OWOP Day 6

Not feeling photogenic today. The first me-made version of this top got an airing today. It think this white linen version with pleated sleeves might still be my favourite. It is the closest to the original RTW top I copied.

I got dressed and felt a bit plain – plain white top, plain grey work trousers (Clovers). Sigh. A necklace wasn’t going to work with this neckline ruling out my normal fix-it approach. So I wrapped a silk scarf around my wrist. Something I’ll do again – slightly quirky, colourful and doesn’t get in the way.



OWOP Day 4 and 5

Day 5

This is getting fun. Today I found out a colleague has been a member of Australian Sewing Guild and thinks the ASG convention she went to was the best conference ever. Funny how asking someone if they’ll be in your photo opens up different conversation rather than educational research.

Here’s my grey knot top interstate at a meeting today. Apologies for the shocking photo quality but I had to include Cheryl and her not-so-secret-anymore sewing background!

Knot top goes to Melbourne

Because the light was so dim inside, when I got home tonight I asked my son to take some photos but they turned out to be against the sun. Let’s pretend they are meant to be supersaturated and overexposed shall we? Today I just flipped the ties one over the other and it worked better than a knot on the bulky fabric. Note to self: Yeah, tidy the bench next time.

Day 4 was the day of the splodgy top. Here’s me in the garden after work. It works better with the black skirt than the speckled grey A line I wore for this day.

Look over there...

Only two more days to go and the white linen hasn’t even had a showing yet! The splodgy top will get the final day – a conference presentation in Alice Springs where it is forecast to be 34 degrees C.

Swimming in Fabric

I am now the proud and slightly embarassed owner of an Olympic pool’s length of fabric. Uh, we counted it all up. Not all in the one fabric thankfully, that would be boring. Now, I hold myself and my dear husband ultimately responsible for such a state of affairs. I must say a “thank you” to my enablers  as well – Sewaholic’s Tasia for asking “How Close is your nearest fabric store?” and Rachel of MyMessings for helpfully responding to my plea in the comments for tips about Melbourne with: “If it’s a weekday or Saturday morning that you’re free it’s worth getting the 19 tram up to Sydney road in Brunswick, on the same block that the Brunswick Spotlight is on there are 4 or 5 little independent fabric stores that have some nice fabrics. Then if you walk east along one of the cross streets about 10 minutes to Lygon street you can go to Rathdowne Remnants and GJs (which has quilting and dance fabrics, a little bit of nice fashion fabric, but might not be your thing), and then you can get the tram back down Lygon street. I’ve done that little loop a few times on a Saturday morning when looking for fabrics.
Oh and if you’re after formal fabrics, I discovered Franke Stuart in Hawthorn last weekend, it has some AMAZING fabrics there and seemed very reasonably priced. It’s a short walk from Glenferrie train station.

Oh, such wise words.

Combine that advice with a weekend in Melbourne a few weeks later and kaboom! My fabric cupboard overfloweth…

Click for larger images. First up a brocade. I think this will be a feature panel on a corduroy skirt. Then the assortment of fabric to make aforesaid husband an overcoat “like on Spooks“. We kept finding ones we liked better, finishing with a black wool blend flannel from Rathdowne Fabrics. Next up a textured vertical stripe knit in black (dress for me?) and some french terry in blue (PJs for the son). Then 3 stripey knits – dark merino for LS Tshirt for son (done!), cream/blue cotton wool for stroking making into something warm and stylish for me, black and white poly cotton for a Renfrew V neck with 3/4 sleeves (already sewn). Moving right along to the explosion of colour which is the Tshirt weight knits pile. Some more obviously for bright bike riding clothing, others for leggings and PJs, and others, perhaps even to be sewn as Tshirts. Then last but definitely not least. The colourful prints. I couldn’t decide between red or green ovals in a soft drapy knit, ‘both’ was the colour I went for, the red diagonal check and blue diamonds are both lycra. Possibly a skirt of the red check and some gym tops using the blue in panels? Can you tell I’ve been feeling starved for choice with knits lately? And a lovely border poppy print of lightweight cotton that has already become a birthday present skirt for my Mother-in-Law.

The Anita Skirt

The In-Laws collected us from the airport after this trip and sat around with us going through the fabric. My M-I-L held the poppy print in her lap while picking up and putting down others. As I hadn’t actually figured out what it was for when I bought it, it was obviously meant to be hers.

Note to self: it was a good move to buy the Japanese Men’s Coat/Jacket book and invite my husband to choose which one he’d like.

I think we have enough fabric to be getting on with.

We did do a lot of other Melbourne things too – drank coffee, went to Ikea (for a single table leg, if you must know), ate and drank at Movida’s Next Door bar, went to an opening – the 25 year retrospective of Peter Hill’s Museum of Contemporary Ideas (website), and spent lovely time with family.

