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?

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?

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

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 🙂

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.

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!

Linton Tweed pencil skirt: Burda 03/2010 #136

I have thoroughly enjoyed the sewing journey with this skirt. Which is fortunate, because the end result was much less satisfying than the journey to get there.

But that’s fine. This fabric was such a delight to sew.

It is a silk, wool and cotton blend purchased from Linton Tweeds in Carlisle whilst on holiday in the UK in 2017. It was one of their 1 metre remnants at 5 pounds. Bargain! Especially when all the fabrics M of Nonsuch and I purchased that day were shipped to Australia for an incredibly low flat rate of 9 pounds. All of you paying normal prices subsidised this for me. Thanks!

So proud to include that Linton label

The lining is a silky remnant, probably polyester, I picked up last year from a secondhand shop in Yankalilla, a local seaside holiday town. It’s the perfect match for the tweed. The leftovers were made into a scarf.

Lots of good holiday vibes in this garment.

I picked a pencil skirt pattern from my back collection of Burda magazines with added interest of the front darts rotated out to the sides: Burda 03/2010 #136

I interfaced the tweed with a very light iron-on interfacing I sourced from a local dressmaker – Tatiana Light. You can see the side darts drawn in on the interfacing in the photo above – an added bonus!

The combination of interfacing and tweed made a hand stitched hem very easy to do.

I know this premade bias binding doesn’t match exactly but I still like it

I need to do invisible stitching? Super easy!

This interfacing feels like adding butterfly wings but gives that essential extra bit of support to the tweed. Perhaps not quite enough to the waist facing, because that seems to have stretched out a bit by the time I went to stitch it on. This meant I had to take the waist in after construction (unpicking with that tweed? Uggh!). It is still a bit big.

The reality is that the delightful weave of winter white, orange, donkey grey and black threads turns into a muddy neutral grey brown at any normal viewing distance.

So I have a thick, long, pencil skirt that’s too big though the waist and in a boring colour. I feel a bit like I’m back in the 1940’s in an English village. Better weather though. And at least I know the fabric is special!

Colour coordination is a bit limited if I trying to match the colours woven into the skirt.

Orange and black are excellent but almost all my existing grey tops and fabrics are too grey and not brown-grey enough.

Except one mystery piece gifted to me by Jann of JannsFabrics. It’s the perfect match to the donkey grey in the tweed. I think it’s a silk cotton blend – it certainly feels like it.

The V- neck was stay stiched and the facing is interfaced. What are those mini ripples there? Not obvious IRL

I made up Itch to Stitch’s Seychelles top in this fabric in a size 14 out to a size 16 at the hips.

It’s the perfect colour coordinated outfit, but a lot duller overall in colour than is my preference. The scarf helps a bit.

The Seychelles top? I like it. I shortened it by about 8 cm because the proportions looked better untucked with this long skirt, but the standard length would be fine for knee length or shorter skirts. Next time I’ll do a forward shoulder adjustment and/or spread the sleeve gathers out over more of the sleeve cap – they are drafted to just be at the very top of the sleeve cap and when your shoulders roll forward the gathers mostly end up at the back.

Also next time I will either do a ‘proper’ sleeve placket or swap the cuff out for an elasticated cuff. The sleeve placket integrated with the sleeve seam is easy, but annoys me a bit by not being ‘proper’

Bottom line? I loved making this skirt. I’m glad this fabric has moved from too precious to sew to a garment in my wardrobe. Even if it only ever gets occasional wear.

Silver crushed velvet dress: Burda 01/2018 #101

This is a story of going to the fabric store to buy fabric for a specific pattern but buying something we loved that wasn’t really suitable for that pattern. Anyone else do that? When we realised what we’d done, all the Burda magazines came out and Felicity and I spent a pleasant hour or so finding another pattern.

This is Burdastyle 01/2018 #101 in a size 40.

I did a ‘pivot and slide’ 2 cm FBA but it may not have been necessary given the stretchiness of the fabriv.

The waist twisty bit is a nice feature. The line drawing is a bit misleading for this bit (the tucks in this pattern piece end up on the part that you sew to the side seam – but the line drawing shows the side seams smooth). But, as the reviews on Pattern Review said, if you follow Burda’s instructions literally, it might seem nonsensical but it works out just fine.

The fabric is a crushed polyester velvet from Spotlight, and Felicity says its delightful to wear.

I omitted the zip because it is very stretchy fabric.

I wondered about changing the neck facings out for a binding, but thought this might give it too much of a sports look which seems wrong for crushed velvet so I stayed with the facings. Not sure I should have worried about a sports look being inappropriate. This dress is apparently perfect for riding a scooter in the city.

