Yoyo-ing around

Playing around with a pattern can give you many looks.

I’m preparing for my Minerva make so these two stash fabrics finally got used, for a good purpose. I’ve chosen a John Kaldor print that will be fully lined and have pockets.

Here’s my February project choice. Now to figure out the best use of this pattern.

Version 1 is the medium size using what I thought was a slub viscose fabric from The Fabric Store. I later found out it is silk. I love how this fabric feels especially in this heat.

Close up the fabric has white in the weave and that really caught my eye. The pattern has no pockets but I decided to add them on the next version to see if they worked.

I took out 5cm from the skirt length at the front and back.

This is the actual skirt length of the pattern.

I was happy with the back fit.

Here’s number two with the shorter skirt hem.

I bought this cotton remnant from Pitt Trading so the challenge here was matching the stripes.


Can you see that I also added pockets from Deer and Doe’s Belladone dress?

Maybe now you can see the pockets.

Onto the black and white version.
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Checking belladone

Belladone is a classic dress from Deer and Doe patterns. I’ve been admiring it for some time and this month I’ve tested it out for next month’s Minerva Crafts project.

No tanning spray was used – winter is here.

The design of this dress is retro and I love how you can add piping to it.

When I went through my plaid/check fabric stage, I bought this green check fabric so I used this to text out Belladone.

I found the perfect pre-made bias binding that I’ve used to pipe this dress as practice for next month’s dress.

Having a big stash does have its advantages. I tend to buy notions and fabrics in similar colours so when I eventually get to a project, I have everything I need. Having to shop for a specific project can be tiring and disappointing so this way I’m constantly happy.

On this test dress I made these adjustments

  • forward shoulder adjustment
  • shortened the bust points on the front bodice
  • shortened the skirt length to 19″.
When I tried on the test dress I wasn’t happy with where the waistband sat. However I wore the dress the next day and decided the waistband placement works well on me.
If I lengthen the bodice, it might throw off the waistband position too much.
Prym zipperI added a gorgeous external lace zipper from Prym on the test dress. It blended into the dress and it looks really pretty to me. The pattern suggests an invisible zipper but I really love this girlie lace zipper.

The benefit of added an exposed zipper on this check fabric is you don’t have to match them across the seams.

The skirt pattern has a hem facing. I didn’t use this facing as a 2.5cm hem was easy enough to machine stitch.

I wore this over the weekend before the Arctic blast hit Sydney.

Yes there are still some fine tuning to do based on the pull marks on this dress. This fabric has no ease so in the next version, the fabric has more ease so I’ll include a FBA when I make this again out of non-stretch fabric.

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Princess line bathers

The prospect of celebrating Christmas by the water made me realise I needed something festive so I’ve used the last piece of my red marakesh fabric from Pitt Trading for a new pair of bathers.



Kwik Sew’s Swim and Action Wear book has a classic princess line swimsuit that I tested using a possible Christmas colour – green.The green test version is wearable and this version gave me the tweaks I needed to make the marakesh bathers work.

This test version is not lined and uses three lycra remnants of varying weights.The green wave print is a lighter-weight knit to the solid colour fabrics so it should have had a second layer underlining it to balance its weight against the other fabrics. Live and learn.

On swimwear, I also exaggerate the derriere curve as you can see on the test pair above. I added the bust cups to the soft bust shelf.

I joined the crotch piece to the front to eliminate this seam.

On this test version 

– I realised that cutting the medium size was a tad too big, so I sewed in the centre back and side seams. 
– the princess line seam at the armhole was loose so I sewed this seam in closer
– I shortened the straps but then had to lower the armhole curve.

These changes were added to the pattern pieces.

The things I couldn’t fix on the green test version:

– angle in the straps so they don’t slip off my shoulders
– fully line this next version. I don’t like unpicking lots of overlocking so the test version remained unlined but is usable.

Testing swimwear:
Before adding the elastic finishing, I try on my bathers.

The derriere curve is lower on this pair too. It’s now a standard adjustment I do on the paper pattern at the start of the project. 

Here are the finished pattern pieces with all the elastic lengths noted and the stitch lengths for future reference.


I love the lycra print fabrics Pitt Trading bought this year. They brought in a stack a medium weight lycra prints and they’re perfect for supportive bathers.

A green LBD

Duchess satin is quite a firm fabric and I love pairing this with lace. Hard vs soft. White Tree Fabrics has some very ‘different’ laces in stock this year so I picked a great black lace.

Can you see the lace pattern?
I really love the selvege!
I bet you can see it now:))

I was trying to create a Karen Millen style dress.

How?
I’ve been adjusting McCalls 6460 View C to give me the bodice shape I wanted.
The sweetheart yoke wasn’t quite what I wanted. So I made a slight change.
This dress doesn’t have lining and using duchess satin, I didn’t add lining. It’s a really firm fabric and doesn’t feel heavy, just firm.
This is version #3 in progress.
I raised the bodice up at the centre front so it created a gentle upward curve. Simple.
I initially stressed out about how to position the selvage on this dress so I simply laid it across the bust points. Strategic! 

