BurdaStyle Book – Behind the Scenes Scoop

Oh, I love sneak peaks! BurdaStyle are sharing a bit more info about the secret book project. Click through to the article and take a look at the behind the scenes photo album…I swear in photo 7 the black bag with the small circle of purple peaking through the window…that’s got to be mine! If I squint extra hard I can see a french seam and maybe my name on that label…ok, maybe not my name, but that is definitely a french seam, I am convinced. I can hardly wait! :)

Happy 1st Birthday BSC Perth!

This month our Perth BurdaStyle Sewing Club celebrates 1 year of socially sewing together. It’s been a really fun year and we have gotten up to a lot of mischief and fun and made a whole pile of wonderful new friends. Sandra and I had no idea how big this club would eventually get and new members are contacting us all the time. Perth is full of talented sewers and I feel our ‘little’ club has plugged a large gap in the social sewing group scene.

The next 12 months are planned to be just as exciting with as many fresh new ideas as we have members! First up in September we have a thrift store challenge and then we’ll be getting into Christmas mode with a few fun stocking-stuffer sew-alongs. If you’ve heard of us and been a  bit shy, or reading about us for the first time you are more than welcome to come along and meet us. Why don’t you pop on over to our ning site to request membership (we have to control the spammers, but you’ll get approved almost instantly) then you can see what we’ve been up to over the last year and jump right in and participate. You’ll get invites to new meets and enjoy all the fun that our social sewing group has to offer, I promise you’ll enjoy yourself, get excellent sewing help and be inspired to sew more. We look forward to meeting you soon xx

Here are a few pics from our fun day:

We had presents (secret Santa style)

We had cake complete with miniature bunting

Plenty of tasty food and drink

And here is everyone who was able to attend

(front to back, left to right):

Debra, Sarah, Cherie, Sandi, Elizabeth, Carolyn

Melissa, Jacquie, Gill, Kate, Sandra

Vanessa, Kadi & Libby

Give a designer some carpet tiles and a mannequin…

While at Saturday in Design I was invited to a cocktail function in the evening at Zambesi where InterfaceFLOR had set up their entry for the SiD competition called THE PROJECT. Designers, architects and participating showrooms collaborate to enter and this years keyword was MOTION. The InterfaceFLOR entry was called Dekonstrukt/Rekonstrukt. Designers were encouraged to dekonstrukt then rekonstrukt InterfaceFLOR carpet materials into unique art installations. I use a lot of InterfaceFLOR product in my jobs and they are always keen to push how designers think about the flooring and the floor (The 5th Wall) and support any crazy design idea I might have. Their entry was really inline with their company thinking and I loved all the different “emotions” each designer produced. I took a few photos to share because as you will see they are quite relevant.

FYI: InterfaceFLOR won the competition. See more entires, extra photos, entrants names and general infomation on InterfaceFLORs The 5th Wall Blog.

Melbourne – Fabric Mecca for the Curious Kiwi

So as I previously mentioned I was lucky enough to go to Melbourne for a work event called Saturday in Design and while I was there I snuck in an extra couple of days to hit the fabric shop pavements and I was far from  disappointed.

(click any images for larger view)

First up on Friday I hit the Nicholas building since it was right near my hotel. Buttonmania came first, then Lucciello.  Buttonmania is a very small store stuffed full of fabulous buttons and belt buckles and I came away with some really beautiful finds, I would have gotten more but I had trouble seeing what I wanted and I felt a little rushed , plus I wasn’t allowed behind the counter for a closer look which was disappointing. Luccello is another amazing store, hard to explain but great for vintage lovers. Check out this Tessuti blog post for some great pictures. They have some super cute buttons on vintage reproduction cards and sewing supplies as well as neat little sewing gift packs perfect for presents. I grabbed some cute fat quarters and left it at that, pacing myself for some serious fabric splurging.

Buttonmania
Level 2 – The Nicholas Building
37 Swanston Street, Melbourne
(03) 9650 3627
kate.boulton@internode.on.net
http://www.buttonmania.com.au/
MON-FRI 9am-5pm & SAT 10am-3pm

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Luccello
Level 2 – The Nicholas Building
205/37 Swanston Street
Melbourne
(03) 9639 0088
info@luccello.com.au
http://www.luccello.blogspot.com/
Thursday & Friday 10 – 6
Saturday 10 – 4

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Later in the day I shifted into super organised mode, grabbed my little google map in hand and marched straight to Tessuti’s first because after my visits to two of their Sydney shops last year I had to see their newest addition and I was also hoping to be able to say hi to Nichola in person (which I did, “hi” again).

