Too easy

Remember this dress I made for Sewessential UK?

We’ll I’ve used Simplicity 1425 View D for this new top. It pairs well with my navy and red skirts.
The colours in this print are so uplifting. It’s the John Kaldor Hermione red blue fabric.
It’s not easy to find a print that’s as strong as the red in this skirt.
I’ve used an invisible zipper instead of the centre back buttons – because I can’t reach that far. 

John Kaldor fabric is easy to sew, wear and as always…doesn’t crease:)

This outfit became one of my Me-made-May pieces that I wore earlier this month before it got cold.

Tessellate Tee

Yesterday it got cold, so I made a couple of Winter Tessellate tees from Melissa of Fehr Trade.

Knit tops are easy to sew and I love refreshing my basics from time to time.
I cut this version out before breakfast and had it sewn up before we headed into town for an early Sunday lunch. 
I used the basic small size and used my overlocker for most of the sewing. I used the coverstitch machine for the hems.
This test version had plenty of wiggle room if we’d had a large lunch.

Once we returned home I dived into my fabric stash and came up with a new top for the gym.
Again I used the small size but this top is meant for running and working out in.
There was a bit too much room in the body of the top for doing floor work and doing burpees.
Activewear is supposed to be like a second skin.
So after this morning’s class I put this top on inside-out and pinned out the excess. The body of this top in now more formfitting.
The back has less fabric pooling at centre back. I’ll make the xsmall for the gym.

Pattern changes

This Tessellate tee is the basic tee with no add on features and took just under 3 hours to cut and sew.

The first version showed that I needed to shorten the shoulder seams so I took 3cm out of both front and back shoulder seams.

I then did a forward shoulder adjustment – raise the back shoulder seam and lower the front shoulder seam all at the shoulder point.

And of course, I shortened the sleeve length but kept the tee length.

And that’s it really.

PS: Did you notice I’m still wearing Fehr Trade’s steeplechase leggings from last season? Both pieces were worth investing in for the cold.

You did a good job again Melissa. All the best for your next big run this weekend.

Piecing it together

These pieces have been sitting in my stash for at least a year. Last month I decided to piece these together to refresh my work wardrobe.

These ponte pieces are really thick and are factory off-cuts.

It also helped that I had research Carlo Poggioli work on Divergent for lots of inspiration.

Candor dress
This is a midi length dress and the main challenge was matching these stripes.

The stripes are really wide so I didn’t need to use a walking foot to sew the seams.

Butterick 5922 was my base bodice pattern for the dress.

It was worth a try. When I get the courage, I’ll sew the waist in a bit more.

Candor set
Again Butterick 5922 was my base bodice pattern for the top.

The skirt is simply based on the wide of each off cut and pinned to match my hip width. I’ve pegged the base of the skirt for a bit of shape. 

There was no reason to add a zipper so I simply used a wide elastic for the waist band.

Erudite dress
New Look 6808 was the basis of this dress. I originally tested this style using the Stormtrooper print so I could make sure the neckline worked.

This dress uses fabric I bought from Pitt Trading last month. This fabric is really thick and possibly scuba fabric. It didn’t need lining but I had to be accurate with the fit. 

This fabric stretches so if I went for a body con look like Kate Winslet, I may have looked like a ‘fan-reject’.

It’s been an awesome ride making each of these pieces.

Spring surprise: Vicki’s choice

I love for John Kaldor fabrics. Vicki (Minerva Crafts UK) recently brought in some new prints for Spring and she surprised me by supplying me this awesome print. 

We have still had some lovely warm days here and this such an awesome fabric to sew and wear. It doesn’t crease. It’s such a lovely microfibre fabric.

This Simplicity pattern (7156) has been used before and I love it because it offers a number of bodice and dress length variations, so it was value for money when I bought it and it just keeps giving. 

Our weather is so humid, a loose day dress like this works well for me. This time I’ve sewn a midi length dress.

Print placement
I put a bit of effort in placing the print the right way on the front dress to suit me.
This took a little bit of thought and it has paid off.

I do love these dark colours! And the fabric doesn’t crease.

Technical details
– The seam allowances are overlocked. 
– I’ve used an invisible zipper.
– Bias binding has replaced the sleeve facings.
– I’ve kept the neckline facings.

The back ties make this dress a bit more fitted if you want it that way.

Skirt alterations
The skirt shape was adjusted for my sway back and curves at the time and while I’ve gone down a size, my shape is the same – curvy.

Most weekends I’m a jeans/shorts type of person but when there’s a lunch or afternoon tea to go to, a pretty dress like this fits the bill.

This John Kaldor fabric doesn’t need to be lined. It has a lovely weight to it, falls nicely and doesn’t crease! Oh. I’ve already said that. So really this fabric is perfect for travel too:)

I have a wee bit of this fabric left for a future project too.

Thanks again Minerva Crafts UK.

Me Made May 2016

May is super busy so I decided to focus on wearing clothes I’ve made but planning my week ahead rather than just throwing on ‘the same old thing’.

