Saturday Afternoon Stash Sharing

I am waiting for Mr Mail Man to deliver a fun sewing parcel but I am rubbish at being patient


Especially when it involves exciting things! So on the weekend I did a little bit of sewing planning and had a dig through my stash and I thought maybe it was time for another stash sharing post

First up, some knits:

I got this from the remnant bin at Arthur Toye for $7.50, it’s only 0.5m and I wish I had seen it on the bolt earlier. Aren’t the little birdies super sweet? I’ll combine this with something else as a contrast to make the item I have in mind.

You’re going to LOVE this next one, because cartoon sewing machines!

This satisfies my sewing nerdyness AND my obsession with vintage machines. A cute way to show off both, no?

It’s from Spoonflower and is an organic cotton knit. It was a ridiculous USD$27.00/yard plus postage so you bet I only bought 1 yard – that’s about 0.9 meters for us metrics. I think that’s plenty, an entire item out of this would be waaaay too much, so again, I have a contrast in mind to make up the difference.

Now let’s move on to a couple of sheers:

This is also from Arthur Toye – So sad that they are closing down throughout the whole country, boo 😦

I bought it at one of their regular 50% off sales for $12/meter. I’ll admit right now it is 100% polyester but has a beautiful hand – I’m no content snob, I’ll happily add a good quality poly (yes, I believe that oxymoron is possible) to my stash, especially if it’s this cute!

This however is silk!

I bought this from Potters in Perth in February of 2011 for AUD$16.95/meter (wow that makes the sewing machine fabric look crazy expensive huh?!) I miss Potters, damn they had good fabric!

This is truly beautiful, it’s like holding fairy wings or something, seriously! I didn’t take a photo but it also has a line of gold thread the length of each selvedge, so even the selvedge is pretty!

Ok last piece for this round, it’s another piece of silk:

This piece I bought from The Fabric Warehouse in Wellington while back home before our wedding (December 2010). It had been a stressful day, it was almost Christmas, the wedding was in less than 1 month and my cake guy had just fallen through – so after a mad morning of phone calls I rewarded myself with some fabric shopping.

I think this was probably my first piece of silk I ever bought – it was expensive too (ok, NZD$24.00/meter, so still cheaper than the sewing machines, ahh perspective) but I fell in love with Japanese brush style painting. The grey background is silvery but warm – I really should make this up into something soon!

That’s it! hopefully you’ll see at least two of these pieces made up soon!

Shakes and Stash Sharing

Ahh wibbly wobbly Wellington, I love you so much, but please (!) enough with the earthquakes already 😮

On Friday afternoon at 2:31pm central New Zealand experienced another good shake, a 6.6 centred about 72 kilometres from Wellington at a depth of 8kms.

A second quake of 5.4 followed 6 minutes later, I was still cowering in the doorway with 2 of my work colleagues.

If I could pick where I am when we do get “the big one” our office building, at just 34% of current code (strengthening work has begun, we are supposed to achieve 70% by early next year), would not be it.

We are only on the first floor but it swayed and swayed, the two earthquakes felt like a single really long quake.

Nerdy Husband, who was home ill, rung me immediately and after a quickly exchanged “I’m OK” we were cut off, the mobile network was overloaded.

From our boardroom we watched people empty out of buildings on to the streets. There was more shaking and our 4th staff member arrived back at the office, we all agreed we should shut up and go home.

The Terrace was gridlocked with cars as most of Wellington’s CBD decided to do the same. I had trained in that morning and I correctly guessed that, like last time, the trains would all be cancelled. I finally got through to NH using a combination of text messaging, Facebook chat, Google chat and Voxer,”My work colleague R is giving me a ride home”

“Get home now as fast as you can!” was the reply.

Our office is close to the motorway on-ramp but first we had to battle our way down The Terrace giving way to fire engines that were flooring it up the street, sirens blaring, horns blasting, squeezing between the cars in the smallest of gaps.

It sounds frantic but things moved slowly, I thought we’d be stuck in traffic until dark but we finally got on to the motorway and the rest of the trip was fast, we were very lucky to beat the worst of the rush.

Image from

At home things were better, I was with my husband, I cuddled my kitten, all our family had finally checked in, everyone was either home, or on their way. We watched the news, braced for each new rumble, absorbing all the aftermath images of Seddon and Wellington.

It’s taken me a while to get this post written, I didn’t go online at all during the weekend. On Monday, back at work, I was overwhelmed from the emails and messages from my readers, thank you so much for thinking of me, for thinking NZ, and for taking the time to even just simply ask, “Are you OK?”

“I’m OK”

As I said in my last earthquake post, Wellingtonians are used to the threat of earthquakes, but ever since Christchurch it’s been different.

We had Pizza for dinner on Friday night, then on Saturday I re-checked our emergency supplies* and then I did my usual grocery shop. Going about life like normal is the best way to feel, well, normal. I even made scones on Saturday, post-earthquake scones are a new tradition in our house. This time around I made two batches but if we get another 6+ then I think I may have to upgrade to muffins!

