Burda 8201 Floral Cotton Blazer

Mum saw this gorgeous blazer made up at a sewing fair on her UK trip last year and thought I’d really like it. She was right! I was really excited to make this up but was totally intimidated by the pattern matching nightmare I knew it would be.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFloral blazers seem to be everywhere at the moment, these Pinterest beauties were just some of my inspirations for this make.

sources starting from top left 1, 2, 3, 4.

sources clockwise from top left 1, 2, 3, 4.

Burda 8201 is such a great pattern, a classic one piece facing and lapel, choice of three or four button closure, unlined woven blazer (I omitted the patch pockets). I know I will be making this up many times, linen, seersucker, corduroy, it might just be my new favourite pattern. If you’ve never made a blazer before I would definitely recommend this or By Hand London’s Victoria as a good starting point. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt took me ages just to cut this bloody thing out! And I still messed up the sleeves!! You can see here the right one is the odd one out but because I usually scrunch them up (Miami Vice style) I’m letting it go.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnother reason I avoided this make was because my first blazer was the hardest thing I’ve ever made and it didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to at all. But this one is perfect, the fit is amazing. I made the straight 10 and just shortened the sleeves a little. The only thing I would change for next time would be to grade out a tiny bit at the hips to reduce pulling across the bottom button when it’s done up.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACheck out this back centre seam pattern matching, just ignore the odd sleeves though of course.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChoosing the buttons was tricky because this is such a busy print but with help from the lovely ladies at Tessuti I think I got it right. I really feel like I’m getting better at matching buttons to fabric.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnybody else out there bitten by the floral blazer bug??

Tessuti Suzy Pants in Viscose Rayon Blend

I picked up this rayon/viscose blend at the Spotlight 40% off post Christmas sale and I totally fell in love with  it. It’s slippery and shiny just like silk plus you can just chuck it in the wash, no worries.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is my second time making up the Suzy Pants from Tessuti. I made a few silly mistakes on my first pair (unpicking both pocket bags because I thought I’d made a mistake but I actually hadn’t!!) so I wanted to get it right because they really are quick and easy to make up and they look effortlessly stylish. For more proof check out Fabric Tragic’s recent guilded linen version.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI can’t tell you how in love with this fabric I am. Sometimes you get a fabric home and just have to make it up straight away. This was one of those times. As soon as it made it through the door it was slashed and stitched.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI didn’t do anything different to my first pair I just had to share them with you. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI still have a little fabric left tell me what you would do with it, I can’t decide. Although, after seeing Sewaholic’s new Belcarra blouse maybe I do.

Swiss Dot McCall’s 6696

This is my second version of M6696 (first version here) and I have to say the jury’s out on this one. Not the pattern, it’s great - the shape, the fit, all great. It’s definitely the pattern to fabric combo (A Fashionable Stitch discusses this very tricky issue which I struggle with constantly in this post).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI got the fabric at Spotlight, it’s 100% cotton swiss dot and super soft, almost like an old bed sheet. When I saw the colour on the bolt I thought “Ooooo, lavender with lemon swiss dot, so pretty!” But now that it’s made up it looks like a dirty baby blue with muddy yellow dots, so disappointing.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe other thing about this make is that I feel like it looks a bit like a flight attendant’s uniform, and not in a good way like Zosews’ wiggle dress. Are you getting that too? It doesn’t help that once I found these super cool matchy buttons I was so excited about making it up. Not to mention there was so much work in it: hand stitched facing at the waist and centre front plackets and 12 buttons and buttonholes, oh, and the bloody collar. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI took some length and width out of the back bodice piece because last time it felt a little ‘poofy” for my liking. But I think I could have taken even more out.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt looks nice when I iron it and first put it on but as soon as I sit down the fabric loses its shape and it looks a little, dare I say…. frumpy.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat do you think? Is it working or not? I fear it’s destined to gather dust at the back of my wardrobe until I face facts and get rid of it.

