Sunday, May 1, 2016

Tennis dress obsession

I seem to have a tennis dress obsession. I don't actually like playing tennis (too much sport at high school on hot hot tennis courts). But every time I see a vintage sewing pattern pattern my lingering obsession takes over.

Here are a selection of tennis dress patterns I own. More on this Pinterest board.

Simplicity #5059 Tennis dress and short shorts or Mini dress 1972

Style #3046 Unlined Jacket, tennis dress, skirt and shorts 1980

Style #3572 Tennis Dress in Two lengths and shorts 1972

Sewing challenge

I decided I'd stretch my home sewing a little this year and am entering the Tessuti 2016 In Season Silk Sewing Competition 

The In Season Two fabric really appealled to me, it's an Autumny digitally printed silk crepe de chine. Apart from the fabric, the only constraints are that the garment needs to suit the fabric and suit me. I haven't sewn silk into a garment before now, so I've spent the last 6 weeks thinking my idea inside and out, making at least 2 toiles and am now ready to sew it up.

As I've become completely obsessed with looks from the early 1970's I'm basing my design on ideas from Vintage Vogue Pattern books from 1970-1974.

The garment is a collared blouse and long culottes both in the In Season Two fabric. The culottes have a faced waist and invisble zip at back. They are based on a sloper I've made for myself in a Craftsy class Patternmaking basics with Suzy Furrer.

The blouse is a mix between a vintage McCalls 1966 pattern and a bodice sloper I worked on in a patternmaking class with Brazen Hussy Cathy Boerema.

Things I'm paying special attention to (but not necessarily obsessing over given I've a week to cut and finish my garment)
- grain lines
- darts
- seams
- pressing
My friend Tim at Usethings made me a wooded "clapper" with some super hard hardwood

lots of handsewing to control the silk
controlling the silk while cutting was really important, I have a few of these large washers which helps.
French seams for all the main straight seams
self cover buttons

I left a week at the end to make it, and it took every spare moment of the whole week.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

between the last post and the next post

Alot has happened in the last 3 years.
Boys have grown taller and stronger and sassier. I've gotten better at sewing our clothes. My stash has grown in size disproportionate to my output. My house has a slab and concrete walls underneath it. The chooks have a fence so I can grow plants again. Several new fruit trees have been planted. My crafty friends and I have a craft night on Wednesdays, so I now have a social life.


I've been sewing underpants

And endless pyjamas

I'm addicted to sewing jackets

A few dresses. one of which got (un)equal 1st Prize at the 150th Castlemaine Agricultural Show 2015

A suede vest the ended up too big for me, not sure how I'm going to make that one work. It did get 1st prize at the show though.

I went out dancing a little bit and whipped up some dancing clothes

We made a few toys

Chris and I made a tent and we all went camping

Rolph and I made a school backpack

The boys wanted cloaks for winter


I finally finished a hand patched, hand quilted sampler quilt that was started in a class in another city in another life 17 years ago. Excitingly, this won overall best quilt at the same Castlemaine Show.


A couple of things have been knitted. 2 Boys vests that are hardly ever worn then got eaten by annoying bugs in their drawers over summer.

Some lovely colourwork in a vest that ended up too bulky for me.

A couple of very cute vests for my youngest

All of these are on Ravelry, you can see if you are there too.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sewing block be gone

I'm very embarrassed to say that until a few months ago I had a major block in my brain when it came to sewing clothes. Now, I sew for a living ; bags, covers, tarps, shades you name it. Just Not Clothes.
Now thankfully due to a unique mix of determination, embarrassment, online classes (craftsy), real in person classes (Julie Red Projects), a passion for fabric and obsession with vintage patterns, I can loudly and proudly say that I got over a major issue in my life without the help of any mental professional.
I'll start to document my successes and probable failures here as it is taking up all my current domestic time.
Knitting is still happening with at least one project on the go at a time.
Hoodie from a 1980's pattern. Very small fit, this is a size 7 on my 4yr old

had to add a lining, made from an old soft singlet and stitched lines

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Chooks and the shack

For years "chooks and the shack" was the welcome message on my mobile phone (back in the day when we turned them off)

2 years ago we moved into "the shack", and a month ago we welcomed "the chooks" onto our little plot.

4 x 10week old Australorp chickens now live with us, currently learning how to scratch up the ground. They will hopefully be laying their first eggs on Christmas morning. I'll accept this first laying up to mine and R's birthday in early January.

6 weeks old
scratching where they are supposed to be scratching