Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Style 3315 in Liberty Scharing Tana

Without fail, every new delivery of seasonal Libertys will have me crushing over one particular print. When we received our latest range six weeks ago, that print was Scharing Tana Purple.
Pretty quickly, I settled on the idea of a sleeveless shirt and then went on a merry pattern-hunting jaunt to find something that matched the vision. I didn't find a shirt pattern but I did find Style 3315 and the top part of view A was exactly what I had in mind. With my limited experience on the shirtmaking front, the absence of a placket/buttons totally sealed the deal.
During the cutting stage, I spent a paaaaainful amount of time pattern-matching and when I joined up the two CF pieces, this happened...
So, yes, when it comes to matching checks apparently you CAN overthink it. Anyhoo, it's a clean matching seam and enough kind souls have said they didn't even notice it so I'll move right along, notch that one down to sewing experience and try not to twitch every time I put it on. For the shoulder strips, I cut them on the cross because - let's be frank friends - that meant two less pieces I needed to pattern match.
When it came to assembling the collar there were some major stumbles in addition to extensive unpicking and, sure, throw some cathartic swearing in there as well. But, as is often the sewing way, persistance paid off and the end result more than made up for the rough sewing journey that this shirt took me on. Now I've got me a sweet, spring-y shirt and I'll just wait patiently for some warmth to go along with it. 
PS. This Liberty print also comes in blue.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Fossetti Fantasia Frock

If you're signed up to our mailing list or follow us on Facebook or Instagram, you'll know that we've just released our new spring/summer range of ponti knits. We were so excited when we purchased these lovelies in Europe so it's been SUPER exciting to release them to you guys. A great ponti knit is truly one of the most fabulous of fabrics. It's perfect for slim pants and leggings (like our Anita Ponti Pants), jackets, tube/pencil skirts, dresses and tops. Alllllll the possibilities!

For this dress I made for Gabby, I used the fabulous Fossetti Fantasia Punto (*Updated - NOW SOLD OUT). This wild, wacky and whimsical print is so much fun!

The simple dress design was inspired from one that Gabby spied in a RTW. For the top bodice, I used Vogue 8815  (a TNT pattern as shown here and here).

For the skirt part of the dress, I drafted my own pattern pieces. To give the dress more of a kick, I added a hem facing which helps it flute out nicely.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Pattern Review - McCalls 6612 - View D

Ondula Antique in McCalls 6612

Want another great pattern option for our new Italian jersey knits? Here's Tessuti Chatswood staffer Georgia, in Ondula Antique. The pattern used was McCalls 6612 - view D, the only modification was to shortening the length. 

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Our Brigitte Top to Dress

Brigitte Dress in Ondula Plum Jersey
To create a slimline dress for this lovely and oh-so soft Italian jersey, we made a simple modification to our Brigitte Top. The original pattern was lengthened at the hemline by 18" (46cm), continuing the original hipline all the way to the hem edge. The finished length of this dress is 39" (100cm) and it includes a half inch hem. 
If needed, you could add half an inch at the hip point and then taper back at the hemline.
Worn together with the Sydney Jacket

If you like the look of this jersey, it also comes in two other fabulous colourways - Fresh and Antique.
Ondula Fresh
Ondula Antique
Ondula Plum
To see more of our latest Italian delivery, pop in-store or check out the new additions in our online shop and stay tuned for PLENTY more exciting arrivals coming soon!

