Archive for the ‘Sewing’ Category

Finally back at the sewing machine!

Here’s the winnings from my efforts this Melbourne Cup Day:

Got up early. Saw my acupunturist before 9am. Went to yoga at 10am. Came back had lunch and got my teeth into this project – a refashioned batik op shop shirt.

Used the trusty Simplicity 3742 pattern that I have used a couple of times. This pattern is SO EASY. It’s in the ‘Easy To Sew’ range for a reason. A good one to do when you haven’t sewn for a while. It’s the first time I’ve used the Elna since I got served and it was so smoothe and quiet and running like a dream! Little workhorse that it is.

I made an obie belt using a very simple pattern out of the June 2009 Burda Modern magazine.

I tidied up the fabric stash this weekend too. I don’t know why it hadn’t occurred to me before but all it took doing was clearing out the linen closet, which really doesn’t have THAT much stuff in it and there is more than enough room to fit the fabric stash in there! Now the key is to USE UP the stash, not just keep adding to it. No more fabric shopping allowed until I make a sizeable dent in it.


Last week I mentioned I am going to have hold my very first stall, at the North Melbourne Market next month. I’ve got three garbage bag full of vintage clothes I have finally admitted to myself I’m not going to get around to wearing or refashioning so it’s time to share the love! Above is a sample of what I will have to share.

Though it occurred to me this weekend, I probably don’t have enough to warrant an entire stall space! And I figure there is probably at least one other person out there who might be in the same boat.

So I’m opening it up – does anyone care to share my stall space with me? It’s 1.8m x 2m, and all I am going to have it a rack of clothes and that’s not going to take up my space at all!

Perhaps you have some baked goods to share? Vintage clothing of your own? Handmade items? They will have tables available for hire $5 each, free chairs and you’ll have great company ;p

Drop me a line if you’re keen!

Fingers crossed

Under The Tree from flickr

Under The Tree from flickr

The changing of the seasons is well underway in Melbourne. There are blushes of autumnal colour starting to peek through everywhere. I really think it’s my favourite time of year in Melbourne. And it also seems like a good time to start getting that life/ work balance back in check.

I’ve signed up for a term of one yoga and one pilates class a week and I can start spending my weekends sewing and gardening again now that we have our wedding venues booked.

I have also noticed there’s a bunch of classes, workshops and projects coming up that I thought you might be interested in if you are in Melbourne:

PERMABLITZ have a bunch of classes coming up in May:
SGA are running some Yummy Yard Autumn Workshops:
Ever wanted to grow your own edible produce at home, but don’t know where to start? Never fear, the solution is here! Sustainable Gardening Australia is running a series of “Yummy Yards” courses in Victoria throughout May, to help you get going and keep on growing!

The autumn series of SGA’s very popular Yummy Yards course are scheduled to run as follows:
Series 1. West Footscray Neighbourhood House, Footscray on Tuesdays, May 5th and 12th, 2009
Series 2. The Horticultural Centre, Forest Hill on Wednesdays, May 13th and 20th, 2009
Series 3. Sandybeach Centre, Sandringham on Thursdays May 7th and 14th, 2009

Workshops run from 6:30pm to 9:00pm each evening, and the cost for both evening workshops is just $135 (including GST).

BAAG (Bulleen Art & Garden) always have fantastic courses running if you live in the east. Currently they have these coming up for $25 per class:
  • Backyard Chooks
  • Permaculture in the ‘Burbs Pt 2
  • Preserving Olives – the Italian Way
  • Produce In Pots
  • Worm Farms From Scratch
  • The Art Of Bonsai
Neco are running a free half day seminar on Aquaponics on Mon 18th May:
In an Aquaponics system, nutrient rich water is seen as an asset instead of waste and is utilised to grow useful plants. Once the plants have used the nutrients the water is returned to the fish tank clean and ready to be recycled again. The plants help the fish and the fish help the plants.Aquaponics is the most water efficient agriculture known, and there are near zero environmental impacts.
Aquaponics is a high density organic food production system
You do need to book a place though. Details are here.

Thread Den have their new sewing class schedule here.
  • European Cushions $30
  • Choose Your Own Kidswear $150
  • Circular Skirt
  • Winter Pinafore Dress $150
  • Women’s Waistcoat
  • Street Satchel $93
  • Feature Class: Patternmaking for Skirts $105

AND they are also bringing their Social Sewing Night. You’ll be sure to catch me at a couple of these.


Seriously. Their course guide is here. I have my eye on a number of the cooking and dance classes, they are always fun.


Oh man, looking at this course guide almost makes me want to move back to Adelaide. Look at all this stuff! And the classes are SO CHEAP! Must be government subsidised or something, they are about a third of the prices of courses at CAE in some cases.

CHECK IT OUT. Read the rest of this entry »

114 A Jacket from Burda World Of Fashion magazine Jan 2009

'114 A Jacket' from Burda World Of Fashion magazine Jan 2009

Taunted by constant mentions of this mysterious, wonderous, apparently glorious Burda World Of Fashion magazine in most of my favourite sewing blogs, I’ve finally signed up to this magazine thanks to iSubscribe gift vouchers from Teresa and Chris & Mike. Thank you, thank you!

