Tuesday, 18 December 2012

You Sew Girl Coin Purse pattern review

I have been keeping busy with teaching and Zumba and making detailed dresses lately so I felt it was time for a little quick craft project for some instant fabric satisfaction.

Nicole Mallalieu of You Sew Girl! is known for her fabulously detailed and informative patterns so I headed her way to make a purchase online of her Coin Purse pattern. Instant download - love it!!

All in all this purse took me perhaps half an hour to do, being the first run through of this design. But now I have Nicole's techniques mastered, I'm sure I could whip one of these up in less than that. Here is my end result.

A structured purse with box base to make it stand up, a neat zipper closure and some padding to make it all fancy-like. It's lined and is a perfect size for coins in your handbag or basket, little make up bits and pieces or a sweet purse for a little girl.

Forgive the wonky topstitching - my excuse is that it was hot, late at night and I just wanted to finish something so I did rush a little! A very satisfying project all the same. This pattern comes with two sizes included so I will definitely be making more.

Thank you Nicole for sharing your cleverness! I feel right professional loike now!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Squandering the good stuff

It's hot today. 38 degree forecast day. It's one of those dry Adelaide heat days. It feels like a late January day where all the moisture has been sucked out of the jacaranda flowers and the heat haze shimmers on the ashphalt.

I also have approximately one whole school day left on my own before school breaks up. And though the housework is calling me desperately, the dishes need doing, washing is all over the dining table and the floor needs cleaning, I just can't bring myself to squander these precious last hours on housework.

The sewing machine is calling. A 1950's frock is tempting me to sew it for a couple of events I am attending this weekend.

What do you think will win? Housework or frock making?

Do I even have to ask?

image from here

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Sewing for the brawnier gender

I don't get the chance to sew for boys very often, apart from sewing Silly Gilly items. So it was fun to play around and get boyish sewing this wallet for my daughter's friend. Made using suede, vinyl and some of a favourite Michael Miller print.

wallet 2

vintage plane wallet

Saturday, 29 September 2012

By the seat of my pants

I'm feeling as focussed as a March fly lately, with so many shiny things vying for my attention. The warmer weather has inspired me to sew some new clothes for myself, including a badly executed attempt at these:

My measurements are a little larger than the sizes on the pattern I purchased. Easy, I thought after consulting my vintage sewing manuals. Just add a bit to the waist measurement. But alas I am also larger in the belly/hips/child bearing areas as well. I am yet to add the waistband but thought I might try again in another fabric and colour as my muslin. Who makes muslin's these days? Muslin being a test run of a garment made from cheap material. I thought the idea of sewing was that you could just whip something up in an afternoon and be prancing off down the street in your new frock/sailing trousers in no time.

Alas, I've learnt my lesson. Version number 2 is about to be attempted with some timely advice from here. Wish me luck. I aim to have a wearable version of these before next weekend.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Testing one, two, three......





Anyone here?

There seems to be tumbleweeds blowing through this dang blog. Not much to be read around these parts......
Facing the age-old (well, 10-year-old or as long as blogs have been around) dilemma of whether I keep this blog going....

Friday, 6 July 2012

Avoidance tactics

Fitness this morning in 6.5 degrees weather outside on a muddy oval.

Walking the dogs on a sunny but cold and windy beach.

Crusing the aisles at Spotlight.

Deciding to cut apart a perfectly good brand new dress to add panels in so it fits me.

I've done anything and everything today to avoid finishing off those bathers that are starting to do my head in. I'm on the home stretch with them but all these alterations to the pattern are getting tiresome!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Summer sewing

I feel a little topsy turvy today as I'm beginning my first ever swim suit sewing project and it's currently 10 degrees outside! We have a holiday to Bali coming up very soon so I'm determined to get it finished asap.

After searching endlessly through online stores for a 50's inspired swim suit, I just couldn't find one that seemed to me wearable (without bodily parts spilling out at inappropriate times) or affordable (less than $300AU).

So off I then went in search of a 50's inspired swim suit sewing pattern. Again it was difficult until I stumbled upon this beauty:


Mrs Depew very sensibly suggests making a muslin for this one so here I am starting out with a not so subtle shade of green. I'm even considering using bra cups and/or underwire in this toile.... something I've not tried before but there's nothing like jumping in the deep end to stretch the brain cells! Sewing stretch material is a challenge but something I'm willing to try if I end up with a gorgeous vintage style swim suit. Wish me luck!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

SIT Canberra 2012 - Day 1

Here is the first installment of a three part series on the craft weekend that has now become a heart warming, soul lightening, fabulous part of my year. Sew It Together. I love these gals.


