Friday, 31 May 2013


This week seems to have been much more productive than the last.

I have emailed both my ethics application and my current-form-of critical literature review to my supervisors. Feeling like I'm starting to get somewhere.

I finished the first pair of footsie pj pants for Miss S, and she is super happy. Wearing them to bed tonight (after wearing them around all afternoon since I finished them).

(The colour matches nicely with this skirt I made her for Christmas last year, edged with a scrap of fabric left over from the first shirt I ever made her dad.)

They seem to have plenty of length for her to grow, so might manage to last her two winters.

I cut out the matching top last night and managed to sew the shoulder seams this afternoon before Miss A woke from a nap and I had to stop.

I didn't manage to go for any walks this week, it's been a chilly week, and I've been getting over a cold, so didn't feel like going out and making my nose run even more. I did manage an ab workout yesterday. But generally lots of early nights and a lack of enthusiasm for being too active.

Aims for next week?

Get a couple of emails related to my PhD sent.

Be a bit more active.

I think I'd like to start tackling a new section of PhD work, do something a bit different while I wait for feedback about the bits currently with supervisors.

My parents are visiting on their way home from long-weekend-travels on Tuesday/Wednesday, so that might keep me busy a little, and Miss S is home from kindy on Monday, so we'll see how we go.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Pants galore!

So I didn't get any sewing done yesterday, Miss A didn't want to sleep. But after the girls had eventually both ended up in bed last night I managed to sort out the pj pattern for Miss S and cut out one pair of pants. I started sewing them today. Isn't the fabric lovely? So soft and cozy.


This was of course after I had sewn this pair of pants for Miss A that have been waiting a few weeks.

The colours a nice warm dark-ish green, more like the full photo than the inset. Unfortunately the fabric had virtually no stretch, and I had cut it as if it had a little, so the slightly smaller cuffs couldn't be stretched on, and I got a little tuck in one of them. I'll probably be the only one to notice, and it won't make them any less cozy.

I managed to snap a pic of the second pair a couple of days ago.

Fabric is the same as the sweatshirt I made last weekend, both cut from leftovers of a sleeveless hooded tunic I made years ago. These pants are a bit long, but she'll grow, I'm sure.

So a much better day today, but now I must go see about dinner.

Friday, 24 May 2013

A slow week, but well measured



It's beautifully sunny today.

But it's been a slow week, slow working week anyway, not much progress anywhere.

Despite not doing much I've still be rather sore, which doesn't help the inspiration.

Chipping away slowly on a couple of things.

I'd rather be sewing though.

I traced off Miss S's current pjs, and took a few dozen measurements (some I needed, some on request), so I should be able to upsize and alter it quickly enough. Maybe I'll do some of it this evening while The Hubster is out.

I'm off to do a little sewing to try and make myself feel better. I'll aim to get more done next week. Meet you back here on Monday for some goals, perhaps?

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

A little bit of unlisted sewing

So I was planning to rest my wrists over the weekend, but then Miss S was going to a birthday party for her best friend from kindy, turning 5 so a big deal, and she asked me at lunchtime (party was at 3pm) if I could make something for her to give her friend. Foolishly I said yes, and whipped out some fabric and the sewing machine and made this in less than two hours (including having lunch and feeding Miss A). A quick photo before it got wrapped up by an enthusiastic Miss S:

Rather pleased that I could make something so fast, especially with the slow crappy cheap domestic machine I have. Unfortunately it wasn't something on my list of things to make.

It only has one body seam, at the centre front, and a half-zip there. Cuffs and waistband of ribbing. And of course a pointed hood (I love me some pointed hoods).

Made without a pattern (as I frequently do), but cut based on (and slightly larger than) one of Miss S's hoodies. I got Miss S to try it on and it was big on her, but looked good, so I was happy.

Also, Miss S and I went fabric shopping on Saturday morning for some pj fabric which is now washed, but not cut out yet. That'll be the bit that takes the longest I think. I have a pair of pants for Miss A already cut that might end up getting sewn first just because they're ready to go.

Today Miss S, Miss A, and I took enrollment forms to Miss S's school, and she's going on a visit there tomorrow with kindy. Makes it all seem rather soon.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Friday round-up

So it's Friday again. I meant to write this this morning (and hopefully motivate myself to get things done today) but it never managed to happen.

