Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Perfecting the Skirt and Rainbows

Kia ora! In December last year, after purchasing and watching the new Susan Khalje class on Craftsy "The Couture Lace Skirt", I pulled my unfinished skirt block from the depths of the muslin pile and decided I needed finish it. 

To be honest, I don't wear a lot of skirts which is why I've never bothered to finish it, but I really really really want a guipure lace skirt. I didn't want to start with having to find a skirt pattern then go through the fuss of fitting it for my body. The toile felt more than a little snug around the hips so I added 1/2" to the side seams of the pattern, giving a 1" ease, then got out some remnant fabric and proceeded to sew up a skirt. Hmmmm, it didn't fit!  It was way too big and almost fell off my hips. Yeah, I know, I should have done a fitting once I got the side seams together, but it was December and the end of a long year!  Anyway, I made some tweaks to the pattern, dived into the stash again for more fabric and made another - okay it was a boring black skirt! But hey, I made sure the lining was fun. And who doesn't need a black skirt, right.

I made a couple more tweaks to the pattern before deciding it was time to test out Susan's techniques before fully committing to the guipure lace. Hello rainbow skirt 😎

The rainbow eyelet I purchased from The Fabric Store in January 2017 with a thought to making a bomber jacket ... I never did make it. I then found this very cute cotton lawn with a small floral print - I've got no idea where it came from or when I purchased it, so I'm guessing because it didn't have one of my fabric stash tags it's been in the stash for quite ... some ... time!

First I cut out the cotton, put all the necessary markings on the cotton with one of those Frixon erasable pens, coz I love them, then placed the cotton pieces on the eyelet fabric and thread traced them together and treated them as one. I sewed in the darts and tacked the two pieces together by hand with rows of horizontal running stitches about 2 inches apart.

I finished everything except for the waist. I found some white striped acetate in the stash and constructed the lining. All three layers are secured together at the waist and finished with a piece of grosgrain ribbon, as recommended by Susan. The zipper is inserted by hand using a pick stitch (which is my favourite way to put in a zipper if I haven't already told you that before).

I am in love with the small floral underneath the eyelet 💖

You can't even really tell where the darts are. Well you have to look super close 👀

I wore the skirt to work for the first time this week. I totally enjoyed the fit of the skirt, the shape and the length. I think I'm ready now to make many more variations using my bock, but first I need to tackle the guipure lace skirt using all the applique techniques Susan teaches.

Until next time, happy sewing 😘

Friday, 19 January 2018

Couture Sewing School with Marfy 3507

Kia ora and happy New Year! As I sit on the plane returning home after eight intense days in Melbourne I thought I would share the amazing experience that is a couture masterclass with Susan Khalje.

I arrived to class on day one looking forward to not only meeting Susan but also to meet Melanie aka Poppykettle. It was so surreal meeting them both - isn't it funny how social media and the internet can make us feel like we already know someone without having met them in real life.

After settling into the sewing table next to Melanie we all gathered for some introductions. As it turns out most of the others in the class were returning for a second year of couture sewing under Susan's guidance, but we all very quickly got to know each other and spent the week in awe of each other's work.

When I left home I was a little unsure what I was going to make to take full advantage of my time with Susan. Option number one was Marfy 3507, a coat-dress. I'm in love with the collar and zippers of this pattern.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

2017 is a wrap!

What do you know ... here we are at the end of 2017! Believe it or not I have done some sewing despite the ol' blog being a bit bare. Although I do think Instagram has played a big part as well - I can share in progress photos pretty quickly without having to worry about getting good photos, which is the part I really struggle with, and it's not so much capturing the photos it's more the time to take photos then edit them. Anyway, more about what I have had on my sewing table this year ...

This has been the year that I've pretty much sewn two of everything!
  • two Jamie Christina Hi Lo Raglan hoodies
  • sewed my second Muse Patterns Gillian wrap dress
  • two Sapporo coats by Papercut patterns
  • two Style Arc Livia jackets
  • two skirts using my skirt block
  • sewed my second Olivia oversized tee by Maria Denmark
  • three Sewaholic Belcarra tops
  • three Julia Women's cardigans by MHC
  • sewed my third Saiph by Papercut Patterns
Rather than chat further let's looks at some photos of this year's entries into the wardrobe.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Moleskin Duffle for Winter 2017

Kia ora! This is kinda exciting ... well I'm excited anyway. I was flattered when I was contacted by Hawes and Freer to see if I was interested in participating in the launch of their new website. Now, little did they know that I often stalked their website drooling over the beautiful wool coating and while I wanted to say yes, I really had to think carefully about whether I could commit the time.

As you can see I said yes!

Photo moleskin2

I was planning to make another Albion Duffle coat this winter, so this was the perfect opportunity when I was shown the beautiful range of lightweight moleskin available from Hawes and Freer. What colour to choose???? After changing my mind over and over I settle on the olive green, with a army gingham for the lining. It all arrived beautifully packed and labeled.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

When one bomber is just not enough!

Kia ora! I know it's April but I want to take you back six months to October last year. The weather was beginning to get warmer, daylight savings was about to start and I felt that I needed more casual clothes in my wardrobe.  Or was it I was just looking for a quick fix, instant gratification kinda project?!? This is when I decided that I needed another bomber jacket in my life.

