Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Sewing Table

Look what my gorgeous Husband made for me for Xmas.

I had the design in my mind, however DH did the measuring, drawing, cutting, estapolling and construction and I am one very happy sewer.

We purchased the two Condo Pedestals from Officeworks and as you can see they fit snugly underneath the table when I need to pack up the sewing room for guests.

These drawers hold a large amount of sewing goodies.

There is also a leaf that can be raised on the side that fits under the window for more space to spread out or even have a machine on it so I can, if I want to, have all 3 machines set up ready to sew (which can be the case when sewing knits).

For me this is a much better use of space and a lot more storage than my original set up.

Now to test it out and get some sewing done.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ski boots in Summer

I've had this fabric for a few years (purchased from Quilt Fabric Closeouts) and have always planned on making boxer shorts for DH as this is his sleeping attire when we are in the lodge in Thredbo, so they are wrapped and ready for Xmas.

I have used Jalie 2326 with the centre back seam, however I didn't do the split side seams and made a casing for the elastic (the elastic is held together with a safety pin, until I get him to try them on).

This is my first sewing project for DH so I will be interested to see how his measurements equate to those from the pattern companies.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Black Jeans from TNT Pants Pattern

The final piece from the ASG Conference is completed.

As I said earlier, these started with my TNT Pants pattern using Vogue 9537 (OOP). This pattern was adjusted for me quite a few years ago now and the toile is now the pattern. Here is a collage showing how these look and maybe I should have had a look at them like this before I started the Jeans conversion, I think I need to go back to the drawing board for a TNT pants pattern with those back wrinkles.

I traced off a new front and back piece (including seam allowances) to take to the Convention.

Back Pattern

Here is what the back piece look like compared to the original pattern underneath (the pink original is without seam allowances).

You can see the yoke is missing and the dart has been folded out from the original. The large curve on the inner back leg is the result of the change that Sue made when I tried the Jeans on on Tuesday to check the fit. As you can see it was quite a bit and then I sewed 2cm seams as well.

Front Pattern

Again you can see the original pattern underneath and the only change to this was to fold out the darts, add the fly front and this is after we had taken the 1.5cm off the waist so I need to redraw the pocket placement before I start the next pair.

Other Pattern Pieces

Sue's wonderful instructions gave us directions on how to draft these pieces, although I did borrow the back pocket pattern from the Jalie Jeans pattern I have.

One of the great things Sue showed us was the Pocket Front Extension, it effectively is a control panel and looks like this once the jeans are completed, and can be used for any pair of pants that has a front fly.

So here are some other views:

Back view close up:

Side view:

The waistband now sits nicely into my back, I took out a small wedge from the wasitband, lining the stitching up with the stitching on the centre back of the yoke and then topstitched.

Clearer picture of the back pocket details:

I have worn these a couple of times now and they are quite comfortable to wear.

Sue also suggested that I copy the 550 Levis I was wearing at convention and after reading Lindsay T's post about Glad Press 'N' Seal this might be the way to go, I just have to find it in Australia (in some Reject Shops I believe) or order from the US.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Rust Shirtmaker Dress

I can't believe I have had nothing to show you since October, I've been sewing but nothing has been finished until now.

The Rust Shirtmaker Dress is completed.

At the Armoury Cafe at Newington after our ASG Christmas Lunch

As promised in my earlier post here are the details:

Back Adjustments

  • Added 1.5cm at the neck edge of the shoulder and increased this to 2.6cm at the shoulder edge
  • Added extra to the side seams starting 5cm down from the armhole to end up with 2cm extra width at the hem line (you can see this on the front pattern piece below).

  • Added 3cm to the length (you can see this on the front pattern piece below).

Front Adjustments

  • Added extra to the side seams starting 5cm down from the armhole to end up with 2cm extra width at the hem line.
  • Added 3cm to the length.

Collar and Collar Stand Adjustments

  • Added 1.5cm into the collar and collar stand.
Note: The patterned sticky tape on my patterns is to remind me to turn my pattern over when I go to iron the pattern after it has been folded, so I keep the iron off the sticky tape, a tip from Pam.


During construction, Pam decided to reduce the collar length by 1.5cm as the collar was a bit large for me.

I also decided to use the shorter sleeve and found that the shoulder width needed to be reduced by 1.5cm at the shoulder edge reducing back to zero by the time I got to the notches.


Rhona Feeney, who I sew with at the Alexandria Achievers, suggested that I put half circles on the back of my Shirtmaker dress to cover the side ventilation.
  • I traced off a circle using my bobbin keeper and then folded it half and cut out two in the rust linen.

  • Sewed a line of stitching the width of the machine foot from the edge around the half circle and then a gathering stitch between this stitch and the edge.