PS I just loved reading all the comments on the evolution of our personal style and sewing from my last post, so fascinating. Our taste buds change every seven years and certainly our body shapes along with them, so why not our personal style? Thanks everyone xx

Introducing Perfect Pattern Parcel & My Victory Patterns Ava

This make is part of the launch of Perfect Pattern Parcel, a great new initiative set up by the lovely Jill and Rachael supporting independent pattern designers and children’s education in one fell swoop (what a great match). They bundle five themed pdf patterns sold over a two week period with a -pay what you like- proviso.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe patterns included in their inaugural -Sewing Patterns for the Modern Woman Parcel #1 are:Parcel 1 Collage

But wait there’s more! To celebrate the launch of their first parcel the ladies have a fabulous giveaway planned with some serious stash bursting prizes (think $250 worth of fabric!!) so be sure to enter.

This is such a great idea and a fantastic opportunity for us to use our wonderful online community to do some good in the world. I feel very fortunate to have been invited to be a part of it and can’t wait to see what’s in their next parcel!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnto my Ava dress- I ended up making 3 muslins for this little number, mostly because I really wanted to draft some sleeves for it, which was no easy feat let me tell you, but I’m quite happy with how they turned out. I also lowered the sweetheart neckline and the waistline by 1″.

It’s a very pretty pattern, with a midi length six gored skirt, invisible side seam zip and options for pleated detailing at the yoke and bodice seams. I think a good thing about Victory Patterns is they always offer optional details to allow you to make their patterns your own.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe fabric for the body I picked up at my cheap local which is a wash and wear medium weight satiny synthetic (I think), I thought it was a really nice grey but seeing it here it wasn’t quite what I had in mind. See all that shitty puckering around the sweetheart lines and the darts, even after much tension tweaking this fabric and I just did NOT get along. The contrast fabric is a black textured synthetic mesh that was laying in wait in my stash.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe BIG problem I had, you can’t really miss it can you? I couldn’t for the life of me get the sweetheart neckline symmetrical (a mirror image on each side of the centre line)!! No one else in the blogosphere seemed to have had that issue which made me feel even worse. I re-sewed it about five times but still it’s wonky damn it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is just me showing off my new camera features and trying to give you a feel for the drape of the fabric.

On reflection- I’m happy with my sleeve drafting attempt, not so happy with the pucker-y appearance throughout the garment and the bung sweetheart line. Also, I’m not sure it’s quite, well… me. I think I’m wanting to move away from younger romantic shapes and move instead towards more structured masculine ones. I blame Colette’s Wardrobe Architect Project, oh, and Pinterest.

Anybody else out there a bit of a Pinterest junkie?

Judy Blouse Giveaway Winner

Here we go folks…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAa little stirStirand we pick a winnerOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACongratulations go to …OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANancy Morris! For this lovely comment:

I would make this pattern twice right away. The first version would be lace with a colored camisole underneath. Id wear it with everything from jeans to a summer floral skirt. The second would be 4 ply silk, maybe cut a little longer with a pair of narrow dress pants underneath and flats.

All you need to do is email me at sewamysew1@gmail.com with your address details and I will send you the hard copy pattern. Simples.

Big thanks to everyone who entered this fab giveaway. You are all winners in my eyes.

Tessuti’s Judy Top Giveaway!

I was lucky enough to pattern test The Judy Top, another new pattern from Tessuti. It’s got such a pretty shape, I think the gentle curved lines are really flattering, it reminds me of minimalist Japanese designer Akira Isogawa.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was a really interesting exercise pattern testing, I worked so slowly and meticulously in order to give thorough and helpful feedback. But hey, we all know slow sewing gives the best results though right? Hence a very useful exercise for me who can tend to rush a little.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe fabric is the most beautiful cotton and cupro blend from Tessuti called Blue Day Ocean (how lovely), it looks and feels like washed silk I just love it. I’m a little obsessed with navy at the moment (proof here on my navy pinterest board) especially pairing it with black.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis was my first time making roulette button loops which was exciting. The pattern has you sew them onto a vilene strip first then transfer the strip to the centre front which makes it really easy. When I finished the loops I thought they  looked too small for the buttons but because they’re cut on the bias they have a bit of give in them. A little wiggling the buttons in and out and they were fine.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere is a button shield that sits behind the loops so you don’t get any nasty bra/belly peeping out like some button up tops. The final little detail is top stitching that goes all the way around the neckline, the centre fronts and the hem in one go. I love those sorts of finishing details written into the pattern instructions, it gives it a really nice professional looking finish.simplicity pattern wideThe sleeveless rolled collar top underneath is this vintage pattern view 2. I finished it ages ago but haven’t got around to blogging it. I got it for 50cents and the fabric was leftover from my first Laurel dress.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGiveaway deats - You read right, the generous folk at Tessuti have given me a hardcopy that, naturally, I think one of you should have. Just tell me what you’d make it up in and/or wear it with – I’d love to know. I’ll draw the winner out of a hat next Sunday 2nd March and ship it to wherever you are. Good luck everyone!

