Thursday, December 31, 2009


Wishing you a fabulous 2010...

Keep it safe and keep it gorgeous!

Well I was "blog naughty" these last few months and kind of lost my sewing mojo (whilst getting into the new work regime of mine!) Because of that, I didn't finish my "2009 Must Sew List".

So my New Year's Resolution is to complete the list BEFORE I sew anything else.

Here's what I did achieve...

1. Vintage Butterick 4699 DONE
2. A funky shirt for Glen STILL TO DO (bought the pattern)
3. Animal print shift dress STILL TO DO (still looking for nice print)
4. A funky shirt for Tom (or anything else
he desires!) DONE
5. An apron DONE
6. A jacket or coat STILL TO DO (no excuses here)
7. A few tops/blouses DONE
8. An outfit for Bec (or help her make one) STILL TO DO (no excuses here either)
9. A skirt (or two) DONE
10. A pair of pants/jeans DONE
I'd better get 'crackin' as there is sewing to be done!

Monday, December 28, 2009


This is my version of the 'Walk Away Dress'.
I've used a really nice embroidered gingham from Spotlight with the re-issued pattern from Butterick 4790.

The original pattern was Butterick 6015.

OK. This was a super easy facings at all and it just needed bias around the neckline, armholes etc.

This was actually going to be my Christmas outfit and was going along just fine (on Christmas Eve) when I realised that the centre front was only held together by 3 press studs.....

Yeah, Right!

I stopped sewing straight away. The thought of my 3 tiny snaps "popping" after downing the Christmas turkey left me in a cold sweat! I didn't even entertain the idea - I had read a few pattern reviews on this particular pattern, and a lot of sewists suggested making a size smaller than needed, so I had, and it was nice and firm around the waist (the full circle skirt makes it rather heavy, making it drag a little at the behind), so any added pressure would have been disastrous!

So instead of the press studs/snaps, I used a 'hook and eye tape' and it holds nice and firm. And the 'self cover' buttons on the front just hide the sewing nicely.

I love this dress! Perhaps it's my New Years Eve Dress instead...

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Rebecca, Thomas and I wish you all a safe and joyous Christmas.

Friday, November 27, 2009


I made myself a wiggle skirt for work....unintentionally!

I've used the McCall's 5523 pattern (View C) and lengthened it by about 15cm as I prefer the longer line. I also made it on the more fitted side (that's the intentional part), but because I lengthened it, I should have actually made the frilled section a little fuller to accommodate walking. I can walk in it, but with a wiggle (that's the unintentional part!)....ha! Hence the term "Wiggle Skirt".

I love this pattern because of the different effects you can have on the back panel. I'll probably make this again with the View B as it was so easy

Made from Prestaline which wears really well. The pattern didn't call for lining, but I chose to line it anyway as I believe that skirts/dresses just hang a whole lot nicer when lined, and helps with 'seating' in the rear as my job calls for sitting pretty much all day (not fond of the pouchy bum look in skirts and pants!).

I also put in an invisible zipper instead of a lapped one because I'm getting really quick at these and they look better.
And for the back view...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


The flamingo costumes (x4) that I made for the JRock Eisteddfod that I spoke about last post would have to be one of my most favourite costumes so far.

I sourced some beautiful fabric that was called "feather" and it just set the costumes off. It was a hot pink chiffon with feathery strands hanging from it. It played havoc with my hay-fever, and in fact, still over 12 months later, I still find bits of pink fluff on things!!

I made the head section using the Simplicity 3663 pattern, which were a little tricky to put together. The beaks being the hardest as they were from craft foam. Well worth the effort in the end though. And just because Bec was one of the flamingos...I ordered some extra long false eyelashes from ebay for them all and stuck them to the eye section. Then I used sparkly glue on the eyes to make them glisten. The girls thought that was a huge laugh! You may just be able to see them if you click on the photos...Very girly indeed!

I just made the necks like a bent tube that thinned out towards the head and attached them to the skirt front and head section. They're just stuffed with wadding.

