Give it a Tri

That’s right – a triathlon.

After spending time studying, I had to sew and train less but it was winter so by September I was feeling like a slug. A happy slug, but a slug.

So a couple of weeks ago a training friend mentioned the Triathlon Pink that was on today. My study projects are being assessed right now so there’s no reason to remain a happy slug.

I did a test tri Friday last week – swam eight pathetic laps; did a 1 hour bike class; ran/shuffled three kms on the treadmill. 90 minutes was my estimated tri time. The rest of that day was physically painful but I got through it. On the weekend I did a few long bike rides then through the week, I did eight pathetic laps four days straight and by Thursday, I didn’t feel so puffed after 10 freestyle laps. Yay “recovery Friday”.

Triathlon Pink is an all-female triathlon series with a fantastic, fun day of personal achievement. They also raise money for charities who provide breast cancer support, education, research and advocacy. I chose to do this tri for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. There are fun runs for men and women earlier in the morning and I was amongst a lot of happy and eager Pink Tri newbies.

DH came for support and took pics. The atmosphere was relaxed and fun. My aim was to not drown in the ‘pink human milkshake’.

That’s what the pool was like with waves created by the Pinkies. We filed in the water one at a time. I got a cheer because I was the second last swimmer out of the pool for the long triathlon :))

They had pool attendants in the water to help weak swimmersand one lovely attendant follow me across each lap. Her help was very much appreciated. The waves threw me off so I managed one lap of freestyle before I spluttered through five laps.

Last year one lady did the long, medium and short Pink triathlons consecutively. This year 112 women did all three Pink triathlons.

The transitions were well organised. The sun was out and the conditions were pleasant. Everyone was in a good mood. The elite groups got to start first so the rest of us Pinkies got a good go at doing the tri in our own time. I got through the bike and run legs ok. And DH found me at the finishing line.

Official time for this newbie was 65 minutes. I’m now a Pinkie and will concentrate on swim training for the next Pinkie tri in March 🙂 Anyone want to join me?
All images were taken by DH and the triathlon organisers have approved this post. Undertaking this triathlon was my crazy idea:)

3 in 3 days – Kwik Sew 3790

Winter was officially warm this year but as August left us, I gave winter sewing one more chance.

So there was the white test version first with my self-drafted pencil skirt. This test version doesn’t count as one of the final 3.

Then there were 2 Knitwit fabrics in animal prints that had to be made up. They have a winter feel to them and this was the perfect way to use them and keep cosy.

Tops 1 and 2 are jungle-inspired.

Finally here’s a Pitt Trading piece that I bought a while ago.That made 3 tops in 3 days.

And then I decided to make the white print with a remnant piece from a couple of years ago. Yes. I can’t count. I officially made 5 winter tops and they covered my winter shape too.

The side ruching was done on my overlocker, now that I know how to use it more since attending the overlocker workshop earlier this year. And that’s as complicated as this top is. I can cut it out and sew it up within 2 hours. 

The summer versions will be a bonus to make and smaller because I’m training for a triathlon that’s on this Saturday. The winter padding is coming off. And summer has arrived early but not the mozzies, yet.

Victory – Melbourne November meetup

Kristiann from Victory Patterns is visiting Australia in November and when she mentioned this trip, I asked if there was a possibility for a meetup and it’s happening on Sunday 24 November.

Does that make a trip to Melbourne for the weekend more worthwhile now? Click here to let us know if you’re joining in. TJ has done the detailed planning for this meet up.

That’s the same weekend as the Saturday Bendigo gallery visit (FIDM fashion collection). Yoshimi the flying squirrel picked the right weekend to travel from Japan to visit Melbourne. Have you seen Yoshimi’s latest outfit? It’s very refined.

TJ has developed a full itinerary for Sunday (and Saturday if you’re interested). There’s fabric shopping included with a visit to the National Gallery Victoria and the Melbourne Museum of course.

It’s going to be busy weekend full of fashion and fabric. As Stewie(The family guy) says… Victory is mine.

I’m hoping to make Chloe for our meetup.

All images remain copyright of their respective owners.

Veronica wiggle skirt

Do you know Anne from Mercury handmade? She has a Veronica wiggle skirt pattern drafting tutorial for free on her blog and I’ve enjoyed using it to make these two work skirts. I’m getting more comfortable with this new skill.

I used my pencil skirt pattern and made the drafting changes Anne suggested. I’ve used satin bias on the pocket to show the pocket lines without being too loud.

After taking a deep breath, the pocket drafting changes were easy to do and I’ve now worn this skirt  and the skirt below to work weekly. I’m a sucker for wearing new clothes when I have the time to make them.

And the tops are both Kwik Sew 3790. More about my now favourite winter top pattern shortly. I just wanted to make sure Anne got to see how I was able to replicate her Veronica Wiggle skirts. Anne shares her instructions free on her blog. The girls at work love this skirt too.

Have a look at Anne’s Rock chick version. The vintage inspired Veronica is the style that sold me on this pattern. The Barbara skirt is really versatile.

Modern Love Bendigo meetup question
On the weekend I had a good question about this meetup.
Q: Do you have to be a blogger to come?
A: Any sewer who is interested in seeing fashion from fashion houses can join in. 
Go to TJ’s blog and let us know you’re joining in. Having a blog is a nice to have, not a must have.

