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You are here: / Aussie Author / Interview and Book Giveaway – Rachel Amphlett, author of Look Closer

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How far would you go to protect a secret?

How far would you go to expose a lie?

Will Fletcher seems to have it all – perfect job, perfect life. Then in one act of extreme violence, his world is turned upside down.

A bungled assassination attempt on a London street uncovers a disturbing conspiracy fuelled by organised crime and political ambition. Now, Will finds himself on the run, pursued by a dangerous enemy who will stop at nothing to protect his employer’s past.

The only way to stop the chain of events is to follow a trail of clues that lead to the heart of British politics.

With the date for the UK General Election only days away and the killers closing in, Will is running out of time to deliver his own version of vigilante justice and expose the corruption. As the web of lies and deceit unravels, Will knows the answer’s out there.

All he has to do is look closer.

Everyone has secrets. Everyone lies.

The kernel of an idea for Look Closer called for an ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances. I knew a photograph was involved, but the finished novel is a lot different from the idea I started out with. Originally I was going to have Will’s occupation as a journalist, but then even that seemed too ‘easy’ – I wanted someone who would feel completely out of their depth, struggling to stay on top of circumstances beyond their control and wondering who they could trust.

I have to admit, the twist in the tale was a surprise even to me, but that’s how it sometimes happens – you’ll be happily writing away one day, and then BANG. You end up sitting there in shock for a few seconds before the adrenalin kicks in and you write everything down as fast as you can!

I’d have to say both – I can’t imagine one without the other.

One reviewer pointed out that Will is “no Jason Bourne”, and that’s great, because he’s not meant to be. He’s an archivist working for a large museum in London who is suddenly thrust into a political conspiracy and completely out of his depth.

The only things he knows about how to survive are what he’s seen in films, so he’s only marginally ahead of the bad guys most of the time.

He’s desperate to find a way out of the mess he’s been caught up in, and the pace is relentless – he has to think on his feet, while all the time he’s being pursued by people who want to kill him.

I’ve already had one reviewer compare this to House of Cards , which was extremely humbling, but I think if readers enjoy political conspiracy thrillers with all the slow bits taken out, I think they’ll get a real kick out of Look Closer .

For the newer tester, I interviewed Sarah Beasley. She’s a newer tester with Bella Sunshine and we thought she would give a great fresh perspective on what it’s like!

How long have you been testing for Bella Sunshine?

Tess Tulip shorts were the first, so I think last summer.

I had done a couple with other designers, but never shorts! This was the first pattern test for bottoms for me. I have a little girl who has bad eczema and polyester gives her hives. This was a way for me to see if I could make her some cute bottoms and control the material she was exposed to.

That’s so sweet! What is your favorite thing about Bella Sunshine patterns?

I love how the tutorials are not overly complicated and give a beautiful finish. Simple ways to enclose seams for a finished look on the inside as well. Plus I love the Dorothy Perkins Womens Maternity Embroidered Shacket Low Price Fee Shipping Best Prices Sale Online Websites Online Discount Pre Order Low Price 42SEm3
. I am a very visual person and if I don’t understand a step then there are usually 5 people ready to jump in and help.

Learning new techniques! With every BSD sew I have learned something new to me and I am able to take it and apply it to other projects which is awesome. I also love the picture taking though all I have is my cell phone.

Tough choice. I think Rebel Girl Party dress. I love the back cutout and the pleats! It is the one design I have made multiples of and my kiddo loves the twirl factor she gets out of it and I love another option besides gathering. I made a rainbow one and it is her favorite dress to date!

That’s awesome! I love rainbows. So w hat types of patterns do you hope to test in the future?

I sent a couple of recommendations in the last poll for ideas! #1 has to be some boys or unisex patterns. I have two girls I test for often and my little man gets left out! He is the one that loves to help me the most! #2 I saw an awesome pin of what I call a mash between the Sansa and an overall! So some more bottoms would be great as well! #3 I will eventually get over my fear of knits and so some knit tops would be great!

To keep on trying and ask questions! Even if you don’t understand a step chances are someone else doesn’t either or a different way to write it for a total beginner! Be willing to try something a little outside your comfort zone and the results over time will be amazing! I love pattern testing as I make myself learn something new or try something new! So sometimes even if my end result isn’t perfect, I am still proud of myself.

We want to thank Sarah very much for her time. She gave us some really great answers and we hope you enjoyed climbing into her mind about testing! Next week we’ll dive into an interview with An Staute for a more experienced tester’s perspective! We hope you’ll join us!

While self-servicing your machine might not always be the best idea, knowing how to occasionally clean your machine to clear out the fluff is a must! I know when my machine is too ‘fluffy’, it messes up everything. Doing minor regular maintenance on your machine, such as cleaning, changing needles regularly, etc, only prolong the life of your machine… and who doesn’t want that?

Clearing the Fluff ~ How to Clean Your Machine

My machine is a Brother SE400, so that is themachine I will be using in my pictures. Most drop-in bobbin machines will be very similar. It’s a relatively painless procedure, but very necessary for keeping your machine running smoothly, so let’s begin.


First of all, you need to make sure a needle isn’t going to come down on you while you’re working, so you have a few options. The safest (and the one I use), is to just power down the machine. Another option is to remove the needle, but that doesn’t stop the other inner parts from moving, so powering down is your best bet. If you need more light, move your machine near a window, or move a lamp closer.

Once you have light, it’s time to open your machine up. My machine has these 2 little screws that secure the throat plate. After I unscrew those, the whole plate easily lifts out of the way. Remove the bobbin spool and then you can assess the damage. I recently cleaned my machine, so mine isn’t too bad this time around.

The Cleaning Process

At this point, you have a couple of options. My go-to is cotton swabs and occasionally isopropyl alcohol. At some point, though, I will trade up from that and into one of these . One thing I cannot stress enough, though, is to NEVER blow air into your machine. That’s bad. It could easily gum it up and make things worse.

The mini-vac method is pretty easy. Just hook it all up and suck the fluff out. The cotton swab method can be a little trickier at times but works well. If it’s super fluffy in there, that’s when I recommend the alcohol. It’ll help clear out the dust easier and it evaporates almost as fast as you can apply it, so no chance of damaging the machine. Just dip the end of the swab and go at it. When it gets too dirty, switch to a clean swab and keep going until it’s all clean!

If you aren’t using alcohol, you will use fewer swabs, but you will need to pull the machine fluff off the end of the swab constantly. When the swab is too dirty or raggedy to continue, switch to a clean one.

Now, sometimes I’ll lift out the bobbin casing and sometimesI won’t… it just depends how dirty the inside is. But make sure you know how to put it back properly before you remove it or don’t do it! Even though my machine was cleaned fairly recently, I still managed to pull a fair amount of fluff out of it.

When everything is all clean, just put it all back together, power up, and off you sew!

If you have any further questions, comments, or suggestions, please leave them in the comments below! And if you feel so inclined, please join our AMAZING community of seamstresses to share BSD questions, trials,and triumphs in our ASOS One Shoulder Ruffle Midi Dress with Extreme Sleeve Sale Cheap Free Shipping Pictures Prices Cheap Price Sale 2018 New QrHWE
! Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Spring is finally on its way! I can almost see it! I don’t know where you live, but I’m in Wisconsin. And while I LOVE it here most of the time, I can tell you one thing. At the end of winter, it often feels like the beginning of the Wizard of Oz in Kansas… grey, bleak, and colorless. Which is why I get SO excited for spring! We’re going to list off our top 10 patterns that are PERFECT for spring sewing and tell you why!

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