"We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Marianne Williamson

Monday, January 21, 2013

Chevron Jersey dress

At my sister-in-law's amazing workplace in the city @ Blueprint Studios

It's official! I love sewing with stretchy fabric! I whipped up this dress in just a couple of hours the other night. That's my kind of project- start when the kids go to bed, finish before midnight- perfect! To make the bodice, I just traced around the top of a dress I already own and that I know fits me perfectly. Now I have a pattern cut out in Christmas wrapping paper that I can use over and over again. The top is fully lined which gives it a neat look- no fussy hemming the neckline or armholes. It took me a while to remember how to sew the bodice and lining together so that the seams were all on the inside. Here are the steps if you're interested or just for my future reference!

1. Put front and back outer right sides together and sew side seams only
2. Do the same with the lining front and back
3. Put lining and outer fabric right sides together and sew around arm holes and neckline but leave 2 inches at the top of each strap for the shoulder seams to be sewn later
4. TURN RIGHT WAY OUT ( I didn't do this and ended up with a completely inside out bodice)
5. Join outer shoulder seams right sides together
6. Join lining shoulder seams right sides together
7. Topstitch right around bodice ensuring you close the 2 inch hole you left at the top of the straps.

VOILA! You have a neat bodice- no seams showing, ready to add a skirt.

I decided to add a waist band in the same fabric but cut in the opposite direction- glad I did as it seems to accentuate the waistline. Then I just traced a skirt in an A-line shape and sewed it on to the bodice. 
You don't need an overlocker to sew this dress. Just use a zigzag stitch on your normal machine for all seams to allow the fabric to stretch. If you use a straight stitch, it will probably break when the fabric stretches.

Just for fun- on the kids tyre swing out the back. (It was scarier than it looked!)

I bet, if you're a sew-er, you're wondering where I got this cool fabric from! Well it's from an online fabric store based in USA called Girl Charlee. It has a super range of cool knit fabrics and excellent customer service. I'm so disappointed with our choice of knit fabrics here in Australia- all the cool stuff is so expensive it's cheaper to have it shipped from overseas- crazy i know! This fabric is excellent quality- not too thin and a perfect amount of stretch. So get over to Girl Charlee and check out their range.

That's all for today. I'm off to buy school supplies for my boys. Fun, fun, fun!

Have a great day everyone.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Boys' bedrooms

The decorating of our boys' bedrooms is still a work in progress. We let the boys choose the paint colour and I have made some bunting and these name and birth details frames. 

This is what the rooms look like at the moment (although probably messier!)

That's all for today. It's going to be a stinker! Stay cool everyone!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Built-in shelf revamp

When we were first looking at our house deciding whether or not this was the one or not, I really disliked these built- in shelves in the dining room.

However I realised that they were very practical especially as our kitchen has only one overhead cupboard. Our kitchen is big, fantastic and I love it, but it doesn't have enough storage. See pic.

The convenient but UGLY built in shelf was here to stay to store our slow cooker, food processor, serving dishes etc.

So a year later, we have finally got around to revamping the shelves. They were made of timber veneer in attempt to match the timber floor (bleugh!) so just painting over the top wouldn't cut it. Here are the steps we took to revamp the shelves:

1. Remove shelves, cupboard doors, hinges and handles
2. Sand the laminate to 'rough it up' a bit.
3. Wash down
4. Paint with a laminate primer (We used White Knight brand)
5. Sand again using really fine sand paper
6. Wash down again
7. Paint 2 coats of final colour using gloss paint allowing 2 hours drying time between each coat. We chose British Paints- Infinity White and Rhino Gray
8. Reassemble
9. Decorate (My favourite part) More on that later.
This took us about 5 days all up, although my husband says it would have taken half the time if I didn't stop every 5 seconds to take photos. He's hilarious! As if I wouldn't take photos!
And here they are!

And here is the final result!

And we love it!

Just for fun,  I made a little video of me in my element adding my bits and pieces to the new shelf. I have never done this before so I hope it works. Enjoy!