As they were performing a ballet, the teacher requested that they be a little more delicate looking for the body part, so I took inspiration from this. Only as the fabric wasn't stiff, I had to find another way for the back part to stick out. Several prototypes (and weeks) later, I ended up making elasticised skirts with an extended behind so that they could hide a 'bustle' under their skirt. I haven't got any pictures of the bustles that I made them (tsk, tsk), but they were pink and made from the Butterick 3737 View D. Another 'hit' with the girls!

We just bought black skivvies and hot pink tights to finish off with.

Making those flamingos was indeed a very long journey. But the 'Ooohs and Ahhhs' that I heard from the crowd when they graced onto the stage made it so worth while.

Edit: I forgot to add that the school scored a perfect 10 for the costumes too!!!! Yay!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I haven't posted about costumes for a while, and went through some photos that I hadn't yet sorted and came across a bunch of costumes I did for a JRock Eisteddfod that my children's school entered last year. (I've smudged child's face for privacy reasons)

The production was based on a book titled "The Cool Pool" about a group of animals giving their monkey friend a surprise birthday party (to cut a long story short).

This costume is of a chameleon, and although I wasn't happy with how the costume started, I was really happy with the end result.

I used the Kwik Sew 3104 unitard pattern (view A) for the body. I made it a few sizes bigger than required because when the fabric stretched, the shiny coating didn't seem to have much of a memory, so I didn't want the costume too fitted. The fabric I used was a shiny rainbow lycra (which was really horrid to sew as my needle kept sticking to the fabric and missing stitches....but I persevered and it paid off!)
I added a huge curly tail and stuffed it with some wadding. I also added some spikes down the length of her back and tail for effect.
I loved making the head! I just got an old bike helmet, covered it in wadding to soften the look and made an elasticised cap (like a shower cap) to slip over the top of it and added spikes down the centre as well.
The eyes were ping-pong balls that I painted with Kindy Glitz (Sparkly glue) and painted a black dot on them for her pupil.
These photos were taken at the dress rehearsal a week before and I hadn't yet made the 'claws' and didn't end up getting a photo (drats!). But these were just modeled on oven mitts and slipped over her hand.
For the tongue, we used one of those party blowers which turned out to look really cute. She was in the opening scene sitting on a rock. Her movements were so life-like and when she blew the tongue out it looked great!
On the night, with the stage make-up etc. She looked really effective.
And those pink legs in the background? They were my pride and joy....Flamingos! but that's another post!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


"Circles" on one side...

Which is so appropriate as the fabric range is called 'Lollipop' from Spotlight .

"Squares" on the other side...

When we moved into our new house (over 12 months ago now) I found it all too overwhelming to do the curtains for the whole house, so I called in the experts....Spotlight. They did a fabulous job with the pelmets, curtains and blinds. When I saw the 'Lollipop' range, I knew this would be perfect for the kid's rooms. The colour ranges are in pinks, aquas and blues; and within each colour range has different patterns - circles, squares and stripes.

So the I had the pelmets and curtains made in the stripes by Spotlight. And I decided to make up the kid's doona covers and pillow cases in the other co-ordinating patterns. The rolls of fabric have been staring at me for the past 6 months...

Tom wanted press studs for the opening of the doona cover. Something which I had never attempted before - punching holes in fabric used to leave me cold, but now I'm wanting to put press studs in everything, it was soooo easy! Yay for me!

Bec on the other hand wanted bows at the end of her doona cover

Can I sew something for myself now kids?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

A huge Thank You to Lisa from the Hemline for nominating me for a Kreativ Blogger Award. I'm ever so excited about this. I peruse the Hemline almost daily, and have purchased some patterns from her store. Very reasonably priced too, I might add!

Anyhoo, I now have to tell you 7 things you might not know about me:-

  1. I am a twin to a very tall six foot red head brother (I'm brunette, or at least used to be brunette...I have to get my hair colour out of a bottle these days!). We were born in Derby, Western Australia, and headlined the newspapers in that town as we were the first twins born in 10 years.

