Thursday, 31 December 2009

It's about time!!

Bye bye 2009 - I'm not sorry to see you disappear!



Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Sunday, 20 December 2009

iPhone Snapshots - December 19

A day in Sydney (excuse the very unprofessional shots - too tired to edit them so they are pretty much direct from my phone)

1. $20 Dorothy Balloon (I know!!)
2. Candy Cane from the nice people at Makoto, now hanging on the Xmas tree
3. Spur of the moment skirt for Princess S

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Waiting for the mail...

I ordered the Macaron dress pattern from Colette Patterns via Pink Chalk Fabrics a few days ago. I don't actually have time in the next few weeks to make it up but I'm still impatiently twiddling my thumbs awaiting its arrival.

It wasn't the cheapest pattern to buy but I fell in love with it and can't wait to see the pretty pattern book that people have been raving on about - you can see an example of one of the books here.

I'm loving all the different colour combinations people have used for this - I suspect I might spend my Xmas break making at least one of them *rubs hands in anticipation*

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Flower girl dress complete (I hope)

After spending a day or so sewing away in the sweltering heat (Melbourne's hottest November in 100 years), the dress is complete!

Well complete as far as I am concerned - the only thing is I hope Cheeky Miss C can fit into it! She currently wears 18-24 month old clothing, and I unfortunately was armed with a pattern for 4-6 year olds so I decided to be logical about it and just size down the pattern proportionally. Then I realised that little kiddies tend to have different proportions to older ones. Hmm. Let's just say my fingers are crossed that there are no alterations required.

Here are pictures of the finished product - it required a metre of Ivory satin-polyester from Cleg's, a lot of thread, a 10-inch cream coloured zip and a heck of a lot of sweat. Like I said, it was hot!



I took creative liberties by adding a black ribbon sash to the dress - I don't actually know what colour ribbon the bride has in mind for it. I'm quite pleased with the result though - I hope the bride and groom are as well!

PS I forgot to add - this took such a long time to do because I am ridiculously slow at this and there was a fair bit (for me anyway) of hand-stitching involved... and boy do I hate hand-stitching...

Monday, 9 November 2009

Why are there no nice dresses around??

There probably are, but not within the price range I am willing to fork out for :(

In less than 3 weeks I have a wedding and a ball to go to, all on the same weekend. I suspect I could probably re-use an older dress for the ball, but seeing as I am going to be an MC for the wedding, I kinda wanna look good. Obviously, it would be ideal to always look good but since I figure there is more of a chance of people looking in my direction (whether they like it or not MUAAAHAHAHA) I would prefer not to blind them.

Being post-Melbourne Cup period, most of the available dresses are flippy, summery, race-worthy and in lots of cases short - and dare I say even tarty..?

Anyhoo, it occured to me yesterday while I was slaving over the flower girl dress (almost done - just need to buy and put in the zip at the back and hope to goodness that it fits) that maybe I could make myself a dress! After all, I do have my newly purchased and not-yet-assembled dressmaker's dummy to assist it hemming and fitting and darting and all other sewing related type activities!

I don't know though - less than 3 weeks to go, never having made a formal dress before and quite a few social events lined up - am I asking for trouble..?

I'm going to spend 30 minutes looking for an easy, attractive dress pattern online. I figure if I can't find one, it'll be a sign that I might just need fork out for a dress. Bah.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Flower Girl

Yesterday, I got a phone call from a friend who is getting married in 3 weeks. I figured she was calling to discuss the agenda for the wedding reception, as I've been given the honour of being one of the MCs for the night. I was wrong.

Instead, she's had trouble finding a dress for her very cute little flower girl and asked if I could sew up a simple dress for her. She had seen the peach dress that I had made for Princess S awhile back (I actually doubt Princess S has ever worn that dress come to think of it!) and thought that that would make a great flower girl dress if done up in a different material, so I think I'll be receiving 2 metres of the specially chosen material tonight...

I'm quite excited about doing this but also a little worried that there will be a lot of disappointment if the dress turns out horribly! I'm just hoping the material isn't too slippery since I haven't been very successful with non-cotton material so far.

Wish me luck!

Monday, 2 November 2009


That's me. Still not much sewing going on but when it does, I am too lazy/busy (pick one) to take photos and blog.

So in an effort to keep up to speed with blogging since there is no way I am going to be back tracking and blogging like some other persistent people have done (Hai Frannie!) here's a quick run down of my bits and pieces:

- I went to Sri Lanka. It rocked. I came back with 4m of cotton in blue and turquoise, 5m in coral, and an orange silk sari. The plan is to cut the latter up but we'll see how we go with that one. I have included a random Sri Lankan pic since I don't have any pics of the fabric... elephants!!

- Borders had 30% off up to 3 books recently - so I purchased Cath Kidson's Sew and Make, and also a sewing reference book for a birthday present for someone. I now think that I may return Make - not a huge amount in there that interests me and it also seems like the reviewers on Amazon agree. I am yet to decide about Sew but I do like the fact that you get the materials in there to make the bag on the cover!

