Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Wiksten Tank

As usual I am always late to the party - this time it is the Wiksten Tank party.
I looked at the weather forecast at the start of this week and decided I needed some loose fitting cool tops for the hot weather.  I wasn't sure weather to go with the Tiny Pocket Tank or the Wiksten so I asked Instagram and the winner for my figure was the Wiksten.

I knew I would need to do an fba and after fitting the pattern to me I thought I would need a little more coverage at the armhole so I did an fba like this from Fit for Real People.
I used some rayon from Spotlight that was on special last week. Unlike some of the rayon I have bought there this was lovely to sew, not shifty at all.
It is currently 37 and this top is perfect.  I still want to try the Kate top and Datura, but I'm sure I'll be making more of these.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Butterick 5211

After checking my wardrobe and deciding I needed something new for a Christmas party last night I searched through my patterns and found Butterick 5211. A fast and easy 1 hour pattern sounded perfect. And it would have been if I hadn't decided to use this shift as shit rayon with the pattern printed so far off grain its ridiculous. It took me way over an hour just to cut it out. I nearly gave up at this stage as the pieces are all cutaway off grain so the pattern is straight. 
I am glad I persevered, it does fall a little bit funny but it is hard to tell when you put the belt on. There is a lot of ease in this pattern. I didn't bother with an fba and cut my normal size, but took it in to a size smaller after the first fitting. 
Tessuti has a great tutorial to make the thread button loop, it was a lot quicker and easier than I thought it would be.
I'll definitely be making a few more of these this summer, maybe a plain black next time so I can get it make in an hour.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Big Book of Scrappy Quilts

If you have a big stash of scraps then The Big Book of Scrappy Quilts is the perfect book for you!
I'm very excited to have three patterns in it and with 77 patterns you are bound to find more than a few you will need to make!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

New Look 6301 for Summer

Yes another knit dress, but they are just so incredibly comfortable and quick to sew.
This is New Look 6301 which I have made a couple of times before. I used a black jersey which I think came from Spotlight. This is the first time I have made the sleeveless version and I really like the narrow binding around the arms instead of hemming.
I've definitely got my money's worth out of this pattern and I am sure I will make more.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Oven Mitts

I finally got around to turning my paper pieced saucepan blocks into little oven mitts for my Mum.
I added a piece of fabric to the bottom of the block to make them square, made bias binding and curved the corners. I found some heat resistant batting (not sure of what it was actually called) at Spotlight so used a layer of that and also a layer of wool batting inside
I love these blocks just as much as when I made them, if you want to make your own check out The Paper Pieced Home.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Appleton Dress

After the success of the Myrtle Dress I thought I may as well try a few more new patterns. Even though I own a number of wrap dress patterns I couldn't resist the Appleton Dress when it came out. It promises no gaping across the top so I had to try it. 
It lives up to that promise, it fits perfectly! I was cutting this out the other night while watching Fargo and accidentally cut the extra bit off the left side instead of the right so it wraps the wrong way, but other than that I had no problems making this dress. The instructions were clear and it went together very quickly. The only alterations I made were to lower the hole on the side, for the tie to go though, about an inch and a small full arm adjustment (which I do to all patterns).
I used some jersey from Spotlight which has the perfect stretch for this pattern. I love this print so much, I found it in 2 more colour ways on the bargain table and bought some of both of them. 
I see a short sleeved or sleeveless version for summer being made very soon!

