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Simplicity 8640 as Folkwear Armistice Blouse.

30 Jun

Still catching up with stuff from last year!

I saw a piccie of Folkwear’s Armistice Blouse and fell in love, not so much with the top one, but that gorgeous white one at the bottom.

But it’s kinda expensive to buy and get sent over (postage can be kinda crazy). And the wonderful Sewsquirrel, who stocks lots of Indi patterns, doesn’t stock Folkwear. Oh well.

Then I realised that perhaps I could make this pattern from my stash that I’ve never used before, work. You can’t see clearly, but the blue version has a collar. I liked the sweetheart neckline too. The centre front panel is wider than the Folkwear Armistice Blouse but I decided fiddling round with the pattern to make it a bit smaller wasn’t worth the effort.

I cut out the bodice, and instead of shaping in for the waist, I just cut it straight down, then extended it to get the length I was after. It worked!

Here’s a close-up of the neckline and crochet. I’d made the collar wider than the pattern, thinking it might make it look more like the Armistice Blouse, but it just looked weird. So I cut the collar down and used more of the crochet to edge it. I don’t have a close-up of the final affair but it looked heaps better. I’ll have to see if I can get a close-up and add it in.

See how pretty that fabric is? 🙂

  • Fabric/trims/notions used
Grey Rose cotton poplin, and some white cotton broadcloth. The poplin with grey roses was a present from a very dear friend of mine. I’d been having a bad time of it with the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and he decided to treat me to this gorgeous fabric. Thankyou “T/S”
Crochet edging by me, in white cotton, size 40.
Tie is a silk sash I got as a free present with my first order of dyes from Dharma Trading.  Nice! I’ve worn it with a few other ties at the waist, and even without any tie, which actually looks better than I thought it would.
  • Inspiration

The Armistice Blouse from Folkwear.

  • Construction notes

It went together very easily. I bound the inside of the collar with a small facing, clean-finished by that great technique where you sew the outer edge of the facing to the interfacing, and turn that edge inside out, hiding the raw edges inside. The facing extended an inch or so below the start of the inner panel.

The crochet set everything of so nicely 🙂

I did a silly thing. I simply extended the pieces straight down rather than narrowing in for the waist. And DUH!!! I needed to have widened them from waist down for my hip. So now it has a rather long side-split so it fits without straining across my hips. Hey, it works!


  • Cost
The fabric and sash were a gift 🙂
  • Last word

I really love this pattern. I’m now on the lookout for the Perfect Fabric for another version, probably this time truer to the pattern, with that lovely peplum instead of extending it straight down. Not sure about the tassels on the corners of the peplum though! Might not be too practical for laundering. We’ll see…


Blouse pattern loveliness

10 Nov

I loves me a delicate white blouse. I loves me bias clothes. I loves me this pattern, Colette’s Jasmine Blouse, and I want to make it in some white silk I have in the back of the cupboard. I can order the pattern in Australia!  I just discovered SewSquirrel’s site thanks to sewbusylizzie‘. Er I think Sewsquirrel is in Aust. I’m not getting charged postage at anyrate, and you know what that means! More money for patterns!!!

Now, un-sidetracking from the point of this post, did any Australian readers watch Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries on the ABC earlier this year? I’ve read all of Kerry Greenwood’s books I’ve ever got my hands on, not just the Phryne Fisher ones, and thus just had to watch the shows. Ok ok of course I’m in love with Phryne’s wardrobe. I would have to be 6 foot under to not be. However I also just loved Dot’s blouses. She seemed to have a long procession of sweet often white or a subdued brown blouses with the collars edged in lace. ENVY!!!

Looking around for a pattern so I can have a sweet blouse with a lace-edged collar too, I found the Armistice Blouse from Folkwear.

Folkwear Armistice Blouse

Here is Casey of Casey’s Elegant Musings’ version. Oh I love this.

Then I remembered I have this pattern, which if you look closely and ignore the stamp on it, you can see the bodice and collar on the blue dress are very similar to the folkwear pattern:

Then I saw this fabric in Spotlight – cotton poplin, which I fell in love with and a wonderful friend bought me as a little present. (Thankyou so much S___ :-D). (Bet you can’t see where all this is heading!)

And I have literally a good few metres of this lace I crocheted myself, from an Irish Crochet pattern from the early 1900’s, similar time frame to the Folkwear Armistice Blouse:

I really like the tie-waist of the Folkwear pattern, as with this top, I discovered I like wearing looser-style shirts tied at the waist, so I figured if I used the bodice pieces but didn’t shape them in to the waist, I’d get the same effect.

