Author Archives: Irene

Ironing board cover

My ironing board was up for an update. The old cheap cover it came with was less than perfect, it moved all the time plus it was in a weird silvery colour.

I got from the library “Home sewn home : 20 projects to make for the retro home” by  Sally Walton (which btw is, in my opinion, an ok book,  one of those books worth flicking through but not to buy). The book features an ironing board cover. I say “features” because there isn´t really any pattern, it just tell you to used the old cover to traces your new one. So I did so.

Finding the fabric was harder than I though. I went to Spotlight, all the fabrics I liked couldn´t be ironed at high temperatures! it took me around an 1h of looking at labels until I saw this fabric in the distance:

Fabric Iron


I thought that should stand high temperatures! and it did! So here is my new ironing board cover and my boyfriend happily (?) ironing on it.



From conference bag to lunch bag

Last February I attended a nanotechnology conference (actually it was three in one, ACMM22/AOMC10/ICONN2012, but that is another story).  For the first time in a very long long time, the conference bag was made out of a pretty fabric. It was inspired in aboriginal paints.  At the time I wasn´t sure what I want to do it, but it was to pretty to miss, so I asked if I could have a few extra bags. I ended up with 3 bags (for the embarrassment of my colleagues)*

I loved Sarah´s lunch bag, and I though I would use my “conference bags” to make a nice “lunch bag”. So this bag is made of out almost entirely of these conference bags (I used two): inside & outside, and even the handles**.

* My colleagues want now one lunch bag!

** I put leftover fabric from my chair cover to give some body to the bag.

Bella Trousers #6011 Burda

I am very proud to present my first pair of trousers that make it to the outside world! (previous attempts have only been worn inside the house)

I used the burda pattern bella. It was featured a few weeks ago and I thought it was great. I was a bit concerned about how it will look in a “not skinny” person, but I am quite happy with the result.

Pattern sizing: The pattern has indications for size 34 to 46. I cut a 46 because of my hips, but I had to make the waist smaller. I think the measurements are a bit overestimated because I am quite sure that a 44 would have fit on the hips just fine.

Were the instructions easy to follow? They were a nightmare! I had to wing the whole waist because I had no idea what I was meant to do.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

🙂 I looooooove high waist trousers. There is a bit of room for change in the pattern: pleats or no pleats in the pockets, pockets or no pockets and the most amazing one is the sailor modification.

😦 I ended up with so much fabric at the seam of the waist with the legs that my machine couldn’t make a button hole, so some of the bottoms are “fake” and they are actually a snap fastener (susssh don’t tell anyone)

Fabric use: Light denim from the sales at Homecraft Textiles.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I didn’t bother with the back pockets. The high of the crotch was way to low for me, but I only realized that when the whole thing was done.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I would do it again one size smaller and with a higher crotch. I have already modified the pattern, just waiting to buy more fabric… so when are we going to the sale at intangible?

Chair covers

When you live in a  rent apartment there are tons of things that you may want to change but you can´t. In my case, I hated the chair (I live in a furnished apartment) but I can´t paint or reupholster them. Then is when creativity and a sewing machine are handy!

I am most proud of my “holding into place system” idea: two buttons and some elastic.

If only I could also change the curtains….

Made on the left 2011

I am just back from my road trip Broome-to-Perth (4073km in 12 days in the crappiest campervan ever seen -the licence plate was on piece of cardboard… pufff. But I had an awesome time and made it to Perth! surprise!)

I am delighted that I am on time for the Made on the Left Market this year! It is this Sunday (10th of July).


I can’t wait! Anyone else going?

Irene’s knit culottes: Attempt #1

I have never sewn clothes before – a year ago I started a dress and it is still on the unfinished pile.  I am more into cushions, handbags, wallets,… anything where size doesn’t matter. However, in our trip to Potter´s I got an awesome piece of light blue cotton and I thought it would be great for a pair of trousers.

Long time ago I saw this free pattern in the burdatyle website. It says it is for novice! Perfect!

Pattern sizing: The pattern has indications for size 36 to 42 (and explains how to make it bigger). I cut a 40 but I realised (once cut, damm it!) that my printer has shrank the pattern by putting white margins on the pattern (rockie mistake!)

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Easy! I encounter one problem but it was my own fault. Because the cotton was very see-through I decided to put two layers of fabric. The problem was that then I didn´t know what was right and what was the wrong side and I sewed two left legs! So, unsew one leg, sew it again and I was back on track.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the width on the legs. I found it very flattering for people with big tights (like me). I didn´t like the length (so I changed that)

Fabric use: Cotton from Potter´s  and a old grey T-shirt for the waist.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made them longer than the pattern suggested.  The pattern is meant to be just above the knee, but I want it up to half my calf (I think it is more stylish!)

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I definitely will be sewing it again (will print it properly though!). It may be ´too-simple´ for experience sewers as it is not really a challenge but I like it 🙂

So, the final product is on the left. Due to my stupidity when printing the pattern, it turned out too tight on my hips, but I have learnt my lesson.

I would love to sew it again with two alterations: full length and higher waist.  I have the full length under control, but I am not sure how to make it higher waist, I would love it to look like this trousers from HarveyCloth: