Introducing Elaina

As promised this blog is about my sewing escapades. After downsizing recently, I have embarked on a life of minimalism. I hear those who know me well, tittering into their handkerchiefs’.

For your information, when you have spent years gathering treasures, a china cabinet or two, art for Africa, a television in every room, mountains of magazines, bulging bookcases, hundreds of dressmaking patterns and so on and so forth. Moving into a much smaller dwelling is a drama. Stuff was sold, thrown out or given away. By the time I came to my expansive wardrobe my enthusiasm was at an all-time low and I moved the lot!

Three years later and my wardrobe still bulges. My recent sewing foray has highlighted the need to cull. A clean out is on the list.

Back to Elaina. I have always wanted a mannequin, a little helper. Late last year, a dear friend offered me the use of her mannequin. Wow, what a revelation. Fortunately the dress form, once adjusted, is very close to my shape. Over the last half century, I love saying that, I have sewn countless dresses, shirts, coats, skirts and trousers. How I’ve struggled over the years with hems on dresses, lining coats and getting that dam collar to sit perfectly. Along comes Elaina!

So here we go. Elaina, wearing Sorbetto from Colette Patterns — Sewing Patterns That Teach. A free digital download, my first pdf pattern. As you can see from the following photos I am thrilled with the results. Colette Patterns come with comprehensive tutorials and wonderful handy tips on how to add detail to your creations.


This was my mock up destined for the bin, I decided to finish it.



Elaina wearing Laurel from Colette Patterns. A very comfortable shift dress, made from a piece of fabric I picked up at a local hospice shop. With no zip I managed to get away with a little bow closure at the back. Bias tape is frequently used on Colette garments; previously I would have purchased the tape. After reading one of their helpful tutorials I now make my own tape, saving lots of money. Leftover bias tape is very handy, I’ve used it to make bows.




Before I go any further let me just say I am not a professional seamstress, just a girl who learnt to sew through necessity and never stopped, except when I was way too busy. Anyway back to the story. Having run out of fabric I visited Centrepoint Fabrics Ltd and yippee they were having a sale. Wool blend fabric for a winter jacket and stretch velvet for my favourite Vogue pants. Mindful of the fact that I am not earning I stuck to my budget and proceeded to leave the shop, that was until I spotted fur fabric at $10.00 per metre. Needless to say I chose the most outlandish print, buying enough for a winter coat. Bring on the snow!

To cut a long story short, even though the weather here is still warm, with exceptionally high humidity, I made the fur coat. Fluff flew everywhere; breathing through my nose I survived the process.



Lining the coat was more problematic. Trying to be clever I machine sewed the lining in, big mistake. The coat developed this unappealing curl across the front. The lining was unpicked, recut and hand sewn in, I couldn’t have done it without Elaina.


Still need to sew on fur hooks, no rush, the weather is stormy and very humid.


A blouse made from a piece of vintage fabric I picked up at the annual Alexandra Park Vintage Textile Fair.


If you have been following my blog you’ll realise I’m obsessed with cushions, my latest fad blanket cushions. Here are three more I’ve just completed.


They are a little ray of sunshine on a very dark and gloomy day. It’s stormy outside, Cyclone Debbie is wreaking havoc. Fortunately she left all her puff behind in Australia.

A bit off the topic. I’m rather proud of this cheap and cheerful solution to a landscaping problem. A messy corner of the garden has been transformed. Two old ceramic pots painted blue, turned upside down and white paint dribbled over the sides. Voila!


After a brief respite from the torrential rain , black threatening clouds are rolling in from the south west. The man is excited by the forked lightning he’s just seen and Toffee’s restless because she wants to play hide and seek. Enough of this light hearted stuff, I’d better go and take up the man’s jeans.

Ka kite ano.


About SharynFlack

Wife, Mother, Teacher (Relief), Frustrated Writer, Part Time Artist, Problem Solver
This entry was posted in Blanket cushions, Craft project, Home, Sewing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Introducing Elaina

  1. Libby Nunn says:

    Hi Sharyn….love this blog, you’ve got me hooked! Want to read all your posts now 😂

    • SharynFlack says:

      Thank you Libby, now that I have the luxury of time I’m trying to write more. Use it or lose it! Enjoy. I have my next post in the draft stage. Best wishes Sharyn

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