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Happy New Year!

2 Jan

Wow, there’s been so much reflection going on in sewing blogger land. I haven’t quite caught up yet. But, I didn’t want that to stop me from wishing you all a very happy 2013! So, Happy New Year!!

I went back to work today (shock to the system), but here’s a quick update of what I’ve been up to during the last week back with the fam. Oh and my handmade Christmas crafting πŸ™‚

Me made gifts for girls

Tote bags from Pip Lincoln’s Sew La Tea Do book.

Owls with a yoyo embellishment…


And butterflies with pretty buttons



And another one that I was too dopey to remember to take a photo of before wrapping – doh! IΒ almostΒ unwrapped, but I just didn’t have time.

Sewing gifts for lucky duck me

Fun new books…


And thread holders that go from wood look plastic…


to blue! With the help of some spray paint πŸ™‚


And a shiny new pincushion.


What else has been happening?

Food, wine, friends and family – but of course.


A little bit of quilting (my holiday portable project)


And lots of puppy love



I also hung out with a bird


No sewing I’m afraid, but I’ll get there. I did catch up with the Frabjous Couture PMPS sew/draft along though!

What have you been up to?

Hope you are all raring to get in to 2013! I can’t wait to see where it takes us πŸ™‚

Z xx

P.S: The lovely Ooobop nominated me for the very inspiring blog award! You’re too kind. I haven’t forgotten and will pass on the love soon πŸ™‚


A rewarding week

20 Oct

While I have been somewhat absent from blogland the last week or so (you know how it is, life gets in the way of the fun stuff), I have been lucky enough to be nominated for not one, but two blog awards! Might have to take a leave of absence more often πŸ˜‰

Sew Busy Lizzie nominated me for The Lovely Blogger Award and The Curious Kiwi included me in her list for a Thank You Award. Yay, thanks team Sew Australia New Zealand!

The Lovely Blogger Award


Here are the rules for the One Lovely Blog Award:

Thank the person who nominated you and link back to him/her in your post – done!

  1. Share 7 things about yourself.
  2. Nominate 15 bloggers you admire.
  3. Leave a comment on each of these blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated.

Seven things about me:

Trying to include things here that I haven’t already shared with you guys as part of the Versatile awardΒ or on the About page (but I didn’t actually check so please forgive any repeats).

  1. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m turning 30 next month.
  2. I really like to eat drained two minute noodles with cheese (melted) and soy sauce mixed in. Don’t judge it till you try it! I’ve converted many. This is a hangover from my undergrad days πŸ™‚
  3. I love being right. Who doesn’t though.
  4. I will be attempting Tough Mudder in January. Β LOL
  5. I love double shot soy lattes. Depending on the previous 24 hours I may have a few of these a day.
  6. I used to play netball something like six days a week. Loved it. Not sure my mother loved ferrying me around though πŸ˜‰
  7. I have a degree in Japanese bahahahahhaha – don’t even think about asking me to do more than a self introduction these days however.

15 bloggers I admire (ok, there’s actually 13 listed)

I tried to list people I haven’t highlighted here before too, so in no particular order;

  1. Ginger Makes – the happiest blogger in all of blog land!
  2. Kestral Finds and MakesΒ – lurve Pattern Mondays, hilarious!
  3. Lucky Lucille – puppy pics crack me up
  4. Fehr Trade – running a marathon, oh yeah! And with all that training still finds time to blog and sew like a crazy person (and lives on a boat – how cool is that!).
  5. Esme and the Laneway – not specifically sewing, but magical hair, make up and photography, and vintage finds to die for.
  6. Scruffy Badger Time – funny photoshopping and photos make me giggle
  7. The Curious KiwiΒ – lives up to her husbands sewing demands, while gardening up a storm
  8. Mezzo Couture – beautiful garments – and not just for herself – unlike me
  9. Did you make that – for bringing to light how many of us sew in our underwear
  10. Bimble and Pimble – sparky sewing
  11. Sew Me Love – beautiful party dresses
  12. Frabjous Couture – love the behind the scenes looks at her gorgeous couture garments
  13. House of Pinheiro – twitter chatter, instagram pics and a newly completed MBA (and of course beautiful garments as well)

Thank you award

Thank you award

ThisΒ new blog award is a way to say a big thank you to the people who encourage you by commenting on your blog. You pass on to the last nine commenters on your blog, so here they are:

  1. Saturday Mornings in Melbourne
  2. House of Pinheiro
  3. Ginger Makes
  4. Poppykettle
  5. So I Sewed This
  6. Up Sew Late
  7. Kim-ing
  8. Mezzo Couture
  9. Sew Busy Lizzy

Thanks for joining in the fun ladies! And thanks to everyone who reads my tripe πŸ™‚

Oh, and the winning pattern and fabric combo in the vote for my next project was, drumroll, Tova – with 40% of the vote. So I made it. And I love it. Pictures to come. Thanks to those who voted!


