A 2012 recap?

I wasn’t going to recap my year of sewing but I know it is good to reflect back on each year, plus all the other cool kids are doing it ;)

To be honest 2012 was a hard year for me, in fact so was 2011, we moved back across the Tasman!

In 2012 we hoped things would settle down for us, both mentally and locationally (yes I made that word up) but right after celebrating our first wedding anniversary we were summarily booted out of our rental property…well not quite that quickly…but what followed was 5 months of stress!

Frantic racing from house to house on our Open Home list, every Sunday, you know, because all the ones you like are all listed within the same 30 minute window and on opposite sides of the city! Phoning up real estate agents mid-week to slog through yet another house. Filling in Tender forms and trying our best not to get our hopes up each time!

Eventually we got the one but the timing was a bit off so everything went into storage for another month…life was a complete shambles…so consequently 2012 was not the bumper sewing year I wished it to be.

I really shouldn’t complain, we ended up with an amazing house, it’s all over now and I am so happy, phew!

I have one more project of 2012 to share with you tomorrow, it’s a bit crazy, a NH request, I think it will give you all a good laugh :D

So just quickly then, let’s just do my favourites for 2012, the options are a little sparse:

Early in the year Power Tool Wielding Hubby helped me make a sleeve board and pressing board.

I love roping NH into sewing based DIY projects and I am sure, deep down, he has just as much fun as I do. Both were a roaring success and the sleeve/pants board has been so useful!

I never got around to photographing my Simplicity 2556 vest but it is a favourite project just because I have never owned a vest before and wasn’t sure if I would like it or even wear it.

Well I do! With my last JJ – made at the end if 2011 and also not photographed! See my NY resolutions below!

I am more brave with my fashion through sewing, trying new things is often more successful and much more fun when you stitch them up yourself, anyone else agree? I never ever thought I’d wear a pencil skirt either, let alone a high-waisted one but now I have 2 BurdaStyle Jenny skirts and love them!

Another Simplicity project, 2656, is my next favourite, just because I got so many unexpected compliments. NH thinks this skirt is way too loud but I think it really reflects my inner personality: Happy, bubbly and full of colour…hang on, is he trying to tell me something? Haha ;)

And I cannot round this out without mentioning my most recent success, RNHS: Rugby Jersey. I know I only posted it recently but I am really proud of how professional looking it turned out.

I keep track of all my sewing each year with thumbnails (linking back to my posts) on My Wardrobe page so if you are interested in what little else I managed to sew in such a stressful year…or in previous years, please have a look.

In 2012 I also met several other very lovely and very talented Wellington Sewing Bloggers, big hugs to you all xx <3

In other news I have learnt that I can easily grow my own vegetables (Mmm, the silverbeet last night was so delicious) and I really enjoy pottering in my garden! Early 2013 brings plans for a larger and much improved vegetable patch so watch this space :)

New years resolutions? Just keeping it simple, to photograph my finished items promptly and to catch up on the older things I haven’t got around to photographing, that list is growing, eek, remember the 1920s dress anyone? I know, I KNOW! Sorries :(

Oh and of course, as we all hope, to keep the UFOs under control!

So here’s to a much more settled 2013!

Just to finish, and because it makes me smile, here is some recent (and new…like as is yesterday…when I was supposed to be looking for a suitable non-wrinkly fabric to make a backdrop to hang for my garment photos, in my favourite store that I love to hate, and accidentally bought extra…but it’s ok because I bumped into W and I feel less guilty when I see someone else I know fabric shopping too! And it was on special…and also I blame Rachel, because she made me want peacock voile! ;) haha)

From the recent half-price Arthur Toye sale:

From left to right:
  • Grey/pink striped cotton/linen blend, feels so nice, can see a swinging 60s a-line dress, nice and simple…
  • Cotton sateen, so pretty, multi coloured under black and white paisley style print…
  • Black and white cotton sateen I already bought some last 50% off sale, but only (silly me) got 1.5m, so got another 1.5 so I can make a dress from it…
  • Sheer black with white hearts…omg so sweet! Pretty little blouse with tie front?
  • And I have been meaning to make something in a gingham for a while now, I kind of think this is a sophisticated gingham?

