Repeat Love

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I think my new year resolution should be that I won't sew as many repeats!

I saw this outfit on Pinterest and loved it, particularly the colours.


Then I realised that with a couple of the fabrics in my stash I could put together my own version.  I made the pants (Simplicity 3686) a while back, but only just got a chance to make this top.  It's another (my third) from the Balloon dress pattern, this time made up in a medium weight cotton knit.  I just love the neckline and the drapey style, but this version doesn't hang as nicely as my other two. 


Simplicity 2865 got another run too.  Caitlyn picked this animal print for a top a while back.  I'd put off doing anything with it because I wasn't sure what style I wanted or how my machine would react to the burn out poly knit.  In the end I decided that a tank top for layering would be the best way to use it.  I took these photos before I hemmed it but you can see that it's much higher in the front than at the back - a requested design feature. 



We're both really pleased with how our tops turned out.  Sometimes simple really is best.  I've got a really basic dress cut out and ready to go so I might manage to squeeze it in before the new year.

Happy Boxing Day

Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day is a day for relaxing, all the stress and hard work is over and you can put your feet up.  We've just returned from my sister's house where we ate, drank and had a great time.  I'm kicking back with a coffee and a bucket of peanut M&M's (healthier diets begin in the new year right?).


I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you all the best for the holiday period.  Thank you for reading, for commenting and, for my fellow bloggers, thanks for sharing your own sewing adventures.

The Graduate

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My first baby graduated from primary school last night.

I was stoked when she asked me to make her a dress for graduation, I think I'm the only grade 6 mum that sews so the kids think it's pretty cool when I make things.


This is Simplicity 2443.  Again.  According to the pattern measurements Caitlyn is smaller than the size 6.  So I took a little off the side seams, the centre front and from the strap length.  Turns out I probably could have made a straight size 6 because it's reasonably tight.  Cait really wanted the wide elastic waistband and the ruffle fabric that we used for the skirt.  I think the ruffle fabric is supposed to run the other way so that the ruffles sit flat, but Cait preferred it with the ruffles draping down.  I self lined the top and used the same cotton knit to line the skirt so that everything was nice and opaque. 


We got a lovely surprise when Caitlyn received the academic excellence and behaviour award.  We're so proud of her!

Lady in Grey - McCall's 6319

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I love this dress.


This is view b of McCall's 6319 made up in a ponte knit.  I'm really loving the ponte knits lately, they're so easy to sew.  I've been waiting for it to warm up enough to wear this.  I got up early to hem it this morning and then realised once I got in to work that I forgot to remove the water soluble fabric marker!


The only change I made was to lengthen the bodice by an inch.  Unfortunately I forgot to lengthen the lining pieces which I think is why you can see the lining peaking out at the neckline, even though it has been understitched, tacked to the side seams and pressed.  I used the recommended tricot lining because two layers of ponte would have been too warm for a summer dress, but if I make it again I'd probably self line the top.


I really love the pleats and the asymmetrical neckline.  This dress feels very feminine and fun and is really comfy to wear.

My daughter has been begging me to make her graduation dress, she graduates primary school next week, so that's what's up next.  I know it sounds cliche, but I just can't believe how quickly she has grown up.  I can remember walking her in on her first day of prep.  Pretty sure I won't be allowed to walk her in for her first day of high school!

Simplicity 3686 - wide leg pants

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I'll apologise right off the bat for the terrible photos.  It has been pouring rain in Melbourne, everything is soggy and today is dreary and overcast so these are the best I could manage.

I bought Simplicity 3686 about 4 years ago when I really started sewing for myself.  Up until then I'd been sewing lots of kids clothes but hadn't really made too much for myself.  Then one day I stumbled across Erica B's blog and it gave me the jolt I needed to sew more for myself.


Anyway, back to the pants.  I made a version of View B.  I left off the pocket flaps and the side strip, I shortened the waistband so it finished at the front and I added belt loops.  There aren't any wrinkles when I don't have my hands shoved in my pockets.


I didn't realise when I bought the pattern that sewing patterns and RTW sizes weren't the same.  This pattern only goes up to a 14 and I need a 16.  So to adjust these so they fit me I added 1cm to the the side seams and only used a 1cm seam allowance and I added extra length (2.5 inches if I want to wear heels).  This time around I also added 1.5cm to the crotch curve by slashing and spreading the pattern and reduced the circumference of the legs by over 4 inches (these are really wide legged pants!).  I found that when I sat down in previous versions they were just a little bit too tight in areas you really don't want it to be!  It seems to have fixed the problem so I'm happy.


Overall I'm pretty happy with the fit of these pants, certainly they're a better fit than anything I could buy at the shops.

Teal Dream - Simplicity 2443 take 2

Thursday, November 17, 2011

As soon as I saw this fabulous teal ponte knit in Tessuti I knew I was going to make another Simplicity 2443.  This fabric is just a dream to sew with and wear - I really noticed a difference between the cheaper stuff from Spotlight and this lovely fabric.


