Hiding gift sewing

Santa’s workshop was open until Christmas Eve. Well Santa outsourced a couple of projects to my sewing room and while it would have been a challenge sewing with the intended recipient (DH) in the house, DH didn’t notice what I was doing. And that’s a good thing.
This dressing gown (Butterick 6837) was tested in an old flanellette sheet and DH wore it for me, he ignored the experience and he continued to go back and tinker on the bicycles.
A day earlier, I was using Steam a seam lite 2 to position the pockets of this man apron at the ironing board so you can’t really see where the pockets are positioned, DH came over to ask me a question so I casually folded the print on itself so only the white back of the fabric showed. I calmly walked to DH and continued the conversation. Nothing strange to look at here.  
Long story short, DH loves both gifts. The barista now has an official man coffee apron. He loves the print and said it screamed DH. The man functions well after 2 cups of coffee. 

In case you’re wondering, the green striped tape on the apron is there to hang a towel from, while DH is making coffee. I traced the apron from an existing apron that DH already owns so there was no need to test it for size :))

Thank you to everyone who sent me holiday wishes. Bring on 2013!

Bamboo shoot Peony

Here’s a partnership – Colette Peony and Pattern Magic Bamboo Shoot – in a lined cotton dress for summer.
Shown after working for the day.
Ironed nicely before work



The bodice folds needed a bit of work when I tested it. They’re still a WIP. I wasn’t 100% sure about the waist so I added the cumberbun with 3 pearl buttons.

The front bodice came to a v point at the waist – unintentionally – based on the Pattern Magic istructions. That’s been fixed. The dress is fully lined because the fabric is light weight cotton for a top or blouse.

I’ve added the bamboo shoot treatment to the sleeve, but I’m not sure this is good idea. This feature need editings. Sleeve or no sleeve?
The pattern change below shows you the sleeve treatment I’ll try next. The pleats will fall from the sleeve head and not the sleeve hem.

The zipper was short so I’ve added a 3 button button closure to the back neckline.

Making totes, bags (no more UFOS left in 2012) and purses is fun but making clothes is more my cup of tea.

Merry Christmas y’all. It’s time for a break when there’s a fish face pose.

Street cred

I can tell you, without a doubt, every guy I know now notices my sewing skills – since I started sewing with pleather and leather.

Spice of Life bag by Moonshine
This little beauty had 2 features that I love.
1: It was made by Sharon, Gail, Luci and a few Rhodes ASG sewers in 1 session earlier this year. 1 session only!
2: I got to use real leather and snake skin printed silk fabric leftovers as well as leftover bag strap, in the same colour as the leather.

Making up the internal pockets was dead easy using Steam a Seam 2 lite. Yes. There are two pockets for the phone and car keys. The linings has been interfaced with light-weight interfacing.

Sealing the leather seams with double sided tape from Birdsall Leather made the external leather seams firm. The red clips above are Clover wonder clips and I bought a box of them of ebay for a lot less than I can buy them locally.


I bought the tubular handbag frame from Ghees online store and the zippers was from my Zipperstop stash that I bought in 2011. I’ve found a local bag frame supplier through ebay – Handbag Hardware Australia, making future Spice of Life bags cheaper to make.

My shoe repair guy and I are now BFFs because while he doesn’t work on handbags, he sewed up the final seam around the handles for me for $10 and he now has the contact details for NSW Leather.

Lucky for me, he was quiet when I went to see him to finish the final seam on my bag. The photo below shows how he’s winding the bobbin. It ran out of thread.

He was really understanding and his sewing machine was hand driven! So he had to hold the bag with all its layers with one hand and operate the machine with the other hand.

This classic bag style is a winner in my books. When I make this again in leather I will use one leather layer only for the bag frame so my machine can sew through it.

I did a bit of online bidding for more leather via Graysonline but stuck to my budget and didn’t result in a leather purchase, phew! That’s it for bag making for a while and my UFOs in 2012 are done – bar the computer bag that won’t get a look at until next year.

The littlies

The nephews had the bag ideas. I just put their ideas into action. Yep, Aunty’s sweatshop was open for business again.

iTouch bags:
Step 1: Trace the phone on paper or go to the website and get the dimension.
Step 2: Grab some stash fabric, interfacing, a 8″ zip, some Steam a seam lite 2 and take a deep breath. Breath out. Ahhh.
Here’s the first attempt.

