Thursday, September 25, 2008

SMH article (and a nice little plug!)

I was thrilled to read this article in Wednesday's edition of The Sydney Morning Herald.

Even if we didn't score a mention (but we did! See first and last paragraphs), I think there should be more articles like this. It sums up the satisfaction that is sewing - sure it's nice to buy a great piece of clothing but when you can actually make it yourself at half/third/quarter of the price, pour some time, attention, passion (and a few grey hairs?) into it, well, how satisfying is that? And how much richer are we for it if the craft is passed on by someone dear to us?

I've touched on this in an earlier post, but I grew up in a home where fashion and clothing and fabric was everywhere and everything. Days and nights and dreams were filled with the 'snip snip' of scissors on fabric, the whir of a sewing machine and endless measurements against tape measures. Buttons, pins, threads (forever pulling them off my clothing - still am), stashes, scraps. And here I am. Happily.

So go on, tell me what (who?) it was that ignited your flame for sewing.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pattern Review - More of Vogue 2091

Here is another pattern review on timeless Vogue 2091 - different style to the one Ann made up in our earlier post.

Kerri cut out View C - eliminating the underarm gusset and shortening the dress length (approx 20cm shorter) . Kerri chose a 4 way stretch Poly/Elastane knit in 'Gaudi Mosaic' and trimmed the hem panel in our 'Black Orbit' Viscose/Elastane stretch knit for contrast (she is wearing a black stretch camisole underneath the dress - which sets off the contrast hem and helps create a more modest neckline)

It looks fab teamed back with this great long-line cardi in Burnt Orange from Kookai.

PS. A big thankyou to Kerri's son who patiently waited while we took photos and helped hold up the linen backdrop! I hope we get to see more of Kerri's wonderful sewing creations some time soon:-)

2008 Italian Film Festival

Starting tomorrow is the Lavazza Italian Film Festival 2008 at Palace Cinemas ( Norton Street, Leichardt and Academy Twin, Paddington) in Sydney (Sept 24 - Oct 12).

Greg and I are sure to check out as many as we can ( don't know how we will fit it in , but we'll try! )I hope to see these:

* Days and Clouds - this movie is by the same director, Silvio Soldini. Remember his wonderful movie Bread and Tulips ?

* Her Whole Life Ahead - the opening night film is always fabulous.

* Lessons In Chocolate - looks fantastic...we love a good Italian comedy!

* Speak To Me Of Love - by actor/director , Silvio Muccino - I loved him in The Manual Of Love

Plus, in this years restrospective selection - a must is the 1964 classic Marriage Italian-Style with Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni.

- check out where and when it's on in your city.


Ps I'd love to hear from anyone who is going or what your thoughts were on this years films.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pattern Review - Simplicity 3887

This top, made using Simplicity 3887 is going to be a favourite for Spring/Summer. I cut out View E but I eliminated the elasticated hem (leaving it loose) and the neck band facing gaped a little when I sampled it up - so I pinched out the excess from the neck facing pattern (just a touch) and lightly interfaced both sides .The length and lovely flared sleeves were perfect.

I have actually made this pattern a couple of times - some in cotton voiles, but I think it makes up best in silk georgette.I made up the size 10 and didn't find it too voluminous, the fluidness of the silk georgette helps too. Here it is in stunning 'Blue Seurat' ... I lived in it while I was away in Italy.

This pattern has been around a while, it also seems to be a favourite with bloggers plus you will find a few versions on Flickr - check out Erica's and Stephanie's. But I have to say I fell in love with Emma's version first...


Saturday, September 20, 2008

The cutest Japanese sewing pattern review ever!

Is this the most adorable little girl and dress?

Imogen looks a picture in this divine dress, made by her mum Cindy. The pattern used is style T (square neck dress) in this japanese sewing book made in Tessuti's Japanese cotton 'Teal Blooms' and trimmed the square neckline and pocket edge in one of our 100% cotton laces in cream.

For 2 year old Imogen , Cindy cut out the 100cm sizing and found the pattern very easy to put together. In fact, Cindy first discovered these wonderful pattern books after reading one of our earlier posts and was quick to get out to Kinokuniya bookstore to purchase them. More of Cindy's other lovely creations for sweet little Imogen coming soon...

All the instructions are in Japanese, but these books have very clear diagrams that are easy to follow . For further help, Label-free has a great glossary of translated terms plus a series of posts about working with these Japanese pattern books.

