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  • Made to Last Book: A Compendium of Artisans, Trades and Projects

    on Dec 13, 17 in News by with Comments Off on Made to Last Book: A Compendium of Artisans, Trades and Projects

    A year ago the writer Vanessa Murray emailed me to see if I’d like to be included in her book about makers. Here is the result. Made to Last, a compendium of Artisan, Trades and Projects is a completely awesome, beautiful and useful book profiling 50 makers in a broad range of mediums from across the planet.
    I’m completely humbled and excited about being included. The book not only shows off our frequently hidden faces but drills down into our processes and motivations. Each maker has a DIY detailed which has been lots of fun to read through and try. I’m currently obsessing over the Fire Cider and Handmade globes.

    The Commuter Pannier is my featured product, Vanessa drew out of me all the processes and tools involved and included is a How-To guide on how to make a super simple and cheap pannier bag. The canvas colour that is featured is from an extremely limited supply of fabric that is 1970’s French Dickson canvas. It makes me nearly weep joy everytime I look at it.

    Thanks to @Hardiegrantbooks for publishing Vanessa’s vision and hard work. A big thanks also to my gorgeous friend Erica Lauthier for spending time with me to take the beautiful photos.
    Castlemaine stockists include @cornerstoremerchants and Stonemans Bookroom. I’ve also spied it at a bunch of other fantastic bookstores around so it shouldn’t be too hard to find.

    Here is a link to buy online at Readings. Because I like Readings and I live no where near it.


    Made to Last book

    Made to Last book


    Vintage Canvas Pannier - Made to Last book

    Vintage Canvas Pannier – Made to Last book

    Cathy Parry portrait - Made to Last book

    Cathy Parry portrait – Made to Last book

    Made to Last book

    Made to Last book

    Made to Last book

    Made to Last book


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  • Coverall Apron Inspiration & Philosophy

    on Jun 23, 17 in Making know-how by with Comments Off on Coverall Apron Inspiration & Philosophy

    Coverall Apron in use

    I’m very excited about the coverall apron.  It’s design is one of those stories that encapsulates alot of the design process, where we don’t need to constantly reinvent the wheel, but rather be inspired by the work of others and respectfully come up with our own iterations.

    This particular idea came from a Readers Digest Sewing book from 1976 (one of my favourite years for fashion). Alongside a project for a giant pencil cushion, denim foam furniture and a checkerboard beach towel, there is a pink denim garden apron.

    My version of the apron is the one I use in the workshop on a daily basis. Wearing an apron that covers front and back means I can wear whatever I like to work without worrying that I’ll destroy and age my clothes prematurely. Aprons also make you feel like you’re at work. When worn at home also mean that you can work from the kitchen, to the garden to doing nothing at all without changing out of your designer denim jeans. I think kitchen aprons are well understood, but workshop and garden aprons aren’t used quite so much now.

    My iteration of this design has changed quite a few elements to make the apron work well on a daily basis. The pocket, front attachment point, back strap arrangement are all simplified, and I’ve added the side openings for ease of removal as well as giving the option for extensions to the sides to make it larger. The book has one of those 70’s grid patterns that you’re supposed to enlarge on grid paper. I don’t know if these was something wrong with my grid, but it came out pretty tiny ;), So completely drawing up the apron had to also be done. It’s actually taken me a good couple of years between inspiration, prototypes, problem solving to being able to make a few for sale to spread the Readers Digest Complete Guide to sewing love.

    Here endth the apron lesson.

    And now for the pictures:




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  • Now selling webbings and notions.

    on Jun 14, 17 in News by with Comments Off on Now selling webbings and notions.

    At Industrial Sewing Workshop we’ve chosen all our webbings and fasteners really carefully on the basis of being well made, easy and comfortable to use and where possible Australian Made.

    For the first time we’re now offering these items for sale individually. Webbings, bindings and touch tape are sold by the metre and buckles, sliders etc sold individually. This means you can source really good quality notions and tapes in small quantities.

    These are available in our newly named Industrial Sewing Shop on Etsy. If you don’t normally shop on Etsy, you can send us an email outlining what items you’d like and we’ll send you a Paypal invoice.

