Sew: New Look 6723 Dress

I love flicking through patterns – I would be more than happy to spend all my spare hours (and my non-spare hours) doing this – it makes me unbelievably happy. When I came across this pattern, I knew I HAD to make it. It’s a classic style, that would suit many body-shapes and many fabrics.

- Pattern cover -

I also love checking out op-shops in search of lengths of good-quality, pretty fabrics. I love that feeling of ‘getting lucky’ (ha – don’t we all??) and coming across the PERFECT fabric for the PERFECT pattern. It doesn’t happen all that often – but recently it did.

This beautiful fabric cost me $3 in an op-shop and it was BRAND NEW. Someone had obviously bought it, but never found a use for it. The pattern was relatively easy to make and I would have taken a photo for you with me wearing it, but I cut out and stitched a size 14 and the time it took me to finish it (I often work in small bursts due to small child) I was closer to a size 12 (which is great news for me, but not for my size 14 dress). This is why you have a photo of my new dress on my dress-making form rather than on me – sorry.

- My beautiful dress that doesn't fit me -

I still love it though. I’m just not sure I have the energy to un-stitch it all and re-size it – maybe next summer? Although, it could be good for layering with a long-sleeve top, tights and boots for winter.

- A simple belt to hold it all in at the waist -

I had to search high and low for this little belt buckle. In the end I bought one from a Sydney-based Etsy store – Melissa Tan Australia. This shop sells vintage and recycled fabrics and materials. I bought five of these for a small amount of money – great value.

So overall, apart from the dress not fitting me properly (yet?!) I am very happy with the final product – including my ability to insert a zip (this skill has taken me a LONG time to get, even close, to getting right).

Have you ever made anything that has taken you so long to make, that by the time you finished it, it was too big or small for you?

Alison

Love: Movie Review – ‘The Vow’

I hadn’t been to the movies in a long, long time and when I was given an afternoon’s leave pass to go with my beautiful friend Holly, I was over the moon! I had been wanting to see this particular movie since I first saw the film trailer on TV during an ad-break. It is definitely in the ‘chick-flick’ category, as it is a mushy love story with lots of soft, low-key lighting and a leading male character (Leo, played by Channing Tatum) who is not only beautiful, with a hot-bod, but also adores the leading lady (Paige, played by Rachel McAdams) in a way that we all dream of being adored.

- A love story -

It started off a bit plain and I wondered whether the story was going to go anywhere other than portraying their love for each other – which is nice, but slightly boring. When the story kicked in, I started to enjoy it and realised the film maker chose to portray their love in such detail to begin with, so that when their love is ‘taken away’ there is a clear contrast set up and we, as an audience, can feel that loss.

- Lots of kissing -

I also spent three-quarters of the movie trying to work out where I ‘d seen ‘the sister’ (Gwen, played by Jessica McNamee), only to realise that she is an Australian actress, who was Nathan’s wife in ‘Packed to the Rafters’. Who knew?

- Nathan's wife in 'Packed to the Rafters' -

After watching this movie, I was taken back to a about six years ago when I watched ‘The Notebook’ which also had Rachel McAdams in it, and the last time a movie hit me in the heart (easier said than done, believe it or not). I just love mushy, heart-felt films, but they don’t all have a serious affect on me. Every now and again, one will stike a chord deep within, and it just stays with me – like ‘The Notebook’, this film is hanging around in my mind, along with a few specific lines in the script.

- LOVE 'The Notebook'

Holly and I were even saying we may go and see it again – now that’s serious!!

- Gotta have a scene in the rain -

- Who doesn't love a bloke that can play you a ballad? -

I would love to recommend this film to everyone, but I know it’s not for all tastes. So, I recommend it to people that also love a bit of mush and love a story about relationships. I would also like to remind you to take your tissues along with you (I’m especially aiming that towards you Alley ).

I have included a link to the film trailer in an attempt to lure you all in to going and seeing it…

What did you think of this film? For people that haven’t seen this (yet) what have you heard?

Alison

Photos taken from: IMDB & The Vow Official Website.

Love & Bake: Kikki. K Stationery

I am a huge fan of stationery. I have WAY too many sticky notes and pens and notebooks, but I just can’t stop buying them. I have recently discovered some new stationery items at Kikki. K that allow me to be more organised in my cooking adventures. The first one is a weekly meals planner. It has spaces for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. I also use it to plan other elements of each day, as I am now juggling part time work, with being a mum, and now blogging daily.

