From Ikea throw to another Newlook 6471 top

You might see an IKEA VALKRASSING throw. I see 2 meters of 150 cm wide cotton double gauze.

The throw was reduced to $20 – that’s $10 per meter. Bargain. Perfect way to tip my toe inexpensively into sewing and wearing double gauze. And what better way to do it than with Newlook 6471, the pattern I’ve just used?

Mum jeans – #sewoverfifty

After I cut out my pattern pieces I discovered it was triple gauze. I presuming that makes it even warmer to wear and a bit loftier?

That line on the sleeve is not a dropped sleeve seam- it is the T-shirt sleeve hem I was wearing underneath. Also, look how much my natural colour has grown out! #greyharidon’tcare

The triple layers made me decide to go for a rolled collar rather than bind the neck with self bias. Two reasons – this seemed like it was going to be a cold weather top so the extra neck coverage would be welcome and sewing bias binding neatly and evenly in triple gauze onto gathers didn’t sound like fun.

The pattern doesn’t come with a rolled neck. I used the neck tie pattern pieces without the ties but with a centre back opening. To which I added button holes and buttons. This was the only place I used interfacing – a 3 cm strip underneath where the button holes and buttons were going to go.

Front, back, buttoned, unbuttoned. Also look how good this throw would’ve coordinated with my bedspread – perhaps I shouldn’t have cut it up after all?

The instructions are good for this pattern. I like the way the seam allowances for the gathered edges are 3/8 inch and that means the first line of gathering stitches is very close to the raw edge – makes it much easier to sew after it’s gathered because everything seems to stay better in place.

Sewing over pins and stictiching on top of the gathering stitch- #livingdangerously

The cuffs weren’t interfaced. I did the same as last time – cut them wider, sewed one long edge to the gathered edge of the sleeve, folded the cuff in almost half (butted the edge up to just touch to seam allowances which were pressed towards the cuff) and then folded up again and stitched. This means my cuffs are four layers of triple gauze! No wonder they look padded!

Last time I made this I felt the sleeves were a bit short. So this version has 5 cm extra length added to the sleeves. Now a tiny bit too long. Goldilocks sleeve length is still to be attained!

I’m still liking the idea of the high low hem. So for this one I cut the hem edge on the fringed ends of the throw. In fact, given the fringes are the selvedges, all of this top was cut across rather than with the grain, apart from the bias cut collar.

Serious face because I’m on the fence about the fringe

What do you think? Should I cut the fringes off and hem it normally?

Navy border print top: Newlook 6471

If you’ve been reading my blog posts recently you’ll be detecting a theme – stash busting and dated patterns. Here’s another example.

I’ve had the pattern for at least five years and the fabric for ten.

Yep- still keeping it real with wearing wrinkles from a morning of sitting, again

This pattern was a freebie in a sewing magazine I purchased whilst travelling. I rediscovered it recently whilst organizing my small pattern stash (ahem, not mentioning the extensive Burda magazine collection…).

I’d pulled out the fabric whilst looking through my fabric stash for all fabrics suitable for tops to go with my two new skirts (the mustard and turquoise ones). Why not put the pattern and fabric together I asked myself? The worst that could happen was bad pattern meets lovely but incompatible fabric.

Inspired by Giedre of Giedre Style who recently made a long sleeved top from a border print and put the border print on the sleeves, I decided to do the same. In hindsight, this very deep and linear border was not the best choice for sleeves, because the upper ‘line’ of the border looks a bit like a dropped sleeve seam, which I don’t like on me, but I sort of love the top anyway!

The fabric is a cotton silk woven from a local designer end of bolt sale in November 2012. I miss those sales! She’d used the fabric in a sheath dress with an overlay of the border running down one shoulder. I’d always thought I’d replicate it. But no. I made a border sleeved top instead.

I made some small changes to the sleeves. I cut the bottom of the sleeve out on the selvedge – I didn’t curve the edges up as per the pattern. This doesn’t seem to noticeably make the sleeves hang wrong.

The pattern has the ‘cuffs’ on the bias. Instead I cut the cuffs out double the suggested width and not on the bias- I used the same part of the border that the sleeves ended on. I sewed the cuffs on folded into thirds- resulting in a 2.5 cm finished width.

The sleeves turned out shorter than I expected given the pattern envelope photo. Other reviewers noted the same. Next time I’ll make the sleeves 5 cm longer. The shorter sleeves might have been because I made a size smaller (18) than my measurements suggested, and I have broad shoulders.

I cut the neck tie in two pieces due to fabric restructions. A centre back seams is not a problem though. Made it easier to orient my KATM label!

I made the high low hem of Style D rather than the regular hem of style A. I paid a lot of attention to centering the mirrored pattern on the front and the back.

