Monday, December 24, 2012

Catch up post

I made this frock a while ago from my now TNT ponte frock pattern, which is a plain boat neck, cut-on sleeve, waist-darts-folded-out version of a vintage sheath pattern. I scooped out the neckline a bit for this one.

The fab herringbone print ponte fabric was found by Moggy, yay for fabric finder friends in other cities!

The bust darts sit too high because the neckline stretched out and I had to take it up and in at the shoulders, but I wear it all the time anyway.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Marillyn's slim fit peasant dress.

I made this for a 5 year old friend's birthday from this free pattern and a new old-stock bedsheet.
I used one of my featherweights to make it, and used the ruffler attachment to gather the flounce.  It gathered beautifully, but the settings were either too gathered, or not gathery enough for this project, so I gathered on the tighter setting and then pulled some out.  It's a bit uneven, but Miss 5 doesn't seem to mind.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I'll stop now

Another gifty.

I really wanted to keep this one. Luckily I can get two purses and lining out of two fat quarters.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Recent fabric purchases

Rosey mesh - I'm not a fan of mesh as a rule, but I liked the print on this. I'm in wardrobe planning mode, so I'm thinking might make a nice overdress or cardie of some description.

It's from the Alannah Hill fabric section at IT INC in Brunswick St Fitzroy.
I also got this cute cat fabric - it's voile-y, and the burn test tells me it's cotton.
Cotton decorating fabric from
Some recent purchases from Spotlight (South Melbourne store):
cotton drill
ITY knit
crepe and chiffon - destined for a reversible skirt
 Cute-as-a-bug fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics (I think it's from Milly)  - another reversible skirt + scarf with the leftovers.

Polyester chiffon

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Gift sewing

This is a makeup purse made from Nicole Mallalieu's downloadable pattern:

A gift for a colleague. It's a great pattern, very quick and detailed instructions to get a neat finish.

I used a metal trouser zip which I think looks extra swish.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

New Look 6123

This is New Look 6123 in a stretch cotton sateen from Spotlight.  I bound the neckline and armholes in purchased bias binding, but didn't cut off the seam allowance first, so the neckline sits a bit 'proud' and the shoulders appear a little extended, if you know what I mean.  This is view D, without the little cap sleeves.  

It might have been a bit of a waste doing the flounce in the busy fabric; it blends in, which defeats the purpose of a flounce, really.  I shall have to hold it up and show everyone, and tell them "I have a flounce!"  People who know me will not be at all surprised at such an exclamation.  

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Shamed... into posting

It's true, we've both been sewing plenty but no postie! I've done cambies, fauxleros, two reversible skirts... but for the moment I shall post yesterday's l'├ętole transformable - 'transformable stole' (you can translate that page into English, or the tutorial Deptitsriens kindly supplies has English in it).

I've had my eye on that for a while, and as I'm in the planning stages for a European trip in late March / April, when the weather will probably be quite changeable, and I aim to do carryon only for the fourishfiveish week trip., I thought why not a nice little convertible stole / scarf / bolero / wrap / blanky?

The fabric is a pea green wool-nylon that I picked up at the Fabric-a-brac that Kitty and I went to last year (? or was it the year before?) and the buttons are some cute plastic ones from an ebay stash bought yonks ago.

It's basically a rectangle - long enough to reach from wrist to wrist, doubled over and sewn (with a little gap for turning), turned, topstitched and then put on eight buttons and buttonholes (four each side each end, on opposite sides)

Here is is 1) buttoned into a bolero (folded along the longest side, buttoned together to make sleeves) and 2) folded the opposite way (so short side to short side) and buttoned so it's a bit like a poncho.
Oh, and I've also made a raincoat and a lace print dress and and... to be posted.

Still here, still sewing.

Oops, it doesn't take long to get out of the habit of blogging!

I have sewn many frocks in the unintentional blogging hiatus, now I need to get back to photographing and posting them, instead of just making and wearing them.

