Summer Holidays #sundaysevens, Week 6

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We’ve had a very chilled, first week back after our Summer holidays, as things should be! Mr Jinks was very pleased to be back from his ‘holiday’ to the local cattery on Monday. His hair is coming out like crazy all over the house because he’s been deprived of strokes for two weeks  😦 and he’s been very vocal about demanding attention, but it’s lovely to have him back. By Tuesday, after a mammoth washing session (the ironing treat is yet to come, ugh…), I treated myself to a bunch of sunflowers to try and rid myself of the post-holiday blues.

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After the excesses of holiday eating and drinking, it’s back to trying to eat healthily. On Wednesday I made this very colourful stir fry (and this was before I added the red peppers and sauce), another Deliciously Ella dish. Meanwhile the monkeys were demanding ‘something plain’, so on Thursday I rooted out our ancient toasty maker. Much though they loved them, I also remembered what a pain they are to clean afterwards…

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On Friday I finished up this dress for my daughter, feeling very pleased with myself for not just starting something new. For details see here. On Saturday we travelled down South for my mother-in-law’s 70th birthday celebrations. They have a beautiful garden, which we got to enjoy for a good, few hours (thankfully) before the heavens opened. As well as a lovely garden, they also have a fab collection of old board games (handy when it’s tipping it down), so Sunday morning was spent working our way through them with the kids. The one featured in the photo was my favourite this time, anyone remember it?

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Hope everyone else has had equally relaxing weeks. For more information on #sundaysevens head over to Nat’s site Threads and Bobbins,

Teresa.

Love Sewing Magazine, Lazy Days Summer Dress (issue 16)

Well, this is more of ‘Lazy Days Autumn Dress’, but my daughter is very happy with it nevertheless πŸ™‚

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I had plenty of leftovers from my Astoria, so was keen to come up with another project for this lovely material. I was tempted to run up another Coco top, but to be honest, think they would have ended up too similar. My next thought was the Mini Ruby for my daughter, featured in Love Sewing magazine, but when I refound the pattern I was disappointed to realise that it was designed for wovens only. After some further flicking, I stumbled upon this Lazy DaysΒ Summer DressΒ (also LS) pattern, designed for knits. The only problem was that it was designed to fit ‘an average six-old’. My daughter is seven and pretty tall, but it wasn’t too far out… imageimage

I found one of her favourite RTW dresses from Joules, which has plenty of length in it for another year (fingers crossed…) and used the dimensions from this to enlarge the pattern. This is the first time I’ve attempted to alter sizing but thought it was probably about time I gave it a go… I used my posh, new pattern paper I acquired with my G and G order, which made it a whole lot easier. Why haven’t I used this stuff before?

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I had to use up every last bit of fabric, but I just about managed. πŸ™‚ The construction of the bodice was really easy, much the same as the Astoria or Coco. I love it when you barely need the instructions and can just follow the order. However my tempestuous relationship with my overlocker reared its ugly head (it’s certainly a love/hate one, does anyone else feel like this about theirs?). Despite my best efforts, it was still producing what I can only describe as ‘gap-py’ seams, ugh! I’d paid a lot for this fabric, so I wanted it to last and forced myself to stop.

Although I haven’t had my overlocker that long, I have used it a lot so thought it was about time it had a service. There’s a machine shop right near my parents’ house, so I reluctantly handed it over to my Mum before we left for America (separation anxiety anyone?) My Mum must have used her Welsh charm on the man though, as he took a look at it with her and the bodice of this dress, had a quick fiddle with the dials and declared it a tension problem only. Within five minutes he’d fixed it and said it didn’t yet need a full service, refusing any payment! What a lovely man and I’ll definitely be sending my Mum back to him next time too πŸ˜‰

So, much though I’ve been itching to apply all the great tips you all suggested to fix my problem jacket, I forced myself to finish this wip off before I got started. The much higher tension he gave me worked perfectly. It’s set at 2775 now, so I’ll definetly remember this for other sweatshirt weights. It was interesting that the settings on each dial were so different, I’d been tending to have them all pretty similar…

The rest of the dress came together pretty easily. I had to take a bit of width out of the skirt because of the thicker fabric, but other than that it was really simple. The only thing I’m not fully sure about is the waistband which has a tendency to flick up, despite pressing it firmly down with the iron. I may well stitch it down at each side to prevent this, but I think it’s just part of the design. It’s come up pretty big on her, but hopefully that means I can get two Winters out of it. She loves the look and fleecy-backed fabric as much as me πŸ™‚

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Summer Holiday #sundaysevens, Weeks 4 & 5

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Well, it would be a shame not to start with this shot, wouldn’t it? After a very long wait, it was finally time for our family holiday to Disney World, Orlando. To say the monkeys were excited would be an understatement πŸ™‚ We started with Disney’s Magic Kingdom, where we saw the fireworks, the processions, andenjoyed the rides. There were smiles all round! The staff (or ‘cast’ as they like to call them) are so enthusiastic, it’s totally infectious.

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Then we spent a couple of days at Disney’sΒ Animal KingdomΒ where we donned these 3D specs for the ‘It’s a Bug’s life’ show. We also took a ‘safari’, where the attention to detail was fantastic (my husband and I went to Tanzania for our honeymoon, so we had pretty high standards).

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This ‘tree of life’ stands at the centre of the park and both its sheer size and the intricacy of the ‘carvings’ were incredibly impressive.

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My husband’s cousin and her family live out in America (they’ve just moved from Virginia to Houston), so we were delighted that they could join us for the weekend. We all went bowling and visited a local diner,

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Or two… πŸ˜‰ It took us a while to get used to the crazy portion sizes served in restaurants and not to end up ordering far, far too much. I wore trousers for the first time in two weeks yesterday for the flight home, and let’s just say I’ve definitely expanded somewhat! It was lovely to skip the parks for a couple of days: while they’re lots of fun, they’re pretty long, hot and exhausting days too.

Next we moved on to Epcot, where we couldn’t resist a family selfie πŸ™‚ One of the rides here, a simulated, space flight almost proved too much for me, really not one for the faint-hearted, but we all loved ‘Soarin’, where you’re made to feel like you’re gliding like a bird over the landscape.

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Next up was Sea World, which I know has had a lot of bad press recently. We’d booked our tickets six months ago, and although I never feel entirely comfortable seeing any animal in captivity, when you have children it’s pretty hard to avoid these places… The shows were nevertheless impressive and the monkeys loved sitting in the splash zones! Between these and the numerous water rides, I spent most of the day totally drenched!

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We squeezed in a spot of outlet shopping, where I impressed myself and stuck to sportswear only. And finally we visited Disney Hollywood Studios, which made my daughter’s holiday as they were featuring a special Frozen- themed extravaganza.

Phew! So we’re finally home after a fun-filled two weeks. Now I need to spend nothing more for the remainder of the holidays (plenty of washing and ironing to keep me busy…), stop eating so much and get back to the gym….

Looking forward to catching up on all the posts I’ve missed while we’ve been away πŸ™‚

For more details on #sundaysevens, head over to Nat’s siteΒ Threads and Bobbins.