- Weekly Meals Planner -

The other items that I have fallen in love with are the sticky notes for your cook books. They are categorised so that you can refer back to recipes quickly, which time later on. They come in a few different styles.

- Love tagging recipes -

- Specifically for meals -

What things do you use to organise your day? Week? Month?

Alison

Love: Cooler Work Day in Melbourne

I am a bit obsessed with conservative outfits fit for work. As the weather starts to get cooler, I am finding myself wearing my many cardies and always making sure I have that extra layer with me when I head out and about (which is always something you should do in Melbourne anyway).

A scarf is always a must as we start to see the back of Summer and a pair of black stockings would also go well with this outfit.

- Darker colours -

1. JaquiE Flutter Spot Blouse in Fawn/Black (79.95)

2. JaquiE Greta Rouched Cardigan in Black (59.95)

3. Portmans Grosgrain Trim Full Skirt in Black (89.95)

4. Sportsgirl Gold Webbed Dangle Earrings in Gold (14.95)

5. Forever New Margarita Day Bag in Teal (49.95)

6. Portmans Suede Cone Heel in Black (89.95)

7. Forever New Weave Fringe Scarf in Teal Glow (19.95)

What are your ‘cooler-weather-must-haves’?

Alison

Love: Chanel Lip Gloss

So I’ve never owned anything from Chanel until my recent purchase of this beautiful lip gloss. I’m not into big brand names, nor am I materialistic. However, this item has definitely captured my attention. I had read in many reviews and heard from many friends that Chanel lip products are beautiful, but I never took the plunge and bought one as I thought they were a tad expensive. In hindsight, I realise they aren’t that expensive, but I guess when you get something in your head….

So, I bought one as an early birthday present to myself (birthday’s in May). It is the Aqualumiere Gloss – High Shine Sheer Concentrate in # 68 Candy Glow. And it is divine! The texture of the gloss is so smooth and silky and glossy. I even love the smoothness of the canister. I quite like the cheekiness of this colour, as it’s a subtle, yet has coral tint.

- Happy Birthday to ME! -

What is your favourite lip gloss?

Alison

Sew: My Sewing Machine

I purchased my sewing machine about three years ago. I was a novice sewer at the time and needed something basic, yet reliable. I have some friends who recommended Janome as a brand and so that’s what I went with. I think that sewing is commonly seen as an ‘older’ ladies’ pass-time, which is a shame, because it’s such a great a skill to have as it’s creative, it’s practical and it’s fun.

The lady in the sewing shop immediately recommended I start with the Janome MS5027 Limited Edition (Pink Ribbon) machine, as it’s a basic, simple and reliable machine.

My Machine

I has been nothing but reliable and easy to use. It comes with a very easy-to-read manual, that has answered all my questions along the way. It has quite a few extra sewing feet for things like zips, button-holes and quilting. The thing that I love the most, is that it has arrows on the machine, to show you how to thread and re-thread, making it super-easy (and quick) to do.

I may have to upgrade in a year or so, as I outgrow the simple features and as my skills have improved.

What machine do you use? What brands do you prefer?

Alison

Love: Evie’s New Toy Boxes

Over the past year our house hold has accumulated many children’s toys, both educational and fun. I love the Evie has so many things to keep her brain growing and creativity thriving, but I also love when they are put away at the end of each day and we pretend (for 12 hours at least) that we don’t have a zillion books, toys, balls, crayons, blocks, dollies and teddy bears in our small home.

I also found recently that I had a lot of boxes lying around my sewing room – I would put this down to the increase in internet purchases of late (shhh….don’t tell Husband). I hate just throwing them out, so I pondered about their future until I came to the realisation that they could be more useful than just shipping lip gloss, perfumes and fashions into my house from across the world.

- Do these boxes have a future that doesn't involve the recycle bin? -

I rummaged around and found some wrapping paper and some scrap booking sheets and covered the boxes to turn them into Evie’s new toy boxes.

- Simple but cute -

They are very girly, but you could do the same with boy-ish paper. The next phase was to personalise them, so that Evie know’s they are hers.

- Personalised -

Simple, cheap, quick and practical – gotta love practical!

How do you re-use useless items such as cardboard boxes?

Alison