Anna-lotte in sheer pink roses

I left my run a bit late for a wedding that my photographer… man and I attended a while back. I had all these grand plans to make the most fabulous dress but I think I just procrastinated too much. So the week of I had to pull my finger out and go for a fail-safe no fuss make. I decided to combine two patterns I’ve made before and really love By Hand London’s Anna and CharlotteOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADolly Clacket made this one a while back that looks totally amazing on her, boy that gal knows how to wear a dress.

I’ve had this fabric for ages, believe it or not I got it at The Salvo’s for something like $4 for 3 meters!! It’s a sheer nylon synthetic something, perfect for a balmy afternoon wedding at a stunning vineyard south of Sydney. The white slip underneath gives it a little sexy vibe too me thinks.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI didn’t worry about matching up the darts I just got stuck in, so they don’t meet up at the front or the back but the fabric hides it. They would totally have to be a adjusted for a solid print.

In my haste I accidentally sewed the bias binding on the neckline to the wrong side – der! So rather than re do it I made it a feature by turning the seam allowance on the armholes to the outside as well, not my ideal but hey, at least it looks consistant.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhite was the only colour zip I had on hand and I should have put a split in the back but again, I whipped this up so quickly the night before the wedding I forgot.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANot my finest sewing hour but at least it’s fitted well and I think it looks ok (just not so much close up).

Have you ever frantically sewed a last minute frock for a big do the night before?

Watermelon Meissa Blouse

Don’t you just love the colour of this cheap linen synthetic mix? Unfortunately it wasn’t the best choice for the Meissa Blouse from Papercut Patterns it’s a bit too heavy, I reckon this pattern is best suited for light silks or voiles. I think I will get some wear out of it but it’s definitely less than perfect.There are so many interesting features to this pattern from Papercut’s new Constellation Collection; the shoulder yokes, the sleeve plackets, the contoured back yoke, the button placement on the front placket, the tapered side seams and the peter pan collar. It’s a really interesting take on the simple button up shirt.My collar shapes look a little uneven here but only you and I can tell right? … RIGHT??? I decided on a little contrasting thread for interest which I’m not sure was the best idea, it makes the buttons holes stand out either side of the buttons.The back yoke is really high and thin, after making all those Archers I looked at the pattern piece and thought “is this really the yoke??” I like it made up though it looks really delicate and feminine.I haven’t encountered the horizontal sleeve placket before which was super simple but it means that I can’t role my sleeves up which for me is not so great, the best I can get is a 3/4 scrunch, I’ll add a vertical placket for my next version. Also, the pattern calls for two sleeve buttons but I went for a single due to the heavier fabric I think.On the sizing – I made the medium and you can see it’s a bit too big as it pitches off my shoulders a little and I took some length off the arms but they are still a bit too long. I’ll definitely make this up again in a better fabric because I think it’s a really unique pattern. Anybody else crazy about Papercut’s new collection?

I just have to give shout out to some inspiring Constellation makes of late; Top Notch’s striped Saiph Tunic, Cirque de Bebe’s polka dot Rigel Bomber and Ginger Makes’ tuxedo Bellatrix Blazer.

