Sunday, March 11, 2018

A striped top

This is the 3rd top that I made during our weekend away along with the skewed cowl and cream top back in May.

I originally purchased this fabric from The Remnant Warehouse for a shingle dress, Vogue 8904 and no matter how I tried I just couldn't get it to sit right at my swayback even taking notice of all the very helpful blog reviews.

So this fabric has been marinating in my stash since then, still in pieces, so after seeing so many striped tops this year I decided it was the year to finally do something with the fabric.

Once again I have used KS 3740 as my base.

Michelle showed me a great trip for matching the stripes, using Steam-A-Seam you finger press this onto the right side of your fabric at the seam line and then slowly remove the tape and finger press your stripes together,

it worked a treat

The back has a seam as this works better for my sway back

I also used my A Binder on the Coverstitch to finish the neckline

This top also got a lot of wear during Winter and I have found more striped fabric in my stash so there could be another one appearing at some time.

2017 Stash Out: 21.9 m
2017 Stash In: 14.6 m

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Garnet Finlayson

I've been sewing for Mark again for our 15th Wedding Anniversary back in 2016 and it has taken me quite a while to get some photos of this garment even though it is worn quite a lot.

Some of the choices from Traditional and Modern Anniversary Gifts suggested Glass, Watches, Ruby, Alexandrite and Rhodite Garnet.

I then remembered I had been given some Sweater Knit from Knitwit by Alison's mother about 10 years ago that I had earmarked for a smarter sweatshirt style that Mark had been wearing for years that were starting to show their age.

So I headed to Thread Theory and purchased the Finlayson Sweater PDF as I planned to sew this during our Sewing Weekend in Brisbane as Mark was going to be away for our wedding anniversary. However his plans changed so I suddenly had to get this made.

Working from his much loved sweater I cut a large and added 7.5cm in length as I wasn't going to add the bands.

From my bag stash fabric I found some black twill that I used for the back neck facing.

and used my Duckbill scissors to trim the bulk from the collar which I also understitched.

This pattern went together very well and when I had the sleeves in I decided to compare it to his much loved sweater and realised it was going to be too large in the sleeves and also thought I'd take some extra width from the side seams as well.

The solid line is my stitching line and the dashed is the cutting line.

The final steps were to add some black twill tape to the neckline and to do the hems on my Coverstitch.

Mark has said that it is a different neckline but he seems to be quite comfortable with it as it got a lot of wear during Winter.

This is the only photo I have got of the back view, which shows how much fullness there is in the body,

mucking around with Roscoe
so I will compare this to the Medium to see how much difference there is for the next version.

2017 Stash Out: 21.9 m
2017 Stash In:  14.6 m

Sunday, February 25, 2018

T-Shirt with a Twist

This is a top that I finished in October last year and it has been worn quite a lot during the warmer months.

This is the result of the sew-along with the Australian Sewing Guild, T-Shirt with a Twist which was for ASG Members only back in May last year, but as we were experiencing Winter at that time, I decided to make it a summer top and leave it for a few more months.

I used KS 3740 as my base pattern and followed the instructions, but this is where I ran into trouble, 45 degree angles can be found both on the short length and long length of the quilting ruler I used, and I managed to use the wrong one.

Thankfully I made this at my ASG Sewing Guild Group at The Remnant Warehouse and Alison was very helpful in setting me in the right direction and also guiding all of the overs/unders for the lattice stripes.

Here are the lattice pieces in place.

Now this then leaves you a gap in the back neckline, so I used some Solvy  to create a false back neckline so I could used the B Binder on my Coverstitch to finish the back neckline

and continue around the plain front neckline.

Then at another ASG meeting another sewing friend, Wendy, kindly pinned the back hem for me,

which I finished with my Coverstitch.

I like that this top is plain in the front so I can wear a number of different necklaces with it,

and then there is all the fun in the back.

