Me Made May 2019… I’m In!

After the fun that I had in my first Me Made May last year I have signed up again this year

If you’re not familiar with Me Made May it was a challenge that Zoe from So Zo What Do You Know set herself to see if she could wear more of her me made items for the month of May. Now in its 10th year it is a challenge that people all over the world now take part in. There are no real rules except that you set your personal challenge on what you would like to do for the month that you don’t normally do. There is no point of challenging yourself to wear me made items every day to work if that is what you do anyway. I’ve gone to Zoe’s blog and signed up and here is my pledge

I’m challenging myself to wear Me Made items for the entire month. Last year I only aimed to wear me made on work days. The other part of my challenge is that I won’t wear the same item on the same day of the week so for example if I wear a particular skirt on Monday I can’t wear it on another Monday for that month.

So how do I think I will go? To be honest I may struggle a bit particularly as last year I lived in my 2 kinder cardigans I made and I can only wear them a total of 7 days each for the month. Me Made May isn’t a photo challenge but I will use Instragram to help me keep track of what days I have worn which items as I will forget otherwise. Without realising I have started to wear the items on the same day each week and I want to get out of the habit so I don’t end up as this is my Tuesday skirt. I now have a lot of me made items and I want to mix them up and wear them together but also mix them in with stuff in my ready to wear wardrobe more so that I get maximum use out of the clothing I have.

I’m looking forward to May

Cassiy 

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Sydney Frocktails 2019

Last Saturday night I went to Sydney Frocktails. I love Frocktails it is such a fun night.

Originally I was planning on making an actual frock for this time around but sadly the heat we’ve had this summer in Sydney combined with the stress of my over locker not playing nicely in recent months meant I never actually got a dress made. I didn’t have the sewjo or time to try out a new pattern in the limited sewing time as Frocktails loomed. I have sew much respect for all the amazingly talented ladies who did make new patterns or try new techniques on their dresses on the days and hours leading up to the night and had them finished in time.

Photo Courtesy of Mr Useful Box from Sydney Frocktails on Instagram

I decided 2 weeks out from Frocktails my outfit would be a shawl I had actually knitted for the event at the end of December, one of my sparkle skirts that I made in December and a tank top. The tank top I did actually make one week out from Frocktails but it was the Winnats tank which is a pattern I had made before so I was comfortable with plus I was needing a black tank top in my wardrobe. Sewing up the tank was pretty stress free and I enjoyed making it (my over locker even behaved) I am really happy with my outfit.

I managed to find a beaded necklace which I think got around 10 years ago which fitted in with the black and red theme I seemed to have. My hand bag was one I knitted many years ago and was the same coloured cotton as my shawl. I even wore my metal cuff which I made at a craft show a few years back, it has little ying yang symbols on it. I’m really happy with my little outfit.

I had a wonderful night. At last years Frocktails I had a migraine and didn’t have the best night but this year I made sure I avoided any migraines so I was able to really enjoy myself. I sipped on my cocktail and enjoyed the other complementary drink we got with out entry tickets. I chatted to all my sewing friends and made new friends. I was touching people’s fabrics and meeting different people that I had known from Instagram but had never actually spoken to in real life. It was a really relaxing fun night.

As we have been spoilt every year each person got to take home a goodie bag or in this case a goodie parcel. Our parcel included a copy of Peppermint magazine (I have wanted to read this mag), a little bag to sew up, some embroidery thread, sew in clothing tags plus discount vouchers some printed, some sent via email. It was an amazing little parcel of sewing happiness.

Once again this year there was some amazing lucky door prizes…. By pure luck I won a $150 gift voucher to The Fabric Store!!! I couldn’t believe it when my name was called out. The Fabric Store is an awesome shop. I often go to the one in Sydney, I made sure I visited the one in Melbourne last month. I have no idea what I am going to buy with it. I think I am going to go there one day, browse all the fabric and see what jumps out at me. Enjoy the shopping trip.

Sydney Frocktails was so popular this year that Caz from Useful Box who organises it (and does an incredibly amazing job) has announced there will be a 2nd Frocktails in September, originally I thought I might sit the next one out as I have a lot of events in August but the more I thought about it the more I decided no I would like to go so I have already brought my ticket.

Now to get sewing on my Spring Frocktails outfit.

