bric a brac

Tuesday, 3 June 2008
Thank you all so much for your lovely comments on my series of posts on wearing what I sew - how exhausting trying to take photos every day! But it was a good way to showcase my previous creations since I haven't been doing a great deal of sewing lately, time to get cracking on my winter wardrobe now that it is officially winter here in downtown Sydney.

To wrap a few things that came up in the comments from the last posts:

Karen asked to see my sewing space and machines and since you asked I will deliver! I have taken over one of our spare bedrooms that was once our study and sewing room but is now pretty much just my room! It's not huge, but it is a dedicated space that I can close the door to when it gets too messy.
In the photo above you can see my sewing machine on the right, a Brother PS-53 which is the basic model. This was given to me a few years ago as a christmas present from my parents, replacing the 35 year old machine my grandmother had given me that I had been using for at least the previous decade. I have been thinking about upgrading soon, a machine that does one step buttonholes sounds very appealing, but that's the only extra feature I really need. My overlocker is a Toyota, again a basic model given to me at another christmas from my parents which works fantastically and is quite easy to thread. Above the desk on the shelf are 1950s bakelite kitchen canisters which house my button collection, seperated into various colours. Hanging on the wall are my sloper patterns that I am slowly developing - a shirt, an A-line skirt and a pencil skirt so far. On the clipboards hanging on the wall next to my sewing machine is an illustrated to do list, to give me incentive and encouragement to finish things (doesn't work though!)
My sewing desk is an L shape that my husband and I built specifically to house my sewing machines and the computer. In the photo above you can see the left side of the desk, where the computer is, boxes of habadashery notions that I really need to find a better way to store, pattern making supplies wedged between the filing cabinet and the desk, and all those papers on top of the desk waiting for filing! You can also my very high tech and aesthetically pleasing thread catcher under my overlocker - yes that is a plastic bag sticky taped to the desk, but at least its from Lincraft!

On the wall opposite the desk is a built in wardrobe that houses most of my stash (it has now spread into another wardrobe in the guest bedroom!), and UFO purgatory, ie all those unfinished garments hanging in there waiting their turn. And you can just see the cabinet that holds all my patterns in that I posted about here.

So there you have it - not an overly inspiring or pretty workspace, unlike this awesome room over at Chaletgirl's house. But really this room is only temporary, because we are about to undertake extensions and renovations to the house and when I get my permanent space I'll be decorating like crazy!

On to the next comment - Vicki has suggested, no nearly ordered that I increase my shoes to a "round" 100, even pointing on that the mid year sales are on. Oh Vicki, you are a wicked woman but you are totally correct, I shall be looking for bargains today at lunch as I've noticed that both Mollini and Wittners are advertising up to 50% off at the moment!

And finally, the the_lazymilliner tagged me for this game: revealing six things you don't know about me. Well this should be easy since I pretty much keep the blog sewing related, but thinking of 6 interesting things will be the challenge:

1. I am a town planner by profession. I'm sure that not many of you have come across a town planner before, since I am always asked what it is. Basically in previous jobs I was responsible for assessment of development proposals, and in my current role I work in policy setting out guidelines for what development can occur where. If you ever want to do work on your house you'll come across a town planner (I think they are known as municipal or city planners in the US).

2. My husband is Chinese, which you would have realised if you saw my post on our wedding photos. But here's something interesting, he is an Australian born Chinese, and so while he has a Chinese face, he's much taller than most Chinese and because he grew up out in the country he speaks with a very Australian accent which throws most people off when they first meet him! I have also adopted his surname (although I blog here under my maiden name), so I confuse people when I meet them too, especially if we've talked on the phone before meeting.

3. I ride a motorbike, and when I was younger I really wanted to be a motorcycle racer when I grew up. But a few accidents scared me out of that idea, and now I just ride on the weekends for fun. In fact, my whole family rides, and my mum got her licence after turning 40! I currently have a Honda 1000cc VTR, which if you don't know bikes is a pretty big sportsbike, which I like to ride really fast to outdo young men and their egos.....

4. I never cook dinner or shop for groceries, my husband does all that (because he loves it right!). I do like to bake though, and quite often make cakes and muffins but when it comes to cooking each night I just can't be bothered or inspired to do it. In fact if I'm alone and have to fend for myself, I usually will have sardines on toast or if I'm feeling fancy an omelet.

