Thursday, December 29, 2011

Finished Project: Patternless Boho Maxi Dress - and when I went shirring

Fabric: A tribal print voile from Spotlight
Cost: 2m @ $5 per metre (on sale) plus some shirring elastic
Pattern: None

I have seen a few people getting around in soft, flowy maxi dresses like this one and it made me think of walking on the beach in Thailand with a cocktail.

I wanted to have a go at shirring and this looked like a good opportunity. I bought a wide voile and before I sewed it up I shirred the top and the middle. Very, very easy. Once I had finished the shirring, I sewed up the centre back seam which is the only seam. As I had used the whole width of the fabric I didn't finish the seams but just left the selvedge intact.

The only extra piece is the band over the bodice which I sewed wrong side to right side of the bodice so when I folded it over the right side was showing. I top stitched the two layers together to stop it rolling in or out.

I'm a size 12 and this has lots of room in it so I would imagine a 150cm wide fabric would do a 12-16. Smaller sizes could get away with a 112cm wide fabric. The shirring reduces it by about half but the elastic has a lot of give so it is almost one size fits all.

Shirring is very easy. You just buy some shirring elastic - mine was $2 from Spotlight - and wind it by hand onto your bobbin. Use regular thread in the machine. Everything then is as usual. You just sew parallel lines until you have an area that suits your purpose. I did four lines for the top and four for the middle.


  • Play around with a scrap to adjust your tension and stitch length. I just used a slighter wider stitch length, about 2.5 whereas I would usually use about 1.5-2. Each machine will probably be different. 
  • Sew on the right side so your regular cotton is on the outside and the elastic on the inside.
  • Line up your presser foot with the edge of your fabric for the first line of shirring and then line up your presser foot with the previous line of sewing.
  • Don't pull the fabric through the machine just use your hands to keep the fabric flat - you may need to pull gently from the front to keep the elastic flat.
  • To secure the beginning and end of each line just reverse a stitch or two as usual or you can tie it off.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Burdastyle 12/2011

Have you seen previews of the new Burdastyle magazine? I must confess I stopped buying the magazine because the patterns and styling got a bit ridiculous and I couldn't trace off the patterns -- too many lines going everywhere. But I have seen some of the garments for this months magazine and I think I'll go out and buy it! I still won't trace off the patterns though. They have them available online to download and I've had success doing it that way, and they are reasonably priced.

I'm not crazy about the leather shorts but I really like these patterns!

Long jacket

Wool pants!

Pique suit

Dress with contrasting bow

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Finished Project: Burdastyle A-line skirt with patch pockets 10/2011

I finished my first Burdastyle pattern - this A-line skirt. (Sorry, no pices yet!) I love the 70s vibe with the big patch pockets and the top-stitching. I made it with a reddish/orange drill that I picked up from Spotlight's clearance table for $3/m. It's quite a heavy fabric so I didn't line it. I pinked all the seams which is the first time I've tried that. We'll see how it wears!

This should have been a really quick skirt to sew but I struck a problem with the zipper. It called for an invisible zipper to be sewn into the side seam. I don't have an invisible zipper foot but tried with my regular zipper foot which was a massive fail. I then tried put a regular zipper in and it was also a fail. FOUR attempts at putting in the zipper and I decided that sewing a zipper into a seam that has a two-layered pocket is ridiculous! By this stage I had already cut out the skirt and sewn it up. I decided to cut my losses with the side seam and I just sewed it close. Then I followed Casey's (Elegant Musings) great tutorial for putting a zipper in when there's no seam and I put the zipper down the back! I was so pleased with the results!

This is the first time I've finished a Burdastyle garment. The first one I lost a lot of weight while I was halfway through and abandoned it and the second one was supposed to be a maternity dress but I chose the fabric from hell and it was thrown in the bin! I didn't mind printing and sticking it together. The cutting instructions were vague. There were no sizes on the pattern pieces. Also it didn't tell you how many of each piece to cut on the actual pattern pieces. It does say in Step 2 but I didn't see that and only cut 2x pocket pieces and one of each waistband piece. It also only says to interface the outer waistband in the Cutting instructions but not in the construction step. So, you kind of need to know what the basic steps to putting a skirt together are.

