Sunday, 25 December 2016

Red dress

3 days before Christmas (the little red dress project) this red dress came about.
I could be about to twirl in this photo.
All of this fabric was in my stash and instinctively I cut out Victory Patterns Nicola made it again but fully lined this version. I'll review the pattern soon.
Love the fit with this pattern.
This fabric is see-through and scratchy so it needed to be lined. Trust me on that.
Merry Christmas and I hope you all enjoy the break with the people you want to be with.

"That's a wrap."

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Espadrille winner

Jenny Brown has won the Prym espadrille kit from Minerva Crafts UK.
Your lucky number came up Jenny.
Now it's a race between Australia Post and Santa to get this kit to you by Christmas!
Thanks to everyone who entered their name onto this month's Minerva Crafts post.

There will be another Aussie/Kiwi Minerva Crafts UK giveaway in January and in February so keep an eye out.

By the way, if you're on Instagram you will have already seen next month's fabric on the clothesline with the sounds of Summer in the background.

23 December update: Jenny received her kit! Thanks Australia Post.

Thursday, 15 December 2016



I got to attend a 6 week local millinery course and the experience was great.
Hats designed by Catherine Kelley Embellish Atelier
Buying bike helmets proved I have a big noggin (head). 
Gerrie's hat is made specifically for an outfit she loves.
Commercially made hats are made 22" standard circumference. My noggin is 24".
These are my WIP pieces in my noggin size.
Sydney Community College offered a decent discount for the millinery course I just completed.
Sue's an unassuming millinery master.
I didn't realise the discount was because the 8 week course was only available for 6 weeks.
Fascinator wip using sinamay - to be completed. 
There were lots of techniques we learned from Catherine Kelly. Her encouragement and knowledge pushed us and it paid off.
Fedora wip after sewing on petersham tape to the brim and inside the crown.
Hey. I made the most of the 6 lessons we had.
Almost finished with a classic side bow
Marjorie's hatmaking posts on instagram got my millinery interest and recently Anne Whalley suggested I should make a hat to add 'drama' to my style so it was inevitable that one day I would learn to make hats from one of the best. 
Complete with feathers and self-made flowers
PS, I'm not at all into drama.
This stage was exciting - both crown and brim fit my noggin! No drama:)
Catherine Kelly of Embellish Atelier was our tutor and we got the opportunity to work in Catherine's own studio for a couple of classes.
These are a selection of hat crowns and brims Catherine uses.
Catherine offers her own workshops so I may sneak into one of her classes next year for an urban Autumn hat.
The black felt will be my future urban Autumn hat.
Catherine's work is amazing, inspiring and her hats win lots of prizes at the races.  
Just some of Catherine's designs.
It would be fabulous to work in her studio again and get inspired all over again. Her studio is so stylish.

This has been a great year for learning new skills.

Once I finish the fascinator/s, I'll show you how they turn out. More importantly, I have a hat that fits my noggin.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Knot-maste yoga set

Melissa has branched into yoga with her new Knot-maste yoga set
This new set has been tested by a bunch of us and Melissa has used our feedback to bring you this new set. We (the tester group) had a lot of feedback about the test version and this version has a lot of changes to it. 
Yoga isn't my thing but should be so I was in two minds about testing this set. I only pattern test things I will use so I thought I should try this set because I should stretch more. I should but I don't stretch much.

The test pants are now very much lived in. The top is not my style so I won't be wearing it. I know tops featuring backs, low armholes and flashing bras is a trend, I'm not embracing that trend.

The new version pants has a knot option on the capri version and a different waistband treatment. There is also a shorter top version with a knot on the side. 

With the Christmas season upon us and our stifling hot Summer, this pattern will have to wait until April to get into my sewing queue, but again I'll make this set for others.