To ease back into it, here's the finished cambie which I wore to the fifties fair.  The bodice looks crooked, but it isn't really, it just seems to get all pulled up after I set the self timer and run into position. As The Fashion Police say:  modelling is hard.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Starting a new frock

I bought this fabric at Fabric-a-brac.  It was marked as silk, but I think it may be rayon.  I did the burn test but it had characteristics of rayon and maybe acetate according to this chart.  It really doesn't matter to me as it was reasonably priced and I love the colours and painterly smudginess.

I'm making it into Sewaholic's Cambie frock.

I've made the lining already, as a sort of muslin (thanks for that suggestion Moggy) and apart from pinching a little bit out of the back neckline (I always get the gapes there), all systems are go.  
Also, the lining is already made now, yay!  I only have 2 metres of this narrow fabric, so I am not doing the pockets, just a regular A line skirt.

I've cut into the vintage fabric, which I always find easier to do if it hasn't sat in the stash too long.  (If I don't use it fairly quickly after purchase it seems to become part of "the collection", sigh)

I'm stitching this on one of the featherweights, and pinking the edges. Even though they'll be hidden in the lining, I still don't like the idea of edges fraying in there.  Hopefully I'll have some time to sew this up this weekend.

I have a couple more TNT frocks to show too, I just have to take the photos. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Well, that was a long unintentional break from blogging!

I've been sewing a lot, even taking photos of frocks!  Just not posting, possibly because I have been making the same frock over and over and over. Vintage Butterick 8056:

The rut goes on! This one is in a green and cream houndstooth double knit I bought at fabric-a-brac in May:
 It's view C, but I extended the shoulders about 10cm to make cut-on cap sleeves.

The next one is View B with 3/4 length sleeves like this one again.  The fabric is a grey and black ponte I got from Spotlight last year, it looks a bit like houndstooth too.
 This is the same as the above, in a ponte I bought in Melbourne last year, in one of the Brunswick fabric shops.

As all these are knit fabrics, I omitted the zip and turned and topstitched the neckline and hems.
So quick and easy.  I did undo the hem on the green and cream frock because I didn't like how the stitching looked, so that one now has a machine blind hem.

So that's what I've been up to.  I've got more sewing to show, but will save that for another post.  

Friday, May 04, 2012


Then we went to Rome.  We didn't shop for fabric in Rome.  We were waiting to go to the markets in Hong Kong on our way home.  It was so stormy in Hong Kong we didn't get to the markets.  So no fabric for me this trip.  I'm surprisingly ok with it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Moggy and I are in Paris. We went to the fabric district; shockingly only one length of silk cotton purchased between us so far.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Style Arc Linda pants and cowly top

No posts for ages oops!
Moggy and I are off on our trip very very soon, so we've been a bit distracted.

No new frocks to post, but I have made a couple of quick projects.

The Style Arc Linda pants in charcoal stretch bengaline. So easy and comfortable. I've been wearing these for work.

Another cowl top, this one in a rayon knit from

Friday, February 17, 2012

Out of season

I found this rayon blend ponte at Remnant Warehouse recently, in a lovely navy and white print. I made Butterick 8056 again, but this time made the scoop neck into a more boaty number.

This fabric is so nice, it is thick but soft, and it drapes nicely. A frock I can't wear for months! Unless I take it as a tripfit to chilly Europe next month, of course.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Release the Hounds(tooth)

A friend gave me this H&M frock late last year, because she knew I'd love the fabric.
It was too short, and a bit too boxy for me, so today I altered it.



The first thing I did was shape the waist a little, but not too much because I wanted to keep the 60s shift style. I need some waist shaping to suit my short-waisted torso.

I found a similar weight black knit in the stash, and added a band to the hem to add length. I added bands around the sleeve edges too, to make the hem band look deliberate. Now it's much more wearable, yay!

