Saturday, 31 December 2016

Festive Things

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Christmas day fun!

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Handmade Christmas gifts for the teachers. (Featuring this Angel printable from Caravan Shoppe and homemade gingerbread.)

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Soaking up the boxing day sunshine at Waimarama

Christmas day this year for us was a pretty subdued affair. In the aftermath of a busy last few months with kids’ birthdays and school and other break ups; a quiet celebration was just what we needed. We’d also just returned from a brief trip to Wellington for my brother’s 30th, so we’d managed to catch up with family members pre-Christmas anyway.

On Christmas day we unwrapped gifts, went to church and had a simple yet delicious lunch at home with roast lamb, new potatoes and lots of Summer fruit and sweet treats. We spent the next day, Boxing day, at one of our local beaches Waimarama, testing out the girls’ new saltwater sandals and building sandcastles, and have spent the last few days in the same relaxed manner, catching up with family and friends and with me stealing a few moments to sew!

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Wishing all of you a very blessed 2017 and wonderful holiday season!

Jenny (and family) xx

Friday, 23 December 2016

My year in Sewing {2016}

Yes, yes I know today is Christmas Eve, not New Years Eve… but I’m feeling a bit nostalgic and with a little free time to spare, being on holiday mode and all … so I’ve decided to post my annual sewing round-up now – hope that’s ok with you?!

2016 for me, definitely has been the year of less blogging and perhaps less sewing (although there are about 25 gazillion pairs of undies and a whole bunch of market sewing that would testify otherwise), but definitely less blogged projects than previous years – heck, in other years I’ve struggled to decide which of my numerous projects to choose for a couple of 9 square grids, whilst this time, I’ve struggled to fill them!

2016 in sewing (1)

Left to Right: (Top row:) Take Flight Dolman Top, The Clementine Dress (Middle row): Katie-pie Play Dress, Homemade Lego Storage Bag/Mats (Bottom row): Pipi's Bunny Hat, Pipi's Liberty Vest, Merino Singlets.

2016 in sewing (2)

(Top row): Noah's Lightning Bolt Quilt (still a work in progress), Isabelle's Ballet Cross Over Top and Ballet Bag, Wayfearer Shoes (Middle row): Isabelle's Solis Dress, Wild Things Bunny Shoes and Swan Pixie Shorts (Bottom row): A couple of unblogged projects, including far left a cushion cover collab between Noah and me and also (centre and right) Isabelle’s Ruemi Raglan (I tested this pattern for Little Kiwis Closet).

So that’s that! Not so much sewing for Noah or myself this year, but I’ve definitely put a few hours into that quilt of his, with plenty more to come! I have a few things I want to make for myself, perhaps a few maternity things and things for after – we’ll see.

Despite the significantly fewer items sewn this year, my passion for sewing still hasn’t waned! I’ve just found myself busy with family life, the admin work I do for my husband and the exhaustion of early pregnancy (which I’m glad to say has now passed!) And I also really tried to pick quality and need over quantity this year.

I plan to enter 2017 armed with beautiful fabric and lots of ideas (including a bit of new baby sewing) – So watch this space!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, one and all!

Happy Sewing,

Jen x

Want to read more? Here's the link to my 2015 year in sewing round-up!

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Noah’s 8th Birthday!

I can’t quite believe that my firstborn is now eight! Noah celebrated his birthday on the 13th of December and I’ve just been reminded by my Dad that this blog is how he keeps up with our happenings, so I thought I better post about it before Christmas is upon us!

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We had a simple party for Noah on the Friday night before his ‘actual’ birthday with a few of his school friends. It’s such a busy time of year, so we kept it pretty low key with pizza, a DVD and DIY ice cream sundaes. I had a bit of a cake disaster, in that I’d intended for it to be 2 layers but hadn’t quite let them cool properly resulting in the destruction of the top layer… good thing the bottom was unscathed though, so it wasn’t a complete disaster! It still turned out pretty yummy, if not a little rustic! And Noah didn’t care!

The gift we gave Noah was a big Star Wars Lego set, perfect for our star wars and Lego loving guy! He spent most of the next day building it, with only a little help from me…. and that was only because I really wanted to help. (I guess as an adult you forget how much fun Lego building can be!)

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Happy birthday Mr Noah, we love you so!

Mum / Jenny xx

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Lately… Isabelle turns 6 and other things…

Somehow another year has flown by and my (not so) little girl, my middle child, Isabelle is now SIX!

I mean, how has it been a whole year since her beauty & the beast/ Belle party!? Because I’d thrown her that big party last year, and because this time of year is always a busy time, I hadn’t originally planned to do a party for her this year, however somehow managed to wrangle one anyway!

We kept it pretty simple, 6 little friends, no theme this time, a basic cake and  DIY decorate your own waffles (because our waffle iron is still a bit of a novelty ‘round here.) It was a super hot day and we all had a lot of fun!

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You might be able to guess from that last photo what the ‘other things’ mentioned in the post title is…. yes, we are having baby number 4! I’m now 20 weeks along with baby due April next year. We are all very excited – especially the kids!

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This little baby seems to be a very wiggly one! We had made the decision to find out gender this time (Pipi was a suprise but we found out with the oldest too), only to have our plans foiled by an unco-operative fetus! So, for now at least, the mystery remains!

I did however, manage to get the 3 babes on the outside to stay still and look at the camera for the announcement photo above (no mean feat!) So I call that a win!

