#mustardlegssaturday #MMMay14

Zo is the queen of May (#MMMay) and mustard is so Zo. She’s now a Mum and she did an awesome job updating her mustard trousers in time to wear them on Day 31. I supported Zo from a far.

This is my Vogue mustard legs in honour of Zo and New Look 6149 (to be blogged) and courtesy of Pitt Trading.
By Day 30, the park rangers had finally spotted me taking #MMMay14 pics before work.

Jalie jeans and a vintage wrap top.

On Day 27 the wait staff at the Armory got used to my early morning appearance.

Kwik Sew top and basic brown work skirt.

Day 28 was a frantic morning so a little local shot was used.

Mad Men inspired dress using Spotlight fabric.

Day 29 was more rushed than day 28 so I’ve used this freshly painted spot after work.

The total charity count for this #MMMay is (drum roll please) 20 me-mades pieces now with a charity organisation somewhere.
My flickr updates were better than my instagram ones this time around. I’ve enjoyed this year’s entries and giving back to charity. Congratulations everyone!

Olive: v-neckline

Remember this olive Olive? Lolita patterns newest pattern with a gorgeous peplum.

Here’s how I developed a v-neckline on Olive.

See how the neckline is a wide-ish curve? 

I checked the v-neckline depth I wanted by looking in the mirror and measuring to where I wanted the neckline to end.
Then I folded the pattern at the V point and graduated it to the shoulder line. There was no science to this v-neckline.
Then I took the easy route and created a front neck facing. I do love the facings created for Olive more than my own facings. They sit well and don’t ‘flip out’. 
Here’s my simple back neck facing.

The rest was easy because I’d made this once before and this cotton print was great to work with.  
Adding piping is an additional construction step and a design challenge.
My fabric stash has started to sprout Liberty/floral type fabrics.

And the best way to bring up the style lines with these florals seems to be by adding piping. 
On wearing this version, I think the next version will have a lower v-neckline. 

This v-neckline depth will remain for future ‘work-Olives’.

The peplum still sits flat and the sleeve detailing is still lovely. No ruffles this time because the print was ‘Lolita’ enough for my style.
And Olive is fun to wear.

There are a few more tips for making Olive on the Lolita patterns page.
Serger tips and working with light weight fabrics
Adjusting the bust
Prepping the back and waistband


Jaywalk polo tops

Stripes and polo tops made sense to me, especially for weekend wear. The Jaywalk fabric from Tessutis was perfect for these tops.

I had been mulling about how to use this stripe fabric and created a Stripe pinterest board. And then I realised, I wear polo type tops on weekends anyway, hence a couple of Jaywalk tees.

Here’s where I started. The Alexa tee front piece is divided into 3 angled sections.
 I’ve numbered each section and sewn these together before sewing the top.
The top piece has the stripes running across the body so this was a key piece to get right.
Then I had to match up the stripes on the sleeve.
Here’s how I had to pin the centre back together.
The collar and collar facing were taken from Butterick 3386 that I’ve used before.
See how the lines match on the sleeve and under the sleeve?
Once I’d figured out the construction, I made this again.

And I promptly wore this version last weekend.

 Excuse this rear view.

Please feel free to make your own version.


#MMMay 14

My key learning this #MMMay14 is when I don’t wear something more than once, it either needs a quick alteration or it should go to charity. My pledge is to wear MMM I’ve only worn once.

The clothing charity tally has increased to 15 garments – and I’m happy with that. They’re all in good condition so I feel relieved to be giving to people who in need. 

There’s also been a few well-loved but unused kitchen crockery items that went to the Salvos last week. I think this year’s #MMMay14 has benefited more than just moi. 

Thanks again to Zo to getting me to be me-made aware for others too.

Day 18 was another visit to Cabramatta. Beajay and Valerie wrote about how we hosted this fabric/lunch visit to ‘Little Vietnam‘ for Lynnelle of You sew girl

Photo taken by Valerie

Urban PresidioNew Look 6149 using Pitt Trading fabric (Charlie Brown remnant), Vogue 8774 black jeans with denim and jeans notions from Minerva Crafts UK.

 Day 19 was about being pleased with finishing painting the landing at home. Oh and I’m wearing my fave shirt dress New Look 6214 piping, prints with contrasts and a decent cotton fabric make this a ‘go-to’ work dress so I’ve deviated from my pledge to wear ‘once only’ me mades.

Day 20:
This amazing park location is usually packed with families. And you can see why. There are so many spots to play for kids of all ages.

The skirt is Vogue and the top uses the collar from Kwik Sew. I deviated again because I kept taking out once worn pieces and deciding they needed a new home.

Day 21 features the kiddie slides. There are quite a few of them.

This dress is a linen I picked up in the States a few years ago and I used it to make this Dandelion dress that Mari Miller designed. This is another fav work dress even if linen creases so easily. But it’s now bagging at the shoulders so it will go to charity.

Day 22
Now I’m not sure what this play area is but it’s definitely striking.

These pants are still not fitting well so I’ll test them again in a different fabric and give this pair to charity. The top is Sew Chic pattern beatrice bodice with a Vogue peplum and it’s going to go to a better home. I enjoy the fit of the top but I know where it needed tweaking so this top has had a very good run.

