Christmas Shirt by BurdaStyle

Firstly, Happy New Year! I haven’t been able to blog for a while but I wanted to take everyone back to Christmas! It was only a month ago and has to be one of my favourite times of the year. Everyone is so excited and winding down for the holidays and it’s usually when I get a few weeks off work and get to spend the holidays seeing my family and friends.

Last year we starting to slowly make our way back to office for work and luckily I was able to meet up with my colleagues for a Christmas party right before the next wave of Covid came through. To celebrate this I made myself a Christmas themed work shirt from Disney Mickey Mouse fabric I purchased at Spotlight.

Pattern: BurdaStyle Button up tunic
Fabric: Spotlight Disney Fabric
Fabric Type: 100% cotton

There are so many ways to dress up a Christmas work shirt. I purchased Christmas earrings, a red bow for my hair and wore Christmas themed scrunchies around my wrist. Below is a photo of the day I went into the city for one of the first times all year!

This pattern is really easy to make and apologies I can’t seem to locate the pattern on the new BurdaStyle website. However, there are loads of similar patterns online. I’ve made this pattern a few times you can see more on my Button Up work shirts post, where I made an entire collection when I first started working in the city. You can easily find some bright, fun fabric that will make people ask you where you got your shirt from. I can safely say I was one of the brightest people in the city that day and got a lot of positive comments on my shirt.

I’ve been back at work for nearly a month now and it’s bitter sweet that they holidays went so quickly. But it’s nice to look back and reminisce on the amazing break and look forward to the next one. Above is a photo of my nephew and I wearing matching Kmart shirts on Christmas day! I decorated my garden and backyard so we could take some photos this year.

If you wanted to create a work shirt similar, I’ve also done a how-to on how to easily stitch on the buttons! Hopefully this latest round of Covid will die down soon and we may be able to make it back to the city for work. While I love working from home I do miss the social aspect of seeing my colleagues each day! However, it’s certainly encouraged me to look at my goals and mindset and ensure I stay motivated and challenged.

Late last year I completed an 8 week challenge which made me focus entirely on my health and fitness, something I hadn’t done in a while. I was so amazed at how great this experience was, meeting new friends, it got myself out of the house each day where I got to see my sister and over the 8 weeks I lost a total of 5kg! Now I’m making exercise and my HIIT classes part of my weekly routine. This year I’m hoping to focus on goals that will help me learn and grow. Here are some snaps from my challenge!

This is something I was super proud of and I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to feel healthier and fitter! Now I can sew outfits for myself, while feeling good about myself and my body. I’m really looking forward to an exciting new year and hope to post some of my latest creations for you soon!

Happy Sewing!

Erin xx

McCalls M8104 Denim Beach Dress

Coming into summer I wanted to make a beach dress that I could just throw over my swimmers. I chose McCalls M8104 pattern and made it from a lightweight denim. There is a lot to love about this pattern, including the slim-fitting shape, detailed sleeves and front and slim-fitting skirt with variations.

Description: Empire seam button front dresses with length, dolman sleeve variations & flounce details.
Pattern: McCalls M8104
Fabric: Lightweight Denim

The one thing I didn’t love about this pattern was how low cut the front was. As you can see from the photos I’ve actually put an extra button above the skirt line, which is not indicated on the pattern. Even still, it’s very low cut and if you were so sit down and the dress bunched up you would be able to see your bra and what’s underneath. I guess it’s not so bad when you’re already at the beach wearing swimmers but I would highly recommend testing this pattern out and making changes to it. Epecially if you intend to wear to lunch or day event. The alternative is wearing a singlet underneath.

Admittedly, I probably could have cut one size smaller but I still think I would have had to make a few alterations if I was wanting to turn this into a day dress. It might not be an issue for everyone, especially those with larger busts but certainly one thing to test out.

I also wanted to give the dress a bit of detail, so I’ve stitched a double orange line along most of the edges and added some wooden buttons. I think the detail really makes the dress.

I am really looking forward to summer this year, taking three weeks off over Christmas. I will also only just come out of an 8 week fitness challenge (still 3 weeks to go!). I’ve already dropped one dress size and fitting into a clothes that I haven’t worn since pre-covid days, which makes me even more excited to start sewing again!