- Lincraft is having 30% off everything for 3 days - as usual just after I had forked out for some materials for the baby bootie making fest that I will be undertaking soon - but I managed to use the discount on some tracksuit material and a Singer dressmaker dummy *hurrah* I had had my eye on one for ages - so I managed to save a whopping $75 :D

- I think it is pretty obvious that I didn't make a Chanel jacket. I really was all set to do it but work got crazy, I had a week and a half overseas and I was rushing a present for Princess S, so yeah... no jacket...

I think that is it for me with regards to sewing-related items of note for now... all I can say is I will *try* to get better...?



Sunday, 1 November 2009

Canton Village Giveaway

No no, it's not a little town in China... Ma emailed me to tell me about a giveaway at Canton Village Quilt Works - I thought I'd try my luck but I have to say that there are over 1000 comments so far... still, you gotta be in it to win it! :)

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Singapore purchases

I think this is becoming an addiction but seeing as I am in Singapore and have a Kinokuniya within Takashimaya within close proximity, I couldn't help myself...

Behold my new purchases - Girls Style Book and Girlwear on Holiday.

I also managed to scarf down some sushi, durian crepes and an Auntie Anne's cinnamon pretzel with caramel dipping sauce during today's outing.


Friday, 2 October 2009

Not quite the perfect fit....

Methinks the dress is just a tad small.

Top marks to Princess S for cramming herself into it though! For that, she gets a new one in a larger size :)

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Girly Style Wardrobe: Pattern C

Princess S is getting a new dress posted to her tomorrow - a belated birthday present made using a pattern from Girly Style Wardrobe (ISBN 978-4-579-11132-9), a Japanese pattern book for girl's clothing that I purchased recently.

This was my first attempt at using a pattern from one of these books, and it was only after I started putting the pieces of the dress together did I realise that something was amiss. Some of the pieces didn't seem to fit together too well - so I was left wondering what I had done wrong. The pieces were from the correct pattern. The fabric was cut accurately. Why was there a huge lot of fabric left over-hanging on the back neck section??

I dealt with it with the usual *shrug*, lopped off the extra fabric and went about on my merry way. The result is as per below, which isn't too bad considering I realised later that I hadn't added any seam allowances to my pattern pieces! I thought they were all included in the patterns but further research showed me that that was not the case. Duly noted for next time.

I just hope it fits!

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Random exchange with the Pale Professor.

*EDIT: Just to put this into context, this was the first conversation I had today with the Pale Professor (PP), with no prior discussion or greetings for the day. A true sign of how well we know one another. Or not.*

10:59 me: cagey
11:03 PP: reticent
me: evasive
11:04 PP: shrewd
me: crafty
11:05 PP: mysterious
me: annoying
PP: withheld
me: eccentric
PP: unique
11:06 me: odd
PP: even
me: plateau
PP: horizon
me: sunset
11:07 PP: dusk
me: george clooney's fire tattoos
11:08 PP: soderbergh
me: erin
11:23 PP: Vivian Ward
11:24 me: jason alexander
11:29 PP: michael richards
me: newman
PP: Jurassic Park
11:30 me: raptor
11:32 PP: toronto
11:36 me: maple leaf
11:39 PP: syrup
11:40 me: paaaancaaaakes
PP: pineapple (cambodian breakfast = pancake+pineapple)
11:41 me: hawaiian chicken burgers from the high school tuck shop (hawaiian = chicken schnitzel + pineapple)
PP: secondary
me: primary
11:43 PP: uniform
me: mandatory
11:44 PP: totalitarian
11:45 me: hitler
PP: genius
me: evil
PP: disney
11:46 me: hi-ho
11:47 PP: fantasy
me: mariah on fi-ah
11:48 PP: boobs
11:49 me: lols
PP: emoticon
me: smiley
11:50 PP: 80s
11:51 me: peace
PP: hypercolour
me: moodrings
11:52 PP: youth
me: age
11:53 PP: newspaper
me: dirty hands
11:54 PP: germaphobia
me: H1 N1
11:56 PP: mask
me: cough
11:57 PP: hint
me: subtle
11:58 PP: cagey
me: haahahahha
PP: geometry
me: tangent
11:59 PP: pythagoras
12:00 me: SOHCAHTOA
(i think i spelt that wrong)
PP: cosine
12:01 PP: quadratic
me: equation
12:02 PP: encryption
me: dan brown
PP: langdon
12:03 me: amelie
12:04 PP: overrated
me: unwatched
12:05 PP: torrent
12:06 me: pirates
PP: somalia
me: food
12:07 PP: overfishing
12:08 me: nets
PP: stockings
12:09 me: stairway to heaven
12:10 PP: (the) Game
me: earwax
PP: euphoria
12:12 me: milk bottle cap
PP: measure
me: cup
12:13 PP: boobs
me: ratio
PP: wisdom
me: teeth
12:14 PP: chlorhexydine
12:18 me: bad breath
PP: colleagues
12:19 me: space issues
12:22 PP: alcoholics
12:23 me: hip flask
PP: asian (night)
me: predictable
12:24 PP: danny
me: obvious
12:25 PP: photo
me: facebook
PP: koala
12:26 me: confused
12:28 me: sense
PP: (bruce) Willis
12:29 me: potato head (rumer willis)
PP: buzz (lightyear)
me: tom hanks
12:30 PP: dan brown
me: new book
PP: symbol
12:31 me: lost
PP: < game break >

