Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Perhaps not the most exciting or innovative of collections for this season, but I am quite admiring of Sienna Miller and her sister's work on this seasons lot. VERY wearable, VERY chic, in that layered, loose way (which I like. A lot.) I wouldn't mind something from every one of the images below, be it the large lapelled, 2-coloured coat, or the blood red floor-length dress. 

I think i'm particularly drawn to this 'everyday wear' collection because uni is back in 2 weeks, and the thought of what to wear everyday (work has a uniform) that is a combination of nice, warm and has a degree of wind protection (Monash Clayton campus is like a wind tunnel). 

Plus it helps that all of these are very sew-able, and even if I never to get around to sewing up any versions of my own, the thought that I could, if i wanted to, is pleasing enough!

All images from Style.com

Monday, February 18, 2013


There is just something so freakin awesome about Swedish interior design. I freakin love it. I should stop saying 'freakin'. 

But anyway, I am pretty obsessed. Thank god for design websites and blogs, so that I can get my daily fix. And then there is IKEA, where I can spend hours walking around admiring all the simple design and the wonderful colours. 

Look and love. 

All images are from wonderdeco.se

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Am in the process of sewing up the shirt using lovely tartan/plaid fabric. As mentioned previously, I do love tartan, but by god I stress over the small stuff with it!

Case in point: the front pocket. 

When I placed the pattern piece on the fabric, my main objective was to make it nice an symmetrical, with the pocket flap matching the pocket itself. But then when it came time to attach the pocket to the shirt front piece, I discovered my error. See below. 

Now i could have just moved the whole pocket over an inch or so, but then it would have ben too close the where the buttons will eventually go. So I had to do this...

Trace the pattern pieces so that I could then draw in the lines of the fabric, so that when cutting out new pocket pieces, they would match up with the shirt front.

And whilst it took me three goes (stupidity on my part), I eventually got there. So here we have it, one nice, almost invisible pocket!

The end. 


Which means I don't have instagram. I know, I know, I'm missing out on a big part of modern life but meh, I like my Blackberry with its buttons! So until the people at instagram decide to do a version for the old BB, i'll just have to resort to uploading images that I have taken and manually put them on the web myself! 

So here is a nice little collection of life recently.

Got stuck behind this lovely Jaguar along Dandenong Road on my way to work one morning. Whilst admiring it (and realising it was going in the same direction as myself), I figured out that it actually belongs to the Chief Exec of Cabrini from his initials on the number plate!

Dinner of Hwedupbap AKA "sushi in a bowl" at the delightful Sori Cafe in Kensington

Raw pecan pie at Yong Green Food on Brunswick Street

My new boots all wrapped up in their box

Admiring a sideboard at IKEA

Pretty candy stripes

Am planning on making a bit of a garden area in our courtyard, and I think these pots will be needed

Playing dress-ups with all the dresses I own but never wear. This one was made by your truly, a couple of years ago now

Green linen 60s secretarial number, I think purchased from The Vintage Emporium down in Tyabb

Another version of the red one above, made last year. The fabric was purchased from Jobs Warehouse on the last days of business (for Melbournians, it was the dusty, run-down looking fabric store up the top of Burke Street in the city. Intimidating to enter, but it possessed lots of hidden fabric gems! Is sorely missed by the Melbourne (and Victorian) sewing community

And here i am, in the garage, all set up to start making my shirt. I love checks/plaid, but I get very obsessed with making sure it all matches up. So here I am, listening to 1920s Big Band and dance music on YouTube, whilst pinning away to keep the fabric from shifting!

Thursday, February 14, 2013


A significant dilemma in one's life is how to pick up the hot teapot without burning one's hand (I know you ALL experience this same issue!). So, how to solve the problem? 

Well, you could pop out to the shops and pick one up from there, relatively cheap enough (s pictured below), but also without much effort or imagination! 

The Iris pot holder from IKEA


you could MAKE one! Which is exactly what i'm here to show you (cue eye rolling by you and dorky laughter by me).

WARNING: i sometimes like to not follow sewing rules, but rather just whack things together and see how they turn out. This is one of those occasions.

Take the scraps from the flannelette sheet that you used from the quilt (or just whatever is lying around that is thick). Cut out squares of it. Here there are 4, but I think I omitted one and just had 3, as it was a little tooooo thick. Pin together.

