Lions ready to roar

Let he story about he lions continue… I finished the last post with four finished lion faces.

I had the shapes of the individual mane pieces cut only roughly, as I sewed them, I used the pattern piece for a template. And I tried not not muddle them all up…

Shapes cut with a tiny seam allowance and turned to the right side.

Then I turned my attention to the ears! White patch pinned to ear pieces.

Zigzagged all patches to the ears. Cut brown away from the back.

Ears sew, turned, stitched to face: Mark with pins, then machine.

All the mane pieces tacked to the face before machining – it was all too thick to use pins.

The seam that joins front and back of the hood marked and sewn.

Edges overlocked and front hem turned and machined.

Face pinned to finished hood and attached by hand.

Neckline marked, cut, overlocked, machined.

Hood pinned and machined to body.

Tail and belt sewn, turned, tip of tail stitched to tail, tail machined to body.

This shot is great: lions neatly folded and packed up, ready to go!!!

And on a quiet suburban street, in the garage of the house in front of which all the trucks are parked, I set up a mobile workshop to finish the size of the bodies after a quick fitting on the starlets.

It seems to work! Cut, overlock and hem!

On my way home, a quick stop at Bilgola Beach, washing off all that preoccupation with work and looking forward to some quiet time.




Proudly Presenting: Field Study

I am not sure when I started knitting this jumper, not that long ago. It was daunting to follow the instructions, it is so complicated at first sight, but since Ann Kingstone has done a marvellous job at writing them with clarity – I managed! 

One of the very daunting steps was the steek for the neckline on the front, dooohhh, it was really simple actually. The steek allowed me to keep knitting the colorwork pattern in the round.

I will love wearing this jumper…

Lions on the lose

I have had a huge amount of work. It will be nice to get a day off soon. Each time a job comes to an end, the phone rings with another job and I just keep going. It is great that it runs so smoothly, since I have not been working for myself very long. There have been sexy neoprene suits for a horror movie, alterations for Mamma Mia the musical, suit alterations… and now LIONS!

I did not have much time at all to work this out. In fact I got the fabrics and design one day and by close of business the next day (yesterday) I had to show the first finished lion… yes, the first, there will be FOUR. And they all will be roaring on set early Wednesday morning.

I found a small person to fit the lion on this morning, that was reassuring!

The producers love the result and the designer has been kind in forwarding enthusiastic emails and texts. I am looking forward to working on set on Wednesday!

Today I got the okay to charge ahead with the remaining lions and I thought it might be nice to document the process. This is so much faster, producing them in a little production line!

I cut all the pieces out!

Then I started the faces, marking where the mouth ought to go on the snout.

Three mouths embroidered on my ancient domestic sewing machine.

Three noses pinned in place.

Here are the snouts in different stages. The sides of the noses have been attached to the snouts. I have cut away excess fabric under the nose. A facing has been attached to the bottom of the  snout.D8626094-0F83-40B1-9D85-10B44625A4A0

Three faces: I markstitched the shape of the face and the placement of the snout. Overlocked and turned the hem. The space under the snout was cut away and overlocked.

Snouts placed and zig zaged to faces. First the top of the nose with orange thread then the sides with white thread. Eyes marked.

Eyes Hand embroidered and edge of the turned.

I think it will be one long day to make the ears, the mane and to attach the heads to the body. I will finish the width and length of the body on the set on Wednesday morning, since… ahem… I do ‘t really have any measurements. Oh, I almost forgot – they also want tails and belts…





Black and White Challenge

A friend nominated me for a Black and White photo challenge on Facebook, documenting 7 moments over 7 days – no people, no commentary. It was actually good fun and made me aware of so many nice things I see everyday. Here are the images, this time with commentary!

Day 1



This is what my kitchen looks like every Saturday, when I return from the shops. I cook, bake, make stock – make a big mess, generally. And you can also spot a dog’s tail, somebody who always likes to be in on the action!

Day 2

This is my workbench. One of my favorite places in the house!

Day 3

On Monday morning I had to deliver a costume at Fox, so I left early and caught Sculpture by the Sea in the early morning light. No crowds, either! It was a great treat! I love this installation.

Day 4

This is our fridge. Jo’s HSC timetable, my travel bucket list, a lovely old photo of my granny and her first 3 children (…and grandad) and Mumentrolls from Finland…

Day 5

When I was dusting the other day, I thought our bar is actually such a cool feature of the house, especially when dust free…

Day 6

One of the perks of working from home is walking the dogs every morning. I go down these steps and get to a path that takes us around the golf course to a big oval where the pooches can run and play.

