Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Too Much Of A Good Thing Maybe.....

When I hit on a good thing, once is never enough.  In fact I have been known to do things to the death.  I can play a favourite tune over and over until I can no longer stand it or until it gets indelibly embedded in my brain and I am sure I sing it in my sleep.  I do however draw the line at buying an item of clothing in every colour.  I kid you not!  I have peeps in my inner circle that do this!  If you are reading this, you know who you are!  Sewing patterns on the other hand are often used over and over and usually no longer require the use of instructions.  Take Jalie 2795 as an example.  I have lost count the number of variations of this pattern I have made up.  I am pretty sure that Sewaholic Belcarra could be the next victim of Sewist Overuse Syndrome, this being my third version in perhaps as many weeks.  What I like about this pattern is not only the fact it is easy to make up, but the variations seem to be endless (I will let you know on that score) but best of all, it is practical and comfortable to wear.  Yes, I know dresses are pretty and fun to make but the real work horses in my wardrobe are the comfortable and practical ones and when I find one that is stylish as well, I know I have found a winner.

My latest version played on my mind the whole time I was creating my Belcarra dress.  I had close to a metre left over and had recently come across the panne velvet collar of an unloved Sewaholic Renfrew in my fabric bin which was the perfect size and colour for the sleeves.  Once again I used stretch satin to bind the neck and made the neck seam allowance a scant 1cm to make it a fraction narrower, narrowing the neck binding to match.


What can I say, I love this top!  I am not sure how well two blingy items of clothing will work in my wardrobe but even if it is just to the supermarket I will wear this top!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Slouchy Beanie

I made myself a floppy beanie.  The pattern is Aesderina by Jane Richmond.  There is not a lot to be said about the construction as it was pretty straight forward.   I bought 200 grams of Lincraft Coziwool and used a little over 1 ball or 100 grams.

I am not normally a beanie wearer, but in the depths of winter, a beanie is somewhat of a necessity for such things as sport watching on frosty winter mornings.  This beanie has been completed since the beginning of June but Murphy's law provided the warmest June on record so it has sat unloved in my wardrobe.  With another month and a half until spring, there is plenty of potential frosty mornings left.  That being said though, the daffodils flowering in my garden would probably beg to differ!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Belcarra Bling Dress

Now that I had completed my first Belcarra, the old cogs in my brain kicked into action and I was keen to explore other ways of utilizing this versatile pattern.  I had vision of stretch velour in a tunic type of dress and just for fun, throw in a bit of bling to mix things up a bit.  My inspiration was this tunic dress sold at Kimberley's.

In the back of my mind also, was Courteney's birthday and I wanted a dress with a casual vibe to wear to her celebrations.

I purchased  on Trademe a two metre piece of the most gorgeous stretch velour with a lurex silver thread running through it in a checkered pattern.  This time I simply cut the top longer to dress length.  I didn't take into account when buying the fabric though, that pesky check.  It did not want to match up!  I did the best I could with the matching but if you look closely it is far from perfect.  I felt the neck on my last top was a little wide so for this version I simply reduced the binding seam allowance to a scant 1cm instead of the recommended 1.5cm.  Once again I used stretch satin as my binding of choice which meant no cutting on the bias, 

Will I make this pattern again?  Well, yes, definitely.  I might even make it up as Tasia intended!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

End Of June Wrap Up

Winter has been slow to start this year meaning June was much milder than usual.  This actually was detrimental to my sewing efforts because I was able to wear my autumnal clothing for much longer.  I did however complete a new wool coat which has become a favourite especially for work.  Today, winter did arrive however, and I had one of those dreaded "I have nothing to wear" moments so July may see much more productivity.

