Hello everyone! Thanks for stopping by.

I’ve finally come up with my #makenine2017!


I know a lot of the #makenine2017’s out there have chosen nine sewing patterns, but  I decided to broaden my focus a little bit and include fabrics and projects as well.

Let’s unpack this, shall we? In no particular order:


I’ve got all these gorgeous vintage and retro patterns and pattern magazines, but I’ve only made maybe two or three items. So one of my goals for this year is to actually get in there and make at least one. I have even ‘projectised’ a couple of patterns with the fabric I want to use, so I’ve got no excuses!! To see more of the patterns in my library, check out my flikr album.


The story of sewists everywhere, right? Lately I have been pretty committed and have managed to finish 90% of the projects I’ve started in the last couple of months. (I am a slow sewist, so it’s not a UFO until at least 6 months after commencement, heh heh.) But, seriously, there are a couple of projects hiding out that were started years (or possibly decades) ago. So my aim is to either finish them, recycle the fabric or CHUCK THEM OUT!!



As I was trawling through my stash the other day, I came across this incredible piece of fabric. So big I had to photograph it hanging on a clothesline! You know the stash is out of control when you find fabric you had forgotten about. Anyway, after racking my brain, I remembered I bought this fabric in  Thailand, on a trip about 3 years ago. It’s a dreamy lightweight silk that feels like, well, really lightweight silk. It’s doubled over in this photo and you can see the print on the other side, so you get the idea. Anyway, there’s quite a bit of it and it’s obvious it needs to be either a maxi skirt or dress. I definitely want to maximise the print, so I’m going to be looking for a pattern with the fewest amount of pieces. I was thinking of the Gabriola Skirt by Sewaholic, but it does have a lot of seamlines in the skirt, so I might have to shop around. If you have any ideas for a pattern that might work, do let me know!


Okay, if you’ve read any of my blog posts before you will know that I have a deep and abiding passion bit of a thing for sewing activewear. I’m not particularly good at it, but the aim is to improve! I want to try a couple of new patterns and hack some old ones. I have tried making FehrTrade’s PBJam leggings previously, but they were an unmitigated disaster so I definitely need to have another go. If you buy Burdastyle Magazine you’ll know the January 2017 edition had a focus on activewear, so I’m looking forward to getting my hands on that. (It can take a while for Burdastyle to hit Australia, unfortunately!) The Kwik Sew pattern is already on the table – pieces cut for the shorts and top so I can test for fit! And of course the Greenstyle Creations Endurance Bra: while I’m not a fan of zipup bras I want to give this a try, as it looks amazingly supportive.

Which is a nice segue to….


As you know I’ve already had success making bras, so I really want to get into more of it this year. I’ve made the Watson and the BOO3 (from Booby Traps), as well as the Gail which is not pictured here. I also have the Booby Traps Dart Bra and Seamwork’s Florence Bra which haven’t had an outing yet. I’m keen to replace most of my bras with me-made.


The Evergreen Jacket from Hey June is one I’ve actually had my eye on for quite some time. When I brought that black camo fabric back from my Japan trip last year, I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it! It’s a heavy stretch fabric, somewhere between scuba and ponte. (I’ve no idea what I want to make with the blue camo, though!)


A patternmaker I’ve been following for a while is the gorgeous Sally from Capital Chic. I started following her blog years ago when she was doing a lot of refashioning, although I don’t think her old blog is available anymore 😦

Her patterns are glamorous, classy and impeccably drafted.  I’ve always had a hankering for the White Russian Sweatshirt. It comes with a cute fox or lion design to quilt onto the front of the sweater. I got this sweet pony fleece on sale sometime last year, and it’s been languishing in my stash ever since. Match made in heaven? I think so!


OMG you guys. This is my refashion wardrobe. It is literally busting at the seams. I went through a phase a few years ago where 90% of my sewing was refashioning. Some of them were pretty good, too! I bought a lot of garments that I thought had ‘potential’, but sadly I did not have the potential myself to see it through on a lot of them! Of course, there are a couple that I’ve just never been able to bring myself to cut into (did you see the flocked-polka-dot-taffeta dress on my instagram??)

Again we have a neat segue…


See that blanket? I made that. It’s made from recycled suits and skirts, all made of wool. It’s backed with a preloved flannelette sheet (green and white striped, forsooth) and the quilt filler is another flannelette sheet. So it’s not super-thick, but it is totally warm and cosy!


That blanket I made for a friend, and let me tell you it turned out so well it was pretty hard to give up. Ever since then I’ve been intending to make one for myself, and have collected a bunch of wool-fabric trousers and skirts from various op shops. On top of that, I have a collection of woolly half-felted jumpers to make into a rug of some kind, plus yet another quilt I want to make for another friend (this one from preloved band t-shirts).  I don’t know that I’ll get all three of them done this year, but I’d like to try for one!!

