Thursday, June 7, 2018

Sequin Top

I made this top with 3/4 length sleeves using Simplicity pattern D0657. I have used this pattern once before to make a dress.
The fabric is an interlock knit with a sequin butterflies pattern all over. I removed the butterfly sequin from the neckband because I did not want them to irritate the skin but it was not easy. It took longer to removed a few sequin butterflies than to sew this top together.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Pokemon makes and a skirt

I recently brought a yard of quilting cotton with a busy Pokémon print to make a few things for daughter. The first item is the Knickers pattern from issue 9 of Simply Sewing.  This pattern is designed for woven fabric. The lingerie elastic  I used is 3/8in (.95cm) by Dritz.  The next item I made using up  the scraps is a headphone purse. This pattern is from issue 38 of Simply Sewing. I also made  a scrunchie from the scraps (not photographed) and still have about half a yard of fabric left. Thinking of  using it to make a bag.
About  a year ago I made this denim skirt using Simplicity Pattern D0718 and never got around to hemming it. Finally today I finished the hem with white bias binding, Sorry I just realized its difficult to see in this photo. I made view B from the pattern and eliminated the centre front seam. The denim is heavy and stiff. a piece i was given. This skirt is still a work in progress. I hope to finish this skirt off with some light distressing, by using sandpaper on the seams.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Sew Serendipity - Skirt

I love this fabric is it 100% cotton chambray. I original made it into a gathered skirt for my daughter  but after a year of it sitting at the bottom of her drawer I realized she was never going to wear it. So I unpicked the skirt thinking I could reuse the fabric for smaller projects.
Inspiration to use it to make a skirt for myself came from looking through Sew Serendipity. All the skirts in this book are made from 6 panels and all use a combination of fabric. Ideal for using up small pieces of fabric.
I chose the tailored skirt, its a knee length A-line skirt with pockets and invisible back zipper. There is a contrast fabric at each seam and on the pocket tops.
I had enough fabric to cut the 6 panels and 2 pockets without worrying about pattern matching. Honestly I think the only people who will notice and mind I have not pattern matched are other sewist, a small number.
The facing and inner pockets I cut from the contrast fabric.
I cut a size medium, the finished skirt sits comfortable below my belly button. I made no alterations to the pattern, the finished waist measures 32 inches. I did not see listed any finished measurement and for me 2 inches wearing ease on a skirt is a lot. Now that I know how it fits next time I will use a wider seam allowance to eliminate some of the ease. For the zipper, instructions are given to install an invisible zipper using a regular zipper foot. Handy if you don't own an invisible zipper foot.
This skirt came together nicely all the pieces aligned exactly. The instructions are well written and easy  to follow as long as you don't mind flipping back and forth to all the different steps sections, the skirt instructions are on page 40, general skirt instructions on page 30 and zipper instructions on page 22.  The nice thing about this book is  all the included pattern pieces are full size. There are 6 variations on the skirt pattern . Also included in the book is a dress and jacket pattern with 6 variations each.  Patterns are graded from  XXS to XXL.
Sew Serendipity by Kay Whitt retails for $27.99. I got my copy from amazon for $9.99.

Friday, April 20, 2018

So very Happy!

Remember this cotton + Steel Mesa lawn fabric? Back in January I made a dress with it and just hated the dress, so I unpicked it and  made something  I do like with the dress skirt. so very happy I could salvage some of the fabric from the rubbish bin.
Its a New look pattern that came with  Sew magazine Feb 2018. I made style B the shorter top version, since I was working with cut piece of fabric. I cut a size 14, when I made up the sides and tried it on it felt a little tight, so I unpicked them and used a 1cm seam allowance instead of the 1.5cm allowance. its a better fit now. for the back closure instead of the loop and button I used a hook and eye that I already had. otherwise I made the top up as per the instructions which are easy to follow.

Monday, April 9, 2018

The Drape Top

The Drape top is a sleeveless top with a scoop neck line. Ordinarily I would not choose this style for myself but the pattern is rated  as a great beginner project so I thought yeah, why not try making it.
 I used up the rest of 100% polka dot cotton jersey so its a no extra cost make.
I measure a 14 in the waist and hips and between a 12 and 14 in the bust. I made a size 10-12 and the fit is good.
All I need now is some warm weather so I can start wearing my new Drape top.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Easy Sewing Project

Inspired by the Gym Accessories feature in Simply Sewing issue 38, I trimmed some white terry toweling fabric , that I  purchased a long time ago for I project I never made, with some colourful quilting cotton to make two new hand towels.
For the first towel I followed the project instructions using four strips of fabric to bind the edges. This results in a wider band.

For the second towel I used my regular binding method. Both methods are easy, which method you use is personal choice.

Regular binding Method.
1. Cut 3''  wide strips, length of fabric, Join strips to make one continuous strip long enough to cover all four sides.
2. Press in half lengthwise with wrong sides together.
3. Align raw edges of toweling and binding ,stitch together using a 1/4'' seam allowance. At each corner fold binding away from project to form a 45 degree angle, fold binding back down onto the next raw edge, align edges and continue sewing.
4. To finish binding fold one short raw edge to wrong side by 1/2'', tuck other binding tail into the folded tail and stitch to finish.
5. Fold binding to other side of towel and top stitch in place.

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.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


My daughter asked for warm and comfy pyjama bottoms so I rushed over to my local Joann and found the cutest print ever in the sale section , best of all its 100% organic cotton. After the first wash the flannel feels so soft and silky to touch, I am thinking its because its organic.
The Pattern: Sew and Sew B5517 by Butterick. View C.
Fabric: Dolittle by Cloud 9. $7.49 per yard.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Happy new year

I set myself the goal of learning to sew my own clothes in 2017. There are 4 me made dresses and skirts hanging in my closet. Yes, if you look at them closely they are not perfect , but despite the flaws I enjoy wearing them.
One of the biggest challenges in the begin was  making the toiles in my size. Ready made clothes and pattern sizes differ so much and I had a hard time believing that I should make a size 14 when I wear a size 6. I made many snug fitting toiles, once I allowed myself to trust in the pattern information and make clothes that correspond with my measurements I discovered making clothes that fit with minor adjustment is  easy. Size Wise in the December 2017 issue of Sew News by Joi Mahon explains it so much better than I am.
Picking fabric also is a challenge mainly because I only want to make and wear clothes from natural fibres. The closest fabric shop is a smaller Joann with a  limited apparel selection and although online shops have a larger selection each time I have opened my package I have been surprised, there is no substitute to seeing and  handling the fabric before buying, I guess I should buy a sample first but I am impatient and that just increases the wait.

The goal for 2018 to double the number of me mades in my closet. Here is to another year of happy sewing!

Breaking the Pattern- Review

I was excited to see a new sewing book at my local library last week. Without much thought I checked it out. The book is 'Breaking ...