The Great Fabric Stash Challenge – Are You Ready?

Well I have set myself a challenge……the first rule of which shall be:

Thou shalt not purchase fabric for 12 months. 

Since I started sewing again 12 months ago (I had not sewn since high school which has been quite a while 😉 ) I have managed to amass a ridiculous amount of material in that time.

In the beginning the purchases started as normal ie. find a pattern buy the amount of fabric required and proceed to start project. But somehow, we slip from the straightforward project purchase into the “OMG I LOVE that fabric – I don’t know what would make with that, but gee I just can’t leave without getting some” or even worse ” I can’t believe how cheap that fabric is – I would be crazy to pass that such a bargain”. In this case it inevitably leads to you going to the counter and muttering the words “Just give me whats left on the roll!”.

I have recently been bed/couch bound for the last 3 weeks due to operations on both feet and thus had been contemplating my ever growing stash of fabric and wondering where I could store (hide!) it. There is no more room room for tubs under my bed. There is a stack of storage tubs hidden behind one of the chairs in our lounge room……things were getting dire!

So I have resolved to challenge myself to use as much of my fabric as I can within the next 12 months. So I began the task of sorting out fabric and patterns.

1. First I looked at my patterns and worked out how much fabric was required for each and put them into bundles of 1-2 metres, 2-3 metres etc.

2. Then I measured and tagged each piece of fabric. I marked on my kitchen table with painter tape 0.5 and 1 metre so I could sit and measure each piece.

Then I wrote on the painters tape the size of the piece of fabric and stuck it to the fabric.

Some of my lovely Joel Dewberry fabric!

3. Then I organised the pieces into piles of 1 metre or less, 1-2 metres, 2-3 metres, 3-4 metres and 4-5+ metres and put them into storage tubs.

Just a sample of the stash!!

Finally organised – with an awful lot of fabric crammed into them!

So what now?



1. No fabric purchases as described earlier.

2. Lining material, interfacing or notions (buttons, zippers etc) may be purchased.


I plan to use up some of the larger fabric pieces first –  I already have some Vintage Vogue patterns lined up for them….


So this is just a sneak peak at my stash and plans.

Feel free to join my challenge and email me pics and  details of your stash projects so we can make a dent in the stash!







To Blog or Not To Blog – That Is The Question

Some of you may know that my husband has recently returned from almost 8 months overseas and as such I had become a blogging and Facebook recluse during this time to allow some well needed and earned family time.

I also had an self imposed month off the internet, especially Facebook, as I was attending a mindfulness in parenting and relationships course run by the amazing Dr Diana Korevaar from Nutured Families. When trying to figure out when I was actually going to find time in my day to devote to meditation I figured that if I gave up the internet my “me” time would dramatically increase and no surprise I was right!

This self imposed internet exile was fantastic and the lack of 24/7  “connection” with the world was quite a novelty. The result has been since my month off expired I have severely limited my time on Facebook, maybe checking it every couple of days and I also thought about giving up this blog all together. I was lucky enough to have coffee with my lovely friend Helen McLean, of Helen McLean Glamour & Vintage Portrait Photography, the other week and we discussed the pros and cons of blogging. Long story short, I decided to maintain this blog but not get hung up on deadlines or “having” to do it. Do it for the joy of sharing my passions and adventures and for no reason other than that.

So thanks to Helen I will be sharing my most recent sewing and knitting adventures….

Kiera wearing her Cinderella Cat book day outfit, her Black Cat Cloche Hat and her Italian inspired cape….

Finished baby jumper for Otto (modelled in photo below!!) and my Vanadium cardiagan which is my current work in progress.

as well as some amazing Paleo cooking blogs, books and apps and a few other things along the way!


Sewing To Save My Sanity – Patching Jeans

My sewing has been on the back burner a little lately but I have a number of projects that I need to do this week:

  • make a pencil roll for a little girl’s birthday present,
  • make a soft toy for a new baby,
  • and a little present for a new mum!

My little project for this week was to patch a pair of jeans for a friends little boy. She had picked this pair of Esprit jeans up from an op shop for a couple of dollars but the knees were worn through.

But rather than just patching and leaving them as is, I decided to try a little appliqué to hide the patches.

These jeans were only a size 4, so quite tight to sew – so I partially unpicked one side of each leg so I could open it out to allow me to space to sew.

I have never patched jeans myself, but had watched my mum patch pairs of my dads trousers with the iron on patches. I didn’t have any of this so I got some remnant denim material and applied some of the double sided appliqué paper to it, overlocked a pice to fit generously over the area and then ironed it on.

Once this was done I used a zig zag stitch on my sewing machine to zig zag over the frayed area to bring it together and to stop further fraying.

I then cut out my appliques leave approx 1cm extra around the shape, then ironed onto the fabric and then cut out the piece actual size. But doing it this way it is much easier to cut out the shape as the material is more rigid.

I then ironed them in place and using a tight zig zag stitch I stitched them around the edges.

This was the finished result….not too bad…I am very new to appliqué and this is really only my second attempt but I think it turned out ok! (I really could have done a better job of the beetle, I did that one first!!, by the time I got around to the plane I had improved my technique somewhat!!)

If anyone would like pics of the process please let me know. I was in a hurry to do these so I didn’t take step by step pics, but I have another pair of pants to do in the near future so I can do with these if need be!


Sewing for Sanity – Maternity Dress and Retro Jeans

Well I have been busy this week trying to make some maternity clothes and finish them BEFORE the baby is born!! AND do some repairs and hemming on some purchases I made recently.

I decided to make the Turn Around The Room Dress by Miriam of Mad Mim….

I had bought some light weight knit from my favourite fabric shop here in Melbourne, the fabulous GJ’s Discount Fabrics in Carlton but I needed to make the pattern bigger than the downloadable PDF. So using a seam gauge I added 3 inches to the pattern to make it a XL size and using some knit fabric I found at Savers (about 3 metres for $5!) I made a trial dress first to check the fit before cutting out the more “expensive” material. I have just about finished – just need to hem – I don’t have a “pregnant” dressmakers dummy – but I hope you can get the idea…(PS ignore the previous project underneath the dress – too lazy to remove it!!)

So now I can get to work on the “real” dress usually a lovely marle coloured material!

The project for the cloudy day here in Melbourne is my new pair of Bernie Dexter Dungarees – these were sold out in Australia in my size so I had to get them from her online store. I LOVE them….

I am now debating whether to hem them or turn them up…I am thinking turn ups to keep with the retro feel of the jeans…..
This is me modelling them this morning…..



So if anyone has any opinions – would love a little help with the decision!!



Sewing Knit/Stretch Fabric

I have to admit I have never sewn with knit/stretch fabric before now. It is not because I had any great fear of it, rather I have just not needed to up until this point.

I am making a maternity dress for a good friend of mine and course this calls for stretch fabric.

I have been trawling the net for tips and tutorials and I stumbled across this one which I thought was really good and I thought I would share it with you all in case you were thinking about attempting a stretch fabric project.


If you have any tips for sewing with knit/stretch fabric I would love to hear them.