Thursday, 22 August 2013


Wow, time has flown by.  I finished teaching my 1st set of classes in early July and its now late August.  Eeekk.  It was a lot of fun.  We got to cosy up in the Country Women's rooms in Dunsborough, eat cake and, importantly, make skirts.  The pattern I chose for the class was a great beginners one Megan Neilsen's Kelly Skirt.  Its a great one because it only has one important measurement which is the waist.  It's simple to sew with lots of straight bits but also some intersting things like pockets, pleats and button holes and the finished object is pretty stylish too.

Everyone was so excited by the pockets, its really the 1st thing you make and when they realised that they had put in 2 nicely shaped pockets there were lots of smiles.  Button holes too went pretty well.  I did lots of revision and practice before hand and am now also much better at them than I was before!!!

I learnt many other things too.... like it takes 10 hours to teach a class to make this skirt and finish it not 7 and a half.  Pleats also caused us a few headaches.  Not that they are hard to put in but that everyone needed up with skirts that were too long around the waist and so the waistband only just fitted (and was maybe a bit big finished).  I think for next time I will get everyone to hand tack them and check the waistband length before machine basting in place.  Its also really interesting to see what what beginners really need to know, what's too much and of course those things you think are obvious but totally aren't when you 1st start.

I had such a nice 1st group and three and a half finished skirts out of four.  Erin couldn't make the last lesson but I know she's brought herself a sewing machine after using mine to do the course so I think its out there somewhere!  Here are few pics....
Kim sewing away - she was super speedy!
Jen sewing too.
Emma with her Elks! Loving the scandi style.
Finished Skirts Happy Ladies
And here's a picture of me that I'm using for my facebook page for the classes.  I've cut my fringe.  I know you can tell I did it by that kink.  Well actually my husband did it but I can't be blaming him.  I haven't had one for years but I like it.  Look a bit crazed here, hopefully it won't put everyone off! 

More classes coming soon but I need to work out exactly when as I have started going to some too.

Yay, I'm so excited.  I'm into week 2 of pattern cutting evening classes at Bunbury TAFE.  I accidentally happened upon an advertisement for them, enquired and was told there weren't enough people............. then there were and there I am.  yey.

We are doing skirt and bodice blocks, styles, grading and all sorts.  I was amazed how well my skirt block fit - of course it would I guess.  I've done bits of it before and read lots so its not all totally new but it really does make a huge difference to actually do it in practice and have someone teach you, show you how its properly done and answer your questions.  I love learning anything really but to be able to learn this which I have been wanting to do for ages is a real priveledge.  A do you know what? Its not that hard either (she says after only 2 weeks and some VERY basic styles).  I think I will be making patterns for a lot more things myself.

Next up I'm off to do a day of natural dyeing in September.  After a quiet winter its all happening.  Feels good.

Monday, 12 August 2013


Well I've done a lot of straight line sewing recently with a few bits of twiddly stuff in the middle, namely some applique.  Not something I do much of, I always think of it as going on kids clothes or quilts.  No reason it has to be like that but I've never put any on anything for me.  No change there, I just made some seat covers and kids clothes!

I picked up 3 lovely directors chairs in the tip for $5 when we were dropping something else off.  (Is it only me that always comes back with more than I take?)  Nothing wrong with these just the seats were a bit ripped and mouldy and the wood needed some TLC.  I couldn't leave them behind.  They sat in the garage for about 8 months and then one drizzly saturday morning I just decided to get on and oil them.

I sanded them lightly and then brushed on organ oil which got rapidly soaked up.  It was an amazing transformation, they went from looking pale, worn and sorry for themselves to chic and shipshape just like that.  

Small one didn't want to miss out on any painting action so had a go on her new climbing frame her dad had just built. 

Next to the covers.  I had a large length of denim from the op shop, I'd had it in mind for these so just needed to get going.  I measured the old covers and reduced the size a bit to allow for stretch.  Then I did some applique feathers on the top just to add a bit of interest.  I had some fancy interfacing stuff that sticks on both sides that I brought ages ago, the feather template was on the instruction sheet of something I made out of Burda Style and it had stuck in my memory.  Easy.  Sew around the edge with small zigzag, and running stitch embroidery down the middle whilst watching TV. 

I'm totally pleased with them, but also pleased not to have to sew more straight lines for a bit!

Obviously comfy enough!
The girls above are infact wearing 2 very cute applique dresses, not by me, from Boden in the UK.  A present from their Grandma.  I tried my hand too.  Skye had been walking about with the lion Fabric for a couple of days, she even took it to bed, so I took pity and made her a paper bag skirt with a little lion on the big pocket.  I just made the pattern up, very easy, a slightly sloped rectangle with elastic!  In the photo its just come out of the wash, it could do with an iron but it probably won't get one. 

Modelled by miss on completion.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Late to the Party

I made these PJs and even took the photos in time for the party but then I missed it.  Life and things got in the way.  But finally ............I present my 2 new pairs of pyjama bottoms!!!  Both of these pairs of trousers rescued otherwise unwearbale tops from the op shop and transformed them into pretty cute pyjama tops.  They only get seen under cover of darkness (by me and my nearest and dearest) so the obvious reasons I didn't really like wearing the tops out become unimportant and it seems pyjamas have different style rules which mean they are just fine.  I now have 2 sets of PJs that get lots and lots of wear.

1st up lets meet the karate/curtains/kung-fu/chintz pair.  I really am not sure what I was thinking when I made this top.  I did originally buy the fabric for a nightie or pyjamas but then decided to make a kimono top.  Its kind of ok and it did get worn out once - the day I made it of course.  But the sleeves are huge and show your bra and the print whilst very pretty and a lovely soft voile is really not my style and, well, doesn't go so well with the design.  Its pattern 121 from Burda Style 06/11. 

Back to plan A.  Bra showing is obviously no longer an issue if I'm not wearing one!  I had more of the same fabric and trim so enter a PJ bottom pattern from Burda 12/2007 (which incidentally has a much better looking kimono style top).  I have sepia-ed up these pics as it was all a bit harsh with the night time flash photography.  You can see the real colours in the last pic below.

 Next up a stripey vintage sheet pair.  Quite reminiscent mens PJS (although maybe not in pink).  They tone down the sweetness of the top.  I made this one when I was pregnant, (in fact I notice I posted about it 2 days before giving birth!)  It kind of worked ok for that although really the material was not drapey enough.   I tried cutting off the frilly sleeves to improve it and thought about shortening it but it didn't seem worth the effort.  Its one major merit was its extreme comfort (and of course its downside in that it looks a bit like a sack) so pyjamas it became.  I used the same pattern.

These were bottoms were obviously not complicated to make but were something I'd been meaning to do for ages and kept putting off.  I think I knocked them both out in one evening. Thank you to Karen, her pyjama party gave me the push to finally do it.  Two otherwise unloved items are now earning their keep.