A different accessory for a hen’s night! 

This month one of my good friends celebrated her upcoming wedding at a hen’s night! You know how hen’s nights often feature brides wearing a cheap, pink sash made out of the cheapest satin the world has ever seen (if not plastic)? Not this one!

The hen’s night consisted of a Spanish cooking class in East Perth with much drinking and subsequent feasting, so the bride was much more in need of an apron than a sash!

Aprons can be a quick and easy make, and this one was no different! No pattern, I just “winged it”, shape-wise. The fabric is a a gorgeous Japanese cotton drill from spotlight. It has braid attached for the tie, and the neck strap.

On the front of the apron I decided to sew a clear plastic panel because I didn’t want it to be single use and put permanently away in a draw due to the “I’m the bride!” or equivalent statement front and centre of the item. As an added bonus, this way it meant I could also make a couple of extra joke labels for the front of the apron, like below!

Ooops! I just noticed that I hadn’t sewn the bottom seam up (or neck strap on) by the time I took this photo.

And here’s a photo of bride in hen’s night action to close!

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 12.35.25 pm


Bird (quilt) block

For a friend’s birthday, I wanted to make her a gift… and well, I turned it into a learning opportunity too! I wanted to turn a picture of her pet bird (below) into a quilt block…

I started by making a simple line drawing. I drew long, simple lines as often as possible, to create a bunch of geometric shapes.

Once happy with my design I took a pair of scissors and cut it into shapes and marked up the colours needed!

Here’s what I ended up with, once I’d cut and sewed it up!

This block ultimately became a pot holder, but I didn’t take any photos of the final product before giving it to my friend. Ah, well… 🙂

A story of many triangles, and so many design options!

So, this story goes: I wanted to make a quilt as a gift for a friend. For no reason other than interest (and the fact that I’d never done it before), I decided I wanted to make this quilt using equilateral triangles. So, I went to Spotlight, and messed around with colour combinations on a couple of chairs near the pattern catalogues!

In the end I think i chose 12, maybe 14 (suffragette) colours? Then I went home and started cutting! Lots, and lots, and lots of equilateral triangles!

Then I went and started laying them out. I had no plan for how I wanted it to look in the end, but with (a fixed number of) triangles, I knew I had options. A couple of hours, and much fun!

I started with completely random placement:

Then zig-zags:

Then went to straight lines:

Then went to… a snake!

Then a swirl!

And a rose(?). This design. This design I almost went with. I just liked it!

But this is ultimately what I went with – graduated colours, dark in the bottom left, to light in the top right. All sewn up!

I, obviously, never remembered to take a photo of the completely finished quilt #headdesk…. but, will update the post if/when I get one!

A babby quilt… in corporate colours.

So maybe one day I’ll have to admit, I actually quite enjoy making little quilts for friends having babies!

This is one I made for a work colleague before she went on maternity leave! As usually happens when a colleagues leave, a collection was undertaken to buy them a gift. But this time, rather than a random voucher (or similar) being purchased for the person, I instead suggested that I be given cash to cover the costs of making a quilt as a gift!

Obviously, I wasn’t compensated in any way for the time it takes to sew the quilt – but at least all the material costs (predominately fabrics and batting) are pretty well covered.

I think I like these quilts as gifts because they always feel like a gift that a baby (or their parents) can use for years. I always make them large enough that they can be used both for “tummy time” or playmat when the kid is a baby, but also as a lap quilt for their parents (or when the kid is grown up)! I also never make them out of baby-like pastels – instead I tend towards bold modern colours.

The colours for this quilt were chosen to match my organisation’s corporate colours which… I’ll be honest, are pretty awful! Officially, the primary corporate colour of my organisation is maroon, and not just any maroon… but the ugliest damn shade of maroon you have ever seen. In the end, and after much um-ing and ah-ing over the fabric options out at Sewing World in Maddington. I opted for the following (slightly prettier) maroon/purple/pink/red option instead. 

The flannel backing fabric I used on this quilt is my favourite quilt backing fabric ever. EVER. It’s modern and cute, has DEER…. and, of course, I’ll probably never be able to find it at Spotlight ever again. I backed 2 quilts with this fabric. *sigh*

I can confirm that the quilt was appreciated by its recipient (or at least, his mother ;)).

