It is the time to think about the  New Year and to wish everybody success in achieving their 2016 goals.  I usually like to  stick to simple achievable things that make me happy such as buying fabric and patterns  flowers, travelling and going to the movies weekly.  However,   I was inspired by listening to a Life Coach discussing New Year resolutions and Goal planning and he suggest choosing  a single word,  which got me thinking  of sewing  terms.  The first word  that came to mind was BOLT.  No!….way too slow. And too big (maybe?).     A bit more thinking and I came up with CUT  ( as in alcohol, favourite foods….stomach fat?) No, too severe.   So, something between the overly indulgent and draconian hardship ….and more importantly achievable – TRIM was it! I could do TRIM in 2016…almost resonates with the right accent.

  • The smashed foot event in Dec 14  slowed me down,   made exercising difficult and  ME anything but trim,   still slow on my feet,  but,  I can cycle and swim to a trimmer me.
  • Pimping the  house with new carpet will facilitate trimming clutter.
  • Need to trim my fabric collection as it has grown bigger then my memory…

Hoping the New Year Measures up,  no  unravelling or unpicking  and remember buttons hold it together.

More always coming…






Last Minute Blogging

You know what it is like,  shopping for gifts for your family and friends,  making sure that Santa  has not forgotten anyone…….  but  what about you?    I am a lover of anything sewing, drawing, painting,  creative or has great pictures  and couldn’t resist this book by Palmer and Pletsch.  It was co-authored by Sue Neall,  and has contributions by Susan Gray.    I have met them at my local Australian Sewing Guild  Meeting,  both ladies have made sewing their business.  Sue has held most elected positions in the guild as well as owning a successful sewing and travel company.  Susan teaches sewing at her “Hooley Dooley” studio in Wamberal,  just down the road from me.


I like that this book  uses heaps of coloured photos to describe  fitting and knit sewing techniques.   As well,  it has some of the best information on how to sew knits with your overlocker and  I love that they have used current available patterns modelled by themselves and friends…all made to fit perfectly.

It was from this book that I was inspired to make the coloured blocked McCalls 6792 pattern.  I had a navy and a cream lightweight point and decided to give it a go.  Went together easily using the directions in the book to sew the coloured block corners…little on the warm side for the current season but will come in handy for spring and to wear with ankle boots and tights….and it fits perfectly with my navy dominated wardrobe.


Last minute sewing,  last minute blogging….maybe the last for 2015

And now for some last minute partying….

More to come,   Cheryl


Art Apron

Hope your Xmas and New Year preparations are running to schedule and you are enjoying the pre Xmas celebrations.  I have never been tempted to make or wear  an apron,  however I may need one as I tend to get messy. And to carry around some art stuff  or cell phone and therefore will need a few pockets.  I taught for years without wearing an apron because students would wear it or use it for a towel   with me often in it and I always thought they did not reflect my style .  It will be interesting to see if I do wear it,  but definitely not outside of the studio. Or maybe I should, now that I have “Pollocked” it.

Anyway,  I worked out a pattern and decided to back the front pockets with water proof fabric,   assuming I will put a loaded brush into the pocket and it could bleed through .  I used a medium weight black denim and cream thread for top stitching and assembling.   Here are some close-ups and you can see the waterproof fabric peeping over the pockets.

Being the festive season I popped some paints instead of  champagne, threw down some paper, and  splashed the apron  “graffiti style.”    It is ready  and “New Yeared” before the new year has gotten out of bed.

My present to my creative self – she should appreciate it, although it may not suit her style.   See you soon, more to follow. Or  flow…or flick



I have started SWAP sewing and  have been working on a light blue wool Duffle  Coat from Burda Mag 11/2011.  This coat is a bit of work and so far I have traced the pattern,  cut the pattern out of tracing paper,  fabric, interfacing and lining….four times.   I interfaced the entire jacket and have been working on making the toggles and painting the giant snaps;  sewing them on  while the garment is in the ‘flat’  which will be easier then when the garment has been constructed. Just  hope  I have them positioned them correctly.DSC_0111

Wasn’t happy with the purchased toggles / cords that were for sale in Spotlight,  and decided to make my own using leather from an old pair of pants.

I drew a shape/size ;  and used a rotary cutter to cut the rectangles.

Made the cords  by folding long lengths of leather and edge stitching,  trimmed them down so that I was able to thread them through the holes in the horn buttons.  Used a leather hole punch to make hole in the leather patch,  glued them and used bull dog clips to hold them closed.   The directions suggested covering the snaps with lining which sounds really hard;   I decided to paint them using light blue nail varnish…….

I lined the pockets and flap,   attached them to the front,    they were crooked  and just looked bad,  so I spent an afternoon unpicking  them.    This time I topstitched about 10mm from the pockets edge,  rather then using the 7.5mm width of the foot.  Thicker fabrics need bigger spaces,  and  now the pocket  looks more in proportion with the coat.

All that is left is….the construction of the jacket,  sewing of the lining and insertion of the lining…

More later,  Cheryl


Couch Surfing

Got the dress back,  I  tricked Lucy into getting up so I could retrieve it.  I promised a shot of me wearing it and thought this abandoned couch would make a fun prop.  This  fabric is dog   and dirty couch  proof,  just fling  it into the washing machine,  dry   and  wear.

I had just visited  Inner Souls  (shoe shop) at East Gosford.  This shop has recently re -located from Terrigal and is owned by my friend  Suzanne.  Suzanne  loved my dress and asked where I purchased it from….. “I made it”.  I find making  clothes very affordable.  The 1.5m of fabric  purchased  from Spotlight  on special,  cost about $20, the cotton , pattern are from my stash and it took an afternoon to make.   First I stabilised the shoulder seams,  cut the neck band the finished width plus 2x seam allowance and 2/3 the size of the neck opening,  attached the band while the dress was “flat”,  inserted the sleeves,  overlocked the side seams  and hemmed it. with a twin needle.    Seriously , could have taken longer to get a park at  the mall.  So with the money I am not spending on RTW clothes I can purchase  shoes!  I actually have a pair of navy sandals,  but could only find one….Lucy the shoe thief has hid the other.

Has she hid it down the back of the couch?  and which couch?

More dresses soon,  check out my drawing progress on my Drawing Room blog.