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.



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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Singapore 2016

July 2016 – The lover had to go to Singapore for a week. It’s an eight to nine hour flight from Melbourne. Practically next door from an Australian perspective. My father-in-law agreed to look after the kids for the week, and there was just enough time for me to get a passport.


View of the park near our hotel.







Statue in the foreground of an apartment building.


Series of street art on Haji and Bali lanes.

img_0833 img_0301 img_0298

In a later post I’ll talk about the fabric shops.


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Sunday Sevens – March 1



Sunday – I started the week in Bunnings, looking at pots. Didn’t buy any.





Monday – I walked through the Royal Arcade in Melbourne. This is Gog and Madog.






Tuesday – a work mate gave me this lei, for my daughter.

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – wasn’t feeling the best. Did not take any photos.




Saturday – The kids’ brass band was marching at a local festival. Here they are getting ready to march off.



Sunday – back to Bunnings and more band stuff. We were running a sausage sizzle to raise money for new instruments. This rather beautiful dog was there too.










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.

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Vogue 1446 – finished!

img_1146I finished the pleating and side seams. Time for a quick fit session. Umm – still too long in the body. Another 5cm came out, lifting the hem to just above her knee. I added the lining and another try on happened.

The lining pieces were too narrow in the skirt for the elder to stumble, let alone walk or sit. I added godets into the side seams and that was OK.

The elder had another try on. The length was good, the back straps needed the zip inserted, before I could properly finish the fitting. I inserted my first ever invisible zipper. With a normal zipper foot, on a machine I don’t know. I used THIS YouTube video to help.  A few more tucks and tweaks and the dress was finished !!




A quick press and she was off to the pre-party. With ten minutes to spare!





Final verdict

The elder will always need to buy small sizes and possibly make further alterations.

The lining pattern pieces were terrible!  They were the main pieces but without the walking ease given by all the pleats. The pattern needs separate lining pieces, with an a-line skirt shape to them.

The pleating took a long time and required precision measuring, pressing and stitching. This dress took longer than anything I’ve made for quite some time. I’ve made lined jackets in less time. Can’t remember if I’ve said it in previous posts, there were 80 pleats in total. Each took between five and ten minutes to create, a little over 10 hours in total!

The embroidery on the hem meant that I had to be very careful about the end-point placement of the pleats. I made the mistake of making them too long, as the elder has a short torso (like me). I had to take five centimetres off, from the top of the dress. Luckily it worked and the hem length was OK.

Costs & details:

Pattern – $US5.00+international postage to Australia (along with some other patterns)

Dress fabric – $SGD60.oo – Embroidered cotton and cotton lawn for the lining, bought in Singapore. Five metres of each.

Bag fabric – $AUD7.00 – Black velvet, half a metre.

Notions – $AUD10.00 – Zip, interfacing, thread.

We bought dressy sandals here in Melbourne ($60.00) and a pashmina in Singapore ($SGD10.00). At the time the AUD and SGD were effectively equal. Total cost for the whole outfit was $AUD155.oo. Happy with that!

I haven’t included the cost of the tea, headache pain relief, gin, wine, and machine repairs.

The elder lass loves the dress, and she had a terrific evening with her friends. She has promised to choose an easier pattern for her Year 12 dress.

These are the first and second posts about the dress.

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Sunday sevens 5 – February 2017



Saturday – we bought the younger lass a trumpet. She’s been playing a borrowed instrument for almost 2 year.





Sunday – I started making a bra, then stopped! I hope to finish it this weekend.






Monday – I saw this amazing leather. Sadly green is really NOT my colour.





Wednesday – NEW TIMPANI!!!!! For the brass band my children play with. Several years of fundraising here.





Thursday – I’ve never had steamed corn on a stick before. Very yummy and well worth repeating.






Friday – Our tree has produced masses of cumquats. They are incredibly sour.






Saturday – looking up into the foliage at the dog park.




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.




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