Melbourne fabric shopping adventures

Paul and went on an overseas trip to Melbourne in December. We had a whole week so I planned to visit a number of fabric stores. Because fabric is the best souvenir right?!

On day 1 we visited The Fabric Store and Clear It. In Wellington we live/work close to The Fabric Store in Wellington so I didn’t spend much time here as was very similar.

Clear It is almost next door to TFS stocks end of line clothing, shoes, fabric and findings etc from Australian designers. As it’s all ends of lines you really have to dig through to discover the gems. The fabric section of the store closes an hour prior to the rest of the store so allow yourself enough time.


These are the fabrics that we bought home. The ducks will be for jacket lining for both Paul and I. The ballerina fabric will be jacket lining for me. The hearts fabrics has been made into a skirt and the poison fabric turned in a Paxton sweatshirt for Paul. The other cottons will be for men’s shirts for Paul. Most of the fabrics cost between $3 – $5 per meter.  This was my favourite store for bargains during our trip. Most of the fabrics are ex designer rolls so you can find some really unique pieces.


The Cloth Shop Ivanhoe

We caught a Uber out to Ivanhoe to meet the lovely Blogless Anna. Paul found some awesome Pac-Man style t shirt fabric.


Darn Cheap Fabrics

Anna took us to Darn Cheap Fabrics. I loved all their trims and patches. They have lots of lovely fabrics. I bought some beautiful floral patches and some deep indigo cotton for a summer tunic dress.


I didn’t purchase anything at Tessuti (Paul was amazed) the fabric there is too expensive for my budget. I would have splurged I had seen an incredible fabric but nothing jumped out.


Tucked away in the first floor of an upstairs arcade is Luccello. It is a gorgeous store which is a visual delight. They stock quilting fabrics, cute findings, beautiful threads and bias bindings. I treated myself to a meter of liberty bias binding and a needle storage booklet both are items which I’ll cherish using.


Right next door as a lovely Kimono store and Button store pictures below

Seamstress cocktail bar

Even though it was a Thursday night in December some of the Melbourne sewing bloggers took the time to meet up with me for drinks. After our first plans fell through we moved to Seamstress Cocktail bar and I was glad they did! I loved Seamstresses. The bar is housed in a 120 year old textile factory rich with history. The cocktails were good too 🙂


The bar has kimonos hanging from the ceiling and spools full of cotton attached to the walls. Some of the tables are Singer treadle sewing machines.

I’ve heard that Eliza’s and Jimmy’s Buttons are also awesome places to visit.

I hope this list helps if you’re heading to Melbourne.

Thanks for reading !

Sewing Goals for 2017

New Years is a wonderful time for reflection. I created a record 84 garments in 2016 and only purchased three ready-to-wear garments. I really want to work on refining my style more as my skills develop.

My sewing goals for 2017 are:

-Make less basics and work on more time-consuming pieces

-Make a mens shirt (I’ve already booked into a class for this)

– Sew with leather

-Work on my small business idea on the weekends


Papercut Sea bell dress by Papercut in a navy stretch cotton

Seamwork Winona in Burgundy knit

Sew house Seven Tea House Dress

Alder shirt dress with side pockets using fabric from Melbourne

Bonn shirt (or dress) in printed bird cotton

Named Kielo Black stretch Silk

Butterick B6169 dress with tie


Grainline Archer Shirt (cut out)

Scout Tee or similar in Liberty Print

Deer and Doe Green printed Melilot Blouse

Style Arc Blair shirt in a lightweight denim

Closet Case Files Nettie bodysuit T shirt in grey knit

Seamwork Elmira wrap cardi in deep green merino (cut out)


Megan Nielsen Axel Skirt two versions one in black with the front split the other in grey with front ties (already cut out)

Named Pulmu Skirt

A couple more V1247 skirts

Coats & Jackets:

Papercut Bellatrix blazer

Schnittchen – Silvia Coatigan

Named Yona coat in wool

Butterick zip up bomber jacket style number B6169  in navy cotton twill

Grainline Driftless cardigan


Deer and Doe Safran Pants as stretch pants and as jeans

Tailored pants – vintage pattern in grey wool


Genoa tote as a lunch bag and one in leather

For Paul:

Seamwork shorts

Self drafted T shirts

Papercut Rigel Jacket adjusted 

Genoa tote

Men’s shirt 6044

My key colour pallet is Navy, Black, Grey, Green, Burgundy.

