Goodbye Winter, hello Spring!

SpringSewing

Standing at her window, Jorth squinted out, and beheld the tall, upright creature striding along. Although she was just a speck on the horizon, there was no mistaking who she was, just as there was no mistaking the scent of jasmine in the air, the sudden warmth from the sun that blazed down to warm bones after chilly mornings, and the green shoots of grass poking up fresh and young from the sodden, wet earth.

She was Spring, and Winter, old curmudgeon that he was, was hoicking up his skirts of sleet and frost and scampering away. He had no time for Spring, what with her flower blossoms and buzzing bees and all that carry on. Occasionally, if he was feeling larkish he would swoop down upon her just as she was getting settled in, but in the main he liked to keep a good distance in front of her and concentrate on his job of quieting the world, whilst she tripped along with a jolly air after him, waking it all up again.

Jorth sat down at her kitchen table, and though "Well! If Spring is on her way, I'd best amend my sewing list. Besides, I'd better have something to show my probation officers when they make their visit." For the next few minutes there was nothing to be heard but the birds calling outside, and the faint scratching of her pencil. When she had finished, she looked down at her list with satisfaction. Many winter sewing goals had been achieved, and she was glad she had decided to put off making her coat until next winter. In the next day or so she would go through her summer stash, and plan what she would make for the sunny days ahead. But firstly she had a few projects to finish. She'd wrap those up in the last weeks of winter, then summer sewing could commence.

Leaving her list on the table, she went outside, partly to enjoy the warmth in the air, but partly to let the wind dance through her hair as she thought happily of summer frocks ahead.

The list thus far:

Sewing
Red skirt (Burda pattern) - fabric washed and read to go
Pink viscose top (Vogue 1020) - changed to Ottobre pattern, and cut out
Liberty splatter dress (Burda Magazine 8/2009) - changed to Vogue 8511
Liberty splatter skirt (Burda Magazine 9/2010) - soon to be done
Spotted black coat that was cut out last year - leave it to next year
Black wool dress (McCalls 6199) - scrapped. Think I'll make something else
Cowl wool dress (McCalls 6069) in pink wool knit and another in blue viscose knit
Liberty shirt (Simplicity 2255) - almost done, just need to do the sleeves!
Our Favourite Top in pink linen knit - Changed to Vogue 1020
Blue tencel dress for Grumbles - next year
Grey corduroy dress for Grumbles - next year
PJ pants for Grumbles and myself
Softie doll for Grumbles (x2!)

Knitting
Black yoga wrap (only 1.5 sleeves to go. C'mon, Jorth!)
Black and pink striped jumper - when that one ball of yarn finally arrives then it'll be done!
Pink baby shrug for a friend - yarn discontinued, sob!
Striped cardigan for Grumbles - changed to red dress, quarter done

Added:
Super pink dress
Green scarf (not yet blogged as a finished object)

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260711

26#1

26#2

26#3

26#4

Yesterday was full of so many good things: meeting up with a dear friend : the domed reading room : portraits of severe early settlers : a long walk home in the rain (I rather enjoy walking in the rain) : choc chips biscuits for afternoon tea

But the best part was being gifted with this glorious pink scarf machine knitted for my birthday. Grumbles, you may be modelling it for the photo but let me make this quite clear: that scarf is mine, alllllll mine!

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Liberty Birthday Giveaway Winner

Flower

Drumroll please! The winner of the Liberty Birthday Giveaway is (thanks to random.org)... Ruby Dawn! Come on down and get your prize... oh hang on a sec, this isn't the Price Is Right. Oh well, send me an address and I'll send your prize!

Thanks to everybody who entered - that was fun!

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The Fabric Stash Of Shame

Fabric Stash Of Shame

Jorth sat on the hard chair, and looked around her fearfully. Why had they brought her to this interrogation room? She hadn't done anything wrong, but she began to fart nervously all the same.

