Doing all my Craft and Sewing related blogging over at My Poppet

Doing all my Craft and Sewing related blogging over at My Poppet
Pop over to My Poppet for your Weekly dose of crafty inspiration

Sunday, December 19, 2010

New Skirt - Big Deal!?

Big Deal you ask? Yes, quite the big deal for me. You see I never get to make anything for myself. Never. In fact this is the first skirt, for me, I've ever made.
Normally I'm put off by the whole zip, interfaced waistband, buttonhole, yada yada, but this little pattern was super easy.

It's a wrap around A-line style which is flattering for broad hips and can expand at the drop of a hat after a big Christmas lunch or indulgent weekend. I think I'll make a couple more for summer (that will eventually arrive one day) in some really fun vintage retro fabrics.
The next one will have bias binding around the hem so you can see the curves on the front panels.

I was so lucky that this pattern was in my exact measurements, but the beauty of this style is that it's got a little give in it either way. bring on the Christmas pudding I say!

Monday, November 29, 2010

How to: Tapestry Pillow with Zip

I picked up this little piece of Florentine stitched canvas (also called Bargello stitch) from the Camberwell market month and months ago, with the intention of making it into a cushion.
Finally found a few minutes today to sew it together and have even photographed a little tutorial...I hope it's easy to follow

Tapestry/embroidered canvas
Zip (slightly longer than width of pillow, I've used and invisible one because that's what I had on hand)
Heavy weight fabric (corduroy or velvet is ideal)
Thread, sewing machine, scissors
1. Cut your backing fabric an extra 2" larger than your tapestry in height and 3" in width to allow for insertion of zip and covering flap
2. Cut your backing fabric down the middle, this is where the zip will go.
3 & 4. Using a zipper foot, sew the zip onto each half of the fabric.
5. The zip should be longer than the fabric (I'm no zip expert so have just managed to do a passable job)
6. Create a little flap to cover the zipper, press in place and top stitch along the dotted line shown. (be careful not to sew over the zip like i did, doh!)
7. Open your zip about halfway, double stitch over both the ends.
8. Trim the canvas on your tapestry to about 1" around. Lay the right sides of the back and front together and sew around the the edge of the tapestry. Try to sew just inside the edge of the stitched work so you don't see the bare canvas when you turn inside out.
I've over-locked (serged) the edge as well for neatness and extra strength
9. Slide your zip down fully and turn. Insert cushion insert, zip up and you're done!
Please leave a comment if you have any questions

Sunday, November 7, 2010

How to: Fringe Cushion Cover

Easy to make fringed floor cushions
A step-by-step tutorial (with some easy short-cuts)

Emma (and I) needed something to sit on when reading her books...on a quick trip to Ikea I picked up some super squishy euro sized pillows that made the perfect inserts. I had the fabric (also Ikea) and the fringe was an Op-shop find.

You will need:
A cushion insert or pillow
2 squares of fabric cut to the size of the pillow plus 1cm seam allowance

Pin the fringe on the right side of the fabric, fringe facing in. Take extra care around corners to keep fringes neat so they don't get stitched into seam.

2. Lay second piece of fabric on top of the fringe, right side in, like a sandwich. Pin to place.

3. Sew around edge with a 1cm seam allowance, leave about a 30cm opening on one side for turning and stuffing.

2a. (short cut) I was a bit lazy with the second cushion and didn't do the pinning, I just sandwiched the two pieces and fringe as I went along...I'd only recommend this technique for more confident sewers.

4. Turn inside out and insert cushion

5. Pin opening closed, taking special care to keep the edges straight and fringe neat

6a & 6b. Either machine stitch or hand stitch opening closed.

You're done!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I'm seriously being inundated by stuff. This morning i decided to clear out at least one tub of fabric scraps, because it seem that the mess surrounding me is making my brain all foggy.
I'm sort of feeling anxious that things are getting a little bit out of control, and as I keep moving more stuff into the house, the feeling is getting a little bit worse.
Nothing as serious as panic attacks or anything, but just sort of muddled where i cant concentrate or feel creative. I get lots of ideas, but as soon as i step into my sewing room and see the piles of stuff, pooff! Mojo gone...
My friend Estelle would probably say it's because I don't eat enough, maybe that too...

So anyway, here is my feeble attempt to clear some space, 7 bags of vintage fabric scraps. I won't be making another quilt in a hurry, but maybe you can make one.You can get them on my Made of Cloth shop or from my Etsy shop

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Washing day...

