SEWN: Simplicity 2215 by Cynthia Rowley

Tuesday 31 January 2012

So it's been a while. I looked in horror at the date of my last post... and then thought "So what? I said I'd sew at my own pace"... yeah, but then another voice said, "But people will lose interest". Bollocks to that, here I am!

I actually finished this project over a week ago, but it's taken me this long to get some photos taken. I've been indulging one of my other passions... mountain biking - but more of that another time.

So here it is...

Image from
I really love the Cynthia Rowley's collection for Simplicity patterns. This one is no exception. I couldn't wait to make View C (skirt), and truth be told, this is my second version of this skirt. I love it that much! And I love the fabric I used equally, a gorgeous cotton sateen, in an abstract (is that the right description?) floral print. It's bright and happy and perfect for a Sydney summer.

It's what would appear at first glance to be a pretty classic pleated skirt with side pockets, but that's where you would be wrong! The pleats are actually a collection of inconsistent, assymetric pleats, folded one way, then another, around the waistline. I loved that feature, it just adds something a little different.

It's not that obvious though with a casual glance and is probably a bit more visible on an earlier version I made in a plain dark indigo denim...

I live in this skirt!
Or maybe not... they really are assymetrical I swear!

Anywho... The skirt is a pretty easy make - the marking of the pleat positions and fold lines onto the cut fabric takes forever (or is that just me?), but once that's done, it comes together really rather well. At least my first denim version did. I think I was having a bad sewing day on my floral attempt - I think I quick unpicked a thousand times quite a few times. Not happy, not happy at all.

There is a tricky section where you sew the invisible zip into the side seam where there is also a side pocket. Just be careful, take your time and I promise, you won't sew the pocket closed like me. Here's a look-see.

You can just the see the pull-tab of my invisible zip. Ahhhhh, I love invisible zips...

I really do love this skirt. Everytime I wear it, I get the most lovely comments. And it makes me feel swishy and feminine and pretty.

And for the budget-conscious amongst us, at only 1.3m of 115cm wide fabric it's a great, generally inexpensive, wardrobe addition.

SEWN: Leo's Hat - vintage cars, racing stripes, what more could a boy want?

Monday 16 January 2012

I can't believe I just sewed my first ever project for a boy! I guess when I was young it was solely about creating my new oh-so-cool outfit for the next school disco. For years after I simply used my sewing machine for the occasional hem alteration or clothing repair. Then my gorgeous daughter, M, came along and I wanted to sew "pretty little things" for her.

Now, I like to sew pretty little things for me. P is always asking when his first bespoke suit will be delivered. I say my skills are so not up to that just yet!

And so here is Leo's Hat - a special request from a friend of mine with a car/truck/train mad, nearly three year old son, Leo.

The reversible bucket hat is from Oliver and S's "Little Things to Sew". This is a fantastic book which extends on Oliver and S's fabulous clothing pattern range for boys and girls. It has a a whole heap of delicious projects to sew, including this bucket hat. I've previously made one for M, and found the pattern and instructions faultless. The hat comes together beautifully, as you'd expect from any Oliver and S undertaking. And it can be done in just a few hours.

It's fully reversible so it's nice to try and go for different but complementary fabrics, hence...

Vintage racing cars one side...

and racing stripes the other...

I gotta say, I have no idea how those stripes lined up so perfectly! I truly, truly did not make an effort for them to do so, in fact I was cursing myself for picking stripes - what on earth was I thinking? All those panels and all that careful cutting... I just didn't have it in me. So imagine my surprise when I started construction and it all just came perfectly together. Or as P said "You're a freak genius". Yes, thank you P. Maybe we could say I just got lucky.

Car hat + little boy = match made in heaven

SEWN: Vintage Style Pattern 4616

Friday 13 January 2012

Tahdah! And so I present to you my first blog project - Vintage Style 4616.

You might remember from my last post I was rhapsodising View 2. 

