Moving house, teacher gifts & Sewjourn

Hello readers.  I’ve missed you.  Here’s a recap of my recent crazy but happy times…

Ten days ago we put our life into boxes and moved our worldly possessions to our new/old house.  The family home we’d lived in for 6.5 years, and left 18 months ago, had undergone substantial renovations during our absence.  All that remains of the old house are two rooms at the front and a feature chimney!  The pre-renovation house was build in the early 1950s and apart from a kitchen makeover in the 1980s and the swapping of a pedestal basin for some terrible laminate cabinetry (probably during the same era), it was in original condition.  Yes, we had a blue bath and toilet!

With the help of an architect we’ve create a new family home fit for 21st century living!  The design consists of three main components – a glass lantern, a courtyard and a brick house.   Here’s the view across the courtyard at night (ie. the lantern).


In the background of the photo below you can see my sewing area.


Even though we moved our things into the new/old house, we spent a week living in serviced apartments while the last minute things at the house were completed.  During this week the girls finished school and kinder for the year (yah for summer holidays!) and somehow I managed to keep the tradition of handmade teacher gifts alive.

Miss A’s amazing teacher scored a Hemlock Tee in Navy Red Boardwalk Jersey (unhemmed in the photo below).  Mrs G could be overheard commenting while modelling her new top… “Some go to the shops to buy their clothes, but not I, it’s couture for me!”


My overlocker and I make a good stripe matching team at the moment.


Pattern:  Grainline Studio’s Hemlock Tee (free pattern & online instructions)
One size
Navy Red Boardwalk Jersey from Tessuti (sold out online in this colourway, but available in others)
  Mrs G was blessed with height so the tee was lengthened through the body by 1 inch.

I must confess when buying the boardwalk jersey I purchased enough so I could make myself a t-shirt.  Miss B had other ideas.  She insisted that the Lola Tee I was making for her fabulous teacher would be in Navy Red Boardwalk Jersey too.  The pattern and fabric was a good decision as Mrs S said that the tee… “Was in her colours and something that she would have definitely brought at the shops.”



Pattern:  Tessuti’s Lola Tee
Navy Red Boardwalk Jersey from Tessuti (sold out in this colourway online, but available in others)
  Mrs S is very petite and the tee was shortened by 3 1/2 inches (it’s photographed above unhemmed and pre-shortening)

The three lovely assistants in Miss B’s kinder room this year (only ever two at a time!) opened their gifts to find linen scarves made from Tessuti’s Giolica Linen range (90% linen & 10% polyamide).  I purchased 30 inches (75cm) of each colourway and then sewed a narrow double fold hem on the raw edges and left the selvedges as is.  From top to bottom the colours are walnut, slate and black.


Back to the moving story…

Last Friday morning we finally got the keys to the house and I frantically unpacked some boxes and found enough bedding and kitchen things so that we could sleep and eat there.  It was a VERY big day!

Early the next morning I got up, got myself organised, packed my sewing gear into the car (priorities people!) and headed to Sewjourn to join Lara, Leith and Rachel – I was already half a day late!


It was my first time at Sewjourn and I loved every minute of it.  I was so exhausted after all the moving, that I sewed at what seemed like a snails pace (and I’m not fast at the best of times!).  My final count was four garments – a pair of bubble shorts for Miss B (which I’m told are not her style or colour even though she selected both the fabric and the pattern!), two UFOs (one for me and one for Miss A) and a Lola Tee.  More on all those another day.  I also had lots of fun trying on some of Lara’s and Rachel’s makes, not to mention all the chats, laughs, fitting assistance, encouragement and words of wisdom.  What an awesome bunch of ladies!

And to those who have made it to the bottom of this post, you deserve a little trousers/pants hemming tip that I shared with the ladies on the weekend…  If you planning on wearing the said garment with flat shoes, try on you trousers/pants without shoes and pin each leg so the fabric just touches the ground at the heal.  Put your shoe on and magically it’s the perfect length.

