Oops I did it again – Kalle Shirt

This time in June’s Meadow Liberty lawn.

I did the same things as last time – lengthened by 10 cm and used a cut on button band – but I also used another Liberty lawn print for the hem facings and inner yoke.

I’m really the only one who knows it there, but it makes me smile every time.

Don’t tell He who Cooks, but I bought both these fabrics from Tissus Reine in Montmartre, Paris intending to make him a shirt. In 2013. Clearly not ever going to happen. Much better as a shirt for me!

I love the high-low hem of this pattern

The skirt is BurdaStyle 10/2015 #106 which I’ve made before.

This time I accentuated the panels with poly satin bias binding, as a sort of flat piping.

The fabric is a delightful cream stretch cotton with a snakeskin texture.

Both garments were made from the stash. So glad they turned out so well because the fabrics were almost too precious to cut into. I’m sure no one else has that problem!

Posted in Sewing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Lovely pattern but with not quite the right fabric: Sew over it Eve dress

You know how sometimes you get the match making a bit off between pattern and fabric? No? Doesn’t happen to you?   It does to me. Sometimes,  I even quite like the mismatch. But that usually requires a brief time out.

This was one of those times.

Seduced by the cool vibes in London in September I purchased a couple of indie patterns: Sew over it’s Eve dress and a Merchant and Mills coat pattern.

Sew Over It Eve Dress Sewing Pattern

Later in the trip we were in Leicester and just happened upon Crafty Sew & So. They had the most delightful triple crepe. Perfect for Eve or some other drape-y dress.

Back home I decide I should trial that Eve dress pattern before cutting into precious souvenir fabric from Leicester. Also, the pattern suggested I needed more than the 3 metres I had of crepe. Seemed unlikely. Lets see about that.

Months passed. Now it was very hot and I had 4 metres of a navy print cotton voile I wanted to sew. M made a shirt for K out of it, and I love it. A dress in navy print could fit into my sort of summer corporate SWAP. Perfect fabric for a trial version. Well, hello, not really. Its cotton. Even though its voile, its still cotton and not very drape-y. But summer holiday brain didn’t get this far.

I cut it out anyway. No problem fitting it on 3 metres. So far, so good.

Beautiful fabric to sew. Drafting was excellent. Instructions detailed and clear. Sewing on the stay tape to the bias cut neckline worked very well. Bodice fit was checked and all was well. Continued with the sleeves. Skirt went onto bodice just fine. I like the hi-low hem. What can I say. Child of the eighties.

Had a ‘duh’ moment turning the ties the right way out. It took 20 minutes doing it the wrong way and 20 seconds doing it right. You know which one I did first.

Time to try it on. Yes, this style does not instantly shrink my waist. Yes, this is not the style I like the most on me. Yes, the non drape-y nature of the cotton voile isn’t the most elegant rendition of this pattern.

But, such lovely fabric. So nice to wear. Perfect hot weather dress.

And its a wrap dress but with a no gape neckline.

Wardrobe malfunctions unlikely with the skirt either!

A very happy ending.

I’ve worn the dress several times already, and there was enough left over to make a shell top. Both garments get lots of compliments. It seems everyone like navy and dandelion prints!

For the record, I cut out a 16 and made no adjustments. The pattern includes finished garments measurements, and they were spot on.

Posted in Sewing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Outfit made from remnants makes page 5 news

When I got dressed on Wednesday this week I had no idea I’d be standing in a vineyard later that afternoon having my photo taken. Because it was going to be very hot, I put on a cotton voile top and a stretch cotton skirt.

They were new. He who Cooks took a photo or two before work.

I was thinking of a potential blog about them and what I’d say. Both of these items were made from leftovers from other projects so that seemed a good angle. I’m also sort of working on a summer corporate SWAP (Sewing With A Plan) using navy and cream as my neutrals. This might be a good first blog post about my SWAP intentions.

Little did I know that the Minister’s office and the local newspaper would change my story.

Anyway, enough already about the newspaper.

