Sashiko meets Jacket

Right at the beginning of this year, my friend Kate Ward of ZenStitching said I’d like to make myself a jacket and put some stitching on it. Would you like to do a collaboration? Would I! Kate is a textile artist who is passionate about recycling and mending, and is also the person who really…

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The Last Book Week

Here in Australia, it’s Children’s Book Week. Primary schools across the country are reading, visiting libraries, doing book activities, and arriving at school for one day dressed as their favourite book character. Or whatever character can be conveniently tacked together from available costumes at home. I understand that some parents loathe the dress ups part,…

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That old army coat

Early next year I’m planning to make a zero waste coat. I plan these things ahead: a few zero waste layouts are rolling around in my head, I’ve found/bought fabric for samples (despite the number of sheep here, it’s not easy to buy wool coating in Australia in January) and I’m considering the garment details….and…

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“Let the fabric inform the design direction”

Let the fabric inform the design direction

Let the fabric inform the design direction. What does that really mean, practically? It sounds a little nebulous and mysterious, like a departed guru appearing in a dream and bestowing wisdom in that echo-y voice they use in the movies, something like: You must listen to your inner voice, or Use the Force Luke, or…

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Scrapbag confessions

Scrapbag confessions

EDIT Feb 2024 – for some crazy reason, I know not how, this blog post got “unpublished”. It was written on March 14th 2021 and had 10 comments. I’ve just put it up again. This was going to be a post about my home sewing scrap bag, and the result of doing zero waste sewing,…

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Zero waste with hand woven fabric

Ashford spiral skirt

Last year I had a very special sewing experience: I got to sew hand woven fabric for the first time. The fabric was woven by Tracy of Knit-Spin-Weave, our local yarn shop. You may remember she made a zero waste bolero in hand woven fabric for the Zero Waste Sewing blog tour. I dropped in…

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The Cendre Top blooper reel

Cendre top blooper reel

It’s not often that I misjudge a fabric/pattern/thread combo, but it happens! Please take a look and enjoy a giggle. How can it look so wrong? On reflection, the babycord looks a little like velvet, the taupe thread looks like old-gold trim and probably the puffed sleeves add to combination. So the message is: match…

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3 sewing ideas to save your back and neck

sewing ergonomics the mini ironing board

If you’ve had your head down churning out scrubs and masks for the past few months, you’ll be familiar with how unkind repetitive sewing can be on the body. I have no idea how sweatshop workers cope, but my own clothing factory career (as a cutter) was only kept afloat with regular chiropractic care and…

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Ticking off that bucket list

My sewing bucket list bucket

I don’t know about you, but it inspires me to see things other people are doing while in isolation at home, whether it’s sewing their stash, perfecting bread making, learning an instrument, Marie Kondo-ing their house or setting a new world record for non-stop Netflix viewing. I thought I’d review my sewing bucket list, written…

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Revisiting the puce floral

Built by Wendy dress revisited

Almost exactly a year ago I made a raglan sleeve dress from the book Built by Wendy. The original post with the finished dress is here. (Here’s where I started the project, and here’s progress part-way through after excessive dithering and indecision.) I wore it last summer and liked it, but every time I put…

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