More wearing wrinkles

But completely disregarded aligning the pattern horizontally. Which is a problem when you make the high low hem of Style D rather than the regular hem of style A because you think the high low hem will look good when you wear it untucked

Its about 4 cm out. So annoying. Only noticeable when worn untucked of course. So you know how I’m going to avoid that issue!

I like this pattern a lot more than I expected to, so another one is on the cards.

There’s probably lots of sewists out there who bought the sewing magazine with this pattern. But it doesn’t seem like it has been used much – not many reviews on Pattern Review. Is it just that we don’t value things we get for free? Or did the modeled photo put people off? Certainly didn’t encourage me to make it!

Turquoise, teal and blue floral top: BurdaStyle 08/2012 #147

Yes that was a new top under my coat in my last blog post! Well spotted M of Nonsuch.

I had originally pulled out the fabric to use as lining for this coat. It’a been in my stash from before children (my eldest ‘child’, Felicity, is 24). The colours work well with my coat fabric and I liked the idea of a patterned lining.

Then my 24 year old pointed out it was too nice for lining. I knew that! But she was right!

Thus the plan was born for a patterned top to wear with the boucle striped coat rather than lining the coat with it !

And in my ongoing theme of sewing patterns from Burda magazines from the last decade, I chose this pattern from 2012:

Images from German Burda website

I made a size 46 despite reviews that it ran a bit small because my fabric was a stretch polyester. I also didn’t cut the neck ties on the bias, again because it was a slippery stretch fabric. The sizing and the ties turned out fine. it could be snug in a non stretch though – the reviews were right.

The construction was straightforward except for the right angle seams which required a bit more attention. I fused squares of very light weight interfacing to the corners and stay stitched before I sewed the seams. That makes clipping to the stitching line before you stitch it a bit less hair raising.

I forgot to raise the bust darts – a standard change I usually need to make because I’m short waisted. Luckily the busy print means this only obvious when I point it out!

I made the cuffs 2 cm longer and interfaced the cuffs with a poly organza but didn’t interface the neck facing, apart from a square at the point. They both turned out fine, although slippery polyester organza inside slippery polyester stretch fabric probably wasn’t the smartest move for the cuffs. A simple woven cotton would’ve been better.

I was delighted to be able to use some mustardy yellow glass buttons in my stash These were my mothers or grandmothers – inherited stash from a long line of sewists! And I love how they look on my cuffs.

I’m unconvinced the length of this top is right. It’s too long to wear untucked with the coat because it’s longer than the coat (yes I am still asking myself why I didn’t measure it up and work this out before I hemmed it).

I don’t think this length works with an above knee length skirt (as below) and it doesn’t look any better with leggings or trousers. Something is wrong with the proportions on me. Even in my highest heels.

It looks particularly bad with a knee length skirt

I like it a lot better tucked in. And then all that extra length makes no sense.

Keeping it real- wrinkled skirt after a morning of sitting

The skirt is new too!

I had a remnant of a light cashmere wool coating in turquoise that coordinated perfectly with the top and the coat.

It’s really glorious fabric. So I made a simplified version of BurdaStyle 09/2008 #136 – no double yoke, no pockets and no hem tucks. I pegged the side seams in about half the amount the tucks would’ve taken them in. I added a centre front seam because I felt I’d oversimplified it too much. Size 46 waist and 48 hips. It’s a bit loose through the waist but the ease makes it very easy to wear.

The yoke was lined with a lighter weight wool blend remnant and the skirt lined with acetate lining that was yet another remnant! Stash busting at its finest. Slow fashion label from KATM seems very appropriate..

These are my favourite colours so I am very happy with this outfit and all the individual elements (except that the top which needs to be 14 cm shorter! Oh and those bust darts! I still love it though..)

There’s also something very satisfying about much loved fabrics in the stash being successfully transformed into garments and moving into my wardrobe.

Doesn’t always happen… so I’m enjoying it whilst I can.

Striped teal and mustard coat: Burdastyle 09/2008 #133

After the success of the ‘Valentino red’ jacket I was ready to try the other version that Burda offered – full length sleeves, longer length and a stand collar.

from https://burdastyle.ru/vikroyki/zhakety/mekhovoy-zhaket-burda-2008-9-133/

Burda made their version in a fake fur. I had a knit boucle from emmaonesock waiting in my stash to be used.

Same same but different. Maybe? I really loved the boucle but strode in undeterred by possible failure! Like much of my sewing…

Why was I worried? Worked out fine!

I interfaced the yoke, the back, the stand collar, the pocket flaps and around the armscyes as previously but, apart from folding out both the neck and bust darts, treated the knit as if it was a woven.

Upgraded to a standard sized iron for fusing interfacing!

The stand collar seems a bit high for short waisted and short necked me, so I took about 1 cm of the height of the stand collar. It’s still quire substantial.

Loving how my label matches the teal in the fabric

And continuing in the theme of treating the knot like a woven, I lined the coat with a black non stretch woven lining and faced the front edges and neck with a black linen nylon woven.

