30 November 2012

MOvember 2012

This is the Fourth year we've had a MOvember moustache in the house
I swear its getting worse every year.

*NEWSFLASH* We broke $1600! Whoop! *NEWSFLASH*

See the MO grow and decided for yourself if its worth it!

2012 Christmas Party Dress 1

Not exactly what I said I was going to do, but I figured this poplin from IKEA would make a lovely dress for the more casual Christmas gatherings in the Perth sunshine. Its the bodice from Style 1157, a vintage pattern from the 70s, plus a simple slightly gathered skirt.

The openings are faced. I need to sort out that line to make it less obvious!
And there is a zip in the side to get it on and off, just from about 2 inches below the arm hole to 2 inches below the waist.

The last few days have been stormy, so it needs a bit of extra warmth.

A party dress you can play with the dog in :D

28 November 2012

My first Wilma!

Does she look like you imagined?

I'm impressed with how she turned out, even if she is a bit wonky!
For my first attempt I'm amazed!

Next time I'll set my stitch length shorter and now be lazy and change my thread!
I think this one is maybe a little childish for its intended recipient, but I think she might appreciate it anyway.

Get your own pattern to support Great Ormond Street Hospital and learn more from
Kitchen Table Sewing

27 November 2012

The Making of Wonky Wilma

Because a girl never has the right fabric in her stash, I ordered some funky Robert Kaufman cotton for my very first Wilma, using the pattern sold to raise money for Great Ormond Street Childrens Hospital. I figured some quilting cotton would be stiff enough to hold its shape, 100% cotton for softness, but not be too bulky for all that fiddlyness!

It turns out it wasn't as fiddly as I thought it would be. Getting the tummy section to sit nicely under the head took a bit of time, and the feet were easy but fiddly, if that makes sense. I just had to take my time.

I read the instructions, since I had no idea where to start, but didn't follow them to the letter.
I box pleated the ears instead of gathering them, as it seemed to work best with my fabric and give a cute ear-hole look.

Then I sewed the belly to the body all the way apart from the bum section, and sewed around the rest if the body up to the bum too.
Then I inserted the feet. They're not all circular, but they are all round, so I'll take it!

She was starting to look like a hefalump!
I turned her out and started stuffing, using the remnants of a cushion. Follow the suggestions and make sure the top of the legs (hips and shoulders) are well stuffed- I thought I did, but looking at her now she needed more. Then I hand stitched the rear, leaving off the tail as I didn't have anything suitable. I might make her one out of embroidery floss some time...

Ever heard the story of the blind men and the elephant? 

24 November 2012


We have been thinking of offering to foster a doggie for a while, and agreed we'd seriously look into it when I was back from Italy.

And now I'm back and this gorgeous man was having a hard time in the pound, so we offered to take him in, feed him up and teach him some manners so he could find a new home.

We named him Nixon, though he doesn't know that's his name! He has a few peculiarities (sometimes he pointblank refuses to go out the sliding door into the garden) and he's not 100% house trained, but he has a lovely personality. He's such a softie!

20 November 2012

Mexican Madness Birthday

We had a BBQ for my birthday, but I didn't want to do just the usual steaks and sausages.
So at the last minute we went Mexican!

Vegetarian Nachos

Hotplate Chicken
Beef Sizzle Steaks
Spicy Veggies

flour tortillas

Colourful Corn Salad
Corn, Cherry Tomato, Avocado, Red Onion,  Lime juice - mixed
Tomato and Corriander Salsa
A Couple of kinds of Tomato, Red Onuion, Jalepenos, Corriander, blitzed fine
Refried Beans
Brown Onion, 3 Cumin, 1 Corriander, Kidney Beans, chunky mashed
Avocado, Jalepeno, Spring Onion, Garlic, Corriander, 
Crispy Green Salad

Raspberry Birthday Cheesecake
(Attempted) Churros

It was pretty yummy! And as most of it was either cooked in a flash on the BBQ or just thrown together, it was pretty easy. Very tasty and healthy!

