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Resolutions and Objectives

Here we are, the start of 2014, and the time of year when people talk about their New Years Resolutions.

I’ve never really been the sort of person to make them. When I was younger, I was pretty much of the attitude “Well, I could make some, but I’m never going to stick to them, so why bother?” As I got a bit older, it was more “Why set an arbitrary date to turn your life around?  If something needs fixing, start working on it when you recognise it.”

I never really considered myself to be a goal-setting kind of person either – I think because of the fact that when I was a teenager, my friends were setting themselves resolutions, and even goals throughout the school year, but I wasn’t. So it was a bit of a surprise recently when I met a friend of a friend, who had earlier that evening also met my husband.  When she twigged the relationship (he wasn’t present), suddenly she was telling me how awesome and inspiring she thought I was, based on how Ryan had described me to her.  Apparently I’m a closet goal-setter after all! Continue reading Resolutions and Objectives

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A list for Monday

It’s Monday, 10 days before Christmas, and I finally feel like I have a little chance to breathe after the madness of Christmas markets and extra busy days at the shop.

Apparently Indigo has a sweet tooth
Apparently Indigo has a sweet tooth


I’d love to spend the day lazing around in my pyjamas, and being amused by the neighbourhood cats, however, there are a number of things I have to do today, so here’s a little list:

Things I HAVE to do today:

  • Wash fabric, let it dry, cut out and get started stitching up a bespoke satchel that is needed before Christmas
  • Make some more wallets
  • Make some more visual diaries
  • Do the weekly sales report for the shop
  • Get a massage (that one is locked in)

Things I really Want to do today:

  • Go for a bike ride
  • Make myself some shorts (I have none, and it’s starting to be so summery)
  • Make myself a new dress for Christmas Day
  • Catch up with friends for a drink (unlikely to happen, as the timing for my massage would mean two trips into Wellington)

I wonder how many from both lists I can fit into today…

What is your day looking like?


P.S. Fabric of the Week will be back in the New Year.  I’ve been so busy making stuff for markets that I’ve been using too many different fabrics to mention.


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Fabric of the week – it’s back


I’ve been busy catching up on all sorts of things, and I’ve been meaning to post all week, but here I am, just managing to get to it at the end of the week.

I’ve got a few markets coming up over the coming weeks, and seeing as it’s Christmas and all next month, I thought it would be nice to make a few toys.  So this week I’ll be cracking out the polar fleece.

It's a pile of polar fleece!
It’s a pile of polar fleece!

Ok, so it doesn’t look to fancy like that, but remember these guys: Continue reading Fabric of the week – it’s back

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A little hiatus

Hello folks.

I’ve decided that as I’m still trying to get caught up on my making from the last fabrics of the weeks, I’m going to take a little hiatus this week.  I think it’s better that I do that, than try to push myself madly and end up getting run down again.

In the meantime, here’s something else I’ve worked on recently…

It’s WoW season at the moment – a big event in the Wellington cultural calendar.  Entries are received from all over the world for the extravaganza, and many tourists from around New Zealand, Australia and further abroad too.  The retail sector in Wellington has a bit of fun with these type of events, and many stores will have fantastically decorated windows as part of the festivities.  We do this sort of thing for major movie premieres too.

This year it was my turn to do the WoW window at Made it.  I’ve had an idea floating around in my head for a year or so for this, so it was pretty satisfying to turn it into reality.

Detail view of the bodice on our WoW window dress. It is black, and features external boning made from umbrella ribs.
Dress for the weather

Wellington has a bit of a reputation for being a windy city (you can say that either way – wind speeds of 100+km/hr aren’t that uncommon, plus all the hills make our streets rather sinuous).  You can always spot the newcomers on a rainy day – they’re the ones trying to wrestle with an umbrella.  My record for having one turn itself inside out and collapse was half a block. (I did take it back because I figured that was ridiculous!)

City bustle

I liked the idea of doing a representation of that in a wearable garment.  This dress incorporates the ribs both in the external bodice boning and in the bustle, which is shaped like a collapsing umbrella (literally – I cut the fabric using an umbrella as the pattern).

Front view of the dress
Umbrella ribs form the boning – with a nod to architectural styling from the 1920s



The underside of the bustle, showing the umbrella ribs supporting it.
The bustle is also supported by umbrella ribs. I’ve certainly seen many umbrellas that resemble this after a typical Wellington gust.

I had lots of fun making this.  It probably took about a day of work all up, and there was lots of problem solving along the way, especially in attaching the ribs so that they would wrap around the bodice and support the bustle.  I had to temporarily wire them in place while I made the overskirt and stitched it in place.

When I was buying the materials, I chanced across some spools of vintage sequins, so they spill over the umbrella like raindrops (totally on-brand raindrops, as they match our brand colours for the shop).

Full length view of the dress.
This is what it looks like from the front.


Have you had a chance to check out some of the other windows around Wellington? If so, which is your favourite?  I think my favourite is the dress made from broken sunglasses at Sunglass Style (number 22 on the map, and just around the corner from us).  And if you got to go to WoW, what did you think of it?  I’ve never made it yet – I really must get myself organised next year!


