Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Sew Weekly: Unfinished Business!

My week:

1. Dig around in the old Sewing Room for that UFO (AKA Unfinished Object) for the Sew Weekly Theme Week.

 2. Find the dress and material all tidily cut out, and folded up into little pieces around a bodice that is almost finished! Thank you old me!

3. Discover ANOTHER UFO, cut out by Old Me (she now has a sentence case status) because Old Me thought that New Me needed an extra project... but it's a really simple project, so Old Me knew that New Me is kinda time poor. But needed to use up that extra fabric of the Fruit Salad Tablecloth!

4. Old Me forgot to set aside a zipper though, so luckily New Me found one in the stash that totally matches and is the right size!

Confused? Old Me would be, but not New Me.


Do you have UFOs? This is probably my only one, so I'm very glad for it this week. I tend to complete a garment all the way through, but cut corners on the buttons or hems, so they could be considered UFO, but are kinda wearable, so who knows.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Cooler Climes

Hey there!

Guess what time of year it is?

Time for a scarf. Or a loop of a scarf, one where you don't need to flick it over your shoulder every now and again. It hangs around your neck like a gigantic wool necklace, and others (on ravelry, as this one is from, FREE pattern I might add - look me up if you wanna be friends and find this one) call it a 'cowl'.

I tried to call it a Scoop*, but others tried to call it a Larf**. Maybe it's just time for a Larf in these Cooler Climes?

What do you reckon?

* Scarf + Loop = Scoop

** Loop + Scarf = Larf


Sunday, 27 March 2011

Misadventure in the Sewing Room

Here's a little tale I started to write you, at the START of my sewing day, with photos from my sewing room:

"Yep, it's another sewing adventure for me! I'm sewing with a ribbed knit fabric! Woo!

The last time I used some knit fabric, I chose the wrong type for the pattern, and had to really WIGGLE myself in and out of the dress! LOLZ

This time, I've gone to find some black material for a dress, but all that's kinda suitable in my stash is this ribbed knit material (maybe for a sports tshirt or something) that's in a gigantic tube! Easy for cutting on the fold, I guess! It's from the op shop and I have NO idea where I got it, but it seemed like a good idea to use it. Also, considering I'm trying a pattern that should be for normal cottons, why not be adventurous and try a knit rib.

As I'm quick to use the old google, here's my learning curve (or Sewing Curve, form the photo above!) for today (I've moved the computer into the sewing room, can you tell?):

1. Google up, "sewing darts in knit fabric", find these helpful ladies chatting about zig zag stitch. No overlocker required. Bodice is looking A-OK with darts in front and back, but looks a LITTLE BIG."

And that's it! No step 2, nothing more to add. My *darling* draft of a pattern (top photo) was from a printed off the internet kinda one, and I did notice that it had printed out 1cm too big, so I resized: TWICE. Because of the petite factor I have, I was also using a pattern that was supposed to be a size 31 bust, so I *did* kinda think all the resizing issues were under control.

Nup. I don't even think it was the knit rib's fault! I feel the numbers didn't add up somewhere, and where that was, I'm not sure. Because of the cut, I can't fix the bodice now.

At least I know how to make a dart in knit fabric now!

Oh well, now I'm onto the red wine (in an effort to feel better) and making pasta full on Italian style. Well, I'll try!

Hope you've had a great weekend! xoxo

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Sew Weekly: Cover Concern

Here's my Sew Weekly dress this week, based of course on this little pattern:

The ESP Simplicity era seemed to have a bit of beige going on (apparently! Have a look at my post over at Mena's blog, as there are some really fun comments about the ESP era!) and is a super easy pattern to follow, and a pinafore like this (or Back Wrap Jumper, if you prefer to call it that!) was really straightforward.

It's so great mostly because Husbie chose the pattern, the length, the buttons and the styling for the photo shoot! We went back to the country last weekend, and spent a lot of time fixing up our old house. When I was younger, my first job out of uni was in Gippsland, and that's where I learnt to sew (after being exasperated at the lack of clothes that fitted me available in the country! You only had the choice of Target or Op Shops - my first love of course!) in my spare time. I saved up heaps, bought my first house there, and now we're going to put that house on the market. It's a sweet house, but there's a lot of landscaping and cleaning to do!

