Saturday, 19 November 2016

Muslin Magic!

Okay, so "muslin magic" is a bit of an overstatement for the title of this post!!

However, this is a favourite trick of mine when making muslins out of scrap fabric. 

When I'm using a new dress pattern for the first time the fit of the shoulders, bust and waist is most important to me.  Typically I'm making a full / flared skirt so my butt can be as big as it wants to be and the skirt portion will fit!  However, I have to more carefully consider the fit of my upper body (which is sometimes up to 2 sizes smaller than my lower half!). 

Rather than using up lots of fabric to make a muslin of the skirt, which I know will fit, I make just the top.  If the muslin works out I have a lovely new top to wear with jeans or a skirt.  If it doesn't work out, I haven't wasted many metres of fabric.

Here are 2 examples of my top half muslin making magic!

The first is The Rosie Dress by Cotton & Chalk.  I used a rayon purchased from my Church fĂȘte, sadly there wasn't enough to make a whole dress.  I was between sizes so went with the larger size.  Mistake!  It was huge, so huge that I think I lost some of the original shape taking it in.  The neckline is designed for a more endowed woman than I, so I had to take that in too.  All in all, if the fabric wasn't so pretty I'd probably discard this one.  I really don't see myself making the dress, which is a shame because I've seen fabulous versions of it on Instagram.  Who knows, maybe I will give it another go...

No idea what I'm doing here.  Clearly, I'm a professional model!

Pretty fabric!

The second top is The Olivia Dress also by Cotton & Chalk.  I was much happier with this one and have since made it into a long sleeved maxi dress.  For this muslin I used a cotton lawn which was gifted to me.  I didn't have to make any tall girl alterations for this one!

The shot everyone who sews can relate too
 - tucking in a loose thread!

Friday, 4 November 2016

The Fremantle Frock by Sew To Grow


I wanted to share with you my version of The Fremantle Frock, a new pattern by Sew To Grow.  As you know, I'm a sucker for anything with pockets and this dress is no exception.

I love the placement of the pockets and the slimming seams of this dress.  It was simple to make and is one of those great dresses that can be dressed up or down.

To fit my body I made the following minor adjustments:
Raised & narrowed the neckline 1.5cm
Lowered the pockets and added 2.5cm to the torso length
Added hem length (sorry, I don't recall exactly how much but hem length is a personal preference so do what makes you happy!!)

All in all, very minor adjustments for a great straight forward dress.

I made this version in shirting material (which I've since discovered wrinkles A LOT!) and a non stretchy knit type fabric for the navy side panels.  I think this pattern would be amazing in a scuba knit!!

Sunday, 18 September 2016

MaaiDesign Blog Tour - The Bondi Top Pattern Hack

Hello Everyone!

I'm thrilled to be part of the MaaiDesign blog tour again!  This time highlighting a gorgeous new range of rayon fabrics "See You At Six". 

This fabric is not only gorgeous, but was really lovely to sew.  It did not come out of the wash all wrinkly and held creases when ironed beautifully.  I didn't even need to pin the hem once I'd ironed up the hem allowance... yay!

Can we talk about how great the drape is??  So flattering and soft to wear.  I'm a big fan!

To make the most of this soft comfy fabric I made The Bondi Top by Sew To Grow into a dress.  I've made 3 of these tops and love them.  To turn it into a dress I simply made it longer, yep it was just that easy!  I also added patch pockets, because when aren't pockets a good idea?!   

I used French Seams because fabric as lovely as this deserved a nice seam finish! 

I am so happy with how the dress turned out!  I've styled it a couple of different ways but know I will also be wearing it with tights and a scarf for winter.  Don't you just love pieces that work for all seasons?!

Pockets!  They make everything better in my book!

I love how The Bondi Top is longer in the back,
I kept it that way for the dress too.
I love it belted, looks a little more dressy! 
Forgive the shifty side eye I'm giving the cat!

This is how I wore the dress the day
Hubs took the pics as it was still a bit chilly!


So you can enjoy the delicious drapey goodness MaaiDesign is offering you a 10% discount on the See You At Six collection from 12th – 30th September 2016.  Simply use the code: seeyouatsix.

Be sure to check out the other fabulous creations with the See You At Six rayon:


12th of September: Shelley from Bartacks and Singletrack
13th of September: Kate from Sewing With Kate
14th of September: Nicola from Create.nic
15th of September: Anna from Blogless Anna
16th of September: Caroline from Usefulbox
17th of September: Suz from Sewpony
18th of September: Allison from The Tall Mama
19th of September: Toni from Make It Perfect
20th of September: Suzanne from Dressed in Pretty Little Things
21st of September: Natalie from Sew Outnumbered
22nd of September: Jenya from While She Was Sleeping
23rd of September: Maaike from MaaiDesign

Thursday, 15 September 2016

How my Husband is Beating a Brain Tumour

I'm a compartmentaliser; which means I keep aspects of my life separate ... in little compartments.  My blog & IG is one little compartment kept for me and my sewing obsession.  My personal life is another compartment and my work life (which I am giving up to devote my time to caring for my family) is another compartment.  The compartments don't cross over and I am very comfortable with that.

This post is so far out of my comfort zone it isn't funny.  So why am I doing it? 

Well, my Husband is a Super Hero and is beating a brain tumour that has killed most people in 3 - 5 years.  The reason I'm sharing is that if his story can help one person, one person who is the whole world to their loved ones just as he is to us, to survive then it is worth all of the discomfort it causes me to write this. 

In April 2013, after months of mini seizures, my Husband was diagnosed with an Oligodendroglioma brain tumour.  His GP (General Practitioner Doctor) discovered it from CT and MRI's which were conducted because his Father had died from a brain tumour 11 years prior.  We saw a Neurosurgeon which the GP referred us to, who confirmed that it was a tumour and it should be removed.  I didn't have a good feeling about that doctor and I've learnt to always go with my gut feeling... I'm never wrong!  So I looked up Dr. Charlie Teo who is based in Sydney and has a reputation for being one of the worlds leading Neurosurgeons.

Now you can't just make an appointment with Charlie (yeah, we just call him Charlie).  He is in such massive demand that you have to send your MRI and he determines if you're a suitable patient in need of his skill.  I sent the MRI with a pleading letter and called everyday to follow up.  Finally, his very tolerant staff told me that Charlie had left a note on my Husbands MRI saying "Book for immediate consult and surgery". Okay.  So it was bad enough to warrant Charlie's attention. 

In fact, the tumour was 6 cm x 4 cm x 5 cm.  That's a big tumour! 

We had an initial consult with Charlie who told us all the in's and out's.  The risks and benefits of surgery, and then asked us what we wanted to do.  I answered for us both, saying that it needed to come out! Charlie said he was happy to hear that as he had booked a surgery for 6 am the next morning.  This was happening!

At the time our daughters where 17 months and 2 months old.  Sure, it was stressful (the biggest understatement EVER!) but it was also a blessing.  They were too young to know what was going on. 

In the interest of this not being a massive post, I'll skip over details and say the surgery and his recover went well.  If anyone you know has had brain surgery you know how debilitating it is and how slow the recovery is.  The post surgery biopsy revealed that it was a grade 2 / grade 3 tumour.  Grade 3 means cancer. 

Getting the news from Charlie that people with this type of tumour had a life expectancy of 3 to 5 years stopped my world.  My blood ran cold.  I retreated so far within myself that I felt like I was having a nightmare.  3 to 5 years.  Our beautiful daughters were babies.  Would they not have their Papa for long?  Would they grow up not remembering him?  How could I parent without him?  Without my anchor, my rock.  What would I do without the love of my life?  Why is this happening to our beautiful innocent girls who need their Papa as much as I need my Husband?

Charlie said to me "you need to make plans accordingly, you can't just bury your head in the sand".  The comment wrenched me from my sleep more times than I can count.  I would hear Charlie's voice in my head, clear as a bell for a long long time, saying "most people live 3 - 5 years.  You need to make plans accordingly, you can't bury your head in the sand".  Again, and again, and again.

