Saturday, July 28, 2012

Denim Clovers, Silk Sencha and Meet-Up Details Update

I recently went to the Tessuti sale and bought a very funky ribbed denim that is navy blue backed with a bright green. Pretty cool. I bought 1.5m and made another pair of Clover pants:

I really like this fabric, and they make a cool pair of Clover trousers. Unfortunately though, they are quite a soft denim, so after wearing them for morning tea at Leith's last sunday they were waaaay stretched out. I don't know what to do about that - I wouldn't want to make them too much tighter otherwise I won't get them on!

I also made this Sencha blouse ages ago with a remnant of this lovely silk from Rathdowne Fabrics and Remnants:

Can you see that I missed a button?

I like this blouse, but it is too short in length. It doesn't really do my figure any favours with these trousers, so I think it will be resigned to being tucked in. Ah well. I've learnt my lesson. Lengthen lengthen lengthen!! The little flower buttons were from the Camberwell markets while I was still pregnant. 

I feel like I've gotten a little of my sewing mojo back - I'm making a wearable muslin of the frock I am making for a wedding in New Zealand we are going to in September. Pictures of that soon. I'm enjoying making a flouncy, fitted frock. 

In other news, our sewing meet up now has interstate visitors! Christy and her mate are in Melbourne from Sydney for the weekend and are joining us! At the moment we have 20 people coming - there is no way the cafe I originally thought of will accommodate that many of us, so I booked Time Out Cafe in Federation Square for 3pm. The only catch is that because we're not booked in to eat lunch or dinner, they won't guarantee that we'll all sit together - we might have to have a few tables of 5-6. What do you think? If you can think of another cafe that can house 20 of us and isn't too far from Tessuti please do suggest!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Another Gabby & Getting Out of My Sewing Rut

As I mentioned in my last post, I've made another Tessuti Gabby Dress. I wore this one yesterday to work (we have casual fridays) - this picture was taken at 7am before we were all just about to get in the car - and yes, I was freezing!

This one is made from a remnant of cotton-viscose that I got from Tessuti during their sale recently. It is a lovely weight fabric, and has a crinkly look that I love. Because it was a remnant I didn't have quite enough to make the length I desired, so I cut a band in four pieces to go around the hem. Because the hem is quite full, you don't really notice the seam in the CB and CF hems.

I didn't interline this dress, but I did line the bodice and sleeves using leftover silvery-grey lining from my rasberry linen jacket. It worked a treat.

I love this dress - I wore it with a black cardigan and a bright wool scarf I got in Italy last year. I got so many nice comments at work yesterday!!

Since my last post I have sewn some bunting for my sister who is pregnant and one of my closest friends who is also pregnant. I've also started on some denim pants for Little M.

But to really get myself out of my sewing rut I have signed up for a weekend workshop at Thread Den called 'Tailored Blazer' on August 11 & 12. We sew Simplicity 3628 in a weekend! I have some navy wool suiting that I'll be using for it. I think it is going to be pretty tough going, but I need some inspiration at the moment, and I think sewing something totally new will do it.

Has anyone got any tips for sewing a blazer? I'm assuming the teacher will be awesome, but I think an arsenal of knowledge is always good!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Lisa-Gabby Dress

Okay, so I swear I chose this fabric for this dress before I saw Lisa's dress. Lisa can testify regarding this, as she cut the fabric for me in Tessuti. You know how much I love Japanese fabric, and this is the most amazing Japanese rayon, sold in panels. Soooo pretty.

Anyway, this is Tessuti's new pattern, called the Gabby Dress.

The pattern is a simple capped sleeve dress. No darts, nothing tricky. It calls for bias binding to finish the neckline. I bought two panels of the fabric, although the pattern calls for 2.20m for the longer length.

I made a size medium muslin and it was much too large, so this is a size small. I cut the pattern pieces at the very bottom of each panel to capitalise on the dots. I also lengthened the hem by 4cm. I did this by just tacking 4cm on the end - there aren't any lengthen or shorten here lines, but I think doing it this way worked just fine.

I decided not to use binding for the neck edge. Because the rayon is sheer, on Lisa's suggestion, I underlined the entire dress using lining fabric. I then lined the bodice of the dress using the same lining fabric. I did this by cutting the pattern pieces 5cm below the armscye, curving out slightly to the CB and CF. I also lined the sleeves, but used the rayon itself. Because I didn't have much fabric, I had to cut the sleeves off-grain, but this doesn't seem to have made any difference.

I love this pattern. It is simple to sew, and because of the simple design really showcases a stunning fabric. I've actually already made another one from a remnant I got at Tessuti not long ago.... pics coming soon!