The facings are hand stitched down. But my commitment to hand stitching ended there – the hems were turned up 1cm and stitched with a simple zigzag. This made both the sleeves and skirt 3 cm long than drafted because I’d added a 4 cm hem allowance

So this is a story with a happy ending.

I still haven’t sourced fabric for the initial pattern though.

Orange and blue top: #128burda02/2015

A colour blocked top in ponte is an idea that has been percolating in my head for a while.

It all came together this winter because I made a simple pencil skirt in an orange and cobalt plaid and I had ponte in matching colours in my fabric stash. I love my stash!

The project included the fun of playing with colour blocking combinations on the screen before I committed to cutting. This is style 128 from Burda 02/2015

The pattern is in petite sizing (17-21), which works for me because I am short waisted. Except that COVID-19 induced isolation, grieving and menopause mean I now need plus sized petite sizing. 22 or 24 would be perfect. But that is not really a thing. Luckily, the pattern is boxy and flat pattern measurements suggested it’d be okay as a 21.

It was.

I liked the split sleeves of the ¾ length sleeves on the dress/tunic version of this pattern but wanted longer sleeves.

I don’t know how the orange part of the slit turned out slightly longer than the blue and was perfectly matched at the seam but I suspect it was due to the orange ponte being lighter andstretchier than the blue and me not marking the slit point. I’m not mad at how its turned out. Its hardly noticeably different and if it is then I figure it just adds a little bit more drama.

I’ve worn this top as is and with a black turtle neck layered under it.  I love it – and am asking myself why it took so long to make this pattern

This is not a complicated sew – just requires precision around the piecing and the square corner of the armscye. I used a square of interfacing on this spot and marked in the stitching line with a FriXion heat erasable pen, reduced stitch length around it and crossed my fingers (virtually) when I snipped into the corner.

It’s ponte, so none of the seams are finished. How weird, but freeing, it felt to leave everything raw!

I used a double needle for the hems, and went to the trouble of changing colours for the different colour blocks. Slow mindful sewing was what I needed to do.

The skirt? It’s a simple pencil skirt made from a gorgeous wool knit from Tessuti’s lined with a fine merino wool nylon blend from The Fabric Store and an elastic waist using fancy elastic from Seamstress Fabrics. All purchased online, but that’s no surprise is it? It’s 2020 and there’s a global pandemic.

It is certainly not a subtle top or skirt but it makes me happy!

My almost zero waste Lillypilly dress

Before I launch into a post about the latest thing I made, I want to say:

Black Lives Matter

I’m a white woman of privilege. Black makers like Renee, Elaine and Carolyn have said it so much better than me and written eloquently about murder, injustice, civil unrest, pain and anguish in a way I never could.

I don’t want to be trite. There are many things much more important than my sewing or this blog.

So. This is what I made recently while doing a lot of thinking and reading about race, prejudice and privilege, and realising I have a lot to learn.

It’s the Lillypilly zero waste dress from Liz Haywood, my local indie pattern maker. Her versions are all really cute:

Lillypilly dress all views
Image source: https://lizhaywood.com.au/new-zero-waste-pattern-lillypilly-dress/

I had a lot of fun drawing the pattern directly onto my fabric with chalk. And that was also where my mistake was made.

The armscyes ended up a lot bigger than they should have – a combination of blunt chalk, cutting out on the outer edge of the blunt chalk line and then not reading the instructions and turning the bias tape to the inside rather than binding the edge. Probably a bit of stretching out of the fabric too.

So I sewed the shoulder seam again, 4 cm lower at the shoulder point angling back to nothing at the top of the funnel neck edge. Now not zero waste and not the most beautifully shaped armscyes but much more wearable. Also, how good is my KATM mini ruler?

The fabric has been in my stash for 11 years. Well done past me for recording the date of purchase, fabric composition, length and width and provenance on a price of paper pinned to the fabric.

It’s a sophisticated silvery olive and black mid weight woven polyester that has never seemed quite right or been quite long enough for any project until now – 2 meters of 115cm wide fabric limited what it could be used for. So it languished in the stash.

Being a jacquard, the reverse side is nice too – which matters because you can see the wrong side of the fabric at the neck, The selvedge is particularly lovely so I left it to show at the hem.

Liz’s very clever zero waste design re-purposes the pieces you cut out for the armscyes as pockets. But they are not very big, even with my mistake.

I had extra fabric (see – another reason this project is not really zero waste) so I cut out regular sized in-seam pockets from the leftovers using the pocket pattern from Tessuti’s Bella dress. I have used the Bella dress pockets on so many garments as well as the Bella dress now.

