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. 

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.