Minerva make – Jumpin polka dots

After making a summer work wardrobe, I chose to go easy and enjoy celebrating summer with this top and pants. Actually, this is a jumpsuit McCalls 6083The fabrics including the interfacing are from Minerva Crafts UK. These were ordered before Christmas and arrived in Australia from the UK before New Year. You’ll find a few jumpsuits at Minerva.

Pretty plain looking on the hanger right? These fabrics washed nicely and were easy to work with. I used ‘Seams Great’ to stabilise the shoulder pleats. The pockets have swimwear elastic to give the gathers. 
You don’t need a super duper sewing machine to sew this successfully. Just a normal sewing machine will help you achieve this easy, breezy piece. Being knit fabrics, seams don’t need to be finished. These fabrics have been through the wash a few times now and the seams edges remain intact. This such an easy jumpsuit to wear.
Invisible snaps at the front will keep you in (and get you out) of this comfortable jumpsuit. The sleeve edges and back neckline are folded down once and zigzagged. I did use the coverstitch machine for the hems on the pants but you don’t need a coverstitch machine to finish the hems.
This was taken outside the Amory buildings in Sydney. Summer is coming to an end.
The kit from Minerva includes McCalls pattern 6083 (sizes 14-20), spotty jersey cotton knit fabric, plain jersey fabric and woven interfacing. This is the perfect project if you only have a sewing machine and aren’t confident sewing in a zipper.
You can see how flowing the pants fabric is. It’s gorgeous to sew with too.
This version has

– pleats at the shoulder line. Pleats suit the cotton knit used for the top.

– wide elastic at the waist. I added more seam allowance on the top and on the pants to do this without distorting the pattern.
– smaller arm holes. I raise the arm holes of the front and back bodices
– The base of the pocket bags have been cut off. The original pockets ended at mid-thigh level.

Wear it will a cute belt and flat shoes.
Or wear it will heels in a similar print. I decided to wear these heels and not the flat shoes.
When I took these indoor photos, it was a Friday night after a busy week and I was about to catch up with friends, so I wanted to feel comfortable but look sharp. I’d be happy to see you in this outfit too. Grab the kit and make your version today. Thank you Minerva Crafts.

And that’s my Sew Grateful project brought to you by Minerva Crafts!!

Sew grateful week 2014

Sew grateful hosted by Debi, is something I’m grateful for and we’re in Sew Grateful week now. I’ve bundled the first part of Sew Grateful week together today.

Giveaway Day 1

Giveaway Day. Host a giveaway on your blog or other social media platform to give something back to the sewing community.
Here are 3 giveaway patterns that I hope will be useful for someone, somewhere.

How does Friday 28 Feb sounds as a cut off date for anyone who wants to put their hat in the ring for these three free patterns. I’ll add some notions to this giveaway too.

Leave your comment below and I’ll announce the winner on the weekend.

Reflections Day –  Day 2

Reflections Day. This is the day to reflect on the role sewing has played in our lives, reflecting on those who have been supportive in our journey and reflecting on what the online community means to us!  What are you sew grateful for?
Our sewing/craft community is truly global so this is what I’m grateful for. Sewing has brought me lots of joy. These are the sewers I’ve met with since last Sew Grateful.

With Kyle and Kashi at Metro Fabrics

Finally met Shannon in Hawaii after so many years of ‘chatting’

Kristiann Boos (and Simon) of Victory Patterns came to Melbourne for a meetup

Grace met up with me for an afternoon in LAX


Kyle at her favourite place at Pacific Trimming


The Melbourne meet up arranged by TJ

Perth dinner with Penny, Jenny and Carolyn

An honour to have met Yoshimi

Amy, Emma and Kirsty chance meet up

Meeting sewers when I’m either at home or when I’m away have kept me sewing.

And I’m truly grateful for the pattern testing opportunities I’ve had the pleasure of doing. Collaborating on projects has been wonderful. 

Minerva Crafts UK (that’s you Vicki) have been very generous to me each month and I couldn’t have become a Sewing Blogger if I wasn’t part of our global sewing/craft world.

