Double Bossy Twinsie Vote

You may have noticed that Kat and I have been doing a bit of regular Twinsie sewing. It’s a lot of fun sewing the same pattern and seeing how we each put our own twist on it.

We get the feeling you guys like seeing our Twinsie shoots too ;)

We have a list of patterns we both own and have been working through the ones we like but the list is so loooooong we need some help, and that’s where you guys come in!

Can you help us decide what our next Twinsie make should be?

We’ve narrowed it down to three options:

Papercut’s Midsummers’ Night Dream

Cake’s Cabarita Knit Top

and Colette’s Rooibos

So, do you feel like bossing us around? What do you want to see next?

Cotton Candy Culottes

Question: What’s better than Quadruplets?

Answer: Quintuplets!

Nikki, Emma, Kat, me & Jenna

Quintuplets Megan Nielson Tania Culottes!

Technically I can claim we were sextuplets because I also made Fashionable Younger Sister sew some Tania Culottes. FYS does not live in Wellington so she participated by Distance Sewing.

Why did I force Fashionable Younger Sister to make Tania Culottes?

Because her name is Tania.

Tania wearing Tania’s!

Last Sunday the WSBN went to the Newtown Fair with visions of culottes group selfies involving candy apples and cotton candy.

We didn’t quite manage to get the candy floss photos but we did eat roti and fudge and hot dogs and spent far too much money on pretties like these:

We did remember to take a few photos of each other ;)

With Nikki

Kat and Jenna

Emma and Kat (with bonus Phoebe and Drake peaking around the corner)

I made my culottes from some super floaty rayon I bought at Arthur Toye in Palmerston North. I got 1.5m but forgot I wanted to lengthen the hem. To the size L I originally added 10cms but wasn’t able to fit them on my fabric. Luckily I found a 0.7m remnant in the Wellington store but I still had to reduce my added length to just 5cm.

Consequently they are shorter than I would have liked but I actually don’t mind the length that much. They are perfect for hot summer days at the beach or other informal setting…not particularity appropriate for work although I did consider putting on my steel cap boots and taking a photo for you all ;)

The main issue is the floaty rayon, which feels so nice to wear, sewed beautifully and drapes amazingly…but is far too light for Wellington’s breezy reputation. I think before I wear this particular pair again I will make up some cropped leggings to wear underneath to prevent any accidental flashing…there may have been a bit of that last Sunday but thankfully no photographic evidence ;)

Hemming these took forever. I think I was at it about an hour, maybe longer, because it’s like hemming TWO circle skirts. As much as I enjoyed sewing with this fabric it didn’t like pins very much. Every time I tried them on pins would rain down everywhere which didn’t help!

Fashionable Younger Sister’s culottes are also made from rayon, she cut size S but cut the hem at the XS size line. She admits they are a little too short as well but she does have the legs for them!

Here is a close up of her fabric btw, I have some in my stash too so don’t be surprised if you see this again soon:

I really enjoyed making these, they sew up really quickly (only four pattern pieces!) and the pleat at the front is a really simple but super clever detail that gives the illusion of a circle skirt.

I’m used to fabric allowances being a bit more generous so I had to buy that extra bit to get my lengthened pattern pieces all on. I suspect that even the recommended 1.5m for the un-lengthened larger sizes is cutting it fine. If you are not lengthening (but I strongly suggest you do!) I suggest you get an extra 10 or 20cm just in case, especially if you have a crazy pattern that needs some matching.

The instructions are nice and clear, lots of good diagrams and I only made a couple of changes.

On page 6 you are instructed to stay stitch the edge of the waist band at 1.5cm but I stitched at 1.0cm instead because later on when you attach the waistband using 1.5cm seam allowance you will probably end up seeing your stay stitching on the outside and then you’ll have to so some unpicking. No one likes unpicking ;)

I also didn’t clip along the edge before attaching my waistband. I’m always wary of clipping. If I don’t need to (and I didn’t in this case) then I prefer to not do it. Unnecessary clipping weakens the seam and will make it really tricky to attach the waist band and to enclose this edge later on.

I had no trouble laying my waistband onto the top of my culottes without clipping them.

Lastly I hung my culottes overnight to allow the hem to settle. I was surprised that this wasn’t mentioned in the instructions but when I trimmed my hem after hanging the long strip I cut off went from nothing right up to about 4cm and back again. That’s how much the bias section dropped while resting. If you don’t give your culottes time to relax before hemming you may find that sections drop over time and you’ll have to redo it.

