Friday, July 13, 2012

Back on the old horse

Couldn't resist the pun, you'll see why.

It's been a long time for between sewing sessions, having been focused on the workshops over the last few months.

The quality of this photo is terrible (taken on my phone), but you can see my new sewing space downstairs. I was unceremoniously booted out of our second upstairs bedrooom by the girls finally wanting their own room (after 7+ years of sharing our room - picture bunk beds squished next to our queen-sized bed!). Downstairs feels a bit more cramped, and I've got to find some better solutions for storing my fabric than the plastic tubs they are in. But I'm grateful that I still have a "room" of my own.

I also have an AMAZING new sewing machine, which I hadn't set up yet when I took the photo. It's a Janome Memory Craft 6600, which I have conveted for so long. Incredibly and humblingly (is that a word?) it was given to me by a dear friend as thanks for helping her and her family out during a very tough time. I am so very grateful, I only wish my help hadn't been necessary.

I've finally used my new machine properly for the first time over the last few weeks, whipping up three Winter jackets for our cousin Charlotte's 3rd birthday and my girls.

I used McCalls 5743 for Charlotte & Mia's jackets (in version C but with the straight sleeves from version A), and Kwik Sew's 3919 version A for Lily's (featuring a hood).

Cousin Char in her minky fleece jacket (not sure if that is what the fabric is called!). Although gorgeous and fluffy, the fabric misbehaved by shedding itself everywhere when it was cut and was very hard for the feed dogs on my machine to grip onto. Consequently button holes were impossible to create, so I used velcro instead and made the buttons "false". It turns out this is very convenient for 3 year olds! It looks gorgeous on Char, and worth every bit of wrangling.

Mia's choice of pony patterned fleece fabric was perfect for her jacket's first outing, our family holiday with friends last week at Bestbrook Mountain Resort, near Warwick, Queensland.

Lily chose love hearts...

...which miraculously matched up at the front!

Bestbrook is an amazing place, with pony rides, horse riding lessons, animal feeding, wagon rides, fantastic old school playground equipment (the heavy iron stuff we played on as kids), a pool, jumping castle, bikes to ride, 4WD track, gorgeous creek, lake and more. Accommodation is either cabins (with a pot belly stove inside and outdoor fire place outside) or camping. There's an on-site restaurant with fireplace and bar, as well as a games room nearby for the kids. We had an awesome couple of nights with our friends, eating and drinking while the kids played.

Restaurant, cold beer + horses = our perfect family holiday, lol.

The girls and their friend Saph heading off for their riding lesson, with the main building/restaurant/bar in front of them.

Me leading Mia.

Daddy-powered merry-go-round.

Lily by the lake.

One of the cabins by the creek.

A view of Bestbrook from the top of the 4WD track. We'll be back!

Now that the girls have returned to school/kindy, I find myself preoccupied with mending and UFOs. However I did manage to whip these up the other night for the girls. I had previously made a quilted hot water bottle cover from a pattern in Cath Kidston's Sew! book, but it was so well insulted by it's layer of quilt batting that it didn't really let the heat through! These are made using the same design, but only one layer of quilting cotton.

I'm SO enjoying getting my hand back in. My next challenge is to keep up my personal creativity, whilst also making time to develop the next workshops. But what a rich challenge to have!