I’m excited to get started on sewing some new pieces for my closet.

Thank you for following my journey.

xx Happy sewing

Papercut Patterns Waver Jacket

When I moved to Wellington 2 years ago my clothing needs changed. Wellington weather is very changeable and is consistently awarded the windiest city in the world.

I own a trench raincoat which I wear all the time but I’ve been wanting a casual windbreaker which didn’t look like it came from an outdoors shop. Kristen posted her Waver jacket and I was inspired.

I sourced the same grey waterproof wool from Drapers Fabrics. It was 80cm less than the recommended fabric amount but it was the last of the roll.


I cut a size small with no adjustments. There was even fabric left over!  I lined the hood with waterproof fabric rather than the lining fabric. The pattern came together easily  I followed all the steps closely. I lined the pockets with scraps of merino wool for extra warmth on cold days and double stitched around the pockets for extra durability. I matched the colour of the toggles with the snaps. It’s these details that make sewing satisfying!

The jacket is lined in polyester. I love the pop of colour it’s much more inspiring to wear when it’s cold, wet and/or windy.

The one area I had trouble with was the hem. The fabric sagged around the middle back. I fixed this issue by pressing the hem in the centre back 1cm shorter than the sides. Next time I would add an extra 2cm to the hem of the lining and 1cm to the bottom of the sleeves.


I love this jacket it may be my favorite make of 2016. I look forward to making more outerwear this year.


Waver jacket with my Inari dress.


Thanks for reading ❤

Seamwork Elmira

20161127_141254When Seamwork released the Elmira pattern I wasn’t sure if the design would suit me. When Jess posted her version it inspired me to try it. I love the style, it’s perfect for the office and for light layering. I have already purchased fabric for another two; a deeper green and a plum merino.

When I make a new pattern I always hold the pieces up against my body to get an idea of the sizing. From this, I decided to lengthen the front and back pieces by 3 inches. I spent a bit of time trying to figure out the instructions as it isn’t a standard wrap cardigan pattern with a hole at the side. Instead, it wraps around and has internal hoops or snaps (I used snaps as it was much less fiddly).

I’m impressed by Seamwork’s current collection of patterns. The patterns are affordable and they release two new patterns each month. Due to the speed of production deadlines, I do think they sometimes skip important details that would help improve the longevity of the garments. I added a few extra details:

  • I sewed cotton tape into the shoulder seam so then it doesn’t stretch.
  • I also ironed thin interfacing on the bias seams of the front seams and on the back neck and hemline. So sew easy has written a great post on using knit stay tape here if you are interested.

The two front pieces are double lined and the back is a single piece of fabric cut on the fold. I finished the back hem and neckline using a twin needle.


The snaps are at the right-hand side of the cardigan. Here it’s worn with my Deer and Doe Melilot blouse and a Nita Wrap Skirt blogged here.

Fabrics: Merino

Findings: Thread, snaps, iron on interfacing, cotton tape,

Cost: Grey cardigan  $12   Green cardigan $40

Size: M with extra length added


This photo is taken at Clear It in Melbourne. Go there if you’re in Melbourne! I’ll be posting about our trip soon.

Thanks for reading, happy sewing.

Seamwork Catarina

sw3032-catarina-01-large-a8dc2fbf38b5ae7532a6f3649b91070b619f8c868f9526ffa3444b8e6b957e57This summer we have three weddings to attend, the first is coming up next week in Melbourne!  I can’t wait to catch up with family go fabric shopping, eat, drink and explore. Because I’m in town some of the Melbourne sewing ladies and I are getting together for dinner and drinks. I can’t wait to meet up with some of the talented sewists of Melbourne.

