A beautiful old mystery machine…

On a recent trip to Canberra, I visited the tourist-y area Gold Creek with my family. We had a lovely day of wondering shops and afternoon tea. On our way back to the car, there’s always one last shop to look in…


And look what I found! The shop lady said it was still in working condition, thought the electric cables need to be replaced for safe use. We opened the case and the little box of goodies that came with it all over the shop floor… I was in love… but how much was it? $50?? OK then…

It came home with me.

I was determined to carry this extremely heavy ‘travel’ model back to the car myself, but it turned into a shared family experience as they took pity on me taking a break every 20 metres. So we all took turns taking it back to the car together.




Back at home I took all the bits our to see what I had collected with more time and a glass of whiskey.




Complete with operating manual! Check out those illustrations!




Certainly it’s not a Singer, but a pretty machine nonetheless. With the little research I’ve done so far I think it’s a model from the late 1930s or mid 1950s.




I haven’t gleaned much about the manufacturer of the sewing machine motor yet, Warner Drayton Co. of Australia Pty Ltd operating from Footscray, a metro suburb in Victoria. Although I did find this advertisement in the National Library of Australia archives which shows the company was still going strong in 1963, with electric fans just in time for the summer heat!


At the moment my new old sewing machine awaits patiently in Canberra. Once it is serviced and it comes home, I’m thinking it will be my dedicated corset-sewing machine…

Oh the joys of my craft hobby.

Stay creative!


Knitting Machine: Singer MemoMatic 323 and Ribber Attachment


Something I’ve noticed since becoming crafty is how much other people enjoy me being crafty. It seems bizarre to me, but in a nice way!

Crochet at the train station and strangers smile and ask what you’re working on. Leave a button and half-done sewing project on the coffee table and visitors ask about its status. Invariable it comes with a story about their grandma or how they could never finish something like that – this used to puzzle me but now I quite enjoy it.

Another side effect I’ve also noticed and like is friends who I’ve had for years pick up crafty projects with me and try new crafty things to show me. For years I didn’t even know they were crafty themselves!

So all this could be an intro for a post about how crafting can change your life and open a whole new world for you blah blah but that’s too obvious. What it is an intro for is a conspiracy.

ShandiShan and Sweetheart conspired to buy me a knitting machine for Christmas.



“A what what? But you don’t even knit! What are you supposed to do with one of those?” you cry. Well, that’s what I thought. And here is the reason for my hesitation: I don’t knit because I can’t. Not a mental oh-come-on-give-it-a-go-it’s-easy kind of can’t, more of a it-gives-me-intense-pain-in-my-right-shoulder-after-half-an-hour kind of can’t. This is thanks to an old injury which also means I can’t do things like scrub bathroom floors (‘Aww…’ you say,), paint walls and ceilings (‘Poor you.’) and play contact sports (FYI that one actually does suck.).

So you can imagine how it pleased me when I found that crochet didn’t give me the same complications.

Knowing my love for woolly things, Sweetheart gifted me the knitting machine in hope I can knit with it instead. But checking out the videos tells me it uses the kind of motion that caused the injury in the first place, so I still can’t knit…

Bah humbug.

“Oh.” Sweetheart said. “Well, you can still set it up and design things on it and I’ll do the side-side actions. We can make things together!”

And so my interest in this knitting machine contraption grows. Now to learn how to use it!

I’m well aware it’s a conspiracy so Sweetheart can have more knitted jumpers.

So far my attempts have resulted in rectangles of various sizes.


In the example below I had planned to graduate from test swatches but Sweetheart got over excited with the side to side action and broke the yarn at 221 rows. Oh wells.

Stay happy!

Sew 2012 #019: Red Satin Skirt

With the remaining metres of the red satin fabric from the Red Satin Stole, I made the Red Satin Skirt!

Sew 2012 #019: Red Satin Skirt

This was from my Kwik Sew Pattern 3381, the longer version. I still love using the waistband technique from this pattern.

Unfortunately I cut the pattern to big and this sits quite low on my hips, making it to long. I could just shorten the hem and take the sides in a smidge, but I still suck terribly at rolled hems to the point in considering outsourcing them…

Sew 2012 #019: Red Satin Skirt

However with invisible zips I’m all good and happy! 😀

My Creativity ToDo List


I have missed my blog, reading other awesome your wonderful comments, and generally being creative. While I have been busy, it’s nice to get back to doing what makes me smile while expressing myself!

One thing I was glad to catch upon re-acquainting myself with the blogging world was this great little post about creativity from Alli Rense. It came at a really timely moment for me – I was starting to feel calmer and more creative and, you know what? Writing a little Creativity ToDo List is just what I need 😀

Have I been stuck? Yep. But the fog is lifting. Hooray! So many things I want to do, so a list can help me keep it easy. Like Alli, I’ll limit myself to 5 creative things…

My Creativity ToDo List:

  1. Finish all blue points on the Star Anise Blanket
  2. Sew an awesome office dress
  3. Complete and frame my 15 year old cross-stitch
  4. Self-publish my Annual Book
  5. Draw a still life

There are some project-style things there, but progress makes me just as happy as a finished thing!

Bring on winter!

Rainbow Awesomeness in the form of Crochet Hat and Scarf: Another Completed Project

I think this photo pretty much captures it all.

I fell in yarn-love and bought a gazillion balls. No plan, it was just pure, unadulterated yarn-love. Then I started making a scarf. Then I realised the scarf needed a matching hat. Then I saw this pattern. Then I made it.

Then we had to go out for Tea and Scones on a Windy and Cold Day.

The End.

Sew 2012 #005: Bear Stole

Life! At times we get so carried away with other things we do things like post Sew 2012 #006 before Sew 2012 #005. Doh!

Better late than never, though I did post this on time over The Sew Weekly.

This was a spontaneous stole, when I needed something quick for the Down-under theme for The Sew Weekly. Of course being down-under already I actually needed something that was up-over! Further, I had no winter fabrics in my stash, with the possible exception of this Teddy Bear fur!

I love the shape of this stole, I drafted the pattern myself. The only thing I’m not happy with is that it’s 4″ too small, on account of not having quite enough bear fabric to warp around me! Nonetheless, if I wear it a certain way and not move much it works just fine.

I should also mention the pink satin lining on the inside… I love this fabric. It has a real silky vintage look to it, and it may well be silky – I bought it from an opshop a few months ago and have no idea what it really is.

Now please excuse me, I must buy tickets to the theatre and make my evening gown.


PS: I fully plan to share my pattern with you! 😀 😀

Sew 2012 #002: The Articulate Pencil Skirt

Finishing touches complete, here it is! The Articulate Skirt!

I am over the moon the results of this skirt! I have made quite a few of these now and while I was making it I thought I could do it with my eyes closed. Then, when it came to hemming, I realised I hadn’t finished the edges of the back vent… Oops! No biggie, there wasn’t much to unpick!

This is also my first attempt at pattern matching. The diagonal stripe of the fabric only went one way and I didn’t realise you have to turn the pattern piece to make them match up how I wanted… fortunately there was enough fabric to compensate for this mistake! The front and back seams match mostly perfectly, which was most important, but not the side seams. Still, very happy with the result.

This fabric is a bit special so it was important to get it right. My mother bought it back in the 1980s with intent to make a tablecloth, but that never happened. It has a few age spots from being in storage for so long but all in all very good condition. Today, it’s a super comfy pencil skirt! I wonder if she’d like to borrow it… 😉

So, why call it The Articulate Skirt? Because it turned out exactly how it looked in my head! 😀

Yes I have pink fluff on my shoe and I’m not sure where it came from.