The hearts & gingham were only $12/m btw, so $6/m after discount, how can you not? ;)

From Spotlight in Porirua yesterday:

  • Left: A cotton voile with peacocks, butterflies and flowers – very light weight so will need underlining but what a sweet dress this will make!
  • Right: Cotton sateen, dark blue background with Japanese style floral print in yellow/pink/red/white – it is a gorgeous colour combo!

I got 3 meters of each, plenty for some amazing dresses!

Ok, now I am off back to the headache that is the bodice of my Birthday Dress! It will not beat me, I will win…just you wait!

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Manequim 640 (September 2012)

There was a little bit of sewing on the weekend but I have to admit, we had such a beautiful weekend here in Wellington, instead of photographing my Simplicity skirt to share with you I went outside and got dirty in my garden instead!

Stage One of my Edible Garden has begun and I’ll share a bit of that with you later because I am sure there are a few of you who will be interested :)

For now I have a fantastic issue of Manequim to show you. I know I often say “this is an amazing issue” about Manequim but this issue really is amazing. I like so many items! After the disappointing last Patrones issue it really cheered me up.

Don’t believe me? Let’s take a lookie shall we?

We start with four formal maternity dress patterns. I don’t have any experience with maternity sewing but Melissa of Fehr Trade points out an interesting observation regarding the hems on the pattern sheets, being straight they may not be a true maternity draft. Still, nice to see some glamorous gowns for mums-to-be.

I love all the dresses in the celebrity style section. Gorgeous colours and cut-outs and nice detailing.

Dress 400 is probably my absolute favourite, princess seamed bodice with seams that run down the skirt and little cap sleeves with detail at the hip to mimic them.

Marni is the designer section this month and we are back to just three patterns but Blusa 398 is a definite favourite and multi-sized.

In the sporty section I can’t stop looking at these shorts. They have a cute retro look about them and piping! Who doesn’t like piping?!

The jacket is also great and the dress (multi-sized) is interesting in it’s details- It has some ties at the back and what looked like some sort of partial wrap apron style skirt.

I had a closer look at the flat pattern and sort of tried to assemble it in my head.

Dress 390 pattern layout to fabric

So I think this is how it goes together, and it looks like just piece 11 is the wrap bit. You catch the inner edge of 11 in the side seam between the front skirt (8 & 9) and the back skirt (10/10a), then it has ties on the outer finished edge that you tie around the back, this pulls the upper part of the side seam around to the back creating a small fold at either side and cinching in the waist. I quite like it and have added it to the queue.

Front & Back assembly of Dress 390

I love the caption for the “Chic 24hour” section, “In the rush of the day, it is not difficult to maintain elegance all the time. Manequim reveals the tricks and practical pieces you have to have to be always beautiful”

All these pieces are great, two jackets, two skirts and a top!

I am a bit miffed that for this jacket with interesting shoulder detail they stuck the models arms in the air!

We had the usual plus sized pattern at the beginning of the issue:

And an entire section aimed at the petite (under 150cm tall) but I am not sure if these items are petite in sizing or just recommended as flattering to the shorter woman.

It’s too early in the month to get next month’s preview but I think this issue will keep me busy for a while! :D

Did you like this post? You may enjoy one of these:

Manequim 638 (July 2012)

Manequim 637 (June 2012)

Manequim 636 (May 2012)

Patrones 318 (August 2012)

I’ll keep this short because I was a bit underwhelmed by this issue if I am honest…

Even the model doesn’t look convinced:

This jacket is nice but I feel like I’ve seen it before in both Burda & Manequim…I still like it, I should really make one of them up! :)

The leather skirt is cute but super short and I’m not convinced of the strangely striped furry 3/4 sleeved jacket over poofy sleeves:

The skirt section was good, here are 4 of my favourites, lots to choose from:

The plus section was nice as usual:

Next month is the Autumn Special:

Manequim 639 (August 2012)


Manequim 639, let’s go! :) First up, we can all copy Kate and crochet this pretty cardigan.