But now I'm in a bit of a sewing rut. I made a muslin of the Minoru jacket, and it looked awful. I don't have the motivation to tweak it - I just don't think raglan sleeves suit my broad shoulders. What should I make next? Any good pattern suggestions?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Melbourne Sewer Meet-up: Date, Time, Location

I'm very excited about our upcoming meet-up!

People have said they would like to meet to do some fabric shopping first, then have coffee and cake together. Suggestions included starting at The Fabric Store on Brunswick St, then going to Tessuti, then to coffee. A pattern/fabric swap was also suggested.

I think for this meet-up, it might be best to keep everything simple - we can do more on our subsequent meet-ups! I hope this is okay with everyone.

So - lets meet at 1.00pm at Tessuti on Saturday 18th August, do some fabric shopping together and then go to coffee and cake at Hells Kitchen in Degraves Lane. If someone knows of a better cafe, let me know - I thought of this one as it serves alcohol too if anyone wants a tipple ;-). I'll book upstairs at Hells Kitchen otherwise for 2.30pm. That gives us over an hour at Tessuti.

Also - everyone is welcome - bloggers, non-bloggers, male, female, sew-for-yourselfers, sew-for-otherers......whoever you are come along!

Just make sure you leave a comment here saying you'll be coming so we know who will be there, and how big a table I should book! I'm also going to let Tessuti know that a group of us will be descending on them!

Any questions, leave them in the comments, or email me at Can't wait to meet you all!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Melbourne Sewers' Meet-up?

I want to say thank you to everyone who commented on my 'lumpy' post. It is sometimes difficult to be body-confident in today's skinny-focussed society, and usually I am pretty good, but I guess having a bub changes things. So thank you, you made me feel good, but also made me feel a little silly (in a really good way) - which I think I really needed.

Anyhoo, recently I was lucky enough to have coffee and morning tea with the lovely Leith of Sew Brunswick Fame. Leith is a Queenslander too, and has two small boys. She is also an incredibly accomplished seamstress - she was wearing one of her dresses and one of her Minoru jackets - guess what I did when I went home? Bought the dress pattern and the Minoru pattern. I couldn't help it - both were so gorgeous.

I had a lot of fun chatting with Leith about all things sewing, that it made me yearn for more. I don't know about you, but none of my Melbourne friends sew. And I am completely consumed with sewing, and need to have someone else to talk to about it besides Michael (who on the weekend accused me (quite rightly actually - not that I'd admit it to him) of being obsessed with sewing.

I am also filled with jealousy every time all the UK bloggers write of their meet-ups - they fabric shop together, drink coffee and wine together and sometimes stitch together. It always sounds and looks like so much fun!

So... I thought I would go out on a limb here and ask if any of the Melbourne-based sewers out there would like to participate in a meet-up? I was thinking about meeting on a saturday maybe and have a coffee? Maybe in the city so it's central for all?

Let me know what you think!

UPDATED TO ADD: After suggestions from ladies who have commented so far, going fabric shopping is looking pretty popular.

If you're keen to meet-up, can you include in your comment how much time you will have - i.e., could you start in Brunswick at the Fabric Store and then go on to Tessuti and then coffee, or would you prefer to go to Tessuti and then to coffee?

Also, can you please say whether you'd be keen for a fabric or pattern or both swap?

And - can you please pick which date you'd prefer:

Saturday 28 July
Saturday 4 August
Saturday 18 August
Saturday 25 August


Friday, July 6, 2012

Perfect (?) Ponti and Styles Post-Baby

As you probably already know, I favour natural fibre fabrics. I love linen, cotton, silk, and wool. I hardly ever deviate from these fabrics. Recently in Tessuti however, Lisa drew my eye to their beautiful range of jewel-toned ponti knits. My goodness they were lovely.

I wasn't sure what I would make (I usually go fabric shopping with a clear purpose, patterns, and list), but I desperately wanted some of this lovely teal-turquoise coloured ponti. Given I was unclear what to make, I bought 1 metre, thinking I would make a pencil skirt if nothing else caught my fancy.

That is what I made. I used the skirt portion from BurdaStyle's Melissa dress (which is the knit version of the Jenny dress):

I cut the size 36, and tapered in an additional 0.5cm on the sides for a firmer fit. By the end of yesterday the skirt had stretched out a fair bit, so I may have been better to cut the 34. 

I think I like the way it looks, but I really am not used to wearing firm fitting skirts. This question annoys Michael no end, but do you think I'm a bit lumpy for this style? Having a baby has changed my body, making me unsure of what suits me sometimes.

I just realised how worn-out my tights are!

So, that's my 1 metre ponti skirt! I love the bright colours that are very popular at the moment. I've got a few more finished projects up my sleeve that I'm going to get photographed this weekend - hopefully I'll be able to post one soon.