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More Burda 7109, in a slightly more orthodox form.

15 Jul

I love this pattern so much I also made the pyjamas view up.

Burda 7109 pyjamas front view, and fabric doll

I found the softest, silkiest pure cotton poplin in a fabric range called ‘spots and stripes’ from Spotlight. It made up beautifully into the jammies! Sooooo soft and gentle for sleeping in. I couldn’t bring myself to wear the shortie-shorts. I just think they’d look terrible on me, so I simply lengthened them to mid-thigh length. It worked just fine and I don’t cringe when I see myself in the mirror. Always a bonus!

The dolly is called Beckie, she’s a wood elf, and is the prototype for the pattern that mum and I used when making my daughter’s and niece’s dollies.

Burda 7109 pyjamas back

burda 7109 pyjamas and fabric doll


The fabric was so divinely soft, and the pattern so much fun I made up another pair, lavender purple apples (that’s a strange combination of colour and pattern, isn’t it?) I omitted the frill this time, just for a change.

burda 7109 pyjamas front view

Burda 7109 pyjamas back view

Mori Girl fashion goes tropical or: Burda 7109

14 Jul

Catching up on things I sewed while studying. October hit, the hottest and most humid time of year, and I needed Floofy Clothesasap. I really like the whole Mori Girl concept. Before I got a pinterest account I’d never even heard of Mori Girl style. How lost I must have been …

However, all those layers are way too hot for the climate I live in, so I tropicified it by paring it back to one layer. A nice loose swishy layer. In fact a nice nightie pattern, adapted for streetwear, coz there’s nothing nicer than wearing your nightie all day!

Burda 7109 front

I just knew that deep neckline both front and back, would mean the dress sliding off my shoulders so I put some cross-straps on the back. Works well, and it’s nice and cool too, more so than if I’d just raised the back neckline.


Here’s the pattern I used. I placed the front and back pieces a few cm away from the foldline to add in enough fabric to create the pleats.

A note on the actual pattern: that neckline is very low at the front. It’s also really a bit too wide from shoulder to shoulder. I recommend measuring to make sure it matches your shoulder width both front and back!

Burda 7109


In keeping with the soft floofy Mori Girl idea, I created some floral and leaf embellishments.

Well they’re meant to be floral, but to be honest, if you didn’t know they were, would you think they were? I’m a bit dubious. But it doesn’t seem to stop people from complimenting me on their existence on the skirt.

Lovely big gathered pockets, one with a butterfly on it. I overlocked the top edge of the pocket.

Ruffles everywhere! All hems and neckline roll-hemmed on my overlocker. Gosh I love that function on it! This photo also shows very nicely the soft colours of the fabric, which I think is very much in keeping with the Mori Girl look.


  • Fabric/trims/notions used
I just realised I could have written this post from an entirely different point of view, that of being in the same league as Scarlette O’Hara, as this fabric started off it’s life as curtains 🙂
The trim was all hand-made from the same fabric, apart from a bit of pretty matching ribbons.
  • Construction notes

I love the rolled-hem function on my overlocker!

I added in an extra pleat both front and back which pulled the shoulders in to fit me better.

The embellishments were made from strips of gathered bias, then sewn together as a flower. These were machine-sewn on as it turned out the fabric was to closely woven I couldn’t really get the needle through! So my poor machine had to plow through a whole lot of layers of very thick fabric. It survived, my nerves didn’t though! I sewed a bit of ribbon in the centre of each rose.

I thought if I added in some leaves as well, they would help the beholder to realise the frayed lumpy-bits along the left hem were actually flowers! I left the edges of both leaves and flowers to fray nicely.

  • Cost
I ‘ve forgotten the cost of the original curtains. They were in use about 7 yrs ago.
Ribbon – $2
Pattern – $5
  • Last word

I am quite surprised how much I wear this. I usually go for neat, fitted styles. But the swingy, floofy, very cool and breezy nature of this makes it really lovely to wear. It also helps that in my own mind (No idea about external observers!) I’m wearing a Tropical Mori Girl dress – it’s a specific Style. Having said that though, it also helps that it’s essentially a glorified nightie. Nighties for daywear yeah!