Day 23 features my Minerva polka dot shirt using Butterick 5538 and Vogue 1204 purple pins. Polka dots were the day’s theme.
Photo taken by Rhonda
Before I put this blouse on in the morning, I tweaked the back darts because it was looking a bit shapeless. This blouse is now a better shape without pulling. The beauty of this fabric is that it’s a good quality stretch woven.

Day 24
On weekends I wear jean/pants/shorts so it’s nice to wear a new top. 
Photo taken by DH

The morning was cool so I grabbed my trusty Minoru jacket over my new Jaywalk tee (to be blogged), Vogue 1204 green jeans and all of my belongings are in my urban Presidio purse.

Day 25 was a quiet one where I was experimenting with stripes and came up with this dress using a remnant from Tessutis. The basis for this dress is their Alexa tee pattern.
The bag is my faithful urban Presidio purse.
I’ll blog this shortly as I’ve just finished sewing a bunch of stripe knits 🙂 
I’ve used Tessutis Alexa tee pattern for this dress style. I’ll show you how shortly…

Day 26

Another fab day with 25C temps forecast again. This is a wonderful end to autumn.

Back at the park I’m wearing my fav shirt dress New Look 6124. You saw this dress on Day 19 too.

Minerva sewing: Travel pieces

Travel and preparing for the journey takes planning including wardrobe planning.
Threads mag had a travel planning article. So I’ve made two key pieces courtesy of Minerva Crafts UK.

Wool cardi wrap
Threads suggest a shawl as a key piece to wear and to act as a blanket on the plane. This navy blue wool wrap is my ‘shawl’. I’ve made this wrap, Simplicity 2603 a bunch of times so I know it works. 

The feel of this fine knit is gorgeous. Here’s the closed wrap look.

The fabric is super fine, which means using a simple straight stitch and some ‘steam a seam lite’ to finish the edges and overlocking the seams. 

Watch me fly!

Ponte yoga pants
Silhouette Patterns has a basic yoga pants pattern and I’ve used Nanettes yoga pants because I love this style. 

Silhouette yoga pants in a dark colour with a soft wrap top has worked for me in the past. I’ve looked at some travel jacket patterns and decided to add a pocket in the yoga pants.

A fact of life for Aussies and Kiwis is when we want to hop over to Europe or the States, that means we have an 18 or 22 hour flight so you have to be comfortable in ‘cattle class’. 
Budget, budget, budget.

Note: These scissors won’t be travelling with me when we travel. A holiday includes no sewing. I know. That’s just madness right?

Hop over to Minerva Crafts if you want to grab your some fine knit fabrics or ponte.

A hidden pocket

I’ve always been interested in the patterns developed by Saf-t-pockets. I made my version of the T-shirt Trifecta a while ago.

They have a pants pattern in three styles for wovens but I wanted to use ponte for travel pants with a hidden pocket for travel. 

So decided to make Silhouette Patterns 3011 Nanette’s yoga pants.

This version was made last year. The fabric used here is a light weight knit with spandex.
So where would you add the hidden pocket? 
What would you make the pocket bag with under ponte? 
Would you use an exposed zipper; and invisible zipper; or a lapped zipper?

The easy decisions were to answer 
  • add the hidden pocket at the front waistband; 
  • use an invisible zipper; 
  • have the zipper close to the hip.

I’m right handed so the pocket should sit on the left.

But how would you do this?
You’ll need fabric for your pocket bag, the pants pattern and fabric (cut to size) and an invisible zipper.
Step 1: Use your invisible zipper foot and sew one side of the zipper to the trouser.
Step 2: Sew the pocket bag to this side of the zipper tape. Sew through the trouser seam allowance and the zipper tape.
Step 3: Sew the waistband on the trousers stopping at either end of the zipper. There will be a gap at either end. You’ll sew this up at the end.

Step 4: Using the invisible zipper foot, sew the remaining side of the zipper to the waistband.
Step 5: Using a normal zipper foot, sew the remaining bits of the waistband to the trouser seam.

Step 6: Using the normal zipper foot, attach the pocket bag to the remaining side of the zipper. Sew through the waistband seam allowance and zipper tape.

Step 7: Sew closed the zipper bag pieces. I’ve used the overlocker for this final step.

You now have your very own invisible pocket!!
The zipper is closed above. 
Can you see it?

The pocket is open. Can you see it yet?

Can you see it now with the scissor handle peeking through?

The fabric and invisible zipper were supplied by Minerva Crafts UK. You’ll see the finished yoga pants later this week as my May Minerva make.

Working with fine knits

Fine knit fabrics are gorgeous. Take a look at this gorgeous knit below from Minerva Crafts.

Fine knits are soft, resilient and drape lightly. So the key skill here is how do you work with them. Overlock? Coverstitch? Machine stitch? Or just use the fabric as a blanket? This type of fine knit is too good to be used as a blanket.

I decided to make Simplicity 2603 again and work on this new navy version.

Using a basic 4-thread machine sews the seams well but be aware of the best stitch and thread tension. As Maris says, test your fabric first.

Overlocking worked well to construct the seams and finish the edges nicely.

Testing this knit with no stabiliser resulted in tunneling. Even ‘steam a seam lite’ didn’t help. So without any additional tear away fabric, Coverstitching wasn’t going to work.

You can see how fine this fabric is and it just didn’t go through the coverstitch machine without looking ‘angry’.

Machine stitch
Aaah. Success. A simple straight stitch worked.

Testing your machines with fine fabrics will help create something you’re happy to wear.