P kindly offered to take some shots of the dress in action. Now, neither of us profess to being great photographers, but we are driven to work harder after snapping some shots - blurry doesn't even begin to describe most of them! And now we know why most people won't photograph in natural light in the height of the day. Youch... bright light, not so great photos. Hey, we'll work on it! 

I just adore this dress...

Oh yes, this dress makes me want to kick up my heels!

And what a relative dream to put together. I made it up in some gorgeous cotton poplin from the Vintage Prints range at Spotlight. They've had some pretty great stuff and I've used some other fabrics from the range for various projects - might share them one day.

This dress came together pretty quickly, instructions were easy to follow and the lines of the dress are just lovely. I was worried for a second that it was going to be too short - we all know that look was definitely a 70's one - and I bought no additional fabric to allow me to lengthen the skirt. Eek! I ended up turning a verrrrry small hem.

Note to self: must remind DH not to cut off the bottom of skirt shots in the future!

Now whilst my bust measurement matched the pattern size, it was miles too big. I attempted an initial tissue fitting, rather than making a toile, and it actually looked fine. Woops - when made up in fabric, however, quite a few inches needed to be taken in on the bodice sides and an inch or so on the hips. If I'd realised a little earlier in the construction, I'd have taken out some of the excess on the centre back seam. Oh well, we live and learn.

Only real departure I made from the directions was to omit trim and insert an invisible zip at centre back rather than a regular dress zipper. I did in fact attempt the traditional centred zipper, but for the life of me couldn't resurrect the know-how I am sure is still in that rattly old brain of mine. I remember learning about them in high school textiles and design classes, and I'm sure I was a total wizz at them, but that is over 20 years ago. And with a 55cm/22inch (!!) zip required there is no room for wonky lines of stitches visible down the back of one's dress. So I switched it out for an invisible zip which I far prefer anyway.

Oh and those fluttery shoulder ruffles... swoon... they deserve a shot of their own..

And that's that folks - first project shared. Hoped you enjoyed it. I am just finishing my next project and am excited to share. See you again soon!

Castles by the sea

Sunday 8 January 2012

Hello, hello!

Gotcha! You all thought I was merely another flash in the pond, didn't you?

Well I'm back. I've been off doing a little bit of this...

Well, what's a girl to do when some incredibly generous friends offer you the use of their family's beachfront holiday house for a few days? The girl says "Hell yeah!" "Yes, thank you"!

Is there anything else quite like the sound of the ocean gently lapping against sandy shores mere metres from your windows? I sleep so well on stays like this - it reminds me of childhood summer holidays when my family and I would pack up our caravan and head to the coast. North, south, it didn't matter - these are the sounds that set my soul at ease.

Those mid afternoon naps I took whilst my toddler slept may have also helped me feel re-energised and centred. I never do that at home, too much to do and too little time.

But I do have a project to share...

Another wonderful friend, who knows of my obsession interest in vintage patterns raided her mother's pattern stash and came up with a number of gems. Below is Style Pattern 4616, copyright dated 1974. Woot, woot! I just love View 2 and those ruffly sleeves... swoon. Who doesn't like a 70's flashback?

Anywho, I didn't get a chance to photograph the finished project prior to our impromptu holiday. So stay tuned and I'll share the finished project and pattern shortly...

It's a New Year... welcome to the blogosphere

Sunday 1 January 2012

Happy New Year!

So first things first... I decided on a personal motto/resolution for 2012... "Ride your own race".

That's right, it's time to ride my own race, sew at my own pace and be a little kind to myself along the way.

I'm new to blogging. Have been following a number for some time, mainly blogs of crafty Mummas, and decided that perhaps I'd like my own little space to showcase what I've been sewing - and perhaps share the occasional rambling about life, love and the universe. So without further ado... here is "Sew at your own pace".

I'll be back soon, promise... just gotta set things up a bit. It's the hazard of getting caught up in New Year excitement and the need to just get started.
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