Monday, 14 April 2014

Mandy pattern hack - curved split hem

It's ridiculous how excited I am about this make! I think half the reason I'm so excited is that it took me about 3 seconds to notice the inspiration, lock it into my brain, and then after half an hour of thinking time on the cross trainer at the gym I was able to nut it out and it turned out JUST AS I IMAGINED. Such a sewing dork.

Anyway, I give you my new favourite little pattern hack, the curved split knit hem:

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Finished - the LBT

My second last warm-weather make before winter! I have been planning this Little Black Top since, oh, October! And of course I'm so annoyed with myself it took this long to make because I'm in love with it and it literally goes with about 15 different bottoms in my wardrobe! But the main beneficiary is going to be my Monet On Acid skirt, which I've hardly worn due to lack of suitable tops.....

Monday, 7 April 2014

Autumn/Winter Sewing Plans

Inspired by the Stash Diet ladies recent spring clean out I spent a happy couple of hours last week whilst my beloved was away for work, refolding and reorganising my stash into a tidier state, which in turn lead to a pattern clean out and the development of my plans for Autumn/Winter sewing. Sorry if this is boring - it's really more a post for myself so I don't have to keep referring back to the list on my iPad (but I actually really love reading other peoples plans so some of you might enjoy it!).

I've not really been that fussed at continuing on the the Wardrobe Architect project - I found the initial weeks most useful, and I've never had a problem identifying which prints I adore. So instead of following the exercises I found it was simple as identifying gaps in my cool weather wardrobe and shopping the stash, matching fabric and patterns I can use to fill the gaps, and then making a small list of future purchases.

I decided to group them into dresses, skirts, pants, knit tops, woven tops, outerwear and knitting. My main focus is to use as much stash fabrics and patterns as possible (for both toile purposes and final garment) and make things that are WARM! I seem to have a pointless addiction to 3/4 sleeves, and then proceed to freeze. Not this year. It's the winter of sleeves for me.

And so, to some pretty pictures (any excuse to play make believe with Polyvore)....


1 - Red wool shift dress - currently perfecting a Laurel-New Look frankenpattern
2 - Grey ponte or wool knit shift dress - maybe using this opshop pattern or adapt this Burdastyle pattern:

3 - Flannel shirt dress - I'm kicking myself for leaving behind some black and white flannel at Clear It recently, hopefully I'll find something similar to make this version of the Lisette Traveller dress:


1 - Black and tan print gathered skirt - I've a bit of fabric left over from my Birdie dress, and plan to make a below-the-knee Zinnia-esque swishy gathered skirt. Should be easy enough to draft - similar to this skirt but longer and probably lined.

2 - Tweed wool mini - possibly scalloped hem. I've some gorgeous green and black tweed in the stash that will make a great mini. There's a cute miniskirt pattern in one of my Ottobre mags and I'm toying with making the hem scalloped (using the Meringue skirt pattern from the Colette Sewing Handbook). Thoughts on scalloped hems - a bit 2013?

3 - Black pencil skirt - big gap in the wardrobe for this one. Likely will be another Beignet, in a nice heavy twill or black denim. Also considering a black ponte skirt - I've some lovely black ponte destined to be Elle pants and might have enough left over for a skirt.


Easy - all Elle pants! They're just so comfy and easy to make. I've 4 pieces of fabric destined to be Elles - another bengaline pair for work (my second version has been holding up great, both in comfort and fabric), black ponte, some luscious fine black pinwale cord and an AMAZING print that I feel will be made up very soon indeed....

Knit tops....

1 - Black wool dolman and a wool Renfrew - great basics, tried and tested patterns - no stuffing around with fit.
2 - Black wool cardigan - pattern yet to be confirmed....
3 - Burdastyle top from above - preferably in wool. I've seen something divine on the Mood website but probably should look locally first....

Woven tops....

This is the big gap in my wardrobe. I'm really keen to make a variety of long sleeve tops in lovely lush fabrics to go out in. Right now I've really got nothing. I also want to be able to wear another fine layer underneath to keep warm....

1 - Basic button-down shirt - after my sad Tyler experience I have to start from scratch. I've a couple of Ottobre patterns, but also this delightful vintage pattern I picked up recently - I just love the collar on it. I've some chambray, and some lovely pale purple spots destined for this pattern.

