Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Choc-chip cookies.

Choc-chip & Peanut Cookies

Seriously the best ever...
I made these cookies on Sunday and took them to work to share with my colleagues on Monday. The verdict was unanimous - they are delicious!

If you would like to try your hand at making a batch, you can get the recipe here.

Sam xox

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Quilt group.

You would never guess what happened to me this week!

This week I have been attending training for work at a conference centre in the city. The training has been great but ... I wouldn't be blogging about training now would I?!? During the lunch break yesterday I was chatting away with a group of colleagues and out of the corner of my eye I spied a beautiful blue and white bow tie quilt. After closer inspection I noticed that it was draped over a chair alongside a number of other quilts.

I ohhhed and ahhhed at the quilts and my colleagues looked at me confused. I confessed to them that I was quilt mad and already my blood was pumping a little quicker just being in the presence of such beautiful quilts! I caught the eye of one of the ladies standing near the bow tie quilt and she waved at me to come in and look.

The conversation that followed felt warm and familiar. She explained that they were displaying the quilts to the monthly Kings Cross Art Group who wanted to see the quilts. I lamented that I would love to be part of a quilting group, but did not have any friends who quilted. She told me that they were the Eastern Suburbs quilters. I almost fell over - because I live in the Eastern Suburbs!!!!!

The ladies were very excited and told me all about the things they do together as a group. We exchanged more 'quilty' conversation then I was given a hug and a hand written invitation to join their group and I was on my way...

In the spirit of this quilty post, have a look at these beauties available on Etsy at the moment.

36 Vintage Grandmother's Flower Garden Hand-Sewn Hexagon Quilt Blocks -- BEAUTIFUL

grandmother's flower garden vintage quilt

Vintage Dresden Plate Quilt

Double wedding ring quilt with a HIstory kinda vintage

vintage 1974 book . Quiltmaking For Your Home by Eileen Gonin and Jill Newton HC DJ

Sam xox

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sidonie skirt.

I purchased this fabric over a year ago now, for no other reason than just loving the colour and pattern. After 12 months of sitting in a drawer, I finally decided to make a skirt from it. However, only having 1 meter of the fabric seriously restricted what could be done with it. I searched through the Burda Style website and came across the Sidonie Skirt pattern.

With a few alterations to the original pattern, I was able to make a cute skirt with only 1 meter of fabric. The main difference is that I shortened pattern pieces 1 and 2 by about 2 inches at the shortening line, then cut the pattern one size too big. I then shaped it slightly so that the skirt sat nicely on my hips rather than on my waist (which compensated for the shortened pattern length). I did not cut the pattern on the bias either, like the instructions told me to, rather the way I cut it means that the straight grain line is running vertically through the skirt. This does not seem to make any difference to the wear. The best part of all? The Sidonie skirt pattern only cost $3 to download and took less that 1 hour to make!

Front view of the skirt.

Invisible zipper and hook and eye.

A peak inside the skirt so you can see the stitching.

A not-so-clear photo of the skirt on. When the weather is
nicer I will take a better one I promise!

Overall I am really pleased with how easy this skirt was to make, how quick it was, and how well the pattern works with 100% cotton fabrics. I think this style of skirt is quite flattering and looks good with a t-shirt or singlet top. I can see myself whipping up a few more of these before the summer is out!

Sam xox

Monday, September 20, 2010


I have to confess that I have been keeping a secret from you all... this Etsy store.

Just over a year ago my sister-in-law Ally created MavisandFrank. Initially, M&F was a creative outlet, a way for the new Mum to combine her love of sewing with making some pocket money.

What has evolved is a beautiful store that offers Ally's original Liberty of London fabric jewelry alongside some brand new designs. Take a look...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Liberty-mixed scarf.

My hands were itching to make something this morning, but after a 6 day work week my brain could not handle complicated patterns. The solution? I created my own interpretation of ajtak7171's Multi-fabric Scarf.

Remember this Liberty bundle I purchased from UK eBay months ago?

I finally decided on what to do with them! Luckily they all were similar in width which meant that a scarf could be made from them. I spent almost half an hour playing around with the fabric combinations until I came across a combo that worked. I then cut all the strips to size, sewed then overlocked each piece to the next, and with a few final touches a scarf was made. The light weight nature of the Tana Lawn Liberty fabrics means that this is a perfect accessory for Spring!

My Liberty-mixed Scarf measures 15.5cm/6" in width and 142cm/56" in length finished, and has top stitching detail 1/4" in from the edge around the whole scarf.

Sam xox

Saturday, September 18, 2010

$5 Flowers.

Walking past the train station on the way home from training yesterday, I couldn't resist pausing to check out what the flower man had to offer.

