The Wedding Dress

the wedding dress

the wedding dress


Finally I can reveal the Wedding Dress that I made for my new Sister In Law!  As you can see Jess made a stunning bride.  It was a very special way of being part of the wedding! Very soon I will share with you how I made the dress  – now that the dress is out of the bag 😉 Hope you all had a lovely weekend – I sure did! xx

If you would like to see how I made this dress, check it out here –

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

back of the wedding dress
Jess in her wedding dress – Back view

Chevron painted spool holder


Hi Guys,

I have been busy trying to tidy and organise my study/sewing room/dumping ground/office. And since I have been busy sewing and going to markets and stocking my shop. (which you can visit It has taken me a while to work on. But I have finally finished working on my new spool holder! First I didn’t want to spend any money, so I had use what I had laying around in the garage. So I found a piece of laminated board and got started. I chose blue and red, not to be patriotic but because I had to use spray paint for the laminate and thought mixed together it would be purple, not some other hideous combination!

So – here is what I used, 2 cans of spray paint, laminate board and masking tape, (This was to paint) and long nails and a hammer.

supplies for spool holder
Supplies for spool holder










To make it into a spool holder, I also brought a packet of long nails.

1. First off I cleaned the board, as it had been in the garage for a long time, but also before I painted so the paint stuck to the board.

2. And the decided on a design, I chose chevron but afterward thought that a saying or quote would also be effective. I taped the chevron pattern onto the board.

Taped down pattern
Taped down pattern










3. Once the board was taped off, I went outside to paint. I put down newspaper and the board. I chose a still day as I didn’t want to paint anything and everything. One of my friends paints in an old giant box her fridge came in, which I think is the best idea ever!

4. I painted in long strokes to create a mixed affect. Using blue and red paint so where the colours mixed it made purpleish colour. Allowing to dry for about 4 hours I then carefully moved it inside, so over night it didn’t get possum foot prints all over! Then allowed it completely dry about 24 hours.

First layer of spray paint
First layer of spray paint










Second layer of spray paint
Second layer of spray paint










5. I took off, the tape and realised it probably would of been better to measure my chevron design. But I decided to live with it as once I added the spools of cotton it wouldn’t be overly noticeable!

After tape has been taken off
After tape has been taken off












6.  I then nailed in the long nails.  I nailed then as far as they would go to make sure they could take the weight of the cotton spools.  I started doing this in my study/craft room but because it is upstairs in out house the floor was too bouncy so the nails would start to come out when I started to nail in the nail next to it.  But once I went downstairs the went in very easy.  I nailed them in close together up the top, and the further apart down the bottom for my overlocking thread.

7.  Once I popped all the thread on, it’s done!




summer lounge

summer loungs

summer loungs by monaandolive featuring teal home decor

Tree wall art

Milton King wallpaper

Throw pillow

Faux silk drapery

Feu de Bois Scented Candle
$65 –

Linea teal home decor
$32 –

Throw pillow

Collins Hayes sofa
$3,005 –

Turquoise furniture

Bedroom for little ones in summer

Littles summer bedroom


Littles summer bedroom by monaandolive featuring tribal area rugs

Shabby Chic wood lamp
$48 –

Tribal area rug

Bed sheet

DwellStudio wall art

Plum Bow iron bed frame

How to make you own wedding dress – 15 HOT TIPS

15 hot tips to make you own wedding dress!

Tips to make your own wedding dress
Tips to make your own wedding dress

A couple of years ago I got married, YAY! and I wanted to make my own wedding dress.  I looked around and couldn’t find the exact pattern that I wanted, so I knew I would have to make the pattern and the dress…. A little daunting! And then a good friend told me how her grandma had made her own dress and hadn’t finished it so she wore it down the aisle with pins in it!  This story I knew was going to be me!  So I by a stroke of luck found a very similar dress I wanted in a store closing down in Melbourne after they had been on Project Runway Australia! So I bagged a eBay bargain and altered it to become my dream dress :-)

However I always was a little miffed i didn’t get to make my own dress – however my time has come!  Kind of… My brother is getting married and the always amazing JESS has let me make her dress!  So this is my guide to making your own wedding dress at home.  Even if your aren’t a pro, which I am definitely not!

1.  Find a pattern that is close to what you want.  You may need to use your imagination on how it will look in the white lace number you are wanting, I used a very attractive McCalls bridesmaids pattern from the the 90’s, and both the bride and I are pretty happy with the results.  I brought the pattern off eBay in a bulk pack of a nice older lady Ethel who couldn’t sew anymore.  I got 20+ patterns for $15 and Ethel the dear sent her husband round to hand deliver the goods on the same day! Talk about service, I even got a postage refund!

