Fix it weekend.


This weekend our bathrooms were finally fixed after 8 weeks of seeing both bathrooms in a kerfuffle. The leak in one bathroom affected the wardrobe so out came our belongings for at least 6 weeks.
This gold jacket is a piece I made in the 80’s. This was the jacket I wore over whatever dress etc, that I was wearing for a typical Greek wedding or dance. Shocking, I know. The jacket isn’t lined and it’s really harsh on the skin. This is now going into the charity recycling bin, as are three garbage bags of our gear that’s faded or small but good or just not part of our lifestyle.


The other thing I’ve done this weekend is fix the things that I’m keeping. The pjs above are a $12 Peter Alexander pj pants that now has a top Kwik sew 2683. I’ve added a cherry FOE on the neckline.
These pieces needed fixing. I got both of these while on hols last year. The skirt has pleats at the front and has a yoke but the waist needed taking in. I added a dart in the back yoke of the skirt.

The tops now have neckline inserts so I can wear to work if I want. The green insert are the sleeve cuffs from the one with the grey insert. The grey insert is a scrap from my stash.

kick pleat skirt – Vogue 8426

This is a newly opened pattern V8426 that is still in the pattern book. The fabric is at least 20 years old. This red crepe is from my size 8 days. I loved the work that Kbenco did on this two years ago so the pattern has been waiting for me to open it for over 18 months.

This is a wearable toile that took some adjusting, not just on the pattern, but after I basted the skirt together. I’m a 12 and the pattern was 6 – 10.The instructions were easy enough to follow. I had to do this at times when I had the head space to let it all sink in.
What I did realise is that when I make this again, I’ll sew the front pieces together, then the back pieces before joining the skirt together.
The lining was a skirt pattern that had been cut out but not made up from a previous project.

Technical adjustments included:
-sway back adjustment
-added 4cm to back width on centre piece only
-added 4m to front width on centre piece only
-slivered off 1/2 cm from curve after basting the skirt
– added 3cm to back hem line.
Once I make a top to ‘match’ I’ll take a decent picture for you. Cheers.

chanel jacket

On Saturday we had a useful session with Angie Zimmerman at the Rhodes sewing group as part of a chanel jacket workshop. Everyone got at least 15 minutes with Angie, to get their jacket pattern fitted correctly and ask any questions that they needed.

I’m using the collared version and I’ll fit the jacket so that it’s not too boxy.
I’m using this fabric as my toile. It was a remnant at Pitt Trading so I’m assuming that it’s not silk, but I could be wrong. There are some purple pieces in my wardrobe so I’ll just have to see how this turns out, before I attempt this with the chanel type fabric and finishes.
Here’s the fabric I found in my stash. Bright isn’t it.
So the challenge here is there:
– enough fabric to make a chanel jacket?
a trim that can be used to give it a chanel finish?
If there isn’t enough fabric, I’ll use this old easy burda but I will need to take out the ’80s shoulder pad sizing in the shoulder seam and in the sleeve head. Challenges all around.
I also saw an article on SMH about wearing powersuits but the options provided were really tragic. Anna Wintour is wearing a powersuit and you’d expect her too, but the stylist who put the options together missed the point.

Birthday dress


Here’s what I did last night. Today was my niece’s birthday lunch and it’s now growing cold (14C)and I bought this fabric in November from Dots N Stripes UK. I loved their service. They were quick to fix up the postage for my order.

I love wearing dark printed cord outfits in the winter and this piece was just waiting for the right temperature before I could attempt to make it up.

I’ve used McCalls 2113 which I’ve used before with a border print. The pattern had the correct adjustments so last night I cut out the dress, found a matching satin bias binding tape and pulled it together without the sleeves. I needed to know that it would fit over my curves, before I went to sleep last night.

I’ve used an invisible zip in brillant red and as the print was everywhere, there wasn’t much need to match the print pattern.

I opened the sleeve by 3cm, so it would fit over my arm, while wearing a woollen knit long sleeve top and tights underneath. The other adjustment was I lowered the neckline by 5cm and put back the gaposis and turned this into the pleat, making the neckline square. If this is going to be just a dress, I’ll add 8cm to the hemline. This is definitely a weekend dress.
When we got to the lunch, everyone was in their winter greys and blacks, so as bright as I was, I didn’t feel uncomfortable.

Yesterday I attended the first of two chanel jacket workshops with the Rhodes sewers so my next post will be about the pattern and the bright chunky silk woven left over that’s been waiting for this opportunity. OMG.

Moussaka with Soy milk

When I have vegies that need cooking, and there’s some mince in the freezer, moussaka is a good solution. Stir fries are my first ‘everything vegie’ dish.

I always layer the potatoes first so they cook in the vegie and mince sauce. Then layer is eggplant then zucchini. The layering depends on what you have and the size of your baking dish. This is my little baking dish. I’ve used herbs and cracked pepper on different layers. There’s no cooking at this stage. Traditional recipes call for the layers to be pre-cooked or fried.
This is the mince layer is the second last layer. Ok, if you’re a real vego, use cooked brown rice and drizzle with salsa sauce.
Below is the beginnings of the bechamel sauce. The reason I’ve used soy milk is because DH still is lactose and fructose intolerant, from last year’s salmonella poisoning. The salmonella was something he picked up in Austria last year.

This is a tricky part so if you’re not up for it, don’t bother. I add in the milk in small quantities and guess when I have enough for the baking dish. Use 2T butter and 2T flour, make the roux and then gradually add in the milk.

The oven is 180C and I place the dish on a larger metal tray, in case the sauce overflows while baking.

Talk about fast…


Last Monday night I went to the Knitwit showing at Artarmon. Today I received my order. That’s fast. The beauty of attending is seeing the larger print fabrics, so you know what you’re buying (and how to use it one day). Wendy’s team do some good work making up garments to take full advantage of the fabric. The danger is the dent in your credit card.

Above are the four pieces that I bought. Every year I notice that every Winter fortfolio, the red fabrics go fast so this time, I bought the two red prints that I can use. The Kwik Sew pattern was a special ‘throw in’ when you have a Stitches mag subscription.

While my right hand (thumb) is healing, I’ve been slowly, adjusting and making up a couple of toiles. Once I make up this skirt toile, there are two other fabric pieces in my stash waiting in line, to be made up. I’ve kept the width adjustments to the larger front and back panels.


Next Saturday the Rhodes group are running a chanel jacket class and this is the pattern that I’m going to take for some expert advise. There where five other chanel jacket patterns that were suggested, so there’s another chanel-type jacket that is still to be cut out and adjusted this week while DH is travelling for work.

And, I’m going to convention at Ballarat this year.

zebra print – m5752

View A is the cap sleeve version and I’ve used this zebra print in a poly knit fabric.

The key pieces to get this pattern to sit right are the midriff panels.

Before I attempted making this dress I had to face up to the my actually sizing, take a deep breath of reality and adjust the midriff. The adjustment lines are on the pattern with an additional instruction sheet to help adjust the pattern to fit your shape.

The midriff facing is a nude colour knit and I think if you really want to have some support, use a power knit that you would use for swimwear, as an option. I’ve also used seams great on the shoulder seams for long term stability.

This is definitely going to be a social dress and not one that I wear to work, although I’m tempted to put the zebra amongst the pidgeons 🙂