Beautiful fabric available for a short time from Lennox in Devonport

Last week I had the privilege of meeting Lisani, the fashion designer behind Lennox.  Her designs are fresh and elegant and New Zealand made. You can see them at her website  Lisani used to be a textile designer before she became a fashion designer.  The first thing I noticed about her designs was the gorgeous fabric. It looks beautiful and wears well.  Lisani tries to make all her fabrics machine washable.

Anyway, the lovely Lisani normally sells her leftover fabric at $5 to $10 per metre to fashion students.  When I told her about our group, she very generously offered to let us buy this fabric from her at the same price!  She has got boxes and boxes of all different kinds of fabric, and some rolls as well.


Yesterday I bought some navy ponte, some grey cotton knit, some silky steel blue polyester and some wool blend ribbing.  I think this is the best quality fabric I have ever bought.


She will have this fabric available at her shop for the next few days, before taking it over to the design schools in the city.  If you are making the trip into Devonport, it is probably a good idea to call Lennox on 446 6658 to make sure the stock is still there.  86 Calliope Rd.


Sewing session scheduled for Saturday 1st August

Hi Everyone,

Even though a fair number of our members will be attending the Tailoring Techniques Workshop that same day, there will still be the regular group meeting held between 9.30am and noon on Saturday 1st August at Highbury House.

There is no special theme or programme other than to bring your machines and sewing projects and enjoy a good couple of hours sewing with like-minded people.

As usual, teas and coffees are supplied. Bring a friend if you like.

Do hope you can make it on Saturday.

Tailoring Techniques Workshop – 1 August 2015

Venue: Vogue School of Sewing, Epsom, Auckland

Time: 9.00a.m. – 3.00p.m

We’ll learn to sew beautiful bound buttonholes, pockets, shoulder headings and shoulder pads, collars, interfacings, pad stitching and linings etc.

Our tutor, Margaret, has owned and tutored at the Vogue School of Sewing since 1997. She is a lovely person and a highly experienced teacher. The workshop is held in Margaret’s Studio in Epsom.

The class is small (maximum of 7) to ensure everyone gets plenty of help.

The cost is $120 per person, which includes for each student:

  • the use of a sewing machine (one per student)
  • a prepared kit
  • set of notes
  • tea and coffee.

There will be a lunch break for ½ hour and you will need to bring your own lunch.

This class is now fully booked. See  the “Workshops” page for other upcoming workshops this year. 

Fabric sale now on

5 HAROLD STREET, MT EDEN Open 7 Days:Mon – Fri 9:30 — 5:00, Sat & Sun 10:00 — 4:00
TEL: (09) 6317438 Website:

Dear customer,

New printed silk fabric and silk velvet have just arrived!

Seasonal specials:

30% off all Woollen/cashmere, merino fabrics (until 02/08/2015).
40% off all curtain fabrics(until02/08/2015).

Kind regards,
The team of Fabric Warehouse

Thinking about unusual & challenging fabrics…

There’s a couple of months to get our sewing brains and fingers around the next group sewing challenge being judged on Saturday 3 October.

This challenge may be an opportunity for us to tackle a project or textile that has hitherto been low on the list of priorities or just too confronting to take on.

The classic towelling turban – you know that you want one!

So here’s a little list to start off the thinking process.  If you think you can add to this, just add your comments.  (Big thanks for the inspiration to the Contents page of Rosalie Giles’ classic book “Dressmaking with special fabrics” (1976, get this…Mills & Boon publishers!: London).


jersey fabrics

towelling (see above)

Velvet-A-Fabric-to-Love-Dallas-Texas - Copy

crushed velvet

plush fabrics with nap

bonded fabrics

quilted fabrics


Fur fabrics


stretch fabric including ponte

felton wool


Scubu / Neoprene (Raf Simons neoprene suit)

metallic/glitter thread fabrics

PVC sheeting or PVC coated fabrics

double-faced reversible fabrics


Guipure lace

net and lace

crepe de chine

sheer fabrics

Purple Crocodile leather – eek… hope it’s not real!

leather and suede

handmade felt

unconventionally made fabrics eg recycled or wearable art

and the best is last…BLING

all over sequins

Ooh, so many to choose from.  The word to keep in mind is “special”.  We all need a little touch of special in our lives now and then.  Let’s see what we can come up with.

July evening meeting

Hi Everyone,

Our next meeting will be Thursday evening 16th July  7 – 9p.m. at Highbury House Community Centre, 110 Hinemoa St. Birkenhead.

Take your machine and sewing for a warm relaxing evening of uninterrupted sewing.

Hope you can make it.

Kind regards,

The Winter Sewing Challenge 2015

The 2nd Sewing Challenge for this year was taken up by a good number of people and it was a high quality contest with a diverse range of garments. The challenge was to make something warm for Winter and was judged by popular vote.

Taking out the most popular choice and the prize of a $50 gift voucher (a great big thanks to the Fabric Store in Auckland) was Mary Anna for her fishtail parka from the Ottobre design Woman Magazine (05-2013-18).

Mary Anna's fishtail parka

Lined with a pretty floral vintage fabric, this parka has features galore. Functional, warm and comfortable with technical details including a drawcord through the hood and hem, flapped pockets, a zipper shield, elasticated cuffs and hem and a fishtail back to keep dry. A great design and a credit to Mary Anna’s sewing talent.

Here are the other contenders.

Linda’s men’s corduroy shirt with New Zealand themed contrast



Linda’s second men’s shirt

Linda made two custom men’s shirts both from corduroy. These were challenging because of the heavy wales and the thickness of the seams. Beautifully sewn with personalised details including the contrast fabric yoke facing, collar stand and cuff bands. Linda’s husband is very satisfied with them both!

Jill’s shirt dress

Jill made a versatile winter weight plaid shirt dress suitable to wear with leggings or jeans, with or without a belt and perfect for layering in the fickle Auckland climate.  She matched the tricky pattern lines perfectly and all admired her finishing details of the patch pockets.

Wool Pencil Skirt and shoulder bag by Jane

Jane also chose a plaid fabric for her challenge but this was a warm woven wool which she made into a pencil skirt. This was a first for Jane which was a surprise to some of the more experienced sewists as matching plaids in a bulky fabric can be tricky.  Also shown is a custom made shoulder bag using a luxurious upholstery fabric with inner pockets cleverly pleated to keep her mobile phone where it should be.


Beth’s merino knit skirt

Beth’s A-line wool knit skirt was lined with a merino knit and hand-stitched along the seam lines. This concept is based on the Alabama Chanin method of hand sewing knit fabrics into garments.

Thanks to all who worked so hard to get their garments ready for the meeting and for showing them off for close inspection.  Next challenge is to sew a garment from an unusual material. Watch this space.