Category Archives: Sewing

Old Year, New Year.

I’m not really up for a review of the sewing I did in 2012, mainly because there wasn’t very much of it. I’d give myself a “Must try harder” if I was writing a report. Or a “Could do better”. I started a lot of things I didn’t finish.

But I did make something ┬áthat rounded the year off quite nicely. Sophie has been having a bit of a crush on shirring and she’s made some very sweet summery tops and dresses. I love shirring, its like magic the way the fabric puckers evenly into stretchiness and then shrinks up even tighter right before your eyes when you shoot it full of steam.


This pretty piece of flowy fabric was in the cupboard and I used it to make a maxi dress, a style I’ve never worn before. But the warm weather and the gentle breeze yesterday seemed to need a ‘swanning around’ dress so that’s exactly what I made.

Start as you mean to go on I say. It’s now Wednesday and I’m still wearing it!

Maxi dress made by me, a simple length of fabric from the stash with 12 rows of shirring around the top.

Beads from Savemart yonks ago.

Sunnies borrowed from Sophie.



Filed under Sewing

Boxing Day

Today looked a lot like this:

There was a mad dash to the mall to check out the sales. Note to self: don’t do that again. I was almost squashed to death between 2 ladies who reached across me at the same time for a book in the craft aisle at Whitcoulls. They then tried to get me to adjudicate as to who had touched it first. I retreated to Starbucks and hid in the corner with a coffee until the kids rescued me.

Back at home I continued with the theme of hiding in the corner, this time with my cross stitch. One of my Christmas gifts was “The Gentle Art of Stitching” by Jane Brocket and she talks right at the start about gentle stitching being quietly enjoyable, unstressed and relaxing. Gentle stitching was just what I needed.

Rhapsody in Blue by Four Oaks Designs. Stitched on linen ( I think it’s a piece of yours, Deb) in Needlepoint silk. I hesitate to work out how long ago I started this piece – I know we were living on the farm so that’s at least 7 years ago. Gentle stitching is meant to be easily completed. Whoops.

It ticks every other box though and I pull it out during school holidays for a bit of a binge. I love the ease of stitching with one colour and I take pleasure in the meditative, repetitive nature of this design. It’s a lovely way to spend a cold, rainy day.


Filed under Sewing

Yes, yes, I know there’s only 1 more sleep til Santa and I’ve left my sewing til the last minute. Again.


In my defence, school finished late…and I was really tired – it’s been a heck of a year…and I needed a few days to sleep…and then I got a cold…

But today was sewing day.

I started off with a collection of rolled rose brooches in natural linen and lace. I didn’t photograph them before they were wrapped but mine look exactly like these ones. Truly. And then there was the Sew Together Bag. Living as I do at the Bottom of the World, I’m quite sold on PDF patterns – no international postage and immediate delivery right into my inbox. I was taken with this bag when I first saw it on Pinterest and I’ve had the pattern waiting for when I finally felt ready to sew.

It came together like a dream and as every step was completed I got more and more excited. There are 3 internal zip pockets and 4 open pockets. There is a little needle book and a teeny pincushion. There is a large zip with a contrast binding and a zipper tab to close it all up. It looks so complicated and yet it wasn’t.

IMG_6208I kept yelling for Sophie to Come and see, Come and see as another step worked to perfection. The measurements were spot on and I managed to understand the instructions all by myself. (Often Sophie has to set me straight when I really don’t get something.) This bag will be for my MIL but after Christmas, I’m going to make one for everyone else I can think of. It made me feel so clever to sew a bag that looks as professional as this one does.


Tomorrow there will be carol singing at church, brunch at home with the rellies and hopefully, if the weather holds, a bit of a surf in the afternoon. Just like last year. And the year before. Meri Kirihimete from ours to yours.


Filed under Family, Sewing, Summer


It’s become something of a tradition that I make my keenest little technologists a pincushion to take with them to high school. I’d already made them needle books from scraps of linen but I really struggled with the design for this year’s pincushion and I started and abandoned at least 4 ideas. A chance comment from one of the girls lead to a light bulb moment and a quick scrabble in the ribbon box.

None of my technologists were born in New Zealand and they’re all very proud of their countries of origin so everyone is getting a flag! This is the Union Jack I finished last night and currently on the go are two red Chinese pincushions with flowers in place of stars.

I’m really going to miss this bunch when they leave the nest next week.


Filed under School, Sewing


Sunshine pillowcases, pinned and ready to quilt.

After the prime ministerial excitement, I spent the rest of the afternoon quilting sunshine lines.

Bound in a vintage pink gingham and (for the first time ever) machine stitched down.

I spread it over my bed…

and woke up in a room flooded with golden sunshine.


Filed under Sewing, Thrifting


There has been quilting.

Yasmin finished her raw edge circle quilt and backed it with a vintage sheet. It’s very bright.

Some pinky-red fabric pieces arrived in the post from Nelson and were quickly snaffled up to finish this lovely quilt top. It’s another variation of the Cozy Quilt from Sweet and Simple Patchwork Gifts. Pin-basted and ready to quilt.

The weather has been atrocious lately so we’re very happy to be able to hunker down in the Fabric Room at lunchtimes and stitch. Quilts mostly but also decorations, stockings and a head start on some Christmas gifts. It’s often the best part of my day.

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Filed under School, Sewing

Quilt Club

Once your quilt top is pieced, Mrs S will take it home and pin-baste it for you. Then you get to use the Activa with a walking foot to quilt along your seam lines. It might take a week if you have to snatch time before school and in the lunch hour.


Then you choose a binding and learn to carefully machine-stitch it down because 5 metres of hand stitching just seems like a mountain too high. And then, look! All pressed and trimmed and ready to pack for an international flight.

Vintage sheets, school scraps and a feature piece from Lincraft. Designed, stitched and quilted by Linda.


Filed under School, Sewing