Get out other fabric scraps and cut them however you please, so long as you can piece them together to create a square of the same size as the flannelette pieces.

Sew together and pinking shear the edges (love a crimped edge, one of the simple pleasures in life!)

Sandwich the layers of flannelette between the two patterned fabric layers, pin together and start sewing them altogether. Create whichever pattern you like. Here I followed the seams that had to be created because of the scrap fabric. Then crossed over them horizontally and then diagonally. 

After sewing together, trim down edges so that they are all roughly even.

Pick out a pretty seam binding. This one was really too narrow, so a wider one would make it easier to bind the edges with.

Because the binding was narrow, i unfolded it and pressed it out flat.

Then i folded it over, pressing it so that on side was a smidgeon shorter than the other. By doing this, and sewing with the shorter side face up, it ensures that you will have caught all the binding on the underside, and thus not have any nasty areas where it hasn't been sewn on both sides.

Pin like there is no tomorrow. 

Sew it. I like to use a clear presser foot in situations like this, as it enables you to actually see what you are doing with the needle and the fabric, especially when you are sewing very close to the edge, but not wanting to go over it. 

With the excess binding, make a loop in one of the corners, so that it can be hung from a hook for storage (and display!). Sew it down.

Ta da! One heat-proof tea pot holder (well, maybe that is a slight exaggeration. Slightly Heat Preventative Pot Holder would be more appropriate). I ended up doing another row of stitching around the binding, just to be extra sure that it had caught all the layers together. 

And here is it in action!

No more burnt hands pour moi!


AKA Swedish Hasbeens!

Delivered straight to my door from the beautiful Sweden, smelling all wonderful and of new leather. After a quick dampening of the leather to stretch them out a bit (damn wide feet of mine!), and a coat or two of olive oil (their recommendation), these utter beauties are ready for winter (yes, i'm already dreaming about winter).

View and be jealous!

Apparently this natural leather colour with darken with age and wear, which I am very much looking forward to. I already own a pair of SH boots, purchased in 2010 when in Helsinki, and they are indestructible! Admittedly, it does take some getting used to walking on the wooden heel/sole, as there really is no flexibility there, like other shoes, but once experienced, you can never go back! 

In other shoe-related news...

Here are my new tap shoes, already scuffed from two tap dancing lessons! It was a bit of a new year's resolution, decided when I was sitting on the sofa in my family's house in the UK, over the christmas/new year period. An email or two later, I had signed myself up to Adult Beginner Tap classes at Miss Glamour Puss' Studio in St Kilda. Suffice to say, the classes are wonderful and I am totally hooked!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Lately I have been...

cutting out the pattern pieces from the PDF version of the Colette shirt (previously blogged about)

Picking up the quilt I started over a year ago. The main body of it was done and dusted and put in the linen cupboard and forgotten about. After printing, matching and cutting out the above Colette pattern, I was a bit sick of it (short attention span, moi?!), so decided to finally finish this bad boy. All it took was an old flannelette sheet for the inner layer (adding some warmth without having to pay the ridiculous prices for natural fibre batting!) and an old op-shop purchased retro sheet for the back. Have since been machine sewing along the triangles, both to hold the layers together but also to create a nice diamond effect. 

Today I stopped by the Essendon Anglican op-shop, on my way home from fabric shopping (more on that later). It is one of my favourite Melbourne op-shops, as it is cheap, not too popular and is in a lovely old church hall. I much prefer the mish-mash and clutter of these types of op-shops to the ordered, colour-coded style of Vinnies and the Salvos. 

I picked up some zippers with metal teeth - a staple when op-shopping. They are usually only 20 or so cents, and are much nicer than the plastic ones available in Spotlight and Lincraft. 

Also got a small milk jug, because one can never have enough of those!

I'm such an Anglophile (I probably love the Mother Country more so than my British father!) and love a bit of royalty memorabilia. So when I come across beauties like the book below, I can't help but buy it and add it to my growing collection!

And even though I now have 6 drawers full of sewing patterns, I love to rummage through boxes of them at op-shops, and pick out my favourites (which are usually a mixture of ones I would actually want to sew, to ones purely for their comic value or their lovely retro illustrations)

I have some more to post, but may save it for another time.

Stay cool (for Australians, I mean that quite literally! 30+ degrees C for the rest of the week. Ehhhh.)