Contrado fun

Last year Contrado checked in with me while I was recovering from surgery and asked if I wanted to design fabric again.

It was easy to say yes and I jumped into my photos to figure out what fabric to print again.

I had plenty of time to run through my photos to plan the fabric without having the fabric sample in my hands. Their website does provide lots of details about each fabric so I had a good idea about what would work best.

Dress cover up

This beach cover up is printed on their loose knit jersey.
“With 5% elastane, loose knit jersey has excellent stretch and recovery, making it a comfortable and easy fabric to wear. This is a very breathable fabric and has an interesting construction. The knit is somewhat uneven, creating a random pattern where the yarns are dense in some places and sparse in others. Loose knit is ideal for creating beautiful lightweight summer clothing.” 

I chose purple images because purple is big this year. I changed the images for a rich purple colour and this dress shows how good my photo turned out.

Wendy Ward’s new knit book “A beginner’s guide to sewing with knit fabrics had the perfect tee pattern that made the most of the print for me – Winnats tank.

I did pattern test this pattern so I would know how to best use the print.

The instructions and pattern pieces were spot on.


What I could have done to make my project decisions easier was to get the swatch pack offered by Contrado but as you can see from the fabric description, I was happy with this result.
classic natural paper swatch packs
Next time.

Garden party dress

With our ongoing Summer my next Contrado choice was their linen fabric.

Above is the original dress using my basic dress pattern and it worked out fairly well.
But then I thought I should do something more to make it more contemporary.

Above is the adjusted version with a sleeve ruffle.

Once I tried this on with the sleeve ruffle, I didn’t like where the ruffle was sitting.

After a spot of unpicking the ruffle I remarked the ruffle on the dress and used these cool chalk pencils from Prym to place it on the right spot.

As you can see from this close up, I’ve used my block pattern with a square neckline and I added a ruffle sleeve attachment.

I’ve machine sewed this ruffle onto the dress. Once this cold shoulder crazy ends, I’ll remove the shoulder ruffle.

The linen in this fabric took a lot of the purple saturation from the image out of the print. This print has a 1950s, country woman feel to it. Initially I was disappointed with the outcome but I decided to make this print work for me.

Contrado do offer a service to send you a test version of your print. That’s what I should have asked for before committing to this fabric.

The green in this print was the base of the image I used so I decided to use is at in the skirt.

Thanks to Contrado to giving me this opportunity to work with their fabrics again. I really enjoyed this experience and I’ve learnt more about how the extra services they provide so you can get a good result.

Sun-kissed Anneli

There’s always that mad rush to dress after a day at the beach and inevitably there’s a stop off for a quick bite to eat on the way home. This Named pattern Anneli double front dress is perfect for a quick dinner on the way home.

Ok so I don’t wear 4inch heels at the beach but doesn’t this double front dress look fab in heels?

This knit print has a great all-over print that works so well under the Australian sun.
It’s one of the Art Gallery fabrics sold by Minerva Crafts. The name is Swifting floral boho stretch jersey. It feels so soft.
I also was impressed by the packaging Named patterns provides.


The fabric washes well, dries fast and holds it colour every time.

I’ve now worn this a few times with friends since I made it in November.

I did a test version of this pattern with a stripe jersey.
I didn’t want to waste the boho print but I was curious to see how the double front would work on my bust. 

What you see above is my efforts to have similar prints on the shoulder finish and the front bodice. By the way, I’m enjoying using Prym’s scissors.

Testing this pattern gave me a practice run at the construction.

As you can see below I’ve also added a snap along the opening so that the front layer doesn’t open out too far as I’m walking or when there’s a gust of wind.

As you can see, the finish along the front vertical edge is very simply done.

I used the jersey fabric for the belt again.

There’s plenty of fabric at the back but not too much fabric so that it looks heavy.
This allows the dress to follow the shape of my sway back and I’m happy with this result.
The other thing I could do was use the width of the fabric to make this dress, so I have more jersey for another project adventure.
Now that I’ve made this a few times, it’s so easy to wear and is great for Summer. 