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Perfect Knit Dress, and Cowly top

Behold the (now out of print) McCalls 5752, the perfect knit dress, in a spotty knit from the stash. It was a bit gapey at the neckline, so I sewed a deeper seam where the bodice attaches at the midriff and it worked out fine. I think I'll make this again, in a plain fabric. I like the 40s-by-way-of-the-70s thing it has going on. No? Just me?

I had enough of this rayon knit left over from making this frock to make New Look 6901, the cowl t-shirt. I've decided that I'm going to use any left over knit frock fabric to make tops.. Most of my stash bins are frock leftovers. They'll have to be easy tops though or else I'll never do it. Can't get much easier than this, no finishing of the cowl neckline required.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Vintage Butterick 9269

The latest frock, Butterick 9269, view b, the bodice in black linen/cotton blend and the skirt in stretch sateen snake, both fabrics are from Spotlight.
Purchased belt, as they say.

I scooped out the back and front necklines 1.5cm each, after looking at the pattern piece and thinking it looked as though they were too high. I think it was a good thing I did as it looks like the pattern illustration now. It would have been too high. I shortened the frock a lot. As drafted this frock would be nearly down to my ankles. After much pinning and photographing, I decided it looked best hemmed above the knee. I find it easier to decide hem length from photos rather than from looking in the mirror. Anyone else find that?

This is an unprinted pattern, and very fragile, so I traced it. Ugh. I hate tracing unmarked patterns. Trying to figure out which holes mean darts or are just grain line holes. No nice dark lines to trace over either. (I put sew-in interfacing over the pattern to trace).

Monday, January 09, 2012

Frankenstein Frock Frenzy 2012

During my time off over the festive season I have been very busy in the sewing room.
I bought some fab Shaheen tiki print quilting cotton from equilter last year. When it arrived it was sopping wet in the package, in an Australia Post plastic bag which said that is how they received it. It was like it had been at the bottom of the sea! Equilter were great about it when I notified them, and told me to give it a wash and see if I wanted to keep it, and if not they would refund me. It washed up fine, so I kept it and made it into my New Year's eve frock.

I used bodice D of New Look 6699, but rounded off the neckline a little, to make it a bit more like a vintage sarong dress. I only had 2 yards of this fabric, and equilter had no more, so I couldn't do a proper wrap skirt. Instead I attached the skirt from Butterick 5672, cut on the bias (as the pattern instructs you to do, which I don't really understand as it is designed for stretchy knits.) I cut on the bias because I was using a woven of course and thought it would give me some more wiggle room (haha!)

This means the striped motif is angled on the skirt, but I don't mind that, it makes it look more 'sarongy' to me. The side pleats on the skirt give it a bit of a wrap vibe.

Next I frankensteined Butterick 5672 again. I'm getting my money's worth out of this pattern! This time I used the bodice, but extended the shoulders for a more vintage look. I attached skirt D from New Look 6911, but decreased the pleats on the front from 6 to 4 (total) and left off the waistband.
The fabric is a linen/cotton blend I got at Spotlight. It's extremely red as you can see. Nice and cool and the skirt twirls nicely. I didn't line the frock, instead I used bias binding as facings. It's not especially sheer fabric, and I wanted to keep the lovely lightness and coolness of the fabric for summer wearing.

This frock was an experiment for the next fabric I had in the queue, but I ended up going with a different pattern for that in the end. I've finished that next frock now, and will show it in my next post. Now I have to get out of the sewing room and go somewhere to wear all these frocks!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Butterick 5672

I've been too busy sewing to post!
One frock I've made is Butterick 5672

The fabric is a tweedy wool blend knit, with about 30% stretch across the grain. Not enough stretch for this dress, so I did put the zip in. I went up a size due to my fabric not being stretchy enough, but the pleats are pulling a little too much so it's probably still a skootch too small. Still it's comfy and may become a tripfit once I've road tested it.