Thursday, 7 April 2016


Seasons change and so do life's circumstances.  It's advisable from time to time to sit back and consider what is really important - sometimes the answer comes as quite a surprise.

I created Hot Fudge back in 2008 and opened my Etsy shop shortly after.  At the time we were living in Brisbane and a group of local Etsy sellers, about 16 in all, got together over coffee and cake.  It was such a success that it was unanimously decided that we should form a local group of Etsy sellers and thus BrisStyle was born.

We took a few baby steps towards organising a market to test the waters, and the rest is history.  BrisStyle is now a household name in Brisbane and the Twilight Market at King George Square is the place to be.  I am so proud to have been there at that first gathering and to see how far it has advanced.

Meanwhile, my Etsy and Madeit stores expanded and along with my stall at the BrisStyle markets, I was quite contented with the way my little business was growing.  I never wanted the it to become so big that I would have had to employ outside help, so I deliberately kept it manageable.

In 2011, after nearly 21 years in Brisbane (plus a four year period in the early 1980s), we decided to return to our hometown, Sydney.  The time was right, as the bulk of our family and our old friends were there and we were not getting any younger.  It meant leaving behind our son and his family which was a terrible wrench and it did take some soul-searching.  We were also leaving behind those loyal Brisbane friends who had stood by us through particularly difficult times.

It's now going on five years since that move and we are happy and contented with our decision.  Our lives are full of family and old friends and we are constantly grateful to have reached this stage of our lives.

And now to that detour.  Over the past few months a little voice has been whispering to me, advising me to slow down and make some changes in my life. I had just turned some ridiculous age and I made a mental list of what was important to me and what I wanted to achieve in 2016.  It was a no-brainer - family always comes first, closely followed by friends. One branch of the family is going through a stressful time, while a dear friend in Tasmania is seriously ill, and this has led us to do some travelling over the past month.

There will be more trips ahead which means I cannot devote as much time as I would need to keep my children's clothing business up to speed.  That little voice was also telling me how much I missed the time I used to have quilting, so I have undertaken two quilting projects which should (ha ha!) be complete by the end of the year.

 As a result, I have decided to cease the clothing side of my business and concentrate on the things that need to be done on a personal level.  However, I am continuing Hot Fudge, making designer garlands and bunting.  They are popular seasonal items, particularly around Christmas and Easter, and with a nod to Matisse with his cutouts, I have to continue doing something creative.

I have removed all made-to-order items from my Etsy store and am in the process of adjusting my Madeit site.  All that I have left in the way of children's clothing is what I have in stock. Here's an opportunity to take a look and if you see something that you like and it is in the right size, please grab it, even if it is for next Christmas (eek!), because once they are gone, they are gone, I'm afraid.

Are you still there?  So sorry for the lengthy post, but it's not the sort of decision I make every day.

Thank you so much for your support over the years and don't forget, if you need garlands in your life, you know where I am.

Oh, and a big thank you to those wonderful photographers and their models, particularly Sara of Boutique Baby Photography and her two gorgeous little girls, Lyric and Kay. You are so talented and you brought my clothes to life.


Sunday, 17 January 2016

Sew Your Stash

Happy New Year, albeit a little late.

One of the websites I follow is Pattern Revolution which is devoted to all things sewing.  They commenced 2016 with a challenge to Sew Your Stash which involved sewing a garment using fabric from your stash and a pattern you had purchased but never used.  It was as if Lord Kitchener was pointing his finger right at me and I had to enlist.

I rummaged through my fabric stash and came across these two fabrics which I had been keeping aside for goodness knows what.  I bought them from a lovely fabric store owner who visited our quilting group some time last year.  There were two half metre pieces of the floral fabric and one half metre of the spots.  They were all she had brought with her in these designs, so I grabbed them quickly.  The overalls jumper pattern had been on my list of must-make items for a little while and somehow the two seemed to be made for each other.  It's fairly sturdy fabric, despite the delicateness of the design, so it was ideal for the project in hand.

This is my version of the overalls - I must admit I was pretty happy with the result. The pattern is packed full of detailed sewing, so it was not something that I could whip up in half an hour. Let's begin with the pockets.

It's hard to miss the one at the front.

There are also two handy ones at the back.

Not to mention the side pockets.

I love the back view.

All the seams are top stitched.

And it looks great with a blouse, tee or knit.

All in all I feel happy with the result and it was the perfect start to the new sewing year.  I made a size 4 and sadly my youngest grandchild is 6, but even if he was 4, I doubt he would be too keen to wear it.  So I'll put it up for sale and if it generates enough interest, I can source some more of the two fabrics and will make it to order.