Right, time to unpack some more boxes…

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  • Congratulations on the fab new house and the sewing space. It looks amazing.
    Your children’s teachers are very lucky, great gifts. And thanks for the pants tip… hemming them drives me mad.

    • Full points Lyndle for getting to the bottom of the post for the hemming tip! I love sewing with jersey, and it’s much easier to fit than woven fabrics, so it makes sewing garments for others much easier.

  • Had such a wonderful time! And I can’t wait to see the house. And I want a tutorial for a linen scarf please – I desperately want one!

  • Missed you blog. Your new/old house looks fabulous, hope you enjoy living there and sew many fabulous things there.

    • Thanks Louise. I REALLY missed blogging, which actually took my by surprise. I’ve photographed a few of my Sewjourn makes today, so you can look forward to a couple more posts before Christmas.

  • I am the extraordinarily fortunate Mrs G. My top is on high rotation and the envy of many! It is always wonderful to be recognised (and spoilt) by the parents of children that you teach. I feel really special and will enjoy wearing my stunning top ( seriously you should see how the stripes match- don’t get that at Country Road girls!) and remembering what a joy it was to spend my days with Miss A.
    PS hanging my bunting in the new classroom tomorrow in preparation for Miss B in 2015 xxx

  • I love the look of your newly renovated house – having been through one I can understand your relief and happiness at it being finished! Love those tops you made for the school teachers – what a wonderful gift

    • Thanks Kristy. The teacher presents were well received. I’m going into the city tomorrow and I’m hoping I might find some more of the boardwalk jersey in the same colourway. I’m dreaming of a striped jersey dress. Inspired by you of course! We are very happy in our new home and it was well worth the effort. I’m actually feeling very spoilt with how new and lovely everything is. I’m also still a tad overwhelmed with all the unpacking that needs to happen. No rush I keep telling myself. Thankfully we aren’t hosting Christmas this year.

  • Congrats on the move! Nice tip for hemming- although that has to be the least favourite sewing task hemming

  • I love your house, it is stunning and worth the wait I am sure!

    I always hem pants this way. They are always the perfect length.

    • Definitely the house is well worth the wait. It was three years from initial planning to moving in. No wonder we’ve been referring to it as a once in a lifetime renovation! I haven’t ventured into too much pants making, but when I’m taking up jeans I always find this method works a treat.

  • Possibly the tidiest sewing spot ever!

    Gorgeous house and superb sewing for the teachers. I bake fruit cakes for our kids’ various teachers. One year that totalled 20! As the older went on to high school we needed fewer but then my husband’s work colleagues started requesting them. Only made 10 this year.

    • I’m a fruit cake maker too. I make a cake for my Dad and one of my brothers (I have three!) for their December birthdays. My Dad hoards his fruit cakes so I refuse to make him a new one until he has at least cut the one from last year. And that sewing spot will not stay tidy… as I’m sure you know. I have a huge amount of boxes labelled ‘sewing’ to deal with. Luckily there are some wall to floor cupboards (and draws) at one end of the space.

  • Anna, you’re amazing. I can’t believe you managed to make all those teacher gifts with everything else that you had going on.

    The new house looks gorgeous and I’m sure you can’t wait to start using that beautiful sewing space.

    • I’m impatient to use my new sewing space, but overwhelmed by the unpacking and the usual domestics. So what did I do today. That’s right, I went fabric shopping. I might have also brought the Tessuti’s Tokyo Jacket pattern…

  • I’ve missed your posts 🙂 nice to have you back.
    Your house looks stunning. I can’t decide whether to move in with you or teach the kids so you will make me some tshirts…

  • It’s good to have you back! We’ve missed you online 🙂 So glad your old house is new again and I’m sure it’s going to be perfectly fitting for your family. And Sewjourn! How jealous am I! Sewing with other sewists is the best 🙂 What a hectic time for you though – I’m sure Christmas will seem like a breeze after all that. I hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas. x

    • It’s good to be back. I’m feeling very spoilt on all fronts – house, Sewjourn and now I have Christmas to look forward to. I hope you enjoy the festive (or was the feastive) season and find a little bit of time to bond with your sewing machine. How is that special dress coming along?