Book review: Couture Sewing Techniques (and an award)

19 Mar

As you may have seen in a recent post, I had a bookish, sewing surprise turn up not so long ago! Janene of Ooobop! fame was particularly interested in, and very subtly suggested that I review one of these books – Claire Shaeffer’s revised and updated Couture Sewing Techniques. So here goes Janene! πŸ™‚

I would like to preface this review with the sad fact that I in fact have not had a chance to read this cover to cover, but I will give you my thoughts so far.

Beautiful images and secrets

I am thoroughly enjoying this book, and I am particularly enjoying looking at the beautiful images of couture garments, many of which are actually from the authors own collection (jealous much?!), and others from a range of museums. Not only do you get to see the gorgeous exterior of these garments, but we as readers are treated to the behind the scenes ‘innards’ view – and it’s amazing!

Have you ever wondered how couture garments sit ‘just so’ on the wearer? There’s a ‘stay’ for everything, or perhaps weights were used in the hem, or maybe there’s a harness in there – you’ll never know (until you read this book of course!).

Closures - Marc Bohan for Dior

Look at all these secret closures - Marc Bohan for Dior

Oscar de la Renta dress

From the author's collection, without the harness shown on the right, this Oscar de la Renta dress would fall open and shift off the shoulders.

Behind the scenes

I also particularly enjoying travelling into my imaginary world where I can afford to purchase couture garments! Early on, Claire takes the reader into a Parisian house of couture and explains the process you would go through to order a couture design. Right from making an appointment with the directrice, through to the premiere taking your measurements, and finally the design being logged into the livre de compte, and being carefully packed and delivered to your hotel or shipped to your home.

What? A girl can dream πŸ™‚

Haute couture versus ready-to-wear

Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve always wanted to know exactly what makes a garment ‘couture’ as opposed to high end ready-to-wear (RTW). Ms Shaeffer has answered my prayers with a lovely double page spread table comparing many, many features. There’s a taste of this marvellous table below.

Introduction to Haute Couture vs Ready-to-Wear

So what else is covered?

As I mentioned earlier, I haven’t gotten through this delight in its entirety – unfortunately! But for your information, the book is basically split into two sections, Part One: The Basics of Couture Sewing, and Part Two: Applying Couture Techniques. I’ve covered off a little bit of part one above. What I’ve shown above is almost the background information I guess, but the book does get much more practical, showing the reader how to execute these gorgeous techniques.

Here’s a taste of what else is covered in part one:

  • hand stitching techniques
  • seam finishing
  • marking techniques
  • darts
  • pressing techniques
  • shrinking and stretching
  • edge finishes
  • closures

And part two, applying couture techniques, covers things like:

  • skirts and pants: waistbands, pleats, fitting, hems and cuffs
  • blouses and dresses: fitting, blouse godets, invisible details
  • sleeves: shaping sleeves, sleeve heads, boosters, interfacing
  • pockets: patch pockets, set-in pockets, bound slash pocket
  • jackets and coats: characteristics of a couture jacket, tailoring, fitting, shaping
  • designing with fabric: seaming lace to lace, designing with stripes
  • special occasions: special hem finishes, boning, embellishments

Hints and diagrams

And along with Claire’s descriptions and ‘how-tos’, we readers are treated to many diagrams and hints – yay! – a sample of which you can see below.

An example of the diagrams and hints throughout this book.

So, overall, I think this book’s a winner! And for only $25 (or thereabouts), you can’t really go wrong!

Have you read Couture Sewing Techniques? What did you think?

Apologies for the photography, but I don’t profess to be a photographer πŸ˜‰

Oh and one other thing…

The Versatile Blogger award

The gorgeous Tina over at Down the Retro Rabbit Hole passed me ‘The Versatile Blogger’ award – oh em gee, thank you Tina!! Tina’s from Philadelphia in the United States, and describes herself as “Borderline crazy cat lady with an affinity for old things…” – I do like me a crazy cat lady! And Tina loves grammar – I love grammar too! I do get a bit loose in the blog world though (I’m sorry, perhaps it’s my pathetic form of rebellion) πŸ™‚ Anyway…

the versatile blogger

So, what exactly does this Versatile Blogger Award entail?

It does come with a few rules:

  1. Add the badge to the winning blog page. tick
  2. Thank the blogger who gave it. tick
  3. List the rules. tick
  4. List seven (7) random facts about yourself.Β see below
  5. The ritualist passing on of the award to fifteen (15) deserving and conscientious bloggers who are nominated for their diligence, demonstrated skill, and achievements in the world of blogging and specifically in the sewing related category. wow-wee! 15 is a lot! I’m sorry to be a party pooper, but I’m going to go for five (ok, maybe six – seven) instead.
  6. Contact the nominated bloggers and let them know they are a recipient. I’ll do this soon – promise!

