jacket shell resized

Making use of time off work…

Vogue jacket resized Well I have used my stress leave to make the jacket I had been planning for some time and here it is :)

I had a few issues with the make and considering I have already made this once before (when I had very few sewing skills), I was surprised by the problems. In retrospect, I think I have just become a lot more fastidious and demanding of myself, back then I was happy if I managed to make something to wear!

I used the bright orange corduroy for the shell and some hot pink acetate for the lining, the combination is warm to wear and look at (perfect for me as I do feel the cold and loathe winter).

jacket shell resized Here is the shell on my bed, sorry about the fussy background.

The issues I had were with the lining. The pattern is not lined and this is where I made a few mistakes, I had a lot of unpicking and a lot of handsewing to make the lining sit well and the jacket to hang satisfactorily.

the guts resized You can’t really see it here, but the lining is not bagged. I cut it a little short and when I bagged it, the shell was pulled up horribly.

label resized  embroidery resized  embroidery 2 resized

Instead, I attached the lining at strategic points with embroidery and after overlocking the edge, I turned it up and secured the hem with french knots in embroidery floss. I used to do a lot of embroidery and I think I was pretty good back then, it is quite deflating seeing one’s skills deteriorate over time when not performing the skill. The stitching is pretty average and the vision I had for something spectacular and sumptuous went out the window…plus, tbh I became a bit bored. The acetate is frankly pretty awful to do fine stitching on, although I know that is no excuse.

All-in-all, I love this jacket. As a relatively short woman, it doesn’t engulf me and the fabric choices are perfect for our mild Perth winters. I love colour and I think this ensemble looks very nice and perfect for me!

full outfit resized




Life is hectic

…yes, I know it is for everyone and some people manage to blog very regularly, but when I am snowed-under my blog takes a back seat.

Anyway, I have succumbed to the pressures of working with a person who is making the office hell and I am now on stress leave. It feels pretty uncomfortable actually, but we have been dealing with this person for 3 1/2 years and really, it is getting no better. My family are sick of it, I am sick of it and my other work colleagues are sick of it…so, yesterday I had a meltdown (my first ever, unlike the person who caused it who regularly has them), I went home sick and now my doctor has given me some time off to recuperate and gather my thoughts. I have been told by the Occupational Safety and Health person to do stuff I like and not think about work (I am finding that very difficult), so to that end, my daughter and I went to see Dior and I!  MV5BOTAzMDE4MzMzNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjE4MzM2NDE@._V1_SX214_AL_ I smiled from the first frames to the final credits, it was so enjoyable and really made me hunger to get home and do some seriously gorgeous sewing!

My next project will be this Vogue jacket Vogue jacket I have already made it once in soft blue wool felt and it is one of my favourite winter warmers, I love the look of swing coats and the raglan sleeves makes this one come together easily. This time I am making it in a dark orange (tangelo?) pinwale (how do you spell that?!) cord. Winter is my least enjoyed season, so I like to brighten things up a bit, too much dark and dreary worn during the colder months around here. corduroy The collar on the blue jacket gave me a bit of gip, so I will be utilising this info collar help from this sewing bible sewing bible to get me to a result I’m happy with. This book was recommended to me by my most recent sewing teacher and it is a beauty, a well-loved classic and I’m sure there are a lot of you seamstresses out there who have it on your sewing room shelves :)

Other sewing I have done recently are some loose covers for a sofa and miners couch that were getting a bit sad…sofa cover  miners couch cover

The fabric is an upholstery-weight cotton from Ikea, a really bright red which lifts our family room and gives it a bit of a boho feel, I am enjoying the colours.

I am also awaiting the birth of a niece or nephew in June and am very, very excited :) I have two nephews already, but they both live about 4000km away and we see them only very rarely, this one will be the first home-grown Perth baby for 17 years. Because the baby will be born in winter, I have opted for flannelette and have made a sleeping bag sleeping bag in non-gender-specific colours, the remnants were made into a pair of pyjamas for a teddy we are giving the baby when he/she appears teddy 'jamas  ted and bag .

And lastly, tomorrow, my daughter and I are taking our dog to meet another rescue dog. Hopefully they get along, as we are hoping to adopt the new boy and bring him home as a new member of our extended family. Our boy has really missed his old pal Ziggy (our Bichon) who died a couple of years ago and we are hoping a new friend will bring him companionship and reduce his anxiety around the house. Astro is a gorgeous but slightly ratty middle-aged poodle  IMG_0005who has brought so much to the family (despite his foibles!) and it will be nice to see him playing again :)







Urban Art- found the missing post !

I have been in a fug lately, with little energy to do any more than the absolute necessities of life. Still, my daughter recently requested a companion to go with her to that Art Gallery and so I went. Whilst walking home, we came upon these fabulous paintings in a back alley, love it!







The last pic refers to a time of thriving clothing manufacturing, sadly gone now, but there are still garment wholesalers in this little pocket of the city.


The mojo is back…

I have been in a fug lately. Negative thoughts and emotions have played havoc with my personal, professional and emotional life. Thankgoodness I have good friends and a love who is supportive.

I tried posting on my smartphone and it didn’t work, which just confirmed my negativity about the world.

But… I am emerging (somewhat slowly) and this weekend actually found a bit of my old mojo had returned :)

I decided to start small, I had a few pieces of jewellery which needed mending, earrings, a ring and a necklace, all of which had been shoved aside in multiple pieces. I don’t have a pic of the ring, but it is a lovely piece of paua shell stuck onto a ring base, well the two things had been detached from each other, so it was a simple case of “Supa glue where are you?”- easily fixed.