The facing being in a plain black fabric was mainly because of fabric restrictions. But it was probably a good idea, even if I had enough fabric, because it reduced bulk.

I backed the pocket flaps with this same plain black woven too. For the same reason. the pockets are also in this plain black woven fabric

All the seam edges were overlocked and then hand sewn flat (apart from the armscyes and the pocket openings). I was trying to ensure all the seams remained as flat as possible in this crazy fabric.

Lots of hand sewing love in this garment!

Buttonholes? Don’t be crazy I told myself! Use big snaps instead! But the only big snaps I could access in black were not very black.

My multistep process to cover snaps

So I covered them in my linen nylon facing fabric.

Now they look intentional rather than an afterthought.

Of course I only covered the ‘female’ part of the snaps. The male bits are naked …

Naked male snaps looking more pewter than black

I followed Burda’s advice for their boucle version and cut the yoke and pocket flaps out running the other way. I like it!

I’m calling this one a success.

Gorgeous and snuggly to wear too!

I had quite a bit of success with this pattern collection for 2008. Perhaps I should I make some of the other designs? I particularly like the knit dress.

translated to English form the Russian Burda webpage

Do other sewists make “old” Burda patterns? Or am I just stuck in the recent past?

Mustard yellow skirt: Burdastyle 09/2008 #136

This skirt is from the same collection as the Valentino red jacket in the last blog post

I like the details. And I like the way the jacket pockets are echoed in the skirt. So I made a skirt to coordinate with the jacket.

Yes there’s some drag lines on the waist yoke. More about that below

This is a size 48 hip grading back to a size 46 waist through the yoke. The fabric is a stretch cotton twill from Spotlight. I didn’t interface the yoke but I did line it with non stretch lining I think that’s what contributing to the drag lines in the photo above – stretchy fabric fighting with non-stretchy fabric as I move.

I am very pleased with how well the yoke seams lined up across the invisible zip. Basting and patience are my tips!

I’m not yet sure whether I think the hem tucks are cool or a bit stupid. I like the way they peg the skirt back in but they’re a bit poufy in this fabric. I’m very likely to turn them into darts.

The pockets turned out very well, from the outside. On the inside the bags are upside down. Which doesn’t impact on functionality but did mean they weren’t going to be attached to the yoke. So I added ribbon ‘stays’

The shirt I’m wearing in these photos is a Closet Core Patterns Kalle shirt with the long sleeve extension. It’s made up in a Jocelyn Proust print with the sleeve vents, cuffs and hem facings in another colour way. I love these designs! And the Kalle shirt!

I added almost 4 cm extra to the sleeve length by taking smaller seam allowances at the shoulders and cuffs but they still could be longer – I’d like them to hit my wrist with the cuffs turned up, not down.

Back to the skirt.

It’s a very comfortable skirt to wear. Perfect for stretching out on the couch in front of the fire after a delicious meal 🙂

‘Valentino red’ jacket: BurdaStyle 09/2008 #134

I seem to be drawn to Burda’s plus size designs from a decade or more ago.

This jacket is no exception.

I really like its simple lines

from https://burdastyle.ru/vikroyki/yubki/yubka-burda-2008-9-136/

I made it in a RPL bottom weight stretch gabardine from emmaonesock in ‘Valentino red’. Gorgeous colour. It has drape and medium body

I lined it with a polyester satin animal print non stretch woven from the stash.

I didn’t have enough so the sleeves are in a solid black bemberg

Hand sewing the sleeve lining hem whilst admiring my ridiculous pedicure

I did have enough for the pocket bags – and the satin makes them feel great!

I wasn’t sure on sizing so I made up a toile in size 48 and then took 4 cm out in width in total through the body – its probably more like a 46. I added a centre back seam to remove some of the width and adjusted the neck facing accordingly. The smaller back neck seems perfectly fine.

I also took 1 cm of height off the sleeve cap and moved the bust dart up by 2.5 cm. Which was probably a bit too much. The darts are very obvious and a bit pointy in this fabric.

I drafted a back stay with iron-on interfacing. I’ve finally realised that my fancy pants iron that works out what temperature to be depending on the fabric is not the right iron to use for iron-on interfacing – it never gets hot enough. So I used my baby travel/craft iron. Works so much better! Even if its pretty slow because it only fuses a small area at a time. I need to resurrect the standard iron that must still be somewhere in the house

I added raglan shoulder pads – from very deep stash. If my memory is correct they were in a rtw jumper from the nineties – removable through the wonders of velcro. I took the velcro off and tacked them in.

Lots of topstitching – which probably isn’t noticeable to anyone but me – and a nervous moment cutting the buttonholes. I love my chisel, but the first cut is always made with trepidation.

The buttons were from my local independent fabric store – Ferrier Fashion Fabrics. I took my jacket in and auditioned several buttons before setting on black with a thin brass edge. The staff were fully engaged in the ‘auditioning’ – coming up with several alternatives for me to consider! Love it when this happens!