Right now dinner is cooking, Miss S is playing with fridge magnets, Miss A (who is tired but refusing to take a nap) is on my lap making cute noises at the computer, and The Hubster is out at youth group 35mins away.

So I haven't really managed to do anything today. My wrists are rather sore and I've been feeling a bit down, probably because I'm sore and not getting anything done.

So what Have I done this week?

Marked 13 assignments (2 to go).
Amalgamated two half-written essays into one (this still needs work, but it's starting to get some flow).
Done a little more on my ethics app, but am waiting to hear back from my supervisors about my interview questions.
Researched possible free-txt options for potential participants to contact me through.
Knitted another row on my hat, only to find I've not got enough yarn to do another row, let alone the five or six more I need to finish it.
Cut out another pair of trackpants for Miss A and a vest for Miss S (though discovered Miss S needs some new pjs more than anything, and wants some with feet).
Attempted to read my overdue library book which someone has put a hold on so I can't renew it.
The Hubster and I visited the school Miss S will be starting at in September.
I went for one walk (I had planned 3, but that didn't happen) and did two 5min ab workouts.

So maybe it has been a busy week after all. (justified tiredness?)

So next week?

Finish all the marking (there were possibly some late ones coming in).
Work more on the essay, perhaps even manage to get it to a stage where I might be able to show my supervisors.
Follow-up the free-txt thing.
I need to write a little bio thing for an article I'm getting printed within the psych department (I have NO idea what to include).
And maybe rest my wrists enough so that I can do some sewing. That would be nice.

... later in the evening, because I still haven't managed to finish this...
Miss S is negotiating with me about how long til bedtime. I said 10mins, she said she'd rather have 6. I agreed, but then she replied 'no, no, no, 7 minutes, no, 8 minutes!' 'Sure, darling.' :)

Saturday, 11 May 2013

The ant graveyard

Over the last few months we had noticed a gradual increase in the number of ants around. So the Hubster put out some ant poison. For some reason they like to come and die on our study windowsills. We think their nest must be in the ceiling above, but not sure why they collect here.

Every now and then we'll see a live one trying to carry on of his dead buddies home. Strange ants.

Friday, 10 May 2013

A busy week of bits and pieces

So it's Friday again. I think it has been a good week. At least I Feel like I've been getting things done.
I meant to do a wordless Wednesday post of our ant graveyard, but it didn't happen.

Miss S has been back at kindy, which I'm sure has been good for us all.

Miss A seems to be teething, so a bit crotchety round the edges and wanting to chew on fingers lots, but otherwise doing well. I took her out to uni on Wednesday for a bit of show and tell with my supervisors, lecturers, and some study friends.

I've managed to make good progress on my ethics application, most of the 18 pages are now filled out. And I've done some writing work trying to bash out a literature review/article-y thing.

I've also managed to do four mystery shops this week, which was a few too many, but I forgot I had agreed to the first two when I agreed to the second two. Did two on Monday, had to dress up all flash for one of them which was fun. Then finally got around to doing the other two today.

I managed to finish a second pair of trackpants for Miss A last weekend, though they're a bit big for her, but I suppose it keeps her feet (completely) warm for now, and she'll grow. And I finished sewing bias-binding around the edge of a muslin square for breastfeeding in public with, to make it a bit prettier and layering two layers of muslin together. I decided to handsew it, knowing it would take longer, but it gave my hands something to do while watching tv, you know, cos I have no other handcraft work going at the moment.So that's two things crossed off my crafting list this week! I'm trying very hard to resist writing anything new on there until I have finished it all, the list is rather long and is a mix of machine sewing, hand sewing, and knitting.

So what's my plan for the next week?
Get my ethics application closer to finished. This involves going and talking to people I don't know, so it might take a bit of effort, I'm not so keen on doing that.
I'd also like to get my writing a bit closer to one thing, rather than a random mash-up of two or three. Serious editing required.
And I'd like to make some more progress on my handcraft list, just one more thing done would be nice, but we'll have to see how I go, whether I can get anything done at all.