Tessuti Melbourne
Upper Ground Floor,
141 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
(03) 9654 4566
fabrics@tessuti.com.au
http://www.tessuti.com.au/
Monday – Friday: 10.00am – 5.30pm
Saturday: 10.00am – 5.00pm
Sunday: Closed

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This was my warm up, it always takes me a bit to get into fabric shopping, especially when I am purely stash shopping with no particular pattern in mind but I knew I would find something great at Tessuti’s. So I came away with two beautiful Japanese cotton prints, both quite similar in print but completely different colours. I love the big flowers and I got 2 meters since they are both only 100/112cm wide, I had in mind skirts but now I think I might possibly even be able to squeeze a dress out of one of them.

Next I marched my way up Brunswick street (because I couldn’t work out how to catch a tram) it didn’t seem far at the time while snapped my head back and forth observing all the amazing buildings. The walk back however was a different story and my little toes screamed for a rest but I had an appointment with a Brunetti’s hot chocolate so on I went with my big bags full of fabric…it was a heavy burden but I was prepared to carry it. Actually let me rephrase that, I know how to catch a tram and I am far from allergic to public transport, I just wasn’t sure how to pay (I worked it out later on) but that wasn’t going to stop me from getting to my next destination, The Fabric Store. What’s that on the window? A sale sign? 30% & 50% off? I walked inside with the biggest smile I must have looked like a woman possessed. They had a great selection of wools and beautiful suiting, well worth the walk.

The Fabric Store
184 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy, Melbourne
(03) 9416 4455
melbourne@thefabricstore.com.au
http://www.thefabricstore.com.au/
Monday – Friday: 10am – 6pm
Saturday – Sunday: 10am – 4pm

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First up the black 100% wool (you might not be able to see it the photo) it’s quite a chunky knit with little pulls that add texture, this fabric was purchased with a pattern in mind, the Lady Grey coat by Colette Patterns, and it was 50% off. The striped suiting will either become a blazer jacket or a work-style dress, I almost went back for more because I couldn’t decide what to make with it, this I will meditate on. The other two fabrics are 100% NZ merino and since I have never seen that before in a fabric store in Perth I grabbed them. The black is solid in colour while the grey has really nice shots of lighter grey and white through it, lovely.

My final stop was unintended but I am so glad I went there anyway. I had Clegs on my list but read on a random sewing forum that it wasn’t really worth the visit. On Saturday afternoon, with feet screaming from all the walking I had done I was on my way back to the hotel when my work colleague rang me and told me there was a fabric store right around the corner with 20% off sale signs in the window. So I walked on past the hotel entrance with it’s comfy couches beckoning and around the corner to what turned out to be Clegs. The window display was enough to encourage me inside and I found some more amazing fabrics at great prices however unable to think through the pain I left and returned on the Sunday (ahh Sunday shopping, I love thee). With three bolts in my arms I was served by a wonderful young lady with green and black hair who carried my fabric to a spare counter to cut while we had a wonderful random conversation about all sorts of crazy topics. Cleg’s fabric range was great and the service was excellent. I didn’t have to carry my bolts, my fabric was cut very carefully and folded inside out into perfectly equal sized rectangles and I got myself a nice Clegs bag for free, I had the best Sunday :)

Clegs
60 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
(03) 9654 7677
clegs@clegs.com.au
http://clegs.clegs.com.au/index.htm
Monday-Thursday 8:30am – 6:00pm, Friday 8:30am – 8:00pm
Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm, Sunday 11:00am – 5:00pm

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This new season linen is perfect from spring and feels so nice plus I love the print, it will probably become a Colette dress but I am not sure which one yet. The black and white swirly print is a nice knit jersey, it has a good stretch and weight. And finally the silk Georgette print with silk contrast in peach will most likely become this Patrones blouse pattern.

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Obviously my store choices were limited to in the CBD but I am sure there are many other great fabric stores in the outer suburbs, please feel free comment and suggest any other great stores you have visited.

I always try to buy atleast one piece of fabric when I travel, I think fabric makes a great souvenir and I  remember each trip fondly when I wear the items I have made.

