crochet · family · miscellaneous · musings · planned projects · sewing · WIP


There’s been a little sharing going on.  My husband shared his cold with me, and for the past four days or so I’ve been feeling very blah.  But I’m finally on the improve, so shall blog a little more often again soon!


See that empty space beside my overlocker on my gorgeous especially-made-for-me patchwork machine runner? Mum had been sharing her fancy-schmancy sewing machine with me for the last month, but now it’s gone back to her. I’m still trying to decide whether to get my machine serviced yet again, or save the money to put toward a new machine. My Pinnock was given to me for my 21st birthday, so it’s not as though it hasn’t done a huge amount of work over the years. But I’m still loathe to say goodbye to it. In the meantime, not one but three lovely friends of mine have offered to lend me one of their spare machines! What generous sharing!


Another lovely friend recently shared information about these irons being on sale. Having it used it for a month or so now, I have to say that I LOVE IT! It irons beautifully, and presses (for dressmaking) well too.  You should see how much steam it can churn out!  I do feel as though I refill the water tank just as often as I used to refill my old iron, but it’s so worth it for how well it irons.  I know that there are huge number of people out there that don’t iron, but I have to admit that as much as I don’t enjoy the ironing process, I do like my clothes to be ironed, and a good iron is absolutely indispensable to anyone who sews.


The Perfect Nose just shared information about a website that sells Vogue, McCalls, Butterick, Burda and New Look patterns for $4 each with free shipping within Australia!  I almost fainted with excitement.  The patterns in the above photo came from the last BMV sale, but Vogue charge a fortune for postage from the USA (it’s all that handling needed to put patterns into an envelope) so they still work out to around $7.50 per pattern if your order seven.  Pattern Plus seem to have a mixture of patterns, from out of print, to quite old, to current – well worth a look at $4 per pattern plus 80c handling for the entire order.  Huge thanks to The Perfect Nose from putting me on to them!


We shared Grand Final Day with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law and their young adult sons yesterday. My girls adore their “big boy cousins”. Our niece came over with her beautiful two-month-old daughter as well. My girls are rather enamoured with their new baby girl cousin (second cousin? first cousin once removed?) too.  As a family we’re not much interested in football – my nephews weren’t even certain about which teams were in the final – but it was a close game, which is always a good game.  And I got plenty of crochet done!  Five hours worth, to be exact!


I’ve been meaning to share a couple of new blogs with you too. Blogless Anna is blogless no more, and is sharing her beautiful sewing with us. I’m very keen to make a Tessuti Lily dress after seeing Anna’s (and quite fancy the shoes that Anna is wearing as well).


This divine blood orange cake and compote was made by Anna of the Red Cat Food Store. We ate it at book group just over a week ago, and I have to say that it was SUPERB! Anna has just started up her business, and has also started a lovely blog where she writes about her cooking and baking experiences. Anna is one of my “school mums” and her daughter and Stella are mates and will both be in prep together next year.  I have been the fortunate beneficiary of her skills at  many a coffee morning where she has shared her baking with me.  Yummmmmmm.


Many of you shared comforting and encouraging words on my last blog post when I was unhappy with the fit/photos of my dress. Recently there have been a number of  discussions on different blogs that I read sharing opinions about giving feedback and criticism, fit and photography, and such like. It has all made for interesting internal debate for me. When it comes to blog photos, I take whatever I can get! As you can tell, mine aren’t terribly styled, and they are taken quickly by my husband or Clare. I crop them (sometimes), but that is about it! No photo-shopping, no other editing. No fancy backgrounds – you know that you generally get “the wall” or “the deck railing, the lemon tree and clothes line”. I just don’t have the time to get to other locations! Maybe it’s just the stage I’m at – with primary school and pre school aged children and a two day per week job and a husband who travels with his work, my chances of getting makeup on and my outfit styled and an interesting background are pretty much nil. At least you know that what you see in the photos is real life – but it doesn’t make for the beautiful visuals that you find on some blogs.  Then again, this isn’t a photography blog.  And it isn’t a competition.  Must keep on reminding myself about the reasons why I blog!

