Secret Santa

I wrote an entire post about my amazing Secret Santa gift and do you think I can find it? I don’t know what happened but I suspect it is inside a Word document on my computer at work, so I’ll start again:

But first! My BurdaStyle Blouse was returned to me, yay! I took a few photos on Scarlett, it’s really hard to capture the different chiffon purples and textures and I think Scarlett being super red doesn’t help much 😉 Click on the picture below to see more on BurdaStyle.

If you are interested, here are the other sketches I submitted:






Right, back to the Secret Santa. Now just in case Secret Santa isn’t the universally understood concept that I image it to be, let me first explain. At some work places (and in some large families too!) everyone’s names get put into a hat and then you each draw a name out. The person you draw is who you will buy a Secret Santa gift for. There is usually a price limit set and you are meant to keep a secret who you are buying for. Gifts are generally humorous involving some inside joke and often include chocolate or other sweet to soften any accidental offence.

For example: I pulled R’s name from our hat (actually, that’s a lie, I was last and pulled my own out of the hat so I swapped with J, that’s how came to I know she had me…but everyone worked out who had who eventually anyway, it’s not that difficult when you consider there are only 6 of us), but back to R, he can never find his calculator, so he’s always stealing borrowing someone else’s, if your calculator is missing, go check R’s desk…so I bought R the biggest calculator the internet could find for me, it’s A4 and has a huge display and really large buttons. It looks like this, except that it is blue:

So J was my Secret Santa and she knows that I sew, having a Secret Santa that knows a little bit about you is always a bonus. Also, because I also have most of my eBay/TradeMe purchases sent to work, J knows about my new secret obsession, which is about to become less than secret now that I am telling all of you 😉 I like miniature sewing machines, as in doll house scale. This is mostly because I wish I had room for more real sewing machines, vintage ones and the like, but also because they just so darn cute!!

Ok, so three, plus a box, hardly constitutes an “obsession” but the danger is there, in fact I am already thinking about jumping on eBay now to see what others are out there for a reasonable price.

Anyway, can you believe what J found for my Secret Santa gift?


I am completely and totally in love with it!

Ok, so it doesn’t work, hence her being able to keep to our Secret Santa budget, but I have the list of things that are wrong and it is short and possibly DIY-able but for now I am content for it to grace my sewing room as is.

J also admitted to me she didn’t actually realise how big it was until she went to pick it up 😀

So it’s a Singer, obviously, would anyone care to try and enlighten me with a model number? There are plenty of these (or similar) in NZ, my Mum has one variation, so does my Nana and Mother-in-Law but this one appears to be before they began to stamp model numbers on them. The closest image I can find online is for a 15-91, but I think that might be the treadle model, any ideas? There are plenty of downloadable manuals online but I really need a model number first.

The weather is pretty awful today, after almost a full week of amazing sunshine an ex-tropical cyclone has decided to leave harassing the East Coast of Australia alone and park itself over central New Zealand instead.

Image from MetService New Zealand

So today is most definitely a sewing day, so what’s on the sewing table right now? The Forever (and ever) Jeans, I know, I can scarcely believe it myself.

It’s New Years Eve here, maybe, with a little bit of magic fairy dust, they’ll be finished for 2012!

Edit 16/01/2012: An update on the Singers identity can be found here.


Merry Christmas!

Ok, I am a day late (well for those of you in my part of the globe anyway), it’s boxing day here right now, I hope you all enjoyed a happy Christmas.

Today I indulged in a few of the Boxing Day sales and now I am putting the finishing touches on my third (and final…for now) JJ blouse. I guess I could call it the Boxing Day blouse and I am about to sew on the buttons. That means of course that the button holes are done, my least favourite part (after setting in the sleeves) and I am excited to announce that for the first time I didn’t forget to reset my machine between button holes! Not even once, no unpicking for this little kiwi! So photos hopefully soon and yes, I know I still owe you photos of the 1930s dress, I’ll get to them, promise.