I don't often buy flowers as they are usually too expensive to justify, but these beauties I couldn't pass up.

Their perfume is incredible!

In other exciting news, those vintage patterns I bought of Etsy finally arrived! After the 2 week mark I was beginning to worry that they would never reach me...! They are all so cute and I can't wait to try them out!

I absolutely love this jiffy dress pattern, I think this will be the first one I make.

Better go get ready for work... thats right... work on a Saturday. At least it only comes around every eight weeks :-)

Sam xox

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dress made.

Finally, the first outfit for my no-clothes project!

It has been a few weeks now since my dressmaking class with Geogria at Tessuti Fabrics in Surry Hills Sydney. The past few weekends have been very hectic, and I was really struggling to find the time to actually sit at my machine and sew.

I finally decided enough was enough, and declared last Saturday as "Craft Day". What did this involve? Asking Jamie (very nicely) to vacate the house for the day; jumping out of bed at 7am to set the place up with both machines and cutting table; inviting my crafting buddy Mill over to keep me company; oh... and a whole lot of sewing!

I began cutting out the dress at 10am and finally had it finished at 5:30pm in time to wear out to dinner with the girls!

I think the fact that I was able to make this dress (that included an invisible zipper and boning) was all due to Georgia's thorough teaching during my lesson with her! Thanks Georgia!!!

I have a feeling that this summer I will be wearing this dress in many different fabrics!

Below are some photos of the finished dress. Sorry they are such bad quality with the lighting but I was just busting to show you all as I am pretty impressed with my result. The fabric looks very grey in these photos, when in real life it is a beautiful caramel white. Oh well.

Standing on our spare bed trying to 'model' the dress!

The back of the dress with the very first invisible zipper I have ever put in!
(Seriously, you NEED the invisible zipper foot if you want to put
on in a garment - it makes it too easy).

Close up of the boned bodice.

And you can have a sneak peak of the inside of the dress.
I love this pattern because the bodice is actually lined
and this makes it look so professionally finished.

Before the last stitch was sewn into this dress, I was already planning what to make next...

Sam xox

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

In love with Mila.

Mila is the latest dress to join my seemingly endless list of 'must makes'.

This Mila pattern is a unique dress design by Burda Style.

I was instantly attracted to the simple shape of the dress, as well as the very unique way it is put together at the front.

I am planning on making this dress using a cream/beige linen for the main part of the dress,
and a small Liberty of London print for the shoulders and center panel part.
(opposite to the combination featured in the photograph)

Image from Burda Style website

If you too would like to make this dress, click here to visit the Burda Style website, sign up, and get this pattern for free!!!

Sam xox

Sunday, September 5, 2010

There is a zipper foot for every zipper.

I never realised until last weekend that there was such a thing as an invisible zipper foot. Yes, I had heard of the regular zipper foot, and had even put a zipper or two in with one over the years, but the invisible zipper foot was an entirely new concept to me. I did not really understand what the difference was, until I purchased my own today.
You will notice that this zipper foot has two grooves underneath - these are to feed through the zipper teeth right next to the needle.

If you would like to learn how to sew an invisible zipper into a garment you make, click here to check out an awesome tutorial!

Sam xox

Friday, September 3, 2010

Finally, vintage patterns.

I have spent months now searching Etsy and eBay, trying to find some vintage patterns that would still be considered fashionable and are in usable condition! I found this quite tricky. Mainly because most of the old patterns listed on these sites are pretty outdated - no I do not want to make power suits, no I do not want to make my own T-shirt with shoulder pads, no I do not want to make a range of random looking hats.

The other challenge was sizing. It seems to be that once upon a time patterns were sold in single sizes, and I found it hard to figure out if patterns I did like would actually fit me, as the sizes and gauge seemed to change depending on the pattern brand.

A few days ago I finally found some hidden gems. They are all the right size, in good condition, and just too cute. They are in the post on their way to me. So excited!

Vintage 1950's Simplicity4293 "Jiffy Dress"
Vintage 1960's Butterick 4814 A-line Dress Pattern.

Vintage Early 1960's Simplicity 5126 Suit, Scarf & Blouse Pattern

Sam xox

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Spring is here.

There is really something about the first day of Spring. The sun feels a little warmer, the birds sing a little louder and our moods lift...

Sadly I missed out on most of this today as I had to attend work training. Being couped up inside a space the size of a kitchen for 8 hours really put a dampener on my Springtime skip (the training was, however, amazingly valuable for my work practice).

To try and restore balance to my first Spring day for 2010, I came home and sat in my garden ... well ... my tiled three-story high garden.

Oh Spring, how I have missed thee!

Sam xox