Sunday, 16 April 2017

My first cross stitch: The Smith Street Band

I got a cross stitch book for christmas and ever since I have been obsessed with it. I always saw cross stitch as a very boring looking craft. After all I'd never seen anything but those 'home sweet home' patterns. Alas, my life changed after being introduced to the world of subversive cross stitch and the realisation that this was actually the type of craft I had been waiting for. For my very first cross stitch I actually decided to make my own pattern. This was pretty simple as it was just lettering and only a single colour was used (black). It was a huge learning curve and although it is not perfect I am so in love with it. 

"We are more than future housewives" 

This came from the lyrics of a song by The Smith Street Band which is a favourite of mine in Australia. The song is called birthdays.  I had been singing along to it non stop so I decided to use the lyrics that I probably loved the most. 

I feel like this is a reminder that even though you may come up against people that don't respect you, that does not define your value. Whoever you are, whatever you do, you are always more than the labels people try to give you. Your worth is not defined by those who try and dismiss you. 


xx Alecia

Monday, 27 February 2017

Vera Venus sundress bodice and gathered skirt

This dress started it's life as another dress, a poorly drafted, extremely unflattering floral disaster from what was presumably a vintage magazine 'draft it yourself' section found on pinterest. It was terrible. I think I wore it twice or maybe three times at most. I had spent SO LONG on that dress trying to make something that was never going to work, work. 

A short time ago I decided to remake this dress, I loved the fabric too much and are far too stubborn a person to give to up. The pattern I used was the free sundress bodice pattern from Vera Venus. This pattern states that it is sized for a 35-37 inch bust or 34C/D-36C. I had some issues fitting the bodice as I have a small ribcage and waist and a large chest. I went through a couple of fittings before I got something that fitted okay, which is more of a reflection of my relative inexperience with adjusting patterns of this type. 

I've only just started to wear this dress as after TWO very frustrating and time consuming sews the mere sight of the fabric gave me Kill Bill-esque rage scene feeling. I am pretty happy with it now and can't wait to wear it more. I put a lot of fabric into the gathered skirt so it's extra twirly and full. It feels wonderful to swish around in. 

Fabric: Spotlight
Pattern: Vera Venus

Would I sew this again? Knowing what I know now about the fitting and what adjustments I need to make straight away...definitely!! It's free, duh. I love me some free patterns. 

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Land Before Doggo

My dog got a haircut recently and I made her a little jacket to help keep her warm as she has trouble adjusting. I had a little polar fleece in my stash that did the job just fine. I made the pattern myself and it was quite easy to do as I only needed a couple of measurements. It is a little square in the back as you can see but this is because of yardage constraints. As she tends to get a cold tummy I made the bands going around the bottom of her belly extra wide. The fabric reminds me of one of my favourite kids movies, Land Before Time! You can Little Foot, Cera and Petrie! 

Of course I had to attach photos of her wearing it 

She is not good at looking at the camera so I had to distract her with a biscuit

Alecia xx

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

No longer 'Sew to Neverland': Why I changed my blog name

This is me now. I dyed my hair! Its red/purple 

Hey guys, its been a while. This will undoubtedly be a long and personal post so grab a tea, bunker down and I will tell you whats been happening during my absence from this blog and why I changed the name.

2016 has been a very empty time on this blog, I can almost see the little spiders making their nice cozy little homes in the corners. Its alright though, they're friendly spiders...they send their kind regards. I never though I would be in the position where I am now. I had my life planned out perfectly but life never really works that way and I lost my place. When such a huge part of your identity is based on things that can change what happens when they do is that you are left with an overwhelming feeling of emptiness, like the rope tethering you to your self of self has been cut. There you are bobbing around in the universe, unsure of how you fit in.

 I lost many things this year (and its not even over yet!). Its an incredibly scary thing. Living through trauma, surviving and moving on.  It all sounds so heroic and is often glamourised but its really not. It's lonely, it's sad and its terrifying. When life is turned upside down on you, you are forced to either make the choice of pretending nothing has happened or building your life up from the bottom again. So thats where I've been, thats what I've been doing. 

For a long time I've been unable to write a single post on here. Its not because I don't adore this was simply because when I would log on I felt like I was using someone else's account. The name, it was still me but I was no longer the person who named it. I felt like liar and a fraud because the words I was writing belonged to me, not the girl who named this blog 'sew to neverland'. I still love peter pan and I still love reading. There are many things that make me similar to the girl who started this blog in the first place. We both are essentially the same being, we both love craft, we both love reading. However we are now on fundamentally different paths in life and at vastly different time points. We have experienced different things and have different realities.  

So I guess it comes time to ask 'why am I here now?' and I guess there is no easy answer. Oh gosh I have missed you all. I have missed crafting and I have missed blogging and interacting with you. It took me a while to feel like myself again, or more correctly, to find who I am now. I feel like I am at a stage where I want to do this again and I think that is what matters. An further I guess you could ask 'why am I telling you all this?' but then I already know the answer. As anyone who knows me well could tell you, there isn't a person I meet that doesn't get to know my life story. This is who I am and who I've always been. 

Dorklife 4 eva 

Thank you for sticking it out with me
Love, Alecia xx 


Saturday, 6 February 2016

Vintage Pledge 2016

I'm joining in with the 2016 Vintage pattern pledge!

