Pink Tais turns into a Closet Core Sienna Jacket

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know I love to buy fabrics whilst travelling. You’ve been warned! This is another one of those posts where I talk about what I sewed from fabric I bought a long way from home.

A brief but wonderful trip to East Timor in 2019 resulted in two fabulous pieces of tais cloth.

Have you come across tais before? I hadn’t.

It’s woven by the women of East Timor and is an important part of their heritage. The designs vary regionally. I purchased mine from the Tais market in the capital, Dili, where  “bright colors and solid panels reflect the focus on tais commerce” according to Wikipedia.

The cloth is traditionally used for clothing and is also ideal for cushions, tablecloths and other soft furnishing uses – our hotel included tais in its décor as you can see below in my photo displaying my souvenirs on the lounge by the pool.

But you already know from my blog title that I don’t use my pink tais in soft furnishing!

I made a jacket

I was very limited by meterage. My pieces are 1.6 m long by 120 cm wide. And that 120 cm width was achieved by hand stitching two 60 cm wide pieces together after they were woven – the looms are narrow.

It was tricky to find a jacket pattern that would work.

My solution was to use Closet Core’s Sienna jacket view B but 9 cm shorter, with the lapels and collar in hot pink cotton twill, no belt, no outside breast pocket and the lower pockets both shorter and squared off. And no stress about stripe matching or the placement of that one brown/cream marled wide stripe on each piece!

I intended to add buttons to make up for the lack of belt and fastenings but I’m a bit on the fence about it.

Not sure I really need them, and buttonholes could be tricky in this loosely woven fabric. Perhaps large snaps? What do you think?

All the cut edges of the tais love to fray. I was not intending to line the jacket so it need to look good on the inside.

A Hong Kong finish seemed like the perfect solution.

Since I have a stash of vintage bias tape, already folded in various shades of orange, red and yellow, there was no stopping this idea. Not even the fact that I didn’t have enough of any one colour to use for all the seams, because… have you seen this fabric?

I had a lot of fun.

And I’ve used up a lot of my vintage bias tape stash. Which revealed that the tape had been stored on cards for recording your measurements for foundation garments…

Figure problem??? Glad I live in this century!

The pink twill lapels didn’t escape the contrast Hong Kong finish either.

I refrained from decorating the inside breast pocket – one tiny (and insignificant in the scheme of things) bit of restraint! If you can call choosing to add a hot pink secret pocket a sign of restraint….

Pretty on the inside

Those lapels are not only pink on the revere, they are also perfectly straight from top to bottom – which is not how Closet Core patterns drafted them.

Yes I did draw the new cutting line onto the fabric with a ball point pen. I like a bit of danger in my sewing room

Why did I straighten the lapels? Because the selvedge of the tais was beautiful – a bit like a grosgrain ribbon – and I wanted to preserve that on the edge of the jacket. I used the selvedge on the centre back seam too.

I don’t think my label looks that wonky in real life…

How did I manage an uncut selvedge and a cut facing? I’ll try and explain (and you’ll understand why no-one should hire me to write sewing instructions..)

I pressed the seam allowance to the wrong side of the long edge of the facing and then sewed the top edge of the facing to the collar and top of the lapel in the normal fashion.

After turning and pressing, I topstitched the collar and top of the facing of the lapel.

Then continued to ‘topstitch’ the long edge very close to edge of the outer fabric and the facing with its edge turned under.

The other edge of the facing was then stitched to the coat, as per normal.

The inside makes we just as happy as the outside – here’s the back.

The fridge at the ends of the tais is attractive, but I didn’t work out a way to incorporate it into the design. Perhaps that was a wise move – it was quite tangled after a gentle prewash.

I’m very happy with this jacket. Its wonderfully bright and deliciously soft and slouchy.

Now, what will I do with the blue tais??

Fabric really is the best souvenir!

Is a kaftan a cocktail dress?

I think the photo answers that question!

I used Cris Wood Sews Envelope Dress zero waste pattern and a floral rayon I purchased on holiday in Glasgow in 2014 to make this ‘cocktail kaftan’.

Why was fabric purchased as a souvenir? Is that really a question for a sewist? I’ll answer it anyway. It wasn’t because it was Scottish in style, fabrication or colours – the only thing Scottish about it was that it availabe in a fabric store in Scotland. It was for the normal reasons I buy fabric – I liked it.