End of June Wrap Up

Burnout Belcarra
Fabric $20.00
Pattern $21.26
Satin $7.50
Total $36.76

Merino Dress
Fabric $12.50
Pattern $20.00
Elastic $0.80
Total $33.30

Wool Coat
Fabric $28.00
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Buttons (recycled) $0.00
Lining (remnant) $0.00
Shoulder Pads $7.00
Interfacing $2.50
Total $47.50

Black Miette
Pattern (free) $0.00
Wool $30.00
Buttons $6.00
Total $36.00

Burda Raglan Tee
Fabric (remnant) $0.00
Pattern (used before) $0.00
Total $0.00

Total  $153.56

Total RTW $145.00

Sunday, June 29, 2014


As parents of little ones, there are many milestones; first tooth, sitting, walking crawling, riding a bike swimming etc. etc.  We carefully counted  these milestones and documented them in film. After a few years though the milestones seem to be few and far between and just when we thought we have seen the last of them our children, or at least two of them, turned into teenagers and fresh milestones were met; starting high school,  and learning to drive   spring to mind.  This past week though, there has been a large shift in my parenting.  Courteney turned 18 and is now officially an adult.  Yes, she is still at high school for another 5 months so this will somewhat limit her independence but wow how did this happen!  In honour of the occasion we had not one but two celebrations.  The first was a family meal out and the second a party with her friends.  I wasn't sure what I was going to wear for either night so to cover all bases I made two new items.  The first being a variation on the new Sewaholic Belcarra top.

I always look forward to the release of Sewaholic's new patterns.
The Gabriola skirt didn't float my boat but the impending release of the Belcarra top just about had me shaking with excitement.  I love my Grainline Tiny Pocket Tank and Scout tees but actually wished for a woven too with some shaping.  It is rather ironic then that my very first version is made in a knit.  The knit in question is a cotton knit with a velour print.  I bought it as a short end on Trademe and was influenced by this Blackstone top.

Using my newly acquired Sewaholic Belcarra pattern, I cut my top to size 6 as per my usual Sewaholic sizing.  I did need to run it in at the hips but this was the only alteration required.  To trim the sleeves of the top and for the neck facing, I used black stretch satin. I also added a band of the satin at the bottom to both lengthen the top and add visual interest.


I am really happy with the way this turned out and not only did I wear it to Courteney's birthday celebration, I have worn it out on another couple of occasions as well.  It is set to become a firm favourite. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Scrap Busting

No sewing was done this weekend.  Instead I was in full party mode with rather a large milestone birthday in our house.  No, it was not my own but Courteney's who turned 18.  This involved not one but two nights of celebrations.  As part of the preparations I made two outfits.  After all the idea parenting an adult is quite a change in both my and my husbands life as well.  I didn't get a chance to take outfit photos on the day's so therefore I will need to recreate these this week.  Instead,  here is something I created earlier.

I do have rather a good assortment of work appropriate tops but weekend tees are another matter completely. Last weekend I repurposed two rather useless pieces of knit fabric into a winter version of Burdastyle 2/2013 view 126, this time with long sleeves.

I decided that I wanted a somewhat looser fit though, so combined it with Tessuti Lola tee to get the ideal width in the body.  For the sleeves I used leftovers from this Burdastyle tee and this dress.  I am rather pleased with how this turned out so am determined to find more fabric to make another.  I knew I was onto a winner when Courteney asked me to make her one.  I better keep an eye on this top, or it may just disappear when my back is turned one day!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Merino Dress

Knit dresses are my go to items for work for winter.  I can wear a cardigan but do find my office which has huge glass expanses, can get very hot when the sun is out.  Handknits therefore are not ideal.  A merino knit dress is a completely different matter.  With this dress I was aiming for something different to my favourite knit dress pattern but with a similar success rate, if you know what I mean!

I like wrap dresses so a mock wrap was my starting point.  I did have Vogue 1027 in my collection but wanted sleeves.  I decided to use the bodice from Butterick 5950 but didn't particularly like the figure hugging nature of the skirt so switched it out for Vogue 1250.

The verdict....well I love the bodice on this dress, it sits beautifully.  In my frankenpattern wisdom I added elastic in a waist casing like my Lady Skater but after wearing it a couple of times, I came home from work today and unpicked the casing and removed the elastic.  I feel that the elasticated waist is too much of a feature and I really want it to disappear.  I didn't use elastic in Vogue 1250 so felt it unnecessary.  We will see how this latest modification goes.