The 'Less is More' Birthday

Tuesday, 31 March 2015



I'm struggling against 'stuff' right now. I need space, not 'stuff', in my world. Space in my head and in my house. 
 I think I'm not the only one. Cherie over at You and Mie summed up much of what I feel with her 'Year of Less', post
 And I've noticed that I'm not alone among my online friends in slowing down with blogging. My motivation to create more dresses for Missy has waned. The world, and this little girl, do not need more dresses.
But  my 'Less is More' outlook faced a Big Challenge; Missy's birthday.


If there's one thing designed to bring an avalanche of 'stuff' into the home it's a little girl's fifth birthday. 
 "Please!"begged Mr As it Seams. "Don't do a party for Missy that brings loads of pink, sparkly plastic into our house!"

And, I was really hearing him. How many new toys create a thrill for half an hour, before spending the rest of their life beneath another heap of toys in a cupboard, or just become 'another thing to pick up.'  
It then it struck me, with simple logic. If I want to de-clutter, then I should start by not allowing all this junk into my home in the first place. 
But it's not easy to put a wall up against the 21st century onslaught of 'stuff', especially when I do also want to make Missy's birthday special.
She is quite simply an utter delight. She makes me laugh all the time.  Here's her description of a promise:

Me; Do you promise to leave the park nicely when I say it's time to go?
Missy; Yes
Me; Do you know what a promise is?
Missy; Yes, but sometimes I don't hold on to my promises very tightly and they fly away.
Later...
Me; You left the park very nicely
Missy; Yes, the arms in my brain held on to the promise really well.

 So how did this birthday pan out...?



In a couple of hours I made her this little nurses costume. It's an old sheet cut up, self drafted pattern, to make a little apron with pocket. It's trimmed with blue gingham flat piping, and the yoke of the apron is fully lined and interfaced to make it a little 'stiff and starchy' and nurse like.

This isn't perfectionist sewing, there are lots of loose threads and quick improvised top stitching. But hey, this is a five-year-old dress-up box addition., not perfection! And my 'space' thing is about my time too... I need to de-clutter my week. And she loved it, of course.

 I cut up the rest of the sheet to make bandages, and she loved bandaging up teddies. Sadly no pix - but again..... I'm keeping things simple. Just this sweet pic, of my Little Missy doing her funny dancing, encouraged by her brother, making us all smile. Wouldn't this little nurse brighten your day??


Of course, it felt like a rather simple (and cheap present) so we also gave her a bird feeder and some bird seed  - because then it can be outside our house. And hopefully we'll enjoy watching the birds all spring.




We had a little tea party and played games with her friends. Missy dressed as a flower fairy (hurrah - she wore last year's birthday outfit, having rejected it a year ago).
It was Mother's Day here in the UK, so we made little pansy baskets with Missy and all her friends. Here's Missy's one for me. 

We gave all of the children a packet of sunflower seeds to take home as their party gift.
Afterwards Missy and I planted up our sunflowers in the birthday party cups! How's that for keeping things green and sustainable! Here they are complete with Missy's 'sunflower' labels. 





We're so ready for spring here! It's still cold and windy, but when those sunflowers turn into 6ft golden glories I'll be sharing pictures here. And so there we have it. The Birthday of Less. Lots of fun and magic, and proving that we can have a party without lots of 'stuff.'


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Snip, snip! Some Nani Iro for me!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Ooops! 
It was my scissors, not me...honest. 
I've cut up some beautiful Nani Iro flannel.


This lovely fabric was supposed to be for a dress for Missy, but, that girl has plenty of dresses, while her mother on the other hand...


This is Nani Iro brushed cotton, Sen Ritsu Mezzo Piano, bought from Miss Matatabi, and really it's the winter version of this double gauze Nani Iro top.
A lot of my sewing projects for Missy have been quite challenging, but every now and again, I just want to; "Cut. Sew. Wear."
And this pattern ticked that box. This is the easy-peasy Melly Sews Hi Lo top, a free pattern which I can sew up in an evening.


Melly suggests using fabrics with plenty of drape for this pattern. And that is NOT this flannel.
It's super soft, with a flash of gold to lift the floral print. 




But it's a cosy brushed flannel, and not at all drapy and it looked a little odd, at first, as the Melly Sews top. So I added a couple of darts down the bodice, in addition to the side bust darts, to slim and streamline the shape. I also lengthened the sleeves, and narrowed them, in an attempt to create something long and elegant. And it all, kind of works, as a rather strange hybrid top.



The pattern also suggest finishing the neckline with bias binding made from the fabric. There was NO WAY I was going to attempt to make bias binding in this flannel, it would be way too bulky, so I finished the neckline with hidden bias behind the neckline, which also meant remembering to  add a seam allowance to the neckline.

Sometimes I feel a little guilty about being so reckless and experimental with such wonderful fabric, and I have moments of being a bit 'slap dash' with sewing, but you know, that's ok.
I  think it's better to get on with sewing and wearing lovely fabric, rather than letting it gather dust on my fabric stash shelves...

Right then... what lovely fabric is next? Snip snip....!

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