I get sooo many compliments on this dress 🙂


Simplicity 9769, or: the unauthentically silk chemise

22 Jul

My sister’s great, and needs spoiling, especially for her birthday. So I made her this (the dupioni silk chemise, that is, not the collection of fridge magnets and list of gardening tasks!) Apparently silk is historically inaccurate for undergarments, as pre-modern-washing machine laundering wore silk undergarments out far too quickly, even for very rich people. Linen was the undergarment order of the day. I honestly can’t remember where I read this, but it was on the interwebs so it must be true, right? 😉

Of course, it never occurred to me to iron the chemise before taking photographs. Besides, knowing my luck I’d manage to melt the polyester lace.

from this pattern:

Here are a few highlights:

The neck yoke ended up clearly being waaay too wide for my sister (hey, she lives in London, I live in Darwin, Australia. Fitting, especially for a surprise present, was a little difficult!) So I found this gorgeous lilac ribbon in my stash, and threaded it through the narrow neck yoke so she could gather it to fit. I also added pearl buttons, just because…  🙂

My first ever triangly insert thing at the base of the sleeve. (Oh, what is the proper name them? I’ve forgotten 😦  )

More lovely lace around the hemline.

And as a finishing touch, I made her some satin-silk bloomers from the colette madaleine mini bloomers pattern, previously made and blogged about here.


  • Fabric/trims/notions used
White silk dupioni
White satin silk
oodles of lace
pearl (fake!) buttons
lilac ribbon
  • Inspiration

Years ago someone gave me 3m of white silk dupioni for my birthday. He said when he went to buy it, the women at Spotlight reckoned 3m was a good amount, I could sew most things out of that much. And to get white so I could dye it another colour if I wanted.

This someone is now my ex – and became my ex not long after this present. (Although I don’t think the present had much to do with it either way!) I just felt a bit … off … about using it for myself so it sat in my stash for years. Then while working out christmas and birthday presents last year (My sister’s birthday is close to christmas) I thought of making her a lovely nightie. (not too hard to get the fit right, and I could make it really lovely, something she’d never find in the shop. And the silk dupioni, now long rendered neutral in feeling, sprang to mind.

  • Construction notes

I flat-felled all the seams, as I’ve found on my own  nighties that’s the most comfortable kind of seam to lie on. As all the seams in this pattern are basically straight, it was very easy to do them.

The sizing chart wasn’t much help, as the size is essentially determined by the width of the shoulders, not the bust/waist/hips, so I had to guess. I measured it on myself, then went down a size as my sister is smaller than me. It turned out HUGE, hence the lilac ribbon to draw it tighter. Apparently it was still far too big on her anyway. Oh well.

The width of the actual chemise was crazy-wide too so I cut it a bit smaller too – just eyeballed it.

The instructions were clear and easy to follow. The underarm/sleeve gusset (aha! finally remembered the word!) was easy to achieve, following their instructions.

  • Last word

Well… as sewing goes it was a spectacular success. A beyooootiful lingerie set. But, sadly, as presents go it wasn’t. Oh dear. You see, my sister lives in London, and my innocent self thought she could wear this as her Summer Nightie. However, my sister explained very gently to me, she only wears a summer nightie for less than 3 weeks each year. Basically it’s so darned cold in London she wears long-sleeved jammies all year round.

Oh. *gulps* I knew England was cold and damp and miserable all the time but I didn’t realise it was that bad.

However, she found the mini-bloomers lovely to wear as a slip-substitute under her work-dresses. YAY!

So I suggested, rather than all my hard work and love in every stitch go to waste have it sitting unworn in a cupboard forever, she sent it on to a dear friend of mine who loves a poet-shirt style for her night attire, and … lives in Florida. A lot more opportunity there to wear a nightie like this.

My friend was the happy recipient of the set 🙂

However in the end, my sister’s birthday wasn’t a resounding present-failure. Over the years, through op-shopping, I’ve collected some very nice silk camisole-slips of the slinky wear-so-your-bedmate-can-take-it-off kind. Or maybe you’re supposed to wear them under a dress for warmth?

I ended up never wearing them. Not my style of bed attire and I don’t need added warmth in my clothes! (And my partner, in that mysterious way men have, seems to find the shapeless tent night attire more alluring. Something to do with invoking his imagination, apparently …???) I asked my sister if she’d like those as a present instead? She did, I sent them off.

I got a call when they arrived. “Imogheena! They’re fabulous! I showed A___ [Her bedmate] and he was very impressed that you sew such gorgeous things.”

“Oh… ah, well… I didn’t actually sew those… ” and I ‘fessed up about the op-shopping.

“Oh. Oh dear. I er, told him you sewed them.”

“Oh that’s alright, I don’t mind A____ thinking I sewed them!”

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…


Enough with the sewing already!