And I’ve just cut it out! Stay tuned to find out how it all comes together…

Opinions requested (again ;-P)

15 Nov

First of all, thankyou to everyone who gave me their opinion on whether to shorten my grey pinafore or not. I am pretty sure I will take the hem up, as was the general consensus. I confess, however, I am wearing it today still long, not having gotten round to the big chop yet. You see, I just wanted to wear it today. It is so comfy…

But I do intend to take it up 😀

And, so, what’s she up to now, you wonder? Getting sidetracked from schoolhouse tunic-inspired sewing by crocheting a huge doily, is what. Well, ok, it is a shawl inspired by a doily, apparently. My friend over at Studio Pyraxis commented it looks like a butterfly wing. So true! The pattern is from Caron International, clicking on the picture will take you there.


One of my dance dresses is the most boring black thing you’ve ever seen, but not long ago I realised I could dress it up to the nines for a tango Milonga with a scarf around the waist, suitable jewellery and hair ornaments. (A revolutionary idea, I know! But forgive my being so slow on the uptake. I find interesting garments the most fun to sew, thus most numerous in my wardrobe.)

But what kind of scarf to dress it up with? I thought something like the above shawl in the classic latin red fine crochet cotton.

Off to Spotlight I went, and returned with cotton (a lot of cotton, to be precise) shaded like this … (Here crocheted into the first 6 rows of the huge doily pineapple shawl.)



While cutting out the schoolhouse tunic-inspired tunic dress (what a long phrase!) I realised the red of the fabric and the darker red of the cotton work beautifully together. Actually though, when I look at it in this photo, they look quite different, but I think that is due to the way the light coming off the different textures affected the camera. The reds are close enough that I suddenly envisioned my new tunic-dress with a wide band of crochet in this cotton along the hem. Preferably in a medallion-type, fairly geometrical pattern that echoes the fabric design. I’ll have more than enough cotton left over for it.But! but but but! do the two work well enough together? If you trust me on the darker red cotton matching the red in the fabric, the rest of the colours are fairly true to reality in this photo, though the fabric’s beige is a tad softer.

When I look at it, I see sadly that the light bits of the cotton are pink, and the light bits of the fabric are beige. Nonetheless, they certainly don’t clash. But I’d rather not put lots of effort into making a band specially for a dress only to find it doesn’t work. I suspect it would be more effective, and less like a random add-on if I also put a narrow edging of crochet around the neckline as well.

So…. what do you guys think?

What happened to the wedding dress trial?

9 Jul

Well, I had the neckline all basted and ready to gather, and still – still wondering whether to ruffle or not to ruffle when…

It got cold. Freezing even. The temperature plummetted past the usual 17-18C dry season nights right down to 13C. One night it was even closer to 12C than 13C. *shudders*

I just can’t do it. I just can’t sew clothes I know I can’t start wearing immediately. I am an instant gratification kinda girl, and that voile is soooooo insubstantial, there was no way I’m putting that trial wedding dress on any time soon. In fact, even the thought of putting it on for a fitting was too shivery. (Ask me again in November and even that voile will be too thick ;-P)

So I put it aside. I put all my clothes sewing aside in favour of concentrating on my cardigan, for the same reason – the cold. But also, and I honestly thought I would never get to this point, I looked in my wardrobe and realised I have enough clothes.

After I picked myself up from where I had fallen on the floor in shock, I realised I have to do something about this. No, not a wardrobe purge to start again. I have enough GOOD clothes that I love.

I had a brainwave

I could do something else. Maybe … more handcrafts! (no no, don’t quote me on that if the next post is dressmaking :-P)

Specifically, to expand on selling some. I know selling handcrafts is not the most lucrative activity, but if I make enough to cover the costs of the next project, that is pretty good. Good for my need to create, good for my bank balance, and much much nicer to think of the beautiful things I make being used and appreciated, rather than in the back of the cupboard forlornly gathering dust.

Here are some piccies of the stuff that went to the Happy Yess Markets. Things didn’t sell so well, but I am not surprised – it just isn’t that kind of gig. (but a great sense of community, and enjoyable, which is the main thing 🙂

This is a rainbow fairy charm. When hung in the sun (from the long white ribbon so neatly wound here) it creates little chinks of rainbow lights. I love physics. It is pure magic!



Crochet flower phone charms.



And my absolute fave – this idea came from my need for a new library bag. Choice (the Australian Consumer Association) said in a cradle-grave analysis of environmental footprints, polypropylene bags (those sturdy ones you can get at every grocery store these days) come out in front of calico bags because cotton is so demanding on the environment – especially our Australian one.