If I’ve been able to give back to you through these posts, that’s the other aspect that I’m most grateful for.

Share resources – Day 3

Sharing Resources Day. Share a free pattern, share some vintage sewing resources, share a tutorial or share some great sewing resource links!

Here are the tutorials that I hope you find useful.
Pants adjustments can be found here.
Sway back adjustment
Keeping your jacket’s shape for longer
Pad stitching
Speed marking

Sewing project day Day 4
Sew Grateful Sewing Project Day.  Showcase your latest sewing project. Whether it’s a project using up that pattern that was a present from someone or that you won in a giveaway or using a tutorial someone has prepared, or even a project inspired by someone in the sewing community… the possibilities are nearly endless!

I’ll post my sewing project up on Thursday, through the generosity of Minerva Crafts UK.

Cyclist post

Grace of Badmomgoodmom asked about the adjustments I do for ‘cyclist legs’. You can interpret this as full thighs for pedaling for hours and hours to get from A to B.

My favourite ‘go to’ reference is “Fitting and pattern alteration: A multi-method approach to the art of style selection, fitting and alteration” by Liechty, Rashband and Pottberg-Steineckert. Or the big red book.

Above are three ways to add width to the top of the leg. This book always offers a number of ways to tackle a fit issue. I’ve used the slash method (see below).
Close up view
How did I figure the amount to open the leg? I added 1 cm to the front and the back. This then gave me 4cm extra width for my thighs. That’s a lot of extra thigh room.

This shows you the amount I added for the sway back and the deeper curve on the back piece. The first test shorts were 4cm too low at centre back so that’s how I knew how much to insert.

The book shows you the initial image with the drag lines so you can analyse what adjustments you need to make, if it’s just you, a camera and a family member on hand.

If I stop cycling and training, I might need to read about a ‘low buttocks curve’ adjustment.

Left hand blue

You’ve seen these before here and here. I wanted a navy pair in blue, so this is the blue pair with a new blue top for Blue, blue February.

The pattern changes were refined on the second pair but I wanted to tackle one more issue. Making room for cyclist thighs. Well I think that’s the last piece to my shorts puzzle.

The lifesaver is right behind me 🙂

After checking the notes on the Pants Club, I thought the legs part needed a bit of room. Using the big red book, they call this change ‘circumference thigh adjustment’. Who knew?

Here’s the back view. Lots of cover stitching used again and my attempt at matching the dots on the back pockets didn’t happen. Oh well. These are my final summer shorts.

The top is a replica of the RTW top I wore with these shorts yesterday.

Work or weekend?

What started out as weekend cargo pants are now work wear. How did that happen?

Was it the fabric?

This fabric was an unloved stash from a local sewer. Even I thought this fabric would be an ‘ok’ pattern testing fabric. 
It’s a bit scratchy and flimsy.
It’s a non-colour on both sides so I used the dark side.

Front view with a me-made top.

Was it the pattern?

This is clearly a cargo pattern. Cargoes are usually a forgiving style (weekend worthy) and I made the 4 grading it to 6 at the hips. Peggy of Silhouette Patterns uses this block for her jeans pattern.

Was it the notions?
Probably. I’ve used stash buttons and zipper in the ‘beige-est’ of beige. 

How about the finishings?
I did use triple thread coverstitching in a few places but not a lot. The fly front stitching uses a nothing colour so it’s not obvious. See the lining.

I cut the outer leg pockets to a smaller size so that weren’t as big as designed. These pockets are designed to sit flat and they do.

About the pattern
This pattern is multisized and comes in 4 – 18 and 14W – 28W. 

It took me over an hour to cut out all the pieces. That prep time included pattern adjustments for length and depth. The techie stuff is below.

Peggy suggests making these cargoes in 3 steps. 
1. Cut out the pieces. 
2. Make up the front and back legs. 
3. Sew the pants together with the outside pockets and tabs.

I took an hour to make the back welt pockets and sew in the zipper.

The outer pockets were another sit and concentrate session. 
So I’ve made these cargoes in 5 steps to focus on these features.

I like how these cargoes are fitted at the waist and hips and not saggy, baggy cargoes, so they are work appropriate.