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Fabric of the Week: Sweet Diamonds

I’m sorry I’m a day late this week: we had a night out with friends yesterday, that turned into a very late night after a little incident with a parking building that changed its night time access…

I’m going simple this week.  I’ve always loved this print in pink and orange diamonds, with a sweet floral detail.  For some reason it reminds me of old-fashioned wallpaper, and at the same time Roald Dahl books.  I think it is somewhat reminiscent of the Quentin Blake illustrations.

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I’ve had this fabric for a while, and I have made some notebooks and wallets from it in the past.  I have just enough left of it for a lampshade, and maybe if I’m parsimonious with my cutting a coin purse too.

I know that’s not a lot, but I came down with a virus a fortnight ago that really knocked me around.  I don’t think I’ve ever taken as much Ventolin before as I had to this time (plus I was on other meds too).  I ended up having to cancel two fairs last weekend as I was just too ill to leave the house.  I also didn’t get much sewing done in that time, so I’ve got a bit to catch up on from the last two fabrics of the week as well.

PS It was really lovely to log in and see that so many of you had checked in since yesterday. Thank you!


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Fabric of the Week: Plaid about you!

Ok, so I don’t know what this fabric is really called, but it’s been a firm favourite anytime I’ve made anything from it.

Next week, I’ll be cutting from this charming fabric.

Well, obviously I won't be cutting into the satchel, but I do have more fabric and am itching to cut into that.
Well, obviously I won’t be cutting into the satchel, but I do have more fabric and am itching to cut into that.

Here’s a couple of other ideas of what I can make from it…

Money (or card, if that's how you roll) pouch
Money (or card, if that’s how you roll) pouch.


Paper journals. Proving themselves useful for note taking since almost forever
Paper journals. Proving themselves useful for note taking since almost forever.

What would you like to see me make from this?


As I’ve been sick all this week, I haven’t had a chance to set up that online shop yet that will let you order in advance with a bit of a lovely discount.  However, as always, you can send me a message using my contact form to let me know what you’d like.  Make sure you do so by Monday lunchtime though, so that I’ve got you on my pre-order list for cutting out.



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Markets this weekend

I just had to make one of those calls that really suck.  I’ve been fighting off a virus all week, and by the time I closed the shop today I had to admit that there is no way that I would be in a fit state by the end of tomorrow to run my stall at Belmont School’s Sip’n’Shop Night Out.  If you live in Lower Hutt, you should still head along, because I find that small events like this have such a wonderful atmosphere, and there is always someone new to discover on the craft circuit at them.  Plus they had amazing raffle prizes last year, and you’ve got to be in to win…

Sip n shop flyer jpeg pub.

At this stage I am hoping that if I take it easy tonight and tomorrow I will be up to being at the Spring knack on Saturday. The knack is probably my favourite fair.  It’s always so lovely to see the school community getting in behind an event, and Berhampore School certainly does that here.  There is always a great range of food, and there is always at least one stall run by the students themselves (delicious fudge and awesome cordials are a couple of recent examples).

2013 Spring Knack for email

They do also have a Knack-cessories night market happening on Friday night, if you feel like some shopping without the kiddiewinks.  I won’t be at that, but there will be other great stalls!

2013 Spring Night Market for email

Right, I’m off to slaver myself in Vicks, puff some more Ventolin and down some paracetamol to ease my suffering.  Fingers-crossed I wake up perky as on Saturday.


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Fabric of the Week: Spade Damask

Hello! This is a little exciting – it’s time for my first Fabric of the Week announcement.

This week I’ll be working with a fabric I picked up on a Wellington Sewing Bloggers fabric buying roadie – after High Tea in Palmerston North we headed to the massive Arthur Toye store there, and this caught my eye.

Spade Damask in Jasmine
Spade Damask in Jasmine

The fabric is Spade Damask from the Ginseng range by Joel Dewsberry.  It’s a cotton sateen, perfect for home décor such as lampshades and cushions.  It will also make lovely tote bags and coin purses.  I’ve got around two metres of this fabric, and I’ll be cutting into it on Monday. If you’d like to order something for yourself from this fabric, let me know by Monday lunchtime and I’ll give you a discounted price. I don’t have my new online shop set up yet, but you can let me know what you want by sending me a message.

While you think about what you’d like, here’s a picture of a lampshade I made from this a few weeks ago, and currently available at Made it.

12" Lampshade
12″ Lampshade – $90, available at Made it
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Introducing: Fabric of the Week

Isn’t it funny how doing something very routine or repetitive can spark the most creative thinking?

I have one of those brains that never switch off, unless I’m asleep (although sometimes I’m not sure if it even does then).  I do tend to find though that if you’re consciously trying to think of a solution to something, inspiration doesn’t necessarily strike.  On the other hand, sometimes when you’re not trying to think about it, the best ideas pop into your head.  I had one of those moments a few weeks ago.

I was focused on tidying at the time – working out how I was going to organise my fabric collection downstairs, and I believe I was actually vacuuming the lounge when the lightbulb moment occurred. Continue reading Introducing: Fabric of the Week

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Workroom makeover update!

Well, it’s been a long time coming, but I have done some more work on my workroom makeover.  There was a bit of a prompt for this.  For the last 2 months, we’ve had this in our garage.

A garage full of pink batts
These have been busy keeping our garage warm over winter.

When they first arrived, it felt like my birthday (in fact, it was a few days after my birthday, but the prospect of a toasty warm house this winter certainly felt like a birthday present).  I had visions of spending my winter like this: Continue reading Workroom makeover update!