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January 10, 2019
2019 ideas from Susan P Blog

I actually think this is the first time I write ‘2019’ anywhere, and it is already the 10th of January! Yes, it is here. It arrived quietly in our house where everyone went to bed around 10 ish. I was awake at midnight to send messages to my children spread all over the world, and to family in South Africa

The year started with us giving the lounge and computer room a good clean. We washed the carpets, washed windows, polished everything, the new curtains (which I bought early in 2018) went up. Rubbish into the rubbish bags. It looks ...

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July 23, 2018
Pinafores and bloomers from Susan P Blog

I don’t think I have to say much – the photos are enough </p>
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July 20, 2018
Sneak peak…….bloomers from Susan P Blog

I am making little sets for a friend whose daughter is expecting twin girls later this year. Decided to use the same fabric for both sets and just smock with different colours, and use different coloured ribbons. For the first time I am deciding how to make the dresses based on the diaper covers (or bloomers, as I feel like saying). Here is a sneak peak of the beginning of the little sets </p>
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July 18, 2018
Baby present from Susan P Blog

I find it difficult to make boy things and therefore it is always a challenge to put together a gift for a baby boy. Decided to make a nappy/diaper bag with lots of pockets and just add some diapers, knitted cardigan and booties (yes!!!!! I knitted those!) and a smocked romper.

Next time I will make the bag a bit bigger, but in general it is very practical. Hope the new mum loves it

Several years ago I bought a sewing magazine with a lovely smocked dress on the cover – I specifically bought the magazine because of the dress ...

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July 13, 2018
Once again – biopsy time :( from Susan P Blog

It just seems as if my body has to try something new every single year. And of course, 2018 is another such a year. I’ve had this ‘spot’ on my arm for a long time, there is a similar one on my foot. Just a pale, flat spot. Two weeks ago the one on my arm came alive ……….swollen, red, itchy, bigger, angry. Every night I told myself to make an appointment to see the doctor, every day I ignored it. To be honest, I was scared and worried. Decided yesterday morning it cannot continue like this and called ...

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July 9, 2018
Labels…….. from Susan P Blog

label bag

I feel like a grownup, although I have been one for longer than I can remember. The reason? My own little logo and labels!!!!!! Yes, I now have a label to sew on the smocked dresses – with my own logo, the care instructions and ‘made in New Zealand’. I also have a smaller label with only my logo, to use on bags and other needlework. Oh, and I nearly forgot – teeny weeny little size labels for the dresses. No, I am still not going to sell the dresses, but it will be nice to get my name out there – a ...

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June 2, 2018
Smocking from Susan P Blog

Before totally moving into quilting mode I made a couple of dresses this week. One for a friend who gave me the fabric. And the other just because I felt like it. I have one more already pleated, ready to be smocked

For the blue dress I combined smocking, beads, buttons and the embroidery machine. Love how it turned out

Not totally in love with this one, but I think it came out ok. Hope my friend will be happy with it

Winter is here and poor Mollie is cold. She threw out fabric to make room for herself in ...

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April 23, 2018
Um, um and yep, nope, maybe……… from Susan P Blog

I embroidered a pair of booties to go with a little romper, for a pregnant friend. After lots of umming and yep and nope I decided I wasn’t 100% happy with those and embroidered a new set of booties this weekend

These are the first ones, but I decided it wasn’t done well enough to be gifted


Now I am happy and the set will be gifted to the pregnant mum this weekend. These are the new booties and they are perfect!


I have smocked for a very long time and still enjoy doing it. Wish I knew ...

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April 18, 2018
Busy smocking weeks from Susan P Blog

The weather has been quite miserable here, with lots of rain, and it is getting cold. I am also still (trying) toilet-training a puppy and therefore decided to just spend time in the sewing room which allowed me to keep a close eye on her

One of the students I taught about 10 years ago is expecting a little baby boy and I made some rompers so that I can give her one for the new baby. I had enough fabric for four rompers and decided to use all the fabric, instead of saving the rest for another day


I ...

