It's Spring! Hooray. I'm moving to a new apartment with a courtyard which gets the northern sun yay! This means time for gardening yay! We are moving in two weeks so I am madly propagating plants to be ready for my new garden.

My thrifted succulent garden from other gardens

But even though it is Spring we are still getting a little frost and I don't want my precious tomato and basil babies getting hurt. So just as my mum sews "booties" for the dog, I decided to sew some protective gear for my plants.

You can see the humidity!
I made this greenhouse to fit over an unused shoe rack. It's clear tablecloth plastic with a big zip to allow access. Now my little seeds are nice and toasty. I was really happy with how this turned out and so pleased that earlier in the day I had mastered stupid little pivoty corner thingoes with my attempts at Vogue 1227. Thanks to Stephanie from the Sew Melbourne Meet Up for teaching me her trick. The greenhouse came together in just a few hours.

The zip goes all the way to the back to allow easy access for watering

Now to wait for the delicious tomatoes... Oh yes and the strawberries from our strawberry plants we rescued from the neighbours skip when they re-landscaped

Is anyone else getting into spring (or autumn) gardening? Would anyone like a greenhouse tutorial?

Good morning blogland! I wish I could say it was a lovely morning here in Melbourne. Unfortunately the sunshine from yesterday has turned to clouds and misery. I'm sure it's because I am going to a footy game this afternoon. Always the way!

Busy with birthdays, weekends away and phd submissions!

Anyway. Things have been a little crazy here in the land of DeBeaux. In between work and pattern making classes we've had apartments flooding, birthdays and anniversaries occurring, PhDs getting submitted, visitors visiting and, and, and. It's set to get a little crazier still with moving apartments, going to weddings oh yeah and going on a HOLIDAY!

My blocks. I'm not sure they are a huge improvement on the original draft... But they are a place to start

My pattern making class has finished and I now have a skirt, bodice, sleeve and pants block. It really came down to the wire. I was on such a roll with my blocks and doing lots of work at home. And then I decided to be fussy about the fit. The thing with adjusting the fit is changing one little thing can put EVERYTHING else out. It was a bit like going around in circles. But in the end I made it. I need to trace them onto card and I will be able to share my blocks with the world. Oh and then all the amazing and perfectly fitted things I plan to make from them.

I now have a truckload of things to blog about... Here are a few tasters of posts already underway:

  • A weekend away with some great vintage sewing purchases
  • My first self drafted skirt
  • Spring dress weather and some me makes from last year
  • A seminar on interfacing with the Sew Melbourne group
  • More vintage patterns...

So watch this space!

FYI: the apartment flooding was not our fault. I'll spare you the disgusting details (unless you want to know, just say so in the comments, it is a bit funny, now). What it did prove is that my boyfriend and I know we can get through all kinds of SH1T together. Yep.

Is anyone else suffering from life getting in the way of sewing? I am afraid it will be like this all Summer.

PS go Stonecats for winners in today's grand final!

The red roses dress came out again the other week for my birthday. I didn't get a chance for detailed pics last time I wore it so here they are now. I used Butterick 6582 which is a reprinted vintage pattern. The fabric was cotton with just a little bit of stretch.

Using flowers in an attempt to hide my pattern making mess!

We caught the last of the light for some quick pics right as we were heading out. We met up with friends at a monthly event called Soul-a-Go-Go where they play old soul 45s. It was like an old disco with all kinds of vintage attire (not specific to any decade or genre that's for sure) and a very eclectic mix of people. It was really fun to get dressed up and dance away. Even Mr Scientist got in on the act.

Here are some close ups of the front of he dress. It has a mock cross over and gathered shoulders.

The dress came together really easily but I did have to take in all of the darts to get the fit right and to compensate for the stretch.

I added a bow belt, it was my birthday and I felt like being a present haha. I'm a straight up and down kind of person so anything to help with waist definition is a plus.

The vintage style stockings went with it really well. I wanted to be comfortable for all the dancing so I went out in flats. So comfy! So easy to dance! Why have I tortured myself in heels for so long?

Unfortunately I wasn't as practical with my choice of jacket. And when we couldn't get into any of our first 3 choices of restaurant I started to get a little cold (FYI Melbourne restaurants are going through a big no reservations phase). Add to that the epic journey to find an ATM with money and then standing in the line for a while to get to the party plus lots of bubbles to drink and loud yelling to converse over music, I ended up one sick sore and sorry birthday girl. I was out for well over a week and had no energy for sewing or celebrating on my actual birthday.

What was I thinking wearing such a poor excuse for a jacket in the middle of a Melbourne winter?

