Stashaholics need not apply…

If you are in Wellington, this is for you…unless you made a New Years Resolution this year to reduce your stash and not buy any more fabrics…then I suggest you look away now.

I warned you OK?

I had to get down there for a lookie first before I posted this…but I don’t want you guys to accuse me of not loving you enough to share so I promise that I did leave some fabric behind.

Only one of these items was $5m (pure silk), the rest were just $3m!


Now: Go, buy, stash & sew!


Sewing as Art – Origami Map Dresses

I little bit of Sewing as Art for your Thursday:

 How incredible are these origami-like paper dresses?! They are made from vintage maps and each one is unique.

I am completely in love and want to make some mini versions for my pin board! Check out the Annex site for more info and how to purchase one of your own.

Super Magazine Post: Manequin 632 & Patrones 310 & 311

Apologies that I have been a bit slow with my scanning lately. The good news is that my scanner and my computer are now vaguely grumbling at each other, which is better than the straight out ignoring that was happening before 😉

I’ve had a really busy two weeks and last weekend I tagged along with Nerdy Hubby to help out with some field work in the upper North Island. We drove about 920 kilometres in two days which is a lot when you consider the North Island is only about 1100kms in total from top to tail. So hence my brain is a little bit fried and when I tried to write some intelligent things to accompany my scanned images I failed. I found I was just writing “I like this (insert item of clothing here), it’s pretty” over and over.

So here are a few less words than I originally intended and some pretty pictures to inspire you 🙂

Patrones 310 (Winter Special) starts with a pretty sparkly number to kick off the festive season. The dress itself is quite simple, but that can be a good thing when sewing sequins.

I like this cute little shrug/bolero too, would look great over the sparkles.

The next section is a little bit pirate but the book series I have just finished reading has a sexy pirate side-kick siren in it and this is exactly how I imagine her so excuse my indulgence.

A nice bustier pattern that could be easily embellished and the rest might come in handy next Halloween.

I am quite disturbed by the trousers #20, I have no idea what is going on in the crotch area and clearly, judging by the models pose, Patrones don’t want you to know either.

Classic strapless dresses feature in the central section, I like #34 but #36 and #37 are my favourites, super elegant.

From the plus section we have this nicely detailed layered dress in emerald-green, Patrones always do a great job of their “Grandes” patterns.

Patrones 311 (Spring advance) begins with some sweet dresses. I like the neck line and pleats of the blue dress and it looks great with the blazer. The green dress I am not 100% sure of, I like the look on the model but…

You all know I am a bit vest obsessed right now and this issue has a vest for everyone, you name the style, from military to glitzy, and there’s one here for you.

There are some super cute baby patterns in this issue too. Don’t get any ideas but I think that apron/wrap is just great and the little boys outfit is very smart.

Next month is the Spring Special, I tried translating the blurb with Google. It usually does a pretty good job but this time, not so much. Something along the lines of “positive air” spring fashion, comfortable designs that feel good, happy tendencies, flirtatious woman’s clothing including light blouses, shorts and dresses.

Actually Jacqui has already received her issue so pop over here to check out her review 🙂

January Manequim starts with some trend ideas, I think this is quite a sweet way to embellish a simple top, except that I’d probably be constantly knocking them off and have to re-sew them back on.

This white dress in the celebrity style section is really interesting, it looks a bit Grecian in white but I think would look even better in a strong solid colour or large-scale print.

There is a short plus section in this issue too, the model is gorgeous. This skirt and top are really nice, the skirt is panelled and I think it might even have pockets. I wish they’d left the metal zipper in the front of the top but that wouldn’t be hard to insert if you agree.

Lots of short flirty skirts and nice tops in the central section. The wrap around top #103 looks really interesting, I’ve included the layout for you to see and the fabric is gorgeous too.

I think this tunic dress pattern would be great for using up those beautiful remnants from other projects or that amazing <1m piece you dug out of the remnant bin at the fabric shop (I have my fair share of those!). Love the pleat detail on the skirt of the blue dress, I’ve seen it on quite a few dresses in the shops recently.

The designer section this month is Céline. My favourites are this gold 60s inspired sheath dress, it’s simple in shape but the pink and black band really makes it pop (sized in a 44, perfect!). The black and white top I also fabulous, very versatile and I’m thinking about tracing it out this weekend.