5. I am a hopeless knitter and terrible at crochet, not matter how much I want to be good at it. With my knitting my tension is way too tight, I am very slow and lose focus which results in added/decreased stitches by accident. With my crochet I'm really good at making chains, but that's about it.....

6. I suffer from mild insomnia and spend a few hours each night laying awake before I finally get to sleep. I use that time to think about what I'm going to sew next, what to wear the following day and general plans for world domination! I can't work out if I spend so much time thinking because I'm awake, or whether I'm awake because I'm thinking too much, but I've been that way since a little kid so I'm resigned to it.

Is everyone still with me? Such a wordy post I know, but soon back to regular posting. I've even finished one of my infamous UFOs to show you!


  1. I like your sewing space a lot, but I am most impressed with your stash organisation - it looks like a mini store!

  2. Thanks for the pics of your sewing space and your fabric collection. I like knowing that others are stashing fabrics against the coming "draught" too...okay I know there's no draught but it sounded good! *LOL* I do anything to rationalize a good fabric collection!!! Oh and the fact that you use a regular old sewing machine definitely says that you don't need a TOL machine with all the bells and whistles to create extraordinary pieces!!!

  3. Wow, I am jealous of your sewing space. (Mine is the kitchen table). Love those bakelite canisters, my mother has the same ones in her kitchen. You are so neat,tidy and organised. I would never have guessed you ride a motorbike. I always wanted to do that! I lurk on your blog alot and I really enjoy reading it.thanks

  4. Very nice sewing room, and very nice stash of fabrics! Thanks for sharing a few things about yourself too :)

  5. Kristy, you must be a totally organized person is all I can say! Does your office at work look so tidy too? Granted my sewing room is a larger space then yours... but I seem to have a lot jam packed into it too. I used to work at a fabric shop and that is one (mind you I did say "one") of the reasons that I have so much stuff! Seeing it day in and day out is a big temptation... to say the least. Most people go to the store and see something they want for a project and then buy! I got into the bad habit of buying and then taking it home to figure out what to use it for! I must say... good for you! You probably get more done that way.
    I enjoy your posts! Jean C.

  6. What a lovely space! My sewing storage is catch-as-catch can--tucked in various suitcases, trunks, drawers, underbed storage and stacked in piles willy-nilly. I was lusting after your pattern collection and am now equally in love with your fabric stash.

  7. oh, I wouldn't have to ask what a town planner is - my Dad was one for the state of Pennsylvania for years and years before he retired. Still to this day, don't say the word "sprawl" in his presence if you don't want an hour-long rant!

    And I don't think your sewing room is small at all - it's easily 3-4 times the size of mine! :)

  8. Great sewing space! I enjoyed reading the 6 things about you. It's interesting learning about other bloggers.

  9. Beautiful space! Love the stash too. How come mine never looks that neat?

  10. Wow, what an interesting person you are! And I am glad you are taking my advice and increasing your stock of essentials (ie shoes).

    When I go to bed, if I start thinking I cannot sleep. The same happens if I wake in the middle of the night. Must stay calm and NOT think of sewing. Oh, so many outfits I have planned in the middle of the night!

  11. Oh, oh, oh - my masters is in historic preservation planning! Lots of city planning courses in there too. I don't do it anymore, but spent quite a while on historic district designation, establishing review boards, etc. As you a said, not often that you come across another!


  12. I'm stealing the clipboard idea! I also like the basic machines. You don't have to have high-powered equipment to turn out a high-powered wardrobe.

  13. *giddy with excitement here* - firstly, I Luuuuurve that sewing room. Placement is everything! Thanks for sharing your space, I love to see where other people are doing their thing.

    Secondly... pretty please post a pic of your bike? I know it may scare the tailored pants off some seamstresses to see a pic like that on a sewing blog, but please, please, please??

    I have had my license for about a year but haven't been riding for months now - you know when you just don't feel the confidence and know you're better off being anywhere but where you could possibly do yourself some damage?

    But my rego arrived in the post last night which makes me think I should get back in the saddle soon. I'm starting to miss it...