OWOP Day 1 and 2 and 3

Erm, can I play catch up with my photos?

As I flagged earlier, I am using a ‘knot tie top’ as my OWOP garment for Tilly’s fab group idea – One Week One Pattern where we wear versions of the one pattern for a week non-stop.

OWOP Day 1

Saturday was a horrid day weather wise. I buried myself in polar fleece without thinking and at dinner time realised I could ‘dress for dinner’ rather than scuppering my OWOP efforts before I’d even begun.

OWOP Day 2


Sunday started crisp and bright, still with a bit to the air so I wore the same top in a layered approach with a merino tee underneath. I wouldn’t normally layer a top like this so the challenge has already got me thinking more about using my clothes in different ways. The day warmed up enough to discard the merino and enjoy the sunshine later. Looking at these photos I realise how close the living space wall colour is to this top!

OWOP Day 3


Monday Day 3: I wore my newly made grey sheeny knit version with long sleeves to work. Here’s a shot with my office roomie – Ned, he’s lying on the consultation table behind me. I work in a medical training organisation and get to share my space with a full sized simulation mannequin. Normally he’s very quiet, zipped up in his bodybag carry bag. This top feels very different being made out of knit fabric. TBH the knot is a bit heavy and pulls down the front, good thing I raised the neckline on this one!

Playing with Patterns

Over the past three months I’ve picked up some pattern magazines and have a few patterns also in my pattern box that haven’t yet been sewn. Having made a Kirsty shaped croquis (outline drawing) I decided to use some sketching to try some possible patterns on for style decisions. Click for larger images.

BurdaStyle 10/2011

BurdaStyle Magazine 10/2011
This magazine had a standout dress when I first looked through it – the wrap at the end of the top row. Lately my skirts have been made around high calf/ just below the knee and through the sketching exercise I realised the longer length of this pattern (it came in long, longer and longest) just wouldn’t work for me and raised it to just on the knee. Much better. I also rejected an oversized jumper (but found a good replacement at Victory Patterns below).

My Image Spring/Summer 2012

My Image Magazine Spring Summer 2012

This one you can see I spent more time playing with some colour block options with the diagonal lines of one of the dress patterns, and also with the idea of shortening it into a top which I saw at A Little Sewing. And adding sleeves. The trousers in the second row might be a good pleated work trouser.

Victory Patterns Selection

Victory Patterns Current Range

This sketch through some of this pattern line was prompted by a giveaway for 3 patterns somewhere in the blogiverse. It helped me choose Lola over Hazel. And realise I shouldn’t tuck a top into the Madeline skirt. Ever. And I added a longer sleeve to Chloe influenced no doubt by the arrival of autumn.

Discount Alert: Tilly has a 15% discount code at the end of her interview with Kristiann for Victory Patterns this weekend (Sat 24-Mon 26 March) link here

Would I do this again?

Definitely. It helped me see that some patterns may well suit me where I was unsure, and discard others without sewing a stitch.

Overall result

To sew in next six months or before I get distracted by other patterns and fabrics

  1. Burda wrap dress #123 in shorter length (teal knit already bought)
  2. Burda ruffle wrap top in useful work neutral.
  3. My Image M1202 as a weekend dress (not sure of fabric)and gym tops (plenty of knits in cupboard now)
  4. Victory Patterns Chloe dress in a lime green dot/stripe cotton already bought
  5. Victory Pattern Lola maybe in blue cream cotton wool knit already bought
  6. My Image M1208 trousers – grey wool blend suiting already bought

One Week One Pattern

Is it too late to still be considering what to wear/ make? One Week, One Pattern only starts at the end of next week doesn’t it?

One option is the Knot Top which is a copy of a favourite top I wore for years until I put my fingers through the fabric taking it off one day. I’d worn it one too many times. I made the new versions last year as one of the first garments I successfully re-created. The new variations are in white linen and a green and yellow cotton.

White Linen Knot Top

I need to sort out the tight armhole business though. I think I might not have trimmed the seam allowance back on this one sufficiently for the small seam allowance I used putting on the bias binding. I should compare the white and patterned versions to see.
Seam Sealing Tape

During the OWOP week I will have two work trips – a day trip to Melbourne, then a 3 day trip to present at a conference in Alice Springs. I need to make a version that has a higher neckline, and also consider a long or 3/4 sleeve version. I am wondering about what it would be like made in a knit fabric as I have some slightly sheeny grey knit that would be terribly useful for work. If I made a loop to thread the ties through rather than knotting them that would change up the look as well.