Friday, July 24, 2015

My Bad Eye Linden

My Sicilian mother's family are all big believers in malocchio - the evil eye.  Growing up, I'd sometimes see Mum/aunt/cousin/random relative suddenly struck down with a bad-eye symptom that generally manifested as a really, really bad headache. What then followed was a distress call to my aunt who would call her Greek neighbour who would then perform an incantation with oil and water who would then call back my aunt and advise whether headache-afflicted member of family was indeed struck down with evil eye. I'm not familiar with all the mysteries surrounding the magic of this ritual, but I do believe that if the oil dissolves in the water it means you've definitely been bad eye-ed. The good news? Once the ritual was complete, the curse was miraculously lifted and headache would soon disappear. So they said. And "Pfffffffft", I said.
Now I'm not one to tempt fate by walking under a ladder but I certainly don't count myself as being particularly superstitous. When it comes to headaches, there are only two guaranteed things that'll give me one - a hangover and (sad face) Haigh's chocolate. No surprises with the former. The latter? Strange but true. But I had never, ever believed in the bad eye until about five years ago. I'd had a repulsive headache for about three days and, though still functional (albeit in super slo-mo), felt both shitty and nauseous. I think I'd taken more panadol in those three days than I'd taken in my whole life and I hadn't eaten/drunk either of my headache culprits. So for the first time in my life and out of sheer desperation, while standing in a supermarket carpark, I called Mum to ask her to call my aunt to ask her to call her neighbour to ask her if I had the bad eye. Maybe five minutes later I was sitting in my stationary car, eyes closed, debating whether to start the drive home or wait until Mum called me back when - NO WORD OF A LIE - I experienced what felt exactly like a bubble pop behind my forehead followed by a tingling sensation across the same area. Think pins and needles but across your frontal lobe. And then my phone rang and it was Mum and she said "Kathy said you had it really bad". And I TOTALLY AND TRULY SWEAR to both you AND the God of Bad Eyes, my headache - in that moment - completely disappeared. So, as an homage to that day (and also as really just a splendid union of awesome pattern and awesome fabric), let me introduce you to my Bad Eye Linden Sweathshirt.
This Linden is my third and favourite. I Instagrammed the following two last month. The grey version (size 8) was meant to be for the fella but the neckline was too wide for his liking so I serendipitously scored. It's fantastically relaxed in the way I think the pattern is intended, and I really love it.
The Liberty fleece version below was made from a teeny remnant that was, from memory, a little over a metre in length. I don't even know how I managed to eke out all the pattern pieces from the limited meterage I had, but eke out I did by cutting the sleeves and some of the bands off grain. Shortening the sleeves helped too. This one's a size 2. To compensate for this jersey's limited stretch, I lengthened the bands according to Anna's perfect suggestions.
My Bad Eye Linden is also made in size 2 and for this one I went with full sleeve length. Due to the feature fabric being a woven jacquard (and also pretty thick) I decided to use it on the front only. For this I used just half a metre. The sleeves, back and bands are all made from a beautiful thick Italian double knit merino called Ebony Jersey.
The Black Eye is unfortunately now sold out and it also came in a cream which, since Instagramming yesterday, has also sold out. But - good news! - Red Eye is still available in Surry Hills and Melbourne. And while we're on this amazing fabric, feast your eyes on THIS gorgeous jacket made by staff member Jack...
To bad eye believers, wearing an eye pendant or eye motif protects you against being hit by that evil stuff. So don't even think about bad-eyeing me if you see me wearing this jumper because I've got twenty-three times the eye protection now making this one very powerful and awesome Linden!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Online Sale - FINAL DAYS!

Alas, all good things must come to an end and our online sale is no exception. From now and only until 11:59pm AEST this Sunday 12th July, enter the SALETIME code to receive 20% off online orders over $100. Free worldwide shipping applies to all online purchases over $150.
*online sale excludes Sew Inn classes, Tessuti patterns, selected laces, gift vouchers, haberdashery, linings and notions.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Pattern Review - Butterick 6178 (D) Culottes

Let me start out by saying that there are many, MANY things I love about sewing. But one of the things I love most is the pure pleasure that comes with simply trying something out. For the fun of it. I'm a Capricorn and - let me assure you - that kind of recklessness is very UNgoat-like. It sounds weird but I would much rather sew an on-trend item than buy one. This could stem from the fact that I am FAR more open to sewing mistakes than I am to shopping ones. In my experience, they are generally cheaper. And as I observed last year on Instagram during #BPSewvember, it's not like there's a shortage of great patterns and amazing fabric out there (#alsoinmystash) if something doesn't work out.  Funnily enough, in the lead up to making this pair of culottes (which I will get to eventually) I saw a few pairs in a few shops and thought about trying them on to see if they 'worked' but I never actually got around to it. 
It's not hard to get ants in your sewing pants about making a type/style of garment when there's SO much bloody great online inspiration out there. There's Pinterest, yes, and then there's all the amazing sartorial revelations that come from blog reading. When it came to culottes, I'm pointing my hopefully-not-too-creepy virtual finger at you Erica, Kirsty, Debbie and Sophie.

Which brings me to the review part of this blog post and where I begin with "Well hello Butterick 6178 View D! It's VERY NICE to meet you."
When I came across this pattern, I may have actually hissed an audible 'YESSSS' and don't even try to tell me you've never done that with a pattern before. I was specifically looking for flat-fronted, darts, back/side zip and These. Were. Those. The pockets were an unexpected bonus.
I took a punt on the sizing and cut a size 10. I've never used a Butterick pattern before so I went with my usual Vogue trick of going one size down on my measurements. Although not perfect, the fit is pretty damn good and rather than size down again with my next pair, I'll probably just take a slightly larger seam allowance. 
The fabric is a beautiful indigo-dyed Japanese cotton called Yuki Collection (now sold out). Also similar is White Torakku.
I made a change to the waistband, eliminating the suggested tab for hook and eye and inserted an invisible zip right through. Aye, it's not perfect and neither am I.
Rather than handstitching the wastband facing, I sewed it flat by stitching in the ditch on the right hand side. Quicker yes, but not so pretty. Next time I might try this lovely binding method that Debbie mentions here. My second pair is already cut and they're PINK I tell you. PINK! Like I said, totally RECKLESS. Does that make me a sewing Gemini...?