My favourite parts are the pockets and the the racer back.  Unfortunately my sports bra isn't doing me any favours (it's tighter than my regular bras, hence the back bulges).  This time around I added another inch to the bodice for a total of 2.5 extra inches of length and I think this looks better on me.  I can't remember if I added extra length to the skirt last time, I didn't this time and I've left it unhemmed because I like the current length.  I left the zipper off again too.

This dress has been sitting waiting for me to attach the straps/bands for over a week but I just lost my mojo, I finally finished it last night so that I could wear it to work today.  I'm not sure what I wore all last summer but I can't seem to find anything I want to wear.  I think my sewing productivity is about to increase!

This photo shows how I clip the bands to attach them smoothly in and around the tight curves. 


You haven't seen the last of this pattern, there's another modified version already in the pipeline.

Some Red Love - Simplicity 2584

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The weather is perfect today so we grabbed the camera and headed out to take some pictures of Simplicity 2584.  Sorry about the blinding white legs - my youngest actually asked if I was wearing white stockings!

Showing off my new shoes - kind of look like a Christmas elf

If you don't like flashing your assets then I'd suggest you raise the neck split an inch or so.  I forgot to raise mine but I'm not too woried, the interfacing in the neck facing stops the neckline from falling open so I don't feel too exposed.  Am I making sense?

Gathered sleeves

This is view B, I cut a 14 and used a beautiful linen from Tessuti Fabrics.  This went together really quickly, probably because I left off the neckline applique piece, the hem tuck and the back zip.  I basted the back closed to check the fit, but with the neckline split I found that there was no need for the zip.  I don't plan on wearing this number to work so I hemmed it a little higher than I normally would. 

Side view - not too maternity like

The most unflattering back view possible

I've got to say that after wearing this dress all day I'm really impressed.  It's been cool and comfy and I haven't felt my movement restricted at all.  And hubby loves it - that neckline's going to get me in all sorts of trouble ;)

On a roll

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I've got another finished garment!  Sadly it's too cold to take photos today but hopefully later in the week I'll get lucky.

My beautiful linen from Tessuti finally arrived - apparently the courier company couldn't locate my house but didn't think to contact me, once I contacted them and provided directions they still failed to meet the delivery timeframe they gave me.  Tessuti - please go back to Australia Post!  Anyway - here it is all cut out and ready to be sewn up.

Today was Melbourne Cup day, a public holiday in Melbourne, so I was free to play around in my sewing room.  This dress is a really quick sew - I'll do a full write up when I grab some photos.

In other sewing news, I had a great day in the city with my sister last week and I made a few purchases.  I know exactly what I want to make from every piece of fabric I bought and I have patterns for all but one of them.  Purchases were made at Tessuti, L'uccello (who gifted us some sweet buttons) and Clegs.  It's not sewing related (but definitely worth a mention) we had dinner at Parliament House with Hugh Delahunty and his lovely wife.  They were great hosts, very warm and engaging people and the evening was lovely.

The new additions.
I'm off to cut into that beautiful teal ponte knit from Tessuti.  With any luck there will be enough left over for an extra project.

A Quick Win - Simplicity 2865

Monday, October 24, 2011

Last night I just wanted to sew something quick so I pulled out Simplicity 2865, a Built by Wendy pattern, and a lovely Australian made cotton lycra knit.


I cut out view C in a size 12, left off the front placket (just an oblong sewed on, not a true placket) and the side inserts.  I didn't even need extra length!  I checked Pattern Review and a few people mentioned that they sized down because the pattern runs big.  I think that's true when you use the side inserts, they add extra room around your middle, but because I left them off I had to use quarter inch side seams so that it wouldn't be too tight.  Lesson learned? Think, don't just assume!



I really like this top and will get so much wear out of it - I can see myself making this up a few different ways so you might be seeing it again soon.  And Mum, if you're reading, that's your birthday present blooming behind me in the top photo. 

Success! Simplicity 2443

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I've finally got something to show!  I think my jacket's pretty cute, it's certainly not perfect, but I'm OK with that.

This is the jacket from Simplicity 2443 and I've got to say that I'm pretty impressed with the pattern drafting.  I hate easing in sleeves, but for the first time ever these worked first go.  Not unsightly wrinkles or puckers, it was great.  A lot of people have mentioned that they had problems with the instructions for the sleeve plackets, with that in mind I took my time but I had no problems and I'm really happy with how they've turned out.


This is a size 14 made straight out of the packet - I did add a lining and I've left off the middle bars between the front pockets and the ribbon ties.  I'm planning another version and I plan on adding some extra length and leaving off the front pockets.

Sorry - I'm not scowling at you the sun's in my eyes.

This is a great casual jacket that injects a shot of colour into my spring wardrobe.  I've got so many things that I want to sew I'm not quite sure where to start.  Hopefully that means there will be plenty of action happening here.

