Friday, 4 March 2016

What could be better than a frock and cocktail?

Frocktails that's what! For those of you who haven't encountered a 'Frocktails' before it is when a bunch of sewist get together for cocktails (generally) wearing a frock that they have sewn.

I was lucky enough to get along to the Melbourne Frocktails in January.

I was a little nervous as I hadn't met any of the sewist before, I Instagram-knew a few of them but hadn't ever talked to them eek. But I needn't have worried, everyone was super friendly and made a real effort to include the out-of-towners.

The hubby and I decided to make a weekend of it and drove down to Melbourne on Friday morning. We had a fantastic afternoon and evening wandering around the city, we had Mexican from Fonda for dinner and it was delicious!

Saturday I joined a few sewist headed up by the wonderful Anna (from Blogless Anna) for some fabric shopping around Melbs, We hit a few shops I had been to before and a few I hadn't. It was great to get to know some of the lovely ladies and to buy fabrics from somewhere other than Spotlight!

I was too excited to take any photos but here is one I stole from Anna's Instagram, ekk.

Here is a quick snap of my spoils, I only went $5 over budget, not to shabby considering all the temptations!!

But now to the main event. 2016 Melbourne Frocktails was held at Collins Quarter, we packed out our area with beautiful ladies in magnificent frocks.

So many awesome frocks, I spent my whole evening touching peoples' hems.

 These amazing girls organised the whole sha-bang! and they did a fantastic job.

 I had a lot of fun giggling with these two fellow red heads. Kate and Emily

 And here is the whole lot of us, I was so inspired by all the sewing talent that I sewed pretty much constantly for the rest of Jan! PS how great are these photos taken by Louisa

Now to my frock, yay! I was wanted to make something sparkly and glam. I was inspired by this Channel dress.

I couldn't find any suitably embellished fabric so I had to do the beading by hand.

Working away.

Close up of the beading. I glued the big beads on first, they didn't have holes. I think they are intended for scrapbooking but I live in a smallish town and it all I could get.

Somany seed beads. 

I made up the dress using my T&T shift dress pattern New look 6983 - for the top part in a silk dupioni. I just made up the bottom kind of draping as I went and it is some kind of chiffon.

The beading was a bit of a labor of love, I did it in 15 minute increments throughout December. It was a great project to have on the go when I was super busy with all the Christmas madness. I just did a little bit each day. I think all-in-all the beading took me 7 hours.

I had such a good time, and met so many great people, I can't wait for the next one!

Friday, 1 January 2016

The story of five pairs of trousers, or hey sewists look at my butt!?

Hello hello.

I hope you have had an enjoyable Christmas and New Year; I had a wonderful time, seeing friends, hanging out with my husband and sewing: specifically, sewing pants.

I bought some beautiful black and white linen when I was in Auckland last Christmas (of the 2014 variety). It had been sitting in my stash making eyes at me for 12 months before I realized it wanted to be made in to trousers.

Naturally I couldn't cut straight in to my beloved linen without road-testing the pattern first.

I had picked up Burda 7250 a few months ago in a Spotlight sale and thought it would be good for a light-weight summer pant.

 - pants/trousers seems to be one of the words that my poor addled English brain can't settle on. Here in Australia they are pants, but back home pants are underwear and we call the long things that cover your legs trousers so now I oscillate between the two!?

I tested the pattern in a light-weight cotton stripe that I picked up from an op-shop for about a dollar.

I cut out a size 14 based on the finished garment measurements printed on the tissue paper, but they were too big and keep slipping off of my hips, 1 1/4 inches taken mostly from the back seam sorted me out.

I was pretty happy with these but still to scared to cut into my final fabric, so next up is a cotton-linen blend I picked up in Spotlight. It is not as drapey as the final fabric but closer than the cotton.

I love these pants, I am really happy with the pattern matching placement.

