Copy Cat Challenge 2

Erin (I heart fabric) and Ping (Peneloping) are running Copy Cat Challenge 2. The prize pool is worth it for any sewer.

I took Megan’s (Meggipeg) suggestion for my ribbon skirts (using Sew Chic Fifth Avenue Skirt pattern as a basis) and entered this fun challenge and I’m still working on my study assessments.
I’m the one in the middle and on the right:)
To be honest, I’m just having a cuppa at the moment to calm down and then get back into the books.

If you’re sewing something RTW influenced to suit your life and body type, why not get involved and showcase your skills?

I think the sewing fairies are looking after me

This week I submitted #1 of 9 project assessments and #2 is being pulled together now. My sewing room is my study and the week before I started those pretty ribbon skirts Pattern Review (PR) emailed me to say I got another star. Cool – 4 stars.

So this afternoon I got another PR email to say I’m a featured member. (Jaw dropped)
Yep. I’m floored and chuffed (Thanks BeaJay). I’m not sure how featured members are worked out.
Thanks heaps. I have really enjoyed my contacts with Deepika, Bonnie OConnieBJ and DianeSev when I’ve managed a few of PR contests. One day I hope to meet you all.
Reality check
There’s so much to be thankful for and being able to study again right now is a blessing. DH is cooking etc so I have the time to concentrate. He’s a great cook.
December I hope to manage another PR contest so I’m convinced the sewing fairies are looking after me at the moment.
I’ll get off the blog/social media and get back into the books.

Pretty sewing

Who doesn’t love a challenge to make such a pretty ribbon skirt in colours to suit you?

Here’s the original skirt that inspired me. Here’s the original Julie Starr Ribbon Skirt that appeared on Pattern Review. The J McLaughlin ribbon skirts that inspired these skirts is now on sale for $70 but was over $200 when it was brought out.

The original ribbon skirt has a narrow waistband, a hidden side zipper, is fully lined, hits above the knee and is a pencil skirt fit.

My skirt is a size 10 using ths skirt from Sew Chic Fifth Avenue. I’ve used exactly 12 metres of 5cm wide ribbon. The skirt fabric is a loose poly woven fabric. 

I made up the skirt with large stitches to ensure it fitted me. Then I unpicked the side seams and added the ribbons applying the top layer first. I made sure that the ribbons overlapped by 1/2cm. When I first sewed the side seams the ribbons didn’t line up so I unpicked the ribbons at the side seams so they would match.

This was not a rushed job.

I didn’t want to wreck it because it’s so beautiful to assemble.
I really enjoyed planning and making the skirt ribbon layers. So I decided to make a dark colourway version for evening events. PS, we had a cold snap last night hence the boots!

The base of both skirts were remnant fabrics and invisible zips from my stash. The ribbons are what I could get from my local Spotlight store. 

I feel confident enough to make this again – for someone in the family.
These skirts were where I drew a line in the sand to put down the fabric and start working on my studies that I have to finish by September. Sewing something at the end of 3 assessments will be my incentive to get back to sewing. I’ll still finish SIL’s coat next week but that’s business that I promised to finish.

keeping promises

It’s cold and I realised last week I still had my SIL’s coat to do.

This is the test coat I made SIL last year.

The pattern is designed for stretch wovens so I added 1/2 cm to the seams as I cut it out. The fabric is a plain woven with no stretch.


The fabric is from The Remnant Warehouse and the lining is from Allanah Hill, Melbourne.

The front view before the fitting. Then I’ll finish the coat off.
The main fabric is interfaced for better shaping and I’ve used piping on the collar and yokes.

There’s a gold sheen to the fabric that shows up at night.

A closer neckline shot

I recut the centre back lining and added in some wiggle room. This pattern isn’t lined so I’ve drafted a front lining piece and used the rest of the pattern as lining, adding wiggle room in the back pieces. I can still hear ripping noise in my head when I think back to one of the first lined jackets I made with no wiggle room. It still makes me shudder.

The back

Next week she will try it on for size and that’s when I’ll readjust the fit and finally hem the coat and add the buttons. The buttons were bought in New York with Kyle.

Here’s an inside peek at the finishing details.
I have other pieces that I’ve finished to show you, once I get the ok from the pattern designers. Until then, I have to be patient and just keep sewing.
Janis, I’ll make something from the fabric I bought with you in Portland soon. Thanks for reminding me of that amazing day fabric shopping with you. You were really generous with your time.

Mahalo Shannon

DH wanted to break the trip from NY to Sydney up so we stopped in Hawaii for 6 days. That meant I could meet up with Shannon of Mushywear. 

Ricky at Kaimuku Dry Goods took this photo for us.

Finally. After so many blog posts and comments between us we got to meet. As well as purchasing Shannon’s bags on etsy as Christmas presents for the family a couple of years ago.

Shannon picked me up at the hotel and we grabbed a quick breakfast – Cinnabons – and then started on our fabric shopping journey around Waikiki. Kaimuki Dry Goods has a lot of lovely prints, evening fabrics and notions. The ladies at Kaimuki enjoyed chatting with us and hearing our stories.

A few pieces from Kaimuki Dry Goods to take home.

This was only the second time in eight years of living in Maui that Shannon had ventured to Oahu. The first time was to meet up with Kyle in April. Kyle sent us a link to a small quilt fabric place Calico Cat a few blocks from Kaimuki Dry Goods that we did visit and I bought some large quilt clips for sewing leather.

