Thursday 29 April 2010

Pyjama Pants

I reckon there is a conspiracy happening with the makers of pyjama pants!  Do you notice that you buy a really pretty pair and before the end of the first winter the elastic goes.  The fabric is perfectly fine, but as the elastic is sewn in and there is no casing they are had it!  More of the throwaway society.

Well, I had my first foray into making jarmy pants at the beginning of last year. 


I bought a pattern, selected the size that was supposed to fit, but they turned out like huge clown pants.  I ran the leg seam in by two inches and they are still fairly big!  It reinforced why I don’t sew clothes.  Not happy Jan.

Not to be deterred, when we were in Braidwood in November I bought some cute bright yellow cowboy flannel at the quilt shop.  I just guessed and bought two metres, that should be enough.  Mick just rolled his eyes at the sight of it and also wondered if I would ever do anything with it. 


The weather is now quite chilly and we are getting frosts, so it is time to get out the winter jarmies.  My current favourites are held up by a dirty great big safety pin tuck at the front – very glam – so it is time to get out that yellow flannel.

This time I decided to make a pattern using a very scientific method.  First, raid your rag bag for an old pair of jarmy pants.  These are very old, as the fabric wore out before the elastic (that’s why there are the notches cut at the waist), but I digress.

Cut up said jarmies and trace around adding a seam allowance.


Use pattern on yellow flannel.  Phew, just enough, about half an inch to spare.


Then the fun bit.  My sewing machine (Janome 6500P) is supposed to be the fastest domestic machine on the market, but you never really get to top speed with the bits and pieces I sew, so this gave me the chance to really put the foot down and see what it would do.  Woo hoo! Now is that fun!

I had the whole thing finished within the hour.  They was fun to make and ……. they have good elastic, and even if it does go, I can just take it out of the casing and replace it. 


No, I will not model them, just take my word for it that they fit perfectly.  Now I will just have to get a red long sleeved t-shirt for the top.  Mick still just rolled his eyes when I showed him.

I’ve filed the pattern away, so I’ll now be on the lookout for cute flannel for another pair.

Another finish for the month.  Yay!

Tuesday 27 April 2010


With this last lot of rain we have had an influx of moths.  We occasionally get these but don’t know what they are called.  Mick and I call them “Bird Moths”, because they are about the size of a small bird. 

2010_0425April20100006We had to use the standard measuring tool (Matchbox) to show just how big they are.  This time there was quite a variation in size and we don’t usually get them as big as the top one.  Their eyes glow red at night and we saw quite a few on our way into town for the Anzac Day dawn service.

Here is another one which had lovely details on its wings.


It is funny how they just appear for a few days at various times of the year and are then gone again.

Does anyone know what they are?  They are too big to be Bogongs.

Monday 26 April 2010

Recent Purchases & Cooking

I’ve finally taken photos of my recent purchases. This is the little collection from the day I met the Narromine ladies.


I’ve been eying off the book for a while, so treated myself.  It has some lovely little projects. I’m looking forward to playing with the flex frame on the left.  Hopefully that will be soon.

This is what came home from Springwood.

Well, this was actually from Glenbrook.  Primitive at Heart has a sale on all their craft supplies, so I bought up in anticipation of the Sue Spargo workshop I will be attending later in the year.


I brought home a rather eclectic mix of fabrics.


And, some cute handmade cards and a couple of patterns.


It was really hard to resist some of the lovely things on sale, but this is more than enough for now.

Now for the food.  One of my workmates gave me some lovely fresh rhubarb, so I made a rhubarb crumble cake for afternoon tea yesterday. 


Scrummy.  We had to have seconds.

Sunday 25 April 2010

Flea Market Finds

Yesterday, when we went to Springwood, I didn’t expect to bring home any vintage bits and pieces, but these followed me home.


