Sunday Sevens 12 – May

So this is becoming a fortnightly round up, on a day other than Sunday.

I’ve had some very busy and frantic weeks – catching up with family members for the first time in 25 years, wedding anniversary, some casual work, a new part-time job, my thesis results (passed!), and lots of training for the new job.

All very exciting!

These are our anniversary flowers.




A tree with really odd looking seed pods.





I’ve taken up ice skating again. I am terrible!





Miss 17 got a new top, just like the last one, but a tad longer. And gold





Amidst all the happenings, some gin arrived. It was most welcome!


And finally, I needed some self-care time. I browsed in some fabric shops. The colours were lovely, but, I bought lots of black.

Hoping your week was good. As my spare time returns to me I’ll post more details.

The Sunday Sevens thing was started by Natalie who blogs at “Threads and Bobbins”. The idea is to take photos of your week and share them.

Posted in Sunday Sevens | 2 Comments

Yet more Barbs

I gained weight, then a bit more. The tops I’ve made are doing OK, and we now have a uniform shirt for work. My trousers were falling apart and not up to the challenge of my ever increasing girth.

I needed them fast and didn’t want to hassle with fitting too much. Cue – more Style Arc Barb trousers.

I bought bengaline in black from Rathdowne Remnants. It is good bengaline but bengaline is always mostly if not all synthetic. Still looking for the seemingly non-existent stretchy woven fabric that is mostly natural fibres.

They look OK, they get worn every week to work. But are they are boring and I need pockets.

And a better mirror!



Posted in Bobbins | Tagged | 5 Comments

Slinky new tshirt for the elder lass

The elder lass needed a new top. She wanted a crop tshirt, in slinky blue fabric that she chose from the stash. This is the best representation of the colour of any of the photos I took. The top layer is the inside, underneath is the outside of the fabric.

I modified the Lark tee as per the client instructions:

  • Reducing it to crop length
  • Widening the hem so that it swings
  • Elbow length sleeves, and
  • Nice deep armholes.

The fabric was a slinky, drapey 100% synthetic. It sewed up beautifully, ironed well and was a nice quick sew.


I used complementary thread colours in the overlocker’s loopers, and almost exactly matching threads in the needles. I wanted to trial the idea, and I didn’t have time to go shopping for thread. I’m not sure about it. It stands out clearly around the neckline (see above) but not the other seams.


The elder wanted proper stitched down hems, they got a zig zag stitch. I did a quite trial with the twin needle on a scrap piece. Then I tried stretching it and all the stitches popped. Happily the neckline sits well without stitching.

Costs & details:

Pattern – Grainline Lark, bought a while ago. Fourth time I’ve used it, modified for the elder.

Fabric – 1.4 metres of 100% poly with some spandex, I used most of it. Free, from the 2016 Destash event.

Threads – all from the notions stash.

Total = Virtually free. I will get many more iterations from the Lark pattern, the fabric was free and I already had the threads.

Best of all – the elder lass likes it.

Posted in Bobbins | Tagged | 1 Comment

Sunday Sevens 11 – April 2017



We got a delivery from Amazon, that included this little treasure, the Amazon tap. It has a longer battery life and better sound quality than my previous bluetooth speaker. Terrific for my work




I saw this fabric when shopping for the younger lass. Still thinking about it.




I went to the printing shop to collect some patterns and saw these on the wall.




I went to the “Kids under Cover” garage sale and picked up these sunnies. I am forever losing sunnies, it is good to have a cheap source.





We went to the park and saw this notice on a tree. I get a bit daft about trees so was rather sad. I looked up into the canopy and accepted that even trees have a limited life span.






The Sunday Sevens thing was started by Natalie who blogs at “Threads and Bobbins”. The idea is to take photos of your week and share them.

Posted in Sunday Sevens | Leave a comment

Singapore fabric shopping – Arab St

While we were in Singapore I took lots of photographs and notes and decided that I would eventually blog about it all. I am getting to it almost 8 months later!


My husband left to go to his conference and I left to go shopping. Close to the hotel was Arab St, which was full of small fabric shops.






I wandered around a bit aimlessly just browsing before buying anything.




All of the shops had mannequins with fabric draped on them.






I found lots of brocades, and embroidered or printed fabric. Some of it may have been silk but I suspect most of it was synthetic.




Sometimes the fabric was on shelves, sometimes on rolls.


Several shops sold pashmina style wraps too. The polyester ones were $SGD6.00 and the cashmere ones were $SGD10.00










We bought several wool pashmina’s, for me, the lasses, and friends back home.

img_0289In this shop I got some nice printed cottons, to make pyjama bottoms for the kids.









I’ll write about the Peoples Park complex in another blog.



Posted in Bobbins | Tagged | Leave a comment

Sunday Sevens 10 – April 2017

A big week for me and I find myself a bit tired on Sunday evening.

Monday – I cut out some trousers and started to stitch them up. These are over-exposed because they are black.


Tuesday – was the lad’s 16th birthday. Here is his back and Penny. The lad refuses to let me post his face.


Wednesday – I realised I had made two left legs… so that involved the seam ripper and some trashy TV shows.



Thursday – I finished the trousers, and cut out a tshirt for the elder lass. I also tweaked a conference paper that I was delivering the next day.  I’m on fire!




Friday – All-day conference, and I’m presenting. The venue was the Melbourne Convention Centre, which has some beautiful woodwork. It was lovely to see some former colleagues and make new connections.

