Monday, 28 December 2015

Woven knicker trials.

Behold another experiment.  

Knickers made from woven fabric.  

I thought I'd have a play around with wovens, as years ago when lingerie was really gorgeous, there was no such thing as stretch fabric.  All 'foundation garments' were made from beautiful silks, satins and comfy soft cottons.

According to Wikipedia, lycra started to be popular in the early 1980's.  I can vouch for that as I was once the proud owner of a couple of beautiful stretchy leotards - Jane Fonda style, which I wore religiously to the gym.  I didn't mind being seen in lycra in those days.

I used to be completely fascinated with lycra and stretch fabrics.  Before I was married I completed a stretch sewing course and proudly became a certified 'Knit Wit'.  Some days it worries me that I still hold that title, and it has nothing to do with sewing. 

These latest knickers were lots of fun to make and believe it or not, actually fit (with a bit of a grunt) . They do however, need quite a bit of further refinement, to put it politely.....ahem. 

Hence they won't be receiving any cutesy embellishments.

By the look of this shot, I should be a giraffe.  Look at those long leg holes.  

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

A Braided Rag Rug Workshop

Braided rag rugs?  Finally the mystery is solved!

Last week I attended a two day rag rug making workshop with  Ilka White, a textile artist from Victoria.  Ilka shares her knowledge so generously and is such a beautiful gentle soul.  It was the best two days.

You can read more about Ilka's work here

About ten of us shared two full days of artsy conversation, creativity, home made yummy morsels to eat and lots of laughter.  All enjoyed in a beautiful old stone building at the Greenough Pioneer Museum about 20k out of town.  
A very luxurious break from normality.

My place mat sized start was a whole two days work.  Believe's true.  
I've used op-shopped men's shirts in all natural fibres - a mix of linen, hemp, bamboo and cotton and will tailor the colour scheme as the fabrics become available.  Hopefully mostly chambrays and neutrals so it will sit comfortably with any decor.  

I'm so in love with this process, despite making numerous mistakes in the beginning which Ilka good naturedly fixed up!  I also expected the braiding technique to be a lot harder on the hands, but it's really quite gentle and soothing.

Here are the beginnings of some awesome rag rugs.  I had to cut everyone's heads off as I don't like to post pics of people on the internet without their permission.  That's why you only ever see my ugly mug!

I had the best time....and it must have been apparent because Ilka mentioned that my "contentment was spilling over".

Friday, 2 October 2015

The Verandah Skirt

I don't know where the name 'verandah skirt' came from, but I think they're a great idea - a belly dancing friend introduced me to them.  They are designed for the sole purpose of providing a little modesty (aka covering up your 'bits') when wearing leggings or firm fitting trackie pants to yoga, exercise class or belly dancing.  I love mine.  So easy to just throw on if I have to do anything in town straight after a class.  There's no way I would wobble my way round town in just a pair of leggings and a tee shirt.  

Yes I know....some do....but not me.

I don't know why I look so serious.  I think I'm concentrating too hard on tying to hold the camera straight.  I'll have to learn to use a tripod and the delayed timer, or whatever it's called.  

This next shot is worse.  

I'd hate to meet myself in a dark alley.

The mirror is not very clean either.

The skirts are so simple to make.  Just measure how much front and back coverage is required, fold in half across the full width of the fabric, cut a hole for the waist and attach a band which has been inserted with non roll waist elastic.  Easy peasy.

It would appear that holding the camera is the hard part.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

A Raggy Quilt

I've had a lovely weekend finishing up a 'raggy' quilt for an expectant friend.  We don't know if they're having a boy or girl so I hope these colours are unisex enough for them.  My fave is the little bird print.  So cute.

Raggy quilts are usually made from soft warm flannel with wadding inside, but as this quilt will be going to a hot climate, I've made it from quilting cotton with 100% cotton flannel inside.  Hopefully it'll be cooler than flannel and suitable to be repeatedly machine washed.


 Trying to sort out the arrangement of squares so no two similar prints are side by side.

Remembering to keep the seams on the outside was easier said than done....yes I did have to do a bit of unpicking!