I'd like to make this in a wool fabric for Winter. A bit like this Milly Wool Tweed Skirt.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Giving and a few selfish wishes

Time has not yet run out for me to make some Christmas gifts but the sand sure is running fast through that hourglass. I really want to make some gifts for my nieces and nephews but TIME, ugh. Where does it go?

Surely though I will be able to achieve some Lazy Days skirts.

And for my teenage nieces a make-up purse each.

We don't do a lot of presents for adults in our families which I think is good. It's much nicer to see the excitement on the children's faces as they unwrap their gifts. And as adults, I think we need to be setting an example of giving rather than receiving. I think Christmastime is a great time to get involved in charities like Samaritan's purse - Miss Six and I had a great time choosing gifts for a shoebox. Miss Six chose the age bracket of 10-14 yrs, I think because it meant she could choose gifts I usually say are not 'appropriate' for her. But I also found out that this age group is the one that has the least boxes given so it felt good to be meeting a need.

For my siblings, we are giving something to eat and/or drink - because we all drink and eat so there's no danger of giving a gift that won't be used! And we are also giving a charity gift from either Samaritan's purse, Compassion or TEAR. We're going to do a lucky dip to see what our gift is and where from.

But in amongst all my charitable sentiments I have some secret hopes for some little gifts for myself. And not surprisingly, they are sewing related. I'm hoping one of the following books will make their way to me:

Colette Sewing Handbook

The Burdastyle Sewing Handbook

Oliver + S Little Things to Sew

And maybe, just maybe, a gift voucher for Tessuti...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Oliver+S digital patterns

Oliver+S make the cutest patterns for kids and the instructions make any seamstress look like a pro. I've made three garments for Miss Six and now I'm hoping to make some for Miss One Tomorrow.

The sad thing about Oliver+S patterns is that they go out-of-print but they have just started reissuing the op ones as digital downloads. How cool is that? I'm pretty partial to a downloadable pattern because they are usually cheaper and they are instantly attainable.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Rip it off: Anthro Tea-And-Crumpets Kid's Apron

I might have to rip-off this Anthro children's apron. Cute, no?

There's even a matching grown up apron!

Actually, the more I study it, the more I think it is wasted as an apron and would make a super cute dress.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

To sew or buy?

I very rarely buy clothes - usually only t-shirts and jeans. I always think that I should make it. Exceptions are when the fabric is what makes it - ie. a border print or placement print that is unique - or something that is so dirt cheap I couldn't make it for the price.

Now this dress has tempted me to buy it.

It's pretty much perfect. I love the fabric and everything about the style. It is $US32.99 and although I could make it cheaper I probably wouldn't. My measurements for bust, waist and hips sit perfectly on the Medium size. But hold on, what's this? 34" in length from shoulders? I'm 163cm tall which is not really tall - about 5'3" - and this dress would still be about 7 or 8 inches above my knee! Where are we wearing skirts these days? I bend over a million times a day and often have both hands occupied with my butt facing the public while I strap kids into the car. This would have to be a tunic over leggings for me. Not a bad idea. But what do tall people do?

What I like vs what I wear

In my mind I spend my days tripping through fields of flowers wearing a floaty, romantic dress. I tend to be drawn to beautiful floral fabrics that will make a lovely 1950s style dress or patterns with ruffles and skirts.

In reality, I spend most of my life doing school drop off and pick up and playing on the floor with a baby. I need to focus on sewing clothes I can be comfortable in but also feel good in when I am running around the place to the shops, piano lessons or school assemblies.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sewing challenge

I've been set a little challenge to replicate a baby's bonnet/hat from a photo taken thirty-some years ago. Sewing dainty things is tricky! I think I have the prototype down and now to source the right fabric and lace. It needs to be just right for a sweet little girl.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

WIP: Bargain Burdastyle Knee Length A-line Skirt 10/2011

Ok, this is why I am not a very productive sewer. I went to Spotlight this morning which is about a 40 minute endeavour, and I wanted lining for a skirt I'm making. The problem is, the fabric for the skirt cost $6 from the sale table and I couldn't bring myself to pay more for the lining than the skirt! So I walked out empty-handed. I have some purple lining in my stash that I bought as a remnant for $2 but the skirt is orange and I wanted white lining. But now I'm thinking...purple and orange? Why not?