The weather is getting more autumnal, and I'm enjoying watching the colours of the leaves change during the day and getting cozy by the fire in the evenings.

Friday, 3 May 2013

A week's reflection

So it's Friday.

I've been vaguely thinking that a blog post each Friday looking back at the week that's been might be a good thing. But I'm not sure anything much has happened this week.

Miss S has been on holiday from kindy, so home all the time, making things rather chaotic. She's mostly been good and happy, but so very very busy. I swear she doesn't stop moving or talking from the moment she wakes until she falls asleep. Back to kindy next week, though she's getting pretty ready for school, but not 5 til September.

I've started back into PhD work, but only slowly, easing my way in, working on some to-do lists with very small pieces (the sort of small that can get done within a baby cat-nap). I managed to get another row or two done on my hat, but now I'm getting worried I won't have enough yarn left to finish it. And considering I started it about 5 years ago, I doubt I'd be able to find any more, I don't even have a label of what it was.

We are all better, though Miss A had immunisations today, so we might have a bumpy night. She is growing beautifully, starting to recognise her hands and be deliberate about moving them and grabbing things.

I think it might be a night for curling up in bed early with my book, but I had best sort the washing out first.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Returning to study and a finished thing

So today I have officially returned to full-time PhD study, and I am yet to spontaneously combust with anxiety. Didn't get a great deal done, but I've made a start, and a to-do list to help me keep going. First up is getting my ethics proposal done, I'm wanting to interview people about some delicate topics, so I need permission, and there's lots of little things that need to be included in the ethics application, so I'm going to work my way through them.

I also managed to go for a walk with Miss A both yesterday and today (just a short ones). It was lovely to get out and moving in the sunshine (and cool wind). Probably good for me too.

Over the weekend I managed to finish the first of Miss A's trackpants, and they fit her beautifully, with room to grow. And I love the bright blue.

They're a very simple style, but very cozy and cute, and easy to sew. There's elastic in the waistband, but the cuffs are just a tighter band of fabric. The second pair is half sewn, sitting beside me waiting to be finished. Soon.

The problems with skirts

As mentioned last post, I'm on a bit of a mission to increase how frequently I wear skirts, aiming for 5 days a week by the end of the year. But it's not as simple as just making myself more skirts. Oh no, nowhere near.

One of the biggest problems is what to wear WITH my skirts.

Shoes, being an obvious one. I don't own any boots. I would like to, but I haven't been able to find any I like. But even if I had boots I probably wouldn't want to wear them ALL the time. Sneakers are a no-no to me, even black ones. Some skirts go better with some dressy shoes. I do have a couple of nice pairs of heels, but with my wobbly ankles I can't ever wear them for more than a couple of hours at a time, and at the moment when I am carrying a baby lots I'm avoiding the narrow and high ones completely. I've been looking for some fairly simple black leather ones from Ziera (ex- Kumpfs) because they are really comfy and last ages (5+ years of everyday wear for one pair I had) and NZ designed and made, but I'm not that keen on any of their current styles.

Tops, are another question. A lot of my tops are layering pieces, which look ok with pants, but can be a bit bulky at times with long A-line skirts. But I like to stay warm! So I'm looking at gradually altering the fabric content of my tops, heading towards more wool, less layers, so I can stay cozy without looking like I'm wearing my whole wardrobe at once. My good merino knit tops are starting to die on me, right as it's getting colder, so I'll have to go shopping for some more soon. (The not-good ones have been relegated to pjs (mid-night feeds are cold) or to be made into woolly singlets for Miss A.)

One of the biggest problems I've found wearing skirts the last few weeks is the lack of pockets I have. Tripping about with a baby I like to have a few things close to hand, just in case (flannel, anyone?), but I don't like the extra bulk at my hips of pockets. So I've been looking at hip/belt bag things, but the nice ones are all crazy expensive (like this one for example), so I might just have to experiment with making my own.

I tend to go browsing the interwebs to find some good ideas of how to style outfits with skirts. But it might be a slow process, especially over winter when warmth is more important :p
I have bought some knee-high socks and some thick tights, but tops still worry me a little, so we'll have to see how we go. It's a process, and I'm not in a hurry, especially when I'm wanting to stay warm and be able to breastfeed.