Look – I made a couple of things!

hello faithful readers… hasn’t it been a while!

Life had gotten away from me and Mr T and I have had a few major life changes, but I am determined to get back into documenting my makes this year – so here we are. Its nice to be back 🙂

I’ve got a couple of makes to boast about…  Firstly, check out this gorgeous mobile I made:


This is the Woodland Mobile from LittleSoftieShop and is one of my favorite makes ever – which is saying something. You see, despite loving doing cross stitch, I HATE hand sewing.


After some thought I’ve realised that this hatred is due to hand stitching’s tendancy to be free form – unlike those little squares on aida the only way I can get the stitches the same size is through practice, A LOT of practice and I don’t really have any patience 🙂 This lack of perfection and the amount of time hand stitching takes means its usually a No-Go for me.

So it was with trepidation I started this pattern, unsure if I was ever going to finish it. But, here’s a secret, little felt pieces are quick to make AND don’t need to be perfect – excellent!


Each of these guys took about an hour and I was halfway through when my Grandmother asked if I was putting bells in them for extra entertainment – Nope, rats. So, half the critters and one of the logs have bells in them. (*Spoiler alert, bells and stuffing don’t mix the best, the bells don’t jingle as much as kinda thud in a jingle-ey way.)

The other change I made was to the bear. His pattern didn’t have any legs and I didn’t think it looked right, so I gave the fella legs. And a tail…


I am so pleased with this make – the pattern was great and instructions easy. Even the “hanging” of the mobile only took me about 25 minutes.


Of course, with the creation of a Baby mobile, you need someone to appreciate it. By far the biggest change since my last post,  was the arrival of Master T, who also is my favourite make, hands down!


(Thanks to Charlie Horse photography for this great pic)

Two months old and this kid has taken over our lives and his Dad and I are completely smitten! So far, other than his awesome mobile, he hasn’t got any other Mum-made makes, but they are planned… along with a number of makes for me!

There’s more to come, but for now from the T family, have a great week



An overdue Wedding Post…

Aah… weddings. You start out with all these ideas and then time ticks away… and away and away.

When I got engaged I knew I wasn’t going to make my wedding dress – I didn’t  need that pressure. But I planned to make:

  • Bridesmaids dresses
  • Bridesmaids wraps
  • Groomsmen ties
  • Paper flowers
  • Table runners
  • Table decorations
  • Bunting for the table and wedding arch
  • ……..

But I quickly came to my senses. The Bridesmaid dresses I got made, the ties I brought, and I didn’t bother with wraps for the girls as they had sleeves. I had enough to do!

I did make things though. I made the bunting but didn’t manage to get decent photos of them (and it rained so we got married indoors and didn’t use the arch anyway).

I made decorations and I made table runners and all sort of things. Other than that everything I made was pretty much for me  🙂

After buying a strapless gown I knew I needed something in case I got cold – we got married at Easter, which here in NZ is a tad dicey. At my first dress fitting I took along the Peppermint Cape that I had already made and, other than being purple, it looked perfect. So I headed down to come fabric shops, brought the softest white fur I could find and it came out great – it looked amazing on the day.

This pattern is awesome, as there are separate sleeve pieces it sits so well on your shoulder, and its super comfortable. I really do love this pattern, its just a bit impracticable made out of fur (yep, which I’ve now done twice) even if it does look amazing… I wouldn’t rule out making a non-fur one one day soon.

My other favorite make from the day was my flowers. Confession time – I had my bouquet chosen before I even got engaged! And this one came direct from Pinterest. I loved the idea of having paper flowers – it seemed so wasteful to spend so much money on flowers that I would have just been thrown away. I am so pleased with how bouquet… check it out!

This takes a long long time… a long long time… there’s about 100 paper flowers in this thing and each flower has 5 pieces to it. The glue gets everywhere and it took some time to work out the best way to get them all to stick to each other and the kebab stick that was put in the middle of each one. The kebab sticks were then stuck into a big Styrofoam ball, and a handle was attached, wrapped in ribbon et voila!

As well having a bouquet that looked totally different, another thing I loved about this was I was able to get flowers made by others – heaps of friends and family made a flower or two (including everyone who attended my bridal shower – waa haa haa!) and some friends that weren’t able to make the wedding were able to make flowers overseas and send them home, so a wee piece of them were still there on the day.

