27, 2014

GOLD! (Lurex)

I haven't felt much like sewing lately - as those of you who follow my blog will know, I managed to get a whole bunch of great fabric from fabric-a-brac earlier this month. All my great fabric finds - sharks, peacocks, stars, lurex! should have been incredibly inspiring - but as it turns out they just weren't.

I think I've felt a bit bleh for most of this year and things seem to just "keep going wrong" and I don't feel like I'm able to do anything very productive. My latest problem is that my laptop is all but ready to say farewell to the world. I AM using it right now, but in safe mode and its pretty tedious. Fortunately Ria has come to the rescue and I'm able to buy one of her computers that's she's not using any longer. I could buy a new computer - but to be honest its all a bit overwhelming and its just one more thing I DON'T need right now. It's not even about the cost of a new computer, I'm just so over stuff going wrong!

I feel like a have a very LONG list of sewing projects I SHOULD have done by now, like my Miss Bossy sewing challenge which I haven't even started! I also have stuff I want to make for Rich, I promised my friend Dani I would make some stuff for her and I want to make some clothes for our holiday in late June. I basically keep getting myself all upset about all that I HAVEN'T done, and do nothing at all because I'm stressed out about it.

So over Easter I decided I would just make something, anything, and it was the gold lurex from fabric-a-brac which was the first thing in my stash that caught my eye. I decided to use a tried and true pattern, rather than putting additional pressure on myself and making a brand new pattern. I chose to make the classic wrap dress from Simple & Chic Sewing.

I have made this dress before, but in a woven, the lurex has a whole lot of stretch so I thought it would be better for a wrap dress. However, I didn't think to cut the dress a size smaller due to the stretch (I have NO idea why it didn't occur to me - its seems so logical now) so it's a little on the big size. It is a wrap dress though, so I can kind of "make it work" even though its a little big.

I went out to Ria's house on Saturday for a crafting type afternoon and she was nice enough to take a couple of me wearing the dress I made.She lives at Breaker Bay so her view is MUCH nicer than mine. Living in the inner city all we can see from our living room window is a car park.

Now truth time, I do have one problem with this dress, I'm not sure I even LIKE it! I know, first make in AGES and its meant to be a "quick win" and it kind of leaves me feeling *meh* in general. Although Ria loved it - but then others always see you more positively than you see yourself right?
Why don't I like it - I honestly don't have any reasons, maybe I just feel *meh* about it because I'm generally feeling *meh*. Maybe I'll wear it in six months time and think its the greatest dress in the world and it will make me want to scream "Lurex FOREVER!"

Well its nearly time for dinner - so I best say farewell, I hope you've all had a wonderful weekend and I will try and pull myself out of this slump soon.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Street Art Walk - Aro Valley

I've recently been looking at a lot of street art on instagram, today I felt inspired to go and check out some street art in the real world rather than looking at it through a screen. Rich and I took a walk from the city to Aro, up the hill to Kelburn and back into the city via the botanical gardens.

There is a lot of street art in Aro, which is one of the reasons why its one of my favourite suburbs in the city.

So without further ado, here's a photo heavy post capturing some of a street art in our little city.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Weekend Fun Times

Its Monday afternoon and the long Easter weekend is NEARLY over - but not quite, its been a pretty quiet "Stay-cation" for us. Time was spent walking, hanging out with friends, watching movies and sewing. Also there was obviously time spent eating Easter treats!

I actually didn't take many photos this weekend - perhaps a sign of a weekend spent truly relaxing?

However, here are a few things we got up to - firstly we opened up the amazing Easter treats we received from Alicia and Bear. This is only a small sample of the goodies they gave us! Bunnies and Hello Kitty for the win!

My friend Alice had a crafty afternoon gathering at her house - we made flower crowns and chocolates and general had a fun time catching up. Here's my first ever flower crown! I think Desiree would be proud.
Rich and I took a walk in Central Park, which is located about 10 minutes from our apartment. It was looking pretty autumnal, this weekend has definitely felt like autumn (unlike last weekend where it felt like winter!).

 I also did some sewing, I made a gold lurex wrap dress from some of the fabric I bought at fabric-a-brac. I think I made the dress a little bit big, but that's ok as its a wrap dress I can still "make it work" I will post some outfit posts soon.
My version may be slightly less polished than the example shown in Chic & Simple Sewing (I used the classic wrap dress pattern from this book). But mine has sparkles and looks kind of disco!
I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend, whatever you got up too! May be difficult to return to the "real world" of work tomorrow.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Lets skip autumn and head straight to winter

The last couple weeks in Wellington (and over most of New Zealand it seems) have been less than great, it does seem we have forgotten about autumn entirely and headed straight to winter. 

However, last weekend Rich and I decided to brave the cold and head out for a walk in Wellington botanical gardens as it had been a while since we visited. We decide to take one of our typical walks - up to the gardens via cable car, take a walk to the gardens and return to the city via the cemetery.

Recently the "station" at the top of the cable car was revamped - now you can admire the city from the warmth of the inside of the station (as well as out in the cold - obviously).
It's important to always wear appropriate footwear when walking - actually I bought these flats from avon and they are amazingly comfortable. 
 Some of the flowers were dying off as the colder months approach (or have perhaps already here), but I think they still look so beautiful.

 The succulents and cacti will always be some of my favourites - that cactus looks like it has eyes!
 There are a few entries into the gardens - this is obviously my favourite!
There is an old phonebooth near the entry to the gardens, I always wonder why the council doesn't do something with it. The could get some local artist to paint it and make it beautiful (any remnants of an actual phone are LONG gone, its just an old wooden booth). When I walked past this time I did notice a little bit of street art inside. 

Next we headed up to the rose gardens - the roses are now dying due to the colder weather, but many of them are still so pretty. I still think flowers can look pretty when they are clearly "one their way out...."

We stopped off at the glass house at the gardens for two reasons - its a great place to warm up on a cold day and also because some of the most interesting and beautiful flowers are in the glasshouse (well in my humble opinion).

Obviously if you're in the glass house you have to check out the begonias next door! 
 Finally we made it home through the Bolton Street Cemetery - which is one of the most interesting place in Wellington in my opinion. New Zealand is such a new country, we don't have much "history" really - so when I do find somewhere with some history which interests me I kind of want to learn everything about this. 

The chap buried here in particular I always find so interesting -  Sir Richard Seddon (also known as King Dick) was the New Zealand Premier (Prime Minister) from 1893 - 1907 (he remains the longest serving Prime Minister in our history) you can read more about him here if you're as geeky as me.

 There are a few old wooden grave stones in the cemetery - all the information about the person here has disappeared.
This part always fascinates me too - in the 1960s the council decided a new motorway was required, which would run right through the cemetery and accordingly they moved a whole bunch of the graves to accommodate the new motorway which opened in 1978. It has always seemed so sad to me, people moved from their final resting place to make way for a motorway. Some of the people that were moved from the area which became motorway were buried here in a mass grave. I don't think this is something that would ever happen now in New Zealand, but its always been such a sad tale. But I guess "that's progress" right?

Well its now Easter holidays here (four day weekend!) I'm excited to mostly have some downtime and catch up with a few friends. Have a fun Easter - whatever you may be doing.