I came home and finished off the elder lass’ tshirt as she needed it that evening.

Saturday and Sunday – more gardening. We are cleaning out our courtyard so that we can use it a lot more.








The Sunday Sevens thing was started by Natalie who blogs at “Threads and Bobbins”. The idea is to take photos of your week and share them.

Posted in Sunday Sevens | Leave a comment

Sunday Sevens 9 – March 2017

I had a birthday during this week. My delightful husband gave me a rather large gift card to Myers (local department store). I had a lot of fun shopping for me.


My first purchase was some black shoes for work. I’m not so active at work anymore so got a bit of a heel for the first time. I still need my feet to be totally covered though. These are very comfortable.





The next purchase was socks, to go with my lovely new shoes.



Later in the week we looked at new pots for our courtyard. Didn’t get these, we’re still looking.





The highlight of my birthday week was going to the ice hockey on the weekend. This was a match between the New Zealand Ice Blacks and Melbourne Ice.


These were the hardest working guys on the ice.




Melbourne Ice won!!!! It was a fantastic game to watch.




The Sunday Sevens thing was started by Natalie who blogs at “Threads and Bobbins”. The idea is to take photos of your week and share them.

Posted in Sunday Sevens | 2 Comments

Sunday Sevens 8 – March 2017

Tuesday – discovered my favourite garage sale is on again!

Virgin and Jetstar hold any left behind stuff for six months. If it is not claimed they give it to Kids Under Cover, who raise money by selling it.

Best place to get sunglasses!


Wednesday – The lover gets a delivery of two of life’s essentials. Whisky and coffee beans.




Saw this marvellous lion while walking on Thursday.






Friday – I love trees.




Saturday – wearing my new ring. Silver with a blue topaz.





I saw these two kookaburras when we had lunch on Sunday. They are almost two metres tall and are placed ten metres up in the air.



The Sunday Sevens thing was started by Natalie who blogs at “Threads and Bobbins”. The idea is to take photos of your week and share them.

Posted in Sunday Sevens | Leave a comment

My first wrap dress

I’d heard people raving about wrap dresses and had a go with Butterick 5030. It was terrible! I made a test of the bodice and it just did not work. The pattern and remainder fabric went to a friend who kindly took it before I burnt it. That was 2014.

2017 comes around and I look up from my books and laptop. Enter the Appleton dress from Cashmerette.  I’d purchased the pattern while finishing that thesis in 2016. As I dislike the printing/taping dance, I had it printed at the copy shop in 2017.

It took a little while to find just the right fabric for the test garment – one that I would actually wear and not so expensive that I would be distressed if it didn’t work. This fabric has a small geometric print that swirls, no pattern matching concerns and interesting enough to mask any mistakes.

This came from super cheap fabrics. It was about $5.00 a metre and I got enough to make mistakes and a top from the leftovers.

I picked the size 16 E/F cup and decided to just wing it with the straight sizing. That lasted about three minutes! I added some width to the hips and hem by blending out to size 18 then 20. I measured the pattern and increased the bicep width by 1 cm, then cut the elbow length. Finally, knee length hems don’t work on me, so I added 12cm to the length.


The neck band should lie flat across the back and the bodice band is stretched onto the bodice. This ensures it stays closed.

This certainly was the case for me, but the crossover was rather low for me. In this photo the ties are rather loose.




The design places the ties under the breasts, on the ribcage. I am short-waisted, but not that short! I pushed the ties down so that they sit on my waist and it looks good.

Costs & details:

Pattern – $15.00 for the PDF

Printing – $8.00 – two AO sheets

Dress fabric – $20.oo – Four metres of 100% poly with spandex, I used 2.4m.

Total = $35.00

Thoughts: I wore it all day to a family lunch at a lovely restaurant. The bodice stayed closed, but the crossover point was a bit low for me. The skirt has enough ease for walking. Wearing a dress is something I rarely do, so sitting was interesting. The skirt stayed closed, mostly! I had to remember scoop the skirt and hold the flap, as I sat down. I fidgeted all day with the ties and adjusting where they sat. Eventually I got it right.

Make it again? Very likely, but I will make some more adjustments. Adding the waistband tie to the skirt front rather than the bodice bands will lower the ties enough for them to sit on my waist.  I also need to go up a cup size for a bit of extra coverage. The sleeves were close fitting even after adding extra width. I will add yet more width as I like my sleeves loose.

I am slightly staggered that I spent $15.00 on a single garment pattern, from a company I’ve never tried before. It was a big leap of faith for me. It worked out well this time, I will probably buy more Cashmerette patterns in the future. I’ll also use the AO printing wherever possible.

The family liked me in the new look, I had comments like “that’s really pretty!” from them. The dog was unmoved.

Posted in Bobbins | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Sunday Sevens – on Monday!

A busy week this week. Lots of “in and out”, but overall good busyness.



Monday – Our cat seems to approve of the speaker.




Tuesday – Roses in the church garden next to one of my work sites.




Wednesday – I started to cut into the pattern for my new dress.




Thursday – found an apple that the birds missed!

Friday – nothing to talk about!

Saturday – We got several boxes of sauce tomatoes for the making of dried tomatoes and passata.









Sunday saw me sewing, making more passata and hanging with the family.




The Sunday Sevens thing was started by Natalie who blogs at “Threads and Bobbins”. The idea is to take photos of your week and share them.

Posted in Sunday Sevens | Leave a comment