Thanksgiving will be happening in the USA …yesterday

Will you be prepared?

If not, here’s a little something to whip together so that you too can get into the spirit of Thankfulness…


Pretty, huh?  You know you want to practise those seldom-used embroidery and machine satin stitches on your upmarket sewing machine computer, so go find the free pattern here.

Pre-Thanksgiving is also signalled by a tsunami of emails for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

My inbox already has them from:

  • Britex Fabrics (San Francisco)
  • Craftsy (bought 4 new classes…gulp!)
  • HotPatterns
  • McCalls Patterns
  • a new craft learning site called Creativebug (Yep, I signed up today for the free 14 day trial)
  • Threads and Taunton Press
  • Megan Nielsen Patterns (Australian)
  • Grainline Studio patterns
  • Sewaholic Patterns (Canada)
  • Book
  • Interweave
  • Etsy
  • Amazon, obviously!
  • even good old NZ Post (10% off YouShop postage with offer code “LOVEFROMYOUSHOP10)
  • Bernina (via Nancy’s in Wellington) also has a 20% off sale on machines and accessories
  • The Stitchsmith is having her Christmas sale on needlepoint, embroidery stuff etc

That’s not even including the ones that jump up at me on Facebook!

Clearly, I’ve over-subscribed to US based sewing-related retailers, however, I just wanted to give you the heads-up, that there will be some bargains on offer if you can’t source your sewing supplies in NZ – such as that really big tracing paper, special Japanese hand basting threads etc. The deals may include free or reduced international shipping, or just craaazzzy prices, that even with the less favourable exchange rate can mean that you get a little pre-Christmas buzz buying for your favourite hobby and have a little more left over in your purse for actual Christmas spending.

Happy Thanksgiving fellow sewists and sewers x


Style Arc downloadable pattern sale today

A call out to those who are Style Arc pattern buyers can get 30% discount on downloadable pdf patterns on their Etsy shop until 7pm today. Use code HAPPYBDAY30.

See their Facebook post here

I just bought the Madeleine pointe top and Jennifer City shorts patterns, both in 3 sizes for less than NZ$20.

image image

I’ll get them printed out at warehouse stationery on A1 or A2 sized pages. DEAL!

Why do fine wools and cashmere fibres pill and what can be done about it?

Leslie raised the vexing issue at the November meeting about how some beautiful cashmere/merino fabric that she made into a garment is pilling horribly, and in nasty places too!

A cry of pity and recognition swept through the room.  This problem is not an isolated occurance, clearly.


This writer has been similarly affected (see above) and recently had seen this issue raised on one of the craft feeds that I follow. Tash from Holland Road Yarn in New Zealand link

Take especial note of her points 2 and 3.

Now, please note that while Tash’s post is specifically about pilling in yarn used in knitting yarns, I can attest that this information will be applicable to any yardage with the same or similar sort of soft and fine fibre content.  So, remember it’s about the FIBRE CONTENT, and all that same stuff about microns and staple applies and also about FRICTION.  If you’re gonna move in it, it’s gonna rub somewhere!

I also thought that adding in the blog post from Truly Myrtle ( which is linked in Tash’s post) is worth reading too. She gets technical with some solutions including depilling etc.  You can read it for yourself here.

What I took from these articles is:

  1. Horses for courses – select the fibre content and fineness of your fabric which is most suitable for the purpose that you want to use it for.  The very softest and finest should be treated with kid gloves and saved for special and occasional wear, like to the opera, not the gardening.  Same as Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik stilettos – don’t wear them to the supermarket, save them for the sitting/reclining activities.
  2. If you’re unhappy with the pilling, find a way to remove them.  See the Truly Myrtle link above, ask the retailer of the fabric for their advice or do your own online searches.  Share them back with us if you come across a good suggestion.
  3. However, if you live and breathe luxury and strive to use the very best in your choice of textiles for your sewing, just re-align your expectations.  What is pilling after all, but little tiny baubles of felted goodness.  After all, you’re worth it!