Next on the list is a sweet dress for Valentine's Day, or any day really.  It's good to be sewing again.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Closed for Christmas and the New Year

Images: Boutique Baby Photography
Oh no - you're a little late.

Hot Fudge has closed for the Christmas/New Year break.

Oh my, I can see something I REALLY want!

I could just cry.

But all is not lost.

Hot Fudge will re-open mid-January 2016 and you can buy my dress for your own little princess.

So have a very happy Christmas and I'll see you in the New Year.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Ah, Christmas

Maybe I've spoken too soon, but I think we can safely say that summer has finally arrived.

Which means it was time for our annual pilgrimage to the city to do a little shopping.  First stop was the Queen Victoria Building, full of such tempting goodies.

The Christmas tree never fails to amaze us,  Take a look here  to watch the tree come to life.

So much bling - so many Swarovski crystals - surely they wouldn't miss a strand or two ...

Why didn't they have toy shops like this when I was a wee tot?  Oh yes, there was a war on.

Oh to be four again!

No trip to the city at this time of the year is complete without a visit to the food hall of our favourite department store.

You can keep the Amaretti (not really) - I'll settle for the tin.

Guess who thought he could smuggle these home without me seeing them?  Wrong.

What a fun time we had.  I think we'll have to do it again.

The last of the custom orders were mailed out on Friday and now I can finally breathe again.  However, there's still a little time to order some ready-to-ship items if you hurry.

These are just a few of my ready-to-ship items.  If you take a look through my Etsy or MadeIt stores, I am sure you will find something you will fall in love with.  They are in specific sizes, but I will have most of them available made-to-order in the New Year.

Happy shopping and I do hope you all have the most wonderful Christmas with your family and friends.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Testing times

We're rapidly racing towards the end of another year.  I know it's a cliché, but what happened?  Surely last week it was Christmas Day; then wasn't it just a few days ago that we farewelled our daughter and son-in-law on their great overseas adventure?  Throw into the mix various meet-ups with dear friends, a meeting or two with my quilting group, a few lunches with my brother, and now you're telling me that we're less than a month away from Christmas.

I know it's close to Christmas because I'm busy, and that's usually the sign.  When I was the age of my grandchildren the space between one Christmas and the next was a whole lifetime, and now in my dotage it's like stepping onto a roller coaster.

Pattern: Tie Dye Diva

And there have been testing times, but good testing times.  Tie Dye Diva has to be my favourite PDF pattern platform, because I know how thoroughly all Jen's patterns are tested before they are released to the public for sale. For this reason I was delighted to be included in the testing team for the latest patterns, the Ringmaster Top (above) and pants (below).  

Both garments were thoroughly tested by the team for sizes ranging from 1 to 10 and after many adjustments, they were released to One Thimble, an e-Zine which is packed with wonderful articles and many PFF patterns.  

The theme for One Thimble's current issue is the circus and my house model (who happens to call me Grandma) enthusiastically entered into the spirit.

Pattern: Tie Dye Diva

Not to rest on her laurels, Jen then asked her team to test her latest pattern, Garnet, again in sizes 1 to 10.  The pattern can be made as a dress with knit top and woven fabric skirt and collar, an all-knit dress, long or short sleeves, knit top and separate skirt.  Oh, and the full circle skirt can be made with one fabric or with panels.  Quite a lot packed into the one PDF pattern.


With the warmer weather approaching, I chose the dress option with short sleeves to test.  Although the skirt fabric is geometric, it worked well cut as a full circle.

I rarely sew with knit fabric, but this pattern takes all the worry away and with such clear and helpful instructions, it was an easy sew.

It even passed the tree climbing test.  The pattern is now available at Tie Dye Diva's website and you can find it here

And now I am super busy getting out orders before Christmas.  All made-to-order items will close next Friday 4 December, as I cannot guarantee that they will reach their destination in time after that date.

There is a two week turnaround on this adorable Christmas dress, sizes 1 to 8, but I do have it currently in stock in size 3.  It is available on my Etsy and MadeIt shops. 

Christmas skirts have been popular this year and I do have a limited number in stock ready to ship, but they are selling fast.

My Christmas Tree garlands are flying out the door and they make the perfect gift for those who you may find difficult to buy for.  They are particularly popular as teacher gifts.

What am I doing here?  It's back to the machine before I find myself heading at a dazzling pace towards Christmas 2016.