Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sydney Sewers Meet Up!

Do you like fabric? Do you like sewing? Do you like talking about both to like minded people?? Well, I've been thinking... We should catch up right?

Kristy and I have been talking and we think a Sydney sewers catch up is long overdue. We've devised a simple plan to meet on November 24. As it's central, we thought Tessuti in Surry Hills would be a good place to start, probably around 12:30pm, and we could possibly wander over to The Fabric Store too. Then perhaps a coffee or other beverage and chat somewhere nearby (any suggestions?).

Naturally everyone is invited - bloggers, non-bloggers, serious sewers, starting sewers, any sewers or sewists - whichever you prefer to be called.

So are you in? If yes, let me know so I can get even more excited about a day out and about with no kids!

Please also let me know if you have any ideas about a venue for a chat after our fabriky retail therapy.
Fiorentina Wavies & StraightsNavy Spatolata Pansy Rosso
Some of the beauties I've been obsessing over on the Tessuti site.

Monday, October 29, 2012


Oh my! The little monster is three!
We celebrated her birthday yesterday.
This was the first year she was a 'real' girl. She actually wanted girly things like a Barbie cake!!!  
 She had her favourite yum cha for lunch - yum!
Cabbage Patch Doll - my choice, not hers - how retro!
 Scooter and helmet.
And three Barbies! What a happy girl!

So for the next two weeks, until Ollie turns six - I have a three year old, four year old and five year old, and I must say, things are finally getting easier.

Happy birthday Miss!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Cotton eyelet protocol

I'm just after a little input from my wise readers today.

I have this great black cotton eyelet that I picked up earlier this year from The Fabric Store. I really want to use it to make a Simplicity 2591, but am unsure whether to line the dress.

I kinda like the violet lining, but as usual, am worried about it looking a little too 'crafty' and naturally it will add bulk, which I don't need in summer. If I don't line it and just wear a black slip, the effect will be more subtle, but you'll still see the detail.
What do you think? Fully line, or just wear a slip? Or another thought, should I line it in black to be more subtle and less craftsy??

Also what's your opinion about scalloped hems? Too cutesy or OK?

I'm feeling a little indecisive today. Can you tell?

Lastly, I've received quite a few requests recently for my copy of Simplicity 2591. I'm not sure what has stirred this recent interest as the pattern is old. Unfortunately, I'm not ready to let go of mine yet, but if one of my readers has a copy they don't want, I urge you to pop it on Etsy or Ebay. There are people in need.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Simplicity 1801 - Devil Fabric!

It's sad, but I don't love this dress. I've wanted to make it for so long, but really can't think about wearing it. In fact, it's taken me over 3 weeks just to blog it.
So the dress is probably OK, but the fabric was the devil to work with - silk chiffon! The dress seemed to take forever to make and was just nerve wrecking the whole way through. I was paranoid about ruining the fabric, cutting wrong, sewing wrong, just plain anxious. As it turned out, I had to re cut one skirt panel twice due to it being off grain and twisting.
The flat fold piping was also a little challenging to insert, as it generally always is, and the fit required a bit of tweaking, which I found as I sewed, as I didn't muslin the pattern first - risky!
This is the best shot of the piping, which was intentionally very fine.
It's funny, but when Sophie said recently that she was still happy with a garment that took quite some time to make, I didn't relate. I often find that the more I work on a garment, the less I love it in the end. I think this is the problem with this dress. I often wear the simpler garments that I make most - tanks, dresses, simple skirts.
I made a few modifications to get this dress to fit, just a tweak or two under the arm and waist. Most nerve wracking, was realising the v neck wasn't just low, it was downright indecent. Rather brazenly, and thankfully before attaching the waist band, I cut down the middle and removed about and inch, maybe more, from the centre front. The inside finish due to this isn't the best, but I just wasn't feeling able to pick apart a fully linen silk chiffon bodice.

Dress details:
Pattern: Simplicity 1801 $7 inc part shipping
Fabric: 2m silk chiffon from The Fabric Store, on sale $30
Lining: 1.5 m navy silk cotton also from The Fabric Store on sale $20
Invisible zipper and thread $5
Total: $63 Ouch!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Chair finished.

My husband is quite pleased to see the back of this chair. Not literally :) It's been taking up 'valuable' space in his garage for quite some time.
I've only just managed to finish the timber after finishing the upholstery in early August. It only took just shy of 2 years to finish the whole chair. Not too bad right?

At least it is finished and just in time for my next projects, which will look great on my yet-to-be-built back deck....
 Cane Armchair from the side of the road :)
Six cane dining chairs picked up for a song from Gumtree.

In other news, working is killing me right now. I have two weeks of seriously full on stuff to do before I'll hopefully being able to relax a little and maybe start thinking about the silly season. I've noticed some of my other teaching blogger friends have not posted for a while, so I suspect it is busy for all of us. I might not be around much for the next couple of weeks. I have 4 items finished, but am struggling to find the time to photograph them (hence the rushed garage shots of these chairs!).

Happy weekend!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Another simple top. I'm not sure about you, but I wear the simple things I make the most.
This border print, cotton poplin was from Spotlight. I like the colours, which you can see better in the last photo below. These photos are suffering from poor husband photography skills again.
I matched the fabric pattern at both sides with little trouble, which is nice for a change. I used Grainline's Tiny Pocket tank pattern, leaving off the pocket - easy peasy.
I have another 4 finished items to show you, but am struggling to photograph them as they always seem to be in the wash or it's night time when I remember. Hopefully soon.

Pattern: Grainline Tiny Pocket tank. Used before = free
Fabric: 1m Cotton poplin from Spotlight = $9.95?? It was on sale, but I can't find the receipt.
Bias: made from remnant of cotton bastiste
Thread: from stash
Total: $9.95

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Simple shell

Gosh I've been smashed by work this week! I'm dreading the coming 9 and a  bit weeks. I hope the term flies by..
This simple shell has been sitting in my UFO pile for quite some time. At least 6 months. I don't know what pattern I cut. Possibly Simplicity 2599.
I thought a simple top would showcase this cool, Japanese border print the best. It's a Kayo Haroguchi double gauze print, but I fear it's a little boring. I'm also not sure I really like double gauze.

Anyway, it's off the UFO pile now.

Fabric 1.5 yards double gauze from Superbuzzy. I remember I purchased it on sale. Say $30 inc part postage?
Pattern: Probably Simplicity 2599, used before = free
Total: $30

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Stepping away from the dress pattern....

Seriously, I am stepping away from the Darling Ranges dress pattern after this! I think four versions is enough for now :)
 This dress didn't photograph too well this morning. Too sunny and lovely in Sydney!
I removed a few inches of fullness from the skirt this time. I was worried about the lighter colour of the dress looking a little juvenile with a full skirt.
Can you spot that slightly mis-matched button! doh!
I lined the skirt to deal with fabric sheerness and underlined the bodice so the colours remained consistent. As with previous versions the front placket isn't functional.

The fabric is a Japanese lawn from Spotlight. I headed there yesterday to buy fabric for my mother in law and couldn't resist this. It reminds me of Liberty Small Susanna, but in a much more mature and wearable colourway.

Not surprisingly, I have a matching yellow belt and peep toe shoe combination that works marvellously with this fabric. I just need a necklace now. Maybe in the magenta/violet colour.

Dress cost:
Pattern: Darling Ranges dress, used before = FREE
Fabric: 2m Japanese lawn from Spotlight = $19.90
Lining: 1m cotton batiste from Spotlight = $4.95
Buttons: from Op Shop = $1 (yes, I get a lot of buttons from the Op Shop. I stash them when I see nice ones. I think a factory might supply my local Op Shop)
Total = $25.85

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Burda 3/2012-106

I'm so incredibly happy with this dress. What do you think?
My husband took these photos while he cooked dinner on the barbeque. He didn't mention the clothesline in the back ground until he'd taken his negotiated 10 shots. I  managed to convince him to take two more. I wish I'd have worn my black shoes, but he was rushing me... I think I'll continue taking my own photos from now on.

Back to the dress. I used Burda 3/2012-106 cutting a straight size 36.
The crazy orange, hounds tooth-like, poly stretch fabric was rescued from an old strapless dress that I wore only a handful of times before having kids. I'm just not comfortable wearing strapless garments when there is a very real risk of a kid pulling it down.

To salvage the strapless dress I originally changed it to a midi skirt, but it hasn't been worn often enough to keep it. I think this is a much more paletable solution for this wild fabric.
The bottom of the dress is black ITY jersey which I picked up from The Remnant Warehouse on the weekend. I knew that with gathers sitting in such an odd place on my upper bust, that the base fabric would have to be super drapey to prevent it looking like a maternity dress.

I cut the skirt longer than I normally do. Just for something different and I really like it.

Dress cost:
Pattern: Burda 3/2012-106 traced from Library copy = free
Fabric: Orange fabric salvaged from existing garment = free
Black ITY Jersey 1m = $8.95
Thread and interfacing from stash
Total: $8.95

Yes - I am happy about that price!!