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Myrtle Dress

I'm not sure why it's taken so long to make the Colette Myrtle dress, but all of a sudden last week I desperately needed to make one, so I ordered the pattern and today I whipped one up.
I used very stretchy jersey from Spotlight. I had planned  to just start the bodice today, but after a disastrous day yesterday trying to make an Aeolian dress I really needed some success, so I kept going to see if it looked any good. I did do a quick muslin of the top and decided to go down a bit over a size from my measurements as it was huge. I probably went down a fraction too much and will make it a tiny bit bigger next time.
I really love the way the bodice is constructed, it has a nice finish with the seams all hidden inside. The only alteration I made was to leave off the pockets as this fabric is really stretchy and if I put anything in them they would just sag.
I'm sure I'll be making at least one more this summer, it is so comfortable and I found some great bargains in Textile Traders last time I was there which will be perfect for it.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Bess Top

I was intrigued by the construction of the Bess Top by Imagine Gnats when I first saw it and knew I had to try it. It is an interesting and quite quick top to sew. This top definitely needs to be made in a drapey fabric. There is plenty of ease in the pattern and I didn't need to do an fba. I used a voile and I am happy with it. If I made it again I would try a light rayon or something similar.
I'm wearing with my second pair of Alexandria Peg Trousers I made from chambray. I love them, they are my go do pants. So comfortable and they go with everything. There will be more of these!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Sneak Peak - Striking Strip Quilts

The new Martingale catalogue is here and inside is a peak at some of the quilts in Striking Strip Quilts. You can see more of them here. I loved making every one of these quilts and I am so excited to share them with you!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Block Printed Mini Southport Dress

Design, Carve, Print: Block Printing on Fabric by Jen Hewett
Fabric - I used Moda Bella Solids in Zen Grey and printed with a dark teal colour.
Pattern - Mini Southport Dress by True Bias





Saturday, October 24, 2015

Carving and Listening

A few weeks ago I signed up for Jen Hewett's online printing on fabric course. I have plans to print some fabric for little pouches and if that works maybe printing some for clothes for myself and the girls.
So this week there has been lots of carving and test printing.
All the time spent sketching and carving has been perfect for catching up on podcasts.
A few good ones I have listened to this week:
Sawbones - my kids love listening to these in the car - the more revolting the better.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Mini Southport Dress

It is getting a little trickier for the girls to find things they want me to sew them. They still love going through the Ottobre magazines, but they don't often find patterns they like from the big pattern companies. So I was a little excited when I showed Milly the Mini Southport Dress and she said she would like one.
She chose this tencel fabric from Spotlight which was really nice to sew and perfect for this pattern.
I really like the instructions on the True Bias patterns, they are really clear and the finishes are really nice.
It is a great pattern for older girls as it is not cutesy or twirly and looks really comfortable to wear. It only goes up to size 10, but I think I will be sizing it up when the 10 no longer fits the girls.
Eva loved the one I made Milly so I made her one too. I used fabric from the Spotlight clearance table (I found so much great stuff on there on my last visit) and made matching bias binding. I found the interfacing on the button band left it a bit stiff and hard to do up the buttons on Milly's dress so I left it off this one. I think I will leave it out in future dresses made of quilting cotton etc.
I already have one more cut out and plans for a little one for Olive. I will definitely be getting my moneys worth out of this pattern!!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

New Summer Favourites

My girls live in shorts over summer so I have had a bit of production line going and I think I have made enough to last a while. They can all be quite fussy about how their shorts fit, but I think we have found a winner in the Sassy Shorts pattern.
I have made a few pairs from cotton with pockets.

And a few pairs from rayon without pockets. This rayon is quite shifty and it was so much easier to leave the pockets off. I didn't bother matching the pattern on the front and back as the repeat was so big so these were very quick to make.
I've also found a new favourite t-shirt pattern for me - the Seafarer. I think I've made 5 so far and I know I haven't finished yet.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Paper Pieced Butterflies

I think I have found my next quilt project. These gorgeous little paper pieced butterflies by Tartan Kiwi. It has taken me three months to make three, but I love having one project on the go where there is no deadline.
I think they will probably end up in a mini quilt, but I have no firm plans and will just see how many I end up making.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Not Pink Zebras

I haven't disappeared and there has been a little sewing for Olive. Unfortunately nothing has pink zebras on them so Olive won't look at thse let alone try them on, so I have no idea if they fit. I'm hoping she changes her mind as summer gets closer.
A Madeline dress. I think this could be my favourite little girls dress pattern.
Chillax pants.
Another Ottobre Jumpsuit. No I'll never get tired of shirring.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Alexandria Peg Trousers

