Thursday, May 14, 2015

Another Maxi and Simplicity 1366

The blog-a-thon continues tonight with a couple of items.
First a maxi skirt.

I've only recently become a maxi skirt lover and now have three on rotation in my work wardrobe. They are just so easy to wear. Feminine, but completely practical for school. This one also requires no ironing as it's made with ITY knit.

The fabric is absolutely stunning! I purchased it during the school holidays from Pitt Trading. It was one of those shopping trips with all three kids where I bribe them to sit in the corner for 15 minutes while I race around the shop to gather together anything that catches my eye, then stop at the golden arches on the way home as a reward for being compliant and kind to me! It was one many awesome remnants available on the day and was only $10 for about 1.2m. Bargain!

To make the skirt I guessed the shaping, keeping it narrower at the waist and flaring out through the back seam (the only seam) to the skirt hem, all while trying to keep the print aligned. I'm pretty happy with my pattern matching. When wearing the skirt you can hardly tell that the back motif is much larger than the front one as the fabric folds in on itself making it appear almost identical to the front.

To wear with this skirt, I made another Simplicity 1366 in burnt orange double knit which was also from Pitt Trading. I really like this top, but prefer this skirt with my black version of this pattern.

I think I've now caught up on my blogging of finished items. I still have at least one more for Adele, but it requires further photography which may take time :)

I'm out most of the weekend for girly catch ups and weddings, so probably won't get to my sewing machine. But I hope you all have a cozy weekend in your sewing cave creating a masterpiece!!

Till next week!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Black slim trousers

One of my work colleagues has the most amazing pair of white, textured, slim 7/8 trousers with a small split hem. I have coveted them for a while. When I stumbled upon this black textured, pant weight poly at Pitt Trading, I knew I could try to replicate my friend's pants.
Well - I tried my hardest, but hers still look must more stylish than mine. Perhaps it's the fact that she is taller and much younger (read: more fashionable) than I am.

Regardless these are good, simple work pants. To achieve this look, I mashed the rise of my Burda jeans with the leg of Jacques and the front of my Thurlows. In my typical gung-ho fashion, I simply laid all three patterns over each other and cut the seam line that I wanted to replicate. For the most part this worked, though I did try on and fit them throughout construction.

To achieve a streamlined fit, like my colleague's trousers, I eliminated all pockets. I also tried to iron a fold into the leg, but this is not holding very well. Any tips for helping this fold line stay would be greatly appreciated!

I am relatively pleased with these. After wearing them today, they have bagged out a little, so I think I'll add belt loops and possibly slim the leg a little.

More sewing should hopefully follow tomorrow. I'm now catching up on my term 1 holiday projects.

Happy hump day!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Julia Cardigan

With cooler weather approaching, I'm sure I'm not the only one who needs to stock up with simple cardigans to wear each day.
I was drawn to the Julia cardigan pattern after receiving one of those marketing emails from Sussan or Witchery or something. It described the 'must have' item for the season as the curved hem cardigan. Naturally, I can no longer find this item as it was a few months ago, but I was drawn to the aesthetic.
As you can see the Julia cardigan has that curved look.  It has simple lines, with no closures (read: fast to make) and fits fantastically. If my memory serves me correctly, I think I only used the overlocker to make this, which makes it even more fun to make.
This Julia cardigan is made up of a silk/merino remnant from The Fabric Store. I think I purchased it a couple of years ago from their Melbourne store. I have also made a black double knit version, but am currently unable to locate it in my heaped laundry pile, so you'll just have to imagine this in black too :)
My only words of advice when sewing this pattern is that this pattern is a fabric eater! The body and sleeves are no problem, but the large rounded band eats fabric. There are two options for the pattern, one to run this band with a single layer of fabric and hem it, the other - which I chose - was to cut the band twice and sew them right sides together before attaching to prevent hemming and create a cleaner finish.

Unfortunately, as I was working with a scant cut - due to this being a remnant, not me being a fabric tightwad - I had to reduce the width of this band by a couple of inches. As I have also made this cardigan in black as drafted, I must add that I prefer the band on this version. It sits nicer around the neck and the cardigan is the perfect length. With my black one it is a smidge too long.
While I'm writing about finished projects - I also made myself another simple knit tank. This pattern was free cut and fits surprisingly well. In contrast to my recent tanks, I actually added bands/binding to the neck and arms with my regular machine on lightning bolt stitch and cover stitched them down. This has got to be one of my best finished knit tanks/tees to date.

More sewing news to follow tomorrow!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Butterflies Away! New Look 6145

As I mentioned in my last post, I have a significant backlog of finished garments to blog. I do feel the pressure to post my finished items here, not to keep anyone in particular happy, but so that I have a record of my sewing. To ensure I sort my backlog, I am now publicly committing to blogging once a day each day this week to catch up. Now I've said it, I will make myself do it :)

Now back to my regular programming. The week before last I headed to Spotty with a friend and purchased two pieces of stretch sateen that were not on sale. Can you imagine?? As you can now guess, I received Spotty's latest catalog today and stretch sateen will be on sale this week and there is a coupon for a further discount.  I'm not too bummed about this as I know that I have what I wanted and I've also sewn up both pieces relatively quickly into things that I love.
My butterflies sateen has been transformed into a simple, short shift dress. Perfect for wearing with tights in winter.

