beads and lace

Fine beading and lace work are hallmarks of the Indian cottage industry

I bought a sample dress from a fabric market that had been cut, pinned and hacked.  It reminded me of Collette Dinnigan with a beautiful lace skirt featuring panels, sheers and gathers

For a while I thought I’d try to repair and line it as a dress, but when stains and holes halted this project for at least the third time I took to the dress with my scissors to make a top

lace top

It ties at the back in a criss-cross corset fashion and under the beading the fabric has a fine elastic to hold it under the bust

I wore it to a fancy dress party (as Carrie Bradshaw) but can imagine wearing it with a singlet underneath and jeans or over an evening dress

As Carrie it also has a beaded caplet jacket over the top


Then in a second project I got to using the skirt

lace tee 2

I cut one of the panels that was previously horizontal in the dress to sit in the centre front of this top.  Not all of the edges were clean, but that adds to it’s vintage charm.  I used fusable webbing strips to hold the lace down before sewing.  The pattern I used for the t-shirt was this without the sleeve or hem

The gathered lace hem of the dress has become sleeves.  I bound the armholes and inserted cap sleeves.

The Elsa dress is in full swing and will hopefully be finished today

Happy Monday



Keeping things quiet as I recover from an RSI injury…

In my right hand, arm and shoulder, and most likely brought on by a combination of sewing, sanding and painting, and wait for it, swiping and tapping on my hand held devices!!  Using them is when I felt acute pain, and the more delicate the swipe and tap motion, the worse things became.

I’m happy to report physio treatment and exercises have made a tremendous difference.  I’m going to have to manage this moving forward, and becoming ambidextrous is looking like a good option – working on that!

Not everything came to a complete halt.  Small projects and limited work sessions over time

display case 1

This is nearly ready to reveal


and these are beautiful fabrics for an Elsa from Frozen dress

Cinderella party

In January Matilda turned 6 and on February 1 we celebrated with a Cinderella Party

(be warned, there are many photos in this post!)


When the girls arrived they were given a brown apron and a cleaning cloth. 

This was authentic Cinderella!

The fairy Godmother arrived


(in a dress designed by Amelia – it had to be strapless)

to turn all of the girls into princesses for the ball

dressed for ball

The dresses are open down the back with the big bow tie closure and a tie halter neck – designed to be worn as a costume over clothes.  As a surprise the girls all got to take their dresses home.

Made from a silk like fabric (it can’t be silk, I got it for 30 rupees a metre – about $0.50) in different shades of pink and blue satin for Matilda.  They were trimmed with sequins and Indian beads


There was sparkly nail polish




Party food



and lots of games






Then came the cake


Matilda made some minor adjustments



I used 2 bundt tins to make the dress cake.  The larger tin wasn’t kind to me and the cake broke as I took it out – lace to the rescue!

You can imagine the look on my face as I was pushing the legs of the doll into the cake, hoping the whole thing wouldn’t fall apart, but it didn’t thank goodness



In India the Birthday girl has to eat her cake first.  Well she should have it shoved into her mouth and icing/cream/cake smeared all over her face, but we stopped at eating


Just the girls in this shot



Happy 6th Birthday Matilda!

(and a special thankyou to Christelle who took most of the fabulous photos)

10 years

Dear Molly has always been a tribute to my Mum

We have been without her for 10 years now


Thinking of all the motherless mothers I know and sending my love



Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and no internet.  That pretty much sums up the first month of 2014!

I did get in a little sewing

boy blanket 2

boy blanket1

and another handbag for a 9 year old girl

birthday bag

after this my time was taken up sewing for a Cinderella Party….


It would appear I have an online addiction.

it’s not gambling, porn or anything like that, it’s just knowing I can connect to the outside world anytime


I need my Internet access!!


high speed


and on my desktop, in my study.

an iPad is not a computer.  I need flash


I know this is all very 1st world, but it has been down since 5 Jan

i need another coffee.  My machine still works


hours and hours of wrapping dolls in scraps of fabric, tying waists and necklines with ribbons and elastic

is a memory of my childhood


and now of my daughters!


stretch denim bias cut strapless dress


Liberty print asymmetrical top with A-line skirt


the dolls getting ready for their runway parade





head designer with her favourite dress, a multi layered strapless denim dress with an Indian hand block printed sash-belt

(and raspberry milkshake face!)