The top is BurdaStyle 07/2015 #113


I made the top in cotton voile from Spotlight. I have just made a dress out of this fabric (I need to blog about it).

I stitched down the neck facing and used self bias around the armholes. Details lost in this fabric! I do love it, though.

The skirt is BurdaStyle 01/2011 #137


I used a stretch cotton from Gay Naffine. I have a much loved dress made from this.

I skipped the hem embellishment and the lining and just used the waist facing. Instead of interfacing it, I cut it on the lengthwise grain which has no stretch.

It has pockets!!

Both skirt and top were made in size 44 without adjustments and they are both such comfortable garments to wear. And my thrifty upbringing loves that I used up some leftovers in my stash.

Posted in Sewing | Tagged | 12 Comments

Bella and Kalle in pink linen for summer

Cool loose-fitting linen dresses are a must for summer holidays.

Bella and Kalle provided just the right styles and my local Spotlight had a good selection of linens to pick from. All I needed to add was a sewing machine and some time!

Pink floral Bella

The linen was a little see through so I lined with cotton batiste.

Not strictly necessary, but it does make the colours pop, and there are no awkward underwear show though moments.

Such a lovely loose style that the lining has no impact on its comfort in hot weather. It might even ‘improve’ it by making it more tent like?!

I shortened the sleeves, slashed them and added ties. Sort of like a full bicep adjustment, but with a style outcome.

Flamingo Kalle

This is such a satisfying pattern to make. Last time I made the crop top, lengthened, with the stand collar. This time it was the shirt dress, at the length as drafted, again with the stand collar.

So many satisfying details.

I added pockets. The same lovely ones that are included in the Bella dress pattern. Because. Pockets.

I used pale pink pre-made bias binding rather than self-fabric bias on the hem because I didn’t have quite enough fabric.

Why pale pink when the flamingos were white and so were the buttons?

Availability –  within 2 metres of sewing machine. Funny – I would never have selected this ahead of white, but I think it works better than white would have, on the finished garment. I have so much still to learn!

But one thing I have already learned is that this is an awesome pattern.

Posted in Sewing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Flouncing around: BurdaStyle 07/2017 #119

I’m following M of Nonsuch’s mathematical approach in one of her recent blog posts

“I want to sew this fabric” + ”I want to make something with flounces” =  new top

I’ve been wanting to sew this fabric for a long time. It came from Liz of Designer Fabrics Australia. I am simultaneously wishing Liz was still actively managing her stash by making it available for sale, and relieved that she isn’t!

[image from Lizs blog post ]

So many things to love about this fabric: border print, yellow, the tribal and ethnic style of the pattern, Hugo Boss provenance and that its been made into a frock worn by an Aussie girl who met a Prince in a pub in Sydney and then married him and lived happily ever after in a palace in Denmark.

I have also become enamoured with flounces*. This BurdaStyle pattern from last July (07/2017 #119) quickly became my new favourite .


The flounces are like a cross between a cape and a sleeve.

Burda says this pattern needs a fabric with two good sides. Mine has a right and wrong side, but the difference is subtle. I constructed the sleeves opposite to Burda’s instructions, which meant that the wrong side was on the less noticeable lower part of the flounce.

I did a baby hem on the edges, rather than Burda”s instructions to zig zag and trim close to the stitching. Really Burda?

I added slits to the lower edge, because I am most likely to wear this top like a tunic

It can be worn tucked in, but that’s not my preference, especially with this deep border print.

Much nicer untucked


* Don’t worry. Flounce obsession seems to have passed


Posted in Sewing | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Wedding guest dress: Vogue 9021

This pattern made in this fabric has been in my virtual wardrobe for some time.

I made a trial version of the pattern back in May 2015. Then moved on to other things. As you do.

Finally I had the right occasion for such a dress – my niece’s wedding.

This is truly stunning fabric from emmaonesock. It’s a panel print polyester in my favourite colours with an incredible silky feel. I went though about 3 Sharps needles sewing this – every time I hit a pin, I turned my Sharps needle into a blunt one…..