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Lilydale and Vintage finds

Ma and I moseyed along to Lilydale this weekend to check out some fabric she had her eye on in Textile Offcuts. It was my first time to Textile Offcuts - and come to think of it probably my first time to Lilydale ever. I guess it's a good enough reason as any to see a bit more of Victoria.

Ma was in quilter's heaven in the shop - she found a whole array of black, yellow and white cotton fabrics and also got into a deep conversation with a lovely random lady about the best place to get fabric bargains. I eavesdropped while rummaging and came away with a couple of lengths of cotton that I am hoping to make little girl dresses out of using designs from some of the Japanese craft books I recently purchased.

I was also after some plain black material for a skirt and came away a bit disappointed - but that was all to change when we went up the road and round the corner to R & L Knight, which I suspect isn't actually the name of the shop. It has a giant 'Fabric' sign above the shopfront but then again, that could be regarded as a descriptor of some sort. Anyhoo, I managed to get 5 metres of black lining for the sumly price of $5 and also some great fabric for the actual skirt at a bargain price.

I was a happy camper and thought I was done with shopping for the day. Lunch was next on the cards and then we were going to head home - but there was a change of plan when I saw a charity shop next to the lunch venue. 15 minutes later I walked out with a bunch of old sewing patterns and bits and bobs that made me very happy.

Some of the patterns I picked up - a few are a bit dated but I think I could have fun with them.

Inspired by this, I decided to also stop by the local and newly renovated Salvos store on the way home and found more vintage patterns. It was like all my Christmases had come at once! (Is that a bit sad? I don't know, but I *was* very happy at that point in time)

I am sure some of the patterns are going to be missing bits or won't quite fit but I figure that the whole lot was cheaper than one brand new pattern so I can't lose :)

I am so so happy with these gorgeous vintage patterns for little girls - there were some for boys too which I didn't buy since no nephews are in the works at this stage.

So for less than $10, I managed to get my grubby little hands on 14 vintage patterns, several zips and a metre of patterned flannel. HURRAH!

Monday, 17 August 2009

New purchases

Wooooooo! I am so pleased with my purchases! I had a game plan for my weekend in Sydney and even though I only managed to complete half of it, it was the half that mattered! I made it to Kinokuniya and spent a good 45 minutes browsing the Japanese craft book section.

Other than the fact that there were a multitude of books there that caught my eye, I was especially pleased that I could look through the patterns inside the books. A couple of the books I'd been eyeing online turned out to be WAY too complicated for me to follow, with super small diagrams and a whole heaps of Japanese text (which I do not read/speak, just fyi).

I ended up coming away with the following 3 books - Girly Style Wardrobe, Stylish Dress Book (the pre-cursor to Stylish Dress Book 2 - I wouldn't have guessed, I know) and Girl's Everyday Dress.

All I need to do now is get some tracing paper to copy out the patterns and see if I can make head or tail of the diagrams!

Due to time constraints I didn't make it to Menya (sorry Frannie!) but there was a cafe called Ichi-ban Boshi just outside of Kinokuniya that looked like it had some decent Japanese fare so we decided to do lunch there and then. The food was given 2 thumbs up by all!

Princess S enjoying her edemame - she ate the whole lot!

My super yummy salmon don set

All in all a great day spent before jetting off to the airport - couldn't have asked for much more than my share of good food, exciting purchases, gorgeous weather (a sunny 28 degrees in the middle of winter!) and great company!

Friday, 14 August 2009

Game plan for Sydney

I'm visiting for the weekend and I really really REALLY want to go and check out the Japanese craft book section of Kinokuniya.

Click the pic below for a better look at the offerings *drool*

Hope I make it!

Thursday, 13 August 2009

The dress!

I just wanted to show off a pic of one of the dresses I made for Princess S, modelled by her very own self.

She sure has the layering thing down pat - you can hardly see that it's actually a sleeveless dress - and I can't fault her choice of Mary Janes to complete the outfit. Admittedly there is a whole lotta pink happening but hey, she's a little girl. Pinkness is inherent.


Sunday, 9 August 2009

Bootie Call!

