What if

After jackets and jeans, I back off for a while and play with design ideas I’ve seen but can’t find the right commercial pattern. That takes a bit more thinking space but once the plan is ready and tested, it’s usually a quick make.

The idea
Four years ago I carved up a basic tee pattern to make this dress from an Anthropology RTW idea that was popular at the time. Now you can now buy this pattern but it wasn’t available at the time.

With the possibility of colder weather approaching (it’s still Summer here) I went back and rechecked the fit of KwikSew 2683 on me.


I still don’t like the neckline binding finish provided by Kwik Sew pattern. I’ve resorted to simply folding the fabric under once and then coverstitch it or use twin needle on my basic sewing machine.

The fabrics I used

I bought this floral/stripe knit from My Hung Parramatta and underlined the bodice with a really thin factory off-cut. A friend gave me a stack of factory fabric off cuts that are what I use to test ideas. You’ll see these off-cuts used from time to time.

This test top has worked. I wore it to the office where it can get cold throughout the day and I felt fine all day. The trousers are RTW and a go-to for work.

The trousers are RTW and a go-to for work.

When I originally made this pattern, I got the back bodice hem wrong so these two new tops, the hems now work well.

Why go to all that trouble?

I’m still considering a top/blouse to bundle with my 1960s style Elliott Berman suit using Simplicity 1543 and the fabric I bought with Kyle in November last year. 

More soon…

At work

MMM13 days 14-16 were work days and it’s cooler here so the jackets come out to play.

Jeanne and Megan took these photos for me.

Day 14:
Me-made Jacket made a long time ago and was too long so I cut it shorter.
Me-made Shirt: butterick 4985.
Me-made Skirt Aline skirt not blogged. The bias trim was added to hide the overlocking on the hem – doh.

Day 15 the head cold starts:
Me-made Jacket McCalls 4596.
Me-madeTop: Vogue 2980. I adjusted this top for fit last year.
Me-madeTrousers Burda 7746 lined trousers. They make me feel snuggly.

Day 16 persistant head cold:
Me-madeJacket Vogue 7764 This jacket had a lot of detailing.
Me-madeTop: Kwik Sew 2683 in grey not blogged.
Me-madeTrousers McCalls 2874 grey trousers.

Day 16 pic is my way of saying Bonjour to Vero. Vero launched her online bag patterns Sacotin today and I helped her with the English translations. She’s based in a small village in France and we had fun liaising online and I learnt a funny lesson to not rely on online translations. I was the one ‘Lost in translation’. Vero has a great sense of humour.

Tap tap – Jalie 2908

I really know a pair of jeans are finished when I hammer in the jeans button and rivets, as does my husband! This is my entry for the Best of Contest on PR.


These jeans are designed for stretch woven fabrics and I enjoy wearing the low rise version. This time I used a cream top stitching thread for a real contrast. I summonsed up the guts to use such a contrast because it really shows up. Leftover fabric is used for the pocket lining.

Sway back adjustment was made during the first version. This time I took out the below butt crease.

The result of this adjustment is there are less creases that the previous version.
In the picture below, you can’t see the centre back seam on the waistband because I’ve placed it behing the belt carrier.

Because this fabric had more stretch than the first version, I took more out of the side seams, before adding the waistband.

The lines in the front are because I tucked the top into the jeans so you could see the topstitching.

The picture above is how I’ll be wearing these jeans.

The jeans button and rivets were from an Ebay seller so once I’ve worn these jeans a few times, I’ll know if the jeans button is sturdy or if it pops off.

Below is today’s MMM’12 pic is with my favourite snack – popcorn. This brand has no fat but a hint of sugar. Mmm.
Yes, I am short.
Top: Kwik Sew 2683 using two fabrics so that it looks like two layers and not just one top.
Jeans: Vogue 8774.
This is definitely what I look like on weekends.


Mind the gap

I used to watch the Batman tv series with Adam West (now on Family Guy). I’ve taken this photo because the look and fabric is kinda retro so I’ve used a retro angle. Mind the gap refers to the cup I’m using. We bought this cup and a few other London Underground pieces when we were there a few years ago.

The top is an very early Kwik Sew 2683 that I’ve made a few times (grey) and it now needs tweaking for a better fit. This version has FOE, that I now enjoy sewing but I do need to practice applying with the Coverpro. I need some courage and time to practice this skill.