Out of nowhere I asked Charlie if there was anything we could do.  He had already explained that life expectancy was not improved by chemo or radiation, in fact, studies were showing that those treatments CAUSE secondary cancer.  Charlie casually mentioned that a patient had shown him a YouTube clip about the Ketogenic Diet to fight cancer and the science they talked about was true science, so we could give that a go.

Something on YouTube?  What?!  But if anyone knows, Charlie knows.  So we gave it a go.  A BIG go!  This link was my first go to... there is a sea of information out there for this diet... most of which is NOT helpful. 

2 months later we had a follow up appointment with Charlie, during which time his wife had been diagnosed with breast cancer (I'm not sharing his personal information, he has spoken about it on Australian TV). She was on the Ketogenic Diet to fight her cancer.  He was no  longer talking about it in an off hand sort of way, he knew all about it and was advocating it hard.  Think about it, if it's good enough for his beloved wife to be on to fight her cancer, then it must be good!

The brain tumour is being beaten with diet.  It's so simple it seems too good to be true.  Sugar/carbs feed cancer cells, by depriving cancer cells of their food source they die.  Healthy cells can thrive on carbs or ketones, so by being on a Ketogenic Diet you are only feeding healthy cells.  This is true for all forms of cancer.  The diet is not widely supported by the conventional medical community, and certainly not by drug companies as there is no money to be made in cutting out sugar.

My Husband takes large doses of Turmeric (pure & ground into capsules); Charlie said that his research team had proven that Turmeric kills cancer cells and his wife was also taking high doses.  We buy it from Herbosohpy.  My Husband also chews on raw ginger (which is very much an acquired taste!) but is reported to have significant health benefits.

Our girls still eat fruit and grains etc.  I do not feed them refined sugar (the occasional bit of birthday cake not withstanding) as there is absolutely no need for it in a healthy diet.  All of our main meals are ketogenic and I love it!  Our blood sugars and cholesterol levels are healthy.

Most people with the same type of brain tumour have a recurrence within 12 months.  It has been over 3 years since my Husband's surgery and he has had no recurrence.  He has not needed another surgery, has had no chemo or radiation.  At last MRI my Husband still has "something" there.  It could be scar tissue or low grade tumour, Charlie can't be sure without surgery.  Either way, he is kicking the butt of the odds and we (Charlie included) could not be happier.  He is 3 years post op and is healthy.  I thank God for that everyday! 

I am not an expert on the Ketogenic Diet.  There is a formula for each individual to work our their carbs per day.  We don't do that, we just go as low as possible.  There are also urine tests to asses your keto level; my Husband was doing that but didn't continue as the MRI results were proof enough that it was working.

If you have any questions about what we eat on a daily basis, please let me know.  As I said, I am not an expert, I am simply the wife of a Super Hero who is beating a deadly brain tumour thanks to the Ketogenic Diet and the Grace of God.

February 2018 edit: Due to administrative overspending at the Cure For Life charity, Charlie has started his own charity (go Charlie!!).  Please support the dream of a world free from brain cancer at the Charlie Teo Foundation.  Charlie's vision is "a world free from brain cancer" with a mission "we can and MUST do better".

Thank you.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Pattern Review: Meridan Knit Dress, by Sew To Grow

The very lovely Lindsey of Sew To Grow asked me to pattern test one of her latest creations, the Meridan Knit Dress.

Now, I don't have the best history with knit fabric. It scares me and doesn't behave itself.  I have only made 2 successful pieces with knits (see here and here)... not a great track record!  However, I decided to face my fear and give this pattern a try.  This is the ONLY knit dress I have made that did not result in cold sweats and a volley of profanity, I consider that a huge win!

The dress has 2 neckline options, 3 sleeve options and 2 hem line options... oh happy days!

I made a round neck (I did raise it about 2 cm) with short sleeves and a straight hem.  I added 3 cm length to the bodice (will add a little less next time) and about 5 cm to the hem.

This dress came together easily and quickly.  The all in one facing means you get a beautiful neckline without having to stress yourself out over neck binding (I'm possibly the only one stressed out by neck binding).

This is a great dress for beginners, and for those more experienced it's one of those easy patterns you can make up quickly and know you're going to get a great result.