Bottom line – this is a great design and I now have a lovely work jacket

Lemon Sherbet dress for Felicity: BurdaStyle 07/2021 #119

The other wedding guest dress.

This one was sewn in a delightful rayon nylon blend from The Fabric Store. This is what The Fabric Store say about it (and it still seems to be available – this is not a sponsored post – I just love the fabric!)

A deadstock rayon blend in a lemon yellow horizontal stripe. This lightweight fabric has been woven with a clear nylon warp and a striped weft in varying stripes made up of lemon yellow, candy pink, fine black and white. This unique structure creates a subtly textured fabric with great bounce. A semi-sheer fabric with a subtle sheen and no stretch.

The pattern is BurdaStyle 07/2021 #119

I cut out a straight size 40 but with the main skirt piece (its a rectangle) cut the full width of the fabric (150 cm) rather than as drafted (126 cm). I lined the dress with cotton batiste. I didn’t line the sleeves.

I cut the rectangle bit of the skirt lining the width of the batiste (about 130 cm) and then had the annoying task of having to gather the outer fabric onto the lining and then gather both of them to fit onto the bodice. Oh well, the bit of extra fullness in the skirt was probably worth it!

I lined to the edge of the neckline and slit and then treated the lining as an underlining for the rest of the seams – I sewed the front and back bodices together at the shoulders for each of the lining and the outer fabrics and then, with right sides facing, stitched the lining and outer fabric bodices together at the neck and slit before clipping, turning and under stitching. No interfacing – the other fabric is light but tightly woven and hasn’t stretched out or distorted. Yet!

The neck is a bit tight and high. I’m glad I left the slit open rather than adding a button – that button would never have been used! The bust darts are a bit too high too.

Melissa for Fehr Trade posted about this dress recently and also found the bust darts and the neck too high. So I’m calling out the drafting as being a bit off.

The fit is loose, as you’d expect from the line drawing. So I added thin ties, attached where the side seams of the bodice meet the skirt, to create a little more shaping at the waist

The sleeve ‘cuffs’ are cute

I’m very happy with my unintended but quite excellent strip matching across the bodice to the sleeves!

And its a thumbs up from Felicity!

And this is the dress that was worn on the day!

Here she is on her way to the ceremony. With bare legs and the most delightful pale pink shoes that coordinated so well with the dress… and if you are a shoe lover – you’ll want to take a closer look at these. Fortunately they’re featured in another wedding post

I’m so pleased the weather cooperated and she wore this dress to the wedding. It was my favourite out of the two.

Eucalypt Merino wool knit dress for Felicity: BurdaStyle 11/2021 #115

In March, Felicity and I started planning what she was going to wear to a wedding at the end of April.

We ended up with a shortlist of these three Burda dress patterns:

BurdaStyle 07/2021 #119, BurdaStyle 12/2020 #103 and BurdaStyle 11/2021 #115

After shopping the stash, no appropriate fabrics were found. I know. Amazing…

Off we went to The Fabric Store, and found many lovely fabrics. And came home with one that would work with 07/2021 #119, the white dress on the left, and another that would be fine for 11/2021 #116, the mint knit dress on the right. And some other fabrics for other projects which I might get to in the next ten years. Fabric shopping is dangerous!

The plan was to make both dresses and then pick which to wear on the day depending on the weather…

The end of April is usually cool and can be rainy in Adelaide. So I hedged my bets and made the long-sleeved knit one first.

This is Burda Style 11/2021 #116 in one of The Fabric Store’s many lovely 100% merino knits.

It’s a size 40 with a 1 cm dartless FBA – made using the pivot and slide method. Lots of great resources online on how to do this- I used this one on oliver+s’ blog. I also made the sleeves full length.

I like the simple neckline on this style

I used a light weight fusible knit interfacing to give a touch more stability to the collar. First time I’ve interfaced a knit. Always something new to learn!

I also added strips of interfacing to the shoulder seams and to the insert square bit that you can’t see where the collar joins the bodice.

I’m pleased with how it turned out. Let me show you a closer view. Two reasons – the awesome label from Kylie and the Machine and my lining.

Yes I lined this dress with power mesh! I only had this off white colour – a darker colour would’ve been better because there is some shadowing of the knit facing and seam allowances. But this is much less obvious IRL, and in the photo taken below on a different day

Using power mesh was another first. I immediately purchased more (from emmaonesock – 80% nylon and 20% spandex- much superior quality to what I can purchase locally, and less expensive, even with exchange rates and shipping to Australia). Fabulous stuff! Gonna line all my knit dresses with it now!

Here’s a back view. This also shows that the skirt lining is shorter by 6 cm and all the hems are done with a double needle

Felicity says the knit lining feels gorgeous – secret pajamas if she ditches the belt..

And the other dress? Yep, made that too. And another blog post is coming soon about its story

Red and olive colour blocked dress: Style Arc Mila

Another experimental dress!

How did this happen?

Well, I had intended to add olive cuffs to my last red Bella dress but the fit issues dampened my enthusiasm.

But you know how it is – I still had the olive fabric out and there was a sizeable remnant of the red fabric left. Plus a new to me pattern to try: Style Arc’s Mila dress, which seemed perfectly suited to colour blocking.

Why not give it a try?

This is a size 16 and I like the way it fits

That V shaped bit in the centre was less tricky to do than it looks

My two fabrics were both from the stash. I’ve told you about the red before – it is a woven rayon from a local designer roll end sale in 2014. Almost vintage! It has more structure than a rayon normally has, a dry hand, and no stretch.

The olive is a polyester hi-tech microfibre from emmaonesock with great texture, drape and mechanical stretch. It was bought with a garment for Felicity in mind back in 2019 but she was less than happy with its colour so it’s languished in the stash. Despite it’s loveliness.

The Mila dress is an interesting design. The skirt has no side seams and curves from that V just under the bust to well below the waist at the back

I really like it. What I now need to do is work out how to add long sleeves to it so I can make a winter version.

Any tips?

Sizing up Bella

Tessuti’s Bella dress pattern is an old favourite. Search through my blog – you’ll see I’ve made several Bella’s for myself and Felicity.

But I am no longer the same size thanks to having so many birthdays that I’ve hit menopause. So it was time to test another size.

Version one was in a red rayon fabric from my stash but originally from a designer fabric sale. It’s an odd fabric. Gorgeous colour but has a very dry hand and is prone to creasing.

I traced off and made a size 16 with shortened sleeves.

It was too big through the shoulders – the only bit that really needs to fit.

So I added a 1.5 cm tuck to the centre front,going down 15 cm, to remove 3 cm of the excess fabric through neck through the bust.

This sort off worked.

Although the armscyes are too low – I really should not be able to lift up the hem this much when I raise my arm! Another pointer to the size being wrong

Whatever. I have a dress I can wear. And the colour is still gorgeous despite the fit!

So for my next version I went down a size to size 14.

This one is made in an embroidered wool blend purchased on holiday in Leicester.

Souvenir fabric!

I didn’t have a lot of fabric but was pleased that I had enough to be able to line up the embroidered motifs reasonably well.

It’s lined with a polyester galaxy print which I bought as a roll end several years ago for a fabulous price because it was so last years.

Now so dated after sitting in my stash that’s it’s best used as a lining.

The facing is a grey linen. Because I thought the wool might be itchy. But it was a bit of an afterthought once I realised that lining right to the edge with the galaxy print might not be such a great idea. So I overlocked and stitched it on a top of the lining rather then doing things properly with a seam.

I used a wool 4 cm strip for the pocket openings for the same reason. And also just stitch an overlocked strip on top of the lining. What can I say? Consistently slapdash!

I used a wide stain bias from the stash for the hems -and the stitching just disappeared into the wool.

Love it when that happens

So. What do I think about the sizing? This is probably the right size. But the fit is not great. The shoulders are good but it’s a bit tight through the bust whilst being looser through the back.

And of course everywhere else is fine because the style is loose everywhere else

Bottom line -I like the dress. I’m not convinced Tessuti’s block works for me. It did work when I was a smaller size. Now, perhaps not so much.

So what other trapeze style dress pattern are out there that I should try? All suggestions most welcome 🙂

Should’ve made a shirt

I’ve had this small floral woven cotton in my stash for a while. It’s always been earmarked for a shirt. Shirting weight, small floral. Makes sense doesn’t it? Light grey and white. Perfect as corporate wear.

But I had an idea in my head that I wanted to use the Closet Core Cielo dress pattern for. And I needed a wearable toile because the hips are a bit tight on the last Cielo dress I made.

Yes I used the shirt fabric. And played around with a coordinating fabric on the back yokes and as a sort of flat piping on the sleeve cuffs.

I have successfully tested the sizing (too big – took in the side seams).

But I haven’t made the best use of this fabric – too light both in weight and in colour.

It’s a fail.

So some further experimentation couldn’t really make it much worse (spoiler alert – it did).

I asked myself: Could Cielo be used as a very casual interpretation of a Chanel jacket inspired dress? Likes these from the Chanel Spring 2022 RTW collection?

Chanel Spring 2022 RTW image source: Vogue.com

The answer is maybe but probably not. The loose fit makes it a very loose interpretation of Chanel gloriousness. It might be more successful in a more appropriative fabric.

What did I do? I added a strip of contrast fabric at centre front-the length was determined by the amount of remnant I had . I topstitched it in place. I then added two bands to the top of the pockets. The topstitching of these was tricky to do with machine sewing but looks ok if you’re not close. I didn’t have enough for a neck band.

I wore this dress on very hot days only. When I’m not likely to be seen in public….