Please add your thoughts about how you may have dealt with or solved this problem using the Comments below.  Thanks.

Show & Tell at the November morning meeting…

Sewing was certainly on a few people’s minds over the weekend of 6 – 7 November.  There was, of course, the group’s presence at the Festival of Quilts show.  But, there was also action back at Highbury House.  It was another good turnout as well as Mary Ann, a visitor from Wellington.

Most people brought their sewing projects – several had hand-sewing to attend to – and there was a friendly atmosphere of catching up, sharing tips and troubleshooting etc.

The main event was the show & tell segment with a number of stunning garments on display.

IMG_6003IMG_5995Mary Anna’s self-confessed penchant for coats was evident with her Burda trench coat made from a fuschia coloured cotton gabardine and lined with a luxurious silk satin (which she recommends highly for warmth).

Jane wore a top based on a Grainline Studio IMG_6006pattern (Linden sweatshirt).  The front patterned fabric was repurposed from a silk shirt and the rest was a comfortable and versatile black knit.IMG_6017

This summer weight shift dress was modified from a Vogue pattern but was interesting because it was constructed economically from two panel lengths with the red striped border print as a feature on the hem.  Mary Ann also added a little more of the stripe along the shoulders as a clever feature and the sleeve and neckline edges are piped.  A simple classic piece, beautifully executed.

IMG_6022Diane modelled her flattering and ingenious upcycled tunic based on the design concept of Diane Dynes, a designer from the South Island. Comprised of two woollen jerseys, brown denim from some jeans and some pieces of knit fabric, Diane made this garment at one of Diane Dynes’ workshops and encouraged our members to invite Diane Dynes to be a tutor next year and teach her fast assembly construction.  There was a good show of hands to support this workshop going ahead.

IMG_6012IMG_6011Liz showed us her leather skirt and silk corset (not shown) that she had made with the expert guidance of Annette Gebbie, an outstanding local sewing tutor.  This seemingly-simple lined pencil skirt was made using numerous special techniques as the soft calf skin needed professional fusing and could not be pinned.  Precision zip installation, machine and hand sewing, and careful pressing were involved as well as tailoring methods of hidden support which made for a robust and beautiful garment.


Only two members brought their dresses made for Frocktober.  These were Joanne, with her 1920s “flapper” satin shift (pictured left), rescued and repurposed from a school costume box, and (pictured right) Jill’s knit dress (Style Arc pattern Laura), made with $5 sale fabric from the Centrepoint pop-up store and with a funky raw edge.  Jill wins the best quote of the morning…

Made in 10 minutes with a knife and fork kind of dress

All were winners on the day…except perhaps for the chocolate fish…

eaten choc fish2


What goes up…must come down…

What a great show it was at the Festival of Quilts this past weekend.  Thanks to the efforts of all those involved and to those who generously loaned their beautiful handiwork for display.
Linda at the boothMany visitors to the show stopped by our booth to see what we were up to.  As many as 80 people signed up for more information!

Our volunteers were easily identified in the new aprons with our logo.SCA Apron

Michelle J’s artistic flair was evident around the displays…Rosette

And there was more than just clothing…

Linda's dolls

These weren’t actually at our booth, but who can resist BLING ZIPS!  Zips
And the undisputed star of the show which attracted the most interest and attention…was Rosemary M’s paper tape mannequin.
Rosemary's Mannequin

MASSIVE Thanks to Diane, our AWESOME Convenor, who approached the Auckland Quilt Guild to get our profile out into the wider sewing community.  And, to all those on the Festival of Quilts Committee, a HUGE thanks for having us and congratulations on a wonderfully inspiring event.  There may be a few of us coming over to see what this quilting is all about next year.


Image from internet “Paper Dolls” by Designs by Cozy Quarters

Well,  that’s a wrap…

Packing Up Booth IMG_6087 (3)