  • Drew up the gathering stitch and then pressed the seam allowance down along the line of the first row of stitching.

  • Unpicked the side seams of the Shirtmaker dress and put the long edge of the half circle into the seam and then I pinned and basted the half circle in place.

  • Very slowly topstitched the half circle in place.

Also at this time Rhona took out a 1.5cm fold from the middle of the back darts to the hem, effectively taking out 6cm of fabric out of the back of the Shirtmaker.

I tried to do the buttonholes myself, but wasn't feeling too confident with 9 of them, so on my way to work the other morning, I dropped this into Mick of Quick Buttonholes at Alexandria for him to do my buttonholes. I had pinned the button placement on the button band, and left him a reel of my cotton and a button attached in a small zip lock bag to the Shirtmaker. The next day, again on my way to work, I collected this from Mick who charged me $25 for the 9 buttonholes on the Shirtmaker dress and the 1 he did for me on my Jeans. Money very well spent.

This is a very comfortable dress to wear and I can see a few more versions in my wardrobe over the various seasons.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sewing Convention wrap up

I am supposed to be tidying up the sewing room so it can be a guest room for the in-laws when they arrive on Wednesday, instead I am blogging :)

At the end of September Alison, Velosewer and I drove to Ballarat in Victoria to attend the 9th National Convention held by the Australian Sewing Guild at Ballart Grammar, arriving just in time for the first dinner on Sunday night and we would be there until after breakfast on Saturday.

We were looked after very well, our rooms were tidy and ours was very warm compared to others, but I'm definately not complaining, and the classrooms were heated as well. There was plenty of food, just wondering why the dining hall is not heated?

I had elected to do 2 x 2 day workshops and Wednesday was left free.

Monday and Tuesday was spent with Sue Marriot who was teaching us how to use our TNT Pants Pattern to design and construct a pair of jeans learning the following techniques - topstitching, traditional fly front, jean pockets (including pocket stay), belt loops and hems.

Monday morning I started with my TNT Pants Pattern Vogue 9537 (OOP) as my base and with Sue's guidance and great notes created the Jeans Pattern. I managed to cut them out in a black woven denim from Spotlight and the pocket pieces from a fat quarter. By the end of Monday I had:

• Stitched and topstitched the front pockets
• Inserted the Metal Zip and more topstitching
• Used the design from Margie T’s Jeans for my back pocket and had these stitched and ready to be placed on my jeans.

Tuesday’s first job was to stitch the back pockets in place and attach the yoke. At this stage I basted the legs together for a fit. This is when Sue took out quite a bit off the back leg (sorry the excess that Sue cut off, I cut off the pattern and didn’t take measurements) and I had to cut off 1.5cm from the waist so this is why my front pockets look like coin pockets. Once we were happy with the fit I finished off the leg seams. I then attached the waistband and ran out of time before I could get Sue to check or topstitch which turns out very fortunate. This is where they were left until I got home.

Last week I tried them on and oh dear, that waistband gaposis, it is not much but enough to bug me, so I have unpicked the waistband and again work has got in the way and they are still at this stage but thought I would show you how they look (well as good as you can see them in black).

Front (minus button)



Note the back waistband is not attached here.

Wednesday saw the three of us getting back in the car and heading to Melbourne to check out some more fabrics shops and Jimmy’s Buttons. It turned out to be the wrong season for me to purchase fabrics, nothing wanted to come home with me.

Thursday and Friday was spent with Pamela Kerr, who promised that those Perfect points on shirt collars wouldn't be so daunting anymore. Tips for edge stitching around the collar as this can also be hard work and often ruins an entire shirt because it can look poor quality.

Thursday was essentially the fitting day. We all started with McCall’s 5433 Palmer/Pletsch Classic Fit pattern. I had already cut the paper pattern out (size 8, View D), drawn in my stitching lines and taped the curves so I was a bit ahead of the others when class started on Thursday morning. I soon had it all pinned together and was ready for my first fitting and discussed with Pam about making this a shirtmaker style (View D just needed the hem allowance added).

I was ready to cut out my fabric after we had lunch. By the end of Thursday I had the front and back darts sewn, side seams and shoulder seams sewn and everything was pressed.

Friday morning started with cutting out the interfacing x 2 for the collar, collar stand, cuff and button band and fusing these.

Then disaster struck, I was busy overlocking my side seams and

I put it on to see where it was and it is sitting on my waist, which is fortunate.

I made the decision to ignore it (well sort of) and continued to sew the collar stand, collar and button bands on the dress and this is where it is up to.



Side view

Now Pamela did suggest that I add belt loops so I can wear a belt. I’m not a huge belt wearer and then I got to thinking about adding a self fabric band (probably stitched the same way as the button band is) around the waist and this is what I have played with very roughly this afternoon when I decided to take the photos.

