My dear if you could give me a cup of tea to clear my muddle of a head I should better understand your affairs *

Recently I’ve I felt like my sewing was in a bit of a muddle. I love working on several projects at once but every now and again I need to clear my head (and my sewing table) and start fresh. So lately I’ve been working hard to finish off any languishing projects so I can start the cycle again 😉

Lady Grey is one of them. Cut out two winters ago I picked it back up for the Indie pattern challenge in June but was distracted by secret sewing instead.

Well, she’s finally finished and I really like her 🙂

I bought the wool while in Melbourne for work, from The Fabric Store. I was living in Perth at the time so I made a little map of all the fabric places I wanted to visit in my down time. Fitzroy didn’t seem all that so I walked all the way from our hotel on Flinders street.

It ended up being a little further than I anticipated but it was worth it when I spotted the SALE signs!

I bought this slub weave wool coating, some NZ merino and a few other goodies. I thought about catching a tram back but I just wasn’t sure how you were supposed to pay so I hefted my bags of fabric (4 meters of wool takes up a lot of space!) and power walked back to the city.

I was just outside our hotel when my cell phone rang. It was my work colleague who’d gone off to do her own thing calling to tell me she’d just walked past a fabric store around the corner from our hotel, apparently they also had a big SALE sign in the window!

I’ll be honest, I was tired, like SUPER tired, my feet hurt, my arms hurt, and I was hungry…but I just can’t say no to a fabric sale so I dropped my bags with the concierge and crawled around the corner to discover Cleggs. That’s where I got the amazing rose printed linen for my Rooibos…so all my Colette makes so far have been made out of fabric from my Melbourne Trip!

The lining is a cotton sateen from Spotlight – I love a bright happy pop of lining!

I’ve always found Colette a bit over-generous with their fabric allowances. I laid my pattern pieces out more efficiently and was left with just over one meter spare. I remember having quite a bit left over from my Rooibos too.

Harriet is not complaining however:

Harri loves this fabric so much, whenever I put the coat down…

…she would find it and settle down for a nap.

She even tried to sleep on it while I was trying to sew it!

I gave her the remnant – and now it might be hers FOREVER…

It now lives permanently at one end of my cutting table, it’s her favourite spot for a nap in the sun or to just sit and watch me. If I ever get it back from her (unlikely) I could make a skirt from it.

I did intend to have a go at some fancy pants bound button holes but then I realised you never see them under the tie belt. This wool also has strange distortion properties so I decided against machine button holes as well and in the end I found some great big snaps and used them instead.

The construction was super easy, the only difficulty I had happened while attaching the lining to the hem and sleeves – I’m not convinced the construction order is quite right. I had to unpick all my hand-stitching (and that’s a long hem thank you very much!) because my first attempt left the lining pulling the hem up and making big puckers. 

Don’t cry for me too much, the hand stitching was actually pretty easy since the chunky wool weave hides all hand stitching sins.

The other problem I had was all my own doing…or I could blame my Elna who occasionally comes over all evil like and runs out of bobbin without warning.

The belt is so looooong that I sort of fell asleep while sewing it, lulled by the relaxing hum of my machine (hah!) meanwhile my bobbin was empty and it took me a wee while to notice! Haha, ahh well 😉

So that’s it, the longest Lady Grey make ever and now summer is just around the corner!

I think it’s time for a cup of tea…


Pattern – Colette 1010 Lady Grey, size 10

Fabric – 

  • Shell: Slub weave wool coating – The Fabric Store, Melbourne (bought August 2010, $17.50/m)
  • Lining: Cotton Sateen – Spotlight, Kaiwharawhara, Wellington

Other notions – 2 x 25mm pair of black snaps

*Charles Dickens, Mrs. Lirriper’s Legacy

A quick catch-up

I’m a bit shocked that it’s been a month since I last posted, that’s how quickly time has been flying by for me lately!

Work and life occasionally just become ridiculous and something has to give. I won’t bore you with details, this is a sewing blog after all but the good news is that last week I had a holiday and I am feeling super refreshed and now I feel like I am finally on top of all things so watch out world! 🙂

So, in brief, here is what I got up to these last few weeks:

I bought this sewing machine:

Barbie! And it’s wind up, it really “sews”!

I also bought this one:

Baby Singer – will post more about her soon

My newest cross stitch project is becoming recognisable:

Come to the dark side…

I worked on a vintage blouse as a combined WSBN Teal Deal/TMS Vintage Pattern project and sort of failed – Time was not on my side and also I think it will be too big but I have promised to salvage it for a second group photo shoot in November with the two other girls that missed out:

Completed night classes in NZSL 1a and enrolled in 1b – starting Oct 16th:


Got serious with planning our kitchen renovation:

Realised I had too many unfinished projects lying around so finally finished Lady Grey and then pulled out my finished Lolita Patterns Sugarplum. I made the Sugar Plum for Indie Patterns Month as a pattern tester but have only just now gotten the go ahead to show photos on my blog…so now I need to take some photos!