It feels settled now, we had a few more notable aftershocks over the weekend but that’s about it. There is a lot of statistics being thrown around, probabilities of more quakes and their possible magnitudes but I prefer not to listen. NH, who is a geologist, likes to grumble at the seismologists on TV, they make him grumpy with their numbers. They are trying to give people answers to very difficult questions but really there isn’t anything they can tell us with absolute certainty. If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen, be as prepared as possible and have a plan.

On the radio this morning, in response to another caller claiming that little quakes are “good” because they relieve stress on the fault lines (they don’t necessarily, they might just move it elsewhere) another caller angrily rebuked them stating that there is absolutely nothing good about any earthquake. What I saw at the supermarket was the cleared bottled water shelves, as well as first aid kits and lots of canned food in peoples trolleys.

People are preparing themselves, that is one good thing.

OK, back to sewing – I had a BIG list of sewing tasks to complete on the weekend and with NH sick with the flu, poor darling, it meant he’d probably be comatose on the couch most of the weekend and I’d get to sew ALL. WEEKEND. LONG.

So that didn’t happen, I just didn’t feel like sitting at my machines. Instead I tidied my room (it didn’t really need it but I like doing it) and a few other little tasks.

I started the hand stitching for the hem of my Lady Grey, it’s all I have left to do but after I put it down to go make some lunch I came back to this:

I think I’ve mentioned already, Harri loves this wool. I have a 1.0 meter scrap that I leave out for her but the sun was shining on THIS bit 😉

So I moved on to the Rainbow Swallows dress. I unpicked the casing for the elastic at the back, it’s just not working, the elastic distorts the side seams and it’s puffy at my upper back.

I took in all the seams 1cm then realised I still need to take out some extra fabric at he back so I added two long darts. It looks better now, next I will baste all these seams and try it on to make any final tweaks from adding the buttons, collar and sleeves.

Then I  moved on to Vogue 1250, it is currently un-hemmed and needs to have the sleeves finished. I also had this weird transition between the stitched upper side seam to the folded lower side seam. It was an easy fix, I just pinned out the stitching line for a more shallow intersection. Then I turned over the sleeve edges twice and pinned them. The hem also got pinned up but I need to check the length…I was also not in the mood for trying things on 😉

Now I was running out of things that didn’t need sewing so I decided to do some tracing.

I’ve had McCall’s 2718 for a while now, intending to make up a proper fitting shell to compare with new patterns in the hope that I can use it to better pick the correct size and solve the more obvious fitting issues before beginning to sew.

I despise making muslins/trial garment/ toiles, whatever it is you prefer to all them, unless it’s a super important project, I just don’t have the time, the inclination or the patience.

I traced the front bodice piece and then I noticed how many other pattern pieces seemed to be included in the envelope.

I decided to read the instructions.

Basically, to make the fitting shell, you only need about 5 pieces. The idea is that you fit the tissue by pinning it on yourself and make some alterations then stitch the shell up in a gingham (the grid helps you identify any additional fitting issues) and complete any additional alterations before transferring then back to paper and creating the master pattern.  After you finish that process you learn to apply your personal fitting changes to the additional included pattern pieces to make a basic dress, shirt and skirt.

I could see all kinds of problems doing a “tissue fit” with my traced pattern pieces (like ripping!) so I decided to stop until I could acquire some of that brilliant tracing fabric from Made Marion. Kat introduced me to it and once I get my hands on some, I’ll introduce it to you too, you’ll be best of friends, I promise.

Then I started looking through my stash and I remembered a little idea I had a while ago but never got around to starting.

You already know I love my stash, I say it often enough, every single piece, and I have no guilt 😉 I often sift through it linking fabric to patterns, changing my mind, re-discovering pieces I had forgotten about.

I don’t sew fast enough for my imagination!

the curious kiwi stash – August 2013 – excludes interfacing, linings and “novelty” fabrics

I was thinking that each time I go through my stash I should pull out a few pieces to share with you, tell you how long I’ve had them and what plans, if any, are currently tacked to them. Regular stash sharing posts for inspiration and to remind me of all the pretties I have at my disposal.

What do you think?

Here are three that I dug out on Sunday:

Italian silk | April 2010 | Joveeba relocation sale | 112cm x 2.3 meters | for AUD$30.00

It’s so pretty with a slight crepe feel to it and I love the combination of purple and black on white. I was thinking this could be a gorgeous La Sylphide.

Printed Satin | 2009 | Spotlight Innaloo | 114cm x 2.0 meters | for AUD$10.35/m

I don’t currently have any plans for this fabric. I loved it when I picked it up but now I am not so sure about the champagne colour with my complexion. I am thinking about trying to find a solid to match that blue-green to break it up…and bring out my eyes *flutters lashes*

100% cotton | February 2010 | Tessuti online | 110cm x 2.5 meters | for AUD$24.00/m

This piece has always been marked for the Vogue 8280 “Galaxy Dress” if I ever get up the courage to try it…but really it will look stunning as any dress, maybe even as a Belladone?

Ok, last photo, of Harri “helping” me hold down the slipper fabric for photographing 😉


*If you’d like some more information about preparing for a disaster, the New Zealand Civil Defence “Get Ready – Get Thru” website has some excellent advice on what to do in each situation, tips for making a survival plan and emergency kit contents.