New Look 6803

Pattern Description:
Loose tunic dress with a obi-style belt. I made view A with E (the belt).

Pattern Sizing:
10 - 22, I used size 16

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, very easy, even the pockets.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
It was really fast and easy, it is the first thing I've completed and actually worn! It IS a lot bigger and loose than the picture indicates, but once worn with belt looked quite good, as that style with over-emphasized hips is quite trendy at the moment.

Fabric Used:
A cotton blend from Lincraft

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
None. I did use a silver satin to make the back ofthe belt, it shows as a contrast around the edging.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I want to try view D, the kaftan one as a beach cover-up.

I was really pleased with the way it turned out. I know it's not perfect, but I made it in one day and wore it to Ladies Day at the races. The best thing is, I told my friends I was making a dress, and they didn't realise for quite a while that I was wearing it!
New Look 6803

I love it!

Okay, I'm a bit behind, I've made a dress that I am so pleased with, and actually wore to the races, have done some more on my maxi-dress, and made a new camera cover.

I WILL blog about all these soon, with pics and details. But this is just a quick post about new Echino fabric! It really is my favourite, I love the colours and designs.

Check it out at Phat Fabric.

Wouldn't this be a gorgeous skirt?


Today was our local Lions Festival.

I managed to pick up 6 books for $2.50, and a very 80s looking pattern for $1.

old pattern

My Creative Space - one day late!

My sewing table (the dining table that we never use!) is kinda covered with various boxes.

Play along with My Creative Space at Kootoyoo.


I did get a bit done this weekend, but not much craft or sewing. Lots of cleaning, including the oven and mould in the shower - lots of fun!

I've nearly finished cutting out my maxi-dress, and so am almost ready to actually start sewing! I'm a little nervous of starting, I think that's why I am procrastinating on it.

I've also downloaded some podcasts to listen to, I used to love Cast On. Brenda Dayne's podcasts are always so thought-provoking, educating, but INTERESTING! However, the past couple of years I've been doing a lot less knitting, and have stopped listening to it regularly. I've been wanting to find a new one, as I really enjoy listening to podcasts. I'll see what these others are like, and maybe do a review.

Waiting for the weekend

Well, I know it's Friday night, but I never really can do much on Friday nights, I always feel like they are a waste of time. Usually too exhuasted to do much, I may go to the gym, cook/help with dinner (or resort to takeaway), then spend the rest of the night reading blogs and mucking around on the internet. I guess I need the time to chill!

Summer tweed

This yarn is Summer Tweed by Rowan - isn't it pretty? It's in my stash, along with lots of friends! I may sort out my yarn this weekend. And I'd like to go to Spotlight, and hopefully get some sewing done.

Fun at Brown Owls

It is FREEZING today!

Had a great time as usual at Sydney Brown Owls last night.

Amy taught me to do the Magic Loop to start off my crochet!

I worked some more on my Noro Kureyon socks as well. I was going to put up a photo to show my progress, but my camera battery just died.

And now I'm off to yoga...

Long Weekend

Okay, I know I am doing Blogtoberfest and have already missed a few days!

But I knew I probably would miss this long weekend. We visited friends in Terrigal on NSW Central Coast, and had a lovely time despite the rain!

The BBQ was very yummy.

I even managed to get some knitting done, as my friend is learning. It was nice to knit together!

Summer Wardrobe 2009-10

These are the things I'd like to make for my Summer wardrobe, I'd like to get at least a couple done before we go to Hawaii on 23rd of November!

  • The Maxi dress I've already mentioned a couple of times on this blog, Simplicity 3503

  • A beach bag, maybe blue and white stripes?

  • I'd like to make at least one pretty dress for one or two of the special events I have coming up: good friends wedding- semi formal, beach wedding - casual, 60th birthday, 30th birthday, and Races. Also my own 30th is in December, but I'm not sure what I will do to celebrate yet! I'm thinking of one of the dresses from Burda in Burda 06/2009, dress 128

  • Denim shorts refashioned from a pair of jeans

  • A casual jersey/knit dress based on pattern from Sew U Home stretch by Wendy Mullin

  • A few cute cotton skirts, using A-line skirt pattern from Sew U by Wendy Mullin, including a plain black knee-length for work, and a weekend one, maybe out of some echino fabric like this one

Well, I think that is sufficiently ambitious!

