Saturday, 31 December 2011

Reflections of 2011

I sewed
thought about sewing
broke needles
rusted pins
bent pins
discovered sticky tape
found Mary
made some too big
made some too small
but overall
I enjoyed it all

Friday, 30 December 2011

Wrong life - Right patterns

Today I found many absolutely lovely Vogue patterns. And the dreams started - again. Lives where I could wear those clothes. Mmmm lives where I had time and the fabric to sew those clothes.

Pleasant dreams but will sell on Ebay to those who have more hope of living those dreams.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Tank dress triumph

Sometimes you just get lucky. I had a stretch fabric remnant printed with ladies, some with parasols, some walking a dog, it has flowers and trees too. All in blue, cream and outlined in dark blue. I thought it might make a sleeveless top. Today I placed the pattern pieces from KwikSew2867 on it. There was about 34cm extra fabric length left so I measured it equally off the bottom of both pattern pieces and cut it out, adding another 1cm to the width at the hips.

I reinforced the shoulders with a strip of ribbon and overlocked it together. The armholes and neckline were then folded over about 1cm and sewn down with a straight stitch. The hem was roll hemmed using an overlocker.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Camisole test drive

Took the bias cut camisole from the Kwik Sew Lingerie book for a test wear yesterday.

  • shorten straps by a half to one centimetre
  • adjust sizing a tiny bit smaller
All in all it was comfortable, stayed on and I didn't notice I was wearing it. A success.

My third camisole (front view)

My third camisole (back view)

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Overlocker woes

I changed the threads in the overlocker and began sewing a pale green camisole. The lower looper thread broke. Where oh where is my threader? That long piece of wire with the loop at the end had disappeared. I looked and searched, it is hiding still.

Bought another one today $4.00. But at least I will be able to thread the overlocker tomorrow and sew sew sew.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Giving it away

I've been collecting dreams. Patterns for clothing suitable for a life or lives I don't have. In a moment or two of common sense I list some on Etsy and now on Ebay.

Absolutely gorgeous dresses. Wouldn't it be lovely to say you are wearing a Christian Dior design. Oh yes.

A bias fact

I recently bought a Kwik Sew Lingerie book, complete with master patterns. It was a book I'd been looking for all year.

Having traced out the master patterns, I successfully sewed a camisole from a warm white self-striped fabric remnant. The camisole is to be cut on the bias if using woven fabric, which I did for the white fabric.

Next, I convinced myself that it would be alright if I cut one on the straight grain. The blue fabric has inbuilt creases running on the grain and I'd convinced myself that it would look wrong going diagonally when cut on the bias!

Now, the camisole cut on the straight grain from woven fabric fits but the shape of the top cup area is not nice, it does not curve around the body, it just sits there like two triangles. I'm hoping some steam pressing will make it look better.

Lesson: Remember, pattern book sometimes does know best!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Mary Won a Singer 319k

Mary won a singer sewing machine and wooden cabinet at tender. Going to pick it up this morning I hope.

Oh serves me right... the machine has no foot control... grrrrr... but it seems so beautifully maintained that I will go looking for one.

I am in awe of the ruffler foot attachment.

Singer 319K - it looks in very good condition
and has a box of cams to make different embroidery stitches

Singer 319k complete with sewing cabinet, accessory feet and 29 cams
but no foot pedal or electric power cord

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Oh my - was it a bargain?

Just saw 80, yes apparently 80 paper sewing patterns go for less than $30 plus $10 postage on ebay - that could have been a huge bargain. However the description and photo was vague..... so who but the auction winner will be able to decide if it was a bargain or not.

Christmas Embroidery

Said goodbye to a book today - have listed this lovely one on ebay today

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Bye bye shorts

I'm listing the Butterick 5044 shorts and pants pattern on Etsy. The size S is just not for me. Luckily I've got the pattern in medium from when I was making them for my mother so all is not lost... I can make more that I will be more comfortable wearing.

Go to the pattern page at Etsy

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Blue shorts - Butterick5044 version C

Today I cut out and started to sew the knee length shorts from Butterick 5044. This is a very simple pattern with only one main pattern piece. The fabric is a remnant bought for 50 cents. It is a soft blue linen look fabric which doesn't crease easily.

What would I do differently next time?
* Lower the waist another 2.5cm
* Make the medium not the small (fits comfortably enough but just not my style of fit)

Monday, 21 November 2011


I bought myself a birthday present - Famous Frocks: Patterns and Instructions for Recreating Fabulous Iconic Dresses--10 Patterns for 20 Dresses in All by  Sara Alm and Hannah McDevitt.  This does seem to have some disappointed reviewers but I like the idea that they are modern frocks not exact copies. Exact copies are no good without the appropriate undergarments and will never look like the original which was all styled up for the movie/performance/occasion it was designed for. Anyway I will have to choose one to make in the next week or so.

