Monday, November 28, 2011

Shop Update

My poor little shop has been so neglected lately.
If if weren't for my bonnet pdf pattern, I fear this little space on Etsy may have fallen off the "shop local" listings for Australia.
New designs are now available with more being added over the next week. Which designs will I keep for Adele this summer?? I quite like the DS Quilts fabrics above...
I must say I am struggling just a little with the bonnnet biz this year. Last year I was driven. This year I'm a little tired.
I'm sure it will pass.
In other great news, I've now booked two casual teaching days!! Needless to say, I am very happy!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Want... no NEED!!

Need, need, need, need!!

You can get this wonderful necklace from Have You Met Miss Jones, right here.

Or maybe this one...

Seriously peeps, someone buy a few bonnets from my shop so I can have it! My Playpal is kinda empty - boo!

O & S Bubble Dress Variation

After recently tracing the Oliver & S Bubble Dress pattern for another yet-to-be-blogged dress, I remembered how much I love the shape of the bodice and how appropriate this dress would be for summer, with its built in cap sleeves.
For this variation, I've simply cut the bodice, then extended the side seams down to a dress length. I created facings with the original pattern piece. As my version of this pattern only goes to the 18-24 month size, I sewed this with 1/4 inch seam allowances. The 18-24 month size would still fit Adele, but I am hoping to get next year out of this dress too.
To make the dress construction super fast, I omitted all the buttons and nice closure details on the back,  and just added a button and loop.
The fabric is a little bit posh, originally from Tessuti (no longer available it seems), but given to me by Rachel (So happy to have generous friends that sew!). She made a lovely summer skirt with this fabric and this was a very generous sized remnant.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Playsuit for me

When I evaluated my wardrobe for this summer, I realised I needed a playsuit and now I have one.
The pattern is an Etsy download from Salme patterns which you can see here.

I made this out of a piece of stretch poplin from my stash. It closes with snaps hidden under the facing and is cinched at the waist with elastic. The pattern was easy to construct, but did take some time. I initially sewed the facings wrong which made me a little cranky.

I also added belt loops like the pattern photo, even though the instructions for these weren't included. Speaking of instructions, they were a little sparse. They are probably a little more vague than Burda style instructions, so I definitely wouldn't recommend this pattern to a beginner, but anyone who's sewn Burda could definitely make this.
I purchased a size small pattern and took it in about an inch along the back seam and then about the same across the front. I made a similar size change to the shorts. I really didn't want this to puff out too much when worn and the stretch poplin has enough give for comfort.

I think this is quite a cute little outfit for my wardrobe, but I'm still not convinced it's entirely appropriate for a 30+ year old with three little kiddies to wear a playsuit....

We'll see.

Monday, November 21, 2011

BurdaStyle Slim Pants 02/2010 #111

After seeing all the lovely Colette Clover pants appearing on sewing blogs, it was difficult to resist the temptation to buy another pattern. I did however and have made a very similar pair of slim, cigarette pants thanks to the Tessuti blog review of a Burda pattern which is quite similar 02/2010 No. 111.
I used a nice thick stretch drill that I purchased last week on sale from Spotlight. I really wanted a thick fabric as I wanted a good fit without showing much wobble. I'm super happy with with the finished fit and they are super comfy.
I added belt loops to the waistband just in case I need them and used a regular zipper on the side with a side lapped application. I've had a bit of trouble lately with invisible zippers, having them fail after or during wear and I didn't want to risk this. I think also with the thick fabric an invisible zipper may have gone wrong.

I'm super happy with how neat my zipper is... for a change!

