Polka dot fun

Last time we travelled I experimented and wore dresses 80% of the time. I enjoyed the experience and found I had less-stress choosing what to wear each day.

Initially I felt a bit over dressed. Wrap dresses like this Sew Over It Eve dress is a great shape for travelling.

This version of Eve is a test dress. The fabric was a cotton remnant from the Fabric Cave.

Using an all over print like this gave me the opportunity to get the fit right.

Honestly I love the fact that it has a waistline, but it’s also a waistline that can change without being obvious.

Even the skirt back width is forgiving.

On the pattern I did a forward shoulder adjustment and lowered the skirt centre back hem to cover my rear.

The pattern does offer a short flutter sleeve option as well as a high-low hem skirt.

If you take a closer look at the inside of the neckline, you’ll notice stay tape is used to finish the neckline. They beauty of the stay tape is you can ease any neckline gaping on the stay tape so the neckline closes against your body.

Now to work on a border print version using a John Kaldor print from Minerva Crafts.

Day and night dress challenge

Today is my turn to show you what you could try if you’re considering entering Elizabeth’s Day and night dress challenge. There are so many of us that are showcasing examples to inspire you.
Yesterday I hope you saw Elizabeth of Elizabeth Made This and Brittany of Brittany J Jones

Ok so I may have made more than I should have. But it’s Summer here in Australia and I did have a week’s break hence my showcasing two patterns for this challenge.

You’ve already seen my original challenge day night dress, using Victory Patterns Nicola dress.

The fit of this dress is great.

I usually have to make a sway back adjustment but this wasn’t required for this dress.

Making the night version was a dream make.

See what I mean about the fit of this style?

The skirt is fully lined but it doesn’t stick to you so it’s easy to wear in hot humid weather.

If sewing zippers is your strong point, this dress uses buttons or snaps as the closure. And if you’re weight keeps changing, simply reposition the snaps/buttons.

This was such an easy dress to make, even with the huge bold floral fabric (John Kaldor) supplied to me by Minerva Crafts UK. If you live in Australia or New Zealand, I have a duplicate kit of the floral dress to giveaway on my Minerva Crafts blog post.

As I had time off, I decided to crack open this Burda Young pattern as another Day and night dress challenge idea. This pattern has been in my stash for a while and I bought it for a Summer party dress.

However I had to work out the bra component so I could wear this dress with confidence. 

I have made a one-shoulder dress before and it had a lot of inbuilt support. I used a bra kit I bought online last year from Susan of Measuretwicecutonce 

There’s nothing really showy with this dress but I wanted to feel comfortable in it, so I also delved into making a bra that would work for this dress. 

Because of the print, the three circles run between my shoulders.

This pattern has no shaping at the back so this pattern is great to wear in the Summer.

We went to the beach during the week and I realised that a simpler bra style would work too. I wore this simple grey bra underneath this day dress. I drew the smallest size shaping from the dress and used 2-way stretch lycra and elastic.

The purple bra worked really well under this night dress.

Here’s a closer view of the front straps. This is more refined for the evening dress.

Here’s what the back of the bra looks like. The straps are slim and sit nicely.

The alterations for this dress were: 
– shortening the hem on this dress, 
– lowered the armholes by 3cm
– added darts at the back for shaping on the evening dress only.

This fabric has a snake texture but breaths well. Being black, it’s now a new ‘little black dress’ LBD.

I suppose this is what happens when you have a ‘staycation’ and your sewing room is available to whip up anything, anytime. 

Stay tuned this week with 

Tuesday, Jan 10th: Je’Tua of Robertswife, Meg of Cookin’ and Craftin’, Melanie of Its Melanie Darling
Wednesday, Jan 11th:  Linda of Elle Gee Makes, Tee of Maggie Elaine
Thursday, Jan 12th: Bianca of Thanks I Made Them, Daniela of On the Cutting Floor
Friday, Jan 13th:  Melissa of Mahlicadesigns, Rachel of Sew Redy, Renata of Runnningnstyle, Sonja of Sewing ala Carte

Saturday, Jan 14th: Doja of Elewa blog, Judith of Judith Dee’s World, Tanya of Mrs. Hughes

Everyone’s worked really hard behind the scenes to inspire you to make your own challenge dresses. Go for it!

Don’t forget to enter your day and night looks into the community challenge for a chance to win prizes from these wonderful sponsors:

You can enter your projects here.  Only projects that are entered through the linkup will be eligible for voting.
The linkup is available from Sunday, January 8th until Saturday, January 28th.  

Voting will be available on the entry page from January 29th-February 4th.  After all of the sponsors have been notified, the winners will be announced.

A bright start

It’s 2017 and I’ve welcomed the New Year with this bright floral Nicola dress by Victory patterns from Minerva Crafts UK.

I’ve been wanting to use this John Kaldor fabric for a while so I decided to pair this together with Nicola, hence a bright 2017 start.

blue/coral colourway

This is certainly a large floral and you know I love a John Kaldor when it’s available. This blue/coral print is reorderable ie, it’s always available as is the purple/orange version.

Purple/orange colourway

I chose the blue colourway to go with blue shoes or a blue jacket. To be honest, I just wanted see how this huge floral print would work on me. I’m so glad Minerva Crafts keeps these prints in stock.

This black floral version was the test dress.

I decided to use the size 10 for bust and waist but size 8 for the hips.

Pattern alterations
After the test version, I kept:

  • forward shoulder adjustment
  • shortened skirt
  • adjusted neckline to curve more.
  • shortened the bust darts by 2cm (gravity)
No sway back adjustment required

What I loved the best
No zipper required
Sleeve detailing
Summer styling
Lined skirt

Here’s a closer look at the sleeve finish.
The skirt is fully lined and I wore this dress on a humid night without feeling the heat.

