I love Grainline Archer shirts

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completed / Grainline / Sewing / shirt

Two Grainline Archer shirts - green cotton flannel and polka dot chambray


When I first started sewing, I always wondered what would be that pattern that I would use over and over again.  It’s interesting because when I first started I thought a gorgeous dress (maybe  Colette’s Hawthorn?) would be that pattern, but I was totally wrong.  It was a time when I wasn’t very clear on my style.

Turns out I love button down shirts, and I’ve made 4 Grainline Archers to date.  My two most recent ones is a green cotton flannel one and a polka dot chambray one.  I love them so much.  I haven’t got any photos of the flannel because it needs a good ironing, and I can’t be bothered to iron.


I have made extensive modifications on the Archer because the original boyfriend-y cut of the shirt really drowned my petite figure.  I generally prefer a more slim cut button down shirt.  So I cut one size smaller than the recommended, shortened the shirt by about 2.5 cm, shortened the sleeve by about 3cm, and drafted more of a waist (took in about 1.5cm on each side at the waist).  I think for my next shirts I’m going to take the pleats out of the sleeve because I like the look of a slimmer sleeve.

I’ve also stuck with my resolution to try to sew more basics.   These are probably a bit too colourful for basics, but the silhouette is a staple in my wardrobe, and plus I’m finally using up a lot of fabric in my stash.


A tip if you plan on sewing a ton of shirts: get a stitch in the ditch foot (also called edgestitch/joining stitch foot) for your machine.  I got one and that is how I get the ridiculously neat narrow topstitching on the plackets.  Best foot purchase ever.



25th Birthday

comments 6

Well it’s a quarter of a century today.

When I was 24 I got a job (a one month job that I have been very lucky to have been extended to one year now!) and got engaged.

I’ve had fantastic friends, family, coworkers and dogs (well, one dog) behind me.

So here’s to hopefully a fantastic 25 years old :).

I hope 25 will be just as good.




Cleaning out all my makeup

comments 12
Beauty / makeup

It’s June and I’m moving at the end of the year and getting married next May (which includes sewing my dress and DIY-ing all my invitations and decorations).


So I thought I’d start extra early on cleaning stuff out for easier moving later, starting with my makeup.  I have makeup that is years old which needs to go.  The problem is I always get emotional with my stuff, especially the stuff with cute packaging, so it’s tough to throw out.  I have found recently though that if I take a photo of it before I throw it out, I’m more OK with it, so I thought I’d blog post my makeup before I throw it out.  I also sorted the makeup into stuff I love, ‘meh’, or ‘blargh’ to help me sort out what needed to go.

Most of this stuff is gone now actually and I’ve bought new stuff to replace some of it, I’ll show it off another day.




Everyday Minerals Base in ‘Medium Beige Neutral’ –  I actually use this almost everyday but somehow it’s lasted me about 3 years.  They don’t even make this stuff anymore, so I won’t talk about liking it.

Palgangtong Theatrical Powder – Really good budget loose powder for oily days.

Etude House Precious Bright Fit BB cream in ‘Sand Beige’  – Medium coverage BB cream, great for bad skin days.

Stila Stay All Day 10 in 1 HD Beauty Balm – Light coverage BB cream, great for good skin days.  I usually use this mixed with the Etude House BB.

Hourglass No.28 Primer Serum – This thing has ruined me for cheaper primers.  Leaves skin so silky smooth.


Maybelline Super Stay Concealer – too drying but good for the price.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer – this doesn’t really conceal but good for the price.

Sana Pore Putty BB Cream ‘Moist Type” – when worn alone it leaves a gorgeous deathly pallor over the face.  Hot.  But it is a surprisingly good primer, so ‘meh’.


Etude House Face Conditioning Cream – I don’t get along with this even though the rest of the internet seems to like it.  Makes my face look like an oil slick.

Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pink Transformer – I don’t understand this product, it does literally nothing.

Bourjois Flower Perfection Primer – too drying and did nothing for makeup longevity.






NYX brow powder in ‘Blonde’ –  I wouldn’t actually put this on any blonde person, it’s quite dark.  Apart from that I use this stuff daily.

Heroine Make “Impact Frame” mascara – My favourite ‘night out’ mascara.  Very black and very voluminous.  The brush is unwieldy though.

Heroine Make “Volume and Curl” mascara – My favourite day time mascara, does exactly what it advertises.

Makemania Data eyeliners – Great pigment and staying power.

Inglot Eyeshadow – They don’t make this anymore either, but it was a great jawline contour.


Shiseido Integrate Accent Eyes eyeshadow in ‘BR730’ – I so rarely use eyeshadow that it’s not really fair for me to review this stuff.

Kate Deep Trap Eyes eyeshadow in ‘BR-2’ – These eyeshadow names are ridiculous.  Same as above.

Kate Gradical Eyes eyeshadow in ‘BR-3’ – Same as above again.

Maybelline colour tattoo in ‘Taupe’ – I don’t play well with cream shadows, so I could never get this to look good on me, but the colour payoff is great.

FITS Love Switch Pink Brown eyeliner – I love the colour but the application isn’t buttery smooth :(.

Daiso Eyebrow Powder – It’s surprisingly not too bad for $2.80, but you get what you pay for.

Heroine Make Smooth liquid eyeliner – Really, really fine-tipped brush which isn’t forgiving on a shaky day.  Formula also bleeds a tiny bit.

Sana Maiko-Han liquid eyeliner – Opposite of the Heroine make one – good brush but formula is a tad on the sheer side.


MSH Love Eyescream eyeliner – smudge city, and not in a good way.

