Anneli test projects

Happy New Year everyone. I hope 2018 treats you well.

Below are two test Annelis for Summer. Anneli is a double front dress and tee pattern by Named Patterns.

Both fabrics are stash fabrics that had no project attached to them. Now I’m happy to have used them for this pattern.

The seams are 1cm wide.
The double front isn’t too fussy after all. I wasn’t sure if the double front would look too heavy but it actually drapes nicely.
This is now a Summer fav worn with Grainline Maritime shorts on weekends.

This dress version was perfect to use this big, flowing jersey print.
Cutting this out in ‘dress length’ wasn’t the challenge.
The cutting challenge was the making sure the print design ran on the outer front dress piece and not be hidden on the under layer.
I cut the back dress piece out first and then I cut out the upper front dress layer.

This dress with its amazing print worked.
The arm finish and neckline finishes were also important during the cutting stage. Once I cut out the main dress pieces, I cut out the bindings so they matched the dress.
Sewing (cutting) is my super power, as you can see. All the colours lined up.

The back is basically black with a bit of colour.
So I think I’m set for the next Summer bbq that comes my way.

I’m still enjoying prosecco and a spot of sparkling rose to celebrate the New Year.

The next version will be an all over-print so you can judge for yourself if you’re ready to make your own Anneli.
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Camo booty shorts

Shorts and tees are my go-to gear for getaways to hot climates.

These new camo Maritime shorts were my pick for this month’s Minerva Crafts project.

Grainline Maritime shorts work for me and this blue print has just the right mix of colours that I can pair with other clothes that I’ve made.

Can you tell?

I’ve used pale pink poplin for the pocket lining because I wanted to have something girlie about them.
I felt the back pockets needed to clash as much as the fabric print does so you can see the work on these pockets. 


No pattern matching was required.
I know these shorts work well because the grey shorts from my Minerva Crafts Summer travel set get worn a lot.

The details about these shorts are in the previous blog post here.
I have included a sway back adjustment and short centre front seam adjustment to the pattern so a size 6 with these adjustments works every time.
My convertible backpack bag using Sacotin patterns from last year’s project has been a workhorse travel piece too.
The Art Gallery fabrics wash so well as does this camo fabric.
Throw in the zip front jacket I made in a previous Minerva Crafts project and a couple of tops and I’m ready to hit the road for another travel adventure.

Now to plan my next travel adventure, once I earn enough leave.


Thanks again Minerva Crafts.
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Summer travel set

This month’s post started off simply – make a pair of espadrilles. 

Then I decided to make a matching bag. 

In this case a backpack that converts to a shoulder bag or a cross over bag. Finally I thought a the Art Gallery fabric could be made into shorts so these pieces become part of a Summer travel set.

Having some sewing knowledge was a good thing and was also a challenge. Let me explain.


About the espadrilles: Prym have developed the notions you need to make espadrilles

The type of espadrilles are really something you can create so I used their basic pattern. Prym provide the pattern for this basic espadrille. The Prym interfacing is really firm but light to hold. 


The interfacing is really all you need to make a firm shoe and have minimal layers to stitch through. Adding another lining was a real ‘learning’.

The Prym thread is a three thread ‘wool’ so I learnt how to use a tapestry needle and an awl tool. My thimble wasn’t the right shape for my fingers so next time I’ll invest in a good thimble.

I decided to line the sole, hence the use of a spray glue to ensure the fabric stayed in place while I stitched up these espadrilles.

Prym have an easy espadrille video that shows you all the steps for making your own espadrilles. The pinning and sewing technique were easy to understand. The video suggest using a 110cm length thread which was perfect for this kit. I eventually waxed the threads as they sewed up more smoothly. 

Oh. The piping was a leftover from a previous Minerva project. I’d love to try the Prym sneakers in a future post.


Onto the bag. I’ve been helping Vero of Sacotin Patterns proof the English translations of her French patterns so I knew her Limbo would be the perfect travel bag for Summer. This bag can be worn three ways.