This weeks plus sized dress is gorgeous, princess seamed bodice with a nice pleaty detailed collar and sleeves.

I really like the white dress in “Powerful Costume” (what?!) and the pleating detail on the shirt is interesting.

This month’s celebrity section is based on the fashions of Brazilian actress Débora Nascimento. I like the sequined top and the one shouldered dress is quite nice too.

All the Carven items in the designer section are really nice, especially the pleated dress but I’m not so sure about the blouse, the weird pleat detail at the arm looks a bit weird and bulky to me, I think it could end up looking more like a mistake.

I was super excited when I saw the preview of the “New Luxury” section last month.

I think the tops 350 & 351 are both beautiful and the teal dress (347) is simple and gorgeous, I could definitely see myself making that for a special occasion. I’ve included the full length front shot for you to see it better.

I’m not so sure about the overalls in “Sport Chic”, it makes the model look a bit too boxy, I think you could add more shape by modifying the seams of the black section. The flared pants look good and I wish they had included the skirt at bottom right but it’s good inspiration anyway.

There’s a section at the end that seems to be about office fashion by Gloria Kalil.  I’ve scanned the themes “liberal” (which Google Translate translates as “liberal”) on the left and “creative” on the right. Another blouse with weird arm join pleat thing but I like the orange blouse, it’s very pepluminosity ;) (sorry, inside joke)

So next month in looking very summery which is great since it is officially spring here. My garden is definitely in spring mode, my Kōwhai tree is in full bloom, much to the delight of many enthusiastic Tui. I even saw a Kererū sitting at the top of it the other day. I was so fascinated and excited I just stared and stared at him and it wasn’t until he flew away that I thought about grabbing my camera, duh!

Did you like this post? You may enjoy one of these:

Manequim 638 (July 2012)

Manequim 637 (June 2012)

Manequim 636 (May 2012)

Manequim 638 (July 2012)

Going out on a limb here but this has to be one of the best Manequim issues I have received so far, full to the brim of amazingness:

Manequim 638 (July 2012)

I am trying something different this month, placing the line drawings separately so you can see more detail, you like?

It’s hard to see the details of the skirt in the middle, even at maximum DPI, looking at the pattern pieces doesn’t make it any clearer, I think maybe a bow which would be awesome.

The dress I really like (in my size, score!), it is a faux wrap dress and I already have some ideas for it, here is the back story: I saw an advert on TV for a new online clothing store called boohoo.com which sells lots of what I consider “cheap and disposable” clothing. My opinions aside, I noticed a dress that looked a lot (actually exactly) like Vogue 1190 so I went online to try to find it so I could share with you but there were sooooo many pages of dresses to go through I found this instead:

Boohoo.com Beatrice Striped Jersey Wrap Dress

Isn’t it funny how inspiration and complimentary patterns sometimes turn up at the same time? I was thinking how much I liked the pattern above and then I spotted the above dress online the very next day. It would not be difficult to add in those extra seam lines and also I seem to have amassed quite a lot of stretchy striped fabrics in my stash so…

Peaky shoulders seem to be all the rage right now. I don’t really need any help with accentuation in that department but I am interested in the construction, they look really cool on a jacket. The green dress is gorgeous too but I am far too distracted by the dress in the centre. I LOVE the magic silhouette/illusion idea and I think this one is gorgeous with a great cap sleeve and bust detail. Here is some more inspiration found on boohoo.com:

Boohoo.com Myla Belted Illusion Midi Dress & Catherine Metallic Panel Short Sleeve Midi Dress

They also remind me of a pattern in my stash: McCall’s 6028 Palmer/Pletsch that I bought after seeing it compared to two dresses in the Michael Kors Spring 2009 Ready-to-Wear Collection.