I am so so pleased with myself - I made some baby booties today *clap clap* ! Ok so I obviously couldn't resist with the title - can you blame me though? :D

I wasn't actually planning on being particularly constructive today but Ma and I decided to go to Spotlight to use up some $10 vouchers that their VIP members club sent us. Not sure why we got them but I wasn't going to complain about free money! (In case there was any confusion, I would like to point out that I LOVE free money. Just saying.)

While munching on my yummy lunch (thanks Ma!) and pondering on what I wanted to buy today, I spotted my copy of Meet Me at Mike's that I have totally neglected in the past few months and thought I'd have a quick flick through. There ended up being no flicking - the 'Teeny-tiny goody-two-shoes' were on the first page I opened and my mind was made up.

After a bit of umming and ahhing I decided on some floral pink and white flannel fabric - perfect for little girl bootie material. I used my $10 for the fabric, some elastic and a donation to Mum's stash. I did contemplating putting some of it towards a pattern for my jacket but seeing as I haven't done enough research, I thought it might end up being a waste.

Yes I was bad and didn't wash my fabric before putting it together - but I was impatient and I guess this was a bit of a trial run. The instructions were fairly straightforward until the end where there was a bit of head-scratching involved but all's well that ends well - check out the finished product!

The remainder of the fabric has been washed and is drying as I type for future projects. I am sure that if this pair is ever washed they'll only be suitable for premmies and teeny tiny newborns - but sometimes things are a lot cuter when they are smaller :)

EDIT - If you want to see some really impressive knitted booties, check out Frannie's super cute knitted baby set (Hai Frannie!)

Chanel Jacket sew-along (or what-have-I-gotten-myself-into)

I've seen quite a few mentions of sew-alongs in various craft/sewing blogs that I read, and have often wondered if:

1) I'd ever be skilled enough to participate in one,
2) How one even joins up to one of these, AND
3) If group participation in something like this would actually result in me being more productive and efficient in producing something

So when I came across the opportunity to join a sew-along, I jumped at the chance! Cindy from Colour By Number, Gail from My Fabrication and Antoinette from started a Go Chanel or Go Home blog dedicated to a Chanel Jacket sew-along, and I am proud to say that I am an official member.

So based on my list above, point 2 has now been addressed! What this means is yet to be seen though as point 1 will really affect my output - I honestly don't know if I have the skills to make a jacket when half the time I give up on my other little projects due to accidental hole punching of materials or just getting frustrated with mistakes and unpicking ugly stiches. So this is where point 3 comes in I guess. I hope that doing this with an online group of people really does inspire me to get going - as far as I have experienced, the online crafting community is highly supportive of one another and that bit of encouragement might really be the thing I need to get this done!

I am hoping that this doesn't turn into another pile of unfinished materials sitting in a corner - and the thought of making a jacket does kind of freak me out - but then I guess if I don't try I'll never know what I can and can't do. I think this will be a great learning experience - plus my fingers are crossed that there are others who are in the same boat who are participating.

Now the first step for me is to do some research and find a jacket pattern simple enough for my beginner skills - wish me luck - and hopefully I will have an update for you very soon :)

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Wanna follow?

As part of me getting back into blogging, I decided to add the Followers widget onto my blog. Alas, I only have 2 followers (thanks guys!) - so if you do regularly visit this blog (or did before I got lax) please show me some love by becoming a follower - I think it might inspire me to write and share more :)


New Start?

So I pretty much haven't been blogging for awhile - I'd say 2 months or so - due to the loss of my sewing mojo. As I am sure most of you are aware, sewing can be quite the solitary activity. After getting sick of my previous hermit-like behaviour and getting a swift kick up the backside from that lovely little thing called 'life', I started making up for lost time by camping out at friend's houses, eating, drinking, dancing, and basically doing anything to keep myself busy and occupied with other people around.

Anyhoo, I didn't think I'd be doing anything craft related for a long time, until today. Admittedly, I still haven't done anything craft related - I just spent money (I am pretty good at this, if I do say so myself) but today was special since I spent the money on FABRIC! *Ta-DAH*

Yes, yes I can feel the golf claps all around. I feel like I deserve a prize or something, which is kinda stupid, but I guess it shows the frame of mind I have been in recently.

The only reason I was even in the fabric shop in the first place was because I promised to take my Ma there and once surrounded by all the colours and the sale rack ('sucker for a bargain' should be imprinted on my forehead) I couldn't help but get slightly excited.

Came away with 8.5 metres of cotton - 4 sorts - hopefully the new purchases inspire me to get cutting and stitching asap rather than being relegated to the ever growing stash.

Pics coming soon (if I ever get around to it *grin*)

Wednesday, 27 May 2009


Sorry everyone - been away from sewing and blogging and a lot of stuff I normally do due to some unforseen things that have been happening in my life. Just wanted to let everyone know that I'll be back soon - better than ever!

Monday, 11 May 2009

Package in the mail

I was so excited to receive a large envelope in the mail today - all the way from the US!