Melissa is offering discount to bring you this new set as all of her patterns are now 20% off
at through 26 Dec 2016 with code "NAMASTE":

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Day and night dress challenge

If you've been blogging and or sewing for a while you may already know Elizabeth of Elizabeth made this.
Elizabeth really does sew anything that's not nailed down and her Christmas cooking feats at the moment are quite impressive. She's constantly creating and keeping her family looked after.

Elizabeth has developed and is hosting the Day and Night Dress Challenge. It's really simple - make two dresses - one for the day and one for night.

As she explains: "I’ve been wanting to get back into performing with my violin, and it’s been a number of years since I had a black dress in my closet.  Though I need a black dress that’s polished and appropriate for orchestra performances, the truth is that I seldom wear black. The idea of challenging myself to make a black dress became much more appealing when I thought about making an everyday dress at the same time" Read more about Elizabeth's idea here.

Are you interested in joining the day and night dress challenge? There are two parts to it and some lovely sponsors that are providing two prizes to the winners and there's also a random vote for another prize.


The challenge is to make 2 dresses for yourself:
  1. A dress with a day look: This can be anything!  Shirtdresses, knit dresses, sweater dresses, wrap dresses, the sky is the limit.  Sew up a dress that suits your life and expresses your own sense of style.  I want to see color, pattern, and texture here.
  2. A dress with a night look:  Night look dresses should be black, and they can be as fancy or as simple as you choose.  Think about a dress that could go to the opera or a cocktail party or anywhere else where you need to look effortlessly chic and sharp.
Dresses are to be made during the time of the challenge (January 8th-28th 2017 for the community challenge).  This is a contest for women’s garments only.


  • The blog tour will take place from Sunday, January 8th- Saturday, January 14th 2017.
  • Entries for the community challenge will open on Sunday, January 8th and will close on Saturday, January 28th 12 am MST.  There will be a link up available for entrants to post their dresses.  Feel free to chronicle your makes on social media #dayandnightdresschallenge on Instagram and Twitter or join the Facebook group here, but only entries posted to the link up will be considered for the prizes.
  • Voting will begin on January 29th and close on Saturday, February 4th.
  • There will be 2 winners of the Day and Night Dress Challenge as determined by vote.  Winners will each receive a prize package which will be detailed in a future post.

What's my involvement?
There are two parts to this challenge and I'm involved in the blog tour to help get you inspired to make your two dresses.
I'm working Victory Patterns Nicola dress because it's Summer and I love wrap dresses. 
When Elizabeth approached me to join in, I was already planning on making a new Summer dress for my next Minerva Crafts make so my day dress was already planned using this bold and large John Kaldor floral print
Now to sort out the evening version in black by diving into my fabric stash. I may need to lengthen my evening version. You'll see the results of my test dress on instagram.

In the meantime I'll be checking out all the sewing bloggers taking part to inspire your creations because they've all go their own styles.

Think about this challenge and if it inspires you, join in.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Want to make your own espadrilles?

Giveaway time!

Are you interested to make you're own espadrilles like mine?
Do you have a size 40 foot?
Where is this questioning going?
Source: Prym.consumer on instagram
If you've said yes to the first two questions and you live in either Australia or New Zealand, I have the full Prym espadrille kit available in size 40 on offer. 
Write your comment / wish on the review I did for Minerva Crafts.

The mail service for my Minerva Crafts UK commitment just arrived this week. It left the UK in September.
Vicki from Minerva Crafts UK send me a back up kit when the first kit didn't arrive.
All the products I used for these Prym espadrilles are now available for this giveaway.
Source: Prym.consumer on instagram
If you want this kit leave your comments on the Minerva Crafts blog post here, by Friday 15 December and the lucky person will get their own Prym espadrille kit by Christmas.

This Prym espadrille kit includes:
Prym espadrille soles in size 40UK
Prym espadrille creative yarn in Blue
Prym espadrille iron on interfacing
Art Gallery fabrics (rosebud print and evergreen slate fabric) enough to make your own espadrilles.

