Author Archives: Cheryl

About Cheryl

Retired. In my former life I was a HS Visual Teacher and later a small business owner. Now I spend my time with family, traveling, sewing clothes and blogging.

Cat and Paste

The grey boys had a tough decision ahead of them,  which one of Mum’s fabrics was the best.?   Bottle green,  navy of the white? or maybe she should use all three?



Who would think that working out the colour order and proportions would be that difficult?     I varied the size and order of the stripes  (for over an hour) until I found the Just right  Goldilock’s zone;    cut stripes of fabric and overlocked them together  before cutting out  a simple Loes Hinse Cap Sleeve Dress.  Overlocked the dress together and tried it on………..  Same  unappealing look as The Bug dress  project,  and I gave it the same treatment;  I cut it into a top and short lined skirt.


My sewing room has been filled with visitors and the top and skirt are waiting to be hemmed.  Here they are…..dsc_0050and here is Jorge who has settled on grey and white for his choice.


Something is Bugging Me

The party began on Xmas Eve and  ended a little time ago ( Boxing Day)….. the ‘guests’ have left, pantry and fridge are empty,  bins are overflowing and washing line is full of sheets and towels….DD and friends have returned to Balmain…..little bit of space before more arrive tomorrow,   I will need to blog FAST about a couple of pre Xmas QUICK sews that were bugging me.

Love a quick sew.  You know when you know exactly what you are going to make when you purchase a piece or two of new fabric.  No procrastination,  bring it home and while it’s drying  get the pattern ready , the machines threaded,  organised.  Cut your second favourite fabric first;  because you want to test the pattern on the least favourite first….

So , I cut  the purple first and  selected some contrast navy ribbing for the bands.  After trying it on I   cut the neck down a little and made it a little shorter…


Need to apply the neck, shoulder and hem ribbing.

I was ready for the favourite piece;  a bug, coloured shapes and geometrical shapes arranged in horizontal bands.  I held it up to myself and decided to use the geometrical shape part for the centre ribbing;  and  a narrow hem for the neck and sleeves.  This edition was view C the long look,  I tried it on expecting to look fabulous…   NOT.           Same fabric,  same pattern ,  too much pattern (maybe not enough body). So,…..  Make  a slimmer short  skirt with elastic waist and separate top.


Cut the dress apart;  shorter slimmer skirt + top and navy Loes Hinse Tee.

This is what I ended up with:  2 photo bombers, a wet labradoodle and a cat bite.  Prince Rotten was not in the mood to show his best face.  But, more importantly, I scored 2 new outfits which are perfect fresh faced summer wear.  Making more noise than the cicadas with these striking summer colours, style and (as always) altered pattern.  The Law of Unintended Consequences always lives in my sewing room and my head but usually works it way out with happy results.


All the best for the New Year;  and hope you find some time to sew.   Cheryl X

Plan B

Remember the SWAP Plan for 2016 where I over promised and under delivered?  Well;  I need to consider this behaviour and  prepare,  so…I have……   I am calling it PLAN B

This is the 2017 SWAP plan so far.    I have the OVERS   (4 jackets, coat)  sorted,  by sewing  2 jackets using the SW Ikina Jacket , and 2 previously sewn patterns.


Sketch  of UPPERS

The 3 UNDERS (3bottoms)  easy.  2 pairs of CLD One Seam Pants and a purchased  pair of slim pants/leggins.    

  The UPPERS, (4tops) :  I have planned a wool dress/tunic to be worn by itself or over pants, and  a shorter version of the pattern for  2 tops.  (pink and cream rayon)


Cream and pink rayon,  star wool all same pattern.

Here are my concerns:    I am putting all my effort into matching plaids,  lining, making perfect button holes and  not going to the beach in the hot summer and run out of enthusiasm….this is when I will switch  to plan B.

PLAN B is  simple…..knit T-shirts. Taking my pick from below.


Knits to consider for Plan B






I have been working  on my drawing skills,  and been drawing skulls for the last 4  plus months……as  I  am currently an on-line student  at the Watts Atelier .    However a visit to Artisan Square   and seeing SWAP 2017  rules up…temptation is only good if you can give into it, so,  time to give in……

To summarise SWAP 2017:  11  co-ordinating garments

Upper: Min 3, max5.  (Tops,  T’s, shirts)
Lower: Min 3, max 5.  (pants, skirts, shorts)
Over: Min 2, max 5. No more than ½ may be outerwear. (jackets, coats , cardigans)


I  have accumulated  a room full  of fabric,  many of  these are  thick wool,   suiting wools and other wool fabrics from yesteryear.  I love owning these fabrics,  often get them out,  but have not had the courage to cut into them.  For this reason I will select simple patterns,  hopefully the right pattern to show the fabric  to its best advantage. I use the cat (Prince Rotten AKA The Grey Lord) to select the best fabric for the best pattern…takes several sittings before he decides which is the best to sleep on.

Cheryl’s SWAP fabricsdsc_0043

  OVERS….Top Row  4 jackets

Thinking about a shortish boxy jacket,  maybe either of these two from the cream textured wool.

Both fabrics are reversible.    I am thinking of a shawl collar  (reverse of fabric)  on a simple boxy shape for both. Love the geometrics and reversible Pop factor.

I am leaning towards the Burda pattern,  adding a black leather collar and patch pockets to lift it a bit. And the knee length leather boots if the pockets don’t make it swing.

UPPER  .  Except for a dress/tunic  (black/grey wool)   I have left this area loose…..maybe a nice shirt or top from the middle row of fabrics but if time gets short then I will use PLAN B,  3 T-shirts.

LOWER .  One pair of grey and black  pants.  One purchased charcoal ponti slim pants.

Great to be back in circulation with threads and designs…until the graphite masters lure me back to the Drawing Room

            A plain and Simple SWAP with a Plan B!


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