Sunday 28 March 2021. #140

Hello friends! Welcome from a sunny (at last!) south coast NSW. The rain finally stopped on Friday and not before time! There was so much rain that the mushrooms came out in force. You can see the ring of mushrooms below – it was very interesting to see and I wonder how this came about. I had seen mushrooms in this spot previously but only a very small patch. Not a ring like this! It’s been a busy week. It started with breakfast on Monday morning and Bronwen and I spotted the mushrooms on our return. The rest of Monday and most of Tuesday was spent in my studio. It was definitely sewing weather! I also had a chat with Evie via Messenger video on Tuesday and we had fun with the face dress-up effects. On Wednesday I headed up to Sydney and spent a couple of days with Erin, Shaun and Cooper and my mum and dad. I even got to go to the button shop in Newtown and The Sewing Basket in Balmain. On Friday we headed up to Wollongong for some time with Steven, Kim, Evie and Finn. It’s always wonderful spending time with these wonderful children!


My knitting has been pretty repetitive while working on my Dolly test knit for Truly Myrtle. The due date has moved to the 4th April (Easter Sunday) which has given me some breathing space. I am so closed to finishing now – I only have one button band to do and will probably pick that up tonight. The photo of the sleeve seems to be the closest to the correct colour out of these. I ended up adding 4 rounds to the teal cuff as it seemed a little short for a cuff and I didn’t mind the extra length. The sleeves seem to be quite a narrow fit. I’ll be glad to finish this but I still have the ends to sew in and then blocking. And adding the buttons isn’t really my favourite thing either. When the knitting is finished I wish I could wave a magic wand and the rest is done! I’m looking forward to picking up on a recent WIP.

The only other knitting I’ve worked on is now Cooper’s Gramps cardigan. I had finished Finn’s cardigan in the previous blog and now just need to add the buttons. I had bought wooden looking ones from Spotlight but wasn’t sure about them so I also got some navy ones when I went to the button shop in Newtown. In the end, Kim and I both agreed that the wooden ones were the best choice. I started Cooper’s cardigan on Wednesday and it’s going very fast. I was able to work on this easy stocking stitch when I wasn’t able to work on the Dolly cardigan as I needed to try it on a few times before proceeding. The teal of this cardigan is shown best in the photo with Cooper sleeping in the background, though you can’t see a lot of it. The ribbing band is in a flecky grey colour though it looks a bit weird in this photo. I’ll be picking up for the sleeves using magic loop and I imagine I’ll finish those this week and probably start on the shawl collar/button band.


#frugalfrocks2021 is coming to a close and will have all the reveals uploading on 31st March – this Wednesday coming up. I have finished except for the buttons which I bought on Wednesday, and I need to catch the facing in a few spots too, now that I know it fits fine. This Peppermint Magazine Button Up dress was a very easy make and I enjoyed it. I think the buttons won’t be a problem so it will definitely be done and photographed by Wednesday. The facing was done with the burrito method which I have only done once before and it’s very effective. I’m happy with how the colours work together – the different facing colour doesn’t look too obvious and it won’t be seen anyway.

I have a few sewing plans coming up for this week. I have printed a few patterns including, from left to right, the Forget-Me-Not Vera top, the Ellie & Mac Petal nursing top and, just today, the 5Berries Miami shorts which I’m testing. For the Vera top, I have decided on some olive spot French terry but I haven’t yet cut it out. For the first Petal top, I’m using some lycra fabric that I purchased last year from Super Cheap Fabrics and I’m doing the version with a short sleeve. I’ll get both Kim and Erin to try this top on and see how it fits and how well it works. This colour will probably go to Erin and I’ll pick something else out for Kim as I know she prefers other colours, but it will be good to try on for fit. With the Miami shorts, I’m making a pair for Evie – the ones with the frill, using some Australian animal fabric that I purchased from Spotlight last year. Very early last year, I think. These shorts will be priority as they are due by Thursday but they should only take an hour to make. I also hope to have the Petal top done by Tuesday so I can take it to Wollongong on Wednesday. Then I will move onto the Vera top and other plans I have that I’ll talk about in Acquisitions.


During our stay down the coast last year while the house was being built, I put together some squares out of minky fabric that had been in my stash for a few years. It wasn’t a lot of fun to sew but I got the top done. It had been packed away since then but I had recently purchased a large remnant piece of minky in a bright white so I decided to finish it off. In the end, I thought the simplest way to be best due to what a monster minky is to work with, and I just sewed each side of the top to the backing and kind of mitred the corners. The backing comes to the front on all sides. I quilted it by just stitching in the ditch along the block seams. It’s very basic looking but I think it will be great for snuggling under during winter this year and will be fine to throw into the washing machine. I’m hoping Evie likes it!