Cassiy

Victoria Craft Crawl – Melbourne Fabric Stores

Prior to going down to Melbourne I asked on the Sydney Spoolettes Facebook group for recommendations on fabric shops to visit in Melbourne. I know many of our members have been down there and word of mouth is always the best recommendation. I was able to get a good list of shops to visit plus I had a couple in mind already that I knew of. My fabric crawl took place over 2 days. Day 1 was just a mini fabric crawl as in the morning I had done a couple of other Melbourne touristy things.

The first place I visited was Tessuti fabrics. Tessuti has a couple of shops in Sydney but I have only ever been to the Surry Hills shop. I thought it might be fun to visit the store in another city, I mean how often am I going to get a chance to do things like that.

I got 2 items there (apologies for the bad photo but I took it in my hotel room on my phone) A friend of mine has made the Robbie Pant pattern a few times and looks great in them so I decided I wanted the pattern to try it myself so that was on my shopping list. I also got some linen like fabric to make them in. The fabric looks black in this photo but it is actually a navy colour.

The second place I visited was Luccello. I would describe this shop as more like a quilting shop as most of their fabrics are quilting type fabrics but they do have lot of trims and buttons and other bits and pieces that aren’t necessarily directly quilting related. It is a very nice little shop and worth the visit. It is only about 5 mins from Tessuti as you walk down to the main train station.

From there I purchased some quilting cotton again to make the Robbie Pants in. The print is a bit quirky, it is very geometric which is something I’m drawn to. Of course it is blue, everything is always blue. This fabric should make nice pants hopefully.

Day 2 was my big fabric crawl. It was my last day in Melbourne and I dedicated the entire day to it. Over breakfast I sat down and wrote a list of 4 shops I wanted to visit. I looked up public transport options and discovered the first 2 shops which are next door to each other I could get a tram to the rest I would have to catch taxis between. When I was at my first stop I was given the name of another shop to visit so I ended up with 5 shops to visit that day.

Stop 1 – The Fabric Store. They have shops around the world and I visit the Sydney store often but I had to make a visit to the Melbourne store just like I did Tessuti because it was in another city. I don’t think I will get to any others in the world any time soon (no international fabric crawls are on the plans)

The way I shop for fabrics and most things actually is I walk around and look for things that jump out at me. I am fussy about what fabric content so sometimes I will see something that catches my eye then I walk up and touch it and think no. Walking around The Fabric Store 2 pieces jumped out at me. A navy and white palm fond print and some denim like blue star fabric. I love stars, blue stars are even better. The star fabric I’m hoping again to make Robbie Pants (I really hope I like this pattern) I’m thinking they will be like jeans but with a pull on elastic waist. The palm fabric I decided will be my new handbag, my current bag is falling to pieces so I need to make a new one.

Stop 2 – Clear It. This is like a hidden gem that unless you knew about it you would not think to go there. It is part of an outlet shop for Alannah Hill and a few other brands. The fabric section is located on the upstairs section of the store. There are signs on the front of the shop that says it sells fabric but unless you were actually going to the shop you wouldn’t know to go there for fabric. The fabric section isn’t very large in terms of space but it is in terms of quantity of stock. There are rolls and rolls on fabrics on about half a dozen shelves that go from the floor to almost the ceiling. There is also a table full of buttons, trims and other small accessories. All the fabric is really cheap between $4 – $10/m I think there may have been some that were more expensive but mostly it was within the price range. You could even buy a bolt of fabric. The fabrics ranged from synthetics to cottons to wool felt to suiting. A real mixture of fabrics.

I actually strayed away from blue fabrics! 3 fabrics jumped out at me. 2 cotton prints and a synthetic knit. The knit I am going to make a halloween skirt. Normally I don’t make clothing to wear only for like one occasion a year but this fabric was $4/m and I need 1m to make a skirt so for that price I could justify getting it. It is hard to tell in this photo but the darker fabric is a mottled green colour with white circles and the lighter fabric is simple black spots. Not sure what I am going to make with these, I got a couple of metres of each. From memory the darker fabric is a little bit heavier so I think maybe a skirt or even shorts. The lighter fabric my guess will be a top.

