Liebster blog award!

The lovely Julia who blogs at Foam of Days has nominated me for a Liebster award. Thanks Julia! I initially found Julia’s blog because of her beautiful ocean heading, a bit like mine (even though I live in about 200 kms from the ocean I love it and all things to do with the sea) and of course, Julia blogs about sewing and crafting.

A Liebster award is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The purpose of the Liebster Blog Award is to recognise and promote newer and smaller blogs with less than 200 followers.

If you wish to accept the award, the rules here, are copied from Julia’s blog:

Thank the person who gave you the award, linking back to that person’s blog.Copy and paste the Liebster award to your own profile.Answer the 5 questions your nominator asked. Pick 5 blogs you feel deserve to be noticed (they have to have under 200 followers). Ask them 5 questions. Let your nominees know they have been chosen by leaving a comment on their blog.The award I’ve copied from the material lady’s blog.

Julia asked me to tell a story about my hobby. My story is about how I came back to sewing after a break of at least 20 years. I was a very good customer of a talented seamstress. Though I often looked at the clothes and thought I could do that, I didn’t. I had 2 children on my own, a full-time job……….The children grew up, I met Simon, fell in love and we decided to get married. I didn’t want a big white gown so I went to the seamstress, who I’d bought so much from over the years and asked if she could help. She wasn’t interested. I trailed round the shops and found lovely dresses in horrible fabrics or lovely dresses that were way too short. That’s when I decided I’d make my own. I made many wearable muslins to test fabrics and designs, I discovered the blogging community.That was over a year ago, I’ve been hooked ever since (I’m also married :) IMG_1286

I love making clothes, I find it magical and creative. I just love sewing, fabric and clothes design. I love working with gorgeous colours and textures, designing and patterns, drape and couture techniques and making unique and special garments. My problem now is what to do with all my clothes. Thanks Julia for nominating me for the Liebster award, I’m honoured, and hope I can continue to meet other seamstresses, sewers, crafters and bloggers to share our adventures. And if anyone has any ideas about what to do with all the dresses……….

I have nominated the following people for the Liebster award. A bit like Julia I have no idea how many followers people have, so apologies if I have this wrong and please take this nomination a sign of appreciation:

Siri who hails from above the arctic circle and blogs about sewing and craft at the Pinhouse. Elaine from Glasgow who writes about dresses at what diana did next. Meg over at suits me in Boston and Teresa a new sewer at Navy blue threads.Then closer to home, Nikki at Adventures of a beginner sewer in Queensland.

My 5 questions to you should you choose to accept: Do you have a favorite sewing or knitting skill ? Why do you like it? How did you learn to sew or knit? What is your favorite time of year? What do you like about it?

Happy sewing!




designing fabric, inspired by flannel flowers

Sew (so) many firsts for By Hand London………..and now their first fabric design competition!! The theme is ‘secret garden’,  so wide open to all sorts of wonderful flowery possibilities.

I thought I’d give it a go. The design I’ve submitted is based on a drawing I did of some flannel flowers. I love flannel flowers, they are an Australian native that grow in great swathes in many east coastal areas. According to Wikipedia the generic name means ‘furnished with rays’, derived from the Greek aktin-/ακτιν- ‘ray’ or ‘spoke of a wheel’ or ‘sunbeam’.

The petals are a creamy white with a furry texture (a bit like flannel – who knew!) They look lovely against a big wide blue sky. I used my Derwent aqua pencils and then manipulated the image in photo-shop. I really like the painterly quality you can get using these pencils.To work as fabric, the design needs to work when repeated. Here’s my drawing and what I ended up with.



The By Hand London ladies are gathering with coffee, cats and cake to select their favorites to be voted on. The winner get’s their fabric printed and sold! I can see a flannel flower Flora or an Anna. Are you having a go at designing your own fabric?



BJ made, vintage vogue 8789, for the end of summer

Long time Canberrans say you need the heaters on come Anzac Day. So, thought I’d blog about this dress before the weather turns really cold.

Love this fabric. A gorgeous crisp poplin, I bought from Gerties Etsy shop some time ago. The design has got a lovely painterly feel to it. The pattern is Vintage Vogue 8789, a 1950s day dress. I modified the pattern a little, replacing the skirt with a full circle skirt. Circle skirts are such fun. Here I’ve worn the dress with an elastic cinch belt rather than the cummerbund in the pattern.


Some ‘vintage’ touches are the turned and stitched seam finishes, the bound waist seam and the hand-picked side zip.  I like using some of these nerdy sewing techniques, I think they can give a lovely polished finish to garments. Do you use any vintage techniques in your sewing?

2014-03-15 14.16.582014-03-15 14.18.10

Sew Dolly Clackett, what dress to wear to a lobster picnic lunch?

This is what I’ve made for the Sew Dolly Clackett competition to celebrate the wedding of the effervescent Roisin to Nic. The challenge is to make a dress that reflects Roisin’s style.

So, what to wear when having a lobster picnic? The ‘lobster lunch picnic dress’ of course. I used the by hand london’s elisalex pattern. The fabric is Beacon Cove by Paul Brent for Moda fabrics.

Elisalex is a favourite of Roisin’s and the nautical theme of the Paul Brent fabric also echos many of Roisin’s lovely frocks. Also, in true Roisin style, some fancy shoes.


2014-03-17 16.27.42red shoes

Continue reading

Why sew?

Such an interesting post from Karen (and comments) here about why she sews. I found myself agreeing with much of the discussion.

Sewing is creative and practical. I love playing with the fabrics and colours and find something almost magical about conjuring a wearable item from a piece of cloth. Roisin said something similar a while ago (sorry, can’t find the exact post).

I find sewing completely absorbing and have long held the view that almost anything that absorbs your attention completely is good. As Karen says, it’s like yoga or meditation.

I also love not buying clothes. I love that you can have the colour, the fit, the fabric and the finish just as you want it

Aaah a rare wet weekend in Canberra, looks like sewing weather to me!


tmp_20140204_17554618099846872014-03-19 16.07.42