Once you have tried these books, you'll be are the contributors to the Japan Couture Addicts blog!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

What do we mean by 'Australian Size 10'?

There have been some enquiries about what the standard Australian size 10 measurements are in the Little Black Dress category in this year's Tessuti Awards.

They do vary between countries and markets. Here in Australia, we have what is often referred to as the junior market (Cue, Sportsgirl, Wish etc) and the mature market (Sportscraft, David Lawrence etc)

The approx measurements are as follows :

Junior Market

Bust - 34 - 35"
Waist - 28.5"
Hips - 39.5"

Mature Market

Bust - 35.5 - 36"
Waist - 30"
Hips - 40"

This is a rough guide - they do not have to be made exactly to these measurements.

To us, the most important thing about this competition is that you have fun with your creation and enjoy a great night out with like-minded sewers and lovers of fashion.

Note: Just a reminder that the Australian size 10 requirement is only relevant to the Little Black Dress category. The Smart Daywear/Evening Category is open to all sizes.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

NEWSFLASH - Online Tessuti Awards announcement

Online Tessuti Awards
We've had numerous enquiries from people who can't make it to Sydney for the awards night and would've liked to be a part of the event. So, to make it a little more fun for our fellow blog readers we have decided to hold a small 'Online Tessuti Awards' competition to run at the same time as the Tessuti Awards.

The prizes are:
1st - $200 gift voucher
2nd - $100 gift voucher
3rd - $ 50 gift voucher
- to be used in the Tessuti Fabrics Online Shop (freight included).

For this online comp, and for this year only, entered garments do not need to have been made using Tessuti fabrics.

Enter a video or photographs (high quality images preferred, under 1MB please) of your smart day wear or evening wear creation. Email it to me at with 'Online Tessuti Awards' in the subject line.

If entering with a video of your creation, please do not send me the video but upload your video to YouTube and email me the link.

As a condition of entry, you must include video/photos showing the garment being constructed. Videos/photos need to be in by the 22th October, 2008 and the winner will be announced shortly after our Tessuti Awards night.

Good luck and have fun! I can't wait to see your creations...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tessuti Awards 2008

Yay! The details about this year's Tessuti Awards are finally up on our website.

I know that doesn't leave much time for preparation but don't we all work best under pressure? It doesn't matter if I have 6 months or 6 days to finish a project, I still end up putting the final touches together the night before!!!

Follow this link to find out more and don't forget to register your entry to be part of this exciting event.

*** UPDATED to include further conditions of entry ***

We've received a few questions about this year's Tessuti Awards. So to help clarify things further, here are some more details :

* You can only enter your best garment in a category (meaning you can't enter more than once in a category). However, if you're feeling particularly creative you can enter a different garment in both categories.

* The closing date for registration is the 22nd of October - you can register online. So be quick!

Hope to see you there.

PS. Here is some further inspiration , if you need it, from last years winner Beth.

Beth sent me a lovely email including some pics from her trip:

"I had such an amazing trip and can't thank Tessuti enough for the prize. I would never be able to have gone on a trip like that if it weren't for the prize. It was my first overseas adventure and now I am so inspired to travel - I'm desperate to finish Uni and head overseas again next year. I'll be working hard on my entry for this years Tessuti Awards, that's for sure!

Thanks again!

Beth Finckh "

Beth enjoyed some time in beautiful Italy and then made her way to fabulous Greece and the Greek Islands.

My friend Miranda and I next to the Parthenon at the Acropolis in Athens

Me with a historic windmill at sunset in Oia Santorini

My friend Sam and I with the view of Thira village built into the cliffs of Santorini - beautiful!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

New Fabric Sneek Peek - part 2

Sorry everyone, I had forgotten about posting more sneek peeks about what's coming in our Italian shipment. It should be here any day now and on the floor in the coming weeks!!!

Here is the gorgeous Emilio Pucci 100% silk jersey we had last summer made up and worn by Kate below .... along with Jilly and Emma at last years Tessuti Awards ( news on this years event in my next post).

and Glen ( made by her clever husband Lawrence Geor )

In this shipment there will be more Emilio Pucci prints in silk jersey, cotton voile , cotton knits and silk satins in a variety of wonderful prints and colourways.

Note: Emma's dress ( top right ) is made up in Tessuti's Mia Flower in pattern Vogue 8240.