Actually I have a whole pile of things I want to share with you guys including the most awesome Secret Santa gift ever! But first, check out my super cute Christmas Ornament Swap:

I tried to capture it with my camera’s panoramic setting but it’s a bit blurry I know, here are a couple of better shots:

I love it! 🙂 Here is what I sent to Ann:

I used this pomander tutorial from Betz White (check out her cute Fabric Star Ornament Tutorial for this year!) I made two at once, one for me as well 😉 It took a lot longer than I thought it would and I ended up having to carve my polystyrene balls smaller which made a huge mess but it was quite fun to watch my little army of rosettes take over my sewing table.

Also my BurdaStyle book arrived, yay! It came with some other goodies too:

I got to see my blouse in print for the first time:

I took some pics of it on Scarlett before I sent it off (it feels like so long ago!) I’ll dig them out and share them with you tomorrow.

The BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook – Member Sketches

I noticed this morning that BurdaStyle have a gallery up of the member’s sketches from the BurdaStyle handbook:

It’s really cool to see everyone else’s sketches, not just for the garment I made but also all the other patterns as well.

Here’s my sketch, I was living in WA at the time and it was probably summer so I was in a beachy mood:

I actually did two sketches, this one and then a more business like one in crisp white with pin-tucks running down the front worn over a dark pencil skirt which I liked as well, when I find it (buried in my computer somewhere) I’ll post it up.

Apparently my finished garment is on page 111 but I don’t have my book yet, they just confirmed my address this week so fingers crossed it arrives as an early Christmas present 😉

I can tell you now that it isn’t pink. I got sent purple fabric instead which I wasn’t super enthusiastic about when it first arrived but in the end it looked good. We got sent thread as well but my thread turned up a day after the courier deadline, also it was orange, hehe, so good thing I didn’t wait and ended up using some from my stash.

11 sleeps to go! 🙂

Patrones 309 (October 2011)

In absolute contrast to Manequim, Patrones (and Spain) is rolling into winter fashion:

I’m excited about summer, my first back home in NZ, but I am doing my best to concentrate on styles for when winter returns (all too quickly), starting with two long coats. I don’t know where I’m going find a long enough double zipper but if I start the hunt now I just might be able to locate one by June 2012. The asymmetry of #14 is not normally something I’d go for but isn’t that part of the fun of sewing your own clothes? Also: GIGANTIC snaps, yay.

Pretty tops and loving the lines of the blazer #13 (I’ve mucked up the line drawings, they should be the other way around!) I really like Patrones for the fact that they give you an entire look and always multi-sized.

I made a shirt dress a little while ago and love it, I’ve always wanted to make another but not from the same pattern and this one is perfect, I just copied the pattern so it’s going right up the list! I like the line drawing for the vest but not the choice of stone wash denim…I’m intend to make this vest soon (view C most likely) I’ve never owned a vest before but I suddenly feel like I need one.

Another vest and what is going on with those pants?! There are no words to describe them. Dandy? No, just no. I don’t mind the leather detailing on the skirt and jacket, it’s a bit biker chic.

The “Want it to Rain” section has a possible option for the next Gok coat, a rain poncho and we aren’t finished with the wtf? patterns just yet…if you view the image larger you will see that what looks like a black garbage bag is also finely perforated, so not particularly waterproof.

Some cute skirts to finish: #33 is my favourite with a high wide waist band and long darts. Not so sure about the paperbag-waist-meets-indiana-jones #34, but #37 has beautifully flattering seaming and lastly a nice draped faux wrap for #38.

Next month is the Winter Special with Christmas party fashions (glow and cleavage?? Ah Google Translate, you make me smile!), LBDs and a special night gala fashion plus size section.

Manequim 630 (November 2011)

Manequim 630 showed up last week, not sure what happened to issue 629…but it wouldn’t be the first time they have arrived out of sequence. Hopefully it shows up soon or I’ll have to write them an email, the Manequim distributors are really good actually, they might be slow to respond (most likely due to language and time conversions) but I have no complaints.