2.  Make yourself a toile.  A practice run out of cheap fabric, if you are really on a strict budget you could even make it out of your lining.  Cut it out, sew it up (no overlocking), try it on.  Make alterations until it is your dream dress and them unpick it and use that as your pattern when you are cutting out your expensive fabric.  It will take your blood pressure down a bit when you know for sure it is going to fit!  Traditionally the toile would be make out of calico or 100% cotton but I made mine out of poly cotton as it was cheaper and that was the reason we were doing this!  My mum came up with a great idea afterwards, a bed sheet would work well and be cheap!  THIS BY FAR WAS THE BEST THING THAT I DID – DONT SKIP THIS STEP!

3. Be realistic – don’t think you are going to make a dress in a weekend!  You will snap a needle or run out of thread or a million other things, give yourself heaps and heaps of time.  It has taken me about 4 weekends of about 10 hours sewing from start to finish.  You don’t want to be my friends grandma!

4. Buy yourself new machine needles and change them before start sewing so you know they are sharp!  Not sure which ones would be best?  Check this out first –

5. Buy yourself new pins so you don’t accidentally create a run in the $50m satin or worse silk!

6.  Take off your engagement ring if you are using delicate fabric and/or lace.  We don’t want you to become distracted by the amazing rock and dreaming about how much better it will look with your wedding ring BUT also you really don’t want it to snag the fabric or lace, trust me I know the horror!

7. Practice on the fabric before hand. My tension wasn’t right for lace and it looked terrible, I little turn of the dial and it looked pro!  Its worth reading your book or googling it! Mine went from a 2 to a 1 and it made all the difference. (I have a Janome.)

8.  Learn and practice french seams!  A french seam is when you sew you fabric wrong sides together, then trim the fabric seam and turn it again and sew so that the seams are on the inside, but incased.  A great technique if you are using sheer fabrics and don’t want a nice bulky overlocked seam running down the middle of your gown.  It looks great but also makes to more durable and doesn’t rub on the person wearing it – so very popular with babies clothes.  My mum made her wedding dress back in the 1960’s and used french seams on the whole gown, no overlocker in sight.  Even now that dress is still looking like it has another 40 years left in it and mama can still fit into it!

9. Buy your thread and then fill up at least two bobbins – you do not want to run out and not realise.  Then have to unthread your machine to fill a bobbin! A nightmare – be a girl scout and be prepared!!!

10.  Go crazy and use the good scissors – the sharper the better.  If you have to get them sharpened than do that – this is your dream dress and deserved to be treated with respect.

11.  Try it on and then try it on and try it on again.  If I have Jess with me everyday I think she would be trying it on every half an hour – better to try it on too many times and it fits.  Than think you don’t have time, sew it together and it doesn’t fit so you have to make besties with you unpicker.  Or if your lucky enough use a dress model, if your trying to keep costs down – you can make one like here –

12.  Clear out the sewing room/office/laundry/garage where ever you sew.  Don’t take on any other jobs like hemming you husbands jeans.  I don’t care that you have had them for 3 months – you have worn them un-hemmed for that long one more weekend won’t kill you!  Have full concentration on the dress, changing tension and thread and foot etc is unnecessary things that you could forget to change back!

13.  Enjoy it!  It is suppose to be fun, don’t stress, people will think that you are beautiful even if you turn up in a brown paper bag with a safety pinned hem!  Just give yourself a cut off – mine is 4 weeks before the wedding to have it finished by.  That way you can finish it and enjoy everything else without constantly feeling guilty for not hemming this or unpicking that!

14.  Keep your scraps!  Wedding dress fabric scraps make awesome christening gowns or ring pillows.

15. Ask for help!  Don’t think that you have to come up with all the answers.  I have asked all the girls I work with and my mum heaps of questions of what they would do when this or that happens.  Even if they aren’t big sewers a different approach is sometimes all you need.  When in doubt google it!

16. BONUS ADVICE – when your finished put it away.  You don’t want to be staring at it for the following weeks and either get sick of the sight of it or find all the faults in it.  You did the best you could and you will look amazing on the day – trust me!  Every bride does.  Or make yourself a garment bag to store it in (plastic ones aren’t great for long term storage as the fabric doesn’t breathe) out of sight out of mind! Here is one that I made for Jess if your interested in making your own

Keep on the look out for the dress – coming after the big day on the 26 October!  Wish us luck now I have to make my own dress!  Good Luck if you are making your own dress – let me know how it goes!
Check out how I made the dress here –


I poached an egg!