Patrones 294 (July 2010)

You may remember I was quite excited about this month’s Patrones issue, “ohhh, bikinis!” I said. Well there are a few in here that are good and a few other nice items but its not my favourite issue, still, not bad and considering my Burda is late again this month I am happy to flick through it for now.

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First up, a long flowy top over trousers that is very holiday, I can see myself beside the pool right now, sipping my cocktail…ahh maybe one day

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I love this dress and I am sure I shouldn’t but it’s nautical without making me feel sea sick and I’ve been eyeing up white dresses recently (wedding and other), it’s also a bit tennis too don’t you think? A cute shape.

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I put this one in because currently I am planning a bit of a thrift store challenge for my BSC and while they provide a full pattern it would be just as easy to convert a new or thrifty men’s shirt find into this little cutie, great for the beach, or to pop on over the bikinis below.

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I’m not ready to wear this yet but it doesn’t stop me from liking it…a lot. Love the stripy fabric and the tummy coverage, very nice.

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For the more adventurous this halter bikini looks nice and simple for the beginner sewer too.

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A collection of floaty kaftans round out this months beach wear. After my BurdaStyle blouse project I am much more confidant to tackle the sheers and I have seen some wonderful prints in the stores recently that I might just have to pick up.

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Next month is Fall, and promises, “blazers and jackets of all kinds, original clothing designs(?), a wide range of party dresses” nice, looking forward…

La Mia Boutique XXV No. 7 (July 2010)

Argh, LMB why do you do this to me? You know this is my second to last magazine in my subscription and that in my last post I berated you for not being quite me and I vowed to end our turbulent relationship but then you go and do this?! It’s not fair :(

There are actaully quite a few items I love in this issue, hence my frustration, now I can’t decide if I should end my subscription or not…

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First up a cute cardy over an even cuter pleated dress, very comfy looking and oh so spring. I love the length, the lace and the colours are great too and I just purchased some yummy 100% Pure NZ Merino which would be perfect for the cardy.

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Next the bolero/cropped jacket keeps haunting me and this one is extra cute, look at the sleeve detail and the collar is perfect, it’s bumped up the list.

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This dress doesn’t look like much with the bad fit and drab colour combo, a bit safari for me but I can see the potential (wow, I am getting good at this, see how hard I am trying?) The high waist is nice with the chunky belt.

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This dress has great lines, look closer at the line drawing. I usually don’t much care for that style hem but it looks much more relaxed on the model so this is what I would aim for, I don’t do puffy.

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Here’s a sneak peak at next month and it doesn’t inspire me at all, my struggle with LMB continues.

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And for a laugh here’s a little wff? moment for you…mmm, flattering!

If you want to see a different take on this issue why not check out Fehr Trade and see the items Melissa picked out instead.

BurdaStyle Feature Member!

So I have been away in Melbourne the last few days for an architecture & design industry event called Saturday in Design. It occurs ever year at the end of July/start of August alternating between Sydney & Melbourne. This year I managed to add a few days either side to do a little looking around & of course shopping. I came home with a very full suitcase, most of it FABRIC! :) I found some great stores and I will post some photos and more about each shop in the next day or so.

I didn’t manage to get online at all while away so it was a nice surprise to return and find I have been the feature member on the burdastyle.com! Here is the link to my interview and I also post it in full here:

1. Where are you from and/or where do you live?
I was born and grew up in Wellington, New Zealand and moved to Perth, Western Australia about 6 years ago with my partner. Wellington is a super creative city and you can’t help but become a creative person just by living there, the influences are everywhere.

2. What was the 1st thing you made? How did you start sewing?

I remember my Mum had this amazing scrap bag that she let my sister and I cut up and hand sew to make clothing for our Barbies and Cabbage Patch dolls. That bag represents so many wonderful early sewing memories for me that now I have my own scrap bag which is full of off-cuts from some of my favourite pieces and I even bought myself a collector Barbie doll so that I can get back to my sewing roots and make her a few items from those special scraps just for fun.

All my early sewing knowledge came from my Mum, when I was old enough she taught me how to use her Globe sewing machine (which still chugs along to this day). She taught me all the important basics like inserting the bobbin, holding the threads when you start sewing, reversing at the end and her most important rule: only turn the hand wheel the correct way! I really enjoyed sewing on that robust little machine, it was so forgiving and made me very picky when it came time for me to invest in my first machine. I really value everything my Mum taught me and her foresight to nurture my early interest in sewing.

