Which way it the right way to use a large border print? This month I experimented with a large border John Kaldor print from Minerva Crafts on Sew Over It Eve dress.

The fun was strategically cutting out the pieces with this border print. I love this print.

I used to get ‘hung up’ on figuring out what the ‘right way’ to use a border print.

Rules are a great guide but sometimes I’ve been hampered by them.

Which way is up or where should the border print be placed.

I’m not tall so my options are limited on how I can use any print.

Internally I used French seams where possible. The fabric is light and soft so overlocking the seams made them feel thick and clunky.

The skirt is soft and flowy so French seams didn’t weigh down this dress.

I used Prym Microtextil sharps needle. The 70/10 size from the mixed pack sewed through this fabric very smoothly.
The neckline finish uses Prym plain cotton tape (no facing) so again there’s no bulk at the neckline. I chose the cotton tape and the tape weave is very sturdy so I was able to ease in the neckline across the bust.
The neckline across the bust hugs against me so I didn’t need to do an adjustment, like I have with other neckline.

Now to pair this dress with my work jackets.

This is an easy dress to make for work if you can’t find a thing to wear.

Thanks again Minerva Crafts. 

Don’t forget to use ‘maria’ to get 10% off any Prym purchases from Minerva Crafts.


Jacket fav: Vogue 8931

Finally. I found a jacket style I like and a pattern I have already fitted (Vogue 8931) for this month’s Minerva Crafts project. This French crepe and buttons worked together well. The fabric is soft, resilient and was a confidence builder. 

These buttons in two different sizes take this jacket from ordinary to being ‘just a bit different’. My idea was to take ‘ordinary’ navy to a more interesting look.

My wardrobe plan is to have a work jacket for this dress too.

The purple jacket gets worn regularly in the office and the shape has held up really well. I’ve worn this jacket for over a year so I know the fit works. This time I’ve made the 3-button version with the buttons ‘on show’ and adding ‘real’ pockets. I went for a riding jacket style.

The jacket

So here’s the new jacket with my highland inspired dress looking ‘highland-like’. Ok, I’ll stop smiling now.

Here’s how the new jacket looks up close and I’ve blued up the colour so you can see the contrasts.

I still can’t believe my piping worked. It really did.

I always get my jackets and coats professionally pressed once they’re made.

Here are the main areas where a deep breath and a calm atmosphere helped me along the way.


I used the pocket pieces from Vogue 8732, because that’s what I had available to me. The welts were made thinner.

I’ve used a contrasting thread to guide my sewing.

Here’s the underside that I have to contend with.

Below is the corner pocket stitching that keeps the pocket square.

I call these two happy smiling pockets.

Facing detailing

This is something I enjoy doing as my signature detailing.
I also felt I needed to use the navy ribbon I had order for the highland dress but didn’t use.

Collar notches

Now this isn’t the collar technique I used. I followed the instructions and below is my checking to make sure they matched.


I don’t usually handstitch along the sleeve stitching line but this time I did to make sure the sleeve was puckerless. This crepe is beautiful and very pliable.


These are the markings I made to make sure the buttonholes all started and finished in the same place.

I love these buttons.

So you could say I love this jacket style and it goes with a few pieces I already have in my wardrobe. I could use this jacket as a riding jacket, and I’ll show you what I mean in July.

Thanks again to Minerva Crafts for supplying everything to make this riding jacket.

Now this jacket is a work staple.
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Working with fine knits

Fine knit fabrics are gorgeous. Take a look at this gorgeous knit below from Minerva Crafts.

Fine knits are soft, resilient and drape lightly. So the key skill here is how do you work with them. Overlock? Coverstitch? Machine stitch? Or just use the fabric as a blanket? This type of fine knit is too good to be used as a blanket.

I decided to make Simplicity 2603 again and work on this new navy version.

Using a basic 4-thread machine sews the seams well but be aware of the best stitch and thread tension. As Maris says, test your fabric first.

Overlocking worked well to construct the seams and finish the edges nicely.