Ever wondered what 104 meters of vintage fabric looks like? Well here's your answer. Rusty pins removed, de- dead bugged and sorted into different coloured loads. The yellow lot was in the machine already...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Eye Candy @ l'uccello

Discovered by accident today on my adventures in town, l'uccello is a little piece of heaven on earth for vintage habby and fabric hoarders like me. A once studio, and now, retail space for all sorts of vintage habby goodness, it is a must visit if you're in Melbourne.
I picked up some vintage buttons and lovely fabric remnants (I need more fabric like a hole in the head, but couldn't resist) which I was going to photograph but my camera battery died.
These lovely images are from the l'uccello blog. I'm in love with the navy and red vintage trims...

So go and visit Kim in the Nicholas Building, it's a real adventure back in time:

The Nicholas Building
205/37 Swanston Street
Melbourne 3000

l'uccello is in room 5 on
the second floor, enter via
Cathedral Arcade
ph: 9639 0088

Wednesday- Friday 10 - 6
Saturday 10 - 4

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sew Vintage...

Did some sewing today for the shop and some upcoming markets, pants made from vintage fabric samples. Elastic was a local flea market pick-up from a lady whose mother in law used to sew, and thread from a big bag full of spools found at the Op-shop. Bag included this petite 'Super SHEEN' spool pictured above which is too pretty to use.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Quilt revealed...

Here are some pictures of my finished last big push yesterday whilst Emma was at mum's did the trick...Some more details below

Project based on a Quilt from Japanese Craft Book - Patchwork Style ISBN 978-1-59030-649-9
Started December 2009- Finished September 2010
Essentially 30 squares of batting quilted individual in a log cabin style then joined together. The back is then attached to the front by stitch in the ditch on the seams that join the large squares.

Materials : Bamboo batting, vintage fabric scraps and remnants including cottons and some linen

'Quilt as you go' was appealing to me because I could work on the quilt in stolen moments whilst Emma slept. The only thing that I found difficult was when the pieces were joined the batting in the seams was bulky (even after pressing) this made the finished quilt look a bit lumpy. I basted the backing fabric on rather than pinning because the pins wouldn't sit flat on some of the joined sections.

I haven't made a quilt of this size before and I probably won't for a long time, I was really over it by the end. I was originally going to bind with red fabric but then couldn't face cutting all that binding, so just used the striped binding I had lying around from bib making.
Size wise it sits nicely on the top of my King size bed but would tuck in nicely on a single.

Feel free to ask me any questions you may have...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Quilting made easier...

Just thought I'd share a little hint that I found made working with my quilt a little easier today...ironing board at table height perpendicular to my work table. Helped hold the weight and bulk of the quilt so it stopped pulling itself off the table, freed up my hands a lot too.

Yes, I've finished it. Will take some shots tomorrow, am so excited to share it with you, I'm quite pleased at how it turned out.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


1. Cosy, 2. Picnic Blanket, 3. Handwoven Felted Wool Blanket Rug, 4. Blanket cushion, 5. handmade wool cushion set 1, 6. Pendleton Mills vintage HBC-style wool blanket

I've always been a little bit partial to old woolen blankets, I have a big cupboard full of them. I don't always cut them up for projects. Today I'm snuggling under a bright yellow one...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Super Powers...

I realised today that I may have a special ability, a superpower of sorts. Nothing as exciting as leaping over tall buildings or even washing the dishes in a flash, this one involves Op-Shops.It's a kind of psychic ESP thing that urges me to go to a specific Op-Shop, totally out of my way, because I get a feeling that something really good is waiting for me there. I only officially recognised I had this talent today, when for no particular reason I had to visit the Salvos in Balaclava. I'd only been there once in the past with little success, but today I just had a feeling... And lo and behold I found the most beautiful and amazing woollen coat for Emma that will fit her perfectly next winter.I call it the Sound of Music coat, because I imagine its what one of the children wore as the were hiking over the Alps to escape from the Nazis... Simple styling with a detachable hood, forest green wool felt, made in Austria. It's the details that have won my heart though. The label, the leather hook loop on the collar, the little metal coin buttons that hold the buttons. It even has little vents under the arms so you don't over heat. Its in perfect condition and cost me all of $8.99, see what I mean about super powers?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Too Cool...

I rarely get a decent photo of Emma these days, she is constantly in the move. Out of the 100 or so I took of her today, this was the only one that was not blurred and in focus. We were playing dress-ups with these sunglasses. Very Audrey Hepburn-esque don't you think?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pattern tracing made easy...