2017 Stash Out: 21.9
2017 Stash In: 14.6 m

Sunday, January 21, 2018

2017 in review

I am very late to the party, but what a year it has been and Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow has again asked us to share our thoughts.


All of what I have made this year has been has been worn continuously and I am very happy with it all.

  • 3 classes with Susan Khalje in Sydney.
  • Trip to Melbourne to see the Dior Exhibition with sewing friends.
  • 3 long weekends away sewing with friends throughout the year.
  • Attending my first Australian Knitting Guild Camp.
  • Bus trip to the Bendigo Wool Show.
  • My Sewing Sister has arrived and I am thrilled with her.
Wearing my Couture Dress


It has been an interesting year, sewing took a back seat as we renovated our home and even then the knitting didn't increase but I was surprised that I had completed 9 garments.  The Little French Jacket still has a lot of work to be done, but I plan on finishing it this year.

It also came as a surprise that I managed to curtail my fabric purchasing this year with 21.9 metres going out and only 14.6 metres being added to the collection, this hasn’t happened since 2014 and I would like to continue this way.  Instead I have increased my knitting collection but at this stage it is still contained in 2 small tubs.


I've realised over the years that I post goals here and then go about and forget about them until my next round up!  After listening to the Love to Sew podcast Episode 22 I realised that I am an "Obliger" and unless I share my goals elsewhere I'm not likely to do it.

I joined Instagram back in January last year and found the #2018makenine hosted by Rochelle from Lucky Lucille.  This is 3 less garments that A Garment a Month which I found difficult to achieve so I am hoping that this format keeps me motivated.  I have chosen my 9 pieces and have started work on the skirt from Vogue 1247.  The question mark will be a top of some sort I'm just trying to work out which pattern.

Thank you everyone who has visited my blog to follow my crafting journey, it is very much appreciated.

Now for the collage of my makes for 2017:

Now to catch up on some blogging.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Travel Tray

It is great when you see a friend sew an item that you think would be perfect for your own use.

Cassiy posted this cute Travel Tray by Angie's Bits 'n Pieces that she is going to use at her ASG meetings to collect the fees for the day. Then it dawned on me that this would be the perfect travelling item for me, as wherever I go, I always seem to struggle to find a place for my watch, bracelet, earrings and necklace when I take them off for the day.

I still had a bit of the Xanadu Purple Haze that I used for my Take Off Tote as well as the blue quilting cotton so these were used for this tray.

This was my project at our last ASG meeting for the year in 2016, it was all cut out and ready to sew and by the time we stopped for our Christmas Lunch all the sewing was finished, only the snaps were left to do.

Using my Dk-93 Snap Press and some Snap Source Size 16 Antique Copper Open Prong Ring snap fasteners I installed them on each corner 2cm away from the edge.

It is cute and it is the perfect item for when I travel.

I just wish I had thought about the alignement of the snaps so I could have snapped it together in a tidy manner to pack!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

The Classic French Jacket - Days 5 to 7

So far I have discussed my preparation and the first 4 days of the class, now to continue.

Next up were the sleeves, as I used Susan's pattern I already had the 3 piece sleeve and Susan pins one of the toile sleeve to my jacket which got a nod of approval so I could cut out my sleeves in fabric, quilt the lining, and finished the sleeve placket.

I then basted the under am sleeve seam together for a final check by Susan.  This is where there was a huge difference between the calico and the final fabric as Susan took out 1cm to 2cm off the underarm seam.

Once this seam was machined, pressed open, trimmed and the lining seam fell stitched in place the sleeves are then pinned in place by Susan and this is where my fitting challenge arose!

Can you see how the fabric is collapsing on my left hand side where the fabric is sitting very nicely on the right hand side?

It appears I am rather hollow there and it was very obvious in the soft structure of this jacket.

Luckily I had taken some slim shoulder pads to class and Susan took one of them and reshaped it it to look like this,

which when pinned in place filled out the fabric very nicely.