Last year I attempted to sew 5 vintage garments.....It didn't happen. Life, uni, multiple sewing dummy spits and disasters seemed to drain all of my motivation and self belief in my sewing abilities. This year I plan on going for three vintage or reproduction garments. Will I do it? Hopefully! Will I put any money on it? Probably not! We will see. This year is a tough year for me as I am trying to stay on track for honours in my degree, which takes up a considerable amount of time. I am hoping going for fewer garments will make me feel less stressed and less like a failure and give me more time to ENJOY sewing, which after all is why I started in the first place. For me It's always important not to lose sight of sewing as a hobby. I'm hoping this challenge will keep me motivated, inspired and enthused throughout the year. 

Thursday, 28 January 2016

The 'make your own stuffing guide': From a frugal cheapskate with love

I have a confession to make....I'm a total cheapskate. I feel like these days the term 'cheapskate' has negative connotations that make it an undesirable label to have. In this day and age of disposability, cheaply made and cheap to buy imports, fast fashion and extreme consumerism, throwing things out just isn't a big deal. It's not a big deal because replacing things is relatively easy; there are no wartime restrictions and rations like our grandmothers before us had and advancements in technology have made things quicker and cheaper to make than ever. However something about this bothers me, kind of like a itch that is just there and won't go away. 

When I read wartime magazine articles or see posters declaring on ways to save I aways think 'why didn't I think of that?', some of those tips are brilliant! Some to be fair are complete and utter rubbish that goes far beyond being frugal and thifty and delves deep into the realm of 'somebody really didn't know what to fill that column up with and got really desperate'. I guess really, I just love the concept of making use of what is already is available. After all, as a unemployed, chronically ill, full time student with an expensive hoppy I need ALL the help I can get and so does the planet. Throwing stuff out all the time can't be good for it....... right? 

I have so much admiration for the wartime women and the little shortcuts they created to make every little thing they had go the extra mile. I've tried to incorporate many of these little tips into both my sewing and craft projects and I must admit every time I save a dollar or two I feel like giving myself a high five.....because you know, saving money is great and I'm a huge dork. One of these little tips and tricks is how to make stuffing out of fabric. It is also great for saving space as you don't have to buy a gigantic bag of poly fill the size of a small child and store it in your sewing room (which to be honest if it's anything like mine NEEDS that space). 

To show you how this is done I just cleaned up the seams on one of the dresses I was sewing and waiting to hem. You can do this with scraps of fabric and you'll be surprised how much you get if you cut up even the smallest bit.

You WILL want to put something under the area you are working on, something like a placemat, plate or piece of card will do. As long as you can pick it up and tip the cuttings into a container you will be A-Okay. I used a pack of cardboard because I had it laying around the house and the flexibility makes it easy to pour.

You will also need pinking shears! Gosh, I do love pinking shears. 

Note: I forgot to take a picture of the fluffing process (it was too fun) so this is pre-fluffed

Basically you just want to cut and cut and CUT with your pinking shears. Make little zig-zaggy pieces. This is extra fun if you are frustrated, angry or have an epic playlist. Make sure you fluff 'em! This can be done by pulling them apart and making them all fuzzy. It's pretty fun, time consuming but fun and oddly satisfying. Once you are done you can put it into a container and keep for super fun future projects. I like to keep them for small projects so I don't have to buy a big bag of filling when I only need a handful or too. 

What frugal tips do you have? Whats the WORST tip you've ever been given (beside this one)? 

Alecia xx

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year to you all!

First of all, I hope you all have a fantastic year! I hope this year is better than the last for each and every one of you. Let us all be kinder, happier and healthier human beings, let us all try new things, spend time with those we love and strive to be better. Let all our loved ones be in good health and close to our hearts.

 I feel like the new year is a great time to reflect on ourselves and the people we want to be. I don't view resolutions as a concrete set of 'must do' things that involve failure if you don't complete them. I see them as things to strive for, if you fall down thats okay, but you get up and keep going. I made some resolutions for 2015, some of them I achieved (yay!), some of them I did not, but thats okay. I read MORE than 10 books! For some this might sound like so few, but for a student who reads so much for a degree it is hard to find time to fit in reading for fun. I tried joining a sports team in an effort to be more active but this affected my health terribly. For those who don't know, my thoracic and lumbar spine is almost completely fused so getting active can be so hard on my body. I tried yoga, but it is difficult when you can hardly do any of the moves! So I may not achieved that one this year but I learnt what NOT to do and that will help me find a way to make it work in the future. My limited time for sewing made making 10 garments hard and I feel that looking back that might have been a tad too optimistic, but thats okay because now I know to go easier on myself. Also, spotlight sales definitely got in the way of my hope to sew five existing patterns before I buy a new one. That I think was again far too optimistic! Sometimes you just have to go with it an make the most of the opportunities (like sales or eBay bargains) while they happen. It's okay. I didn't get to bake once a month, again my time for activities was limited and I feel like looking back on that resolution it made the idea of baking more of a chore than something to be enjoyed. Because I really do enjoy it! Create a study routine that works, ha! Well, I made one that works but sticking to it is another thing so I'm not sure how to feel about that one!

For 2016 I hope to

  1. Spend more time with friends and let them know how much they mean to me
  2. Spend more time in my home town with my brother and nanas who I do not see enough of.
  3. Find more time to sew and put less pressure on myself to make 'perfect' garments
  4. Be 'present' more often
  5. Read more books than I read last year (15)
  6. Be a better blogger!
  7. Look after my health and stop ignoring it or prioritising it lower than it should be
What are your resolutions or hopes for the new year? Did you complete any of the ones you made for last year? 

Have a wonderful new year! 
Alecia xx