Velvet

This is a quick post to show you the final velvet dress I whipped up last week for a wedding we attended last Saturday.

I bought this piece with Allison when she visited Australia three years ago.

As Allison said, it’s a Stretch burnout velvet in a dark purple with an ombre effect.” 
We indulged a bit at Pitt Trading during her visit.


I used New Look 6871 lining the velvet with a slinky knit. The pattern has short sleeves so I extended them.

The back is shaped but the fabric doesn’t really show this well. 

I hand stitched the hem and the rest of this dress was machine stitched with a tiny zigzag stitch as the base is a knit fabric.

Let me tell you a secret. 

I made this dress in a scuba fabric in 2 hours and found the neckline was way too wide.
The next night I widened the neckline on the pattern so it’s more jewel like.

Yep. I’ve bossed this pattern to fit me.

PS. I wore these low-heeled shoes at the wedding and danced for 4 hours. My feet are still sore today – 2 days later. So after surgery in February I can wear low heel shoes for a couple of hours.

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Going tropo

Last year I tested the Tropo camisole designed by Erin now rebranded as Tuesday Stitches.

This Tropo camisole is Erin’s latest pattern.

This top has a few versions available that you should have a look at.

My test version was this red version.  I used bra strapping and bra notions for all the Tropos I made.

I made two tops and two dresses from this pattern because it’s so quick to make, even when using bra notions.

The internal bra makes this a handy cami pattern.

By the way, the green skirt above is a test version of Susan Khalje’s skirt pattern.

The bra notions helps fit this better depending on your style and body type. The bra shelf make this easy to wear confidently.
I’m still working on the best length of this top.

Finally I have a strappy knit dress with support for Summer.

When I was cutting out this as a dress, the fabric print needed some thought.

Here’s the dress version in the plaid lycra.

The front and back patterns pieces are the same so the image above shows how I tried to match the stripes while I was cutting the dress out.

This version has a wider skirt section cut out.

So the back looks a better fit.

Erin’s instructions for this pattern were clear and easy to follow. I only used the instructions at the start because I used bra making techniques for all of these versions that I made.

All of these cami versions have been great to wear for Summer and our current hot Autumn weather.


All of these fabrics, elastics and bra notions were purchased from Pitt Trading.


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Yoyo-ing around

Playing around with a pattern can give you many looks.

I’m preparing for my Minerva make so these two stash fabrics finally got used, for a good purpose. I’ve chosen a John Kaldor print that will be fully lined and have pockets.

Here’s my February project choice. Now to figure out the best use of this pattern.

Version 1 is the medium size using what I thought was a slub viscose fabric from The Fabric Store. I later found out it is silk. I love how this fabric feels especially in this heat.

Close up the fabric has white in the weave and that really caught my eye. The pattern has no pockets but I decided to add them on the next version to see if they worked.

I took out 5cm from the skirt length at the front and back.

This is the actual skirt length of the pattern.

I was happy with the back fit.

Here’s number two with the shorter skirt hem.

I bought this cotton remnant from Pitt Trading so the challenge here was matching the stripes.


Can you see that I also added pockets from Deer and Doe’s Belladone dress?

Maybe now you can see the pockets.

Onto the black and white version.
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Gertie and a remnant

This dress is pieced together with remnants from fabric I bought from Pitt Trading.

Here’s the original dress I made from this remnant so you can see the original print.

I decided to use this print to test the bodice fit and construction of Butterick 6453.
I’ve used my basic pencil skirt pattern with the pockets from Deer and Doe Belladone skirt.

When I tackled these remnants, it took some time to decide on what pattern to use across the dress.

Looking at the bodice, I wasn’t sure this would work.
I didn’t have enough of the print to have it run the full width of the bodice.
These are the pencil skirt pieces I used.
Again I wasn’t sure how this would balance with the bodice.
At this point I sewed up the dress and did an initial bodice fit.
This was the moment I felt this dress might actually be a goer.
The pattern Butterick 6453 offers bodice facings. I’ve used calico to fully line the bodice.
The lining has plenty of boning in the seams so that it sits smoothly against my body sans bra.
See how it fits across the back bodice?
The side seams don’t match but they do fit snugly.

If you’re into detailing, you can see I’ve used a gold bias trim on the hem so the hemline looks consistent.

What you won’t be able to see are the bronze metal bra notions on the dress straps.

When Summer holidays kick in this year I think I’ll get a bit of wear from this dress.
Now to buy some fake tan spray.

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Summer motivation

Classic styles used with modern prints are what made me create this two-piece swimsuit.