My lovely friends rose to the sudden change of plan, and provided a Dinosaur pinata! No-one had every actually had a pinata before, so that was more fun than expected. We hung it from a rope held up high by two people, so it moved around a lot. Always fun when you're blindfolded!
I also spied a very mexican looking pin the tail on the donkey, also surprisingly fun when slightly drunk and blindfold, and your mean friends face you in the wrong direction, or turn the donkey upside down, or move the donkey of the wall completely ...

Birthday Cheesecake, lovingly crafted by the Boy

It was a lot better than this picture suggests!

19 November 2012

A Nice Birthday Surprise!

Who doesn't like getting unexpected items in the mail, especially when its your birthday!

This arrived this morning, having spent nearly 3 weeks working its way over from America.

The two patterns from the Giveaway, plus some lovely buttons! 

13 November 2012

Il Veccio Drappiere- Milan Fabric Shopping 4

The Old Drapery...

A very formal looking shop filled with some very nice tayloring fabrics- wool for coats, suits and trousers, tweed, and lots more.

It was a bit scary for me though, so I didn't actually go inside. Its formallity was too much for my cold ridden self to want to attempt, especially as I know there would be no purchases made.
If its your kind of thing though, it looked like it would be great!
Their harris tweed was 29 euro a meter.

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Il Veccio Drappiere
Via Meravigli, 16
20123 Milano
Tel. 02 866634

Opening times are usual Milan ones I believe- closed Sundays and monday morning, and for a couple of hours at lunchtme.

12 November 2012

Emmepi - Milan Fabric Shopping (Attempt) 3

So... I looked, really I did. I walked up and down the street three times.
Maybe it was closed, maybe it has closed down, but I couldn't see it!

Its close to the Raponi shop, so its worth a look. You might be luckier than me!
The website says it should still be there!

Emmepi Tessuti
Viale Gorizia, 8 20144 Milano Italy
+39 02 5811 8540

Opening Hours:
9:30 - 13:00
15:00 - 19:30
Closed sundays and monday morning.

11 November 2012

The Early Summer Garden

The post that gets the most hits on this blog is about the garden. I have no idea why! 
But I got back from Italy to see that summer has hit and its all in bloom.
Its amazing to see the changes over the last 6 months!

From when we planted it:

To now:

The kangaroo paws are huge, and the water lily came out of hibernation.

And if the kangaroo paws in the back weren't big enough for you, you need to see the ones in the front! Its their second season, and they are easily 2m high. They were flopping all over the garden, so I restrained them with some wire, so you can actually get in!

And I had a spending spree with solar lights, and hung icicle lights behind the screen at the far end of the garden, so you can't see them in daylight but at night it had a pretty twinkle. 
There are now a second set below, so the whole wall lights up!

Style 1157 - Hopefully wearable Muslin

So for once, I actually followed through on a plan!

I spent yesterday evening making a version of Style 1157 out of turquoise cotton lawn, bought cheaply from Spotlight for about $3 a metre. Its thin and flimsy, but easy to work with, will be great in the heat of the summer and I love the colour.

I think I need to do something to make the curved waist pannel sit closer, and maybe just a little lower. Maybe a bit of a full bust adjustment, and a lengthening. And make the whole thing tighter tighter. Though thats my fault as at first I didn't think it would fit at all so I used less than the suggested seam allowance, but once I had it mostly put together I realised that it had somehow become quite baggy!

I wasn't feeling the flared skirt for this dress, so drafted a slightly gathered skirt instead, which took a lot less fabric and time. I quite like the look with the sleeve on, though I think its either on the wrong way around (I can never get the sleeves thing right!) or needs to be a bit bigger, as it pulls quite badly. 