Ella's D&T Major Work....SewBella.

Take a look at these wonderful dresses created by Ella for her High School Certificate - Design and Technology Major Work.

Ella designed conceptual sewing kits called 'SewBella'.

Here are 3 of her sweet dress designs ( modelled beautifully by a fellow student )- in the image below Ella chose Tessuti's silk crepe de chine 'Pink Snowflake' - see it here in the black version. This dress has the sweetest peter-pan collar detail in the front.

In the next 2 designs - Ella digitally designed these fantastic prints and had them printed on silk by the clever team at Think Positive in Alexandria. These designs would walk out the door in the Tessuti stores!!!

Love this coral/peach floral design and Ella's hand-dyed cotton lace detail on the pockets.

Ella's 'doily' inspired print and tiered dress is really beautiful.

I wish Ella the very best of luck in her HSC and I'm sure we will see great things from this very talented and creative girl in the future.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fabric Giveaway update

Wondered what happened to the fabrics from our fabric giveaway ? So far Katherine has made this great summer floppy hat with the Japanese 'Cue-tee Floral' cotton.

Note: A shout out to Auspan who was drawn to get the 'Willow' Viscose Georgette...I need your details so as I can post out this beautiful fabric to you.

Feature Fabric Of The Week - Aqua Mosaic

I really love this printed 100% Silk Chiffon - 140cm wide - it reminds me of the fabulous Emilio Pucci prints (image from here).

Beattie's Pleated Skirt and Pom Poms.

Great, easy (read: no pattern required) inverted pleated skirt in Tessuti's 100% Wool - Black/Jaffa Woven Spot made by Beattie....who also happens to make these fabulous pom pom necklaces ( image below ).

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Jos Mayer in Salzburg

I loved this haberdashery store filled with the most gorgeous buttons and trims in the centre of Salzburg.

Jos Mayer
Rathausplatz 1
5020 Salzburg, Austria
+43 662 842263

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Claudia's Sailor Dress

Remember January's post about the sweet little vintage sailor dress we found for Claudia at Meet Me At Mikes? Well, she wore it almost every day after that and outgrew it by the end of February! Not long after, Claudia noticed a red and white cotton stripe fabric in the store and asked if I could make her another dress in her new size.

Mum decided to make it as a going away surprise for Claudia to wear on our European trip back in June. Needless to say, Claudia was ecstatic and wore it with pride through the streets of beautiful Salzburg and the Mirabel Gardens. And whilst there, we simply couldn't resist this tour for that movie. We've all seen it a 100 times, haven't we (have we?)?

On a personal note, it was very special watching Mum at my machine the night before we left as it brought back some exceptionally fond memories of all the fabulous new clothes she made for my brother and I when we were kids and whilst we slept. Forget lullabies, we had the whir of a sewing maching to take us to our slumber...

PS . The original sailor dress is now going to make its way to this little girl - she just has to wait a little while to wear it.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Love this...


Kissing Kate - Wool Jersey Dress

Even I missed out on getting my hands on some of this beautiful Italian 100% wool jersey called 'Kissing Kate'! I had been wondering what to make in it and suddenly it was all gone. The print and combination of colours were just perfect...sigh!

Since then I've seen it made up in some great skirts , tops , scarves and here it is looking really sweet made up in this simple drop-waist dress by our latest contributor Kirsty.

Kirsty did not use any particular pattern here. She whipped this up quite quickly - she simply copied the shape of a jersey sleeveless top and added a half circular skirt to the hem of it and made a self belt to wear around the hip. This super fine wool jersey was slightly sheer so Kirsty fully lined her dress in Tessuti's 'Nude Orbit' Viscose/Elastane jersey knit. There you have a very sweet and wearable dress that looks great teamed back with her teal coloured wool tunic.

Kirsty told me that she'd bring in some of her other Tessuti creations...I really look forward to seeing them!

Cerise ombre silk delight

Yet another example of the silk ombre in all it's glory. This time here - in a stunning Matthew Eager dress in Cerise silk ombre. Image from Ragtrader magazine.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Button Up

There is nothing nicer than finishing of Spring/Summer garments made up in natual fibres like linen, cottons etc than with buttons made of shell , wood, coconut or horn.

At Tessuti Chatswood, Surry Hills, Bondi Junction and City Wynyard you will find a great selection of these gorgeous buttons above.
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