The skirt follows your shape but doesn’t cling so I felt cool.

What I didn’t like

Not applicable.

I decided to use snaps, a hook eye and a button as the closures making this pattern very simple to make.

This John Kaldor floral print is my day wear version. 

Above is the black evening version I made for the Day and Night dress challenge.

You can see here where I tweaked the sleeves a bit

This month’s giveaway for Australian and New Zealand sewing peeps is the floral dress kit from Minerva Crafts UK.

You get this John Kaldor fabric, lining, thread, buttons, Victory Patterns Nicola dress pattern and enough Vliesaline H180 to interface your dress.

Leave a comment on the Minerva Crafts post for this month’s make and I’ll draw the winner out on Thursday 12 January.

Red dress

3 days before Christmas (the little red dress project) this red dress came about.

I could be about to twirl in this photo.

All of this fabric was in my stash and instinctively I cut out Victory Patterns Nicola made it again but fully lined this version. I’ll review the pattern soon.

Love the fit with this pattern.

This fabric is see-through and scratchy so it needed to be lined. Trust me on that.

Merry Christmas and I hope you all enjoy the break with the people you want to be with.

“That’s a wrap.”

Gift wrapped

Style Patterns from 1980s are marked up well as I found with this wrap dress. This pattern came from a friend’s Mum’s stash who was downsizing her home at the time. I count this as one of my 2016 Vintage Pattern Pledge projects.

The seam allowances are marked on each pattern piece – no need to check the instructions before you start. Having the seams marked also made it easy for me to check the waist and hip measurements without having to ‘minus’ the seam allowances built into the pattern pieces. There was enough ease at the hips, so I stuck to cutting the pattern as is size 12.

The notches are individually numbered #luxury. Excuse my sewing geekiness but notches are really handy guides that keep me from making a bunch of errors.

The fabric is bubbled so it’s probably not great quality but worked for this pattern.

I tend to buy firm fabrics so I had to dive into the stash and came up with this poly cotton dark plaid that was flowy enough for this style. Thankfully I checked the repeat on the pattern and it is balanced. This helped me match the pattern at the shoulder seam.

My back up overlocker was in the shop at the time so I used the white thread overlocker because this project is a palate cleanser. Once my back up overlocker came home, I was able to finish the skirt hem, sleeve hems and skirt pleat hem in black thread.

Ah. There are gathers at the shoulder line so no need to assess the dart lengths because there are no darts on this pattern #win.

Oh. The facing is cleverly designed as they attach to the skirt front fold and sits flat. Really flat. Three snap closures are all I needed and this little dress was done.

So all in all, the 80s had some great classic dresses like this one. 
This style works well in our current Game of Thrones Summer.
My 2016 Vintage Pattern pledge has started.


On the last day of the sewing convention, I chose to do a wrap with Nola Sterling and learn more about free sewing. Here’s the blue wrap. It has a combination of flec wool and real home spun wool.

Below is the underside. This has the very blue real wool layer.

 Here’s a closer look at the free machine stitching and pearl cording.

 This is the red wrap and it has a hole at one end so you can thread the wrap into itself.

 This is a close up of the stitching.

This is the underlayer with a darker red using white thread. It’s a real mess but that stitching is how this is all held together.

We used a wash away material to lay down the threads, wool, laces if you have any etc. Then you sandwich the ‘wools’ and start free sewing away. It took some getting used to and it is great if you are not feeling very accurate. The washaway material took 5 minutes to dissolve under warm water and what you see is the result.

I’ll use this technique for special collars on winter jackets next year. It’s spring now so these two wraps are going into storage.

BTW, my niece caught me sewing while she and her brother were with me yesterday and she shouted to her brother ‘Come and see aunty’s knitting machine.’ When her brother raced into the room he took in the ‘knitting’ things I have in my room and he asked, ‘can you make my sister a scarf?‘ They’re just so hug-able. I think I’ll be having a craft session with them next time they come over. PS Happy Columbus Day.

Knits for knotted weather – V8379

While getting used to my eyes changing and my right hand still mending, I’ve gone back over old ground with this knit dress.

I bought this printed knit from The Fabric Store during a rushed afternoon in town. I was at a course that finished early so straight to The Fabric Store I went, just before closing time. The blonde behind the counter was not impressed but the guy who served me was patient and helpful.

As you can see, only the top has the wrap finish to it. The skirt isn’t wrap style. Syl at work gave me hemming advice so I took 2″ off the hem. For some reason, the lines on the print line up fairly well, and it’s a good style while our weather is trying to cool down.

This week, DH has been on the road for work so I snuck the baby machine downstairs and sewed in front of the telly – woo hoo.

The result was this real wrap dress with short sleeves. I was contemplating not working on it because we had a cold snap last week, and this week we’re back to 25C days, so I finished this dress last night.

What I didn’t realise was how fitted the sleeve was so last night, I cut into the sleeve and cut out a triangle with 12cm in the base and this morning, I added the triangle piece into the sleeve. Why? I didn’t want to unpick the sleeve, because I have two rows of stitching in the sleeve head.
So now the extra sleeve piece has softened the sleeve on a fairly plain grey dress. It was comfortable to wear in the office.
I must admit that wrap skirts are one of my fears – I don’t like it when the wind blows the wrap open. Today the wind did have a go at my dress but there’s plenty of wrap in the skirt so it’s easy to save yourself from embarrassment.
The technical changes of this pattern are on a previous post of my $4 dress.