Thursday, June 25, 2015


SALE time is our FAVOURITE time! Beginning today, our massive range of stunning fabrics has been reduced. Sale items include our current winter European and local designer deliveries with huge discounts of up to 50%.

Online shoppers can also enjoy great savings with 20% OFF fabric orders over $100. Simply enter the discount code SALETIME in the coupon area at checkout. This online offer will end soon so be quick! Don't forget...free worldwide shipping applies to all online purchases over $150.

Hurry in now as stocks are strictly limited!

Sale excludes remnants, patterns, gift vouchers, haberdashery, buttons, notions and linings.

Friday, June 19, 2015

My Megan

Last month, I went and got me some good sewing on at craft camp. Amongst us, there were no less than SIX Sydney Jacket's made (five of which you can see here) and I gave my winter wardrobe a much-needed leg up. Three days of unfettered access to good company and sewing time is such a blessing. In addition to my Sydney Jacket, I made some kids leggings, FINALLY finished this skirt, sewed up another Mandy Boat Tee and got around to making this Megan Longline Cardigan.   
Made up in this (now sold out) merino jersey, it's a toasty and comfy little number. I'm wearing it here with my much-loved Ruby Top.  
With the flared design, you get really lovely fall and movement in the shape and drape. We're currently stocking a great range of wool jerseys, including these lovelies that would all be perfect for Megan....

And if you run really fast, you can even make like a superheroine in your very own Megan cape!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Tale of Two Georgies

When we released our Georgie Top Pattern in April, I sewed up this striped version during the pattern testing phase. It's become an ace little wardrobe workhorse that gets worn, a LOT, on its own or with cardigans and jackets. The fabric is 'Rembrandt Day', a fine woven viscose/nylon blend that's available in Melbourne only. Mine's more black stripe on beige (pictured below, bottom left) but it's also available in white stripe on black ('Rembrandt Night') as pictured below, top right.
After I made it, I got to thinking about how I could modify the top to create a dress, went off happily into La La Pinterest land and eventually came across this dress. Fashion-wise, there are two things that I am very much digging at the moment. One is the longer skirt/dress length. Full or straight, don't care. Just leave it below the knee and there's a good chance I'll love it.
My other current fashion crush (which really has no bearing on this blog post other than the fact that I'm wearing one) is the white shirt. I've always had, always will, a deep and abiding affection for la chemise blanche but right now, I am loving it as a layering piece and will never ever say no to a good-looking, extra layer in a winter outfit. Case in point? Here and here.

Anyhoo, back to the dress. The fabric I chose is our 100% linen Copper Lined Water (sold out online but still available in Melbourne and Chatswood). I cropped my Georgie bodice a lot higher than my inspo pic because, in the period between looking at the image and cutting out the modified pattern, I kinda forgot to refer back to the photo (mistake #1).  What I should've done was crop it at true waist rather than just under my bust line (mistake #2). I also didn't think I'd really need the waist darts (mistake #3). After I actually went back and looked at the picture, I wasn't so bothered by my fairly substantial miscalculations because I still thought the idea would work (mistake #4, although bonus points to me for being so glass half full!).
The end result, as it turned out, was a whole lot more cylindrical and shapeless than the Pinterest-assisted idea that I'd created in the magical space that occupies all the amazing things I sew IN MY HEAD. I do love a non-fitted garment but in this one, on me, I found zero redeeming features. And believe me, I tried. I present further photographic evidence here...
On the flip side (and because every sewing cloud should have a silver lining) I did learn to make a skirt with a single piece of fabric. I really didn't want to interfere with the vertical stripes so Vikki showed me how to achieve this with a single centre back seam, and with some calculation/trial /error/easing, it worked perfectly. Kind of a shame I ended up having to take the skirt off after all that work but, hey, the peaks and troughs of sewing, right?
Because I'd cropped the bodice so high, there was no other option but to put a ruffle on it. So I did. I graded the hem to sit about an inch lower at the back, and I'm happy to report that this resurrected Georgie now gets a bloody good wardrobe workout just like my first one.
The (happy sewing) End.
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