Next time I will buy more fabric and lengthen a total of 10 or maybe even 15cms. I also found the crotch a little high, it’s not uncomfortable but I can tell it’s there which feels …strange because they are so floaty. Oh and I will totally copy Kat’s in-seam pockets idea. I thought about pockets after it was too late and shrugged it off but when I saw Kat’s pockets I was super jealous. At least if I had something in my pockets the added weight might have helped ;)

Hey did you notice my super cute necklace? It was made by Fashionable Younger Sister and is from her newly launched jewellery line, Fortune and Blame.

I have the Diamond Silhouette in Blue Skies and FYS is wearing The Impaler in Black and Gold. She’s adding new stuff to her online store all the time and if you want any custom colours or fills you can just email her at fortuneandblame[at]gmail.com to ask and she will post anywhere in the world :)

If you like her style please go take a look at her online store and follow her on Facebook or Instagram.

Tell me what your favourite piece is and what I should make her sew next ;)

THE DEETS:

Pattern – Megan Nielson Tania culottes, size L, lengthened 5cm

Next time I will lengthen an extra 5 or 10cms (for a total of 10-15cm extra length), drop the crotch about 2cms and add in-seam pockets.

Fabric – 1.50m + 0.7m remnant of 148cm wide Rayon from Arthur Toye, Palmerston North, purchased January 2014 for $12.50/m

Other notions – Invisible zipper

Miss Bossy Patterns: The winner

Thank you to everyone who bossed me around :)

Vogue 1317 took a big lead early before the Lekala “Shake that Tail Feather” skirt caught up quickly.

Unfortunately it was never closer than 2 votes and the Vogue dress (which has been high on my list for ages) will finally be sewn in March.

Keep a look out for that skirt though, I still really want one and I’m sure it will pop up here sometime soon ;)

If you are instereted in trying a Lekala pattern I think there is still 1 or 2 days left of their sale, all patterns at $1.49 so get on over there.

Are you sewing along with us this month on The Monthly Stitch? It’s not too late to get a vote up on your own blog or ask us on the TMS Facebook page, we’d love to boss you around too!

Oh pants!

February’s challenge for The Monthly Stitch was Smarty Pants.

Pants shopping for me is pure torture.

Here is an old post where I vent after one particularly distressing pants shopping expedition, if you are interested.

In my filing cabinet I have a few pant/trouser patterns but I love a good bootleg/flared pant  – I don’t care what the “fashion” people say, bootleg/flare is always “in” in my books! Since Kat and I both have the Sewaholic Thurlow pattern we decided to make those up together for another Twinsies shoot.

Oh, yeah! We made Twinsies Pants!

We’ve both been super busy so we took these photos during lunchtime at Frank Kitts Park where we found one of Wellington’s many awesome sculptures. This one is Fruits of the Garden by Paul Dibble.

Pants are kind of hard to photograph…but it’s easier with a friend…and fun backdrop :)

Fun waistband lining? Check!

Back pockets? Check!

This was my first Sewaholic pattern from the envelope. Previously I have printed off PDFs for pattern testing only so I was really surprised at how thin the tissue paper was, probably the thinnest I have ever encountered. I am on Team: Trace All The patterns and it wasn’t the easiest to work with.

Since I had high hopes for this pattern I copied on to thicker tracing film for durability – I am hoping I can tweak this to become my “go to” solution to my pants shopping woes.

I selected some poly/viscose/spandex suiting out of my stash, bought with trousers in mind way back in March 2010. The pattern envelope stated 2.30m would be required for my width of fabric but I only had 1.60m, oops!

I am always up for a good pattern layout challenge so with Harriet’s help I did a test layout:

Harri’s face says it all, “2.30 meters? ‘sif! It totally fits!”

She loves hindering helping!

I cut all my the lining pieces from a cute quilting cotton that I picked up from one of my last trips to AT, it has teeny tiny fruits on it!

I really like the final result, they fit quite well (although a little tight at the moment since I’ve been slack in my gym attendance ;) ) and give me the professional look I was after. I can see myself making up a few more pairs and maybe even the shorts version.

The back waist band is in two pieces which lets you stitch a snugger fit, no gaping, yeah! I also like the generous back extension and the sewing order makes it easy to adjust the whole fit as you sew.

I do feel the rise is a little low so next pair I will try to correct this.