I particularly like the organic shaped funnel neck on this dress. I didn’t do anything to style it for these photos – it just seems to fall into a nice shape.

This photo also shows the not straight hem. I could have curved it up into a more conventional hem line at the side seams but that would have been the third not zero waste thing I did, and would also have meant the selvedge hem had to go.

I think I might be sold on zero waste sewing ….. and I have 16 projects in Liz’s zero waste sewing book to work my way through.

Sewing competitions: another Wilder gown

I have just cut out and sewn fabric from Tessuti’s 2019 competition whilst the 2020 one is still open.

What does this say about me? Slow? Large stash? Not enough sewing time? Indecisive? All of the above?

Its not that I don’t love this year’s competition fabric – I have several pieces waiting for me. Just not feeling it. Perhaps its too autumnal now to be sewing a summery fabric? Not that that has stopped me before. But. I digress.

A cooler weather Wilder gown was demanding to be made to fill a gap in my working from home / Zoom/Teams/Skype meeting wardrobe.

This fabric is a delightfully drapey synthetic in the indigo colourway from Tessuti Fabrics 2019 sewing competition.

Again I’m sewn a sort of size M ( I printed the pdf smaller than I should have by mistake and I haven’t got around to reprinting it at 100%).

This time I added long sleeves – I cut them 12 cms longer than the longest sleeve provided. That wasn’t long enough. I cut out a rectangle the width of the sleeve and 7 cm long and sewed that on and turned it up because I wanted to add an elastic casing to draw the sleeves back in. Which would mean I added about an extra 2.5 cm after all the seaming and turn backs. None of this will help anyone else of course since I printed the pattern smaller than I should have.

Also pockets. Pockets are always a good idea. Of course I remembered to add pockets after I’d sewn and overlocked the side seams, so the middle tier is about 2cm’s less full than drafted.

I was going to unpick and resew but this fabric really shows the needle holes. And this was me using a Microtex needle!

Left is the unpicked seam showing every single stitch like a ghost. Right is before unpicking

So I unpicked and cut the overlocked edge off and then sewed 5 mm inside the original seam line.

But totally worth it to have pockets!

Love this pattern! And love this version!

Classic fitted shirt: #114burda04/2010

More #daughtersewing.

A simple shirt elevated by excellent fabric and custom fit.

This is why we sew

 

The deets

Pattern: Burdastyle 04/2010 #114 (or, in instagram speak, thats #114burda04/2010)

Image result for Burdastyle 04/2010 #114

Size: 40 with 2.5 cm FBA

Changes: left off the breast pocket and back tab, interfaced with self fabric

Fabric: Jocelyn Proust printed cotton from Spotlight. Isn’t it glorious?

Buttons: from the stash.

And that snack she’s eating? Rory made them. Pork char siu in wonton wrappers.

No recipe. Just looked up the ingredients for the char siu spice and sauce mix and added it to pork mince. Then used this as the filling in wonton wrappers and deep fried the parcels.

They were delicious! He’s a star!

Corduroy trousers: BurdaStyle 03/2019 #102

Felicity and her seamstress (that would be me) are still taking inspiration from the seventies.

This time it is in the form of dark caramel coloured corduroy utility trousers. I know. It’s not the quintessential flares, but it is in orange/brown tones, and corduroy. That’s seventies enough to me.

The fabric is a mid wale cotton corduroy from Spotlight with just enough give in the fabric to be very comfortable to wear. How do I know that? They got worn for three days straight as soon as they were off the sewing machine. There are plenty of wrinkles because these photos were taken on day 3. I don’t think she slept in them, but I wouldn’t be surprised…

I used Burda’s utility trouser pattern from the March issue this year 03/2019 #102

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I made these in a straight size 40 and added 5 cm extra to the length. Plus a 4 cm hem allowance. Woefully inadequate. They needed 14 cm extra to the finished length, which we both agreed looked best as a band with the wales running horizontally.  For the record, Felicity is 178 cm tall, but is short waisted so her legs could be longer than standard for that height.

All my photos are barefoot, so she turned the band up like a cuff, but, trust me, it is the traditional trouser length with flat shoes on.

The belt loop is something fabulous from the stash that originally came from a designer fabric sale. Any Adelaide readers still remember Gay Naffines fabric sales fondly?

I lined the front pockets and belt loops with a leafy green charmeuse remnant.

You can’t really see it ( I worked hard on that!). It has been reported as feeling great. And this is more what the colour is like in real life. The outdoor light with the autumn leaves seems to dull it a bit.

I also added an extra patch pocket to the back.

with one of Kylie and the Machine‘s great tags.

Slow fashion. That’s me.