I should’ve made a shirt. But it was fun whilst it lasted.

Patrones: one out of three ain’t bad

Why Patrones? Good question. The answer is a lot to do with feeling dissatisfied with Burda itself and how I could subscribe in Australia. And liking the idea of an online magazine. And liking the concept of a smallish pdf that you then trace off your pattern from. Sounds odd?

This is what Doctor T said recently about Patrones : The downloadable PDFs are an interesting compromise; you have to both print and tile the PDF pages and trace them; but because each Patrones pattern only prints onto 9 pages it isn’t too bad to attach the PDF print-outs, and because each print-out only has 1 design, it isn’t that bad to trace either.

Seems like Patrones has it all. And you can subscribe issue by issue. So I did. For three issues.

Why have I stopped? Well you will need to read this post!

The first thing I made was this skirt. Which I totally adore.

Patrones 429 modelo 29 – Falda con pliegues (pleated skirt)

It has pockets. It has interesting drapes and folds. It has a shaped hem. It is inspired by a catwalk outfit. Of course this pattern spoke to me!

Worn here with a much loved Kalle shirt made in Liberty lawn

Wisely, I made a toile first. New pattern company and sizing, instructions in Spanish, no pictures of the pattern made up and worn by an actual person – too many unknowns!

Just as well I did because the pockets are a very different sort of construction and the goggle translation of the Spanish instructions were of very little help. It took a few adventures and quite a lot of unpicking before I worked it out.

The actual pocket is that little piece at the bottom. And no it is not attached to the facing of the drape. Ask my quick-unpick how I know. The larger piece is the yoke/side skirt
The drape is then attached to the yoke with a few stitches to hold the folds in place
Final step is to baste to the side seams
And here’s the flat lay. You can see some of my changes compared to the original draft. I curved the side seams back in by 4 cm to narrow the hem and create a balloon shape skirt and the back hem curves down rather than mirroring the front and curving up

How would have expected that the pockets and the turnback of the drape are not even connected?? Not me! I haven’t yet put something in the pockets and have it drop all the way through, but it will happen at some point!

The toile confirmed that size 48 worked for me but that I didn’t like the hem as drafted (shorter at CB and CF, longer at both sides and not pegged). So I changed that too and then made it up in a delightful midweight linen from Spotlight.

And have worn it at least once a week since.

My second attempt was not successful at all

Patrones 430 modelo 9 – Camisa Hawaiana Lloyds (Lloyds style Hawaiian shirt)

I drafted out from a size 46 (the largest size offered) to a 48 (which might be my size based on my success above). No toile this time – flat pattern measures through the bust suggested it would be fine.

Not making a toile was not a good idea – the sleeves bands on the extended shoulders were too tight, and the ease through the top was fine in terms of the fit, but not for style – this really needs to be looser to look good.

So Felicity has a new top! For the record – the sleeve bands are not loose enough on her either – pattern drafting fault I say!

I used a remnant of a lovely drapey viscose crepe – last used for a Tide dress.

But I didn’t have quite enough fabric so it got a contrast collar band in linen

Optimistic label use.

The third attempt was almost successful

Patrones 429 modelo 25 – Top cruzado (cross top)

The asymmetry drew me in.

No toile on this one (yes, I had learnt nothing..) but I did use fabric which had been languishing in my stash for a long time..

I love this cotton, polyester and metal blend fabric and I originally bought this ten years ago (yes! ten years!) in two colours – cream (this one) and light brown – like milky coffee. The coffee one got made into a skirt. But it always looks crinkled despite rigorous ironing because of the metallic content and yet its sort of fancy because of that metallic content so the creasing and the shimmer is a bit odd. I also remember that it was a bit itchy against my skin. So… almost toile fabric…

But, because it wasn’t really a toile, I used a soft linen cotton blend for the neck facing, so that the itch factor was dialed back. The linen cotton blend was harvested from a ripped pillow case – there’s a lot of back story to the fabrics in this blog post!

I traced off and made a size 48, and although it fitted okay, I thought it would be better with a bit more width through the body of the top to make it a bit boxier. So I added another strip of fabric to the side seams.

The insert is a strip the length of the top and 4 cm wide. I added 6 cm extra length at the top of the strip and tapered it to a point. This was inserted into the sleeve seam like a gusset. With all seams at 6 mm, this meant I added about 5 cm of extra width to the top below the armscyes.

And now I think its wearable.

I couldn’t work out from the line drawing or pattern or sewing instructions if the buttoned front was functional. It didn’t seem to be. The neck is crew neck style so no chance of putting this on without some sort of opening. So I added a slit and a button with a loop to the back.

The second label is “slow fashion” because this fabric spent a long time in my stash. I’m amusing myself with my labels.

Now I’ve gone back and paid more attention to the flat lay photo in the magazine it looks like there is an invisible zip at centre back. That would work too.

I could “french tuck” half of the front and make it even more asymmetric. But not the best look!