I think we’ve seen a similar pattern to this vest before, perhaps with a bit of extra embellishment, but it’s a vest, so two thumbs up from me.

Manequim were due for another WTF moment, it’s been a while, so here is this month’s – The new office trend: bare midriff over pencil skirt, perfect for a day at the office…

Summer is quickly disappearing here, and I’ve been contemplating a cropped or short sleeve blazer of some sort. This blue one is nice, my other options are this jacket which I fell in love with instantly from Manequim (already traced) and I also own this Butterick pattern (view C or D maybe).

I’ve never been a big fan of one-shouldered dresses but this yellow number has swayed me and even the white inspiration image is pretty hot.

Red dress = pretty…words.running.out…

And here’s next months preview, colourful and yummy at the same item, just the way I like it 😉 Melissa’s already received her issue before me so you should pop over and take a look for yourself.

WIP: Simplicity 2556 Vest

I hardly ever post WIP images.

I have this thing about jinxing myself which I know is silly. But since I was a bit camera-shy this weekend and therefore have no finished item images to share here is the progress I’ve made on my vest.

I’m really excited about it!

You might remember that I bought the pattern in a size bracket which was too small for me. I had pulled it out of my filing cabinet and paired it with some fabric a few weeks ago and it wasn’t until I unfolded the tissue to trace it up that I realised the problem.


I was determined to make the vest anyway. I’ve seen some amazing versions of it online, Tasia’s version was the clincher. So I decided to have a go at drafting it up a size (or two) using the instructions I had in a Burda magazine. I scanned them in here if you’re interested.

It suggests changing the pattern by no more that 2 sizes in order to maintain the good fit of the original draft. I’m not sure if that means one size each way (one up and one down) or what but I needed to go from a 12 to a 16 so I just did it anyway 🙂 I had no intention of fitting a muslin first, I don’t have the patience, so I did a quick tissue fit check on Scarlett. It looked good so I crossed my fingers and cut into my fabric.

Here is the outer (inside out), I basted the shoulders and side seams for a test fit:

It was good! All I did was take in the top of each princess seam (front and back) near the arm hole to correct a tiny bit of gaping, I will do the same at the side seam when they get stitched properly. The centre back seam is straight and I was going to trim off the seam allowance and cut it on the fold to eliminate the seam but in the end I went with the original pattern just in case I needed some extra shaping. I did in fact have some gapeage at the back of the neck so was able to correct that as well.

I doubt these required tweaks are a result of my enlarging the pattern, they are typical of the little OCD corrections I perform on most patterns.

My fabric is a wool blend in dark grey (almost black but not quite) with a white pin stripe. I was going to buy a black pinstripe but I’m glad I’ve gone for the softer tone, I’ll be able to wear it with more items and it makes it a bit less formal feeling.

The front pieces are interfaced with the last of the most amazing interfacing I bought at an Empire Rose sale aaaages ago in Western Australia. It was only about $5/m and it is so good I wish I’d just bought the entire bolt! Ah well, nothing lasts forever, right?

For lining I decided to “keep it in the stash” and used up some of my leftover satin from my Hikaru jacket. I kind of wanted something with a bit more punch (like hot pink or lime green) but sanity (and the long stretch until pay-day) prevailed.

 You can see below the front lining pieces are faced with interfaced self fabric and the rest of the pieces are cut in lining.

It took forever to pin the lining and outer together. I spent a ridiculous amount of time crawling about on the floor (oh for a bigger room!) carefully lining up each seam but it was worth it. The construction order is to stitch all the way around (excluding the side seams) joining the lining and outer together.

Like so:

 Next you turn the whole thing right side out through the side seams. I’ve done that but I don’t have a picture. You really don’t need to see it in it’s just turned state, all puffy and round and floppy and needing a really good press.

So that is next and then after stitching up the side seams and I just need to find the perfect buttons and it’s all done.

I like seeing WIP images on other blogs I read, do you? Or do you prefer to see the finished item instead of the long journey? Are WIP posts inspirational? Helpful? Boring?