Just thought I'd quickly share a little trick that I sometimes use to trace patterns, it may come in handy.
Most of my sewing projects at the moment tend to come from either Japanese craft books or Burda Magazines that use these large printed pattern sheets with multiple patterns. You need to trace the pattern you want to use onto another piece of paper.
I find using see through tracing-paper difficult to work with because it's quite flimsy, so mostly I use cheap stiff interfacing.
Yesterday I only had a few small pattern pieces to trace and no interfacing left. I improvised by sticking the master pattern to a window with blue-tac, the light shining through helps you see the lines through regular photocopy paper.
I had some A3 printer paper lying around. Just hold it up to the window and mark your lines.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


I received a lovely surprise in my in-box this morning from Elizabeth Abernathy who has recently completed her very first issue of Nuno Magazine. It's 150 ad-free pages of craft, sewing and knitting ideas utilizing recycled and salvaged materials, and each project is complete with patterns and instructions. Elizabeth was kind enough to send me a copy for review. You all know how I love a bit of re-purposing and refashioning, and Nuno was full of great ideas I haven't even considered. The theme for this edition was FOREST with all the projects and ideas inspired by the woodland. Here are pictures of a couple of my favourite projects.
::Salvaged Leather Mushrooms::

::Felt & Pebble Jewellery::
This project is included in the free 20 page preview, along with good instructions on how to felt cast-off sweaters...another of my favourite textiles to work with.
I may try this concept in really bright colours...

You can download a preview copy of Nuno here

A full version is only US$5, buy it on the Nuno Magazine blog

Friday, August 13, 2010

I'm sure you're sick of seeing unfinished pieces of this quilt, I know I am. The good news is all 30 squares are now pieced and quilted, so all that's left to do is sew them together, back and bind. Hopefully the next picture I post will be a completed quilt, Yay! I really want it to be finished so I can move onto other projects, I'm unmotivated to start anything else till it's out of the way.
I'll have to get past my 'sewers block' this weekend though, because I'm hoping to make some new bits and pieces for my stall at Mathilda's Market next weekend. I always set myself unrealistic targets, but as Mr Man always says "Pressure makes Diamonds..."

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cuter than lice...

It's been a while since I've had the chance to really even step into my sewing room...Emma has kept me super busy of late and I'm really pooped by the end of the day. Our latest drama was head lice, yuk! Anyway you don't want to hear about that, so I thought you might like to see one of my recent acquisitions from my trip to Hong Kong. So much cool Japanese stuff available over there, especially books and magazines, Mr Man only allowed me a few.
I liked the idea behind this book called 'Petite Remake Clothes for Girls' (ISBN 978-4-7661-2113-1), lots of simple ways to turn plain garments in to something a little bit special.

One day when I'm over the lice debacle I may give some of these cute outfits a go...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Shop...

I've been promising to sell off some of my fabrics for a very long time...we're getting one step closer. I'm excited, it means I may be able to see the floor in my sewing room day!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

For pins and needles...

I'm a firm believer that you can never have too many pincushions. I've made these little pin cushion sculptures using a felting technique called needle felting. I'm tempted to open a little Made of Cloth online shop so I can put them up for sale, and maybe sell some vintage fabric packs too. what do you think?

Monday, June 21, 2010


Things progress quite slowly in my sewing space, remember this 'holiday project' from December? Well it's nearly July now and I'm less than half done. I've probably quilted just over half of the squares...finding a spare few minutes with a very active toddler has become tricky and my sewing room is so cold now! I think this winter's new quilt may become next winter's new quilt!
I'm not going to start any more big projects till this one is finished, or it will forever be a Work In Progress...

Friday, June 18, 2010


1. Blackwork Fill-in 2, 2. Blackwork Fill-in 1

Some interesting Blackwork samplers from flickr...

Monday, June 14, 2010


I op-shop a lot. It's one of my favourite things to do...I was lucky enough to have a child free weekday this week, probably the first time since before Emma was born. Guess what I did?
I used this fantastic guide on I Op Therefore I Am to plot out a route of my nearest oppies, visited about eight and did quite well.
Found lots of random bits and pieces including an etch-a-sketch (the subject of a few tweets of late) and a rocking horse for Emma, but my favourite find of the day really found me!
I think this skirt and I were meant to be together. It's just perfect! Beautiful soft velvet, my colours, my aesthetic...and it fits me perfectly (with a little room to grow!).
I would have probably paid a lot of money for it in a boutique, but lucky me, it was marked at $15. They were having a 1/2 price special that day, so only $7.50

Meant to be I tell you...

More great flea market finds over at Her Library Adventures

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sketch for me...

I have started a new blog to document my contribution to the Sketchbook Project 2011. You can follow it if you like...Even better, why don't you take part too?