And then it sat in my stash for a long time – because I had to find the right pattern for this lovely fabric…

..and that turned out to be Cris Wood Sews Envelope Dress.

I didn’t intend to make a kaftan. I was planning more of a knee length Envelope dress.

The way the Envelope Dress is cut out means that the length of the dress is the width of the fabric. My fabric was 140 cm wide. I know that a knee-length dress is not 140 cm from shoulder to hem but I still wanted to cut it out this way, even with the likely need to trim it to knee length. Why? Because putting the ‘stripes’/’panels’ running vertically could be more interesting that having them horizontal.

Well, that was right – I like how they look in the vertical orientation.

It was also very clear as soon as I tried it on that it needed to stay this length and be a kaftan, not a knee length dress. So I added side slits rather than hemming it shorter.

Occupational hazard of posing with a fancy drink for blog photos

The Envelope Dress is a very easy ‘pattern’ to construct and the instructions are great.

If you haven’t made one yet, I highly recommend it – it’s a unique and fun way of constructing a garment.

Cheers!

Christmas dresses

Using Jocelyn Proust Christmas themed Australian animal prints to make Christmas dresses has become a tradition.

This year, wombats and waratahs became a Sew Different Tulip dress for me.

The whole menagerie of Australian animals was made into another version of B6677 for Felicity.

Yes of course there was a matching mask!

If you follow me on Insta you know my dress was not as successful as Felicity’s

It seems perfectly drafted to emphasise full tummies

Sewing details

Felicity’s dress was made the same as previously except only the bodice was lined and this is style A of B6677 without the flouces. I followed The Insouciant Stitcher’s tip and used an IKEA Nattjasmin cotton/lyocell bed sheet for garment construction. Excellent lining material for quilting weight cottons!

Three dresses in and I’ve only just worked out that Felicity can pull this on without unbuttoning. Next time I’ll omit the back neck slit and button! The shiny red button above the smiley wombat does makes me smile though.

I like the smiley wombats on my dress too. Even though they are more hairy.

This is the Sew Different Tulip dress

https://sewdifferent.co.uk/tulip-dress-multisize-sewing-pattern-available-paper-download/

Mine was a size 18 which I then added a bit of extra width to after construction by taking the side seams out about 5 mm above and below the pockets (because the pockets were already sewn in). I probably could have just expanded through the waist above the pockets.

I used an olive suiting weight linen from Spotlight for the bottom band of my dress because it was in my stash, the colours worked and I didn’t have enough of my wombat fabric.

And the bias for the hem – same reasons

The ‘you can’t buy this’ tag turned out funnier than I expected – you can’t buy this and you probably don’t want to!

If there is a next time I will sew a larger size from the bust down, petite the bodice by removing 2 cm above the bust and round out the shoulder to sleeve transition.

Despite my lack of love for this dress I did end up wearing it for Christmas – for the meal prep part of the day. Then changed into the other “unsuccessful” dress for Christmas dinner. No longer unsuccessful because I saved that one from refashioning or donation with a tablecloth weight!

Style Arc Adeline dress #2 and #3

I’m on a red dress roll. Must be Christmas!

This fabric was a souvenir from Barcelona. I fell in love with the colours and I love border prints. As a bonus it’s an overprinted jacquard. Almost certainly made from synthetic fibres but interesting and unusual.

Hand sewing on the front verandah

The base is white (as you can see above) and the looseness of the jacquard means that there are a few spots where this shows. Like below. The jacquard weave also made it very prone to fray. The overlocker was essential!

Separating red threads in the middle of the leaf showing the white base layer

Style Arc’s Adeline was just the simple dress pattern I needed to showcase the fabric. I made a size 16 (printed at 98% by mistake).

Adeline Dress Sewing Pattern – Dress Sewing Patterns – Style Arc

My souvenir fabric was a precut of 1.5 m. At least it was 150 cm wide and with a border printed on both selvedges! But there was no way I was going to be able to cut out this pattern as drafted with the longer turned up sleeves.

No centre back seam either

After some pattern and fabric Tetris and accepting that cuffed sleeves and pockets were not part of my vision for this fabric, I successfully placed the pattern pieces on with the border at the hems and just a teensy bit on the shoulder.

There were enough scraps left for the hem and neck facings, and some self drafted sleeve hem facings.

