Sleeves this time

Hi! Here’s a pre-op story…

Two years ago I made Simplicity 1357 twice because it’s perfect for hot, humid weather. 

As you can see below I still wear this little retro number using Spotlight fabric in a medium weight cotton.
I wore this pink version recently on Day 2 of Couture Sewing workshop run by Susan Khalje. Yes, I’m a big fan of Susan’s work. 
As an aside note in 2019 we might have Kenneth D King teach in Australia – fingers crossed 🙂

Below is the maxi version of this dress, also great for Summer bbqs using a John Kaldor print from Minerva Crafts.
This bold blue cotton print is one I bought from Spotlight a while ago at $8/m and I decided it was time to make this dress up with short sleeves, possibly as a work dress.


Admittedly I can wear loud dresses to the office from time to time but my aim was to create a weekend dress and not ‘workify it’. There is no such word as ‘workify’. I just made it up. A ‘work appropriate’ dress would be the correct term.
The key fit area I checked this time was across my high hip measurement and I used the same pattern as two years ago.
This photo features the hip with a pocket matching the pattern.
The challenge on this dress were the sleeves.
They have a couple of pleats on either side of the shoulder seam.

With this fabric being so firm, the sleeves on this dress sit high and away from my arms. It’s a bit sci-fi looking.

I figured the way the sleeves would sit I would use blue satin bias binding to hem the sleeves. You can certainly see this finish when I’m wearing this dress so using pretty binding was a clever choice.

For a Summer dress like this I would have overlocked the hem edge and then folded it up once and sewn it closed.


I’m glad I put some thought into the finishing details this time.

Now I can recommend using the short sleeve version.

I truly love the pockets on this pattern! 


In case you’re wondering, I took this photo in hotel room we stayed at during the course Susan ran in Sydney in February.

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In knots – Butterick 5283

This pattern is doing my head in.

I made this top last week with spotted fabric and sleeveless. This time I’ve used a comfortable knit that has one way stretch and good memory. I’ve also only cut out one front piece, so this is not self faced. That saved me a bit of fabric but also made the top hang nicely without making me feel chunky.

I traced off the original outline under the chest and then dropped it by 3inches. The pencil on the pattern shows you how far I’ve moved the piece down.

The front now is looks very gathered because of the knot so I can live with it. As the sleeveless version hangs over the shoulders, I had to take 4cm off the shoulder seams to bring the sleeves back to my shoulders instead of down my arms. Did you notice that the twist is on the same side as the pattern drawing?

I took out the centre back fold so the back fits better. There’s still some work to do here as my right hips is higher than my left hip. This pattern could be another top that gets lengthened into a dress soon.

PS. The skirt is one that I made 4 years ago and I work it to work last week. It still fits, but it didn’t look like me so I’ve added a trim to make it fit into my current wardrobe look.

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.