Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Simplicity 5197 - Embellished Tunic.

 I  have been sewing in dribs and drabs and finished up this tunic a couple of weeks ago. I have managed to wear this a few times now even though my sewing is topsy turvy - sewing a winter tunic when the weather is definitely warming up - blame it on hormones or whatever good excuse us females have.

Pattern - Simplicity 5197 - dated 2004 . A simple and plain tunic with side splits and sleeve, collar and neckline variations. I have used this once before just as is - using the V neck view with a collar and 3/4 sleeves with the split - no changes at all.
This time I wanted to be a little more ` creative` inspired by so many other bloggers .

Material - crinkled semi-sheer georgette - I love the rich rust coloured swirls on the black background .

I made several changes to the pattern - I reversed the front neck line facing so it is  on  the outside instead of inside and used a contrasting scrap of black satin. I then embellished this facing - hand stitched some narrow black ribbed trim to the outer edge and then using a simple cross stitch and machine embroidery thread stitched over the trim. I thought about adding another fancy stitch using bronze metallic thread but this seemed too much but it still wasn`t quite right so I added three bronzed looking buttons down the front. I also lengthened and flared the sleeves so they could be full length and elasticised. I used french seams everywhere including the sleeves. Talking about french seams on the sleeves - I googled this and alot  of the sites said it can`t be done. The other sites said it is really easy ! Well I had nothing to lose ( except lots of unpicking and narrower seams )  so I gave it a try and it all worked out fine .

Here is a close up the neck line - the satin looks a little puckered but I am loving this tunic so it just doesn`t matter.

I would highly recommend this pattern - it is a relaxed fit without being too voluminous and there are so many different design possibilities. It is also very simple to sew . I am sure I will be making this one again.

Happy Sewing , Cheers Janine.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Our Garden

I am excited to be moving in the next few months to a new house but I will miss my garden ( but not all the hard work ) . My garden is just starting to come to life with spring and I wanted to capture some memories so I can look back at all the plants and design that took some 16 years in the making .

A mish mash of bulbs - the upright bulbs came from my beloved Aunty Pearl`s garden and she has been gone for some 30 years .

Magnolias are amongst my favourite trees - I will definitely plant some in my new garden but it will take a long time before it looks like this. There is a self sown echium off to  the left. I also really love maples and viburnums. I love dogwoods too and planted a genuine Canadian Dogwood but our harsh Australian summers were just too much and it curled up its toes .Living on tank water I can not afford to water too many plants here - they have to be drought resistant and tough .

This is a part of my Japanese inspired garden. I have divided my garden into `rooms` - there is the native section, a woodland garden ( with small fairy statues hidden - I must try to find them before we leave ) , the japanese garden, a perennial section , herb garden, citrus area  and `secret` garden ( it has a pergola with a seat underneath - concealed by lots of climbers and shrubs and looks toward the valley and mountains to the south ) . The gardens all blend into each other.

This is a part of my perennial garden which is only just starting to bloom. I love the smell of wall flowers - like Johnsons Baby Powder and they must be the easiest plants to grow from cuttings. I also have lots of salvias , some lavenders , lilies , catmints, penstemons  and irises here. I tend to love pinks , purples and whites with small splashes of red and yellow .

 This is the herb garden - I have parsley, spring onions, pizza thyme ( I like the flavour  better than common thyme, ) varigated oregano, a spindly savory bush , curry plant , chives, garlic chives , a potted bay tree, a so called dwarf rosemary bush ( hah ! dwarf if you regularly prune it ! ) and a moroccan mint ( sweeter than common mint and not invasive at all ). There are sporadic cat mints as a border and self seeded feverfews and some decorative roses  ( although I have toyed with the idea of making rose petal jam ).

My Irises and the main rose garden ( and the good old washing line )  - the irises are starting to come out. Again irises are one of my favourite plants - they give so much for little return. I am torn about my roses - most of them I have obtained by cuttings or gifts . However everytime I go near them they spike me- should I take cuttings or do I just leave them. Off the side is a  part of the native garden - mainly indigenous natives but there a couple of ring- ins as well.

Well this is just a portion of my garden. I really bit off more than I could chew in making it .
Hope everyone is having a good day.
Cheers Janine.