Suddenly the door burst open and two navy clad people walked in. One was a large woman with a florid face and a bad blonde-dye-and-perm combo, and the other was a small thin man with an equally thin mustache sitting like a nasty slash upon his upper lip. The blonde slammed a sheath of papers down on the desk and growled "So, Ms Jorth, I suppose you are wondering why we have brought you in today??

"Well, yes..." began Jorth nervously and then jumped as the blonde snapped "Don't interrupt me!" She exchanged a look of disbelief at her colleague at the nerve of their prisoner and then said in a scary quiet voice "Do you have anything you might like to tell us?"

Jorth stared with fright into the blondes' bloodshot and watery blue eyes. "Nothing!" she whimpered. "I haven't done anything!" This statement caused the blonde to tilt back her head and laugh uproariously. "Nothing!" she mimicked, clasping her hands together in mock earnestness. Reverting back to her yelling voice she said "So I suppose it was a Jorth look-a-like who was seen exciting The Fabric Store with new fabrics on the third Tuesday of July, hmmmm?"

Jorth started in her chair. "Well, yes, that was me, but I don't see what the harm is" she said.

"The harm?" echoed the blonde. "There's only the harm to your cupboard which won't close, and harm to your bank balance, and HARM TO THE STASH BUSTING PLEDGE YOU MADE!"

The man tut tutted, and spread out the papers showing surveillance pictures of her making the purchases. Jorth sat frozen, fear paralysing her. They knew! They knew all about the fabric she had bought. Her mind began to panic, wondering what they would do with her now the truth was out.

Suddenly there was a knock on the door. "Enter!" barked the blonde, and an Australian Post employee walked in, looking with wonder at the scene in front of them. "Er, is any one of you Ms Jorth? I've got a delivery of crochet books here for you."

Jorth shuddered as the blonde snatched the parcel and shouted triumphantly "Do you see this, Bernard? More evidence!" The Australia Post employee looked sheepishly at Jorth and said "Sorry, but ya gotta sign. Signature here please."

Once Jorth had signed and the Australia Post had departed with a cracker of a story to tell her colleagues over lunch, the blonde slammed her fist down on the table and started screaming at Jorth "YOU. ARE. ON. FABRIC. AND. YARN. PROBATION. DO YOU HEAR ME?!?!??!" Jorth, covered in the spittle that had flown from that yelling mouth managed to whimper "yes!" before dissolving into sobs.

The blonde leaned in close, so close that Jorth could smell the sickening scent of sardines and coffee on her breath and snarled "If you so much as purchase a single length of fabric, or another ball of yarn, or any sort of craft book or instruction manual before you get through both your summer and winter fabric/yarn stash, then all your craft privileges will be revoked. Imagine a life without craft, hey?"

With that threat over her, Jorth really began to bawl. The blonde looked at her in disgust, and said to Bernard "Get rid of her. I don't wanna hear about this girl unless it's news of a finished project. Freaking craft junkie!"
_____________________________________________________________________________________

Help me save my skin by getting rid of some fabric, and enter the amazing, awesome Liberty Birthday Giveaway comp!

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Red dress

I would like to be able to show you a picture of my finished striped jumper, but alas! The yarn store is still out of the black yarn I am using, and won't have any in for at least another month *bangs head on table at own ineptitude at figuring out yarn requirements* I have a sleeve cap to go! This is sooooooo frustrating!

So what's a girl with plenty of knitting needles and patterns at hand to do? Start a new project, of course! I'm knitting Grumbles the red dress on the cover of this Phildar Enfants Automne Hiver #023 magazine. I think I want one for myself - it looks so warm and snuggly.

RedDressKnitting

If you haven't yet entered the Liberty Birthday Giveaway yet, then skedaddle on over and do it! Entries close on Sunday 24th July.

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34

Today has been filled with so many of my favourite things!
Birthday1

Birthday2

Birthday3

And I'm told by a reliable souce (ahem, Grumbles) that there is still lemon meringue pie to come. Hooray! This day just gets better and better.

