Sunday, October 27, 2013

A diary: 6 months of sewing!

I thought I'd sit down tonight and write a little about most of the sewing projects I've completed during the last six months. (Minus one very special one which will get a post of it's own) Yep, time for a bit of a blog catch-up. Tomorrow, I'm going to attempt to photograph them. Fingers crossed! If this post ever gets published, you'll know that I pulled off this epic mission with success. Unfortunately, I'm not really going to be able to offer too much information on the alterations I've made to each pattern. Most were made so long ago that I can't remember off the top of my head what changes I made. The thought of pulling each toile out and putting it up against each pattern is just way too overwhelming. So, consider this more a record or inventory of my sewing creations than a post jam-packed with useful information, pattern reviews and/or advice. If anything, this little visual record will come in super handy when I'm chatting about sewing to my sisters on the phone.

1. White linen pants
Pattern: Thurlow pants by Sewaholic
Fabric: white linen from Tessuti
I'm really, really, super, crazy, happy with the Thurlow pattern. I've tried a few pants and shorts patterns over the years and none of them have come even close to the type of pants and shorts that I like to wear and feel comfortable wearing - until now. About 7 years ago, I bought a high-end pair of silk pants that fitted me perfectly. Everything about them was spot on. Just out of interest, I lay the Thurlow pants pattern on top of these pants and they were so similar. Sadly, while making these pants I accidently cut the waistband incorrectly and then misplaced by bag of scraps to recut another. This meant I had to do a bit of a dodgy job of the waistband. Nothing too bad, but not perfect. Not to worry - I now have the perfect pants pattern for my next pair!

Styled with:
Accessories - Turquoise beads
Shoes - Diana Ferrari

2. White linen shorts
Pattern: Thurlow pants by Sewaholic
Fabric: white linen from Tessuti
I made these with the leftover fabric from my Thurlow pants. Two garments for the price of one. Yay! I haven't worn these yet as I haven't quite decided on the length I'd like or how to hem them. I'm thinking folded up, then held in place on the sides with a D buckle thingy and some white woven ribbon. Currently pinned in place.

Styled with:
Top - Black silk camisole top (Country Road)
Accessories - red Elk necklace, Country Road black satchel
Shoes - Country Road

3. Summer Dress
Pattern: drafted from RTW dress
Fabric: Liberty Cotton Lawn, Contrasting piping: rats tail and green cotton from Spotlight
I bought myself a RTW dress with some birthday money earlier on in year. I found this dress to be the perfect dress for my climate and lifestyle so decided to cut a pattern from it. The Liberty fabric had been sitting in my stash since last year waiting for the perfect dress pattern to come along. I absolutely adore pink and lime/apple green as a colour combination. I remember first falling in love with this combo when my eldest sister's daughter was born. At the time, Pumpkin Patch's (children's clothing store) girl's range was all pink and green. I thought it looked fabulous. So here I am, approximately ten years later, finally wearing this combo myself. The front of the bodice is lined and the back of the bodice faced with bemberg rayon.

Styled with:
Accessories - Green necklace by Elk, Earrings by Polli
Shoes - Spanish apple green wedges

4. Chloe in Liberty
Pattern: Chloe by Victory Patterns
Fabric: Liberty Cotton Lawn
I made this little number using the leftover fabric from my Summer Dress. My first version of the Chloe has been such a staple in my wardrobe, I decided I could use another one. I love this pattern. I've hemmed it so it's long enough to wear as a dress, cool enough to wear over white linen pants in Summer and warm enough to wear over skinny jeans in Winter. The contrasting blue fabric around the sleeves and on the pocket openings are Liberty scraps leftover from a shirt I made Paul last year. The dress would have looked better if the contrast had been darker, but it was the best of what I had on hand. I'm yet to add buttons to the pocket day. Not to worry, I've been happily wearing it without the buttons.
Styled with:
Pants - Jag Jeans
Accessories - Blue necklace by Elk, Kangaroo leather cuff by Rooband
Shoes - Orange snakeskin by Elk

4. Burda Panel skirt Version 3
Pattern: Burda Panel Skirt 2006/Style #112
Fabric: Linen from The Fabric Store, Contrasting piping: rats tail and cotton from Spotlight
Version 1 and 2 were in such high rotation in my wardrobe that I decided to whip up a 3rd and 4th. These skirts are my perfect work skirt. They're cool, airy, neat, colourful, groovy and roomy. Being a lower primary school teacher, I can't wear tight, fitted clothing to work. I need something that I can sit on the carpet in and run around on the oval in. This skirt ticks all the boxes.

Styled with:
Top - Country Road
Accessories - blue Elk necklace
Shoes - Orange Snakeskin by Elk

5. Burda Panel skirt Version 4
Pattern: Burda Panel Skirt 2006/Style #112
Fabric: Cotton (poplin?) from The Fabric Store,  Contrasting piping: rats tail and from Spotlight
See above.

Styled with:
Top - See below
Accessories - necklace by Cotton-On Kids
Shoes - Snakeskin by Elk

5. White tunic dress
Pattern: Vogue 8552 - Version 4
Fabric: White linen (with stitched leaf design) from Emma One Sock
Alterations: changed the skirt from a pegged skirt to a roomy aline skirt
I wasn't sure if I actually liked this fabric when it arrived in the post. It just felt like it was more in the 'Grandma' camp then the 'groovy mama' camp. But I persevered and decided to cut into it anyway. Seriously, I had nothing to lose. Once made up, I was still a little unsure. As it turns out, I had nothing to worry about. Even though there's still a question mark next to the fabric, it was on super high rotation all though Winter. In fact, I wore it every Wednesday, as it turned out to be the best thing in my wardrobe for Bike Bus. Stretchy jeans and a roomy tunic=perfect bikewear/workwear Winter attire for a teacher living in the tropics!