So, what is 629 supposed to have inside it?

Ohh party dresses!

The great thing about Manequim is that Brazil’s seasons are more or less in line with ours down here in the Southern Hemisphere. So the current issues coupled with Wellington’s fantastic start to what is meant to be a terrific long summer has me quite excited! 😀

We begin with the style of actress Adriana Birolli. The polka dot top is deceptively simple but buttons up at the back, I am a big fan of a boatneck, it’s really flattering for me, it’s also multi-sized (38/42/46/50). The pleated skirt is great too (another multi-sized pattern) and guess what? Another jumper 😉 but this one is short and fun, very beachy, in my size (42), I quite like it.

Apparently prints are big this season (aren’t they always?) and this section gives us lots of prints and long slimming silhouettes. Love the key hole knotted halter and the partially sheer top, the dress is pretty simple but how amazing in that print? Will be keeping my eyes open for something similar. must. have.

This months issue is also super colourful and I almost scanned this entire “easy fashion” section, lots of simple lines in vibrant colour. The pink and red bicolour dress would be very slimming. I thought the blue dress was long with a fold all around to create that detail but looking more closely at the instructions I think its maybe just a tunic top over a separate skirt…

I wish they included the pattern for the orange top but I’m sure there is a similar pattern in a past magazine, winding up with two more easy tops.

Next month is PARTY month, yay, I am looking forward to lots of beautiful dresses and a fabulous plus section.

Beware the hungry overlocker

Don’t worry, this blog title has nothing to do with the 1930s dress! 😉 I have to re-take the photos but I can report that I am very pleased with how it turned out despite the fabric giving me a bit of grief. I really want to re-do my hair before I take them so you’ll have to wait just a little bit longer…

Time for a ‘woe is me’ moment: Lady Luck has deserted me the last few days. Most notably her absence has meant my car has decided that it’s much more fun to be a lump of useless metal on wheels in the garage than to actually be a car…with an engine…that works. So, suddenly car-less, I didn’t get to go to this months Fabric Hoarders meet 😦 which made me a bit sad on top of all the other dramas life seems to be throwing my way at the moment. I was really looking forward to going so instead I stayed home, grumbling about how I hate cars (which I don’t, just that one in the garage) and trying to sew as a distraction from the mechanics bill.

My (last) JJ is progressing well but it had a close call with the overlocker on Saturday. I got distracted by the fact that the tension had all of a sudden turned to poo and while I was confusedly staring at the thread chain, with my foot still on the go pedal, the Bernina happily started munching on the stray shoulder seam edge. I stopped, just in time, and the cut is within the seam allowance just…phew!

It doesn’t look so bad now does it? But you know that feeling when you first realise what’s happening? It was almost all over.

So what happened to my tension? The lower looper thread jumped out of the tension disc at the top, it does this fairly regularly and is very irritating but it’s been looked at and there is nothing wrong with the machine.  Apparently I just don’t get it clicked in properly when I thread it so when I go fast (which is my usual speed) the movement of the thread off the cone whips itself out of the disc. A thread net helps on the bigger cones and the service guy told me to thread that bit almost backwards to really make sure it clicks in there and that does seem to work, I just keep forgetting to do it that way! I did discover that I can re-thread just the top part of that path and pull the thread through without re-threading the whole thing.

Does anyone else get the jumpy thread problem?

So, almost done, excuse the really bad night-time flash photography effort. The most time consuming bit (making and attaching the ruffles) is done, the collar is just pinned on for now, then I just need to attach the sleeves, button/button holes and hem it.

I probably would have finished but I needed to make my Christmas decoration for my swap partner. I am paired up with Ann of Annie B Handmade, she is in Auckland. I usually make a couple of new ornaments for our tree each year and I was going to make something for her that I had already made but instead I decided to make something new. I really liked the idea so I made two at once, one for me too 😉 they were much more time consuming that I thought they would be but I really loved how they turned out. I can’t share pictures with you until she receives it, but when I get confirmation I will show you and share the link to the tutorial I used.