I placed the border so that the maximum width of the border was on the front. This meant that the last few cms of plain red under the border shows on the lower back hem. Perhaps I could have placed it differently? Or straightened out the hem? Would that have been better? I’ll never know!

Such a comfortable dress to wear.

On it’s first “outing” I wore it to a day event with bare legs and blue sandals and then changed to black tights and heels for an evening event.

He who Cooks thought the opaque tights were a bit heavy and needed balancing out with a chunky black necklace. He was right!

I love this pattern so much that I immediately made another one. This time with the cuffs and pockets in a turquoise silk nylon blend that’s been a long time stash dweller. The last time I sewed with this fabric was March 2011!!

It looks much less like scrubs in real life…. although these photos are starting to make me doubt…

I don’t think I’ve finished with this pattern yet.

Red Papercut Tide dress

I’ve admired the Papercut patterns Tide dress ever since it was released (as the Kobe dress). Such a clever but simple design with the pleating and cut out at the back.

Tide Dress and Top - The Foldline
https://papercutpatterns.com/products/tide-dress-top

In a recent sale I succumbed and purchased it. And then spent several happy hours looking though my fabric stash for suitable fabrics. Of course I found several.

And that lead me down the rabbit hole of what else could I make to go with that fabric if I made it up as the dress or the top version of the pattern. Some of you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. Virtual wardrobe sewing. Hours of Fun.

Then I did some serious reading of reviews. Several sewists commented on the pleating at the back creating a weight imbalance that tended to pull the dress to the back. Perhaps I shouldn’t proceed? But I was already invested in this project because of the Hours of Fun noted above.

To reduce potential disappointment I used a fabric I’d acquired from the recent @adeladiesewists fabric swap. Don’t get me wrong. I really like this fabric. But it hasn’t been in my stash for long, so I’m not strongly attached to it, and it was free. It is still lovely, though. Nice drape, great colours and an interesting print. I’m guessing it’s a viscose crepe. Thanks Georgie Barker!

And then the question. What size am I in this pattern line? I’ve only ever made the Rise and Fall Turtlenecks from Papercut and they are knit patterns. This one apparently runs big, according to reviews.

I went for size 6 based on finished garment measurements. This was a mistake. I could have easily sized down.

The shoulders were too wide and the armscyes are very generous.

I have somewhat compensated by overlapping the back neck more than the designer intended and adding a tuck to the front neck.

And all those reviews were right – it does pull to the back. Quite annoying to wear. But also lovely and cool for the work Christmas party – which was outside on a 35oC day. The joys of Christmas in Australia!

Refashion or donation is its most likely fate. Or perhaps a weight at the base of the neck at the front under the tuck? Or a stay attached to my bra? I’ll report back!

If nothing else, I’ve once again proved that sewing with lovely fabric is always a pleasure even if the final result is not quite right.

EDITED to add my pulling-to-the-back solution – a tablecloth weight attached to the tuck on the inside at the base of the front neckline. Works perfectly!

Pink dresses: McCalls 7922 and Butterick 6677

An invite with a request to wear something pink. Some people would add a pink accessory. Not Felicity. She needed a new pink dress.

It was no surprise that there were several pink fabrics in my stash. But, also no surprise, none of them were deemed suitable. Apart from the delightful silk charmeuse with some pink in it that I had earmarked for something else, but lets not dwell on that….

It has pockets

So for attempt #1, a light weight poly cotton gingham from Spotlight was wrestled into McCalls 7922.

McCall's 7922 Misses' Dresses
McCalls 7922

I made View D in a size 14 out to a size 16 for the bust and shoulders with the neckline raised to that of a size 22. Why multi-sized? I wasn’t sure how to do an FBA on this style or how to petite the bodice so this was my fix for a fuller bust and a shorter torso.

Pretending to like it

I say wrestled because I really did not enjoy sewing this fabric. Perhaps it was the fiber composition. The end result was quite cute on but Felicity didn’t like how it felt. I’d say that was due to fiber composition, the knot and how that made it feel loose through the waist.

In other words, the dress turned out as the pattern designer intended, but that doesn’t mean it was a success! One wear and then donation was its fate.

Attempt #2 turned out so much better.

Obligatory matching mask

The fabric was a mid weight cotton woven in a very cute Australiana print (May Gibbs flannel flowers) lined with polka dot cotton voile.

Fully lined with polka dots. Because. Well. Why not?!

