Category: Inspiration

Sew it alone

This week and next it’s just me and the dog, so while I’ll be insanely busy with work and a dog (yes owning a dog is a ton of work, no I’ll never call him my ‘child’ but he is a big high energy responsibility!) It also means I can sew aaaaall day on the weekend! Pretty excited to just put on trakkies, eat only when necessary, make a million cups of tea that I will drink only a few sips of and sew a lot!

I’ve started a number of projects lately and finished none! However one project that I’m really excited to make on the weekend is my old friend Thouraya’s lovely pattern, the Clementine dress. I wrote about Thouraya before, we worked together at the National Gallery of Australia a long time ago now, fun times telling people where the bathrooms and ‘Blue Poles’ were. I’ve loved seeing the Clementine dress sew along she’s had on her blog and instagram lately. Looks like the perfect pattern for showing off some cute fabric with a pretty friendly looking pattern (as in, not too complex, although if anyone can overcomplicate things, it’s me and the seam-ripper.)

I did finish this quilt, I made the top ages ago, but I always choke on the binding, not my favourite part!

It’s almost spring, we’ve seen some good days, but they get pulled away quickly by some horrid weather. I’m always dying for spring warmth and green this time of year, makes me wish I could pop down to the beach with my sweet niece for a quick swim. But it’ll be here before I know it!

Don’t forget to April fools your friends and family : )



Happy Chinese New Year! This is the year of the monkey, those born in this year are curious, fun and clever. Their lucky flower is a chrysanthemum. Do you know your year? You can look it up here, mine is surprisingly accurate which is more than my Capricorn horoscope manages. Do you make New Years resolutions? I don’t usually, but I think I might start.

It wasn’t just the Christmas flu I got last month or so, I also had salmonella poisoning and another bout of sickness when I returned to Montreal which wreaked havoc on my first work weeks. Plus I’m prone to getting cold-sores when blowing my nose, so throw a few of those in for good measure. Gross, thanks a lot body. All that to say, Ange and I decided to restart the new year with China, so 2016 is going to be ace! Happy new year!


I’ve got some good quilt plans in the making for this year! A few very close friends having babies in 2016 so I’m really excited to make some new little quilts for them. I think I’ll be using made up patterns and also some from the book I mentioned late last year in this post.

I haven’t been buying fabric much, due to the insane exchange rate in the US right now- whew! That gladly forced me to buy from Japan instead : )

I am a huge sucker for constellations! My favourite thing, I’ve got a pretty good cotton constellation collection now, but this fabric is a gorgeous double gauze – that’s best to wear!! I can’t see myself making clothes again, been there, tried that (disliked) but look at this little dress!! I want it. If only Japanese patterns weren’t so hard to follow. Plus this is a mystery pattern anyway, but my perfect dress style (those cuffs ♥).

Maybe you have to be Japanese to wear something so cute successfully. Or at least someone who wears/owns dresses? I think I’ll work on that this year. Yeah dresses… I still have to make that little one for my niece, that’ll be good practice for my dreaded sewing in 3D!


While I know it’s been a while between posts, most of you know that my last project was a big one and a secret one at that. Which really doesn’t make for interesting blog posts does it!? So finally the year ended with a woosh. Did yours? I worked like a fiend trying to fit everyone in, before I flew home once again for a glorious Christmas and New Years in Australia. Of course upon arrival, I got the flu and spent Christmas day feeling lagged and gross, but who cares! I was on holidays. At least it was warm and not busy!

Canberra skies are really lovely, you forget sometimes when you live there, but they’re something special for sure. I spent time with my wonderful family as well as a few good catch ups with friends, but mostly I hung out with my niece, Lois. Which was the best.

And finally for Mums big 70th birthday I got to gift her and Dad the quilt that’s taken up most of my life for the last few months. It was a gift for both of my parents birthdays, but my Dads was in October and I was nowhere near done then. Plus it was fun to just pop it on their bed and then bring them upstairs to see it.

It is really hard to photograph a king sized quilt. Ha, my poor sisters standing on chairs with their arms in the air! It’s much bigger than it looks!

As usual I’m feeling mixed emotions about returning to the other side of the world. It still amazes me that you can travel that distance in a day or two and fly so far so relatively easily. Happy 2016 to you all, bring on the projects : )



I have been busy as a bee, sewing like mad. But it’s for my parents big birthdays later this year and I want it to be a surprise!! I’ve been wanting to make them something substantial for ages, but I think I mentioned before the pressure of how and what was killing me! In any case I did decide (already an impressive start for me) and I have been sewing tons for the last couple weekends, trying to make a dent in the 288 blocks I need… Phew. (here’s a sneak in progress pic)

It does involve my stash of Liberty I got from the Liberty of London Club at Westwood Acres last year. Luckily I did it then because the American dollar right now is INSANE! I am on a fabric diet (although I couldn’t resist these few new purchases, from a closing down sale, so it was OK!)

I’ve decided to make a couple of little dresses for me niece Lois from a couple of these sweet Heather Ross fabrics (those ballerinas!) using Made by Rae’s geranium dress pattern, which is a classic.  I just bought the pattern today and I’ll hopefully make one this weekend.  You know it’s so cheap to make them, especially when you can use second hand fabric, I figure the speed she’s growing, might as well make them fast, cute and affordable : )

I’ve had a rough past week or so. These things happen you know, that’s life.  I often struggle with homesickness as most of my friends are aware and it’s a weird sort of thing to feel.  Often I must seem ungrateful for how good my life is, especially at the moment with so many millions of refugees fleeing their homes, it’s ridiculous that I’m even mentioning this. But it’s not about how lucky I am (and indeed I am) it’s just an ache for something constantly missing.

Bonne Septembre.


Wax printed fabric

I’m seeing more people than usual wearing or sewing with these gorgeous African wax prints lately. Aren’t they amazing? This fabric is most recognizably found throughout mid and west Africa, it goes by many names however, as the process has migrated internationally through history. Dutch wax print, Real English Wax, Veritable Java Print, Guaranteed Dutch Java, Veritable Dutch Hollandais and of course African Wax Print.  It’s basically the same process as Javanese batik which means it must be insanely time consuming to actually produce meters of this fabric. I’m guessing most of them are prints, not actually done with wax these days, which is more affordable I’m sure.

Can you see yourself wearing some of this? It’s pretty bold, but I would! Now all I need to do is travel to Western Africa to get some. Yes please fabric safari.

Most images here.