Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Perfect Shirtdress - McCall's 6116

McCall's 6116  the Perfect Shirtdress is, well, pretty close to perfect.  I love this so much I had to rush these pictures to show you.  When I get it washed and pressed I will get some better shots for you, but in the mean time I couldn't wait for that to show and tell my latest and, I think, one of the best things I have sewn!  Well at least lately!

It is made from linen (linda linen from Kerryn's Fabric world for the aussies reading this).  I took the end of the roll in this colour so I was limited as to which options I could make.  I did not want the self-tie and planned to wear it with a purchased belt, but really prefer it worn without a belt.
The pattern runs through tissue-fitting the pattern and options to adjust it.  The only adjustment I made was a broad back adjustment.  I am soooo happy with the result.  It looks too big on Diana, but believe me it fits my back beautifully!  Very happy about that!

 I was planning to add the top pockets with flaps, but got cold feet after trialling them by pinning them on.  they looked a bit too bulky and as I wanted to use contrasting buttons, I wasn't comfortable with how they were going to look.  I think in a lighter fabric I would try this pocket option again.

This is the detail of the button - lovely brass-look with a green sheen.  I was really pleased with the ones chosen after much trialling of every button option in the shop.   I had great service and the shop assistant was very patient sorting through all the options - all for 70c buttons!

My only negative is that I marked the buttonhole placement in blue chaco liner (you can probably see it in the photo above) and it is not coming off as easily as the white one has in the past.  I am hoping that washing it will remove it (keep your fingers crossed for me). 

I will post better photos soon that should show you how pleased I am with my alteration and the fit of this pattern.

By the way, for those who asked in the comments from my last post - I find the Tanga panties are comfortable to wear  and I like that there is no VPL.  

I am so excited by this dress, that I plan to make another shirtdress - the next one from Burdastyle magazine in a very different fabric to this one.... Ciao - see you soon with more piccies! :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Back to our regular scheduled programming... sewing for ME!

After making togs for the boys I was in the mood to make some for me - Kwik Sew 3330.  I had a fabric bought at Spotlight but marked as Seafolly which had a border print running along each edge (selvage).  I made View B (without the applique) and cut the contrast band for the pants and the straps for the top out of the border print and the rest from the body of the fabric.  It did mean I was cutting some pieces the 'wrong' way but there seemed to be little difference in the stretch either way and it does not seem to have affected the wearability of the swimsuit.

I am happy with how these have come out and particularly love the pants.  They are fully lined and fit really well, holding everything in they should.  In fact, so comfortable that I considered taking a photo to share of me wearing them, then good sense prevailed!

I did have some trouble with my machine skipping stitches when I was making the top so changed the needle.  This made no difference so I went through the whole thing, cleaning, re-threading and another new needle and it did seem to resolve after that.  Sometimes it is the simple things that help.  :)

The review is here  for those interested.

Next up on the list was some lace knickers.  I had bought the stretch lace ages ago and decided it had aged enough in the stash.  After seeing a good review for the Burdastyle Tanga pants I used this pattern.  I found the video demonstrating how they are made - here.

I am very happy with them.  My only negative comment is that they are sized XS-S-M-L, but there is no reference to indicate what size they correspond to.  I made the small size but could have made XS after comparing them to some RTW I had.

I made the first pair from the apricot lace and managed to muff the CF seam so it wasn't nice and even.  To hide it I sewed a little lace flower to cover it.

The mint green pair came out much better, but I like the idea of easily recognising the back from the front so I sewed a little bow to the front CF seam of this pair.


Now you know more about me that you wanted to know... it is all in the interests of sewing... Ciao!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sewing for others...

I have sort of taken a leaf out of Mary Nanna's book (blog?) and have done a little sewing for others this month.  I only made one dress last month trying to follow the Frocktober theme, but I did enjoy following the theme :)

I have made two pair of trunks from Kwik Sew 2881Trunks is what KS call them, we have many other names for them in Australia, I shall refer to them as Speedos

 I made a pair for DH and one as Xmas gift for my youngest son.  He likes to wear them under his boardies, DH is old enough that he wears them as is in public.  That's what happens when you grow up with them!

Also in the interests of modesty I have only got pictures of them lying on a table.  Did you like how I styled the picture?  This is the first one I took

It actually shows it quite well.  I haven't got much to say as it is a pretty straightforward pattern to sew and the instructions were good.  I did read the general KS tips on how to sew togs and found it quite helpful.  I followed the instruction on sewing the front of the leg without stretching the elastic and then stretching the rest of the elastic to fit the back of the leg. 

DH has tried his on and declared them comfortable.  He did say the elastic was snug, but I believe that is because the old pair he has been using are cactus and the elastic is totally shot in them!  It probably felt quite different to the old ones.  They looked very similar to the old RTW ones (but not stretched out of shape and worn out!)

