Tuesday, October 10, 2017

It got one wear at least...


I got these patterns last year from my friend in the US. I finally made the waterfall coat from some delicious raspberry wool. This is from the fabric sale I go to... $4 per meter!!! It is a bit fuzzy on one side and shiny and smooth on the other. It is beautiful and soft and perfect for this jacket. I just got rid of my wool coat I bought about 25 years ago. Sounds like eons, but in Brisbane it got worn only on cold days when I was going out, it got a lot of wear when I bought it but mostly for going into and back from work, so really not a lot of wear on a day to day basis. I saw it had worn through a couple of months ago so time to go. Don't get me wrong, I knew it had to go years ago but I wasn't working for 12 years so wasn't budget for it or real need either.


It seems all my photos will be in the work lift. Sorry I know they are terrible but I just don't have a good photo set up or the time (mostly no inclination). I had my backpack and walking shoes on. I messed up the dart in the front of the shoulder on one side. Nothing you'd notice but it just slightly puts the waterfall of the front out (not that you see it in this photo with the backpack on). I think I'll put some shoulder pads in it though. I have tiny shoulders and I made this a 12 I think so I could layer under it but I should have made the 10. I was surprised there were no pockets in this pattern so I added lovely deep ones. I have only worn it once. I was the hottest winter here with the average temperature being 26 degrees (ha so not winter) so by the time I got to it, it was too hot. Next year I'll see it I need to add a belt as it kind of swishes about. I'll need to wear it more.




I also wore the New Look 6549 pants and the Simplicity 9437 top to work for casual Friday. I got a lot of compliments for the pants. It's a really great pattern with the perfect amount of flare for me... I get a little overwhelmed with too much fabric swishing about my legs. I'm a fast walker so I feel like the fabric will get trapped in my legs and trip me over... probably not likely but that's how it feels.
The top is a great basic pattern that is quick to make and the fabric would make it look different. I have some small cuts of silk that I'll try and make up for a work 'uniform'. Some more of these pants too. I think I'll hem the top a little sorter though.. I like a top to finish at my hip bone. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wearing the skirt... and a bra.

This is a bad elevator photo of one of the Halle skirts. It's worn with he rayon top and a long cardi bought at Kmart. I'm going to copy this cardi as I like it. I didn't think I would hence buying a cheap one but having said that, I've used it heaps and it hasn't pilled. I've got a lovely floral knit I bought from the fabric sale last year (earlier this year??) but as it's going to be 37 degrees tomorrow, don't know if it's worth investing the time. 

Also I made a bra. I went to a bra making workshop last Saturday. It's not finished and it doesn't fit hence the not finished. I'm leaving you with some photos and when I have the energy on the weekend I'll review the course and the pattern as I see it. Maybe it'll be finished by then too... I have it half pulled apart now to redo and I also have a Kwik Sew pattern I have had cut out for a couple of months and maybe I'll get that made too. Not bad for a first go and really it isn't hard... as per usual it's the fitting and adjusting that's the issue.





Friday, September 22, 2017

And the rest..including Style Arc Halle Skirt

This should be called the *rapiest photos ever.. anyway, this is from probably two months ago. I have just had no time to get good photos or me wearing them even though I wore them a lot during winter. Of course winter here is about 5 minutes long. 


I scored the Style Arc Halle Stretch Skirt from the Spooleetes High Tea in April. I love the asymmetric front. The skirts below are not in the order I made them.  It's a great pattern. Three pieces and I can cut one out and sew it up in 30 minutes. Perfect work skirt. 



This piece of fabric was from New Zealand when I was living there in 2003. It was just a small piece and just enough for a front/back straight piece using the back pattern piece only, with splits on the side. It is excellent fabric and a very plain but useful skirt.


The  second made was the very spongy black patterned knit stuff. I bought this at Darn Cheap in Melbourne last year. It's soft and warm and very easy to sew. It was the full size and is nice and comfy. I needed to shorten it through the middle for the next iteration as it at a daggy length on me. With boots and tights it's great though. The plan was to make a raglan top in same fabric but that never got made. Further down I'll show you the raglan top I made to wear with it. 



This one is made from a ponte from Spotlight a couple of years ago. The purple stripe actually meets in a right angle and it looks really nice on.


