Cardi – winter is over

While trying to make a shirtmaker dress work, I’ve finished a new cardi. Why? Because the dress toile is taking up a lot of thinking time and I needed a quick win to boost my confidence. Back to the cardi.

I’ve made this before and I know how the collar sits. The facing always seems too wide and I have now decided to take out a tuck out of the neckline to overcome it falling out all the time. The last time I made up this cardi, I used a contrasting facing and took advantage of it gaping.

At the PR weekend I learnt that I could wear brown (Deep warm), and I had a couple of pieces in my stash but I wasn’t quiet sure if I should invest the time to make up these pieces. So I now know I can do some bold and muted colours and this dark chocolate brown is one of my colour options so this is what I’ve come up with.

The ruffle pieces are 2inch strips cut on grain but roll hemmed on the overlocker with red thread. I didn’t have brown thread so I used a bold red, because I do have red pieces that I can co-ordinate this cardi with.

I’ve also used two black snaps to close the cardi if I need to. This is my last warm garment that I’ll be making for the next 5 months. The humidity has started in Sydney but I’m thrilled to be in the warmth again.

summer skirts

Here’s the skirt story. This story is still about clearing out my fabric stash. We’ve also had a very hot week and it’s still in the 30’s tonight.


The skirt pattern is the leftover piece from the summer dress I made the for church part of the wedding last week. It’s my favourite Butterick 3597 and it’s not lined. The top is also a left over piece of the teal/green cardi M5978.

This skirt was a remnant piece from from a couple of years ago. I’ve used a Hessian trim to get the length to right spot so I can wear strap sandels with this skirt.

This skirt isn’t lined and I’ve eliminated the centre back seam to keep the bold pattern continous on both sides of the skirt. This is a stretch woven cotton.

I’ve tried to place the grey parts of the print on the skirt, but you definitely can’t ignore the browns.

The top I made a few years ago.

Cardi – M5978

Here’s my take on this basic cardi M5978.

This fabric was from Knitwit early in 2010 and in December I made it into a dress.
The snaps on the front are from The Snap Source. They’re great because they have long prongs. I’ve also used grey fabric for the front and neck bands and used the grey to outline the neckline. I’ve also used twill tape on the shoulder seams to keep the shoulder shape stable.


The red skirt had been an orphan but now it looks like it’s part of a family. The sleeves are long so I will look at adding some gathers on the next cardi, if the fabric is a solid colour.

Express clean out

There is still lots to clean out in our house and yesterday I spent some time planning a few items to wear when we go to the US next month while pulling out the fabrics that just won’t do anymore (stratchy feel, dated print, poor quality and ‘what was I thinking’). Granted, none of this weekend’s pieces will keep me warm, they are layers.


I bought this fabric in Melbourne two years ago when 5 of our sewing buddy group spent 5 days fabric shopping. I focused on buying purple and green fabrics and this is a piece of memories from that trip. I’ve used a combat print FOE on the sleeve hem and the centre trim uses the selvedge. The front neck has been lowered and I used the selvedge on the centre front seam of the collar. This is view A without the belt. If the hem was lower, I would add a belt, but I’m a bit short in height to carry this off well. PS, I’ve made the bodice slimmer so I’ll put the updated pics up tonight. There’s just no shape otherwise.

This is the fifth new pattern that I’ve adjusted this month and I was really happy that the hems were even. It’s now ingrained in my mind to measure from the waist point on the pattern or use the side seam marks to double check the length. The centre back hem is 2 cm lower than the front to cover my behind evenly. In the cold, I’ll wear this over a black thermal, like the picture. That’s the plan. The next version will have seams great on the shoulder seams.

Here’s Butterick 5525 View B. The front and back fabric is left over from last week’s green dress. I just love the colour and the way this fabric handles (from The Fabric Store). The sleeve contrast is also a left over piece that I know won’t wear well but it does the job. When I started to use this print, I stopped, took out similar useless fabric pieces from my stash and they are now in the local charity bin. I’m over poor quality fabric.
Anyway, the centre back seam is not on the fold. I’ve shaped it and it suits my sway back better. After I sewed this top, the front neckline was gapping too much so I unpicked it and too 1.5cm off both sides of the centre front side seams and the neckline now sits much better. This pattern has a couple of neat versions that I plan to do.
In the pipeline is M5978 cardi in a print. This pattern is kind of boring, but I’ll try it. There’s also a Maggie London knit dress B5242 ready to make up. There are plans for Simplicity 2369 dress and another Maggie London knit B5418