This is the skirt I'm making. Pattern from Burdastyle (10/2011 Natté Knee Length A-Line Skirt)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Finished Project: The Emergency 'Interview Blouse'

Pattern: Sewaholic Pendrell Blouse (yes, my last 3 projects have been Sewaholic patterns)
Fabric: Lightweight Cotton Sateen (Spotlight)

I had an interview this week and I decided I had NOTHING TO WEAR!! I suggested to my husband, the night before the interview, that I would sew something and he refrained from laughing but it was obvious he thought I was either joking or had completely lost it. But I did it. I figured this took me 3 hours sewing time. I had already sewed two muslins the weekend before.

The first muslin I made was the size 12 and it was enormous!! My bust and waist measurements were slightly bigger than the 10 but smaller than the 12 so I cut the 12. I went back and cut the 10 tapering down to an 8 over the hips and it was a pretty good fit.

I used french seams throughout -- the fabric was light enough. It was a bit bulky on the seam that includes the sleeve cap but as it didn't need to lay flat it was ok. It sits nicely out although I would wear a belt I think. I should have done a sway back adjustment but didn't have time. Tucked in or using a belt, this shouldn't matter.

The pleated sleeves were very easy to sew -- I looked up the sewalong to see how Tasia did them. My big mistake on this pattern was that I didn't cut the size 10 for the sleeves, I just cut the biggest size!! So this is a size 10 blouse with size 16 sleeves. Oops!

This top was so comfortable to wear and I felt really confident. It is unlined and will be lovely in the hot weather.

Excuse the creased state of my skirt. This was after the interview and after doing the school run. Miss Six snapped a quick picture with my iphone. 

Finished Project: Crescent Skirt Mark 2

Fabric: Skirt - Light Cotton Sateen; Lining - black cotton batiste

The sateen is very soft and drapey. I used batiste for the lining so the skirt would still be light and cool for summer...but not see-through in the sun.

This is my second Crescent Skirt. The first was way too big around the waist and although I took it in it still is too big and the zipper comes down (what's with that??). 

I made this two sizes smaller and held up the waistband and the side seams were spot-on. I decided to baste in the zipper to see how it fit for sure and it was too big. I couldn't figure this out until it finally occurred to me that my back is one, maybe two sizes smaller than my front. I have a sway back and a ahem protruding bottom. I do have mild scoliosis. My back actually is very concave. So I just tweaked the back waistband pieces and got a pretty good fit. To fit my sway back I usually take a horizontal tuck out of the back -- it didn't occur to me I needed to take out width. Yes, I know you all could see that coming but it took me a while to figure it all out. 

I finished the centre back seam with bias binding and I think I finally got it! This is the third garment I have bound the seam for and the other twice was less than satisfactory. This time I lined up the binding opened out with the seam edge and sewed on the fold. I then trimmed the binding and seam by half and folded the binding over. Then I stitched on the other side. I didn't have to worry about whether I caught in both sides. I love this seam finishing.

For the lining I just folded the seam allowance over and stitched it down. 

I think next time I sew a skirt I am going to try a lapped zipper. I'm not 100% happy with how my zippers are looking. But I am happy with this skirt. In Autumn I'll wear it with tights and a cardigan.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Stash Building

I went to Spotlight to get a zipper for my crescent skirt, which I'm making out of a light sateen. I actually went to Lincraft during the week and can you believe they didn't have a black zipper in anything even close to the length I wanted? I would have thought black dress zippers were kind of a basic bread and butter stock item.

I'm actually considering getting some zippers online because I'm not sure I'm sold on the Birch brand which is all you can get at Spotlight. Hubby suggested I buy YKK because he knows zippers...hmmm...apparently he does which is weird.

Anyway, I "ducked" into Spotlight for a 99c zipper and got stuck at the sale table. Sometimes (mostly) Spotlight sale tables are very missable but sometimes you get lucky. Today I bought some very cheap polyester fabrics, mostly. They were $3-$5 per metre. I have been wanting to practice with some chiffon and what better way than to start with fabric that costs a sum total of 10 bucks? I have my eye on the Taffy top which is in the forthcoming book from Colette patterns.

