Sunday, June 26, 2016


Or G&T's, if you like.
Boozey jokes aside, it is what I wear most days.
So it makes sense to find a go-to pattern.
Last year, I had a good run with the Ginger jeans. I wore them constantly.
If you are new to jeans sewing I cannot recommend this pattern enough. The instructions are fantastic.

A few life style changes (more exercise) and some minor health issues (nothing serious, just gall stones) has resulted in some weight loss.

As I had nothing to wear that fit me nicely anymore (even though I have lost my baby weight my middle has thickened) it seemed the perfect time to embrace the capsule wardrobe.
First up, some Winter tee's.
After reading several excellent posts I decided to give the Plantain tee from Deer and Doe, a go.
I made three.
A black, cotton/lycra (from eBay) with black vinyl elbow patches, a navy cotton/modal (from Eliza's of Sunshine) with silver patches and a black and white stripe cotton/modal (from DK's Fabrics) with black vinyl elbow patches.
I have grey, nude and white versions  ready to sew once I change threads.
My went by my bust measurement as I like tummy ease in my tee's. 
If I used a firmer knit I would size up but I really like the fit with this very stretchy cloth.
I added an inch to the hem but that was my only mod.
I may shorten my sleeves a wee bit.
As I tend to have my hands in water most of the day I find I push them up.
3/4 length would just make more sense.
My boots are from Emu  and sheepskin lined. Another item I constantly wear.
My pearls are a gift from Jed, from the Hamilton Sheepvention, he brings me something home each year.
The scooped neck is lovely and very flattering on me, even wearing my horrid feeding bras #droopyboobsofinsta.
After hearing about Bootstrap patterns on the lovely Lara's blog I decided to try them myself.
I really liked the concept of a made to measure pattern as I cannot find RTW jeans to fit me.
I did find the measuring process a bit tedious and just a little confusing. I would advise pulling out a pair of jeans you own and check things like zipper length and knee and ankle dimension.
My initial pair were far too wide at the waist (as my lovely Insta friends were witness too).
I am not blogging my alterations as, after re-measuring, I realised Zara had inadvertently added 25cm to my waist measurement.
Thus user error, not pattern error.
The instructions are very professional and the results are very very professional but I would still recommend the Ginger jeans instructions if you were a bit nervous.
I sewed them up in some very stretchy denim from here.
I think the secret to jeans sewing is the topstitching 
I used this thread in the top spool and matching, poly rasant thread in the bobbin.
The sewing was slow and chuggy and I had to use a needle threader to thread the needle eye but it was worth it.
My second pair, I topstitched with white jeans thread.
I added pocket flaps and decorative stitching to exaggerate my lack of junk in my trunk.
While I researching sewing techniques I found this article.
Now I am not sure my bum looks 'amazing' but it does lift how flat it looks.
I raised the zipper by an inch on this pair and I think it looks better.
Last pair for now, a gorgeous black coated denim with black topstitching.

This pair is my favourite.
This photo really shows how well the pattern allows me tummy room but fits nicely through the bum and thigh.
I couldn't be more pleased.

~My Verdict~
I am sold on sewing my own jeans. Why would I even bother buying them? They never fit, they cost a small fortune and shopping is a pain.

If you are thinking of sewing your own, go for it, I am happy to help!

Ditto with the tee's. I love the fit, the fabric is lush and even the pricey stripes worked out at under $20 for the tee (with enough left to make Trixie something)

I am pretty happy with my efforts and my capsule wardrobe is coming together very nicely indeed.

Thanks for reading
xx Nicole 


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Comfy Sewing

You know, when you have to get dressed
But you really don't want to.
Hudson pants  but in a woven.
Sewn up in soft denim, my seemingly endless roll that I purchased five years ago (or so) from eBay.
As Hudson's are made for knit fabrics I knew I would have to size up.
I decided to wing it and use the same size I made here. These pants still fit but are very drape-y now. The Twins intimated they would wear them if they didn't suit me.
I am very pleased with the seat of these, they stay nice even after a day of wear.
Not too 'mum-bummy' and I have a flat arse.
As Elsa says 'You don't have a bottom, just a thigh with a crease in it'.
Rather the using ribbing for the pocket trim, I trimmed back a woven polo shirt collars (people hand them on to me in droves, it must have been the thing to buy and marinate in your stash in the 90's) and used that.
It worked really well. 
I was tempted to used the same for the cuff but had a very similar ribbing so went with that
I used cotton/modal for the pocket bags.
A trick I learnt sewing Zara's trousers.
The drawstring is completely faux but mandatory (according to the Twins).
So, will they score them?
Will they heck!

~My Verdict~
Love them, super quick to sew 2 1/2 hours and I am not a speedy sewer.
I think I may have sized up 3 sizes for my hips? They fit fine through the bum and thighs but almost  pull at the back of the calf.

I am right into capsule wardrobes at present and these fit in perfectly.