Nope, I didn't order anything. Nor do I have family sending me stuff. But I WAS expecting this package.... because I was lucky enough to be the recipient of a birthday giveaway from the very generous Mellissa from Wondermommy!

In the envelope I found a Fledge/Studio Tantrum Feliz Pattern, a Lil Chef Pattern from ModKids (perfect for my niece!) and 5 Good Folks fat quarters in gorgeous colours.

Thanks so much Wondermommy!


Thursday, 7 May 2009

Tessuti encounter

Today I wandered down and across a few city blocks at lunchtime and met up with K to check out the newly opened Tessuti Fabrics store in Melbourne. I had heard about the store opening via their blog - I wasn't too sure what to expect as the only other Tessuti Fabrics store I've ever been to is the Chatswood one in Sydney, and I stumbled upon it by accident.

Picture of the Melbourne store courtesy of the Tessuti website

Even though some pictures had been posted on their blog, I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of space and light in the store - especially great for taking in all the beautiful fabrics they had on display.

Also exciting for me was meeting Lisa and Colette (author of the Sew Tessuti blog, and therefore a fellow craft-blogger *yay*), who were both really friendly and lovely. There was talk of upcoming sewing classes, blog addictions and how pattern companies have a knack of picking the ugliest materials possible to use to peddle their wares.

I went off a happy camper with a couple of metres of black poly-viscose fabric (I'm thinking a new skirt) and anticipation of future jaunts down that end of town.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Meet Me at Mike's

I received a lovely gift from my great friend KazKaz as a thank you for hemming up her skirt. Totally unnecessary since I quite enjoyed doing it, but it was very sweet of her. The gift itself was very welcome, as it was a copy of the newly published Meet Me at Mike's book.

I'd seen the book around in a few places but hadn't thought about purchasing since it would have meant additional distractions from the other projects I have literally piling up around the house. I instead made do with taking a few sneak peeks whenever I had a few minutes in a bookshop, and checking out Pip's related blog instead.

It's chock-full of gorgeous little projects and the presentation is a work of art in itself.

For those of you who might not have the opportunity to buy it from a local bookstore, you can order a copy from Readings online, where the book is described as:

"From Melbourne’s best loved crafty store comes Meet Me at Mike’s, a cornucopia of crafty fun and inspiration. Queen of Crafters Pip Lincolne has gathered 25 of the best projects from the country’s most creative cleverbods -everything from baby yoga pants and clutch purses to hankies and softies. You can sew, knit, crochet, collage and screenprint yourself into a frenzy! Each cute and quirky project comes with easy-to-follow instructions and full-size fold out patterns. With such a fabulous range of ideas, you’ll find something to make for all your favourite pals. If you’re looking for fun and creative things to brighten up everyone’s day, have a peek inside and get crafty!"

I've got my eye on these pretty fabric coasters for my first project but there are so many other gorgeous things in there I might change my mind a few times over!

Thanks HEAPS KazKaz! ;D

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Lemonade scones and hot chocolate

I had a craving for Devonshire tea and Sunday company, so I decided to bake some scones and invite K, J and D over for a catch up.

During my trawls for scone recipes online, I noticed a lot of recipes that recommended the use of lemonade. 'Weird' was my first thought - and then 'I wonder how the lemon flavour blends with jam and cream'. I decided to ignore the whole lemonade part until I met someone last night who informed me that lemonade (or soda water) was key to getting scones that weren't as heavy as rocks. Something to do with the bubbles.

Since there was nothing stopping me from adventurous (is it sad that this is as adventurous as I get these days? lol) I tweaked a couple of recipes I had been looking at and the resulting scones were enjoyed with some strawberry jam and whipped cream by all.

We also had very VERY chocolaty hot chocolate, made with half milk, half cream, and a whole lot of Koko Black chocolate flakes.
We had to wash it down with some tea because it was so rich - so it ended up being the Devonshire tea I was craving *hurrah*

I think when I make them next I am going to change a couple of things - my scones turned out to be mini-scones for some reason, so next time I am going to use a bigger cutter and ensure that they are also less flat before they are baked.

Here are some pics of the left over scones - there were about 14 all up but we scoffed them down pretty quickly.

The tweaked recipe (including the changes I plan on making) is as follows:

SuBoo's Lemonade Scones
Makes 8

* 2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
* 1/2 cup lemonade
* 1/2 cup thickened cream
* 1/2 tspn salt
* 2 tbs milk
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place greaseproof paper on a baking tray.
2. Place the flour and salt in a large bowl.
3. Add the cream and lemonade and mix to form a soft dough.
4. Turn out onto a lightly floured workbench and knead lightly until combined.
5. Use your hands to flatten out the dough so that it is about 4cm thick.
6. Use a 8cm round cutter (I used the top of a mug) to cut out 8 scones
7. Place the dough cut-outs on the baking tray and brush the tops with milk.
8. Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes - the tops of the scones should be lightly browned.
9. Serve warm from the oven with some whipped thickened cream and strawberry jam.


