My bias about bias…. binding.

Stitch and bitch Saturdays. Oh. How I really do enjoy them. There is a mixture of relief and lament about joining the sewing circle inner sanctum of my family at the age of 30. My lessons (when my stubbornness doesn’t get in the way) are imparted to me from two extremely knowledgeable women whose sewing skills are honed not just from a seniority to myself, but a tenure that can be traced back to their “Tweens”. Whereas by comparison, my journey into the craft rabbit hole has deepened only in the last year, with brief dabbles throughout my life, tasting both success and bitter frustration. I curse myself for not engaging in this passion that stimulates my creativity and problem solving; as I am consciously aware of what my skill level could be if I had persevered. Instead, I have the sincerely joyous opportunity to learn from these women as an adult, and see them as friends rather than authority figures.

There was no planned project for today initially. Over a coffee and a slice (ok, maybe two) of apple custard-y baked goods, we commenced discussion about a “battle plan” for the coming weeks. Stitch and bitch days happen largely on days when my step-father has absconded for the freedom of flying in gliders in Warwick, and my aunt leaves my uncle at home to be consumed by an electronic online war.
I digress.
Where were we?
Right! Coffee, cake and a decision was made to tackle mumma-chook’s recently purchased pattern – Gidget Shorts. As this was a purchased pattern with tutorial, including strict instructions not to republish, you can find the pattern for sale on Etsy
Here’s my first completed pair!
2014-02-09 19.42.28

They were quite easy to do – the challenging part was making my own bias tape that goes around the hem. The pattern purchased does give instructions on how to make your own, but the chooks had a better way! I did a practice of it solo today, and yielded a relatively positive result – but not as neat / tidy as I’m sure the chooks would have achieved. I am going to do some more tomorrow, and photo as I go, and will update this post with the tutorial. But, fiddly bit aside, I quite like the finish of bias tape. I think if you make it in lengthy quantities it takes the time consuming element out of this project. After my trial bias tape today, I have knocked together a second pair of shorts (just a few finishing touches left before publishing them) in half the time!

You can find both the shorts above, and the pair mumma-chook made for sale on our Facebook page. The aunty-chook has also set up a Facebook page for her handmade items – highly suggest you check it out. Maybe one day I’ll be half as talented as these two…

If you have any suggestions for our future crafternoons, please feel free to comment below 🙂
Stitches and such,
the chick

Rage Against The Machine

As I mentioned in my last *actual* post, I was having troubles with my overlocker thread running out at an inopportune time….. I can happily report that I rectified the problem. As is often the case when things get ridiculously frustrating, starting over from the beginning was the answer – it turned out to be much easier to rethread the whole machine than to continue getting frustrated at the one thread that didn’t want to play with me. The resulting bucket hat had a few little flaws in it, but it was for a teenager, and was made out of fabric with unrealistic bodies in warrior costumes, so I doubt a few slipped stitches are going to be his focus.Image

You can somewhat see what I mean (it is the hat in the top left corner)!

I haven’t worked out the legalities of posting tutorials yet – the pattern/tutorial I used for these ones can be found over at Kitsch Bitsch Blog

A pattern that doesn’t yet have a tutorial that I am developing, is for a little Marilyn style halter dress for little girls (pictured below)Image

This is available for sale over at our Facebook Page Pollymop for $30. It is a little girl size 2 – I can’t wait to master the grown up version of this! With elastic ruching across the back, it will be a comfortable fit for anyone!!

The chooks and I are having another crafternoon this weekend, where we will be planning out our sewing adventures for the next few months. Sew, if there’s anything you would like us to cover, please feel free to comment below!

Until then, stitches and such!

The chick




Well the chooks told me there’d be days like this….

Bonus points if you sang the line like it was from the Van Morrison song… but… it has its own truth in last night adventures with sewing.

I successfully completed the finishing touches to a gorgeous little party dress (pictures and link to sale will follow), so I started work on a bucket/fishing hat made out of some funky Alexander Henry fabric that I discussed with someone before Christmas…. and as I got about half way through… one of the overlocker threads ran out….. and I didn’t notice….

