January 02, 2017

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Being bamboozled by gold paint on blue batik

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  Blue batik

My hubbie has been working across Asia for years and every so often he hauls a folded package of fabric out of the suitcase. One year he handed me a beautiful royal blue batik embellished in gold lines tracing out the pattern underneath. Stuck at home with the kids I'd never joined him on any of these trips so was bamboozled by how on earth the gold paint could have got there.

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December 08, 2016

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Baubles, Snowflakes & Hot Chocolate

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Fishpetals Do Fly hat sewing patterns Christmas blog
 
Just the other day one of friends was telling me about a lovely activity her family has fallen into and it sounds very much like it's becoming a special tradition in her home. In Australia, with no snow and often a blaring sun, we either embrace the heat, fire up the barbie and bring out the salads or stick our heads in the sand, turn on the oven and get ready to bake (in more ways than one) while sticking up plastic snowflakes on the window.

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November 11, 2016

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Inspiring fabrics to sew a warm & toasty winter hat

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Sew Winter fabric hat 

Here in Melbourne we're heading into Summer but so many of my friends in Northern climes have asked whether my hat patterns are suitable for Winter fabrics. Of course they are! There's lot of fabulous Winter fabrics out there these days ranging from a traditional woven wool through to PVC. Here's some ideas to get your creative hat making juices rolling.

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October 12, 2016

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Love a gift voucher! Spotlight part 2

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 fabric for Winter hat

Just before my birthday in July I wrote about Spotlight, Australia's biggest fabric store. I wasn't entirely complimentary but I think I did concede that most of the time they'll have something along the lines of what you're looking for. Guess what I got for a birthday present?  Yes, a Spotlight gift card!

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September 01, 2016

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Inspiration & Creativity

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Being bombarded with information, ideas, images, sounds, new objects and things to desire is a constant accompaniment to everyday day life. You would think this would make it so much easier to come up with new ideas yourself! But often that's not the case; with so much going on it can be completely overwhelming...

FishPetals Do Fly Creativity & inspiration

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August 18, 2016

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Time, texture & textiles

Black Rock clock tower

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Sewing is not just about cutting out fabric, stitching it up and finishing up with a new dress, or hat, to wear. Although I do love that. Over the years I've seriously tried to analyse what I like about sewing and in the end I think it comes down to the textiles themselves. For some reason I'm drawn to the threads, the lines, their texture, their colour and how they're combined to make a fabric which may have a texture or colour all of its own...

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August 11, 2016

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How to master yarn and the crochet scrumble

fishpetals blog crochet

 

Prudence Mapstone is a freeform crochet (and knitting) guru and one of my favourite practitioners with yarn. I was reminded of her work recently when a friend announced that she's decided to try her hand at crochet but she's not too worried about following patterns. I first learnt to crochet back in primary school. At around the same time Mum also taught me to knit but I quickly found crochet had much more appeal as it developed so much more quickly. This was the late 60s/early 70s and hippy style granny square tank tops were all the rage; crochet up a couple of squares to cover your chest, add some double crochet straps and then a fringe along the bottom and voila, you were done! I think I made one as part of the requirements to earn a badge at Brownies...

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August 05, 2016

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Stop Press! I'm a Sew Mama Sew contributor!

A bit of exciting news - my second Sew Mama Sew article was published today! It's all about understanding interfacing.

To celebrate I'm offering 15% off - just use the code SEWMAMASEW (valid through to Wednesday - see full blog post for details).

SMS contributor

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August 04, 2016

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What happens when coffee can't be found in a mansion

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Werribee greenhouse & quilted skirt

My quilted skirt is made from a really fine cotton (inside & out) sandwiching wadding and free stitched using variegated thread. The finished skirt is warm and holds its shape beautifully. Oh, and that's my Firecake hat in an upholstery faux suede!

Werribee Park Mansion is a 60 room Italianate mansion 30 minutes west of Melbourne. It was completed in 1877 after just 3 years of construction by the Chirnside family, members of Victoria's 'squattocracy' who had arrived in Australia nearly 40 years earlier to establish a vast pastoral empire. It's where I went with daughter Isobel for my birthday outing a couple of weeks ago. These days the house is run by Parks Victoria and showcases magnificent formal grounds, the State Rose Garden, a sculpture park, farmyard and the historical house itself.

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July 28, 2016

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Sometimes life gets in the way of sewing

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Sometimes life gets in the way of sewing. And sometimes,even when it's so tragic, life can be hilariously funny.

I was in a cafe this morning and did not hear the phone ring, twice. My Dad had been taken to emergency by my sister who had been shopping with her 4 year old. Her husband had to leave work to collect the 4 year old so they could go to emergency. Because I was in a cafe and did not hear the phone ring. If I had heard the phone ring I would have taken Dad to emergency, the sister would not have had to abandon the 4 year old and the husband would not have had to leave work...

Gujarat embroidery

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