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.

There is a Santa Clause

Lately I  cannot stop  thinking about painting and drawing.  I have not touched a paintbrush or drawn seriously  for about 20 plus years.  I remember taking the easel,  paper,  paint and baby down to the waterlily pond.   The baby and painting competed for my attention…that was the last time I painted seriously and I think the drawing above  was one of my last  from that era.

Our children’s  friends loved coming to the art house.  Sadly, many of the children were not allowed to make a ‘art mess’ at their own homes.   Others had to ‘clean rooms’ or complete homework before they were allowed ‘art time’.    The time to create art was used as a carrot,  part of the reward/punishment parent nagging ritual,   which made me feel used  and the paints were put away.

Recently,   I cleaned out  and organised the  goodies in the art cabinet,  took a stock take and went to the Art Store to purchase  more.  Now I have 3 easels,  two drawing boards,  new  Chroma Interactive Acrylics, oils,  gouache paint  plus 10 or so new canvases.    I have been dreaming of converting  the games room into an art studio,  by moving in the paper storage cabinet,  (cutting table) easels,   screens and moving out  the pool table.   Can you believe that a  hole in the  floor was fixed  and the carpenter left a 5m x 1m  piece of flooring,  downstairs …. is  it  my  fabric  printing table?

I have a started a painting/drawing blog called The Drawing Room.  Please come and check on my progress,  I have been doing a little bit drawing lately and hope  to get out and do some painting of the sea and rock pools here at Avoca Beach where I live.





Sorry, I  have been neglecting my blog lately,  but not my machines,    which have just had their annual service and are back home and ready to go.   I put a lot of time and thought into planning  how to plan my SWAP 2016,   more so then in previous years and at the moment  I am a bit in limbo;  not wanting to get into anything major,  saving all my sewing mojo  for the post Xmas SWAP start….

However,  I have been having  fun sewing a few knit summer dresses which  I like to wear to the beach or out for a casual meal.  Most of the patterns I have used previously,  and they only take an afternoon to cut and sew.

Here is a Burda 7646 made from a  heavy drape-y crepe  purchased from Spotlight .  Its part of the   Grey and Red travel wardrobe that I took to the US, Cuba and Mexico.   I ran a piece of elastic about 6cm  below the waist so that I could blouse it over.  Easy and comfortable.

Behind me in the Featured image hanging over the railing is a navy and white striped  T-shirt dress.  Striped T-shirt dresses are very popular at the moment here in Aust.  I used Burda 7970,  Cutting a large triangle of fabric to insert into the side seam for a bit of fun.


The last dress I want to blog about is another Burda 7970 made with sleeves, and  self fabric neck band.   The same heavy drape-y crepe fabric is used agin.    I cut this one longer,  adding 14 inches to the hem and leaving  a split in the left hand side measuring 19inches.   I placed it on the floor to photo and Lucy thinking she is a cat laid down on it,  she has just been at the beach and is still wet….Promise to show me wearing it soon with a navy hip tie.

Hope the  lead up to Xmas is stress free and you find  time to sew…something fabulous for the holidays.



Flexible SWAP Rules

My first SWAP ideas….random…confusing…..

how I felt when I read the initial  RULES  at Artisan Square.

I was confused about the colour(s) part:
1 “3 pack” of Color(s) A (3 garments)
1 “3 pack” of Color(s) B (3 garments)
1 “Combo Pack” of Colors A & B (2 garments)
1 “3 pack” of Wild Cards

After a bit of debate  Tina asked:  “Does this simplify things?:”

“The first 3 pak all works together.
The second 3 pak all works together.
The two piece combo pack works with both of the 3 packs.
The 3 wildcards should work with and/or coordinate with some of the above, but don’t have to work with everything.”

…….and the answer was YES.  

I always get myself into trouble selecting too many colours/patterns and ideas so  this  year I am concentrating on:

  •  all items must work together,
  • be classic,
  • natural fibres
  • creative use of fabric/pattern

To achieve this I will try  to:

  •  Look at the big picture,
  • Limit colours to grey and cream neutrals adding  light blue as an accent.
  • Concentrate on proportion.
  • leave pattern selection to last

These are my fabric choices ideas  the 3x packs.

  1. Pack .   Slim grey pants,  long cream shirt/tunic;  topped off with   reversible cream/grey jacket.
  2. Pack .  Slim black pants, long grey ‘watery’ look shirt and knee length black jacket with leather trim.
  3. Pack .  (Wildcard)  Slim, short grey skirt;   cream,  grey, blue and black shirt with a short textured jacket.
  4. Combo pack.  Light blue wool duffel coat with leather details;  and a long grey zipped cardigan that doubles as a dress.

At the moment I am confident about my plan….but it is still only an idea…..I will need to sew up a ‘storm’.

Do you think I have too many jackets and will run out of time?   or the colour scheme is a little dull?

Any thoughts?