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April 7, 2018
LOVE my embroidery machine!!!! from Susan P Blog

I wish I bought one years and years ago – you can make such beautiful stuff with it. This week I embroidered little booties to go with a smocked romper. Sooooooo pretty!


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March 20, 2018
Knitting (what??????) from Susan P Blog

It is no secret that knitting is not something I enjoy very much, but every single winter I take out the knitting needles and knit – and the moment I cast on the stitches I think ‘why on earth am I doing this again?’

Yes, I bought wool. It wasn’t an impulse buy. It was carefully planned and I even made a list. What is wrong with me???????

This is what I bought. And the colour combination looks a bit weird but I am actually planning two little cardigans. No, not one…….TWO!

I am also planning a new smocking ...

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March 19, 2018
Dress photo from Susan P Blog

How beautiful is this little girl? One of the photos with the dress I made for the fabric designer

Bec dress

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March 3, 2018
Fabric drama from Susan P Blog

A fabric designer asked me to make a dress with her new fabric for a photoshoot. All good, of course I’ll do it. Especially when she said she’ll pay me in fabric </p>
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February 27, 2018
Lace Hydrangeas and floral fabric from Susan P Blog

A fabric designer asked me to make a smocked dress for a photoshoot, using fabric from her new designs. Since she asked me I have been planning and thinking and making the dress over and over…………I even embroidered small lace flower petals

And today the fabric arrived. It is beautiful; so delicate; so gorgeous …….. I am actually a bit speechless. She asked for a specific type of dress, but the fabric told me it wanted to be something else, luckily she agreed that I can use my judgement as long as it is flowy and beautiful


It has been ...

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February 21, 2018
Cyclone Gita dress from Susan P Blog

When I heard the first warning about Cyclone Gita I mentally made a list of things I had to do:

  • emergency supplies
  • kit for the animals if we have to evacuate
  • pack a bag
  • charge phones and iPads
  • water
  • food supplies
  • secure everything
  • prepare bedrooms just in case we have to make room for people evacuated from their homes (when we lived in SA the town was snowed in one winter and my husband brought 3 random families home who needed a warm bed)

But I also wondered about the house:

  • should I clean? If we get storm damage random ...

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February 14, 2018
Dress request from Susan P Blog

I love it when my children ask me to make dresses for pregnant friends and workmates. My eldest son asked for a teal dress for a girl who works with him. She expects a little girl in a couple of weeks. I finished the whole set today and will be sending it to him by courier. Hope he is happy and I hope the new mum likes the dress


The market stall is happening this coming Sunday. I plan to embroider some dish towels tomorrow and then I am done for the stall. Just have to put a prize on ...

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February 8, 2018
Freestanding lace from Susan P Blog

I had an idea – which meant that I didn’t fall asleep until 2:30 am – because I kept on planning it all out, over and over. Feeling tired this morning, with a huge headache because of lack of sleep. But immediately parked myself in front of the embroidery machine and embroidered a lace butterfly. This one is tiny, only 5cm from the tip of one wing to the other

This was the first time I have tried Freestanding Lace on the embroidery machine, but I am sure it is not going to be the last. Lesson learnt with the ...

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February 7, 2018
Storms, repairs and dresses from Susan P Blog

We had huge storms here in New Zealand. Lots of rain and flooding, with very strong winds. In town we had lots of damage, with roofs off and trees down. At our home we thought we got of lightly with only the fig tree ripped from the ground. But when I went to bed a few night ago I could hear knocking every time the wind blew. I first blamed the cats and went to check what they were up to. Just imagine my shock when I saw the whole frame moving away from the house by about 5 cm ...

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January 22, 2018
Special dress completed from Susan P Blog

This was one of the most difficult dresses I have ever made, from pleating to completing. I haven’t stitched French seams since high school – and then decided I need French seams for this dress. Yes, it was worth it </p>
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January 20, 2018
Special dress update from Susan P Blog

Finished the smocking for the little bishop neckline dress, just have to embroider the flowers and then block and make the dress. I really love it. The photos do not capture how beautiful it is. Just hope the neckline will work out when I make the dress


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