First made was the red one, made from a scrap of scuba from Spotlight. Not my red (I like the more blue based and this is more orange based) but it's not next to my face so it doesn't matter. It was just a metre so the skirt is shorter than the pattern but it was a small investment in time and fabric to see if the skirt suited me.


Making these skirts prompted me to start using my coverstitch machine. I really wanted to get some good practise in and did. It is really easy to use and even changing colours is a breeze. I'm not afraid of it anymore. 


This is the top I made to go with the  black skirt. It's a scrap from the fabric sale. It was $1. It was to try Burda 6846 out. I made an 8 in the neck and shoulders and graded out to a 10 under the arms and to a 12 from there. It fits perfectly.  It's a great colour but the fabric has pilled a bit. I thought it was the fabric at first but worked out it's my work lanyard.


The other top I made (I wear with the striped skirt) is another Simplicity 9437. This is a great simple pattern that fits really well.


I made it from some off white rayon from East Coast Fabrics.  It's really comfortable and perfect for work.


I had started this green merino fleece sweatshirt for my son last year. I just needed to put some binding and hem the sleeves and waist. I used some stripe for the neck and sleeves and used the reverse coverstitch for the hem. I really like it but Alex hasn't worn it much. It won't fit him next year but it fits me so I may wear it, I really like the green with the stripes. The stripes is a double sided one that I got at Clear It in Melbourne. It's got wider stripes on the reverse. I really want to make a waterfall cardi with it.


This top was my first try at a boys t-shirt pattern to see the fit. It was a good fit and so I made another merino/nylon sweatshirt for my son. It's dark grey with a smooth outer which is nylon and the terry inside is merino. I've made some tights with it a couple of years ago and a sports jacket and it's so warm, comfy and wears so well.


The dinosaur print was a cotton knit remnant from Spotlight that I bought to use for practise. I wore it for winter pj's. 



I made some New Look 6459 culottes from this rayon spot fabric and they fit perfectly. I wore them once and the second time I wore them they spit at the top of my thigh right in the middle length ways. I bought this fabric from an online shop and it was a nice heavy weight, but there was a couple of holes in it and I think it was old and hence it split. I was so disappointed. I made the white rayon top to wear together and it split under the arms but I fixed that up and it's fine. Funnily I read an article about reinforcing the underarm seams on those types of sleeves, so I did that.


I finished this dress ages ago but I think I stretched the facing around the front/neck and the shoulders are still too big for my niece. It looked so good on her but I'm not sure if I should invest the time to fit it properly or cut my losses and make it a skirt??? Any thoughts?


Thanks for reading this far. I have just finished a Butterick Lisette Waterfall coat so I'll post that next. Of cause just in time for it to be 37 degrees on the weekend. Oh and speaking of the weekend, on Saturday I'm doing a bra making workshop. So excited for a proper fitting bra.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Kinky Orange


This is my beautiful friend who lives in the States and is right in the thick of the storms at the moment, but a two weeks ago she was here and for a big birthday (hers) we went to see Kinky Boots.
It is a terrific show... plus shoes!! This was outside in the walkway from the Lyric Theatre. Maree's favourite colour (well one of them) is orange.  She got her great boots at a sale in the States .. fantastic leather suede over knee boots... so envious!! And very fitting.


More orange. This is my new rashie outfit for aqua aerobic. Even though I hate the bands that come from wearing a rashie, I'd hate skin cancer just so much more, so rashie it is. Just for some perspective, this winter the average daily temperature was 26 degrees, with no rain and the clearest, most beautiful blue skies ever. Perfect for cultivating opportunity for skin trouble.


Back to the suit. It's made up from scraps left over from other togs I made about 18 months ago. I would have liked to have the little pictures/printed lycra on the outside on the bottoms as well, but I really didn't have enough. If you do go on the link about the other togs I made with this lycra, it tells the story of the lycra ... quite interesting, designed by a Brisbane designer (with whose husband I was in high school with). The fit is great. The pants fit really great. The legs are a great shape. I'm short waisted and the length of them is a big high for me, but I didn't shorten them because I didn't want the rashie to ride up and expose white flesh to the sun (let alone the people). I also lined the pants with plain orange lycra, but cut it in one piece by sewing up each front and back and just cutting around that.

The top is also a pretty good fit. As the depth between my shoulder and underarm (is that making sense?) is short, I will shorten the rashie there for next time. It is also quite short. I half made this up at a Brisbane Spoolette's sewing day and Amy made a suggestion to put elastic around the waist if it rides up. I thought it was a great idea, but because it was short (and check out the photo in the pattern below) I put a band around it. I tested this rashie out one session and it was really good. It folds out in that tricky spot mentioned above but doesn't really ride up so I'm happy with that.  The short sleeves were long.. I hate long short sleeves and instead of cutting the excess off, I folded it up like you do with a blind hem and overlocked around it, turing it into a band without the fuss of cutting out the bands, the excess length, pinning it up etc etc. It's such a bright set but works so I'm happy. I wear it with a sports bra and I'm going to try the Simplicity sports bra pattern soon too. So I would recommend this pattern, but it is short (for the crop top) but the pants are a great fit.


 Both these patterns ( and the others in the photo above) are patterns that Maree chased around at Joanne's around  the States like a personal challenge and left saying not to forget to send her a list of patterns I want... she found a great challenge to look for the patterns for $1 or $2 ... works for me!

I'm so looking forward to making that Rachel Comey top.. actually making all these. Goodness knows it's going to be warm enough. I also need to make my son some more shorts. His cloud shorts are his favourite. Plus there's holidays coming :)

Sunday, August 13, 2017

It's been a while - lots of sewing done

Wow, it's been a while and I've been sewing up a storm. Don't even know how to start. I've done sewing for me, my son and for some gifts. Sorry about the chopping all over the place in this post. I've so much to say and made so much but not many photos of being worn and so the rotten photos I have here or else it would never get done. There will be a 2nd catch up post because this one would be too long if I did everything.




Firstly the patterns I asked my friend to bring me back from the States. I know there are some very similar but I guess I was giving the list like I take to Spotlight expecting I won't get them. I did try to get these at the sale before this one but I didn't get one of these. I've got half the pattern paper cut out already and to tell the truth with 30 degrees in winter next week I'm going to use them earlier than I thought! I'm excited to have the sports bra pattern. I'm going to make a first one in lycra and the rashie for my aqua as it's getting warmer and it's hard to reach the top of my back for sunscreen and that's a must here.  I like the short rashie too as I'm so short waisted and big hipped that normal ones ride up so I'm hoping to get a three piece made for aqua soon.



This red merino cardi is from Simplicity 2560 which is a beaut pattern. This red merino was a piece from the merino bouquet my niece made for me for my birthday this year. It was just 1 metre and the length of the skirt and the length of the sleeves were determined by the cut of fabric. It is perfect. I LOVE it and I've had a lot of positive comments about it. It's one of my favourite things I've made. I did actually go to find some more fabric from The Fabric Store as I wanted to make one of the Kwik Sew 3977 (below) but there wasn't enough and I needed 1 metre to have enough but it must have been a different roll (there was only 1/2 roll left) and the colour was just ..just off but enough for me to notice. We all know no-one else would notice but that's all that I'd see. Anyway I was pleased to get this out of 1 metre and it's just what I wanted.


I have  a Brother 3240CV coverstitch that my niece picked up for me 2nd hand in Sydney a few years ago. I've used it once. With this limited use, I still wanted to use it, but I was afraid of it... but that didn't stop me thinking seriously that I needed the Janome one. Then I thought that was an idiotic idea... if I have one I just need to buckle down and use it and if I could use it and still didn't like it, then fair enough, but I hadn't given it a chance.  So I've made a tonne of knit things the last few months and the coverstitch has made it so quick and easy to hem and finish it's not funny. Now I'm not afraid of it and I don't feel the need to immediately get another brand. Maybe I will later when I am more experienced but right now, it hems perfectly and I really appreciate it. (Just for reference it was only $250 and I was getting my niece who doesn't sew to pick it up .. she asked them to run it bless her. It was pretty well used and a few little thread guide bits missing but it works). Incidentally when I was hemming the sleeve of the little red cardi, I didn't notice the 2nd needle thread had pulled out and it sewed a single line of stitching with a chain stitch underneath. I forgot you could do that so a practice without full knowledge of doing it. So in fact you could use just 2 threads for a great finish that is so quick. I'm really glad I've 'mastered' (hardly) the coverstitch as I have used it so much the last few months and it makes a great finish and is super easy and much easier to use and thread than the overlocker. If you do a lot of sewing, it's a great machine to have and really makes hemming knits a breeze and fast!


This is the first thing I finished with the coverstitch. A lovely raglan t-shirt, perfect for work made from a remnant from the fabric sale I go to.. it was .50 cents. I have another cut of this slightly more red colour and the bodysuit featured before (still not finished) is in an oily green colour. All .50 cents. Bargain!

And pattern for the top above. I know I cut an 8 to the underarms and 10-12 going down. Fits perfectly. Quick and easy to wear.



Last year I went to the Kitty d' Amour fabric sale and bought a few things, two of which were marked "wool". I pulled it out to sew up a few things as I like the colours. One is the aqua with a green lace overlay (the colours on my monitor are pretty accurate) and the other is a bit fleecy on the back and I wanted to make an unlined jacket or coat.  They aren't long cuts, 1.5 metres each and as you can see the labels, they weren't cheap but they were interesting colours and reasonably priced if it was wool and I thought I'd just do the burn test.


This is the one with the lace overlay with the overlay taken off. See how the fabric has melted and the 'fibres' have stretched like when you melt plastic. NOT WOOL! but synthetic. I was (am) really angry.


This burn test above is the raspberry boiled wool that I bought for $4 per metre at the fabric sale (already cut out ages ago for a Butterick Lisette waterfall coat but put to the back burner for more urgent things - maybe this week), the next one is another wool scrap from the black Kwik Sew I recently made for my niece and knew it was wool and the last two are the blue two above marked as "wool". It is really disappointing and I am so angry and so put off this brand.. although lets face it, I won't be buying clothes but I wouldn't go to their sale again and really feel like I want to return it.



Two bad photos of the Hollyburn skirt (well the skirt from the Lonsdale dress that is the Hollyburn skirt) that I made in an hour to wear to see The Ladies in Black. I used a purple synthetic silk lining (which isn't really apparent in these poor quality photos) and a net lace overlay fabric which was also a remnant from the fabric sale and $5 for a couple of metres. It was 4 seams each for skirt and lining, unhemmed and with an elastic waist. I made the top from an Ottobre pattern with beautiful heavy black satin from the same sale (remnant again about $1) and this is also what I wore to my Dad's funeral after Mum told me he loved black and purple together. That's the Burda coat I made about 9 years ago still going strong, and still getting compliments and looks of disbelief when I say I made it. It is a gorgeous satin fabric that has either the warp or weft threads (can't remember which) that are metal, about the gauge of steel wool.


This Kwik Sew 3977 on the left, I bought because my friend who brought the patterns for me, had a cardi like this on last year and it looked so good, so when I saw this pattern it was snatched up quickly. I've made three!, but none for me.


This is the third one I made for my sister who turned 50 today. Her favourite colour is purple and I picked this merino at The Fabric Store. It has a little square pattern in it. It's a beautiful colour and my sister loves it which made me very happy. I also made her a great hazelnut cake with chocolate icing.


This is the first one I made. Black merino for Mum as she's in mourning and wearing black. I also picked this up at The Fabric Store on sale for only $10 a metre - what a bargain! It's hard to see the waterfall of the fabric in the black but it's there and just like the pattern envelope. I also made one for same friend previously mentioned as she was 50 earlier in the year and I wanted to make her something too. She tried it on and loved it and I was so happy. She told me she loved her other one but she'd tossed it because it had pilled. Hers is in a gorgeous light royal blue colour with a light pale stripe through it at about a 5cm interval. It's a gorgeous weight and it's perfect for her. I did want to get some orange that I saw there a few months ago but when I went back they had sold out, but in actual fact this one is a heavier weight and better for where they live - plus bonus.. it will never pill. It will come out of the washing machine looking like new. Merino is expensive and I'm a tight ass  thrift person, but merino is worth every cent and SO easy to sew and look after.


Incidentally, I tried them on and it's so long on me I think I have to shorten it a bit. Plus I need some merino for me. This is a fantastic pattern. It takes one hour max to make and it looks terrific. If you see this and like that waterfall look it's perfect. Another plus for merino, it cuts so cleanly the raw edge is gorgeous.


Finally for tonight, this is the current Ottobre pattern sheet. I love that funnel neck jacket and have some emerald green wool I'd like to make this from as my old red jacket has definitely seen better days. Two things with this is that you only need one wool coat for years in Brisbane, and as it's been so warm here there's a question whether I need it or not. Well, I guess you need one good wool lined coat don't you... just don't hold your breath to see it. Next up I'll show you bad photos of about another 8-10 things I've made. Thanks for reading this far if you have 😀.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Making all the things... and a city surprise!