Thursday, 30 April 2009

End of Volume 4: Fugitives

I'm not sure how many of you out there are fans of Heroes, but I love it! When I watch a new episode, I end up experiencing a mixture of satisfaction (due to the great storylines, characters, superhero powers) and impatience (I wanna know what happens next!)

Admittedly there are some episodes that ignite other emotions in me - for instance, in 'Five Years Gone' (Season 1, Episode 20) when we got a peek at all the characters battling it out in the future, all I could think of was 'This is AMAZING!!'

Actually I lie. I also thought of a bunch of other things - 'I wish I could fly'... 'I wonder what colour the sparks would be if I could blast someone with superhero electricity from my palms'... 'The things I could do if I could stop time'... 'I wonder if I would end up looking older than my friends if I stopped time too often'...

Anyhoo, my point is that I am generally very happy with the show and the twists and turns of each story arc.

Then I watched the 'An Invisible Thread', the season finale for Season 3, and the final chapter of Volume 4: Fugitives. I'm all for a grand season finale, and even puttinjg up with a cliffhanger is, I think, acceptable. Annoying, but acceptable (how else will they keep viewers interested in an episode that airs half a year later?). Still. I don't know if it was just me, but all I am going to say is I really didn't like what happened to Nathan. I won't expand on this as you may either not care, or not have seen the episode yet, but if you're interested you can check out the recap.

An interesting TV Guide article has given me a little insight as to what the actors have to say about the finale and future plans for Volume 5: Redemption, but I think I am going to remain slightly disgruntled for awhile. Maybe until I get to see the next episode of Gossip Girl.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Another distraction - the Stylish Dress Book

I was soooo excited to get this package in the mail! After seeing several blogs such as Japan Craft Journal and Domesticali mentioning this Japanese pattern book and after always admiring the simplicity and clean lines of some Japanese clothing, I knew I had to get my grubby little hands on one of these.

After a bit of research, I decided I would buy the book from a seller on Etsy. Landmark moment - my first Etsy purchase - and I was happy I picked well since the book arrived in speedily from Japan, and in pristine condition, so thanks very much to ichigonopantsu!

Even though I can't read Japanese, the illustrations in the book seem clear enough, so hopefully when the time comes for me to have a go at one of these patterns (ideally after everything on my to-do list has been completed!), I won't be too confused.

There are a couple of patterns I am really liking, but am refraining from getting carried away until I have proper time to sit down and plan what I want to make. In the meantime, check out some of the designs below.


Monday, 27 April 2009


Finally back to blogging after several weeks of blog neglect. Lots has happened but unfortunately no craftiness (the good kind!) on my part. I have been busy busy busy with a bunch of things, most importantly that one of my dearest friends just got married! I was lucky enough to be asked to be a bridesmaid - I felt SO honoured - and so was busy with the other bridesmaids planning the hen's weekend and working with the bridal party to make the day as great as we could.

The big day took place on Saturday - the bride looked stunning, the weather held up and a good time was had by all so I think mission accomplished and credit to everyone involved!

Now that I am settling back down to normalcy (my feet still hurt from wearing those stupid shoes for almost 24 hours) I am slightly aghast at how little I have done with regards to my to-do list! Some might say that the whole point of making the list is to ignore it, but I have to disagree in this instance since I am so far behinds schedule!

I have reproduced the list below:

1. Putting in an elastic waist on a pair of PJ pants
2. Hemming up some baby PJ pants
3. Enlarging another pair of PJ pants I made (I didn't have the person's measurements so I guessed - and guessed very wrongly!)
4. Hemming up a pleated wool skirt for a friend (my first alteration on fine wool - so will need to be very careful with it)
5. Making a nappy bag (Butterick B4560)
6. Finishing up the blue silk dress/top once I decide what I want to do with it.
7. Re-pleating my yellow polka-dot top
8. Pulling apart and remeasuring my summer maxi dress (which most likely won't be worn for months as it is getting nearer to winter now)
9. Making a dress for my friend Charlie's birthday - we picked the Butterick B5176 pattern after a lot of umm-ing and ahh-ing.

As a look through it it is pretty obvious that it's the big things that I have done nothing about *sob* so I think it is time to get moving again. On the upside, I haven't had time to go shopping for fabric to add to my ever growing stash *hurrah*

In terms of priority - item number 9 has a deadline in a few days so I may have to beg for a bit of an extension - hopefully there won't be any disappointment with the final result. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Etsy inspiration

I was just browsing through Etsy today and thought I would share a few of the amazing things I saw. I am continually impressed by the creativity of the crafters and artisans who sell their wares on this site.

