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On the sewing table...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Summer is fast approaching us in Sydney Town. The days are longer (it’s so nice to get up in the morning and its light!) and the temperatures are slowly rising. Spring is most certainly here… 

I have a number of summer sewing projects that I’m gearing up towards and so I thought, as a little motivation, I’d share them with you. I’ve been washing my parisienne fabric hoard slowly over the weekends, and collecting and sorting my various vintage patterns into bite sized pieces to sew up over the next few months. With my newly found love of ‘taking it slowly and doing it properly’ when it comes to sewing, I may not get all of it made, but I can certainly try! And let’s face it, the pants are for autumn, I’m just trying to get a head start… 

1 Stripy black and white dress 

Pattern 7

2 Vintage button blouse 

Pattern 9

 3 Tartan dress 

Pattern 10

4 Red Circle Skirt (completed) - photos coming soon!

5 Japanese Floral dress (started, should be finished this weekend).

Pattern 5

 6 Strappy Japanese cotton lawn dress 

Pattern 3

7 Pants 

pants pattern

8 Gathered dress 

Pattern 6

9 Cambie dress - I'm currently in the middle of a muslin of this that I desperately need your help with. Post coming soon!

10 Colette Patterns Macaron Dress - I still need to actually get the pattern for this, but I have my fabric combination all sorted! And that’s the hard part right?

11 Flowy lace/curtain skirt - my own made up pattern (yet to get fabric!)

12 A version of Tilly's picnic skirt

13 Skulls Dress - David found a rockabilly style dress made of this fabric in London but the style just wasn't flattering on me. They had almost the same pattern as below made up in every other fabric except the skulls, so when I found the fabric after returning home (and the pattern that had been hiding in my stash for YEARS) I knew it would work. I'm excited about this one :)

Pattern 4

14 Strappy flowery cotton dress - this fabric was about $6 a metre, can't complain!

Pattern 8

15 Gathered neckline blue cotton dress - yes, the same fabric as a dress above, but I have so much of it I may as well use it. I paid about $3 for the lot at an op shop in Dunedin, NZ.

Pattern 1

16 Blue/Black polka dot gathered bust dress 

Pattern 2

18 Green Zig Zag pleated skirt - my own made up pattern, and I've yet to get the fabric.

Phew, that’s A LOT! Of course, these projects will change as I find new inspiration/as new patterns mysteriously land in my mailbox, but these are most of them up to this point. 

What fun projects do you have in stall? Is it a huge long list like mine, or small number of pieces to add to your wardrobe for the coming season? 


The last Winter Skirt…

Monday, September 17, 2012


I’ve had this skirt in mind for a while but took my time in making it up. It’s a fairly basic skirt, but is nicely out of line with the big round circle skirts I usually make. Having finished watching Mad Men a little while ago, I decided I was sorely lacking in the cute 60’s skirt department.
I made this up with a left over remnant of thrifted vintage rosey pink wool and I used up almost every single last scrap. It’s lined with a bubblegum pink lining and does up the back with a zip and hook (and as usual with most of my sewing, I moved the zip from the side to the back. My hips do not need any extra bulk thank you very much!).

Because it’s such a plain skirt, I thought I needed a cute detail and so found some cute buttons, made up some belt loops and then went about experimenting with different ways of designing them. I ended up hand sewing them together with a triangle pivot at the bottom - I really like how they turned out and think they add a nice little detail.


I’m calling it the last winter skirt because it’s basically Spring now and there is the potential I won’t get to wear it much in a few weeks time. But I think it would look cute paired with the sleeveless jasmine blouse I made in autumn this year.
How do you perk up a relatively plain garment when you are sewing?

Taking the Time…

Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Sewing Small

While I was in Paris shopping up a fabric storm, I had a lot time to think about what I was sewing, what I was blogging and what motivated me to keep posting on here years after I began.
I’ve always been someone who sewed for the end result, not the learning process in between.  I think that this has something to do with the fact that I picked sewing back up when I started the blog as something to post about other than outfit posts  - I found after a few years that they just really weren’t all that interesting to me anymore, my tastes in blogging and what I was reading in the blogosphere had changed (though I do still like to do them from time to time, it’s always nice to show off a pretty vintage dress!).
Sewing for the end result gave me something to post about and so I zoomed through my projects quickly, not necessarily taking the time to make sure they were well constructed, fit well and were comfortable, so that I could take photos and blog about them as quickly as possible.
While I was away in Paris, I joined the Craftsy course on Couture sewing (David was away for a week at a conference and I needed some English speaking entertainment to fill in my night times!) and I got all inspired by the slow process of couture sewing. Learning to make a proper muslin, fitting it, making changes as you went, hand sewing zips, basting the fabric together, making under linings etc. It was all so new and exciting and slow - something I really hadn’t been doing at all!   

I hadn’t been enjoying the process of sewing like I should have been, I hadn’t been taking the time to acquire new sewing skills because I was so bent up on having a finished garment to post about that I actually stopped enjoying sewing all together! And speaking of not enjoying it, I hadn’t actually been finishing any of my planned projects either because I just felt so much pressure from myself to get them finished solely to put them up on the blog.
I’ve come to realise that I can actually post about the process of making a garment, it doesn’t have to be just about the end result, it can also be about the learning bits in between too.
And so I’ve come back to this blog with fresh eyes and a new focus. I’m taking my time with the construction of my garments, and while that may mean I won’t have much in the way of finished garments to post about for some time in between, it does mean that I’ll hopefully learn new skills that I can pass onto you here and hopefully inspire you to slow down a little too and take the time to enjoy the journey…


Ye Olde London Towne…

Wednesday, September 5, 2012
I loved London, no, I love London. One week was not long enough!

Yes there was some rain (but mostly sun!), yes it was busy and bustling, especially in the touristy areas, the Olympics were about to start and it was the same temperature in Summer as it was in Sydney’s Winter, but I absolutely loved it.

I had the pleasure of meeting up with some lovely ladies, including Tilly (we wandered around Liberties and discussed sewing classes while ooh’ing and ahh’ing at the pretty (and rather expensive) fabric and wares).

We did the London Eye, Tower of London and went to Claridges for afternoon tea. We wandered the vintage packed streets of Bricklane and ended up in Spitafield markets where I bought 2 gorgeous hat bands from a lovely lady (I wore one to afternoon tea). We ate at pubs, scoffed pork pies and ate mushy peas (erm, gross, just don’t even go there…). We visited the Stone Henge (where I tried really hard to feel the Gregorian vibes but couldn’t), wandered around pretty Bath (where I bought shoes, naturally) and just enjoyed the pretty quaint-ness that is England.

I’m sure I’ll be back soon…

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