Summer Pattern and Fabric Haul October 2016

Bonjour my lovely sewers!

Finding myself a bit unsure of what I want to make this month, I decided to forgo making an "October Sewing Plans" video.  I think every sewer goes through these kinds of slumps, so I'm not concerned or upset by it, just simply waiting it out. In the meantime I bring you a HAUL of some sewing patterns and fabric that I am hoping will inspire me, and you if your experiencing something similar, out of this rut.

View Post

1920's Lace Blouse - Peppermint Magazine Peplum Hack

With summer fast approaching I've realised that I really don't have any summery tops in my wardrobe, just a lifetimes supply of oversized jumpers, apparently! This ended up being another one of those "happy disaster" type garments that I am really involve with. The lace application on the lower back gives it a slightly sexy 1920's feel that is very fun and cool (in the weather sense not the social status sense). While I do think that the pattern still needs a bit of tweaking I think I would be very happy to make this again!

Pattern Size: If I remember correctly, I believe that I cut the Medium, which was the perfect size for me. It was designed to be a loose fitting garment so I think I could have gotten away with cutting a size larger or smaller than the medium - but I am quite happy with the fit of the medium.

Fabric Used:  This is a lightweight rayon that I bought from Jack Textiles on Marrickville Road for $6 per meter. It's not a great quality fabric but I was originally using it more as a toile than anything else. The lace was actually some old curtain material that I bough from Spotlight a few years back. 

Was It Easy To Follow: YES. There are no complicated procedures in this pattern and I never had any difficulties or confusion with using it. 

Alternations Made: Where do I even start. It's pretty obvious that the finished garment doesn't exactly mirror the top on the front of the pattern. I originally intended for this to be a really simple top that I could wear underneath cardigans and Kimono type tops. Unfortunaelty it didn't quite suit so instead of waisting the make I decided to let my inner creator loose. As someone who doesn't like to have their arms on display I knew that I wanted to add a sleeves, and I have been really enjoying this summery and feminine fluted sleeve (I stole the pattern piece from my Butterick 5030 pattern). I did however come across a slight problem as the pattern was never designed to be paired with sleeves. After inserting the sleeves I found that the fabric around the chest and back were really being pulled out of shape, so to compensate I extended the already V shape of the back neckline to just above the peplum. I toyed around with ideas of straps, patches, panels and more until I finally settled on a open back with a lace insert. It was relatively easy to do with the only things needing care being the pattern placement of the lace and making sure that it was placed level. 

Did It Look Like The Photo/Drawing On The Front When You Were Done: If you don't consider the alterations/hacks I made then yes, the bodice and peplum look exactly as I thought they would. 

View Post

Floral 50's Summer Dress - Sew Over It Betty Dress Pattern Review

I'm IN LOVE, actually, genuinely I LOVE with this pattern! In all honesty I had absolutely no interest in this pattern when I saw it on the website until they released the "Betty Add On Pack" which included the option for a V-neck and sleeves. 

The front (with the V-neck option) and back neckline of this dress are a really fun and incredibly flattering design.

Pattern Size: I cut the 12 and while I did take about 3cm off the back on either side I am glad that I chose this size as I really liked the position of the darts and I think the 10 might have come out too snug on the bust. 
Alterations Made: The only issue I can across with this pattern is the same issue I encounter with most patterns that include fitted sleeves. I have larger arms they they just NEVER fit in the standard sleeve size provided by the pattern. I really need to get off my lazy arse and look into full arm adjustments! 

In this case I decided to cut a larger size and add more ease which resulted in a bit of an 80's poofy (thats a technical word for you right there) sleeve. I HATED this look so I decided to unpick the sleeves and cut out a different flutter sleeve, using a pattern piece from Butterick 5030. 

I much prefer the look and feel of this sleeve and I think it gives the garment a more 1940's overall look. 

Fabric Used: This is a "Liberty wanna be" fabric that I bought from Marrickville Road. The branding on the edge of the fabric claims that it is Liberty but obviously at $5/meter…nobody is fooled. I am still quite impressed with the feel of this cotton lawn, just like Liberty Lawn it is quite soft and thin and it has a fluidity that most cottons just don't have. 

Was It Easy To Follow: YES. The beauty of this pattern is that it is a very simple yet classic design that I think would be good for the advanced beginner. 

Did It Look Like The Photo/Drawing On The Pattern When You Were Done: Yes, pretty much, I think one me it does look slightly more fitted around the bust that it does in the photo but thats a difference I am very happy with! 

View Post

A Sewers Guide To Fabric Shopping In Sydney

Back in May, before I left for for my trip to Europe I spent a good amount of time trolling through the internet looking for Fabric shops in the cities I was going to be visiting. I remember think how useful it was when I came across a particular blog post which listed a bunch of different fabric shops in London that had been recommended by another sewing fanatic. So when I got back to Sydney I decided to do  bit of exploring and research to help concoct my only list of Fabric store in Sydney. I realise that there are shops that I have probably left out in this but I fully intend to keep adjusting this post as I learn about them. I hope you guys find this post as useful I the "London Fabric Shops" post I read! 

Spotlight and Lincraft 
I am putting these two shops under the same umbrella, as they are both chain stores that sell a wide range of craft and hobby material. Honestly I think they are most definitely over priced, especially seeing as the fabric is only mid-range quality. This is where I used to buy fabric when I first started sewing and didn't know I had many other options.