I love this dress, oh and it has pockets!!!  I will be making more.  I almost feel like I can sew with knits now... almost...I think I need to make a few more first!


Thursday, 11 August 2016

Adding Length to Sleeves: DIY

Okay, so I'm revealing some wardrobe shame here....  I've been wearing this coat for years.  I bought it because it was on sale, I love the colour, it was on sale, it's weather & toddler proof and did I mention it was on sale?!

At the time of the purchase my arms were the same length they are now... yet I still bought it although it was way too short in the sleeves.  Sleeves are kind of an important part of a coat!

I finally decided it was time to do something about it, thanks in part to being given some knit fabric which is almost the same gorgeous colour of my coat!  This is such a simple DIY that I'm ashamed it took me so long to do it!

Here's how:

Take a rectangle of fabric the width of your cuff opening + seam allowance (1.5cm) x 2 the length you want the new cuff to be.

Sew up the side seam, right sides together, and fold in half.  Tuck the 2 raw edges (knits don't fray so you can just leave them) inside the coat sleeve and sew around end of sleeve.  Done!  As the fabric cuffs I added were knit fabric, I stretched them a little for a snug fit.  My wrists will finally be warm!

Before... hello wrists!

After... warm wrists!

Thursday, 7 July 2016

#thirtywears / #30wears - Can you do it?

#30wears  I'm not sure who came up with this idea (if you know, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due **see below**).  Basically, it's about sustainable fashion and responsible purchasing.  Do you wear clothing items and accessories at least 30 times?  Is the clothing you buy of a good enough quality that you can wear it at least 30 times?

I've written before about sustainable fashion and ethical clothing manufacture.  I have made a commitment to only buy ethically produced clothing and fabric, but what about all the clothes I have in my closet from before I was aware of "fast fashion" and horrible manufacturing conditions?  It seems like an even greater injustice to let them go to waste, so I'm committing to #thirtywears

#thirtywears means that you will wear an item at least 30 times.  Simple, right? 

But if we're honest with ourselves, do we really do this?  I have lots of items that are more than a decade old (thank goodness I love timeless designs!) so I know they qualify, but what about everything else?  Obviously some items are "single use" like a wedding dress (hopefully!) and hideous bridesmaid dresses (99% of the time you can't just take the hem up and wear it again, despite what the enthusiastic bride says!).

Before making your next clothing purchase, stop and ask yourself "can I see myself wearing this 30 times"?

So spread the word!  Post a pic of yourself on Instagram wearing your #30wears garments and encourage everyone to buy more consciously and focus on quality not quantity!

**Post Note: A big thank you to Beth from Tall Fashion Adventures for letting me know that Livia Firth came up with #30wears.  I simply didn't think of searching #30wears when I saw it spelled out as #thirtywears... it's a "Duh!" moment on my behalf!!  Please see Beth's comment below. xox


This top is at least 10 years old!
Quality & timeless design never go out of style! 
Pants, made my me and worn #thirtywears

Everything you see here exceeds #thirtywears

Another #thirtywears outfit, including the bag!


Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Whilst I'm Away..


For the next 4 weeks I'll be on a family holiday in Italy (yay!) so won't be blogging during that time.

I will, no doubt, be scouring the beautiful country side for Italian made fabrics (don't tell Hubs, he doesn't know yet!).  Finding locally made fabric is part of my commitment to only buying ethically made / produced fabric.  You can read more about that in my previous post "Dear Fabric, Where do you come from".

For those who don't sew and/or are wanting to make ethical purchases in ready to wear clothing I suggest you check out the lovely Beth at Tall Fashion Adventures and read about her commitment to buying ethically made clothing (link here).

During Fashion Revolution week last month I felt even more inspired to pursue my goal of only buying ethically produced fabric (and clothing, but I buy very little clothing).  To be honest, I felt a little high and mighty because I was already doing this... wasn't I special?!  Then I saw this post on IG from @fash_rev_ausnz which knocked me right off my high horse:

I have been guilty of buying cheap fabric of unknown origin in the past. Just as I have been guilty of buying fast fashion; cheap, nasty and not built to last. 
However, now I know better and will not do so moving forward.  Are you with me?

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Wrap Dress.