Because it’s going to be hot in Austalia I knew I wanted to create an effortless dress to wear to the wedding. When Seamwork’s Catarina dress (pictured left) was released I knew I needed one in my summer wedding wardrobe.  The pattern has a simple gathered skirt and a fitted top with a waist tie. The top is double lined so you could make it reversible. My original plan was to sew the skirt with french seams and line the top with a printed silk which would pair with the rest  of the fabric.

I came across the fabric in the remnants bin at The Fabric Store. It was the last of the fabric in the store and luckily it was nearly the perfect amount for the Catarina.  Due to fabric limitations, I decreased the hem length by 8 cm and didn’t cut the fabric ties on the bias. I lined the top of the dress with a woven check green silk the main fabric is a silk rayon with a lovely drape.


I  love the finished dress. Next time I will go down a size in the top and cut the waist tie in two long pieces rather than five pieces joined together. I added narrow elastic to the  inside near the join of the skirt and top. I will cover the elastic with green perisham ribbon. When these photos were taken I hadn’t created loops for the waist tie yet which meant the waist tie wanted to move around. I will definitely sew loops on before next week.

I’ve worn the dress with my fun Gorman shoes and Karen Walker necklace. The dress looks best worn with plainer shoes (I was excited after making this so I wore my party shoes). I’m hoping to finish a couple of t shirts for Paul before next week and make a jacket  which I haven’t started..wish me luck.

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Leave me a comment if you have any Melbourne recommendations.

Thanks for reading

Helen’s Closet Winslow Culottes

I was pretty excited about the release of Helen’s first pattern. The testers versions all looked amazing. I was nervous excited about making these as I wasn’t sure if I could – do culottes! I thought that they would either be amazing or I would end up man-repelling. The greaimag2717t thing about sewing for me is that it’s all a learning process so I don’t let myself get stressed about a project not working out.
I made my first pair in a drapey viscose twill that I bought for a mere $6 during a fabric sale. When I put together the pattern pieces I was a little terrified. Woah did I print this right? the legs are huge! Don’t be frightened friends, the box pleat is what makes this pattern great.

Helen had the best set of instructions I’ve read in a while and I learned a lot while making these. Did you know that you can pre-iron a zip before insertion (upside down) on a low setting? It prepares an invisible zip way easier to insert especially if you’re like me and tackle invisible zips using a normal sewing foot. Mind blown.

I’m really pleased with the finished product. The style is really different from my normal tailored look, but I’ve really enjoyed wearing these both casually with t-shirts and to work with silk blouses and tights. I have romantic dreams of cycling around town while wearing these shorts and still retaining my modesty.

I look forward to seeing what pattern Helen makes next. I’m a fan.

Seriously guys these pockets are the best.

Thanks for reading!

Named Inari dress

IMAG2705.jpgWhen I really love a pattern and have a gap in my closet I tend to and make up the pattern several times in a range of fabrics. The named Inari dress is no exception.

With my first one I chose my favourite fabric as a wearable muslin (brave or stupid?). I hadn’t read any reviews online so I chose the size according to my measurements. When cutting out the pattern I wondered about all the extra fabric through the waist but figured it was easy to take it in afterwards. Once constructed I felt the extra fabric swamped my figure I pinned in the waist several inches and let out the seam allowances on the hips as far as possible for extra ease.

I have since adjusted my base pattern to come in at the waist and out at the hips to reflect my hourglass shape. The original pattern lines are intact but the shape suits my figure. The dress is now one of my go-to patterns as it can be put together in an evening after work (assuming that it’s precut). I love this pattern as it feels modern with its split hem. A few people have mentioned limited arm movement I haven’t experienced this but Gail wrote an extensive post on this if you are finding this an issue.

Me friends Trees, Rachel and I selling our stash at Fabricbrac.

Thanks for reading

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