And as for fit, feedback, criticism and similar – that is VERY interesting. Flat photographs don’t always tell the story. I usually go with the maxim of “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything” UNLESS the blogger is asking for an opinion. We all have the opportunity to learn and grow through constructive criticism, but not everyone wants or necessarily needs that constructive criticism right at that time. I suppose that I usually point out the faults in my garments to get in first before someone else does! Care to share your thoughts on these things? (Oh, and for how these paragraphs relates to the above photo? They don’t really – just sharing one of my next planned projects.)

McCalls 7358 (from 1990s)

Clare is off sharing the next four days with other 5-9 year old Girl Guides from around the state at Wonderland Jamborella. I dropped her off there this morning and felt very proud of her as she dashed off through the rain to a building full of people she’d never met before with barely a backward glance. None of the other Guides from her Unit are attending, and I think that she’s so brave to be willing to go on camp “on her own”. I definitely didn’t have the confidence to do that at her age! It is certainly a fun-filled schedule, and I’m sure that she’ll have a ball, but I’ll miss her. Although she spent last week with her grandparents, we can’t telephone her on camp so somehow she feels further away. I’ll be looking forward to picking her up again on Wednesday afternoon! (And the above photo? I made that dress during the early 90s. I loved it, and I’m considering making it again for this summer).

Ton'o'wool Cormo - 3 skeins

Well, now I’m off to share some cuddles with my vivacious little five year old, whose current favourite book is “Harriet, You’ll Drive Me Wild!“.  Maybe while thinking of what I might crochet from this crowd-sourced, hand-dyed cormo yarn.  Anyone care to share your thoughts on any of the above topics (or any other) with me?


12 thoughts on “sharing

  1. I think you have my horn sewing cabinet? I recently bought a new sewing machine and gave my old favourite to my daughter. A great way to encourage creativity, plus it means I don’t have to share!

    I had to re read my comment to your last post hoping that you weren’t taking offence to anything I said. Sometimes it is very easy to comment on a blog with the best intentions only to be interpreted entirely differently and that always concerns me when I comment.

    I love that Rebecca Taylor dress. I considered buying it in the sale but couldn’t find enough patterns to justify the postage. I will just have to wait for a sale at my local fabric store.

    My photographs are usually only cropped as well. I don’t own Photoshop. I would like it but have little patience for learning things like that. Unless it can be done simply with Picmonkey I just don’t bother. I generally don’t stray too far to take photos either. Unless I happen to be somewhere interesting, my photos are taken in my yard. I always feel awkward about setting up my tripod in public and that includes my front yard.

    1. Hello there Andrea! NO, I did not take offence to anything you said! I was asking for feedback! Actually, hardly anyone ever leaves me comments that I could take offence to; I was talking generally. (Except for my blog troll, but she appears to have departed). I always look forward to your comments, and your blog posts actually!

      My cabinet is the Horn Sovereign – love it! I bought it about five years ago, and it’s never been folded up. It makes such a difference! Clare does already have a sewing machine, and I could use hers, but the tension on it isn’t as good as I’d like at the moment either. Maybe I’ll just have to do some cutting out in preparation for a sewing binge.

      Glad to hear that I’m not the only one who takes quick snaps either. The variation in the amount of time or the inclination that people have to put into their blogs must be quite considerable!

  2. I looked up the Horn Sovereign and yup they are pretty much identical except mine doesn’t have the back extension. My youngest lost the key to mine when he was little so now I have to keep it closed with a hair tie so it is hardly ever closed…only Christmas and holidays actually.

    I am glad I didn’t say anything to offend. I am also a firm believer in, if you haven’t got anything nice to say don’t say anything. In saying that, I am usually in awe of someone else’s work anyway.