Regarding the pattern, I found it to be quite easy and well fitted from the outset.  I cut an 18 and a 19 waist, but think the ease caught me off as there's a little more built in to the pants than what I wanted. Because of this I took in the side seams by about 1cm each side, but that was easy. I also had to make modifications to the waistband for fit, courtesy of my lack of waist shape, but that is a standard alteration for me, so no complaint there.
The good thing about the success of this pattern is that it is the beginning to fill a "separates" void in my wardrobe. I wore handmade every day I taught during my prac block, but sometimes skirts and dresses aren't so appropriate. More pants will surely follow and maybe in colour!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Short 'n' Sweet

I started this little crochet cardigan way back in July. I was up to the sleeves in August. Then I got busy. The sleeves involved counting and I was too distracted. It took two months to complete them. It's now been over a month since I blocked the cardigan and I still have no button, but it's time to share and move on.
The pattern is called Short N Sweet and it's from the Happy Hooker book, which I borrowed from the library to save $$. I made this in Amy Butler Belle Organic Aran in Aubergine, which I purchased from Evoke with some evil Paypal money. Seriously, how often do you ever take money out of Paypal??
LOVE my Emerson Made jeans! Best jeans eva!
I like the cardi, but I don't love it. It's probably not really my style and the yarn is super chunky. Anyway, it is done and if I ever feel like wearing it, I can.

Details Ravelled here.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Starting simple...

This used to be a sewing blog. Then it became a whining blog. Now it will be a sewing blog again!

After giving my sewing space a quick clean, I started sewing something simple and comfortable.

Comfortable = elastic waist skirt.
I don't think I've owned an elastic waist garment since I was a kid. I know it isn't the most flattering or polished look, but it's light and just fine for hanging out with the kids.

The voile is a little sheer (Anna Maria Horner, Innocent Crush), but I'm OK with that around the house and I have a half slip that I wore today when we went to the shops.

Happy days :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

It's official!

I've now finished university F_O_R_E_V_E_R!!!!!!

I completed my last assignment yesterday and got a grade immediately. I have no more assignments and no  more university commitments, in fact, I never have to go back to university ever, ever again!
I'll officially graduate in December, but even then I don't have to go back as I've nominated to graduate in absentia - meaning they'll post me my Masters certificate thingo.

Many of my uni friends don't understand why I would miss the graduation ceremony, but for some reason it really doesn't interest me. One friend even nominated to purchase the gown and cap from her undergraduate degree to keep. She says she sometimes makes breakfast wearing it, which I think is totally hilarious. Almost funny enough to do it myself.

Even though it has been much harder to get my masters than my early uni qualifications, I'd rather save the money I'd have to pay to graduate on campus and instead buy a nice bottle of bubbly, get some take-out and hang out at home with the kids and hubby.

So tell me, did you attend your graduation? Did you secretly wear your gown and cap around the house?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Only one more assignment to go. I have two text books to read before Thursday morning to pass it *gulp*.

I have been sewing, but it's been all about bonnets. One big order down, two more to go.

I'm working all weekend.

Then I need to get my CV to school, just in case they need have a few casual days before Christmas. Even though we're kinda skint, I hope they don't call...
I'm dreaming about sewing for me...  Paypal has been kind to me these past few months. Here you can see a bunch of fabric that I probably haven't mentioned on my blog. The dark ikat print at the bottom and navy gingham accidentally fell into my shopping trolley today when I went to Spotlight to buy some more interfacing for bonnets.

So much fabric, so many pattern, so much inspiration... I just need time...

Saturday, November 12, 2011


So my regular readers probably know that I sell bonnets and my bonnet pattern to support my sewing hobby.While I do totally enjoy making bonnets, I do need to make money from them. Without this money I could not afford my expensive hobby!

When it came to selling my pattern, I did contemplate this decision for quite a while before taking the plunge. I know that once a pattern is out there, especially on the interweb, you do lose some control. I think we've all noticed that there are bunch of kiddy pattern sellers on Etsy that seem to sell the same patterns....

* I really need to add here that it took me over a year to fine-tune my bonnet pattern. I drew it from scratch! I tested and tested and sized and modified and tested and tested some more. It took  me a lot of time and energy to make it and I knew it was unique and awesome from the outset. I truly understand the value of creative work even more since developing this pattern.

