About this time last year (was it really that long ago?), I made some cushions for my loungeroom. At the time I intended to make another round of them in warmer tones, for winter.Well, winter came and went and I didn’t sew the cushions.

Summer came again, and I remembered we had a second cover for our sofa, in summery blue and white stripes. Which didn’t match the first set of cushions so well. Luckily, cushions are easy to make, and I had a gift voucher for fabric burning a hole in my pocket.

Here’s the new look.

:: fresh

The fabric is a beautiful cotton-linen blend. It was so restrained and beautiful that I knew immediately I wouldn’t be able to leave the shop without it.

:: in grey

And the shades of warm pale grey and duck egg blue look just right against the crisp stripes of the sofa.

:: in duck egg blue

These are so easy to make. I’ve written up a how-to which you can find in the my designs section. There are instructions for a 50cm square cushion, and a ‘recipe’ to fit the same design to any size.  Enjoy!



26 January 2011

I’ve done a bit of re-organising, formatting, and tidying on the my designs page. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please leave a comment here.


last xmas post

23 January 2011

I made these Baci di Dama (ladies’ kisses) to take to Xmas dinner at the in-laws’ place.

They were delicious. I think you should all make a batch.

on buttonholes

18 January 2011

There’s a saying in knitting that you don’t knit a man a jumper till he marries you – because men’s jumpers take so much work and tend to be very plain (and therefore tedious) knitting, you want to be sure he’s not going to leave you and waste all that effort.

As I don’t intend to be married any time soon, Mr Machen will have no jumpers from my hands. I did make him a shirt for his birthday though, and here he is wearing it.

(apologies for the bad photo, he was only prepared to pose for one)

Erm, that’s his birthday as in the birthday he has in July. I didn’t quite get the shirt finished in July, so the one he got on his birthday had no buttons or button holes, but I did promise to provide same within a month.

And then disaster struck. My sewing machine had a tantrum over button holes. It. Would. Not. Sew. Nettie came to the rescue with a tip-off: a tailoring service that would sew buttonholes (TT Fashions upstairs at Bailey’s Corner, for those locals reading).

So after a few months of the shirt sitting in a bag in the hallway (‘Are you taking that shirt to the tailor this week?’. ‘Oh yes, this week for sure, I just didn’t get round to it last week,and the week before that, and the week before that’.) off it went to the tailor.

Now, this is the sad part. The lovely Mr Tran at TT Fashions gave me a discount on the button holes – usually he charges $4, he did them for $3 each. But a shirt has 13 buttonholes, so they cost me $39 in total. Mr Machen pointed out, that’s the price of a cheap shirt or half a nice one.

To me, $3 per buttonhole is sort of a bargain – I find doing buttonholes quite nerve-wracking and tiring, and I was kind of glad my machine refused to play along so I could hand the job to someone else. But if a whole shirt only costs $39 or so, designed, cut, sewn, wrapped, tagged and delivered, how much is someone paid to do just the buttonholes?  And by golly, buttonholes aside, there’s a lot of work involved in the rest of a tailored shirt too. There are many pieces to it, and there are a lot of steps. The collar, the cuffs, the slit in the sleeve, a yoke. But somewhere, someone does it all so that we can buy shirts for $39…

:: details ::

pattern: Vogue 8096, view B.

fabric: cotton-linen blend, purchased at Tessuti.

my little army

13 January 2011

Once again this (last) year, I made gingerbread men for my team to celebrate the end of the year. Last year I had a team of two, this time round there were nine people to bake for. So I had a little army of gingerbread men marching across every surface in my little kitchen.

Here they are fresh out of the oven (I didn’t have enough racks to cool them on, so this batch are on the dishrack).

And here they are with their features added in icing.


All packaged up and ready for delivery.

I used this receipe again, and doubled the amount of spices (I like my gingerbread to taste of something other than sweet).