Sunday, April 10, 2011


I'm giving away a gorgeous vintage pattern (c1974) on my new blog - The Forty Acre Wood.

Comment by next Friday to win :)

Friday, December 31, 2010

A New Blog for a New Year

Here is my new blog:

The Forty Acre Wood

I've decided to focus on my Etsy store for the following year - I really need the distraction from uni study! So, it seemed right to create a new blog. If you're keen for a giveaway, follow the Forty Acre Wood because I'm hoping to send a few gift card packs away to readers :)

Happy New Year everyone, best wishes for the future and I'll see you at the Forty Acre Wood!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Blog-eth Updated-eth

Hello everyone!

It's been a long time (5-ish months isn't that long is the grand scheme of things is it?).

The good news is that I'm opening up my own Etsy shop soon. And no, I won't be selling clothes. Who needs the hassle of sizes, handsewn buttons and super-neat top-stitching? Instead, I'll start off by selling/attempting-to-sell my handmade cards and possibly some dolls, bags and other little knickknacks.

One of my favourite things in the world is making my own paper. It is instantly relaxing (lame but true) and it is always the first thing I jump at to do in the holidays. So I'm going to use this skill to make pretentious-but-awesome 100% recycled greeting cards, gift tags, notebooks et cetera. Perfect if you love the planet, or simply like sending recycled stuff to make you look good without having to do anything yourself at all (I'm a bit of both to be honest!).

Now I have to decide how to package and ship from Australia to various worldy places (damn expensive Australia Post!). Any ideas? A stiffened mailing envelope perhaps. I promise you all some pictures and definitely/possibly/not a giveaway to launch my Help-Sarah-Afford-Food/Rent-At-Uni shop*!

Here's a picture to get everyone excited:

Not a handmade card, but fantastic nonetheless. Have a brilliant day everybody!

* Not the real name. The actual name is delightfully artsy, referring to both trees and a great piece of literature. I thought this would appeal to hipsters, and encourage them to buy my stuff.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tie-Front Dress steps, with the help of Syndrome.

Here are the steps I went through to make my tie-front dress pattern, in case anyone is interested. It's pretty much the same as Anna Allen's instructions. There are heaps of technical difficulties to iron out. Does anyone have some ideas on how the tie could be attached better? I'm not totally happy with the finish on mine.

You'll need a basic bodice pattern to begin- I'm using an old See & Sew pattern here. I used my own bodice block before.

1. Trace around your basic bodice pattern - front & back.

2. Extend the shoulder lines on the bodice front to make a slight cap sleeve (is that what it's called?). I extended mine by 1.5cm to the left, and 4cm to the right.

3. Draw a diagonal line between the two circled asterisks. Cross out the front dart (its excess will be taken up by the tie).

4. My pattern sits at the natural waist, but I want it to sit just under the bust so I shortened it.

5. Match the bodice front and bodice back pieces at the shoulder seams. Extend the bodice back shoulder lines to match the front. My pattern has a scooped back, which I eliminated.

6. Necktie: Measure around the pattern's neckline. I added about 60cm extra for the tie, but this is totally up to you. My tie is 7" wide.

7. Skirt: My skirt is just two large rectangles, gathered and sewn to the finished bodice. In Anna's notes, she made the front skirt panel a bit higher at the center front, which I'll probably do next time round.

8. I sewed the shoulder seams then stitched the tie around the neckline, right sides together. Fold the tie in half, turning the seam allowance in and topstitch down.

Tie-Front Dress Experiment

After the most insanely busy semester of my life (I hate you, biochem), I have finally gotten some sewing done!

Like many other bloggers/BurdaStyle-ers I've been eyeing off the Mociun tie-front dress! I pieced together information from verypurpleperson, Anna Allen & FarahAJH to make my prototype.

I used my own bodice block - JJ's bodice sloper on BurdaStyle would be good if you haven't drafted your own. I worked off Anna's instructions to get these pattern pieces (v. messy!).

I left darts out from the front, but kept them at the back. The necktie is a long, 7" wide strip and the skirt is just two big, gathered rectangles. The bodice wasn't sitting snug, so I made a casing and threaded elastic though. I also gathered the front bodice side seams. This seemed to help a lot!

My reheated quiche is calling to me. Lunch time! More on this (and other projects) soon...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Planning to Sew.

I'm feeling quite chuffed after finding out one of my drawings has been featured on Odosketch! Unfortunately I can't claim the design as my own. It's based on an old matchbox cover I saw on Flickr.

Ah, the excitement! Honestly, anything would seem exciting to me after spending hours in a biochemistry prac. Although I am starting to find Gilson pipetting quite therapeutic :)

Anyway, I am in desperate need of a new Burda magazine. Especially seeing as the few I own are my mother's from the mid 80's. Here's a Burda skirt she made about 25 years ago, which I have stolen from the dress-ups.

I made the stripey shirt from a bundle of stretch cotton I picked up for $3 at Red Cross. Comfiest shirt in existence, but sadly needs to be worn with a singlet underneath (the photos don't show just how revealing it is...).

I would very much like to make this blouse:

But I should try and draft it myself for a challenge. Only another 2 months before I'm back home with a machine!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Second-hand Shopping & Nancy Drew Pants

Here are the latest additions to my wardrobe... Apologies for the dodgy pictures, my new college room has terrible lighting!

Granny pants from my grandmother. I think Nancy Drew would wear them. Initially, I was doubtful. Then I put them on, and was seduced by their comfortable-ness. They are now officially study pants. I may, in the near future, blog about clothes to study in. They make or break a study session for me (they must be insanely comfortable. And boring. If they are too interesting, I cannot concentrate on my study. So no glittery or tassel-ly things).

Thrifted pair of Wayne Cooper pants from a fancy Lifeline store on Adelaide St (Brisbane City). Never thought I would buy anything by Wayne Cooper, but they were cheap and quite comfortable (yes, they are study pants too. I am wearing them now. Because I am about to study. Maybe...).

To be continued!