Wednesday, 11 December 2013

African Inspiration

I went to Africa last year for Christmas - as its coming up to that time of the year again its been on my mind, and as it was churning around, the flotsam of realisation surfaced - that I STILL hadn't used any of the fabric I brought home.
 This has now changed... 
Pretty pretty Ghanian fabric - Blogged here

And some Somali kanga type fabric - Blogged here- 

As inspiration for the other (6 kg) fabric I have been trawling for inspiration aren't these beautiful! 
Ahh what should I make next ! The peplum tops look pretty swish!
(Pics are linked to sources)

African print peplum skirtTribal Print Straight SkirtDECO // SS11 Collection Image of Sika Flare Print Trousers Green

Monday, 9 December 2013

The Artful Archer

This grainline pattern is definitely artful- how it quickly becomes one of those patterns you consider making with all new fabric.
I'm quite happy with how it came out- Its extra comfy as the fabric is so drapey (gotta love that rayon) and I made the pattern on the larger size.  The sewalong on Grainlines blog is also extra helpful for the collar and back yoke construction if you haven't made them before (like me!). 
I have already worn this shirt so much-  I think for the next one though I would make the sleeves 3/4 or add tabs to keep them folded up as I don't wear the sleeves full length! 
I'm loving the sleeveless designs people have been sewing up, next project perhaps!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Go Ghana

Love love love this fabric - Finally I got up the courage to cut into it!
I used Simplicity 1803 view B, but altered the front panel so there wouldn't be a seam down the middle. I also lined the top rather than using facings.  Fun lining no?
The pattern choice was definitely inspired by Jorths Cabbage dress isn't it simply gorgeous!
What do you think of mine?
Love the lining!

Looking a bit too interested...

Oh Sally...

My Goodness, My Garden

As I was perusing this blog the other day - I noticed the post I wrote just as I had finished the vertical pallet gardens -
Hasnt it grown.

The main challenge is to keep the water up as it has been so damn hot! Seriously Australia- calm down with the sun already!

I've been thinking about what else to plant - having a ridiculously small backyard means we are limited in what is space (and effort) efficient to plant.
Some winners that we love are:

Rocket (grows easily, quickly and you can eat it in everything!)
Lettuce (we pick leaves as we need them - I like Cos the best!)
Tomatoes (as you will never get tomatoes from the store as nice as those you grow yourself)
Beans (If you pick them regularly you get heaps!)
Asian greens (keep the water up and they will take over everything!!)
Kale (to keep the hispter street cred)
General herbies such as Parsely, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme
Oh and of course Passionfruit! (its pretty much a weed!)

I'm trying some cucumbers and they are very slowly getting bigger (fingers crossed!)
Carrots are a bit pointless in pots, but are fun anyway!

What veges do you think are the best for the inner city?

Monday, 2 December 2013


Okay so I'm not sure if its still called a Kanga if its from Somalia rather than Kenya but it will do for the moment -
I am ridiculously, absolutely, emphatically, excited with how this dress turned out!
I got the fabric last year when we went to Lamu in Kenya, it came as a double panelled Kanga and again I have been nervous about cutting into it.
The print wasn't quite straight on the fabric grainline so I had to be really careful about choosing which bits to cut out!

Look how skewed the pattern is at the bottom!
But it lined up in the end!
The pattern is Laurel from Colette patterns - I really really love how versatile this pattern is! This will be the first of many!

No fingers!
What a fluke that this pattern matched over the zipper!
Disguised pockets!!

Top Back detailing

Jebediah- Why he wears purple

The massive love for Thread theories Jebediah pants is astounding - however not surprising, considering how easy the pattern is and how professional the finish is.
I have made a number of shorts for the boy- however they aren't really what you would wear out of the house!
I wanted to test the Jebediah pattern with shorts first - before making some work trousers - enter the purple fabric.
This beautiful purple linen was on sale ( I think from the Fabric Store?) yonks ago! Its been sitting in my stash for ages, as it really is quite bright, and wouldn't resolve itself in my mind into any clothes for me!
But I had just enough for shorts! (He likes short shorts - I even cut off another 5 inches before I hemmed them!)
Woo - it all fitted!
They were so easy to make - I started one afternoon and had them finished after 5 hrs! I just could't put them down. As these were only a practice lot - I didnt do all of the seam binding as I still wasnt sure how much I would have to alter them.  Not much as it turns out, for the full length I will need to add some cm's to the thigh due to his cycling muscles :)
I love the binding!
When they were constructed the purple wasn't so overwhelming - I would be tempted to "borrow" them if they fitted me!
Doggies are interested!

Yes - they are a bit crushed!
Love the back yoke seam binding
and the pocket detailing!

Now onto the trousers!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013


I spent way to much time trawling the internet for fun crafty projects
- Bloglovin has definitely been enabling this problem.

My latest theme is Christmas craft (ok this is mostly food!), I don't seem to be the only person in the blogosphere keen on a handmade holiday, however there's only so much peppermint foot scrub one person can handle.