And, because I want to stay focused, I did this on my sewing room wall:

Yes, my sewing workbench is always this tidy.*

Yes, my sewing room workbench is always this tidy. *


And that’s it, folks! My #makenine2017. Have you come up with a makenine list  for 2017? Do you have a different way of planning your sewing for the year? I’d love to hear from you!


*Disclaimer: No it’s not, that’s a total lie.










Having only moved house in the last couple of weeks, I’m still adjusting to my new digs, and having my own (albeit tiny) crafting space which is kind of still under construction. So there’s not been a huge amount of making lately. I’m going to blame my stash.

Yep, I’m blaming my lack of creativity on the very items I am supposed to be creating with.

It’s like this. My stash has been in storage for the best part of the last 6 months. So as I have been unpacking it over the last few weeks, I’ve become a bit overwhelmed with it all. So many things to make! So many plans and patterns! Where do I start??

Well, I’m not going to start with a picture of a perfect frilly floral crafting space. I’m sure you’ve seen them all over Pinterest, and they are very pretty and sweet, but I just don’t work that way. Instead I’m going to share a cute story of 80’s retro serendipity.

A while back, my Auntie made muumuu’s for me and my sisters. Check out this mad 80’s print:


I love it! I admit I have a bit of a thing for crazy prints – remember this shirt? I’d wear this as a beach cover-up any day. Can’t get enough of that print? Here’s a closeup.


So, last weekend all three of the makebakesisters happened to spend the weekend together in celebration of my mumble-mumblieth birthday. Allison brought some cool stuff down for me from home, including an old suitcase of Kylie’s:


It has potential.

And a stack of retro craft magazines:


Leafing through one of the magazines – Handmade September/October 1987, in fact – that one on the right – I came across a picture that had me leaping to my feet yelling ‘No way!!!’

I raced in to my closet and dug out the muumuu so I could compare it to this picture:

80's print dress0001

Do You See What I See?  Yep, it’s the same print! I just love serendipity like this.

I think some 80’s music might be appropriate right now.



And by that I mean the way the quilt grew and shaped itself as I worked. This is my 4th or possibly 5th cot-sized quilt, and all of them have been patternless projects. Granted, the first few I used block patterns – here’s one from a few years ago, pre-blog.

jack straw_4

Then there was this one, which was all about recycled fabrics, but the process was an organic one where I had a bunch of odd squares and rectangles and had to fit them together. There’s probably a name for this, maybe it’s crazy patchwork, but I always thought that referred to non-geometric shapes? This was more like tetris.

This latest quilt – which was given in conjunction with Hilary The Hippo – also happened mostly by accident. I had two things: a roll of fat quarters in co-ordinated prints which I’d gotten on sale some time ago, and a yen to try the stack-and-slash method.

So I read a few tutorials, then blithely set about stacking & slashing. Then I went, oops. I was supposed to layer calico in between the printed squares.


Sorry about the quality – phone camera + poor light = crap photo!

See those big blocks? They’re supposed to be about twice as wide. Luckily, I’d started out by trimming down the fat quarters into 12″ squares, so I had some fabric left to work with. I did the stack&slash thing properly this time – notice the three wide bands, that’s how it’s supposed to look! I had freaked out a bit and forgotten to take more pictures of the process, but here’s how it ended up.


I had this great piece of chocolate-brown polka dot that I wanted to use for the backing, but of course it wasn’t quite bit enough. So in the true spirit of patchwork I used the last pieces of the prints, and some bits of blocks that hadn’t been used on the front, to make it fit.


Yeah, maybe it looks a bit ‘homemade’. And my quilting it pretty average – don’t look too closely at the wrinkles, please! But I like it. And apparently so did my giftees, which makes me happy.

I mean, really. Look at this whacky combination of flowers, tiger stripe and chains.


But still, there was something about it that I really liked. And not just the fact that it was a really lovely soft merino wool – the kind that’s normally rather expensive. Although apparently the moths liked it too:

holey merino sweater

Lots of tiny little holes! But I’ll deal with those later. Firstly, I’m gonna cut a bit of length off, and use my overlocker to take care of the raw edge.  (This also got rid of quite a few holes!)


Then I made a cut straight up the centre, and again made with the overlocking.


That green fabric you see in the middle there is me testing to see what I can use to finish the edges. This shiny turquoise lycra was bought at the same time as the chiffon I used in this top – they match perfectly, and I cannot for the life of me remember what I was planning on making!