  2. I have been sewing since I was 10, but only sewed my first vintage pattern last year.

  3. After studying Italian for 4 years in high school, I can only remember this..."Santo Cielo, ce non il latte!" (ie: Heavens above, there's no milk!).

  4. My hand sewing is horrid, and I would throw a pair of socks into the rubbish before I would darn them.

  5. I refuse to only drink champagne on special occasions. Every day is champagne worthy!

  6. I have a thing about coat hangers...they are all matching white ones - no black, no wood, no wire (except for skirt hangers of course).

  7. I am really wanting to sew a Mondrian style dress for this summer...the patterns are so rare, anybody have one lying around the house by chance?

So here are my 7 nominations:-

  1. Linda from Welcome To My Blog (because she got me hooked on this bloggy thing in the first place!).

  2. JuliaB from MarmaladeKiss (because she is so very talented).

  3. Super Kawaii Mama (this gal has so much style, and I can't help but read her blog each day, and sometimes even twice a day, I've been lurking for ages and never posted a comment..tsk tsk tsk!).

  4. Nikki from You SEW Girl (because I love bags).

  5. Suzitee from Stitch Scrap Sew (because she seems a little cheeky to me!)

  6. Janellybelly from Threads of Friendship ( because she's super, super nice with a whole lot of talent thrown in!)

  7. Wikia wiki (this is not a blog, but I could easily spend an hour just clicking on the random page link...)

Ta Ta for now....

Sunday, October 4, 2009

My Secretary Dress! YAY I finished!!

There's nothing like a hint of warmer spring weather to make me want to finish a dress suited to winter! I thought that I may not be able to wear this until next year if I leave this any longer. I hope there will be one or two more cooler days before the spring sets in!

The pattern is c.1959 and went together really easily. I used a lovely soft charcoal suiting (which has a slight blue coloured fleck through it), and didn't have to make any alterations at all. The only thing that I changed was to put an invisible zipper instead of a lapped zipper. And no, I didn't lengthen the skirt, and no I'm not short.....the illustration leads you to believe that it's around knee length. And I won this from Oztion the other day...I thought it would look really nice at the neckline where the split starts. It's a vintage (c 1959 ish) marcasite brooch. I haven't received it yet but can't wait!

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Here are my new babies! Only a few hours old in this photo....
They were actually born last Monday morning (24th - I've just been a little behind with a few things OK) which makes them now nearly a week old. Sadly, we lost one - the runt of the litter, but the remaining 6 are doing beautifully, as is Mum. Tasha has been just the perfect Mother to them all, it's amazing that they just know what to do on instinct (not like us humans...we have to read books about it and still get stuff wrong!)
I'm loving my new job, and am still trying to get the routine thing happening, so sewing has taken a back seat to this, but I did cut my dress out and hopefully will get started on the sewing side of things tonight....if I don't have too many wines of course (tee hee)

Saturday, August 15, 2009


What a busy, busy time it has been for me, and I'm wondering where on earth the last 3 weeks went!

*Bec really enjoyed her music camp, and wants to go next year (phew) - and she even made some new friends in upper school.

*My German Shepherd is due to have puppies any day now....I have mixed emotions about that one. The kiddies are of course excited, I have no idea what to do, and the first mistake I did was to Google German Shepherd birthing - apparently anything and everything can go wrong, and they like to have them in the middle of the night - nice - but of course I can always take her temperature each day (and guess where I have to stick the thermometre) and when her temp. drops, it'll happen. No. Way. Will. I. Do. That!!
Wish me luck...I'll post photos when they come.

*And I now have a job as a secretary..WOOHOO. I am really loving it, but feel a bit overwhelmed at the moment - I didn't realise how rusty my typing skills had become. So I have been madly trying to do the Mummy, Secretary, Wifey, House Worky thingy lately and am feeling a bit pooped! (Hence the lack of Blogging)

Anyhoo, now that I am working I have to have some new work clothes...I'm starting to run out. Here's a McCall's 5205 (c. 1959) that I bought a while ago from this lovely seller on ebay.

