30 June, 2014

Monday Motivation - New Organic Yarn

The first day of term also happened to be the coldest day this Winter (so far).

As I watched the sleet landing on my now-deceased potato plants, a package arrived! These beautiful new shades of organic cotton made the day just a little more bearable.

I'm especially excited about the warm pink skein pictured above - a blend of linen and organic wool. If you look closely you can see how the two fibres have been twisted together. It has such an unusual texture. I haven't yet decided what I'm going to do with it. Totally open to suggestions!

In between shop-related projects I have been working away on a knitted shrug for myself, using the Rectangle Knit Shrug pattern by Lion Brand. With just the cuffs to go, I'm aiming to have it finished in time for Lauren and Andi's Outfit Along!

I'm using a super soft 5ply merino yarn from Bendigo Woolen Mills. Such a lovely shade of blue, and it blocks so nicely!

In other news, I have a serious procrastination problem when it comes to sewing on buttons. Am I the only one? Stay tuned for at least two new button-related sewing projects this week.

Happy Monday!

19 June, 2014

Winter in Shades of Purple

The cold weather has put a bit of a dampener on current sewing projects, but my hands have stayed plenty busy. To make the most of the uni break, I have been spending my mornings knitting in the sunny front room of the house. Bean keeps me company. In fact, it's the only room in the house where either of us can be found in a cheerful mood.
We are definitely not Winter souls.

After the purple theme of my last post, I thought I'd share a few recent knitting projects :)

These elbow length wool gloves are even warmer than they look. Gentle shaping on the inside of the wrist creates a smooth, comfortable fit across the wrist. I'm very tempted to make a pair for myself, eventually - the biggest hurdle is choosing a colour! These gloves would also feel amazing in organic cotton. Just imagine their soft, delicate look when made up in a pastel blue...

This scarf is a purple variation of my Chunky Wool Cowl. What makes it special is the blend of wool with bamboo. The bamboo content (50%) adds some weight, giving the cowl a lovely drape. It also creates a shimmery, jewel-like sheen in most lights. I'll definitely be using this blend in other projects!

Both of these projects were custom variations of designs available in my Etsy store.

16 June, 2014

Beautiful Finds - Etsy Eyecandy

Purple must be the hip colour this Winter. I've just finished working on two custom orders in different shades of purple. Thought I'd continue the trend while sharing some of my recent finds :)
purple crochet stones watercolor painting art print 8x10 inches wall decor mauve illustration coastal decor
Watercolour Wishing Stones - a beautiful print by Artista Style. Melbourne, Vic.


A great statement necklace made from hand-dyed wooden beads, by LesaLikes. Brisbane, Qld.

giant moth soft sculpture / plum / linen / textile art

Giant Moth textile wall art, by Willowynn. This is an amazing store, filled with beautiful soft toys and sculptures. Handmade in Dunoon, NSW.

Light as a Feather Grape Hand-Stamped Wrapping Paper // Gift Wrap // Paper Supplies // Paper Goods // Gifts // Large Sheet

Pretty hand-stamped gift wrap, made from recycled paper by Wrapped Up in Whimsy. Brisbane, Qld.

Find more lovely purple items like these here :)

Have a great week everyone!

15 June, 2014

Monday Motivation - A Liebster!

Until being nominated by Erika from Trial & Erika, I'd never heard of a Liebster Award. Turns out, it came at the perfect moment to get me back into writing regular posts. Whenever I take a break from writing, I seem to lose my blogging "voice" - or whatever it is that makes a person feel like they have cool stuff to say. So thank you Erika, you've snapped me out of it!

If you also have no idea what a Liebster is, it's basically a way for small blogs (with under 200 followers) to support each other and help reach new audiences. It's a cute idea, and there are so many lovely little blogs around lately that I'm totally flattered to participate! I've been given a series of questions to answer about my sewing life, so here goes!