My plan to finish it as something wearable is to:
  • Sort the sleeves out and try to nip it in some more.
  • Lower the neckline and put in an external facing in a darker blue,
  • Add a band of the same darker blue to the hem.  
  • Top stitch around the details with fluro yellow :)
I do quite like this pattern, so my plan to make something with it for the holiday season might just work. I also have a hen party on the 1st december- we're going to the Races in tropical dresses. 
I can see this with the flared skirt, in colour blocked tropical hues....

09 November 2012

Wonky Wilma - Add her to your christmas list!

Janet over at Kitchen Table Sewing has developed a pattern for a super cute elephant, named Wonky Wilma, which she is selling to raise funds for Great Ormond Street Childrens hospital. I remember when I was little watching the GOSH TV documentary, and seeing all the wonderful work they do to help cure and improve the life of so many sick children in the UK and their families.

As soon as I say it I knew I had to try and make at least one for a elephant mad friend of mine for christmas, and maybe more for the myriad of small children my friends seem to be sprouting :) Especially since its for charity too! Janet is aiming to raise £1000 in time for christmas. What a great aim!

I've never made a softie before, they always seem very fiddly compared to long smooth clothing seams. I will let you know how I go!

07 November 2012

Tessuti Raponi - Milan Fabric Shopping 2

After a frustrating day attempting to fight my way through the Italian Post bureaucracy, and eventually having to move 80kg of rock samples to another town in order to find someone who was willing and able to give me the right form to fill out, I really wasn't in the mood for shopping. In all honesty, I just wanted to just get straight on a plane and go home. But I still had 24 hours until I could do that!

SO I came back into Milan, chilled out at the Duomo for a while and absorbed some calm air, had a shower and headed out in search of the two other shops south of my hostel. 

I headed down a Corsa di Porta Ticinese, with a fair few vintage shops and indie labels, including some awesome shoes. Turning onto Viale Gabriele D'Annunzio, I spotted the sewing machine shop,
And right next door: 
I laughed :D They looked good! You chose your burger, your topping(s), your sauce, and your side. Exactly what you want, designed perfectly for you!

And just further down I came upon Tessuti Riponi.

They had a wide range of fabrics for a very good price. Silks ranged from 15-25 euro, depending on thickness and intricacy, and their wool ranged from around 20 euros. 

There was some lovely felted cashmere, which whilst it was comparatively expensive at around 30 euro per m off a narrow roll, was a bargin for me and other Australians. It was so warm and soft! There was a hot pink one which I loved, but I would never end up wearing as it would be too hot... I did love the woven blue and grey checked one you can see too.

Downstairs were the remnants, sold by weight. From as little as 1euro per 100g to about 15euro.
There was also towelling, sheeting and table cloth type fabric, felt, netting, allsorts down here!

All in all the shop had a great range for what seems like a good price! They also have all the other bits, like zips and eyelet lace, and a wide range of colours of silk threads.

Viale D'Annunzio,27
ang.Via Panzeri
10 20123- Milano

Open: 09.00 to 12.30 and 15.00 to 19.30 
Monday morning closed

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06 November 2012

Mimma Gini Tessuti ~ Milan Fabric Shopping 1

Tucked away down a side street, it took me a while to get my bearings and find this shop. Its actually not hard to find, I just wasn't that sure where I was to start with! I'd landed in Bergamo, bussed into Milan, metro-ed to the hostel, and was keen to start the shopping! At night...

So all the pictures are a little grainy and stealth-mode on the phone. What can I say, I'm a little embarrassed to try and explain why I wanted to take pictures!

The shop is a mix of hand crafted homewares, bags and some clothing, pus some fabrics in the back room. The fabric is gorgeous, but not very clothing oriented. There is lots of upholstery weight cotton and silk, plus some gorgeous stiff gauze which caught the light wonderfully.

I was taken by their silks. Stiff and crispy silk, that I could imagine being a good dress to play up pleats, especially as many had stripes or different sheen in different lights.
Quite expensive though, at around E50 per metre!

Via Gian Giacomo Mora 11,
20123 Milano

Tel. 0289400722

Monday: 15:00-19:00
Tuesday-Saturday: 10:00-19:00 

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