Hot spots

I made this cute blouse using a Pitt Trading remnant. I’ll use this pattern for some silk fabrics sitting in my stash.

The long story:
It’s no secret that I love remnants and the challenge they bring.
It’s also no secret that Pitt Trading has lots of remnants from local designers throughout the year and my stash has a few of their remnants waiting to jump into my sewing queue.
Enter Winter and Vogue 8906. When I first started sewing tops for work, the easiest thing to whip up is a knit top that is cosy for Winter. They become wardrobe staples as they’re quick to make and need minimal fit.

While knit tops are fast to make, I wear them like crazy and these tops constantly need replacing.

This year I’ve been working with silk fabrics and I’m becoming more confident with silks. I adore how silks feel in any weather. They’re also easy fabrics to manipulate.

Silks also come in lots of styles but they come in an array of gorgeous colours that suit me. I recently bought some yummy silks fromSelective Fine Fabrics in Brisbane that I desperately want to use.
Vogue 8906 seems like a great pattern for blouse-weight silks. Drapey fabrics work best for this blouse. I read a few reviews and I realised it would be very sensible to test out View A in a remnant.


This ‘white on blue’ spotty poly remnant looked me square in the eye and said, ‘Go on. Make my day.’ So I did.

I cut out the 12 and did a forward shoulder adjustment but I kept the top length as is. Packed up the pieces and moved on to other projects.
Two months down the track I made time to sew this blouse up. The seam allowances and hems are overlocked and there’s no pattern matching.

The pattern neckline too high for me so I recut the neckline down by 3cm and it just sits nicely without it choking me. That’s what a test version is for – tweaking the pattern before you work on the ‘good’ fabric.

Now I can confidently use this adjusted pattern again.
But my mind has now wandered to thinking how this top would look as a dress.
Stay tuned for an update on how the dress version turns out. 

Puffer jacket

My puffer jacket fabric is from Elliot Berman Textiles, bought at least 2 years since my last NYC visit. I was freezing this week so I decided I needed to make this jacket pronto.

Eugenia and her staff at Elliott Berman Textiles were really accommodating when I visited their store. I visited their store twice that week as I had to think about their fabrics and choose pieces I can’t buy locally. This is one of a few of their fabrics in my stash.

The key notion I needed was the zipper and thankfully Pitt Trading had a range of metal zippers for coats available last year. Pitt Trading has an amazing range of notions off loaded from local designers. 

I did a bit of research while I made this jacket this week and realised very few puffer jackets have a defined waist hence I had to choose a jacket pattern that I could slightly shape. 

I used Butterick 6062 as the basic jacket shape. The darts weren’t sewn. I have a habit of using this pattern for longline coats to keep me warm.

The pocket is the same as the pocket in Butterick 6062 but it’s 2.5cm wider along the seams.

I used the scissor magnet to cut the pocket to size.

The collar is 12cm wide shaped from folded piece of the quilted fabric. No collar pattern was used.

A few months ago I ducked into EM Greenfields and bought a reel of navy bias binding 25mm wide for the jacket edging. I’ve got plenty left although I did used plenty on this jacket.

While I love the metal zipper, I felt it needed a zipper shield so I made one ‘on the go’.

The fabric wasn’t going through my sewing machine properly so I lowered the zipper foot to ‘level 3’ and it then sewed through the machine perfectly.

The initial WIP jacket showed me the pockets were too high for a coat. Uhm, the front was too short as well.

You can see on the finished jacket a new ‘design feature ‘at the base of the coat.

I had a similar gold bias trim in my stash so I used this for the coat hook and also to finish the front panel seams.

And that’s it really. Bias bound seams and bias bound edges and this puffer jacket is done!

Now to rug up and get rid of my head cold before it turns nasty.

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Esplanade test bra

This is my test Orange Lingerie Esplanade test I made in February this year.
All the notions used on this version were in my stash. Yes. Even the hook and eye tape.
What you might notice on the insides are the cups are lined. I prefer having cups lined.
The other aspect you’ll notice is the front lace is lined with power mesh.

Lastly, the bias seam finishes were a finished separately to the plush elastic.
This second Esplanade has the bias seams finished under the plush elastic. I like this finish better.

The key pattern adjustment was where I took out about 1.5cm out of the top edge of the upper cup.
Next time I make this, I’ll try to get smaller bust cups or flat foam so I can manage the shape better. I will be using the bust cup pattern pieces for a basic bra too. I thinks this will be a handy bra for the Summer to wear under strappy dresses.

