At the begining of the past week, I finished off my first b5242. It works really well with a lined bodice as the pattern suggests. I will make this again, with the right fabric.

The neckline is well placed and from the PR Reviews I lengthened the front waist darts by 3 cm, to avoid the maternity dress look. Below is the back skirt. I’ve taken out some of the skirt fullness. I don’t have the height to carry it off. The other issue is the skirt was too long and made the dress seem matronly, so I’ve raised the hemline and will adjust it again at the centre front again.
Our Australia Day holiday we had an eating fest but I woke up early that day with a thought, so here’s how I followed it through. Today the weather is going to be warm and humid. We’ve got a wedding and the one shoulder dress that I’ve made won’t suit the church part of the ceremony. If I was younger, I could get away with it but it’s been drummed into my head, not to flash too much flesh in church. When we’ve visited temples and other places of worship in other countries, it’s a sign of respect so I’ve made this dress to deal with the heat. But I’ve also made a matching cardi.

M2241 is definitely an oldie that’s been sitting in my pattern stash. Both fabrics were purchased on our Melbourn shopping tour of 2009. The dress is simple and unlined. I’ve placed the straps where my bra straps sit – bonus:) This is a 12 size and I’ve done the back shaping for a better fit. Together, it looks like a sweetheart neckline. The fabric is a stretch woven and I’ve used an invisible zipper.
Here’s a close up of the cardi finishes. I’ve used green satin bias binding. The hems are the selvedge of the lace fabric. I’ve used boring M5978. I hand stitched the binding so that I could sew one stitching line on the front.
 This week I’ll get back to making Simplicity 2369 below.

Great people

I’m truly convinced that there are so many great people who sew because throughout our US trip planning process and registering for Sew Expo at Puyallup, there have been lots of issues/hurdles, but people are basically helpful and kind.
This will probably be our only visit to Puyallup because it’s a long way to travel but we just don’t have the breadth of learning experiences and sewing suppliers in Australia. The show organisers have had lots to deal with this year and they are so helpful and willing to be accommodating to us. Rita’s blog is handy as is their facebook page. Most of all Ann Sagawa emails us directly, and she’s never met us. How good is that?

We’ve also been doing fabric shopping research for Seattle, Portland, LA together as well as fabric research when we head our separate ways, so include San Francisco in the mix. PR review has been real handy as have the Yahoo and Stitches girls. Blogfriends like Mushywear, has offered her Portland fabric knowledge (which I’m more than happy to accept).

I was shopping at Spotlight on Sunday and the male shopper who was looking bewildered at the snaps/closures/velocro section gave me a handy travel tip. Sew snap closures in your travel trouser pockets to deter pickpockets. This would have been a great deterrent a couple of years ago when DH had his wallet taken at the Eiffel Tower. See what I mean?

So I know that there are undesirables out there, but they are just so outnumbered by the wave of great people in our international sewing community. Love ‘yous’ all.

Cardi – M5978

Here’s my take on this basic cardi M5978.

This fabric was from Knitwit early in 2010 and in December I made it into a dress.
The snaps on the front are from The Snap Source. They’re great because they have long prongs. I’ve also used grey fabric for the front and neck bands and used the grey to outline the neckline. I’ve also used twill tape on the shoulder seams to keep the shoulder shape stable.


The red skirt had been an orphan but now it looks like it’s part of a family. The sleeves are long so I will look at adding some gathers on the next cardi, if the fabric is a solid colour.

So obvious

At the 2008 Industry day at the Simplicity factory, I bought two bolts of quilt fabric. I don’t quilt but I thought these would be great as toile fabric.

