Wonderfully Creative Wellington ♥

Tucked down in the bottom corner of the globe sit two islands inventively named ‘North’ and ‘South’ which make up New Zealand. Don’t let the simple names fool you, New Zealand is a country rich in culture, creativity and immense beauty.

I am biased of course. For those of you who are new around here I currently live in Perth, Western Australia but originally come from Wellington.

Wellington is the creative capital (and the actual capital) of New Zealand and I love my city. That’s where I am right now, organising the final preparations for my wedding and enjoying spending time with my family and friends. While I enjoy living in Perth it isn’t home and in the near future (we’re talking a couple of years away) I hope to return to New Zealand. I have mixed emotions about the shift, I know it’s going to be quite stressful and emotional and I’ve made so many wonderful friends in Perth. But home is where the heart is and my heart never really left Wellington. An added bonus (if I do end up in Wellington) is that there is not yet a Burda Style Sewing Club set up there and I am more than happy to put my effort into starting another one of those and slip right back into Wellington’s cultural heartbeat.

Righty oh, enough ‘ifs’ and ‘whens’, on to some sewing: After a busy first week I took a half day off as a reward and did a little recon of some fabric stores. Perth does OK in terms of fabric shopping* (they do pretty well actually, but you know, ‘the grass is always greener’ and all that) and I’ve done the Melbourne CBD rounds so I thought I’d see how Wellington stacks up in a little trans-Tasman Battle of the Fabric Stores.

(*I’ll do a post on Perth shops when I get back on 2011)

You might be surprised at how limited my Wellington fabric shopping knowledge is but I’ve been away for 6 years and previously I experienced the streets of Wellington as a poor design student so for this trip home I am enjoying looking through very different eyes.

In my crappy little Toyota Echo/Yaris hire car first up I gunned it out of Lower Hutt:

Morelands Fabric Outlet/Fabric Barn Lower Hutt


195 High Street,
Lower Hutt

Map

I’ve never been to this shop ever, I don’t even know if it existed in my Wellington sewing days but it’s a nice sized shop with some interesting fabrics of reasonable quality although a bit lacking in the labelling department. Down the back I found discounted wools (some really nice weaves) and some cute printed flannelette, obviously winter stock they want to move on for Summer, but the entire store was also on sale with 50% off all fabrics and trims. Speaking of trims there was a nice little selection of them too. Don’t let my lack of purchase put you off, I am trying to keep a firm handle on my fabric shopping until I use up some of my stash in 2011. This shop is definitely worth a drive out to see with plenty of free 2 hour street parking (but please check the signs).

The Fabric Warehouse


25 Hutt Road
Pipitea 6035
Wellington
04 473 8150

Map

Now I know this store has been around a while and I made a couple of purchases during my visit last year. If I return to Wellington this store will definitely be one of my regulars and a favourite along with Global Fabrics (see below). The parking is limited and getting back out onto the main road is a bit of a headache at the wrong time of day but their fabric selection is impressive, all well labelled and of excellent quality. When I was there last year they were having a secret 2 day only sale so I’ll have to work out how to get on that mailing list! I let my guard down and came away with a beautiful 100% printed silk, 2 meters will either make a nice dress or skirt and something else. There were plenty of other fabrics that I’d have happily splurged on (and may go back for) but I had one more stop in mind to finish off my afternoon.

Global Fabrics


15 Garrett Street
Te Aro 6011
Wellington
04 801 8887
Mon-Thurs 10am-5pm, Fri 10am-5:30pm, Sat & Sun 10am-4:30pm

http://www.globalfabrics.co.nz/

Map

When I got back from my Melbourne trip and started writing a blog post about their shops I visited the Fabric Stores website and was really excited to see they had links to their NZ stores which are known as Global Fabrics. So this was my first visit to this store and on first impressions as I parked outside it didn’t look very big but inside the store is actually a ‘u’ shape which hugs a coffee shop that you can access from the fabric store. Wellingtonians love their coffee. This shop is on par and perhaps even slightly better than their Melbourne counterpart. With two whole tables devoted to NZ Merino wools and a small selection of beautifully printed swimsuit lycra the staff are friendly and knowledgable and all the fabrics (of which there are plenty) are well labelled and beautifully laid out. I accidentally bought 1.5m of a really cute lycra which was labelled as Zimmerman and a stripped knit just because…and another visit is probably on the cards aswell ;)

Accidental fabric purchases: 100% silk, striped knit and 'Zimmerman' lycra

There are a couple of other stores I didn’t get to but I’ll be sure to catch those next time I am out and about and needing a fabric hit, keep your eyes open for another post.

UPDATE: Check out part two of this post here.

A little reminiscing

I thought I’d share with you something quite special to me. This is my Mum’s sewing machine, it’s a Globe Cub 3.

Globe Cub 3

This is the machine on which I learnt to sew at a very young age and continued to sew with until I bought my Elna.

All tucked away

My Mum has had this little baby for quite some time. Its body is all metal and very heavy and she still has the original foot and instruction booklet.

Check out its awesome carrying case and I haven’t even mentioned the retro orange and cream colour scheme yet!

So retro, doesn’t it make you smile?

Still in perfect working order with all the accessories I’ve made her promise me she’ll never part with it. I know it’s not the oldest machine and it’s got nothing on my trusty Elna but I’ll always have a place in my sewing heart for it.

Notice the lack of free arm? But you get a little fold out shelf

Thank you for permitting me a little nostalgia, back to your own machines now, off you go :)

By hokey it’s in the bag Mr. Toogood*

It is done!

Dee Ohh Enn Eee

DONE

This is how my night ended last night, into the bag, not to be looked at again until the other side of the Tasman Ocean, and it feels pretty good :)

Now you see her, now you don't!