Coming soon...

Friday, October 14, 2011

...An actual finished garment.  Hopefully by the end of this weekend I'll have something to show you.

Here's a progress shot of what I'm working on.  Do you recognise the pattern?


Just when I thought I was getting into a bit of a groove my sewing mojo up and left, hence three weeks with no post.  But spurred on by an online Tessuti purchase (a couple of metres of this is heading my way) I'm planning on spending a considerable amount of my weekend holed up in my sewing room.

See you Sunday.  Do you have plans for the weekend?

New Blue Dress 2 - Vogue 1179

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I'm finally managing to carve out a bit more time for sewing and with the slightly warmer weather I'm thinking about summer.


I've got a RTW dress in a very similar style to Vogue 1179 and I've also seen quite a few versions around the blog-o-sphere on women of all shapes and sizes so I thought I'd give it a go.

The colour of this matte polyester jersey grabbed my eye on a recent shopping trip and I immediately thought of this pattern.  This is a super simple dress that can easily be completed in a couple of hours.  I made this up straight out of the envelope in a size 14.  My hem isn't as deep as recommended but I'm planning on wearing this to work so I can't have it too short.  The armholes are quite snug and when I tried it on I thought I'd enlarge them, but after wearing the dress all day I'm going to leave it like it is. 

I don't only sew with knits - I've got a couple of wovens items cut out and a few other fabrics pre-washed.  I'll just have to see which one calls my name the loudest.

On the bandwagon - Simplicity 2443

Thursday, September 15, 2011

It has been too cold to wear my new dress, but I couldn't wait any longer to blog it.


I loved this pattern as soon as I saw it.  I put in a special request to a lovely American lady on Etsy and got my hot little hands on a copy as soon as it was released.  Then it sat in my pattern stash patiently waiting to be used.  My favourite part of the dress is the back - love the racer back style.  I wasn't sure about adding the pockets, I was worried they'd create a lot of bulk, but they're great and I don't think they make any difference to the silhouette. 


Basically I made the dress as per the instructions. A number of people have mentioned that they needed to shorten the shoulder straps, but it wasn't something I needed to do. I added 2 inches to the bodice and left out the zipper and the interfacing on the waistband. I found that clipping the corners so that they fanned out made it a lot easier to attach the straps on the curved sections, it wasn't difficult, you just need to be careful. One thing I wanted to mention - the neckbands specify a 3/8 seam allowance everywhere except the should and side seams, so I assume you are supposed to use 5/8 for those seams. I used 3/8 for the shoulders and 5/8 for the side seams and the bands fit the top section perfectly.


I've already got the jacket cut out and hopefully I like it because I've bought fabric to make a second. 

Because I still had the navy thread in my overlocker I whipped up another version of Kwik Sew 3740 in a beautiful merino jersey from Tessuti.

Self Stitched September: Week 1 round up

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I'm so close to having something finished to show you, but in the mean time here's a quick recap of what I've been wearing for week one of Self Stitched September (SSS).  I've decided to extend my challenge a little bit too, for the next three weeks I want to wear a SS outfit once a week, rather than just one item, and dresses don't count.

Day 1
My Frankenpattern dress - top half is Simplicity 2281 and the bottom half is Vogue 8685.

Day 2
 Simplicity 3686 pants - a sad day as we attended a family funeral.

Day 3
 My most recently finished item - Kwik Sew 3740 top.

Day 4
Feeling terrible in Ottobre leggings - can't remember the issue details but they're on the blog somewhere.

Day 5
No outfit today.  I spent the entire day in bed sick. 

Day 6
Back to work in a BWOF skirt - my very first time sewing from the Burd World of Fashion magazines. 

Day 7
 Quick and easy in Vogue 8685

You can check out all the photos from SSS over here on Flickr.

Racing Stripes

Sunday, August 28, 2011

About 6 weeks ago Georgia and I had a bit of a date, we did a bit of fabric shopping and then headed out for a hot chocolate.  She'd been looking through my Ottobre magazines and picked out a pattern and asked me to make it for her.  As the middle child she gets a lot of hand-me-downs and never complains so I was happy to make this for her.


She chose the Hooded Sweater (spring 1/2005, design 30) and matched it up with some apple green polar fleece and white fleecy knit.  I find the Ottobre patterns to be very generous in width, but not in length.  I traced out size 134 with the length of size 146 and then added another inch.  It could have used another couple of inches, but Georgia's really happy with it.


It went together pretty nicely.  The instructions are quite brief, and I had to think my way through the instructions for applying the white knit in the front V, but other than that it was pretty basic.  I'm not sure I'd use polar fleece for this pattern again, it made the bottom hem really bulky.  I thought I'd add a hem band for a bit of extra length but it was just too thick.

Our favourite bit?  The white 'racing stripes' on the arms.