Oh how I do love a wrap dress. 

When I saw this dress from Long Tall Sally I was inspired.

I had some knit fabric (gifted) in my stash that would be ideal.  Now knit fabric strikes fear into my heart; I'm not good at sewing with it and it makes me nervous and sweaty.  I know where I stand with woven fabric, but knits are an entirely different beast!  I'm trying to overcome my fear and improve my technique one garment at a time.

For this dress I used Kwik Sew pattern K3489 which is a knee length dress.  I extended it to be maxi length and added length to the sleeves (standard for me!).  I also added about 3 cm (just over an inch) to the bodice, however it was too long and I had to take it up.  This fabric seemed to grow as I sewed and after first wear I had to re-hem it as I was stepping on the bottom.  Knit fabric witch craft I tell you!

I am happy with the dress as it's very comfy, however I still may take it in a little in the body.

A windy day is less than ideal for wearing a wrap dress!

Oh so glamorous!  Trying to hold my dress closed and hair blowing in my face!

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Dear Fabric, Where do you come from?

For some time now I've been very conscious of where I buy clothing, ensuring I don't buy from retailers who are not known for their support of ethical manufacture.  Now I don't want to name names (you can do your own research!) and my experience / knowledge is limited to Australia... however there are some big retailers who were very vocal on ensuring ethical standards in the wake of the Rana Plaza disaster and others whose silence was deafening. 

I have often wondered about the manufacture of fabric (being the hoarder collector of fabrics that I am!), but am embarrassed to admit that I sort of pushed it out of my mind.  However when Marge Clothing brought to my attention that they only source ethically manufactured fabrics from Europe and the USA all those little questions in my mind came flooding back.

Why is that fabric so cheap?  Also a question we can ask in relation to ready to wear clothing.
Where does that fabric come from? 
Where are the fibres manufactured/grown?

Have I been ignorantly supporting the exploitation of children, inhumane working conditions, sweatshops and environment polluting manufacture through the seemingly innocent act of shopping? 

That does not sit well with me. 

So I took a break from shopping (including buying fabric!).  Moving forward I will only buy fabric that I know to be ethically sourced.  I would rather pay a few dollars more but feel good about the fabric I wear against my skin.  I do have a vast collection of fabric that has been gifted to me and I will not let it go to waste, however I will not purchase anything of unknown origin.   

There are a few films/documentaries out there which cover this topic; including The True Cost.

I know my change in buying habits will not change the world, however it will change how I feel about my place in it.

So please stop and ask yourself "why is that so cheap" next time you're shopping.  If the answer doesn't sit well with you, then you shouldn't buy it.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Faux Shirt Dress - Maai Designs Blog Tour

This week I'm joining the fabulous Maai Designs blog tour.

As part of the blog tour Maai Designs are generously offering you a discount!  Use the code: maaidesign10%. This will give you a 10% discount, valid until March 26th 2016.

I bought the beautiful Forrest Treasures fabric in soft blue.  It's 100% soft cotton and is 145cm wide. It is such beautiful fabric!  Importantly, it is Oeko-Tex certified (read more about that here).

I overlooked the width of the fabric when ordering so had way more than I needed for the Oakridge shirt by Sewaholic Patterns which I originally planned to make.  What to do, what to do?  The answer was obvious... shirt dress!

For the bottom half of the dress I used the fabulous Noosa Shift Dress by Sew To Grow.  I've made this one 3 times now so knew it would be perfect.  I love shirt dresses, however I do not love how they tend to gape when you sit.  To overcome this I made it a faux shirt dress by sewing the button placket closed. 

Admiring my sleeve length!!
A close up of the beautiful fabric!

I am so happy with the results!  This is not only a beautiful shirt dress, but will be something I can wear year round.

Be sure to check out Maai Designs and the others on the tour:

March 8th - Suz from Sewpony
March 9th - Caroline from Usefulbox
March 10th - Kate from Sewing With Kate
March 12th - Suzanne from Dressed in Pretty Little Things
March 13th - Toni from Make It Perfect
March 14th - Natalie from Sew Outnumbered
March 15th - Jenya from While she was sleeping 
March 16th - Nicola from Create.nic
March 17th - Shelley from Bartacks and Singletrack
March 18th - Maaike from MaaiDesign

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

My Top 5 Tips for Sewing Beginners

I really do hope this little blog of mine will inspire others to sew and to refashion. 