I've also been really busy with my new job and my pattern making course so I haven't had time for sewing or blogging. But I can't wait to start putting my new skills to the test with some designs I have in mind. I also drafted and sewed up my first test pair of pants last night. They aren't perfect but they are actually pretty good. More to come on that later.

I hope everyone else is staying well. Has anyone else been as silly as me and made yourselves sick from not wearing enough layers? I have done it so many times. You can take the girl out of warm and sunny Perth but you will struggle to make her remember to wear a warm coat.

Here's one more cute pic for the family at home. Aww... We do alright! Nanna will love this one. (yep my Nanna is cool and can use the Internet!)

PS these pics make me a little sad because they are reminding me of all my hair that I have since chopped off!

In an earlier post I talked about my Nan. Well this very same Nan was very happy to see me back into sewing and decided to spoil me with some treats from her very own pattern stash...

Aren't these patterns awesome? My Nanna would have used them to make clothes for herself as well as my mum and aunties.

I think these are the ones I want to make first. They are a little big but I should be able to grade them down. They are from a company called Weigels. I hadn't heard of them before, they were an Aussie company. The patterns are not printed. Just the ones that are already cut out. I have never used a pattern like this before. It should be fun.

This top would be really cute in this Japanese lawn. I would love to make the peter pan collar, except I will have to draft it for myself as it appears to have gone missing. This fabric is really, really cute. Here is why...

It has BUNNIES!!! Aren't they cute!

My Nan also sent me some pinking shears and an embroidered needle case. Unfortunately the shears are blunt. Does anyone know if you can get them sharpened? I didn't know what the case was at first, a cute little book maybe. Thanks to my bboyfriend for pointing it out. I think it will be really useful. I wonder who in the family made it.

Anyway, it's going to be another non sewing weekend for me. It's my birthday so I'll be doing fun things like dancing and eating out instead. Oh yeah and watching the Olympics. Is anyone else completely distracted by the Olympics? Our coverage here is terrible. We are spending more time laughing at the terrible commentators and presenters than watching the sport. But it's still fun. The Australian media is obsessed with medals. Is this the same in other countries as well?

Happy weekend everyone. Have a dance and a cocktail for me. I'll be dancing to Jazz and Soul in a retro dress (made by me of course). I recommend you do the same!

I've gone back to school. Well for three hours a week at least. I'm studying pattern drafting.

In the first half of the year, wait, hold on, we are in the SECOND half of this year already!!!!! Anyway, in the first half of the year I did a 10 week course in pattern making (at RMIT if you want to know). It was great, I learnt all about how to take a basic pattern block and turn it into anything I wanted. The only problem is that the basic pattern block just ain't anywhere near the same shape as me. The only solution was to learn how to make pattern blocks to fit me perfectly. So I am now completing the second instalment at RMIT.

If I can get the bodice block right I may never need an FBA again!!

I have to sew up my first bodice block this weekend. Hopefully it's close to a good fit, but it might take a few goes to get right.

There are all kinds of Maths and measurements required to get the first shape.

I've pulled out my old rulers and tools from a previous life (I'll tell you about it one day). This crazy spiky thing, AKA a tracing wheel, is my favourite. I think the name crazy spiky thing is much better than tracing wheel.

Apparently I am too poor (of the time variety mostly) to spend $3 on an awl. Here is my improvised version - a nail taped to a pencil. I think it is actually really convenient. One less thing to worry about losing.

In other news of the educational variety, I am trying to actually learn something about photography and I have signed up for a few craftsy courses. I think I am heading towards brain explosion from all the great new things to learn. Not to mention all the new things I am learning at work. I have put knitting aside for now. It's too slow going for me. I'm happy just knowing that I have the knit, purl thing sorted out.

It's a big weekend for me. Not much time for crafting. I don't get to go to the Sew Melbourne meet up for this month either. I'm sad about that but we are celebrating other exciting things instead so it's ok.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Or, it's been too sunny to sew
Well the weather here in Melbourne has been LOVELY lately. The sunshine was so unexpected in the middle of winter that I have been making sure I absorbed as much of it as possible. This was not so helpful for getting a lot of sewing done, but I made up for it with lots of other fun activities. Bike riding, farmers markets, walks in the parks (with gorgeous puppies), picnicking, baking delicious fluffy scones for said picnic, crafting, painting, reading blogs in the sun, cutting out a new dress and more! All that in 2 glorious days of sun. I also failed to take any photos... I must get better at that.
So in lieu of a new project to show you, here is a nice summery top I prepared earlier - and it still works well in winter.
Can you guess what it is? Here is another hint...
Those sleeves are pretty distinctive. Here is another view
Have you guessed it?