This year’s pledge was to wear something I’ve made everyday. ‘Keeping it simple’.
Day 1: Burda Jacket, Vogue jeans and Butterick top 
Day 2: Simplicity 1425 top with my block skirt added to make this dress.
Day 3: Burda Style dress
Day 4: Vogue 1407 
Day 5: Burda style 7828 wrap dress
Day 6: Simple skinny jeans and New Look top

Week 1 was warm so dresses were my go-to work wear. I keep a jacket at my desk to overcome the aircon.

Morning workout set: Steeple chase leggings, New Look top, McCalls jacket

I did 4 morning training sessions and above is my loudest workout set (no makeup).

Day 7: Lace dress using block pattern.

The weekend was social and I still squeezed in a park run on Saturday morning.

Day 7:Steeplechase leggings and New Look top
Day 8: Vicki’s fabric choice using Simplicity 7156 (to be blogged)

This week is a juggle so this is what I’ve worn so far. 

Day 9: Kwik sew dress
Day 10: Burda wrap dress

I have two ‘business casual’ work days this week so this is what I’ve put these aside.

Day 11: Vogue jeans and block pattern top
Day 12: Simplicity skirt and wrap cardi
Day 13: Vogue jeans and New Look wrap top

Training wise, this week is a quite one because Sunday is the half marathon so I’ve done 2 training sessions early this week. My legs need a break because I know I’ll be running for at least 2 hours on the day so that’s it for training hard.

And that gets me through the first two weeks of MMMay 2016.

Dauntless jacket

Burda 7140 was my choice to make this jacket like those worn in ‘Divergent‘. 

This grey wool fabric and paisley lining are from Minerva Crafts UK and they’re great to sew and feel lovely.

With the prospect of Winter this jacket style is still dark and has a hint of red. Why be grey just because it’s Winter.

Vicki was generous with these fabrics so there’s a skirt underway.

The pattern

It took a test jacket to reveal a challenge sewing the front lining pieces.

The lining instructions were a bit odd. I couldn’t follow the order of construction because the instructions kept flipping between views.
So I went with simply prepping the bodice and peplum together for the main construction.

Burda does a great job with their pattern drafts and the test jacket was easy enough to conquer. I really didn’t want to waste this fabric supplied by Minerva Crafts so a test jacket took the pressure off this project.

Jackets with zippers are my fav too and I sew on the zipper before sewing the side seams so the fabric pieces were still flat.

I love the ‘sharp’
 style options in this pattern. 

Paisley lining
The paisley lining is lovely to work with and such a classic. They’ve only just brought these lining in so I made sure I could use this lining for this jacket. 

I’ll be using this paisley lining again for next month’s project. In the lining weave the threads are two colours used in the weave so these linings are versatile for lots of fabrics.

Pattern alterations 
I made the 12 at the bust to 14 size at the waist and hips with no alterations for the test version.

The test jacket fit well enough but I added 2cm on the peplum hems and removed 4 cm from the sleeve lengths. I also extended the raglan shoulder seam by 2cm so it matched my shoulders. 

The pockets were a must, so I grabbed the side front peplum piece to figure out how much room I had. Then I used my Clover curve template to develop this pocket pattern.

The raglan shoulder seam was a bit slim so I took out more seam allowance.
The sleeve width from the elbow to the wrist is size 10.

My original reason for using this pattern took a bit of thought to develop. Sewing the test jacket was worth doing so don’t rush this pattern if you want to make up. This style has quite a few style possibilities and can be made more ‘girlie’ if you want it to be.

Thank you Minerva Crafts UK.
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Stormtrooper print really should be worn by kids but I’ve used this print for a dress for moi and a shirt for Mr V.

The dress is a New Look 6808 top that I’ve extended it to a maxi length and changed the neckline to a sharp V. 

The shirt is a vintage mens pattern. It fitted Mr V without too much fuss. He can be high maintenance but this pattern wasn’t so this shirt was easy to sew. I still need to strong arm Mr V into taking a photo of him wearing his stormtrooper shirt. 
The fabric is a Spotlight purchase.

Dress detail:
I’ve made New Look 6808 a few times now.

Mum always used to say, “why don’t you extend the top to make a dress”. She’s a no-nonsense person, so I got a lot of practice extending top patterns to make dresses.

The main thing I do is make sure I extend the top to be as wide as my hips are on the day I cut out the pattern. 
Then I make sure I have a centre back split or side splits so I can walk in it. Just being practical. There have been times when I forgot to do this.

As for the neckline, I did a reality check on the v-neckline by 
– measuring from the back of my neck to the point where I was happy for the neckline to end
– then measuring how far my collar points are
– on a post-it note, I drew these measures and checked the angles – too close/too far apart.
– I interfaced the dress neckline and drew an all-in-one facing and interfaced this.
– with a bit of drawing and lots of pinning, the neckline worked out.

The base of the V, is 5 stitches wide so I could turn the facing through and get a sharp ‘V’.

That’s it really. 

The key way to line up this print at the seams is to pin the line under the Stormtroopers. 

Future dress:
There’s a dress style that Kate Winslet wears in the Divergent movies that I’ve decided to use this top pattern for. 


I have the fabric from Pitt Trading in the sewing queue now so I’m ready to tackle it later this month.

This project has been a fun ride.