I have some lovely soft suiting in a black (surprise, surprise) with a faint, light blue slub in it. I'll pop a crisp white shirt underneath and voila! I think I'll look very 'secretary-like' in it, and I'll show you the pictures when I've finished it.

Catch you later...

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I sent my brave little girl off to music camp first thing this morning...I say 'brave' because she was the only year 7 girl going! She forms part of a guitar ensemble, and that's why she got to go.
I expected her to burst into tears when it was time to go, but she didn't and I'm really proud of her! (I got a bit teary when I jumped in the car though)
As a surprise, I whipped up this reversible head band out of scraps left over from the guitar case name tag and the music tote bag. She thought it was pretty cool and wore it with pride.
Have fun Bec, and see you in a few days...

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Especially the hand made variety!
Thank you Linda for my lovely crochet dishcloths that you made.....I have been using them and they are fantastic, and also for my retro-style mugs!

"Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art"
Leonardo da Vinci

Linda also made me this framed dressform for my sewing room. It is truly beautiful and sits nicely in my fabric cupboard.
I've done a little sewing this week - with a holiday down south at Busselton and school holidays and sleepovers and movies and playovers and....well, I haven't done a lot of sewing this past fortnight!

I made this from black corduroy and animal print scraps. It's New Look 6391 View B I won't talk about the pocket that I forgot to add to the inside! This is a very easy pattern and you can whip one up in a night. I have my eye on the View A as well.
School holidays are now over and school starts tomorrow, so I'll be ironing and preparing the kids for their new week.....and getting some sewing done - Yee ha!
Have a great week.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


For my Must Sew list, I made these pants up last night. A very easy pattern which took me about 2 hours to do...which was just as well as I didn't start until about 10.30pm!!

No zip (woo hoo) just a really wide band with 5cm wide elastic threaded through it. It's New Look 6354 View A without the splits at the hem...or bow. If you make these up, just watch out for the amount of ease. I made a size smaller than I should have according to the pattern envelope, and I reckon I could have gone an extra size smaller still! I bought the fabric (suiting) last year some time from Spotlight to make a dress with - I guess I'll have to buy some more now.

I do like the style, but I'm still searching for that perfect pants pattern. And the colour also reminds me of my Tom's school trousers (note to self: don't wear these pants to school!)

Anyhoo, I wore these today to a lunch that Linda hosted, and I finally got to meet the very lovely Susan from 'Stitch Scrap Sew' (who is a total expert on hand embroidery!) and also Janelle from 'Threads of Friendship' (who makes the nicest bags...and lots of them!). It was an enjoyable day - so thank you, Linda, and also for my lovely birthday presents. The clever thing made me some "artwork" for my sewing room and I got the nicest retro themed mugs. I will post photos later as it is pm, and not good light to take photos.

Bec made some delicious cupcakes to take to lunch today - I was a bad, bad mother and didn't take a photo of time.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Just a quick post to show another of the New Look 6594 in a cherry red corduroy.
I thought I'd make a nice bright colour just so these stormy days we've been having lately don't seem so glum. Wore it this morning out to coffee with a friend and I felt really girly in it.
I can just about make this skirt with my eyes shut now! Once again I didn't have to make any alterations, instead of a lapped zipper, I put in an invisible zipper (I'm getting quite good at doing these now!) I've now made 3 of these, time to move on.
And Susan... NO BOOTS!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Remember my first disastrous attempt at the Butterick 4699 (mid 1960's) for my Must Sew #1? I wasn't going to let this pattern get the better of me!

This is my second attempt....

I kind of butchered the pattern a little. Although I made the original dress according to my measurements, it was too big and sack like. So I took it in about 2cm in all off the width, lowered the neckline a little (about 1.5cm), so it didn't feel like it was choking me so much, and shortened the dress by 8cm (I felt the length was a little dowdy).