Hmm, so seven random facts about me hey…. what a boring topic, but I’ll do what I’m told. Here goes:

  1. I luuurrve animals. Not the insecty or scaly types though. I have a particular affinity for cute furry ones. (See picture of cute, furry animal below for an example.)
  2. I grew up about an hour out of Melbourne, in Geelong. It has therefore been bred into me that I support the Geelong Football Club.
  3. I am addicted to extra-curricular activities. In my life I have participated in the following: lots and lots of netball, basketball, sewing, salsa, art classes, drama classes, jazz ballet, gymnastics, flute lessons, piano, ballet and that’s all I can remember at the moment. If I had my way, I wouldn’t work, and I would do extra-curricular activities all day everyday! That reminds me, must investigate pattern making courses…
  4. I enjoy driving – particularly long distances, with the stereo pumping – but I do not like parking (or turning right onto busy roads).
  5. I am aiming to run an 8km fun run in May this year. We’ll see! (Note: I have completed the Oxfam Trailwalker 100km walk, so there is hope I can complete this run!)
  6. I love Italy, and nearly all things Italian. Including but not limited to, pasta, wine, Rome etc etc. I spent two weeks there in 2009 and LOVED it.
  7. I would really, really, really like an iPad πŸ™‚

Ollie, the cute, furry animal. A friend's latest addition to the family - so cute!!

Soooooo, who shall I choose as the next round of winners… (I’ve tried to change these out from my recent Liebster Blog Award nominees, sharing the love and all – you know how it goes.)

  • Seamstress: Poppykettle: The lovely Ms. Poppykettle pumps out the sewing delights, while also offering very clear tips and techniques. I just couldn’t resist throwing one of these her way, we sewed at the same school!
  • Tilly and the Buttons: I’ve been following Tilly’s sewing exploits for a while, she creates the most gorgeous numbers.
  • Jorth: Another Melbourne blogger who I’ve been lurking about for some time. Jorth has the cutest writing style, and gorgeous photography.
  • Splatastic: Yet another Melbournite I’ve been lurking about. Natalie’s garments are so CUTE!
  • Sew Tessuti: One more from Melbourne πŸ™‚ I’m particularly fond of the pattern reviews on Sew Tessuti, and I also love seeing all the ways people create garments with their fabrics from Tessuti – especially when they’ve used a fabric I would never have considered and it looks amazing!
  • Last one, Janene from Ooobop! I am barely two months into this blogging thing, and Janene was the first to comment on my blog *ooowwww!* She is also very clever at pumping out Dorothy Dresses in an evening, and makes lots of pretty quilting blocks.
  • Special mention must go to JuliaBobbin too, I would have obviously thrown my classmate one of these awards, but Tina already covered her off! Yay Julia!

Woah.. what a long post. I will stop boring you now. πŸ™‚

Z xx

An award?! For me?

28 Feb

The divine Seamstress: Poppykettle nominated me for a Liebster Blog Award! Awww shucks, thank you so much Ms. Poppykettle!

“What is a Liebster Blog Award?” you may ask. I’ll let you in on a secret – I asked the same question. (Hey, I’m new on the blogging block!)

Liebster Blog Award

And here’s the answer:

“The origins of the Liebster Blog Award are somewhat unclear but the general consensus is that it means favourite or dearest to showcase bloggers with fewer than 200 followers.”

And it comes with the following β€˜rules’:

1 – Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog. Check! Poppykettle thanked.
2 – Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you. Check! Poppykettle linked.
3 – Copy/paste the blog award on your blog. Check! Award above.
4 – Present the Liebster Blog Award to 5 blogs (with 200 followers or less). Check! List below.
5 – Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment. I’ll do this very soon (promise!).

Now to get to my Liebster Blog Award nominees.

And the nominees are:

  • Leith of SewBrunswick. We both live in Melbourne, we both started blogging in the same week – how could I not?!
  • Next is The Curious Kiwi. We both like maps, what more can I say. Of course, by ‘maps’, I mean ‘sewing maps’.
  • And the third nominee is, Cirque du bebe. She had me at “Tigerlily Maxi” and followed up with ‘Violet’s market debut‘. As discovered on Burdastyle.
  • Then there’s Kristiann over at the Victory Patterns blog. I was delighted to find another supplier of patterns – and very fabulous patterns (with a nice ethical tilt) at that!
  • And last but by no means least is The Nail Trail for more nail art than one could ever imagine!

Now, for a couple of these brilliant, blogging, well, bloggers – I couldn’t see how many followers you had, so my apologies if you have over 200 – no disrespect intended, just compliments πŸ™‚ I ran a search on everyone’s blog and I didn’t get any results for Liebster, so my fingers are crossed. (And you have to forgive me cos I’m new anyway – it’s nearly my one month blogging anniversary!)

So there we have have it. Liebster Blog Award – done!

Now, on another note, look what turned up today – I could barely contain my excitement!


Today's postal surprise!

Now my post is done, I can get cracking on the new books!

Z xx