In progress…

Recently, I’ve been working on the Collette Laurel pattern- was initially intending on making it for the contest, but then uni came up, as it always does, and stopped me dead in my tracks. Here’s where I’m up to so far!

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Apart from being unflattering from the front, this top isn’t so bad. But here I’ve  pointed out the main fit issue:

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It’s like I’ve accidentally made the back panels from the pattern piece for the size up. Or maybe for two sizes up…. There is so much room back there I could carry around a cat on my back and nobody would be any the wiser.

Here is my wonderful partners attempt at pinning out the excess fabric for me:

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You can’t entirely tell from the picture, but that’s a whopping 4 inches of fabric that has been pinned out there- FOUR INCHES. That’s quite a lot of excess fabric. I don’t really understand how this can be, because I made this size based on my bust measurement, and it should have been bang on. I know I’ve lost a bit of weight. But not in the two weeks that I’ve been working on this top… And I certainly haven’t lost 4″ of bust size. I double checked that I definitely had used the right pattern pieces etc, and I definitely have, so apparently most people who make Collette patterns definitely have very full backs compared to me. Or something. I’m pretty broad shouldered though, so I’d be surprised. And I’m definitely confused about how I need to take out four inches across the back  when this is meant to only just be big enough to get my bust in.

If any of you have some enlightening explanation of how this might have occurred, please feel free to let me know!

In the meantime, the other alteration I want to make is the drop the neckline to make it more flattering… at the moment, it’s not all that alluring:

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It seems to do this weird thing that makes all of me look bigger at the top. Not a great look! But check out my new spectacles- awesome, no? They’re the first new glasses I’ve had in five years. FIVE YEARS people. I’m in love.

I’m also thinking I might chop off those sleeve and make them into short sleeves- they’re a bit half assed formal at this length. And a bit baggy.

The fabric is from my stash, yay stashbusting! It was from part of my mum’s stash that she offloaded to me. Talk about making a free top! It’s cotton sateen, and you can’t really tell in the photo’s, but it’s actually a dark navy blue with all those pretty roses on the top. It was a whole half yard shorter than the recommended amount of fabric for this version of the pattern. Check out my scraps- epic fabric efficiency here my friends:

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That was some serious cutting skillz right there. There was barely enough fabric left over to take a photo of…

Any way, this is now sitting on my desk, with the binding on the neckline ripped off, waiting for me to sew out all that extra fabric at the back and cut down that neckline at the front. One day I’ll get around to it! It’s rapidly moving into winter down here and I could use a few more tops like this, so hopefully I manage to squeeze the time in soon!

What about all of you? Have you got projects you’re stuck half way with?

 

 

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…And the winner is….

After much mumbo-jumbo, complicated-math-things and a few raindances, the winner is:Frocksford!

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A lovely blogger from Oxford, all the way back over in England! She’s a new blogger, so everyone should share the love and head on over there and say hello! I’ll be in touch soon to get your address and all that jazz 🙂 Isn’t the internet great? I won a pattern on an English sewing blog down here in Perth, Australia, and the winner of my giveaway is back on the other side of the world in Oxford!

Once again, I just want to say thanks to Karen over at Did You Make That? and Tilly, from Tilly and the Buttons, for making such a fab pattern. Seriously guys, if you didn’t win it, go and buy it. It was so easy to make and fun to make it 🙂

And just because I can’t resist sharing, and every post needs a photo, here are my new more-awesome-than-I-thought-possible trainers! Check out those colours!

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I just started a running program (6 weeks in and haven’t missed a session yet!) so I needed to replace my work shoes (because my old ones are now covered in dirt and being used for running) What do you think?? I think I’m in love 🙂

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Tania Culottes

In January this year, I was lucky enough to do some pattern testing for Megan Neilsen! It was great fun, and since earlier this week she announced her new Breakwater Collection, I thought I would share my make with you!

