WSBN Arthur Toye Wake

Last Friday a few of the WSBN gathered outside Arthur Toye on their final day of trading for a last bargain grab followed by lunch – a kind of wake if you will.

I wore my Le Wise La Sylphide since I bought the owl fabric from AT. Some of the other girls also wore makes from AT fabric.

Jo, Joy, Nikki, Kristelle, Teresa, Myself and Sandra

I’m not sure how long Arthur Toye have been in New Zealand, or Wellington, ages I suspect, but the owner is retiring and closing each store throughout the country as their leases expire.

We have other great fabric stores in Wellington but AT was within walking distance of my office. They had a great fabric selection and I found their quality and prices reasonable. I will miss sneaking past on my way back from meetings and their amazing 50% off sales.

I guess my bank account will thank them!

Since the news broke I’ve already had several visits to AT (and a sneaky visit to AT Palmerston North where I made my little sister also spend money on fabric and patterns, heh heh!) so there wasn’t a lot of stock left I was interested in but for this final visit I came away with two items:

Blue shirting with a little bit of elastane, to make a trial business shirt for NH
Black and white chevroned cotton sateen for the stash

So now guess I’ll have to satisfy my mid-week fabric cravings with the odd lunchtime mission out to Fabric Warehouse or Global-that-was (now known as The Fabric Store).

Sigh!

Goodbye Arthur Toye, thanks for being awesome.

The conquering of Levana (not)

On Saturday the 6th July at precisely 07:30am (that’s actually 7:38am) the majority of the Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network set off north to invade Levin.

I was driving so thank you to Teresa for getting some pics on the way – wow was it really that dark when we left?!

Kapiti Island – photo by Teresa

We met our forward scout (Juliet) outside our objective.

Our mission: To take and hold the Levana Factory Outlet Store (“Open 1st Saturday of month 9am – 2pm”) and relieve them of as much of their famed merino as our car boots could hold and whatever other goodies took our fancy along the way.

But our carefully planned mission (in the works since February this year) was thwarted!

Due to their building having no power Levana was shut and would instead open the following Saturday, July 13th.

Sabotage!

Me, Juliet, Nikki & Wendy – sad faces!

Desperate phone calls were made, keys got locked in a car, a father came to the rescue, but no merino for us… :(

Juliet, Teresa, Elisabeth, Johanna, Holly, Emily, Wendy, Nikki, Me

It was a long drive for no spoils but the WSBN are never without a backup plan. We retreated across the road to an op shop to re-group (and giggle at some truly terrible vintage knitting patterns) and then we continued on our way to make our lunch date at Petit Fours in Palmerston North.

Mmm! High tea makes everything ok!

The slice on the middle tier is kumara and maple with cream cheese icing, and at the bottom is a warm savoury, also made with kumara. I don’t like kumara, it’s not like peas for me, I actually avoid kumara. Teresa admitted she could take-it-or-leave-it too but we both agreed that these were delicious!

There were also mini afghan biscuits and lots of cute little sandwiches with yummy fillings, but I know you really just want to see the cupcakes!

(clockwise from top) Sundae, Key Lime Pie, Hershey Kisses, Double chocolate cupcakes!

Kumara savoury and teeny little sandwiches, yummy!

Lot’s of smiles!
Nikki, Wendy, Emily, Elisabeth & Johanna

Juliet and Linda gave our table some impromptu New Zealand Sign Language lessons.

I can now say I am a “sewing nerd” and that I am “married to a rock nerd” ;)

Amongst many others I know the basics like “please” and “thank you”, “yes” and “no”, I know the difference between “hen” and “chicken” (but not “flour” and “sugar”!) and how to say “stuff it, let’s do it!” See below for that one!

“Stuff it, let’s do it!”
Teresa, Linda, Juliet and I practise our NZSL – photo thanks to Nikki

Not much left…

The aftermath…

Oh my!

Pretties!

Then it was off to Arthur Toye where we surprised and entertained their staff for about 2 hours!

Oh yes, that’s right, they total your docket and then halve it!

That’s why we are all smiling so much, earlier disasters long forgotten now!

Also Arthur Toye in Palmy is about 3 times the size of our Wellington store (and their staff are not grumpy)!