For all of you starting to venture into the wonderful world of sewing, I thought I'd share my top 5 tips. 

1. Carefully consider your sewing machine choice. 
If you're starting out and can borrow a sewing machine, great!  If you choose to buy your own you will most likely get an instructional DVD with it, which is handy, but please remember you get what you pay for.  A few years ago I was machine-less and was not in a position to spend a lot.  When I saw a basic Singer machine at Aldi for $99.00 I bought it.  Mistake.  Please don't get me wrong, Singer makes great machines (although I'm a Bernina girl from way back) however this is not one of them.  I was constantly having tension problems which would be confusing and frustrating to a beginner.  They were frustrating to me too, but I can fix them quickly!  Often a well restored/serviced older machine will be better than a plastic fantastic new cheap machine.

2. Choose your fabrics carefully. 
This doesn't mean spending vast amounts of money on stunningly made luxury fabrics (not recommended for a beginner!).  What it means is if you're making something that should be soft and flowing, then choose soft flowing fabric.  If you use a cheap stiff fabric you won't be happy as you'll end up with a stiff garment!

3. Start simply. 
As much as I personally love making simple garments by tracing existing pieces, I think someone new to sewing should start with a simple paper pattern.  A paper pattern will give you exact measurements and clear ,precise instructions.  Start with a very basic skirt or top without too many fastenings or details.  Sure you want to make a Burberry inspired lined trench coat... but start small!

4. Trim threads & finish edges as you go. 
It may seem like a simple and unimportant thing, but not being left with a mess of threads and unfinished seams at the end of a project is great.

4.  Iron! 
Yes, you must!  Press each seam.  It will give you a more professional and precise finish and sets your stitches.  If something is wonky, it will be obvious when you press it and you can fix it before moving onto the next stage.

5. Make sure you wear your makes.
At first you may feel a little discouraged because your garment isn't "perfect" but you are your own worst critic.  Remember, when you're wearing something no one can see the messy inner seams, nor do they know how many times you had to unpick and resew.  They see a lovely unique garment.  Trust me, nothing feels better than being complimented on something you have made!

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Noosa Shift Dress by Sew To Grow


If you haven't checked out Sew To Grow patterns you really must!  They are great for beginner seamstresses and an enjoyable quick make for those with some experience. 

Today I'm wearing the Noosa Shift Dress with a slight modification.  The pattern comes with flutter sleeves or sleeveless variations.  I made a slight cap sleeve by extending the shoulder about 3cms and I love it!  I also added 5cm just above the waist line (cause I'm tall!).  Oh, and the best part of this pattern is that it comes with the most perfect sized pockets (which, as you know, I usually add in anyway!). 

The fabric I used was a home made table cloth I found at a second hand shop - it's a lovely soft cotton and I couldn't resist the pretty floral. 

This pattern was gifted to me by Sew To Grow but all opinions are my own.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Me Make Remake.

What's a "Me Make Remake" you ask?!

It's when you make something, are not happy with it, never wear it, so you remake it!  Also case in point as to why you should make a muslin (practice version out of cheap fabric) first! 
Original version of the dress

I made this dress 6 months ago and despite loving the fabric, I only wore it once.  The neckline was too open and weird for my shape.  And the sleeves were just a bit too much with this big graphic print.  You can see the original dress here

To remake it I simply cut the front bodice out (the dress was also a bit too big so I had plenty of fabric to work with) and cut a new front bodice using New Look pattern 6262.  I chopped off the sleeves, but kept them in case I decide to reattach them come Autumn (perhaps I should just call this the "Indecision Dress"??!).  I finished the sleeve opening with bias tape. 

And Ta da!  A dress I have already worn twice in the past few weeks! 

New and improved dress!
Teamed with a cardigan for Church
Photos c/o my wonderful Husband

Monday, 25 January 2016

Vintage Pattern Maxi Skirt

If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen just a tiny portion of my vintage pattern stash.