PS Don't forget to enter the Liberty Fabric Birthday Giveaway.

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Happy Birthday + Liberty Fabric Giveaway!

Tomorrow is my birthday, which not only means that I'm another year older (34, yikes!) but also heralds the yearly Jorth Birthday Giveaway!

LibertyDress

LibertyDress4

But first things first: I'd like to introduce you to my birthday frock. Yes, it's yet another Vogue 8511. And yes, it's made up in Liberty wool/cotton from Tessuti Fabrics. I can't help myself - I love the pattern and love the fabric! It's so soft and light, yet also super warm. It also sews up like a dream, which would explain why this is the third thing I've made from it - and I have more in my stash!

LibertyFabric


Now here's the fun part. To celebrate my birthday I'm giving away some of this gorgeous fabric. There's 1.5m of the "Melly - Green" colourway to be had (it's 138cm wide, 20% wool 80% cotton).

It's easy to enter: just leave a comment and follow my blog, and you'll be in the draw! And if you fancy a double chance to win then blog, tweet or generally make some noise about the giveaway. Entries close Sunday 24th July, so don't delay!

I'm happy to send the prize overseas, so enter away even if you live in Timbuktoo. No matter where you're from, thanks for reading my blog, and best of luck. Man, I love birthdays! That reminds me: I gotta go get some balloons to go with the party dress. If ever a dress needed a balloon accessory, this would be it!

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Waffles

Waffles

This meal has me seriously thinking about investing in a waffle maker!

Hope you all have a great weekend, and don't forget to check back in on Monday - it's my birthday next week, which means it's also giveaway time!

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Liberty question

Liberty Print and Ribbons

Which grosgrain ribbon goes best with this Liberty print? I'm leaning towards the pink myself (of course!)

Speaking of which, thanks for all the recent dress love. The Simplicity 2406 has grown on me a lot - as you all so wisely said it would.

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Super Pink Dress

Pink Dress #1Is this, or is this not the pinkest dress you have ever seen? Well, it's gloomy here in Melbourne, so I figured it was my civic duty to inject a bright bolt of colour into the dull grey days.

That and I just really, really like pink this winter!

The fabric is a merino double knit from The Fabric Store. It's almost a ponti, but doesn't quite have as much stretch. I found this out the hard way when I tried the dress on half-way through construction, and then had that awful moment of panic when I realised that I couldn't get the darn thing off! Thankfully Grumbles was on hand to wrestle me out of it!

Never mind - it was nothing that a few hours minutes of unpicking and then re-sewing along a smaller seam allowance wouldn't fix. Although remind me to never unpick stretch stitching again if I can help it - that stuff is almost impossible to get undone (why take the easy road when you can take the hard road etc etc)

I still have to do a bit of a wriggle to get into the dress, but once it's on everything is fine. If I ever make this dress again (which I will - maybe bright yellow next time?) I'll make sure I choose a knit with a decent two-way stretch instead of just one way. Lesson learnt.
Project Details

Pattern: Vogue Wardrobe 1020, View C (same pattern I used for my linen top)
Fabric: 1.4m of 150cm wide merino double knit from The Fabric Store
Notions: 1cm wide elastic for side gathering.

Once again I made a few alterations: I left out the zip, used elastic to do the side gathers and lengthened the sleeves. I'm so glad I bought this pattern - I think I'll be making these dresses and tops for the rest of my days, that's how comfy and snazzy they are!
Pink Dress #4

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Cookies!

Baking #1

Baking #2

Baking #3

These may be the world's best cookies. Chocolatey. Coconutty. Chewy and dense. Yum!

And this may be the world's worst cookie joke: Why did the cookie go to the doctor? Because he felt crummy - bwahahahahah!