It doesn’t show well in the photo, but the basket has a lovely soft green wash over it, really pretty.  Don’t you just love the price ticket – recycled old “Admit One” ticket. I was really happy to get a harbour bridge doyley, as they aren’t often seen.  The cloth at the back is a sweet little throw over with violets on the corners. I think I can see lavender sachets from this.  And how about a great big roll of bias binding.  It is poly cotton, but will still be fine to use on bibs.

I was also given these vintage patterns.  The lady they came from is in her 70s, tall, slim and very stylish. I can  just picture her in some of these outfits when she was younger.

2010_0425April20100014Other Flea Market finds can be found here.

Anzac Day

As expected, it was raining when we got up for the Dawn Service.  It had been raining steadily all night.  We didn’t expect many to turn up for the service, but to our amazement there was a huge crowd, one of the biggest ever.  We all stood under our umbrellas in the rain, but it wasn’t windy or cold, so was not a problem at all.


I was a bit worried about Dad in the weather, but he stayed dry and warm, so no dramas.  He would have been missed if he didn’t turn up with his shoebox full of rosemary sprigs.  At the breakfast at the RSL he really enjoys himself, catching up with mates and chatting to everyone.

Fortunately the weather cleared for the rest of the day.  Dad then went on to attend the main march in town and a further wreath laying service at the old army camp site.  There aren’t too many of the oldies able to get out and about now, so it is good that he can still lay a wreath on behalf of his old 2/18th Battalion mates.

Dick at Ingleburn Army Camp

Saturday 24 April 2010

Springwood Quilt Show

I had a lovely day out today.  My friend Cath and I headed down to the mountains for a girls’ day out.  Grab a cuppa and have a quick tour of what we saw.

We thought it might get a bit wet, as this was the sunrise when I left home.


Our first stop was Glenbrook for a bit of a look around and a nice coffee.  We found several interesting little shops.  Definitely worth diverting off the highway when heading to Sydney, if you have time.

Then we were off to the Springwood Quilt Show.  This is the first time I have had a chance to visit this show and it was a great event. There were several trade stalls which had lovely fabrics, patterns and other bits and bobs.  A few found their way home with me.  I’ll take photos tomorrow.

The quilt display showcased some very talented ladies. I was happy to be advised that photos were allowed, so here are a few that took my eye.  I’m afraid I did not take details of the makers, but if they are yours, I’m impressed.

To start with, this one I can identify as being “Jelly Spiders” designed by Anne Sommerlad.  It was however made by another lady. I thought this might suit the jelly roll I bought in Braidwood late last year, so I bought the pattern.  It is so bright and cheerful.


I really admire the work that had gone into this quilt, although it is not one that I would ever attempt to make.


Just look at the detail in the gum blossom.  It appears to be stem stitch in just one strand of cotton.  Beautiful.


This quilt looks quite simple, but it is really deceptive.


When you look closer (zoom in), there are no rows of straight sewing.  It would be a very painstaking quilt to make.  I think I need to attempt a cushion to just try the method…… day.


A quirky quilt.  Each coloured block has a label from an item of clothing or linen.  It was fun looking at all the different brand names. I do remember reading that the maker also enjoyed crosswords, which inspired the layout.


I loved this soft quilt.  It is a Karen Cunningham design.  It is a very simple design which showcases the fabrics beautifully. The scalloped pink binding just framed it nicely.


The workmanship in this quilt was terrific.  Some of the nine patches were tiny.  I loved the overall effect.  Apparently this quilt just grew as it went, rather than following any pattern.  I wish I could do that.


I am scheming on making a black and white quilt and looking at lots of different quilts for inspiration. I also keep looking at these quilt as you go circle quilts.  This looks quite interesting.  We’ll see….. 


Vintage doyleys and scraps of other old linens were the feature of this quilt.  It was great how the doyleys tied in with the colour scheme.

2010_0424April20100017 Here is a couple of close ups to show the effect better.