1 Apr

I need a break from it @_@ <— crazy-looking eyes emoticon. I’ll write about sewing instead. (Kinda like when my mum was writing a physics textbook, and she’s play computer games to have a break from, er, writing at the computer. Amused her offspring no end!)

I’ve been sewing hard all the lovely long Easter weekend. Mmmm! And I’ve well and truly gone over my (attempted) 3 projects only, at a time, rule. Oops!

Here’s the mischief I’ve been getting up to:

1) All the main seams done on the sunburst-pleated version of this New Look dress, in a “wedgewood” colour sateen. (God I love that cotton/lycra sateen as used in my red dress) All the fitting done, just need to finish off.

Interesting note: The sunbeam pleats looked pretty awful across my tummy. Woulda been fine if I had a nice rounded potbelly, or was 5 months pregnant O_O. So I turned the pleats into darts at my mum’s suggestion, the middle one stretching almost all the way across the waist, the others in proportion to it. Looks fantastic!

I’m gonna try making the collar/neckline wider so it will be cooler. Not sure how it will work. Wish me luck!

2) Sewn the main seams and partly fitted a dress in a mid-grey sateen, in this pattern. (Told you I loved that sateen!)

Interesting note: I’ve always wondered how a trapeze-y dress would look on my hourglass figure. Now I know:  sadly, depressingly loose around the middle, unflatteringly tight round the hip. Luckily I’d somehow managed to cut it out so that it was HUGE on me. It was when I took it in to the right size that I discovered the style looked  awful. Thank goodness I cut it out so huge. I’ve got fabric to play with, which gives me high hopes I can fiddle-faddle round with it and get the line and ease to work nicely rather than end up being an ugly paper-bag-over-the-head kinda affair.

It was, however, when I had to pull out yet another version of fitting-basting stitches that my brain went *click* “Can’t do this anymore! I need a break argh!”

Maybe tomorrow…

3) I’ve almost finished a long-sleeved blouse for my mother for our trip to the NSW Southern Highlands to visit family. (The significance of this is that we’ll need much warmer clothes than we ever wear in Darwin). The blouse is a lovely Monet-ish print (sorry, no photo yet) I received from … argh!!! I think it was Modern Vintage Cupcakes? in the recent Swap Your Stash project, (Such fun!)  The fabric  print was a smaller in reality than I’d envisioned from the photo. For some reason that made it a fabric that suited my mother far more than it suited me. Odd eh? But true!

Her go-to blouse pattern is Butterick 6085. I just extended the sleeves to full-length. I highly recommend this pattern btw. Easy, sews together nicely, seams all match well. It’s flattering due to the darts, including on plus-sized figures like mum’s. A rock-solid pattern. (Should do a review on, shouldn’t I!)


4) And now to my latest favourite pattern. I’m so in love with it!


I need a pair of trousers for the trip to the Southern Highlands *shivers*. Hopefully I’ll be meeting up with Amanda of Bimble and Pimble to sing 80’s hair band songs enjoy cake, coffee and fabric together! I’m so looking forward to it.

Anyway, trousers, yeah. I’ve done the main seams and fitting on a pair of trousers in black “mechanical stretch” polyester suiting. (Mechanical stretch apparently just means the stretch is in the weave, no lycra added.) I did all the flat-pattern fitting recommended – crotch depth, crotch length, hip width, leg width (not exactly an issue with this pattern :-D) before cutting, and when sewn, I discovered that yippeeee! It needed only minimal adjusting in the back crotch depth and it fit perfectly. I am a Trouser-Fitting Legend, guys! A Trouser-Fitting Legend!

I’m thinking of putting a waist stay or similar in it, coz I know from past experience any stretch round the waist will mean the trousers slide down an inch over the course of the day, lowering the crotch uncomfortably. Usually I just hide a bit of elastic in the waistband but the shaping on these might make a proper waist stay work better.

And just to indulge in more pattern-love (And add a much-needed skirt to my wardrobe) I’m making the skirt out of a raspberry 100% cotton ribstop (ie it’s got pretty little squares woven into it, all in the one colour.). All I did was shorten the pattern in the hip a bit, and voila! it fits perfectly. YAY!

I’m seriously thinking of using this pattern to make something like this skirt in some dark grey cotton ribstop (I ❤ ribstop as much as I ❤ sateen) Channel my inner steampunk. And as I mentioned before, I need more skirts, especially after losing this one 😦  *ponders the picture and the pattern* Might need to be a bit fuller, which wouldn’t be hard to do. I may or may not have the hardware stashed away.