Day 7

Fairylights on our balcony…

There has been a lot of knitting been knitted on a particular and beautiful jumper (no photo yet, no spoilers) for myself. I have been sitting next to Jo whilst she studied for her exams to help her keep focus. But I have also started socks for Patrick. I think Vincent is also going to get a pair, since the second sock is also a left one – good job he also plays bass, and also a red bass! 

Finally, this little cutie has been spotted in a friend’s garden not far from here, not long ago… summer has arrived!

All of a sudden there is a lot of work, which is actually really fun. Some very tricky and challenging jobs, some numbingly boring. It’s cool…


Spring is coming…

… well and truly. I love the warm light and the warmth, all of a sudden I smell the Jasmine on my morning bush walk and life feels so much lighter! We also had a fire near us yesterday, that gave me a bit of a fright, but thankfully it was a controlled burn off. 

I have knocked back some work because I wanted to help Jo with her major works for her HSC, and now I am feeling a bit forgotten, because there is no work. But it doesn’t worry me too much, I actually am enjoying the time I have doing what I never have time to do. Like taking a driving course on a track and learning more about handling my car. 

Working away on this long neglected quilt top, a great thing to do whilst listening to amazing podcasts and radio programs.

Making a toile for my nephew’s wedding suit and hunting for suitable fabric.

Going for a bush walk with the Sydney Sole Sisters.

Walking on the beach with Patrick.

Working hard to create more block patterns.

Making new friends in an Asperger youth group with my girls and enjoying outings with them.

Cooking for old friends.

Picking up the work on the deck with Patrick.

In short… living the good life, full of gratitude for all the wonderful things around me.





Midweek Sunday

It is Wednesday and it feels like a Sunday.

I have been working both of the last weekends. It has been glorious using the new table that Patrick put together for me one night after work.

So I am enjoying a day off, before starting on a new job tomorrow. It is school holidays, the girls are at home and my husband has taken a random day off work, just to chill, what a treat. Here you can spot him chilling while filling in a hole in the ceiling, he does so much maintenance on the house, I think it is just second nature, like breathing. 

Whilst I have been enjoying working from home, in particular the creativity, being in charge of the entire practical aspects of a job, not having to commute, listening all day to my favourite radio station, spending all day with the dogs (and fitting a walk in)… there have been really challenging aspects as well.

There is nobody to ask for advice. I am a men’s tailor, so making a fitted ladies’ outfit with a tight deadline was an added challenge. In a workroom I can always ask for an intervention “hey, WHY are these sleeves not going in?”, “HOW much ease ought to be on this sleeve head?”, “HOW exactly do I finish a faced skirt waistband?”. Home alone It’s simply trial and error and going slow and methodically.

Yesterday I dropped the said outfit and instead of a huge sense of relief, I feel worried that it is not right, having had only one fitting.

To divert my thoughts I have taken to the kitchen, as per usual when I want to relax. I put on two slow cookers with soup, ham and pea for the girls and pumpkin as the vegetarian option.

We had orange cake for lunch, while playing board games, yum.

On the weekend it will be our 21st wedding anniversary. Last year we did a 37km hike in the mountains and then stayed in a fancy hotel for the night. This year we are staying in the bush, so we have to take tent overnight gear, food and water. In preparation I have put some amazing gourmet dishes together for dinner and breakfast – they just need to be boiled up.

Final thoughts… it’s good to be the best you can and to strive towards always doing a great job… but it is really counterproductive to be haunted by one’s own perfectionism.



Falling into place

Like most people, I do worry about a lot of things. When I don’t have any work, I worry that I might NEVER work again. When I have work, I worry that my family will fall apart due to my absence.

Luckily I spent a few days after my return from Europe not worrying about these things too much, in fact the phone started ringing before I had the chance to worry. I am going to do some stuff for a commercial (from home) and for my favourite theatre company (from home). The best of both worlds!

So before I received these phone calls, I happily dug out a quilt that I started some time ago and made another two hexagons. I so enjoyed my workspace, the warm sun, the sounds of the bush and the dogs at my feet.

Today I started on patterns, and was really happy to use this beautiful space again in my professional capacity! I am extending my repertoire to ladies and childrens’ wear – I could have freaked out when I got these offers (really only being confident in mens’ wear), but chose not to be. It is great to have a learning curve with each and every job.

Things are falling into place sometimes, solutions approach us, better than we could have organised them ourselves.