Sunday, 20 April 2014

Bettie's Designer Swap

I swapped my pattern. This is the lovely Frances' version of my dress pattern. Pretty huh.

We have grown out of ours now I think I'll try another when the weather gets a little warmer.

If you would like to try one for yourself the pattern will be 50% off for the duration of the swap just use the code BETTIESSWAP at my Etsy store.

Tomorrow I'll show you what I made. We had fun, I made three and there are plans afoot to make more next week.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Royal Easter Show.

So I have been entering my sewing and cooking in the local Agricultural show since I was 5. At that time I entered one handkerchief and prune and date creams (you cut the dried fruit in half then make a sausage out of marzipan and place it in the cut.) 

A couple of years ago I started entering again at the Canberra Show a little larger than my experiences growing up and then last year I tried the Royal Easter Show. The big one. I have always wanted to give it a try, in my mind I have always wanted my sewing to be as good as my Mums and she used to enter and do well there.  I got a highly commended last year for my unattractive brown dress and have been crossing my fingers that this year I could do better. 

We went to the Show on Good Friday and do you want to see it?

I know it isn't the best picture, it is really hard to get a good photo of something inside a glass case. But drum roll little blue ribbon.

That is one, one day goal achieved.

Here it is so you can see some of the competition.

I did enter the dress that I entered in Canberra Show also and it came away with a not to be sniffed at 3rd prize It was in the general sewing section and interestingly 1st, 2nd and 3rd all had smocking on them..

 And here I am with the sewing section. I don't often get photographed but it was really one of those occasions that you want to remember.

And one more time, my beautiful flower girl dress when it was in action.

See you next time.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Mine craft boys sewing.

Ok so I am going to share with you one of my very good Mummy moments. A new school year means new library bags and I though I should get a wiggle on since term one is drawing to a close. Last years my boys were obsessed with Trashies so that is the library bags we made

This year it is mine craft and I was struck with inspiration. I got lots of colours and cut them into 2 1/2 inch squares. Got the boys a pillow case each as an easel and left them to their own devices to come up with minecraft pictures. I then sewed them together and made them into new library bags. I would not usually whip up mini quilts like this but is was just too good an idea to let go of.

This is a Enderman carrying a brick of sand. For those in the know, instantly recognisable, if you don't follow minecraft maybe it is a stretch.

The other is a ravine library bag. This is a special location where you can find a lot of treasure. The boys love them. They were very proud to take them to school- all a Mummy could hope for. They did turn out rather odd sizes due to the creative nature of  the design. To make up for it I turned them into draw string bags so the size is not as noticeable.

I am not so excited about the left over squares as I know I really should be letting the boys put together more. You may see some new projects soon. 

I did  manage to use a grand total of 18 in a birthday present for my nephew. I found this idea over here. She used fabric paint but I did not have any and could not see why I could not use fabric. It worked well I think and was well received. 

So much minecraft... but we have all had fun...

Monday, 17 March 2014


I've been wanting to try this for a while after seeing it in 'Sewing Clothes Kids Love' by Nancy Langdon and Sabine Pollehn.

I wrapped my daughter in gaffa tape(over a top). Cut it down the back, extracted her. Taped it back up. Stuffed it and put it on a coat hanger. Now when I make clothes I can try them on it 49 times out of 50, so we are all much happier.

It would be even better if I had enough stuffing to fill it all instead of just the upper body but perfection will just have to wait until I get to the shops again...

Monday, 3 March 2014

Pride and Prejudice is finally here

I have finally done it. My Pride and Prejudice pattern is available in my Etsy shop.

After a lot of procrastination I had to make one more to assure myself that it was good enough. I discovered I still love it and I still love how my daughter looks in it. So as of today everyone can share the love of my pretty dress.

She even managed a smile for me after a long play date. 


Sunday, 2 March 2014

Oh my!

Okay so this year at the show I did well.

I almost didn't enter the sewing section of the show this year. A week before the due date I had tonsillitis and was not really coping with sewing. But I chose to sew instead of doing house work when I recovered and in less than a week I finished.

When we got to the pavilion that the craft is kept in I was sure this dress was not going to win a prize. So when I came across this display you could have knocked me over with a feather. So amazing, I know you can't really see but I got first for the 'child's summer garment' section, then I was judged champion of all the non-professional sewing and then was awarded the overall champion of the sewing section. I have never done this well with my sewing before so as you can imaging my confidence in my sewing has increased dramatically.

So would you like to see my dress?

This is the smocking on my dress. I tried something different this time. I used a different type of thread I have only used DMC before but the lady in the shop talked me into trying Mouline. I have to say I like it, it has a nice sheen. The other thing I tried for the first time was adding beads onto the smocking. I really enjoyed doing this and am making plans when I can use it again. It just adds something special without having to resort to bullion knots which are not my friends.

 Now I know this does not look like much this little photo but I thought I would include it so I could tell you about the most time consuming part of this dress. In one word piping. This dress used a whopping 11 meters of piping. It felt like it would never end...

Oh but I like it, that little extra pop of colour that it gives. The comments that came from the stewards showed that it was the piping that led to my success this year (it's nice to know that the judges could see the work.).

I love hand covered buttons. I think I would be happy to always use them in projects . I can just imagine my daughter with them though, she is going to complain every time she sits down that they are too bumpy. I do understand truly...

Pretty sash (and no I am not going to show you the bow at its top, bow tying is not a skill that I possess. Before I handed my dress in I was wondering if I could convince my Mum to come up and visit just so she could tie the bow for me.)

 And there you have it, my show dress. I still can't believe that I won.

And what's next?
Well here is a little sneak peek at what the kids and I are up to. This time they are the designers and I am just their lowly seamstress. I 'll show you the results when I have a chance to sew all those little squares together.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Fiji clothes including wedding fare.

Okay look at me two days in a row...
Knowing we were going to be swimming so much I had a go at swimmers. This is probably the third style I have tried making and oh they have turned out cute. I asked for this fabric for my birthday as postage is huge and I have to say I love them (the swimmers) and it (the fabric).

The swimmers I got from Dana at Made. They wear really well but most definitely require lining. We made a pale pink pair which are the favorites even though they look a strange brown colour after being covered with mud at our trip to the hot springs.

The next is just a skirt that we will definitely grow into... I tried a pleated bottom thinking it would look like it had a petticoat underneath. It doesn't look like that but it does look pretty.


This is the thing that took me months to make. It has this much smocking on the front ant the back. It is also completely see through so all the finishes have to be perfect. That means french seams, cunningly hidden tails of ribbon embroidery and hand made silk bias wherever a french seam would not fit. This dress came from a Australian Embroidery and Smocking magazine and is called Tatiana. Because I used chiffon I had to change all the finishes but it does look fairly close to the original...

This was when it was getting close to being finished.

 And here we have my first ever flower girl dress. I was so proud to be trusted with this. My poor little girl was unwell and didn't want to be left alone much that day but she did manage to carefully place frangipani flowers up the isle before she required mummy cuddles.

Beautiful setting, beautiful wedding and if I may say so myself beautiful flower girl dress.