The Bridesmaids bouquets were made of 4 of the same flowers, in a larger size. Each had three blue flowers and then a white flower made of printed paper that represented each of them (the bridesmaid who’d I’d met doing a show had the first song we performed together printed on hers). The buttons for the groomsmen, family and Mr T were single flowers of varying sizes.

The flowers for the table were again the same flowers, in a biggest size yet. 05_reception_high-009

The flowers were really popular – and we didn’t end up bringing any home… they went home to guests kids, guests themselves, some of my family took some to my Grandparent’s grave marker – which was lovely.

We had an awesome day, lots of fun and even more laughter.

Since I’ve just realised none of the photos I’ve actually used show my face – here we go… a photo, showing faces, taken on the vintage railway down the drive from our venue.

Thanks must go to our photographers who’ve taken all the photos I’ve used here – Michelle and James from Patina Photography made the day not only look stunning but made everyone feel at ease too.


Since the wedding I’ve been working and studying… and sleeping… and relaxing. I’m slowly getting my sewjo back… so more posts soon I hope!


Quilting stress!

I made a little quilt. As its a little quilt, I will keep this post short. (In the essence of honesty, it’s also trauma which is keeping this post short!!)


One of my workmates was leaving for maternity leave. I saw the free pattern from Fat Quarter Shop for the Panda-Monium baby quilt and thought “eureka, that’s perfect!” for a leaving present. The unofficial theme for her baby presents was Panda’s and this would fit right in!

Then I started to doubt myself. I’m not experienced with quilting and the pressure of giving it to someone other than immediate family freaked me out I’ll admit. So I decided I “didn’t have the time” to make it and put it out of my mind.

Then, the weekend before my work went on leave, I found myself buying fabric to make this quilt. And I made it, quilted it, gifted it and it was well received. There was a bit of angst involved in the finishing and making the decision to actually gift it (I didn’t tell anyone I was making it in case I stuffed it all up and it looked silly). In the end, all the angst was unnecessary – why do we do this ourselves? A big thanks to Mr T who told me that keeping it “was not an option and of course she’ll like it”… thanks dude!

In the making of this quilt I learnt many things:

  • start early, not the week before its due
  • I need to work on straight lines when finishing the quilt top
  • my machine binding has improved out of sight since the first time
  • using masking tape to mark the quilting lines is easy, but has its issues
  • using the washing machine and dryer does not remove the masking tape you accidentally sewed over!
  • people love things you make them even if they’re not perfect
  • something can be great, even if its not perfect!

This was an angsty project, but if I’d not been going to give it to someone else I would have thoroughly enjoyed it. The piecing was so much fun, and as it was so little (originally approx 20″ square, though mine was a little bigger) it went fast! And now, after more words than I thought it would be, some photos!




Have a good week! xx

Seamworks Mesa on a chilly day…

The original...

The original…

The outfit to the left has spawned four clothing pieces… so far…. it comes from episode 1 of Scream the Tv series…. (yep I’m a teenager at heart!) and I just fell in love with this skirt. Totally different from anything I’ve ever worn, let alone made, but I drooled over it. And it refused to leave my mind. The website wornontv.com informs me that this skirt comes from Topshop (can’t find it of course). But I was never going to buy it was I…

Soon after this episode, Kat, fellow Wellington sewing blogger, asked if anyone wanted to pitch in for a purchase from Fabric.com? Spoiler alert – between the group we brought A LOT of fabric.

I got this one… to make a Seamworks Mesa out of… (more of this fabric soon)

Large_0395122And this Scuba knit to make my Scream tribal skirt.. (now sold out)


When the fabric arrived however the tribal print was much bigger than I expected. How big?

Close?Hmmm… And I had more fabric than I needed to make a skirt. And as a result I just caved and made a Mesa out of it… wearable muslin yes?

IMG_5510I’ve subscribed to Seamworks since it started. Some months are great and others are a but of a miss for me, but the Mesa I like – simple cut and knit so therefore easy right?

Confession I’ve never actually made a shift dress before. I don’t actually think I’ve ever worn one. So here we have a) a new style and b) a patterned fabric and c) fabric like nothing in my wardrobe. I guess I was feeling courageous!

I was hoping to share my fantastic pattern matching with this make. I marked the pattern pieces with the stripes and when I basted it together I got perfect lines all around my body. When I pinned and stitched however it was a fail. And as this is a thick scuba knit unpicking proved un-achievable. I did try, honest, but after stabbing myself, deeply, with my trusty quick unpick/seam ripper I gave it up as a lost cause.