Last but not least, (actually it may not even be last, I’ve probably forgotten something) I’ve been experimenting with undies patterns (aka panties or knickers. In my neck of Australia we call them ‘undies’), but that would take up an entire nother post.


Oh, wait! I knew there was something else! I’ve been sitting on a half-finished blue linen, calf-length version of this pattern for a while, not sure how to finish it off. I’ve decided on a ruffle round the hem, complete with pintucks, and ties in the seams to allow me to pull it up. Channelling my inner steampunk again, and here I was, totally unaware I had one till today!

Simplicity 3673: It’s red, what more can I say?

17 Mar

It’s stunning. And apparently, so I have been told repeatedly whenever I wear this, red looks fantastic on me.

Hmmm. Looking at these photos, it looks a bit loose. I might check that out next time I wear it. It wouldn’t be much to take in the side seams a bit. And oh look! My new shoes. Naots, baby! My feet absolutely love them, even if my social conscience isn’t so sure about them (It’s an Isreali company with a factory in the settlers area of Palestine).

  • Pattern: 

  • Inspiration:

I’ve been having the time of my life on Pinterest. I don’t know about other people but I tend to have a few different distinct styles of clothing I really like, and Pinterest has been a great way of exploring this. One such style I called “Leafy Green” ended up with a whole lot more red than green, with pin after pin of plain red dresses in a variety of vintage styles.

But wait, I had 3m of red cotten/lycra satteen in my stash. And the above retro-repro pattern!

So I just put them together and love the outcome!

  • Fabric/notions/trim used:

Cotton/lycra satteen which because of the stretchy nature of it, needed no zip.


  • Construction notes:

I hadn’t used this red satteen before because I bought it to make a proper dress version of the Sense and Sensibility1940’s swing era dress pattern I muslined in a very wearable way. (oh LOL!!! I just realised the title for that post is the 1490’s swing era dress. I’m dyslexic. Honest! And it is worst with numbers. Honest! I think I’d better go change it … :-D) uh, were was I? Ok the swing era dress in red satteen never happened coz the fabric is fairly heavy compared to the usual stuff I wear, and I was worried it might be just too hot. But I made another dress out of some gorgeous soft sagey green satteen (not blogged yet) thinking “If it’s too bad it can be a dry-season-only dress (the dry season is what masquerades as a Winter in Darwin). It turned out to be fine, not too hot at all! So I was confident about using the red satteen for this dress.

As noted, no zip needed. I did the tie-thingy on the neckline because I like tie-thingies on necklines. I did my usual FBA combined with taking miles out between bust and waist because I’m not miles tall. Other people who’ve blogged about this pattern mentioned it ran big, so I measured carefully, but I think it might need to be taken in a bit more, based on those piccies above. Stretch-wovens can be quite hard to get a satisfactory fit due to the stretch, I’ve found.

I did a machine-blind hem on this and I feel very fancy for it. Usually I just sew the hem with straight stitch. Sacrilegious I know, but look how many RTW clothes have a straight stitched hem. And besides, it’s a strong finish and clothes get washed to hell and back here (tropical climates *sigh*). However I figured if the blind hem stitch came apart from washing, I could just redo it. And it does look very nice…

  • Cost

Hey, I bought the red satteen so long ago I can’t remember what it cost. Does that mean it’s free???

Oh ok, the satteen available in Spotlight at the moment is around $10 on special (They always have specials at Spotlight. NEVER buy anything full-price there, that’s my shopping advice.) So 3m @ $10 – $30

A reel of thread @ $3

Pattern: that must be free too, coz I can’t remember what I spent on it. Maybe $10? I do know I got it from Spotlight on sale…

Total $43-ish

  • Final word:

Eeeeek! Such a great dress and soooo easy to fit to my hourglass figure. (I totally LOVE vintagey patterns for that reason.) I have some lovely lovely blue roses satteen fabric I’m seriously considering doing in the straight style -or do I want to use the skirt part of the straight dress and turn it into a high-waisted blue rose dress? Decisions, decisions…

Oh, and apparently, red really suits me 😀

Pattern drafting dreams

8 Mar

I am become more and more interested in drafting my own patterns. I’ve tended to be more interested in the construction and sewing than the actual drafting. But in the past few years, instead of buying yet another new pattern, I’ve thought “I could tweak that pattern I already have just a bit here and there.” I always did plenty of frankenpatterning and even tweaking but I’m doing more significant changes now – and succeeding in getting it to work too! (Always a bonus :-P)

My curiousity about drafting increased when I started teaching a plus-sized friend to sew. Her measurements are just a few inches toobig for the plus-sized patterns to fit. So I have had to teach her how to draft her patterns to be big enough to fit her, alongside teaching her the absolute basics like sewing a straight line. It really hasn’t helped that “Plus-sized” is usually “A bit bigger but still fitting within the shape and mindset towards bodies as “normal” patterns do. Which is woefully inadequate and inaccurate for most people I know with “plus-size” bodies. Crazy.