Stop 3 – Rathdowne Fabrics. This shop has a range of fabrics – cottons, wools, synthetics, quilting cottons, knits, fleece, upholstery pretty much everything you are looking for. They have a lot of remnants which are pretty organised by from memory colour but possibly also fabric composition. The remnants were fun to look through and were located around the store in different areas.

From one of the remnant bins which I think was full of blue knits I picked up 2 nylon knits to use a laundry bags. Each one was about 1m in size and were $4 each. The fabric is almost the exact same fabric I made my laundry bags from with fabric I got at Lincraft, The only difference is that they didn’t have a motive on them like my other fabric, colour wise and fabric wise they are exactly the same. I have actually made up one of the remnants into 2 laundry bags already, I got one smaller bag and one medium size bag from the piece. The second fabric I got is a cotton, it is kind of like a secret cotton so I can’t really say much about it except I was that I was on the lookout for something like this so super happy that I stumbled across it. I brought 1m so will have enough to make what I have in mind for it.

Stop 4 – GJs Discount Fabrics. I knew that the owners of the Remnant Warehouse in Sydney had a sibling connection to a store in Melbourne but I didn’t know which shop until I walked into GJs. The layout and fabrics were very similar to the Remnant Warehouse. This store is out in the suburbs and I don’t know how easy it would be to get to by public transport. It is in an industrial area so you really need a car to get out to it or in my case a taxi. On the way out there I’d got chatting to the driver saying I was wanting to visit different fabric stores but I didn’t know the layout of the Melbourne suburbs so perhaps my planning on the order I went to the different shops wasn’t the best. I was super lucky that the taxi driver offered to turn off the meter and wait in the carpark whilst I did my shopping, his father was tailor and his wife made things for their home so he was actually interested in fabrics. When I got back in the cab he even asked if he could see the fabric I purchased.

Because the shop was similar to the Sydney shop I didn’t get overwhelmed when I first walked in even though there was bins full of fabrics in the entrance way then rolls of fabrics when you walk in. I knew what fabric compositions I liked or what I was interested in purchasing and what to just walk past (dance wear, synthetics, quilting cottons) The one fabric that jumped out at me was a cotton lycra knit by the designer Art Gallery. I have been wanting to get an Art Gallery knit for a long time but never found one I liked or in my price range. I think I got 2 metres, I’m not sure what I am going to do with it yet. I could easily see a Turner skirt from this but you never know. I’m just excited I got an Art Gallery knit.

Stop 5 – Darn Cheap Fabrics. This was the last stop on my fabric crawl and the shop I spent the most time in, not because it was the last shop but more because it had fabrics that I was interested in. It had more of the fabrics that I wear in it, lots of cotton wovens, cotton knits, organic cottons. They have other fabrics as well (wools, synthetics, silks etc) The layout was well organised and easy to get around. They also had trims and notions and accessories.

This was the shop that I also purchased the most from, as I mentioned it had my kinds of fabrics in it at really good prices. I got some paisley denim which will become a York Pinafore, this will be a more relaxed casual type one that I can throw on with sneakers. It isn’t a heavy denim so should work out nicely. I was looking for some lining to use in my new handbag and came across a white quilting cotton with navy rain drops. The joke is that I am a Princess when it comes to rain (I hate walking in it, I hate getting wet) I always carry an umbrella if there is even just a hint of a chance of rain and if I feel a few drops of rain up goes the brolly. I have a range of umbrellas in different sizes for dependent on how heavy the rain is (they are all in the one print design too) I love the irony my handbag will have raindrops on the inside of it but it does closely match the colours of palm fond fabric. The light blue fabric is a sheer cotton, the geometric shapes jumped out at me straight away. It is way too sheer to wear by itself so I got some navy organic cotton to put with it in a lined skirt, together they should work well. I do have a skirt pattern in mind which I have previously made so I am going to try that again with these fabrics.

My fabric crawl was so much fun. Going to new shops, touching all the fabrics, thinking what I could make. Do I have a fabric shop? If I was to go back to Melbourne and only had a limited time to shop I would revisit Darn Cheap and Clear It again. All the shops were worth the visit but those too in particular stand out for me in terms of price and the types of fabrics that I am interested in. If I went to Clear It I would probably then also squeeze in Rathdowne as it was only 10mins or so from Clear It.