I love these buttons. They’ve been the stash a while too.

So back to the question of why I stopped my subscription

I don’t yet have the sizing sorted, but that’s not a major issue. I don’t mind the printing and tracing – 9 pages is easy. Some of the designs are delightful so its not because I don’t like enough of the styles.

I think its two things: the language barrier – I must enjoy reading about sewing more than I realised – and it being online – despite the convenience of being online, I’d much rather read from an actual magazine.

Any one else tried this new format of Patrones recently? What did you think?

Sequins

You know those conversations when people find out you sew? Those conversations almost always include the question – where do you get your fabrics from? My answer has been “all sorts of places – local shops, online (at this point their eyes glaze over), gifted from other sewists, a tiny bit from secondhand shops (they are now looking around for excuses to escape), and mostly from my large stash which has accumulated due to all of the above plus collected during travel overseas or from designer destash events”.

Now I can add “from online auction”.

Because that how I ended up with two rolls of sequined fabric. Yes. Two rolls. 13.5m in total. Beautiful champagne reversible sequins. I know some of you are thinking “and what is the problem with that?” You are my sort of people!

But, really, how did this happen and what was I thinking?!

Mmm. Perhaps not thinking enough about how I set up my automated bids…. and it is possible there may have been a glass of wine involved.

The silver lining is that having an excess of lovely and special fabric certainly takes the edge off deciding what to use it for. My first and even second attempts can be unsuccessful – I’ve got more than enough to go back and try again! Or I can use it for a garment that’s only going to be worn once or for costumes or… so many options and so little pressure!

The reality is that I have already used up close to three quarters of it. My dear friend M took some of it of my hands and made a glorious long evening jacket and I’ve made two dresses. One for me and one for Felicity.

And the questions about which needle to use to sew sequins? I can very definitely report that, again, I’ve proved that a denim or leather needle is the only way to go.

And should you remove sequins from the seams? Yes, absolutely, and especially for darts. But if you’d rather poke your eye with a fork and the sequins are small you can ignore that advice for the seams. More on this below.

So, what have I made?

Felicity made the mistake of getting in first. I did all the practicing on her dress, and worked out what not to do. This includes working out that sewing with sequins and making something fast should not be in the same thought.

Her brief was a vintage themed dress to wear to SciBall 2021 – a gala dinner celebrating 130 years of the University of Adelaide Science Students Association. In sequins, because, well, see above. And by the end of next week, thank you and please. So it had to be simple.

How it turned out on the night before the sun went down-Rockstar glam. Photo credit: Andrew Jennsen

I was looking for a pattern with as few seams as possible and no zip or fastenings. Because sequins. The sequins are sewn onto a stretchy mesh so it seemed like I could treat the fabric like a knit. 13.5 m meant I could experiment.

None of my simple knit dress patterns got the nod, but this one designed for wovens, Burda 05/2019 #108, did.

image credit: German Burda website

I thought it would be fine with the zip removed. I could extend it to floor length, and with those almost thigh high slits, it turned into evening. The shoulder coverage meant that normal undergarments could be worn – a definite advantage for my comfort loving daughter!

No time for lining – Felicity said that would be fine – she’d wear a slip. Ask her now after having worn it if she would say that again! I faced the neck and sleeves with a cotton woven and covered the shoulder seams with grosgrain ribbon but it was still a bit scratchy.

It looked pretty good at the first try-on stage apart from being loose through the waist. This could be fixed by either wearing a wide patent leather black belt, or a black grosgrain riboon that happened to be in my haberdashery stash. I loved the wide belt look but the ribbon was deemed more vintage.

And she looked great on the night!

The President of the Science Students Association, and one of Felicity’s dear friends, Megan, with Felicity. Photo credit: Andrew Jennsen
All the gals. Photo credit: Andrew Jennsen
Photo credit: Andrew Jennsen

Sadly it seems that I have no photos of the back – and there is a very nice V shape to the back neckline.

Now let’s talk about my dress

I went super simple and used the Lodo dress pattern… side seams and shoulder seams only…

I lined it with a thin black ITY polyester nylon knit that’s in my stash purchased from Gorgeous Fabrics back in 2013. I’ve used it previously for knit dresses and I knew it would be light, soft and perfect as a lining.

I stabilised the shoulders, neck and sleeve edges by ironing on interfacing to the lining pieces. I used the facing pieces to cut the shapes for the neck and armscyes, ironed them on and then secured with stitching just inside the seam allowances.

The lining pieces were then sewn to the sequin pieces, right sides together around the neck and armscyes, but not the shoulder seams. Clipped and trimmed the seams and then turned right side out.

Then I machine sewed the front and back lining right sides together at the shoulders, and hand stitched the sequined back and front together at the shoulder on the outside. The reverse of what Burda and others sometimes tell you to do and shows a very unhelpful picture of the shoulder seam with a wooden spoon handle. What is that about??