Well after working out I had nothing to wear and making stuff for my niece, I've found a real sewing mojo I haven't had for a while. This is just a teaser post really, as I haven't any photos of most of the stuff I've made. 

So first up is this Vogue basic design pattern I made last Saturday (as well as a skirt). It's a boxy, 2 piece pattern... I made D - in the cow pattern and headless red one. I made it out of a remnant piece of wool knit stuff that is in a mushroom colour. I have been trying to use this piece of fabric for about 5 years but it was not enough for anything. I'd played tetris with this pattern before but this time I made it work. If you can see, the pattern starts at a 14... I have the tiniest shoulders and this looks like I have my big sister's top on. It's comfy and warm though... I've worn it twice already. Goes so well with the skirt I made. No photo of the skirt yet though. 


The other thing I've nearly finished is a bodysuit! I can't believe I found this pattern at a sewing shop for $1. Three styles too... I used to wear a bodysuit in the 90's. I remember travelling on a motorcycle in the UK in 1992 wearing beautiful dark grey one. No tucking in and it kept your back warm. This was the trip where I started saying "the coldest winter I ever spent was summer in Scotland"! I've got style 3 together. I just need to put the snaps on, elastic around the legs and some binding. That's made out of a scrap of fabric bought for .50c from the fabric sale I go to.




These are the snaps. They are from the '80s when I did a short course on sewing lingerie. I'll find the unfinished (see snaps above) teddy thing to show you.... funny that's all I need to do on it... why didn't I ever finish it?? They need a wash but they've they've been kicking around for years :)




I also made another merino scarf for my niece. I got this gorgeous teal merino remnant from aforementioned fabric sale for $1 people!! It is really lovely but just not my colour. Nothing too complex here - cut it the width she wanted and then french seam the ends for an infinity scarf.  I think there is enough to make her another singlet top when I find the pattern I've made for it. I've also finished the dress I was finishing for her - just needs hemming but I dropped the pin that marked where she wanted it so I have to wait for her to come over. I'll finish that when she's here.


 I made an ivory coloured top from this pattern. Round neck version as the V neck isn't in the pattern envelope. It's a great simple pattern that fits me really well around the shoulders. This will go with a lot of things but I wore it with the polka dot (see previous post) New Look  6459 culottes. They fit perfectly after finally getting the waistband on, and I really love them but they have a sad story that I'll tell you next time. I've also made two Style Arc Halle Skirts and a skirt from some really special ruffle fabric (fabric sale again) that was a very quick make but no photos yet. It's rained all week and I've been home 4 days... most of that time not well enough to sew, but some was snuck in.

I've not only making fabric things, but food things too!


These are my corn fritters on a bed of rocket. I make these for breakfast and then we have them for lunch boxes.. if they last. I use corn meal instead of any flour (we aren't gluten intolerant, I just like it).

Then made some fantastic cinnamon buns. We love cinnamon buns. The recipe is from Minimalist Baker. I've used a few of her recipes and they are good. I haven't made these vegan as she has but everything she makes that I've tried is really good.



I also made gnocchi for the first time. It took about 10 minutes and was divine. Soft little pillows of ricotta, eggs and flour.


I made my standard tomato salsa (I use this for tomato soup base, Neapolitan sauce for pasta and added a bit of cream for this gnocchi. This is just fresh tomatoes, garlic and lots of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. If I don't have all fresh tomatoes (rare), I'll use canned, or if I only have a few fresh tomatoes I'll add a big dollop of tomato paste. To make it soup, I just add stock. This is our favourite soup.. takes 20 minutes and tastes sensational.


Tossed in some fresh basil leaves and a grating of Romano cheese and delicious. So the last couple of weeks have been very productive. I'll get photos of my finished sewing soon.  Oh, I nearly forgot the city surprise....


At my bus stop in town, I have seen this plaque for years but never looked at it closely. It's hard to read but it's called "Still Life with Reclining Bus Ticket". Have a closer look... there's the bus ticket reclining on the vase. The vase is resting on a Singer treadle sewing machine! It's a real reflection of Brisbane life... the Hills Hoist  (clothes line) through the window, with the Story Bridge in the background. A real city surprise!

(Thanks for reading this long, long post.)