Styled with:
Jeans: Jag, slim fit
Accessories - yellow necklace by Elk
Shoes - Yellow sandals by Hot Lips

6. White linen blouse
Pattern: created using this pattern - a mash up of other patterns
Fabric: White linen (with stitched leaf design) from Emma One Sock
This little number was made using the leftovers from my white tunic dress. (Gosh, are you starting to see a pattern here? Love creating a second garment from the scraps. Feels like a freebie!) Nothing much to say about this one. It's an easy-to-wear cool top that looks nice with my work skirts and provides an excellent canvas to showcase my enormous necklace collection.

Styled with:
Accessories - Earrings by Polli, Op Shop belt, ceramic bangle by local artist
Shoes - Nude sandals by Hot Lips

7. Beach Kaftan
Pattern: Some Knipmode pattern I traced out of my sister's magazine
Fabric: cotton/silk from Tessuti
I'd prefer not to dwell on this one too much. It was doomed from the outset. The fabric was my first-ever online fabric purchase (many years ago) and I was extremely disappointed when it showed up. What I thought would be mostly turquoise/blue turned out to be mostly brown and so it sat, ignored for years. Finally, I thought I'd make it up into a kaftan. This was riddled with more stuff-ups than I care to remember. 12 months after I started sewing it up, I finished it. The first time I wore it, I put a big rip in one sleeve. The second time I wore it, I put a big rip in the second sleeve. And to top it all off, I feel like I belong in a nativity play when I wear it. Just need to get me some sheep and the scene will be complete.

Styled with:
Hat: by Country Road

8. Housey top - raglan sleeve
Pattern: created using this pattern - a mash up of Simplicity 2406
Fabric: Japanese cotton lawn from Spotlight
Not much exciting about this. Whipped this up using fabric from my stash in an attempt to quickly build a work wardrobe in preparation for returning to full-time work. Easy, cool, good-enough.

Styled with:
Skirt: this one
Accessories - Necklace by Elk
Shoes - Black/Cream snakeskin by Elk

9. Fabric necklace
Just for fun, I had a go at making a fabric necklace from some of the fabric in my scrap stash. I choose three different fabrics, cut them up into strips, sewed them together to get an appropriate length then plaited them together. I then joined the two ends with a bunch of stitches and covered the join with a piece of ribbon. Fun times ladies, fun times!

Well that's my show and tell done for now. As you can see, my sewing output has slowed considerably but at least it hasn't come to a complete standstill. I've probably forgotten a few bits and pieces along the way. That said,  I do have a few other things to share, but they deserve their very own post. I've finished making the dress I'm going to wear to my youngest sister's wedding, I've sewed up an outfit for my daughter to test the pattern we will be using for flower girl dresses and I'm in the process of creating a raglan-sleeve shift dress/top pattern that I have HUGE plans for.

Stay tuned!


  1. Lovely to see you and some of your sewing. I'm so pleased your new job hasn't completely killed your sewing time, though I understand your reduced output! I'm particularly interested in the Chloe dress. I might have to add it to my shift pattern stash.

  2. Oh I love all your finished garments! Looks like a lot of practical stuff that will see a lot of wear - but pretty too. I'm also really pleased to see the Victory Chloe - looks like a really wearable shape. And the fabric necklace - love!

  3. I think you've done a great job to finish so many piece when you're working full time. They look great and it sounds like you get a lot of wear out of them - I'd say that's a win.

  4. You've made a lot of great garments! Your white linen pants and shorts look perfect for summer, and I really like the look of those panel skirts... What a shame that your katftan has some rips in the sleeves - it actually looks amazing on you, very designer-y!

  5. Love all of the pieces and your styling is superb as well. I really adore your colour and fabric choices.

  6. Well, I am thoroughly impressed with your output. Because, yes, the full time work/mom gig is INSANITY. I'm getting by, though barely. My husband gets the brunt of my frustration- ha! Must be nicer to him :) All of your pieces are fantastic and all things I would wear in a heartbeat. I especially like the white linen tunic and your white linen pants. In fact, I'm going to look up that tunic pattern now....

  7. Love all the things you've been sewing. I bought that Vogue tunic pattern after your yellow version. The pockets are amazing, and who cares if they're right on my pear-shaped hips! I love this new white one just as much.

  8. I think this is pretty impressive for 6 months! Your projects all look great. I really like that beach kaftan, actually - not getting a nativity vibe at all! My favorite has to be the Vogue tunic, though. Looking forward to seeing your special project.

  9. Some great makes here - I'm absolutely all over the white pants. I just bought a white pair of jeans myself - and they've become the wardrobe staple for the bottom half. I just love a bright white mixed with some colour - looks great with your modified tank!

  10. You've made some fantastic garments. Personally I'm mad about your beach kaftan and your white linen pants. White pants are my summer go to item. Sadly my beautiful pair made last summer are now too big for me. Very first world problem I know...

  11. Everything looks great. I am experiencing the same thing with projects piling up, not getting photos done and then forgetting the alterations etc with each pattern.