A bit of carry on luggage.
Fabric Mart was the third store we visited and it is huge with 2 floors of inexpensive fabric.
I had a hard time choosing so I bought a white Hawaiian print on white fabric for a future classic white shirt with a twist. Shannon’s stripe knit purchase was a good one. And she’s already started working on her Kaimuki haul with one of her Style Arc patterns.

After lunch we ventured up Diamond Head. Kyle had done this walk on her visit to Waikiki too.
Hawaii turned on the wonderful weather with clear blue skies by the time we reached the peak.

We chatted so much going up and down the peak, we didn’t really get very puffed.

Shannon has been a sewer I’ve followed for a long time and I was really honoured she rock hopped over to spend the day fabric shopping together in Waikiki. This is Shannon’s post about our day. What a memorable day. Thank you Shannon.

On a whim and with lots of fabric ideas dancing in my head, I did a Google search that night and found another fabric store in Waikiki via Yelp.

So the next day I hopped on the bus and found This was a smaller store but they have a great website and are interested in international sales as well as local sales. David gave me a Yelp discount.

Some of his fabrics.
David’s honest enough to say he’s not a sewer but he does make sure his customers are happy with their purchases. I was happy:) His prices are similar to Fabric Mart.
These are the fabrics and classic Hawaiian patterns I bought. The darker prints were David’s fabric gift to me.

Next to our hotel was an alterations place and she also sold a little bit of fabric. I had spied this small shop earlier in the week and looked at what she had. On my last day in Waikiki I went in to pick a piece and the owner remembered me from my earlier visit so she was very happy to make this sale. 4 yards at $10.

Total Hawaii fabric weight – 11 pounds. Most of these purchases were hand luggage.
Total US fabric haul weight – 31 pounds. A true sign of a fabricaholic aka sewing geek.

The day after we arrived home, I had high tea with the Sydney Sewers.

We’re back home. It’s winter here now. I’m sewing again. So it’s still all about the fabric. But I’m so glad (and very lucky) I got to meet up with Grace, Kyle and Shannon on our 2 week visit.
Happy Independence Day too!

Kyle in the city

In case you don’t already know Kyle of Vacuuming the lawn, she’s a sewing blogger who sews a lot and is know by lots of sewers and fabric store owners.

Our Mood purchases – pic taken by Meg

Kyle has her finger on the sewing pulse. That’s how I noticed her blog many moons ago. That and her great passion for sewing, flowers and food. Chicken pot pies and mac n cheese.

Swatch wasn’t at Mood when we visited. Neither was Tim Gunn. We visited 7 stores in 1 day.

I’m still reeling from our NY shopping day. Where do I start?

Was because when we met up we just had a ball?

Was it because the Mac n cheese at lunch was so good – just like Kyle had mentioned on her blog?

Kyle is the most organised sewing shopper on the planet. I’m biased.
We were high fiveing throughout our sewing shopping day.

Kyle is great at tweeting too. Kyle wore her McCalls 6078 cowl top and J Sterns design jeans. Following her sewing experiences on her blog has been a joy to support.

Kyle with her Tim Tams and the bag she made for PR weekend.

Here is Kyle’s write up about our shopping day in New York. I’m so glad we went to Kashi first at Metro Textiles. 

Standing with Kyle, Kashi and Barbara – pic taken by Kashi’s great assistant

At his store we met Barbara, another PRer. Kashi was really warm and accommodating. He does know his fabric.

While the three of us sewers were chatting all things sewing, Kashi was showing me of silk prints so I could see them, tell him how many yards I wanted and still keep chatting with Kyle and Barbara. We had a lot to chat about. 

Thanks for taking these pics Kashi. We were kacking ourselves (ie. having a ball).

A bit of everything from Kashi.
Mood purchases.
Fabric and notions from City Quilter. Can you spy the NY lamninated print here?

I took this pic to get my bearings during the week.

This is Kyle’s favourite row at Pacific Trimming. This store is 3 stores wide!!
The staff are very helpful and will let you know if they don’t have any notions you are looking for.

During my week I found True Mart on West 26th St and 7th Ave.

Searching for fabric around Rockafeller Centre…veering off course

I bought navy woollen fabric. The roll on the shop floor didn’t have enough length for a coat so I was given this end roll at a discount and then bought the full length I needed from a roll they had stored downstairs. 

About NY:
A week in NY isn’t enough even when staying in the garment district. Sightseeing time is at a premium. DH and I did cover 3 boroughs in one day on the subway. My DB and SIL were also in NY at the time. That turned out to be our family day out.

Carlo’s bakery was fun (1 hour wait) but the pizza place next door was amazing. The Puerto Rico parade on the Sunday was huge and its crowd on 5th Ave was truly impressive.

The wharf to Ellis Island re opens on 4th July.

DH and I spent an afternoon circling NY by ferry and we also did a hop on hop off bus tour and we saw a Broadway show.

Grand St in Chinatown had some fabric places too.

We got to the top of the Rock on a cloudy day after visiting Ground Zero.
So the NY Mets were thrashed at the Tuesday night game we saw. The Mets now my team.
What I loved was the whole experience from changing trains to get there with the St Louis fans, being part of the local crowd, watching the planes fly into LaGuardia Airport next door to eating real hot dogs and Crackerjacks.   
Kyle’s bag is now my Fashionary bag.

Thankfully Friday was Kyle in the city day shopping for fabric and notions. Lots of notions.

Here’s the mac n cheese I made on our first day home. Spicy ham and mushroom mac.

Total NY fabric weight tally  – 15 pounds. And I wore me-made clothes everyday.
It’s all about the fabric.