Not much else to say on the pattern - I recommend it if you are wanting to make a pair for one of the men in your life.

And to make this post a little more interesting I leave you with a photo from when we went camping last month.  This possum was very cheeky and broke into our rubbish bag while we were sitting around the fire.  We would normally hide the rubbish over night, but weren't thinking one would come up while we were about.  It is licking out a used headache tablet sleeve that had been doused in oil from a dip we threw away.

Ciao possums!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

V1224 Tracy Reese dress

Well it was my turn to try the Tracy reese dress Vogue 1224.  I used a fabric I bought from  When it was sent I got heaps more than I ordered and wondered why but when I lay it out to cut it I could see why.  There was a regular fault in the fabric print.  However this pattern has not got very large pieces so I was able to cut the pieces in between the faults.  Generous they sent more, but if I had wanted to make a dress that required larger pieces I would not have been able to cut it out without having the print fault showing.

I read all the reviews of this dress and saw that most people recommeded lengthening the bodice (and the skirt) but I decided I wanted it to look just like the pattern and so went on my own head-strong path and used the pattern as it stood.... I should have at least lengthened the bodice. The bodice feels too short and it tends to pull the neck down, so I think it would have been more comfortable to wear with maybe another 2 inches in length in the bodice.

I do think however it does resemble the cover pic, even though I am not shaped like the long legged lovely in the pic.

I had some turqouise beads (which I have had for probably 30 years) and used them on the tie ends.

 This photo shows the dress more front-on and I think it makes me look very round from the waist down.  Not loving the shape it gives me...

 I will just have to make sure I always stand slightly angled on to everyone to make it look more flattering...

The review is here for those interested.  Ciao or is that Meow for now...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Finally finished...

I have been working on or should I say looking at my unfinished Simplicity 2599  for weeks and now that I have finally had some time to finish it, I am a bit mehhh about it.  I am hoping I will grow to love it as it was a very expensive piece of fabric.  This is my second top from this pattern and I do love the first one I made... in a very cheap fabric!  Ah well, I am sure after a bit of hanging time in the cupboard this one will get used too.

The other thing that is finally finished is our house extension/renovation.  This one I am enjoying immensely and we are slowly settling in to our new surroundings.  We have plenty to do as yet - curtains, gardens and some more furniture, but I am afraid I am going to start boring you with pictures of it now.  
Today I present the kitchen and dining room... ta da!...

I am enjoying the new kitchen very much and last week-end when my DH's family visited we had plenty of room for everyone at the dining table!

Next up Vogue 1224 and probably more house piccies...Ciao

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

No sewing - celebrating Spring!

We have been enjoying the Spring weather and participating in our town's Carnival of Flowers.

The Food, Wine and Flowers tent...

 With wandering entertainment...

 Beautiful gardens...

and textiles on show - this from the Toowoomba Quilters Quilt show, but I also enjoyed the Spinners and Weavers display...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Some answers to questions ...

I have had some questions lately in my Comments and have been very lax in answering them - I hope you still want to know! :)
From my post on Boxer for the boys
Kelley said...
They look great, Sue, very professional. My DH has been after me for years to make some for him, but I think I must be channeling my inner Selfish Seamstress. LOL. In the event that I finally do cave, where did you find the boxer elastic? It looks like that is the way to go.
August 28, 2011 4:09 PM
katherine h said...
These look good. where did you get the boxer elastic? I just bought pants using that elastic and it is very comfortable.
The boxer elastic came from Lincraft - but don't look for any in the Toowoomba store - I bought the last of the roll!   I think I may have seen some online at Crafty Mamas.  I have bought magazines from there but not elastic, so far the service has been excellent.    
From the post about 05-2011-107 gym top   
katherine h said...
I cut my shirts with extra width at the underarms on the back only, grading back to a size or 2 smaller at the waist. This seems to accommodate those lat muscles. You will need to add the same amount to sleeves, if your top has them. Looks good. I'm sure you;ll make plenty more of these. What is the composition of your technical fabrics?      
This fabric is a poly/nylon - it will be interesting to see how it wears in high Summer - it is still coping ok in the cooler weather.   
Summer Flies said... Your last two tops look great .. both colours look great on you. Where do you get that vilene tape from - around here?
I got the vilene tape at Lincraft again (it is amazing what you can find in there).  However I remember it was very expensive.  I have found it on-line here and have been planning to buy some but haven't as yet and have not used this on-line shop so cannot comment on them.  
So this post does not have any pictures, I have snapped a picture of my WIP - my second Simplicity 2599 top in a luscious silk... ruffles to be added....

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Another one of the top 10 made.. Simplicity 2599

I was so excited to finish this top, I have done the thing I don't normally do - the mirror self-portrait!