A lot of really amazing things have happened to me this year, despite some challenges and setbacks. I got another promotion at work and completed a UX design course. I bought a new car, joined a fitness challenge, where I’ve made a bunch of new friends and still continue to renovate and improve my house and backyard.

Here is just one before and after that has been keeping me occupied! While doing this I’ve also found I really LOVE gardening. I’ve got so many pot plants now and even starting to pick my own home grown veggies!

One really big change working from home was joining a fitness challenge and gym, because it’s such an amazing way I can break up the day between work and home life. It’s made the biggest difference in my mental and physical well-being, finding myself happier than I have been in a long time.

My little helper – Ziggy

I’m actually really excited to see the end of this year and really looking forward to what’s coming!

Hopefully its’ the change we all need to put Covid behind us!

Happy Sewing xx

Erin

Crochet Baby Blanket

If you’re looking for a cute, soft and extremely fluffy blanket for a baby or toddler this is the perfect project! I’ve now created three blankets, all are going to be gifts to friends and family for their 1 year old or new born babies.

They end up being approximately 80cm x 80cm in width, which is the perfect size for a pram or carry blanket.

How to make this blanket

Purchase 2 x Makr Baby Blanket Yarn – 250g Polyester Yarn from Lincraft. I bought a multi-coloured one, plus 1 x plain colour for the edging. These wool yarns are about $10 each but when they are on sale they come down to about $5.50.

Crotchet needle: 7mm

For the tutorial on how to crochet a granny square blanket, as mentioned in my previous post I highly recommend Bella Cocoโ€™s video. She went through each step slowly and I found it really easy to follow along to create a basic square. She also shows you enough of the blanket that youโ€™re comfortable to continue on, making the rest yourself.

Lincraft – Makr Baby Blanket Yarn

The one thing I really love about this yarn is that it’s soooo thick and fluffy. Because of the thickness of the wool you could try adding 7 loops to the first circle just to give you that extra space to start. However, I found it pretty easy to get going once I had created the first square of the blanket.

The colours are so soft and pretty. The only issue you will find is trying to decide on what colour combination to choose from, as you can see I’ve made a few variations above.

Super easy and quick project to make and I highly recommend for those looking for something to do in lockdown!

Now I just have to let my poor kitty down by passing these onto friends – I think he was getting excited that he’s just scored a few more blankets for his window beds!

Happy Crocheting! Erin xx

Learn a new hobby – crochet

This year I wanted to branch out a try a new creative hobby. I started Googling and came across this incredible list of Creative Hobby’s by The Curiously Creative. One of the hobbies that seemed affordable and easy for me was crocheting. All I had to do was pop over to my local craft store and purchase some wool and a crochet needle.

What you need:

  • 100g acrylic wool x 12 (depends how big you want your blanket)
  • Crotchet needle 7mm

Making a granny square blanket

I was a complete beginner at crotchet so I went through a few YouTube videos before I found one I really liked. Some of them went extremely fast or expected you to know the basic steps jumping straight into the quilt, which was very hard to follow along. I highly recommend Bella Coco’s video which went through each step slowly and I found it really easy to follow along to create a basic square. She shows you enough of the blanket that you’re comfortable to continue on, making the rest yourself.

I have been crocheting this blanket each night while watching TV before bed and have created almost a queen size blanket within only one week! I’m so proud of how big this got so quickly and I still have a few balls of wool left over. The best part about this blanket is that you can stop at any size. I started with six balls of wool but ended up going back for another 6, which has pushed it out to this larger queen size.

Since I’ve started back in the office one a day a week and catching the train so this is the perfect hobby to make smaller blankets. I’ve since made one for my kitten Ziggy and also one for my girlfriend who is trying for a baby (I’m just a little bit excited).

I absolutely loved the process of learning a new hobby and excited to see a final product that we can use in the colder months. I have no doubt that there will be multiple blankets floating around the house soon.

If you’re looking for a new hobby I highly recommend checking out the full list of creative hobbies to inspire you to start something new.