These photos are at my parents' house and just as we were ready to take the photos, it started to rain! Oh no!

The pinafore will do excellently for a Melbournian autumn/winter period! My aim over the next few Sew Weekly challenges is to make the garments warmer, or be adaptable to layering. I kinda forgot last year, when moving here, how much layering is needed here in town. The weather is warm, freezing, bitingly windy, brilliantly warm and rainy and ghastly, and as we all know, that's just in one day!

Yesterday I got a little headcold, and couldn't really manage much at work. I slept the afternoon, and feel a bit better this morning, but as I'm going to be a mad comedy goer next week (for the next 2-3 weeks!) I really want to be well and healthy to combat those late nights! I'm going to make soups, eat fruit (just ate a yum plum!) and rest up this weekend to prepare. What are you doing on your weekend?


Friday, 25 March 2011

Sew Weekly: Sneaky Peek of Red!

Happy Friday guys!

I wish my face expression was a little more 'YAY' but I mean 'Yay' on the inside here! In real life, I just sneezed, like, about 12 times really big so I feel a little woozy instead of Yay!

But here's my new fandangled back wrap body jumper tunic thing! Just a sneak peak though, as the post will go up later today on the Sew Weekly! Husbie helped me style the photos (he said WHITE SHIRT WHITE SHIRT!) so they're very cute!

Last night I had a work meeting, and it seems I will be seeing a lot of COMEDY shows again this year, for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Seeing shows for work and all sorts of opinion things, so I'm pretty excited, but also a little 'Uh Oh' because I'm kinda busy right now with work, and seeing 2-3 comedy shows a night can get really really really busy. Send me that Hermione (from Harry Potter) time travel device (where you can be in two places at once) and I'll be fine.

Hope you have a great Friday peeps! xoxo

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Something good from something bad

The world of sewing patterns is so full, rich and a neverending source of entertainment for me! This week at the Sew Weekly HQ, the theme helps us not judge a pattern by it's cover, and although I'm not a pattern snob, (I love Mena's post about pattern snobbery over on her blog) I don't make a lot of the patterns I have. I make up the pretty ones, not the daggy ones.

So whilst I'm totally open to patterns of all shapes and ugly sizes, I tend to shove them at the back of the 'To Do Drawer' in my pattern collection! But, this year is about risks, and extending my sewing skillz, so I'm really happy that doing the Sew Weekly Challenge is aiding that for me.

Here's the back of that Simplicity 8189 pattern, I posted about on Monday! It's a tunic/overall dress. Because it's made in 1977 though, they call it a Missus Back-Wrap Jumper. No wonder these never became fashion forward, it's such a tricky thing to name and a Back-Wrap Jumper just sounds COMPLETELY daggy. Husbie calls this challenge the 'Dodgy Pattern' challenge, and yes, if you know what he means, this is perhaps quite dodgy to try out!

Anyways, I have developed a new sewing philosophy this week. If a pattern cover shows anything in beige, it will automatically look ten times better in Not Beige. Not Beige! I'm going to make this in red, and I can tell it's a winner already.

If you'd like to see more 'makeover' patterns, here's Sarah's cowboy shirt, looking light and pleasant and not at all 1970s! And Mena's MuuMuu!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Shoesday: Hot n Cold

Melbourne is hot and cold at the moment, some days you wear heels with tights, and other days you wear flirty skirts and bare legs!

I'm liking Shoesdays! Maybe I'll make it a regular post for you!

Monday, 21 March 2011

Not so pretty for Sew Weekly this week!

This weekend I've been working 'Backyard Blitz' style on my house in the country. We're getting it ready to put it on the market, and you can probably tell, I'm not so good at getting DIY on a house.

Perhaps I need to make some overalls to get in the mood! This week, for the Sew Weekly challenge, we're all finding patterns that aren't so pretty on the covers, and seeing if they can turn into some lovely creations in the sewing room.

I'll have more deets later, but am so busy and sleepy and headachey so talk soon darling! Hope you had a great weekend though!


