Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Vest Top

I enjoy an easy and quick make like this vest top from Cotton and Chalk's "Holiday Set".
The suggested fabric for this top is stretch knits with 35% stretch. I used a 100% cotton jersey polka print  from
The instructions are easy to follow just join the shoulder seams and side seams, double hem the neckline and arm holes with a 2.5cm hem for the bottom. I ignored the neckline instructions actually I did follow them to begin with but did not like the finished results, one shoulder ended up wider then the other, not a good look.  I unpicked it and used 1/2'' single old bias tape instead.
To use bias tape, firstly pre-shape the tape to match the curve of the neckline with a steam iron, right side of bias tape to right side of fabric. stitch in place , trim seam allowance to just under  a 1/4''. Turn bias tape to inside and straight stitch into place. Its a neater finish.
I used a 80/11 knit fabric needle and a narrow zigzag stitch for all sewing except the hem and neckline. For the hem I used a twin needle.
I made a medium, its a loose fit. I was expecting a tighter body hugging fit. When I make this top again I will blend a small bust with a medium hip. I think this will give me the fit I was expecting.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

See and Sew Pyjama Top

Spent part of our snow day yesterday making this super soft pyjama top.  Its loose fitting and super easy to make. The pattern is  Butterick B5517. I made  a size medium without any pattern adjustments. The fabric is organic cotton jersey from
The red bias tape on the neckline I chose it to  add a little colour even if its on the inside but now I am worried the red might run and ruin the white top.
Overall very happy with this quick and easy make.

Friday, March 2, 2018

The Betsy Tote

My latest make is the Betsy tote pattern by Alice Caroline and Simply Sewing. For the interfacing I used 987F fusible fleece, my bag is soft and floppy and  the base sags. The instructions recommend a heavy interfacing, I also skipped the internal zippered pocket (will probably regret this latter when I am using the bag).
The purple webbing is from
The fabric was purchased years ago from Joann for a different bag but it was never made. I pieced two piece for the gusset as I did not have enough fabric. My favourtie feature is  the front pocket, the way its patched on the bag front with the raw edges hidden by the straps and base seam gives you two pockets for one.
The pattern instruction are well written making this an easy pattern to sew.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Bravo Bottoms Pattern

with lingerie elastic
After making the Acacia pattern I purchased the Bravo Bottoms #1 pattern. This pattern has 3 waist heights and 2 back options. So far I have made the bikini with the two back options.
This pattern requires fabric with at least 25% stretch.  The stretch guide diagram is 4 inches in total therefore  I added an extra inch before I used it to check the stretch of my fabric. I recycled a grey t-shirt, so I am also calling this a re-fashioned items.
The pattern pieces are hand drawn. I only mention this because I was surprised at first. There is no pattern layout but there are clear instructions on cutting, fitting and construction.
Instructions are given for attaching fold over elastic, stretch lace and lingerie elastic. I was confused and there  did not follow the instructions for lingerie elastic instead I stitched the elastic to the right side of the fabric with straight edge aligned to the raw cut edge of the garment. I then folded the elastic back to the wrong side and topstitched with a zigzag stitch. afterwards looking at a read to wear pair I understood the instructions to sewing lingerie elastic so next time I will try it.
This pattern is a quick sew. I like quick makes.
recycling a t-shirt

Friday, February 2, 2018

The Acacia Pattern

Ever since I made the knickers kit offered with Simply Sewing issue 9 I have wanted to wanted to learn more about this area of garment making. The Acacia pattern, a low rise bikini cut underwear, is the perfect pattern to learn from using different elastic types( regular 1/4'', picot and fold-over elastic) and knit fabric. The knickers kit pattern uses woven fabric cut on the bias.
Elastic Types
Regular Elastic- this elastic is flat and is sold in various widths,  I used the 1/4' elastic for the striped pair. Once sewn in you cannot see it. It cost me .99cents per yard.
Picot/ Lingerie elastic- This elastic has one pretty scalloped edge and one straight plain edge. I ordered this elastic online from Porcelynne. I paid $5 for 5 yards. I used this elastic on the polka dot pair.
Fold- Over elastic- Fold -over elastic has a line down the centre that you fold over the raw edge of the fabric. I purchased this elastic precut, 1 yard per packet. I brought two packs at $2.99 each. I really needed 3 packs, to get 2 leg and 1 waist length, but I did not realize this when I made my purchase, instead of going back out to buy more I simply joined 2 pieces to get the length I needed. I used this elastic on the white pair.
from the top- regular, picot and fold-over elastic
All fabric is from The striped fabric is left over from a previous project, its a cotton poly blend. The other two fabrics are all cotton jersey knits. The white fabric is organic and super soft.
 Megan Nielsen gifted the Acacia pattern to her newsletter subscribers last Christmas. Thank you Megan, its a great pattern. The instruction are clear, the project easy to sew. I consider it a wonderful project for a beginner or anyone with too much leftover fabric sitting around. This is also the first time I printed and used a PDF pattern, the whole process is so uncomplicated i will not hesitate to buy and use PDF patterns in the future.

Thursday, January 25, 2018


The making of a new dress is always a journey. This journey began with an online fabric search and purchase of 2 1/2 yards of Cotton + Steel Mesa Lawn, titled sunrise in navy. It's 100% cotton and absolutely lovely.
The Pattern is 'The Adele Dress" from Simply Sewing issue 34 ( dress B, short version). It has kimono sleeves, a pleated skirt with pockets, a centred back invisible zipper and V neckline.
The pattern is well drafted with clearly marked sleeve and pocket notches, that are helpful in aligning each piece correctly, however I found it very odd that the instructions make no mention of these marks. Also the instructions do not mention that after sewing the side /underarm seam the underarm curve needs to be clipped so the sleeve will sit flat without tugging, maybe this is an obvious step but good instruction should not leave you guessing.
I have one regret from this dress journey and that's not making a toile first.  From the finished garment measurements I was expecting the bodice to be big on me but it turned out small.
So, I am disappointed with the final outcome and so its time to quietly move on to my next project.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Tulip Skirt

Pattern- The Tulip Skirt by Sew Over It. It's a  Simply Sewing sew along  from issues 5 to 7. The sew along offers optional steps such as belt loops, piping at the waist, lining the skirt and adding a lace trim at the hem. The skirt features front pleats and back darts , a waistband with invisible zip and inseam pockets.
Fabric - 100% corduroy cotton an off white tribal medallion on black background. It cost me $8.98 per yard

I made a size 12 and  added  black piping to the waist of my skirt. The inseam pockets are reinforced with a small zigzag bar at the lower opening. If I was to make this skirt again I would draft deeper pockets so my phone would fit inside the pocket, and I would use 1cm seam allowance for just a little more breathing space at the waist.

The Vest Top

I enjoy an easy and quick make like this vest top from Cotton and Chalk's " Holiday Set ". The suggested fabric for thi...