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Those who sew know – Haby!

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haby – slang for – haberdashery ˈhabədaʃəri/
noun – small items used in sewing, such as buttons, zips, and thread.

A few weeks ago in the One Thimble Sewing Enthusiasts Group we had a chat about what haby items people couldn’t live without.  I loved this thread because I LOVE haby even more than stationery – which given the numbers of notebooks, pens, clips and pencil sharpeners I own is saying something!!!

Are you a haby lover? How many of these do you recognise?  How many of these do you own?
Picture A couple of these were new to some of our members, but this is what those who nominated them had to say about them . . .

Tailor’s Awl
: Sas said “My favourite haby item is the TAILORS AWL. I can not live without it. I use it each and every time I sew. I use it to hold small or sharp points in the fabric still so that the fabric doesn’t bunch or get stuck when sewing. Once you get to the corner you pivot your fabric for your next run and inset the tip of the Awl under the foot and into the fabric, start sewing slowly while gently easing the fabric through with the Awl. you will get a nice neat turn 99% of the time… I also use it to make holes for eyes in my animals, holes to apply snaps, to gently dig out a point on a collar once it is turned…and I am always finding new uses, it is the first haby object I grab for most applications… oh yes, I love my Tailors Awl… http://www.nicolemdesign.com.au/…/2402-tailors-awl.html

Finger Swivel Knife: Melisa said “great for buttonholes/magnet prongs/welt pockets +more. Love it for cutting my buttonholes. Gives great control never have slipped past the ends with it. I use it to insert all my magnets for bags. it has a tiny scalpel blade so can be very precise which also is perfcet for welts when you have to cut really close to the corners This is mine http://www.fiskars.co.uk/Crafting-Sewing/Products/Art-Knives/4147-FingerTip-Swivel-Knife

Thread Clippers: Debra said “They’re in every room in my house too So handy and fit neatly into the palm of your hand. The point is perfect for unpicking and sharp enough to cut buttonholes. You can drop even them and they don’t get wrecked!”


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The One Thimble Sewing Enthusiasts Group on Facebook is a great place to ask questions, share your creations & your love of sewing.
With over 1000 members there’s a wealth of sewing experience to tap into, which is where the “Those who sew know” topics came from.
This series of articles will round up what people have had to say about these topics.
To have your say be sure to join the group!


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Bowtrim Variation

I always find it interesting how ideas develop over time.  The Bow Trim Dress and BT Tunic as they appeared in Issue 3 are completely different to the ideas I started with!  I’ve got to admit I do tend to get a little frantic when things “aren’t working” but when an idea comes together – well that’s got to be one of the greatest feelings ever!

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I love that you guys take the One Thimble patterns in new directions too.  I find it so inspiring to see how with the same pattern you can get totally different looks!

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It’s brilliant to see people take the Bow Trim and use it elsewhere too!  Melynda from Melynda Made used the Bow Trim to decorate her Posey Dress (pattern from Issue 2) and Suzie from Applegail used it to decorate a shirt!

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Have you put your own spin on a One Thimble pattern?  If so be sure to show me – it makes me feel so happy seeing these patterns used & adapted to be what you want them to be!


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The Bow Trim Single PDF pattern & the BT Tunic Single PDF pattern can be purchased HERE.
They are also included in Issue 3 of One Thimble Sewing PDF e-zine, which can be purchased from HERE.

To see more of my patterns check out www.ainsleefox.com.au

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How to Line A Sleeveless Dress

I’ve had some queries about the way I show to join the lining to the main fabric on the Twist Shift.  It’s a little tricky to explain in photos so here’s a little video showing the technique.

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Interview with Lana from Oh Baby

One of the best bits about getting involved with the online sewing community has got to be meeting awesome people, people who you wouldn’t otherwise have a chance to get to know IRL.

Strangely Lana and I missed meeting each other in real life, before online, by just a few weeks.  Lana started working in the same pharmacy where I used to work a few months after I left to move to Cairns – what’re the odds!

When we finally met up late last year, we got along just as well in person.  It was so fantastic to chat without the restrictions of chatting online and even better, our girls and husbands got along too!


Picture Lana from Oh Baby
ohbabyaustralia.bigcartel.com
facebook.com/OhBabyAustralia
makes beautiful bows.
With an eye for the details that
complete an outfit Lana’s range of bows
and her coming range of accessory
patterns are sure to be
a hit!

Lana has been such a fabulous
support with One Thimble.

She submitting the Starflower
Accessory Pattern to Issue One
and wrote two articles for Issue Two!


How’d you get into bows?
I have always loved bows although my attachment to them became much stronger after being blessed with the most beautiful baby girl back in 2010. It took so long for her hair to grow, which at this stage I commenced designing and making her very own accessories. Oh Baby came about as a result of having a bald baby, and fabric bows evolved after I purchased a set of Riley Blake charm squares a couple of years ago from my gorgeous friend Alana from Yumminess Textiles. Best fabric purchase ever!

Do you do other crafts? If not what would you like to have a go at?

Of course! Designing and creating is such a big part of my life, and always has been from as young as I can remember. My grandmother taught me to cross stitch at an early age and my love of hand sewing evolved from there. Give me a sewing machine and I’m pretty ordinary, although give me a needle and thread and I will work my magic! I love to work with dry pastels although it has been quite some time since I have dabbled with them. I have photography in my heart which I most definitely class as a crafty medium, and working weekends alongside a photographer for many years has assisted with my creativity. This year I would love to attend my local quilting store for sewing lessons and to familiarise myself a little better with my sewing machine.