My Creative Space

If I'm going to be doing Blogtoberfest, I think I better do a few memes to keep me going.

My Creative Space
by Kootoyoo is one I've seen around on a few blogs... I've avoided doing it, cos I don't really have a space, I just spread out my project on whatever couch I'm sitting on. I've been meaning to get a desk since I got my sewing machine, so I can set up an area where I can leave things out.

my creative space 1

Who am I kidding - this has been on the floor since the weekend, we just walk around it!


I'm doing Blogtoberfest!

Details on TinnieGirl's blog. Found via Badskirt

I know, a little bit crazy, considering my lack of posting. But maybe it's just what I need!

Just a Minute

Watching... Buffy season 2 and The Wire season 3. I never watched Buffy when it was on TV, but am really enjoying it! And The Wire is fantastic - Mum bought the first 4 on DVD, and we are slowly working our way through.

Taking... my first sick day off work since I had mumps in Japan in 2005. My god that was painful!

Eating... Home made pad thai

Drinking... Bloody Marys!

About the maxi dress that I want to make from this pattern:
Simplicity 3503. I have the fabric mostly cut out, it is currently residing on the floor. Maybe I'll get to it today.

Agatha Christie murders (again!)

Triple J

that I am back to normal soon - I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired!

Look at August Street
for other Just a Minute blogging!

Block 1 - Babette

I've actually not been too well for the past few weeks. One of the side-effects is that I can't really do anything that requires much thinking, or time. So I've mostly been working on Babette squares.

Babette Squares

There are a lot of different granny squares of different sizes, but it's just the same stitch over and over again. But it's not as boring as you'd think, since making up the colour combinations is fun. The pattern uses Koigu Wool designs KPM, but I am using a comination of 8 ply yarns - Cleckheaton Country Naturals 8 ply, Spotlight Harvest Pure Wool and Spotlight 8 ply Pure Wool. I picked the colours by matching the Koigu colour names with a similar colour in the 8 ply yarns.

Babette Squares 2

I have now completed Block 1 of the blanket (with lots of various squares from other blocks) and have now started to sew them together. I've never done this before, well, really this is my first proper crochet project, so I used the instructions in The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller.

Babette Block 1

Just a August

I did do something like this a couple of weeks ago, but I'll try and do it every month. This is from August Street, it's a meme called 'Just a Minute'

Watching... Old Simpsons episodes
Reading... Hungry Hill by Daphne Du Maurier, one of my favourite authors.
Eating... natural Greek yogurt with raspberries and blueberries

Planning... our trip to Hawaii in November
Making... a lot of crochet squares for the Babette blanket

Sew Hip skirt

Sew Hip Skirt, close up

I finished this skirt last week, it is from the Sew Hip magazine, in issue 8.

I'm fairly pleased with it as it is the first thing I've sewn that I could actually wear. It is the first time I've made button holes on my sewing machine and the first time to do pleats. I did stuff up the pleats by only making them half the size, which meant there were twice as many. I also think the skirt would half fit better if I had fit the waist band to my waist, instead of my hips (which is where I would usually wear my skirts). It is a bit boofy around the hips, which I really don't need, but I think that is caused from the extra pleats.

The instructions from Sew Hip were set out well and were very clear. There was no actual pattern, you just cut the fabric to measurements.

I used a fabric from a local fabric shop - My Hung in Hurstville. I think it was $7.50/metre and the pattern asked for 1 metre. It is bright and colourful, and has a shine to it. The buttons are plain navy and from My Hung too.

Hopefully I'll be brave enough to wear it, despite the mistakes, because it is still a pretty skirt.

Here is a full length pic, excuse my white legs and sock marks!

Sew Hip skirt

Stitches and Craft Show

Today I went to the Sydney Stitches and Craft Show.