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  • Stall @ Castlemaine Vintage Bazaar, open every day

    on Apr 20, 17 in News by with Comments Off on Stall @ Castlemaine Vintage Bazaar, open every day

    Industrial Sewing Workshop now has a big, colourful range of gear down at the Castlemaine Vintage Bazaar @ The Mill, Castlemaine.

    All our bike gear sits on an awesome vintage Malvern Star bike with also stands hold our other useful things. An up to date product list and address is on our stockists page. One of our Butterfly chairs is also there to try out.

    The best thing is that the Bazaar is open 10-5pm, 7 days a week.

    Bike Gear Display on vintage Malvern Star at Castlemaine Vintage Bazaar

    Bike Gear Display on vintage Malvern Star at Castlemaine Vintage Bazaar


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  • Horse Rug Repairs – new to the workshop

    on Aug 25, 16 in News by with Comments Off on Horse Rug Repairs – new to the workshop

    I’m now taking on horse rug repairs thanks to a new machine on the premises and regular gentle nudges from friends. The “new” machine is an industrial Singer treadle machine from 1927. This found in Castlemaine and is now up and running as if the intervening 89 years had never happened. I’m excited about supplying a much needed service to Castlemaine. Not having particular experience so far with rug repairs I’ve had a lot of help from friends who have entrusted me with my first repairs. It’s clear there are a lot of similarities in the kinds of repairs needed and

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  • Markit! See you at Fed Square on Sunday

    on May 5, 16 in News by with Comments Off on Markit! See you at Fed Square on Sunday

    Cathy is off to Markit Design Market at Federation Square, Melbourne this Sunday 8th May. There will be monochrome canvas Envelope Backpacks and mini duffels. Hopefully we’ll get the reflective discs and sternam straps made in time!


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  • In the news

    on Mar 16, 16 in News by with Comments Off on In the news

    Here in the workshop we also make custom covers for Butterfly Chairs. Lizzie Geddes of Chops for Tea and I teamed up over a year ago to present www.TheButterflyChair.com.au. This started out as a project to see if we could make a product entirely in Castlemaine. Turns out we could, and did.

    At the moment, we’re just making the covers but it seems there are quite a few old frames sitting out there in sheds waiting to be spruced up and sat upon.

    A lovely canvas cover even ended up in last Sundays Sunday Life magazine.


    The Butterfly Chair in the Sunday Life Magazine (The Age and Sydney Morning Herald Sunday Newspapers)


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  • The Bike Vault Display

    on Oct 12, 15 in News by with Comments Off on The Bike Vault Display

    ISW display at The Bike Vault

    Our local bike shop The Bike Vault has just moved into a fantastic new premises at 51 Templeton St and with their new embiggened shop, they’ve let me curate a space for all our gear. It’s pretty exciting to see it all in the one space. The Bike Vault love the fact that our gear is made just around the corner and they are passionate advocates of supporting local. I hope you’ll visit next time you’re in the area.

    The Bike Vault 51 Templeton St Castlemaine

    ISW display at The Bike Vault

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  • New webshop

    on May 22, 15 in News by with Comments Off on New webshop

    Wow, the vast behemoth of the Industrial Sewing Workshop / Ron D Swan / Walking Foot / Firewood Sling estate has been shoehorned into this one website, including a webshop. My gratitude goes to Hugh Campbell of TheITBusiness for the web magic, Lizzie Geddes of Chops For Tea for the help with brain clearing and getting this show on the road and Chris Guest for all the graphics help over the years particularly for the very cute trolley bike “cart” graphic.

    OK, Oscar collected, I’ll sit down now and get sewing.

    Also, beware of any new holes in website, a few of the prices have been lowered so that the postage can now be added at the checkout according to your location.  I hope you’ll let me know if you have any trouble.

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  • Moving Sale

    on Apr 24, 14 in News by with Comments Off on Moving Sale

    Sale over now, thanks everyone…
    Legbands, Vests and the Musette are on sale due to all our products being moved across to the Industrial Sewing Workshop brand. Some are 2 for 1, others you choose a free legband.

    Check out the pages and contact me with any questions!  Colours are very limited.

    If you want the full colour range, make sure you visit our new website www.industrialsewingworkshop.com Talk soon, Cathy

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