Friday, 18 March 2011

The fastest week in history

There's so much going on at the moment: the world, our town, our lives, online, everything.

I stopped several times today thinking it was Tuesday, or Thursday or even Monday. I'm confused at how fast everything is going!

We were only last Saturday sitting in a field, enjoying shitloads of music and great friends at a music festival, and now a week of busy-ness has passed and I'm taking a break from the sewing machine (just you wait til next week's Sew Weekly theme is out there! Husbie helped me choose the pattern I'm halfway through now!) and thought I'd flick through our festival photos.

I've had such a full week at work, and with life & happenings and I'm so thankful for my Husbie, my dog, my family. I'm so lucky that I have time to sew and take photos and do things like catch up with my bestie for wine & cider at a bar.

We're pretty lucky because we have each other. You know I'm not very cryptic, so you can probably guess I'm talking about our world events. It's totally overwhelming to hear about the school children in Japan who are too young to realise that their parents aren't going to come and pick them up from school. They are still there, with many friends and teachers, but they are still at their school. Waiting. It breaks my heart.

Take care and cuddle your partner or bestie or dog or cat. xoxo

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Sew Weekly: Green for St Patricks Day!

Hey guys! Another Sew Weekly Challenge complete for you! You can see more photos over at the Sew Weekly blog but I wanted to show you some fun ones from Husbie's and my visit to the Limerick Arms Hotel in South Melbourne! The theme this week was Going Green for St Patrick's Day!

I ordered only a pot of Guinness, because there's no way I could have eaten my dinner afterwards! They are really filling beers! I used to LOVE them when I was younger (did I call them midnight gold?) and got quite the beer gut from them when I lived in England!

Luckily no beer gut nowadays! The green fabric was a very small remnant that I got at the Fabric Store in Surry Hills in Sydney and the black fabric is some leftover stuff from another dress a few years ago. As the pattern is two sizes too big, I did heaps of calculations about getting it the right fit... for me it's usually the shoulder to bust and the waist are the parts that need more attention in shortening. So I did an overall resize (with grading the shoulder seams and underarms, but also altering it vertically in the middle of the bodices. I forgot about altering it vertically AND horizontally in the waistband, so that area is a little longer now, but not too shabby.

I love how well it goes with my other bolero from the Valentine's Day themed week!

Now, this is a marvellous pattern, because it's from Amanda's Vintage Pattern Collection! A personal challenge I started last year (before I moved to Melbourne, started a new job and started the Sew Weekly year long challenge) and I'm slowly getting around to using the last of Amanda's patterns! She kindly loaned me some gorgeous ones, and I went through the patterns in my size first, but these ones are so cute but all different sizes. So they do need a bit more time!

I forgot that I used to do a summary on each AVPC after I completed it! So, here are my stats!

Fabric: Green Cotton Sateen-like remnant $10 (from Sydney's The Fabric Store) & Black Light Cotton material, also a remnant ~.20c
Pattern: Butterick 7982 (on loan from Amanda in Adelaide)
Year: c. early 1960s
Notions: Vintage Zipper .10c
Time to complete: 3 hours
First worn: to work last week, March 2011
Wear again? Totally! Got heaps of compliments!
Total Cost: ~$10.30

I think my hair looks like Veronica Lake, what do you reckon? I've styled my dress with my Melissa shoes and my own Shamrock shaped fascinator! I saw Mena's tutorial on making a loveheart one, and will post you a 'How To' when I get some time this week! It's REALLY easy!


Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Green Planning!

It's a St Patrick's Day theme this week for my Sew Weekly Challenge! If you've just popped by today (hi to you!) and never been here before, I'm a weekly contributor to Mena's blog, The Sew Weekly! We sew a garment a week, and talk about sewing and gush stuff over at the Sewing Circle!

I have the perfect green fabric, only a remnant, for this week's theme! And I thought I could try the above pattern, but alas! There's not enough remnant for the wiggle dress! This is the second pattern I tried to fit onto the fabric, so have decide finally on a third:

So, I'm going to be a bit tricky and make half of the dress outta green fabric, and my Irish eyes are shining (is that a saying?) for Guinness! The black beer!

My post will hopefully be up later today (Melbs time)!


