Category Archives: Fabric

Make My Week #50 – My Birthday Suit!

I’m counting this as my December dress even though technically I made it before December.

This is what I wore to my birthday. I invited some of the gorgeous women in my life over. What better way to celebrate a birthday than to celebrate the women that make my life such a pleasure. I made high tea, of sorts, and we all sat and word bombed each other.

I made this pattern from a vintage pattern – one from the early sixties and there are no pattern markings on the tissue. So you need to read the instructions to know these 3 holes mean on the fold or this marking means grainline etc. The original didn’t have the puffy over skirt but I felt the fabric called for it.

I made the under garment in calico and the over part is a net curtain I picked up at a church fair for $3. I love the wee raised daisies and the subtle lemony colour. 2 people stopped me in the supermarket to comment on it so I consider that a success!!

I wore it with my self-made necklace, self-made earrings, thrifted beads and shoes from Melbourne. One of the mums from schools aid to me ‘you look very dressed up’ and I aid yeah but I bet my whole outfit is much cheaper than yours. Dress – pattern free, calico $15, net $3. Shoes $20. Necklace about $20 because I did it in a class, earrings – free, beads – 50c Total Outfit= $58.50 (I’m thriftier than Gok!)

Did you enter my giveaway? I keep adding wee things to it. :o)

So this year I challenged myself to make a new piece of clothing each month – here is a breakdown of the clothes I have made this year.

There were a couple of months I seemed to forget but other months I did a few extra so currently it stands at 16 makes and I do have at least 2 more I hope to make in the next 2 weeks!!

I’d love to know your favourite.

I’ve so enjoyed making something a piece of clothing each month – it’s got me thinking about challenges for next year! (and how much I pose with my hands on my hips!!)

Joining in with our creative spaces.


Make My Week #45 – The November Dress

So… I challenged myself to make a piece of clothing each month this year and this is the latest.

I made this from a 1950s reproduction Vogue Pattern that I had made once about 10 years ago.

This version looks so different but I guess that is the joy of how fabric can alter the entire look of a garment.

These photos were taken by the lovely Nin and feature the delightful Juliet. We were at the opening of The Make Cafe – a very exciting cafe which includes a fabric shop, classes and sewing machines you can hire by the hour in store.

I call it my road cone orange dress. Course it will mean I don’t need to wear high vis when I bike the boys to school!

joining in with our creative spaces – click on the blue button down on the right.

Make My Week #39 – Spring Dress and Easy Muesli

I debuted this dress yesterday at Wardrobe Wednesday. I made it on Sunday afternoon/evening after my sister inspired me by suggesting a maxi.

I often respond emotionally to fabric and this is one of those purchases. These colours are ones I can’t seem to go past – blues, greens and some purple – ahhhhh. It actually has white, yellow and brown in it too which I hadn’t really realised.

The fabric is one of those awful types that always stuffs up the stretch on my machine and makes all the stitches skip. So as an experiment I decided to keep a sharp needle on rather than changing to a stretch needle which has a blunt point. Completely successful.

I had totally lost my way with this fabric I couldn’t think of what to do with it. Naomi came up with the maxi idea and pushed me away from a navy sash towards the yellow to pull out the yellow in the fabric. I like the way I can tie it front or back.

I got rather a lot of comments on it – I always find people comment a lot on colour when I wear it, maybe it’s because us kiwi’s wear a lot of black or maybe it’s just the shining sun that makes people more likely to enjoy colour and give others encouragement.

I can see this dress is going to get a heap of wear it is super stretchy and comfy, it is a good hairy-leg cover-up option for summer and the colours make me smile!

I also made another batch of super simple muesli. This is a family recipe and it is so easy and quick. I promised a recipe if someone asked and lovely Bec did.

5-6 c rolled oats

2 cups bran

2 cups wheat germ (wheat germ is the best – we used to have it on our porridge as kids)

I also add 1 cup of coconut as well – let’s call that optional

1 cup liquid honey (or heat your normal honey in the microwave to soften it like I did)

1 cup skim milk (or whatever you have – I’m sure non dairy would work too if you roll that way)

mix it all together in a roasting dish – I find a wooden spoon and hands successful – and bake at 150 degrees C for about 40 mins. (adjust according to your crunch preference!)

If you want a nice even toast, mix it a bit during baking time. If you are lazy like me you will have a toastier top.

Add in any fruit or nut combinations you like and enjoy. Sweet but not sickly so and no oil/fat or processed sugar as well as being a complete doddle to make. My boys love it.