Once again I used New Look 6145, which I have used numerous times before to make ponte tops and knit dresses (with a few modifications). As I was using a woven this time, a first with this pattern, I went back to the original pattern and fitted throughout construction. The key modifications were deepening the back darts, shaping the back along the zipper and taking in the sides a little. I also sewed up a size 8, which is smaller than my usual Big 4 size. This is largely due to reviewing the finished garment measurements and basing my choice on those.

I really like this dress. It's not the most suitable for all teaching days - kindy might be hard - but I do plan to wear it to work tomorrow.

I have so much more to show you. I hope you have a great week!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Morris V2 in floral sateen

Oh how I love Morris! This one is clearly a little more wild than my first, but I still love him so much!
I recently went to Spotty with a friend for a little time without the kids and happened upon this really lovely stretch sateen. It wasn't on sale, so I hesitated in purchasing it. But I really like it and reasoned that it was still cheaper at full price than most fabric that I purchase, so I snapped up a really scant cut with Morris in mind.

When I got home I realised that my cut was so scant that I almost couldn't make the jacket and pattern matching was definitely not an option. Just so you know, if you are clever with the placement of your pattern pieces, you can eek a Size 6 Morris out of 1.25m of fabric that is 120cm wide.
As I was a little concerned about the white underside of the fabric showing when the blazer blew open, I lined the body with some vibrant, violet stretch lining. I did this by cutting the blazer back and front in the lining fabric with a small pleat along the center back. I attached the facing to this right side of the lining to wrong side of the facing then trimmed the lining from the underside of the facing.

I then attached the facing as per the instructions, then attached the sleeves as per the instructions. The sleeve seams capture the lining and the outer to hold it in place. I'm really pleased with this finish. It looks professional on the inside with no seams visible and I haven't lost any stretch.

Clearly I also added length to the sleeves again and you might not be able to see, but I cut the jacket back on the fold, just to really squeeze as much from this piece of fabric as I could.

More blazers will definitely follow. And more posts, I'm really struggling with my backlog of finished items to blog. I've spent a few moments today photographing a bunch of finished items and plan to bombard you with posts this week to catch up.

Happy Mothers day to all the mums too!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Meet Morris. I love him. I love him so much, I'll probably make another Morris friend for him to hang out with. Possibly this weekend. If I get to a fabric store. Which means I probably won't do much housework this weekend. I probably won't cook any good meals either. But Morris will have a friend and that's what's important right?
Clearly I jumped on the Morris bandwagon pretty quickly. I'm sure many more sewers will follow and with good reason.

I was determined to make Morris over the weekend (while I was able to enjoy some guilt free birthday sewing and my husband attended to house duties), but without the option to head to a fabric store to find some super awesome fabric, I settled on this black stretch woven  fabric from the stash. I think I purchased it from The Remnant Warehouse and it was cheap, but it is a nice weight which is why I purchased it in the first place.

I really love the simplicity of the Morris blazer. It's exactly what I need to fill a wardrobe gap. I've been wearing the same Cotton On ponte blazer during winter for a few years now and it looks sad. Too sad to allow it to continue to take up valueable real estate in my bedroom.

Morris came together really quickly and I only stumbled when constructing the facing. I just didn't understand the instructions and image to show how to sew the collar facing to the hem facing. But really, it was nothing that a little seam ripping wouldn't fix. To achieve a better fit, I shaved a little width off the shoulders and also lengthened the sleeves to full length as it's just more practical for me right now.

I wish my photos were a little better, but it started to rain during my first photo attempt, then raced to snap some pics before work on Monday.

Fingers crossed I make it to a fabric store this weekend. Has anyone seen any nice ponte anywhere recently? Something vibrant I think. Preferably in Sydney. Thanks!!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Hudson x 2

This weekend I enjoyed a lovely birthday weekend, spent with friends, family and quite a bit of sewing time.

In addition to making my first Morris blazer (which I tried to photograph today in the rain, but the photos are not good at all), today I made a pair of True Bias Hudson pants, which I love so much that I very quickly made a second.

The first pair was made with a piece of dark grey marle ponte that has been maturing in my stash for quite a few years.
The second, which I shortened and slightly widened the leg below the knee, was made with a piece of polo type knit that I inherited from a friend's mother, along with a considerable amount of 80's coral and turquoise knit and a stack of knit binding.

I really love these pants and look forward to make more in the near future. They really are such an fast and easy project.

I was particularly spoilt for my birthday and scored a lovely stash of Madelintosh Unicorn Tails skiens and a super awesome IlCentimetro bracelet. I'm feeling totally loved and ready for another big week of school.

Have a great week!