Kwik Sew 3300 is a classic bra pattern that I’ve used and Kwik Sew 2689 is the bottoms pattern.
Most of the fabrics and elastics were bought from Pitt Trading.
While I chose to make this swimsuit on a whim this week, I could do this because I had everything.
What you see above is my placing the fabric patter so I’ve stuck with the dark parts of this pattern.
Pitt Trading has lots of swimwear fabrics and notions.

The bra piece has a bra cup in it. I’m looking to acquire proper bra cups for swim suits soon.
The bra bridge has the lighter colour print.
You can see that the bra has proper underwires and powermesh on the bra bands.

You’ll also notice I’ve used a bikini closure and the bra cups are fully lined with the lighter colour parts of the fabric.
By the time I finished making the bra, I was revved up to complete this whole set.
Making this two-piece swimsuit so fast was also facilitated because I had tested and used these patterns before.

Now my goal is to have a beach-ready body. 

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Hot spots

I made this cute blouse using a Pitt Trading remnant. I’ll use this pattern for some silk fabrics sitting in my stash.

The long story:
It’s no secret that I love remnants and the challenge they bring.
It’s also no secret that Pitt Trading has lots of remnants from local designers throughout the year and my stash has a few of their remnants waiting to jump into my sewing queue.
Enter Winter and Vogue 8906. When I first started sewing tops for work, the easiest thing to whip up is a knit top that is cosy for Winter. They become wardrobe staples as they’re quick to make and need minimal fit.

While knit tops are fast to make, I wear them like crazy and these tops constantly need replacing.

This year I’ve been working with silk fabrics and I’m becoming more confident with silks. I adore how silks feel in any weather. They’re also easy fabrics to manipulate.

Silks also come in lots of styles but they come in an array of gorgeous colours that suit me. I recently bought some yummy silks fromSelective Fine Fabrics in Brisbane that I desperately want to use.
Vogue 8906 seems like a great pattern for blouse-weight silks. Drapey fabrics work best for this blouse. I read a few reviews and I realised it would be very sensible to test out View A in a remnant.


This ‘white on blue’ spotty poly remnant looked me square in the eye and said, ‘Go on. Make my day.’ So I did.

I cut out the 12 and did a forward shoulder adjustment but I kept the top length as is. Packed up the pieces and moved on to other projects.
Two months down the track I made time to sew this blouse up. The seam allowances and hems are overlocked and there’s no pattern matching.

The pattern neckline too high for me so I recut the neckline down by 3cm and it just sits nicely without it choking me. That’s what a test version is for – tweaking the pattern before you work on the ‘good’ fabric.

Now I can confidently use this adjusted pattern again.
But my mind has now wandered to thinking how this top would look as a dress.
Stay tuned for an update on how the dress version turns out. 

Puffer jacket

My puffer jacket fabric is from Elliot Berman Textiles, bought at least 2 years since my last NYC visit. I was freezing this week so I decided I needed to make this jacket pronto.

Eugenia and her staff at Elliott Berman Textiles were really accommodating when I visited their store. I visited their store twice that week as I had to think about their fabrics and choose pieces I can’t buy locally. This is one of a few of their fabrics in my stash.

The key notion I needed was the zipper and thankfully Pitt Trading had a range of metal zippers for coats available last year. Pitt Trading has an amazing range of notions off loaded from local designers. 

I did a bit of research while I made this jacket this week and realised very few puffer jackets have a defined waist hence I had to choose a jacket pattern that I could slightly shape. 

I used Butterick 6062 as the basic jacket shape. The darts weren’t sewn. I have a habit of using this pattern for longline coats to keep me warm.

The pocket is the same as the pocket in Butterick 6062 but it’s 2.5cm wider along the seams.

I used the scissor magnet to cut the pocket to size.

The collar is 12cm wide shaped from folded piece of the quilted fabric. No collar pattern was used.

A few months ago I ducked into EM Greenfields and bought a reel of navy bias binding 25mm wide for the jacket edging. I’ve got plenty left although I did used plenty on this jacket.

While I love the metal zipper, I felt it needed a zipper shield so I made one ‘on the go’.

The fabric wasn’t going through my sewing machine properly so I lowered the zipper foot to ‘level 3’ and it then sewed through the machine perfectly.

The initial WIP jacket showed me the pockets were too high for a coat. Uhm, the front was too short as well.

You can see on the finished jacket a new ‘design feature ‘at the base of the coat.

I had a similar gold bias trim in my stash so I used this for the coat hook and also to finish the front panel seams.

And that’s it really. Bias bound seams and bias bound edges and this puffer jacket is done!

Now to rug up and get rid of my head cold before it turns nasty.

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