A Parisian Creation

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I was looking back over my posts from the past few weeks and it seems to be all about sewing. This is primarily because we have been house-sitting and any kind of organisation is really not happening.

Apart from sewing, we have been quite social with a variety of lunches and catch-ups with numerous people before we depart for Victoria.

Meanwhile, my final sewing project for a while was this dress for a friend. I created the pattern from an existing dress. The fabric was some offcuts which were in a box of scraps given to us. When J first spied it she immediately wanted a garment from it. There was not enough for trousers but we realised that a simple dress was possible with a bit of creativity.

I am really pleased with how it turned out.

Sewing Success

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Today I set about assembling a piece of patchwork for a small quilt. This one came about after I had saved the embroidered panels from the landfill pile at a thrift shop. They were clearly part of an unfinished project and I simply could not see someone’s handiwork discarded without a second glance.

Initially, I was unsure of how I could use them but I gradually developed a plan. Some of the plain fabric came from offcuts in my own stash and the remainder from a couple of friends.

In due course I will add batting and the backing and outsource the actual quilting as I do not have a long-arm machine.

The other project was much more modest. This is the second of a pair of potholders that I have made for a friend. They were both made from a discarded cushion cover and with 2 layers of flannel fabric for heat resistance.

I am really pleased to have achieved these and the patchwork will be packed away until we are settled in our new home.

3 Big Days


I have had some full days at the Eco Creative Festival since my last post. We did not have any pre-conceived ideas about what interest there would be in our stall.

We shared our stall with the local Boomerang Bags group who had a selection of bags for sale.

Ready for action.

However, it exceeded our wildest expectations. We had many excellent conversations about waste and how we can all contribute to reducing the amount of landfill being generated. As a bonus we also sold bunting made from salvaged fabric and upholstery fabric samples suitable for various sewing and craft projects.

Definitely a successful weekend.

Very Vintage

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At the end of my last post I mentioned that I had been able to borrow a sewing machine. This is not just any sewing machine. It is a very solid metal Elna machine which was made in Switzerland. A bit of research indicates that it dates to the early to mid 1960s.

As well as the Boomerang bags and bunting I have also made a pair of trousers for a friend. These were made from a salvaged piece of vintage curtain fabric and she is thrilled with the result. We are involved in an Eco Creative Festival this weekend so these pants will be a perfect real-life example of upcycling.

Finally, here is a throwback photo which I dug out today. I enjoyed lunch with 3 friends from my schooldays and during our reminiscing the conversation turned to our Home Economics lessons and our rather dysfunctional relationship with the teacher. I had been sewing for a few years under the guidance of my mother before I completed the green tunic dress in this photo. Yes, it really was that short.

Taking a Break

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It has been a week between blog posts and that is primarily because there has not been much to share.

We are staying in a small house and there is no real organising to be doing. The household chores have consisted of preparing a few meals, sweeping the floor and doing a couple of loads of washing.

Apart from that we have been out to lunch, attended a film festival in the local town and I have been doing some sewing. I had barely touched any sewing for the last 6 weeks as I was entirely focused on packing. However, a few days ago a friend and I were gifted a big box of unwanted fabric so we have had some fun sorting that out and choosing what we can use it for.

I have made 6 Boomerang Bags. Here are some of them. They still need pockets and labels to be added.

I also found several pieces which will be suitable for a future quilt. So I have been cutting out 5 inch squares in preparation for that use.

My sewing machine has been packed and sent with the removalists but I have been fortunate to be able to borrow one from a friend. I have a couple more sewing projects planned in the next week and I will share more in the coming days.

Seen Better Days

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There are days when even I must admit defeat and today is one of them.

I have written before about a pair of shorts which I have modified and mended over a period of close to 30 years. You can read a bit more detail here.

Yesterday was the death knell for this much-loved garment. GMan and I went to the dump with a load of garden waste for a friend and I managed one final rip to my gardening shorts and I have to confess that they are now simply beyond any type of further repair.

If you are in any doubt here are some final photos before they go in the bin.

Front view.

Back view, including the final rip.

The inside showing multiple patches.

There is one more thing to do though. There is a perfectly good zip and button which can be salvaged.

Let’s Talk Packing

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I guess you thought from the title that I meant packing up an entire house.

No, just planning for a 4 night trip away. However, it will be to an area of distinctly inconsistent weather but it seems to be bordering on the cooler side (for summer) at the moment.

Two pairs of shoes.

A dress which can be worn with or without a cardigan.

Two pairs of trousers – emerald green linen pants and a pair of white slim-fit pants.

Two 3/4 sleeve tops.

Lightweight black pullover and cardigan.

White cotton shirt.

Short sleeve top.

Two scarves that will add both warmth and interest.

This is to cover predicted temperatures from 9C to 29C but mostly between about 15C and 22C.

It is interesting to note that the majority of the items were opshopped. The leather shoes were new last summer and one scarf and one top were bought new several years ago. The other scarf and cardigan were inherited from my mother. I made the white shirt from fabric that was given to me.

Searching for a Unicorn

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Unicorn = perfect bra.

Last week I finally bit the bullet and went bra shopping. I suspect I am not alone to say that this is one of my least favourite tasks and was well overdue. I think is mainly due to my inability to find something that is perfect for me.

My main problem is that I have relatively narrow and sloping shoulders and it is difficult (or impossible) to find a bra that the straps do not tend to slide off my shoulders.

I successfully bought 2 new bras and have decided that is all I need at the moment as I can wash one each night. I always handwash my bras to ensure the maximum life from them.

The new bras are good but not perfect and I am still debating future options. I could buy more of the same and put up with second-best. I could keep looking in more shops with more unhelpful retail assistants. I could try buying online, however, I feel like this could be fraught with danger if I do not know exactly what I want. Or, I could try making my own bras.

I have successfully made bras in the past and do have a pattern. The reason for my success was the fact that i could alter the pattern slightly so that the attachment point of the straps at the back was closer to the midline than on most commercial styles. This meant that the straps never slid off my shoulders.

I am very tempted to give bra-making another go. You do need some specialist materials such as the straps, clips and elastic but these are available for purchase through various sources.

Before I discarded the old bras I disassembled them and retrieved various bits that may be useful in future bra-making endeavours. The elastic may be used for other projects.

This lot went straight in the bin.


I have just launched a Facebook group which is aligned to this blog.

If you are reading this and have not yet joined the group please pop over to https://www.facebook.com/groups/2482607615213480 and introduce yourself.

The content and discussion is in the early stages.