My haul from left to right: Red double georgette; dark and light chocolate with mustard yellow polyester chiffon; a vintage looking (I think) off white polyester chiffon with burnt orange and cornflower blue flowers; and a mystery (cotton drill?) fabric in bright terracotta - it doesn't have any stretch which is a shame but it matches really well with the blue and orange floral chiffon so maybe it will be a meringue??

And finally, the cheapest of the lot, a really strange satin with an eagle/floral/mask motif and a black border. It is kind of like one of those psychologist images where you have to say what you see. It was $3 a metre and I'm not sure what I will do with it or if in fact I like it?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fashion Inspiration: Kate Spade

Kate Spade has certainly gotten a lot of publicity from Glee with Emma Pillsbury parading many of her designs. I just love Kate Spade's take on vintage with a modern twist.

Take a simple sheath dress in a bold, fuschia floral, add matching fuschia shoes with unexpected colour pop turquoise tights to stop it being too matchy-matchy and you have...YES PLEASE!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pattern Lusting

As usual, I've been drooling over patterns and fabric more than I've been sewing. I got it into my head that I'd look great in a long-sleeved 1940s dress with shoulder pads -- I think it is the same part of my brain that has me convinced I'd rock a 1970s jumpsuit and not look at all like Muriel from Muriel's Wedding.

Source: via Jane on Pinterest

Source: via Jane on Pinterest

Thursday, September 22, 2011

WIP: Floral Crescent Skirt

The weather is Sydney has been absolutely glorious! Mid-20s. Beautiful sunshine. Today is supposed to get to 32 degrees celsius which, to me, is hot! But it has made me very productive. I've been line-drying lots of washing (oi). Going for walks. And planning my Spring/Summer wardrobe.

After finishing my Lonsdale Dress last Saturday I wore it to church on Sunday and was super pleased. During the week I bit by bit cut out another crescent skirt, this time in a light to medium weight cotton.

My first crescent skirt was a bit of a disaster - the denim was too heavy and poor quality. It is still bleeding colour in the wash!

My Dad bought me a trestle table to use as a cutting table and it has made such a difference to my productivity.

Today is also the last day of the school term so I've promised Miss Six we can go to her grandparents straight from school for a swim.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tessuti Fabrics

I have an issue with fabric lust and visiting Tessuti fabrics Surry Hills last Wednesday did nothing to help. I often look at the Tessuti website and browse their fabrics and I also look at their pattern reviews to see what others are making. To be honest the price range at Tessuti is beyond me at the moment but I wanted to go there anyway. I did end up picking up 2 meters of cotton voile to make a shirt dress and a 1.1m remnant of medium weight Japanese cotton that I think I can eke an a-line skirt from. The fabric is totally worth the price - it's just not something I can do all the time. But it was a yummy experience. My husband was very impressed with the place. The service was awesome too.

Remnant of Japanese cotton

Cotton voile

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Finished Project: Lonsdale Dress

Pattern: Sewaholic's Lonsdale Dress. I followed the Sewalong but finished very late. The sewalong was awesome!

Fabric: Cotton voile underlined with white batiste. I bought the fabric from Spotlight when they were having a 30% end of roll sale. The pink in the fabric is a coral pink but husby lovingly tweaked the pics to boost the colours of the landscape and turned the pink to fuschia. I didn't have the heart to explain that, ummm, the focus wasn't the landscape :)

There were lots of new to me techniques for this:

1) Muslin fitting - This was the first time I made a muslin and made substantial fitting changes. I usually do a tissue fitting.
- sway back adjustment
- took in along the top of the bodice near the underarms - slashed and lapped. In retrospect I think I should have gone down a size in the bodice and done a FBA which may have solved the gaping I had. I'm not sure.
- took a kind of scoop out from under the bust to just before the waistband.

2) Underlining - The voile was a bit sheer so I underlined it with white batiste - the white brought out the white in the main fabric.

3) I used my blind hem foot for the first time. Normally I would hand sew the hem. It's not perfect but I think I will use the foot again, especially for such a large hem.

I bound the centre back seam edge with bias binding. I didn't want to zig-zag it -- no faster way to look home eccy -- but I couldn't find seam binding anywhere! The bias binding is ok, probably too heavy. It's only the second time I have finished a seam this way and I think I'm getting better! Next time will be it for sure!