I ended up making the Tania Culottes which are totally the best things for wearing here in Perth. Below you can see my amazing levitating skirt, care of the crazy wind here in P-town.

Levitating hemline- in a short skirt this would be much more concerning!

Levitating hemline- in a short skirt this would be much more concerning!

 

 

 

 

For real, it actually looks like this most of the time- Perth is one of the windiest cities in the world it turns out, and despite the sunshine in this photo, there is serious ominous storm action happening here. I’m not complaining though, most of the year, this place is literally like a desert.

I like with my blouse untucked too

I like with my blouse untucked too

I swear that hemline is straight! I'm just bending awkwardly as I always do

I swear that hemline is straight! I’m just bending awkwardly as I always do

I really like this pattern. It is super appropriate for me (read: I’m pretty absent minded and tend to run around and do pants things in skirts), and lovely and flippy and girly feeling. It’s great. I wore it heaps over the last few months of summer, but I haven’t worn it much since then.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here on the blog, but I recently (about a month ago) started a running program. It’s pretty challenging, especially for me, because I am NOT a runner. But I really am trying to be. Part of my running is to simply get more exercise. When you study physio, you spend a lot of time talking about illnesses that can kill you, and the most effective prevention of this is exercise. Seriously. If you take nothing else away from this post, it is that you should all do more exercise (or keep doing it, if you already do). People who do 3 hours of exercise a week (which is not very much really) are 40% less likely to die of all cause mortality. That means, in normal speak, you are 40% less likely to get a disease that will kill you if you exercise for 3 hours a week. That’s pretty important. I exercised before this (in the past I’ve competed in paddling ultra-marathons and adventure races) but lately with uni being so stressful, I had been pretty slack. So I got my butt into gear and started this running plan.

Aside from general fitness and health, one of the intended side effects of this running program was to lose some weight. I’m happy to report that has in fact happened, but sad to report that it means that these gorgeous culottes don’t fit me so well anymore: Insert silly face numero uno

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Or silly face numero duo

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Ooops. I kept putting off taking photos of these for the blog because I could never find the right shoes, or I couldn’t be bothered taking photos before we went out… and now BAM. They don’t really fit me any more. Ooops.

I can still wear them low, like hipsters, but I did love having them as a high-waisted short skirt. Oh well. You live and you learn.

The fabric I used was some polyester that I bought 4 metres of for $2 in Borneo earlier this year, and let me tell you, there is a reason this was so cheap. I mean, yay for stashbusting, but this stuff frays when you so much as look at it, let alone when you try and sew it up. I only recently managed to snaffle my mums old overlocker (if anyone in Perth knows a good place to get them serviced, please let me know!) so for this skirt, it was me and my zig zag stitch versus the ravel. It was a closely fought battle, and I mostly won. Although there are always a few more threads I have to trim every time I wash it.

The trick with these is the sneaky way Meg has inserted the crotch. It’s hard to explain without you seeing the actual pattern, but the way it has been snuck away inside there, it’s invisible from the outside, and keeping everything contained on the inside. Mega win.

Overall, I love this pattern, and I am saving up to go and buy some more fabric so that I can make another one, in a size that will currently fit me! I’ll probably still keep wearing this one as a bit of a gansta-hipster skirt, but I can’t wait to have a few more that I can swap between.

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So go and buy yourself a pattern and make yourself up a pair- particularly if you live in the Northern hemisphere and you’re going into summer. Perfect timing!

Also, my giveaway for the Mathilde Blouse is still going! It closes at 11pm tonight AWST, so if you haven’t entered yet, get in there!

 

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Thurlows!

A few months ago, just before I went back to uni, I managed to make a pair of Sewaholic Thurlows that actually fit me! It was quite exciting for me. I’ve worn them A LOT. I bought my pattern from Sew Squirrel, a small company here in Australia that stocks indi patterns and will actually ship paper patterns (I get frustrated with how much it costs to ship patterns from the states, and I’d rather support local businesses). I started making these last year when Lladybird had her Thurlow Sewalong.