The instructions are good, I haven’t made pants in ages and I managed fine with them however I do wish the right and wrong sides of the lining pieces had been marked on the diagrams. This slowed me down a little because I wanted to make sure the printed side of my cotton ended up inside the pockets.

Imagine if I’d gotten it wrong? I wouldn’t be able to show others the awesome hiddeness of my pockets! But I worked it out eventually and marked my instructions for next time.

Welt pockets, so sexy!

The back welt pockets instructions and fly construction were really clear but I found some of the waistband diagrams a bit misleading, more notes added for next time :)

I chose not to “stitch in the ditch” to secure the inside of my waistband and hand stitched it down instead. I find that machine stitching can often look messy in this instance. It didn’t take me very long and between this and the hemming my hand stitching is really improving.

Make sure you check out Kat’s awesome denim Cat’s Meow Thurlows over on her blog too :)

THE DEETS:

Pattern – Sewaholic 1203 Thurlow trousers, straight size 8

Fabric -

  • 1.60m of 148cm wide Poly/viscose/spandex suiting from Fabulous Fabrics, Perth, purchased March 2010 for AUD$22.95
  • Quilting cotton from Arthur Toye, Wellington

Other notions – 1 button (from stash), metal pants slider thingee

Big thank you to Sandra for playing photographer, you rock :)

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear…oh deer!

The WSBN are great at scheming!

Our most recent collaborative idea was to sew a garment from one pattern brand. Votes were cast and Deer & Doe won…and then the four of us who participated all managed to sew the same pattern, the Bleuet dress!

We have graduated from Twinsies to Quadruplets!

So where do four sewists go for photographs when they are all wearing the same dress by a pattern company called Deer & Doe?

Duh, they go to Staglands of course, because with a name like that there MUST some deer there, right?

RIGHT!

But first we ate, because not only are we excellent at scheming and sewing (and sewing scheming) we are also good at eating!

So we picnicked:

You may notice we also included significant others, both large and small, for this outing.

Wellington put on a beautiful day so after our picnic we wandered, looking at the animals, chatting and photographing as we went.

The Bleuet Quadruplets:

Nikki, Kat, Me and Jenna

Apart from the odd sneak peek this was the first time I’d seen all the dresses complete and together. I really love that we each put our personal style twist to it and while it’s clear we all used the same pattern we all ended up with a unique dress.

Sewing is awesome, yes it is!

Near one of the picnic areas a lady complimented our dresses and was brave enough to ask, “Why are you all wearing the same dress?” so I quickly explained that we were part of a sewing group and that this particular dress was from a pattern company called Deer & Doe so we were hoping to have photos with deer (we hadn’t actually seen any deer at that point).

She seemed very impressed and that was when I realised we are not normal but it made me happy in a weird sort of way :)

Me, Kat, Jenna and Nikki

I saw this check print while on a sneaky fabric shopping mission with Nikki. She picked it up first and I was going to get some cut from it after her but there wasn’t enough left on the bolt. I figured it wasn’t meant to be, then Enabler Nikki texted me one weekend not long after to say she’d seen another bolt of it. I couldn’t get to the shop but put out a cry for help on the WSBN Facebook page and MaryLousie came to my rescue – sewing friends are the best!

I channelled my inner Ladybird and cut the side panels on the bias, then I chopped off the self button placket and cut that on the bias too.

You may have noticed I have an extra panel on the back of my dress, just below the collar.

This is, err…a bonus design feature.

Ok, maybe I had a little boo boo.

While trying this dress on I got my arm stuck one of the arm holes and heard a terrible ripping sound! At first I couldn’t find any damage so I assumed it was just some basting stitches ripping out. I carried on sewing…and then I saw it!

NooOOoooOOOoooo!

I was really mad at myself for about 30 seconds. Then I sat down at my machine and zig zagged the rip together. After staring at it a little longer I realised I had to patch it. I am sure I’ve seen patches on the back of shirts so I drew a semi-circle on the back bodice piece that would cover the rip and cut it on the bias for interest.

I top stitched it in place and it went unnoticed for about half the day until Nikki spotted it ;)

After solving that little problem I needed some stress relief – for the first item ever, and inspired by Kat, I decided to try snap fasteners instead of buttons.

I bought 12 pearl snaps and took out my frustration installing them.

Sewing with a hammer is fun!

We found the deer eventually and I’m glad we remember to buy food at the entrance!