The earrings too, were a simple fix, just a pair of jewller’s pliers put everything back where they should be. I then got a bit motivated and made myself a pair of silver and freshwater pearl drops, I felt a bit pleased with them

P1030705 P1030704 The next job was to restring a set of malachite beads I had bought in Florence in 1986. I love these and I have missed wearing them for over a year. Anyway, the holes in the malachite are very small and restringing them was proving to be a headache, so I reverted to beading wire and am pretty happy with the end result, lots of lovely green for me!

Well, once I got going you couldn’t stop me.

A couple of weeks ago, I fulfilled one of my daughter’s dreams, by buying her favourite top from her favourite shop. It was half price at $60, more than enough in my mind. It is a one-shoulder knot top in thick blue linen (no pic sorry) and I liked it so much I thought I would make one for myself. I made a toile to start with, as the knot is just tied in one piece of material and guesstimating the length was a bit problematic. The toile ended up being a bit tight, so I added 2cm to the long straight seam and voila- perfect!

P1030709  I made it in a beautiful linen bought as a remnant piece from Potters for $17, the fabric behaved very well and sewed-up without difficulty.

P1030706  P1030707  P1030716  P1030711  P1030715

I will be wearing it my brother’s graduation from Police Training Academy. At the ripe, old age of 43, he has had a career change (from environmental scientist and teacher) and will become a brand-new father in June; it is a very exciting year for him :)

A letter to Tom (the agonies of adolescent romance)

Dear Tom, You are a dear, sweet young man. I know you find C irresistible and you want to be her boyfriend. You have only ever been respectful and generous to her and I am very grateful. I am worried for you though Tom. You see, she doesn’t feel that way about you, she only wants to be friends and she is finding your attention more irritating than anything else. When this happens, I see her being short-tempered with you and I feel sad. Let me tell you a story, it’s a story of me at your age (hard to imagine I know!): When I was 17, I was in love and obsessed with my first boyfriend. There was another lad who waited patiently for things to change (and they did, I was dumped!). The only thing is, things didn’t change between him and me. I didn’t want him and the more he waited, then pursued, the more I didn’t want him. He too, was a lovely, sweet young man, but he wasn’t for me and I am dismayed to say that I abused his friendship and was not very nice to him. C knows this story and she knows that I think her behaviour towards you very similar. Tom, you can’t make someone want you, C will be a loyal friend if you let her. I think you are grand and I hope that you find a girl who likes you as much as you like C, but that girl isn’t C and I think you both deserve to be happier than you are at the moment.

An update…

Dear Tom,

You are a gentleman, thankyou for being so gallant with my daughter. You recognised something was amiss and you gave her an opportunity to be gracious herself. She lacked the courage to be upfront with you initially, but your openness allowed her to express herself without being nasty.

Thankyou for accepting that friendship will be enough, I know you wanted more.

You are a credit to your parents, they should be very proud of you xxx

wallet named

The end of the holidays

Today is the last day of my two week holiday.

I have totally chilled at times, cleaned the house like a whirling dervish, done odd jobs for my Mum (I had forgotten how much fun it is to scoot over a tiled roof cleaning gutters!), driven an unairconditioned car in 38 degrees (Celsius) for 4 1/2 hours (truly awful I can tell you), shopped and lazed; and now, it has come to an end.

School starts back on Tuesday, it is my daughter’s final year and will be a stress-filled one for her (university entrance exams at the end), but she needs to get through her induction assembly (she is a House Arts Captain) and the School Ball on Friday evening…phew, my heart is racing.

So today, I have been a bit lazy, I wagged church and instead, watched The English Patient this morning, played a bit of Sudoku and generally was quite chilled, all I needed was a Nana Nap this afternoon to get over the 0345 pickup this morning of our son from a 21st birthday party (he was decidedly the worse for wear). I didn’t get the nap, instead I did this…


I know it’s a bit rough, but it is my first ever attempt at sewing leather and I am pleased with the result :)wallet outside

wallet backwallet openwallet named

You may recognise the lining as the silk brocade with which I edged a black coat last year on a Sunday afternoon (here https://jennquick.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/the-boredom-of-black/).

My Pfaff barely noticed the 4 layers of leather and 2 layers of silk that I ended up sewing and I was grateful for the IDT (built-in walking foot) as it fed the leather through without any “stickiness” to the footplate.

The internal pockets are unlined leather as I wanted some “grip” on banknotes and my mobile ‘phone.

Not bad for an hour’s work and $15 in materials!

Small Green Marble


We all have them, little reminders of important, whimsical times in a life.

Originally posted on Storyshucker:

A massive purse sat propped open in her lap as I approached. From the seat beside her she moved a small pack of tissues, two pens, and a broken pencil to make room for me. I took my seat and gasped as something jabbed me in the left buttock.

“I think you forgot this.” I said, handing her the bristled end of a broken hair brush.

“Sorry!” she shook her head apologetically. “I wanted to clean out this old purse on the ride to work and I have thrown things everywhere.”

The bus continued its route while she continued her cleaning. She shuffled through hand-written notes, balled up scraps of paper, and checked and rechecked zippered compartments in the giant purse.

“Well look at this.” she said as she held up a small green marble. “I found it in the yard one day when I left the house and forgot…

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