Love Lace? You will.

March 11, 2012

One of the many works on display at the show. Image via the Powerhouse Museum.

Once again the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney has put together an amazing exhibition.

I saw it yesterday as part of my new job and thought I would love to go again…. but why go along when I can take you too.

The exhibition is entitled Make Lace Not War and it covers not only traditional textile lace (done in more predictable ways) but also very modern lace made with anything from metal to animation to paper  and all things in between….even human hair!

This show really challenges our lace ‘box’.

Student award winner Gwyllim Jahn's work. Image from Powerhouse Museum.

It is made up of spectacular works created in part for the international lace awards, but also includes a hands on experience in the Lace Study Centre. (a fixture in the Powerhouse which you may be unaware of).

We haven’t had a harrysdesk excursion for over a year, and I thought this was a great one to ‘get back on the horse with’ ….so to speak.

So I invite you all to join me in front of the Powerhouse Museum  at 10:30 on Tuesday the 20th of March and we will look through together. We will follow it up with a coffee together afterwards if you have the time. I will need to leave by 1pm to pick little people up from school…maybe you will too.

The show is free after admission to the Powerhouse.

Let me know if you can make it so I can look out for you.


Skirt and top upcycled from a dress.

I began making this skirt and top for someone else, but once I asked 4 year old to try it on to see how the size was ….. I couldn’t part with it.

Navy really is great on her.

The long sleeve t-shirt is made from a new t-shirt (k-mart on sale) and different bits and pieces from my stash. A lace doily, buttons and embroidery thread.

It’s a great little style for this age. Comfy and practical to wear all day, but looks really special.

I am loving the converted shirt and dress into this skirt and top style.

Here is another made last year for 10 year old.

Must write a tutorial for it soon so you can all share the love.

Singing in her new outfit.

Top detail.

Skirt detail. Pocket made from sleeve and shoulder of dress.

Commission for Cathy.

March 22, 2011


Cathy's Maid of Honour dress and upcycled purse... complete with rosette.

This is not one of my usual commission pieces. But it was a very special one.

During my time in fashion College and for some time after, I was ‘gainfully employed’ making all things wedding. This is my first wedding involvement in ages!

Not that surprisingly, Cathy’s wedding pieces aren’t made from ties… the other photos are purely to show you some other beautiful things I had no hand in.

I love this weddings feeling of joy.

God bless Taire and Josh in their new beginnings together.

Ben Adams is now my newest favourite photographer …. currently residing in Australia.

I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I did.


Photos thanks to Taire/Josh and Ben Adams (photographer).

For more photos of the gorgeous day (complete with jumping castle and ‘Crazy Booth’ go here

… and more on the brooch choosing….

Earlier I posted on 4 tag brooches as alternatives for the ‘Bronte’ bag , for my friend Dani.

After talking to her more, she thinks maybe a rosette would hit the spot better.

So here we go again….

Rosette brooch 1: Waratah with tails.

Rosette brooch 2. Covered button with crochet.



Rosette brooch 3: Black starburst with lace tail.

Rosette brooch 4: Circles on circles.

I’ve got a hunch which one she will choose…. which one do you think it will be!

Rosette 2.


Rosette 1.

Rosette 3.

Rosette 4.


Christmas Wheaton

November 13, 2010

The large upcycled purple Wheaton .... yes another one.

I’m loving my large Wheaton bag. So much so that I decided to make another and I will list it on etsy soon…. unless someone tells me they want it first. EDIT: Sorry too late. The bag was sold this morning 14.11.10

If you are still trying to decide on the perfect Christmas present for yourself or a loved one…. your search may be over.

Canteen scarves as lining. 3 pockets

It's hard to see, but the strap is wide and black with black cotton lace overlaying the backing.

A lot of people find my blog searching for upcycled gifts…. so I thought I would share a few more.

Crowns any king (or princess) would love to wear. Image from Bitter Betty Blogs

Any girl under 6 ….and many boys…. would love one of these.

They look so delicate and authentic, like real filigree.

Could be used for a wise man or King in the school play. Not difficult. See the tutorial here at Bitter Betty Blogs

Sooooo pretty .... Martha Stewart image source.

Odd pieces of china sell cheaply in op shops, and you can often find candles there too. Try these for family friends, teenage nieces or use them around the house for a delicate Christmas feel. Find the tutorial here.

Image from Needle Book. Coasters to make you smile.

I love this idea from Needle Book.