Last week, I mentioned that I was about to start a temperature cross stitch for the grandbabies and I finally got to do it yesterday. I’m using a pattern by Apricot Polka Dot. It’s been quite some years since I last did any cross stitch and I had forgotten some simple things, like you do the bottom layer of stitching in the same direction followed by the top layer in the opposite direction. The centre 5 stitch blocks on these look a little messy but only if you look very closely. I’m doing all three on the one piece of Aida cloth; Evie’s on the left, Finn’s in the centre and Cooper’s on the right. You can see the value of the temperatures when each of them were born, Evie’s being the coolest and Cooper’s being the warmest. I’m liking how the colours are going so far. I was a little concerned that the DMC Perle yarn I’m using might be a little thicker than the 16 count fabric requires but I’ve already picked out all the colours and it’s much easier than peeling off two threads for each colour of stranded yarn. It doesn’t look like much at this point but should start taking shape nicely by next week.


Now for some dyeing of a different type. I recently watched a tie-dye video on Facebook by MetDaan and decided to give one of their examples a go. I didn’t realise there was sizing on the t-shirt I used otherwise I would have washed it first. I use some narrow rope that was in the garage but I think a shoe lace (as shown in the video) would have been more effective for tying tighter. I used two Rit dye colours – Evening Blue and Teal and sprinkled it on the tied up donut but the dye was being repelled by the sizing. I had it in a microwavable casserole dish I use for dyeing and I just put it into the microwave and nuked it. Doing it this way meant that it would take up more dye than was intended but it didn’t come out too bad and actually does look tie-dyed. The photo of the finished t-shirt is a lot lighter than in real life but you can get the idea. I hope to try it again some time to get some white bits.


A week or so ago, I purchased some fabrics from Spotlight’s discontinued section and they were only $4 a metre! It was a great saving and I was able to buy four metres of fabric for the Wildwood Wrap dress by Sew House Seven. I’d wanted to make this dress but that amount of fabric at normal prices would mean about $100 or more. I bought this stretch sateen and I think it will work really well. The model here is in a linen and I always find it a messy looking fabric. Some of the Wildwood dresses I’ve seen look fantastic. The buttons here are for my #frugalfrocks2021 dress (cream with blue edging), brown that looks a bit bluish in this pic, for my Dolly cardigan and the grey that look blue, for Cooper’s cardigan. These came from All Buttons Great and Small in Newtown where there are literally thousands of different buttons, but it was still really hard to match them up. My visit to The Sewing Basket in Balmain resulted in a decent piece of chiffon(?) that I’ll use for the Aida blouse by Bernina. This is the March free pattern so if you’ve seen this early enough it will still be available. The instructions are very basic but Sam from Frugalisama has done a YouTube tutorial on the trickier bits of this, including raising the neckline and adding the neck facing. This fabric was $16 for about 3.5 metres. The only thing with purchasing fabric that has been donated to The Sewing Basket is that you need to guess what it is. I think for that price that it will be a great wearable toile. The pattern calls for ribbing on the cuffs but I intend to just add elastic in the hem instead. These two projects will probably be next on the cutting table.


This week I finished listening to Rodham and I enjoyed the book. I’m quite intrigued now and want to find some more information to see how close to real life the book was, though it did go on a different path. Bronwen pointed me to a four part factual series on SBS On Demand called Hillary and I’ll be watching that next. Kim mentioned that season three of New Amsterdam is showing so that’s on the top of the list too. I knew it was coming but each time I checked there were only two seasons. I’m now reading my next randomly selected novel – Beneath the Shadows by Sara Foster. I think it will be a compelling thriller. Other shows that have been advertised on 9Now and that I think might be worth watching are Hostages with Toni Collette, Lipstick Jungle with Brook Shields and, lastly, Almost Family. And I think there are new episodes of Blacklist on Netflix! Plenty to keep me interested in between watching Married at First Sight.

This coming week will lead into the Easter weekend which is also the end of daylight savings here in NSW. The mornings have been dark until almost seven so the end of DST will mean the mornings will be lighter – at least for a few more weeks until winter starts to set in. Tomorrow I’ll be going to lunch with some local girlfriends – we’re heading to Milk Haus in Milton. This cafe is situated in an old cheese factory and uses produce from their own gardens. I’m looking forward to trying the food and chatting with the girls. On Wednesday I will be heading to Wollongong for a day with Evie and Erin and Shaun will be heading down to our place for the Easter break. I’m hoping for good weather but Easter has been known to be quite wet in the past. The current forecast is indicating rain from Sunday. I hope that it blows out to later rather than comes earlier.

Thanks for catching up on my life and crafting! Until next week, I hope you are all keeping well and have lots of opportunities for your creative pleasures!


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