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… It did take a couple of shots though! ^

So that’s what’s new around here! I’m still sewing away and will probably back here soon enough to blog about another project, or Noah’s 8th birthday in a couple of weeks!

What is happening in your neck of the woods? Doing any Christmas crafting?

Jen x

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Sofilantjes Down Under Blog Tour

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Recently I was invited to be part of the ‘Sofilantjes Down Under Blog Tour’, involving some of us sewing bloggers from New Zealand and Australia. I’d seen Sofilantjes patterns (a Dutch company) before and thought that they looked nice, but this was my first time making one. When I clicked over to the Sofilantjes website I was immediately taken by the Solis dress (and tunic) and knew that was what I wanted to sew for the blog tour. (I mean how cool is the back on it?)

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I sewed little Miss Isy a size 5 (based on her measurements) and it fits her absolutely perfectly! There is a pleated skirt option (with either tunic length or dress) and also a circle skirt option. I chose the circle skirt, because my little ballerina loves to twirl!

The sew was so quick and easy! I sewed it up one afternoon (I actually think the cutting out possibly took longer than the actual sew!) I opted to leave the dress unhemmed which made it even faster. The pattern instructions very easy to follow, and I definitely will be making more. In fact, little Miss 3 has requested one exactly the same in her size, thank you very much!

For fabric I used black stroke Elvelyckan Design fabric for the bodice outer, the back strap is a mustard and triangle design from there too, the floral neck strap is a Birch Organic knit (if my memory serves me correctly) and the skirt and bodice lining are a candyfloss pink from NZ made Levana Textiles. (All of these fabrics are knit). A lot of pattern mixing, but I’m really happy with how it turned out!

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Thanks so much for having me as part of the ‘Sofilantjes Down Under Blog Tour’

Today is the last day of the blog tour, but make sure (if you haven't already), to go back and check out the other posts by my amazing fellow 'down under' sewers! The schedule was as follows:
 

There is also a GIVEAWAY! You could win a copy of the Nivalis Tunic and Dress Pattern.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The code to use is DOWNUNDER. This discount expires on October 16th and, is valid on Summer patterns only.

Happy sewing!

Jenny x

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Twig + Tale Blog Tour (Featuring Art Gallery Fabrics)

 

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I’m so pleased to be part of the Twig + Tale (formally ‘Big Little) welcome blog tour. For this week long blog tour, myself and a bunch of other amazing sewing bloggers have been busy sewing a few of Twig + Tale patterns to celebrate the launch of their brand new name. (More about the tour schedule, and a giveaway at the end of the post!)

We were very lucky to have the blog tour sponsored by the amazing Art Gallery Fabrics, which meant I was able to pick out some beautiful fabric to sew with!

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I made Isabelle the Twig + Tale 'Pixie Shorts' in size 5. The Art Gallery Fabric I selected for this project was 'Dabbling Swan' in Plum from the 'Hello, Ollie' Collection, by Bonnie Christine. (I requested 1 yard and still have quite a lot left over which I’m looking forward to using for other projects.)
This fabric is just stunning. It is 100% premium organic cotton and has the most soft and luxurious feel. I wanted to showcase the gorgeous swan print on the front, with a swan facing in on each leg, so I decided to fussy cut it to achieve this (and managed to do so, while still economically cutting my precious fabric! Phew!)

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I’ve made the Pixie Shorts a number of times before and they came together quickly. I omitted the pockets this time, so as to have optimal amounts of swan on display. The fabric was a dream to sew with and I’m really happy with the result. (As is my little girl!)

Twig + Tale  is a celebration of the innocence of childhood and the wonder of nature, and I think that this collaboration between them and Art Gallery Fabrics (with all their whimsical and often nature inspired designs), is a match made in heaven. I also think that my wee girl, Isabelle epitomizes this too – it was hard to get a still photo of her, all she wanted to do was climb trees, feed the ducks and blow dandelions!

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As well as these swan pixie shorts, I also made Twig + Tale’s super cute Wild Things Baby Shoes. It was my first time making these, and it was a lot of fun.

We have a couple of babies on the way in our family, so I can see myself making a few of these as gifts! I choose to make a bunny pair in the smallest size (0-3 months). The pattern also contains templates to make other animals, such as pandas, foxes, cats, bears, mice and raccoons, and goes right up to size 12-18 months+.

While on the topic of Twig + Tale's Wild Things patterns, it’s worth mentioning that there is currently a 20% off sale on some of the Wild Things range, including these baby shoes (and just in time for Halloween sewing if you’re into that sort of thing!) (Sale ends midnight Friday, no code required.)

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These little shoes are such a great scrap busting pattern, and I just used various vintage bits ‘n bobs that I found in my stash, including grey wool for the outer fabric and mustard corduroy for the soles.
The only modification that I made was adding the little ‘cotton-tails’ on the back – inspiration struck when I opened my sewing draw and spotted some pom pom trim!

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Thanks again to Twig + Tale for including me in this amazing blog tour (see schedule below), and of course Art Gallery Fabrics for providing me with the amazing swan fabric to sew with!

Finally, what would a Blog Tour be without a giveaway?!

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Art Gallery Fabrics is kindly sponsoring 2 yards of Art Gallery fabric of your choice. To make the prize extra sweet, we are also adding a collection of 5 Twig + Tale patterns of your choice.
International entries are very welcome. Our bloggers come from every corner of the world to celebrate the global nature of Twig +Tale too.  Enter using the rafflecopter below. (The winning entry will be checked to ensure all criteria are met).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and happy sewing!

Jen x