Thursday, January 27, 2011

New blog!

I have a new blog! Please visit and follow it over here: Needle vs Thread.

I will be posting from there now on!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Not by halves!

It turns out I don't do things by halves. In the last 5 weeks I've moved house and had major jaw surgery! So if you're wondering why I've been a little quiet, that might help explain it?

The house move was as easy as it could possibly be. I moved 7 houses from where I was. But it still meant packing every possession and cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning. Settling in has been much easier than last time though.

2 weeks after I moved, and 3 weeks and 1 day ago was my surgery. I had a very bad underbite (ie my bottom teeth were in front of my top teeth - by about 1cm), and after 4.5 years of braces to prepare, I had both my bottom and top jaws moved, in what is known as a bi-maxillary osteotomy.

Due to some concerns by my surgeon about possible excessive bleeding and a few other things, I didn't know when I went into surgery whether I'd come out with anything having been done. We had 3 different plans. The first was to move my bottom jaw back. If that was tricky, they'd stop there. If they drilled a hole and blood squirted across the room, they'd stop there and nothing would be done. If the bottom jaw went as per usual, they'd think about doing the top one on the spot. So it was all a bit unknown, but I woke up 3 hours after they put me under to be told by my brilliant surgeon that they'd done both jaws and all went well.

Recovery was bad but not as bad as I'd expected. The surgery was on a Thursday morning and I went home on the Sunday morning. The only downside of going home so soon was a serious drop in the amount of painkillers I was getting. But I got through that and am healing well now. I've had a checkup with the surgeon and orthodontist and they are all thrilled (as am I!).

Now I just need to be patient. I'm not allowed to chew for another 3 weeks while the bones heal. My face is swollen and uncomfortable but it isn't really too painful any more. The main pain comes from the evil elastics on my braces. They're used to retrain the muscles of my jaw and also to continue moving my teeth. I'll need braces for a little while yet just to fine tune my bite. Hopefully by the middle of next year they'll be off and I can get on with life with a perfect bite for the first time!

Oh and I have 6 plates and 20 screws in my head!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hide & Seek Market

In less than two weeks time, I'll be at the new Hide & Seek Market in The Hills District of Sydney. I'd love you to come and visit!

Date: Sunday 22nd August
Time: 10am - 2pm
Location: Wrights Rd Community Centre, Kellyville
More info:

And if you go over here, you can read an interview I did!

It should be a great day and I'm really looking forward to it!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pick me! Pick me!

I wrote a little Pattern Review the other day. And besides wanting people to know that Nikki makes fabulous patterns, there was a motive behind doing it. There's a competition! If you liked my review and purse, I'd love it if you could vote for me over here. A little bit of good luck would be very welcome right about now! And if you do vote for me - thank you!

Saturday, July 31, 2010


Ok people, I need help. What do YOU do when you seem to be a on a run of failed projects? It's been a week now and there has been very very little success and a lot of screw ups. A week doesn't sound like long, but when you're trying to make this your job, a week of no productivity is bad! New products aren't working and even very slight (ie different fabric type) variations on old products aren't working. I'm not sure I can face another failed project and another day down the drain, so, help! Please!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pattern review: Nicole Mallalieu Design - 150mm Purse Frame Kit

1. Name of the pattern
150mm Purse Frame Kit

2. Difficulty rating
A beginner really could do this because the actual sewing is very simple (mostly straight lines) and the instructions are incredibly detailed.

3. Were the instructions easy to follow? (And did you learn anything new from them?)
Nikki's instructions are the best I've seen. I'm normally terrible at following patterns/instructions - they always seem to be written in a different language, but not these ones! It really is like a sewing lesson in a kit. Lots of extra little bits of detail to help you improve your sewing techniques and I learn something from each pattern I try!

I'd tried to make frame purses without Nikki's patterns and they were one of the most frustrating things I've ever attempted! Nikki's work EVERY SINGLE TIME.

4. Did the finished project look like the one on the pattern cover or did you 'tweak' it? (If tweaked, what did you do change?)

The basic shape is exactly like the pattern cover. My only tweaks were extra embellishment in the form of the fabric flower and the beaded detailing.

5. Were you happy with the finished project?
Absolutely! Every purse I've made from this pattern has been a success!

6. What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love that you learn to make a purse 'properly'. All the edges are finished - no raw edges shoved into the frame like other pattern makers suggest. The purse is glued and crimped into the frame unlike so many that I've seen. I also love the general shape of the purse and the fact that extra attention is paid to things like interfacing to make a nice professional finish.

7. Would you make this pattern again? Would you recommend it to others?
I've made it many, many times and will continue to do so! And I would absolutely recommend it to others.

Vintage du jour purse

Vintage du jour purse

Sunday, July 25, 2010

What I am not...

Is a quilter!

I have a baby niece due any day now, so I got it into my head that I wanted to make her a quilt. I've made one before (although I didn't quite finish it) so I should have known this would be hard work. Backing it with dot minky (stretchy and slippery), didn't make the job easier! I cheated and didn't do a traditional binding - instead choosing to make a fringed type of border that will fray and soften with use. I definitely don't enjoy the quilt making process. Probably something to do with being a perfectionist and it being so difficult to wrangle a big heavy quilt and sew perfectly straight all at the same time.

I love the outcome though!

Baby quilt

Closeup of baby quilt

Closeup of baby quilt

The prints are from the "What a Hoot" collection by Camelot Cottons.