I'll pay the postage for the winner's kit because I want lucky crafty person to have a go at making either own Prym espadrilles for Summer. Put your comment on my Minerva Crafts review post.

Be creative and try an espadrille style that suits your needs and style. 

Design and make your own espadrilles for Christmas either for yourself or as a gift.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Summer travel set

This month’s post started off simply – make a pair of espadrilles. 
Then I decided to make a matching bag. 
In this case a backpack that converts to a shoulder bag or a cross over bag. Finally I thought a the Art Gallery fabric could be made into shorts so these pieces become part of a Summer travel set.
Having some sewing knowledge was a good thing and was also a challenge. Let me explain.

About the espadrilles: Prym have developed the notions you need to make espadrilles
The type of espadrilles are really something you can create so I used their basic pattern. Prym provide the pattern for this basic espadrille. The Prym interfacing is really firm but light to hold. 

The interfacing is really all you need to make a firm shoe and have minimal layers to stitch through. Adding another lining was a real 'learning'.

The Prym thread is a three thread ‘wool’ so I learnt how to use a tapestry needle and an awl tool. My thimble wasn’t the right shape for my fingers so next time I’ll invest in a good thimble.

I decided to line the sole, hence the use of a spray glue to ensure the fabric stayed in place while I stitched up these espadrilles.

Prym have an easy espadrille video that shows you all the steps for making your own espadrilles. The pinning and sewing technique were easy to understand. The video suggest using a 110cm length thread which was perfect for this kit. I eventually waxed the threads as they sewed up more smoothly. 
Oh. The piping was a leftover from a previous Minerva project. I'd love to try the Prym sneakers in a future post.

Onto the bag. I’ve been helping Vero of Sacotin Patterns proof the English translations of her French patterns so I knew her Limbo would be the perfect travel bag for Summer. This bag can be worn three ways.
It was a quick and easy decision to choose this pattern so I stash dived for the handbag notions and only needed to buy 4 extra D-rings and a zipper.

The instructions were easy to follow and I sewed this bag up in 7 hours. It really didn’t feel like 7 hours because each step was very easy to achieve. At one point the bag shape sort of looked like the head of a Stormtrooper.
That’s when I decided to take a break and grab a cup of tea.
The instructions to make the straps give you an option to add fleece so they're more comfortable and this really makes a huge difference.
I have enough contrast Art Gallery print for the outside of my Limbo bag but not for the lining so I used some Minerva Crafts remnants. It’s a stretch woven so I made sure I interfaced the lining body and the zipper areas.

Yes...I had these two pink zippers in my stash and they matched this fabric.

 The instructions to sew in these zippers was easy to follow and master.
This pattern also suggests adding a layer of fleece into the bag gusset and again, this made the bag a firmer shape. 

I made the largest version and it sits nicely on me.

Above is the backpack style and below is the shoulder style or cross back style. 
The external zipper works well for the shoulder style bag.

Lastly were the shorts. Summer has arrived and I when it’s hot I live in shorts and tees.
I made these Maritime shorts by Grainline patterns in 2014 so I knew this pattern works for my shape.
This pattern has a sway back adjustment and a lower centre back curve.
The fabric is quite firm so I added 2cm at the side seams.  
The fabric sews up really nicely and the weave is something I love.

Again I stashed dived and found some more remnants from previous Minerva Crafts project for the pocket lining.

I used more stash notions for the closures.
When I ordered my fabric, I didn't know if I would get time to make these shorts for this post but I'm glad they worked out this month.
I love the pocket detailing of these shorts. When I sew pockets, I pin mark the turning points for a sharper finish.

The waistband pieces are marked to line up these pieces.

So now I can pair these three travel basics with any tee and be comfortable. I can wear the same bag three different ways, which is handy when you're on the go.

Thanks Vicki for this month's huge kit. You really know how to put together a kit for a shoe making novice like myself.


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