This is only a very small sample of the quilts on display.  Some of the others hanging high on the walls were truly stunning.  I think one of them will take out the most popular award.  Unfortunately, they were too high up to get a good shot.

I hope you enjoyed seeing a bit of the display.  If you have the opportunity to visit, the Quilt Show is still on tomorrow.

As predicted, it started to rain on our way home, with some quite heavy falls along the way.  Here’s hoping it clears for all the Anzac  Day events planned for tomorrow.

I’m off to get some shuteye now, as it will be a very early (3.30am) start to get into town in time for the Dawn Service with my Dad.

Sunday 18 April 2010

Flea Market Finds and a Busy Weekend

Now that the weather has lost its summer sting there are just so many things on that nearly every weekend sees us doing something fun. 

This weekend started out with a visit to “Bathex” at the local showground.  This is a collectors fair which is run every three years. There are minerals, stamps, coins, military collectables and lots of other collections.  My best friend displayed her pink depression glass.  We have fun collecting, me with my green and she with the pink.  The pink is often more decorative than the green, which seems to be a bit more utilitarian and plain.

Pink Glass

There was a huge collection of old fund raising tin lapel pins.


I really liked this collection, as I have a few oldies on display in our living room.  They mainly have been given to me by my mother-in-law, who found them occasionally at op shops. 


They are in my “Little Cabinet”.  This displays a myriad of little bits and pieces we have picked up over the years.


You will also be able to see other interesting flea market finds here.

Next I popped around to Anni’s shop to meet up with the Club Quilt girls from Narromine.  (Of course, I forgot to take a photo.) I had previously met Peg and Dale and was delighted to finally meet Fiona.  We have a second common interest in motorcycling with our hubbies and will see each other again in a few weeks on a bike run. The girls were delighted with Anni’s shop, rightly so, as it is gorgeous.  I made a few purchases, but I will have to show you another day.

After that, we headed down to Sydney for a surprise 50th for one of Mick’s school mates, who is also a fellow Ulyssian.  His family did very well, as it was a total surprise to him and we all had a great night.


Today, seeing as we were already in Sydney, we decided to visit the Caravan and Camping show at Rosehill Racecourse.  It is a few years since we have attended this event, and it has grown heaps. Boy, was it busy.  I’d hate to be trying to decide which caravan or camper trailer to buy, there are so many variations available.  We did decide, however, that we wouldn’t swap our new camper for anything we saw.  Phew!

It was perfect autumn weather on the weekend and the trees are starting to change colour on the mountains. 


We had our first frost here last Tuesday, but going on the forecast and the beautiful sunset this evening on the way home, the weather is to be in the mid 20s for most of this week, so we won’t be needing the fire on again for a little while.


Obviously, no sewing happened this weekend, but we will try to remedy that in the next few days.

Wednesday 14 April 2010

Baby Bibs

A workmate from years back recently had her first baby, so, of course I had to get the sewing machine out and made a selection of bibs for her.

This little group are for now.


This one is for when she is a bit bigger.

2010_0411April20100006I love making bibs.  They are so quick and easy and I get to play with fabrics that are “cute”, which I normally don’t get to do.

When my friend opened her gift she announced that this was the first hand made gift she had received for her new little girl.  How things have changed from when there were lots of hand knitted outfits, shawls, rugs and other bits and pieces.

Another finish for April, and all from the stash.

Tuesday 13 April 2010

Travel Journal

An integral part of our bigger trips for me is keeping  journal.  I go into a lot (too much) detail and spend about an hour each night writing everything up. 

Albany Trip 2010 JH 2 193

It is the only way I can ever remember all the little details.  I love reading through them later.  It is amazing what memories they jog.

This time I just took a naked journal and planned to find a nice fat quarter to use to cover it.  I had no idea what type of design I would select.  However, as soon as I saw this aboriginal art inspired fabrics in Albany I knew it would be perfect.  The additional colours obviously represent the earth, sea and sky.