Check out this guys antlers, so soft but also mean looking ;)

The pattern:

This was my first Deer & Doe pattern, but I own 5 of them in total. The pattern comes in a cute envelope and is printed on nice sturdy paper – a dream to work with compared to some of the thin tissue I’ve been tracing from lately.

You get two instruction booklets, one in French, one in English and I was a little disappointed to see that they are mostly text with very few diagrams. This did not stop me getting through the project but for someone who has not made a shirt or shirt dress before it could slow them down.

I felt there were a few gaps in the instructions, I couldn’t find any mention of stitching the shoulder seams and no guidance of which side to top stitch your panels. I also felt the collar is constructed in a very strange way so I decided to sew mine in a more traditional way that I have done before because the Deer & Doe instructions wouldn’t work in my head.

I found the sleeve cuffs a bit strange to construct too. After interfacing you fold them in on themselves so that you end up with 4 layers of fabric plus interfacing that you then have to sandwich onto the gathered bottom of the sleeve. It’s not easy and if you are using a thicker fabric I suggest you cut the sleeve cuff in half and attach it a different way.

This pattern cost me NZD$22.00 so I guess I just expected a little bit more love in the instructions. It is labelled an intermediate pattern but I feel that an advanced beginner could tackle this with a bit more guidance, or while consulting a general sewing book.

The draft is good, all my pieces lined up and it sews up quite quickly. The princess seams give you lots of fitting adjustment and I think the bow at the back adds a cute detail. I also I like how it is constructed.

I was a bit worried the puffy sleeves would be cute overload but after basting them on I decided to leave them. NH thought they looked OK plus I wore this dress to work last week and no one laughed at me ;)

Staglands:

I was pleasantly surprised by Staglands. I am Wellingtonian born and bred so I assumed I must have been there at some point in my life but apparently not. It was completely new to me and I really enjoyed myself!

The park is huge and from Wellington CBD it’s a good hour by car through the amazing Akatarawa Valley road. Leave home early because you really do need an entire day to enjoy the whole park.

Anywhere that has baby bunnies roaming around will get a glowing review from me!

I (and when I say I, I mean Nerdy Husband) took heaps and HEAPS of photos, over 400, a lot of which didn’t come out. This is bad, but also good, because now I am motivated to finally replace my faulty camera lens…and maybe try to get a deal on a macro for detail shots too ;) So I have a few more photos, lots of animals and some funny out-takes, and rather than bombard you with more photos here you can click through to my Flikr album to see the rest :)

THE DEETS:

Pattern – Deer and Doe Bleuet Dress, straight size 42

Fabric – Cotton check from The Fabric Warehouse, Kaiwharawhara, $10/m

Other notions – 12 x pearl snaps

Miss Bossy Patterns

Last month on The Monthly Stitch we put the March challenge up for community vote:

The winner? Pattern Stashbusting! Use a pattern that’s been in your stash that you’ve never used.

It won easily…far too easily.

So we called in the help of Miss Bossy Patterns:

Miss Bossy Patterns challenged the Collective to select unused patterns from their stash (3 or more) and ask the community and their readers to vote, the winning pattern is to be sewn up for March.

I’ve been looking through my short list (which isn’t very short) and digging through my filing cabinet and finally made a selection. Here are my options:

First up is Vogue 1317, a Ralph Rucci pattern:

This dress has been on my short list for a while but I wasn’t sure about fabric – and then I discovered double knit (one of the suggested fabrics) and shortly after found some in the perfect fuchsia!

Second is the the super cute Reglisse by Deer & Doe:

I’ve liked this dress for a while, it looks comfy and sweet and I think you could have a lot of fun with fabric selection and contrast optons. I have plenty in my stash that this pattern could work with, here is just a small selection:

Last is Lekala 5928 and it’s not a dress, ah ha! I admit I am on a bit of a dress binge right now but after seeing Kat’s cute Dita skirt, I want a skirt that makes me want to shake my tail feather too! ;)

This is also a pattern brand which is new to me. This particular pattern comes off of a CD I bought a while ago. You enter your measurement and it produces the pattern to fit you…theoretically…so I think, since this is the first pattern from them I have ever made and also my first time printing from this CD (that is not entirely in English!), I will need make a quick muslin first to check. I also have plenty of fabric in my stash that could be made into this pattern, another small selection:

Help me decide what to make for the March TMS Challenge by voting in my poll, feel free to leave me a comment as well :) :

Go! :D