Tuesday, 22 September 2015


Ten years.

In two weeks time I'll have been married to my sweetheart for 10 years.

I can't believe how quickly it's gone by.

And we've been together for something like 20 years. Hoo-wee!

This is my anniversary dress. An I really don't get out much dress. A me-and-he weekend away for only the second time in over 5 years kind of dress. A very special I want you to remember how beautiful I can be kind of dress.

And I feel very beautiful.

This is the Flutter Tunic from Papercut Patterns. I really wasn't completely sold on this for me. I'd flirted with the pattern, but it was only the advent of a Papercut Patterns birthday sale recently that pushed me over the edge. And I am glad.

When I originally picked this fabric, an Italian viscose/cotton delustered satin called On Parade, for my next Pitt Trading project* I actually thought I'd make a top. But the print is so glorious, and the fabric so special, I knew it had to be a simple elegant dress to really make the fabric queen.

I made a size XS from shoulder to waist, grading to an S at the hip and bottom hem. I did toile this first to ensure no major alterations were needed and was ecstatic to find it fit perfectly. Even the French darts finished at the exactly right point on my bust. That never happens for me without an SBA.

The pattern suggests binding the neckline (and the pattern pictures show the sleeve hems bound as well) with self-fabric or contrasting binding that can be seen from the outside. I'm not a fan of exposed bias binding for me, so I used a silvery grey satin acetate bias binding as a facing on the neckline, hand blind-stitched down on the inside.

I couldn't make self-fabric bias as this fabric frayed like a maniac. Seriously, it came undone faster than a business executive at a yoga retreat. The fraying sent me into a mad panic that nearly required me packing myself off to said yoga retreat.

I was forced to serge the raw edges of most of the cut fabric pieces and sew the rest like a business executive needing a trip to a yoga retreat to get it constructed before the fraying ate my (very miserly) 1cm seam allowances. Weirdly I noticed it frayed on the cut crossgrain edges, but barely at all on the cut grainline edges. So my neckline, sleeve head and hem, and dress hem were at serious risk of being eaten up. I added one inch to the length at the lengthen line on the pattern, which makes it the exact finished length of all my me-made sack like dresses. When you're onto a good thing...

I also hand blind-stitched the sleeve and skirt hems as I really didn't want any visible topstitching to mar the perfection of this print.

In the end I'm really liking the oddly curved and dropped shoulder, the fluttery sleeves and the cheeky hi-lo hem. And how well it pairs with my me-made bronze leather clutch.

And with that, I'm off to knock my husband's socks off.

*Thanks go to Pitt Trading who provided my choice of fabric free of charge for this project in exchange for images of my completed make for their use. Opinions are all my own.

Saturday, 5 September 2015


I might have snort laughed.

You see I inadvertently made my very own adult-sized pair of Bonds baby Roomies! Which is hilarious if you're me and you happened to dress your baby/toddler daughter in the coolest pair of chambray Roomies (essentially big butt pants) because they were adorable.

Maybe I was nostalgically channeling those pants because peeps this is not my normal silhouette.

These are Pattern N Straight-Cut Sarouel Pants from Yoshiko Tsukiori's Happy Homemade Vol. 1: Treasured Collection (also published as Happy Homemade: Sew Chic). I was flirting with the idea of pineapple printed chambray but then slapped myself and realised the style itself was a statement all it's own.

I found this deliciously soft and fine cotton chambray fabric at My Sewing Supplies (formerly Peg's Pieces). I was concerned it was too lightweight, but once made up it was everything I'd envisioned for these pants.

And of course we know I am a disciple of denim so... you know... indigo blue. Swoon.

I thought they might be a complete fail on me, but they're great! So comfy and very androgynous, which if I'm honest is how I often dress down.

I sewed a size 10-12, but clearly you could size down in this style and lose some of the volume if that frightened you. I stitched it entirely in gold thread to resemble jeans topstitching. And that topstitching looks mighty fine. I tell you, I eyeballed those pockets and just zoomed around the perimeter. I'm so not using fancy methods for guiding topstitching anymore.

I'm pretty sure these will become my new uniform... if hubby doesn't ban them...

Oh and I'm not meaning to look like I have a resting bitch face in these shots, but seriously I had just realised that below my feet were some giant spider holes and I was barefoot! Barefoot!! The things I do!!

Tuesday, 1 September 2015


Careful. If you look too long at this baby it'll sear itself permanently upon your retinas.

Oh, but don't you just want to look?

At that gloriously amazing perfect geo bright fabric??

Or maybe it's just obnoxious... same same.

I never intended this fabric for a garment. I did stroke it lovingly when I spotted it in Spotlight, but I thought it was just a bit too much. I actually purchased it to make a Furoshiki bag back last Christmas when every man and his dog received one from me. But ummmm... stretch cotton sateen. Hello, Jillian? Stretch fabrics don't always work particularly well for bags...

And so it made its way into my stash where I continued to lovingly stroke it obsessively from time to time pondering what exactly I could do with a scant 1m cut.

Enter this top of magnificance!!
I adore this top at woohoo levels. It might not be for everyone, but I am currently feeling crop top and peplum love and, well, Japanese patterns are pretty much my entire "thing" these days, so BIG SURPRISE!

This is Top M Circle Sleeve Short Blouse from Yuko Takada's I Love Tops. As far as I'm aware this book is yet to be translated into English so for the record I used the Japanese publication.

And no, I neither read nor speak Japanese. I don't suggest you make your first foray into working with Japanese patterns books with a non-translated volume or with limited sewing experience. If like me, however, you have some experience in sewing and have tried a few of the English translated books you should be all good. I'm a hugely visual person and the diagrams are always excellent in Japanese pattern books. There was only one step that tripped me up, but I was soon on my way again.

I made a straight size large. Which is surprising as I've not been described as large even once in my life, but that size almost exactly matched my measurements. The one conundrum was that the size chart included only height, waist and hip measurements. Makes it kinda hard to pick a top size without a bust measurement. I did therefore make a quick and dirty toile of the bodice, noting that the bust darts where too far out. I moved their position in, aligning them with the dart legs for the medium size.

It's still very roomy, particularly the armscye width and depth. If I flail my arms around like I'm going off at a dance party you might get a bit more of a view of my brassiere than you bargained for. But given my lack of a predilection for dance parties I think we're good. And I'm all for a boxy top.

It is definitely cropped, so if you are long-torsoed like me or live in hipster pants or jeans you're likely to be flashing you midriff, so if that's not your thing (and let's face it, after our teen years it's rarely what we aim for) you might want to lengthen it or layer over a longer tank.

It works great with my new wide-legged jeans and just about maintains my modesty with my every-present skinnies.

Ha! Gotcha! Outfit change - actually different day, different time. All in an effort to get a decent shot. The colours seemed to do weird things to my beloved camera.

People, I've seriously boarded my own little WOOHOO train. And all in time for the first day of Spring.