1. Mini fabric sew on buttons by mwenda
2. Gold branch earrings by roundabout
3. Amigurumi by Melissa Sue
4. TANYA half apron for little girls by BloomWoosie
5. Sock Monkeys by muffintopdesigns
6. The Metro Wallet with elephants on green by jenniferladd
7. Small Coin Purse Sheep Pink by fieldofroses
8. Purple Raining painting Acrylic on Canvas by rockythezombie
9. Truffle in forest green by morelle

Do you have any Etsy favourites to share?

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Results and plans

The results are in - a whopping 79% voted for the pleated option for the top I blogged about in my last post, so that is going to be added to my sewing to-do list!

Thanks everyone who voted and commented :)

Speaking of to-do lists - mine is really building up and I think I need to get organised. Since I get easily distracted and work in spurts, I have a few things that have been pushed to the side the excitement of starting a new project and they tend to get forgotten about - so I've decided to make a list to refer to and keep a record of what I have completed here on the off-chance that I will feel a bit more accountable for finishing what I have started!
Sewing To-Do List (in no particular order)
1. Putting in an elastic waist on a pair of PJ pants
2. Hemming up some baby PJ pants
3. Enlarging another pair of PJ pants I made (I didn't have the person's measurements so I guessed - and guessed very wrongly!)
4. Hemming up a pleated wool skirt for a friend (my first alteration on fine wool - so will need to be very careful with it)
5. Making a nappy bag (Butterick B4560)
6. Finishing up the blue silk dress/top once I decide what I want to do with it.
7. Re-pleating my yellow polka-dot top
8. Pulling apart and remeasuring my summer maxi dress (which most likely won't be worn for months as it is getting nearer to winter now)
9. Making a dress for my friend Charlie's birthday - we picked the Butterick B5176 pattern after a lot of umm-ing and ahh-ing.

As you can see it is a bit of a list with some items a lot bigger than others. Hopefully ticking off each item on the list as I go will be satisfying enough to keep me going!

Monday, 6 April 2009

My first pleating experience (Vogue V2975)

Based on feedback from my previous blog post (OK just the one - thanks RavenRant) and also non-blog feedback from others, I decided I would try my hand at the top from the Vogue V2975 pattern.

I've been keen to try my hand at pleats for quite awhile now so I was pretty excited to get started. Notes from the process:

100% quilting cotton purchased in a sale. I liked the colours and patterns of the fabric and so did mum so we ended up buying 6 metres of it to share. Quilting cotton is great to work with - strong and soft.

Pattern (Vogue V2975 : View B)

Pattern was straightforward and ended up looking exactly like as shown in the technical drawing. There was a note stating that the zip for the back may need to be shortened - I glanced at it briefly, but decided that I'd forgo the zip entirely and put in a button or clasp instead as the top looked quite roomy. Turns out none of the fasteners were necessary at all so I was pleased about that.

Beginners take note that there aren't explicit instructions to clip and notch the fabric seams when you turn the facings outward, so as a novice myself, I was a little concerned at what seemed to be a lot of ugly pulling that ironing couldn't fix. I finally worked it out when I read the notes that preceded the step-by-step instructions. I'm still learning so doing this hasn't become second nature for me yet.
(Apologies about the quality of the 'back' picture. Also note that the top hasn't been hemmed yet.)

As you can see, the back fits well. I am not very happy with the front unfortunately. As I mentioned earlier, the top looks exactly like the pattern, but is meant to fit someone with a wider body perhaps? The pleated area sags as there is just too much material there. I think if there was one pleat panel left, it would look perfect, however that messes up the symmetry of the pleating.

Would I do it again?

Yes, once I work out the best (and preferably easiest) way to alter the pattern so that it sits well.

As the top is overall very wearable, I'm keen to try to alter the front somehow. Does anyone have any tips to share? I had a couple of options in mind but I don't know how well they will work out - the pics are a rough indication of what they could look like courtesy of my hands and a couple of bobby pins:

I'm going to take my first poll on this - please vote on which option you think I should attempt!

Piggy Bank

Apparently 'suboo' means “piggybank” in Myanmar!


Saturday, 4 April 2009

Fabric covered buttons

I recently bought a great trench coat from Jigsaw at a bargain price - I got around 90% off due to faulty buttons! The original buttons were covered with thick threads that were fraying and looking all sorts of ugly, so I decided to replace the buttons with brand new ones. Unfortunately I couldn't find any nice replacements that were the right size, so I decided to cover the buttons with some black fabric following this great tutorial from CraftPudding.

The pictures aren't too clear but I think they serve the purpose. I blame the bad lighting, and crazy flash on my camera in combination with the black material has made the black fabric blend with itself so it looks a little... black.

As you can see, the result of this little project are buttons that look fine from the front, so I am quite happy with the result. The only part I'm not too keen on is the red stitching you can see around when you lift the buttons up. This is due to the fact that I used some red embroidery thread to secure the fabric to the button around the shank - I didn't realise it would be quite as visible as it is.