It was a quick and easy decision to choose this pattern so I stash dived for the handbag notions and only needed to buy 4 extra D-rings and a zipper.


The instructions were easy to follow and I sewed this bag up in 7 hours. It really didn’t feel like 7 hours because each step was very easy to achieve. At one point the bag shape sort of looked like the head of a Stormtrooper.
That’s when I decided to take a break and grab a cup of tea.
The instructions to make the straps give you an option to add fleece so they’re more comfortable and this really makes a huge difference.
I have enough contrast Art Gallery print for the outside of my Limbo bag but not for the lining so I used some Minerva Crafts remnants. It’s a stretch woven so I made sure I interfaced the lining body and the zipper areas.

Yes…I had these two pink zippers in my stash and they matched this fabric.


 The instructions to sew in these zippers was easy to follow and master.

This pattern also suggests adding a layer of fleece into the bag gusset and again, this made the bag a firmer shape. 


I made the largest version and it sits nicely on me.


Above is the backpack style and below is the shoulder style or cross back style. 

The external zipper works well for the shoulder style bag.


Lastly were the shorts. Summer has arrived and I when it’s hot I live in shorts and tees.

I made these Maritime shorts by Grainline patterns in 2014 so I knew this pattern works for my shape.

This pattern has a sway back adjustment and a lower centre back curve.

The fabric is quite firm so I added 2cm at the side seams.  

The fabric sews up really nicely and the weave is something I love.


Again I stashed dived and found some more remnants from previous Minerva Crafts project for the pocket lining.


I used more stash notions for the closures.

When I ordered my fabric, I didn’t know if I would get time to make these shorts for this post but I’m glad they worked out this month.

I love the pocket detailing of these shorts. When I sew pockets, I pin mark the turning points for a sharper finish.


The waistband pieces are marked to line up these pieces.


So now I can pair these three travel basics with any tee and be comfortable. I can wear the same bag three different ways, which is handy when you’re on the go.


Thanks Vicki for this month’s huge kit. You really know how to put together a kit for a shoe making novice like myself.

Jeans bits and pieces

Finding your jeans hardware is fun but can be a an exhausting search if you can’t find what you want locally. Online and chatting to sewers through social media helps you uncover what’s available when you’re starting to make jeans. That’s why I started my shorts journey – to lead me to making jeans for my next Minerva Crafts project.

Grommets or rivets are usually placed on the front zipper pockets, coin pocket and on the back pockets but be creative and put them anywhere you want. After all, these are your jeans and you get to make them look unique.

If you can’t get your hardware locally here are some online places to get jeans bits and pieces include:
Grommet mart
Cast Bullet
Stans sewing supplies
Minerva Crafts
Ebay suppliers using jeans rivets in crafts gets you this

DK Fabrics in Adelaide had some good quality jeans hardware when I visited them last year.

A tailors awl to help insert rivets.


A good jeans button has a nail with ridges. This button nail is hammered through the fabric. 

I’ve used a jean button that had a smooth nail and the button popped off the first time I sneezed. It was a lady sneeze too.
Modified centre back seam to adjust for sway back.
Finished centre back ready to add the back belt loop.

Top-stitching thread
If you can’t find a local supplier or have an unusual denim, try combining thread colours to achieve the top-stitching colour you want to achieve.


Preparing the belt loops for top stitching.
These Maritime shorts were top stitched.
This mustard version were my first attempt with jeans top stitching.

The black shorts are my second attempt using a jeans button and rivets. 

They’re a bit better.


The coverstitch machine made topstitching easy but using a twin needle on your sewing machine will help you achieve the same effect.


You’ll see the finished jeans next week. 

Left hand blue

You’ve seen these before here and here. I wanted a navy pair in blue, so this is the blue pair with a new blue top for Blue, blue February.


The pattern changes were refined on the second pair but I wanted to tackle one more issue. Making room for cyclist thighs. Well I think that’s the last piece to my shorts puzzle.

