My current crush – Fashionary


Yep, well, things didn’t turn out quite as I had hoped. I haven’t gotten to start my Lady Skater dress yet, and not only that, but I’ve not been able to do anything crafty for a few months now. Hence, no blog post for weeks and weeks! I developed symptoms of a genetic eye condition I’ve just discovered I have. Quite painful, especially at night. I won’t go into details, in case you get a bit squirmy over that kind of stuff, so please do keep reading. The only thing I’ll say is that I had surgery a couple weeks ago, and although we’re hoping that it will have handled the problem, at least for many years to come, I’m still getting used to seeing with my newly made-over eyes. Long distance is clear as a bell, beautiful in fact. But up close, my vision has gone from manageable to completely blurry, and I have to wear these crummy magnifiers I picked up at the chemist until I see the surgeon again on the 19th of this month.

So now that I have the ability to sit at my computer again, albeit for short bursts at a time, I thought I’d share with you some of what I got up to, right before all that started.

First, to preamble, over at Stitch 56, we’ve got a fabulous project going. Our brand new Blog Writers Team is posting about planning their sewing for the upcoming Aussie spring wardrobe. The fabulous Donna from Sew Independent got the party going with a post about using her Fashionary to do her planning. She has some gorgeous sketches, and as I was reading through her post to publish it, I got all inspired. Out came my Fashionary that I haven’t really touched for months, and I grabbed my favourite pencil and eraser, and began sketching like there was no tomorrow!

I decided to create my own Spring wardrobe, well actually, a Springtime Holiday Wardrobe for our upcoming trip to Adelaide and the Barossa Valley with some friends. Above you can see the first page I did. And see those little ticks next to most of the things on this page? They mean that I’ve already sewn that piece. The others are items I plan on making – if my eyes allow me too! I’m a little terrified of sewing on my machine, or hand sewing, if my near vision is still crap. Picturing all kinds of nasty things!

However. Not to dwell on the downside of things. Clearing my head, and moving forward… I reckon that if I have the above pieces all done, I’ll be pretty much set for our 5-day trip. Would you like to know what all the pieces are? OK, here’s the line-up. I’ve copied the image from above here, so you don’t have to do major scrolling up and down!


  • Left page // left : Hawthorn Dress (Colette Patterns) in Liberty Tana Lawn Strike (Shaukat) with red linen contrast collar and self belt with red linen buckle – DONE
  • Left page // middle : Sorbetto Top (Colette Patterns) in a pretty light blue linen (Tessuti) with appliqued motif in Liberty Tana Lawn Stanley (Shaukat) – DONE
  • Left page // middle : Zinnia Skirt (Colette Patterns) in Liberty Tana Lawn Stanley (Shaukat) – DONE
  • Left page // right : Judy Top (Tessuti) in light blue linen (Tessuti) – nearly finished
  • Left page // right : Moss Skirt (Grainline Studio) in teal linen (Tessuti) with Liberty Tana Lawn Stanley lining (Shaukat) – still to make
  • Right page // left : Scout Top (Grainline Studio) in Valori Wells Wish Voile – DONE
  • Right page // left : Black pants (RTW from The Ark Clothing Company) – HAVE
  • Right page // middle : Sorbetto Top (Colette Patterns) in navy rayon ( – DONE
  • Right page // middle : Julie Pants (StyleArc) in navey bengaline (StyleArc) – still to make

So now I’ve got my plan laid out for me, and I know exactly what to work on. Mind you, in the meantime, I’m going to The Craft Sessions in 4 weeks (are you going too?), which I just can’t wait for, and I still need to finish some mid-seasonal items to pack for that! Back to the drawing board, except that I’m not sure I can see clearly enough to draw anything right now. Might have to handle all that with basically a scribbled list on a sheet of scratch paper. I’ll let you know how I go. Fingers crossed!

Now, you might think I stopped there. You know, I mean with only one double spread in my Fashionary. U-uh! I couldn’t stop drawing! I pulled out my iPad, opened Evernote with my list of patterns, and just drew and drew and drew! Take a look at this:


And this…


And there’s more! After another couple of spreads, I decided I had to STOP! I was being a little silly. After all, my hobby is SEWING!!! not drawing, and think of all the sewing time I was missing out while I was busy sketching! Crazy! So I closed the book, and put it away. I do still keep looking at it all though. Can’t help myself. I’m loving all those little figures with their petite little feet, and long elegant arms. And besides, I’m really excited, because for the first time, I’m creating a coordinated way to pick what I sew, and not do it just higgledy piggledy. Very excited! Do you have a Fashionary? How do you use yours? Do you just love it to bits too?


The Craft Sessions

The Craft Sessions

I’m so excited! In a few day’s time, I’ll be attending The Craft Sessions weekend workshop in the beautiful Yarra Valley! I’m signed up for both Saturday and Sunday classes with the fabulous Sophie Parslow who writes a great blog called Cirque du Bébé.

On Saturday, she’ll be teaching us the ins and outs of making the Wiksten Tank. I probably could sew the Wiksten Tank on my own, in fact I know I can, but I picked this class to learn how to do a really nice rolled hem “worth bragging about”, as Sophie promises. Somehow I’ve lost a little confidence as a dressmaker, and I’m looking forward to the kick-start this weekend will give me.