Monday, January 14, 2013

DIY wall art

This week, I got sick of staring at the blank wall in our dining room!

Here it is with my daughter (dressed up as a cow of course!) Terrible pic, sorry. I get so impatient/ excited to start projects that I rush taking my 'before photos!

She's measuring the wall for me. What a helpful girl!
We are in this part of the house so much that I really wanted to start making it look interesting. We have been in this house nearly a year now, but have mainly been focussing on getting the outside looking presentable and making a place for the kids to play.

I have had my eyes out for something for this wall for a long time, but just haven't seen anything that grabs me that is also in our price range...and then I had this brilliant idea! Wallpaper covered canvases! I'm really happy with the way they turned out- they add a bit of interest to the room and will do the job until we get around to painting the walls (soon, I hope!). Here it is!

The helpful husband

The canvases were on special for $7 each at a local craft store (gasp! So cheap). The wallpaper was from Bunnings (not so cheap for a 10m roll, but I was in love!). I still have more than half leftover so I might think about how I can use it elsewhere in the house.

In other news, I am busting to show you a massive project that I've been working on for a few days (also in the dining room). I am thrilled with the result, just waiting for the husband to come home from work so we can reassemble and I can decorate. Here is another terrible 'before' photo.

Stay tuned for the amazing 'after' shot!

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Knit fabric... hmmmmm... never sewn with it before, little bit scared, but totally willing to give it a crack. I love maxi skirts- they're totally as comfy as pyjamas and I think they look a whole lot better than shorts or pants in summer.


Look what I made today!

Thanks to Jonah my 8 year old son for taking this photo for me!
I am so excited about this new fabric option as it opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for clothing for me without the fiddly installation of zippers or even buttonholes! Yes very exciting! I'm thinking shorter skirts, maxi-dresses, short dresses, scarves, headbands, chevron patterned fabric, all the colours of the rainbow etc.

If I made this again, I would add an extra inch or 2 at the bottom as it tends to ride up a little at the waist making it just a little too short for my liking. I also measured my length by myself which is a bit tricky.

I found the tutorial for this skirt here. It took me just over an hour to make from start to finish including fiddling around with my machine to install and thread a double needle which I had never done before. And you don't need an overlocker/ serger!

I would totally recommend giving this one a go!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Birthday cakes in 2012

Each year before my kids' birthdays, they consider carefully what kind of cake they would like for the occasion. We look at cookbooks and trawl the internet for ideas. I enjoy making them. I spend hours decorating and am usually up REALLY late the night before the big event. While I'm baking/ decorating, I think about my baby and who they are becoming and how much they've grown and changed over the past year. I put all my creative energy into making something that will hopefully make them see how special they are to me- I just love it. Luckily, the kids are quite easily pleased so when the cake collapses in the oven or the icing slides off the top, they don't even care. Yay!

Here are the cakes I made in 2012. Enjoy!

Gabby's 3rd birthday was the week we moved into our new house. I needed something super quick and easy.
This icecream cake did the trick.

Luke's 6th Birthday

Dad's 60th
Jonah's 8th

Fathers Day cake for Jeff.  Each kid made a layer.
Cupcakes for Mum's Birthday.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Twirly dresses for my girl

So I've fallen off the wagon with my blogging this year. I have still been creating and enjoying my little craft room very much- just no time to blog!

Here are some dresses I made for my Gabby recently. The red one was for Christmas and I made the purple one because I loved making the red one so much. They are super twirly which my little singing and dancing machine loves!

I found the tutorial on etsy here. It was a downloadable PDF one that was so easy to make. The thing I love most about making this dress is that there are no pattern pieces! You just cut a series if rectangles according to the given measurements and sew them all together.  The dress has no buttons (Gabby hates anything with buttons) and it fits really well because you can adjust it at the back with the bow.

I made this one for Christmas

And I made this one with fabric from my stash just because I loved making the red one so much :)

And this one for my niece for her 8th Birthday. Happy Birthday Olivia!