It feels like

ages since I sat at the computer and wrote a proper post! I have had to lose my morning routine of coming and blogging because the house work was lagging behind and that is always bad, as I then lose my afternoons to it. I never really understood the house work until I moved here. Coming on holidays I could see it was harder, but you never really understand that relentless dust in the summer, the winds that blow it in, in the spring, the mud in the winter. Its not even something you can begin to rationalise, they way it clings to the walls. I mean who would dream of the days you lose washing walls in this place. Especially as the house is considerably larger then my terrace in London was….

Anyway I didn’t really intend for this to be about house work. But seen as though this blog is supposed to be about motherhood in Algeria, its highly relevant!!!

In an effort to spend more time being creative I have been trying to be more efficient with the chores. I am blessed that dd(almost)17, is here all the time to help out, so while i still do the bulk, she is definately taking the edge off things and saves me plenty of time masha’allah. So what have I been working on?

I made these shorts inspired by shorts floating around the sewing community. they are made with Yelow gingham that used to be curtains under my work tops in the old kitchen. Waste not want not!

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They have these cute gathered pockets which are gathered at the top with elastic and attached before sewing the centre seams.

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I don’t have any photos of my princess wearing them, but they fit great masha’allah 🙂 Happy mummy and an outraged dd10, who couldn’t believe they are above the knee!!!

I also made this dress for dd10

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I copied this, from a dress owned by a good friend. And i am also really pleased with the way it turned it, it has panels on teh bodice and elastic on the back of the waist, and also along the front neckline with lots of gathers and pleats, it was a little time consuming, but I came togethor nicely masha’allah. Dd10 likes it, but she much prefers this little number that I made also!

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A strappy little summer top, made in a nice cotton/linen type fabric, found here in dz!!! She loves trousers, so anything to go on top of trousers is a winner for her! I also made her 3 pairs of 3/4 length trouser for summer, which I have no pictures of. But I have been pretty productive over the last week, mostly thanks to dh being away from early morning until evening so I haven’t had to worry about cooking him lunch and not using the sewing machine while he has his afternoon nap!

I have also made a few new blog discoveries, this one gives away FREE digital patterns, always good to know! And I will try to update my blog list again insha’allah.

So whats next? I’m currently working on summer p.j’s for my youngest 2. And eid is on my mind, Ramadan is just around the corner, and I have a few plans towards handmade outfits for all but my teens insha’allah. Of course this depends on my finding suitable fabrics!

 

Over the past

couple of weeks I have had two sewing projects. One took a few days, the curtains for the sitting room, and the other was mostly finished in a day thanks to my sister in law taking care of daily stuff and letting me sew.

I got my inspiration from some satin dresses, I had pinned on pintrest. The bigger one was a combination of a few dresses, the bow was inspired by this. And I had wanted to try making a bubble hem. So they were a combination of these features.

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The dresses had to be lined to create, the bubble hem, which involves making a shorter much less gathered skirt underneath and attatching the outer skirt hem to it which then gathers it and lifts up the hem to create this ‘bubble’ effect. It was a little fiddly and I should have made the under skirt a little shorter then i did, but all in all I was quite pleased with my attempt,  masha’allah.

I actually had more trouble with the bodice, which came out too big. It meant pulling the sleeves off and getting the scissors out to adjust the shoulders and the waist. the belt also helped to pull it in! I didn’t want a really close fit because it would have been too hot, and hopefully the cotton lined bodice will help with that too! I’m planning to re-service these at eid, and we have a couple of weddings in the summer insha’allah. DD10 loved the dress, despite her misgivings at me sewing for her (she has reached that age already!). So that made me really happy 🙂

The dress for my almost 3 year old was a much simpler deal! Simple basic bodice like the other one and alhamdulileh it was a great fit so it sewed up really quickly. It has a simple belt attached at the side seams and tied into a big bow at the back. I wanted them similar, but not exactly the same. And she being much easier to please, loved it too!SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

This is a view of the back. I don’t have a photo of her in the dress without the bride, which of course,  I can’t post here due to Hijab restrictions! But she of course, of course, looked absolutely beautiful in her blue kaftan, Masha’allah.

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This is it in the shop.

The other projects were the curtains in the salon. We bought one set of curtains which were on display in the shop. It was the last one. Dh loved the fabric and I figured we could get that and split it into two for our sitting room windows as it was pretty wide and doubled up in two tones.

I literally had to unpick the whole thing, scale it down and split it into two. But i was pretty pleased with the results masha’allah. Here they are.

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They are a little dark , I should have took the photos at night, they would have shown much better. But you get the idea!!! We bought the new covers and cushions for the arab style seating. Not really my taste though I love the blue!

And finally I made new covers for all the cushions after having our sofa’s refurbished in our family sitting room, and edged the remaining fabric to cover the ‘canopy’ to match.

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And after all of that, I would have thought I would be sick of the sight of the sewing machine, but no, I have a few new projects in mind! Watch this space (though I have to get my house back in order first!).