The finished blankie shown on a double bed to get an idea of size.  It's just small, square and portable so mum and dad can toss it in the car or put it on the floor for their bubba.

Love the way the trimmed edges ruffle up in the wash.  So soft and snuggly.

Aren't those birds cute?

Saturday, 12 September 2015


Recently I've needed some quiet time.  Time to recharge.....time for family.

However now it's Spring.  A time of new growth and new beginnings.  There's a fresh crispness in the air, the sun is slowly beginning to shine and I can feel my mojo starting to bubble once again.

Some shots of our garden in the warmth of the afternoon sun.  Time spent out in our unruly and often overgrown garden always provides a sense of renewal and calm.....

....except when it reminds me of my chin.  

One of our neighbours keeps bees so we have lots of these little workers doing their utmost to keep us in fruit and vegies.

Next Winter's oranges.  Look at the bottom two.  You can just see the oranges starting to form.  Pretty cute huh?

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Dress muslin....episode four.

I've been continuing to fiddle around with my new (or not so new any more) pattern drafting ruler.

The one thing a good and conscientious seamstress must do after drafting one's own pattern apparently, is to make a muslin to check the fit.  With my usual 'what a load of codswallop' attitude, I skipped that part, deciding I was too clever to be wasting that much time.

Fail number one.

As mentioned in an earlier blog post, I miscalculated the fabric requirement for the first masterpiece.

On to attempt number two.  

This time I bought a doona cover from the op-shop to experiment with.  Goody gum drops - a dress for eight bucks!

Here we go.  Muslin success, sort of.  I used the doona lining to make the muslin and I'm holding it closed at the back, as I wasn't going to waste a good zipper on a muslin.  

Hmmmm.  Looks like  pretty good fit.  Very professional looking model too.

Dress number three.  This time with a redesigned boat neck, zipper and facings.  

It actually fitted (surprise surprise) but was a little bit 'gapey' around the front armhole.  I thought "Oh she'll be right...I'll just whip it in a bit at the side."  

Now it's too tight across the bust.  However I have no gape.  No gape but can't breathe.  Great.

Here I'm trying not to breathe, while smiling as though I don't have a care in the world.....and secretly wondering if I'll need my puffer after I extricate myself from this extraordinarily well fitting doona cover.

Between my last dress made out of curtain fabric and this one from a doona.....I'm beginning to feel like one of the von Trapps.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

The Washi Dress

I've been neglecting my blog.  Naught naughty.  My family will be wondering what's happened to me.

Now that the heat of summer has toned down a bit I've been getting back into some sewing.  I wanted to try out the Washi dress, which everyone (yes everyone) in blogland has been talking about.

It normally takes me ages to choose fabric, but not this time.  I saw a bolt of fabric sitting on the cutting table at Spotlight......a soft cotton linen blend, cream with a light coffee coloured leaf design and it looked beautiful and cool. Good.  That'll do nicely thanks.

The Washi is an easy pattern with several rows of shirring across the back for comfort and fit.  No zipper - yay!

Cool and comfortable, perfect for at home.

The dress is all finished and hanging in my wardrobe awaiting it's maiden voyage, but I have since discovered while in Spotlight that I have used curtain fabric.  Sheesh - I'll probably look like a mobile lounge room.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Celebrating the closure of another awesome year.

As the end of another year crept up on us we decided to celebrate Christmas at one of our favourite locations.  So off to Horrock's Beach we went, with a camper crammed full of Christmas goodies, chocolates, champagne, fruit mince pies, beach towels, sun cream and mozzie spray.

Our special day was spent with family and long time dear friends, drinking, eating, swimming, laughing, and trying to beat those dumper waves whilst launching our kayaks.  Somebody has bruises on their backside as evidence of gross failure....not that anyone is ever going to see that!

Our evenings were spent playing games, soothing sunburn, discovering new drink combinations, telling stupid jokes, trying not to burn the barbeque food or smoke out the campsite and of course planning our 'get the best spot on the beach' strategy for the following day.

Our New Year's eve was spent  with old friends.......

......and as the clock ticked over to 2015, we wished for each other a year full of love, laughter, kindness, friendship, happiness and peace.