Erin xx

Create beaded jewellery, keyrings or a lanyard!

One hobby I’ve been dying to try out is to create some beaded accessories. I had a look on Instagram and found some really amazing craft suppliers who sold these silicon and metal beads, as well as leather cord and snap closures. I sat down and created a number of accessories including a bracelet, lanyard and kids key rings.

The craft suppliers in Australia that I got my beads from is Over the Rainbow Beads and AJ Craft Supplies. They have pretty much all of the bits and pieces to create any of the things here, plus way more.

For those who work and have to carry around swipe access cards or train passes you could also create a beaded lanyard. These are way better than the dorky company lanyards that you get and you might even remember to wear it each day if it was stylish! Otherwise just create it into a necklace and wear it on it’s own!

I can’t wait to make more of these into Etsy saleable items or gifts for family and friends. I’ve also made myself a heap of bracelets because I love the bright colours and designs. This is a really simple and easy hobby and worth trying out with your kids or friends!

Hope you enjoy! Erin xx

10 New Year Goals for Health & Happiness

Happy New Year everyone! I know it’s a little late to send out my goals for the new year but I’ve been absent from the blogging world for a few months and thought I’d share my ideas anyway. At least you’ll be happy to know I’ve already started achieving these.

1. Sewing – Learn how to Shirr

I’ve been purchasing a lot of dresses lately that have some form of shirring in them. So I’d love to learn how to shirr myself so I can start creating some clothes of my own.

Tutorial blogs include:


2. Adopt a kitten

I will be picking up a kitten to make my home complete and give the puggies another play mate. I have always wanted to adopt an animal and have often donated to AWL in the past because of the amazing work they do. I can’t wait to pick up my new little ginger kitten…. I’m going to call him Ziggy!


3. Listen to more Podcasts

I’ve been spending more time listening to podcasts over watching TV or listening to music on my daily walks. Some of my favourite Podcasts so far include Crime Junkies, Something was wrong and the overwhelmed brain. I’m still a newbie so if you have any recommendations I’d love to hear them!


4. Read 45 books!

I was off to an awesome start and have already read 11 books this year. One of the best books I’ve read this year is Indistractable by Nir Eyal, which is perfect for organising your life and focusing on your values. I then completely switched back to my Romance theme (yes, I’m a total romance junkie) and read Colleen Hoover – Regretting you. This was a big favourite! I also love the process of reviewing the books afterwards and seeing what other books I get recommended through Goodreads.


5. Learn some new hobbies

You would have seen from my previous post that I started crocheting! I’ve already ticked that box but certainly keen to get motivated to try new things. I also came across a painting competition which I’m thinking of doing. I haven’t challenged myself to a certain type of painting since high school!


6. Get more active

I go through periods of being really motivated with exercise and then completely ignoring it. One of my main goals this year was to join the fitness classes at my gym. I even trialled out some more personalised gyms to see what I liked most. It’s a great idea when you get a free trial period.


7. Eat less sugar and carbs

I wanted to start the Keto diet but after being realistic it just wasn’t going to be sustainable for me long term. However, I loved the recipe books that I purchased which opened me up to some really healthy meals that were low carbs and contained very minimal sugar (one thing I have to cut out of my diet).


8. DIY Home Reno Projects

I’ve been absolutely loving small to large home reno projects but every time I finish something I’ll add another task to my list. I’ve already put in new fans, two new air conditioners, new blinds and light fixtures. This year I want to complete my yard, spruce up my bathrooms and fix up my sewing room.


9. More time with my closest friends and family

Another year has passed with COVID and I’m still stuck working from home, so seeing my closest friends and family is a really important goal. I love my social events such as Park Run with my sister every Sunday and I’m also going to join a photography course with my dad.


9. Save, save, save

I purchased my first house last year so this year I’m going to try and save and also look at investing in some more shares. I really recommend the Barefoot Investor book which has helped me to save and get ahead living on my own.

Are you on track with your 2021 goals and keeping yourself motivated while being stuck at home or having any change to your normal lifestyle? Maybe these ideas will give you some inpsiration of your own.

Erin xx