Saturday, 12 March 2011

Husbie Sunday: old fashioned magazine

Yep, I'm at a music festival! But I scheduled this post earlier just for you! MAGIC blog!

Now it looks like a photograph from a magazine, circa 1983! Husbie does this in photoshop, maybe? Not too sure, but he likes mucking around with the images!

I hope I make it back tomorrow! (It's weird writing ahead of time!) Brrr it must be cold camping out at Golden Plains (so weird writing!)

Hope your weekend is just darling and that you're getting a bit of 'me' time!

Friday, 11 March 2011

Glamping in Golden Plains

My friend once told me that camping in a van or with a car is kinda like 'Glamping' ... being glamorous and camping can go together. We don't have a van, but with all the gear Husbie got from the camping shop, we may as well be the modern glampers.

Here's a couple of new/old patterns I got recently at my fave second hand store in Yarraville. The shopkeeper was shocked to see us last weekend. "I haven't seen you guys in ages!" We must have been going there a lot, considering we've only just moved into town!! I love her though, and would (if I could) buy everything in her shop!

I'm also working on something GREEN for next week's Sew Weekly theme:

I have already finished the 'red style, B' in this Butterick pattern and will be able to show you next week! Husbie and I rushed in a quick photo shoot this afternoon after work! AND, I'll also be finishing another challenge with this one too... I'll explain more soon!

Best be off dearest darling, I have mountains of 'all weather gear' to pack! Yay for music at a festival!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Sew Weekly: Getting Angular in Melbourne

WARNING: You will need to put on your LOL-hat, get ready with your rock star clicks, and puff up that hair! This week's theme for the darling Sew Weekly prompted me to go Gaga, get angular like Grace Jones and shimmy those shoulders like Rhianna.

The theme was 'Local Colour' and as I mentioned earlier in the week, I didn't want to procrastinate. I have NO time this week to ponder. So I jumped right in with bad material choices AND pattern choices, but still, the garment is not totally 'chuckaway-able'! It may even get a revamp if I can mend those shoulders n sleeves!

The photo shoot and dress was inspired by Melbourne's angular sculpures on the freeway, called 'Melbourne Gateway'. The large 'chips' or 'french fries' (you may know them if you're a Melbournian or a regular visitor!) are red and yellow and I just wanted to chuck those colours with the cement grey of this weird charcoal/cement cotton spandex.

I am thinking (with the help of magnificent feedback from my post on Mena's blog yesterday) I might ditch the sleeves, and re-sew the shoulder seam, so I don't need to use shoulder pads. And my 'modesty patch' won't be needed anymore:

Ohhh so sad I have to wear a modesty patch (how low is that neckline!), but there's no way I could've walked under the motorways without it! I also need to chuck a zipper in somewhere, as it takes ages to wriggle into. The material does have a stretch, but just not enough for me.

Guess what local Melbournians? I am going to my first ever CAMPING music festival this weekend, yep: Golden Plains. I'm stoked and scared, and have a lot to do before we go on Satdee. So I'm once again having to leave you with these awesome (but questionable) photos and I'll try and check in with you at lunch tomorrow! LOLZ


Tuesday, 8 March 2011


More shoesday photos (it's a Tuesday round up of my Shoe photos - hence Shoesday. Yes, I'm an embarrassment to myself and *some* friends) using my phone's Instagram applications! I tweet them during the week, and you can follow me both on Instagram and Twitter if that's your thing.

I found the red pointy heels in the cupboard after a Garage Sale kinda clean up! Yay, bonus: lost shoes are almost like new shoes!

Monday, 7 March 2011

Finding the next challenge

There are so many highs and lows of emotions when sewing your own stuff. I get so excited when it all comes together (like last week) and super happy that my sewing skillz are improving!

Then, it comes time to begin again. And I don't often know where to start. Do you get like this sometimes? Flip flopping, back and forth on ideas and designs and dreaming?

In an effort to stop procrastinating about what pattern goes with what fabric (and other dreaming & scheming sewing room things!), this week I've had a very quick idea about what I want to make. And I will make it.