Unfortunately, right about then my partner and I moved house. So I only got as far as making my muslin before I had to pack everything up and shuffle from A to B. Here’s what my original muslin looked like:

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MMMMMM attractive. (I was also making a muslin for a top at the same time… I don’t normally just cruise around in matching clothes made out of sheets and held together with pins…) Sorry about the terrible photo’s- this was the only camera I could find for a while post-move, and I couldn’t find the tripod at all! As you can see, the pattern needed a full butt adjustment and I needed to take some out of the front- if you squint you can see where I’ve pinned out the extra.

About a month after that, I managed to settle in one day and make a wearable muslin out of some old painting sheets and some optimism. I made my pattern alterations but decided to just fly by the seat of my pants (dyageddit?? seat of my pants. Hilarious). No second toile for me. REBEL. Turns out I maybe should have made another, since the second pair are way too big, and I still seemed to need more of a full butt adjustment.

They were definitely too big, so I just gave up on that iteration of the flat pattern and retraced the smaller size. I did a full butt adjustment on the new smaller size, based on measurements I got from RTW pants. They turned out pretty well!!

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There’s one tiny gape at the top of the fly, which I don’t know what to do about. I’ve worn them a LOT. The butt adjustment I made worked out pretty well, as you can see below (no diagonal lines or wedgie!!)

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And they worked ok in terms of how they fit from the side too 🙂

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I lined them with mega pretty lining fabric, which makes me happy whenever I put them on or take them off (I’m easily pleased) and I tacked the hems up with a little cross stitch on the outside of the seams. Satisfaction.

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I used some Grey Drill that I had in my stash (as well as the floral poplin which was also in my stash). In terms of wear, it was a pretty good fabric choice, but in terms of long term wear? Less of a win. They hold up fine, and they’re nice and strong, but as I wear them the fabric gives or stretches, so by the end of the first day of wearing them? They have a mega saggy bum. SAD FACE people. Sad. Face. I love them, but I generally get more than one day of wear out of my clothes before washing is required. So overall, I’m a bit meh about them. Next time I need to make them with a fabric that has a bit more recovery I think. Or that is just a bit tougher, and therefore doesn’t stretch so much over the course of a day.

Still. I’m pretty happy 🙂

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In other news, have you entered my giveaway of the Mathilde blouse yet? Get in on that action, if you haven’t already!!

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Mathilde Blouse and GIVEAWAY!!

I finally made the Mathilde blouse last week- just in time for my dear Mum’s birthday. Huzzah!! I’ve had 8 weeks of being desperate for a printer, two exams, 12 papers and a manual handling practical. Who knew that life could be so busy, and so hard! Going seven days a week has been more exhausting than I thought possible, I’m looking forward to six weeks time when I have a couple of days off again! Oh to sleep! We just started neuroanatomy at uni, and between study about the brain whilst my brain does the things I’m learning about (does this weird anyone else out?? That your brain does what you’re reading about whilst you’re reading it), and trying to work out how to set in sleeves with french seams, my mind is only working in small drips and drabs at the moment. And it only generates really long sentences apparently.

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It was quite an easy make, but somewhat stressful, because I couldn’t do any fittings since I was doing it as a surprise for Mum.

I went to town and did pretty french seams all through the inside, and I’m pretty proud of how it turned out! It took me a solid 10minutes of thinking before I could work out how to sew the sleeves in and still utilise french seams. I couldn’t decide which way ‘out’ the sleeve needed to be, and setting a sleeve into a shoulder backwards but the right way out (when it’s only the second set of sleeves I’ve ever set in) made my mind melt! I managed to do it without any problems though! Think twice leap once, or however that old saying goes, actually really paid off in this instance!!

French seams inside the sleeves- I'm still amazed I worked out how to do this!!

French seams inside the sleeves- I’m still amazed I worked out how to do this!!

 

 

French seams on the inside now.

French seams on the inside now.