This dress is so comfortable! I am a C/D cup and I'm not wearing a bra and I didn't feel at all like I was going to have any indecent exposure and I felt surprisingly supported (probably TMI but I thought may some other gals might be interested in whether it was suitable). I'm broaching 40 and have breastfed two babies and this dress is totally wearable.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Seam Binding?!?

I still haven't finished my Lonsdale dress but as it is a Summer dress it isn't really a problem except I feel like I can't get on with me next project until it's done, which is a bit silly but anyway.

The thing that has brought me to a halt is that I wanted to finish the seam with seam binding. Tasia did it in the sewalong. Well, apparently Australian's aren't in love with this type of seam finish because we don't seem to sell any! I went to Lincraft, Spotlight and Tessuti and no one had heard of it let alone stocked it.

It is different to bias binding. More like ribbon. Not cut on the bias. Edges are 'finished' like ribbon and unlike bias binding.

Anyhoo...I finally decided that bias binding would be ok. I was worried it would be too heavy because the fabric is voile but I have two layers -- voile and batiste -- so I think it is going to be ok.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Spring Mini Wardrobe

So, I guess the idea of the Spring Palette Challenge is to actually sew something...Not sure how lucky I'll get with that! I have a problem child who doesn't sleep. It could be a hobby in itself except it isn't fun :(

Anyway, enough whinging. Here is my pipe dream wardrobe. I tried being realistic but one garment didn't seem like much of a challenge. I also tried to just plan from my stash but there are so many gorgeous fabrics and patterns! The yellow cotton voile and the shirtdress pattern just are too yummy to resist. Hubby said if I drove into the city to meet him for lunch one day he would help me get to Tessuti to buy the yellow voile!

The Colette pants will probably be in black sateen. I want to make a pair for Autumn in a stretch herringbone suiting fabric too. I don't have the pattern or fabric.

I have a cotton fabric in the red and gold with black and hot pink mixed in for the crescent skirt. My mum bought me a fuschia cardigan so they might pair nicely. The crescent skirt is good because you can wear it with leggings or on it's own. I have gotten heaps of wear out of my red denim crescent skirt, which I did finish by the way. I have the fabric and pattern in my stash.

I also have the fabric for the pendrell and the pendrell pattern, and the cobalt sateen in my stash.

I have a second tier 'if I suddenly get a whole week to do nothing but sew' additional garment wishes:

1) I have a really pretty voile in red with a golden yellow polka dot. I want to make a wrap dress and I saw the ideal pattern and I *thought* I pinned it onto my pinterest board but it isn't there, waaaa!

2) I bought the Craftsy course for Gertie's retro bombshell dress. That was a bit ambitious! I have the pattern but not the fabric. But in an ideal world I would buy the fabric below from Tessuti and make the dress for christmas.

Panji Ruby AU$28/m Japanese Cotton (med weight)
3) I also really want to make some shorts for summer.

4) + 5) +6) I want to make a tulip skirt, an A-line skirt and a pencil skirt.

'If wishes were horses then beggars would ride.' My mum used to quote that to me all the time. Thanks mum.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Spring Palette: Mood Board

This is to coincide with Colette Patterns Fall Palette Challenge. It is an 8 week challenge to sew a new mini wardrobe for Fall -- or if you're from the southern hemisphere like moi then for Spring. Mine is Spring/Summer because I won't seriously get a Spring wardrobe sewn. But it's fun to plan and dream. And I got an early start with my Lonsdale Dress which STILL isn't finished. But it draws nicely from the palette below featuring coral and light teal. I just need to firm up my fabrics and patterns...trying to draw from my stash but there are so many yummy fabrics and patterns out there!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Forthcoming sewing book: The Colette Sewing Handbook

Do you know Colette patterns? Well Sarai from Colette patterns is bringing out a book and it looks lush! On her blog she posts great tutorials and I just know her book will be really useful.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sloooooow Sewing

Yes, I've been quiet here. And I'd like to regale you with stories of my adventures but alas the last 6 weeks have been spent nursing sick children and sick husband and sick self. Not much sewing happening at all.

But, I have made good progress on my Lonsdale dress. The sewalong just finished and I'm only halfway, but that's ok because I envisage finishing this weekend. I've seen some really beautiful dresses from the sewalong though!