My purchases you can see above - I got the latest Mixtape Zine, and a glasses kit from Amitie.

Overall, the show was good - not as crowded as I expected, so I could actually look at any stall I wanted. The Incubater section was really inspirational - I saw a few stalls from blogs I read, and recognized a few from Finders Keepers.

The best thing about the show was the screening of the documentary Handmade Nation. I've wanted to get the book for a while now, and after seeing the movie, I think I will get it! It was really interesting to see all the different crafters and their reasons for creating. Most of their crafts were very 'non-traditional', and different to mainstream products, for instance, a latch-hook rug with a naked woman on it. I remember doing a butterfly when I was a kid! What was also interesting was hearing about the companies that acted as a go-between for the crafters and the customers.

I had just bought a coffee, to sit down and check the guide to see what I had missed when they announced a fashion parade from BurdaStyle so I watched that too, the clothes looked unique, yet fashionable and very professionally made - I hope to one day be close to that level!

I didn't do any of the craft bars or workshops, I had wanted to only be there for a couple of hours, and Handmade Nation was an hour itself. One more comment - I caught the free shuttle bus from Parramatta station. There was a sign at the exit to say catch it from Darcy Street, but once on Darcy street there were no signs for where the bus actually departed. I stood and waited with a group of people, all feeling a little nervous because we weren't sure we were in the right place. But the bus arrived and the bus driver was so friendly, saying hello to each of us and wishing us a good day!
This is from Meet Me at Mikes!

Making : Babette crochet blanket
Cooking : nothing - eating leftovers!
Drinking : gin and tonic
Reading: Wild Mary - the life of Mary Wesley, by Patrick Marnham
Wanting: the new Frankie Magazine
Sewing: Skirt from Sew Hip magazine
Wishing: I could work part time so I could do more craft!
Enjoying: the gorgeous weather in WINTER!
Waiting: for the Stitches and Craft show (I'm going tomorrow)
Liking: these yoga socks - maybe they'll stop my cramps in class
Wondering: what I will make next
Loving: dip for dinner
Hoping: tomorrow will be another beautiful day
Marvelling: at my AMAZING bargain, the Sew U home stretch book for $6.95!
Needing: to sort out all my clothes
Smelling: coffee
Wearing: my warm hoodie
Thinking: about our trip to Hawaii!
Feeling: a bit more relaxed
Giggling: at my silly Boy - he always makes me smile!

plodding along

I've been doing a lot of crocheting recently, working on theBabette Blanket from Interweave.

My Noro sock is still coming along, I'm now on the foot, so should just sit and do it for a few hours, that's all it would need!

Today I went into the city to pick up my passport (I lost it at the airport), and in a bargain book shop I found Sew U home stretch very cheap! I was so excited as this book was next on my to buy list, and I was even thinking about it this morning!

Felt mascot

I've finally got a new camera, so will try to post more on this blog!

I have actually been doing a bit of crafting recently, I made this felt mascot, mostly to use in my header and avatars.

I just played around with felt, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, it makes me smile!

This weekend I've been knitting a new beanie for The Boy, sewing a dress for myself, and thinking about a cover for The Boy's DS.

I've got some photos of projects that I created just before my camera broke, so I wasn't able to get them on the computer.

This is a glasses case that I made with fabric, wadding, fusible interfacing, and sewed up on my sewing machine.
glasses case

I also went to my first Brown owls meeting, and tried some paper piecing, which was really fun, but I keep on forgetting to take a photo of my first attempt - a hexagon flower.

Browsing patterns

Simplicity 2892

Simplicity 4077

Simplicity 3620

Time to Buy a New Camera

My camera broke!

That's one of the reasons I haven't posted in a while. I'd taken some photos, but they weren't uploading on the computer, I thought it might be the program.

But today I tried to take a photo (of a cute felt softie I made that is going to be my mascot), and it wouldn't turn on. I know it's not the batteries, 'cos I changed them just a couple of weeks ago, when we went up to the Blue Mountains. Oh well, it had a good innings, over three years old, and it's quite chunky. I have wanted a new one for a while now, and was waiting for a good reason.