For those of you non-sewist, or those without an overlocker – it’s not really just a ‘thread a needle’ kind of thing… It’s more like.. Tying up a chicken to roast. The finished part is amazing, but it’s ridiculously fiddly, and when coupled with a lack of confidence about what you’re doing, turns into a monstrous project – Imagine the predicament you could end up with if not certain about tying up a chicken… although… there are YouTube videos, it doesn’t mean squat if you fumble with a slippery chicken!
The end result for last night was I put my tools down before I put my fist through the window, but it was also about 9pm at night, so an appropriate time to do so.
Hopefully, with a fresher set of eyes tonight, I will resolve the threading bumble and complete what was to be the first examples of my work on my blog!

Stay tuned, chickens!

Why I want to marry Jonah Hill

A man with a sense of humour, talent, and the ability to recognise the opportunity of a life time and take it; without succumbing to his ego. I think we could be happy together ha!

In the recent movie (which I will point out that, at this very second, I have not seen) he accepted his role without any negotiations on pay ($60k, which is apparently like minimum wage in the film industry at that level) – because it was his dream to be in a Martin
Scorsese film. Can you imagine?

This article and
this article had some great quotes that made me put him on a complete fucking pedestal as an example of someone who had a goal, saw the opportunity, and seized it before anyone could renege on him. As a chronic procrastinator this type of confidence in one’s goals, passion for what they love, and long term vision is ridiculously admirable, and something I would like to achieve in my own niche passions.

Note| should Jonah or his media people read this – one of MY goals would be to have an entertaining afternoon with him and interview him personally – you know, if you want to pay it forward as it were…. 😉

Note pt 2 | the sound track to the writing of this entry was, oddly enough and unintentionally, a Family Guy musical number “everything is better with a bag of weed” – sometimes life is silly!

Words were said….

Nanna alway used it say, “If that’s tea, we’ve had it” at the end of every meal without fail. (Oddly, this phrase has now been adopted into my stepfather’s lexicon, so perhaps it is a rite of passage that comes with your pension cheque. Kidding Graysie.)

Today, I caught myself saying, “If that’s a weekend, we’ve had it”, however, unlike my Nanna who said this as a statement of contentment and a fully belly, my quip fell out as another weekend passed without achieving the height of greatness I had hoped. I procrastinate so about my pursuits of creativity that I fear I will never make an income enough to cease the salt mine. Will I still be in this position in 12 months time? Where is that girl who aspired for greatness, and others believed she would succeed? She continues on a path that leaves her unfulfilled. Could she find solace in that her small contribution to the bigger picture makes a difference? What pays the bills may seem joyless, but it possibly has impacts on someone in a way that can’t be measured as a Key Performance Indicator. Has she influenced someone, and in such a way, that it IS the reason behind their success, without actually making into the credits, or without passing comment in their eventual biography? I can’t remember the exact wording, but there’s a quote about knowing that your job has been done well, because no one realises you have done it. I feel that’s the thing to take away from my job on the days that feel joyless – perhaps I am the cog in someone else’s success.

I’m scared of failure so I procrastinate to the point where I don’t start. Where’s the logic in that? I know that something HAS to change. But what if I fail yet again.
I want to be the best.
The best at least started, Alexis. You can’t even take the first step.
What IS the first step….?
I want to write. I want to sew. I want the outlets of my creative pursuits to be valued – miniscule musings etched in random notebooks will be read by someone (perhaps one not even in existence), pondered, studied, contemplated and sentiment shared. Given my track record. I am dubious.
Having just read yet another blog on life direction and affirmation, I compiled a list of 30 things do achieve in my thirties… (mentioned last post – scroll below if you have interest in it)
This was a pretty useful exercise, even if I have yet to determine the detail or action required to complete the list. Like most things thus far in my life, I’m sure that the list is ‘living’ and subject to change. Not dramatically, but, like life, as things change – things change. I want to believe that by compiling this list, it is giving myself a bit of a plan. Everything on there is achievable. Perhaps by posting it, I feel I am making myself more accountable?
I think the real lesson for myself in the completion of the list will be that success is not a one size fits all model. Sure, my expectations of the completion of the list is that I am famous or something ridiculous. Which is always a possibility if the right market is reached (and if I sell my soul to the dark side, hop on one foot and pray to superman…. maybe). But maybe, more likely, my success will be finding happiness and contentment in the world. And really, isn’t that what we’re all aspiring towards? Even if your aspiration is that of a super villain – you would feel happiness and contentment in varying degrees of evilness – from world domination to owning ‘a shark with frickin lasers on its head’.