Testing this knit with no stabiliser resulted in tunneling. Even ‘steam a seam lite’ didn’t help. So without any additional tear away fabric, Coverstitching wasn’t going to work.

You can see how fine this fabric is and it just didn’t go through the coverstitch machine without looking ‘angry’.

Machine stitch
Aaah. Success. A simple straight stitch worked.

Testing your machines with fine fabrics will help create something you’re happy to wear.

MMM12 day 16

Today it was nice to take a sewing break, so I wore this two piece made-me outfit that I made last year. The fabric was from and the top is based on Butterick 5247
Wearing all navy is easiest when I’m feeling pooped.
Holding a jar of made-me peach jam made me feel more comfortable. Strange take on comfort food…

So at the end of the day, I head out for a bit of mid-week food shopping.
The top is what I wore to work. Fau paux #1.
Fau paux #2 – wearing double denim. The jalie jeans that I wore on day 5 and a toile denim jacket (Vogue 7764) that I decided to finish and keep as a weekend jacket.

Matured fabric – Butterick 5247

Many moons ago, I purchased this navy/black boucle fabric from Knitwit. I’m sure this fabric has reached its 10th year (Happy Birthday to the fabric). It may also be the 10th year for the navy/black lace too (more birthday cake). I bought the navy/black lace from another place (Sara Lee factory) that has since closed down its clothing subsidiary.

The pattern is Butterick 5247 and when I last made this up it was a gray/green boucle two-way stretch fabric and then needed to taper in the size. That’s the fun of working with stretch fabrics. So I’ve skimmed this pattern and found that the collar change that I made, leant itself to a v-styled cowl/roll collar. The collar turned out this way because I was playing with the fabric to see what it could do. It reminds me of Lost in Space styling. Then I plonked on the lace across my chest and stitched it on. The seam finishes are nil.

Would you believe there was enough fabric left for a skirt, so I whipped one up. It’s a simple piece with elastic in the waistband casing. The front open seam are the selvedges. And the skirt is lined. I was able to find navy tights so I’ve now got the full navy thing going on. The boucle fabric is not warm and isn’t soft against the skin so I’ve worn a layer underneath the top to keep warm.
I think I’ll head back to green fabric again. Navy is my work-based wardrobe.

Navy wrap – Simplicity 2603

There was a piece of navy netting that had two-way stretch that I was thinking would work as a cardi wrap. I gone a bit navy to replenish my wardrobe staples.This month was also US Independence Day and today is Bastille Day too so maybe these holidays have influenced my choice.

I’m still getting used to not finishing a hems and seams. This is comfortable layer that I can wear in the office during the winter or when the air-con goes haywire. Our office tends to get cold near midday and the air vent is behind me so I do feel the temperature change throughout the day.

This is the long version and I’ve done no adjustments. I think I bought this fabric for $3 metre last year from the remnant warehouse in alexandria.

Boardies – M5633

My beach wardrobe is still progressing thanks to the Queens B’day weekend. McCalls 5633 is another unused pattern that I tackled to make boardshorts.

I had a quick squiz at those who had made these before and low and behold Sue had shared her disappoinment with this pattern. Thanks for sharing your experiences Sue. You made me do a bit more planning.
This pattern is really high at the front and I took off 1cm from the centre front so I added a black ‘click together’ belt with black tape. The black tape is the sort of tape you find on backpacks, so this won’t be affected by saltwater.
I kind of misjudged the room I needed for my rear I resewed the back seam. There’s a dart at the back and I added this in to get a better fit.
Every seam edge is overlocked. The belt carriers and waistline are the biggest bugbears of this pattern. I would have preferred to add a waistband, and I’ll do this next time. I’ve also skipped the cuffs. The front zipper is a chunky plastic navy zip that was in my stash too.
I haven’t shortened the rashie, I’ve just rolled it under so you can see how the waistline fits.

When I tried to prewash the fabric, the water just beaded on it, so I’m sure it will be good when I’m in the surf.