Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Our latest pattern - The Alice Dress/Top

Alice Top in Liberty of London Capel Dark Blue
We are very excited to be releasing our latest pattern - The Alice Dress/Top. This smock style top/dress features a self-lined yoke bodice with shaped armhole bands and a softly gathered body on front and back. The dress version also includes side pockets. Suitable fabrics for the Alice include lightweight linens, lightweight cottons (such as Liberty of London tana lawns), eyelet cotton, rayons, viscose and silk crepe de chine.

Alice Top in Striped Stone D'Ville (100% linen)
Colette's dress version below is made up in Italian cotton lawn The Other Alps. Colette had to allow for extra meterage to match the zig zag striped pattern on the lower dress - 2.5mtrs was used for this size Small dress. The armhole bands were cut on the opposing grain for contrast and the inner yoke and armhole bands were cut in the lighter part of the print.

Alice Dress in The Other Alps (cotton lawn)
For Lisa's linen version below, she used our lightweight Striped Stone D'Ville and cut the front and back outer yokes on the opposing grain to give some horizontal stripe contrast. She used a Liberty (Eleonora, from the stash) for the yoke and sleeve facings.

Because she wanted to retain the softness of the linen, she didn't interface the armhole bands. And for her shorter style, she took a further 10cm off the length.

Happy Alice sewing! We hope you like her x

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Pattern Review: Vogue 1387 (view B)

Always keen to try out a new pattern, Raewin's just finished this lovely blouse in blue silk crepe de chine made up in Vogue 1387 pattern (view B)

This pattern's a great alternative to the classic shirt silhouette and works well in silk cdc. Here too are more lovely creations seen around blogland:

Friday, October 10, 2014

Pattern Review - McCalls 6844

Looking for a stylish, lightweight, mid-season knit cardigan?  Georgia snapped up a remnant of Italian summer knit Bellino and made up view C McCalls 6844 out of the 1.50mtr length. 

These gorgeous Italian knits are now reduced to clear, online and in-store.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

NEW Lisa Dress Pattern

Lisa Dress made up in Lulu Navy Linen
It's been a long time between patterns so we are SUPER excited to be releasing our latest Lisa Dress! This loose and comfortable high-waisted dress features a sleeveless bodice with button opening, contoured high waistline and a gathered skirt with side pockets. Worn on its own, over a t-shirt (perfect with our Lola Tee pattern) or tank top, the Lisa Dress is the perfect wardrobe addition to your spring/summer wardrobe. Suitable fabrics include light to medium weight linens, lightweight cottons (such as Liberty tana lawns), rayons, viscose and silk crepe de chines.

Lisa Dress worn with Lola Tee Pattern
For added comfort and layering purposes, the armholes have been designed to sit low so the dress can be worn with a tank or t-shirt underneath.
Lisa Dress Pattern made up in Kiwi Flip
Longer version (lengthened by three inches) in Hanky Black Jin
Anita's version in Liberty of London Gemma Green
Other suitable fabrics for the Lisa Dress include:

We hope you love it. And stay tuned for more new summer patterns coming soon!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

My Turia Dungarees by Pauline Alice

Ah sweet overalls (or dungarees). I forgot how much I loved to wear you. Last time I wore a pair of these was in my uni days back in the 90s. I had a black cheesecloth pair that were on super high rotation until one saaaaaad day when they ripped exactly where you might expect a pair of overalls to rip. Cheesecloth on high rotation will do that to a bum seam.

This clever pattern is the lovely Turia Dungarees by Pauline Alice. I first spied these on Kirsty's blog and then another couple of impressive makes popped up on Karen and Bella's blogs too. And three's a charm I say. There's also a lot to be said for waiting for a few pattern reviews to pop up so you can seek some pearls of sewing wisdom from those who venture before you. Karen has also done a really helpful blog post on adding your metal buttons. Not so tricky, as it turns out!  All three bloggers gave some great tips which I applied to my version, including:

- inserting just one zip, not the recommended two.
- staystitching the edges of the bib piece
- adding in some reinforcement top-stitching detail at Step 21, where straps meet back.

I also shortened mine a little further because I didn't want to cuff them (the design is intended to be worn cropped).

You know how some patterns are great for teaching or reinforcing a particular skill? For the Turia's, it's all about the flat felled seam. And top stitching. I tell you, there were some extreme levels of sewing satisfaction in these tidy seams. It's all in the finishes and the Turia does finishes extremely well.

The fabric I chose was our 100% linen Wainscot Denim. This is one of my favourite shades ever - sort of a dark chambray that gives me a denim look with all the lovely softness of linen.

I am very much enjoying wearing these. Being a slimmer fit, they're way more comfortable then I thought they'd be and after some initial bending/sitting trepidation I'm pleased to report they passed with flying colours. And, most importantly, they give me licence to assume this ridiculous pose...

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Pattern Review - Vintage Butterick 5111 a.k.a the stash bust

So as a follow up to my last blog post, here's the one where I talk about the top. The whole time I was making that skirt, I was contemplating a top to go with it. My initial plan was to make something using the same fabric but a recent house move revealed an alarmingly, italics worthy, large stash. I know interpretation of stash size is very subjective but I've revealed mine to a few sewing mates since the move and the general responses have been along the lines of 'oh my god' and 'holy *insert expletive of choice*'. Also, I now officially have more fabric at home than Colette and that scares me a little bit. But hey, on the upside, I now have a sewing room and being able to leave my machines out is making it a helluva lot easier to find time to BEAT THAT STASH.