PS: I used the c-cup bodice.
Above is the back dress pattern showing the shaping I added for my sway back and
petite-ness. The two folds at centre back waist took out some of the fabric pooling and I added this back to the length for the centre hem.
I used the zipper on the dress bodice only and not the yoke. A simple hook and eye worked at the back neckline.

It was a bit tricky using cotton bias tape on the neckline and armholes with pins, so I resorted to using clover wonder clips.

Voila. This little green LBD cocktail dress is ready for a Christmas party somewhere soon. 

Now for a mani/pedi/hairdo.

Tabbouleh salad

Take the best parts of Project Runway and the Great British Sewing Bee, and mix them together with the cooperative, supportive atmosphere of the #sewcialists, and you’ve got the Sewcial Bee!
The first test run in July looked like fun and this month was another test run.

So the challenge was “You can make anything you like; inspired by food or show us food inspired by your garment.”
The rules are simple:
1. This rounds challenge will be provided by GidaStudio and will be posted 12am GMT August 10th on her website and on twitter.
2. We encourage you to pick a project that will take between 4-7 hours to sew. So you can get a little crazy but not insane.
3. You have 48 hours to complete your challenge garment and post it to the Sewical Bee Flickr group. Then we will all aww and ooooo over it.
4. Again there is no judging or prizes…other than that sweet new garment on your back.
5. It’s an open event so tell a friend, tell a neighbour, tell your spouse to take the kids out.”

I chose inspired by food and made a skirt to match my test jacket McCalls 6292 I made last year, while it’s still officially winter here.

I chose to use a pencil skirt pattern I’d recently tested for Anita Adams of Studio Faro. So while I could have chosen a lime milkshake or green frog lollies as the food inspiration I chose tabbouleh salad.

I was part of a local kitchen challenge and we discussed the finer points of a good tabbouleh salad ie finely chopped parsley is the key.

And for me, lots of lemon juice. But you gotta chop the parsley finely.

And in the remaining time I tested a knit top Kwik Sew 3790. This pattern has its challenges and it’s not the gathers on the side or on the neckline. It’s the gaping neckline and the dropped shoulder seam. This did top seem to be drafted for broad shouldered women.

My aim for this challenge was to see if I could meet the criteria in a different timezone and I did.
Study update:
I’m now three-quarters through my study so I took a break this weekend and sewed. It’s all about the fabric.

70s/80s tracksuit for day 13

In the morning it’s a bit cooler in Sydney and I decided to use a really old pattern with a classic tracksuit pattern Simplicity 8887. Not sure if this pattern is a 70s or 80s pattern.

 If you add the braid edging you need 3m of the knitted braid trim for the jacket. I did without the braiding this time.

The green fleece remnant used here was a Spotlight $2 piece but there wasn’t enough for the sleeves. I had leftover fabric from a jumper kwik sew 1997 I made a couple of years ago. There’s still enough of the stripe fabric to make another hoodie.

I wanted kangaroo pockets so I drafted these up from scratch.

The open-ended zipper was a 3 for $1 zipper bought at The Remnant Warehouse.

Here’s how I wore this jacket in the morning to the gym in a pic taken by Bill, a die-hard workout mate who also wears a heart rate monitor. This jacket is going to get a real workout.

After work we went to a bike class. Mr V wore his Me-made Avocado hoodie. A nice Mum going to the gym took this pic for us.

I did manage to take a pic of what I wore to work before going to the gym. Kwik Sew 3378 top and Butterick 3597 skirt.

As soon as the weekend hits, I’ll do some decent photos of Fifth Avenue because it’s finished – flounce and all. I only had to finish the flounce but so many things have popped up since then.

Yoga pants – Silhouette #3011 Nanette’s yoga pants

Here’s the first test case made on the weekend using the overlocker and 2″ elastic. I’ve used a very strong nylon/lycra matt fabric remnant from The Fabric Store at the February Sydney Sewer Meet up.

I didn’t get dressed up for these pictures.
Below is how these pants should look. I have to resew the front leg curve.
She has a clutterless kitchen that would make me smile.
These aren’t workout pants so I intend to wear these anywhere but the gym.
The instructions are so easy to follow and they are really helpful. They don’t assume any prior knowledge – I like that a lot! And this is my first go at using Silhouette Patterns. I only adjusted the leg length and made the back crotch curve deeper.

Not quiet a yoga pose.

These pants were so comfortable to wear at work. The top (Butterick 5328) was made in 2009 and I love the blue cherry print on green.

Great British Sewing Bee episode 2
Here’s the youtube link. I hope you find this episode as enjoyable as episode 1 was.