Giveaway Winner

…and the winner is…(drum roll)…


…(cue cheers from the crowd, confetti and streamers!)…


Congrats Tanit-Isis, I hope you enjoy your new pattern and I’ll flick you an email soon for postage details.

Thanks for entering everyone xx

Elbows out!

100, 000

I like stats and I often have a cruise through my blog stats to see where I’m picking up new readers from and which posts are the most popular. As much as any blogger claims they blog for themselves it’s still pretty cool to have others along for the ride.

On January 31st I was checking out WordPress’ new dedicated stats page and glanced down at my overall hits total, seriously, it was on 99, 999. I thought that was pretty cool so I waited for it to tick over to get the print screen of the special occasion.

Have you never taken a photo of your cars speedometer when its clocked over to a “special” number? No? It’s just Nerdy Husband and I then?

Lots of bloggers I follow like to have giveaways to celebrate reader milestones. I have thought to doing that too but to be honest I don’t really know my exact reader count since I don’t think you can get accurate stats on subscribers who use the RSS feed. I do know I recently cracked 60 email subscribers.

Well, 100, 000 hits is surely something to celebrate so let’s do it shall we?! I just happen to have this fabulous Suzi Chin for Maggy Boutique pattern in my stash that’s looking for a new home:

It is Butterick 5490 in the size bracket BB (8-10-12-14), it has a cute lined and fitted bodice with beautiful dart detailing at centre front and a pleated skirt in two lengths. Purchased during one of my out of control online pattern purchase sprees it is uncut and still factory folded.

Just in case you are suspicious I’m giving it away because I have since learn’t that this style of dress doesn’t really suit me – pleated fronts (especially with a raised waist) and I simply don’t get along,  as evidenced when I tried to make BurdaStyle’s Danielle dress (which got ufo’d and then saved and turned into a Jenny skirt instead) and of course the NSFW Dress.  So, in keeping with my New Years Resolution it is being evicted from the filing cabinet.

I bet it will suit one of my beautiful readers perfectly though! Check out Butterick’s size chart here and even if it suggests you are a size 16 then you’ll probably still be able to fit this dress since we know the “big four” tend to run large.

So, you want?

Here’s how you can get your hands on it: Leave me a comment on this post telling me about the sewing project you are working on right now, or the one you are about to start (feel free to leave me a link to a photo if you want too).

If you are a first time commenter or possibly because you leave me a link to a photo in your message may go to moderation (because that’s how I roll, and to protect myself from the evil spammers) but don’t worry, I get an immediate email notification and I’ll approve you almost straight away so you won’t miss out – unless I am asleep in bed, in that case you’ll have to wait until tomorrow but I promise to release all comments before selecting my winner. About this time tomorrow I will randomly select that winner and contact them for postage details and if that’s you then it’s all yours.


So, since we are talking about current projects I’ll go first: I have just cut out Simplicity’s Misses Vest 2556 (view C, sans pockets and collar).

It’s a Project Runway pattern which means you get all these pattern parts that you can mix and match on the supplied croquis, kind of like playing paper dress-up doll. They also supply you with separate pattern pieces for different cup sizes (A – D) so no need to do an SBA or FBA. I’m really interested to see how it fits since it’s the first time I’ve tried any bust adjustment at all.

Just before I started tracing I realised I made a bit of a boo boo when buying this pattern, it only goes up to a size 12. I must have misread the size chart or just clicked the wrong size when I was purchasing it online because Simplicity seem to think I should be cutting out a size 16…so I graded it up using this method. Now I know, two sizes up is a bit of a risk but I think it’ll be OK. In fact, with the bust adjustment, this might even be a tad too big but there are lots of seams where I can pinch out the extra ease when the time comes…I hope I haven’t just jinxed myself…

I was going to buy fabric for this vest but after tidying up my fabric stash the other day I found the perfect pin striped suiting. I had 1.6m x 148cm but managed to get the vest cut out in just 0.65m so I still have some left over for another small project. I’m planning to find some wicked buttons and lining this weekend but I also have enough left over lining from my Hikaru jacket if I can’t find anything.

Now the only thing left to decide is which image is cooler? The one above of 100, 000 hits, or the one I snapped before it of 99, 999?!

Good luck! 🙂