The technical stuff:
My adjustments basic trouser adjustments:
1. Deepened the back crotch curve 
2. Sway back curve.
3. Shortened the leg length (#shortgirl)
4. Shortened the pocket bag (#shortgirl)
5. Added room for my thighs on the front and back leg (Cylindrical lower torso).

On this top, the lines at the centre back seam matched 🙂

My ‘go to’ pattern fitting book is Fitting and pattern alteration or what we refer to as ‘the big red book’. Not much tweaking needed 

Thanks to The Monthly Stitch for getting me to focus on Smarty pants this month.
Thanks for stopping by:)

Grainline Maritime Shorts #2

This time I decided to use Jen’s fly front zipper tutorial. When I’m working to a deadline, learning new techniques are harder. I don’t absorb anything. This time I wasn’t working to a deadline and I decided to follow Jen’s instructions and learn a new technique. New year = new technique.

Jen’s fly front zipper method results in a dead straight result from top to bottom. I like it. I’ll use Jen’s technique again. The tutorial on Jen’s website is the same as the instructions in the pattern. The difference is the online tute has real photos of the fabric pieces instead of the illustrations used in the pattern. This was what made me more confident that I was following her instructions correctly. Check twice then sew helps me a lot:)

While I was working on this black pair, I had the rare opportunity to attend a Coverstitch workshop run by Michelle from Babylock Australia. Let me tell you, once I got home I just couldn’t wait to try using what I’d learnt at this workshop on something. Anything. These shorts were it! So this black pair has 2 needle coverstitching on the back pockets, the front pockets, the belt loops and on the fly front.

I’ve used left over fabric from the play suit for the pockets.

Then I used the 3 thread finish for the hem. I could have used the down feller for the hem but the excitement to sew these up took over. 

I bought my Coverstitch attachments from Sharp Sewing Supplies. I now know how to use the attachment. Sharp Sewing Supplies had all the attachments I needed for my Coverstitch machine and their service was fast and friendly.

These shorts were a great practice for attaching rivets on the pockets and working with a jeans button. They were made in the sewing room and in the garage. DH is used to my working in the garage from time to time.

Black goes with anything.

Can you tell I’m gearing up to make jeans or cargo pants? I have the hardware to make either.

Colour Run Sydney

Summer sewing interruption:
I took part in the Colour Run. This is a 5K charity run/walk event. Don’t get this confused with fabric colour that bleeds when it’s washed. There was no way I was going to miss running with the family.The kids had a ball. Having the opportunity to get messy with the colour stations along the way and being given colour dust to get more messy at the end was such fun.

The crowd warming up before an 8am start sans colour.

Ever since Melissa put out her XYT top and PB jam leggings, and the fact lots of people have getting fit as a New Year’s resolution, I’ve been wanting to make the XYT top again with some stash exercise fabric. Any excuse to make another XYT top and the Jalie skort below.

Everyone wears a Color run white t-shirt and you whatever else you want. Tutes, Butterfly wings, crazy wigs – it’s a community event. I was advised to wear another top under the t-shirt to protect my skin from becoming garishly coloured.
On this skort I used the floral print on the side pockets. There’s no elastic in the waistband.

And I finally got to add the gripper elastic to the legging hem, gifted to me by Sarah.
I did a sway back adjustment on the centre back seam of the skirt and the leggings but cut the skirt pieces on the fold. 

My first blue version felt short so I added the 5 cm on the hem of this new version. This first version needed gripper elastic on the legging hems so I’ve now added the elastic to it.

The built in support was wonderful. I had enough of the floral print to make the Y version of the XYT top.
Well there wasn’t enough length for the long top so I used piping in brown to add the extra pieces on the shoulders.
The back skirt is a bit a-line.
Dear fashion police, please overlook this whole matching set. I promise not to intentionally do this again. Unless it looks good:)
The XYT top is long for workouts. 
But I can wear the top shorter for weekend wear. The whole outfit was great for the Color Run.
This is as color messy as I got. My nephew enjoyed throwing colour dust on me.  I’ll spare you the not pretty post-event shot – It’s not at all pretty.