  3. Hi, I don’t think I ever commented before, but I want to let you know that I really enjoy reading your blog. This post just asked for a comment 😉 About the (lack of) criticism, I could have written that part myself: I also will point out the faults in my garments, maybe for the same reasons you mentioned. (I thought the dress of the previous post looked very good on you by the way).
    I am really happy for you that you have found a seller for Vogue patterns nearby – in The Netherlands even with the ton of shipping costs it is still so much cheaper to buy the patterns from Vogue when they’re on a sale (I can buy 7 instead of 2 for the same price). So I am a little jealous about that, as you can imagine (although I shouldn’t complain with all the magazines and patterns that are made in my own country).
    I am curious about your version of the Rebecca Taylor dress (it is in my stash too) and I love the purple yarn – what a beautiful color!

  4. Thanks to the Perfect Nose, I did a little bit of online pattern purchasing on Friday night at Patterns Plus. Included in my haul were two out-of-print patterns I’ve been dreaming of. Needless to say, I was over the moon! Thanks for the promotion of my new little blog. I’m really enjoying it 🙂

  5. If you do get the Lily pattern, I can recommend Creffields in West Melb or South Melb as the cheapest place to get the pattern printed – $8.80, no sticking together 45 sheets of paper. I emailed them the pattern, and it was ready to pick up in less than an hour.

  6. I enjoy reading your blog for a few reasons. First, because it’s about crocheting and sewing, my two favorite crafts to do. And second, because you keep it real! I love that you share your family with us (and all of their happy perfect imperfections) and share the successes (and “un-successes”) of your projects.

    I hope to start a blog of my own someday, but when I read many of the blogs I subscribe to, I’m a bit intimidated by their perfectly styled photos and layouts. But, as you said, you need to keep in mind why you blog, and I think I’d be blogging for most of the same reasons you do. And so, keep on doing what you’re doing, because it is refreshing (and encouraging!)


  7. Love the photo of the girls and the baby it’s an especially good one of Clare such a big smile you can tell she’s thrilled to be holding the baby.

    Love the iron it looks mammoth and that’s a big tank for holding water.

    Love your blog and how real it is, don’t change a thing. Hope I haven’t offended with any comments I’ve made. It’s good to see your garments photographed the way they are. Too often I fall in love with a photo of a garment, whether it’s sewn, knit or crocheted, make the item and then I can’t understand why it doesn’t look as good on me. I come to realize that a lot of photos are of ultra skinny models and the garments have been clipped from the back and adjusted so they fit just so during the photo shoot.

    Time and time I’ve gone to Ravelry to look at a sweater and seen how it’s knit and fitted on the person wearing it and I’ve realized once again I’ve been fooled by staged photography. It’s not to say that a sweater can’t be adjusted to fit well but usually that’s left up to the knitter and if she’s not that advanced she may not even realize the need to adjust.

    I think you do exceedingly well as a seamstress and a lot of the “faults” that you point out aren’t really faults at all. I think it must be the perfectionist in you. It’s hard to get good photos at times as the fabric sometimes doesn’t show well in a shot. I find this happens to me a lot when I take pictures of my crafts. It can be frustrating to have to post a picture that doesn’t really represent the item that well but I post anyway because I’m not setting up a studio just for blog pictures. Maybe if I were selling on etsy I’d be more motivated but I’m not. I figure if I even get a post out every couple of weeks I’m doing well so I think you’re fantastic Laura in what you do and I look forward to reading your posts every time I visit.

  8. Thanks for sharing that pattern shop. I am placing items in my cart as we speak/type. With photos I just take lots and maybe crop one here or there. Sometimes if it was a particularly bad day lighting wise, I might fiddle around with the colour a bit to get things looking more like what they are. I see lots of things in photos that I don’t see in real life, I really like the top-stitching detail on your dress. It definitely has a better fit than anything RTW and a lot of the flaws are probably exaggerated by the way you are standing. I really like how you model your clothes on your blog. It’s good to see how a pattern works on a real live person.

  9. My gosh she’s an independent girl of yours – what a great thing for her to be doing on her own, I bet she’s having a ball.
    I will not look at the pattern site! I have too many things unmade here still – but you always have the best patterns Lara – I love all the ones you bought there recently.
    Big cousins are the best – we are off to visit some tomorrow, I barely see my children when we are there.

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