Sewing the Lonsdale has been rewarding because I've tried new things and learned a lot. I made my second ever muslin and my first major pattern alterations which included:

  1. Taking in the centre front seam of the bodice under the bust to get a closer fit.
  2. Taking a tapered horizontal tuck out of the back bodice to accommodate my sway back/scoliosis. This was the major revelation for me. It has really enhanced the fit of the dress on me and solved problems I commonly get with RTW dresses. And that's why we sew right?
  3. Slashing and lapping the pattern on each side, about halfway between my armpit and my centre front where it was gaping. I was a bit annoyed about this one because I don't think I transfered the measurements from my musling properly and I still ended up with some gaping which I had to take out with a dart on either side which I think look a bit odd. And in retrospect I probably should have sewn a smaller size and done an FBA...but I am right on 2 inches difference between my bust and my upper bust measurement.

Anyway, I am pretty pleased with the fit of the bodice and it gives me shape with no bra which I was surprised about.

This was the first time I underlined a dress too. I am using a cotton voile which is semi-sheer so I underlined it with cotton batiste which is nice and light.

Tasia's sewalong was great. She added in all sorts of tutorials on fitting, different seam finishes, hand-sewing, underlining...It has been brilliant!

P.S. Wondering what happened to my Sewaholic Crescent Skirt? I finished it, and I wear it a lot! I'm going to make another one for summer and this time hopefully get it right.

Oliver+S: New patterns for fall and winter

I've had terrible luck sewing Miss Nearly Six clothes. I think they are just gorgeous but she won't wear them. And she's kind of sly about it too, as though she doesn't want to hurt my feelings. So I think I need to accept that the clothes I make for her are too cutesy and she doesn't want to be cutesy.

So, as I looked at the new patterns Oliver+S will release in September 2011, I was very happy knowing I wouldn't be making them for Miss Nearly Six because...I have another daughter and she's too young to object. Yay!!

Here are the sweet styles forthcoming:

The PJs have a version B that has a cute ruffle that runs along the centre placket and around the neck. Cute! Possibly Miss C could even be convinced of those. And the after-school pants are lovely.

I've used three of Oliver+S's patterns and they are so easy to use and the results are just beautiful. You really don't need to be an advanced sewer to achieve the cute finishes.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The internet is an amazing place and no matter how much trouble it gets me into -- time wasted on Facebook, buying things I can't afford etc -- I am still drawn to it for it's absolute wealth of information at my fingertips.

This week I found a series of tutorials by a fellow Aussie The Haby Goddess who seems to own the same machine as me (or my mum's). She explained how to use the other foot attachments (feet?) that come with your machine. I know I could have looked it up in the book but just seeing it illustrated with clear photos made me go "Yes, I own one of those!" The picture above shows the blind hem foot.

Source: via Jane on Pinterest

Saturday, June 25, 2011

What baby? I don't have a baby up my shirt!

So many great patterns go out of print and yet...this is available should you want to smuggle your baby into a kitchen somewhere.

Friday, June 24, 2011

My Grandmother: Style Icon

This lady reminds me of my maternal Grandmother. She was a stylish woman in her day and when she was older was always on the lookout for fashion and accessories. She verged on the outlandish and her make-up became a bit scatty as she aged but I always loved her exhuberant style and her splash of red lipstick.

Oddly, and you may find this macabre, but when we went to see her body when she died, my mother and I both exclaimed at the same time, "Oh! She looks beautiful!" Her hair and make-up had been done impeccably and I was so happy for her. I knew she would have been absolutely chuffed to know she looked gorgeous at the last.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Delivery: MyUSshopnship

My Loot!
Well I got a delivery from MyUSshopnship and it was VERY exciting. It had all sorts of patterns (all vintage or out-of-print), fabric samples and 3 yards of wool fabric to make a jacket. Most of the purchases were from places that didn't ship to Australia so in that respect it worked really well. I don't think it saved money by having them consolidate the orders so I won't use it to save on postage unless the international postage is ridiculous.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Finished Project: Sunday Brunch Jacket

Pattern: Sunday Brunch Jacket by Oliver + S (out of print)*
Fabric: Wide Wale Corduroy in emerald green, $2 per metre at Spotlight
Made for: Miss Five

This is a great jacket. The actual construction of the jacket was very fast but I came unstuck on the Hong Kong binding to finish the seams. I'm not happy with how the binding turned out but it doesn't ruin the look of the jacket. I ended up hand sewing all the binding down which took ages but was kind of therapeutic.

