Tuesday, July 30, 2013


I'd like to think that this post will become a bit of a feature, here at Garage Sewing. That is to say, I feature a lovely house for us all to drool over. I suppose i have already done this, in featuring other houses (mainly from the wonderful Design Files), but this can be the first official one, and if i remember in the future to name others like it under 'House Files', well then all the better!

I make no apologies for the crap nature of these images. I am no photographer. I own no nice camera. I use some samsung thing that i nicked off of my sister years ago, and my phone. The point is to see beyond the dodgy photographing skills to see the beauty of the image! Or at least that is what i am assuring myself...


Here are some lovely images, taken directly from Habitus mag's very pages (just think of it like we're flicking through the magazine together, taking in page by lovely page!)

Admittedly the downstairs looks a bit dark (i think it was once a garage), but imagine all the light streaming into the upper floor through those wonderful windows!

Really really like the dining room table and chairs. The chairs especially. 

Lovely light, white and bright kitchen. Simple cabinetry, great views and lots of colour added through the books, appliances etc. 

Especially like this colourful wall hanging. A great way to fill a kind of odd space

I don't even especially like pools, but the whole view of this outside area is just fabulous. 


Monday, July 29, 2013


Ever since seeing it in the beautiful Ringwood house (blogged about here), i have been in love with the whole String System look. 

In case you have no idea what the hell i am talking about, here is a refresher

(care of The Design Files)

Sooooo pretty and practical (the best combination), non?

Anyway, i've been mulling over this lovely system for months now, and as a result, sussed out where in melbourne you can acquire it. Not that my history student budget is going to allow any such acquisition, but hey, a girl can dream. 

Thanks to the lovely people at Great Dane, who provide us Melbournians with all things Scandinavian in furniture and home design, the String System may just one day be mine!

(All images from Great Dane, as linked above)

Heart this wall paper. 

Could move into this room in a heart beat. 

Praise be to Scandi style!

Friday, July 26, 2013


LBD (Little Black Dress)

Or should I say LBLD (Little Black Lonsdale Dress)!

It was quite some time ago (two months to be precise!) that I posted about my liking of Sewaholic's Lonsdale dress (refresh yourself here). Since then, i have been diligently, dedicatedly (read: slowly) sewing up my version of it. 

I decided to do away with the A-liney nature of the skirt that came with the Lonsdale pattern, choosing rather to go with a more fitted, pencil skirt (much like the ones in the inspiration snaps in previous post). I also decided to do this bad boy PROPERLY, by that i mean no short cuts and no sew-it-up-in-one-day mentality. Instead, i referenced a lot of the work from Claire Schaeffer's book Couture Sewing Techniques, and as a result, did a crap load of extra steps in the construction of the dress. Everything from hand sewing and basting of the seam lines and darts, to fitting the bodice and skirt multiple times before i was happy with it, to stabilising the crap out of every off-grain seam/edge, to using silk organza as interfacing, silk as the skirt lining and the cotton/silk blend of the main, outer fabric ("fashion fabric" to use the American turn of phrase) as a self lining in the bodice. Oh and hand-picked zip.

Above is the silk organza interfacing, marked with the final pattern lines, and pinned to the silk/cotton blend outer fabric, ready to be cut out and hand basted together. 

I'm pretty useless at selfies, but i'm sure you get the gist of the ensemble. 

Only problem is that i need help getting dressed, as the top hook, above the zip, is just out of reach. 

Waist stay of grosgrain ribbon, tacked to the side seams on the inside of the dress, acts as an anchor for the whole dress, and make doing up the zip a whole lot easier. 

Just some detailed shots of the end product. Opted to secure the straps down at the back of the bodice (instead of having them tie up). And the matching of the Lonsdale bodice with the pencil skirt from Gertie's book worked wonders. The skirt has eight darts altogether, so it makes for a very fitted, sculptured look. 

Am yet to wear this out, and am a bit afraid that my social life, or lack thereof, does not exactly provide many occasions for such a dramatic look. As i am hardly going to pop down the street to buy some milk in it, it isn't a very wearable version of the Lonsdale, but I am very happy with it all the same. And the hours and hours, or should i really say weeks of time put into the construction of it was actually very rewarding. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


A little catch-up of the life of moi. 