To add to the difficulty, she’s in Melbourne, I’m in Darwin, a whole continent between us. And don’t get me started on how slow my internet is. Regional Australia internet is CRAP. Skyping with video is almost impossible. Believe me, I’ve been thinking it might just be easier to draft a few basic patterns for her myself, and then work out how to tweak them to get different styles, than to do such big adjustments to existing patterns.

Then I started a pinterest account and through that I’ve found so many things about drafting, or tweaking patterns and I’m even more keen. The ones I’m drawn to the most are vintage and historical garments. Like this hat pattern I have from Mrs Depew  which consists of really simple instructions for drafting the ensemble. I haven’t made it yet but I’m really clear in my head how to make it. Although now I know how to do it, I’d probably just tweak another cloche pattern I have, to get the same effect.

Vintage Sewing Pattern French 1930's Cloche Hat, Clutch Bag and Scarf PDF Depew 1025 -INSTANT DOWNLOAD-


A step up from that is this 1889 chemise pattern from (This is about as big a picture as I can get.)

Front View, Lady's Old-fashioned Chemise, 1889 - 1893

The most complicated bit would be the yoke and sleeve. Here is the pattern draft. It is only one size but I’m pretty confident in resizing things to fit my own sweet self’s body. These diagrams make perfect sense to me – presuming they’re in inches. In cms they might be a nice draft for a chemise for my daughter’s dolly 😛

Front & Back Yokes, Sleeve & Sleeve Band, Old-fashioned Chemise, 1889 - 1893


The only real snag is that I’ll have to work from the computer screen because Stupid Printer is being Stupid aka it won’t print. I think the error message was saying the moon was in the wrong zodiac house for it to be able to work.

The next step up (As I see it) I’ve already done – drafting a straight skirt to fit myself. I think I’d be more inclined to try drafting my own version of something like these. I could do with a pair of “Step-ins” I’m sure

Pinned Image


Also regarding Pinterest, I did something really rash and created a board for my sewing list. It’s HUGE!!! And it is missing a few things like the above chemise and hat. I’m not sure if I feel overwhelmed and intimidated when looking at that board, or just excited 😀

Downton Abbey-ish dress or: McCalls 5466

7 Dec

  • Pattern: 

  • Inspiration:

This didn’t start out to be a Downton Abbey-ish dress. I just wanted a nice simple straight dress, no fuss, no bother. I’d already made this dress from the pattern:

It looks ok in the pictures, and indeed it looked ok on me, but for some reason I just never liked it. I think the colour wasn’t the best on me. And the back walking-vent was too high to be practical modesty-wise. It took a one-way trip to the Op-Shop when I eventually got sick of it sitting unworn in my wardrobe. I hope whoever got it enjoyed wearing it.

I really loved the top with the pleats though, and in likewise the pleated skirt. I figured the negatives would be eliminated by a beautiful fabric that suited me colour-wise, and making the back vent more modest. However, while cutting the dress out I realised I would have enough fabric to make the skirt long (well I thought I did). I like long! And I figured if I didn’t like this particular dress long, I have a pair of good fabric cutting scissors handy…

So I made it up as a long dress… only to realise the skirt wasn’t quite long enough to be Long.

No matter though! I could suddenly see its True Potential. I could add a wide lace mock-underskirt to it to make it Long, and it would lend to the dress a sort of Downton Abbey-ish layered long dress kinda look. Mmmm!

And indeed I think it works 🙂

  • Fabric/notions/trim used:

I confess, mum bought this fabric for shorts. It’s mostly rayon with about 10% polyester. I, ahem, humbly felt it would be wasted as shorts, and did a bit of negotiation. Since mum only wears shorts to the gym and the like, she was amenable to a fabric swap with something in my stash suitable for shorts for her. YAY!

There’s an invisible zip in the back, polyester lace at the waist and cotton eyelet lace at the hem.

  • Construction notes:

My layered lace Downton Abby-ish look. I simply sewed the lace underneath the skirt a few inches above the hem. You can see the join-line from the outside, but since the only other alternative for attaching it was a separate underskirt, which would have added another layer and made it too hot to practically wear, I accepted the join-line with good grace. However if anyone has another suggestion as to how to make the lace look layered without an underskirt or join-line, I’d love to hear it….