My pretties: A lilac stain at top (for a coat lining), pink sparkly knit at the bottom, dark grey suiting with pink pinstripe/dot detail at left (this was a popular choice, I think maybe 3 or 4 of us bought some and at $6 per meter why wouldn’t you?!)…and some faux tiger fur…we’ll get to that in another post sometime soon ;)

I’d already visited Arthur Toye in Wellington the previous week, taking home a lush midnight blue velvet, some fuchsia ponte and a pretty blue wool so that is why my takings may seem a little restrained.

And then Juliet let us in on her little secret vintage pattern source, which shall remain secret…look at these girls go!

Like vintage patterns much?!

I ended up with two $1.00 bundles of snaps and hook/eyes, yay

And, well, that’s it! We stumbled back to our cars, divided up our spoils and set off back south to Wellington and dinner, and home ;)

I arrived at my doorstep exhausted but despite the initial disasters I simply had the best day. So much giggling, fabric stroking (and buying), pattern digging, and the delicious high tea.

Sure, we didn’t get to enjoy Levana (the whole reason for our 1.5 hour drive) but in the end it didn’t matter…and there is always next month! :D

Thank you to my partners in crime: Amanda, EmilyElisabethHollyJohannaJuliet, LindaNikkiTeresa and Wendy for an amazing day! xx

footer_tugofwar

The Craft & Textile Lover’s Guide to Wellington

(click for larger images)

I picked up this pamphlet when I was in Made on Marion the other day. I was trying to find a digital link to share with all my Wellington readers and potential Wellington visitors but there doesn’t seem to be one online…so I scanned it in for you guys instead.

I’m pretty sure that’s OK, it’s available for free in several stores around town.

We have some great fabric and crafty shops and the more that know the merrier I think.

I’ve also made a list with a few others that aren’t on this map.

Enjoy!

:)

When husbands come fabric shopping…

On Saturday there was an unplanned day trip to Palmerston North. Due to an apparent miscommunication (which was not in my opinion but that’s another story) there was required 3 hours of time killing after we arrived. This involved lunch, a trip to a botanic garden, browsing at a bicycle store (Nerdy Husband’s choice) and finally, of course, a fabric store, because that would only be fair.

By then we were both bored and distracted and wanting to get on with the reason for our day-trip. After a 2-hour drive that he does at least once a week for work anyway, Nerdy Husband didn’t feel like sitting in the car as per usual. He dutifully followed me through the forest of fabric bolts at Moreland’s occasionally commenting helpfully on the items I draped over myself.

Despite the bright pink “sale” signs I didn’t really see anything worth buying, the mood just wasn’t there.

Down the back of the shop are more bolts stacked flat in shelving, they require a bit more digging and effort so I passed them by.

Then, from over my shoulder, I heard Nerdy Husband decisively announce, “You should make me a rugby jersey!”

I turned around to find him enthusiastically digging through a pile of stripey bolts labelled “Rugby Jersey” Knit.

I wandered back to help and here is his final selection:

100% Cotton “Rugby Jersey” Knit – NZD$12.99/m

There were quite a few colour & stripe options to choose from, mostly North Island colour combos, and the astute Kiwi readers will note that his choice is not very “Wellington”.

No, it is not.

Nerdy Husband partly grew up in Auckland and that’s where he played rugby as a boy. Therefore he still possesses some affiliation for the Blue & White (usually when the Hurricanes or Lions are playing poorly), but I love him and therefore I forgive him the occasional rugby loyalty indiscretion.

Nerdy husband rarely asks for something so directly (including finding his own fabric) so I usually push his projects up the queue. His last request is currently drying after being pre-washed, some black merino, to become a warm light-weight pullover for wearing under his riding clothes. Have you seen how much those things cost in the shops? Ridiculous! And that’s if you can find them in your size! So I grabbed a couple of meters from Global Fabrics during their last sale. I should be able to get a long sleeved version out of about $15 worth of high quality NZ merino. It’ll be a quick project, slotted in between my own sewing, and then I can consider how to tackle a “rugby jersey”

See what I did there? ;)

Did you like this post? You may enjoy one of these:

I’ve been bad…

Wonderfully Creative Wellington ♥

Craving Coffee & Fabric

Fabric shopping > cleaning

Just a quick post to say I’m still here, I’ve just been recovering because last weekend was MOVE DAY! Yay! Finally!

Originally it took just the two of us 5 truck loads and two days to move everything into storage but with the help of some awesome family members (Mechanical Bother-in-Law and Father-Who-Didn’t-Lift-Anything-Heavy-If-His-Wife-Asks) we managed to move everything out on Saturday in just 3 truck loads, phew!