The pattern is Butterick 6677 and was previously used to make one of Felicity’s favourite dresses. This time I made View A in a Size 14 with an 2 cm FBA.

Butterick Dress B6677 - The Foldline
Butterick 6677

I lined the flounces with the same cotton voile I’d used to line the dress rather than hemming them.

Even the pockets got lined with polka dots. Love the way these two fabrics play together!

Attempt #2 went to the pink party.

This one’s a winner!

Two Helen’s Closet Hazelwood Cardigans

I’m late to Helen’s Closet patterns but that will be no news to regular readers – I’m a late adopter of many new indie patterns. The Hazelwood cardigan struck a cord though, so I dove in this winter.

Blackwood Cardigan
Image source: https://helensclosetpatterns.com/product/blackwood-cardigan-pdf-pattern/

I made View A (the long version) in a size 16 B cup.

My first version was in a teal camouflage boucle wool blend knit.

It’s a lovely fabric up close but perhaps not so successful in a garment from a distance. Which might be why it was in the discount fabric bin at Ferriers Fabrics and languished in my stash since being purchased in 2017….

After reading a lot of reviews – and there are a lot of them because this is a very popular pattern – I decided to increase the width of the integrated collar and front band to 34 cm. This made it extend up my neck in a very cozy fashion even when folded back. I may have overdone it.

I interfaced the pockets and the pocket band because I knew I’d be putting my mobile phone in them – they are the perfect size.

I also interfaced the back of the neck. I drafted a facing based on Closet Core’s Sienna jacket neck facing and used this to cut out the interfacing. After I fused this to the neck I covered it by top stiching on another facing cut from a remnant of rayon.

I also added a grosgrain ribbon to the shoulder seams to add a bit more stability.

Despite teal camoflage in a boucle not being a great idea, the fabric is lovely to wear. Perfect for working from home. And I love the roomy secure pockets that are just right for my phone. Its been worn a lot more than I expected.

My second version was in a merino knit, also from my stash.

I reduced the collar/front band to 18 cm wide – still more than drafted but about half the width of the first version. This one is still nice and cozy around my neck but doesn’t need to be folded back.

This fabric has more stretch than the boucle knit so the pockets are slouchier and the deliberately slightly too long sleeves more obvious

I reinforced the shoulder seams with ribbon, interfaced the pockets and back neck and used a colourful Liberty lawn remnant topstitched over the interfacing on the back neck. But you’ll just have to take my word for it because I don’t seem to have a photo.

This is a great pattern. Next time I make it I’ll cut out the collar/front band as drafted rather than add extra width.

I think I might have almost nailed Nana Chic with this outfit. I’m just missing some knitting needles or a crochet hook sticking out of my tote bag and reading glasses on a bejewelled chain.

Blue and orange Closet Core Cielo top and Burdastyle 07/2012 #134 skirt

This was an indulgent project. Not because the fabric was precious or special. But because it was totally decided upon on a whim.

Which shoes?

This project leapt ahead of other projects that would have been more practical and actually filled a wardrobe gap. Just because I felt like sewing the three 1 metre lengths by 115 cm wide pieces of fabric left from an earlier project.

I have to admit that it was very satisfying to sew so organically and without a plan. When I overthink projects they sit uncut and unsewn. Yellow roses spring coat I’m talking about you!

There is some sentimentality associated with this fabric

Eating crepes from a street vendor on Avenue des Champs-Élysées 

Bought in Paris with Felicity

Best fabric weights ever

Cut out, for a previous project, at M of Nonsuch’s place on a rug, with Mr Bingley. There was still cat hair on these remnants five years later!

The remnants are also those bits of the fabric on which the pattern was printed a bit off grain. A whim with a sewing challenge. What more could I want!

I picked simple patterns – the Closet core’s Cielo for the top in a size 16 and a Burda pencil skirt made in my new larger size – 46 waist and 48 hips – Burdastyle 07/2012 #134. I didn’t add the hem darts but I angled the side seams in about half the amount to sort off get the same pegged effect.

There wasn’t enough of the alphabet fabric for a top and skirt, or of the stripey squares for either, so the top got a bit of both. In hindsight, stripey squares on the back might’ve been a better idea than using them on the front.

those shoes…hahaha

I surprised myself by not only having blue and orange shoes that worked with these new garments, but also having other me-mades that work – a blue and orange top, an orange coat and an orange shirt (not pictured). Of course plain black works too.