I thought when deciding what fabric to use, I could go for a cross between a coat and a dress. So I chose a pinwhale cord in black and faced hems and sleeves etc. with bias binding. Because it was cord, I had to make a side seam so that I could cut the pattern with the nap, instead of on the crosswise fold.

I have to say that this isn't my fondest adventure with vintage patterns. I will wear it though, and am on the lookout for a hot pink skivvy and matching tights to brighten up the black!

Thursday, June 11, 2009


I love listening to Bec play the guitar. She's pretty darn good for a 12 year old! In fact, the other week her teacher phoned me and said that at her level, we should seriously think about getting her a better guitar. So we did! If it makes her enjoy playing the guitar even more....I'm all for it.

I had some guitar fabric in my stash, so this afternoon I made her a name tag for her guitar case.
My inspiration came from Lisa from A Spoonful of Sugar with her crafty tutorial in the Jan/Feb issue of Silver Magazine, although I used a slightly different method.
I used some iron-on vinyl that I bought at Spotlight (this is a bargain on ebay as I paid around $30 for my roll!) You just iron the vinyl onto the right side of your fabric and it coats it and makes it water proof...and pretty and shiny! I used my trusty old tag templates that I've had about a million years.

*Just iron the vinyl onto the right side of fabric and cut out 2 tags (front and back) mine were about 12cm by 6cm.

*Iron on some stiff interfacing to the wrong sides of both tags.

*Cut some clear vinyl (non iron on) to make a pocket for the name tag to slip into. Bind the top edge for neatness if you wish.

*Place this clear vinyl on top of one of the tags and baste really close to the edge.

*On the other tag, sew on a D ring using some tape or ribbon. Then attach a split ring.

*Place both tags wrong sides together and sew around all edges (about 5mm in from raw edge). Then unpick the basting from when you sewed the clear vinyl pocket on, and sew another row of stitching around all edges.

*Trim and neaten edges (they may slip a bit because you can't pin as it makes holes in the vinyl.....that's the downside).

*Place name and address details on co-ordinating cardboard and insert into pocket.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

MUST SEW #9.....again

Here is another skirt I made from New Look 6594. I was going to make this up in a corduroy, but I couldn't find a nice chocolate colour, and I wanted another skirt in a hurry, so instead I bought this fabric from Textile Traders . It has a teeny bit of stretch to it (I don't think it matters in this skirt that the fabric is stretch as it's not a firm fit anyway). No alterations again, which is way cool!
Oh, and I had to buy some chocolate coloured boots to match......just don't tell my husband (shhhhhhh)
I can see myself making a whole pile of these skirts. They are so easy to make and comfortable to wear.
I do think I'm starting to have a bit of a boot fetish though......

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Well, today I received my very first award...."One Lovely Blog Award".

Thank you so much to Susan from Stitch Scrap Sew and DJStoreRoom for nominating me for this award.

Apparently I have to nominate 5 Blogs.....I nominate the following because I love to read these lovely Blogs on a daily basis - I find them inspiring and interesting, I may not always comment, but I do enjoy a daily dose.

I'm currently making another skirt (I'd have it finished by now if I stopped snooping around Blogland!) I'll post pictures soon.
Have a great week!

Friday, May 29, 2009


Here's my latest project that I made this week. It's New Look 6594 View E. I like border prints, but never really liked one enough to make a dress or skirt out of. Last week I spotted this cotton fabric at Textile Traders and had to buy it! I then had to get a cute little skirt pattern to make it up in (and don't even go near that horrid skirt on on the left! I didn't like those puff skirts in the 80's and can't believe they made a come-back!). The only alteration I did to the pattern was to insert an invisible zipper instead of a lapped one. Everything else was as per the pattern, and it was quite easy to put together. It looks super cute with my favourite boots! I'd like to make another one out of corduroy...nice for the cooler weather that's upon us.
A close-up of the fabric.
Anyway, so I can tick off number 9 on my Must Sew list (See side-bar..I think I've neglected this list for a while and must get right back on track with it).
PS. Have a look-see at Linda's blog and wish her a Happy birthday for Saturday!
Have a great week!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I have wanted a denim dress for such a long time, but have never seen one that I liked...until now! I was afraid that I would look like a biker chick in a denim dress (not that there's anything wrong with that!!!).