The pattern has a waist seam, so I cut the bodices and skirt pieces to maximize the landscapes and minimise the silvery grey filler between them.

It is a Rorschach print but complex enough to not be very obviously mirrored. I decided not to stress about getting the pattern centered. It would have only been possible on the front – the back would have been not matched at all.

Actually,  I’m not sure I would have liked it perfectly mirrored anyway!

I continued the side seam up a little further into the cape sleeves than Vogue instructed. My first version of this dress has serious lingerie exposing tendencies. As you can imagine looking at the image below of the two dresses lying side by side – see how close the bottom of the “sleeve” is to the waist on the navy dress

I didn’t use any of the facing pattern pieces for this dress, rather I bound the neck and sleeve/armhole edges with premade 12 mm bias binding.

I was planning to line the skirt, but I ran out of time. A slip was pressed into service on the day.

Due to fabric restrictions and my print placement, the hem was just about perfect without being turned up. So I hardly did! I faced it with 25 mm premade bias binding.

I am very happy to have finally used this lovely fabric.

No lining, no french seams and premade bias binding, but this fabric moved from being almost too good to use into a lovely dress that felt right for a summer garden wedding.

Posted in Sewing | Tagged , , , | 26 Comments

The bridesmaid dress that wasn’t: BurdaStyle 05/2014 #103

My beautiful niece let me know her wedding plans in a very cute way: “Aunty Liz, how would you like to make a bridesmaid dress for Felicity?” Of course I would!!

Some research was required, and so she and Felicity duly went to lots of places for Felicity to try on different styles and colours. One of them got the tick, and the mother of the bride promptly purchased it.

I was both disappointed and relieved. Weddings have such expectations and emotions wrapped up in them. At least I wouldn’t be disappointing the bride by making a dress that wasn’t exactly what she imagined when she looked at the fabric and pattern.

Except the size was wrong. And it was lace with french seams. Probably close to impossible to alter successfully.

It was a style I could easily replicate from my large stack of BurdaStyle magazine patterns. I couldn’t get exactly the same lace fabric, but I could get something similar. Back to me making the bridesmaid dress!

It turned out fabulous.

Spoiler alert. This was not the dress she wore on the day *

But you are not here for the wedding details, you’re here to read about the sewing!

Pattern: BurdaStyle 05/2014 #103


The pattern was in Tall sizes. Felicity is tall but not in a Tall pattern way (she has long legs but not a long torso ). She also requires a FBA. I made a trial version in a stretch cotton after some pattern adjustments.

The fit was okay, but some further changes were needed. I had the bust point a bit wrong and I’d shortened the bodice too much and the waist was loose. Which you can’t really see in these photos because of the awesome bright print.

Also, Felicity detests yokes. Who knew? I had enough leftover fabric to recut the front skirt with darts as long as I added a centre front seam.

The back still has a yoke:

Love this fabric! A gift from Jann. Thanks Jann!

After tweaking the bodice fit, I had the pattern sorted and it was time to cut into the lace.

We were using a stretch lace with a stretch crepe lining.


The lace had a subtle scalloped edge, and we wanted to put this at the hem of the dress and sleeves and around the neck.

This meant the lace bodice pieces were cut on the bias. I cut the bodice lining on grain which put the lining neck edge on the bias so that was stayed with a thin woven ribbon.


And because the scalloped edge was ‘free’ around the neckline, the lining was lined. Phew. Lots of layers. Specially at the waist where the double bust darts were.

Sleeves are unlined.

Amazingly, there is enough coverage at the shoulders to hide bra straps. I guess that’s due to legendary BurdaStyle drafting!

I am so happy with the fit and how this dress turned out. Felicity says it is lovely to wear. She looks stunning in it. I am not biased at all, of course.

Gorgeous shoes too. She’s set now for the next garden wedding she’s invited too.

* for those interested: this is the dress that was worn for bridesmaid duties (not me-made)

Bridesmaid Felicity with her cousin but without her bouquet

Posted in Sewing | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments