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The Best Birthdays Include Playing in Leaves...

Monday, May 30, 2011
I had a good birthday...

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And one where you spend it playing in leaves makes it even better than one spent not playing in leaves...

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David got some leaf action too - so you can see, it's not just about taking photos of me (just mostly...).

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And look at the cute little gif. David made me :)

And thank you for your birthday wishes!


ps) Vancouver in less than a week with a stop off in Beijing and a visit to the Great Wall !! (!)

It's My Party...

Thursday, May 26, 2011
I'm actually not having a party, but if I was, well, it would be mine! It's my birthday tomorrow and I'm turning 26.

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Does anybody else feel like this year has been going way too fast? I feel like I only just turned 25* last week and now all of a sudden I'm 26. Give me three weeks and I'll be 30 before we know it!

I don't have much planned for it because we are flying off to Vancouver on Friday (!) but David has bought me a massage and after that we will eat lunch at a cute little cafe we drove past hidden amoungst the streets in our neighbourhood and m
aybe when we get back from overseas I'll do something - people keep telling me I have to do something...

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Have a lovely weekend all,


*I rather like my hair when I was 25, I had just cut it all off again and I am feeling tempted to do the same now...

One Pattern, Seven Bloggers - 4

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
My dress seems to be coming along nicely, all I need to do with the bodice now is fix up the arm holes.

This week the One Pattern Seven Bloggers team are all discussing any special techniques we’ve used in our dresses and I
am going to be talking about pleats...just not today. It's written it just needs photos and I don't have time to do them this week but I will on the weekend. So instead, I'm going to post what was supposed to be my added bonus technique - how to get perfect darts! Enjoy.


This little tutorial I decided to do last minute as I was marking out the bust darts on my bodice. I used to always have issues sewing straight darts, especially right towards the tip where it’s most noticeable if they are a little wonky. One day I just started doing the way I'm about to show you and it has given me perfect darts every time...

1. Mark your darts with cotton thread. I have always done it this way and recommend it over chalk because you can easily thread your needle straight through the pattern and the mark won’t rub off. Don’t knot the end as they won’t be there for long. I should also note that I only ever pay attention to the bottom two dart markings and the top dart marking (in these photos labelled A, B and C).

2. With the wrong side facing up, using a ruler, find the middle spot between your bottom two darts (A and B). Mark the spot.

3. Using tailors chalk, draw a straight line from the centre mark you just found right up the centre to the top dart mark (C). This will be where you will fold your dart!

4. Take your ruler and draw a straight line from one of your bottom dart marks (I chose A, but you could do either side) to the top dart mark (C). This is the line you will sew!

5. Fold your dart on the middle line you first drew and iron.

6. Take your fabric to your machine and always starting from the bottom of the dart, sew along that nice straight line you drew earlier.

7. Turn your dart under, iron and TA DA! a perfect dart.

Make sure you check out how everyone else is doing…




ps) Thank you for all of your comments on my photo taking exploits in my last post. I'm glad you liked them :)

Playing with Photos...

Sunday, May 22, 2011
I feel like I've not done an outfit post for a long while...

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This dress was one of those poor dresses that sat in my wardrobe when I first got it because it had some major alterations that needed doing. But ever since I got around to doing them, it has been in constant roation - at the moment I love pairing it with with the belt I'm wearing, black tights and a dark grey cardigan. I love the contrast of the sweet springy floral print of the dress with the dark wintery black of the other items - it fits perfectly with the wintery cold mornings. On Saturday when I wore it for these photos, it was too warm for the tights and cardigan and so they were happily left at home...

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A new lens arrived on my doorstep on Monday and it takes the most beautiful photos. I put it through it's paces this weekend, first on Saturday at Rookwood Cemetary, one of the largest cemetary's in the Southern Hemisphere and again on Sunday at the White Bay Power Station. It's derelict and normally closed to the public, but they opened it up again this weekend after it was so popular when they opened it to the public a few months ago.

Below are just a few of my favourite photos from the cemetary and I'll show you some from the power station soon...

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One Pattern, Seven Bloggers - 3

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Okay, I've been slack this week...

I've modified and tweaked my pattern to suit what I had envisioned and the bodice has been cut out, but alas, I am yet to do any 'putting together' of said pattern. And I have no photos either (but on a side note: my gorgeous new camera lens arrived on Monday and I'm looking forward to putting it through it's paces in Vancouver and at the Great Wall in China. Oh, did I not mention I was visiting the Great Wall on the way to Vancouver? Well, more news on that exciting development soon!! But, I digress...).

