New fabrics coming to live with me (Gay Naffine and Lucy Giles fabric sale)

I missed the first day of the sale. Gay and Lucy’s workroom looked very sparse this morning after that first day of frenzied shopping by others!

No doubt, everyone else’s shopping was a very good thing for my bank balance. And the groaning shelves where my fabric collection is stored.

I did, however, find some lovely evening wear fabrics to add to those shelves.

And also some great neutrals (a textured white and a stretch cotton beige), a bright striped cotton, zips and a lovely trim.

The muted colours of that first sequined fabric are a bit out of my comfort zone. He who Cooks was with me at the sale (yes, I know, potentially a very bad idea) and he really liked this fabric. It will work for me if I highlight the purple and green in this fabric, rather than the tan.

The sequins are on mesh, with a digital print over both the sequins and the mesh. He who Cooks thinks this fabric would make a great top. I bought enough for a dress, just in case.

The other sequined fabric is more me: black on stretch velvet. This fabric is telling me it wants to be a winter LBD, but it also thinks it could be happy as an evening coat.

And isn’t the trim whimsical and lovely?

The after effects of the fabric sale


  • Graphic blue and grey print silk cotton blend
  • Blue border print silk cotton blend
  • Blue and white stripe silk chiffon ( to coordinate with the border print, perhaps..)
  • Teal blue stretch cotton woven


  • Cream and taupe stripe stretch linen woven
  • White Italian linen
  • Crinkle poly cotton blend
  • Plain white cotton polyester blend with 20% spandex (very stretchy, this is going to be gorgeous to wear)
  • Cotton silk blend budgie print (too cute!)

Reds (and lining)

  • Plain red midweight silk woven
  • Plain red linen cotton metallic blend (the sheen on this is gorgeous due to the metallic thread content, but metal makes the fabric scratchy, so the red silk is for linings and facings)
  • Coral stretch cotton woven
  • Grey and brown striped acetate lining. I like having a selection of good quality linings on hand.

My fabric stash thanks Gay Naffine and Lucy Giles, and so do I 🙂


Silly little dress (aka peplum top)

You can’t say I’m a slave to fashion. Any trend generally needs to be around for at least a season before I get around to sewing it. (Although that’s more to do with snail pace sewing and having too long a to-do list than any philosophical opposition to trendiness).

Peplum tops are no exception.

At least I’m still close to fashionable. Look what Veronika Maine (Australian fashion for career women of a certain age) recently sent to their shops:

Do you think they read Burda too? Look at that curved waist line! It dips down at the back too.

Technical details

Pattern: Burdastyle 08-2012-113

Size: 34-42, I made a 42 with my usual swayback adjustment.

Fabric: A French navy and ivory reversible jacquard polyester cotton blend, from Lucy Giles’ winter fashion range of 2010. I’ve used the other side for a jacket and skirt.

Heres the top with the ‘matching skirt’

Changes I made:

I used an exposed black zip rather than an invisible zip at centre back. To add interest. And with the added bonus of avoiding the horror of attempting to pattern match all those 2 mm squares and rectangles across the zip…

I didn’t line anything, not even the cap sleeves which Burda instructs you to line. Instead I used a poly satin bias strip to finish the sleeve hems, armholes and the peplum hem.

You can just get a hint of it here on the underside of the back peplum piece:


This is a great design. The female teenage fashion critic approves, but the male tween think it looks like a silly little dress. He needs to get out more.

I am tempted to make another in a softer fabric. Or as a ‘ real’ dress, after having seen Maider’s great version.



Red and white polka dots

This was supposed to be the dress I wore on Christmas Day.

It got thrown in the corner, in great disappointment and unfinished, just before Christmas Day. I’m remedied the problems now. Jane from Jane’s Sew and Tell inspired me to get back to it after I saw her great Ikea fabric version.

(Hey, see that shiny red car in the background that matches my dress? Its mine.. all mine!)

Technical details

Pattern Burdastyle: 09-2012-108 The September cover dress in lace

Size: 36-44, I made a 42, with some modifications.


A crinkle polyester cotton from Lucy Giles in November, underlined with cotton batiste.

