I've discovered that Peanut Butter doesn't (or shouldn't) contain wheat (thank goodness)! Today I came across this awesome vegan and wheat free Peanut Butter oats recipe without any weird stuff in it (why do all healthy things have weird stuff in it?), so I'm super excited! These sound like the perfect afternoon snack to make and take to work and should be OK with the braces too...

My grab bags arrived this afternoon (the ones I'm using for cushions in my soon to be sewing room). Thankfully there's only a couple of patterns I'm not so excited about, but I'm making personalised cushions for the all the great-nieces and nephews this Christmas so those pieces will be added to that project. Also in the mail was the fantastic hawaiian fabric I bought. I really only wanted the mint green one (I have an idea about using this as curtains in the soon to be sewing room) but the other one came with it anyway. No ideas on what I'll do with this yet, but perhaps a blouse or even a skirt.

On a final note, thank heavens it's Friday tomorrow, I really don't think I can take much more of work this week! I'm attending a 10 year dinner tomorrow night at Erawan Thai, then will be heading home to crash.

My Heather Bailey fabric arrived this afternoon! This is my first time with her fabrics and I absolutely am hooked. The colours are vibrant and the fabric is so, so soft. Now I just have to wait for my Emmeline apron pattern to arrive and I can get going...

Also in the mail was this great duvet remnant I bought on TM (same situation as the apple green, I have no idea why I wanted it)! It's a quilt style with each square having a different dress appliqued on, all in pinks, yellows and reds. Now I've seen it, I plan on using this to make yet more aprons along with some of the broderie anglaise I have in my stash and perhaps a couple of cushions for gifts.

I was looking at my latest stash buys just a minute ago, and realised how much I'm longing for summer to arrive. I'm tired of the cold and gloom which seems to have dragged on so much longer this year.

And now for the completely different bit... Once I get back from Melbourne, I've decided to follow a wheat free diet for a few months. I've tried gluten free before but I found that I wasn't organised enough and that because of this it really didn't make much of a difference anyway.

This time I'm going wheat specific, and I'm gathering recipes and researching alternatives properly. I've already bought some chestnut flour so that I can create a wheat free cupcake recipe (no way am I doing this without cupcakes)! And have found some buckwheat pasta to use instead of quinoa, which I don't really like. I've yet to find a couscous replacement, but I suppose I can do rice for a while. The good news is, Cadbury Dairy Milk is wheat free. The bad news is that Caramello isn't!

Another Melbourne thought... Last time I was there I saw Petrova from PR Australia, I wonder if I'll get to see any of the current contestants? I'm also realising I'm not going to have time to make any outfits to take, so I'm shelving the Melbourne wardrobe until I have time to enjoy making something.

Spare room update: I've decided that I'm not going to buy that wallpaper as it's a little too pastel for me. I've also decided to use a different wall as the feature wall, and as it's larger, it needs a much larger, bolder pattern. My light fixtures arrived yesterday. I bought them for only $10 each on a super special (instead of $60 each) and they're perfect for the room. Originally I wanted a quite ornate, wavy halogen bar (like in my 'mood board') but I'm glad I went with a more utilitarian set in the end as I think that my original idea would have been just that bit too much.

An apple a day

Posted by DeVille |

I put a bid of $6 on this gorgeous curtain fabric a couple of weeks ago then forgot all about it until I got an email 7 days later saying that I'd won the auction. It's two pieces roughly a meter square each, one green wave on white and one white wave on green. I can't even remember exactly what I wanted it for! Actually I think I just wanted it because it was a fabulous apple green. I'm addicted to green, if it's green I need it, whatever 'it' is.

Now that it's arrived I still don't know what to do with it, but the green is such a vibrant kermitey colour and I adore it. I think eventually I'll either make shopping bags out of it or some fabulous cushions for my bedroom (which is also a beautiful shade of kermit green)!

Another incredible bargain!

Posted by DeVille |

Sewingpatterns.com is doing a 1 day sale on Burda downloads so I just got this fabulous Burda costume pattern for only $7 NZD. I've always been interested in making an early victorian costume, but this fabric grabbed me, followed by the price (more than half of what I'd pay here, if I could even find it) so I finally bought one.

I also finally found a decent garrison cap and crinoline pattern, all in one! I have looked at that pattern so many times and assumed that the petticoat and cap didn't come with it. I don't know what made me check this time, but I'm glad I did. The crinoline will need some extra work to make it as beautiful as it should be, but I'm useless at maths (and therefore doing the thinking behind making the layered panels from scratch) so this will be an invaluable starting point.

I've also experienced a change of heart on this fabric. I recently bought Simplicity 2586 and have now decided that I'll use it for this (assuming I have enough)!

More fabric and a gathering foot!

Posted by DeVille |

When I was shopping with mum the other day she mentioned how much she'd love something in orange, though despite finding many fabrics she liked, she wouldn't let me spend the money on her!

