Thursday, November 7, 2013

If I were an ambassadors wife...

I would wear this gown to the governors ball



Burda released a new range of dress patterns on Tuesday, one of them was this lovely bow back Maxi Dress. I may never get to make and wear this dress cause I don't often get invited to black tie events so I'd thought I'd bring this loveliness to your attention (and then maybe you can make it!)

The length, full skirt, pleated back and bows reminds me of something you might see in a 60s movie, worn by some ambassadors wife at a fancy ball, before the movies protagonist comes stumbling in spilling wine down her silk brocade gown... 

Ahhh so much day dreaming...

Also! If you are in the US, or anywhere near a computer really - the first issue of BurdaStyle Magazine US was released recently. The editors plan to have a reoccurring feature where they call upon BurdaStyle members to share their sewing tips. This month they wanted tips on buttons and I submitted my tip on measuring buttons for a button hole and happily they featured it! 

You can buy an online version of the magazine here or wherever you might normally find sewing magazines in your town

I hope your all enjoying your week - Friday is almost here and then the weekend! 

Cat xoxo

Monday, November 4, 2013

Overcasting your cares away!

Are you like me and tend to do all your sewing on the one machine? Not everyone might own an over-locker, especially beginner sewers, but there is a way to finish your edges very easily without having to buy or lug out your over locker for what might only be a small job. 

Most modern sewing machines come with a range of feet - one of which is the overcasting foot. It's a rather distinct foot and only serves one purpose - albeit a very good purpose.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Devoted to Donovan

A few months back I read Donovan's biography Hurdy Gurdy Man. Sarah from Where the Roses go and I were planning on doing a joint post, but Sarah is no longer at the blogging helm sadly! 

Initially my intention was to write a post about the book and whether or not I liked it, but now I think I must write more. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blackbird (singing in the dead of night)

How nice it is to finish projects - especially those which are so simple and leave you feeling like an expert! 

This sewing project was an aim to get back to the simpleness of sewing and 60s design. A shift dress with contrasting collar and cuffs. No fussy bows or ruffles, just plain, simple and easy. 

Something reminiscent of the mid-60s. A simple silhouette which suited many, and which was so different to the dresses of the previous years. A Peter Pan collar to recall the clothing of their childhood and cuffs to balance.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Summer of my smiles

Hello there lovely people! 

Do you often have those periods where everything seems overwhelming? Since returning from my little work break, life has been quite a full on little bastard. Mostly with work and lack of sleep and other issues which I never managed to balance out properly. And then the massive wave of tasks at work somehow took over my life to the point where I wouldn't leave until 6pm. That's not a good finishing time for someone who has to commute an hour sometimes and hour and a half home. I had started Yoga before my leave but stopped due to a lack of time (and money) 

With the recent bushfires in the Blue Mountains and also thanks to a little visit with my friend and her baby, Jamie, It really has made me learn to stop and enjoy my life. Work will always be there, but everything else will pass by unnoticed if I don't take control of the boat, so to speak. Waking up in the morning and feeling exhausted before I've even gotten out of bed isn't a good feeling.

It's funny how we put this pressure on ourselves, but just end up making mistakes and being exhausted from things that are totally within our own control. 

This is why I love spring. I honestly feel like there is a coat that I shrug off when spring comes both physically and metaphorically. 

Getting back to owning my time and reassessing what I'm doing, and not worrying about what I should or shouldn't be doing. Stopping myself from putting up barricades and not getting angry when others keep theirs up - these are all things that are motivating me right now.

Don't worry, this isn't an announcement to say I'm stopping blogging or anything, this is just my mental release of everything that swims around my head from time to time and brings me down. 

The best way for me to asses my situation is to remember those things that I love the most that make me happy or giggle lots. 

Would you like to know some of those things are currently keeping me sane happy? 

Watching - All the Wes Anderson films. I started my Wes Ander-thon on Sunday. A bit late to start one, but I'll pick up from The Royal Tenenbaums this Friday 

Eating - Bananas, in all forms. I'm not currently able to bite, thanks to my lovely braces, so bananas in the form of cakes, bread and smoothies are good easy and yummy

Listening to - Led Zeppelin. Last year I had a similar listening obsession with Led Zeppelin, but that was an initial getting to know their work, this time around I'm listening more carefully and understanding their techniques. A lot of their music is quite up lifting to!

The Rain Song - from where the title of this post comes from

Reading Light and Shade, conversations with Jimmy Page by Brad Tolinski. In combination with the music, I'm learning quite a bit. I've also got Miss O'Dell by Chris O'Dell on the run, so I switch between the two. 

Obsessed with - Spring, her lovely flowers and the abundance of sunlight that comes with it. This is when I start to like Sydney again and spend a lot of time staring out the window at the trees and also the baby ducks that are living in the pond near my window at work. 

Sewing - I'm yet to name her, but the black dress with white collars and cuffs is my current project. Making this most basic of dresses is also helping with my stress release

Worried about - the bushfires in the Blue Mountains. My Boyfriends cousin lives at the base of the mountains and they were on "watch an act" alert, which is the next down from evacuate. They have a beautiful property and we have lots of family parties there. Their doing ok and the bushfires have been downgraded for now. 

** You can make a donation to the Red Cross here to assist those who have lost their homes
Or if you are an animal lover you can also make a donation here to WIRES who are doing a very good job rescuing and treating animals that live in the bushfire affected area **

Something new - My Kikki K purchases. I do actually do a good job at work and sometimes people give me "reward points" which I always spend on Kikki K vouchers

A sentence a day diary, to do list, gold stripe pen and cute magnetic bookmarks
Also the new collection from Yeye Vintage Boutique, with lots of 60s and 70s gorgeousness to buy

Excited for - summer holidays! I've put my leave in for work - 3 lovely weeks of relaxing, celebrating and of course sewing. 

Life in general - Is pretty good! I'm healthy, my braces are doing their thing and it's my favourite time of year - why shouldn't I be happy? 

How's everything going for you dear reader? I hope life is being kind to you! 

Feel free to tell me your own list of things that are making you happy in your comment


Monday, October 21, 2013


Liza Minelli
Mmm Peter Pan collars. Aren't they just delish? And paired with matching cuffs on a cute shift, make for the idyllic 60's dress. 

I'm not sure how this trend started. Perhaps it was to replicate men's business shirts with the white collar and cuffs on a contrasting fabric? But with a cuter, sweeter edge.

Regardless, I'm smitten with this neat mod look and as such my next project is very much influenced by the following images. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Goldie - The wearble muslin

Do you often make muslin's when your sewing? or Toile's or Calico's?

They're all the same thing but named differently depending on where you live. In Australia, we apparently call them calico's  but considering the majority of my sewing education comes from books, YouTube and blogs, I've ended up calling any garment that is a practice garment a Muslin 

Normally I make my muslin's out of left over fabric, old sheets or fabric from the op-shop. I rarely buy actual calico from the store because its actually quite expensive! Its cheaper to buy home spun plain cotton. Go figure. 

Wearable muslin's however are another deal. Sometimes I make up a garment without any adjustments or edge finishes as they're intended to be a test, but they end up being wearable. And other times I make things with the intention of wearing them out, but they end up not really being the best. This is one of those kinds of projects. (kinda)