Kind of a random Make My Week combination this week. To see other creative happenings click on Our Creative Spaces on the right.

For more of my creations 

For more clothes I’ve made

For more of my (p)inspiration

Make My Week #36 – September Spring Dress

Yesterday I had a day on my own (from 9.20-3pm – that counts as a day right?) and instead of cleaning – which still needs to be done, exercising – which seldom gets done or any other jobs – of which there are plenty! I sewed!

Yes indeed, I made myself a dress.

My mama gave me this Trelise Cooper fabric about 4 years ago for my birthday but I had been a bit afraid to cut into it. Anyway I had been into Annah Streton the other day and feel all inspired by her eclectic approach to fabric combinations – I think she must have grown up with quilts! so on Tuesday night I cut out all sorts of pieces and yesterday I selfishly sewed all day.

I used a Simplicity pattern that I have used a few times before (see yesterdays post for another incarnation) but this time I did the cross over front – oh my! I am pleased this wasn’t the first one I did – the pattern for this version is quite obscure in parts and has whole things missing out. I also ironed a point of the sash on too hot and now it has iron scolds!

I haven’t actually hemmed it yet but let’s not be worried about details shall we!

All up the dress cost me nothing because the fabric was gifted and the lining was leftovers, the zip was gifted in a big pile and I bought the pattern for something else and I’ve already made 4 other versions from it.

If you want to see me wearing it you’ll need to tune in for Wardrobe Wednesday next week.

there is still time to enter my giveaway for a wrist/money cuff thing for a little person in your life.

Joining in with other create types at our creative spaces – click on the button on the right to find them.

Wardrobe Wednesday and Make My Week #23

So this month for Wardrobe Wednesday we can pick whatever we like – which means you have no excuse not to sign up if you’ve been putting off because you don’t fit the theme my friends!

This is my June make…..It is from a 1950s re-production pattern from Simplicity and it has 12 darts, yes 12!! but other than that it is very simple to make.

I may also have a confession to make… at the beginning of this year I put myself on a self-imposed fabric embargo for 6 months and I have been going very well but in May I was given a $30 spotlight voucher at the same time as receiving a ‘spend $100 get $40 off voucher’. This meant for $30 of my own money I could get $100 worth of product. So I thought a lot, truly!, and I decided that $100 worth of notions was do-able but not really that necessary. I bought 3 pieces of fabric. This is No.1. Please don’t feel too disappointed.

This fabric is taffeta which means it sticks out nicely and has that crisp rustly feeling. It also frays like a mad thing but I was very disciplined and overlocked every seam.

I wore it to our screening of the 48hours film we made (I believe in over dressing) with my grandmother’s mink cape – say what you might about fur (I wouldn’t buy it new but I’m happy to buy leather shoes??)  but the animal has already been killed for no good reason so I might as well make it’s life count for something.

And this is how I wore it to church on Sunday on a cold winter morning.

Dress – made by me – approx cost including notions and the pattern $30

Belt – hand-me-down/ on loan? from my Singer Sister

Shoes – ages old No.1 shoes I also have a black and red pair

Cape – Mink from my grandmother

Black undertop – Zara UK

Black opaque tights – probably had them since high school!

Black sequined sneakers – The Warehouse – slowly but surely coming apart – sob!

I joining in with Nin the Seamtress/Designer at Wardrobe Wednesday

Wardrobe Wednesday at

and other ‘show and tell’ers over here
I share my creative space on Village Voices

Wardrobe Wednesday #13, Make My Week #13 and Mad Men Challenge #2

Here I am again with a triple post! This is my second offering as part of adorable Julia’s Mad Men Challenge (click the button on the side for more info).

This is my version of the ‘wiggle dress’ which seems to feature prominently in the series and also heavily inspired by the Joan ‘va-va -voom’ Holloway character – who has a seriously womanly figure.

When I made this dress I added quite a lot in the bust department (about 2 sizes worth) but when I finished it my ‘cup was running over’, if you know what I mean!! So I added in the pleated section along the neckline in the reverse of the fabric.

To stop it being too dated looking I added the exposed zip on the back and used more modern jewellery.

The fabric is the same old curtain I used for the top of my other mad men dress. I do love this colour. I also added in the blue velvet ribbon as a little bit of detail and ……I did a blind hem (my mother will be so proud).

Teamed up with:

Earrings – Budapest on our 5th wedding anniversary, Necklace – Trade Aid, Rings – D/K c/o- my sis, Greek inscription ring I designed and The Atlas got made for our 2nd anniversary, Shoes – TKmaxx in the UK.