I've BOUGHT some fabric (I didn't have the right colour in my stash) first and then found a random weird pattern set (it looks like it is part of a collection, with those ring binder holes on the side!) from the stash, all without thinking too much. This 'Sew Stylish' pattern (above) is totally secondhand, but I can't remember if mum gave it to me, or I bought it myself from the op shop, as I do have a few of these. They are A4 in size, and super early 90s weird.

This week's Sew Weekly Theme is Some Local Colour, and I've got a few ideas about where in Melbourne to showcase. But I really am trying to stop thinking about stuff, and just DO IT. One area of Melbourne just makes me laugh, in a good way, and I'm just gonna act quickly and stop umming and ahhing about it.

(as I typed this, I second guessed myself at every other sentence. But I am DETERMINED to just do it, and show you and then talk about it.)


Sunday, 6 March 2011

Husbie Sunday!

How darling, my Husbie made me some vintage-esque frames for today's post, from this week's Sew Weekly challenge: Colette Patterns with an Autumn Palette (for us Australians!), aren't they sweet?

This dress is still amazing, I can't believe I made it! It was perfect party dress last night too, but I didn't get any pictures cause I was talking too much! xoxo

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Zippedy Doo Darz

Apols for such a boring blog post title, I couldn't think of anything because my brain is all relaxed in WEEKEND mode after a busy week of sewing, work, and crazy loud live music dudes (I had to work a FULL on music festival yesterday). I am overwhelmed and so happy that it's now Saturday. Yay!

I just wanted to show you how darling the Colette Patterns are on the inside, as it all comes within a little book (instead of a massive instruction sheet that you unfold and can never fold up the same way again) and such a great glossary at the back (for sewing rejects like me, now I can finally learn the proper terms! Notches and Clips are DIFFERENT things! And some Notches have two meanings too!) LOLZ.

Since my Colette Pattern (Rooibos) had an invisible zipper, I went through all my thrifted zipper collection and found I actually did have some! I'd never sewn one before, so of course googled like hell last week! And here are some sneaky tutorials I looked at to get that invisible zipper in!

Here's a step by step picture/blog tutorial via a site called 'Clever Nesting' (because we're all clever birds I guess? Not sure if that's my kinda page, but there's heaps of stuff to look at!) and I also looked at this step by step picture blog, that has a TOTAL special invisible zipper foot... not just a normal zipper foot (Did you know there was a difference? I just learnt this!).

AND, if you are becoming a 'clever nester' (LOL) this weekend, I forgot to link to Amy's cushion cover tutorial that I looked at, and LOVED! And next time I'm whipping up some covers, I shall follow!

We're heading to Bendigo tonight for a wedding (yes, I'm going to wear my new dress - with tights as it's kinda cool at night time here now! YUK) and then I've got some sewing plans tomorrow! Have a darling weekend xoxo

Friday, 4 March 2011

Sew Weekly: Colette & Colour

YAY! Introducing my most recent Sew Weekly creation! I teased you through the week, and you may have seen my post yesterday on Mena's blog, but here's some darling photos just for you!

The pattern is a Colette Rooibos, and the fabric an old tablecloth, with some MAGNIFICENT flowers. If you can imagine a large square (as the tablecloth's original form), with a white line edging/border, the large clusters of flowers were in the corners and some other smaller flowers along the border. And now it's a beautiful little mini dress!

I'm so super happy with it, hence all these photos! Every part of the dress was planned out, to suit the flower placement, and this little vertical white line (on the back waistband, above) was the only small mistake with putting it all together, and it's not actually that bad!

So I just was looking at some of the comments on my Sew Weekly post, and noticed SARAI who MAKES Colette Patterns left a comment! I'm over the moon!

Wish I could stick around and gush a bit more, but I've got to go and work (and hopefully survive!) at SOUNDWAVE, which is a punk, hardcore & metal festival in Melbourne today. Thank you for your feedback as well, darlings! This has been such a fun week of sewing for me, and I get all dizzy when it works out so well! Best dress all year! *gush*

Dongmen Lu Fabric Market

Happy Wednesday! Time to get some fabric inspiration from the Dongmen Lu Fabric Market here in Shanghai! Can't believe how quickly 201...