Anywho, recently I thought I'd have a look-see through Etsy to see what other bonnet patterns were available and I was shocked to find a pattern remarkably similar to mine. Same shape, same sizes and almost the same words to describe it. Worse yet, they were charging 50c more than me and they were offering a licence to sell the end product! (I don't currently offer this licence, but seriously, I can't stop you! Thanks again to those asking for permission to resell their end products - only the end produce, not the pattern!)

At first I didn't know what to do. Then I spoke to my sister and to Rachel (who's blogging again by the way, check it out here - she has the biggest Colette collection of any person I know and will surely share more soon). My sister bought the pattern from this seller and I can't tell you how shocked I was when I realised that my pattern had simply been traced, scanned and was being resold by someone else!

I was so shocked, and quite overwhelmed with my upcoming prac block, that I just decided to deal with it later.

Weeks passed. On one of my last nights prior to finishing prac, I may have had a wine or two (Dutch courage) and decided to tackle the problem by emailing the seller... Stressful!!

Thankfully her response came within a few days. She admitted that even though she'd undergone a lengthy design process for her pattern (yeah right!), she admitted it was very similar to mine (read: fully ripped off!) She admitted she had my pattern and her pattern didn't differ enough to sell it and she has since pulled the item from her shop.
To say I was relieved is an understatement. I really felt so used and ripped off!!!

I once used to work in the copyright business, the music industry to be exact which dealt with music licensing, artist copyright and other issues, and I don't think I fully understood how it might feel for an artist to have their work ripped off until this.
Anyway, while the problem has been resolved, I will make sure I'm extra vigilant in future and check Etsy regularly. I realise that I have lost a great deal of control over my property in offering it for sale, but my copyright should still be respected.
BTW - my free ruffle sunsuit pattern is also being used to sell finished products on Etsy. This again is outside of the copyright guidelines that I've stipuated on the pattern, but I really can't tackle that too.

If you want to support my hobby, you can buy your bonnet or pattern here :) Seriously peeps - buy up! Make me happy :)

Happy sewing!

Friday, November 11, 2011

It all started with a hamburger...

from Burgerlicious on King Street, Newtown to be exact. Back when we were DINKs, living in the inner city, caring about our careers and planning our future when we thought we could travel or do anything. That's when my waters broke. I shuffled into a side alley and gushed with each step toward the car. We headed home. With no contractions, we knew we had to wait....

Once the contractions came, they came fast and furious. No time to 'wait until it's unbearable,' we headed straight to the hospital and withing 4 hours (including 2 hours of pushing!!) Oliver was here.

Tonight, we are celebrating his arrival five years ago, with hamburgers.


I never could have imagined how life changing his arrival would be. Withing a few months of his arrival, we knew we wanted have another baby, but the size of our house was limiting. (Also the husband is a tradie and has more tools than any person I know, jack hammer, chain saw, plus a zillion others. We needed a garage!). So one sold house, one quick conception and a move back to the burbs happened.

Now with three kids, my hectic life is so much better than I ever thought it could be.
Happy birthday Oliver! Sorry about the dodgy packet cake, with very little icing and kiddy placed decorations.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

So Happy!

Oh yes! That's me! I have now officially finished my prac teaching block and not a moment too soon.

I must admit that while working full time was tough, and my supervising teacher was much tougher than others, my home situation by far, proved the toughest thing to deal with.

Today, I was pulled aside by one of Oliver's pre-school teachers because he had cried at school 4 or 5 times with very little reason. "Why is this so?" they ask. Well, it's all because of me....

Anyway, even though I still have two assignments to complete before university finishes f-o-r-e-v-e-r!!!!! I am still so, so, so happy!
Once these assignments are finished, I may even be 'Sew Happy' - just like this sign suggests - lol! My lovely little sister bought this for me from Typo. Gosh I LOVE that store! I totally drop money every time I step through the front door...

Note: please excuse the typos in this post, if there are any, I may have had one or two or three glasses of bubblesssss to celebrate.............

Monday, November 7, 2011


Only two more prac teaching days to go - hooray! Then just two more assignments, they are major, but much easier than full time prac teaching, and then I'll be free from university study forever and ever and ever!!
I can't wait to get my life back again and the sewing...what will I make first??