Monday, December 22, 2008

I see your tiny happy and raise you a reversible pursible

What is this, a bag-off? I think so!

I made a version of the reversible pursible. So handy, so quick, so easy! Nice for striped fabric too. I made this for myself, since I needed something for those times when you just want to pop a purse, phone, sunglasses into a bag and wander about.

I also made another tiny happy bag for another young lassie for xmas.

Is it obvious she likes cats?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

More baggage

I made a tiny happy bag too, out of Michael Miller 'Dandy Damask'. I lined it in black and put in three pockets. Handy.

It needs a road test though, as it's a bit floppy and shallow and things may fall out of it easily. It's the perfect length for cross body wearing though, my preferred way to carry a handbag. Leaves both hands free for rifling through op shop patterns.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

astroturf.... I mean astrobag

Bag-making fever is upon us (Delamare, if you are reading this, don't let A Certain Person see this).

I had a request to make a bag for my niece for xmas. I searched the wonders of the web and found tiny happy's shoulder bag tutorial. It looked lovely, I searched the stash - and lo and behold, the astrobag:

I made it up a little differently - I sewed the inside pockets before sewing up the bottom seam, and left an opening for turning in the top rather than the bottom, and put the top of the strap together from the inside (same method as one uses for sleeveless lined tops).

I like it, in fact I want to keep it - but I shall just have to make myself another (and it reminds me I must find just the right frock to make out of the astrodot fabric!)

More Christmas sewing

This is a Christmas present for Mr M. He knows about it, but he doesn't want to see it too much before Christmas Day, so it is will be fresh and new in his mind. Hence the washing line shots on a windy day.

I used this pattern again but modified the things he wasn't especially keen on in the first version: changed the shape of the side curves so his t-shirts aren't visible poking out, and made the collar smaller, and a little crisper with firmer interfacing. I also changed the shape of the sleeve cap, because the sleeves in this pattern are impossible to ease without almost becoming almost full puff sleeves.

I've cut out another reversible purse for another present. I have Christmas cards to write, but sewing is so much more rewarding.

Edited to add: photos of the finished purse.
Made in eyelet and black/silver chinese brocade. I don't recommend using such different fabrics together because they were horrible to sew individually and a nightmare together, and it will only be a practical bag with the eyelet outside. I think the recipient will like it though. I do like how the silver wrong side of the brocade looks behind the eyelet.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Why you two-faced...

I'd like to say I 'whipped this up' today, but after the prewashing of the material, and the confusion of the lining (this weird sticking the sleeves through the gap at the bottom, sewing in a whacky circle thing) I shall just say I made it today:
The first side is to match the doiley dress

and the other is to match the black spotty dress I cut out, but decided to put off making because of wrestling with sleeve lining (it's the same pattern as St Francis, so it will be quick enough one I get around to it)

*edited to add* The pattern for the bolero is Simplicity 3748 "1950s Retro" from which I made the pink and black cuffed bolero last December. The pattern is out of print, but you can find it on eBay.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

'47 Frankie

I wasn't going to finish this tonight, but she called me and I had to!

The top half is Butterick 5209 (subtitled "Retro '47').

But the gathered skirt didn't appeal, so I frankensteined Butterick 4859 (fishtail skirt)
on the bottom. I lengthened the skirt a bit, and took out the 'side flip'.

It's not as formal lookin' in person as it is in this picture for some reason. It's also more fifties-shaped than the thirties-shape it looks on Jane, but that might be because I am more that way...

Busy Busy Busy

I found this old hem marker at Rozelle Markets last weekend. When I went to hand over the money, the stall holders asked me what it was. They thought it was something used for chemistry apparently. Maybe I'm wrong, but that little dish looks made for pins and the little metal thing fits my 20+ year old piece of tailor's chalk perfectly. (Seriously, does that chalk ever run out?)

I haven't been making frocks, but I have been sewing and knitting. It's gift-makin' season.
The hoodie is from this 'Get Creative' pattern from Spotlight, and it turns out it's a very well drafted pattern. I will give them a second look for basics now. The fabric is a flannel from Spotlight as well. It has a 'kangaroo pocket' on the front which is fairly hard to make out because of the busy car print, you can just see it in the closeup shot. That's for a 5 year old nephew. 5 year olds need pockets for stones and balloons and lollies.

The jumper below is the child's placket jumper from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. It's in Filatura di Crosa's Zara merino, so lovely and sproingy to knit with. I love this book and have made many things from it, mainly gifts as it happens. This one is for 3 year old niece. These children live in Europe, hence the winter clothing gifts. Click to embiggen so you can see the little lady bugs climbing up the placket.
So too busy to make frocks. I still have one gift left to make, another western shirt for Mr M in a lovely wine-coloured poplin. I'd really like to get wine or burgundy coloured pearl snap closures. Snap source don't have them.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Frockaversary frocks.

I promised Kitty I would make frocks as penance for missing our blogaversary. In a rare fit of over achievement, I made three (well, two and a half since one still needs straps)

1) Cherryspot - I cut this one out last week and sewed it on Saturday:
- another version of the 1970's Style 6388, with the straight skirt from Vogue 9668 frankensteined onto it.