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kwik sew 3617 – dress version

When I recently made up this pattern in the v-neck top, there were a few comments of how some sewers had overlooked this pattern.

I had also overlooked this pattern until I attended a knitwit showing last year and I fell for the version of this top that was part of the showing.
Spot the belt…
I’ve now trialled the round-neck version to create a dress using fabric from The Fabric Store.
The neckline instructions suggest interfacing the inside neckline but I wanted a clean neckline finish, so I interfaced the outer neckline piece. The neckline sit very nicely and I used lettuce edge on the sleeve and hemlines with a basic red overlocker thread. That’s the nice thing when you’re using an all over print. You don’t have too be too prescriptive with your thread or finish choice.
I’ve trimmed the waistline so that it sits better on me. I realised this adjustment would be necessary after I made the neck version recently.
I also added extra room around my hips, but then trimmed it off once I sewed the side seams together.
Excuse the mess in my sewing room. I’ll clean the mess at some point. 27/4 – My room pic has now been replaced with these new photos.

Fabric stash catch up items

I’ve finally had a chance to go back to the garments I made during the fabric stash competition. The patterns I’ve used were ones that I’ve made before so this was the best way to make the fabric into clothing during the eight week period.

I adjusted this twist top by raising the neckline by 3 cm. It now sits better on my chest so I feel more comfortable wearing it. And I feel less embarrassed when I reach forward…


I enjoy this a-line dress and the fabric is a piece I bought at the first Akira fabric sale, a long time ago. The fabric is made with a crushed look so fitting isn’t a really issue, so it’s reliable to make up, when you have limited time.


This is a favourite and I made it up at a Sewing guild session on sewing with knit fabrics. The class was on during the fabric stash competition so while a learn a bit on the day, I was able to make this up within two hours, give or take a few minutes as I unpicked the gold trim because it had very little elastic in it 😦

Kwik Sew 3617 – so simple

Gathers are not my favourite technique. I prefer pleats because they ‘do as they’re told’. Gathers have a way of moving while I sew them. I don’t own a gathering foot on my Janome.

The fabric is a poly jersey, one-way stretch with good memory. I bought this from The Fabric Store, Surry Hills for $10 (2m). This is a new pattern that I hesitated tackling due to the neckline, but the neckline drew my attention to this pattern. Wendy Gager also used this at her fabric showing late last year.

The neckline has gathers on the side attached to the front bodice. The gathers on the neck edge is created with 6mm elastic encased in the gathered ‘collar’. Depending on how comfortable you feel, you can add more elastic, or less to emphasis the v-neck shape.

Once I forced myself to complete the neckline in 60 minutes, the rest was a breeze. Yesterday was Formula 1 Sunday, so I either sewed or watched noisy cars for a couple of hours.

So then I wondered, how does this look using a pattern fabric?


I raised the neckline by 3cm, used a bit less elastic in the collar casing and enjoyed wearing it today.
I think using a contrasting collar pattern or using piping along the neck edge would emphasis the collar better.
This fabric was from Pitt Trading http://www.pitt-trading.com.au/, one of my favourite fabric havens.

Fabric stash #8 – Kwik sew 2683

I gave into using a lettuce edge finish on this top because of the skirt style and jacket that I’ll team it with.
I bought this fabric from Emmaonesock over two years ago and it’s the most light-weight jersey I’ve ever bought. It wrinkles easily but it’s a great colour.
Blues and acqua are some of the colours that I love and I’m so glad that I’ve finally made these fabrics into wearable pieces.

Fabric stash #7 – Kwik sew 2683

This fabric piece was one that I thought would be a good pattern for one-piece swimmers. The background is dark so I’ve now made it into a basic top that I can wear with jeans or brown work clothes.
The fabric is a light-weight poly jersey. I didn’t have enough for long sleeves so I used short sleeves.
Since wearing this top in our humid summer, it’s comfortable but could be nipped in a bit to hug my waistline better.