Studying is just about over and sewing is now peeking over the horizon.


Pronounced “yow-ko-so”. What I’m trying to say is Welcome to Australia in Japanese.
My littlest nephew knows more Japanese than I do and now I want to make the effort to be able to say some welcoming Japanese phrases because Yoshimi the flying squirrel is going to join us for the Modern Love Bendigo meetup in November.

Yoshimi’s makes are beautiful and her photography is really tasteful and artistic. Yoshimi and Carolyn of Handmade by Carolyn have a beautiful joint photo blog with daily posts of their lovely surroundings.

I’m looking forward to being a host this time as I’ve had the opportunity to travel and meet some great local and international sewing bloggers this year.

Go to TJ’s post if you’re interested in meeting up in Melbourne in November. We’re making a weekend of it! See you soon.

Draft it

Drafting rocks.
Earlier this year I drafted an A-line dress using Enid Gilchrist. TJ gifted this publication to me and it opened my eyes to pattern drafting again. While studying, I saw a call for sewers to test out an instruction sheet to draft a pencil skirt from Studio Faro. So I put my hand up to help out.

Anita from Studio Faro sent through her updated Pencil skirt worksheet and I’d finished 3 assessments and DH was watching the rugby so I took an hour to draft my own pencil skirt. What a sewer rush I got once I put together the test skirt. Sewing geek dance of joy. This is the same dance as the Pattern Magic dance of joy.

My drafting tools at home are minimal – a standard 30cm ruler and a curve shape of some description. This skirt has 4cm of ease at the waist and on checking the fit I felt this was a bit much but once you put on the waistband, 4 cm is worthwhile having.

You know how we put fly facings or Zip guards on jeans? Well Anita suggests adding a zip guard for this invisible zipper. I originally though – why would you do that?

But I decided to stick with the instructions and learn something new from Anita’s suggestions. Now – I like using the zip guard for skirts.

If you’ve ever had one of ‘those’ morning where you’re rushing around to get ready in the morning and forgotten to zip up the back of your skirt after doing the top button on the waist band, having the zip guard would help me get through one of ‘those’ mornings. The zip guard also stops the zipper teeth getting caught on other fabrics such as tucked in silk tops and other ‘bits and pieces’.  I really like zip guards on skirts.

Keep an eye out for Gail’s version of this pencil skirt. I saw her lovely hand sewing on her version last week. I’ve hand sewn the hem. on my skirts.

Belated thanks:
Thanks for your comments about the PR a-line skirt. Carolyn is right – I now need tops to suit the dropped waist a-line skirt:))  And there are some pics to show soon. Being part of the Dandelion blog hop was fun. There were so many variations that everyone made. The top version is in my sewing list.

Is being made up with brocade right now. It’s my post-study project. 
Blogger on my phone
And I’ve been using the mobile version of Blogger lately. It’s more limited to the computer version so I’ve only used it to updating text and not pics.
5 pm update: I’ve used blogger mobile to update the text on this post:))

Dandelions for Spring

Textured fabrics are still top of my fabric sewing list. What’s a bit of lace on the sleeves these days. Even when it’s placed on a test dress? That’s what I did to initially test Mari’s Dandelion dress.

I’ve always wanted to wear lace for everyday wear but I’ve always considered lace a formal item or for lingerie. How’s that for outdated thinking. I chose the sweetheart neckline dress. The sleeves were an obvious choice to inch a bit of lace into my work wear. Winnie also made a great lace sleeve version.

To make this first dress up quickly, I overlocked the seam edges and used bias for the sleeve hems. There’s not much I had to do to get the neckline and shoulders to fit right. No roll shoulder adjustment or neckline gaps to deal with. The fabric I’ve used is cotton so it’s very crushable. So crushable…

The two dresses above are Mari’s versions for a better view of the side and bust dart detailing. The construction is very clever so if you decide on making a Dandelion, you’ll appreciate how clever Mari’s instructions are.
The drawing above gives you an idea of the Dandelion variations Mari had created.

When I saw the fit on Mari’s version, I realised the initial size I chose was probably one size too big. I made the 8. So now after unpicking the side seams and slivering it the size in, it fits much closer. Dandelion has a good amount of ease in it but I love a close fit.

Then I remembered a dark textured purple blue linen fabric (above) from when Janice took me fabric shopping in PortlandThis piece was from Mill End Store. It’s got big textured swirls. Yum!

Going back to the lace, this was from Metro Fabrics in Tempe. The bias trim was fun to use and kinda keeps your eye on the style lines. Both dresses are my new Spring dresses. 

I know you’ve already seen this dress and top appear on the web, as Mari is hosting a blog hop where everyone who’s tested the pattern shows how they’ve used it.

Here’s are the Dandelion testers with their Dandelions posted on their blogs.

They’re a very creative group and it makes me smile from ear to ear to know I’m in great sewing company. Wanett’s top makes me want to make the top version right now!

I have one more assessment to complete and then I can sew again!

Hey Mari, DH and I are still wearing out Avocado hoodies. I’m so happy that you’re continuing to turn out cool patterns!