We are having

plenty of April showers this month masha’allah, with more rain forcast for the days ahead they could evn go into May showers. But I am not complaining the heat will be upon us all to soon i dont mind if it takes its time getting here. After Ramadan would be perfect actually!

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So I have big plans for my day and no better way to set up for it then a good breakfast. Alhamdulileh. Dd16 has already expressed her concern at scrambled eggs with croissant but what is the problem?

I have lots of sewing to do these days. We are having a little Algerian party in May (when was an Algerian party ever small?) and dh has been cajoled into smartening up the ‘salon’, so we went out shopping yesterday and we bought fabric for curtains that I will have to ‘whip up’ we wanted to buy ready made ones but the prices were outrageous!!! We ended up buying a display curtain because dh loved it so much and it being the last one, we got it for a good discount. It had various swathes of fabric overlapping and what not ‘ala arab curtains’ and i have to unswathe the double layers to pretty it up for two windows, I am in the unpicking stages.

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Not really my taste, but when a husband wants his arab salon, and I have my more european living area up stairs I am not going to fight it. I only clean it and serve guests in there anyway! I just hope it turns out good, insha’allah i will do before and after pictures. But still more wall washing and window cleaning to be done first!

Onto the skirt I posted last time. Actually the post was just a trial run for the wordpress application from my phone.

The elastic is too big as i made it from her belly measurements instead of just stretching it around her as I usually do(go back to low tech method!).  She has a rather generous toddler tummy masha’allah. The skirt, of course,  just drops below it . The top of the skirt is made from a thin polyester type fabric, which is great for drapey projects, but I lined it with a piece of white cotton, one because its great for the summer,  two to attach the frill too and three because the polyester type stuff is see through. And though the cotton was very light weight and thin it wasn’t light weight enough to let the gathers drop as I would have wished, so it looks a little bulky. Lesson learned!

So I will leave you all with some weekend pictures, have a great day where ever you are!

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I’m on a

sewing roll at the moment. I’m a person who gets inspired by little girls clothes. Which is great because my soon to be three year old has outgrown almost all of her summer clothes and needs them replacing. I hate the quality of clothing in Algeria. And if its imported it costs an arm and a leg! So when they are only going to get one, or maybe two, summers wear out of it, its a big expense! I am really enjoying creating. I had some fabric left over from a lot that was sent to me by my good friend, when she was still in the UK (she blogs here).

Unfortunately fabric isn’t up to much in Algeria either! Its poor quality and more expensive then it was back in London. For A country with hot summers I cannot understand why there is so little cotton. Having said that, I guess its a question of economics. These are the things I have made for my little princess thus far!

And so far I have only made this one item for my daughter who has just turned 10. She is unfortunately, much more fussy and wont want to be wearing my creations for much longer longer I feel!

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And finally I am currently working on this dress for myself. Which is a much harder task for me. I haven’t got to grips with sewing for myself I always get the proportions wrong and for some reason, I am much less careful with something for myself. I managed to cut the skirt crooked, so it may turn into a long shirt…..

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Most of the things I have made were inspired, or in some cases just copied from here and I found the odd thing I like here. I have recently started following plenty of other sewing blogs too. Insha’allah I will update my blogroll another time. Plus my latest sewing love is growing, inspired by some blogs doing feartures on Japanese sewing books. I love the simple, basic shapes, they make a real style statement!  Again I will leave that for another day maybe after I have tried making something! Have a great day where ever you are!

Don’t they look

gorgeous?

Of course back home we are more used to seeing strawberries in June then March. But they are very welcome and a delicious sign that spring is in the air. These are one of my favourite things masha’allah.

The children are now into their spring holidays from school so a busy couple of weeks ahead and lots of cries of I’m bored no doubt. Insha’allah I will be finding some on line ways of keeping the younger members of my brood occupied, I’ve gone past trying with the teens nothing seems ot interest them. Though a friend has very kindly invited my three big boys to spend some of the holidyas with her boys, so the entertaining will be passed over(very willingly too)!

And for me? well I have started some crochet for next winter for my two little girls, also some sewing in the air. A curtain to cover some mess in my kitchen, those never ending repairs and hopefully with that promise of spring some light tops for the warmer weather bi’ithnileh!

And best of all the much anticipated arrival of my mum and her husband, who we haven’t seen for far too long.

Wishing you all a pleasant, positive and productive spring.

new projects

are always on my mind. I don’t always reveal them. I very often slowly digest them and then spit them out as unsavoury or go with it in a frenzy if impatience. I love change. It keeps my energy going, inspires me to carry on without feeling the drugery of day to day.

 And with inspiration from a friend I have returned to an old fondness of mine. Cloth nappies. With the prospect of two babies looming on the horizon insha’allah, I have rediscovered my love of soft, yummy, non scrunchy washable, bum cloths. After much searching the www, and feeling extremely horrified at the price of them since my last purchase, I decided to be frugal and make my own! So here they are lovingly created with soft flannel from unused bed sheets.