Purple pins – Vogue 1204

Purple Pins – could have been a sewing Marvel comic character. 

Sews like the speed of light.
Bounds fabric stashes like a gazel. 
Can pinpoint vintage patterns with the skills of Nancy Drew.
Scan the net for fashion forward trends.

But Purple Pins wouldn’t sell to their target audience – teenage boys. 

$16 later this humble piece of cotton drill became skinny leg jeans. 
I know you’ve seen the red pair, the green pair, and the mustard legs (Purple Pins loyal and truty assistant).
Purple Pins saves the Easter Show

Purple Pins Vs Chips on a stick
Inside band and front detailing – not quiet a utility belt

Back pocket detailing

I decided to make these skinny jeans for Week 3 of Mixing it up March challenge at Sew Much Talent . Week 2 was the blouse. Week 1 UFO was the armband.

Week 1~ UFOs and WIPs
Week 2~ Tops and Blouses
Week 3~ Skirts and/or Pants
Week 4~ Try “never sewn before” pattern company

Trying to look mild-mannered

1. Weeks 2-4 must be new projects that you started at the onset of this challenge.
2. Please share picture of garment and pattern used with details. Wouldn’t hurt to share how much fabric you used as well.
3. Must meet deadlines to qualify for the prize..
4. Each week starts on Sunday (12:01 am) and ends Saturday (12:00 am)
5. SEW,SEW,SEW and be as creative as you want to be!!

My week 4 challenge is to make something from a pattern company that you’ve never used before. I’ve chosen Terrific T from Safe – t – pockets.

I originally bought this pattern for Mum and I’ll still make it for her, but I’ve never sewn their patterns before so I may as well give is a go, before I start on Mum’s version, so I get used to these instructions. So far, the instructions are really logical and helpful.

The Flounce About Jacket is the other pattern I’ve bought for Mum. Did I say that I have a fabric stash for Mum too.

Mum loves pockets and this is what drew me to these patterns. And I love using indie patterns.

Happy Easter break

Spring shirt – McCalls 5433

This blouse is sitting on top of its sister shirt dress.
Most of my tops are knits and now I’ve gone back to making blouses using wovens and adding sewing techniques I’ve learnt y’all in the online sewing community and Peggy Sagers webcasts. She’s been doing free sewing webcast since December 2010 and I sew my collars using her method.
I still wear my green skinny jeans a lot.

This blouse has cap sleeves from Butterick 5328 but they were widened to sit out from my shoulders.

Butterick 5328 cap sleeve version

The cap sleeves on this blouse was tight fitting but not anymore. I’ve used french seam finishes and bias binding on the sleeve seams.

‘How do you do’ pose.

Did I tell you this fabric has a 2-way print? There was a two-way arrow sticker on the fabric and I couldn’t tell which was the right way on this print no matter which way I looked the fabric.

The nice thing about this pattern is that it has the dress extension on the main pattern pieces so you don’t have to cut out two bodices for the dress and the shirt versions. Thanks for asking the question Rebecca. I’m flattered when I see others pick up ideas that I’ve used. I pick up ideas from sewing bloggers all the time.

Resisting fairy floss at the Easter Show.

You should see all the great fitted blouse entries on Pattern Review! This is the final week of the contest that I’m managing. The contest closes on 31 March.

This view convinced me that I need to shorten the blouse and I have. See below. I took it up by 3cm.

I’ve now entered this blouse into Faye’s 2013 essential top sew along.

The story about these Purple Pins is to come…

Spring shirtdress – McCalls 5433

This print fabric has strong colours and reminded me of the orchids in Singapore. I bought the fabric locally and it was the first shirt dress I made this month, before the vintage military dress.

This blue work version made earlier is worn to work (a lot) so I had to make it again. The original plan was to simply make just the shirt.

Well, I ended up making this floral dress instead. What can I say. My planning skills are fluid.

This little floral number was lined with stash fabric and because the lining peeks through at the collar, I added a super quick facing from leftover floral fabric.


The close up shot below shows a hint of flowers on the inside at the neckline. The last minute facing worked. Every seam is either french seamed or self-made bias bound. And I added the purple bias for colour and a vertical line. We petites know why.
Notice the cap sleeves. This sleeve pattern was traced from Butterick 5328. When I originally used this cap sleeve, it was tight so I widened it by 2.5cm for more movement.
Here’s a ‘lean against the wall’ shot. The cap sleeve does peek over my shoulders – just as I wanted. It’s really cool to wear on hot days.

And the ‘yes it covers my caboose’ shot – not flattering. Back to the gym I go.