Oh I should also point out I did actually do the one thing I went to Melbourne for and that was ride my tram. I did that after I visited the fabrics shops on day 1 of my fabric crawl. Just outside Flinders St station (which is down the road from the 2 fabric shops) you can catch the City Circle tram which is a free tram and it is the older style trams just like I used to see pictures of when I was a kid. As you can see from the photo I loved riding my tram. The features inside were pretty, the outside was gorgeous.

On the plane home I just came in under my baggage limit by 1kg so I didn’t have to pay excess baggage. Maybe 1 more ball of yarn and couple of pieces of fabric would’ve tipped me over my limit. I’m really glad I took the large suitcase. I enjoyed my Melbourne holiday now to get in and start making things with all the lovely yarn and fabrics I purchased.

Cassiy

Victoria Craft Crawl – Bendigo Woollen Mills

Lucky me got to have a summer holiday, something I rarely get to do. I decided I wanted to go to Melbourne which is the capital city of Victoria. The main reason for my visit down south was to ride a Melbourne tram. As a kid we never had trams in Sydney (we do have something now called the Light Rail which is like modern day trams) I thought whilst I was done south I thought I might do a bit of a craft crawl so armed with a large mostly empty suitcase off I went.

Once I had made up my mind to go down south I thought I wonder if I could make a day trip out to Bendigo, Bendigo is a regional city of Victoria and is the home of Bendigo Woollen Mills. If you have read my posts before I am always talking about yarn from there as I use it all the time and the link to their website is on my favourites page. I have always wanted to visit their factory shop as I’ve heard so much about it but not having a car I never thought I would actually get there. I did some research and discovered I could get a train from the centre of Melbourne to Bendigo, I actually booked my hotel accommodation so I would be really close to the train station that the Bendigo trains leave from. It was about 2 hour trip each way so I thought perfect knitting time.

Luck has it the week that I went trains were out due to rail upgrade so I had to catch a coach out to Bendigo and back. It was a 4 hour round trip without knitting as I had to sit next to someone but I did have music in my ears and the trip was worth it. I caught a taxi to and from the station and they only cost about $10 each way so the shop isn’t too far from the station but you couldn’t walk it (well you could but then you would have to carry all that yarn back)

Once I got into the carpark I really had to control my craft crazy, I couldn’t believe I was there. I was trying to hold it together but I was an excited little kid. The shop is broken in 2 parts. The front of the shop has all the current stock of yarn, clothing, patterns etc. It is there online shop in the flesh. Seeing a room full purely of their large balls of yarn (their yarn is a 200g ball) was so amazing, I had come to the yarn mecca. I walked around looking at all the colours, squishing yarn. I was the kid in a candy shop and the rainbow of colours did make it look like candy, yarn candy the best kind.

The second part of the shop is out the back and is kind of what people make the trip out for. It is a room full of factory seconds, discontinued lines, clearance yarn. Some stock they lots of, others they don’t. From the back section you could purchase enough yarn for a project if you were flexible enough with your colours/type but if you are wanting a particular yarn itself you may not find it in this section. They have everything separated into categories (wools, cottons, acrylic) in the different plys  but you may not find a lot of stock in the colour you want in it, I was looking for 4ply cotton but they didn’t have any in blue, they had only a few in earth tones. In some categories they had lots of a particular yarn so you never know what you will find. The back section was a lot of fun to look in, your brain was ticking of things you could do with the yarn you just found. You could really loose your mind in this section.

Before I went I had a project in mind so I was after a heap of blues in 4ply cotton, as mentioned I couldn’t find any in the back room so I got them from the main shop. I came away with 6 blues and silver colour. I have a shawl I will knit one day using these. I say one day as I have a long knitting “to make” list

I was a little bit lucky the week before I went to Melbourne I spent and few days up north at my best friends place again like I did last November. She gave me my Christmas present which was a gift card that I could use anywhere, straight away I knew it would be Bendigo shopping money. In the back room I found some variegated cotton yarn, I didn’t even know they did a variegated cotton yarn! I got 4 balls of it using the gift card. I don’t know what I will make but I know 4 balls will be ample amounts to do something, I’m thinking it will be some kind of wrap or shawl.