I went to spotlight today looking for a gathering foot (btw - since my last sewing machine post, I've bought a binding foot and a narrow hemmer) and some bottles (which they didn't have) and saw this lovely striped quilters cotton hiding in the corner and just down from it an orange based floral. Again the Emmeline Apron came to mind and I decided to grab these to make Mum an apron for her birthday. I ummmed an ahhhhed about finding a fabric for the reverse and decided to leave it, then when I was queueing I found a perfect orange poplin on sale. In real life, the orange of the poplin and the striped cotton match perfectly, so I'm super pleased.

My next (ish) project...

Posted by DeVille |

I'm going to call this my next (ish) project, but in reality my next project is my Melbourne wardrobe, which I plan to start this weekend and finish next. However, I came across a fabulous wallpaper design last night on TM, which has completely inspired me, out of the blue, to make over my junk room. Let's call this a long term goal instead then!

My junk room is actually the second largest room in the house and at the moment, it's filled with the hardtop from my car, a random coffee table which never liked anyway, hundreds of books, my desktop PC and desk (which I can't even reach anymore), my cross trainer, and piles upon piles of Christmas decorations and junk. Oh, and a patio heater still in its box, because every junk room needs a patio heater in a box.

I plan, over the next two months, to turn this room into my new sewing slash computer room! I'm heavily inspired by Sarah Richardson's style of mixing colours and prints and I have a mood board in my head already. My first job will be to completely clear the room out, which is going to take a couple of weeks of work. Next, I'll need to skim one of the walls, which is full of dips and holes, but this should take no more than two nights. Last, I'll be ripping up the carpet which is well past its prime. Once I've done the hard stuff, then it's a simple matter of painting, wallpapering and sewing! The room is downstairs and only sees sun in the afternoon, so it's important that I keep it bright. I'm planning on mint green walls and a white painted floor. What I hope to end up with is a room which screams 'batch' (for non kiwis that's 'summer house'). I decided on the painted floor mainly because the room has a low ceiling and low light during the day, but also because it'll be good for cutting fabric and laying out patterns out without fear of damage, because I can just touch it up!

I plan on using only items I've made or refurbished, other than the paint, the wallpaper and the lighting, which I plan to buy second hand (or hopefully a mistint in the case of the paint) and luckily we have an inorganic collection coming up in the next few weeks, so I'll be scouring the Shore for bits and pieces that I can use (and I'm desperately hoping someone throws out a bamboo couch)! I bought some quilters cotton grab bags today on TM, a total of 10 pieces of fabric in various small sizes, which I'm going to use as cushion covers. The auction for the wallpaper doesn't finish until wednesday, so I'm reserving my bid on that until then as I'm not sure whether I'll actually buy it, versus just using it to inspire the colours. I'm kind of back and forward on it, but I think it'll come down to cost. If it's under $50, I'll get it.

Yet more fabric!

Posted by DeVille |

After searching NZ for Heather Bailey fabrics for under $30 per mtr (simply impossible!) I decided to just buy direct from the source...

After forcing myself to not buy one of everything, I ended up with 1.5 yards of Sway in lime and a yard of Tiled Primrose in celery. Yum! Hopefully this should be just enough to make the Emmeline apron (though the reverse fabric is yet to be decided).

I also found a nice easy recipe for Butterscotch Sauce (which you can't really get here in NZ) so that I can whip up some of Heather's Butterbeer. I'm going to see the new HP movie on Sunday so I'm hoping to take a couple of bottles along for the ride :)

I can't make any of the other recipes at the moment because of the train tracks (no caramel, no nuts, no popcorn etc etc) but I'll also be grabbing some Chocolate Frogs to compliment the butter beer!

Note to self: Rhys Darby and Demetri Martin are super funny. Must buy their live DVDs.

Another fabric find...

Posted by DeVille |

I saw this gorgeous border print yesterday but couldn't think of anything I could make from it, so decided to be good and not get it.

This morning as I was in the car it clicked that it would be fantastic as the Anda dress, with a nice thick band of shirring under the bust. Naturally I thought about it all day at work I headed straight back to Spotlight at 4pm! I also managed to get some white satin, which will be used to line the boho bag. Like the self fabric, this was 1/2 price from the remnants bin.

I had another look at the presser feet and managed to find a walking foot and a piping foot within reach so I grabbed those too. That just leaves a Teflon foot and/or a leather foot on the list, as I didn't realise the machine came with all the other feet I needed (my previous Brother didn't). I'm looking forward to experimenting with the walking foot on stretch knit and with using piping more creatively, as I've never had the patience for it before!

The Sewing Machine Saga ends....

Posted by DeVille |

I took a trip down to Spotlight this afternoon to check out their stocktake sale, on the off chance that they had one of the sewing machines I was interested in upgrading to. Lo and behold I found they had the Brother NS30LE ltd edition - a slightly sexier version of the NS30 to the left - I'll post a pic as soon as I've got her set up! I got $100 off the RRP, which made this a much better option than the repair (which was going to cost a minimum of $200), and being computerised with dozens more features, it was absolutely worth the upgrade.