So I went to sleep a happy girl, dreaming of making striped linen pants. When I awoke, however, I was worried that the style was not quite right so I dug out Simplicity 1430 which I have made a few times and never loved the fabrics or the fit.

I pulled out some of my ''bought it cheap to test patterns' cotton and got to work. I worked out the fit issues but cutting a size 12 all over apart from the waist band which I cut in a 14.

I actually really like these pants and can see myself wearing them in the winter with some oxfords and a jumper.

So now that the pattern fits, time was time to try some similar fabric. This check fabric is again from Spotlight, a nice heavy but not-too-stiff cotton.

I am pretty happy with these pants too, I will wear them a few times before I decide if they get a permanent spot in my wardrobe.

Once again I went to sleep full of dreams of striped linen trousers. When I awoke I was back to the Burda pattern as my pant style of choice, and here are the stripy linen trouble makers.

PS now it is all done I love the stripes, but I think the red linen ones are my faves, eek.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Happy Christmas and a merry new year.

I am really enjoying seeing all of the 2015 sewing round-ups and thought I would join in the fun.

I have not blogged much this year (it is hard to take photos during the process) but I sure have been sewing!

I did a quick count and got to 80ish me-made garments this year - wowsers! Some of them were gifts, others were so bad they went straight to the op shop, some of them are basics and didn't even made it to Instagram, but here are a few that did.

Rocking my Grainline Alder shirt dress in Sicily with my handsome husband!

Mccalls 7100 love this pattern .

A cheeky Vogue 1395.

Working on my Melbourne Frocktails frock.

Embroidery on a rainy weekend.

Leather and the most slippy polyester I have ever touched. Love the end result of this vintage Style pattern!

Privileged to pattern test this beauty, the Pin Pegs mini from Sew this pattern.

Another fave, this Gorman inspired dress is a hacked Tate top from Workroom Social.

These lovely wool pants only lasted one outting; they shreded *sob*. Simplicity 1430.

Wool and terry sweatshirt to keep out the chill.

Recently won this pattern in a Fold Line give away, it is Named Kielo and I love it!

Monday, 18 May 2015

"Me Made May" is getting tricky

Hello Hello.

I hope your May is ticking along nicely. I am still on track with my "mmmay15" pledge to wear or carry at least one me made item a day.

I am really enjoying seeing all the me made items on Instagram and other blogs, I am so inspired by all the talented and stylish makers that I want to spend every free minute on the sewing machine!

I have had a cold this week, sob, which added a element of snot to all of my photos, so enjoy!

Ok up first, day 11 was a super snotty day and I barely got out of bed, so thanks goodness for these jersey pants, made without a pattern.

Days 12 and 13 were less mucous-y, but still not great in the face region.
A spot of embroidery  on a gingham top made from an old Simplicity pattern 7773.
A chambray and check cotton raglan sleeve shirt with mods, from a vintage Simplicity pattern 7057

Days 14 through 18 the waves of boggies have calmed down to a gentle stream yay.
I almost forgot to take day 14's photo so had to get one in quick whilst brushing my teeth, the jumper is a mystery wool and jersey made using a vintage style 3253.
Day 15 is a self drafted pencil skirt with a kick pleat made from a lovely printed fabric that feels a bit like denim.

Day 16 was a bad me made day, I made these lovely wool plaid pants from Simplicity 1430, but the seams pulled apart during a trip to the farmers' market and park. *sob*.
Day 17 head to toe me made, well shoulder to knee. Patterned jersey dress I made a few years ago, by extended a t-shirt pattern but I can remember which one, textured sweatshirt fabric using another pattern I cannot remember, sorry.
Day 18 blue gingham dress with collar and placket in a smaller gingham made using vintage Butterick 6667.

I am still enjoying the challenge of dressing in me made everyday, but it is getting trickier as the weather cools off, I was super stoked that the sun was out today so I could wear my new dress without thick tights. How are you going with Me made may?

Sunday, 10 May 2015

My maiden "Me Made May".

Hello hello.