Friday I arrived as bright and early as a sparrow's fluffer at Canberra airport to be greeted with a lovely fresh sub zero temperature outside. Nice! I love the cold though so it was no worry to me.

The lovely Posie picked myself and other crafty gals up in her Black Kidnapping Vehicle (thanks Posie!) and gave us a lovely tour of downtown and thereabouts of Canberra. I must say that Canberra hasn't changed all that much since I was there last in Grade 6 of primary school. The suburbs and city are so spread out that it all has a lovely country feel to it. We made it to the YHA in the city and checked in. I met up with my SIT buddy Megan of EdanRose with whom I had the pleasure of sharing a room last year. This year we even got to share a bed! More on that later.

Off our little group went to check out downtown Canberra. The YHA is so conveniently situated between all of our destinations that it didn't take long to get anywhere. Good choice of accommodation to whoever chose it! We all met up for the first time of the weekend at the Crowne Plaza and lots of hugs and squeals and awkward "I don't know you but I know all about you" moments were shared in the lobby. I got my first sneak peek at some craftiness when I spotted these belonging to Judy (correct me if I'm wrong??):


Then the beautifully omnipotent Sheridan arrived as did the mini bus to take us on our Friday Afternoon Shopping Trip. We filled that little bus and like last year, some of us knew each other and there was a good mix of newbies too. Lots of chatting and getting to know you talk. Even snack bags that Sheridan and her crew has put together for us! Our first stop was Addicted to Fabric - a big shop full of fabric loveliness. I kept myself restrained compared to last year and only drooled over the fabrics. It felt quite odd being in a lovely craft shop and not purchasing. Very odd....


Next stop was Bison ceramics. A lot of the gals in our bus went a bit bonkers over this gorgeous pottery. Again, nothing was purchased by me. Odd.But I was giddy with the colour and pattern in this room. Subtle and powerful all at once.



Our final bus trip destination for the evening, and perhaps the most jolly of the day, was the gorgeous Shop Handmade. A shop with so many handmade goodies that I kept on oohing and aaahing the whole way round that big space. There was a lovely little section toward the back where Sheridan had organised for us to snack on Macarons (Macaroons if you're a Frankston gal like me) and champagne. It was a lovely way to relax, chat with friends and do a spot of shopping. Again me = no shopping. By this stage I was wondering if I had a brain malfunction occurring.


The sweet Kylie finally arrived and by that time the entertainment had started. We were all so happy to see Kylie as we thought she'd gotten lost along the way! Then it was off to dinner at a lovely Thai restaurant and back to the room for some fabric adoration and then into bed. Unfortunately Megan and I had to rug up with beanies and jumpers as pyjama accessories as the heating wasn't working in our YHA room.... not a jolly thing during Winter in Canberra!

Stay tuned.....Coming soon, more photos and hijincks from Day 2 of SIT 2012 Canberra!!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Dreams and Dilemmas

I'm back and still wistful about the lovely weekend I have just enjoyed in Canberra with many lovely crafty, bloggy friends. Life is definitely busy at the moment and keeps rolling on, no matter how concerted my efforts are to enjoy and stretch out a happy weekend. I aim to blog about SIT 2012 very soon.

Not wanting to be deliberately secret squirrel but still needing to get it all out of my head (hence the 4am wake up and 5am blog post), I've got some major decisions to make this week and I'm definitely struggling with the 'too nice' side of my personality. The people pleaser side. The always say yes side.

How do you deal with putting yourself first but still wanting to make sure that the other person/s are happy too? It's a big thing to be a grown up and put yourself first and I'm definitely still learning on how to do that effectively. I could rave on about girls and our societal brainwashing of them in that they must be 'nice' and 'do the right thing' all the time. But it's too early in the morning even for me for that topic....

So instead I'll share with you a photo of my gorgeous gal and I that I took the other week to record the loss of her two front teeth.  Too cute!

Wish me luck and please send me be strong vibes for today!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

2 Sleeps Till SIT 2012!

Two more sleeps until I leave for Canberra to hang out at Sew It Together 2012!! Shopping, laughs, drinking, food, shopping.... maybe some crafting thrown in there???