Tessuti Mandy Boat Tee and Suzy Pants

Two for the price of one today folks. I did lots of sewing and fabric bargain shopping at Mum’s over Christmas and New Years and this little outfit was just some of the things I whipped up.Let’s start with the top- this was my first time working with knits and I couldn’t have chosen an easier make. I picked this lovely fabric up at the Tessuti end of year 10-30% off sale (danger danger). It is always such a wonderful experience shopping at Tessuti, Colette and her lovely mother are always full of fabulous advice and happy for a chat, they have such amazing taste in fabrics.The pattern is the Mandy Boat Tee, a free one size pattern from Tessuti. I used the overlocker for all seams and stretch twin needles for the hems (another first). I took a little too much off the sleeve seams only because I was getting used to working with the overlocker so they are tighter than the pattern intends but I don’t mind so much. I also took a little length off the hem.Now, you may have seen this pattern and fabric combo before from the gorgeous Top Notch, rest assured I was granted full permission when I told her I wanted to blatantly copycat her. I said I wanted to start working with knits and it seems I am a woman of my word. Getting the New Year off to a good start me thinks.The pants- I knew I wanted to make these elasticised waist slouchy pocket Suzy Pants also from Tessuti after seeing both True Bias and Sallieoh versions. But when Colette at Tessuti was foolish enough to show me this fabric which she plans to make into her next Suzys I knew it had to be (steal from the best and pass their ideas off as your own I say… Mwahhh ha haaaaa!). This geometric viscose works so perfectly with this pattern and I just found out Boo Dog and Me has made this combo up as well and beat me to it, great minds think alike! We live in different states so the chances of an embarrassing wardrobe incident are greatly reduced… Phew! (Colette is not so lucky).

The only adjustment I made to this make was to use a thicker width elastic for the waistband (only because it was on hand) which changes the sit of the yoke just slightly but nothing too drastic.

Pretty happy with my stripe matching on the side seams and loving these super deep pockets.

Pretty happy with my stripe matching on the side seams and loving these super deep pockets.

Both these pieces are so comfortable and ‘wear a day’ which is really important when you’re staring at a wardrobe of confusing and impractical makes like me. I can’t wait to hear more about Sarai’s Wardrobe Architect project because… I need help! Anybody else feel the same way?

Mathilde Blouse in Peanut Butter Voile

I’ve been meaning to get my hands on this pattern for ages and ages I just love the sleeves and the front and back yokes. The fabric is a light cotton voile aptly named Peanut Butter I got on sale at Tessuti earlier in the year. I didn’t know what to do with it for the longest time but I think it’s perfect for this top.Mathilde blouse is cotton voileThe pattern is The Mathilde Blouse from Tilly and The Buttons which was so easy to put together. Here are my blogger inspiration makes – All Style All Substance’s drapey grey, Top Notch’s Archipelago Liberty and Clipped Curves peacock feathered lawnI only made a couple of adjustments to varying success…1. I decided to omitt the pin tucks and gather the bodice to the yoke instead which gives it a more peasant top look. But I should have staggered the gathers a distance from the darts, as it is they interfere with each other just a little.2. After making it up and putting it on I discovered that it fit over my head fine without having to button it up at the back. So I sealed the back closed and attached the buttons on top of the placket as decoration only, a detail I usually hate in RTW (think welt pockets without the pocket bag, I just don’t get it!!) but for this make I was ok with it. I also decided on less buttons, five as opposed to seven.

I promise the hem is straight a bit of wind just caught it here.

I promise the hem is straight a bit of wind just caught it here.

I’m really happy with these big retro 70′s buttons I found, the colour matches and they don’t distract from the busy fabric.The real hero of this pattern though has to be the beautiful bell sleeves, they are so dreamy and romantic I can see why lots of bloggers have made this up in soft whites.Next time I will leave off the back button down feature by cutting it on the fold and leave the front bodice straight by folding out the pin tucks on the pattern piece. I’ve got a bit of Liberty from a giveaway win that may be fated to become my second Mathilde.

Overall it’s a great pattern with tonnes of options to personalise it to your style, so I say a big thumbs up.