Other than the line matching fail, this dress went together really easily. I added 5″ to the length before cutting out, but after trying the finished garment on it looked frumpy at that length so I took 3″ off. Now of course it’s a smidgen short but it works well with tights! And given the fabric is polyester its more of a cooler wear really.

IMG_5530I like this dress. It’s way out of my comfort zone, and I get lots of comments on it whenever I’ve worn it. The only issue I have is the neckline. It looks fine, if a little bit wide, with nothing on top, but add a jacket or cardigan and it’s too big and gapes a bit


Not impressed….


Gape gape gape…

I’ve had this on a couple of makes lately. I’m not sure if I need to cut smaller at the neckline, or I could be stretching the neck band too much,but its also happened on woven fabrics. Others have talked about the neckline being a smidge too big so maybe its not me. Next time I make this one I will add 1″ to each shoulder and see what that does!

But I do really like this dress. I love the pattern – not so sure with the scuba knit, I noticed a slight pilling across the front today which is annoying. Maybe it doesn’t like flying foxes?


Add a jacket and its great for work. Here’s to more work dresses in the future…

So the fabric I brought for the skirt off the tv? I made a dress. Pretty good compromise I think.

Have a great week all!

A Stripey (kinda) Sophie

hi all,


The other week I was asked by the lovely Kat if I wanted to test her latest pattern, a comfy cardigan. I was as keen as a bean! I’ve long drooled over the multiple versions of her Jenna cardie and was excited to see what she’s come up with this time.

Pattern testing is fun, you get to try out patterns without being “biased” with other peoples versions. Sophie comes with heaps of variations – round neck, v-neck, zip, buttons and with and without pockets. V-neck is always my preference, and my preferred fabric was really light so pockets seemed out of the question.

I had this blue fabric in my stash, brought for making a muslin for another pattern (which didn’t work out) and had some left over. You can’t see it in the pics but there’s a very fine white stripe running through the fabric. It only cost me $3 at a Levana sale earlier in the year – even better….

I cut a size 40 reducing to a 38 at the hip. Which was really dumb as there is no way I’m a 40″ bust…. it meant I cut it 2-3 sizes too big in the chest.I have no idea what I was thinking but we all make mistakes sometimes!

I added a darker blue for neck and button band, which I’m really pleased with – it looks a little bit preppy, but not too much if you know what I mean!

Other than choosing the wrong size (which worked out ok in the end) this testing went as easily as my last Muse pattern. Kat’s made a few changes for the final pattern which is out now, but I’m pleased with this one. With the fabric being really really thin its not really a layering piece, but I’m sure it’ll get lots of wear.

 IMG_5242 IMG_5238 IMG_5232

Squinty eyes!

Searching for a great sweatshirt…

I am on a sewing roll at the moment. None of these things that I am making are on the list of makes for my wedding – must get onto that…

In the meantime if I’m sewing, I need to photo and blog. Did I mention its winter? Aah well, see the things I put myself through. Today wasn’t too bad, but I had a lazy start so by the time I got out of the house to get some photos, rain was on the way and it was COLD! How cold? This cold…

swear words might have been said!So while todays post may not include the most exciting photos, they were gathered in an atmosphere of dire threat of hypothermia, so that adds excitement value surely?

And todays post is on my first attempt at a Linden sweatshirt from Grainline studios. This is my second Grainline pattern with my Moss Mini sadly in the mending basket as its waay too big – not that I know what I’ll do with it, but nonetheless! When this pattern came out it didn’t grab my attention. It was just a sweatshirt and that’s not really interesting is it? But I’ve got a few pieces of knit fabric that would work for sweatshirts so I started looking for patterns. Initially the Linden still didn’t call me, as it had a high-ish neck on it, and I like mine slightly lower (the neck band for this seems tiny when cut it out). But as more bloggers made this up I figured I could maybe lower the neckline myself. Not listening to myself, and arguing that with all the patterns I already own I surely could cobble up something, in the end I used a BurdaStyle pattern for the lovely red knit I had. The less said about that make the better I say. After taking in approx 10 inches from each side and playing surgeon on the neckline I ended up with something wearable – but the only pic I have of it on is this one from Me-Made-May. Weirdly enough wearing the same jeans as today!

