Sewing Retreat Perth

Our Cocktails & Stitches Retreat at the luxurious Crown Towers Perth on 19 & 20 May 2018 is not too far away now and its time to start thinking about your projects.

I have put a few things together here to give some ideas.

I particularly like the pre cut Liberty Fabric that are available at The Strawberry Thief.  You can choose from jelly rolls, charm squares or hexagons.  Robyn also has the full range of Liberty fabrics available.  Shipping is free over $50 however I am happy to organise a group order if you prefer.

Carolina from Sew Mondo has some great quilt patterns available in her online shop.  One of which I am working on at the moment that only requires 6 different fabrics and is great to start with if you are a beginner quilter.  Carolina is also part of the WAQA Shop Hop opening this week, click here to see the details.


As an absolute beginner knitter, I knitted a few things last year and whilst it’s not my most favourite craft I was extremely happy with my projects.  I used the Loopy Mango yarn and their cropped cardigan pattern.  The yarn comes in gorgeous colours, all of which I have a colour chart here if you would like to see.  The yarn is not cheap, it does pill although I have not found a single yarn that doesn’t yet.  It just means you need to shave it down occasionally and look after it.  The postage is not cheap either however I still feel it was totally worth it and I get comments on the cardi every time I wear it.  They have a range of other projects available whether knitting or crochet.  Have a look at whats available at Loopy Mango.  I also have the colour chart here available for you to look at!

You know I am all obsessed with crochet and that I am terrible matching colours.  I also am not particularly fond of working from a pattern.  So I will be working on another hexagon blanket, one colour per hexi however these hexi’s will be a lot larger than the last blanket I made.  Hexigons are made up of trebles.  If this is something you would like to work on and would like to start practising please send me an email expressing interest.

And not forgetting clothing items!  If I make something it will no doubt be stretch fabric, I will have the overlocker and the cover stitch machine available to use.  I have heard some ladies will be making skirts, Holy Communion dress, bomber style jacket, casual lounge pants and tops.

If you have any questions or need inspiration please let me know.




Colette Pattern – Moneta Dress


Its not often I purchase a pattern and make a dress for myself, simply because I have the drafting skills to make my own and because most patterns I buy I end up altering somehow because Im so particular and fussy.  This time I wanted to find a pattern to suit the fabric I had bought, a garment I could literally whizz up.

I found the Colette Patterns Moneta Dress Pattern and I love it!  It comes in a broad size range and this is the type of dress that would suit all body types.  Its perfect for stretch fabrics!

Be sure to head to Colette Patterns to purchase your pattern.


Transferring Patterns to Fabric

Transferring your patterns to fabric just got easier!

So you buy a pattern and upon opening it you find every size available to you!  (Vintage patterns had one size per envelope).  Thats great but how many of us agonise over whether its best to cut the size we need or transfer the whole pattern onto Vilene?  Either way it takes quite a bit of time to prepare the pattern before we can even start on our project.  Well, there are a few sewing tools that will make this process a whole lot easier…

Dressmakers Carbon Paper and a Tracing Wheel is all you need – read more at the end of this post.


These items are now available in class.

This is how its done…pin your pattern to the fabric.


Slide in some Carbon Paper between the pattern and the fabric.  The inky side should be facing your fabric.


Use your Tracing Wheel to press firmly along the size line that you require.  Be sure to include all markings and notches as you go.


Take the pattern piece away and you will see your marked dotted line to cut along.


The Dressmakers Carbon Paper comes in a pack including 5 sheets of paper in red, yellow, blue, white and green so this will cover all colours of fabric.

Tracing Wheels are by Clover, I find these are the best tools around.  They are ergonomic and sturdy unlike cheaper brands.

There are 2 types of Tracing Wheels…spiked and blunt.  Ive always owned a spiked wheel however, recently when I wanted to transfer my pattern to a knit fabric it wouldn’t work so well, so blunt is suiting me much better.

Also available by Clover is the Double Tracing Wheel.  This wheel is perfect for when you are transferring your patterns and need to add a seam allowance to the pattern.  The wheels are removable with slots measured every 5mm, so you can add a 5mm for your seam allowance up to 3cm.


Project Planning

With year coming to a close I find this time extremely motivating for me.  I want to rest and just chill with the family but at the same time I can’t help but get excited about the year ahead.  It must be the sunshine!!