Evil sewing machine is evil

I flew up to Auckland for a work conference:

Look how cute my tiny room was!

Then I went on a holiday:

Ohh volcano!

I walked up a volcano!:

Mt Tongariro – Ketetahi trail. You can just see the one of the Te Maari crater vents smoking away in the background. Last year it got grumpy and spat some big rocks out, destroying the Ketetahi hut.

Finished Vogue 1250 – need to take some photos.

Worked hard to try to finish Rainbow Swallows Shirt Dress – it just needs hemming – and again, photos – the story of my sewing-life right now!

Bought some patterns – these are not all for me!:

By Hand London goodies thanks to Penny at

Then I bought some fabric – this is ALL for me!:

L to R: Black and grey geometric printed silk, some sort of lining with embossed flowers, ribbed knit, 3 meters of each, total $33.00, yeah!

Hunted through my patterns for pretty dresses for Frock-tober – Harri “helped”:

“Make this one!”

Paired some fabric with patterns and then pre washed the fabric, this caused it to rain, but I got it all dry eventually:

Pretty, pretty, pretty!

Then I traced all these patterns, I want to make ALL OF THEM!:

Camouflage Harri supervised the tracing process – it was hard work, many naps were taken:


Then she decided that my paper bin needed emptying…otherwise how else would she fit inside?:


Harri and I agreed that as a reward for all my hard work I should cut out a dress – I chose Papercut’s La Sylphide in tiny super cute owls:

Thn I remembered that I also have this dress still waiting to be sewn up – all cut out in a beautiful silk/linen blend, oops:

And finally, last weekend, because I was not in the mood for photos and daylight savings has got me dreaming about summer, I began to plan Vege Garden v2.0:

Current Vege Garden v1.0 – I have marked out the new garden space in blue twine but then I changed my mind and drew some pictures instead.

A grand plan

Getting into the details

Then I helped hack down some trees that were too close to our retaining walls. We will re-pave the lower area, a garden shed and glass house will appear sometime in the future:



I think after my new vege beds are in I will begin to investigate the possibility of having some chickens, I think I’d quite like some chickens 🙂

And that’s about it! 🙂 Phew, regular service should resume shortly, happy sewing!


It’s black and fuzzy and being dragged away by a black fuzzy thing

Wow so June is done and dusted and July is speeding by, I’ve seriously struggled to find sewing time this month. I did complete my top-secret project that I’ll post as soon as I am allowed to but for now, here is some Lady Grey progress.

Spoiler alert: It’s not finished…yet.

These photos are from Monday night, Harri and I had the house to ourselves and I seriously thought I might get to at least 95% done. I dreamt about my rainbow swallows dress on Sunday night but I HAVE to finish Lady Grey first and when I am done my machines are going to need one heck of a vacuum out. This wool makes its own fuzz babies everywhere!

Normally when I have a day of sewing I can convince Harri to take a nap in her bed, which I move into my sewing room. Her bed has had an extra incentive added recently, a hot water bottle.

Yes I spoil her, I’m allowed 😉

This is an example of situation normal, taken a week or so ago:

But on Monday night it just wasn’t happening. Instead we had this:

And then this:

And this:

There was not going to be any situation normal this night. Harri LOVES this wool. At one point I turned around from stitching a sleeve seam and she was on the cutting table dragging the WHOLE coat shell towards the edge. I have no idea where she was planning to go with it but she was giving it her best shot.

So she’s not the best helper but I guess when only one of your humans is home you have to apply all your love to that human even if they really just wish you’d curl up in their lap.

I did achieve quite a lot, in-between plonking Harri back on the ground every 10 minutes but when she decided she liked the look of the iron (which was HOT), I called it a night.

Sorry in advance for these absolutely terrible night time photos but we’ve been over this: It’s WINTER!

The shell front and back, is all assembled and top stitched, just the collar left to go on:

The lining is 80% there, I have to pre-hem the bottom then facings are next followed by the sleeves and then I can attach it to the shell.

I am debating if I want to try my hand at a pair of bound button holes (and that reminds me that I don’t even have any buttons picked out yet!). I think a bound button hole would look better than a machine stitched one with this fabric and look infinitely more professional and “RTW”.

Colette has a beautifully photographed tutorial and they look like miniature welt pockets to me, which I have made successfully before. I think I just convinced myself…

So yes, that’s as far as I have gotten. Indie month is officially over and I am dragging my heels on my second item but I’ll get there this week and I am really excited to finish this coat.

Over the next few days Kat and I will be winding up the month with some posts featuring a few of our participants.

Did you enjoy Indie pattern month? I hope so. I found it motivational and a great way to show our love for the independent pattern designers. I definitely spotted a few new patterns I hadn’t considered before! I also enjoyed Burda month because both themes left the sewing open to suit everyone’s individual skill level and it also meant I could pick a project that suited my sewing mood the current season. How about you?