Sorry, Mum….but I don’t like it!

So here am I on holidays, working on my ‘holiday project’ which is a sampler quilt for my 13 year old daughter. I love that quilt……absolutely love it and I thought she did too!!!!! So you can imagine my disappointment when she dropped that bombshell! And here was I feeling like such a bad mother because I’ve been making clothes for myself and cushions for my Etsy shop. I’ve been having sleepless nights over that quilt because I thought she was waiting on it.

So I’d promised her……..”..when we’re away… more block and it’s done.” This is one of the blocks.

Daughter not too keen

Daughter not too keen

And these are the fabrics
Believe me, the colours in this quilt are beautiful.....the image doesn't do it justice

Believe me, the colours in this quilt are beautiful…..the image doesn’t do it justice

So. Do you think I was small enough to be upset? YES! And then some! I thought she loved it! She told me she loved it! It was to be the focal point of her room that we’re doing up! Now she tells me she wants one that you could buy off a rack for a couple of dollars! A mass produced quilt!

Well it took me a good 24 hours to recover from the shock. I couldn’t
even thread a needle. I decided I was completely over ‘handmade’. I read instead.

I mean…….she chose the fabric………..didn’t she? She asked for pale blue and white! Sure, there is a little bit of yellow thrown in and the blue is not entirely pale, granted. And yes, she did ask me to buy her a simple quilt cover but who wouldn’t want handmade from their mother? And I admit there is also a bit of navy and she hates navy. And she’s not mad about flowers but you can’t see those. Oh and she did say if she ever HAD to have yellow in anything it would have to be pastel. And I do know she despises Laura Ashley fabric but there is only a tiny little bit in there. How could she not like it? It’s exactly what she asked for!

Yes. She’s got me. I’ve fallen off the control freak wagon again.

Let me tell you a story. Ignore the gender aspects other than in relation to sewing. I am one of 5 children. 4 boys and me. I was reared in a ‘boy’ household by a mother who was a retro minimalist! And I craved all the trappings of femininity throughout my entire childhood. I wanted Queen Anne furniture, pink fluffy rugs, floral wall paper and cross over curtains…….and long hair tied in ribbons……you name it (all horrible, really) I wanted it. But my mother didn’t like it. She called it ’tissy’.

So all I ever really wanted was daughters and frills. By the time I got them I had developed very fixed ideas about how they would dress. My style is on the classic side and I absolutely completely and utterly shamelessly imposed that style upon their wardrobes. I still have the white sox with lace around the tops and the black patent shoes. I wouldn’t let them out of the house without ribbons in their hair and their dresses were high maintenance classic linen affairs……..beautiful…….but not their choice.

So we fought. They were as determined to do their own thing as I was that they would wear what I wanted them to.

And then I went back to work and everything changed. Apart from getting busy, I realised that I was stifling their creativity and development. Besides, I just didn’t have the energy to ‘control’. Suddenly it wasn’t important whether tops and bottoms matched. So I caved. And can I tell you, it was the best thing I ever did. I relinquished my control and embraced their own unique styles…….and my style grew and changed with them. I know that sounds corny but it’s actually true. My girls are 13 and 17 and both very different. They both adore fashion as do I and we three spend hours shopping, looking at magazines and discussing clothes. And we have a very healthy respect and appreciation of the sense of style of the other.

So. I will still complete the quilt and enjoy it myself and understand and accept that it is not my daughter’s taste. And I told her that.

And then the best thing happened! She asked me if I would buy her these…..

We found these in an antique shop

We found these in an antique shop

…..she wants to frame them and hang them in her room!!!! These are movie magazines that were published in Melbourne during the 1940s. I was tickled pink! What a marvellous sense of appreciation for the past..and her style! You see a classic girl like her mother after all! I’ll just have to make sure she ……….


Pom Pom shorts…….are they big everywhere else ?

Or have they been and gone in the Northern Hemisphere? In Sydney at the moment they are bigger than Ben-Hur………….well in the world of my daughter and her friends at least. These are 2 pairs I have made



Christmas presents that hit the spot……………

Remember I told you I gave my niece a sewing lesson for Christmas? Well we’ve had the lesson and I’d have to say it was a rip roaring success……a bit on the exhausting side but definitely a success.

Well we scheduled it for straight after Christmas because Amelie was so excited. She invited her friend Emily to come along and that was probably the trickiest part of the whole day ie getting ‘Amelie’ mixed up with ‘Emily’. Needless to say both A and E were either too thick skinned or excited to care if I called them by the wrong name……….a bit of both I suspect.

I arrived to pick them up at 10am and didn’t even have to knock on the door because they heard the car and came running out to meet me. Both were dressed up for the day out in their new chic Christmas outfits …………..incidentally, identical stretch leopard skin leggings. We drove to Spotlight to choose patterns and fabric and I was impressed by their confidence and individuality (identical leopard skin leggings notwithstanding – I think that was an accident). They absolutely knew their own minds and were eloquent in their descriptions of what they did and didn’t like. I really loved the fact that their faces lit up when they realised they could choose from ‘all those fabrics’…….the mark of true craftspeople! Of course, they did need a bit of guidance…….they were desperate to make dresses out of the lime fluoro swimwear fabric……..but they were easily swayed and finally settled on spots…….both of them …….retract the comment about individuality!

I gave them a couple of options for patterns and we settled on a maxi skirt and or those pants that have a deliberately baggy crutch….I don’t know what they are called.


This is them hard at it. Because I am not a completely ‘giving’ person, I bought a cheap sewing machine for them (and my daughters) to learn on……..I couldn’t risk mine. I had mine at the ready to do the tricky parts or fix the mistakes like sewing along the fold line that had been cut.

For the most part, they made the whole garment by themselves. I didn’t do much at all. Both absolutely loved using the sewing machine and were surprisingly adept for young first timers. They ‘got it’ first time. There were of course some ‘fitting’ issues but hey, isn’t that what sewing is all about? It is for me anyway.



You will see that Amelie is actually wearing ‘take 2….the maxi skirt.

I have to say I was also very flattered that they saw my cushions and decided that they really loved cushions so we crammed a couple of those into the session as well. Overall we had a great day. My daughter made some beautiful cup cakes (my recipe but a million times better than mine ever turn out………..I think I underestimate the young!) and we had those for lunch after our ham sandwiches ……..we didn’t do the morning tea because we were flat out just getting the job done.

I didn’t manage to get as many photos as I would have liked because I was on the job all day. I re threaded the machine about 65 times and my 13 year old re threaded it the other 65 times!

I fell asleep on the lounge at 6pm.