 

By chance next to the shop is small tram museum which has a café, you can do a free tour or pay to go on an actual old tram for a ride. I stopped in there afterwards for a cold drink and a look around. The lady on the counter was really nice and rang a taxi for me as I didn’t know where to wait for a taxi or even to tell them where I was. If you ever visit the woollen mills shop stop in at the museum for a drink and look around, it something you don’t actually find in Melbourne itself.

I had a fun day out to Bendigo. If I am in Melbourne again and have a free full day I’d make the trip out again to the Woollen Mills. The shop is lovely and the back room is fun. Don’t be intimidated to go by public transport just get off at the station and jump into a taxi which arrive at the station pretty frequently. Mention to the driver you want to go to the Woollen Mills and they will instantly know where to take you, as the taxi driver said to me “I know the place, it is famous around here”

Cassiy

 

2018 A Crafty Year In Review

This time of year I always sit and reflect back on what crafty things I have done this year. 2018 has been a BIG year for me. On a personal note my day job has been crazy from the start of the year right until the end and crafting has kept me sane this year during it. Blogging wise unfortunately I have posted less than I have in previous years and there are a lot projects I have completed this year that I haven’t blogged about yet so you will see them over the coming months.

I can’t believe how much I have expanded my Me Made Wardrobe this year. It was all sparked off by attending the first Cashmerette retreat in February then going back for the second one. Both retreats were sew much fun, I learnt a lot at both of them but also they gave me the confidence to step outside my comfort zone, try new patterns and have a go at things. Sure I have curves but that doesn’t mean I can’t try any pattern I see, I just may need to alter the pattern a little to fit me but it is the pattern that needs altering and not me. Clothing making isn’t intimidating for me anymore. This year I have made

I think it is about 22 items I have made this year for myself which seems a crazy amount of clothing but I have been wearing them all. I’m not just making things and keeping them in the wardrobe. Some items have really surprised me, I still can’t believe I regularly wear a white skirt to work but my Granville skirt is just sew comfortable.

I heard the comment this year that wearing “Me Made” items can calm you in a stressful situation and I couldn’t agree more. This year if I was stressed out at work, having a bad day or thinking I couldn’t do something I would just look down at what I was wearing, maybe stroke the fabric and my nerves would calm down or my confidence levels would rise again and I could handle things better. My homemade clothing became very therapeutic this year whether it be in the making of it or the wearing of it. As my workload and stressed increased towards the later part of the year my sewing output increased too because on a weekend I found I could switch my mind off better if I was sewing and focusing on that instead of thinking what I had to do on Monday. If I didn’t set myself clothing deadlines I was getting more done as I was relaxed in making the items.

I’ve enjoyed events with the Sydney Spoolettes again this year. We’ve had swap days, seen exhibitions, had dinners and days out fabric shopping. Frocktails was fun even though I was sick at it. The Spoolettes are always a lovely bunch of people to hangout with and talk all things fabric and sewing.

It hasn’t just been all sewing this year I have enjoyed my yarn projects as well. The class I did with Sockmatician was brilliant and one of the highlights of the year, for the first time ever one of the Christmas gifts I gave was a double knit item. Crocheted water balloons were my saviour for Christmas gifts this year for kids, if I hadn’t made those I’m very doubtful I would’ve met my gift deadlines this year.

The items I have knitted myself this year were

I went on my first trip out of Sydney in over 5 years to my best friends place up the coast and she took me to all the local yarn shops up there and it was a lot of fun even though she is not a yarn person, she was amazed that a pattern can be created in items just by the way the yarn is dyed and how you knit it. I got yarn from different places and I will have memories of up there once I make the items. My knitting has been a little down on previous years but I have made larger pieces (except for socks) than I have in previous years but I enjoyed the knitting process. I’m currently in the middle of 2 more knitting projects for myself and they are fairly large.

Looking ahead to 2019 I don’t have any big plans yet. Frocktails is coming up in February and I am yet to make my dress so I will start that in the coming weeks. I want to go to Knitting Camp again, I don’t mind if I don’t do any classes I just want to go to camp, hangout with fellow knitters and squish yarn. I am going on holidays next month and hoping to visit Bendigo Woollen Mills whilst I am in that part of the country and also maybe do some fabric shopping around Melbourne. I have asked on the Spoolette’s facebook group for fabric places to visit down that way so I might check some out. I’m still making all the gifts I give, as of yesterday I decided on all items I am making for next Christmas so I can finalise what supplies I need to buy and make a start on those sooner rather than later. As for birthday gifts I’ve worked out the majority of items I am making there are just a few I need to fully decide on, I have made a start on the gifts I need for earlier in the year. Charity wise I will continue sewing and knitting pouches for WIRES, I’ve sent a few parcels to them full of items this year and hoping to send more off next year.

