Tuesday, February 2, 2016

City Gym Shorts a.k.a Bloody Ace Shorts

You know those patterns that you sew up and then you just want to make ten more? OK, it's THESE!  The City Gym Shorts from Purl Soho tick so many of my TNT boxes. They're quick, cute, comfortable, scrap-busting, easy (SO easy) and *bonus points* kid-endorsed. And the pattern is free!
For this pair my daughter chose Blue Ripple Stripe and I contrasted the direction on front and back. The waistband is made up in our Navy Ripple Spot and to make them an even quicker cut/sew, I used pre-made binding. This chambray one is available in all stores.
I used Felicia's nifty waistband tip and it worked a treat. The kid LOVES them and put in an immediate request for a second pair. 'Nuff said.
You can find the PDF kids pattern here (click here for womens) and the full tutorial over on the original link at the start of this post.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Annie Dress modified to top

Annie Top (modified straps) in seersucker Japanese 100% cotton Ripple Spot (Navy still available at Chatswood and Melbourne stores only)
We've had such a fabulous response to our recently released Annie Dress that we wanted to show you how great this pattern can also look as a top. 
Gabby and I made our versions (above and below) with the thin straps using the modified tutorial shown here.
Annie Top (modified straps) in Black Ripple Square bodice/Black Hartford Linen worn together with Black Hartford Robbie Pants
Lisa's version, pictured below, was made using a fine embroidered cotton voile from her stash. Being so sheer and lightweight, she lined and faced everything using our Hartford White linen.
Once finished she over-dyed it using our Crimson iDye, soaking for an hour (as opposed to the recommended half hour) to get a deeper shade.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Modified Annie Dress Tutorial

If you follow us on Instagram you may have seen the image of my Tessuti Sydney Christmas party frock. My obvious pattern choice for the party was our recently released Annie Dress and this comfortable dress has been worn plenty this summer.
I made some slight changes to the original pattern to create another variation. Eliminating the wider straps in the original design, I instead incorporated bias binding edging around the yoke. The binding around the armhole edges then extends into narrow spaghetti shoulder straps.
I used rayon/nylon Blackwell Check (sold out) for the main part of the dress and side yokes. For the solid yoke on back and front, I went with Black Hartford linen as well using the linen for the yoke facings (for more stability) and bias binding edges. I love this modification and hope you do too. For anyone wanting to try this version, here's a tutorial just for you!

What you need to do to prepare
Please note changes to pattern pieces used -  To create the new yoke bodice on my modified Annie Dress I used the Centre Back Yoke, Side Back Yoke and Back Yoke Facing pattern pieces only.

The Centre Back Yoke pattern piece is brought in by 3/4" at the top edge and the armhole edge is lowered by 3/4". This helps to bring the narrow straps in closer to the neck. This new pattern piece then becomes both centre front and centre back yoke pattern piece. This needs to be cut x 2 on fold.
The Side Back Yoke is lowered 3/4" along the armhole edge. This new pattern piece then becomes side front and back yoke. This needs to be cut x 2 pairs.
The Back Yoke Facing pattern piece is brought in by 3/4" at top edge and the armhole edge is lowered by 3/4". This new pattern piece then becomes front and back yoke facing. This needs to be cut x 2 on fold.

Cut three 11/4" (3.2cm) bias strips 70cm long. One is pressed in half lengthwise with wrong sides facing. This bias strip will be used to bind the top edge of front and back yoke bodices. With the remaining two bias strips, DO NOT PRESS these in half as they are to be left open to bind the armhole edges of front and back yoke bodices and to create the narrow straps.

To create the dress, you also need to cut the original Front Dress, Back Dress, Pocket Bag and Pocket Facing pattern Pieces.

Sewing instructions are as follows:

 - Join centre front/back yoke and side front /back yokes together. Press seams open.

 -  Next go to steps 12 ,13, 14 in sewing instructions - Attach pocket facings to
front dress, prepare pocket bags and attach pocket bags.

- Attach front and back yokes to front and back dress: sew two gathering rows of long ease stitching between notches on top edge of front and back dress. Gather up between notches until the top edge of the dress fits bottom edge of yoke bodices. With right sides facing, pin front yoke bodice to front dress and back yoke bodice to back dress. Sew 1/2" seam allowance.
Attach front and back yoke facings to front and back dress: Next pin right side of front/back yoke facing, to wrong right side of front/back dress. Sew 1/2" seam allowance. 
Press seam allowance upwards toward yoke bodice/facings...
...and turn out of yoke bodice and yoke facing away from dress and pin wrong sides together, along top edge and armhole edges. Note: The front and back dress is now sandwiched between the outer yoke bodice and yoke facing.
Staystitch armhole edges together (or alternatively sew tear-away Vilene shields to wrong side of armhole edge).
Press only one of the bias binding strips in half lengthwise with wrong sides facing. Divide bias strip in two, long enough to bind top edge of front and back bodices. Pin raw edges of binding to wrong side of top edge of front and back bodices and sew 1/4'' seam allowance. 
Turn all of binding over to right side of bodice and pin edge in place. Sew in place along bottom edge of binding.
With the remaining bias strips (on the open and not pressed in half), pin right side of binding to wrong side of front/back bodice (along yoke facing armhole edge), making sure to stretch the binding slightly as you pin in place binding around armhole to finish at top edge of front/back bodice.