This is Simplicity 2599.  This top is also another one of the top 10 patterns of 2010.  If you read my blog, you may know that I have set the challenge to make all top 10 outfits (a follower I am!)

This version is my trial version made in a polyester chiffon (yoru?) which cost all of $5 m and seemed perfect for this top.  It is Version B with cap sleeves and vertical ruffles.

I was concerned when I first tried it on after inserting sleeves that it would be too tight across the shoulders.  I need to get a photo of the back and try wearing it for a day to see how it goes on that score.

  As you can see, it fits Diana very well across the back, but my shoulders are a little broader.


This is a great little top.  It has different cup sizes and I am the b-cup as my high bust is very similar to my full bust (that's those pecs I have worked on so hard ;) )

Even with the cup sizes I found I had to go down a few sizes as the ease is massive in this top.  I am a 34" bust which corresponds to a size 12 but it had something like 5 1/2" ease across the bust - too much for me.  I went down to the size 8, which has 3" ease.  

The other things I did were to leave off the button closure at the back as it slipped on very easily without this, so even though I think it looks cute, I know I will never undo the button.

I also left off the facing and used rayon seam binding to finish the neck edge.  I did as others have done with this too and used a roll-edge hem to finish the ruffle edge. 

The only tip (which I hope will work through the wash!) is that the ruffles are attached with two rows of stitching 3mm apart and the edge is raw.  As this fabric ravels terribly, I made the second row of stitching a narrow zigzag and then trimmed close to the stitching.  I am hoping that it will keep it tidy as well as hold it through washing.  I used my duck-bill scissors to trim the excess fabric.  I love these scissors - you don't want to be cutting a hole in your top at this stage!

Lulu was my sewing helper today and as you can see gave my top the seal of approval...

I am now washing my very expensive piece of silk to make another version of this cute top... Ciao!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Butterick 5566 - denim skirt.

I am trying to begin some sewing for the change of seasons.  We are officially in Spring now and the days are slowly warming up.  I am so over my winter outfit which always included pants, that I had to sew for my first piece, a new skirt.  I made Butterick 5566.

I made View E as a few other sewing bloggers have done in a denim.  This denim was bought at the Fabric Collection at Sumner Park.

My most favorite part of this skirt is the facing (only a sewist would say that!).  I used a scrap of Japanese quilting cotton.  I did not have a large piece of denim and thought it would be too thick anyway, so used this quilting fabric which I fused with a lightweight interfacing.  I finished the edge of the yoke with rayon binding tape and added my tab on the inside at the zipper to avoid using a hook and eye at the top of the zip.

From the back...

These photos are taken at the end of the work day, but I think the skirt stood up pretty well.  It wasn't the warmest day that day so I paired it with my Burdastyle Turtleneck top in black bamboo (so soft and comfy!) and my Phoebe Jane vest.  

Full disclosure here in the interests of Self-Stitched September.  I am not an official participant but I do enjoy seeing what others are wearing and I do try  and wear something I have made myself, most days.  This day I got the full deck of cards! :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Boxers for the boys... Jalie 2326

I am trying to get organised for Xmas early this year and have decided to make as many gifts as I can.  I usually give my boys satiny boxers which they like to sleep in, but they don't like the ones with silly sayings and pictures on them, so by making them I am able to get some nice fabrics and patterns.  The fabric I used is a poly satin bought when Lincraft had a 1/2 price sale.  I have actually made 3 of these, but one pair is already in use by my DH as he was the crash test dummy in regard to fitting.  His fit well apart from some feedback about the elastic length and so I made two more - one for each of my sons.
A silver/grey pair for my eldest (the same size as DH) so I only had to cut two pattern sizes.  I chose the pattern sizes based on hip size.

They are photographed here on Diana and they hang a little crooked as Diana's stand has to go through one leg so that distorts them a bit.  I am sure they will look a little different on the boys too as they  do not have hips!   However after seeing these on Diana I am thinking I could make myself a pair as summer jammies too :)

This pair is for DS the younger.

For the elastic I found 'boxer elastic' and sewed it multiple times on the lines and I think it gives it a very RTW look.  The pattern only has you sew it at the top and bottom of the elastic.  This elastic is also soft next to the skin.

I love this pattern as it details how to do a fly.  

My only complaint about the pattern would be that the elastic size for the waistband is not specified and as I was sewing them as gifts and can't try them on the recipients I would have liked to have this information (even just as a guide).  That is why I had to give DH his as I needed to work out how to size the elastic and it seemed silly to take them back to wrap for Xmas after he had worn them!

Overall I love this pattern and my DH seems to like wearing his set.  Now if I could out what size to make for my Dad I could knock over another gift! 

I have made a skirt but because of the cool weather haven't worn it yet so haven't got a photo.. maybe next post...Ciao!