On Saturday I went to the Finders Keepers markets. It was really good, with lots of amazing stuff, inspirational. I met up with a couple of Brown Owls for the first time, so it was nice to meet some new people, who like craft!

I mostly browsed, though I did buy the first two issues of Mixtape, I've really enjoyed reading them, and now want to explore new blogs, learn how to make soap, and lots of other fun stuff!

No Chocolate

This year, I didn't give any chocolate Easter Eggs. Instead, I made these little felt badges.

Easter Egg brooches

Little scraps of felt, some bright coloured thread, brooch pins for the back, and a button. They were fun to make, I might make some more for next year!

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

My Hot Cross Buns were pretty yummy this year, this is the second time I've made them. I used a recipe that The Boy's mum emailed us from last year, it's really simple using instant yeast.

Some other people have been making them too, check them out!

Meet Me At Mikes!


Sew Hip

Today was my rostered day off (I get one every second Monday for working an extra hour every day), and I went into the city to have a look around.

I checked out the Lincraft which has re-opened in a new location in Sydney. It was much smaller, but pretty well laid out. I spent some time browsing the pattern books, which is my favourite thing to do in a fabric/haberdashery store if there isn’t a good fabric choice... which there wasn’t.

There is a little newsagency in Town Hall station, which always has the best selection of craft magazines. I usually buy Interweave Knits from there if I see it. Today I had a tough time choosing which magazine to buy – Interweave Knits plus either World of Burda or Vogue Sewing, both of which I have not read/ purchased before.

Just as I decided on World of Burda, I saw a new UK magazine, Sew Hip, and it seemed to have more stuff that I would actually enjoy, like softies and bags. I got the February 2009, Issue 3 edition, and really enjoyed it. It has profiles on a few different designers, some of whom I had come across in blogs, others whom I hadn’t heard of. Some of the patterns I particularly liked were the Jolie Cube bag, made up in bright fabrics, a hippo and an acorn softie, and Vintage Cloth Holdall.

It featured articles on Australians Kristen Doran and Shannon Lamden of Aunty Cookie. Book reviews, including an article about Japanese craft books and pattern reviews were interesting and helpful – they even reviewed my favourite Aranzi Aronzo’s The Cute Book!

This magazine was definitely worth buying, I’m going to keep a look out for future issues!

Spring! Well, actually, Autumn

Here is my Bobble Blue, unblocked:

Bobble Blue complete

bobble blue buttons I bought these buttons on Saturday at Spotlight, I wasn't sure if they were too much, but I think they are absolutely gorgeous. I asked the Boy and my mum, they both thought they looked good on the Bobble Blue, so I'll sew them on, and see what it looks like. They were only $1 each. I also bought some plain grey buttons, in case I needed them ,and tried different combinations, such as using one bird button as a feature, or alternating them with plain buttons.

I made this tote bag on Saturday, it is lined with a pink fabic, it is so bright and cheery! All the American blogs and websites seem excited by Spring, so even though we are heading into Autumn, with this bag, I can pretend.
spring totespring tote fabric

I'm actually looking forward to Autumn this year, hoping to spend more time knitting and sewing. Last year I read a lot of books, but I get to read an hour every day on the train, so I would like to spend my home time more creatively.


Have finished Bobble Blue from Interweave Knits, Spring 2006! All it needs is blocking and buttons.

Here is a photo of a butterfly in the butterfly gardens at The Cameron Highlands in Malaysia. It was so beautiful, not only the butterflies, but all the amazing tropical flowers.


Tote Bag

tote bag

I sewed this tote bag out of the gorgeous Echino fabric. I absolutely love this fabric - the colours, the texture (it feels coarser, like linen), and the graphics, especially the tiger.

This bag will be used for all the stuff that doesn't fit in my handbag! I always need an extra bag for work, to put in my book, lunch, and travel mug of coffee.

I also put a little pocket in, for my weekly train ticket. For the pattern, I just traced the size of my tote bag I already use, and sewed it up. I used some plain pink cotton I had as lining - this fabic is from my university days, I wore it as a toga at a toga party! I finally found another use for it!