Who knew orange and blue were neutrals and could play so nicely in my wardrobe?

Handmade Halloween: Burda 07/2016 #111

“Mum can you make me a dress for Halloween?”

“Sure, what were you thinking?”

“Carrie. Pink prom dress covered in pigs blood. I’m thinking the same dress you made for Christmas in 2016.” Actually nothing like Carrie’s prom dress, but no problem.

Great I’m thinking. The Christmas 2016 dress is still around so I can check fit (a bit big). And I’d have the traced off and adjusted pattern somewhere. Turns out I didn’t, so I traced off and adjusted another one. This time in one size smaller (size 40 with a 2 cm FBA and then had to add 5 mm back to the side seams). It also has wider straps and higher neckline like last time, because comfortable bras needed to be worn, and lots of boobage on display was not part of the brief – Felicity was wearing this to work (in a bar at a bowling club, but still, we have standards!).

I didn’t have to buy fabric because we had a pale pink single bed sheet that was surplus to needs. I fully lined the bodice (easier than facings or bias!). Included pockets, Because. Pockets. Did not finish any of the seams. Because. One wear costume.

It’s actually very cute. I need to make this pattern again.

And then, red paint was added to simulate pigs blood.

Yes there was a face mask too

I don’t yet have any photos of Felicity in the costume, but I’m confident she looked great. And horrifying.

Orange shirt: BurdaStyle 06/2009 #136

I’ve been admiring the collar on the Myosotis dress for some time. Then it dawned on me – there’ll be a BurdaStyle magazine pattern for that.

After a pleasant hour or so trawling through my Burda magazine collection I found just what I was looking for in the June 2009 issue – a long line loose shirt with this type of collar and bishop-ish sleeves. In my size range. Happy days!

Image source: the Russian Burda site

I traced off a size 46 bust and waist and size 48 hips, petite-ed 1 cm above the bust and cut it out in a beautiful cotton linen blend shirting weight Japanese twill from The Drapery.

The fit is very loose through the waist. Since taking these photos I’ve added fisheye darts to the back for shaping and to remove 4 cm in total in width through the waist. Its still delightfully loose.

I used 2 layers of self fabric to ‘interface’ the front bands and cuffs and one for the collar band. Why? The fabric has a looser weave than cotton shirting I’d usually use so I was a bit concerned that the heavier weight iron on interfacing I had on hand would cause bubbling or puckering after repeated washing. I probably should just up my interfacing game…

I didn’t consult the instructions for the cuffs, and didn’t realise I should have left a considerable underlap past the slit to allow for two rows of buttons

I really like this feature, but its too late now! I have one button and a considerable underlap including the slit. Trying to make up for it with a button of contrasting colour and contrasting thread.

Yes my hair does have a hint of pink. My hair salon changed over to a new brand of hair colour and this is what happened. We toned it down on the next visit. I’m already most of the stereotypes of a middle aged woman – I don’t feel ready for pink hair too. Yet.

Another feature no-one else sees when its being worn is the fun bias finish to the hem. This fabric was a souvenir from Denver purchased in 2011. I used it as trim on an unsuccessful dress project in 2013. Now very happily used on this shirt. There’s a bit of a theme here isn’t there? Pattern from 11 years ago, bias from 9. Only the fabric was brand new – purchased only weeks before being sewn.

I love the colour, the rumply linen goodness of the fabric and all the features of this pattern. Looks great with jeans and leggings too.

I probably shouldn’t jinx it and make this pattern ever again.

Success and failure with asymmetric hemmed tops: Newlook 6412 and Butterick 6765

I’ve made two tops with asymmetric hems from non Burda patterns in the last few months. My Burda magazine collection must be feeling unloved. Who even am I?

I’m pretty happy with this pattern.

It’s a mash up of Butterick 6765 style B and C.

This is a size 18 bust and waist out to size 20 hips. I cut the back on the fold with a slit for the slit rather than with a centre back seam. I then bound the slit with self bias – same as the neck- and used the bias for the button loop.

The fabric is a silk-like Japanese technical polyester from Tessuti, purchased in February 2018. A medium term stash dweller out of the stash and into my wardrobe. Always a good feeling!

This was not a fun fabric to sew – slippery, puckery and impossible to iron creases out. See above for evidence.

I used french seams throughout except for the armscyes, which were overlocked.

