Thursday, October 8, 2015

Fabric Choice Fail

I am looking for the perfect tee.
Something like this.
I picked up some navy stretchy ribbed knit for $1/m from Eliza's in Melbourne and I tried this pattern.
And after several hours fitting ended up with this.
I gave it to my neighbour who gave it to St Vinnies (with my blessing)
So, I tried this one which I had had success with in the past.
I have three made up in a heavy cotton/lycra.
This photo was just after my parathyroid surgery and I was a solid 10kg heavier but still.
Double yuck.
This fabric grew upon handling.
Those bulges are not me! 
I am sucking everything in, that is the fabric.
I spent so long fitting this tee, I trimmed the shoulders, fitted the side seam over and over.
Big. Fat. Fail.
Possibly why it was marked down to $1?
This one has gone to my neighbour too, I think she kept it to sleep in.

So, my fellow sewing friends, please help me find a tee pattern.

I promise to try it in decent fabric.

xx N

Saturday, October 3, 2015

When you have to get dressed

More clothes for Mummy.
How does the saying go? When you have to get dressed but don't want to get dressed.
First, a neat tee.
I first saw this pattern on Flickr. The lovely MC had made a very groovy version and I when I commented on it she offered to send the pattern to me.
How awesome is that?
My bust measurement put me in a large (!) but I went with the medium as I was using a very stretchy knit.
I really like the hi-lo hemline. I wondered if I was not a little old but the Twins assured me I wasn't.
The fabric was again from Eliza's , a lovely cotton/modal in a nude pinky tan colour.
It looks lovely but was not so lovely to sew. I may have likened it to sewing snot. Stretchy and slippery but worth it and only $3/m.
Next up some neat house pants.
The Hudson pants.
This style of pant is not something I have worn since school days but according to The Twins, I needed them.
I am pleasantly surprised at how nice they are.
Neat and not sloppy at all.
I sewed them up in some more cotton/modal knit.
I like cotton/modal.
For when you have to get dressed but don't want to. Check!

The nitty gritty Kitty!
Simplicity 1463
I love this tee pattern. I made the medium and will stick to that in this soft fabric. To be honest, I think I would only sew this up in a draping fabric or it may be less elegant and more 80's batwing on me!
I have seen some teeny tiny girls pull it off.
Definitely a generous fit. Consider sizing down. I have read the arm bands can be a bit firm but mine are fine.
I think it took me less time to sew then to cut and pin but I recommend matching your notches and taking your time to get a professional result.
I have several more pieces of cotton/modal earmarked now....

Hudson Pants.
I am super surprised by how much I like these pants on me!
They are a nice sew with natty details on the pocket and neat ankle cuffs.
I would wonder about adding some length (if you are tall) as I am only 5'3 and they were perfect for my height.
I think I may leave the draw cord off my next pair as I would only wear them with an untucked top.

A great house / run to the school/ off to gym type pant.
I wear mine a lot 
(and fight them off the Twins AND hey even look good on Hugo)!

See you 'round like a rissole 

xx N

Saturday, September 26, 2015


I had completely forgotten this one.
I made Zara the Butterick 6169 just before our Victorian Holiday.
I have had trouble getting it back to photograph.
Zara used the leftover wool from Hugo's Peacoat
Due to the multiple  slim pieces it was quite an economical pattern to cut from scraps.
The open end zipper looks white but it is in fact a shiny silver tone.
We splurged on the lining using heavy weight Duchess satin (purchased from Spotters $27/m).
Well worth it for the weight and substance it give the jacket.
Following the instructions on the Lisette blog I 'bagged' the lining for a professional result (if I do say so myself)
I love the little 'step' at the cuff that gives ease when wearing.
I cut the straight size 6 for Zara but then fitted the waist a little more after sewing the front and back panels.
The jacket is supposed to have shoulder pads but Zara vetoed them.
Personally I would have put them in.
But she has to wear it.

The nitty gritty kitty.
A good simple Moto styled jacket. I love the welt pockets, they are my favourite detail.
The instructions could be better, in fact there is a mistake regarding installing the zipper. I suggest using the sew-a-long on the Lisette blog.

The pattern itself is pretty standard Big4, light weight tissue and (as I mentioned before) light weight instructions. Use the sew-a-long.

By bagging the lining, as per the sew-a-long, I saved several hours hand sewing and achieved a beautiful result.

A nice jacket and a nice sew.

xx N

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


I need jeans, badly.
I have one pair and I can pull them on and off without undoing the fly.
But when I tried the next size on it was too tight around my middle but hopelessly baggy in the legs.
I knew I would have to make them myself.

A few months back I read this blog post over at Thread Theory.
I then starting googling the Ginger jeans by Closet Case and I was only reading good things.
So I decided to try them myself.

My measurements put me in between the 12 and 14 but as my denim had very little stretch (*in hindsight no stretch*) I went with the 14 (the pattern is designed for stretch denim)
I went with View A, the lower waisted style.