I will share further details about my adjustments when I finally finish these items (note In-Laws in sewing room for 1 week at least).

I had a wonderful time at the Convention, catching up with others that I don't see from Convention to Convention, meeting new people and learning lots of new things through my classes but also through the generous nature of all those who attended. I will admit that by the end of the Convention I was exhausted, however, I am now trying to work out how to get my sewing machine to Launceston!

Now I had better get back to packing up the sewing room.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Possum Yarn

I am someone who has to have something to do with her hands and as I can't always take my sewing machine away with me on holidays or during lengthy road trips I cross-stitch but last year I decided to take up knitting again once I saw this Shawl Collar Jacket at the Turramurra Drapery stand at the Craft and Quilt Fair held at Darling Harbour in June 2009.

It is knitted in double moss stitch and uses TOUCH Possum Yarn. I'm so happy with how it fits and the design is so simple but classic.

I stopped off at All Buttons Great and Small in Newtown on the way home from work on Thursday and got this gorgeous hook and eye clasp.

I wore it in Thredbo last weekend and was surprised at how warm it was and can see that it will get a lot of wear next winter.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Australian Stitches - Volume 16

Here is the latest Index for Volume 16 for Australian Stitches, please take a copy if you want.

I have also sent a copy to Lynn Cook, Editor of Australian Stitches.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Simplicity 2648

This is the dress I had fitted with Alison Wheeler during my Fitting Weekend.

I chose to work on this dress with Alison because it had sleeves and as you read here it was the main issue I wanted to work on.

This is the first time I have used a pattern that has choices for cup sizes and whether you are slim, average or curvy. The decision for the cup size was easy, I used a B cup, Size 10, but it was when I had to work out whether I was slim or average that I got myself in a bit of a dilemma. I ended up using the average pattern size 12 for the skirt which turned out pretty correct.

Again I had my normal adjustments done:

* Round shoulder – 1.5cm added
* High round back - 1cm added

* Round shoulder - 1.5cm removed
* 1.5cm gaposis taken from the front neck edge

The first thing Alison did was check the sleeve cap height and got me to add 1cm to the sleeve and blouse armholes before she looked at any other adjustments.

Then further adjustments were made which then made my total adjustment list as follows:

Back Adjustments

* 1.5cm added back shoulder
* 1cm gaposis taken from the back neck edge
* Added 1cm to armhole edge
* High round back of 1cm"

Front Adjustments

* Round shoulder - 1.5cm removed
* 1cm gaposis taken from the front neck edge
* Added 1cm to armhole

Sleeve adjustments

* Added 1cm to the side seams to match the armholes on the bodice

I had taken some brown linen that I had purchased from The Fabric Store with me for this dress and DS was rather horrified that I would use this for a toile, however with the adjustments we had done and the other fittings that we would be doing, I convinced her that it would be a very wearable toile.

DS then proceeded to cut this dress out, whilst Alison and I worked on the Marfy Skirt.

Between DS and I we got the dress basted together with the sleeves in for Alison to check. It was here that we noticed that the side seams needed to be straightened at the hips (I'm fairly straight there) and there was 2cm of extra fabric at the centre back seam, even though the side seams were falling correctly so this extra fabric was removed and then we played around with the darts and seams to match the bodice and skirt.

This is where the dress was up to by the time I left Brisbane and I cut out the lining and had the construction finished with the hem being sewn during our 10hr drive to Ballarat for the ASG National Convention so I could wear it to the Gala Dinner.

Here I am outside our accommodation (jacket off for the photograph, it was too cold to go to dinner without it!)

Here is the back view (in my backyard a week later)

and here is how the dress has been worn so far, under my Chanel Jacket. It will be a great dress for Spring.

I am very pleased with this dress and can see other variations being made. Alison also pointed out that I now have a good fitting skirt and top pattern as well.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I' m a Winner

Two posts in 2 days, but I just had to show you what I received today in the mail.

Gay over at AND SEW IT SEAMS had a Give-Away for her 100th blog and look what arrived today:

# The latest Threads magazine.

# A Nicole Mallalieu Day Bag Pattern which I can't wait to try.

# A Project Runway Brand Spanking New Sewing Case.

# 2 pkts quality interfacing - one is a woven lightweight the other a lovely Soft Lite Weft, definately not the SheerWeft I have been using.

# 1 pkt Jeans needles - size 80 - these will come in handy after my class at the Convention.

# and the cutest PINK tape measure in a cute little tin.

I'm going to have fun tonight playing with my new goodies.

Thank you Gay for such a wonderful treat.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A quick top

I've been admiring Alison's top and finally bit the bullet and got myself Kwik.Sew 3740 and this fabric was just asking to be made up in it.