3. What role does sewing play in your life?
Sewing is purely my hobby. I work in a creative industry where I dream and create things for other people so sewing is my own personal “out” to be creative just for me. I think everyone needs their own “out”, something that makes them really happy that they can grab during times of stress or to pamper themselves.I have always been a creative person and sewing gives me a great sense of satisfaction to create something from a flat piece of fabric into a complete garment or outfit that I can wear and when someone asks where I bought it from I just smile. When I first moved to Perth I left my sewing machine behind and a couple of years without it made me realise I really missed it. I was so happy when my Mum came to visit and bought my machine with her, my trusty Elna survived a trip across the Tasman packed into her suitcase and when I plugged it in it was like I had never left it behind.

4. What is your favorite and what is your least favorite thing about sewing?
Just recently I have become much more interested in construction, how the flat fabric becomes the final shape. I’ve always loved pulling things apart to see how they work and now I apply it to my sewing, I can now focus more on understanding exactly what impact each cut or stitch has on the final shape and I am really enjoying the added insight. I also love going into a shop and seeing something amazing and turning it inside out to work out how they did it.

My least favourite thing is button holes and I’m not really sure why, they freak me out a little and every time I start one my heart beats a little faster and my hands take on a slight shake. I think it’s because they are so permanent. My machine usually does a really good job of button holes but every now and again I’ll forget to pull down the guide or reset in-between each one or my machine decides it just doesn’t want to cooperate today. There’s a tiny moment before you know the machine is supposed to turn around and when it doesn’t…I grab my unpicker, unpicking button holes is the worst.

5. If you could make something for anyone who would it be and what would you make?
Wow, this is a really hard question. I am getting married next year in January and I will attempt to make my own Wedding dress. I really wish I could make my Mum a dress too but it is very hard to do that while being in a different country and I know she has fitting issues I could only address with several fittings in person. I think one day when I return home I will definitely make her something really special that she can wear out, to thank her for all the encouragement that lead me to a hobby that makes me so happy.

6. What are you looking for on our site? What do you think should be improved and what do you really like?
At first I just began using BurdaStyle for the free patterns and member inspiration, then I became more and more active, I posted my projects and enjoyed the encouraging comments and now I have made so many friends all over the world with different skills. I think combined with picking my sewing back up I feel the whole site has been just another wonderfully useful sewing tool in my toolbox.

The BurdaStyle Sewing Clubs have been the most amazing thing so far, I started our Perth Club with Sandra (sewanista) and it has been so successful beyond anything we imagined. Connecting with like-minded girls and socially sewing together has added an entirely new dimension to my hobby. I’ve made some really amazing friends and I go home from every meeting enthusiastic and inspired and I just sew, sew, sew. I can’t wait until the next meet and I tell everyone I can to get involved because they won’t regret it.

I think the site is going really well and the team has done an amazing job with their limited resources even in the face of the recent hurdles, I really enjoy how the site works, I can post my projects and interact with other members. I do think the site could benefit from a ‘Work In Progress’ section/tab, I know I would use that and enjoy following other members projects through to completion. It could also be really handy for members to ask for advice at various stages of their project. The Discussions section (especially with the recent huge influx of new members) really needs some serious work, it doesn’t function well as is and I think the team should invest in a proven forum software like vBulletin because I really believe our forum has the potential to be so much more than what it currently is. If it were more user friendly and less buggy it could grow to be such an amazing resource for us all to take advantage of and I think more members would use it to not only ask for advice but to give advice too.

7. What is your motto?
I think it’s important to always take some time for you to enjoy life, do something just for you and there is no shame in giving yourself a little pat on the back every now and again.

Kaitui_kiwi has been on the site for a while now, she has amazing creations and can be seen commenting all over the place! Check out what inspires her in her top ten favorite creations. Visit her blog to find out more about her or meet her in person (if you’re in Australia) at the Perth BurdaStyle Sewing Club!

If you aren’t on the BurdaStyle site I strongly encourage you to check it out and join up. There you can share your sewing projects and get inspiration from all the wonderful member creations. You’ll also find an amazing and helpful community, make new local & international friends and maybe even find a sewing club near where you live so off you go and check it out, chop chop! :)