I recently stumbled across, what looked like an awesome planner to help me achieve some projects I have in mind.  I can now say, its as great as it looks.  Its a quarterly planner (Jan, Feb, Mar) that includes a day to a page with its own to do list.  There are quarterly goals, quarterly budgets, space to map your ideal week, space to write your lists of things to research or write your ideas for later, month by month to do list, double page month in view, double page full year in view, at the end of each week there is a notes page and a self care scorecard, social media stats, pages to plan for your next planner, double page in view for the next quarter, reflection pages so you can review, revisit, refresh & restart and there are plenty of extra pages for scribbles and brainstorms.

Hey Control Freak is the best planner, diary, journal Ive seen so far!


So with all my organising these past couple of weeks I thought that we could do with a Project Planning Sheet.  There is space for you to sketch your design, include fabric types or samples, jot down patterns that may be of interest to you.  Take your models measurements and note any other measurements you might need.  Fabric & Notion requirements can be listed too so when you go shopping you know exactly what you need.


Download and print Miss Mary Project Planning Sheet

Crochet Pop Up Workshop


Learn some basic skills to get you started crocheting away!

I will teach you how to slip knot, chain stitch and double crochet so that you can start on making a simple blanket.  You will be given a list of resources, a crochet hook and some yarn to practice.

Cost is $55, the location…Miss Mary Headquarters in Balcatta  :  7:30pm til 9:30pm




Miss Mary Sewing Retreat

IMG_5916It was a Tuesday night back in September 2015, Christie and Carolina suggested a sewing retreat.  I responded with yeah thats cool but can I pleeeease sew too.  Whilst I love teaching all the time when I see you all sewing and chatting I want to join you!!  Christie Blizzard the most amazing young woman was onto it and it was booked within days.

On Friday, 15 July the car was packed and we headed for Toodyay in the Perth hills.  Whilst there were some children who shed tears that their mums were leaving, my three were still asleep at 10am and had no idea I was on my way.  Still, I kissed their foreheads and squeezed them tight. The drive was picturesque and in usual style my sister-in-law and I chatted the whole way with mum in tow.

The 50km speed zone through Toodyay town allowed us to spin heads looking out for any quirky shops, op shops and bakeries and yes there were all of those.

Avalon Homestead was home for the next few days and I didn’t really know what to expect and was feeling nervous that this group of ladies arriving are trusting our choice for the weekend.  We were greeted by Delveen and Peter who showed us around and took us to our rooms.  The decor is cottage like and not styled like my house but the place was very clean and spotless.

A massive sewing room awaited us, fresh, new, clean and organised, perfectly equipped for what we needed.  Goodie bags that Christie made up for us were set on our tables and we were looking out to a lovely lush green view.

We were served lunch and then the crafting began.  The ladies started trickling in throughout the afternoon and although heads were down there was constant chatter.

IMG_5922Im the cook at my house so to be served breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning and afternoon tea was total bliss.  I was for once on the receiving end, I now know what’s its like for everyone at home when I call them for dinner and understand why nobody rushes to the dinner table.  This is me…”Dinner is readyyyy!”  “Hurry up or it will go cold!”  “Goodness me, when I say dinner is ready I expect you to get up straight away and eat after I’ve spent the whole afternoon in the kitchen!”  This weekend, I did not want to leave my work until I had just finished this last bit, I didn’t mind that dinner would go cold!  Our cook Peter took so much pride in his cooking that he didn’t want it to go cold either.  The meals were like home cooked meals and there was always plenty of it.  They even catered for those who were gluten free.

Shopping in Toodyay?  Well yes of course, some of the ladies ducked out for a bit over the weekend and picked up some very cool items.  And Christmas shopping?  They have the second biggest Christmas shop in Australia, they had everything you can imagine.  Nobody made it to the bakery, there was no way we were going to fit it in with all the food.  However I do believe they were voted the best Pastie for 2016.
IMG_5929There were 14 of us in total, an amazing group of women, and our hands were kept busy.  The chatter, the laughs, the sharing, the pouring of wine, the teaching was continuous.  Collectively we made bags, quilts, shorts, aprons, nighties, floor cushions, pants, dolls, quilted zippy pouches, leotards, bodysuits.  We used cotton, double gauze, corduroy, piping, zippers, leather, trim, lycra, french terry, quilt batting, embroidery thread, Liberty fabrics.  There was pattern making, rulers, brown paper, overlocking, cover stitching, threading, rethreading and sewing.  There was the crochet of blankets and knitting of jumpers with jumbo hooks, giant knitting needles and chunky yarn.  Each persons personality showing in every project worked on.  Well that’s the part I notice…I see so much in ones creativity and thats why I love it so.  It must also be noted that the projects we worked on weren’t necessarily something we had practiced and perfected before this weekend.  Most of us learnt new skills to add to our inner Nanna-ness.  Call it daggy and so old fashioned but this crafting thing is the best feel good hobby and I look forward to many more Miss Mary Retreats.


