I used new fusible interfacing for this project, sheerweft, and I'm in love! No more cheap, crappy interfacing for me! It's not cheap -- about $10-$12 per metre -- but I bought some from McCalls when they were having a 50% off sale for Sew Loyal Club members. It's strong but keeps the drape of the fabric and fuses really well. I don't know why I always just accepted the stuff I was sold over all these years?? I noticed you can buy this from Lincraft. Not sure about Spotty.

I used a rolled up towel as a pressing ham for the collar and shoulders. This seemed to work quite well and I was really happy with the shape.

The buttons: Aren't the buttons great? I was actually showing my daughter a photo of No Big Dill's version of the Sunday Brunch Jacket in wide wale cord to show her how it would look and she fell in love with the buttons! So I hunted around and amazingly found them.

The instructions show you how to bind the seams and it doesn't include a lining but next time I might be tempted to line it. And perhaps give bound buttonholes a go!
*This pattern is out of print but I noticed on the Oliver + S forum that Liesl is thinking of making her out of print patterns available via pdf download.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Back to it: Works in Progress

Oh. my. goodness. The last three weeks I have been working about 30 hours a week which has needed to be during baby's nap time, after Miss Five has gone to bed and on the weekend. Which has meant every spare minute has been working except for my posts here on body image which were kind of work related. I wrote five articles on cosmetic surgery and an article on eating disorders which had my mind whirring about body dissatisfaction.

But I have submitted all articles and the only things left to do for work are one article due end of this week and any corrections my editor wants.

So, yesterday I got some sewing in, yay!! I started a Sunday Brunch Jacket for Miss Five which was going along nicely until I got to binding the seams. I have never used bias binding, can you imagine? I tried making my own first up which was highly unsuccessful. The  I found some vintage bias binding in my mum's notions cabinet which she gave me (ha, don't tell her I called something of hers vintage) which is actually not wide enough but as it was a Public Holiday and I couldn't run to the shop, I tried to make it fit. Not a great result but not too bad. I need a finished project so I decided not to fuss about the binding. I hand-sewed a few bits that didn't catch and since my mum made me learn to hand sew before I learnt on a machine my hand sewing is pretty unnoticeable.

I'm hoping to have that finished today and then I'll start a floor quilt for Bubba.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Body Image: Why are other women women's biggest critics?

Why as women do we criticise other women so much? Too fat, too thin, too rich, too poor, stay-at-home mum bludger, working mum abandoning kids...It goes on and on and it is so self-defeating!

Let me just say, I think Miranda Kerr looks amazing. Why do we then criticise her for being attractive and a working mum? She must be a horrible mum if she is so beautiful and works too!! Are we jealous because she 'bounced' back after childbirth and we can't? As this article says, if you are fit and lean before pregnancy then you will go back to your pre-birth shape much more easily. I was fat and lazy when I fell pregnant so why would I expect to spring back to some gorgeous model shape 6 months afterwards? Also, my career doesn't depend on me looking gorgeous, otherwise I'd be in dire straits but Miranda's career does so she had some incentive.

She has her baby with her when she works and is still breastfeeding him which is a feat for any woman. Only about 23% of women are still breastfeeding at 6 months. She can so she does, I applaud that. Not everyone can, which is fine.

The media certainly has a lot to answer for. We see more women like Miranda than we do the average woman who doesn't make a living out of the way she looks. And magazines are notorious for using a bit of photoshop to slash those kilos.

Last year Mia Freedman posted about Kourtney Kardashian and the image photoshopping after she gave birth. When you look at the before and after it really is ridiculous. I much prefer the before the magazine art department got their hands on it. She is nestling her baby close to her body and her head is bent towards him in a sign of maternal love. After the 'touch-up" we have her strangely holding her newborn away from her body with her head turned away. She looks like she doesn't want anything to do with the child. I would much prefer to see a woman loving her baby.
and a photo of Jools Oliver - this is how a real woman looks like 7 days after delivering a baby.

I had no idea when I had my first that your stomach still looked like you were pregnant!!

So let's ease up on each other, ok?