This month’s “Always Well-dressed” section is Courrèges and since I had no idea who they were I decided to google them and I was really impressed at the like-ness, even the photography style portrays the same feel as the online store images. I’m not really sure how this section works, surely Manequim has to ask permission to produce a pattern that so closely copies the style? Anyway, it’s very mod (in a good way I think) and I really like the purple/yellow/white colour combo.

Bonus points for a vintage sewing machine prop, loving tops 336 & 337 and the jackets, channelling and little bit of Chanel maybe?

The Black & White section is great too, the white jacket is fabulous! I have been intending to make a blazer/jacket for work for aaaages and this one is going to the top of the list, it’s almost my size so I’d have to have a bit of fun-with-grading but it would be worth it.

The black dress has some great details if you look at the line drawing and another magic silhouette dress mimicking the previously mentioned Kors dress.

There is also a fabulous formal section with 6 different outfits based on some celebrity fashion. Long and short and all very sparkly or shiny ;)

Next month looks interesting: I spy an odd looking jumpsuit/romper but also a fabulous looking luxury section!

I’ll leave you with a quick sewing room update: Carpet samples are being mulled over and my finger is hovering over the ‘GO’ button! Exciting! :)

Patrones 317 (June 2012)


June’s Patrones is all about holidays! Yay,  lot’s of cute shorts, floaty tops and dresses, except that I am not on holiday :( hehe

It’s also still winter here for another month. But anyway, these pink shorts below are my favourite, maybe a bit too short short but I can fix that. I like the nice wide waistband, cuffs and little pleats.

I quite like this top and skirt but the photo is terrible! What is going on? They’ve also managed to make the skirt look like a pair of shorts. A cute dress in a cute print is next.

I scanned these pages mostly for my second favourite pair of shorts but the dress is nice too. I am seeing a bit of a psychedelic animal print theme. Ohh and the shoes!

I can’t decide if I like these pants or not, the detail is kind of funky on the left leg, could I pull it off? A funky zip up vest is next.

I’m not really taken by any of the dresses in the glamour section, I’m not really in a frou frou mood today and I think I am too busy dreaming about making shorts in Summer ;)

The plus section this month is huge and very nice (although I’m not quite sure how this model is considered “plus”):

I included this cover-up because it reminded me that an ex-colleague of mine had a very similar top and was always trying to convince me to make her a few more just like it.

These linen pants look super comfy and would be worth grading down or actually I guess I could just make myself some pants in linen! ;)

Next month is the “extra” issue which is always really good.

“A dress for every occasion, perfect party, long and short, all year”, “always sexy mini dresses (?!)” and more interestingly “Vintage Ideas” and “A Tribute to the 50s”, nice!

Manequim 637 (June 2012)

This is going to be a quick post – more pictures than words because that is how my day has been ;)

Manequim 637 – June 2012:

Convertible jacket to blazer, nice idea and a pretty plus sized dress:

Nice lines on these dresses:

Do you like those green trousers and the purple top? You can’t have them, no pattern is provided. The keyhole dress is nice though, you can also make the black pencil skirt and shiny coat:

Simple skirt pattern to make the most of a pretty print on lightweight fabric and I LOVE these trousers (multi-sized) because I am one of those girls that refuse to let go of the boot cut/bell shape. I believe it will never go out of fashion and is perfect for balancing my hips out:

Huge plus sized section, love the lace on the bodice of the white dress (look at the line drawing, it’s more flattering proportions than the image which shows the dress they are copying):

Big coat section too. I was hoping for some great men’s patterns for my hubby but it’s just the ladies coats:

Next month looks like a great issue:

That’s all for now :)