My cake, a Schwarzwälder Kirsch torte was baked by me and put together by my Father.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Leopard KwikSew2867

I've had a piece of polyester stretch leopard for several weeks now. When I bought it I was too excited to notice that the stretch went down the hide so to speak not across it. Anyway I still like the colour and pattern of it.

Today I cut out a sleeveless top using KwikSew2867 but without the drawstring. I added approximately 1.5 cm to the width at the hem and graded it toward the waistline so that it would side smoothly over my hips.

 I've overlocked the shoulders and sideseams together as well as around the neckline, armholes and hem. I tried both a ball point and stretch machine needle and settled for using the stretch needle with nylon invisible thread.

The completed top modelled by Mary

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Playing around with a label making site

Playing around with

McCalls 2117 - an easy to make dress

I thought I had the fabric for this but my remnant was just not big enough, so its back to rummaging in my fabric stash for a bigger piece, preferably one I don't have to line.
Should be easy and cool to wear if only I can decide on the fabric!
Ok, I'm using a remnant I found yesterday, sort of a batik print. Once I'd washed and ironed it I saw the printing errors and very carefully positioned the pattern to avoid them (or so I thought). Cut it out and unfolded the front........ ooops one printing error line goes straight across the front. Perhaps it will look ok else I will have to add some ribbon or lace over it.

This pattern goes together quite quickly and easily. I made the knee length version with sleeves in size 12.

When I make it again these are some points I should recall:
* Use light-weight iron on interfacing for neck interfacing
* Remember to overlock the neck facing
* Do not overlock side seams until after I've tried it on (I really would have liked it to be a few millimetres wider across the thighs and seat area, but I'd overlocked all the excess seam off)
*Be really careful when placing the sleeve pattern tissue and cutting it out - one sleeve was perfect the other was somehow stretched or too big.
* On my body this dress definitely needs a split or two to make walking and sitting easier.

Friday, 11 November 2011

New Look 6354 view B pants from start to finish

Had just enough white slub fabric to make cool 3/4 pants. Seems too sheer for me so will try lining it to the knees with left overs.

Am using 'print at home' pattern downloaded from

Love the print at home option but sometimes sticking all those A4 sheets of paper together is tedious.

Checking to see if my remnant is big enough to fit all the pattern pieces.

Pattern cut out with no changes.

I hope I won't regret using the blue chalk pencil to mark this fabric, it doesn't seem to be rubbing off.
It is just as well the marks are near the waistline and can be hidden with a top if need be.

I've overlocked the hem edge then hand hemmed it.

The waistband elastic is 5cm (2 inches) wide and I've used it as recommended in the pattern instructions despite my grumbles at the cost (about $5.50 a metre). This width does give a smooth finish unlike using two or more rows of narrower elastic which I have done when making the skirt version of this pattern.

The finished pants NewLook6354 and top KwikSew2867.


Thursday, 10 November 2011

Kwik Sew 2867 view C is done

After playing around with adding buttons or applique to hide the extra buttonhole, I've decided to leave it as it is.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Kwik Sew 2867 progress


I used the wrong guideline for locating the drawstring and didn't realise until I had made the buttonhole - Oh dear! Put another one in the right place, sewed on the casing and inserted some ribbon for the drawstring.

Played around with using buttons or applique to cover the other buttonhole. After trying the top on I think I may just ignore the mistake as I doubt most people looking at me will see it.

I have overlocked all the raw edges on the neckline, armholes and hem. The side and shoulder seams were overlocked together. I am very glad I added a little bit to the hip measurement, next time I will either add a small side split or another cm of width.

Kwik Sew 2867 Misses' top view C

The pattern and fabric

A smoother pattern is easier to trace.

Tracing the pattern.

Checking the accuracy of my trace, had to adjust it a little.

I used sticky tape not pins to attach the pattern to the fabric.

I've added a little extra width to be sure the top is wide enough at the hip.
Today I've started making this sleeveless top from Kwik Sew 2867. I'm using a remnant that was in a box of fabric I tendered for at the TenderCentre.

Meet Mary

Here is Mary hard at work modelling muslin NO.2 of a pinafore from Angela Kane (free from BurdaStyle).

I always thought Mary liked to be nude, having met her at the TenderCentre one weekend where she was entertaining the crowds. I was wrong though, she likes wearing works in progress, she likes the arty look.