Sunday will be equally amazing – we’ll be learning all about sewing with knits. I never had the courage to try sewing with knits on my 37-year-old Husqvarna, so I’m really looking forward to this one, learning how to use my new Husqvarna on knits. Hopefully my grandson will end up with a fabulous little Figgy’s Banyan t-shirt. Do you read Sophie’s blog? If not, you really must! She’s such an inspiration to me and so many others. I can’t wait to meet her at the weekend!!!

You know, I do keep wishing there was at least one more day of classes available, just so I could also do the half-day embroidery class with Melissa Wastney from the gorgeous blog Tiny Happy. I love to embroider, as you can tell with this and this quilt, this coverlet, and this pillow case, and I’m always wanting to learn more. I also would have loved to do the block printing on fabric half-day class with Leslie Keating of the truly inspiring blog, Maze & Vale. Not to mention the indigo blue dyeing class, and…. well, you see what I mean. Do you think I had a little difficulty making up my mind about what to sigh up for? You bet I did! So many great instructors and great classes! Oh well, next time I guess.

So now I’m dealing with having to decide which fabric to use for my Wiksten Tank top class. Here are my options. Which would you choose?

I hope to be tweeting/instagramming/blogging (maybe) throughout the weekend. I hope you’ll follow me.

Helene x


The Craft Sessions, are you going?

The Craft Sessions

I booked myself in the minute registrations opened! I love crafty weekends away. I love the Yarra Valley. I love meeting up with talented fellow crafters. The Craft Session is the brain-child of Felicia Semple, a very talented knitter (username ‘FlickaFish’ on Pinterest and Ravely). I’ve given my preferences for workshops I’d like to do, and I hope I get my first choices, but regardless, I’ll be equally delighted with my second and even my third choices, if it came to that.

Wiksten Tank

For Saturday, I’ve asked to do the Wiksten Tank Sewing class. Sophie Parslow from  Cirque Du Bebe is teaching the class, and even though I have made tank tops before, I’m really looking forward to spending the day with Sophie, and gleaning every bit of technical and creative inspiration I can from her. This class goes all day, so I should come away with a beautiful tank top, and heaps of fabulous notes, as well as the ability to do a beautiful, professional turned hem! Never have been able to master that one, so I’m pumped.

Embroidery  - Modern Sampler

Sunday is going to be a fun day with two classes, one in the morning, another in the afternoon. The morning will be spent with the wonderful Melissa Wastney of the Tiny Happy blog, who’s teaching the Embroidery – Modern Sampler class. Yes, I’ve embroidered before, eg. here and here, but I’m told that Melissa will be catering for all skill levels in her class, so I’m really looking forward to it. I love to embroider, and am keenly looking forward to learning more techniques to augment my skills.

Block Printing on Fabric

In the afternoon, I’ll be doing the Block Printing on Fabric class with Leslie Keating. I love her blog! I have followed another fabric block print rockstar, Geninne’s Art Blog, religiously now for ages and ages, and I’ve often thought about trying my hand with the Speedball lino, but just never really got to first base with it – which actually means that I’ve not bought any of it. So when I saw this class listed, I knew this was for me. I’m also rather partial to Leslie’s stamped fabrics that she sells in her Etsy store, maze & vale.

So, that’s what I’ll be doing on that October weekend. As well as taking part in early morning yoga session, enjoying a drink or two and indulging in that fabulous thing that happens when crafting women get together in a fabulous countryside location. Can’t wait! Do let me know if you’re also going, won’t you?

x Helene

PS. One of the items on the list of things to bring to the weekend is my sewing machine. I’m in the process of writing a blog post about a very exciting occurrence in that department. Should be ready to post it in the next 24 hours, so watch for it :)

A beautiful gift from Teegs

Look what rocked up in my mailbox this week…

beautiful Flores

beautiful Flores

It’s no secret that I love Ink & Spindle.  Do you know it? It’s where Tegan Rose and Lara Cameron create the most beautiful screen-printed fabrics over in their studio in Kensington, Melbourne, and I’m a huge fan. I’ve made many a bag for myself including this and this and this pouch and this earphones-pod using their stunning fabrics, and I have a little stash I’ve collected for making some of my new clothes later this year.

my ink & spindle fabric stash

my ink & spindle fabric stash

A little while ago, Tegan created a Pozible fundraiser to help her get to Mexico to study, and of course, without hesitation, I contributed.

I’d forgotten about what I’d been promised by my level of contribution, so when this parcel arrived in the mail, I was so surprised! I thought I was simply getting a lovely postcard or something, which would have been special enough, but I am so over the moon in love with this beautiful piece of deliciousness. Here’s a little note the Teegs put in, giving details of the fabric…

chempasuchil flowers

of course, the good old chempasuchil flowers! (never heard of them, have you?)

Now, I wonder what it will become – part of a skirt for summer? Or the front of a Victoria Blazer perhaps? Or possibly the front of a little Sorbetto tank? Hmmm… lots of possibilities.


Oh, and if you’d like to  get yourself some of this pretty fabric, sorry but, as you can read, this colourway was a special for those of us who supported Teegs  to go to Mexico. Did you happen to notice (as I just did!) that the Flores colourway will fit in perfectly with the fabrics I already have from Ink & Spindle? I must clearly love these colours, huh. I’m sure I also equally adore their other colours, but there you go!

Anyway, the good news is that Flores will apparently be in the Ink & Spindle shop in a different colourway soon, so if you like it, keep an eye out for it!