On my short list are:
Adult hot chocolate with extra flavours (here and here)
Regan's Orange Bitters
And of course the obligatory Christmas gingerbread and shortbread

This one sounds dangerously delicious!
What Christmas ideas do you have?  

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Sunday, 10 November 2013

List Making

Is it just me, or does the less time you have to sew - the more you think about it?
Do those ideas every swirling around in your head just need to be released or else they build up and force everything else out?
As you may guess - its exam time!- rather than focusing on seiching, activated sludge or macroeconomics
- my mind always seems to wander back to my piles of fabric and unfinished objects... Sometimes you just have to scratch that itch!

Grainline Archer shirt- I'm up to attaching the collar and am pretty excited with how it fits so far!
Bombshell Dress- the cups are all basted in next comes the lining and zipper!
Green wool skirt - Due to the unseasonally (horrendously!) hot weather this predictably hasn't progressed!

New patterns waiting to play!  - Why I insist on hoarding patterns I will never know- I think its the anticipation of seeing sometime evolve from paper to garment!
Colette - Zinnia 
République Du Chiffon - Margot
Thread theory - LOTS ( the boy has put in a couple of orders!)
Colette- Laurel (okay so I have used this pattern before- but its a pretty awesome basic no?)

In the past weeks I have sneakily finished some projects - just wait until its a nice day and I can get some pics! In the meanwhile here are some fabric previews.
Some pretty awesome cotton from Ghana
Geometric silk blend!
Black Brocade (amazingly synthetic but still cool!)
Do you find yourself always thinking about your next crafty endeavour?

Monday, 28 October 2013

Softies for Mirabel

Softies for Mirabel is a great idea and its in its 7th year, If you have some spare time why don't you make one too?  Check out Meet Me At Mikes  and Flickr for some examples of what other people have made.
Look at this little one I made.. hopefully it will be someone's little friend!

Macrame - Mid-Week Makes

In response to my general craftiness my Mum usually replies "Well at least its not  Macramé pot holders".  Not one to be discouraged I had to at least give it a go.
Following this uber easy pattern, some bright cotton, an old T2 tea container and of course a fern et voila!
 Adds a bit of brightness to a bathroom!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Bountiful Buttons

I recently downloaded a copy of 'Reloved' magazine- it has lots of pretty pictures and some fun crafty activities (treading the safe side of the line between 'crafty' and 'too crafty' aka 'getting eaten by your cats after you inhaled too much glue and glitter').
I loved the idea of Button Pictures, so with my massive stash of uber colourful buttons  and my boyfriends hot glue gun and I got to work. 
Btw- hot glue guns are way too much fun- I have had to implement a self imposed ban as I caught myself contemplating, after everyone else had gone to bed, what else I could stick buttons to...
Anywho I 'buttoned' the initials for our house inhabitants to act as impromptu mailboxes near our front door!
Definitely a fun midweek activity - or as my boyfriend calls it "Hipster craft attack!". 

Vertical pallet gardens

Limited garden space? Why not go up? 
We have a lovely little courtyard out the back of our  rented terrace- pity it doesn't get a whole lot of direct light on the ground, but a corner is delightfully sunny!.   There's been a lot of internet activity on pallet gardens so we decided to give it a go.. 

Monday, 5 August 2013

Moreish Mandarin Tartlets

Mandarin Tartlets 
Yey its Mandarin season in Australia! 
I based these on the tart pastry recipe from Brooklyn Brewshop and altered it just a tad … 

Stupendous Spent Grain

Dried Spent Grain
In recent weeks I've been settling back into a brewing routine, unpacking fermenters,  bottles and finding  good home brew stores in a new city!

After some batches using partial or all grain mashs I was left with about 15kg of every brewers conumdrum… spent grain.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Divine Darling Ranges Dress

I FINALLY made a dress with this pattern, its been sitting in my stash for about 18 months! I even got fabric for it about 6 months back. The fabric is a lovely soft cotton with little dark pink dots, I was pretty excited I found some little buttons that matched the dots perfectly!

When I finally committed and cut into the fabric, it went together really quickly! The pattern design is pretty simple, the skirt is rectangular and there are no specific sides for the sleeves. I suspect it will be robust enough to handle some interesting alterations as I've seen popping up on the internet.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

'Mazing Maritime shorts

This is the second Grainline Studio pattern I've used, second to the awesome Tiny Pockets tank pattern.

The fabric is some beautifully thick cotton I bought in Japan last year.
 A Japanese friend of mine told me that the quality of fabric that can be sold in Japan has to pass really strict quality control in terms of dying and weaving.
  I made sure I washed it nice and hot anyway (too used to Aussie fabric), I just love the bold colours.

The Maritime shorts are a dream to sew -the instructions are really easy to follow! Even the fly- which I have had trouble with in the past!
This was the first time I have tried to match patterns - Pretty happy with how it all turned out!
I only had to alter a couple of parts of the pattern, due to an odd shaped bottom ;).  It was pretty easy to take in the back and the waistband to make it fit nicely!
Would definitely recommend this pattern!