I’m so excited. It’s produced monthly from Germany, and I am getting the English translated version. If you’re in Australia wondering how to get this, you can subscribe via iSubscribe. I once tried to subscribe via the Burda website but just received a couple of letters from them in German, presumably asking me to send money but who knows! I couldn’t understand it!

It’s not cheap ($190 for 12 months), and no doubt the current exchange rate doesn’t help. However, each magazine includes several patterns (am I correct in saying at least 10 per issue?) that you trace and use. And considering that commercial patterns can be anywhere between $8-$16 each, it’s good value. PLUS it’s up to the minute fashion and I heard that though some of the magazine patterns are made commercially available later, they don’t come out til about 2 years after they were featured in the magazine.

I’m trying not to look at back issues online because I know I will want them. I’m just going to sit tight and patiently wait for my first issue to arrive.

And can I also send a shout out to my blogging friend Emily Kate who incredibly is setting herself the task of MAKING ALL OF HER CLOTHES in 2009!  Amazing. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with, coz lady’s got some SKILLS – look at these hot trousers she made.

Alice + Olivia Vogue 2907 sewing pattern, originally uploaded by ThisIsEmilyKate.

20/365- All You Need Is LOVE, originally uploaded by Four Symbols.

Happy New Year everybody!

Well it’s been an eventful week since I last spoke to you. Let’s see… we went up to The Dandenong Ranges, I turned 30… on New Year’s Eve… and ASA asked me to marry him! Yes, a big day.

It’s funny, over the past year I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about turning 30 and we’ve spent a lot of time talking about one day getting married but no matter how much you can think and talk about these things it doesn’t completely prepare for when you finally get there – it still really feels a helluva lot different. And scary. But GOOD.

I mean, as long as THIS doesn’t happen:

Worst Best Man at a Wedding EVER

Worst Best Man at a Wedding EVER

And oh boy, do I have like a BILLION photos to share with you all. We visited so many incredible gardens up in The Dandenongs and also revisited the tgorgeous Himeji and Botanic Gardens in our old home Adelaide. Much to share in coming weeks.


Now that Christmas gifts have been delivered I can share a few homemade goodies that were parcelled up this year.

Simplicity 3742 has been SO incredibly useful this year. So far I have used it to make a dress and vintage refashioned top for myself. But I have found it’s a great pattern to use for gifts because it’s very forgiving – it’s a flattering cut and because it’s supposed to be billowy, and has the sewn in waist tie and neck sash, you can adjust it to your taste. I made a top for my sister:

I also used the pattern to make a PJ top & pants set I made for my friend Kirsty.
I also made some  matching PJ pants for my friend Ross:

Plus a little something for myself – I finished making some cushion covers to match my Ikea-hack sofa bed cover.

Oh, my overlocking woes continue. I don’t know what it is, but the heavens seem to be conspiring such that I shall not be overlocking within my own home for all of 2008.

I purchased a Janome Mylock 644D on ebay a few months ago, for almost half what you find it retailing for new. Appeared to be in excellent nick, a gentleman in a very nice well to do Eastern suburb selling it for his elderly mother-in-law who bought it but just hasn’t used it much at all. It looks like this one:

My new serger, originally uploaded by Marianne SW.

Though I used the exact same model at ThreadDen I let the machine sit in my sewing room for a couple of months before touching it. To be honest, I’m a bit afraid of the thing. I have problems occasionally jamming my sewing machine when the thread tension isn’t right, let alone a 4 thread overlocker!

First I put off touching it til I could watch the instructional video. But it was a VHS, who has a video player these days?

A month later I got Alex to get it dubbed onto dvd at school. I watched it, it made me laugh because threading the thing just seemed to complicated, no matter how calm the voice over tried to make it sound. I went cross eyed just following where the threads are supposed to go!

Then when I went to plug in the machine would you believe – they gave me the WRONG POWER CORD! I had to contact the ebay seller and cross my fingers and toes that they would still have the right cord and still care to communicate with me how I might get it now that I had already given them all my money. Thank goodness they had it and we did a swap.

Then a fortnight ago I got it home and finally worked myself up into using it to finish off a few items and it was all going wonderfully until all of a sudden, after about 2 minutes use of beautiful overlocking stitches, I realised there was no thread going through the material any longer!

I checked, I tried again – again, the needles were going up and down, the machine remained threaded with plenty of thread, it was not jamming or anything. But no stitches were appearing in the fabric.

Even when I tested just getting a chain before putting the material in, no chains were forming.

I had a look in the instruction manual but they only seem to have troubleshooting hints for SKIPPING stitches. Not ‘not making any stitches at all’. Help! Any clues what the problem might be? It was working perfectly and then just stopped. Shall I try rethreading it? (Eeep!)

Damn, I have all these Xmas gifts I want to make, including some baby clothes for some new arrivals in 2008, and I want to use soft t-shirt material but I really need the overlocker for it!


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