Rewind to bodycon era

I’m working my way through remnants and revisiting patterns I enjoy wearing.

This fabric was used in January 2016 for a skull lace jacket I still wear when there’s a chill in the air.

I do wear this in the morning to the gym when it’s still dark because I used reflective piping.
The skull lace still makes people look twice when I wear this jacket.

Back to the dress…as you can see I managed to successfully win at pattern tetris for this dress. This ponte is always stocked in lots of colours by Minerva Crafts.

I was also able to use zippers from my stash.

At this point I went back to see when I originally made this dress.

I originally made this dress in 2013 using View B.
That scared me because I wasn’t sure if my shape had changed too much.

Not too bad from the back view #notamodel.
With a decent press, those zippers will lie flatter on this dress.
I’m happy with the fit of this dress but will certainly try my best to keep my shape in check.

I’ll show you what View A looks like shortly.
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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.

Sew Grateful – Minoru #2

This post is for Deb’s Sew Grateful week projects made using others tutorials or posts. Most of this Minoru was sewn following Tasia’s tutes and using PUL fabric. This version was my first experience using showerproof fabric. The listing of finished Minorus are on this post from over 60 sewers.

Here’s a link to my first Minoru (below). This version continues to be a well worn and much-loved  jacket.
Last week I gathered my notions for a showerproof Minoru and got started. I bought the 2 zips I needed from MyHung Parramatta – $1 each. 
On the weekend our summer weather was cool and changeable so I spent the time to sew in 5 zippers before the main construction steps. The pattern only requires 2 zips.

– Two internal zippers on the inside pockets
– Two zippers on the outside welt pockets
– One long zipper on the collar to store the hood.
The 6th zip is the 70cm front zip. I sewed that in on Tuesday night using a zipper foot.

Using run-of-the-mill sticky tape is worthwhile when sewing PUL.
The Minoru doesn’t have external pockets and the internal pockets are designed to have velcro closures. I added the external pockets because that’s what I want in a casual jacket.
I’ll have to work on inserting zippers into pockets a bit more. You can see I learnt very little from a zipper workshop I went to last year.

The lining is a polyester chiffon remnant for the body and a rayon remnant for the sleeves. That’s all I had in my stash but the colours were the same. Both are remnants from Pitt Trading.

I got excited that these pockets worked.
I’ve used the rayon as bias binding feature around the internal pockets and along the inside of zipper placket. This is a finish I enjoy wearing.
I took this shot so you can see the fine, soft gathers.
 Sewing PUL:
  • This is the first time I’ve used PUL showerproof fabric – bought from Green Beans Aust
  • The fabric base is a knit structure but the showerproof side is like rubber. At least that’s how it reacted to the iron XD
  • PUL is very easy to sew – just don’t pull it to hard when you’re sewing it.
  • When you sew with it, creases appear but don’t be fooled by the fabric.
  • And lower the feed dogs on your machine 1 notch so you can control the fabric flowing through the machine.
  • You might think sewing PUL is overwhelming. It’s doable.

Rain proofing:
For details on how to make your rainproof jacket more rainproof and profession, go to, Caroline of Little Package. She did this guest useful post during the Minoru Sewaholic Sewalong last year. Caroline really knows her stuff. she’s smart, practical and adventurous.
And Carolyn of Handmade by Carolyn has also perfected rain proofing jackets.

Jungle January @ Prttynpnk

Anne (Prttynpnk) from Pretty Grievances has launched a festival parade of animal print for January (and maybe the following months??). I was a lucky Pattern Pyramid recipient this year and I really need to make up one of these dress – so now I’ll aim to make an animal print dress in January.

If you haven’t read Pretty Grievances, you should because Anne is a sewer who’s blog posts and designer reviews are an absolute scream. I love ready her Wednesday fashion reviews the most. These and her sewing reviews are not to be missed. There’s even a flickr group.

Here are my animal print pieces last year ie 2012.

PJ bottoms (2 pairs)
Not quiet animal print for clothing. The littlest niece loves her pillow and hugs this to sleep.

 Lining in the leather handbag.

I recently bought a ‘winter ponte’ animal fabric on sale at Spotlight so this could be made into a McCalls 6243 shift dress with zips. Could. It’s an option.

I have the zips and the fabric/s.
I’m tossing up whether to go full animal print or partly animal with a solid colour.

Fitting fatigue – Minoru jacket

There’s no way I’ll let this jacket beat me. We spent the weekend with Angie’s getting the fit sorted. Those sleeve lines don’t happen with a standard fitted sleeve but because there isn’t the same sleeve head room built into a raglan sleeve, a couple of us had to build in the sleeve head room that was missing. Then I was able to take the 2″ out of the collar that I had added previously. Phew. Collars are not the sort of adjustment I’m comfortable making so returning the collar to its original length was a relief. As you can also see below, this raglan pattern is all in one. There isn’t a separate front and back raglan sleeve pattern piece so the changes in the Big Red book Fitting and Pattern Alteration: A Multi-Method Approach to the Art of Style Selection, Fitting, and Alteration (2nd Edition) didn’t help.

So the sleeve has been cut and spread 2″/5cm to add in the additional sleeve head room. I’ve also readjusted the length so it’s only 3/4″ longer at the top of the arm. Now that I’ve had a fitting expert check the raglan twist (Angie), the solution was to add more space at the shoulder head. So we cut and spread the pattern open and added at least 2″/5cm at the shoulder head and graduated it back to the original size at the wrist.


The front and back pieces have been adjusted based on the increased sleeve head length (3/4″) and all pieces have been shortened to suit my body length (or lack of length).
To come…the trial garment is mushroom colour in a stretch woven shower proof fabric. The lining is a polyester chiffon (lots of movement) that I bought for nix and there’s plenty more of it in the stash. The zippers were bought at Ferriers in Fullarton, Adelaide. I’m building in zippered pockets on the front with a single welt and zippered pockets inside the jacket, replacing the velcro opening. I know, who else would be silly enough to ask for more hoops to jump through with this jacket?
February 2013 edit: If you add the wrist band with elastic, there won’t be a twisting on the sleeve. The gathers at the top of the sleeve and at the wrist will overcome this fitting issue.

Fierce scissors

Taking a pair of scissors to a RTW garment is not something I used to do, but am really happy to do now. I’m taken in by the more affordable garments and when I don’t have the time to fit everything into my ‘sew from scratch’ ideas.
Zipper dress:I loved this style and it turns out that it’s made from either a double knit or a ponte. I love the zippers and the dress was $25 to buy from Chico’s. The skirt flared out more than I wanted so I took out 5cm from the hem width. Then the back waist was big, so I added another back dart to skim the dress in a touch. So now there are two back darts on the back waist. Lastly, I took up the hem.


Below is this dress with a cardi I made earlier. I try not to wear all black in the office because there’s enough activity at the office so I try to stay colourful with my clothes. Otherwise, work just gets too serious. Outside of work, I think I’ll go for the rock-chick look and wear this with a suede leather jacket and ditch the neat office accessories.