Za Perfect Action mascara – makes my eyelashes flop.  It’s a shame because I love Za’s Killer Volume mascara.






Tony Moly Water Jelly Tint in ‘Pomegranate’ – I also used to have ‘Strawberry’ which I loved more.  I think they’ve discontinued this which is awful, I love this stuff.  Left me looking really healthy.

Etude House Water Color blusher  in ‘Strawberry Pink’– It’s a creamy, milky gel with nice colour payoff.  Very sweet looking.


Bourjois Baked Blush in ’48 Cendre de Rose Brune’ – It’s ok, but I’m not a fan of powder blush so I’m being biased here.  I probably just butchered the French there too, sorry about that.

Etude House Nymph Aura Jelly Tint blusher in ‘No.1’  – Not pigmented enough for my dark skin, but left a nice dewy finish on the cheeks.


Face Shop Jelly Pong Pong  – Really cute packaging but not enough pigment and the stay time was awful.  Very dry formula too for blush sticks.


Bronzers/Face Contour powders


Sleek Face Contour Kit in ‘Medium’ – Love the contouring powder but the highlight is a bit too dramatic.

Canmake Shading Powder – Love this contouring powder too.  Lighter and more natural than the Sleek one.


The Balm ‘Bahama Mama’ Bronzer – Very normal matte bronzer.  Leaves me looking a little muddy.






Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in ‘Hibiscus’ – my absolute favourite tinted balm.

Bourjois Colour Boost Lip Crayons – I have the red and fuschia, both gorgeous on a night out.


Kit Lip Glaze in ‘Big Night Out’ – Meh staying time, but looks good when it’s on.

Maybelline Tinted Baby Lips in ‘Lolita’ – This colour is not for cool toned skin.  Good formula but made me look dull.


Rilakkuma Lip Balm – I hate to put Rilakkuma in the ‘blargh’ column but this lip balm just isn’t good.

Tony Moly Petite Bunny Gloss Bars – Adorable but terrible stay time and had a weird texture on the lips.


Maybe it’s because I’m turning 25 two weeks, but I’ve never really reflected on my makeup before.  I used to just buy whatever looked good without thinking about whether I’ll use it or not or even thinking about personal style.  I’ve now realised that I pretty much never wear eyeshadow, not even on night outs so there is no use buying more eyeshadow.  I do wear a ton of eyeliner though.  I rarely wear pigmented lip items either because it’s just impossible to eat with it on, and I am all for practicality.  I do usually use up all my face stuff and cheek tints.  I guess the point is if anyone sees me at a shop with eyeshadow in hand, knock it out of my hand and don’t let me buy it.  I’ll probably wear it once tops.




Coco Top #2 – Red striped colourblock

comments 4
completed / Sewing / Sewing Patterns / shirt / t-shirt / Tilly and the Buttons


This is my second Coco by Tilly and the Buttons which I actually made a while ago now.  I’ve just been super lazy with completed sewing posts.

This is my proudest top yet.  The whole top is made from my fabric leftover stash so super economical too.


I just hate how bra straps are so visible in boatneck shirts though.  I love a good boatneck but bra straps are just tacky.



Pattern wise, most of the details can be found in my first Coco post.  I did shorten the top by about 2cm for my 160cm body and took approximately 1.5cm off the width of the hem so it didn’t flare out as much.  That was mostly because I didn’t have enough fabric to accommodate the full hem, but I think it looks better this way too.


Mini review of all my sewing marking tools

comments 2
notions / review - sewing stuff / Sewing


Every time I go to a sewing store, I leave with some sort of marking tool.  It’s like every time I go out, I take nail polish home with me.  It’s a mystery of life.

I figured I’d write a mini review of every marking tool I own since I have so many.

1. Clover ChacoPel marking pencils:

These are a recent addition to my pencil collection.  These are great and incredibly pigmented.  The only thing that annoys me is they’re quite soft so they wear through quickly and need to be sharpened often.

They’re also a tad pricey too at $12 for a pack of 3 here in Australia.

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2. Clover Chacopel – Water Soluble Type

The point of these is you can use water to erase markings made with this pencil, but I think they’re the same as the normal Chacopels.  They don’t seem any more easily erasable with water.  The water solubles seem a touch softer than the normal Chacopels.  I think the only big difference between the two is the water solubles look cuter with their polka dots.

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3. Clover Chaco Liners

My favourite marking tools ever.  I talked about them here.  They’re chalk filled cartridges dispensed by a very fine chalk wheel.  I love the precision and pigmentation.  The downside is they’re so expensive at $17.95 AUD at Spotlight, but the cartridges are refillable.

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4. Daiso Water Erasable Fabric Marking Pen

These are fantastic!  There are tons of water erasable markers out there, but none of them for just $2.80AUD.  Plus they’ve got finer points than most brands which is awesome.  The only downside is they don’t work on dark fabrics (no ink based pen would) but they’re sometimes a bit too pigmented on light fabrics and will bleed through.  You can’t press these with an iron either – if you do, it’s very, very difficult to get the markings out.


5. Sewline Styla Pen

Like the Daiso one but much fancier and more expensive.  This one is lighter in pigmentation but I think this is intentional to avoid the bleed through effect.


6. Daiso Handicraft Pen

This thing is terrible.  I don’t understand it.  The package says it dispenses chalk to mark on dark fabrics, but in reality it’s inky and doesn’t mark anything.  Awful.




My very favourite is probably the Clover Chaco Liners but to be honest, I mark with whatever is around.  I just like to collect these things for fun, but sometimes I just use 2B pencils.