This week we were supposed to be talking about fitting the dress and I am so thankful I took heed of everyones advice, (including the girls doing the challenge) to make sure the neckline wasn't too plunging. I've also taken off the slight cap sleeve on the dress and made it a straight strap across the shoulder instead. And, Casey has a tutorial up on making a piped neckline and I'll admit, I'm tempted. However, I'm still to tackle my skirt pleats and feel that they will probably take up more time than I have at the moment.

For far more interesting posts this week on the sewing challenge, more than likely with actual pictures, make sure you check out the other girls!

Next week we are all doing posts on any special techniques we've used in the dress including tutorials if you're interested. I'm going to talk about making pleats and I have it on good authority that there will be an inseam pocket tutorial and a self belt tutorial. But you'll have to wait to find out...


Our Wedding...

Sunday, May 15, 2011
Hi everyone,

I thought I should mention that our wedding was featured in a New Zealand Wedding blog a few weeks ago (it was put up right after the Royal Wedding, I'm not sure we could have competed!!).


And here is my blog post about the actual day if you're interested,


All photos by the lovely Sinead Jenkins!

One Pattern, Seven Bloggers - 2

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I think I had already made up my mind about the fabric I would use for the dress as soon as I saw the pattern, but it's always nice to umm and ahh and try on different options in your head before settling on one (or more if you fancy!).

I love the blue and black polka dot vintage cotton, but haven't found the perfect pattern for it yet, and the 'autumnal' coloured fabric is actually a vintage sheet!

I've decided to use up the rest of the forest green fabric I bought for the swing dress sew along Casey did earlier in the year. I've wanted a forest green dress for sometime now, and with it being autumn, it's really the perfect time.

Pleats, cap sleeves and a nice round neckline will be perfect I think.

XX Jen

ps) Thank you so much for your Vancouver tips! I'll be getting back to you asap :)

pps) Confused about what 'One Pattern, Seven bloggers' is? Go here!

Dear Vancouver...

Saturday, May 7, 2011
I just wanted to let you know that I am coming to visit you June for three weeks and I'm very excited! We will be spending one week on Vancouver Island and two weeks in Vancouver itself.

I've already hunted down a Castle to visit on Vancouver Island and The Butchart Gardens (yay, we will be there in late Spring and it will be magical...) but I was wondering if you'd be able to tell me some other things that I must visit. Perhaps something off the beaten tourist track that locals know all about and tourists just pass on by.

I'd also love it if you'd be able to point me in the direction of some of it's lovely inhabitants that may have a chance to catch up for a coffee and a chat? You see, David will be researching and conferencing for a lot of the time, so I'll have plenty of time on my hands for exploring and meeting friends from afar.

Also, weather? What does one bring to Vancouver in June? Is it cold? Wet? Hot? And can I bring my knitting on the plane? (Probably not, but it was worth a try!).

Anyway, I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Write back,


One Pattern, Seven Bloggers...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011
About a week ago, myself and five other bloggers were contacted by Sam to participate in a sewing experiment she had cooked up - one pattern sewn by seven different sewers (and bloggers).

I was really excited about being asked to participate and I'm really excited to see what the other girls come up with. I love seeing how other people interpret patterns and make them their own, and might I add, it's good for getting ideas for the next time you decide to make the pattern!

Some pretty Autumnal inspiration for my dress courtesy of Google Images...

We've chosen this burda style pattern to work off as its a very basic pattern and one that really has almost endless variations. If you've ever used this pattern and have any tips please feel free to sing out, I'm sure we'll all appreciate it.

We also have a relatively tight turn around with just four weeks to complete the dress
and we will each be posting our progress every Wednesday, so make sure you pop by the other ladies to see how they are going!


So what are all the Autumnal pictures about? Well, this was also supposed to be a post about inspiration for the dress, but as I'm on a budget, my inspiration is coming from the depths of my fabric stash and the fact that it's certainly cooling down around here! I have several different fabrics in mind, I now just need to settle on one...

I also have several modifications I plan to make to the pattern, like little knife pleats in the skirt - I've had pleats on the brain lately.


Note: David dropped off my sewing machnine to the sewing machine repair man yesterday as it has started making funny noises (even after cleaning out the feed dog as instructed) and the button holes are messing up. Is it just me or would you agree that I seem to be having bad luck with my sewing machines...? This means I won't have it back for a week and won't be able to put up a post on wednesday with any actual 'sewing'. Boo.

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