Agatha thoroughly enjoys sitting in boxes

Some pretty lamps at a nice homewares shop in Kensington. I was very close to buying the one on the right, but finances (or lack thereof) prevented the purchase. 

Testing Aldi wine. This wasn't too bad, for $7!

The chair and foot stool I wanted, thinking that my tax return was going to be significant. It wasn't. 

A much needed pick-me-up when in the city last. 

Rachel Khoo's chicken dumpling soup! Yummo!

Browsing the wonderful Lost Arc in Williamstown. I want sooooo much from there. The place is just great. Run by two old guys, who are totally relaxed, listening to RRR, and pottering about out back. A place you could spend hours in, just looking. 

A recent mother-daughters lunch at Bistro Guillaume, after seeing the Hollywood Costume exhibition at ACMI. Both were really good. Just in case you we re wondering, I had the steak tartare for entree, pork belly for main and creme brulee for dessert. Suffice to say, i had a food coma afterwards and napped for the rest of the afternoon.

New to me magazine i picked up on my way to work the other day. 'Rosso' here has an amazing house. May do detailed shots in future post.

Hand made gift for a friend's recent birthday. 

Admiring teapots.

Monday, July 22, 2013


I just can't get over how great the pattern company/blog/blogger Grainline (aka Jen Beeman) is. After years of sewing, I am FINALLY coming across patterns that are wearable, stylish, non-naff,  affordable and did i mention wearable?? Seriously. Any full time or even budding sewers out there well know that a very large percentage of commercial sewing patterns are terribly naff, and the ones that are okay or good, cost a bomb (or at least that has been my experience here in Australia). And then when you actually sew something up from such patterns, it ends up wayyyy too big and just a bit frumpy. 

Okay, end rant. 

Now enter Grainline, a company based in Chicago, personally giving me (in pdf form) a lovely pattern which results in a lovely garment - easy to sew and providing major punches in the awesome factor. 

Whilst my first purchase from Grainline was in fact the Archer Shirt, I am actually yet to sew that baby up. I think because I got it shortly after sewing up the Colette Negroni shirt (which, to be honest, i didn't really like the end result. Not entirely the pattern's fault, as i had a fabric that was just a tad too thick, even if it was wonderful in its checkeredness, but also yes, didn't love the design as much as i first thought i did. Previously blogged about here and here.) Anyway, i was a bit over sewing shirts (all those buttons!), so put the pattern in the To Do pile. 

Now, the Scout Tee. I had seen quite a number of versions of this tee on the net, and was very impressed. It seems to hang just right, and looks good in that baggy, almost too big kind of way. Basically any sort of top/blouse that Gorman makes (for about 10 times the price). Perfect [uni] wardrobe staple me thinks.

SO, long story short (soz, it took a while to get here), i've whipped up a few of these babies myself, and I can safely proclaim that this is one GREAT pattern. 

On the left is one i finished up just today. A silk cotton blend from The Fabric Store (awesome bargain, thanks to their recent VIP sale) and on the right we have a cute patterned silk from Tessuti (again, a steal thanks to a great sale on there).  

I have no idea if this fabric was meant to be plain dots, or if it is meant to be used on either side. I decided on using the 'wrong' side, so not plain dots, but rather larger ones, with the ends of the threads exposed. A nicer texture i think. 

And i also have no idea what this pattern is meant to be, but i really rather love it. I'm a sucker for yellow. 

Before finding the zen state which sewing Scout provides, i dabbled in a few other top styles. The yellow number below is Gertie's Portrait Blouse. Cute, especially with the darts and tucks at the front and back, but not something I would wear very often. Probably because i don't really wear skirts everyday, and this would only, in my humble opinion, look good over or tucked into a skirt. 

The floral fabric of the top on the right came from my stash, acquired during the closing down sale of Jobs Warehouse. This top is actually just a cropped version of the stripped shift dress i've posted about before. That pattern has certainly proved to be a goodn', with the large french darts providing just the right amount of looseness, whilst also giving subtle shape. 

Really digging this fabric. Am surprised it has taken me so long to sew with it.