There is a shirt version in this fabric but I’m working on the deep purple skinny jeans to go with it. That might sound like tos much colour but you can let me know when I show you the final ensemble.

Vintage military – New Look 6214

Nothing to wear. Hardly. But what do you wear to a vintage show?

Yes, I bought fabric and buttons.
Sewhopefull made a gorgeous shirtmaker dress version from this fabric too. She has classic styling taste. I thought I bought this from Pitt Trading but Sylvia who was at the vintage fair said it wasn’t one of hers. Sewhopefull bought her fabric from Spotlight so that’s probably where I bought my fabric from too.
This is the New Look 6214 pattern pic.

I cut this dress out and fused it on Friday night, sewed it up and bought the buttons on Saturday and wore it on Sunday.

This is a simple shirtmaker dress. I kept adding military finishings to balance off the floral rose print. Love the buttons.

A back inverted pleat makes it easy/comfortable to wear.

This shows the waist carrier tabs and self-made belt.

The collar tab was a breeze to make. It was my third one in a week, so it should have been. See the shoulder epaulets? I know it’s not that clear in these pics.

And every seam is bound and gaged – sorry – french seams and bias binding have been used to finish each seam. This is a cotton woven so it’s going to crease but this print will hide that!

The vintage show made me realise while I enjoy drooling over vintage clothes, I prefer to use vintage styling when I sew and wear new clothes. It was a day of admiring past styles, reinventing classic designs and catching up over coffee and sushi with good friends.

A Cherrypix post

Anne loves all things black and white. Well, in “Fashion and styling”, Bill Cunningham from NY Times did a review of the chicest fashionistas recently and while I was losing interest in a weekend project I made this b/w print for a pick me up.
This Tessutis remnant black and white ponte print ($11.60) bought at the November Sydney Sewer meet up and an old TNT t-shirt pattern gave me the “I really can sew” pick me up I needed.

Not too sure about this print or shoes – but I keep smiling.

I extended this pattern from waist to my knees with ample tush room for a dress version. With a bit of fold over elastic on the neckline, a centre back dart and coverpro hems this quick knit dress was finished.

Side shot – the shoes look better. Still thinking about this print.

By the time I finished the dress, I had thought of a resolution to my shirt lining issue. I cut out a neckline piece and added this to lining.

Ok – so the print is ok and the shoes are too.

BurdaStyle and TJ
Congratulations to TJ of The perfect nose for her great feature story on BurdaStyle this week.

Lily skirt – no surprises

Lena wore her Lily skirt at the Sydney Sewer Social and when she asked me to test this pattern I said Yes! Check out Lena’s Lily skirt post. I know some of you are testing this skirt too.

Here’s my first Lily using tulips. I love this Spring print.

Putting the pattern pieces together was easy to assemble.

I don’t have lots of floor space so I assembled the first few rows; cut out those pattern pieces; and then assembled the last few rows. The pages are numbered so the pattern pieces came together within an hour.

After I put the pieces together these ‘reference’ pieces were used to trace off my size. I might make Lily up for a few others in the family. It’s happened before.

Initial adjustments: Shortened the hip depth and then took 6cm off the hem. The lining is meant to be 7cm above the skirt hem but I’ve kept it about the same because I wanted to wear this skirt to work.

Technical stuff:
The zip area is reinforced with interfacing.  I’ve also used steam a seam lite 2 to finish the hem. Twill tape is used at the waist and you can see it so I’ll use fusible tape on the next skirt. French seams are used on this poly georgette for most of the skirt and lining. The lining is Sunsilky.

Final adjustments:

Lowered the front waist by 1.5cm.
Remove 0.5cm off the side seams at the waistline.
I’d love to make another Lily. I’ve worn this to work and I felt comfortable/safe wearing it to cross the road on a windy summer’s morning. And I felt pretty too.
Armband rough instructions
Thank you for your supportive comments about my armband. I felt pretty silly posting it up but I’ve found it works and I hope you can improve upon what I’ve done. The rough instructions to make your own version is on the armband post.


Here’s how armband #2 gets worn.Thanks for asking Andrea.

I’ve used a b/w pic because no makeup gets worn to the gym (and just woken up hair). By the end of each morning session we’re all very messy, out of puff but ready for a new day.

Clothes sewing
BTW, I do have some fashion sewing that I’ve pattern tested and have been waiting to show you but I’m waiting to be given the ‘green light’.

So in the meantime, I’ll get back to making a few more work pieces for the change in seasons and cracking the books because I have a bit of study to do this year. What’s life without a bit of variety 🙂
It’s all good.