These are the pretty seams on the inside. I’m pretty proud. I did accidentally attach the interfacing to the wrong side on one of the collar plackets, but you can’t really tell and I was in a hurry!

My mum is one of the most amazing people I know, and I love her to bits. She was my rock when I was a kid, and I appreciate all of the things she has done for me over the years. I know it’s easy to say that. But honestly. She is the kind of person I want to be when I grow up (some more).

Here’s my gorgeous Mum- she doesn’t like to have her face on the internet, so she’s wearing “Joe cool shades” haha:

My mum in her trendy shades, and her trendy new top!

My mum in her trendy shades, and her trendy new top!

The only changes that I made to the pattern were on the sleeves. I used the sleeves off my new Laurel top rather than the sleeves that came with the pattern. My mum isn’t too big on crazy pirate sleeves, so I thought I’d use these instead. They worked really well (and fitted in really easily). I simply ran the lines of gathering stitches and pulled all the gathering to the top of the sleeve for a little bit of pretty puff 🙂

So, onto things you actually want to know about! As part of me winning the pattern for this top from Did you make that?  I get to reblog about it and send one of you lucky people another copy of the pattern! How exciting!

The details: entry is open until Friday the 10th of May, 2300 hrs Australian Western Standard Time. To enter you need to leave a comment on this post about the most random thing that has happened to you that you can think of. I look forward to being thoroughly entertained 🙂 I’ll then randomly select a winner and announce it next weekend!

Good luck!

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Pretty little things

Here are some little pin cushions and pins I made a few months ago- a couple will end up being gifts, and a couple will end up stuck to my cutting table and my ironing board so that I’m not forever chasing my pincushion around! (Seriously, I think there was a while where I could have reduced my sewing time by half simply by saving all the time I spent trying to find the silly thing!!)

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I made the pincushions one day when I needed a quick, satisfying project that didn’t cost me any money! (Aren’t ALL of the projects like that really??)

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It was great. I used fabrics from my scrap bin, and stuffed each of the pincushions with batting as well as steel wool to help keep my pins and needles happy.

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I also made a whole heap of pins! I get sick of the crappy plastic headed pins that I can afford, so I made some of my own. I used a little packet of flat head pins that I had tucked away from an old cork board, and a heap of my bead stash and some super glue.

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Aside from being a little bit messy some of the time, it was actually a really relaxing project. I could potter away at it whilst I watched some telly at night and in the end, I made a LOT of pins. I plan on giving some of them away with the pincushions, when I finally decide which pincushions I can part with!

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I love how much easier the new pins are to pick up, and how  much more rewarding they are- they all feel slightly different, and it’s really nice having that extra proprioceptive feedback.

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Anywho, here’s a last shot or two of the pretty things. I hope you guys are keeping your heads above water!

PS: I’ll have the Mathilde blouse done soon hopefully, so the giveaway will be ON LIKE DONKEY KONG! 🙂

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Progress

Do you ever sit back and look at things whilst you’re doing simple things like cutting out a PDF pattern?

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I have just had two of the craziest weeks of my life. They’ve been far from fun. I can’t really explain just how much I’ve done, just how busy I’ve been. My uni course has had a pathology lab exam, and I had four papers due last week. I spent 20+ hours studying for my lab exam, and then I spent fifteen hours in one day sitting at my desk writing two of the four papers. Fifteen hours! I have five days of mandatory classes for my degree- we have to go to 90% otherwise we fail. Then I work all day Saturday and Sunday.

I realise that this kind of pace can only be sustained for so long. Deep down, I know my breaking point is somewhere just in front of me. But I love my degree, and I love my partner, and so to make this work, this is what I have to do. There are dishes I have to do, and there’s washing that needs hanging up, but for half an hour, cutting out a pattern seems like exactly what I should be doing. I have another exam on Wednesday, and another paper due on Friday, but for now, this is what I’m doing. Sometimes you just need to sit still.

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