See spot run

McCalls 4261 has a basic round neck tee pattern and I had some white knit fabric with huge silver spots on it, hence this post.

Melissa and Winnie recently ran the London Marathon. An awesome feat in itself. They both wore outfits that didn’t hinder their efforts but ensured they could be spotted in the crowd. Or at least that’s my take on their running outfits.

This month I’m ran my only half marathon and to distract my training and a dress I’ve working on, I played with this tee. 

The test top is a daywear basic made from this highly textured knit. There’s a matching skirt but that’s another story…

The test top showed me I needed to use the small size for the waist up and medium size for the waist down. The long sleeves are not long enough for me. I think this fabric is a piece I bought at Clear it in Melbourne some time ago. It has no wicking properties at all. It just looks good.

Here’s the short sleeve and long sleeve training versions.

I still have enough of this fabric for a panel on something. 

Before the run my estimated running time was over 2 hours and I finished in 2 hours 18 minutes. After running in the short sleeve top for over 2 hours on a cool day, I could do this again.

The whole time I ran my main concern was to finish and not fall or ‘hitting the wall’. Now to cheer on Kathy in her half marathon later this month.

Oh, while I was recovering this week, I made these three versions post-half marathon because these scrap fabrics were begging to be used. 

Check blue top, brown pleather top and basic blue top

 The blue version was comfy to wear to work this week.

Tech notes – Vogue 8949

Later this week I’ll show you a John Kaldor fabric make from Minerva Crafts using Vogue 8949.

I’ve used View E with the side panels and sewn in peplum.
The nice thing about the bodice is it’s an easy one to adjust. 
On the front bodice I’ve lowered the shoulder seam and lowered the bust dart. 
My sizing is 10 at the bust and 12 at the waist.
On the back bodice I’ve used the higher shoulder seam (16) to counter the shortened front bodice shoulder seam. An easy roll shoulder adjustment because there’s no collar on this dress.

And I’ve taken out 2cm at the centre back seam for sway back shaping. 
I’ve done the same to the back skirt pieces and added 4 cm to the centre back hem.
Lining up the dots

It’s hard to source John Kaldor fabric locally yet it’s wonderful to sew and wear.

When I saw Sam’s posh frock (stunning) this year, I thought it would be nice to have a John Kaldor dress in my wardrobe too. Sam’s eye for detailing is stunning as is her posh frock.

Minerva make – I just couldn’t decide

These two great shirt fabrics from Minerva Crafts screamed ‘shirt’ for my work summer wardrobe. And their colours are strong enough to contrast against the purple fabric. But I love a good shirt and a good shirtmaker dress. So that’s what I did.

Classic shirt using Pattern Magic collar
January is one of our hottest months in Australia. It’s holiday time for lots of people until after Australia Day (26 January).

If you work in an office, the aircon can be icy but you’ll get a warm blast of heat as you leave the office at the end of the day. 

The fabric is a stretch sateen and when I prewashed it, I thought the pink/red colour would run into the white background and it didn’t. Hurrah. This fabric is also easy to manipulate where the pattern has easing. 

I wanted to make a white shirt with a twist so the fabric is kinda white but the collar (with two distinct impressions) is from Pattern Magic. My Pattern Magic collar post is here

This shirt (Butterick 5538) was adjusted for me at a workshop but I took more volume out of the side back piece because the shirt felt a bit too loose on the previous versions. It sits much closer to me without pulling lines. The centre back panel needs a sway back adjustment.

I did a test collar construction last week, just to refresh my memory and make sure I didn’t waste this fabric from Minerva.

Because this fabric is a bit heavy, the collar looks like a double collar, which it is. It just doesn’t sit up as I wanted.

Using a satin bias tape finished the collar constructions nicely. I love how the french seams give this shirt a beautiful finish.

Check out the buttons Vicki chose for this shirt. Thanks Vicki.