Once again I used Bloom’s tutorial for the basic construction.  It is such an easy and effective method.  I’m quite pleased with the outcome, although the colours look a bit washed out in the photo.  The colours in the one above are much truer to life.


A finish for April.

Sunday 11 April 2010

The Progression of Life

Remember when we were all going to 21st birthday parties, then engagements, weddings, baby gifts, 30ths, 40ths……well for us it now is a series of 50ths.

Last night one of our mates celebrated this milestone.  It was a fantastic party out at his place.  There were little kids, teens, all of us mid years ones, right up to some oldies.  Everyone had a ball.  You can’t go wrong with a barbecue followed by a bonfire.

We camped overnight and took our new camper trailer out behind the car.  It goes well and doesn’t look too small and silly.


Everyone settled in around the fire.  I took out some sparklers and the little ones had great fun with them.


I can just sit for ages looking right into the fire, finding different creatures and faces. It was the perfect night for a fire, no wind, not too cold and nice and starry (which was great after the weather forecast of rain).


It was a very late night, but we were all up again relatively early to tuck into bacon and eggs around the remains of the fire.


What a stunning view. Oh, how I wished I had a camp oven of stew to put on those lovely coals.

Saturday 3 April 2010

Our Weekend So Far

We’ve had a lovely weekend so far.  Every year the Vintage Motorcycle Club from Sydney hosts a week long rally at Bathurst.  If Mick isn’t working we usually tag along on Good Friday and Easter Saturday.  This year there were about 170 bikes entered, so there is a good variety of bikes of all ages and makes.


I love seeing old, unrestored bikes out and about.


We have taken out “Olga” the old girl this time.  Yesterday went fine, but this morning she had a little hiccup and stopped. Something electrical.  So, we pushed her for a couple of kilometres into Portland (I’m sure my legs will know about it in the morning).  We were with some friends and had a picnic packed, so after a leisurely lunch Mick and our mate headed home to our place to collect the car and trailer, leaving us girls to sit and chat. 

Mick had his first ever ride on a Harley! Don’t know what he thinks about that.

Mick on Harley

So this is how “Olga” travelled home.  Sad, isn’t it.


Mick is out in the shed tinkering now, trying to find the fault.  It will probably be something simple and we are definitely glad it happened relatively close to home.

Now, if you leave two girls unattended in a town for an hour and a half what do you expect them to do?  Shop, of course.

Portland is only a very small town with not many shops, but we nosed out a garage sale.  It wasn’t too bad either.  I found this.


Nice and clean on the inside too.


When Mick saw it he asked the obvious question “What are you going to do with that?”  To which I replied “It will be great for holding sewing projects.” To which he replied “Don’t you already have enough bags?”  To which I didn’t reply!  I think it is cute anyway.

I then found this.  Very sweet isn’t it.  I love the vintage fabric with the dotty background. (Sorry, the dots don’t show up terribly well in the photo.)


Well, if you think that’s cute, check this out.


It is crazy patchwork on a  calico background.  The 50s fabrics are just gorgeous.  The colours go together so well. What a great little collection.  It reminds me so much of Henhouse’s style.  Here is a  close up.

2010_0403April20100022 And another one.

2010_0403April20100023 Both aprons were made by the same lady as there is a scrap of the first fabric in the patchwork one.   I don’t think they have ever been used.  I was VERY excited to find these.

My final find at the garage sale was a little green glass pin dish. 


The lovely green glass vase with it was the find my Mum made at the church fete a couple of weeks ago.  Well spotted.  Once again, not a rare design, but one that I didn’t have in my collection.  I love seeing the sun streaming through the glass, it just glows.

So, more “stuff” to find a home for, but lovely to find just the same.

Check out other Flea Market Finds here

We are looking forward to a sleep in tomorrow as daylight savings ends tonight and we don’t have to go anywhere tomorrow.  Looking forward to a day at home