I've looked at the Alexandria Peg Trousers pattern several times in the past and each time I have dismissed them as something that was never going to look good on me, but after a disastrous day trying to make Burda 6770 I took another look at them. 
I don't even have a picture of the Burda pants to show you, I got rid of them after trying to make them wearable - they were huge and taking them in wasn't working, it really wasn't worth altering the pattern when there are so many loose fitting pants patterns around.
So I figured the Alexandria Peg trousers couldn't be any worse on me. I bought, printed, cut and sewed them in a few hours and they are pretty near perfect. I was between 2 sizes so I cut the smaller one. The only alteration was shortening the pattern about 2.5" before I cut them out. I used some rayon I bought at Spotlight. I am quite impressed with the selection of rayon there at the moment, I must get some more.
I love the pockets and pleats and everything fit together perfectly. I am wearing them now and they are so comfortable, they are going to be great in summer with t-shirts and they are perfect now with low cut boots and longer tops and cardis.
If you are looking for elastic waist pants I highly recommend this pattern. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Sew Gentle Era

There is so much to love about living in Bridgetown. It is a lovely town surrounded by hills, forest and a river. It is not a big town, but there are great shops with everything you need, excellent coffee and my favourite thing - a quilt and sewing shop! 

Sew Gentle Era is on the main street and is owned by the lovely Anne. It doesn't only have nice fabrics, but seems to have everything else I need including threads, elastic, buttons, zips, glue for EPP and even clover binding clips. It is rare that I can't find what I need in there.
They also stock my favourite pre-cut - jelly rolls and have copies of my book Strip Savvy.
There's even a nice selection of yarn.

Olive loves coming too as there is a little kids table and some toys to keep her busy.
There aren't many towns in WA that still have a quilt or craft shop so I feel very lucky that Bridgetown does. If you are anywhere in the area it is well worth a visit to Sew Gentle Era and to all the other great little shops in town.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Chillax Pants and another Kwik Sew 3801

Most days it's still very much winter here, but we have had a few glimpses of spring so I thought I would start on some warm weather clothes for the girls. First up is a pair of Chillax pants from Tadah patterns. These were nice and easy to sew and they had great instructions, but I think these were just a little too puffy for Milly so these might go to someone else and I might use the Happy Pants pattern from Peach Patterns for the next pair I make. 

I have worn and worn my Kwik Sew 3801 top I made a few weeks ago so when I spotted this wool/rayon mix in Textile Traders I grabbed some for another one. This fabric is a little stretchier and thinner than the one I used for the last one and it is quite large. I made a medium and I could have gone down a size and it would still be pretty big. It is extremely comfortable. I'm not sure how many tops like this I need, but I won't rule out making another one.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Jutland Pants

And now for something I never thought I would be doing, sewing with nylon. Chris is a big fan of quick dry hiking style pants so a while ago I searched for suitable fabric and discovered taslan at It was fairly inexpensive so I bought a few yards. Next I had to find a pattern, I went with the Jutland Pants from Thread Theory.
As the fabric wasn't expensive I didn't bother with a muslin. He was kind of between 2 sizes so I went for the bigger one knowing I could add a bit of elastic in the sides of the waistband like his RTW ones (which I did do in the end as they were too big).
I added the hem and knee reinforcement pieces and the cargo pockets.  Taslan does not keep the crease when you press it so it was a little tricky to get straight edges and perfect corners. I was surprised how easy this was to sew though and I quite enjoyed making these.
The instructions for these were great, there was enough detail, diagrams when needed and some great tips. After sewing these and the Finlayson Sweater I wouldn't hesitate to pick another of their patterns to sew. 

Thanks to Soozs who pointed me in the direction of Rockywoods who have an amazing range of outdoor fabrics.