When you’re on a good thing…

…stick to it. In the sewing world, when a pattern works for you make it again because you know you’ll love it. That’s what I’ve done this month using Minerva Crafts remnant fabrics. This type of post was bound to happen.

So you know that the Minerva Blogger Network has a tonne of creative bods who sew and create. And… you know I’ve been a Minerva blogger for a couple of years now. So a couple of us chose the same Liberty print so we decided to do a challenge post. You’ll read about it later this month.
Long story short, this blog post is about using the Minerva remnant fabrics I had in my stash to create Issey Miyake jeans (V1204) and a black knit top (Butterick 5497).

I know these jeans work. And the fabric is great. It’s firm yet soft and has an all-over print that is distracting.

Yes I did make these jeans last year in another great Minerva Crafts print. This pattern works just as well with a non-woven denim or drill as it does with a stretch woven. That’s why I’ve stuck to using this pattern again.

One idea I had as I was running out of fabric was to use a plain fabric for the back pockets.

Mr V voted against this idea so I managed to strategically find the same flower for the back pockets #2.

Each time I make up this pattern I check the centre back seam as each fabric stretches differently.
Getting the fit right at this stage is less of a hassle that making jeans that you need to wear a belt with.

Speaking of belts and waistbands, I did run out of fabric for the inter-waistband but I found enough for the belt loops.

There was just enough fabric left to ensure there was a flower on the front pockets.

Then Butterick 5497 was another well tested pattern that I wanted to use again. You can’t go wrong with a dark knit top. I went with View B this time. View A is the version I made before.
The beauty with this pattern is it gives you a waistline. That’s gotta be a good design.

This top uses elastic along the shoulder line and across your mid section. The gathers across the shoulders and under the bust means you have a lot of wiggle room. View C would be worth trying for trans-seasonal styling. I added a wide elastic lace piece on the hem to bring these pieces together.

About the fabrics:
Both fabrics wash well and feel comfortable. Yes they iron nicely but I avoid ironing weekend gear, where possible.

So what’s stopping you try making jeans or a simple tee. Ok, at least grab a knit fabricfor a simple tee. You’ll find plenty of new fabrics to peruse over.

Keep an eye out for our Liberty print post later this month.

MMMay Wk 2

A funny thing happened to me on the way to work last week. I kept stopping along the way to work to take pics – in safe places of course. “Sir Tripod” took these photos.

Day 5: Grey ponte knit dress using Butterick 5676
I love this jungle gym as do all the kids in the neighbourhood.

Day 6: Waratah print top using New Look 6808 (to be blogged) 

Burda 7746 lined wool pants that are so handy throughout the winter months.

The tree in the background is a brilliant colour right now and I had to take this shot because it won’t be like this for too much longer.

Day 7:

This small businesses I drive by each day fascinate me. There’s a drive in cafe on this particular block.

Vintage dress with Simplicity mesh wrap.

I have a new wool wrap coming up. The fabric is gorgeous.

Day 8:

Today I took a different route and found another urban gem.

Dandelion dress with lace sleeves. I bought a RTW cardi that matched last year. I know…

After seeing this photo I knew I was looking tired…so I went and had my ‘hair done‘. 

Day 9: Blue theme

I was feeling blue with Mothers Day approaching so the bluest I could manage was the blue flowers on this top. Jalie jeans and Kwik Sew top. Wearing me made clothes keeps me happy.

Day 10: Spotted with the lovely Susan lunching and talking all things fabric. Her knowledge of the garment industry is mind blowing. You’ve seen her knicker patterns right?

Vogue 8774 green jeans
Minoru jacket
New Look 6149 raglan top (to be blogged)
Picture taken by our trusty waiter at Toastcafe.

Day 11:

Vogue 1204 purple jeans
Minoru jacket
Kwik Sew 33787 knot top that I’m made lots and lots of times.
Presidio urban purse
Mr V took this pic.
#MMM14 mornings also included activewear. Fehr Trade’s Duathlons in two lengths and PB Jam leggings.

