Ugh! How could I not notice?

knit tops Feb2016I usually don’t blog pictures of fails mostly because they don’t get to a wearable stage.  And if they do I’m too annoyed or lazy to go through the process of getting ready for a photo shoot for something I’ll never wear, can’t wear or am embarrassed about.

The worst part is that I wore these oblivious to how badly they fit.  It wasn’t until I decided I should blog them and needed some photos that I noticed all the drag lines and tightness and and.  Urgh.

I mean I like a snug fit but not like this.

I shall drag out the patterns, trace them up a size and get my scissors and tape out.

I guess I am somewhat comforted that both patterns have the same main problems – BurdaStyle 10/2014/105 on the left and Kwik Sew 3338 on the right.  Of course there are probably more issues lurking but we’ve already established my observation skills are lacking.

Mutter mutter mutter.


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Black and white

BurdaStyle 4/2011/123

I do so love my new skirt.  Swirly, swishy, floral delighfulness that took me ages to finish for all sorts of reasons.  Never mind, it is done now and it makes me happy.

Perhaps next time I will make a longer version, though this is so much more versatile.  Hems swirling around ankles feels so fabulous, don’t you think?


I used BurdaStyle 04/2011 #123 but made it a little shorter, without pockets and replaced the waistband with a waist facing.  Fantastically I am a tall size 76 so no width alterations were needed though I’m not tall enough for BurdasStyle so lopped off a good 3″ or so at the hem.  This skirt is supposed to be looong.

One of my lovely books walked me through constructing the waist facing and lining and while tidy, mostly, I got my panels and ‘which-way-rounds’ utterly confused so the vertical seams don’t match at all.  See.


Oh well, who’ll know but you and me, and I don’t really care too much.

The fabric is white mesh’ish cotton gorgeousness with white embroidered appliqued flowers as well as the printed black floral design.  It really is fairly transparent in places …


The lining I chose is a slightly heavier drapier cotton – a happy choice because there is no chance of the lining pulling to the outside at the waistline, and it lends a little more resistance to wind, sparing my dignity and enabling swirling when required.  Happy days.


The top I made a while back and blogged about here … I wear it a lot and it is still going strong.  Wonderful New Zealand merino/nylon mix.

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I should …

I should be making something for someone with this …


But instead I am making something for me with this …


I’ve got a couple of days left ’till Christmas, right?

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IMG_3148Do you like the bees?  They were all over the flowers on a beautiful stand of flax bushes outside some local shops and I just had to take a picture.  Besides, the bees are much more interesting than the thing I finished sewing last night.

Hmph.  Right, so I’ve had this amazing light modal/cotton single knit in my collection for a month or so and had cut out a simple Ottobre T for me.  I’ve never sewed any light as air knits before but how hard could it be?


As it turns out, harder than expected and I didn’t think it through so the shirt is awful.  Puckering seams, pulling everywhere, unsalvageable kind of awful.  I threw it away in disgust.

Perhaps four thread serged seams weren’t a good idea after all.

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Spring Blue

P1050601I have made this New Look 6976 peasant blouse before and wanted a non-white, non-black floaty crinkly cotton for another one.  I love blue so this is perfect.

The pattern is very straight forward and has plenty of room so no fitting alterations were needed.  Even so, the small changes I made must have been too much for my pea sized  brain because I think I unpicked every seam at least once!

P1050604The sleeves are full length this time plus I swapped the gather ties for elastic which are set slightly back from the wrists and enclosed in a bias strip.  A rolled hem gives a softer rather summery look I think.  The other change was at the neckline where I made my ribbon tie functional, again enclosed in a bias strip sewn on the inside.

I like how the bias tape peeks out at the neckline and you can see a wee shadow of it through the fabric.  A happy accident really as I couldn’t find any tape to match either colour or lightness nor did I have anything in my stash to make some.  Oh and I had run out of black elastic too so the little blue and white checks camouflage the white elastic at the wrists.  Perfectly lazy lucky solution all around don’t you think?

