Sewing Plans

Oh, friends, all the plans I have told you about that never come to fruition (“I’m going to blog photos from the bike tour!” “I’ll post lots of photos of Australian wildflowers!” “I’ll write frequently”)  Still, if I never announced my grand plans, what kind of blogger would I be? (oh, yes, a slack one. Been there, done that.)

With much thinking and blog-reading (my goodness are there ever a lot of sewing blogs out there), and being in crafty, crafty Melbourne, I am thoroughly inspired to sew, and I have plans to sew my entire wardrobe, including underwear.  I will also sew bags, because I am a crazy bag lady, always have been.  I’m confident on the bag front, having sewn many, and nervous on the clothing front, having only modified lots.

What I have sewn so far: a mug rug, which is either a really large coaster or a teeny tiny quilt.

When we arrived in Melbourne, I had very little clothing.  I had an unusual chance to effectively start from scratch. Acquiring more clothing has been extremely unsatisfying, made more problematic by my current employment.  Nevertheless, I still managed to acquire a wardrobe of clothing that I don’t actually wear much of.  Even expensive shirts – I have lots of button up ones – invariably, gape at the bust.  The current fashion of skinny trousers do not fit my muscly legs. Despite being a fairly self-confident, strong-minded person, I was persuaded by a store assistant to buy a pair of too tight work trousers to match a suit jacket.  Well done her; idiotic me.

Anyway, I recently successfully followed a sewing pattern – to make a toiletry bag from the You Sew, Girl book by Nicole Mallalieu.  I bought the book because it has a how-to guide for pattern-less clothing, which is what I thought I wanted to do.  But reading a heap of blogs and thinking more about what I want to sew, I think I want patterns.  And then I stumbled across patterns that pretty much sum up my ‘style’, such as it is (which has been static for a good decade now).  Not only that, the pattern-maker is independent and a blogger, and she’s having a sale.

So, this is what will I will be sewing in the foreseeable future:

And these are the bloggers I’ve been reading and who have inspired me beyond the ‘grand plans inside my head’ phase:

I’ve been enjoying reading all the above blogs for sewing inspiration, tips and sometimes a belly laugh and a cry (Jorth is to blame for both things; Unsung Sewing Patterns good for a laugh; all the rest, great for inspiration etc)

There’s one thing my blog has that very few others can make a claim to – no coherent theme whatsoever: reading, laundry, worms, flowers, puffins, films, bikes and now, sewing. Join me on this adventure, too, won’t you?



  1. Sewing? Wow. I’m really impressed. I used to sew when I was in high school. I was enamored with Gidget and those full skirts (I know!) and, of course, could never find them in stores. But I’m surprised you haven’t been able to find clothes in the styles and sizes you need…. Will you post your projects?


    1. I probably will post my projects, because the sewing blogging community has been such a useful inspiration. I cannot imagine myself posing for the camera, though, so we’ll see how that goes! And the making my own clothes is all part and parcel of trying to break free of corporate-consumerist culture, and perhaps further unleashing of my inner housewife.


  2. How about a sewing/outdoors crossover? I’ve got a tent needing some repair! It’s a simple job, but then again I’ve never turned on a sewing machine before…!


    1. Tent repair is easy, Greg! No need for a sewing machine – don’t put a needle anywhere near a tent! You just need glue and patches – either came with the tent (if you still kept it, and methinks you probably would have if it came with the tent in the first place) or any outdoor store will have a tent repair kit. Hmm, or seam sealant, but that’s just very special sticky tape. 🙂

      Actually, the outdoors is part of what prompts me to sewing. I don’t know if outdoors clothing makers realise that there are short women with muscly legs who do outdoorsy things because nothing ever fits me. Ever. (well, except t-shirts, but even outdoor leggings don’t fit me. What’s with that?) I always end up modifying outdoors clothes. /end rant


      1. Well, I can sympathise with your clothing predicament! I find most pants are suited for people built like twigs and shirts are way too short in the sleeves for me. Oh yeah, thermals that are XL, but they seem to stop just below my knee!! I have an intense dislike for the ‘normal frame’! I’d like to have my own clothing range for outdoor gear called ‘Big Boy clothing’. Yeah well, that’s just off the top of my head, I’m sure I can think of a better title later on!

        Ah, I know what you mean about the glue and patches, but I have a particularly annoying problem! What I’ll do is send you a photo later and I’m sure you’ll say, “You need a sewing machine to fix that!!”

      2. Blog it! (or have you and I’ve missed it? surely not!) And then I, and your other faithful readers, can diagnose and postulate on possible fixes …

        It appears we may have opposite problems with outdoors clothing. I look forward to meeting you on a trail one day: giant with trousers too small and midget with sleeves too long! Ooh, I have an idea, I’ll save up my fabric offcuts from shortening, and use them to lengthen your kit. Win!

      3. No, I haven’t blogged about it just yet, as I was wondering on a fix. I’ll do a post when it’s done! I’ll take some pictures of it today and get back to you!

        Yes, a few offcuts sewn on the bottom of my pants would give me a kind of hiking/bohemian look wouldn’t it?! It has potential!

  3. Hey Oanh, I am so impressed with your sewing ability – keep up the good work. Would like to see some of the end results…….I loved your mug mat. I am busy busy searching the web for patterns for baby clothes – if only we knew which sex 🙂 But it is fun not knowing. XX


    1. Helen, you are so encouraging. I will post pictures of my completed projects for your delectation. Yes, my mug mat makes me smile every day at work!Green! Trees! Flowers! Birdies! All things I like rather a lot.


  4. Wow, I’m honored to be among the list of people that have inspired you! I say go for it, things are bound to go wrong, but as with everythign else the more experience you get the better the outcome will become.


    1. Yes, Rachel, you were most definitely an inspiration to try my hand at sewing clothes I will wear, seeing your Thurlow trousers and Renfrew tops! We’ll see how I get on!


  5. Love the mug rug 😀 Making some quilted dinner table mats has been on my list for ages, partly because I’m a crazy scrap hoarder, and they need to go somewhere at some point!, partly because I’d like to look into quilting in a non-threatening size.
    And coincidentally Alma is on my list, too 😀


    1. Yes, my love and pride in the mug rug is inversely proportionate to its size and the effort (an hour? less? to cut and sew – though I spent ages thinking about it) involved in making it. It is very much a non-threatening quilt size; I love that idea. Reckon you’ll do a magnificent job on the Alma; so I look forward to reading all about yours – when you get around to it, of course!


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