Help! Opinions sought!

sarahs_avatarSo, this is the first of the 3 dresses I need to sew before November. Points for productivity, Sarah! Problem is, I am not loving this fabric on me at all. The fabric came out of my stash. It is pretty. It is also very, VERY floral. I thought I would like it… but I’m not loving it as much as I hoped/expected!

I’m not sure if it’s the white base (my skin is pasty white as it is), the mustard and green (colours I never wear), or the general tone of the colours (I tend to select jewel tones as they are more flattering on me).

So, I’m contemplating my options… feeling completely undecided, so I want to know what you think!

Should I grab some RIT dye and just dye the whole thing a different colour? With blues, pinks, mustards and greens in the mix, I’d have to pick a colour which wouldn’t over-lay too terribly over each of those colours. I’m wondering whether a blue might work (though blue isn’t one of my favourit-est colours), or maybe a grey? Grey will totally change the dress… but I might wear it more than once (EVER) that way. Hrmm…

What do you think I should do?


Thanks in advance for your opinions!


New doona from the SWA!

sarahs_avatarSWA – Sewing Weekend Away!

One of the projects I sewed at the May 2013 SWA was a new doona for my bed. First, I must say… I do not recommend sewing bedding. The lines of stitching are long and boring, and having to move approximately 10 metres of fabric every time you need to iron/turn a corner is tiring. #bleurgh

But… OMG I’M SO THRILLED WITH THE RESULT! I put this on my bed, and I swear to God – all I wanted to do was jump straight underneath it! Amazingly toasty looking and feeling :))


In case you were wondering, this is the doona/duvet which I fell in love with years ago… and was my inspiration to use this.

I originally bought this fabric on sale at Spotlight for about $5/m. Cheap, pretty fabric!

It’s summer in Australia. Shorts required.

sarahs_avatarIt’s Hottest 100 Day/Survival Day/Australia Day here in Australia today… so what could be more appropriate than a post about a pair of SHORTS?!

Shorts. What horrible things to buy in the shops. I don’t know about you, but when I’ve looked for a pair in the shops, they are invariably too tight/short/unflattering Seriously. I’ve never found a decent pair (sport shorts are the only exception to this rule)!

So, this is the third time I’ve made a pair of denim shorts. (I made 2 pairs late last summer and LIVED in them when I was travelling in Cambodia!) The shorts are based the culottes pattern which my previously-posted-about linen trousers were based on too! (Who would’ve thought a somewhat-weird looking pair of culottes would get so much use!?)

Here’s what the finished, super-comfortable, super-weather appropriate product looks like ::


The width of the legs of these shorts are perfect for me – the wider shape is much more flattering than a narrow pair! Here they are from the back ::DSC04157

Good fit, eh? The shorts have a fly front, and waist band. The “button” used is a proper jeans button (I bought a packed of them in Cambodia last year!) – there’s no thread holding it on… you actually have a metal/rubber screw -like thing which I had to bang in with a hammer to attach it. Not sure if that was how I was meant to do it… but it worked, and seems solid! Oh, but my machine ABSOLUTELY HATED sewing that buttonhole!

DSC04164Why, yes. I am an innie! 😀 I don’t find fly-fronts too difficult to sew, following the instructions always seems to get me there! However, at some point I’ll have t figure out how to sew a zip-protector thingy (you know the piece of fabric placed behind the zipper so it doesn’t touch your skin?). These shorts don’t need one… but I’d just be curious to find out how you add one in!

Hmmm… what else? Oh! This ::

DSC04165Polka-dotted quilting cotton for the (hidden) pocket lining? Abso-fruit-ly! I find I get so much more joy out of an item if it has fun hidden things like this!

The denim for these shorts was purchased from Homecraft Textiles in St James. It was tough to find the right denim for these shorts – it couldn’t be too heavy, but it couldn’t be too light either. I eventually found this denim which is just the right weight… though, truth-be-told, is a little more blue than I would’ve preferred. The compromise was totally worth it, though. 🙂