Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A small sewing project

I made this book pouch a few weeks ago but it only made it to its new owner on the weekend.


What more can I say but "yum!"

Monday, June 27, 2011

Happy Birthday!

It was my husband's birthday this week so I made a divine cake using two of his favourite ingredients - chocolate and raspberries.

Baked chocolate cheesecake topped with raspberry, Chambord and cream filled profiteroles, whipped cream and a mountain of raspberries.

Oops, forgot to take a photo before they were all gone!  Three tiers of extra raspberry, Chambord and cream filled profiteroles and some Cointreau and cream filled chocolate eclairs. 

Happy birthday!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A new dress

Last week I was so inspired by my pattern making assignment where I had to design a dress and make a toile that while I waited for my teacher to mark my assignment I started on another dress.  I finished it last night and hope to wear it soon!


Pattern pieces.  I made this by connecting bodice pieces to skirt pieces, next time I will try making whole dress pieces.

Dress!  It is fully lined.  A couple of months ago I wouldn't have thought I could make a dress, let alone a fully lined one.  I learnt a lot making this - all things to put into the next item I'll make.  Mostly I learnt that I need more sewing practice (guess that means I have to make some more clothes!!).

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Success and confidence

Sadly I have finished the fabulous sewing/pattern making/design course that I have been studying for the past 18 weeks (yes, 18 weeks gone already!).  I'm just waiting on grades for a couple of subjects, but classes are over and I've handed everything in.  Three of the subjects aren't graded, they are just pass or fail, but two are graded.*  The sewing component of the course was graded and I'm terrifically excited to say that I received a 'Distinction' for my jacket!  It is so amazing to think that a few short months ago I couldn't sew and now I have a beautiful fully lined wool jacket.  And not just that, but now I have the confidence to sew clothes.

[*For the two subjects that are graded, the grading system is 'Fail, Pass, Credit, Distinction, High Distinction'.]

I received an ungraded pass for Pattern Making - the most challenging of the classes for me.  For the first two months I didn't even know there was a difference between facing and interfacing.  I used to get so confused.  This was the one class when sewing experience (particularly knowing how to at least read a pattern) would have been really useful.  But I persevered and my teacher was really pleased with my final assignment.  We had to design an item of clothing, draft all the patterns and then make a toile.  What a wonderful challenge!  Initially I was quite worried and thought I would never be able to do it, but once I started working I realised that I had been taught everything I needed to know.  Ok, my dress isn't high end couture, but it is 100% my work.  Such a wonderful confidence boost to realise that I can do it.

Next semester they will be teaching advanced pattern making and pattern grading - I would love to learn how to tailor items so they fit perfectly.  Bespoke fashion!  But sadly it is back to full time work for me starting Friday.  The past few months have been wonderful and I'm so lucky to have had the opportunity to learn these incredible new skills.  Thank you so much to my amazing husband for supporting me and agreeing to live without my wage while I followed this flight of fancy, and to my boss and colleagues at work who kindly let me work one day a week.

And before this post turns too much into some sort of weird Oscar's speech - here it is (finally!), my jacket...

Sadly still without buttonholes (the threads are tailors tacks marking where the buttonholes should be)

We even had to make a clothing tag, the glare is too strong here to read it, but it is a proper tag.

And my final assessment for pattern making...



Pattern construction

Pattern pieces

Endless paperwork!  Including fabric samples from my stash (I think some of you reading this will recognise the pink fabric...?!)

The toile! 

I'm going to make a few changes to the pattern and then I'll make it up using some nice floral Japanese rayon fabric that I bought on the weekend.  [Yes, fabric stashing is as much of a problem as yarn stashing is...!]

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Winter tomatoes

When the frosts started last month we pulled out a few tomato plants that still had lots of tomatoes coming and we hung them by their roots from the roof of the patio.  It was a bit triffid-like under the patio for a while, but now the plants have shrivelled.  Some of the tomatoes are not faring well, but others are still plump and ripening.  They aren't as tasty as they were in the summer, but roasted and blended they make a great alternative to tinned tomatoes (and we didn't have to find time in the summer to bottle them!). 

An assortment of Red Fig, Black Russian, Green Zebra, Tommy Toe, Mortgage Lifter and Sunny Boy.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I noticed this pale green moth on a red leaf about a month ago.  I took the photo on my phone so I forgot about it.  But I just 'found' it again - I love it and hope you do too.

I'm handing in my final assignment for school tomorrow and then all that is left is for me to present my jacket for panel assessment (next Monday).  Sadly the buttonhole machine at school broke down on Tuesday before I could make the buttonholes on my jacket.  I have used such thick fabric I can't even fit it under the foot of my own sewing machine, so unless the machine at school is fixed by next Monday I will have to make my buttonholes the old fashioned way...! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Hello everyone, so much to tell, so little time!  I've still had hardly any time for knitting, but lots of sewing in class in the final weeks of the course (photos and info soon).

We spent the past weekend in Melbourne soaking up culture and eating far too much chocolate.

Breakfast at the fabulous Ganache Chocolate Lounge (South Yarra).

Hazelnut hot chocolate (at Ganache).

Incredible embroidery - part of the ManStyle exhibit at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV).

More amazing embroidery.  (ManStyle)

Check out the lapel on this jacket!! (ManStyle)

Gorgeous piece of Australian furniture (1906).  So beautiful that it caught my eye over all pieces in one room in the NGV - that is saying something since the paintings below were in the same room.

Frederick McCubbin's 'The Pioneer' 1904 - considered one of the masterpieces of Australian art.