Nerdy Husband and Mechanical Brother-in-Law seemed dismayed at the number of boxes labelled “Mel’s Room (Sewing)” or “Fabric” but Father-Who-Didn’t-Lift-Anything-Heavy-If-His-Wife-Asks knows his daughter well and just smiled.

I know you guys will understand ;)

I love our new house but unfortunately I haven’t had much time to enjoy it yet. Despite the previous owners paying a cleaner for the morning I still ended up spending most of the weekend cleaning the kitchen before I ran out of energy. So I have no future-sewing-room photos for you just yet. The problem is that my room is currently serving as wardrobe, dressing room and linen cupboard until I get a chance to thoroughly clean them too. There is only one word to describe their current state: feral.

The plan this weekend is more cleaning (sarcastic yay) so that I can get our clothing, linen and towels out of future-sewing-room. Then I can re-assemble my sewing table and shelves, which all had to be pulled apart to get them down the tiny hallway of our rental house, and then the fun really begins!

I better hurry up because my fabric shelves just got some new additions…

Excuse the wobbly cell phone photo – hands were full of fabric

50% off at Arthur Toye? Well if you insist… ;)

Green & white cotton/spandex for an experiment to recreate my favourite (and almost falling apart) workout top and 2 x 100% viscose prints

Some sort of knit with sparkly stripe, some suiting and a lace – because I really want to make a lace overlay dress! Possibly to combine with the suiting fabric beside it as a more work-appropriate version (?)

Lace detail

I am looking forward to sharing photos of my room with you as I set it up so watch this space next week when, hopefully, normal service resumes…

Fessing up

It’s confession time: I have no sewing to report, or finished item images to share with you and I might not for a few more weekends.

So it’s time to fess up.

Our rental got put on the market at the end of January and nerdy hubby and I are being put through Open Home mayhem every Sunday with viewings “by appointment” mid-week as well. This means we have to be super tidy ALL. THE. TIME. (because I am NOT getting blamed for it not selling due to anything we’ve done) and we must be absent during the time when a potential buyer may come through.

This is frustrating to put it mildly (you can insert an alliteration appropriate swear word in front of that term if you want, I did, inside my head).

I told myself I wasn’t going to let it stress me out or interrupt my me-time, namely my sewing-time, but the truth is that it is impossible to be a creative person when you are also paranoid about strangers coming through your house.

So I have hidden packed a lot of things away and pretty much not touched my machines in the last three weeks.

It appears that, along with my expensive scissors and other small pocket-able items, I accidentally packed away my sewing mojo and I’m not sure which box it went into.

I did sit down at my machines on Saturday and managed to partially sew up the side seam of my vest but I made a hash of it and it is hanging all wrong. I am grumpily blaming the instructions which I shouldn’t have bothered to follow so I’ll be unpicking it and doing it my way when I next feel inspired.

Why are we sticking around? I hear you ask. Well, this is not the first time we’ve been in this situation but we have decided it will be the last and have begun the fun (and scary) task of looking for our first house home together. So right now it suits us since we can give notice as soon as we find a place of our own and (for now) not have to sign into another rental contract that we’ll have to see out.

So our Saturdays are now full of drive-by house hunting and on Sundays we troupe through other people’s houses while they troupe through ours.

It is physically and emotionally draining.

Sigh.

The fantasy of finally being able to do as I want with my very own dream sewing room in my very own home is all that is keeping me going right now…that and fabric shopping…and new magazines…and reading all your amazing blogs…and possibly finally getting a kitten or a puppy ;)

I have new magazines to share with you later this week but for now, because I don’t like posts with no images in them let’s finish up with some pretty fabrics, my latest acquisitions from The Fabric Warehouse Pop-up Store.

Fabric makes me feel happy and if you haven’t been down there yet chop chop, they finish up on Wednesday…if there is anything left:

I can’t wait to make some amazing new pieces with these pretties in my dream sewing room sometime in the near future.

Please stick around, I promise I’ll be back to my old (sewing) self soon…

Stashaholics need not apply…

If you are in Wellington, this is for you…unless you made a New Years Resolution this year to reduce your stash and not buy any more fabrics…then I suggest you look away now.

I warned you OK?

I had to get down there for a lookie first before I posted this…but I don’t want you guys to accuse me of not loving you enough to share so I promise that I did leave some fabric behind.

Only one of these items was $5m (pure silk), the rest were just $3m!

Sweet.

Now: Go, buy, stash & sew!