2 - The yoke top from the above vintage pattern - I've a little of my Liberty splatter fabric left over, and also this mad Liberty cat fabric that would look great:

3 - I've been so lucky with this vintage Style pattern - I'm keen to make the long sleeve shawl collar version, I'm thinking a lovely navy washed silk....

4 - New Look 6808/Laurel Frankenpattern - I've tweaked this to be the perfect simple fitted woven top and have a couple of beautiful long and 3/4 sleeve versions in gorgeous prints in the pipeline.....

5 - Vintage tie neck - haven't got a fabric planned yet but did see a gorgeous red voile printed with swallows recently in Spotlight. Not so warm though....Maybe black silk or rayon?


I'm really only interested in making a little blazer this winter. I've plenty of coats. I was tempted to try the Victoria blazer, from By Hand London, but I'm just a bit concerned it's too boxy. I think I'll go with this Salme blazer - I'm unsure about colour and I'll probably make life harder for myself trying to line it. Knowing me I'll probably go black or dark grey, but it does depend what I can find in my local fabric shops. I feel a Fabric Safari coming on. Isn't it a lovely pattern though - so simple and elegant....


I put this in as an afterthought, but I have planned 3 Autumn/Winter knits this year. If I get even one finished I'll be chuffed!

First up is the Cape Cod in red wool from Bendigo Wool Mill (photo and pattern from here on Ravelry). I've three fat balls of wool sitting on my bookcase like red pumpkins, crying out to be used....

The Chuck sweater, in a lovely warm honey beige wool from Cascade Yarns (here on Ravelry). My first attempt at cable work. 

The Toulouse Sweater, in a denim blue wool from Bendigo Wool Mills (here on Ravelry). So chic and relaxed.

Hmmm. That'll keep me busy. Challenge accepted! What are you planning in your part of the world? Warm weather things or cool weather things? What are your thoughts on scallop hems? Ideas for my Salme blazer?

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Finished - YOU ARE GOLD! pants

So a while ago I found some AMAZING gold printed linen at Darn Cheap, and the practical part of me said 'swish but not for you'. I wandered on my way but I couldn't forget it, and so eventually one Saturday morning I dragged my beloved in and showed it to him - I was thinking pleated pants, and he agreed that'd be a mighty cool combination.  Especially to wear to the now-very-sadly-postponed Rolling Stones concert that was our Xmas present to each other. So home it came with us. Months passed. My Burda trousers kinda sucked, then my many pairs of shorts kinda sucked and I was over trousers majorly. Couldn't face the idea of another fly front. But then I saw Kelli and Amy's Tessuti Suzy pants, and began to think that this could be my solution - crazy puffy pleated gold pants sans fly front! And so they were born. And they are indeed crazy, puffy, pleated and gold.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Finished - Emerald silk jersey frock

This could also be called the Emerald Frock of Many Swears. But I prefer to live in the moment, not the hideous, slippery, fragile silky past. Here finished is the frock I wore to my dear friends wedding over the weekend. 

Friday, 21 March 2014

Kelly pattern give-away winner and some knitting loveliness

Just a very brief post to share a couple of things with you...

Firstly - the winner of my copy of the Megan Nielsen Kelly skirt. In a nail biting finish, with 6 contestants, my random number generator (ie husbo) chose the magic number 4.... so the winner was Jana! 

Jana please let me know your email address and I will be in touch - hopefully you can master those troublesome buttonholes! 

BTW - I tried a different random number generator first, but decided on a redraw after realising it perhaps wasn't as random as I'd hoped:

And until I can post my next, rather crazy project with you I wanted to share some images that dazzled me this morning over my coffee and resulted in an impulse purchase of the Spring 14 knit.wear magazine available from the Interweave store here.

Oh my giddy aunt. Is that not the most beautiful top? I'm not sure if the diamond stitch pattern is a bit beyond my skills at this point, but this top is absolutely in my future. This mag has a few gorgeous, modern patterns, mostly in the funnel neck feature. All the designs can be viewed on Ravelry here (which is where the following pics come from). Here is a selection of my favourites:

Have a lovely weekend! 

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Finished - The Twiggy Dress

So we all know that in no way do I resemble Twiggy (perhaps I resemble 1.5 Twiggies) but as soon as I started playing with my striped knit from my last post, I knew I had to head back to Clear It quick smart and get some more for a Twiggy-esque knit shift mini-dress.