Pop over and see what other people are wearing at Nin’s the theme for March is Homemade!

Also linking in on Thursday with other Creative Spaces

Make My Week #12 – Patchwork

Last year I learnt the ‘stack and slash’ method of quilting.

I have finally applied it again! This top was made entirely from vintage sheets in my stash and is backed with super soft 100% brushed cotton.

I also hand quilted some of the pieces so the layers stayed together.

I love the softness of all the blues side by side. This has been made as a raffle piece for a very special cause you’ll be hearing more about at the beginning of April.

Check out other Creative Spaces here.

Wardrobe Wednesday #11, Make My Week #11 and Mad Men Challenge #1

Okay so hopefully you’re still with me after such a massive title!

This is my March clothing make and it is also my first post (I am going to do 2) for Julia Bobbin’s Mad Men Challenge – button on the right.

Our Wardrobe Wednesday theme for the month is Heavenly Homemade and I am the guest judge. Today Nin has published her interview with me so hurry on over and have a perv ah, peek into my wardrobe.

This dress cost – $2 I think for the zip, $2.99 for the thread and also, confession time $1 for the sheet I bought in Dunedin!!! I am supposed to be on a fabric embargo for the first 6 months of this year …but … it was so lovely and $1. You forgive me right? So, total cost about $6. The top part is an old curtain of my Mother In Laws and the lining is from my stash.

I am wearing it with my homemade full circle petticoat – also made entirely from stash.

Shoes – I can’t remember if I bought these at TKMaxx in the UK or No.1 Shoes in NZ – they were cheap.

Jewelry all gifted.

So it isn’t a direct copy of a Mad Men dress but it is supposed to capture the vibe and essence of the dresses they wore. I love the colours. It is made from a modified New Look pattern. The neckline isn’t probably that authentic but I did try to style it as authentically as I could.

Julia will be posting all about the dresses with some links on April 1st. But head over before then anyway if you like gorgeous, vibrant and talented show and tell of handmade clothes.

Other Wardrobe Wednesday ladies AND my interview here.

Fantastic, talented Creations here from Thursday.

Phew – take a breath. I hope you breathed while you read. I forgot to breathe while I typed and I’m a little light-headed now!!

Make My Week # 48 – A new summer dress

I needed to work out my ‘Make My Week’ number. I knew I had done one every week but some weeks I forgot to tag them and it turns out I’d done a week 43 post 3 times! If you want to see other things I have made for this challenge this year click on the ‘Make My Week’ tag on the right side of my blog.

Yesterday morning before church I finished off this little number using a New Look pattern I bought at the start of the year. Last year I had a bit of a green obsession going on – which meant I bought lots of green fabric for making clothes and didn’t make any. This was some cheap stuff I bought then.

The lace on the bottom is an extra addition. I bought this lace on a big roll when I was in Turkey in 2006. For the last 4 days I’ve worn dresses – oh.such.a.good.feeling!

Could be a good Christmas Day dress don’t you think?

ps – this year my colour obsession for clothing is canary yellow – I’m buying the fabric and waiting for the inspiration to strike!

Have you given me your opinion on what I should wear?? (see yesterday’s post)

Like Minded, Inspired

On Sunday night I had such a lovely night. A friend and I hosted a fabric swap and show and tell night.

Girls (ladies!) brought fat 1/4s to swap with each other and they also brought creative show and tell.

I love seeing what other people are doing and feeling inspired by their ideas. I love that creativity comes in wildly different packaging – we do different things, we like different colours, we do the same kind of projects in totally different ways.

It was such a good night to chat to people and hang out with other creative types and it was such a mix of people there too – school mums, blogging friends, drama friends, church friends….

The delightful Kirsty also kindly agreed to come and bring an assortment of gorgeous fat 1/4s for people to buys as well. I got some SUPER cute boy fabric – which I never buy so I have to think up some cute boy projects to go under the tree now.

Kirsty sells online too and her postage and prices are so reasonable, do check it out especially if you despair the lack of decent fabric shops in your area.

And look she gave me a present as well to say thanks – generous! and the pleasure had been all mine!

If you want an inspiring night I so encourage you to think about a creative show and tell night. Once you remind everyone how much pleasure they get out of seeing what other people make they/we are very good at overcoming our ‘creative performance anxiety’ and bringing something with them/us.

(In case you were wondering this idea was all mine and Kyleigh’s and we asked Kirsty to come and she said yes. We didn’t do a hard sell on fabric we just had it there for people – like me – who wanted to browse. It was a chilled out crafty kind of night not a promotion – Kirsty’s fabric does that for itself!)