Recipe found here. And I'll be found hovering somewhere near the biscuit tin. If anybody needs me for more fantastic bad jokes etc

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Simplicity 2406 verdict: meh

Simplicity Dress 2406 #1

I'm really not sure if I like this dress or not. I think I like in theory, but not in practicality. For example, I like the sleeves with the elasticised edge, but I don't like their length. I like the gathering on the neckline, but I don't like how you need a lot more bust than I will ever possess to fill it out. I like the cute, sassy length, but it's certainly not keeping me warm. And I do like to be warm. I like, no scratch that, I love the fabric (Liberty wool/cotton, ooooh!) but I'm not sure I'm liking the fact that I cut it up for this project.

All in all, I just can't figure out if this dress and I are going to be friends.

Simplicity Dress 2406 #2

Project Details
Pattern: Simplicity 2406
Fabric: 1.6m Liberty Wool/Cotton in Fujio Black from Tessuti Fabrics
Notions: 40cm (16") invisible zip, elastic for sleeve gathers, interfacing.

Modifications made: I got rid of the centre back facing, as all it seemed to do was add bulk to the zip. However, if you were making the open back version, you would still need to use it. I made my sleeve casings much smaller, and used 1cm wide elastic for the sleeve gathers. I didn't make the tie, because I didn't realise when I bought my fabric that the fabric required wasn't included in the yardage - it is specified further down the back of the envelope. For some reason that lack of clarity really got my goat.

So far I'm feeling rather meh about this dress. And I don't wanna feel meh about something I put hours into, darn it! I'm very much hoping that it grows on me, or to the op shop it shall go!

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Simplicity 2406 Status Report*

Simplicity 2406

Name: Simplicity 2406 - Cynthia Rowley Collection

Location: Previously stuffed into cupboard in disgust, now on dress form

Appearance: Wrinkled (due to stuffing). And sack-like.

Status: Incomplete. Major rejigging required.

Do say: Nothing a belt won't fix!

Don't say: I've met potato sacks with more shape!

*Done somewhat in the style of the Guardian's brilliant daily fixture, Pass notes

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Finally - new bookcases!

We've been in our little home for a year and a half now, and we have done loads of improvements. There's been the double glazing, which helps keep heat in AND stops us hearing our irritating neighbours so much as they party hard into the wee hours. There's been the venetian blinds put in, and hand rails put on the stairs. Privacy and safety!

But the one things I really really really wanted was custom shelving and cupboards. I hated the crummy old bookcases we had that were continually overflowing due to lack of storage space. I felt like screaming every time I looked at them, because no matter how hard I tried to keep them tidy they always looked like this:

Before Bookcase #1

Before Bookcase #2

Awful, isn't it? It's ok, you can say so! So messy! So slobby! So exposed! I loathed it. So the Galumph and I sat down and figured out our bookcase strategy. Many, many months and lotsa lotsa lots of fabric-cutting wages later, here they are!

After Bookcase #2

After Bookcase #3

After Bookcase #4

After Bookcase #1

I LOVE THEM! They are so neat, and bright, and white! I love that everything is now put nicely away, and not piled ramrod onto something else. As Mrs Beeton said, there's a place for everything and everything is in it's place. Where once there was chaos, there is now well organised order.

Silly fool me, though, thought it would only take a few hours on Saturday after the carpenters had left to put all the books and things away. Erm, not quite. Try 4pm on Sunday before we finally put our cleaning cloths down and said "Phew, job done!" There was so much stuff to sort, and to figure out if it were to be kept, chucked or op-shopped. And then we had to figure what would go there, plus clean all the saw dust that had gone seemingly everywhere in the house.

But it's all done, and everything looks great. Galumph keeps talking to me and then after waiting too long for a response will say "Oi! Pay attention to me, and stop gazing lovingly at the new bookshelves!" But I can't help it - I'm just so very happy with them! I've always wanted to live in a house with gorgeous bookshelves, and now my dream has finally come true. It really feels like my own little home, now.

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Floating delight

Green Scarf

I think that if mermaids were ever tempted to wear a scarf this would be exactly the sort of style they would wear.

Pattern coming soon!

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