Children’s book illustrations are some of the best images around. Think Dr Suess……. but don’t stop there. Use quotes from your favourite people, favourite passages from books,  bible quotes or small pieces of your favourite fabric/paper.

Every gift needs a tag! Picture from Eco Etsy Street Team

The tutorial for this one has gone to the wonderful land of ‘Error 404’ but i am sure you can work it out.

If you don’t have fabric lying around, use paper….or old Christmas cards one on another ….. and then stitch. Beautiful!

I am still keen to see what you have made or are making. Drop me an email and share, or leave a comment with a link to your magic.

Thanks for stopping by!

Challenge Day 4, 5 and 6

September 27, 2010

As promised , the next days of the kids clothes week challenge.

Using these two fabrics together with a few other bits and pieces….. a dress with rosette.

Debbie Mumm fabric

Close -up of op-shop crocheted singlet top.

A dress for 7 year old. The rosette is a brooch.

Rosette close-up.

Close-up of 4 year old dress with rosette brooch.

Upcycled dress for 4 year old made from a shirred skirt of mine. Really happy with this one. So easy! I think I might write a tutorial in the coming weeks so you can all make one.

Upcycling this skirt got me all excited to see what else I could change to be useful. I know I should of taken a photo of the before items, but I just didn’t. Sorry. These two op-shop pieces are pretty standard though. A collared shirt, and a tiered elastic waist skirt.

Here’s what I did with the shirt…..

Lovely square doilies.

A collared shirt I bought at the op-shop for myself. I do try every now and then to break the black t-shirt habit, but it wasn't to be. Nice little print though.

A skirt for 10 year old. Looks a lot better on a body. I will try and get some pictures in the holidays.

Close-up of pocket detail.

Rosette brooch. Yes! that is an old tape measure used as ribbon, and the collar of the shirt was used to make the fabric rose.

Black doily shirt with rosette brooch.

The challenge was met. I did spend more than 1 hour a day sewing, but it was lovely to have the challenge set to kick off some sewing for the kids. I will make 11 (almost 12) year old something these school holidays… so she won’t miss out.

I’m going to be holidays too, so …. I have scheduled some things for your enjoyment and inspiration.


Ally <‘v’>

T-shirt Gallery

June 2, 2010

I have added a new book to my gallery.


The book is a collection of commissions, one-offs and re-orderable shirts.

Some are already  made and are available now.

Check out the captions below to see which is which.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: T-shirt Gallery
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You have only hours to make an entry in the blogoversary bag give away. Don’t miss out!

I have compiled a list of entries because I wanted to be sure everyone was entered the correct number of times! If I haven’t got you listed and you think you should be, let me know. If you are not listed and you want to be, there is still time!

But only until Midnight tonight!

  1. Stepanie
  2. Stephanie: Facebook
  3. Stephanie : blogged at Moobear
  4. Stephanie: tweet
  5. Ali:
  6. Ali: Facebook
  7. Ali: blogged at Something this foggy day
  8. Liz Cameron
  9. Liz Cameron (fb)
  10. Michelle
  11. Michelle (fb)
  12. Su
  13. Sophie
  14. Sophie: blogged at storms dressed as stars
  15. Thora
  16. Thora: Facebook
  17. Laura
  18. Laura: Facebook
  19. Laura: blogged at Lily & Me
  20. Nicole
  21. Nicole: Facebook
  22. Nicole: blogged at 168hours
  23. Christine
  24. Simone R
  25. Simone.R: blogged at another something
  26. Jo C
  27. Jenny K
  28. Jenny K: Facebook
  29. Cathy McKay
  30. Cathy McKay: Facebook
  31. Cathy McKay: blogged at the Best Book co-op
  32. Caroline E
  33. Caroline E: Facebook
  34. Caroline E: an extra because she wrote her comment as a poem. That certainly took some thought.
  35. Rebecca
  36. Lou Blencowe
  37. Lou Blencowe: Facebook
  38. charissa forrest
  39. Heather
  40. Heather: Facebook
  41. Heather: blogged at epiphany
  42. Kath
  43. Kath: Facebook
  44. Kath: blogged at listening space
  45. Therese
  46. Theresa: Facebook
  47. Theresa: blogged at all my days all my hours
  48. Mel
  49. Susan Ravenhall
  50. Susan Ravenhall: Facebook
  51. Leah Egiziano
  52. Meredith
  53. Elizabeth
  54. bec c

Hey, do you want a new bag!

Only 5 days left to enter the draw for a free one as part of my blogoversary, don’t miss out.

Click on the photo and it will take you through to the details.