These are a couple of coin purses I've been making for the weekend to swap.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Simple and sweet

Making Dancing Rainbow Ribbons for a customer order on a wet and windy day yesterday surely warmed the cockles of my heart. The colours, the simplicity. Beautiful.
Hold on, when I think about that saying, 'Warms the cockles of your heart' it makes me think that I have biscuits sandwiched together with icing inside my heart. Which would make me quite sweet..... which isn't a bad thing.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Sheepishly pleased

I nominated myself to be the organiser of the SIT 2012 Name Badge swap. The pressure (albeit self-imposed) was crazy so I thought long and hard about my design. I came up with this. He's cute in a knitted way. I don't knit very much at all so I look at him with some trepidation... LOL. Please excuse the dodgy mess on the upper half of the name badge. All names have been obscured for safety of the recipient. Or for stealthy craftiness. Either or.

It's only 2 and a half weeks till I jet set off to Canberra for a weekend of crafty goodness. It will be lovely catching up with online and RT friends. I dare say not much crafting will happen but friendships will be strengthened and made, lots of laughs to be snorted and shopping to be frenzied out of my system.

I can't wait!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

I'm sensing a bit of a theme.....

Some of my current favourite things on Etsy

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Sew It Together Name Badge Swap!

Are you attending this year's Sew It Together 2012 in Canberra?
Want a gorgeous and functional item to use at the event and keep afterward as a momento?

Then sign up for the Sew It Together 2011 Name Badge Swap!

Some of last year's gorgeous badges...
Guidelines for the swap:
Sign up by: Friday 20th April
Partners allocated: Sunday 22nd April
Send badges by: No later than Friday 18th May
  • Name tag is to be no larger than 9cm in any direction - shape is completely up to you
  • Name tags will include first name only as indicated by your swap partner
  • The name tag should be in made in the colours Blue, Red and White
  • Name tags must have a safety pin or a brooch finding on the back. They will be attached to a lanyard that you will be issued with at the event. Preferably the pin should be positioned vertically but if the dimensions of your badge require it to be horizontal that is fine too.
  • You can make your name tag using any medium you like. However, as this is SEW IT TOGETHER the only thing that we ask is that your name tag be sewn/stitched in some way
  • This is a secret swap so make sure you keep the details of your swap partner a secret until after your tag has been received by them
  • Remember to post your pics of the finished badges on our SIT flickr page but keep the person's name a secret until you know they have received it!!
  • Swap is only for bloggers attending the SIT weekend, be it one event or all of them 
  • Completed Name Tags must be sent out to your partner no later than Friday 18th May
 If you find yourself running late or have any issues creating your partner's name tag, please don't hesitate to contact me straight away. We would really love all SIT attendees to have a name badge on the day so I will ensure I do my utmost to make that happen! 

I can be contacted on silly.gilly(at)bigpond.com at any time. Please email me to advise when you have sent your partners name badge and also when you have received your own badge in the mail.

Keen as mustard!?

Go forth, get those creative minds buzzzing and email me with the following:
Name as it is to appear on your badge
Your full name and blog
Your mailing address 

Thanks are given to the previous Badge Biatches Gypsy and Megan. I owe it all to you, paving the way. 

Monday, 9 April 2012

Slow and steady....

I started this cushion a couple of years ago. Years!? It has sat in my work in progress stash in my cupboard for that long with only a tiny bit of quilting and assembly required. So today I finished off this little project and it's destined for my daughter's bed.

The cushion front was started in a class run by Kellie of Don't Look Now fame. I really enjoyed the class and her teaching style. Looking back now, I wish I had chosen a different fabric for the tree trunk but oh well, my daughter will love it!

Now I only have two major works in progress. Two quilts which are fairly detailed and only just started. Maybe they'll be finished in a couple of years.......

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Sew It Together 2012

Last year I had the honour and a whole bucketload of fun being part of a weekend called Sew It Together 2011. It's a chance for crafty, bloggy types like myself to get together and have a great time shopping, travelling, crafting and generally being ourselves. 

This year Sew It Together (SIT) is being held in Canberra in June. I can't wait!! I've already booked my plane tickets and have decided to shack up with some gals at the YMCA there. Should be a hoot!

I like to be involved in things beyond just participating and letting other people run the show, so last year I took fabric along to sell and donated to the prize pool. Hopefully Sheridan will think that's a great idea for me to do it again this year.