Also, being woven and not knit, I can get a second day from them if I air them in between wears

xx Nicole

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Big Reveal

Well, it was as stressful as sewing a wedding dress.
From Pinterest 
The inspiration...
The realisation...
Waistcoat has been cut out but didn't happen, not yet, it will but it is likely to be too jolly hot indoors anyway.
Just in case you are new to my waffling Beamish Boy knocked us all for six 18 months or so ago but declaring he wanted to do medicine and be a country GP.
He asked me to make he a special outfit to wear to his interview.
The jeans are a vintage KwikSew in denim/wool from Spotters.
The shirt the lovely Aime Comme Marie mens shirt in Liberty lawn.
The sports coat a Lekala custom fit jobbie in Herringbone wool.
He actually wore it today, to the practice session for the interview/exam.
He may have been a little over dressed.
He may have been dressed very similarly to the lecturer.
But he didn't care, he liked it and that is all that matters to me.
Hugo has been working, full time, in his gap year but has decided after today to spend a full day a week prepping for his UMAT.
He came out the of the full day session absolutely psyched, so excited and then promptly passed out for an hour.

Keep your fingers crossed for him, come August, won't you?

xx N

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

It is a good thing he is cute.

Hugo's sportscoat is finished, Baby!
(Quick recap, Beamish sits his UMAT in a few months time and asked me to recreate this)
Hugo's 'lucky' outfit.
We decided to leave the vest for now, I was worried it would be too warm and I am slightly over tailored sewing, just for now.
It was a lot of work and I am so glad to be done but it looks so nice on him.
Lekala #6017
I used this pattern from Lekala.
The fit was perfect, no alterations needed at all.
I sewed it up in a wool/poly herringbone cloth that I purchased in bulk from eBay.
The same stuff I made Liddy's coat from...
And Trixie's dungarees.

The lining is a satin backed crepe. It has a wee bit more body then regular satin.
I wished I had used a stretch satin although the lining does have good ease.
Hugo has a few stressed seams in the lining of his Thread Theory coat.

Please excuse the WIP photos, I am blogging them as a note-to-self. The pattern instructions are a bit on the light side.
I maxed out our internet data using youtube tutorials.
For the chest pocket I used this video
The pockets have lining one side and silky lining the other.
I interfaced the front jacket with sheer weft for stability as well as the facings and collar.
The flap edges are hand sewn in place.
It took me around an hour to sew the pocket.
For the welt pockets with the flap I used this video
My welts are a little wonky but my fabric was starting to deteriorate so I left it be.
For sewing the back vent (and again for the sleeves) I used this video

I tried to bag the lining but as I had already sewn the sleeve hems it didn't work.
So I pinned and sewed the sleeve lining to the body lining, in increments and then hand sewed the gap shut.
I didn't like any of the shoulder pads I had but it needed something. On a whim, I tried the swim suit pads I had purchased for the Twins bikini tops and they were perfect.
I hand sewed them to the main coat before finishing the lining.
I am really pleased with the lining. I added extra ease after making a mistake with Elsa's so I had very nice folded hems to allow good body movement.
The buttons are Hugo's choice.
I would have preferred a darker leather button but the light coloured stone look is very fresh and modern.

It is certainly not perfect but I am very happy with the results.

Modelled piccies soon!

xx N

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Zara~ Round Up

I finished Zara's turn on the #sewingrota.
Liesl+Co Bento tee and City Gym shorts combo.
Or two!
A Lekala hooded jacket
Another Lekala, this time a wrap skirt.
Yet another Lekala, a tee-shirt.
A pair of Vado slim fit jeans.
Named  Alexandria Peg trousers.
A gorgeous Cynthia Rowley dress.

Another Burda camisole.

I think she made some lovely choices. 

What I have learnt.
Sewing four outfits, for each of the older girls, is too much. Patience is not a strong point for teenagers and they want what they want, straight away.
Patience is not a strong point for tired mothers of wakeful toddlers either.

I really wanted to deliver an armful of beautiful clothes (and I hope I did) but they were already planning the next item when I wanted them admiring the one I had just finished, dammit!

We had some pretty horrid unpleasantness this time round. Both of us reacted badly (at times) and as I am the grown up I have to put my hand up and take the blame and sort it better, next time.

~Zara's Verdict~
I felt a bit awful to find out that I was upsetting mum.
 I agree with what she said above. I absolutely understand and agree with the idea to have only two outfits at a time. It will mean less of a wait for all of us for our turns. 
I love all of my items that mum made me and am really looking forward  to my next turn as it will be the making of my formal dress! 

Although this was a pretty exhausting experience I think all three of us learned something.
For me, I need to accept a 'thanks' and move on. If I want a enthusiastic response, share it with my sewing friends.

For the Twins, Mum has feelings too and that they need to plan what they would like a little better and be better at communicating.

If you got through all that, well done!

xx Nicole.