Aztec Rigel Bomber

I had previously made the Rigel Bomber by Papercut Patterns but at that time I forgot to check the sleeve length, and every time I wear it, it annoys the sh*t out of me. This time I made exactly the same size as my previous jacket, adding 3" to the sleeve length. I made just one other adjustment this time, removing 1/2" from the centre back of the collar piece.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Pink Floral Sweetheart

Pink Floral Dress

This dress was fun but challenging at the same time. First the fun ... I found this fabric by accident while on holiday in Rarotonga earlier this year, and immediately knew it would make a lovely summer dress while still keeping within my wardrobe comfort zone ... because it was black? probably!

The challenge ... to mash together two separate patterns into one dress that looked like it was meant to be. The top is the Sewaholic Cambie pattern and the bottom is the Billy Jean pattern by Bluegingerdoll.  Both dresses I've made before quite a while ago, and well, the body has changed a little since then.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Shirt Dress with Butterick Retro

Shirt Dress B5920

B5920 was calling my name again ... it appears that I hadn't finished with it, despite having made it twice before.

Shirt Dress B5920

My first make was exactly to pattern version A. I never wore this dress! The second involved a few alterations to convert it to a maxi with a full length placket, which I wear regularly.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Floral, Beach, Summer, Holiday ...

Happy New Year!  Hope you all ate yummy food 'til your heart was content. I know I did.

I'm looking forward to what 2017 brings, which must be much better than 2016.  I started last year sick and missed the wedding of my very good friend and I ended the year sick, for three weeks if you please!  In between that it was just a big pile of life stuff that I didn't enjoy at all.  By default the blog went into hibernation.

Life is settled again and I begun this year in Rarotonga celebrating my eldest 21st birthday on new year's eve.  Being on holiday called for drink lots of tropical cocktails


Sunday, 13 March 2016

Fluttering Around

Kia ora!  Oh my gosh how did it get to be March already! Best I get a wiggle on then and tell you about my first make for 2016.  Introducing my flutter dress....

Flutter Dress

To be honest I had to see a few of these on the blogisphere before I went ahead and purchased the pattern. I am a Papercut fan girl and this pattern did not disappoint.

Flutter Dress

Friday, 1 January 2016

The unpublished 11 plus two

Happy New Year!  The last three months of 2015 were hectic, although my world is always hectic, but I did manage to get some sewing done - just no time for photos or blogging!  It's now January and I'm on holiday, so a bit of time to do some catch-ups :-)

I have a total of 11 projects that were completed between August and December as well as the two dresses I've been working on over the last couple of days (peek previews on Instagram). Oh as well as the two Butterick dresses that need a Part 2 post completing. Then there was the one remake because I lost my black merino circle top somewhere - I think I left it in a hotel room or a rental car!?! I wear that baby ALL THE TIME and was feeling really lost without it.

Some of the projects really do need a post of their own, like my first formal dress, but others I thought I would quickly summarise and move on.

I love my first top so much I needed to make another. This time a simple black embossed silk. OMG this fabric was the worst to work with, resulting in an uneven hem line. It works fine if I tuck it in.



Keeping with the black theme, coz I was feeling that black tops worked with my jeans, is the GILLIAN WRAP TOP. I had previously made the Gillian Wrap Dress as a tester, and I absolutely love it. I picked up this cotton knit from The Fabric Store January 2015 and had originally thought I would make some t-shirts. Well this is just a fancy t-shirt right!

Knowing that the skirt of the dress doesn't have a lot of flare I needed to add some flare to the skirt back so it would 'poof' over my jeans rather than cling!  I set to with the slash and spread method in three places adding 3/4" each time. I also lengthen the sleeves by 1-1/2" and put a wee 1/2" hem on them with the cover stitch machine.



In September I tested the TAHI SHRUG for Muse Patterns using some knit remnants. I made a size 36 in the long sleeve version.  I didn't quite have enough of the purple for the entire sleeve so added some black merino to make it look like a cuff. I also stitched it up with black thread to give a contrast look, but you can't really notice it. I don't really wear this - I'm not sure whether it's the colour or the pattern ... I think I've a bit more of a bolero, cardi kinda girl if it's not a jacket.


MESA by Seamwork
I've already made Mesa twice before and both dresses I've worn constantly this winter just gone. So of course I needed a summer version! I picked up this poly knit, that feels like neoprene, from Spotlight specifically for this dress. I did however, make a few changes to the pattern.
  1. Raised the back neckline by 1/2"
  2. Lowered the front neckline by 1"
  3. Shortened the sleeves by 3"
I wore it to work a couple of times, but come to the conclusion (through my own modesty) that it is probably too short to wear with bear legs to the office - I was feeling too self conscious! I wore it on Christmas Day and it was perfect, so maybe it's more of a BBQ kinda dress, or I could wear it with 3/4 leggings with some heals .... hmmm things to try.

Mesa Summer Dress

Mesa Summer Dress

The last on the remake list is this STRIPE MISSION MAXI.
I love the Mission Maxi pattern and have made it a couple of times before. I've been looking for the ideal stripe knit, with the right amount of body and stability. I was passing by The Fabric Warehouse in November (passing by means the car detoured off the motorway!) and found just what I was looking for.  This is a cotton, lycra, poly knit which I'm gonna say is a light-medium weight.

I feel like I have a tone of maxi dresses in the wardrobe, and while I love them, my legs never get to see the light of day. So for this version I shortened the back to be a middi length and added a curve to the front piece for a bit of interest. I am in love with the dress, the colours, the comfort, the length - it just screams summer to me and I've been living in it constantly.

Mission Maxi


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