Changes I made:

When made up without alterations, apart from my standard swayback, this was unflatteringly shapeless through the waist with a gaping neck. This is when I gave up and went on with Christmas preparations that involved no sewing.

Inspired again once Christmas dinner was a distant memory, I took the side seams in around the waist, elongated the French darts and removed another 4 cm out of the back neck by curving the centre back seam in. This caused some issues at the top of the zip, because I’d already added a trim to the neck and sewn the zip in as an exposed zip.

I’ve chosen to hide these issues with a red button (and my hair in non sewing blog real life poses).

I also added the red and white trim to the sleeve edgess.

Aren’t those French darts lovely? They  attracted me to this pattern in the first place!

This has now turned into a very comfortable shift dress, perfect for long lunches and overly calorific cakes. See the previous post.

And who doesn’t love a polka dot?

Squares or circles?

A bit overwhelming together, but both the jacket and skirt work well as separates. I had some fun playing in my wardrobe.

Technical Details


Pattern: Burdastyle 03-2012-109

Size: 36-44. I made a 42.


The fashion fabric is a French navy and ivory reversible jacquard polyester cotton blend, from Lucy Giles’ winter fashion range of 2010.

I agonized over which side to use. Ivory is more spring/summer and that’s the season I am heading into.

But I loved the French navy side.

One of my fellow Aussie bloggers, Kazzthespazz says ‘Do what you love and love what you do’. And she adds ‘and put it where people can see it’- very appropriate for a sewing blog!

Thanks Kazz- great advice, French navy it was. I have enough left to make another skirt, or a short sleeveless dress from the reverse.

I interfaced the front, side panels and the facings, the back hem and the sleeve hems.

What a nightmare cutting this out was and matching the pattern! It was a marathon of more than 2 hours. Where was the centre of those circles? Would I line it up just a bit off centre by mistake? All those squares made my eyes hurt.

I’m happy with the pattern matching in the finished garment. The problem I had with knowing where the centre was should be the same for anyone looking at the jacket…. I hope…

Lining: Lincraft Sunsilky lining. It’s 100% polyester, and supposed to be antistatic and breathable. I’ve really liked it when I’ve used it previously as skirt lining

Changes I made:

I made this jacket with long sleeves (like in the full length coat versions of this style 03-2012-110) rather than the three quarter length sleeves.

I added an overlap to the front and buttons, rather than the fringed trim.

I used small raglan shoulder pads. The shoulders and sleeve cap needed filling out. I probably need to make a sloping shoulder adjustment on the next version. I also think there is too much fullness in the sleeve caps. The raglan shoulder pads help, but the next version might get some of the fullness shaved off the sleeve caps.

I didn’t make any of my normal alterations to the fit like a swayback adjustment because this style is a short boxy jacket, and it was the trial garment for the spring boucle jacket.

Given the date, I don’t think the spring boucle jacket will get made this spring.

With the next version I’ll move the bust darts up, or take some length out though the upper bodice. This might be a new adjustment I need to make: I’ve noticed there’s a bit too much length in the upper bodice in this dress too . It can’t be that I have too high a bust point! I am over 45!


The skirt is my standard simple pegged pencil skirt BurdaStyle 04-2010-125 without the flounce, and with a centre back exposed silver zip and walking vent.

Its the same basic pattern as this one and this one.

My pattern matching is ok, but the centre of those circles is not perfectly on my centre back seam.


An invisible zip would not have drawn the eye so much either…

Do these little errors annoy you with your sewing too?

Lucy Giles and Gay Naffine to the rescue (again)

This jacket has been waiting for buttonholes for several weeks.

I made them today and sewed on the buttons. I even made a start on the matching skirt.


Mojo restored by fabric buying.

Anyone else experienced this?

This is my haul from Lucy and Gay’s 6 monthly home seamstress service.

What are they, apart from delightful? Lovely cotton silk blends, apart from the blue pixelated print (polyester) and the navy stripe (stretch cotton).

But that’s not all.

I also have a hot pink silk twill, floral silk chiffon, polyester starburst pleat in silver, teal cotton, gray stretch wool and a yellow cotton silk stripe.

And there’s more.

A taupe stretch cotton, poly cotton precrinkled red polka dot and taupe pleather.

A significant lack of restraint was shown today.