In addition to that, I've popped my hand up to help organise the name badge swap. We each get another attendee's name and create a name badge for us to wear at SIT. This years colour combo is blue, white and red. It's a secret as to who makes your badge and it's so much fun seeing all the name badges coming together.

So, to those of you who are attending this year's Sew It Together, keep an eye out for updates and get some gorgeous ideas brewing in your creative heads!

Some of the attendees from last year's SIT. Just quietly there are a couple of us there that will look quite different this year!

Friday, 23 March 2012


Making school colour hair bows for the weekend's Jumble Sale. 
Hopefully I'll get known as the hair bow lady!!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

More on the Process or How do you follow up a big heavy blog post?

Soooo, the though processes are still going. If anything, I can almost feel the cogs whirring and little gears ticking into place. Very little ones but, just like a clock, there are lots of little parts to me and they all work together to achieve one thing. In me, that's being happy.

It's been hard to work out how to keep blogging after writing such an emotion laden post but I was so truly bolstered by the genuine, heartfelt comments left and emails received that I thought I should have a go.

I've joined up for Michelle Bridge's 12WBT (12 Week Body Transformation). I have numerous real life friends who have completed one, if not more, rounds of this program and they all express such enthusiasm and support that it's hard not to be infected with their positivity.

So that's what I've done. I'm infected. Apparently with that crazy exercise bug. It really doesn't suit me right now but when I fully acknowledge that I weigh 111kg, I'm sure it will grow on me (pardon the pun).

And a comment I made this morning really reflected how my thinking is slowly, ever minutely, changing. I was down the beach at 7am this morning with my melon head dog Banjo, my good friend Kelly and her big boofa Pyrenean, Beau. We were discussing fitness and how I was going with the preseason tasks for 12WBT. I said, "But now I'm going to have to stop thinking of myself as the depressed girl.". SO telling. Yep. I have been depressed for so long and down and sad and miserable that it's habit. It's how I see myself.

Not for much longer. Yep. Not much at all.

Random lotus photo taken in Bali last year. Because really, what photo goes with the blathering above?

Thursday, 12 January 2012


Thank you for your messages of support and encouragement all. I do truly appreciate it.

Life has given me a couple of slaps upside the head in the last day or so with a couple of dear friends going through some really bad personal experiences. This is how it goes. I am so down and so low then life reminds me I need to pick myself up and help other people. That's my job. It's what I do. I love doing it.

So onwards and upwards. Yesterday, having a quiet day at home with my daughter after a couple of full on days with friends, my daughter lauded the 'I hate you Mummy' phrase three times. First time, I let it slide right off. Second time, I gave her the 'Don't talk to your Mother like that' line. Third time, I weilded the full extent of the law and banned TV all day today.

It's going to be a long day. I think I'll hide in my studio and sew.

Aiming to finish off this little number today.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

It's Not Me

I hurt inside.
I hurt a lot and I dislike myself immensely sometimes.
Other times I think I am absolutely fabulous and feel about 40% motivated. That's the high times.

I have just read on the interwebs that the medication I take, sertraline, to treat my PMDD (PreMenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) causes apathy and loss of motivation.

I have spent the last four or so months hating on myself, thinking I was the reason for losing my sewing mojo. Thinking I was slack and a lazy person for not getting stuck into my craft and business every day. For not wanting to bother about keeping the house clean. For losing motivation on things I'd start when I was feeling good.

I am experiencing a side effect from my medication which is treating my anger and anxiety and it's causing a different type of anger at myself and stress about my apathy.

I sit here with tears in my eyes and a sad soul as I feel that I have been hating myself unnecessarily. I'm not the cause of my apathy. I'm not the bad person for being lazy and tired and unmotivated.

I've been trying to fix myself and that treatment has been kicking me in the ass behind my back.

I've had enough.

It's time to change this.

I'm pressing publish before I hate myself enough to delete this.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Causing a scene

Sometimes when you are bored at home and have nothing else to do on a 38 degree day, you might consider doing this... 

A major water mains pipe had broken in our neighbourhood. I saw the SES volunteers working out in the heat and thought it might be nice to hand them some icypoles to cool down considering they had been on site since 2am that morning.

One slip in some silty mud and there I was causing further chaos. Long story short, the icypoles were handed out, I got a ride in an ambulance and now have a great story to tell the grandkids. So that's me up there in the photo, under the blanket which was protecting me from the sun. 

A big thanks to the Enfield, SA, division of the State Emergency Service for the professional and friendly way they looked after me.