In Record Time

Leave a comment

Another day, another sewing project. Unlike the patchwork this was completed in what must be record time for me. It was less than 36 hours from the moment that I decided that I needed a small bag to take to a wedding next weekend until the said item was completed.

This small black bag was my initial inspiration.

Since my frock is navy I decided that silver would be my best option. A dig around in my stash of fabric revealed this heavy satin pillowcase. I had acquired it through fabric donations for Boomerang bags but this is not really suitable so I had set it aside.

I then found some cord which I had salvaged when unpicking a cushion cover. I could not believe my luck that the colour matched, too.

I unpicked a piece of the pillowcase which proved to be a particularly good quality heavy fabric.

I did not really want a perfectly plain bag so I headed off to the local Salvos op shop and managed to find some sequins and beads for a total outlay of $3. I now have enough to make about 100 bags!! Embroidery and embellishment are not really my skills but I felt sure that I could create something that would suit my needs. A quick Youtube tutorial to discover how to make French knots. No embroidery thread so I used regular sewing thread. No pattern or design so I made it up as I went along.

Making a start.

I did not want to overdo it so decided that this was enough.

Then it was time to create the actual bag. It is open at the top and fully lined using part of a well-worn navy pillowcase. There is also an internal side pocket. I did not have a pattern so the actual construction was designed on the run. I handstitched the cord to the sides of the bag as the final step.

I am happy with the result and am looking forward to using it next week.

Project 333 – Wardrobe Additions


Adding to my wardrobe may seem to be contrary to the essence of Project 333 but it is not about denial but having a small collection of clothes that you love and wear.  The more I work with what I have the more clarity I have about the direction I want to take.

Last week I bought a new pair of shoes but they do not really count as they as for walking (exercise).

2015-03-21 01I did consider actually selecting 33 items to participate in Project 333  this autumn (fall) as I am in the southern hemisphere.  However, I am constantly drawn to the idea of a modest selection of clothes which can be worn year-round (with modifications) as we live in a warm temperate climate.  I work in an air-conditioned office during the week and live on a small, semi-rural acreage.

I tend to wear separates – skirts/trousers and shirts to the office and a few years ago I only owned one dress.  I have since realised that it was not really my choice – I love dresses – but dresses that I found suitable and flattering were difficult to find.  I now have 5 dresses plus a dress suitable for wedding/special occasions.  Additionally, I have fabric to make another dress and am seriously contemplating buying this one.

2015-03-21 02It is identical to these two dresses I already have in my wardrobe.

2013-02-11 02 2013-02-11 03Along with a plain black and two black/white dresses these could form the basis of a year-round office wardrobe.  I have a red jacket that can be worn with the two existing dresses and I would make or buy a navy jacket which could go with the new dress as well as the pink/red one.

My other proposed purchase is this bag.

2015-03-21 03I found it on Friday and plan to go back and buy it on Monday.  I have been looking for a bigger bag for some months as I want to be able to put my laptop in it and still have space for a few personal items – purse, sunglasses, phone, car keys.  My plan is to make this the one bag that I take to work so that I am not carrying a laptop case as well as a handbag.  My small black handbag will still be used on all other occasions.

By judiciously choosing the additions to my wardrobe and removing those items that do not make the grade, I am gradually creating a collection of clothes that I love and which work together in a variety of ways.

Unlike the earrings, my clothes are definitely a work in progress and that will continue to be the case.  What was perfect 3 years ago is now worn out, looking a bit jaded, no longer a perfect fit or just not a favourite.  I can see my wardrobe evolving to match my changing style.

Bare Necessities


I am constantly astounded by the size of the handbags which many women carry.  On one hand, I read about travelling overseas with only carry-on luggage, yet in real life I see handbags that look as though they could be used to travel  – at least for a weekend.

I often ponder about what they carry in those huge bags.  Have we been conned by yet another bizarre fashion trend which dictates that we carry these bags?  What is so important that it has to go everywhere with us?

My bag bucks the general trend entirely.  I bought it recently in an attempt to consciously downsize what I carry.  I even went so far as to buy a smaller purse/wallet that would take up less space in the bag.

My bag
The bag has a single strap which I have at its longest length so that I can wear it across my body.  Everything that is in the bag has a purpose and is used regularly and mostly every day.


Main compartment – wallet, eco shopping bag, sunglasses in case, pen, handkerchief

Main compartment contents
Secondary compartment – small notebook, extra loyalty cards

Secondary compartment contents
Inside pocket 1 – car keys
Inside pocket 2 – mobile phone, railpass and access pass (work)
Inside compartment (zippered) – internet stick, USB drive, other essential keys, lipstick, migraine medication

Contents of inner pockets
Outside compartment (zippered) – iPod and USB charger, USB phone charger

Outside zippered compartment contents
That is it.  I have made a conscious decision to only carry exactly what I need.   Each item has a specific place so I easily know that I have everything that I need.

This is the bag I use every day.  The only exception is a small evening bag which I use a couple of times per year.

What is in your bag?  Do you have a large bag?

Project 333 – Christmas Shopping


While the rest of Melbourne was creating shopping mayhem in the CBD (or so it seemed), I sauntered down to my favourite shop in Bridge Road, Richmond.  I had planned to fit in some clothes shopping during this trip and here is what I found.

3 camisoles in my base colours of red, white and black.

Black spotted blouse with pintucked front in a fine 100% cotton fabric.  I am looking forward to wearing this with a black skirt.

Sleeveless top
Black/white 100% cotton top.  I also bought the same style in navy/white.  These will be perfect with skirts and shorts.

Dress and jacket
Finally, a dress and jacket.  The black dress is sleeveless and fitted.  The cropped jacket has 3/4 sleeves and is lined.

As always, the pieces were bought to mix and match with my existing wardrobe.  I can already see many possibilities for these new additions.  I will be looking at culling a couple of my older fitted t-shirt tops and generally reviewing my wardrobe to make sure that I am getting the best use from the clothes that I love.

Buoyed by the success of my clothes shopping expedition, I then headed into the city ad braved the crowds to buy a new handbag but more about that another day.

Tomorrow it will be back to earth when I need to buy the food to make a simple Christmas lunch for 4 people.  I have a rough idea but will be heading to the markets to see what is in season and catches my eye so that will be my guide.  I will share more about my Christmas menu with you tomorrow.

12c per Day


I bought a new handbag today.  This might seem like an impulse buy – no discussion, searching the internet, comparing prices – I just went and bought it.  In fact, I had given it quite a bit of thought and kept putting off buying.  However, the old one was starting to look a bit worse for wear so it was time to do something.  I did not consider buying online because I like to check the feel of the bag and how it feels to carry it.

Here is the bag.

I had some fairly simple criteria for my new handbag.  Firstly, any colour as long as it is black.  Not too big but big enough to hold the necessities.  Easy to carry.  Enough inside pockets and sections to hold the important stuff, like my phone and access card in separate, easy-to-access spots.

The inside

Some of my acquaintances seem to always be buying bags, often for as little as $20 or so.  My bag cost $120, which may seem extravagant so I thought I should consider my bag on a cost per wear basis.  I use my bag almost every day and it is the only handbag I own apart from an evening purse.

The last bag was bought in Canada when we were there in 2007 and cost $180 so I calculated that I had been using it for 50 months and it worked out to 12c per day.  That seems pretty reasonable to me.

I plan to make a note of how much my new one cost and how long it lasts.

Do you consider the cost per wear/use of any items that you buy?