Monday, December 31, 2012

Costume Fun - Dame Nellie Melba

In the last week of school, Alannah had a special lunch with a request for them to dress up as a famous Australian, and preferably one from the early 1900's.

When my hubby mentioned Dame Nellie Melba, and then showed her who it was, her decision was made, so 1 Dame Nellie Melba costume was required and quickly (we only had a few days notice!).

Thanks to a very costume-making-savvy sister, and some sewing skills, we came up with this, which flowed over a floor length white satin pretty...

The bustle was my favourite bit!

Lana was one happy (and glamourous!) chick.


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Making of a Watermelon Monster

So, it's been a busy few weeks here at Polkadot Lane, as I'm sure it has for everyone.
End of year parties & outings, gifts and costumes to make and holiday plans to fulfill.

But now, even though it's school holidays, things seem to be a bit more relaxed. So I'm hoping I'll be back here a little more often with makings and such things.

First up, I'd thought I'd share the making of the 'Watermelon Monster' which I made for Jude's class party. I'd seen a few of these on Pinterest (oh how I love thee!) and decided to have a go at my own version.

Start up by buying a whole watermelon from the supermarket, and slicing off one end to give you a flat base. Hollow the melon out and stand up on your tray.Draw on your monster's mouth/teeth.

Using a sharp kitchen knife, cut the mouth out.

Then using toothpicks and various other fruits, create your monster's face and hair/head.
(I used sliced lemon and sultanas for the eyes, a strawberry for the nose, and some of the sliced off watermelon base as its hair spikes)

Fill with diced fruit, both in his mouth and on the tray.

And ta da! You will have yourself a watermelon monster, which all the kids will love :-)


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Summer Boho Dress - Take 2

It's done!

The second boho dress with belt is all finished, and has already been worn by Miss Alannah...

Simplicity Pattern 2689
Bottom ruffle personal addition
 And although it looks fine now (well, I think so :-P) it also leaves a little room for growth...

By Saturday night, I just had the belt to go, when I went and had a disagreement with a tin can (while trying to squish it for the recycle bin)...anyhow, the tin can won and I now have a decent gash across my thumb, which is healing but makes some things a little tricky, when trying not to put added pressure on the wound.

But Lana really wanted to wear the dress on Sunday, so finish the belt I did.

And now that it's all done, onto some new projects!
Including this one...


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Summer Dress Making

Having eased back on markets this year, I'm taking the time to enjoy my making again.

I stumbled upon a couple of summer dresses that I had cut out last year, so thought this was a good place to start.

Here's the first dress...a boho style dress with a contrasting belt...for my niece....

I've nearly finished another dress like this, same style but different fabrics, for Miss Alannah. Will share soon.

Now I know I've been a really slack blogger BUT I've been a really good Instagrammer (pictures above from Instagram gallery) so please feel free to pop over to Instagram and say 'hi' to me at 'polkadotlane'.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012


what our bedroom use to be...

the story goes like this...
Our master bedroom was originally a Workers Hut from the Upper Ferntree Gully Depot. It was plonked on the top of our block many years ago, onto a few train sleepers which acted as the foundation, and was joined up with 3 other rooms. When we were renovating, after we'd pulled the plasterboard down, we found an old, old, old train timetable stapled onto the original boards. So we thought, as a nod to this touch of history, we would have a tram/train banner made up listing a big selection of the stations on this timetable, some which no longer exist on the main line. My hubby is a bit of a history buff when it comes to trains and the hills, so he is just loving this up on the wall!

The start of us....

It kinda goes like this...
We started dating over 14 years ago, the official date we figured out to be the 23d May 1998, a weekend that had me coming over to Melbourne to hang out with Roh, his brother and wife (a friend of mine from S.A). Well, Roh and I just clicked and we had a fabulous weekend. At the end of it, Roh gave me this poster, Jeff Buckley being a mutual obsession of ours at the time, and me accepting it as the romantic gesture it was, took it home and had it mounted and hung on my wall. Well, we've carried it around all this time, and finally it now has a new home in our stairwell.
And every time I look at it, it makes me smile (and sometimes even feel a little gooey inside).