In 2009 I made this dress as part of a pattern stash contest. This dress gets great wear at work in the summer.
During the week I woke up and realised that this fabric would suit our ‘dining’ table. The wall, tiles and chairs have a similar yellow colour. So obvious.
The print reminds me of our europe trip in 2009 in the fall. Every where we went had the same fall colours with their halloween pumpkin decor. Back to this week – I ironed with the hem over twice and did a straight stitch so the first table cloth was done.
 Yesterday while I was with my sewing buddies, Goosegreen (Alison) was giving us a show of the sewing machine needles she has. It’s a huge and impressive collection. This morning I grabbed the rest of the bolt and made a second table cloth, using a 100 size needle and a patterned stitch in orange in the hope of having a more decorative hem. There was a quick trip to Spotlight to get a thicker needle but I may need to get a 130 size needle, but that can wait until we get to the States. Yipee:) 

Just pics

This morning was much cooler and not as sticky, so I’ve taken these reality shots of the striped dress so you can see the fit. I will readjust the bodice back because of the fullness at the waist.

Here’s the top, not as wide as originally made. I look 2cm out of the sleeve width and graduated it to the hipline. More soon…

Express clean out

There is still lots to clean out in our house and yesterday I spent some time planning a few items to wear when we go to the US next month while pulling out the fabrics that just won’t do anymore (stratchy feel, dated print, poor quality and ‘what was I thinking’). Granted, none of this weekend’s pieces will keep me warm, they are layers.


I bought this fabric in Melbourne two years ago when 5 of our sewing buddy group spent 5 days fabric shopping. I focused on buying purple and green fabrics and this is a piece of memories from that trip. I’ve used a combat print FOE on the sleeve hem and the centre trim uses the selvedge. The front neck has been lowered and I used the selvedge on the centre front seam of the collar. This is view A without the belt. If the hem was lower, I would add a belt, but I’m a bit short in height to carry this off well. PS, I’ve made the bodice slimmer so I’ll put the updated pics up tonight. There’s just no shape otherwise.

This is the fifth new pattern that I’ve adjusted this month and I was really happy that the hems were even. It’s now ingrained in my mind to measure from the waist point on the pattern or use the side seam marks to double check the length. The centre back hem is 2 cm lower than the front to cover my behind evenly. In the cold, I’ll wear this over a black thermal, like the picture. That’s the plan. The next version will have seams great on the shoulder seams.

Here’s Butterick 5525 View B. The front and back fabric is left over from last week’s green dress. I just love the colour and the way this fabric handles (from The Fabric Store). The sleeve contrast is also a left over piece that I know won’t wear well but it does the job. When I started to use this print, I stopped, took out similar useless fabric pieces from my stash and they are now in the local charity bin. I’m over poor quality fabric.
Anyway, the centre back seam is not on the fold. I’ve shaped it and it suits my sway back better. After I sewed this top, the front neckline was gapping too much so I unpicked it and too 1.5cm off both sides of the centre front side seams and the neckline now sits much better. This pattern has a couple of neat versions that I plan to do.
In the pipeline is M5978 cardi in a print. This pattern is kind of boring, but I’ll try it. There’s also a Maggie London knit dress B5242 ready to make up. There are plans for Simplicity 2369 dress and another Maggie London knit B5418

Faux wrap – Vogue 8379

This is my favourite faux wrap dress that I’ve made before. At our last sewing session, my sewing buddies were all making something in green so this is my first green piece of 2011. Yes – green with envy

I added a grey/green piece of lace on the neckline and then added some beading to lift the neckline. The girls at work commented on it. They’re so used to seeing my wardrobe change that it’s only when I do something different that they comment. I bought the fabric from The Fabric Store early last year.
This has my normal adjustments: sway back adjustment, roll shoulder adjustment, shortened hem line and I use the sleeve size without the cuff.

This week I saw a couple of episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, so I used the striped knit burgundy and gave it a bit of 70’s treatment on the neckline and cuffs.

The nice thing is I orginally used the 14 size pattern and now I’m using the 12 size. You can see how I’ve had to take out fabric from the back bodice. The skirt wasn’t working so I made the side seams straight.

The front is easier to retro fit because I’ve just readjusted the existing wrapped front to fit.
The cuffs don’t close together. Faux cuffs.
I think this fabric was also bought from The Fabric Store at the same time.

I’m also fish-sitting a friend’s pets and they’re keeping me company in my sewing room. They’re not too fussy. They just enjoy being fed and swimming around while listening to my sewing machine hum. I’ve even put the aircon on so they don’t get too hot:)