So. Without further babble.

30 things to do in my thirties

1. De-clutter my possessions
2. Set up my own home
3. Save money / invest
4. Establish healthy lifestyle changes
5. Visit other countries
6. Learn at least 2 other languages besides English
7. Volunteer / Give time to the community
8. Learn an instrument – I’m leaning towards keyboard or drums – because it would be kind of like DJing (maybe) and I know how to do that…
9. Learn to dance – swing, salsa or something…
10. Write a blog
11. Write for online magazines / publications (unpaid)
12. Write a book
13. Get a tattoo
14. Jump from something – I’m leaning towards bungee jumping over skydiving
15. Go to a big, international music festival (or 3 – whatever) and completely rock out
16. Learn more about wine / viticulture – I think the wine knowledge is a requirement for eventual book publication
17. Join Toastmasters
18. Play team sport – girl’s rugby league or grid iron is on the cards
19. Research Polish family history
20. Learn more about Jazz / Rock / Classic music that has been the inspiration for other artists – and write about it
21. Host amazing dinner parties – and make them my ‘thing’
22. Learn more poems by heart
23. Read the works of the Beatniks
24. Go on dates – interesting ones
25. Road trip around Australia
26. New career
27. MAKE things – sew, paint, draw, build
28. Write daily
29. Love unconditionally
30. Project to the world my awesomeness
(ok, I might have dialled that last one in – but – let me work on it – remember, ‘living’ list)
(also. NOT my tattoo. But. Thinking it would be an amazing / appropriate one!)

A.d.i.d.a.s – All day I dream about se…..wing!

It is 11:30pm ish on a Tuesday night. And I can’t sleep. Partially as my mind is abuzz with the things I need to do at the salt mine tomorrow (aka the 9 to 5 job), but mostly, because I know what I would rather be doing tomorrow….. Sewing!

While my day job provides enough satisfaction (and monetary reward) for me to stay, I wish there was more useable time in the day for the things that I enjoy. Recently, I turned 30, and with that came the cliche evaluation of one’s life to that point, along with a compiled list entitled “thirty things to achieve in my thirties”. I will incorporate it into a future entry, but the general theme of its accomplishments strive for a life maximising on my strengths and passions.

Starting with this blog. Ok, in reality, the blog was midway down somewhere, but it realised that I could make a start towards the goals while sleepless on a Tuesday 🙂

Sew chooks and chickens alike, (see what I did there), I will be striving for more regular and engaging content about sewing, achieving goals, and living your passion.

Fabric swatches and bobbins have begun dancing in my head, and my fingers have commenced a lazy slow dance with the keyboard, sew on that stitch, I bid you good night.

Stitches n such,
Xx the chick

Online store is live!

Our online store is now live, thanks to the amazing craft community Etsy.

Our brand, Pollymop is the brainchild of one of the chooks (aka my mum) with ‘tech support’ from the chick (aka me).

Currently only shipping within Australia at this stage, but would love your feedback on current listings if you are outside Oz!

Crafter-noon on Saturday! Project still to be determined!

Stitches n such,
The chick

A humble beginning

As I start this, I immediately realise I am procrastinating.

Right now, I should be working on a university assignment.

The assignment is to utilise social media to research a topic, and critique its success in providing information.

My topic? Handmade and up-cycled craft.
Why? Because it is what I would rather be doing!!

In the midst of compiling the essay about the use of social media and blogging in the craft community, I thought – I spend a ridiculous amount of time online, I should be part if this!

So, in an attempt to join the forever expanding world-wide-webiverse and return a contribution to the crafting community, I have joined the blogging ranks!

I am still increasing my skills in sewing from an amazing woman, my mother. She has been sewing most of her life and is extremely talented and creative, and I can only hope I can persevere to become as talented as she is.

Why 2 chooks and a chick?

My mother, my aunt and I were having a “crafternoon” / “Stitch ‘n’ bitch” kind of a day, and in amongst the silliness, my mum and aunty said something about how daggy they were. I challenged them on that, and told them it would be quite a sight to see “Two old chooks and a chick” out on the town. And a name was born – although, it was voted that the term “old” be removed 😉

Where to from here?

I’m hoping to utilise this platform to demonstrate the creativity of these geniuses that I have the privilege(or curse) of being related, and my lessons that may benefit others.


Stay tuned for the evolution 🙂