So my Instagram feed is chock full of fabulous Me Made outfits from sewists across the world. I am loving seeing people's takes on all sorts of pattern. 

You may have read that I have decided to take part in Me Made May this year And not just because I am a sucker for alliteration. I thought it would be fun to see if I could wear or carry at least one me made item every day for a month.

Week one has seen quite a big drop in temp here in Mildura, as you will see from the photos, I started may with bare legs, and today I am wearing tights, a scarf and coat.

Ok, so hear is the run down so far. In no particular order (left to right, top to bottom):

Image one, Isley skirt by Marillia Walker in chambray.
Image two, a vintage shirt dress patterns from Butterick in double gauze ikat.
Image three McCall's 6885 in striped upholstery fabric.
Image four New Look 6394 in a red and white gingham print rayon.

Image five, Rebecca Taylor for Vouge 1395 in a bow print poly
Image six, pants Simplicity 1430 in red strech satire with a bambo print, jacket McCall's 7100 in black neoprene, the gorgeous boy is borrowed.
Image seven, dress vintage Style 1116 in chambray and jacket a lengthened McCall's 7100 in grey wool
Image eight, coat Burda 7072 in a cream upholstery fabric

I've saved my two favourite outfits for last.

Image nine, another McCall's 6885 with a reduced collar in some fun wool I found in an op shop
Image ten, black and grey shirt vintage Simplicity 7057 in black and grey double gauze

Are you taking part in Me Made May? How long will you last before you have to repeat? 

Sunday, 3 May 2015

A bunch of Bombers - Mccalls 7100

Hello lovely people of the internet sewing world.

Are you taking part in "Me Made May 15"? I am doing it for the first time this year, and am loving seeing all the wonderful 'me made' items on instagram each day.

If you haven't heard about it before, check out Zoe blog. She started the whole thing a few years back. I have decided to try and wear at least one me made item a day.

One of the reason I haven't done MMMay before is that May is a coldish month for us here in Victoria, and a lot of my me made clothing is for summer.

Enter McCall's 7100, the perfect Autumnal jacket to help fill the wintry gaps in my me made wardrobe!

I loved this pattern from the moment a saw it on the McCall's website. Sadly It didn't hit my local Spotlight store for another few months.

By the time I got my grubby little hands on it, I had the fabric and ribbing lined up for two versions, which I banged out in less than a week!

The first was a green pre quilted cotton that I picked up from and op-shop, but I think it was originally from Spotlight.

I made a Medium without any alterations.

My love then turned in to an obsession; the fit and the style of the jacket was perfect, so I decided it deserved to be lined. The pattern does not include a lining, but it wasn't to hard to work out. I cut the front, sleeves and back pieces out of the lining fabric, adding a 2 inch vent in the centre back for movement.  I made it up the same as the shell, machine sewed it on at the neck and base band then hand stitched the sleeves to the cuff and the front opening in behind the facing.

This jacket is pretty straight forward to construct, but the instructions are a little bit tricky to follow. It looks to me like they have forgotten to colour them in. They have the key indicating what the right side of the fabric and the wrong side of the fabric look like, but the pictures don't seem to use it.

 I also couldn't work out the method for inserting the pocket lining, in the end I just made it up and I am happy with the results.

Version two I made out of this amazing black neoprene from Darn Cheap Fabrics, in Melbourne. It has a pattern cut in to it which is not very clear in the photos so you will have to take my word on that.

This version of the jacket is probably the weakest, the stretch of the fabric made the neckline go wobbly even though I stayed stitched it, it also doesn't sit as nicely as the others. I will still wear it for sure but I will go with stiffer/thicker fabrics in the feature.

For my third and final - for now - I lengthened the pattern by 9 inches to make it in to a coat. I decided to omit the bottom band and just hem it.

I lined this one too, and I put bias binding on the edge of the front facing to avoid a bulky hem.


This is my favourite version and I can see myself wearing it a lot this winter. yay.