This week’s charity bag has 9 pieces including a top that was a good idea at that time but not anymore. 

Decisions:I’m going through a design idea frenzy and my head is spinning with ideas for Tessutis Jaywalk competition. My Pinterest stripe board is overflowing with ideas. This is a tempting challenge…

MMM this week

Day 22: Here’s a bit of purple and taupe. Purple is my favourite winter colour. It”s been cold outside and a bit wet so out come the boots!
Jacket – Simplicity 4698 jacket
Top – Purple winter top
Skirt -Straight skirt with split

Day 23: Moved into the brown/red combinations. Skirt –
Jacket – not blogged
Cardi – McCalls 5978 cardi
Top – self drafted bits and pieces top
Skirt – me made straight skirt not blogged

Day 24: At Sydney Olympic Park because I cycle train here. The rain eased up today but it was still cold this morning.
Jacket – Grey version of Vogue 7764. You’ve seen the pink version. This grey version was a test jacket.
Trousers – Made 2 years ago.
Top – Kwik Sew 3378 in red.

Day 25: With Sharon at sewing and we had a break from the wet weather too.
Hoodie: Avocado women’s hoodie (to be blogged next). Size 6 is the test version. I’ll make size 4 next. That’s why I test patterns and road test them where I can. You’ve seen the mens hoodie before.
Skinny jeans: Vogue 1204

Sewing bloggers also there included Kristy, BeaJay, Rebecca Howard, Sandra (aka Dilliander) and JudieL from PR. That ‘fractured cardi’ Sharon’s wearing is going to be the basis of a workshop a tutor will run for us later this year.

PS: Hi Penny


Cinnamon Cream Oyster cakes

Tosca cake

I thought you might like the Me Made desserts first. I love to bake for special occasions and the recipes are on my food blog.

Here’s my church outfit for a cool Sunday morning on Day 19.
Shirt – Butterick shirt with Pattern Magic double collar
Reversable jacket – Made in 2011

By the afternoon, I took the little ones to the park to kick around a ball. Thanks Amy for taking this pic.
Skinny jeans – Vogue 1204 This wool blend fabric is perfect for cooler weather.

Here’s Mum in a Me-Made fleece fully lined Burda 7749 coat and Me-made lined self-drafted skirt, off to church. I think I should make another jacket for Mum this season. 

Then Day 20 at work I rugged up for work and Jeanne took this shot.
Top – Jalie 2921 scarf top
Navy wrap – Simplicity 2603 wrap
Jacket – McCalls 6292 snakeskin trimmed jacket
Trousers – Burda 7746 lined trousers

Day 21 is an after work pic. I made this wool skirt many years ago with a double-breasted jacket and a short skirt too. The fabric was given to me by an aunt from overseas so it took me some time to cut into it and I will always keep it as a memory of her and that visit.
Sandwich bolero from 2011. This is a good travel piece.
Top – Kwik Sew 3740
Skirt –  never blogged. That’s how long ago I made it.

Size matters

We used Connie Crawford’s Butterick 5538 pattern at a bust cup adjustment workshop. Our tutor Marea Drayton, had lots of patterns to look at for fitting ideas, and she gave use a sheet to record our measurements and calculate the adjustments we needed for the pattern.

Marea had lots of patience, she was great at keeping up with the less demanding sewers, but most importantly Marea was genuinely interested in helping us achieve a good fit.

She used Fit for real people used because she’s Palmer Pletsch trained. Later I was told Marea used Connie Crawford’s fitting techniques. I missed out on Connie’s visit to Sydney last year but I have her books and I saw her at Sew Expo in 2011. Connie’s amazing and a straight forward speaker with industry experience. Talk about a wealth of sewing industry knowledge! Connie is a real sewing treasure.

Anyway the pics below show the steps Marea took to increase the bust width on a princess seam. This pattern below had the width added by adding a vertical line that pivots from the shoulder seam. What you see below is Marea closing the side dart and adding room at the bust point. 

The side dart below is being taped closed.
Below you’ll see the the front side is longer that the centre front so the centre front is then dropped to match the side front hem.