This is a very quick top, I traced off the pattern on the Saturday afternoon, and did my normal pattern adjustments:

  • Round shoulder
  • High Round back
  • Front neck gaposis, including this adjsutment in the cowl pattern as well.
On Sunday, after playing around with the fabric pattern placement, I cut it out, and stitched it up with my overlocker and it was ready for hemming that afternoon. Yes, it then took me another week to do the hems but here I am wearing it to work.

Back view

This fabric is very heavy, so I have added a ribbon across the back neck to try and keep in on my shoulders as it keeps falling off them.

I really like how they do the cowl with this pattern, you can't see where it joins, the bodice and I top stitched the neck/cowl seam so it would stay under.

This is a great top and I can see quite a few in my wardorbe.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Seeing spots ...

I am heading off to the Australian Sewing Guilds 9th National Convention being held at Ballarat Grammar School in Victoria, next Sunday and thought I had better make myself some new pyjama bottoms so I am decent.

I found this spotty flanelette at Spotlight at the beginning of this winter and have always planned to make pyjama bottoms from it.

The pattern is Burda 11-2009-131 (sorry about the french but it is the only way I can find a link) and this looks very different to my version.

I made the 36 and besides shortening them 7cm in length I have made no further adjustments.

I did stitch a triangle at the centre back to make sure the elastic stays in place and also threaded through some pale green ribbon as decoration.

Thankfully I have a t-shirt that works perfectly with my new pyjama bottoms as I'm running out of time to do much else.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Look who is being spoilt

Over at Pattern Review they are having a "Sewing for your Pet" contest and I decided it was time to spoil Roscoe (okay he is spoilt rotten, but what am I supposed to do), with a bed which is a bit better than the poor crocheted knee rug and what used to be a large sheepskin fleece that looks so small on his new bed (thankfully he has grown out of ripping things apart).

I have used McCall's 3071 (OOP) which is for pet accessories and includes instructions and patterns to make a dog coat, dog bed and dog bed cover.

The inner bed is made from calico which wasn't quite wide enough for the circles, so I added a seam in the centre. This takes 9 x 200g Craft Fiber bags to fill.

The patterned corduroy I have had in the stash for at least 14 years, I know I purchased it with the intention of making DH a pair of pull on pants to lounge around in, and yes he was wearing this sort of thing when I met him, I think they were left over from his surfing days.

I didn't quite have enough for the whole bed cover so I purchased 1 metre of burgundy corduroy for the side panels and used a burgundy zip from my stash.

And this is a sight that every Border Collie owner wants to see, them sound asleep.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Marfy 2254

Time has certainly flown by since I last posted and even though I have been very busy, I have very little to show.

I finished this blouse at the end of June and it has taken me this long to get photos.

This is my very first Marfy pattern, so I was interested to see what adjustments I would need for their patterns as I love the designs they come up with.

As I said in my earlier post, when I had the fitting session with Alison I had my normal adjustments done, which are:

  • Round shoulder – 1.5cm added
  • High round back - 1cm added
  • Round shoulder - 1.5cm removed
  • 1.5cm gaposis taken from the front neck edge
I explained to Alison that I had been having major difficulties with woven sleeves, and this was the fitting issue I really wanted to work on. Alison explained that a lot of the patterns now have lower armholes and the cap height doesn't suit everyone.

Alison then measured my bicep (27cm), and with the tape measure still around my bicep she measured from the top of the tape measure to my shoulder point which is the cap height (11cm).

Here is the Marfy pattern with the pattern tissue measurements, which showed the cap height on the pattern was 15.5cm, so Alison got me to add 1cm to the sleeve and blouse armholes before she looked at any other adjustments.

Alison then got me to do the following adjustments:


• Take out the High round back and replace it with a 8mm gaposis from the back neck edge
• Added 1.5 cm at the centre back neckline, take back to nothing at the shoulder seam
• Added 1cm to armhole
• Added 2.5cm at side seam tapering back to the normal seam towards the armhole


• Added 1cm to armhole
• Added 2.5cm at side seam tapering up to zero towards the armhole
• Shortened the dart by 7.5cm


• Added 1cm to the side seams to match the armholes on the bodice
• Bicep adjustment of 2cm

Here is the completed blouse at the end of a days work:



Notes for next time:
  • I have managed to put one of the sleeves in wrong, it needs to be rotated back by 2cm.

  • The cuff is too tight where the sleeve joins it, so I will straighten the sleeve side seams a bit each side and add the extra to the cuff as well.

  • You can see a slight ridge near the neckline of my blouse, this has been caused by the 1.5cm that was added to the back neck edge. This will be removed for future blouses.

  • I will probably make the back darts a bit deeper and add a small bust dart at the front.
I have some silk that I want to make this blouse up in and it will be a good Spring addition to my wardrobe.