So now I’ve got a dress lined to the edge of the front and back neck and the armscyes. The interfaced lining really helped keep everything in the right shape.

Yes there was a center back seam on the lining – it simplified cutting out

The last step was the side seams – right sides together for the sequined front and back from bottom to armsyce and then continuing on with the lining.

And as an aside, sewing any sort of seam with sequins is tricky, but its extra tricky with reversible sequins. These sequins are small, so they don’t need to be removed from the seams, but because they are reversible and the reverse side is a different colour, like black, once they’re caught in the seams they show up as that colour forever. Not a problem with standard sequins which are the same colour on both side.

If you are still with me, you deserve a medal!

Here’s some more images to go with all that text

I still haven’t hemmed this dress.

I was on the fence about the length and then I had to wear it to an event, so I left it unhemmed. I might have said it was to trial it at below knee length but it was possibly also laziness..

It was an unexpectedly cold night, so I wore opaque tights. Because, keep warm, but make it fashion.

Will I go back and actually hem it shorter? Probably, but it hasn’t happened yet.

There is only so much sequin massacre a sewing room can take!

Retro Hope dress

Piping and a large print on a donkey grey background seems to have taken my third Hope dress into retro style.

And I like it!

This is Style Arc’s Hope woven dress at knee length. With a thin waist tie attached to the side seams.

The pattern description says the dress is in two lengths and the illustration shows a knee length version. But my PDF pattern does not have a seperate skirt pattern piece or a ‘cut off here’ line on the skirt piece or any information about length in the instructions about how much length to remove.

A totally easy hack – I removed 22 cm from the length – but odd that the pattern is silent about it.

This lovely large print is a viscose woven purchased from TMOS 5 years ago on holidays in the UK.

TMOS, unfortunately not facing the camera (unfortunate because he has a lovely smile, not just because he is handsome..)

It’s extra special because my dear friend Melissa and I literally bumped into Karen of Did You Make That? and Ella at the stall. What are the chances of that!!? The famous sewing blogger from London, from whom you heard about TMOS and the reason you went there, turning up at TMOS at the same time you went there all the way from Australia!

Yes Karen is wearing a CCP Charlie caftan in Liberty. Obsessed with sewing details? Who? Me??

I added piping because I had some in my stash and I wanted to highlight the raglan sleeve seam lines.

I had just enough for the front and the neck but not enough to pipe the back. Coffin back. Guilty as charged. But also in line with the retro vibe of this dress.

Also guilty of sloppy sewing, as my photographer (He who Cooks) pointed out to me – “there’s a pucker or something you’ve sewn badly at the waistline on the back”.

What sort of monster have I turned him into? I know I talk about sewing. All. The. Time. But surely that’s not to blame?!

I’ve got to assume I was distracted by that unintentional not-pattern matching through the centre back seam. Whatever. It didn’t distract him!

I added thin ties to the side seams to reduce some of the gathering at the waist. What it actually does, of course, is bring the side seams forward and put more of the fullness at the front. Another reason to be accused of coffin back.

The forward side seams are quite obvious in the photo above, but so are the pockets. Like all great dresses, it has pockets!

It could well be time I moved on from this pattern. But it is such a delight for make and wear.

Is three Hope Dresses too many? Is three Hope Dresses enough to qualify me for the #HopeDressSpringsEternal club?

So many questions…

Liz Haywood’s zero/low waste scrubs

In a surprise to everyone but mostly myself I’ve done some self-less sewing for strangers and I liked it!

Belinda of @pinpoint_textiles called out for Adelaide sewists to make scrubs for the staff at the coronary care unit at one of our excellent hospitals, Flinders Medical Centre, for Fun Scrubs Friday. What a great way to thank our wonderful hospital staff. And make patients smile. And use some of the cottons in my stash!

Liz Haywood’s free zero/low waste scrubs pattern was suggested and I volunteered to make size 16. Even with narrow 112 cm wide fabric you can get a scrub top at this size out of 1.6 metres. Great stash buster!

My first trial version was in a very bright orange with a small vintage-y print. It turned out pretty cute. Glad I’ve still got plenty more of this fabric. I like it a lot more than I expected.

Encouraged, I made another one in a Jocelyn Proust Waratah print. Love this fabric!

The third was in a novelty citrus poplin, being modelled here by Beth the sewing room dummy.

And the final version was in another Jocelyn Proust cotton

The flat lay really shows the simple shape of this pattern

There are side slits.

Patch pockets.

A very simple extended sleeve. This is the one place where the instructions were less than perfect. This square corner needs to be clipped on the inside. That step was missing. Or there is some other very clever way to get this to sit right that I misunderstood

The neckline is great. And so easy to do. Brilliant drafting by Liz. Excellent pattern. And it’s free. Thank you Liz

I really hope the fabulous health care professionals enjoy wearing these as much as I enjoyed making them!