P1050592Yes the sleeves are a bit too long, perhaps I’ll lop an inch or two off.


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Pajamas for Him

P1050561There is something about a good pair of pajamas, don’t you think?  It’s all about the fit, the fabric, how the seams are finished.

Do you like your PJs fancy or plain?  Loose or snug?  Long or short?  Perhaps you prefer a onesie?  Or don’t much care!

JJ is very particular about his sleepwear and there is a distinct lack of suitable RTW options here, so a few months ago the hunt was on for a home made option.  After a few trials (some hilariously too tight in all the wrong places) we found the perfect pattern and this is it, dating from 1966 no less.

IMG_3060They were lovely to sew, coming together quickly with no alternations needed and to date I have made four pairs all in a crisp but soft cotton, gentle elastic and french seams (no scratchy serged finishes please).

What a nice way to dust off the sewing machine – the hum of the machine, the smell of steam and freshly pressed cotton.


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Hello? Remember me?

P1050582It has been a year since I posted last, which astounds me.  I am sorry to have gone away.

Life got in the way but I’m determined not to disappear again.  I missed you too much.  I missed reading and writing blogs.  I missed sewing.

As you can see I have done a little bit of stitchery since last October, which I’ll post about in the next little while.  Most has been in the last month or so and my happiest accomplishment is the little piles laid out on my sewing room floor of traced and cut out patterns ready for construction.  They are, cumulatively, my stitchery To Do’s and I’m adding to them almost faster than I can sew them up.

P1050580Like this top – the fabric, an acrylic with plenty of lyrca, has a most wonderfully  heavy drape and I couldn’t walk past its sparkling brassy-goldeness in the shop.  There’s a hint of the 70s about it don’t you think?  Perfect for spring.

P1050568Purple – another acrylic this time with no lycra so it loosens around the waist, wrists and neckline during the day.  I don’t mind the slouchiness of it, as the long long sleeves and shoulder drop seem to work with the changing fit.

Next?  Can’t remember.  You’ll have to wait and see!


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Can you tell the stripes aren’t straight?  I hope so because slightly askew they are and that is one of the reasons I bought the fabric.  Oh, and the colours are pretty.  Yes.


It is the same front and back – wonderful slouch-wear at its simplest if you ask me – so dead quick to make and ever so easy to wear.

It is also pink.  Which I like.


One day I’ll manage something more complicated.  But not today.

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A little sewing

It is still fairly chilly here and over the last month I’ve been slowly making a small stack of merino jumpers.  My kids scored a bunch as they are rapidly growing out of last year’s.

2014 5xmerinosThe merino, bought from one of my favourite local stores, is wonderfully light weight, super soft and perfect for layering.  The stripey one is a cool thicker reversible double knit with spots on one side and stripes on the other.

I finished them last week and they are worn daily – this morning was no exception.  Though gloriously sunny we all donned our jumpers for a trip to the beach.


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Winter hiatus

As I type, Spring’s October winds are blasting the garden making the house creak and the startling the kids.  It is blowing cobwebs away.  Finally.

For many reasons, autumn and winter required my focus elsewhere so very little stitching was done.  The few items I did manage for friends and family over the months were, sadly, sent away without pictures.  But now the seasonal winds are working wonders in my corner room and I hope you will forgive my absence.

One important late summer job I completed before getting hopelessly side-tracked was the rearrangement of my fabric and odds ‘n ends.  All of which are (mostly) out of their corners, boxes and cupboards and piled lovingly onto a shiny new shelf.

Oh the wonder of visibility and accessibility!  I pull out pieces to feel and drape, check lengths and get inspired.  Plus I found stuff I didn’t know I had.  Better and better.

IMG_1280This lovely and very full shelf unit was supposed to house my fabric, sewing magazines and books plus the bulk of my cook book and food magazine collection ……

Indeed!  Oops.

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