Special Thanks is owed to the amazing Christie Blizzard whom I would not have been able to do this without.  She continues to amaze me with her spunk for life, crafting and work.

Carolina Mondello for giving us the nudge to do this.  Carolina makes the most gorgeous quilts and other projects, you can follow her on Instagram.

Debra Hayes for your gorgeous photos and styling in between your stitching and crochet, Debra Hayes Floral

Burnells on Queen Street, Perth…Tracey, John and Brad who support my passion for sewing and converting all you young women to Nanna’s way before you actually are one.  We were able to test and trial the Bernina Cover Stitch Machine and Overlocker and loved them.

Craft Bound, Jelly Bean Street & Burnells for our goodie bags

Rob Fomiatti – Remedial Masseur, who massaged our knots away

And to Peter and Delveen at Avalon Homestead who ensured we had a wonderful stay


The Berkley Dress

The Berkley Dress named after my little model here is the perfect for the cooler months.  Wear it long sleeved, with tights or on its own.  It has fake pockets to add a bit of interest.  Be sure to sew down the corners though because they are bound to rest their hands in them!

I used a beautiful linen fabric which I purchased from Calico & Ivy in Mosman Park.  They have a variety of linens including french linen and crushed linens in classic colours.  You can pretty much use any fabric for this dress.  Why not introduce a feature fabric for the pocket or add a Liberty binding around the neckline.  I made my own bias binding with the left over fabric.

The Berkley Dress comes in sizes 2 through to a girls size 14 .


Size 2 & 3 – 112cm wide fabric you will need 1.4m – 150cm wide fabric you will need 1 metre

Size 4 & 6 – 112cm wide fabric you will need 1.6m – 150cm wide fabric you will need 1.3m

Size 8 & 10 – 112cm wide fabric you will need 1.8m – 150cm wide fabric you will need 1.8m

Size 12 & 14 – 112cm wide fabric you will need 2.4m – 150cm wide fabric you will need 2.10m

There should be enough left over to make your own bias binding, otherwise 1 metre of purchased binding would be plenty for the neckline.




Sewing Classes with Miss Mary

Miss Mary Class 2016_Screen_Res-31

I see over 90 students in a fortnight, every fortnight.  If I had to choose which class was my favourite Id say all of them.  Every class is an absolute joy for me.  Joy because I am always around an amazing group of women, some who I’ve known now for up to 6 years.  Amongst each other they chat, tell stories of their loved ones, share their knowledge on cooking, sewing, shopping, books, movies, work, knitting, crochet, pattern making…everything!  They encourage, plan and inspire, always feeding project ideas off each other. They are forever sharing…’oh here I have that colour thread use mine’.  The personalities and dynamics are perfect to make a TV show, the laughs are endless.

I teach each student individually within a group class, I move from one student to the next teaching the skills they wish to learn, making the projects they want.  This can be quite a challenge when everyone is making something different but of course I wouldn’t have it any other way!  Im quizzed on a daily basis on what machine to buy, where to buy fabric, how do I make cushion covers for my outdoor setting and even asked to help small businesses get started.  I receive these requests in emails, texts, photos and even FaceTime calls, all of which I encourage and thrive on.  This is a feel good job that Ill be keeping for as long as you want to learn to sew because I sincerely love it.

So how can I show you all of this without you having set foot in my studio?  I had the extremely talented Lisa Anfuso of One Life Photography visit this week and photograph during a class.  May I say the only ‘staged’ part was the fact that I put a bit more make up on than usual.  Lisa captured Wednesday mornings class perfectly and you know we didn’t even know she was there.  There are so many photos to choose from so here is a snippet.  I can’t wait to show you more of Miss Mary Sewing Classes.  Check out Lisa’s post on her experience with us all over here.

Thank you Lisa 🙂

Kelly x