Thursday, October 28, 2010

Printed v2

Introducing the new and improved 'In the neighbourhood' screenprint, available in deep red, grass green and teal. Visit the cutest neighbourhoood filled with houses, snails, cats, birds and bunting. It's available as panels about 70 cm wide x 60cm high, and printed on a very fine linen, a slightly heavier linen and quilting-weight cotton. I won't have time to make anything out of it before Saturday, so these will be available on my table as Really Fat Quarters. I'll add a few to my shop next week, but for now, it's over and out until early November. Have a great weekend; I know I will!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I think I thrive under pressure (which is really a nice way to say I'm normally lazy!), and so today I finished 9 more pouches and started a top for Jacqui's Clothes for Mum Challenge over at the Hazelnuts blog. The pressure is that Craig and I are off to Wellington on Friday for a long weekend of Craft 2.0, Leonard Cohen (!!!) and lots of good food and coffee. Before I go I hope to do another post on the fabric panels I picked up today that will also be on my table on Saturday.
Which means I need to go and fold some fabric now...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Uncle Arthur strikes again

As promised, here are some images from my latest batch of 'Uncle Arthur's Bedtime Stories' journals. I've written about them before, here and here, so have a little read if you're interested. As usual, there's some lovely lessons to learn and lots to think about:
'Mrs Baldwin's guinea pigs did make a dreadful noise some nights.' What on earth can they be up to? 'Billy's old bugle was worn out.'
'Mike was in one of his difficult moods.''Grandma loved her beautiful old tabby cat. Lucy prayed that she might be able to replace him.'

'It was a happy family that camped in the woods one sunny afternoon - Father, Mother, and the three children.'
I've listed a few of them in my latest shop update, and the rest will be on my table at Craft 2.0 next weekend.
Ok, I'm off to join my lovely happy family in our tent by the beach on our impromptu Labour weekend camping trip. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Just a little update about all the unfinished projects I had going the other day: most are now completed. Plus some new make-up pouches, ready to go to Wellington next weekend for Craft 2.0. These photos show the fronts and backs of a few. Mmm, loving that blue and orange one in the front. My other big success was this dress. I have to say I was a bit doubtful when I looked at the pattern pieces in full daylight; somehow the idea of a fitted denim dress seemed fine in the middle of the night... As I said before, it's from the book Sewing Talk, which is full of really nice patterns written in Japanese. I'm obviously not that good at figuring those out though, because the dress had to be adapted quite a bit after I'd sewn it all together. I took the pockets out (too high, too bulky), changed the darts (too high), made the neckline lower on the front and back and took it in a bit around the waist. I assume it's just because I cut the pattern to the wrong size; it's still a bit snug but I really like it. The sleeves are lovely; they're simple raglan sleeves, each cut as one piece with a small dart on the shoulder. I think this dress will look great with a narrow belt and a small cardigan for cool spring days.

I learned how to sew an invisible zip into the dress, which is actually very easy once you figure out how to put the foot onto the machine. If you ever buy a Birch invisible zipper foot from Spotlight and then realise the instructions on the packet are unclear and insufficient, go here. Kim from All Things Mum has been so nice as to explain how to put the darn thing in without breaking your needles (as I did!).

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I wish I could show you something I've started and managed to finish this week, but no. Today's post is all about unfinished business, brought to you by the colour yellow. I only noticed it when I uploaded these photos, but obviously it shows how much I appreciate this colour these days. It all started with The Cupboard, and now it's spring it seems the perfect accent colour for everything I make!

My first work in progress is a dress for myself, from my book Sewing Talk. It's cut from a stretchy denim with some patterned red pockets for fun.
The second WIP is for a tutorial for the next Extra-Curricular magazine; you'll have to wait and see what it becomes...

A prototype for a kids' satchel with some of my new fabric and denim left over from the dress:

And some crowns waiting to be decorated:
I've got two more projects on the go: more journals (including some more Uncle Arthur's Bedtime books!!) and an improved Neighbourhood print. Wish me luck! I'll surface when I've got something finished...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mademoiselle, mois?

I got a little heads up this morning that I was in the latest Good magazine (Oct/Nov '10). I knew it was coming; I wrote a tutorial for them ages ago, but it was still a bit of a surprise. Especially the title. Maybe that's French for bag lady? Which you know I am anyway :)
The tutorial is for a simple drawstring bag which I made using bias binding. I think it's a very easy way to make these bags, and gives you a chance to add some colour. I made the bias binding on this photo from some of my vintage sheet collection.
I've been using these bags to replace the little plastic produce bags you get at the supermarket, and think they're great. The check-out operators might need a bit of convincing though; I don't think they like not being able to see inside the bags. I normally just leave them a little open so they can check first.
I've posted the tutorial on Scribd as usual, so you can read or download it there. You can enlarge the screen a little if the writing is too small. Oh, and I did those illustrations too, by the way. Pretty proud of that :) If you're having trouble viewing it; just let me know and I can email you the PDF.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Elasticated Patch Pocket Tutorial

I got some time today to make two more pairs of shorts and write up a tutorial for the patch pockets. These are made of linen and came out really well. I made the pattern for the shorts by tracing some of Daniel's and created the pattern for the pockets from scratch.

The pattern piece isn't just a simple square shape; the success of the pockets lie in the shape's angles. I've put it up on Scribd; you can download or print it from there. Please let me know how it turns out if you try it!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I love this beautiful, fragant plant that flowers for just a couple of weeks a year.
It's one of my favourite parts of spring. Here are some others.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


This week I've been sewing for the girls. Lacking my own, I take any opportunity I get to make cute little dresses for my friends' daughters and it just so happened I needed some gifts for two little sisters. I used this tutorial for the classic pillowcase dress; I like the elasticated front and back in this pattern. Sophia's was made with a very thin tablecloth; it will be so cool in summer.Katerina got a very special new fabric and even a few ruffles.And for another birthday tomorrow, Alissa will get a pencil case made with my new fabric. I like it so much, I'm off to go and make a few more for my end-of-year craft market stash.