It worked for this sweater (well, better than anything else in my stash) so I cut a couple of strips and used it to bind the centre front edges.

The hem I folded up about 1cm, pressed, and then hand-sewed. Then I got out my darning needle and did some repair work!


They’re not perfect, but they’re also not particularly obvious, and the holes will now not fray or enlarge.  I did have to spend $1.25 on some embroidery thread as I didn’t have anything even close to this colour – and of course when I went to the fabric store I forgot to take my offcut so I could match the shade! I had to do it from memory alone. I think I did okay, actually. Does anyone else find handsewing to be kind of therapeutic? Especially darning; it’s very satisfying to see a little hole become a cute little repair.


So the sweater cost me $5 and the embroidery thread $1.25 – total of $6 for a cosy cardigan that I have worn to work already (where it passed the warmth test – I’m always cold in the office, but this cardy kept the chill off perfectly.)


What do you think? Still too daggy? 🙂

I’d been trying to figure out a way to package a little sewing kit for my travels. You never know, I might find something to refashion on the road – but I couldn’t fit Ms Janome in my backpack!
When I saw a couple of pretty vintage glasses cases in Vinnies for $2 each, I was inspired!

Inside, before!

With a bit of tracing paper and a pencil I mocked up a pattern to make a lining piece.


After trying it out, I snipped some corners to adjust the fit, then sewed a single-fold narrow hem around the outer edges. Another fitting, to work out where all my bits & bobs would sit. I handsewed those little bits of felt onto the liner to be my needle & pin keepers, as well as a bit of ribbon to hold my little thread spools.


Then I used some fabric-friendly glue to stick the liner into the case, and walked away to let it dry. Actually, I didn’t walk away. I stayed in my sewing room to work on something else. More on that later!


Then when the glue dried I just added the rest of the essentials! Scissors, stitch ripper, a couple of scraps of iron-on interfacing (handy for mending), a piece of cord (you never know) and a miniature tape measure that I whipped up on my printer & covered in sticky tape.


It did get used on the trip – I hemmed a pair of pants and used the red cord on a handbag refashion (again, more on that later!).

Just to make you jealous, here’s some mist-shrouded Mayan ruins:

Tikal, Belize

Tikal, Belize



In preparation for an overseas trip later this year, I decided to get up to date with my vaccines. I was all good except for Typhus which had run out a couple of years ago, and I decided to get a flu shot as well. The doctor lady sold me on the oral typhus vaccine, which lasts longer and is more effective. Now you have to take it on an empty stomach, so when the possums had a massive territorial dispute in the ceiling last Sunday morning at 6am, I leapt staggered out of bed and took the first one.

A few hours later I had a bagel for breakfast. A few hours after that my tummy was so upset I went back to bed and pretty much stayed there.  Needless to say, neither the assignment nor the sewing planned for the day went ahead.

But here’s something I prepared earlier! Meet Hilary:

Meet Hilary.

She’s a little shy, but if you wait quietly….


She will come out and say hello.

I made Hilary from a magazine pattern, I won’t mention the name of the mag here because the instructions were pretty frustrating, referring to pattern markings that weren’t on the pattern, things like that. Maybe that was how it came to be in the op shop in the first place…. anyhoo, I managed to muddle through. Ain’t she cute?


She was a gift for some friends of mine who are expecting. I actually finished her a couple of weeks ago, but of course I couldn’t blog her until I had given her to her new owners!

Moo! (or whatever it is hippos say)

A lot of study had to happen, so not much making or baking did for a while there! But here’s a couple of thrifty little things I pulled together recently.

I’ve wanted a potato storer for ages. MBS No.1 has a fancy white ceramic one, which I covet. So I’d been keeping an eye out for large ceramic pots in my op-shop travels, and eventually my eye settled on this plain looking specimen.


The Style Consultant had some doubts, but it was either this or the one with teddy bears on it.  So I scrounged around in the hoard and invented what is basically a showercap.


Reversible, in case we get bored.


So my potatoes and onions are now happily ensconced in their new home.


A while back, MBS No.2 gave me a copy of the British craft magazine, Mollie Makes. There were a couple of very cute little projects in there, one of which I earmarked for a healthy-eating friend of mine whose sewing accoutrements didn’t yet include a pincushion.
Another rummage through the hoard yeilded some scraps of fabric (including some bits of vintage sheet previously made into the most comfy lounge pants ever) and just enough stuffing to fill these fruity little guys.


Looks like they just fell from the tree!


Here they are hard at work already.


Not only are they exceedingly cute but they busted my stash of the almost-empty bag of polyfill that’s been hanging around since, um, I don’t even remember what I bought it for!!!

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