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Guipure brilliance

This has been my guipure lace year and it’s all because of the guipure lace skirt workshop I did in Brisbane with Susan Khalje.

Front dress finished

This little royal blue green version was all bought from Selective Fine Fabrics before I did Susan’s lace skirt workshop in March.

Back dress finished

The colours in these fabrics were too brilliant to pass.

This is the ‘almost’ finished front neckline. I harvested lace to complete the blue space.

I’ve used New Look 6000 to showcase this lace and its colour brilliance.

I did a fair amount of thread tracing to keep the lace in alignment horizontally and vertically.

Below is what thread tracing and hand stitching the lace to the fabric looks like.
This view shows the hand picked centre back zipper up close.
My original idea was to have a solid blue centre back but it would have taken away from the lace.

The lace design was too large to have a solid blue centre back.
What you see above is the centre back where the lace doesn’t quite meet up, so I had to ‘harvest’ pieces of lace to cover the blue trail.
This has the harvested lace to cover the blue spacing.
This side view shows you how I had to piece the lace to it flowed over my hips.
Here’s a close up of the hips lace shaping process.
Lots of pins and my trusty Prym shoulder ham helped.
I started this dress in April and I’ve been working on it while finishing off other projects. What I have realised is having breaks from this dress has helped me understand the lace pattern and have been able to make it work on this dress.

Slow sewing is worth it when it’s a gorgeous silk piece with amazing lace.

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Revisiting Burda 7746 trousers

Do you ever wonder if you should reuse a pattern again that worked for you when you were a different size? 

That’s what I did for this month’s Minerva Crafts project with Burda 7746 in a poly/viscose/wool blend fabric.

When I first made this pattern, I trialed it and then made it 2 more pairs of trousers. Over the years these pairs of trousers have been my ‘go-to’ work trousers and they’re now looking very well worn.

In February I had Susan Khalje recheck the fit of the 12 size and I added 2cm at the waist and graded it to zero at my hips at the side seams.

Because I added this to the side seams, I also added 1cm at the pocket opening so the pocket placement still looks balanced.

The beauty of this pattern is the pocket bag has a dart that ensures the pocket curves at the right spot. The top of the pocket is also sewn closed so again, the pocket sits flat and it doesn’t look like ‘elephant ears’ on your hips.

I made a wearable pair in a navy medium weight fabric from the calico pattern and added the changes. This was worth doing for two reasons. Firstly, to make sure the fitting changes worked and were not ‘lost in translation’.

Secondly, this gave me the opportunity to follow the instructions without fear of ruining the ‘good’ fabric.

By the time I made this pair, the additional challenge was to add lining to these trousers.

In a previous Minerva Crafts project, I ordered extra jacquard lining and there was enough left to partially line these trousers. It helps the trousers wear longer and feel lighter too.


When I’ve added lining to trousers before I’ve machine sewed the lining onto the trousers before sewing on the waistband. This time I hand sewed on the lining after finishing off the waistband.


I did use some thread basting to sew the zipper into these trousers.

Thread basting, like machine basting, helped get the zipper sewn in more accurately.


One handy tool that made this project more accurate was using this Prym chalk pen. It really does right like a pen and kept my sewing accurate.

Now to make another pair so I can replace the original trousers I made so long ago.


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Lingerie sets

If you’ve sewn lingerie before, you’ll know it can be addictive when you have the right fabrics, notions and patterns. I was only aiming to make the Orange lingerie Esplanade bra as my second entry for Pattern Review’s lace contest.

The lace was too lovely to leave sitting in my stash.
The powermesh was lacey too so there’s 100% lace on this pieces as well.
While these are two different colours, these lace fabrics still worked together really well.
Here’s a work in progress shot before sewing in the bra cups.
I added bias to the seams so I would use boning in the seams.
In the pic above, you can see how I’ve also used the lace to line the hook and eye shield.
Within the contest time limit I was able to make matching knickers. I used the low rise pants from the Papercut’s Soma swimsuit for this pair of knickers.
Then the obsession kicked in or the ‘what -if’ thinking started. I traced off rtw G-string and made a pair with this lace too. The elastic was bought from Pitt Trading.
Then all kinds of ‘crazy’ set in and again I traced off a rtw lace hipster knickers for another type using 4cm wide lace on the edges. There was still enough lace left and I made a Pinup Girls classic bra.
So now I’ll leave my lingerie stash along and get back to my planned project – Kelly Anorak – which I know is going to have a different challenges based on the reviews I’ve been reading. 

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