The lifesaver is right behind me 🙂

After checking the notes on the Pants Club, I thought the legs part needed a bit of room. Using the big red book, they call this change ‘circumference thigh adjustment’. Who knew?


Here’s the back view. Lots of cover stitching used again and my attempt at matching the dots on the back pockets didn’t happen. Oh well. These are my final summer shorts.

The top is a replica of the RTW top I wore with these shorts yesterday.

Grainline Maritime Shorts #2

This time I decided to use Jen’s fly front zipper tutorial. When I’m working to a deadline, learning new techniques are harder. I don’t absorb anything. This time I wasn’t working to a deadline and I decided to follow Jen’s instructions and learn a new technique. New year = new technique.

Jen’s fly front zipper method results in a dead straight result from top to bottom. I like it. I’ll use Jen’s technique again. The tutorial on Jen’s website is the same as the instructions in the pattern. The difference is the online tute has real photos of the fabric pieces instead of the illustrations used in the pattern. This was what made me more confident that I was following her instructions correctly. Check twice then sew helps me a lot:)

While I was working on this black pair, I had the rare opportunity to attend a Coverstitch workshop run by Michelle from Babylock Australia. Let me tell you, once I got home I just couldn’t wait to try using what I’d learnt at this workshop on something. Anything. These shorts were it! So this black pair has 2 needle coverstitching on the back pockets, the front pockets, the belt loops and on the fly front.

I’ve used left over fabric from the play suit for the pockets.

Then I used the 3 thread finish for the hem. I could have used the down feller for the hem but the excitement to sew these up took over. 


I bought my Coverstitch attachments from Sharp Sewing Supplies. I now know how to use the attachment. Sharp Sewing Supplies had all the attachments I needed for my Coverstitch machine and their service was fast and friendly.

These shorts were a great practice for attaching rivets on the pockets and working with a jeans button. They were made in the sewing room and in the garage. DH is used to my working in the garage from time to time.

Black goes with anything.

Can you tell I’m gearing up to make jeans or cargo pants? I have the hardware to make either.

Grainline Maritime shorts #1

It’s still summer and it’s about time I made these shorts. Everyone else who’s made them, loves them, lives in them until they make their second pair. Then continues to live in these shorts.
It’s true. Google Grainline Maritime shorts and see the great makes. Lizzy is a shorts Wiz including her 3 pairs of Maritime shorts.


A bit of leftover mustard drill from last year’s mustard skinny jeans and some soft printed gauze gratefully received from the generous Gabrielle of Upsewlate were my first pair of Maritime short. Have you see her Mini Moss skirt? It’s really cool


The fly front zipper method is where most sewers have decided to look elsewhere for their instructions and I used to go to Sandra Betzina’s video tute. The zipper construction is done with the pieces flat. 

This was my first sway back attempt. But I redid the sway back  adjustment.

I changed the construction so I could sew the fly front zipper in with the front pieces laying kinda flat. 


1, Make the front pockets as per Jen’s instructions. 
2, Sew the front centre seam together to the zipper point. 
3, Sew in the fly front zipper.
I followed all of Jen’s construction details. Lizzy changed the construction a bit to get the fit right.

Here’s the second sway back attempt and the centre back excess is marked. 

The back of the first pair were a teeny bit too low at centre back so I did my usual sway back adjustment on the pattern and saved this first version by adding a jeans style back yoke piece.

After wearing them, the centre back piece worked and they were comfy for wear. I have a few RTW cargoes that are now 2 sizes too big and I promised myself to wear clothes that fit. Even casual weekend clothes that fit.

The mustard colour drill does nothing for my skin tone so let’s forget this test pair exists. This pair has now been published on the Monthly Stitch collective for February’s challenge.


A second pair (the real pair) is the next post…



By the way, Seamstress Erin pointed me to a site about ‘Real body’ tracing. While I’m not brave to take part in this initiative, I am happy to adjust patterns to fit my shape in all its iterations and share that knowledge here.