Inside tote bag

My Package Arrives!

Kelani fabric 1

Today my order from Kelani Fabric arrived. It is the first time I've ordered fabric online, and I'm really pleased. The fabrics are beautiful, and I've already been busy sewing with one of them...

Nearing completion

Had a pretty busy weekend, but managed to complete all the knitting of Bobble Blue from Interweave Knits. Now all there is to do is seaming, buttons and blocking. And darning a hole from a silverfish. That's right, as I picked it up, a silverfish came scuttling out (which I immediately killed), and I soon after discovered a hole. But I don't think it's too bad, just in one place, the ribbing of the collar. I've never seen a silverfish in our apartment before, but I'm going to have a big search now!


This photo is of a waterlily, one of my favourite flowers, it was taken in Vietnam. I love looking at waterlilies, or lotuses, rising out of the water. They often have a gorgeous coloured dragonly buzzing around. And it is always after a hot day of walking around temples that I come across a cool pool of water, with the waterlily flowering.


I got a letter in the post about an upcoming craft show - Craftfest. It's on next weekend, March 6-8th at Homebush. I'm going to try and check it out on Sunday. If you sign up, you get a dollar off admission. I'm glad I got the letter, otherwise I never would have known about it till too late.

It looks like it is meant to be a younger, more trendy version of the Craft and Quilt fairs, I went to one last year at darling Harbour, it was fun, with heaps of booths and amazing quilts.

It also had an exhibition on Japanese fabric art and craft, which was inspirational!

Camera Cozy

Today I finished the camera cozy I started a couple of weeks ago. I used this tutorial from Sew Mad. Although it wasn't too difficult, there were a few bits that I didnt understand, and took a while to work out. But finally, it is finished!

Camera Cozy open

I used some quilting cotton that I bought from Spotlight for the outside, and the good ol' apron fabric for the lining.

Overall, I'm fairly pleased, I think this was a step up in my sewing skills. A few things I would change for next time:

1. Use thinner batting if possible
2. Make the closing flap longer (mine isn't long enough, and you can see the velcro)

Camera Cozy

I've also been working on Bobble Blue, the sweater I'm knitting. I was happily knitting away, thinking about how I should get back to knitting more, especially as I'm now at the stage where I can usually follow the pattern without having to stop and check how to do things all the time. And then, of course, I had to do buttonholes, which I've never done before. I tried to follow the instructions in the Interweave glossary, but it looks wrong the way I'm doing it, so I might look in my other books tomorrow.

Fabric Inspiration

I went to Miranda Lincraft today, they were having a sale with 50% off all fabric and dress patterns. It was the first time I'd been there since I bought my sewing machine.

All I ended up buying was a dress pattern. The fabric was so... uninspiring.

This evening I spent some time looking online, and found some amazing Australian sites selling beautiful fabrics.


Kelani Fabric

Calico and Ivy

These all had such gorgeous designs - this is what I've been looking for!

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year Dancers

Last night we went to the Chinese New Year Twilight Parade in Sydney. It was really fun watching the floats.

Chinese New Year dragon

After the parade, we grabbed a green tea frappachino, and watched the fireworks down at Darling Harbour. I love fireworks, there is something about them that makes me happy!

Chinese New Year fireworks


Here are the gifts I made for my sister.

Oven mitt

Sister's Apron

The Apron is made with the same pattern I used to make The Boy's, and the oven mit is from a book I got for Christmas - Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing. It's a great book with lots of lovely, simple projects.

Water Bottle Carrier

We had a really busy Christmas and New Year, so today I took advantage of my free time, and made a water bottle carrier today, using this tutorial at Pink Chalk Studio

I had bought a new Sigg water bottle, and have wanted to make a cover for it since stumbling on that website.

It was relatively quick and easy, I used bits from the apron I made my sister, and other scraps from bag linings.

The handle is made out of a trimming I found at my local fabric store, which is where I also bought the main fabric.

I'm really pleased with the way it's turned out.