I am pretty sure I can live with it - especially since it would mean that I would have to re-stitch the buttons to the coat again, and I really don't enjoy hand sewing anything!

More and more

I can't stop buying fabric!

24 metres all up. Waiting for the sun to shine so I can give them all a wash.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Twitter Box

I just added a widget to my blog showing my Tweets on Twitter at the bottom of the page. I took the lazy way out and automatically added one without customisation courtesy of Blogger Buster. I'm not too fussed about that right now seeing as it's just a trial - it may disappear later on if I decide I don't like it.

Feel free to Tweet Me anytime.

Monday, 30 March 2009

3 for 1

So there I was, wandering down the street after having a fantastic sushi lunch at Makoto (highly recommended!), when I saw a familiar name on a sign. Tessuti Fabrics! I had no idea where they were located, but have been following Colette's blog for awhile now, so this was a pleasant surprise.

Tessuti has some gorgeous fabrics but a sign saying 'Vogue Patterns - Buy 1 Get 2 Free' caught my eye. I thought it was a misprint since most places have half price sales at the best of times, but I was happily proven wrong. I had a couple of patterns in mind to buy that I had been uhmming and ahhing about, but with the discount it seemed silly not to take advantage and maybe even by 6 for the price of 2!

Unfortunately, it was not to be. Out of the 8 patterns I selected, only 2 were available! I picked another 4 and got lucky with 1 of them, so I walked away with the following:

Standard: Very Easy

This is a cute button down shirt that I have been eyeing for awhile. I think I would get most use out of the short sleeved version

Standard: Very Easy

This retro-looking A-line dress with short or mid-length sleeves really appeals to me - I can see it looking great for summer and winter, depending on the materials used to make it up.

Standard: Average

This is a 'wardrobe' pattern, meaning that although it is a little more expensive, it comes with patterns for a jacket, top, dress, skirt and pants. I am planning on ignoring the jacket for now - I think that is the item that has upgraded the level of difficulty to Average - and am going to try my hand at making the pleated top. If the pattern isn't too complicated, I'll have a go at the trousers as well.

What do you think I should make up first? I am currently leaning towards the A-line dress. More planning required for materials as well I suspect, but I need to check my stash at home first.

I might do a call around at the other stores to see if the other patterns I wanted are available in convenient locations (i.e. near me!). I've been hoarding patterns already, but this is such a good deal that I can't help myself.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Finally - dresses done!

So I know that in my previous post, I said I would work on my dress for my niece Princess S over the weekend and hopefully get it all done, but as usual, I let myself get distracted by all sorts of non-sewing activities. Always fun, but not so constructive.

Still, I had to get it complete before this weekend as I was due to visit Princess S and her parents - and visiting them means hopping on a plane so it's not quite as easy to justify putting the project off until the next visit - especially since little ones grow so quickly!

As you can see, it has a gathered skirt section, 2 ties to tie into a bow at the back, and a zip. The top section has been lined.

I found the following when making this up:

The embroidered cotton I had selected was beautiful to touch - lovely and soft - but also very thin, which means that I had to be extra careful. Any mistakes I might make could weaken the surrounding material and I didn't want to chance that since I had only enough to just cut out the pieces for the dress. It is gorgeous fabric though - I'd definitely work with it again but next time ensure that I have lots of extra on hand.

I used some thin soft white cotton for the lining and basic black thread and a black zip to complement the embroidery.

Pattern (Butterick B4701 : View B)
I liked that the dress was quite simple and that the instructions were easy to follow. My main issues with this dress was the fact that it required hand-stitching in a couple of areas - under the shoulder seams to tuck away the unfinished ends into the lining, around the zip to secure the lining to the dress and hide the zip, and another couple of spots to secure the lining to the inside of the dress. My hand-stitching skills are shoddy at best, and doing this took me almost as much time as it took to sew up the entire dress. Luckily, since the stitches are supposed to be hidden (more complexity!) you can't see how ugly they are.

I also managed to mess up the zip a little - when I basted the zip it, everything looked great, but once I secured the zip in with proper stitching there was some pulling at the base, and also the top parts of the dress don't match exactly. Frustrating, but I didn't want to undo it all for fear of weakening the material too much. I hope it's not too noticable but it is very difficult to be objective about something you just made.

Would I do it again?
Yes, definitely. In fact, I did! I tried making the dress in View A, with an floral peach cotton fabric. The difference between the 2 views is that this dress has a fuller skirt, whereas the skirt in View B is gathered. I thought the result was great - and lining the inside with the same material meant that it was less obvious if there were any issues with the zip alignment or under-stitching. I also tried my hand at adding some white piping (more hand-stitching!) to hide the waistband at the front.

Overall, very happy that both dresses turned out well - I think once Princess S has them on, any issues I have won't be noticable at all. The next time I make this dress up, I might just line the whole thing so I avoid the whole hand-stitching issue!