I'm looking forward to filling the stairwell with more pieces of our history, and I love having stories to share.

What do you have on your walls that make you smile?


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Just because...

he's so spunky...

and grubby...

and cheeky...

and mischievious...
and he makes us all laugh.
Levi - you are awesome!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Oops! Too big, too big..

I'm not sure what I was thinking when I cut this dress out. It was meant for Alannah who is 9, but wears a girls size 12 (she's a tall one!) but I cut this out in a girls size 14.....oops!

I thought it may have been ok, but as soon as she tried it on - nope - just not going to work. Length was good, but sleeves/bodice/armholes are just too big.

Oh least she has a nice summer dress for next year now...he and learn.

 Now onto making her one that fits!

Made from Simplicity pattern #1895


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Running For A Cause

So I'm challenging myself this December, and running/jogging/likely walking too (he he) a 10km circuit around Melbourne to help raise money for some much needed funds for the Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA).

Every day, 38 women will be told they have breast cancer and 7 women will be lost to the disease. With these numbers, I felt moved to make an effort to help this great cause.
I know strong, beautiful women who have fought this disease and I'm sure that the majority of you guys sadly do too.

Please help me make a difference with a secure online donation, big or small..

Donate here

Or register online yourself, and join me on the day!!
Your money will go towards providing newly diagnosed women with quality information and support.

Thanks in advance, for supporting me with this challenge!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Quick Fix - High Round Neck to V Neck

I love my David Bowie tee...even though it's white (not a colour I wear often!) and has a high neck.

Now, I can't do much about the colour, and I wouldn't even try as it would destroy the design BUT I can fix that neckline to one that works for me.

Here's what I did...

Folded and flattened it, then pinned it where I wanted to cut, so the fabric wouldn't move around too much...

Cut it..

Pinned the neckline hem/edge thingy...

Then ran it under the sewing machine...

And ta-da..a v neck tee that I feel comfy in, with a design that I love.

Joining in with the creative people over here, this week.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Chocolate Decadence - A Baking Challenge

A few months ago I picked up a copy of the Good Taste 'Chocolate' Edition magazine, as the front cover cake just looked amazing, and I really wanted to give it a go.

The only thing was - it is such a decadent, sweet, chocolate-y cake (Oh Dad, you would just hate this cake ;-) he he) that I really needed an event or reason to make it.

Cue to my hubby's parents 45th wedding anniversary lunch today - a perfect occasion for this kind of cake.
Time to take up the challenge!

After making the base (a standard choc biscuit & butter crumb base), it was time to make the caramel...

I burnt my first batch - rookie mistake. So I had to make another batch. Fortunately, take two turned out lovely and was mixed through with salted peanuts and put in the fridge to set for 3 hours...

A thin layer of chocolate ganache was then spread over the caramel mix, then the white chocolate cheesecake layer was added and allowed to set in the fridge for another 4 hours (note : not a cake to make if you are limited in time - lots of setting time required!)
Then add a thicker layer of dark chocolate ganache and allow to set for an hour...

Then it was time for the meringue..

Piped on in little raindrop like mounds (yes, mine need some work but it was 7 o'clock in the morning, and I had to work, so rushed through this as best I could for a first attempt :-P)

Then a quick squirt with the kitchen blowtorch (my new toy in the, fun!) to caramelise the meringue, and it's done...

And once cut into, it reveals layers of creamy goodness and gooey caramel...

Mmm......a sweet tooth's heaven...

Have you tried any new recipes lately?


Monday, September 3, 2012

A Day of Mazes

A couple of weeks ago, we caught up with one of my oldest friends and her family while they visited from South Australia.

We spent a lovely, albeit a little wet, day down at Ashcombe Maze in Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula. The kids loved the mazes as well as the gnome & fairy hunt and the adults loved watching the kids have a ball together.

Here are a few snaps of the gardens with an occasional family member thrown in, just for fun...

Back soon with something crafty!