I also found some fantastic cotton fabric, super cheap!. The black and white print was a half price remnant, only $2.50 for 1.2 mtrs and is destined for greatness as the Burdastyle Anna boho bag along with some white leather I picked up the other day which I'll use as the bag base and as detailing.

The yellow and fawn dot fabric was a great find at the bottom of the sale bin for $7 a mtr. It makes me so happy just looking at it! This will most likely become view A or B of Simplicity 2659 or the short version of Butterick 5324.

Right next to this at the bottom of the bin was the blue, yellow and green spotted fabric for $4 per mtr. I immediately thought of Simplicity 2614 for this so I bought enough to make view D for my mum, and view C for me! There was just enough on the roll so it was definitely one of those 'meant to be' things!

I also picked up a cute 'get creative' tunic pattern for only $4 - (unfortunately the packet is super glossy so I can't get a decent photo) which I think I might use some of the black and fuchsia Hawaiian fabric on.

I really wanted a walking foot, a piping foot, a leather foot and a bias foot, but the brother compatible sets were so high up I couldn't see what was on the labels, so that will be next weekend's buy. Once I've got a new walking foot I can start on McCall's 5484 and Butterick 5329. I found a gorgeous print for the McCall's pattern last week (actually I found the fabric weeks ago but didn't buy it because I couldn't think of what I'd make from it, until I found the pattern!) and I have a stunning black silk knit which I'm going to use for the Butterick. Now I've got my new machine, I should be able to make these in time to take to Melbourne!

Recreating missing pattern pieces

Posted by DeVille |

When I was in the Gold Coast I bought this cute 60s Style 4941 pattern. I don't know what happened, but when I looked in the packet at the store I swore I saw all the pieces and so snapped it up. When I got back to the apartment though, I realised that all the collar variations were there, and nothing else!

I have quite a few 60s shift dress patterns and while none of them flare as much as this, I'm sure it'll be easy to splice and dice, but it got me thinking as to whether it would be possible to recreate a missing pattern piece based on the layout and sewing instructions. In this case, the images are nicely detailed, so I think I'd like to give it a go.

The dress itself would be easy to draft without the images, but I do have some patterns that have just one or two pieces missing, and it would be important to get that missing piece just right, to make sure it fits the existing parts. I've googled and googled and not found anything much about this, so I'll be flying by the seat of my pants, but it should be an interesting project while I continue to ponder the fate of my sewing machine!

Suddenly Sewing Machine-less

Posted by DeVille |

For the last couple of weeks I've been machineless while I decide whether it's time to upgrade, or just repair my poor machine! While trying to figure out what to do though I've gone into a fabric hoarding phase, despite the fact I'm not able to sew anything (go figure)! My latest find was this amazing print, which is the most beautiful shade of peach with bright purple and lime florets and a different floret pattern woven into it. Unfortunately I have no idea what to do with this as it's really quite a heavy weight, but I had to have it regardless. Perhaps a bag (or 6, there's 3mtrs there!) or a bedspread.

Fabric 2 is a gorgeous dark blue sheer flocked polyester with silver flowers, which is destined for either the pussybow version of Simplicity 2614, this BWOF cocktail dress, or maybe
even a a variation of Burda's Anda dress (I'm thinking a simplified version of the cocktail dress).

Fabric 3 is something I've been looking for for years and that is the PERFECT Hawaiian print! This is a gorgeous black cotton with large fuchsia hibiscus.This will become either a full skirted shirt dress (yet to decide which of my 10 full skirt shirt dress patterns I will use!) or the cuff sleeve version of New Look 6815 shirt dress. Seriously I've searched so long for a Hawaiian print that that is not too OTT but still appeases my inner Magnum PI.

I'm so excited! To be honest, I didn't especially love Melbourne but ever since I went to see Wicked in February on the 'girls weekend away', I've wanted to take my mum to see the show, as she's just as big a theatre fan as I am, if not more! Amanda Harrison singing Defying Gravity simply sent shivers down my spine and Lucy Durack was hilarous. I'm getting goosebumps already!

I found a great deal online so I've bitten the bullet and booked our tickets for August 8. I may even bake a batch of my yummo Wicked Cupcakes to take on the plane :) Looking back, I think I let one person ruin the whole trip for me last time, and that's a reflection on me, not her. I plan on re-doing a lot of the things that we did with mum so that I can see them in a positive light, though I'm trying to balance this with not over planning our stay!

In other Melbourne news, Project Runway Australia Season 2 is currently on and I realised that this trip will be the perfect opportunity to finally visit Rathdown Fabrics and their famous remnants bin! Wee hee!!!

Embracing my inner geek

Posted by DeVille |

I love it when you know a character so well, you know exactly what they're going to say before they say it.

I finally got around to watching the season 2 finale of Chuck last night, and during the final fight scene all I could think was... "please say 'I know kung fu...' please say 'I know kung fu...'' pleeeeeease say 'I know kung fu...'" and as usual, Chuck did not disappoint.

It takes me back to season 3 of Supernatural when Henricksen says ‘I shot the sheriff’ and Dean and I replied at the same time, ‘but you didn’t shoot the deputy’. Sigh.