Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Stars and stripes

Happy Memorial Day for yesterday to our US friends.  Here's what I was making on the day, appropriately enough - a sweet little skirt from two cheap bandannas:

Maybe an odd thing for an Aussie to be up to, but my daughter's much loved Deputy Principal is retiring on Friday and she's American, so the kids will all be dressing up in American garb for her last day.  I think she'll get quite a kick out of seeing them all dressed up in her honour.  :)

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Maiden voyage

I can report that the new kiddie machine for my daughter is going well.  She loves it!  She immediately had me helping to make a library bag out of Barbie fabric and then up at 6 the next morning still in PJs to make a spotty skirt for Fluffy the toy echidna.  :)  Now she's asking for a scarf but I might hold her back for a minute to make a mini sized sewing machine cover coz that's the one thing this little devil didn't come with.

So she's finding the machine very easy to deal with.  The foot pedal is just right for her - nice and slow as predicted, and a good size too.  The only difficulty she is having so far is how to have her hands when the work is going through the machine.  If it's me sewing, I would normally have one hand on the left gently guiding the fabric through and the right hand holding the bottom out so it's not buckling.  Thing is she can't seem to have her two hands doing different things.  It must be a bit like rubbing your tummy and patting your head, but it makes her focus on her hands rather than the needle.  (Don't take your eyes off the pointy bit!)  So for now I am doing the right hand for her and she is doing the left.  We are a funny octopus to watch.  I have to say, there's a fair bit of funny goin' on in this house.  :)

Thursday, 15 May 2014

The perfect kids' sewing machine!

Check out this little darling I got on Ebay.  Cutest thing ever and so light.  I picked it up for my daughter.  She's started school now and is asking to make "real" things with me so I thought it was time to upgrade her to a "real" machine.  

I started her out a year ago on a toy machine that only does chain stitch (which unravels all over the place) and I've been reading all sorts of reviews online for a proper children's machine.  Initially I was hoping for something with a needle guard but no luck there.  Instead I came upon this, the Elna Mini (or Elna Sew Mini) - it's about a third the size of my Janome and only weighs about 2 kgs (and yes, I have considered that maybe I will be sneaking it away with me on trips!) but best of all for beginners and kids, it is nice and slow.  

The foot pedal is nice and small for tiny feet to control and the speed is limited so even if you slip and stomp down on it you aren't going to take yourself out with the needle.  After seeing my sister in her youth sew through the bone in her finger (and then stare mutely at the needle stuck there, completely startled at what she'd done) I was keen to find something with a bit of a safety feature.

This machine seems to be very similar to a couple of others on the market.  The Janome Sew Mini (the same name oddly) and the John Lewis Mini and then apparently Ikea even has a mini machine, although sadly not in Australia.

I can't wait for her to get home from school now.  I'll let you know how the maiden voyage goes.  And in the meantime, anyone want a children's toy machine in hot pink?

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

I'm back!

'Game of Thrones' Recap: Sansa's New Home

I just had the nicest camping trip with my little family and feel so relaxed from it.  I was planning to do a post telling you all about it with some great pics we took along the way of  the red dirt of the outback. However, as soon as I got home I got sucked into catching up with Game of Thrones episodes that I'd been taping while I was away.

This might seem strange that I love this show so much.  Most people can't help but focus on the blood and gore.  I don't even notice that.  I'm too busy ogling the amazing costumes and marvelling at the strong female characters and the beautiful scenery.  And at the moment I'm wishing hard that cloaks will come back into style. (Oh, I can see a pattern coming....)  I love how elegant and simple they are, beautiful even in their simple rough fabrics.  Sansa's one above looks so lightweight but seems to be a rough woven silk which would be very warm for its weight.  I love how the hood doesn't look like it would drag on her head (something I hate about most hooded coats), and the way it hangs in folds is so luxe.  The other items I am crazy-craving are the dresses worn by particularly Shae, but also Daenerys and Margaery.  Here's Shae in hers which they change the belts on, it seems, to get different looks:

The designer for the show's costumes is Michele Clapton whose work you can check out here.   And some of the embroidery on the royal gowns are stunning. The artist who made those is Michele Carragher and you can see closeups of her work here.