Marrickville Road - Tan Hung, Jack Textiles etc 
If you are just starting your sewing eperience/career (and so likely to make mistakes when sewing) or are working on a very strict budget I would recommend shopping for fabric on Marrickville road, in Marrickville. As these shops are just around the corner from my work I am always ducking in to see whats new. They have a HUGE variety of fabrics and their prices are THE BOMB, I'm talking average $5 per meter! 

The Fabric Store 
I am IN LOVE with this shop. Were it possible to be wed to a inanimate object, I would marry this shop. Probably the most expensive of all fabric shops in Sydney but they stock some of THE MOST beautiful fabric I have ever come across. They are the best stockists of Liberty Fabrics that I have found in Sydney and they are renowned worldwide for their quality of fabric! If you are looking to treat yourself, this is where you need to be. 

Similar to The Fabric Store this shop is full of high quality fabric, most of which is remnants from high end designers (think Dior, Gucci, Chanel etc). Personally I think they have a nice range of jersey and stretch fabric as well as beautifully coloured lace. Tessuti also sell their own patterns, none of which I have had the opportunity to try but I have heard some lovely reviews! 

The Remnant Warehouse 
This fabric shop sits somewhere in between the Marrickville fabric shops and Spotlight/Lincraft. They stock similar quality fabric to Spotlight/Lincraft but at the affordable prices you find in Marrickville. The Remnant warehouse have a GREAT collection of cotton, which would be great for any quilters out there and are also well know for their second extension shop which is stocked full of really fun costume fabrics (think sequins and tutus etc). 

The Quilt Store 
As the name suggest this shop is actually a quilting supply shop, so a majority of the fabric here is quilters cotton - but who's to say you can't use these in dressmaking. They have some really fun prints  and they also stock some Liberty cottons. Beware though this is not the place to go if you are tight with the coin purse! Also if you are looking for a reliable place to take your machine for a service I would recommend The Quilt Store! My mum has been taking the machine that I am currently using to be serviced here for the last 15 years it is still running like a dream. 

View Post

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes - Book Review

*I wrote this post about 3 months ago but in the spirit of true procrastination it's taken me this long to take a photo to accompany the review post ...sorry about that*

With the film adaptation of "Me Before You" only recently out, I really wanted to get my hands on a copy of the book before I saw it on screen, and I'm really glad I did. 

It is chic-lit at heart with a bit of an off centre spin. It's got themes that some might find a bit controversial or confronting, which I think makes it a really unique and interesting book. 

"Will Trainor is the embodiment of everything a young man could hope to be - he's rich, incredibly witty, has a thriving and enviable social social life, he's attractive, a successful and determined business man, he's well travelled and a bit of an adventure seeker. HE'S A CATCH...and then he's not. 

After a terrible accident which leaves him glued to a wheelchair, incapable of doing even the most menial task, Will's flat out lost any desire to live. In a frantic attempt to alter Will's outlook on life, the Trainor family employ Louisa Clark. She's a an odd sight to behold in brightly coloured dresses and bumblebee tights and has no previous work experience in a medical background. Not a conventional decision for the Trainor family to make, but like I said, they're desperate. "

Will and Louisa's romance isn't at all textbook and it's not what you might think. You have just got to read this book but be warner…I turned into a blubbering mess in the last few chapters. 

In terms of Moyes' writing style, it was pretty casual (almost like sitting down to have chat with a friend) but well put together and thought out. It had all the details that you needed and wanted and nothing more (no babble).

View Post

Floral Pussy Bow Blouse - Sew Over It Pattern Review

Pattern Size: I often rant about the difficult time I have with fit in most commercial patterns (I measure in at the size 14 but it always end up WAY too big), they often don't have the important measurements - the finished fit of the garment. However the Sew Over It patterns ALL have the finished measurements on the back of the pattern and they are very spot on! 

I cut the size 10 and, tucked into a dress or pants (as you can see in the photos) the sizing is pretty spot. I wouldn't mind cutting it in a larger size next time as I don't always want to tuck my shirts in and the size 10 only gives me a little wiggle room around the hips.  
Fabric Used: I bought this fabric a few months back from The Remnant Warehouse in Alexandria, Sydney. I have forgotten exactly what it is but it feels like a really high quality Crepe De Chine (FOOLED YOU because it was only $6-8 for the whole thing). It's incredibly slippery so was a bit fiddly to work with but patience paid off because it worked beautifully with this pattern. 
Was It Easy To Follow: Yes, as always with the Sew Over It patterns, the instructions were very clear and thorough and I LOVE that they have their patterns in a booklet form rather than an A3 foldout, its just a lot easier to handle!
The pattern itself is pretty basic, no tricky skills required, but the recommended fabrics, such as silk, crepe De Chine etc, which tend to have a "tricky to work with reputation" can make it a little more complicated. I did struggle a little with attaching the collar-tie but that had more to do with lack of experience and how darn slippery the fabric was than poor instructions! Also, I decided to forgo the loop and button on the cuff, purely because Im lazy and I found that I was able to get the cuff over my hand without them! 

Did It Look Like The Photo/Drawing On The Pattern When You Were Done:  Yes very much so and on top of that it is very comfortable to wear!

View Post
Previous PostOlder Posts Home