Oh and disregard the extra fabric I have at my under arms, this is not pinned in, you just can't do it so it is left up to me to fit the fabric in the armsyce that "is left" after Susan has pinned in the sleeve cap.

Now back to the hollow in my back, I have covered the shoulder pad that Susan had put together and here it is in the lining fabric,

and it will be hand sewn in place at the shoulder seam and this will let the edge of it sit beside the armsyce curve.

Once the sleeves are pinned in place, I then had to sew the sleeve in by hand, which feels quite insufficient but it is very solid and the drape of the sleeve is so much nicer.

The next challenge was to attach the sleeve lining to the bodice of the jacket without getting yourself into a mess.  This is where the wooden sleeve head padded block that I purchased from Bernina Chatswood came in very handy.

It is the last few hours of our course and a final try on

Yes, finding trim was proving to be elusive in Sydney so I sent a piece of fabric to my sister in Brisbane who took it to Sckafs Fabric and I was absolutely blown away by what they chose for my fabric

which consists of

So at this stage my jacket is looking like this

To finish the jacket I still have to handsew:
  • all the jacket hems
  • sew on the hooks & eyes
  • sew the trim on, 3 layers so 6 rounds of sewing
  • finish the lining around the edges of the jacket
  • sew the chain to the back hem
  • find the buttons and sew them on
  • make the pockets and sew them in place
At this stage I'm not sure when I will be able to finish my jacket, but my hand is getting better and if I take it a bit at a time it will get done.

2017 Stash Out - 11.6
2017 Stash In - 6.5

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Classic French Jacket class - Days 1 to 4

Further to my post here on the preparation, here is what happened over the next 4 days.

Even with my various toiles, Susan made a few more adjustments to my jacket.

  • High round back
  • Took in the back princess seams slightly.
  • Shaved a bit off under the arm back to nothing at the waist and another reduction to the hips.
  • Flattened out the princess seam on the front and then letting it out from the waist down to the hips.
  • The shoulders were changed slightly but this changed again during the last fitting.
  • The sleeves haven't been looked at at this stage, this isn't done until the bodice is pretty much together.
I then took apart my toile, stitched in my adjustments making sure that everything lays flat and then cut off those huge seam allowances to get ready to start positioning the jacket pieces on the fabric to cut out.

Luckily my fabric didn't have a major repeat or nap that I had to worry about.

The hardest part was to make sure that I had the 2" of seam allowances on each side of each piece, this lets you handle your fabric without it disappearing in your hands.  I tripled checked it all before taking a deep breath and cut it out using my Kai shears.

Then it was time to baste all the stitching and grainlines in place using the Japanese cotton basting thread that I purchased during my week of Couture back in May 2015.

Once I finished all the basting the jacket pattern is removed (I still kept each piece together as they all started to look alike with the huge seam allowances) I then reinforced the "peninsula" of the side front pattern piece above the armscye with silk organza for stablisation and support.

Cutting out my silk lining is next, laying my fabric on top of the silk, getting my grainlines correct and then again cutting it all out.

Finally I got to set up my sewing machine to start quilting all 8 jacket pieces (normally 7 but I have a centre back seam).

Then I hand baste the main jacket pieces together (leaving the lining free) for my second fitting.

Again a few more changes were made to my jacket, only slight and this is where I was thankful that I had different coloured Japanese cotton basting thread as it made it much easier to see what the new markings were.

Next the 7 vertical seams are sewn by machine, pressed open, reduce the width of the seam allowances (not by much) of the main fabric.  I then placed my seams over my sleeve board so I could pin the lining in place and trim if necessary and fell stitch the lining seams together.

This is where the jacket is really starting to take shape and the weight of it and the amazing fit still brings a smile to my face.

There is still quite a bit more I want to document, the sleeves and a fitting challenge that I didn't expect so I will be back next week with more.

See you soon.