The flower line is where the real width of the bag should be.
Take 2:
The first nephew suggested an external pocket with Velcro. Then he suggested an internal pocket with velcro. I sewed did a quick road test (purple version) and decided to keep the current design but split the internal bag into 2 sections and skip the velcro. The smaller section would be for the cords and the larger section for the iTouch.
The purple bag had two internal pockets that I’ve unpicked because I don’t know the size of the  iTouch covers so instead of guessing, each bag has wiggle room.

The belt hook idea was from the littlest nephew’s and the small light was something I thought they might like. So the littlest nephew will get the soccer print, and the littlest niece will get the cupcake print. Both have a light on their hook and a small box of Jelly Bellys.

The pink and beige coin purses below are made by Goosegreen.

You can see how tiny and well made her coin purses are.

Here’s a link to a tute by Flossie Teacakes that Sew hopeful found while stash busting. You’ll get a much nicer zipper finish than I’ve made.

There’s a dress in the pipeline that I’m eager to finish for Christmas.

She loves them

Here are SIL’s final knit dress collection. The main change I made to this pattern after the first fitting was to bring the front of the sleeve closer to the chest. This made SIL’s bust look smaller. It did make a difference when she had the final fitting with the chevron dress.

Below is the darker all-over print that I picked up at Spotlight recently.

Each dress uses an all-over print knit in dark colours but the fit is spot on as is the length. The hems and necklines are have a cover pro finish. The rest was sewn with a straight stitch. Seams great has been used ot reinforce the shoulder seams.

The beige/black print knit is the fabric I saw, and bought and once I got it home I kept thinking ‘This would really suit SIL’. This was a year before I decided to sew for the family to keep my sewing interest going.

Her adjustments are roll shoulder adjustment, slimming back upper bodice and style needs to have v-neckline and gentle pleats or gathers at the waist. Next year I’ll make her coat, as promised and tested.

The best part was when she said, “It’s so nice to be able to wear a dress that fits the first time you wear it.” If that isn’t motivation to keep sewing, I don’t know what is. I hope to see a couple of holiday snaps of her wearing these.

For now, it’s onto making some itouch bags for the littlest ones.

How nice:)

Two local sewers have nominated me for these awards. They are both very talented and inspiring.
Carolyn of Handmade by Carolyn. There’s not much Carolyn can’t make in her very talented family, and her photographs are always gorgeous and tell another story. Keep an eye out for Fabio too.
Anne from CherryPix: SewingPix. We’ve seen each other through our Minoru journey and her style is very edgy.

Here are the rules of this lovely award:

1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2. Add The One Lovely Blog Award / The Very Inspiring Blogger Award to your post.

3. Share 7 things about yourself.
4. Pass the award on to 10 nominees.
5. Include this set of rules.
6. Inform your nominees by posting a comment on their blogs.

About moi.
1. It has always been about the bike. 2. The closest I ever got to meeting Lance Armstrong was when I was part of the cycling road crew at the Olympics. 3. I’ve cycled in France and loved it. 3. I hated red capsicum as a child. Now I love eating it raw in salads. 4. I was promised a bike as a child but never received one.
5. Only recently did we do a couple of non-cycling holidays.
6. I was the on-course bike leader at the local kids try-athlon and the teens gave me a run for my money.
7. Cycling was my best leg for the short course triathlons I’ve done.

Here are the bloggers who are more than worthy:
Joy of 21 Wale
Juliette of Sewionsita
Renata who is on Pattern Review
Sandra who’s on Pattern Review
Anna of Pretty Grievances
ConnieBJ of couturesmith
Kyle of Vacuuming the lawn
Lena of The Sewing Space
Myrna of Myrna Giesbrecht 
JennaM of don’t call me cupcake
Trinity of Thimbles, threads and needles 

Sunday biscuits

Ingredients
300g flour
2t baking powder
250g dry curd cheese
50g sugar
2 eggs
1/2t lemon peel
salt
100g currants

Preheat oven at 200C.

Method
Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl and mix it and make a well in the middle.
Add curd cheese, sugar, 1 egg, grated lemon peel and salt.
Knead until smooth.
At the end, add currants.
Form rolls and place on greased baking sheet.
Brush with whisked egg and bake them in a preheated oven at 200C for about 30 minutes.