 I used tiny white buttons on the cuffs from my stash. 

This works well with my Minerva trousers and jacket. If this was a summer weekend blouse, I wouldn’t have included the sleeves, but for work, sleeves are a must.

Shirtmaker dress
This classic, dark paisley print was meant for a second shirt but because the paisley is large and I’m short, I thought the fabric and I would look better if this was a shirtmaker dress. 

This fabric is a light weight cotton, washes easily and irons so well. Another good choice. I love a well ironed dress. And the dark print hides creases too.

This pattern (New look 6214) has a two-piece collar and this fabric was lovely to work with. This is the third time I’ve made this dress so all the adjustments were already done last year.

Vicky was the ‘button master’ for this dress. And as I changed my mind (women’s perogative), I used self cover buttons on the skirt.

I’ve used a bias tape to finish the waist seaming. 

The same bias tape is used as piping on the sleeve. And I made a belt with it too.

French seams were used throughout the rest of the dress.

It’s great to wear and I can pair this with my Minerva jacket. 

Does this all match too much? 
I love my Minerva summer work collection – trousers, jacket, knit top, blouse, dress and skirt. I got the skirt fabric from the left over jacket piece.


Hop over to Minerva Crafts and see what fabrics catch your eye for your own summer collection.

Urban Presidio

My first Presidio purse was made in a rush. During the whole process I kept thinking, An urban version would be wonderful

My first version is an excellent choice for holidays and weekends. My country purse stored many wine bottles and bottles of mustard, as I discovered while on holidays in Bright. Yep, it’s a big purse.

So after a 2 week break from all things sewing (I didn’t even buy fabric in Bright) I made another version – the urban Presidio. As you can see above, you can store a Presidio purse in a Presido purse.

This time I added a bit of handbag hardware. These are round 45mm metal rings to match the circles on this print.

The hardware

This fabric is a panel piece from Spotlight and the zippers, trims and bag hardware are from my stash. The panel fabric is fully interfaced.
Front construction view

This version has flat front inserts. This time the small internal pockets are sewn inside the larger internal pockets. I did it the other way around for the country Presidio.

Internal pocket #1

The stash bias used on the inside pockets actually to help me find the pockets against the plain poplin lining. I did say the zippers used are stash zippers?

Internal pocket #2

The ribbons on the zipper pulls will help me open and close the zippers quickly because these are dress zippers and not chunky zippers. Seamstresserin suggests using heavy duty zippers so my ‘work around’ is to add ribbons on the zipper pull. Alternatively, I could find some large zipper pulls to replace the original zipper pulls. Later.

Back view

I’ll be spraying my urban version with waterproofing spray so the white stays ‘white’ for longer. If I had used an animal print on this Presidio it would qualify for Jungle January but it’s spots, and not Zebra spots. 

I’m still behind posting my Presidio purses on seamstresserin’s Flickr group however you should have a peek at the range that have been popping up around the world. And there’s a sewalong for when you’re ready to tackle your own version.

Busy Lizzie in Brizzy suggested a clever resizing option for a more petite version.

Spot on – Butterick 3386

After using this fabric and realising how little give it has, I used it on a tab front top that’s designed for woven fabric.

When my sewing buddies saw how this fabric was on my previous top, the comment was to use a plain fabric instead of using a print. Black and white can be disorientating at the best of times so I chose to use a black collar as a neutralising contrast.

As you can see in this close up, I’ve used white cotton as a balancing detail.

In previous versions top, I’ve used shirring in the back but this might throw people off because of the black/white contrast.

I was thinking of inverted pinch pleats in the back (in the black segments) so it sits better instead of bulking up. This is a task I’ll do when the weather is less muggy and hot.

I’ve done the following adjustments:

  • roll shoulder adjustment 2cm
  • sway back, although it doesn’t show up too well
  • shortened the hem
  • the tab is squared and lowered by 3cm
  • the hems are finished with a straight stitch.