I did this workshop because I do need to know how to make this adjustment for anyone who is C cup and above like Mum or SIL or my first dear niece.

Pondering my next sewing project… You can see I need to get out into the sun eventhough summer is here.

Sway back XD

I’m wearing the mustard pants Vogue 1204 I made earlier this year. I also made these in festive green and a red test pair.

The back now fits better.

We were also asked to bring Frixion pens.  I had no idea what these pens were for but I bought a couple anyway. They’re erasable pens so I suppose you can scribble out your markings and rewrite over your paper or fabric. I’ll buy anything that gives me the best outcome. Have you used these pens before? Mine pens are still in the pack!

Here’s what’s on the net about these pens…
The ink laid down by the Frixion rollerball disappears under friction! The end of the pen has a hard plastic eraser, which when rubbed over the writing causes the colour to disappear from the ink. You can then write over it again with the same pen. How does it work? It’s a type of thermo-reactive ink. The heat generated by the friction causes the ink to become translucent (at 65°C fact-hounds!). Stick it in the freezer (-20°C) and your scribblings will re-appear – albeit slightly faded.

Bridal-wear, handstitching and leather

Today I learnt how to handstitch leather at the Leatherworkers Guild Association of NSW. Our presenter, Ian Lancaster of RedBack Saddles has been making saddles and bridle-wear for 35 years and he intends to keep working for another 20 years making saddles.

Ian demonstrating handstitching leather.

When he first mentioned bridle-wear, I was thrown off, thinking bridal-wear ie lace, commitment, bridezillas etc. Long story short, I now know how to handstitch leather using 1 thread and 2 needles as well as all the preparation that goes into preparing leather for stitching. Some of Ian’s tools were made in the late 1800’s and these tools were given to him as part of his 7 year apprenticeship. Ian and the other leatherworkers are the workshop did confirm a few leather sewing thoughts that I have been picking up from all of your leather experiences so I feel more confident to sew with leather now.

Here’s the friendly local kookaburra who watch on from outside.

And finally here’s my MMM’12 for today.

The top is Kwik Sew 3740 using a rib knit fabric ($3/m) from Spotlight last week. This is the toile version. Sharon and Alison recommended this pattern to me because the cowl collar sits nicely and the seams on the cowl can’t be seen, because the lower cowl is skinnier that the upper cowl.
The pants are v1204, my mustard legs.

There’s a slight bit of ruching at the front of the sleeve head. I promised Carolyn that I’d show how I applied skinny elastic to the sleeve head of the remnant top I made recently.

I deliberately placed the elastic more to the front of the sleeve.
BTW I’m pooped.

V1204 – Green festive season

All week I had been toying with how to add a coin pocket to these pants. And I was trying to find the energy to have them ready to wear on Christmas Day. Well both issues were resolved so it’s definitely Happy New Year to everyone. Thank you ‘sewing gods’.

The fabric was from the fabric shop that moved away from Burwood earlier this year. This is a green cotton drill and I am loving the coloured jeans that are out this season. I’ve still got plenty of this fabric for another project. And I’m still building green into my wardrobe – slowly.


This version has smaller front pockets than the first version and I’ve used different pocket stitching. The topstitching is a combination of normal thread and embroidery thread. You can see the top stitching but it’s not bulky. The pockets are really shallow now and the coin pockets look a bit ‘burda’ to me.

I did the fly front stitching and I fudged the waistband to match. This version has a lower waist than the first red version and I did build in more room for my thighs. I had removed 2 cm from the centre back from the pattern but I still needed to take another 2 cm from the actual centre back. Either the fabric stretches or I just can’t get the cut right on the centre back yolk

These pants took me less time to make – because there wasn’t so much unpicking as the first version. 6 hours in total. I’m eagerly waiting for more rivets to arrive in the mail because I’m now running out of these nickel rivets that I bought in NZ in October. I wasn’t able to find any in Sydney.
There are lots of creases at the front and behind the knee because I wore these at an all-day sewing session with my sewing buddies and then headed out with DH for plenty of post-Christmas socialising.