Anyhoo, back to that top. Regular readers will know that I love a good raglan and this one's no exception. It's an ever so slightly modified version of vintage Butterick 5111 (view B), with shortened and cuffed sleeves. Because I didn't want to interfere with the lace piece on the back, I put the invisible zip on the front and much prefer to wear it open because that neckline is high!


The front, sleeves and neck binding (used instead of facings) are a beautiful linen/viscose blend left over from this dress. For the back, I used a small piece of our Lavern 100% Cotton Guipure Lace (also available in black at Surry Hills and Melbourne). 

All over stash busting satisfaction. And it feels pretty damn good.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Pattern Review - Style 3863 full circle skirt


I have fallen hard for the big skirt. And I mean BIG. The one that is full and swirly and voluminous and classic.

I scored this full circle skirt pattern - Style 3863 - at an op shop forever ago. Like this pattern, it was published in the 80s and is another decent testament to a fashion decade that generally makes me chuckle or cringe or both. But has the circle skirt every really gone out of fashion? Aside from the hem length, me thinks 'no'. And now I get why.

The fabric is Ice Cube Blue - a mid-weight linen/viscose blend with a teeny, tiny check. It's also available in red (limited quantity only) at Surry Hills and Melbourne.

I originally aimed for mid-calf length (which required me to lengthen the pattern....or so I thought...) but ended up with ankle length. That look was just an all over NO so I had to cut off the 7cm that I'd added and ended up at a much happier length for me and my height. After allowing the skirt to hang for a couple of days there was some alarming unevenness in the hem so I followed Gertie's simple tip for marking the length evenly and it worked perfectly. There is a delicious weight to this skirt and I love how it moves, feels and falls.

I'll be back soon with a blog post about that top.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Nani Iro 'Paint Colour' Pillowcases


Two sweet pillow cases for the girls. The fabric - Paint Colour -  is one of our new and beautiul Nani Iro selections and is a cotton/linen blend. These were super simple to make using one long rectangular piece of fabric (two metres will get you two pillowcases with this narrow fabric width). I've not made pillow cases before and followed the pattern from an existing one I had.

As a follow up to last year's tutorials on making fitted and flat sheets, Colette will be doing a pillowcase tutorial soon. For when the NEW ITALIAN LINEN SHEETINGS ARRIVE!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Her birthday, my score (vintage Simplicity 7355)

Over the past few years I've had varying degrees of success in sewing up a birthday make for the kidlet. Sometimes I'm late (2012), sometimes I'm early (2013), sometimes I'm slooow (2010, but really it should've been 2008) and, judging by the blogging archives that were 2011, sometimes I sew nothing at all.

The pattern I chose to make for E's 10th birthday was Simplicity 7355 (1976). I bought it about three years ago at The Fabric Cave and loved it because it was basically a junior version of this awesome vintage Butterick dress that Colette made back in 2010.

The fabric I chose was Heart on Sleeve - one of our lovely new enzyme-washed checked linens. With fabric and pattern choices out of the way, the next step was to decide on whether to make the dress or top. I put that conundrum to the good people of Instagram and some clever followers suggested a tunic. At this active age and stage, E's not so much into dresses anymore (*sniff*) so that seemed like the perfect and practical medium between the two options. I added just over 3" to the length of the top version and decided against adding pockets.

I'm not going to lie - there was some painstaking pattern matching that went into this one. Because  right/wrong face is indistinguishable on this fabric, I found the easiest way to do this was to cut one of each pattern piece. I then lay that on top of the remaining fabric with some extreme pinning to match it up precisely, and then cut my second piece around this. Totally worth the time and effort, no?

I had an inkling the sizing was going to run a bit large and, as it turns out, it was a LOT large.  But herein lies the beauty of sewing for kids - assuming it's not too small, they can grow into it! Sure it'll take a few (maybe more) years but this style isn't going to date and she'll get there, one day. Once I'd pushed aside the initial disappointment that was the oversized-ness, I tried it on myself and WHAT D'YOU KNOW, it was a freakin' perfect fit! Just like that I found my silver lining for that sewing cloud.  

I love this style. It's blouse-y and light and I'm going to wear it all over, in and around summer, I know it. I particularly love the way the back falls out, and the design is accentuated perfectly by the lines of the checks.

I took a little extra off the length and now I have a strictly 'on loan' top that I have promised to mind and wear with love and care until the day comes when it actually fits E. And to assuage some of her disappointment, I whipped her up a mini Mandy Boat Tee (printed at 80% size) which she loves. It's a perfect kids pattern because it has all the roominess and comfort that they want and need at that age.

Let's call that a win:win shall we?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Giddy (and good-y) Spring sewing

There is something about spring/summer fabrics that makes me a little giddy. Not giddy in an off-balance, middle-ear-infection kinda way. Think more over-excited kid bursting with joy on Christmas morning. It's the colours, the prints, the lightness, the choices (oh, the choices) and the promise of some warmth and light at the end of that dark winter-y tunnel. And so while we may only be just past the halfway point of our winter here in Australia, we are feeling pretty damn excited about the very first spring fabric releases that we've just received in store and online.

First up are these classic beauties - enzyme washed, check linens. Lily? Pia? I've got big weekend sewing plans for Heart on Sleeve. And if you're seeking some sartorial inspiration, there's some check love happening on our Pinterest board over here too.

Also delivered are these new Italian lovelies pictured below. All 100% silk (crepe de chine) and all washed finish. Absolutely perfect for a fresh spring Tokyo Jacket or Gabby Dress.
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