So this knowledge + the need for a new library bag + an instantaneous love affair with these happy owl panels I found + this bag. I tried one out at the library the other day, and it is perfect, just perfect! Big, strong and sturdy, and sits comfortably over my shoulder even when laden with lead heavy books

2 wk creative challenge day 2: organisation

30 Jun

Organisation doesn’t sound that creative, does it? But I do feel better for it because I know what I need to do next.

The next Happy Yess market swings round this sunday. A good friend of mine (who seriously needs a website for her stuff so I can show it off to all my online friends) makes native seed jewellery and chain maille, and regularly does the Darwin market scene. She has given me a corner of her stall this sunday for my own stuff. YAY!

Wot stuff?


Some crocheted flowers will be made into hairclips, necklaces, phone charms etc (heh, see the dog behind me? 😀 She isn’t part of the stall ;-P)

A coin purse crocheted from hand-dyed with vegetable dies yarn from Roumania.


And a hairpiece made from some stuff from the wonderful Dragonfly Fabrics

I have a few other things cooking, as well. Namely some Happy Owl bags and some prism charms to hang in the window creating splashes of rainbow lights all around. Should be fun!






Cardigan shoulders

28 Jun

Ok, so it looks a bit wonky, but that is just how it was sitting. Honest! But no, it really doesn’t quite meet at the front. Oops…

But if you look at the back, you discover it is sitting very nicely.

I started out doing the medium size, then discovered the back was swimming on me, so I undid the previous few rows of increase and basically went down 2 sizes at the back, while keeping the increasing at the front. Hate to think how small the front would be if I hadn’t kept the increasing there!

The front still has a bit of an edging to be added after everything else is finished. I’m not sure if allowing for that is why the cardigan isn’t meeting in the front, or if it is just a tad small there after all my fiddling. I figure if need be I can make that front edging a bit wider. I am planning to continue the edging around the neckline too, as I would like it a closer in around my neck.

I love love love the colour! And the yarn is so soft and slithery to crochet. It is also not hot to handle (which is good as the humidity went right up for a few days there) but obviously is still going to be suitably warmish when finished.

I have one row of dc, then I am onto the mussel pattern. Wow!

And for the record I have no idea why one piccie is huge and the other is small … ?

Wardrobe clearout and a possible new project.

9 Jun

I went through my wardrobe with a harsh eye this afternoon. I don’t mind stuff in there that I love but rarely get to wear. But things I am not wearing because they don’t work for some reason? They have to go!

Even if I do love them…

I remind myself it makes way for things I love AND work well.

One of the things that went is this skirt.

Another RTW skirt copy” src=”″ alt=”” width=”225″ height=”300″ />

I commented in the original post that the fabric seemed too light for the style, and to be honest, I think that is why I rarely wear it. I feel a bit scruffy and under-groomed in it. I have quite a bit of the original fabric left over, so I will keep the skirt and see if I can create a new garment entirely, from both.

Another that went is a grey dress I found in an op-shop a while back. It was tight around the arms back then, but now, after a year’s worth of pilates, it pulls badly across the entire shoulder area 😦 It is a gorgeous dress, in very good condition. I am sure some other person will absolutely LOVE it.

A few of my own creations will simply be put away. I love them too much to send them off to the big wide world of op-shops.

This was made from Folkwear Edwardian Underthings pattern. (Notice I like blue roses?) I simplified the waist, and found the most awesome trim for it at Spotlight! But, though I have worn it a lot before, I have just kinda “gone off” it. Also I don’t have a top that does it justice, and am not sure what would. Time to put it away.



The awesome trim:



Another old favourite. The colour faded to an odd, and sadly unappealing neutraly colour. I was enchanted by the whole pixie movement in the UK, wanting to my own pixie top, tropical-style. This is what I came up with. I love it – so much so I wore it to colour-death 😦 I would dye it but the fabric is getting old. And I am not sure I would like the outcome of the trim being dyed either, whether it was dyed too, or stayed the same colour. RIP pixie top. You will be missed.


And now, for my next project…

I was cruising Ravelry the other day (as you do!) and saw some gorgeous crocheted boleros. I have been using this cardigan in our recent cold snap.


It is the perfect weight for the colder weather here. But … it’s too big! I knitted it when I was in my early 20’s, living in Auckland. I didn’t think I was that much bigger then, but I must have been! I have to roll the sleeves up a couple of turns, and it is huge round the torso.

I’d be more comfortable in one that fits! Maybe in crochet with a lacy look to it, as the looseness of this cardigan is probably why it isn’t too hot. I could soooo happily use some of those beautiful bamboo yarns. Mmmm!!!! I doubt I finish it this dry season, but I have realised it would also be the perfect weight for travelling when down south, as this cardigan is too.

And then in my inbox this afternoon I found this from Spotlight …


Methinks it may be Fate…

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