After sewing the main part of the jeans including the inner leg first, I fitted the side seams and took another 2 cm's off the legs and just a smidgen of the waist.
Pretty schmick for a practice run.
 I used another remnant from Eliza's Fabric, $4, and I topstitched in navy.
The leg length was perfect for  me.
I used my signature speckly voile for the pocket bags.
A little touch of pretty.
Finally, I can accommodate my 6 child waistline without silly width at the thighs.
Jeans that fit!
I crazy crazy love them.
The nitty-gritty kitty.
One seriously awesome pattern. 
It. Is. The. Bomb.
The best zipper instructions I have ever read, so straight forward.
If you need help there is a step by step sew-a-long and a plethora of blog posts.
Even one that tells you where to place your back pockets.
I learned a great tip in making a 'speed bump', a fold of denim that you pop under your presser foot to help you sew bulky seams. You just pull it out the way once you get over the thick bit.

The PDF goes together well, it does make a big sheet but I find if I fold it in a concertina fashion the big sheets fit in a large ziplock bag.

Since I made these jeans they have either been on my body or in the wash.
I really do crazy crazy love them.

I plan to make a white denim pair for spring next but I will size back to a 12 as the fabric is really stretchy.

The only problem was my fabric choice. I really wish I had used a stretchier denim. I thought mine had a wee bit of stretch but in hindsight, it doesn't. As I do a fair bit of getting up and down from the floor they are a bit tight around my legs by the end of the day.

It hasn't stopped me wearing them though.

I cannot believe my luck in finding such a great fitting pair of jeans for me.

Thanks for popping by!

xx N

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Mama gets her groove back

So, if you read my blog at all you may remember I sew to a rota. Each family member has a turn and now it is my turn.

When Zara asked me what I was making this time 'round I answered 'Two more tunics and a couple of pairs of leggings'.
She pulled a bit of a face but I didn't take too much notice, initially.
It got me thinking though so I asked Elsa what she thought I should sew for myself.
'No more tunics, Mum, something nice'


I then asked Jed, he was more gentle but still very honest.
He didn't really like the clothes I was sewing for myself  but if I was happy, he was happy.

What to do?

While we were on holidays the Twins introduced me to Polyvore. It is so much fun, it is like shopping without having to get undressed and you can use pieces you already have!
After having a good play I was a lot more switched on to what I actually like and want to wear.

I have some really nice pieces already. Lots of very nice boots and shoes, some classic jackets and vests and two timeless leather skirts as well as some good jewellery.

It was when it came to the basic stuff I was sorely lacking.
Jeans, trousers, shirts and tees.

After much perusing of Pinterest we were really taken with the concept of core wardrobes.  The idea is that your clothes work hard and make many different outfits.
The Twins and I have emptied out all the clothes we don't wear and made lists of what we actually need to make what we have work better.
We have donated anything that just didn't fit or we just didn't wear.

It is so much fun and makes so much sense. We have been shopping twice since we started and both the girls were so much more sensible with their choices. Rather the buying stuff because it was on sale or cheap they quizzed each other whether they needed the piece and what would they wear it with.
It has also helped them plan what they would like made next.
As it did for me.

A item that kept popping up in my Polyvore sets was a denim shirt so I decided to sew that for me first.
I had long had my eye on the gorgeous ladies version of Hugo's Mister shirt
I was determined to get a good fit so I made a calico muslin of the Aime Comme Madame shirt.
Jed helped me with the fitting. I had to be patient as his big fingers fumbled with pins but he did such a good job.
I use calico for my muslins, it means I can write on it and it will take being sewn and unpicked over and over again.
I always put my seams on the outside, it just makes it easier to adjust them.
My muslin is unpicked once perfect and then becomes my pattern.

My first muslin was a straight LL (the largest size) with a cm added to the waist. This was to my measurements.
I ended up taking in that extra cm plus a few more. I shifted the darts up to better flatter my tummy and nip in under my bust.
The back darts were a bit a wide for me so I moved them in.
Moving the back darts made a huge difference. Jed suggested this alteration as he could see my back, I, obviously couldn't.

I added a bust dart and then trimmed a bit from the shoulder cap as well as removing an inch of ease from the sleeve.
It was okay but a bit firm in the boobage.

I tried again, this time I did a FBA using this method.
Swedish tracing paper is brilliant for this.
So very happy with the result.
It looks like it is pulling a bit in the photo below but I am wearing a padded feeding singlet and a cloth breast pad.
I purchased the chambray on our Melbourne trip. It has a slight sheen and a gorgeous drape.
I pulled it out of the remnant bin at Eliza's Fabric. It was the princely sum of $3.50.
I went with my usual MoP buttons but reversed them to show the shell finish, for a more casual look.
I love the two piece sleeve placket and the rounded cuff.
Deliciously feminine.
I topstitched all the darts and seams with navy thread.
A double back yoke and waist darts are delightful features.
(I will pinch just a smidgen from under the collar next time)
I cannot express how lovely it is to have a shirt that actually fits me.
It actually fits my boobs, feeding bra, breast pads and all!
Shoulders that fit!
Shaped but not tight with some ease for my 6 child waistline.
I feel proper smart.
I just feel so nice wearing it.
Smart but not too dressy.
The nitty-gritty-kitty.

I won't josh you, these patterns are not for beginners. You need some experience with sewing.
The pattern instructions are all in French however there are good diagrams. 
If you have made a shirt before you could make this.
There is no seam allowance included either (except on the sleeve placket, I think).
It is a paper pattern but the p&h was very reasonable.
The front and back darts made it a good shirt to adjust. It is such an elegant, feminine garment.
I can see myself making many more.

I already have fabric for a white linen, powder blue lawn and navy gingham version.

So, so happy!

xx N