(Apologies for the poor photo colours, it was night-time and my camera didn’t like all white followed by all black)

I was going to post a picture of my petticoat as well. It’s more of a cross between a petticoat and a hoop skirt (I think it is also known as a crinoline?) but I can’t find the photos on my thumb drive so I must have forgotten to copy them. I will post about it later so for now this is the last dress update until the big day. Hopefully in the next week or two I can share with you some great NZ fabric shops and a little bit about my wonderfully creative home town, Wellington.

*Obscure NZ reference, well done if you got it.

Burda December 2010 Mash-Up

I’m just not feeling it with this month’s Burda. I’m not sure if it is because my sewing brain is elsewhere at the moment and I can’t focus or if there really is so little in this magazine that appeals to me…hrmmm…maybe when I pick it up again nearer to Winter I’ll see a few more but for now here is my sparse looking selection:

Burda December 2010

Patrones 298 Mash-Up

Patrones 298

Patrones 298 (November 2010)

Ok, so I am prepared to forgive RBA for my last issue of Patrones arriving so late. How can I stay mad at them when my 298 Joven issue arrived today? A full week earlier than expected AND it has beaten my December Burda which usually arrives in the first week of the month. Now I am not a superstitious person but surely this is a sign from The Great Sewing Goddess who lives in that big (and well stocked) fabric store in the sky that it is going to be a great month ;)

.Let’s get started then…

What a great issue! (How often do I write that when talking about Patrones? Heaps I know, but it’s so true!) This simple jacket with chunky belt over the shift dress/tunic is really chic and a little bit edgy, great simple fabric choices.

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A cute little vest in sequins, I really really need to make a vest of two, I think a couple of them will be my first projects for 2011, so versatile.

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I think this check shirt is really cute. I know I would have shied away from this fabric if I’d seen it in the shop but the fit and details on the bib and sleeves really make it. A recent blouse I made from LMB had similar super long darts front and back and it fits me like a dream so this is a blouse I am keen to try.

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This is another great combo outfit and a really nice use of fabrics, the blouse has a bit of girly in the ruffles and lace but then the shorts balance the whole look. Not sold on the blouse sleeves poking out of the shorter bolero sleeves though.

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I’m not really sure if I would wear this but I do like it. It looks cute and comfy, a relaxing outfit for a Sunday afternoon picnic and another nice fabric choice (must be braver, must be braver!).

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Patrones must have been listening when I said I wasn’t too sure about slim leg pants so in this issue they have some wide leg ones for me, very nice and another vest to complete the outfit. I could get away with wearing this to work on those days when I still want to look professional but feel casual.

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Next month (which is this month) will be a “classy winter” issue (not so good for me since it will arrive in January, our hottest time of year) with “lots of special coats” and “warm clothes following the best trends” and (this sounds exciting) “super stylish plus sized” patterns.

 

Ok, so I am prepared to forgive RBA for my last issue of Patrones arriving so late. How can I stay mad at them when 298 Joven issue arrived today? A full week earlier than expected AND it has beaten my December Burda which usually arrives in the first week of the month. Now I am not a superstitious person but surely this is a sign from The Great Sewing Goddess who lives in that big (and well stocked) fabric store in the sky that it is going to be a great month J

 

Let’s get started then.

 

What a great issue! (How often do I write that when talking about Patrones? Heaps I know, but it’s so true!) This simple jacket with chunky belt over the shift dress/tunic is really chic and a little bit edgy, great simple fabric choices.

 

A cute little vest in sequins, I really really need to make a vest of two, I think a couple of them will be my first projects for 2011, so versatile.

 

I think this check shirt is really cute. I know I would have shied away from this fabric if I’d seen it in the shop but the fit and details on the bib and sleeves really make it. A recent blouse I made from LMB had similar super long darts front and back and it fits me like a dream so this is a blouse I am keen to try.

 

This is another great combo outfit and a really nice use of fabrics, the blouse has a bit of girly in the ruffles and lace but then the shorts balance the whole outfit. Not sold on the bolero sleeves being shorter than the blouse though.

 

I’m not really sure if I would wear this but I do like it. It looks cute and comfy, a relaxing outfit for a Sunday afternoon and another nice fabric choice (must be braver, must be braver!).

 

Patrones must have been listening when I said I wasn’t too sure about slim leg pants so in this issue they have some wide leg ones for me, very nice and another vest to complete the outfit. I could get away with wearing this to work on those days when I still want to look professional but feel casual.

 

Next month (which is this month) will be a “classy winter” issue (not so good for me since it will arrive in January, our hottest time of year) with “lots of special coats” and “warm clothes following the best trends” and (this sounds exciting) “super stylish plus sized” patterns.

A Weekend of Win

I had such an amazing weekend. It started with a much deserved sleep in followed by a wonderful girls only lunch with a wonderful group of girls. Great food, great wine, great conversation at a great venue (and I even got some unexpected presents which was a nice bonus). I relaxed that afternoon (I even took a nana nap) and then on Sunday I was ready for the big final push for finishing my wedding dress. Enjoying such a fun and carefree day followed by a bit of a recharge (and coupled with that extra bit of pressure as time slips away) really set me up for a great sewing Sunday. I made excellent progress and I am feeling really good. All I have left to do is finish the petticoat tonight (there has been a minor re-design which has thrown me off by a day or two) then I can mark up the hem and that really is it. I’m not so stressed about hand-sewing the hem any more, I did a little test on Sunday afternoon and as long as I am careful it should go well, I’ll just plug away at it a bit each night until it is done.

Here is a little photo recap of my recent progress and a sneaky photo to whet your sewing appetite.

Finally: Shoes!

Nerdy moment: Empty thread spool

There has been A LOT of this!

Sneaky glimpse