MeMadeMayAnyway I was still on the hunt for a good sweatshirt pattern, Linden was popular so I grabbed the PDF and gave it a go. And am really glad I did. The hardest part was choosing a size to cut out – I knew I didn’t want too much ease, and there’s about 6″ ease in this one in the bust, but that goes down to 2″ at the hips. I’m smaller in the bust and hips, but with only 4″ between waist and hips on a good day my measurements are usually 2-4 sizes apart. In the end I went with a straight size 10, and it wpretty greenas a pretty good fit.

My fabric is one I got from a fabric sale the other week, meant to trial Seamworks Astoria but I’ve already made two of those and this fabric now called for something else! Its a mottle green and black and I think it has a bit of cotton in it. It was easy to sew, with the only issue being that the edges curled, but otherwise was a pleasure.

Even better that sewing the fabric was sewing the pattern – this is really well drafted, all the notches matched, and it came together really easily as quickly (only 45 mins to sew it all together). However I can’t comment on the instructions as I didn’t read ’em at all! What a rebel 🙂 I suspect if I’d read the instructions it would have said some about not stretching the neck band too much, but I still haven’t read them so I’m not sure. Some of the other Linden’s I’ve seen blogged def show a much smaller neckline than mine. But actually I’m delighted with how the neckline on this worked out, it’s just right for me.

So to end, some pics of this make, on a windy, cold day. Hope those of you in winter climates are coping ok, and those of you in summer climates aren’t too hot!





See you soon

A totally inappropriate skirt…

I didn’t intend to make another skirt. I certainly didn’t intend to buy more fabric. But I was waiting in-line to get some fabric for a sewing class I’ve just started and something was calling…
Can you see it?There on the middle shelf. The white one… can you hear it?

I tried to ignore it. I really really did. I didn’t need another skirt (for what else could it be?) I could get it another time. “But I’m on sale” it whispered.

Nope you’re cotton voile. You’re far to thin for a skirt. “I’d just need lining…” it coerced. 

For goodness sake its WINTER! “But look how pretty I am. Just think of how I’d swish and twirl…”

Needless to say my will was too weak and said fabric came home with me! And went straight into the wash and ironed and ready for cutting that night.

I knew this had to be a swishy skirt – after all it had told me it was. I didn’t want panels as I didn’t want to break up the already busy print – and I knew there was no way I was going to pattern match this sucker.

So I headed to the By Hand London circle skirt calculator. Which informed me that the fabric was too narrow for a fill circle skirt. And a half circle skirt. And for a quarter circle skirt. Hmmm….

What followed was a long period of angst trying to work out how to get this fabric to do what I wanted it to. I cursed my waist dimensions for being too long. I cursed stupid patterns for being dumb. I cursed circles for being too round. Then I realised the cursing wouldn’t change a thing.

nothing like my finished productI searched my patterns for one that would give me the swish I wanted. In the end I saw this one in Gertie’s latest book and thought “hmmm that would probably look different in a lighter fabric”. Then I realised it was a half circle skirt. And that the dimensions matched the fabric I had… we were on like donkey kong kids!

I don’t know why this pattern fit when the other circle skirt patterns didn’t. Tbh it wasn’t quite wide enough even for this pattern. I ended up missing the very point of the circle on either side and just fudging it when I sewed it up. roll that hem...

Once I got it cut out though this baby went like a dream. Easy to sew up. Facings matched (not a fan of facings me, but thems the breaks). I left it to hang for a couple of days but there wasn’t too much drop in the hem. I even managed to do rolled hem…

So, now I have a gorgeous skirt, in a see through cotton voile. In winter. Ah well! Add a jacket and a slip and we’re in business.

We managed to get out today, on a stunning winter day and get some shots – it was sunny, windy, and chilly but after the rain and storms we’ve had the last week it was glorious!

Here she is, in all her glory

Here she is, in all her glory

See... swishy-ness

See… swishy-ness


checking out the fabric – yep its still calling…


the print in its glory!

Despite loving this fabric, and the feel, and so many things about it, when I first put it on I was underwhelmed. I’m one for a-line and closer skirts and I wasn’t sure the looser, draping worked for me – especially round the hips. However when I tried it on again after hemming I was ok with it; sometimes I think a new style sometimes needs a second consideration.

I think this one will get a bit of wear. With a jacket other than my denim one it will carry me over for work. All in all a win methinks.

IMG_5151 IMG_5137 IMG_5186