Still here

Just haven’t been blogging.  With the fires in January, then the Pandemic, I have felt a bit blah.  A bit of sewing has been done, but not as much as you might think with all the spare time to sew…

I did make this though:


Another Kalle dress, with sleeve extension, in the Tessuti fabrics competition linen.  This pattern and fabric went together like a dream.

I got The Button Bar to make the covered buttons for me and they are my favourite thing about the dress:

Productive end to 2019

I made three things:

Merchant & Mills Dress Shirt


This is my first M & M pattern and although I like the style, I didn’t find the instructions completely easy to follow – in particular, there is a bit where the bib/yoke meets the shoulder and back yoke that doesn’t seem to work out right.  I Magyver-ed it but I am pretty sure I am missing something.

On the positive side though – I fit a straight size 14 and the fabric is a gorgeous light silk/cotton voile from EmmaOneSock.  Here is a back view and close up of good top-stitching for your viewing pleasure:

Item 2 – a longed for Closet Case Pouf.  I made this from upholstery fabric samples for H.  This was so fun to make and I feel very virtuous, using up all my scraps.  It takes such a lot of scraps that I will be able to use my future versions to stop all the orphan socks from going to landfill.

As I used such thick fabric (at least that’s my excuse), the points on the top didn’t meet:


Problem solved however, with attachment of a leather-look button:


Not only is the bag filled with scraps, but I made the lining bag out of old dress-up fabric:


I am very happy with it but H has just reported that one of the side seams has split – so a repair is already required (sigh).  Here it was before, on the night before Christmas…


Then, after Christmas, I sewed up the Carolyn PJ’s I had cut out weeks prior.  I bought this lovely silk from Tessuti, some years ago and it was on sale, so I bought about 4 metres.  Lucky I did that – because this pattern is a fabric hog.


As with my other Closet Case makes, I made a straight size 14 and although it is a bit snug, it fits quite well.  Heather Lou is such a pattern drafting genius.  I love that with her detailed instructions, I can make something with such lovely detail – like the cuffs on the shorts.

My only quibble is nothing to do with the pattern – just that I used fusible interfacing on the collar and front facings as instructed but they feel a bit stiff – in contrast to the lovely soft silk of the fabric.  I am hoping that once washed, it will soften up – but look how lovely this fabric is:


And another pic of my new favourite pyjamas:



The Itchy & Scratchy Show

I bought a remnant of this gorgeous fabric from Tessuti ages ago:


But there never seemed to be quite enough of it to make anything – until I happened upon some at The Fabric Store  in Adelaide – hurrah!

I now had enough to make another Tulip Dress (Sew Different patterns).  I knew I would have to underline the dress as the reverse of the fabric is quite scratchy:


Those metallic fibres are just like tinsel …

I underlined it with a fairly heavy satin lining and the dress itself is rather nice:


It had a lovely outing to Adelaide Sewists’ Christmas function along with my dear friend SewingElle who looked amazing in a festive Kielo:


But I’m sorry to say this dress is unlikely to be worn ever again – it itched and scratched my skin all night – even through the satin lining.  It was like I imagine a hair shirt to feel like – and I don’t have quite enough self-loathing for that!


Wilder in NZ


I have held on to this beautiful crinkle silk chiffon in the stash, awaiting the right maxi-dress pattern.  Along came Friday Patterns’ lovely Wilder Gown.  Also, the perfect opportunity to sew it – for a spring wedding in NZ.

This is the easiest pattern ever.  I didn’t do a FBA – just graded out to XL on the bodice, L everywhere else but there is so much ease I didn’t really need to do that.  Next time, will do a straight L.

Here I am posing up a storm (thanks to SewingElle for the pics):


It does have maternity wear vibes side on though:


As Spring weather in coastal NZ is not ideal for silk chiffon, I also made a coat – also from gorgeous EmmaOneSock embroidered-look silk from the stash:

2528E6E0-  I used BurdaStyle paper pattern 7072.  Lining from Spotlight to match my new boots!  Also a great opportunity to use the clutch I bought in Bath, England.   I made this in a 42 and it fits nicely:


Oh, and I used my Barbie pink Sadie slip dress underneath!

My favourite pic is me on location at the wedding drinking tea from a china cup (#happiness):



Skirt Fest

I found a brilliant Burda pattern (2/2013 #117) and made two skirts from it:

  1. This lovely is in precious Linton Tweed.  As the fabric is quite wide, I didn’t need the whole 1m length.


    Up close:IMG_2788

  2. Same pattern but now in glorious sequins from Spotlight.  I worried that the back darts would be too bulky but armed with wisdom from the internet (these sequins can take a very hot iron), it worked like a charm and I hardly had to cull any sequins from seams etc.

    This was very difficult to photograph at night – but the sequins are a lovely dark navy – a perfect match to my boots!