Close-up of the lovely bodice pleats. I added in a bust dart from the side seam, to accommodate my C-cup bust, but I’m not sure I really needed it. Never mind, the extra ease helps keep it cooler than otherwise.

There were a number of people who reviewed this pattern who didn’t like the skirt back pleats over the fullness of their hips. So I tried a different approach. I measured how wide I wanted the skirt to be around my hips and upper thighs, allowing plenty of ease for walking and coolness. Then I simply sewed it together into a tube, and pleated the extra fabric around the waist, placing the pleat centres directly in line with the bodice’s vertical darts. I rather like it. It looks fine to me. There is enough easy and the fabric is so soft it falls gently over my curves regardless of the pleats over the hips.

I also put in a back vent to my knee to allow me to walk, not shuffle.

  • Cost

Fabric: free for a swap from something in my own stash – a cotton ribstop which was $2pm, total $3

Invisible Zip – $4

Trim: $12 total (Ouch! Oh, but it looks so good…)

Pattern = second time used – $0

Total = $19

  • Final word:

This dress is surprisingly cool to wear. I like this! I was expecting it would be hot due to the polyester in it, but it is thin, and the rayon content is high enough that it is perfectly breathable. It feels a bit prickly though, which is a bit weird, but it isn’t a big issue. And this is another dress that collects compliments, which is really nice!

Heather Bailey voucher giveaway

17 Nov

I recently bought Heather Bailey’s Boho Cloche pattern. I’ve almost finished a hat from it, and I’ve made 5 flowers from her flower pattern!


I’m really impressed with the pattern. It’s very well drafted, and looks just the way it is pictured, and is quite an ingenious design of hat. (I know – I’ve sewn heaps of hats in my time). It also came with a little 10% off voucher if I make a purchase before the end of Nov.

I don’t have anything else I want to buy from her shop, and it seems a shame to let it elapse. So I’m taking the chance to say I’m very impressed with her pattern, and offering the voucher to anyone who would use it and find out for themselves the quality of what she is offering. First in best dressed! Let me know if you want it, and your email and I’ll send you the details!


Halp!!! Opinions please?

11 Nov

NEVER cut out when you’re tired. We all know that. So why did I do it? *heavy sigh*

A friend in Florida sent me 1m of lovely flamingo-themed fabric in February. (I just had to add in the month for the alliterative affect 🙂 She said she could imagine me out in my garden working there in shorts from this fabric. I agreed. And of course, there’s no more fabric available 😦

A while back I was really intrigued and inspired by the Weekend Designer blog’s cuffed shorts.

Rather than drafting a pattern from scratch I used my TNT shorts pattern, adjusted it as per Weekend Designer instructions, then cut it out.

And forgot the fabric print is very definitely a one-way design. I’ve cut one side with the flamingos upright, and one side with them upside down. Kinda like this.

And it would have been so easy to have cut out with the birds the right way up. I just didn’t think. Ok I was tired. See why I have that rule? WHY oh why didn’t I obey said rule???

Anyway, I’m asking for opinions on what to do now. My mother reckons no one would ever notice them sewn as is, as the pattern is so busy. (Well, no one but me, her and everyone I’ve asked opinions of, including half the internet!) But my bestie reckons I’m such a neat person and a perfectionist it will annoy the hell out of me if I sew the shorts up as cut. My fiance just keeps laughing.

As for me, I’m hoping sleeping on it will bring some clarity.

Here are some options I’ve thought out so far.

1) Sew it up as is, upside down and all

2) See if I can make a crazy mistake into a great garment by turning it into a skirt with totally upright birds, and make shorts out of a yummy apple-green-with-white-polkadots fabric I have in my stash.

3) Make the fabric into a Heather Bailey’s boho cloche hat. (I’m halfway through making one of these out of grey rose poplin Mmmm. I’m totally in love with the pattern). A hat in this fabric would be … very pink… but hey, very funky too methinks.

4) Buy a different hat pattern (As a consolation prize for having been so silly, you understand) like ooh say one of these from Mrs Depew’s Vintage, and make the fabric up in it. (Or even a nice lingerie pattern from the same site?)

5) Make the upside-down flamingo shorts AND the green polkadot shorts AND buy a few new vintage patterns AND get some other fabric to make them up in and throw a sewing party?

What do you think? Any other options are welcome too 🙂


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