Thank you to everyone who has commented on here this year. I love sharing my little craft adventures with you all.

Wishing you all the best for 2019

Cassiy

Letting Go Of Craft Supplies

I was going to blog about something else this week until I discovered I haven’t done the photos of it yet… So instead I will talk about decluttering.

At the moment I am in the process of doing a major declutter of my house. At some point I am going to have to move house, I have been in my current place for 9 years and have gathered a lot of stuff. If and when I do ever move I don’t want to move things I’m not going to use or need. Moving is expensive and I have so much stuff so why move stuff to another place that I am not going to use. My decluttering has included my craft areas. I’m currently putting in the recycling bins all my old craft mags that I don’t want and giving any good books to charity. So far I have filled half a large otto bin up of stuff with plans to toss out more next week.

Scan N Cut Mats Hanging Up

Earlier this year I gave away my Scan N Cut machine and the accessories that went with it. I never had the time to sit and learn how to use it properly so I gave it to my sister so she can use it with my nieces who are getting to the age where they want to make things themselves. It felt good to get rid of it.

The next craft item on my list is my bias tape maker. I think I have only ever taken it out of the box once. It is just sitting gathering dust so I posted it on Facebook offering it to any of my sewing friends. Someone has said yes to it so now I will arrange for her to come and collect it soon. Yes I could have sold it but I prefer to spread the craft love and give things away to people I know who will use them.

I am actually finding decluttering very therapeutic. It is good to get rid of things that are just collecting stuff plus I am liking the empty spaces they create. I have always been a person who can get rid of things the problem is that I haven’t done it for a while. My clutter was starting to stress me out a little and that included my craft clutter, it was just out of control. In recent times I have stopped and thought about purchases before I made them but that has only really been in the last 6-8 months, before that I would just hand over the credit card without putting much thought into things.

Cassiy

 

Sydney Craft And Quilt Fair 2018

Each year I go to the big Craft and Quilt Fair in Sydney, in previous years I have gone to it for 2-3 days but this year I only went for the one day and to be honest only really spent a couple of hours at it. I can’t explain why this year but this year I just didn’t have the craft show excitement. Before the show I look online to see what classes and workshops are running and this year nothing took my interest so I didn’t do any workshops or talks. I needed to return back some raffle tickets to the Quilting Guild that I had received in the mail to sell but didn’t so I went in to drop those off plus just do some minor shopping. I had no “big ticket” items I wanted to purchase this year, it was more just some supplies of things I needed. To be honest I am starting to feel a little cluttered by my craft stuff which I never thought I would say. Instead of crafting relaxing me the supplies around me are starting to make me anxious because it is visual clutter. On my shopping list was rotary blades as I have none, yellow wool felt and some owl fabric for a couple of gifts. On one stand I did purchase a “showbag” of different types of interfacings. After the NSW Industry day earlier this year I decided I am going to make up an interfacing sampler with different types of interfacings and different fabrics so I can see which works best when I need to use interfacings in different situations. I hadn’t gotten to the shop to purchase the interfacings yet so this showbag was perfect. I did make 2 indulgence purchases, a shawl pin and a cake of yarn. I don’t have a shawl pin so one will come in handy. The cake of yarn is Scheepjes whirl, I have seen this online many times but have never actually had the chance to hold some. The day before the craft show I started a new shawl with a ball of yarn so in my mind I could justify adding this to my stash as I am likely to use it. This year it is in its 25th so everyone attending to a tote bag as they entered the show.

Over the years I have gone a bit crazy at the craft show and purchased items which I have never used or given away. I am over doing that. I don’t want to think of my craft supplies as a waste of money but in some ways if they just sit around and I eventually give them away then they are. I am really happy with what I purchased this year, I didn’t lose my craft mind and just purchase random stuff.

Cassiy