At the begining of the past week, I finished off my first b5242. It works really well with a lined bodice as the pattern suggests. I will make this again, with the right fabric.

The neckline is well placed and from the PR Reviews I lengthened the front waist darts by 3 cm, to avoid the maternity dress look. Below is the back skirt. I’ve taken out some of the skirt fullness. I don’t have the height to carry it off. The other issue is the skirt was too long and made the dress seem matronly, so I’ve raised the hemline and will adjust it again at the centre front again.
Our Australia Day holiday we had an eating fest but I woke up early that day with a thought, so here’s how I followed it through. Today the weather is going to be warm and humid. We’ve got a wedding and the one shoulder dress that I’ve made won’t suit the church part of the ceremony. If I was younger, I could get away with it but it’s been drummed into my head, not to flash too much flesh in church. When we’ve visited temples and other places of worship in other countries, it’s a sign of respect so I’ve made this dress to deal with the heat. But I’ve also made a matching cardi.

M2241 is definitely an oldie that’s been sitting in my pattern stash. Both fabrics were purchased on our Melbourn shopping tour of 2009. The dress is simple and unlined. I’ve placed the straps where my bra straps sit – bonus:) This is a 12 size and I’ve done the back shaping for a better fit. Together, it looks like a sweetheart neckline. The fabric is a stretch woven and I’ve used an invisible zipper.
Here’s a close up of the cardi finishes. I’ve used green satin bias binding. The hems are the selvedge of the lace fabric. I’ve used boring M5978. I hand stitched the binding so that I could sew one stitching line on the front.
 This week I’ll get back to making Simplicity 2369 below.

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

The beginnings of a set – Kwik Sew 3378

This was a quick top to make at our sewing weekend, with one hitch. I cut out the small size and not the medium size. The view above shows the extra piece I added to the side seams.

When I wore it as a small, my tummy rolls where there for all to stare at. OMG. What was I thinking.

The additional side pieces can’t easily be seen and the original suggestion to add the extra as ruching made me feel more self conscious about my rolls, so the top sits flat on my body. Phew. This is another piece that I bought when we were in Melbourne fabric shopping. The rest of the fabric will be made into a cardie.

Toile – m5464

It’s taken me this long to start using this pattern. I say that because the pattern is now an out of print pattern on the McCalls website. I bought this pattern because it’s a handy style for any occassion. With the right fabric, this is a good shape to then take it in a new direction. I like the princess style darts in this style. They’re in both the front and back of the dress.
As a sewer, not only are you attracted to fabric, fabric also comes to you in many forms. This is a toile and the fabric was given to me last year when I had to wear an asian inspired outfit at my husband Christmas party. I ended up making a skirt and top in a green fabric instead. I wasn’t too sure how to wear this fabric as it is kind of asian looking. I have 6 metres of this fabric to play with.
This is a toile, so this fabric isn’t what I would normally buy or pick for my colouring. While the pattern has been sitting on my desk for 8 months, I’ve lost the back neck facing for the sleeveless version. If you look closely, I’ve put a fushia bias tape around the neck and armhole edges. I bought the bias tape from the fabric shop in Burwood Plaza. I didn’t take a sample of the fabric with me, I was just drawn to the colour and width of the bias tape.

This view shows you how the selvedge has a plain 10 cm border and the rest of the fabric is embroidered. The weather has been hot 35 – 40C so sewing in the air con has been delightful. It’s the only thing I can do without melting.

On the technical side of this dress, I’ve used an invisible zip, bias fushia tape on the neck and arm edges, pink trim to balance the colour. I’ll use the remaining fushia tape to finish the dress hem on the inside and put a vent in the lower side seams.

I was frightened by the 2kg I’ve put while I was on holidays, so I didn’t put in the back darts. Once I had basted the dress together, I sewed the back darts into the dress. I’ll put the changes onto the pattern and try this again with the denim that’s maturing in my stash from our Melbourne fabric shopping trip.

It’s green – Butterick 5277

At our sewing weekend last week I spent much of my time on Saturday, trying to figure out why the neckline wasn’t sitting right. After whizzing the sleeves in, I had lunch and then as my blood sugar levels were refreshed, I saw that the sleeves were in the wrong way. I didn’t check where the neckline edge and sleeve hem edge were.

After what seemed like a good hour, I unpicked the sleeves and resewed them into the dress again. Did I mention that I’d done the same mistake to the lining? Yes it was painful, but I keep relearning that perseverance keeps me sewing.

At some point, I’ll transfer the marks from the pattern to the fabric so I don’t keep making the same mistake again.

The roll collar got lots of good comments from my sewing buddies and my work collegues but I realise that I need to make some quirky work so that my wardrobe doesn’t become boring.

I do have enough fabric in my stash to do a few challenging pieces and they are now on my sewing radar.

I will make this dress up again but without the collar in a patterned fabric. The neckline is a bit too wide to wear comfortably without feeling ‘showy’ so I’ll bring the neckline in by 1.5cm, add a contracting trim and see how it feels. Our weather is hot enough that wearing a sleeveless dress in the office with a light ‘cardy’ is acceptable.

McCalls 8557 – tunic to dress

Being short is always a design challenge. This season there are some great prints out there and I just love them when the fabric quality is also available.

We (the girls) recently went on a fabric shopping trip to Melbourne and we had a jam-packed three and a half days of scouring the fabric stores in and around the CBD. With so much great quality fabric, how could a girl resist.

The challenge now is to create these fabric into this season’s wardrobe because there’s always nothing to wear…

This pattern has a dress, tunic top and pants pattern and it’s now out of print. The pattern is an early overlocker/serger sized pattern that I’ve made up in a grey jersey sans spandex.

This pattern has both centre back and centre front seams.
This feature makes the pattern easy to fit for instance, I have a sway back so this was easy to fit.I will use an all-in-one facing at the neck opening because it’s a bit tricky for young players. I increased the hip width and straightened the hem width so it wouldn’t add too much bulk around my hips and thighs. I took the fullness out of the sleeve so that pattern wouldn’t engulf me.I did a rolled shoulder adjustment so the collar would sit nicely.

I will sew this again as it’s very similar to Leona Edmiston’s latest dress design.

This fabric is from The Cloth Shop and it’s great to wear. Just ask them for a piece.