It’s saving graces are that its lovely to wear, the puckers and tiny creases are only obvious up close and turquoise is my favourite colour.

I’m not so happy with this pattern.

This is Newlook 6412 style A in a size 16.

The asymmetric hem line is supposed to draw attention away from a full stomach but this top doesn’t live up to that promise.

But that could be the fault of the sizing (perhaps I should have gone up a size?) and the fabric – a lightweight viscose knit with 8% spandex at least 100% stretch in both directions. Which means it shows every bump.

It is nice as a layering piece, so I haven’t re-homed it yet.

This fabric was also from Tessuti, and has been in the stash since January 2014. Very happy with my stash busting even if it not entirely successful!

Back to the lovely turquoise one.

This Butterick pattern is a winner – I should make another one!

Strawberry almond tart

The wisteria is flowering and strawberries are delicious and plentiful. It feels like Spring!

The Weekend Australian Magazine had a very tempting recipe for a strawberry almond tart.

Resistance was futile!

Crustless strawberry almond tart

  • 150g butter, at room temperature
  • ²/³ cup (150g) raw caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 200g almond meal
  • ¹/³ cup (45g) self-raising flour
  • 200g strawberries, hulled and halved
  • A large handful of flaked almonds

Preheat oven to 170ºC (fan); grease a 23cm spring form tin.

Beat together butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, almond meal and flour until just combined. Yes its that easy!

Spoon into tin; top with strawberries and scatter with flaked almonds.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden and cooked through.

Allow to cool; remove from tin.

Serve with chopped strawberries and cream.

Serves 6-8 (or 10 if you have that many people to feed and you cut thinner slices. Some people will come back for more…)

Recipe adapted from David Herbert’s version in the 25-26 September edition of The Weekend Australia Magazine.

My next version will be made gluten free using either gluten free SR flour or more almond meal plus 1 teaspoon baking powder.

Basics – a Burda pencil skirt and a Forget-me-not Patterns Vera top

This is one of those boring posts about basics. Great for blogs that are mainly personal journals, like mine. Not so good for blogs that other people actually read.

And to make it worse, this post comes with not so great photos of creased garments and tired faces because the photography was done at the end of a day of sitting at a desk. At least I am wearing yellow snakeskin ankle boots. That’s got to count for something!

Feel free to move on to something more interesting and with better images.

Basic 1: The Camel Pencil Skirt.

Camel is supposed to be one of those excellent basics. So are pencil skirts. I’m a fan of pencil skirts. And I’m very taken with pencil skirts that have a teeny bit more interest than normal. Like this one with its horizontal darts.

I used this pattern for one of my gorgeous Linton tweeds but it was not a resounding success. The tweed version may have stretched out, or been traced too big. Whatever.

So this pattern needed a second chance. And what better fabric to use than one I picked up at a fabric swap! This polyester twill fabric was from my dear friend M of Nonsuch, who had already offered her large remnant to me. I didn’t recognize its potential until I saw it again at the fabric swap.

This skirt turned out so much better than the Linton Tweed version.

Changes I made were minimal – I took 5 cm off the length (still plenty long enough for that retro look) and shaved about 1 cm of the side seams above the hips (making this a sort of size 47 waist, I should have just gone to a straight size 46 because its still loose).

Its lined with a lovely bemsilk from the stash, and I love the way my aqua label really pops.

Basic #2: a Black Knit Top.

This is Vera, a free PDF pattern from Forget-me-not Patterns

This pattern is also elevated above basic with its sleeves and subtle high low hem

The V-neck is nicely proportioned, and the instructions for achieving a nice finish for the V neck are terrific.

My first version was a size 42 in a red fine merino wool, and it was a bit too big. I wanted to make the next version in a black merino/nylon blend. The black knit is much firmer than the red 100% merino knit. I also knew that I’d made both into a Papercut rise turtleneck in the same size and the black one was almost too tight whereas the red one was just right.

So, with all that in mind, I went ahead with the firmer black knit cut out in the same size as the red one, but sewed it up with a seam allowance of 10 mm rather than 6 mm.

It worked well! either the fabric difference or the larger seam allowance, or both..

The sleeves really are quite lovely – here’s the red one at work (I made this first version wearable by shortening the shoulder seam by 8 mm and reattaching the sleeves and reducing width through the body of the top about the same).

Lesson (re)learned- stretch and drape and weight matters with knits!

