Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Dotty Spotty Josephine

My wardrobe is pretty short on casual tops, and I thought the Sloppy Josephine from Papercut Patterns looked really promising. Described as a "perfect tee for slouching around in, or for tucking in to your high waisted jeans or skirts for a feminine look". I don't own any high-waisted jeans but I am the queen of slouching around!!

If you haven't checked out Papercut Patterns already, do it!  The patterns come in the cutest packaging...their own cardboard box...with a hanger, how cool is that?  The pattern pieces are on sturdy brown recycled paper, and the instructions come in a booklet!

Going Dotty Josephine

I cut the medium and whilst I really like the fit and it is super comfortable for slouching around in, I feel the neck is too wide. It keeps falling off my shoulders and needs a tank underneath, unless you are happy showing off your bra straps 80s style of course!  When I make this again (and I will) I will take a couple of inches out of the centre front & back, tapering out to the bottom as the next sizes down won't bring it in enough.

Aside from this, this top sewed up super fast, from cutting to finishing was about an hour and a half max including some distractions from Twitter!  I sewed all the seams on my overlocker and finished the hem with a twin needle.

Going Dotty Josephine

I made a couple of minor adjustments:

  • I didn't bind the neckline as suggested, instead I cut a strip of fabric 2" wide and a couple of inches shorter than the neckline and stretched it on
  • As I am pretty short, I took about 3" off the length

Going Dotty Josephine

This is a good basic tee pattern that is easy to make up. It's very comfy and I already wear it a lot. With a narrower neckline, I feel this will be my new go to tee for spring!

Fabric - 1m Cotton knit from Mood

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Completed: Polka Dot B5748

My lovely hubby and I spent last weekend up in Noosa (an hour and a half drive up the coast from where we live) - what a perfect opportunity to give my new dress an outing and give you lovely readers a change from my usual backdrops!

Technically it is still winter here, but seriously look at this weather, it was just fabulous, we are so spoilt. It was a gorgeous 25ÂșC - perfection!


This is a new pattern to me, Butterick 5478, a vintage repro pattern with great back neckline detail. Whilst I love the end result, it definitely is not perfect, nevertheless I don't care and know this will get stacks of wear!


The fabric is a polka dot cotton bought ages that I had stashed for the perfect pattern and I think this might be it!

I made quite a few modifications to get the fit and one to rescue a fit issue that I couldn't be bothered fussing with!  First the rescue - I was having some issues getting the waist darts to sit properly due to the FBA, they just looked silly and wouldn't sit flat. I then just cut the bottom off the bodice and replaced it with a band that I piped with white satin piping bought some time ago.  Then I ran into another drama, I cut the waistband and piping a touch too small and the waist didn't fit, so I cast it aside for about four months. No idea how I did that, guess I was having a blonde moment and measured wrong, or perhaps I cut what I wanted to be instead of what I am ;)

"Move your arms, do something interesting" says hubby/director/photographer

I pulled it out again recently as I have lost a little weight and yay it fitted!  So I finished it off with an invisible zipper and a pleated dirndl skirt.

My pattern alterations:
- shortened bodice by 1"
- added waistband
- dirndl skirt instead of circle (didn't have enough fabric)

As always, I still think I could do a lot more to improve the fit for next time, but I am not sure that anyone apart from sewers and me would even notice.  We really are own worst critics aren't we? Aside from the imperfections, I love, love, LOVE this dress!! I think this with a bit of tweaking, this  my next TNT pattern!  Oh and next time, it really needs pockets.

A bit of self indulgence :)

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Snuggly Sweater

My original plan for this top was just going to be a comfortable and warm hoodie, but it kind of evolved as I was making it.  I started by cutting around an old favourite hoodie that I have just about worn to death. It is tired, pilled, faded but oh, so comfy. The shape started as just a normal sweatshirt, however on trying it on, it just looked blah.  Plus I didn't have any ribbing or enough fabric for the hood, so really my plan was doomed from the start.

Faux Briar

Firstly, I cut the neck wider and deeper and finished the cuffs.  But the length was still meh and felt really unflattering.  Having seen so many of the Megan Nielsen Briars online I thought I would try a similar hemline to see how it looked. Normally I do not like a high-low hem at all, so I am not sure kind of madness made me cut into my fabric without thinking! However, I love my new snuggly sweater!!

Since finishing it I have been wearing it to death.  I really like it over the top of my Tiramisu dress but it also works over a long top with jeans.

Faux Briar
The colour is a light aubergine, not one I would normally wear, but it feels really appropriate for winter. I only seem to wear it with black but that is the majoirty of my winter wardrobe anyway. What other colours would this go with do you think?

Faux Briar
Sorry for the frowning, our sun is super bright!

Construction-wise there is nothing fancy, I sewed all the pieces together with my overlocker only, and then finished the hems and neck by simply turning them under once and finishing with a twin-needle. It came together in about an hour even with all the hacking!

Have you ever started something and then just hacked it to get a result quite different from the original?

Pattern: Self-drafted
Fabric:  NZ Merino -1.25m x 150cm wide 

Friday, 2 August 2013

How to: Flower Fascinator

A few of my lovely followers asked how I made my fascinator.  I did take a few pics as I was making it, so will try to share the construction with you here.

I started with a standard headband that I bought at the supermarket. I was lucky that my chosen headband was already fabric covered, but if you are not as lucky, I imagine you could either make a fabric tube to cover it in, or could used a hot glue gun to attach the embellishment.

Next up is to cut and form the petals.  Cut eight of each size, I used two different sizes, the shape of which you can see above. You should have a total of 16 pieces of fabric, 8 in one size, 8 in another. The base of each petal is around 9cm (3") once sewn together. Pair the pieces together with right sides facing and sew around leaving the base open for turning. Pink or trim close to the seam as you want to end up with nice smooth curves. Turn right side out and press.
Now it is time to pleat the petals. These are created as box pleats. Box pleats are formed when two equal folds of fabric are folded away from each other in opposite directions along the length of fabric. I tacked them down with a long stitch on the machine, the long stitch is in case I want to alter them later, it make the stitches easy to remove.
Each of the pairs of petals is then sewn together in the centre. The bottom pair I sewed the other way around so all the raw seams are hidden within the flower. Not sure I am explained this well, but the picture above should show how the pairs of petals go together. Press the pairs of petals open to reduce the bulk and stack pairs of petals of top of one another, offsetting them to give the flower effect. Hmm...again not any pictures of the process for this, but the result is above. Basically you should have two pairs of each size of petal. Each of these is laid in the opposite direction from the one previous.
Hand sew through all layers in the centre. This is kind of tricky as there are a few layers so make sure your needle isn't too short. I then attached pearl buttons that I had in the centre to disguise the seam, but you could use one larger button or a broach.
I then hand-stitched the piece to my headband, but of course you could use a hot glue gun.
Made fascinator for race day!
Go forth and enjoy your special event! Let me know if you make one, I would love to see.