Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Nine little words

I've got nine words for you, and they are "Fa la la la la la la la la". Christmas is fast approaching and I feel strangely relaxed. Normally there is that free-floating anxiety, the one that forms into "Have I remembered everything?", "Is there anyone I've forgotten to get a present for?", "Do I have to bring a plate to the end-of-year do for [enter function name here]?". But not this year. Both the kids have tallied up what they know we'd spend on them and requested just one thing that they really want, so the shopping's all done and dusted. We don't do stockings so I'm not racing around trying to find cheap stuff to fill them with. This feeling of relaxation is just ace, I tell ya. I think this is definitely one of the perks of having older children, there is less pressure to make them an amazing Christmas because they're pretty good at making it amazing by themselves.

In the weekend the kids set up the nativity set, which I found one year at the junk shop.
I just love nativity sets. And junk shops.
They also got out the tree and then decorated it by themselves. They brought out all the decorations we've made over the years and I heard them reminiscing about when we made them. That was pretty cool, I thought. Here is the Christmas seagull that Harry made from dukit, last year I think it was.
Here is a Christmas robot made a few years ago, and in the background, a crochet pavlova I bought at a craft market and one of the decorations the kids made at preschool.
A cross-stitched deer, which I made a set of the year-before-last:
And this is the one that cracks me up the most. Personally, I think it's hideous, but the kids think it's the fanciest and most special decoration of all. I am NOT responsible for making this, I hasten to add.
I also like making new decorations, if I get around to it. This year, I made some decorations "inspired by" some in Scandanavian Needlecraft. This is what the ones in the book look like, very good taste and all that.
Here are my ones, a little more rumpty, but I like them that way:
So that's our Christmas tree, what does yours look like?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Glad I spotted ya!

Hello Friends,

Summer is upon us here in the Southern Hemisphere, and I found myself reaching into the depths of the fabric stash and patterns to make myself a bright and happy summer dress. I found some ridiculously cheerful blue fabric with bright white polka dots, a veritable symbol of summer good times.

However, one must be careful sewing with bright fabric and bold patterns. In particular, there are good reasons to NOT sew with bright blue and white polka-dotted fabric, and here they are:
Yes, that is Bozo the clown.

And yes, that is Minnie Mouse.
When sewing with polka dots, one really wants to be making something that a gorgeous person, and not a clown, would wear. Perhaps like this:
So I made my dress up using New Look 6799, which had some nice details like a roundy neck and a waist bit (these are probably real sewing terms) that I could put some piping either side of. What do you think?
Sorry about the slightly snotty expression - I need to work on my photo face, or perhaps my real-life face. I blame it on general malcontent related to the state of my hair. I'm growing out a fringe at the moment, and my hair's just all over the shop. I'm sure you all empathize with this kind of hair suffering. We've all been there.
I digress, back to the dress. There is some red piping either side of that bit in the middle, and I like that detail rather a lot. I lined the whole thing to make it easier to wear, and I'm glad I did, because it's so comfy, it's like trackies. Now, I know real sewists would show the zip and how the piping matches up at the seams etc, but I'm not going to because it's all very imperfect.
BUT, I love it.  A woman who I don't even know said to me in the street "I have to tell you that I LOVE your dress". She even said it in capital letters, just like that. Now that's a sewing victory, people.