1. What is your favourite garment so far?

I thought about this a while, and realised that my favourite handmade garment is actually more of a refashion. Here's the only decent picture I could find:

Yeah. Even in heels I'm short...
The dress was originally one of those strange, "one size fits all" rayon maxi dresses that you find in Utopian Bazaar/ Tree of Life type stores. I am always drawn to the amazing colours and embroidered patterns, and thoroughly disappointed by the fit. So, I bought one to alter for a college masquerade ball a few years ago. I added a zipper and put darts in the front and back, changed the neckline and created a scoop back. I also stitched on some little diamontes that look so sparkly and awesome in this photo. It was literally the most comfortable thing I have ever worn to a formal event. I loved the colour, I felt amazing in it, and nobody else was wearing anything even remotely similar!

2. Favourite textile to work with?

Linen, hands down. But when I can't afford linen (most days), probably rayon.

3. Why did you start sewing?

I've always loved art, but I guess I started sewing because I was drawn to the idea of creating things I couldn't find anywhere else. My first project was hugely overambitious: a dress for my grade 10 formal/prom. Over the years, as my skills improved, I started to appreciate more about the methodical process of sewing, as well as the environmental and ethical reasons for making my own clothing.

4. Are you a planner or do you wing it?

 Good question! I like to plan things out, but sometimes it's exciting to just wing it. I guess I'm just a bit of both!

5. If your sewing machine was an animal, what type of animal would it be?

Probably some kind of field rodent. It's very high-pitched. It's jumpy and jittery, and Bean just loves chewing on it while I'm not looking!

Now it's my turn to nominate some bloggers! I only checked follower numbers via Bloglovin, so if you happen to have over 200, oops!

I nominate:

Katrina from Boots & Cats. Cute photography, cute sewing, plus a love for boots and cats! Does it get any better than that?

Etemi from The Secret Costumier. I love everything Etemi sews and wears. She has such an awesome style, and her Me Made May posts made me seriously crave velvet!

Lindsay from Design by Lindsay. Lindsay is super lovely and always manages to completely change my mind about patterns. Her shibori Prefontaine shorts are the cutest!

Shannon from Adventures of a Young Seamstress. Shannon has such a beautiful style, and some seriously amazing dresses in her repertoire!

Your Questions!

1. What is your favourite handmade garment to date?
2. Do you have a favourite pattern? What is it?
3. Why did you start blogging?
4. What was the first sewing blog you ever read?
5. If time and money were no obstacle, what would be your ultimate sewing project?

Apologies in advance if you're not into this kind of thing! 

14 June, 2014

The First Market

Oops! There is a reason for the recent radio-silence.

The last few weeks of term involved some intense essay writing (and gin drinking!). And, because I must subconsciously love crazy deadlines, every spare moment was spent preparing for my very first market stall!

I set up my little table at the Manning Valley Envirofair - an annual sustainability fair in my hometown. It was lovely to get away from the icy Armidale weather for a weekend. The sun was shining. People were smiling. I even went to the beach!

The response to my knitwear was mind-blowing. I met so many kind people, all of them excited to find something warm to take home for the Winter. Previously, I hadn't been sure whether markets were something I wanted to do. Now I'm already looking forward to the next one!

The greatest part of the day was being able to chat to my customers and really get to know the kinds of people interested in my designs. A cello player found a pair of fingerless gloves, perfect for keeping her hands warm during evening performances. A lovely woman undergoing chemotherapy found a warm pink beanie, soft enough to wear against her delicate skin. It was a wonderful feeling, seeing people walk away with smiles on their faces, and realising that there really is a need and a desire for little businesses like mine to thrive.

While we were setting up, I just had to get a photo of another stall-holder wearing her new knit bow! Doesn't it look great in her awesome hair?

My little loot: An cute pair of handmade earrings, and some Greenpatch Organic Seeds.

Have you ever run your own market stall? I'd love to hear about it!