It's the Pendrell by Sewaholic. It is the second one I made and you can see the third version posted here. I just love the sleeves.

I made it from a poly something-or-other which I fell I love with from a distance. It's the colours and flowers that caught my attention. There is just enough warm orange in the print. I realised the other day that I have an orange top that layers perfectly making this top wearable in cooler weather. I love layering. It ddoubles my wardrobe and takes all the bright summer prints into winter.
I made this a little big around the waist. Rather than run in the seams, I put a little pleat in the back. I also gave it a bit of a peplum effect by having it longer in the back. Not at all because I made a mistake along the way. Haha. Either way, I like the look.

What I ddon't like at the moment is blogsy. This is the app iI am using to write my posts. IIt's so close to being amazing but the weird typos, missing images, missing links and my wwasted 2 hours rewriting this post 3 times are courtesy of this app not wworking. Does anyone out there have any recommendations for another app? I dont have a computer at home so iI need an iiPad version. II'm a little fed up tonight. II'll give their support team a chance to see if they can fix it... Fingers crossed.

Bonus round: I am missing a photo off my last post. II've had some requests to put it up. LLet's see if this works.

II'm out of time for sewing tonight but another bright and bold print awaits. I also have some fun craft projects to post soon. hmmm and I need to decide if I can get up early enough (5am) on a Monday morning for Tilly's sewing social. I think it will be great fun. Is anyone else from aAustralia joining in?

I went home to Perth this weekend for my Grandmothers 80th birthday. I was great to go home, see the family, spend time with my grandmas and catch a little bit of sun.

I thought it would be appropriate to wear a vintage dress to the party. I was planning on finishing the red and black roses dress in time to wear it but didn't get it done before I left. Luckily with such a full house at my parents I had to sleep in the sewing room. Perfect for getting up early and finishing the dress! It was fun to get back to the very same sewing machine on which I learnt to sew. My Mum's old Elna is great. It felt so strong, but I did miss all the features that my much newer machine has. I had to thread the needle on this one myself!

I just downloaded a new app called photo toaster. I am playing with it to give my photos a vintage look. (really its to hide the fact that I take terrible photos). I think it makes this picture look like it is from the 70's which I think is the same era as my Mum's machine.

My Nanna (on the other side - not the bday girl) was pretty happy to see me so into my sewing and sat with me in the warm wnter sun outside while I handstitched the hem and other finishing touches. It was such a nice way to spen some quiet time together. Here is a photo of my Nan and me with the finished dress.

It's hard to see the details of the dress, I didn't really get any good pics as I was too busy catching up with family. I have a huge family of cousins and second cousins etc. I didn't even get a pic with the birthday girl. It was hard to get to her with all the guests. I did manage one with some of my cousins and my little brother (the one in the middle)... FYI I'm 5 8 and they are giants.

Hooray we had some sunshine over the weekend! Followed by more miserable rain. But while the sun was shining I managed to get some photos of my Minoru jacket made with another fabulous Sewaholic pattern.


I made this a while ago and I am really happy with how it turned out. It's made from navy twill that for some reason I could only find in the decorating fabrics section. I lined the jacket with rayon that I got on clearance for about $2 a metre. The twill was easy to use, the rayon not so much. It was stretchy etc but I learnt a lot about sewing with slippery, stretchy fabrics.

I made the version with the hood because it's just really cool. I added lining in the collar so that the rough seams weren't exposed. I also made an FBA adjustment which went a little wrong (apparently I thought I was Pamela Anderson). But it came out alright in the end. The zip was a little short, possibly from something I did with all the adjustments. I just tweaked it a bit at the bottom and a bit at the collar to make it work.


After all that I forgot to make all of my adjustments to the lining so it is a little loose. But who can tell.

Once the bulk of the jacket was made up I realised there was a fault in the fabric. Right at the front! It was too late to do much about it except create some super cute pockets to cover it up. Stephanie, who hosts our sewing meet ups at Can Do Books, taught me a sneaky trick to make the band on the top of the pockets. I also used some pattern making techniques to make the gathers and ensure the shape still came out right. I will try and post a tutorial about them soon.

All in all this jacket was pretty easy to make but I still learnt a heap of new tricks. It's super fun and was perfect to wear while riding my bike to the local shopping strip. The collar at the front was great to protect me from the wind and rain when the sun disappeared and I had to ride home. oh yeah and the navy matches my bike - of course (But I didn't get any pictures - I'll save it for another sunny day)



About Me

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Rediscovering sewing after nearly 10 years without touching a sewing machine. I am now sewing up a storm and have started to learn patternmaking and drafting.
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