I could also wear the multiple pairs of Clovers I have made. Although that almost feels too easy as I wear them a lot of the time for work anyhow. It would prod me into taking in the side seams of the soft black pair which have been loitering near the sewing machine for a month or two now. It would be useful to have them back in rotation. I have a pair of navy cotton stretch capri Clovers I made over summer too in addition to the ones pictured.
3 Clovers

Or I could go choose a completely different pattern… Thursday night is the deadline to decide as the weekend will be my time to do any last minute sewing.

Update: It’s now Sunday and I have cut out two more knot tops – one in the sheeny grey knit with long sleeves, and another in a splodgy navy khaki cream poly chiffon with short sleeves. That chiffon one will be one day of the conference and the white linen the other (35 deg C during the day). I’m already realising a ‘bottom’ such as a skirt or trousers would have meant less washing mid week.

And the Nominations are in!

Excited squeal and Blushing! Thank you to the Curious Kiwi for nominating me for a Liebster Award.  I’ve enjoyed reading all about your sewing creations, your move back home to Wellington, and your reviews of pattern magazines too. Oh, and the Pressing Equipment Mission. I’m going to need at least a proper sleeve board for my overcoat sewing plans this autumn/winter.

“The origins of the Liebster Blog Award are somewhat unclear but the general consensus is that it means favourite or dearest to showcase bloggers with fewer than 200 followers.”

And it comes with the following ‘rules’:

1 – Thank your liebster blog award presenter on your blog.
2 – Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you.
3 – Copy/paste the blog award on your blog.
4 – Present the liebster blog award to 5 blogs (with 200 followers or less).
5 – Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment.

So, who to pass this onto? It was tough to narrow this down to 5 – let alone find five of my faves who haven’t already been nominated. At that point I decided that receiving an award twice would be just fine… And, 200 followers – too tricky to tell! All of these blogs deserve more than 200 followers :-)

Bouquets of flowers go to:
1. Lizz of A Good Wardrobe for her self drafted top inspiration and her Spring Wardrobe Challenge planning approach – I likes me a good plan!
2. Leah of Struggle Sews a Straight Seam  for her funny adventures and great writing style. Psst  Leah’s running a giveaway of a super blue skirt – grab your measuring tape and see if it will fit!
3. Rachel of MyMessings for totally derailing my budget for fabric shopping in Melbourne by telling me about Sydney Rd and prompting me to get to Rathdowne Fabrics including public transport directions. Photos coming soon.
4. Lee of The Slow Steady for her lovely dresses and peek inside her world in New York – she seems to be falling comfortably into her new habit of blogging very well. Factoid: We both started our blogs in January this year.
5. Paunnet for her beautiful photos of her new creations and inspiration posts. Her recent purple Chloe from Victory Patterns has got my fingers itching to make one.

Thankyou for being part of my sewing world.

Jolly Jalie Jeans

Not sure why I made jeans when I haven’t owned a pair that fit me for several years. Or perhaps the answer is there straight away. These aren’t the most exciting design-wise but for me they are a big shift in thinking about what I can do, and the value of pattern blocks/ basic patterns tweaked to fit.

Finding the write-ups of various patterns on PatternReview together with photos of all sorts of body shapes helped me narrow down the pattern choice to Jalie 2908. I worked with some stretch denim I picked up at The Fabric Store earlier in the year. I had thought of doing a muslin but couldn’t find fabric of a similar weight/stretch for less than I paid for this denim, so cut into the denim with an extra 20mm on all seam allowances on the legs and waist as a precaution.

I overlaid the jeans pattern with my adapted Clover trouser pattern to find the curves down to hip line were a near-on perfect match.

(L) Back (R) Front - Jalie 2908 on top (lines), adapted Clovers under

So I cut my fabric and crossed my fingers and ended up with a pair of jeans that fit me well and I am stupidly proud of. I did end up adding a bit more width at Centre Front, and in the thighs but pretty negligible compared to the tweaks I had to do first time around with the Clovers. Putting in the work in October last year paid off this past weekend.

The most fun? Well, besides putting them on and grinning? Hammering in the rivets. It was impressive the difference this little feature made. It shifted them to another level of polish I think for a standard yellow topstitched pair. They felt finished when I did the rivets. Thank you to Melissa of FehrTrade for her rivet tips including clipping the height of the nail part.

There is a bit of excess fabric at the back of the knee/lower thigh that I am sure could be dealt with.Tips anyone?

But overall, for a first pair of stretch denim jeans I am very pleased. No gaping at the back of the waist, no half metre of fabric to take off the hem, enough fabric to cover my thighs. Make again – sure thing. Also Zac asked if I could buy heavier/ regular denim to make him a pair to his specs. What a compliment from a 19 year old son!

Yeah right, the world needs more pictures like this

I'd run out of charming smiles by this stage