The skirt is a TNT McCalls 8972 was made a while ago but I refashioned in June last year. I made a red version last year that I’ll bring out again this season.

Remnant tops

This Kwik Sew 2694 pattern you’ve seen before but I’ve tried to ruche the sleeve head with a line of skinny elastic from my notion stash. I’ve remarked the elastic line so it runs down the centre of the sleeve.


This is the small size and the fabric is from the $20 summer garbage bag of Pitt Trading remnants. The fabric is very fine and has no spandex  so you can see it pulling at the bust cross over point.

Below, the leftover fabric from Mum’s top wasn’t wide enough for a second top for her, so I made a small for me. After wearing it for a day last week shrank it with the overlocker. Because this fabric wasn’t long enough, the print doesn’t match because it’s a remnant and I was focussing on the fit.

The pants are Vogue 8503 and the jacket is Vogue 8480 for MMM’12 Day 3.
Both pieces are made from furnishing fabric. The jacket is fully lined and I know it needs to be taken in at the sides, so that will go on my alterations list.

RTW in 1 day

You know how you enjoy admiring what’s available in store but know that you can make it – you just need to figure out all the pieces of the puzzle to make it? That’s what I felt with this Anthropologie pieced column dress. It’s the version on the right. My take on this RTW dress is on the left. I’ve entered this into PR’s RTW contest.

What I needed was to see how someone with more technical nouse handled a similar situation and I saw Dilliander’s pieced top and then the penny dropped. You could hear the penny clang a mile away.

Yesterday, as it happened, Dilliander and I were both at Rhodes ASG day and I had practised figuring out her pieced top to the point where I have it cut out, ready to sew. I even have the FOE to bind the neckline.
 
So after she checked how I’d tackled her pieced top, I showed her this dress and I set about getting the design lines in the right place using KwikSew 2683 as the basic pattern. 

For the sewing techos, this picture above show how I identified the 5 sections on the dress and then Dillander realised the stripes are at the same angle as the base of each section.

Then I traced off the pattern pieces from the template onto tissue ie, wrapping paper from a Christmas present. I did iron the paper before I drew on it.

Each section was sewn with seams great and then topstitched using grey thread. I’ve used a two thread Coverpro finish for the neck edge, sleeve hems and dress hem – and that’s it.

So last night I wore this dress to dinner with some close and very honest friends and I got some great comments so I’m a happy sewer today. So honest, one of my friends alerted me to a bit of lipstick on my teeth – an easy fix in the powder room.

BTW, the shoes are Cyprus circa 1997.

Mum’s tops

Since we last spoke, I’ve managed to get these 3 tops made. They are Kwik Sew and they were quick to sew and once I iron them, Mum will try these on tomorrow. Each of these tops were sewn with the overlocker and cover pro. The shoulder seams are reinforced with ‘Seams Great’. Each piece was prewashed and can be machine washed.

This is KS 2683 boat neckline. This was the second version I made from the beige cotton knit. I’m showing this top first because I’m undecided on it. Mum will tell me the truth tomorrow.
The base fabric has the natural cotton flecs in it and spandex and it’s a regular item at The Remnant Warehouse. The sleeves have a textured beige fabric that I bought in Adelaide in January and I think they still need to be shortened. I already took 2″ off the hem.
She wears boat neck tops but I need to check the fit. It seems really big but I’ve checked the final width to her measurements and they match. Fingers crossed.

Here’s the first top I made KS2694 view A. The night I cut this out, I sewed up the shoulder seams and then my mind became foggy so I slowly stepped away from the sewing machine because I could feel a mistake coming on. The next day I found the construction process was much clearer and no unpicker was harmed during construction.

Here’s the final KS2694 in a print from Knitwit. This top is my favourite. The fabric is a poly/spandex mix and it’s easy to sew and feels very soft. I know that the ‘rule on prints’ is to use small prints for short people but as this print is fairly open and I liked how the print seems to flow without being too overwhelming.

Thank you for your vintage dress comments.
I agree Caroline, Renata and Carol that a pattern that’s 30 years old can’t be classed as vintage especially if we’ve worn this pattern in the past however I love watching how the next generation gets excited about it and then restyles it.
Carol may be right saying there could be a limited dress styles. 
I was feeling very air hostess when I added the colour toned scarf Sue.

There’s one more vintage dress to come.
Now to get back to cooking for tomorrow’s lunch.