2) New Look 6557 View D with straight skirt from New Look 6699 instead of the full skirt.
This is in honour of my recent visit to Assisi - it is St Francis in all sorts of poses with his friendly sheep, wolves, goats etc. When I got it Kitty reckoned it looked like he was standing on clouds of algae, which is quite true if you look.

3) (or 2 1/2) - Style 6388 View 3 (without the band) out of some lovely black cotton broderie anglaise with a lovely border that I used for the top and the skirt hems. I haven't decided if I am going to line it or just wear different coloured slips underneath (it is seethrough without one, being broderie anglaise).
The material isn't really suitable for straps, so I will have to find some lace or grosgrain ribbon or something else suitable.

New Look 6515

Another work top for summer, if summer ever gets here. It's been windy, rainy and cool today.
Hence the indoor, fuzzy pics.

This is New Look 6515, in cotton voile I bought at Spotlight.
I used bias binding instead of facings, and raised the neckline about 2cm so I don't have to wear a camisole under it if it's really hot. But silly me found out too late that raising the neckline meant I should extend the cross over a bit, hence the vertical piece of bias binding near the bustline there.
It's only for work. It's ok.

Friday, November 21, 2008


This is a modified New Look 6699, made from Michael Miller's Honolulu fabric. I bought the fabric almost exactly 2 years ago when I was going through a 50s sarong dress obsession. I love the black velvet painting look of this fabric, so exotic!

I made the view D bodice, but rounded off the top of the bodice pieces and didn't put on the centre-cinching loop, not because I didn't like it, but with the Hawaiian print fabric it looked a little too swimsuity. I widened the straps to 'fettucini' rather than 'spaghetti' for better bra strap coverage. I didn't use the skirt pattern, I just bunged on my usual straight skirt pattern. From tracing and modifying the pattern pieces to finishing the frock took me 3 hours, tops! Love the New Look sunfrock patterns. They're so easy and well drafted, for me anyway.

( Moggy, we missed our blog-iversary! I wanna frock and roll all night was 2 years old on the 8th November! The 2 year gift is traditionally fabric. The 3rd year is patterns. Then the 4th is haberdashery. 5th is fabric again. 6th is patterns again. And so on...)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

More Sunday spots

I never seem to get around to changing my clothes after work, so I like aprons for all that cook-y splatter-y messy stuff.

I decided that I need another one so I whipped up this number (no pattern, just a bunch of rectangles and straps - after all, it doesn't have to 'fit' per se).

I was going to make one out of some Last Supper material I have, but I think I might make an actual dress out of that.


This is Simplicity 6388, a 70s sunfrock pattern, with a slim skirt instead of the swishy full skirt. Thank you Moggy, for giving me the pattern and I hope you are continuing to buy patterns in my size at opshops, so I can rifle through your drawers again this Christmas. (ooo er!)

I didn't do the crossed straps at the back. I prefer to wear a plain old regular bra, not a convertible or strapless.
I also made another top, the cowly sleeveless New Look 6470, in a rayon knit.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

This week in fashion...

Beans are out

Tomatoes are in

(Yeah, I know it isn't sewing, but it is what I did instead of sewing. And I was wearing a dress I made while I did it, so that's gotta count for something huh?)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Back in the sewing saddle

Apart from de-jet-lagging this week (hoorah for time off after a holiday!) I have made a start on the Dresstember wardrobe extension.

First is another version of Simplicity 3774 , this time without sleeves. After I was half way through, I realised how similar it is to one Kitty made earlier - weirdly, almost exactly one year ago! This has a fuller skirt though (it's a windy day, so you can't really see it). I've taken to frankensteining the 4 gore skirt from New Look 6557 on any frock that needs a nice full-but-not-circle skirt.


The other dress is another old favourite, a Style pattern from the seventies. I haven't decided if I going to have it as a halter or plain straps.... or I could be tricky and put buttons on the inside of the back, and buttonholes on the straps, and make it convertible...

In an uncharacterisic fit of efficiency, I also cut another out of this material:

I haven't cut the skirt out yet, I might make it with a straight skirt.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Crossing over

Another work top. This is Simplicity 4076. I made the mock wrap, view B with view D sleeves. The fabric is a jersey (poly? I guess, but it's light and soft, not shiny and slippery) I bought at Remnants Warehouse a while ago.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Pink pinny

More gift sewing, this time for my little friend Fern, who turns one later this month. I've made this pinafore three times before. It's a winner, New Look 6578.

I bought the fabric in Melbourne, I think late last year, at Rathdowne Fabrics and Remnants. It was $1.50 per metre as I remember. I'm hoping I have enough left over to one day use as a yoke and cuffs on a western shirt for me.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Reversible pursible

I made this reversible purse (from Martha Stewart) as a last minute gift for a friend's birthday. Quick, easy and cute. It's a good project to use up the offcuts of fabrics after frock making too; yay for matching purses! (this one is not offcut fabric though, I bought some fabric especially)