I have an old Pinnock and need help on how to use it /how to thread it/ an instruction manual.  Can you help?

The short answer?  Probably not.  My Pinnock is an Exclusiv Plus from around 1989 and I am cannot help people looking for information on older models.  However, my About page seems to have become a bit of a focal point for people looking for help with old Pinnocks – please go there and read all the comments and see if someone there can help you!



Where you do get boutique patterns in Australia?

I have bought my Jalie, Hot Patterns, Ottobre, Collette, Anna Maria Horner and other boutique patterns through Crafty Mamas.  Many of these patterns are also available through Pattern Review, which is a website that every dressmaker should know about!

Where do you get your bag patterns and supplies?

My bag making supplies all come from Nicole Mallalieu Design. Most of my bag patterns come from Nicole Mallalieu Design as well. I have some lovely bag patterns from Craft Apple.

Where do you buy fabrics and supplies in Melbourne?

Darn Cheap Fabrics – fantastic variety of fabric for dressmaking (and some for quilting) and huge choice of notions and trims.  Staff are helpful and know what they are talking about.  And they have a $2 per metre bargain table.

GJ’s Discount Fabrics – quilting cotton heaven downstairs, dress and evening fabrics, remnants and dance/stretch fabrics in the back room.  They have a wonderful workspace upstairs and often run classes or hire out the space.  These ladies know their stuff.  Minimal online presence – word of mouth seems to keep them extremely successful.

Tessuti – great fabrics for clothing and extremely nice and knowledgeable staff.  High end with prices to match but there is a lovely little remnants table that is always worth checking out.

The Cloth Shop – I am lucky to have such an excellent fabric shop close to my home.  Beautiful wovens and stretch fabrics, not cheap, but special and so so nice.  Terrific service too from lovely women who are happy to share their knowledge of sewing and their product.  I’ll be back again and again and again…

Rathdowne Fabrics and Remnants – wide range, lots of stretch fabrics, and where Project Runway Australia go for their fabric.  They have frequent remnant sales and receive lots of designer bolt ends.  I particularly enjoy the selection of swimwear fabrics.

Clear It at 188-192 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy is a clearance outlet for Dangerfield, Princess Highway and Alannah Hill – and upstairs they sell fabric from those designers, and Gorman.  It’s all a bit of a mess and is very crowded with stock but there are some gems to be found.  Always worth a visit if you are nearby – especially when next door is The Fabric Store.

The Fabric Store – particularly great selection of merino knits and of woven linen.  Fabric is all arranged by colour, mostly on massive tables.  Beautiful fabrics, high end.

Kimono House has beautiful traditional Japanese fabrics and sashiko supplies, and runs a number of workshops.

And yes, Lincraft and Spotlight when need be.  The biggest problem with both these stores is that their staff don’t usually have a clue about the products being sold, and often the one thing I’m looking for (eg a red 30cm zip) will be the one thing that is completely sold out.  They’re craft supermarkets.  Convenient at times, but not terribly satisfying.

There are many other Melbourne fabric stores that I haven’t listed, mainly because I haven’t been there – yet!

Kelani Fabric is an online source of a wide range of fabrics and patterns, including prints by Australian designers such as Ink & Spindle, Kristen Doran, Aunty Cookie, Pippijoe and others.

Where do you get your yarn?

Bendigo Woollen Mills have excellent yarn at good prices in nice big 200g balls.  They sell by mail order and online and will post you swatch cards so you can get a better idea of yarn colour and composition.  They post all over the world.  I particularly like their 8 ply cotton.

Yarn Barn sell online and from the factory in Coburg.  You can often find them at craft fairs and they sell at Camberwell market too.  They have a huge range of yarns and will often spin to order.

Melbourne also has some terrific specialist yarn stores.  I tend to stick to a budget when it comes to yarn so haven’t bought many of the imported yarns such as Rowan, Noro, Debbie Bliss, Colinette etc.  I suppose that you could describe what I buy as mid range.  I don’t particularly like working with acrylics.


Spotlight and Lincraft can be a good source of yarn, especially when they have sales.  I tend to stash yarn a little rather than buy it for a specific project, so often buy up big at the end of season clearances.  K-Mart and Big W can also be a source of bargain yarn.

5 thoughts on “FAQ

  1. Hi I have a Pinnock Craftmatic model No. Z- 573 which I am looking for a price for as I wish to sell. It is in great condition with all accessories and manuals. I live in Perth, can anyone help? Thanks Marina

  2. When you made the style arc daphne duo tunic, what was the width of your fabric. I want to sew it, but I have a piece of 45″ fabric….do you think I could get out of that width? Thanks for any help! Fran

    1. Hi there Fran – I’m really not sure. I had a decent length of fabric in my stash and just used that. I suggest lying the pattern pieces on top of the fabric (there aren’t many pattern pieces) and seeing how you go!
      Regards, Lara

  3. Hello! Just looking for inspiration for sewing the Eva dress in linen with sleeves. Is there loads of ease across the shoulders? I hate feeling constricted but I don’t want sleeveless. If you have time to answer, I will be grateful.
    Cathy on Vancouver Island, Canada

  4. Do you know if there are any tutorials on the Japanese Kaleidoscope block that you did? I would love to learn how to do that. I’m doing Sashiko and love that.

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