A coatigan to remind me of my grandma’s carpet: Burda 12/2011 #114

I was lucky enough to get 2 yards of this totally glorious fabric from emmaonesock last year. It looks like a fabulous vintage carpet.

It’s a wool fleece with raised areas, a brushed texture, and decorative selvedges. The design seems to be knitted in as you can see below on the reverse.

The fabric arrived and I petted it. A lot. And then it sat in my stash. You know. That too precious to cut into fabric. I had a Pinterest board dedicated to it. Searching for the perfect pattern. Surely what I did with something similar to this fabric several years ago was too simple and wouldn’t be good enough?

Winter passed, before I was smart enough to realise that it was more than good enough. I still wear the coatigan I made in 2013 a lot. It’s the ideal pattern for this fabric.

So I bit the bullet and cut it out.

This is Burda 12/2011 #114 and I made a 44.

For my version there’s no zip, no petersham ribbon trim, no hip length seam or pockets, no lining, just a neck facing and I lengthened the sleeves to be full length.

The hem is simple turned up and stitched by hand. No finishing treatments – it doesn’t fray.

Sometimes simple is best!

I adore my carpet coatigan!

Fabric swap skirt: Burda 01/2011 #137

Fabric and pattern swaps.

A small part of the ‘cotton’ table

What a wonderful idea.

Some of the patterns waiting for a new home

@adelaidesewists organised this swap in July. I took 13 lengths of fabric and it felt good. My no-longer adored fabric was going to a good home and not landfill. Someone else is going to make something amazing from it.

What I took

I come home with 6 lengths of fabric (not as much as I took – #winning), so I saved fabric from landfill too. So much to love!

Fabric swap skirt!

This skirt is from one of those fabric. Thanks Rhoz! And thanks @adelaidesewists!

So happy about the fabric swap.

Also, so very happy with this skirt.

This is a Burda pattern I’ve made multiple time. It’s pegged and it has pockets. Some of my favourite sewing things.

The not-so-useful US Burda site has the pattern here. The German Burda site is much more helpful, even if you don’t read German (and is where I took the line drawing from).

The fabric is a bengaline with good stretch and recovery. I made the skirt up with an elastic waist but without a zip or walking vent or lining or top stitching around the hem.

Do you see a wrinkly waist ?

Does it look like an elastic waist skirt to you?

Do you see a wrinkly waist at the back? No, didn’t think so

It looks very corporate doesn’t it? Especially when I stand more normally.

I love the trickery of using the right fabric.

This is a size 46 waist and size 48 hips (thanks, no thanks, to hormonal imbalances for the size changes – yes I am a woman of a certain age).

This fabric was difficult to cut out because the print didn’t appear to be strictly on grain. I pinned every 5 cms or so and then stretched and ironed to force it into shape. I cut the front in a single layer and the back pieces separately.

The elastic waist was a bit of an experiment. I could have added a waistband to this pattern and inserted or sewed elastic to that, but I didn’t.

Instead, I cut a length of 4 cm wide elastic to my waist measurement, joined it, and then sewed it to my already prepared facing. Yes a nice even circlet of elastic sewn to a curved facing. I stretched the fabric of the facing and the elastic and used a zigzag stitch to sew the elastic to the facing just a smidge under the waist attachment sewing line. (No I did not change the thread in the overlocker to blue. I like the red. And I might be a bit lazy)

I then stitched the facing, with its elastic, to the skirt, using a narrower zigzag stitch and stitching very close to the elastic but not catching it in. Also whilst stretching. Which is why the stitching is a bit wonky.

Then trimmed the excess seam allowance of the facing close to the stitching line

After I turned and ironed, it all looked pretty good! The bottom edge of the facing has a bit of fluting due to the elastic but it’s very smooth from the outside.

Smooth waist! Also this is a classic scissors in the pocket photo with bonus measuring tape in the other pocket

I stitched in the ditch to secure the elastic/facing down at the side seams and centre front and back. So easy!

The hem was also secured with a zigzag. Almost invisible on the outside but pretty obvious inside due to that lovely red overlooking.

The skirt is about 4 cm shorter than drafted.

The orange and blue top is Burda 02/2015 #128 and you can read all about it here.

I’m very happy with this new skirt. It’s super comfortable to wear and just the right weight for the end of winter in Adelaide. Thanks again Rhoz! I hope you like my grey, black and white knit as much as I like your blue and white bengaline.