Message Tree Baby Quilt

DSCN2747For friends of ours’ new baby I attempted my first quilt.  I definitely don’t claim to be a quilter so this was quite an interesting undertaking.  But I kept it simple and quite enjoyed the journey.  I’m pretty happy with the outcome.

At the baby shower BBQ, I got their friends to write notes to the yet-to-arrive-baby or soon-to-be-parents on fabric leaves that I had pre-cut out.  I then assembled it at home.  The leaves and tree trunk fabric were bits from my scrap stash, the front is an old duvet cover and the backing, edge fabric and batting are from Remnant Warehouse.  I must say a huge thank you to the very helpful ladies at Remnant Warehouse who gave me a crash course in quilting while I was buying the fabric.

I first eassembled the layers (back fabric, batting and front fabric) careful to leave enough of an edge that I could cut off to straighten once it was all put together.  I stitched straight across in a hash pattern.  I first tried this with my machine but it started getting bunched up in places so I did quite a few of the stitch lines by hand.

Next I ironed applique interfacing (double sided) to the leaves and trunk and trimmed the edges. Then the big assembly came with putting the trunk and leaves onto the quilt and making sure I ironed them all securely in place. I kept the edges of the pieces raw and then straight stitched or zigzagged around each leaf and the tree trunk. The final step was putting the binding on.  I made 2.5 inch straight binding (doesn’t need to be on the bais because it’s going around a square!) and used a nifty technique to sew it on: fold the binding in half and sew the raw edge aligned with the raw edge of the quilt. Then fold the doubled up binding over the edge and stitch in the ditch to secure in place.

And ta dah!  my first quilt – a highly personalised message tree sending so much love and adoration to the new little one.




Thanks for visiting and happy sewing!

The Lesley Blouse

This fitted blouse was a long time in the making (and even longer time in the blogging!) and is named after my sewing buddy Lesley.

Lesley blouse_frontThe pattern is a self drafted pattern based on my fitted bodice block from my very first pattern making class at Studio Faro. But it took me a while to get my head around collars and cuffs and all the bits and pieces that go into making a button down shirt.  This is where Lesley came into her own, sending me online tutorials for various parts of the shirt and tricks of the trade.  We had a pattern making session together where we went through some of the more tricky bits.  I don’t think I would’ve endeavoured to the end without the encouragment from a fellow sewist.

Lesley blouse_backI made this first version out of an Italian cotton with a little stretch from Remnant Warehouse and a contrast quilting cotton under the collar, the inner collar stand and in the cuffs.  I went with a fairly standard collar, a simple button stand (just folded over section of the two front pieces rather than a separate button stand) and kept all of the waist darts as per the pattern block – that’s 4 in the front and 4 in the back!

Lesley blouse_collar

Lesley blouse_collar stand

Lesley blouse_cuff

I decided on long cuffs for a more retro look but somehow miscalculated the cuff width and ended up with VERY tight cuffs.  Luckily I can still do up the buttons but I can’t slip my hands through without undoing the buttons.  Oops! I was considering doing sleeve plackets (Lesley had a good block for that too) but decided that I needed to keep it simple for version 1 otherwise it would never get made.  Next time I’ll have to tackle the placket.

Lesley blouse_untuckedI made the shirt extra long to accommodate my long body and so that it doesn’t get untucked when I raise my arms.  I like that alteration although I may need to make it wider at the bottom to get over my hips.

All in all, not a bad little attempt at my first blouse pattern.  I’d love to make it in a fun Liberty fabric or something.  But I’ll have to stay skinny to fit into it with all those unforgiving waist darts!

Pattern: My own Lesley Blouse pattern

Fabric: Italian cotton from Remnant Warehouse and quilting cotton for the contrasts

Alterations: Specific design decisions this time was the long cuff and extra length.  Next time I’ll stick with the extra length (wider over the hips), have short and WIDER cuffs and I might have a go at the sleeve placket.

Do it again: Yup… but maybe not for summer

Ziggi Sew-Along: She’s finished!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, please put your hands together as I present…the infamous ZIGGI!

There’s a hush in the crowd, the spotlights zoom in on centre stage as the thick red curtain is raised to reveal the completed Ziggi jacket.


Ziggi out on the town.

Ziggi here was no small undertaking for a moderately competent intermediate sewist like myself.  There are a lot of pieces, 5 (FIVE) zips and a full lining. A huge thank you to the wonderful ladies of SewMaris and StacySews who were our fearless leaders in this endeavour and had some brilliant tutorials through some of the rougher sections of zipper pockets, attaching linings etc. There were a few steps where I think I winged it a little but I’m pretty happy with the result and am excited to get lots of wear from this sassy lady.


Back view:  notice the changes in stripe orientation on the sides, sleeve top and under sleeve. It’s enough to make your eyes go fuzzy!


All zipped up


Loving the red striped silk lining with grey flowers. The cutting out of the silk was a bit of a chellenge and I wish I’d read Maris’ post about cutting out silk with paper underneath the fabric BEFORE I cut all my pieces out.  Nevertheless, we got there in the end and my striped are mostly straight.


The details are what make the jacket extra special.  And I definitely learned a few tricks along the way.  Like making this zipper window using some organza or lining, clipping into the corners, folding it back and then inserting the zip. Also…ALWAYS measure your zips and the spaces your pattern is telling you to put them in…they don’t always match and you need to somehow make it work.

I like the way the bias cut side panels meet in a chevron on the side seam 🙂


This project was quite an intensive one for me and I put some solid hours into it thanks to all the recent public holidays. But it feels like quite an accomplishment and I even managed to get it done by the Ziggi Sew-Along deadline!  I look forward to many happy days with me and my Ziggi.

Pattern: Style Arc’s Ziggi Biker Jacket and HUGE help from SewMaris and StacySew’s Sew-Along

Fabric: Outer: Blue and white striped denim. Lining: red striped silk with grey flowers. Both from The Remnant Warehouse, Botany Road, Sydney

Alterations: I made a full toile and had it fitted with the help of Anita. From that I took it in at the back waist, widened the shoulders a bit, lengthened the arms by 2cm and lengthened the body by 1.5cm. I also rearranged the grain lines to get the stripe orientations I wanted and had to redraw the pocket patterns to match my zips.

Do it again?: Not just yet.  One Ziggi is enough for the moment…but I could see it in a nice bright wool fabric.  I don’t think I’ll tackle leather just yet.

Did you make a Ziggi?  What was your experience?  Check out some of the others at Flickr.