Anyhoo, I bought this pattern a few months ago from this seller on OZtion. This is a really good site for vintage patterns, similar to Ebay, and they are usually quite cheap, not quite the same selection, but you could be lucky like I was!

I chose a black denim from Spotlight (to match my black boots that I HAD to buy for my 40th, which was a few years ago now). The fabric has a slight stretch, and a bit of a slub through it, so it doesn't make the dress too plain. View 2 (far left) was the one I made and I'm really loving it. I may just make the pant suit too!

I didn't have to make any sizing alterations to this pattern which is wonderful, and because the denim was on the "stiff" side, I made the facings with black poplin to reduce the bulk, and used bias binding around the armholes.

And in case you think my right leg looks kooky, it is. I had the 'big C' about 15 years ago and lost my knee joint in the recovery process! Those close to me know I usually wear pants or dresses/skirts below the knee, but I liked this pattern so much I didn't care. Quite liberating, really!
Anyway, this was my first 70's pattern, and it certainly won't be my last!
And I almost forgot, I tried a new method for backstitching seams which I discovered on this great blog. It really works a treat, and I really wanted to try this method to reduce the bulk with the denim. Give it a go!
Enjoy your day.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I'm not really into Tshirts - especially those with silly sayings on them, but I just couldn't resist! There is a whole lot more on the Australian CafePress Site (although I think most are sourced from the U.S.). You can key in just about anything that interests you (scrap booking, quilting, sewing, soccer etc.) and there will surely be a Tshirt for it, or you can even design your own!

I am also coveting this....

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Last year, Jona gave a tutorial on her blog for "An Apron In An Hour". Here's one I made for a friend of mine who is having a birthday on Saturday. This is such an easy apron to whip up...It doesn't take much fabric at all and I used up some of my scraps. Go check out Jona's Blog - it's full of wonderful stuff!

And of course, when preparing dinner in her new apron, she must have a drop of her favourite wine!

I also made a matching bag for a nice bottle of wine. This was another easy project.

I cut a rectangle about 38cm (top/bottom) by about 46cm. Made an 8cm hem on one of the shorter sides (for top of bag). Fold in half lengthways. For the ties, (use 1 length of ribbon about 65cm or make matching ties like I did) fold the ribbon in half and place folded edge of ribbon into the bag's seam allowance at the side, about 8cm from finished top of bag. Sew down side and bottom to form the bag. Square off the bottom of the bag. How easy!

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I have been AWOL again the last few days. We decided to take another trip down to Busselton for the second time these school holidays! Lots of Sea, Sun, Sand, Surf and Swimming! I am now catching up on a few things that I needed to post that I didn't get a chance to do before I went.

My Must Sew #4 was to make something for my gorgeous Thomas. I must have been a bit slow on completing this for him...He said to me last week "Mummy, why don't you sew for me?" Which was like a dagger through my heart! I hope I have redeemed myself. His face lit up when he saw the finished product. He loves sharks (or any animal that kills for that matter!) and I saw this cotton fabric at Spotlight a while ago and had to buy it on the spot! I used Simplicity 4381 View A with which I used a navy piping. A really easy pattern - but I have to admit, the piping must add on about an hour extra to make. I will definitely make this again in a fleece for winter (WITHOUT PIPING OK TOM?)

Here's a close-up of the fabric pattern and piping.

Also, I was a very lucky girl indeed the other day when my friend Linda surprised me with this lovely pencil tidy that she made. It's in the shape of a handbag...(she knows how much I love handbags!) How cute! You will find more about how she did this on her Blog. Thank You Linda.

I Love, Love, Love it!