I love vintage patterns!  I love the cover illustrations, I love the styles and I love wondering about the previous owners.  What did they make?  Which fabric did they use?  Did they ever imagine that 45 years later someone would be making the exact same skirt using their old pattern??

This fabulous 1973 McCall's pattern maxi skirt has been on my "to make" list for awhile. 

I was truly amazed to discover that I had to cut 2.5cm off the bottom!  I did!  Me!  The ladies in the 70's must have been rocking some massive platforms if I, at 6ft tall, had to shorten it!! The only other adjustment I made was to reduce the width of the waistband, it was just too wide for my liking.

The fabric I used was found at an op shop.  I paid 50 cents for 9.6 metres of it!  Bargain!  It's a simple cotton that is perfect for the hot weather.  I also found the zip for 10 cents and the button is a vintage wooden button which was gifted to me.  Seriously, this has to be the cheapest skirt ever!!

I used a vintage wooden button.
This is not a good invisible zip insertion;
I use a vintage machine which doesn't have an invisible zip foot!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

New Look 6262 Dress


I have been itching to use more of the beautiful fabric generously gifted to me by Marge Clothing (read more here).  They are so gorgeous I wanted to use them for something special.  When a close friend of my Husband invited us to his 40th birthday luncheon I knew I needed a new dress!

I used New Look pattern 6262 with the following modifications:

I added length to the skirt (standard for me!)
I lowered the neckline by 1.5cm, which may have been a mistake because I then had to take it up at the shoulders by 2.5cm!  I am not amply blessed in the bust department so the front gaped by my shoulders.
I inserted a regular lapped zip, rather than invisible zip.  I use a vintage sewing machine which does not have an invisible zipper foot.

It's an easy to sew pattern and I know I will be using it again.  And again!

Now lets talk fabric!  A good pattern is important, but the fabric makes it truly special!  This dress is lined, or really more of a hack where I sewed 2 layers together and pretended it was one layer.  I have possibly made some experienced seamstresses cringe, however this was the easiest way for me to wrap my brain around making it work.  I don't have much (any!) experience sewing with sheer fabric.

The top layer is a beautiful red and purple sheer and the layer beneath is a lush purple satin.  It feels AMAZING against my skin.  Have you ever put something on and just wanted to roll around in it because it feels so nice?  No?  Just me??!  I suspect this is how I would feel in any of the gorgeous pieces from the Marge RTW line!  The fabrics are incredible and more importantly, ethically sourced!

This fabric would have been gorgeous for evening wear.  However I can't remember the last time I needed evening wear, it was long before I became a Mama!  This is a dress I know I will wear a lot!

If you have special fabric in your fabric stash I say use it, wear it, love it!

Dress New Look Pattern 6262 ; Fabric c/o MARGE Clothing

Necklaces: Tiffany & Co
On Mama duty - fixing Miss 4's hair!

After the party - girls wanted their balloons in the photo too!
Photos c/o my wonderful Husband

Monday, 4 January 2016

The 50 cent dress!

Happy New Year!

I wanted to make a new dress for New Years Eve.  Why, I don't know.  We didn't go anywhere and were asleep long before midnight! However, it was a good excuse for a new dress!

I had picked up a bunch of remnants from a local op shop for only 50 cents each - bargain!  I planned to use the fabric as muslins (when you roughly make a pattern from cheap fabric first to test fit etc).  This pretty navy and green (my favourite colour combo!) fabric really appealed to me.  It also has a bit of stretch, so was perfect for a fitted dress.

I am so happy with the result!

This pattern by Simple Sew came free with the Love Sewing magazine - the pattern was the reason I bought the magazine!  I loved everything about it!

I only made 2 small changes:
  • I added 2cm length to the bodice, everything else was just fine. 
  • The pattern had an open slit in the back; I made it a vented slit so the backs of my thighs aren't exposed.

It's rare that I get such a good fit without too many alterations!  The skirt is a little looser, which I love as it gives me more of an hourglass shape than I really have! 

This really is a 50 cent dress (the zipper was from Nona's stash!) so naturally I pair it with the most expensive shoes I own! Why not?!