Measuring for strap length: IMPORTANT - This can vary for each individual and depends on your body requirements so check to see what works for you to gauge finished measurement.
Place a chalk mark at approx 6-6.5'' (or your preferred length). 
Note: Due to the bias stretch of the binding, the shoulder strap will stretch slightly more when on the body (by approximately another 1/2" or 3/4" maximum). If measuring the shoulder strap to 6", the finished straps measurement will finish at approx 6.5" (anywhere between 6.5 - 7" is suitable) from top edge of front bodice to top edge of back bodice.  

Join the binding at the chalk mark to opposite top edge of front/back bodice and pin rest of binding, stretching slightly as you pin around opposite armhole edge. Repeat on other side of armhole edge. Starting at the underarm point, sew binding to armhole edge, taking 1/4" seam allowance. Make sure to back stitch at top edges of bodices.
With right side of armhole edge facing you, push seam allowance towards wrong side of binding.
Meet raw binding edge to raw seam allowance edge.
Turn binding towards right side of yoke bodice, and pin in place at edge, just covering stitching line. Note: At shoulder strap point, meet raw edges towards the middle then fold in half, the straps should finish the same width as exposed binding edge on bodice.
Starting at underarm point, sew binding in place along bottom edge of binding around armhole edge...
...continuing to sew shoulder strap binding together, to finish sewing binding in place around opposite armhole edge.
Pin side seams together with right sides facing, matching up binding edge, bodice seam, pocket notches and hemline together. Sew 1/2" seam allowance. Overlock seam allowances together and press towards the back. Lastly catch seam allowance in place at armhole point, by stay stitching (and back stitching a few stitches) along binding edge.
Enjoy wearing your new version of our Annie Dress. And speaking from experience, it's completely perfect for balmy summer days and nights!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Pattern Review - Simplicity 9582

I've seen quite a few off-the-shoulder tops this season but Sachiyo's version is now one of my favourites! Mum and I spotted her in our Chatswood store yesterday and when we saw her we had to find out if it was me-made or RTW. We were delighted to discover it was the former, and made up in a lovely fine licorice/black striped rayon/nylon that we carried a few seasons ago. 
The pattern she used was Simplicity 9582, printed in 1996. Sachiyo used style/view E, modifying the pattern by adding 6cm to the top edges of all the pattern pieces for the elastic tunnel casing and omitting the sleeve ruffles. The wide elastic casing includes a top ruffle then follows an elastic tunnel (9mm elastic) casing, with alternating rows for the elastic tunnel casings. This results in lovely gathers between each elasticated row and it's totally this detail which makes the top!
We love everything about Sachiyo's outfit! She paired back her lovely top with pull-on pants made up in our chocolate brown/blue yarn-dyed 100% linen (sold out) from last summer and we can't resist mentioning her super cool clear optical glasses, African print patchwork cloth bag and comfy red Camper sandals :)

Yes,  as you can tell we're BIG fans Sachiyo! Thank you again for letting us share your creations.

Monday, January 4, 2016

For Paddy - vintage Simplicity 6948

Here's some Monday morning gorgeous for you because....CUTE! This is Paddy - newly minted one year old, prolific babbler, perpetually busy, happy (SO happy), lover of balls and son of my good friend Caroline. I first spied this sweetness over on Kelli's blog and decided to make Paddy a pair of linen overalls for his 1st birthday. Truly, there's an irrestible abundance of kids vintage patterns available on both Etsy and eBay and *sigh* kids in overalls. Does it get any more adorable?
I managed to hunt down the same pattern Kelli used - vintage Simplicity 6948 - and the fabrics were both from the stash. The main one is a fine blue and white linen check (as used over on this Jac Shirt) and the facings are a Liberty tana lawn.
See that bit of white stitching just below the diamond on the back?
Yeah, I made a little mistake there but Paddy doesn't mind. He's just pretty focused on showing you how well he can sit on his ball....
....and being really, really cute. Nice one Paddy (you too Caroline xx).

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Unpicking the RIGHT way

Happy 2016 everybody! We recently shared this link on our Facebook page and it kinda went nuts. Seems there are more that a few of us (*raises hand*) who've been doing it the wrong way in...well...forever. Here's to a new year filled with more efficient unpicking! (original video source here)

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas xxx

Sending customers, followers and fellow fabric-lovers our very best wishes for a safe and happy Christmas. Hope you get some sewing time squeezed in there somewhere. Our store trading hours for the Xmas/New Year period go like this...

Fri 25th Dec CLOSED
Sat 26th Dec CLOSED
Sun 27th Dec CLOSED
Mon 28th Dec CLOSED
Tues 29th Dec OPEN
Wed 30th Dec OPEN
Thurs 31st Dec OPEN (3pm close) 
Fri 1st Jan CLOSED

Online is always OPEN

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Nani Iro + Eva = Summer

It's definitely prime Eva wearing time. Here's June in a great Eva Dress made up in cotton/linen Mountain View Yellow (sold out).
There's still a limited range of Nani Iro designs available here.
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