For Summer

This embroidered print I bought a Selective Fine Fabrics in Brisbane recently is great using New Look 6000. OCD much (Lollipop and Blue poppies).

No sleeves this time so this dress works for Summer parties. I used the embroidered selvage for the hem.

The waist darts help me adjust this dress to fit as my waist changes. Underlining also made sewing in the invisible zipper easy work.

Originally I wanted to used FOE on the neckline and armholes but caved and used lining. The lining gave a better finish both on the inside and on the outside.

A few weekends ago I had a great day fabric shopping in Brisbane with Marjorie and Jenny visiting a couple of high end retailers. We spent ages looking at fabrics at Selective Fine Fabrics and this was one of the fabrics I decided to splurge on.

Why did I make this so quickly? I have a ladies lunch last Sunday hence a new dress! 

Then I decided to be brave and make View A using this John Lewis fabric I bought in the UK a few years ago. John Lewis doesn’t post fabric to Australia which I wasn’t aware of when we visited the UK 3 years ago.

Again I’ve fully lined this dress. I used View E front as the lining pattern. This made the front fit a lot easier to do.

One thing that makes this dress so easy to make and wear is using a 50cm to 55cm invisible zipper. I buy these zips from My Hung because they’re close by and affordable. My Hung have their zips hanging flat so I never have the iron out the kinks from packaged zips.

I think I’ve done this pattern to its limit for now. 

Well I thought I was until I decided to use an African wax print for a vintage-style version.

This is the dress I used for the square neckline tutorial.

Those butterflies are so lovely.

So I suppose I’ve finished working with NL 6000.

As this was an easy pattern to redo in a few different ways, I decided to enter these into PR’s One pattern many looks contest.

I certainly can’t say “I don’t have a thing to wear” in the lead up to Christmas this year.

Back to the sewing room.

Jungle Pattern magic collar

Here’s what how I drafted my collar and my construction notes. Pattern Magic provides great drafting instructions. It’s the construction that you have to work out for yourself but sometimes these are provided for you as well.

This collar is in Pattern Magic so if you can get your hands on a copy, please follow their instructions for a much better product than I made.

The skirt above was made from leftover fabric from my Minerva summer wardrobe collection. I now have a skirt, trousers and jacket made from this purple fabric. The skirt is lined and fully interfaced for a smoother finish.

Original collar

Use an existing one-piece collar for a pattern you know works. That way you’re a couple of steps ahead. You won’t have to draft a collar from your bodice block. I’ve used Butterick 5538 but you can use any pattern.

This piece is cut on the fold.

Wider base collar

With this one-piece collar, make the outer point wider for the base collar. The base collar is wider that the top collar. This is why it looks interesting. 

This piece is cut on the fold.


Internal collar piece

This is slightly tricky because this piece is cut on the bias on a fold. This is drafted by placing the wider and skinnier pieces together. Then you cut and spread them open evenly .

And it’s drafted from a bit of cutting and spreading of the top and base collar pieces.

I cut this final piece on the fold on the bias. There’s a bit of fullness at the back but this holds up the top collar when you apply interfacing.


Construction or What worked for me
Before you start, mark the fold point on the internal collar and any notches from your original collar pattern piece.

  • Sew the top collar on the internal collar piece. 
  • Sew the base collar on the internal collar piece.
  • Sew the corner points. If the top collar is too wide, it won’t sit high.
  • Match the top and base collar pieces and sew these edges to the neckline.

  • Finish the collar/neckline as per your pattern instruction.

Now I used a soft bias binding to finish the back neckline.

The top collar will stand up with more layers of interfacing if your fabric is soft. 
You’ll see how this spotted blouse worked out at the end of the week because it’s one of my Minerva Crafts January projects showcasing my Summer work wardrobe nicely.

This zebra fabric was bought locally at Myhung and it uses the large print on the body and smaller print on the sleeves and facing.

Because I made so many jungle pieces last January I had to stop my Jungle fabrics from breeding, but few pieces like this one migrated into my fabric stash.
Get your Jungle January fix as time’s running out. January is flying by so quick. 
I think this jungle shirt could be office-worthy.
I did try to place the downward zebra stripes to the middle of each shirt panel.
As you can see, last week I started drafting a few more Pattern Magic pieces. So in a way, I’m no longer in holiday mode and back in my sewing room.
See you soon:)

Jungle pants – Butterick 6837

I was amazed that I found yet another jungle remnant in the stash – a snake skin print.

I’ve used Butterick 6837 because these pants are light, flowy and great for humid, mozzie infested jungle conditions.
 Remember- it’s still Jungle January. Jungle on.

The waistband has a 32mm elastic and the seams are simply overlocked. I’ve made the small size and adjusted the back crotch curve for my ‘behind.‘ These pants have been excellent for air travel too.

MyHung fabrics had an interesting eyelet fabric and I decided to make this fabric into these pants too. The fabric is 90cm wide with a lovely edging on both sides of the fabric.

This time I trimmed back the inside seam to slim back the leg width without looking too out of proportion.

I’ve also lined them from the waist to the knees because the eyelets on this fabric are huge – nothing to see here🙂

Now to make a peplum top in a solid colour (no print) to wear with both of these pants.

I’m trying to edit back the jungle prints to avoid looking like Adriana from The Sopranos. Adriana was way taller and she had nails as long as any lioness.

Dilemma: What does a girl do when the jungle prints run out?

Cynthia Rowley 1 – Simplicity 2406

Thank you for all your lovely words about Mum’s wardrobe. She’s been wonderful to me and my family and while these styles aren’t exciting fashion, this is what works for her and I know her grandkids will be proud to have her looking special at their weddings. That’s enough tears from me
It was worth trying this dress style with Pitt Trading remnant fabrics I still have, while I couldn’t work on Mum’s outfits last month.

I’ve made View B without the centre back split. This pattern needs lots of ironing and clipping when making up the sleeves. This style is basically a sack dress with interesting sleeves. Correction: What I mean is there’s no waist, bust or hip shaping required. That’s got to be a bonus for lots of fast and furious sewers.

I’ve used more of the Pitt Trading $20 remnants garbage bag for this dress so I didn’t feel precious about making this version up. I also used an animal print remnant for the belt as an option. The gathers at the neckline aren’t as obvious as the picture on the envelope but there are gathers.

 Yes. It’s winter and I’m very pale. I really do need to iron this dress again. If it wasn’t so cold, I would have worn this to the hens night on the weekend. Yes, my middle name is chicken. I have another Cynthia Rowley (2497) in the pipeline and it’s also very forgiving like this style.

Below is the 1970’s Batman tv series angle. Oh to be Batgirl and Commissioner Gordon never realised Batgirl was his daughter but Alfred knew.

Lately, a couple of local fabric retailers kept giving me extra fabric for free.
The owner who normally takes no prisoners at MyHung Parramatta gave me an extra 1.5m of knit fabric for Mum’s knit tops just to get rid of the roll end. I was short (don’t laugh) by 60cm for sleeves for Mum’s second knit top so I asked for 1.5m (for a 3rd top) and there was .5 left on the roll piece with my original piece. There was a separate 1.5m piece rolled on the roll so I ended up with 2m for free.
Then, I managed to get to Pitt Trading and Sylvia threw in a remnant piece as well as the roll end (1m) and an end of roll piece for me as well. Fabric stash busting won’t happen this year.