Then a UFO (10/2017 #107) – one of the things I have longed for for so long – a fake Vivienne Westwood-esque – or even a little McQueen, je pense, – tartan skirt.  This beauty turned out a lot like the picture:IMG_2860

You will have to stand on your head to fully appreciate it – my editing skills are not up to the job!

I made this in a beautiful plaid/tartan from Tessuti:


Not yet worn, but dying to do so.  Have also just realised I have fishnet tights, so will try the whole “look” – although not the standing on my head thing…

Flight Attendant Hazel in Oslo


This could have been UFO Hazel (Victory patterns)  – for the time it has been sitting like this in the back of my stash cupboard!  I cut it out about 2 years ago but fell out of love with the fabric – delicious silk that it is.  The fabric seemed a bit corporate uniform to me – either flight attendant or bank clerk chic.  Not that there’s anything wrong with either of those things but I have an aversion to non military style uniform dress-ups.

Anyhoo – deciding to at least make it up and donate it, I ended up quite liking it – pictured below underneath my wonderful Oslo coat and with my fabulous friends SewingElle and Felicity in their bespoke outfits:

Also note cool public art:


M sewing Burda 12/2016 #112 and 04/2019 #120 … and a moss green Moss skirt

How lovely to have a week off work and devote much of that time to sewing!

I made 12/2016 #112 for H for a work dress:

This is a simple pattern, made up in ponte from Spotlight.  I raised the neckline by about 10cm – possibly a tad too much, but definitely felt the V was too low on the model for work purposes.  You will see that the sleeves are too short – second time this has happened to me – perhaps my model just has long arms!  For my future reference, I cut a 40 without seam allowances and it was perfect –


I made 04/2019 #120 the ‘Plumetis’ dress, for me in navy broderie anglaise from Spotlight.

I did something wrong with the frills – I misunderstood the instructions and ended up with more like flounces at the hem, whereas the sleeves have the proper amount of frill…


The dress is okay – I don’t love it but it’s wearable.  It seems to sit funny across the shoulders and I’m fairly sure that’s the design’s fault, not mine.

Anyway… the piece de resistance is my first Grainline Moss skirt.

I have shamelessly copied SewingElle by purchasing the same suede-y, velvet-y coated denim from The Fabric Store for this.


I adore it.  I took my time and used some precious silk remnants from my sister-in-law’s mother’s garage clean-out for the pockets and waistband facing.


I also found the perfect button in my jar – to match the coppery zip from deep stash:


the only problem is I was so paranoid about it being too small that I made it way too big and even though I tried it on several times during the process, I still had to move the front button over by about 2 inches and take this much in at the back!

Fortunately, I tend to wear tops over my waistband.  I hope it might shrink a little in the wash too…


Not a red frilled linen wrap dress

That’s what I had this fabric earmarked for.  The fabric has been burning a hole in my stash as I waited for the perfect wrap dress pattern – ie: a wrap dress that makes me look skinnier than I am (!).

I have given up and made this jacket instead.


It is Burda  8/2018 #111B.  This went together a treat during a lovely sewing day at SewingElle’s.  The sleeves are particularly nice and I submit the line drawing below to give you more of an idea:


It also looks nice without the belt:


The colour is wonderful and the pic below shows it best:


Black Audrey

I braved this lovely Tessuti pattern again, this time in a beautiful 100% fine Italian cotton from Tessuti.  The fabric is rather charmingly called Offred and is understandably sold out.

I lengthened the shirt by 3 cm in the front panels and by as much as I could on the back hem, tapering out to the ends of the ties.  It is a better length on me than my first attempt at this shirt.


I was so worried about the tapering of the ties etc, that I sewed a lovely fine double rolled hem on the ties – inside out!!  When I tried to unpick it and re-do it, the fine fabric frayed and behaved badly, so I ended up just leaving them.  The nature of the ties means that even if I had hemmed them the right way, the wrong side would have shown anyway!

Close up for self-berating purposes:


Swimming Shirt


This is by special request from H.  She wanted:

  • long sleeved
  • white linen
  • shirt style top
  • suitable for tucking in, hanging out, tying in front – and swimming in!

Kalle shirt it was then.  I used the sleeve extension kindly printed off for me by SewingElle.  Couple of points about the sleeves – they are too short:


Partly my fault for cropping about 2.5cm off the cuffs which seemed way too wide for my liking but even so, I think there should have been about that much extra in the length of the body of the sleeve.  Also, the plackets.  Confusing instructions and poorly executed on my part.  Still, it is a swimming shirt.


Despite its faults, it is a charming shirt, made more so by the hotchpotch buttons from the button jar:


Shirt is a great success and was worn on its second day as an over-shirt – meeting the tied-up at front requirement!