Tonight I poached an egg, not very exciting I hear you say, but for me very!  I LOVE poached eggs but I have for years and years I have totally avoided making anything with this as I thought they were to hard! But I have been wrong, so so wrong! They are easy peasy!

So here is my version of easy poached eggs!

First of all I am a visual learner so I YouTubed it, and found this from Curtis Stone, first because he is an awesome chef but secondly because honestly he is pretty, very easy on the eyes!

Curtis Stone – How to Poach an egg

So after watching Curtis I made my own version up –

I brought my saucepan of water to the boil, and added 4 tablespoons of vinegar (I only had normal white vinegar).

I cracked my egg into a mug first and then slid in into the water

I did this 3 times, into the same water. and they all survived!

I then turned down the water to low, I then let slow boil for 3 minutes.

This gave me three perfect runny POACHED EGGS!!!

I used a slotted spoon to scoop them out and put on my corn and zucchini fritters!


Clean chicken and chickpea casserole

So tonight I made this clean chicken and chickpea casserole.  I don’t eat clean all the time BUT I do like everything about it. So to assist my husbands quest to get healthy I tried something new! (I know I’m amazing :-))

Delicious and Nutritious
mona and olive blog – clean chicken and chickpea casserole

So you need

500g chicken breast or thigh

1 tablespoon mixed herbs

1 sprig rosemary

800g chopped tomatoes

420g chickpea

1/2 cup chicken stock

1 lemon rind

2 small zucchini

4 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoons olive oil


In a large frypan add diced chicken and half the oil, stir until browned completely.

While chicken is cooking in another frypan, add the rest of the olive oil, garlic and herbs. Cook for 30 seconds, and add lemon rind. Cook for another minute.

Add the tomatoes to the herbs, turn down to half heat and allow to simmer.

Once the chicken is cooked add the tomato and herbs to that fry pan.  Add stock and sliced zucchini and chickpeas.

Simmer on low for 30 minutes.



Delicious and Nutritious
Delicious and Nutritious

Prosciutto and Avocado Pasta

easy pasta
Prosciutto and Avocado pasta
The hands done best easy pasta in the world!


OMG!!! This is my favourite go-to pasta.  Easy, fresh and perfect as a summer or winter dish! I made it last night and I want it again for dinner tonight!  It’s easy, filling, crispy, salty and avocado-y all in one!  A winner I think.  I got the original recipe from my sister-in-law, but I lost it but its so easy you can make it up as you go along!  I think that she got it from an Avocado Australia flyer in the supermarket, so I can’t take the credit for it – but it is too good not to share!

You need:

80 grams of sliced prosciutto (about 5 slices)

juice of 1-2 lemons (1 mild, 2 a little zesty!)

2 avocados

250g fettucini

40 ml olive oil

How to put it together:

Boil water for pasta, season as you normally would (I add a dash of oil and a pinch of salt)

While waiting to boil, slice up the prosciutto to be 1/2 inch strips

Add pasta to boiling water, cook as packet describes (10-14 mins)

In a little saucepan, fry the prosciutto on medium-high heat until crispy

Cut avocado and dice into pieces, add into bowl.

Juice the lemons and add to avocado.

Stir in the oil and coat avocado.

Drain pasta, place in serving bowl.  Put the avocado and lemon mixture into the bowl and stir to coat.

Add the crispy prosciutto.

You can add shaved parmesan on top if you like cheese on your pasta – but I don’t think it needs it!




Serves 4 people!

easy pasta
Prosciutto and Avocado pasta

What is your go-to quick and easy dish??

travel plans – the south of USA

18 months ago my husband and I went to the USA for the first time and fell in love!  We truly loved everything about it, and when we came home were devastated to come back to our boring lives! haha but we thought that I would be a while before we could go back to our new favourite place!  But for this Christmas I have managed by some stroke of luck to convince CJ take me back!  I know I am a lucky girl!

So with only 99 work days left until we leave, I thought I would share our ideas so far of our “trip of a lifetime” take 2! So this time we have decided to go through the South, thinking when we go back (we may have kidlets… eek) and so driving for hours and days may not be family friendly! This is our plan so far… We will drive from LA to Miami and them fly to NYC and from there to Las Vegas!

Our preposed trip, so far.  still 6 months left or 99 work days!
Our preposed trip, so far. still 6 months left or 99 work days!
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