Do you arrange your scraps? How do you do it?
Admittedly I am rather a neat freak, everything has to have a place and I require great organisation in my life! I have the best bunch of handmaiden friends who often forward me their pretty scraps, which in turn become my treasures. It’s really quite simple – I iron and fold them and place them in a neat little pile. (It’s all about the ironing and folding) For those scraps that I already have yardage of I place them together with their matching yardage so that I know to use the scraps first.

How do you manage building a house, parenthood, work and Oh Baby? Any tips?
Those who know me well know that I like to keep busy, it is just not in my nature to slow down! I think that if you are passionate enough about something you will always manage to find the time for it.

I wake up each and every morning with a smile and a list of expectations in my mind for completion by the end of the day. My determination, drive and enthusiasm assists in the completion of my tasks. It doesn’t always go my way (especially with 2 little children) although I am very fortunate to have the most supportive family who is always more than willing to come to my aid and assist with the girls.

Building a house has been a dream of ours for such a long time and fortunately my husband and I have similar taste – that’s easy!

Parenthood is probably the most challenging role I have faced in my life. Pre-motherhood I may have been a little naive as to the time and tasks involved into being a parent. I strive to be a great Mummy and one whom my girls will look up to and admire. Their needs are always placed first, above and beyond anything else which is why if you knock on my door at midnight that’s when you’ll find me completing the majority of my sewing tasks – when the girls are asleep! I am however, very fortunate that 75% of my work at Oh Baby is hand sewing and I can at times juggle it alongside painting, play doh, building blocks and bath time! My kitchen bench has become a fixed haven for a rotary mat, ruler and cutter, needles and thread and fabric. My ironing board resides adjacent to this area and I cannot remember the last time I folded it up and stored it away!

I’m not afraid to admit that I am the most terrible cook that I know. Thank goodness my husband loves to cook and I love to clean, teamwork is crucial in the everyday positive flow of a household! Not having to prepare and cook meals most certainly allows me more time with the kids and Oh Baby.

Having spent countless hours studying and working in the same busy pharmacy environment for the past 13 years has assisted me to work hard, fast and accurate. I most definitely use these skills each and every day at Oh Baby. At present I only work in my day job one day a week – which has most recently become my ‘recreation time/social life’… I adore my job as much as I adore sewing!

My best advice is to never, ever lose your passion – if you become bored, try something different and always work super hard until you nail it! Don’t bin it, make it work! And just when you think you have gone that extra mile, go a little further and be your own ultimate challenge.

What/Who/Where inspires you?

My husband, our beautiful girls, the online handmade community, feedback and kindness inspire me each and every day.

My husband is the most clever man I know, he has this uninhibited passion to do what he loves – his motivation and desire to be the best he can be inspires me to also strive my hardest to achieve my goals. He often has his head in a book and believes that one should never take knowledge for granted and always open your mind to new things. He has motivated me to challenge myself and evolve my little online business, and never, ever give up!

My girls have shown me a love like no other. I laugh when they laugh, I smile when they smile, they remind me how truly beautiful life really is. I sew from my heart because the smile that is received when my package is delivered and opened will hopefully radiate to another, that is inspiring!

The handmade community and the friendships I have forged as a part of it mean the absolute world to me. These beautiful ladies encourage me to place my all into my designs and dream big. I love their honesty and am a great believer in constructive feedback, that also inspires me to work even harder!

I believe the true essence of humankind is kindness. A genuine, good heart is the greatest gift you can give another. Those who show kindness in what they do are very inspirational and always make a positive difference.

A little inspiration also comes from a good novel written by Richard Branson titled ‘Let’s Not Screw It, Let’s Just Do It’! Learning from another’s success is truly motivational!

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What I Learned About Drafting Dresses from Drug Design.

I never thought I’d find myself talking about pharmacy in a sewing blog but here goes.  First up I should clarify that I studied pharmacy and worked as a pharmacist for 17 years before I got into this sewing caper, so the drug reference isn’t completely random!

For a while, I felt like my pharmacy experience didn’t really help me out much with my sewing passion, they seemed like polar opposites but once I started my handmade business I found that a lot of what I learned about customer service and managing a business was relevant again!

“Everyone’s a customer”- was a customer service rule of a pharmacy chain I once worked for and I think it’s still relevant for my Handmade Business.  Being nice to everyone from the delivery man to the doctor next door (treating everyone as you would a customer) not only makes your day smoother (as people will generally go out of their way to help those who help them) it will increase sales, as when those people need to be customers they’ll be more likely to be your customers.

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On the weekend I went a little nuts and made lots of different dresses because none of them was “perfect”!  The dress I was trying to design – took very little fabric, was very quick and easy to sew, was suitable and comfortable for a child to wear and was completely unique and beautiful – a real show stopper . . . . . . can you see my problem! I can’t think of any dress ever made that would fulfill all these criteria, but still I was disappointed that “it wasn’t working out”!

It was probably obsessing about details (flash backs to my prescription checking days) that made me think about pharmacy & have the light bulb moment that helped me get back on track.  In drug design they talk about the ideal drug being one that is cheap, readily available, 100% effective and with no side effects : turns out I’ve been trying to design the dress equivalent of the ideal drug!

So this week (for sanity’s sake!) I’ve decided to get back to basics – to remember why I’m so so happy to be an enthusiastic sewist rather than a pharmacist.  To dig through my fabric stash and sew because I love it, rather than beating myself up over whether I can design the perfect dress.

Have you learned sewing skills in unexpected places?
What features would your ideal dress have?

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