Monthly Archives: March 2012

I have been out of action (sewing-wise) for more than 3 weeks and I have to say it has made me so sad.
I thought my leg was better (but it got bad again when I started to sew) leading me to believe it may be sewing related.

I am off on a massive trip (over 8 weeks) around Europe and beyond but when I get back I fully intend to sew and post on a weekly basis again.
I will be blogging pictures from my trip here (

It’s sad that I didn’t finish the dress for the Mad Men challenge but considering the circumstances I’m glad I gave the old leg some healing time.

I was pretty happy with where I was going with it after all the fussing with the fit. Notice the photos are better? I got a proper camera from my lovely boyfriend for my birthday and I am so happy for it! I have been busy playing around with it and trying to learn about photography.

I gotta say I LOVE what I have seen of  the costumes from season 5 of Mad Men.

(warning: spoilers)

The late 60s is the best! I adore all the playful prints and bright colours. I am ALL about those two things for myself as well! Bold colour and pattern is 100% my style.

I look forward to sew again when I come back! Hopefully I will encounter some fabric shops on my travels 😉

My leg is better and I am so happy I can sew again.

Simplicity 3823 and the zillion alterations I have done on it has been getting me down. I am on version 7 and it still doesn’t fit correctly. I am really losing patience with this pattern or perhaps just patience with myself. I know I wont be happy with it unless I get a good fit but my skills in that area are sorely lacking. Perhaps its time to invest in some books on fitting, but then the ones I have are not much help….

So If you have followed my blog you will know I always turn to easy/fun projects when fitting a dress is getting to me.

This project is super quick and easy I made the leopard skirt a long time ago and I got a lot of wear out of it in summer. I wanted to make two more for my trip and they are great for travel because they are versatile and don’t take up much space in the suitcase.

I prefer skirts to shorts or pants and these are so easy to wear.

I use 70.5 cm of wide black elastic. The skirt length is pretty short at around 45 cms including seam allowance but it’s quite full and gathered so I think it balances out, this is the shortest I will go for a skirt.

I sew the elastic on top of the fabric with lots of pins.

The zerba print skirt is just one gathered piece. Because the fabric was 120 cm wide I could get away with just using the 45 cm piece I had. The blue floral skirt was made from fabric that was 112cms wide so I sewed is two pieces of 112cms together before I gathered it. thats why the gathers are heavier.

I look weirdly evil in this photo. But as you can see I did not have a lot of luck with taking photos.

I also made a whole bunch of drawstring bags for my trip but perhaps thats a little dull to post. There is so much more to post about but it will have to wait.

Now we’re getting somewhere…..I do have a soft spot of the crowded house song for the same name haha. Wow I just discovered that was released a year after I was born hehe… yey 80s!

ANYWAY…Check out my 4th Muslin or Toile for  Simplicity 3823 (Its just the bodice/top part the skirt i’m wearing is just to stop you getting and eyeful/seeing my belly)

LOL I do kind of love my goofy expression!

I almost gave up on this dress but now I figured out the obvious fitting issue that would make the top of the bodice sit better (I am still working on the back and the band).

It was so obvious but for some silly reason I originally resisted my urge to lower the streamline connecting the gathered front halter piece to the midsection/band. It was not sitting under my bust, resulting in a bad fit.

If I just asked myself “How do I differ from a size 10 fitting model?” I would have made the right adjustment a long time ago.

So how do I differ? I am not a small bra cup/size and I am not ahem as erm….lets just say my breasts don’t naturally sit high up near my armpits and I am NOT a teenager.

Moral of the story is WHERE things are sitting can be just as important as HOW things are sitting.

As for the midriff band I made so many dodgey winging-it alterations on things I can sort of see why it would be pulling. But I am addressing that next!

Rather than following the dreaded suggestion from the pattern of putting boning in the back I am planning on just adding shirring to the back . I know Betty drapers dress would be a lot more dressy but this is my spin on the dress so I decided its still accepatable.

I have never worked with shirring/shirring elastic before but I found a good tutorial here.

Gertie also has one called “Making a Shirred-Back Dress”. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

That would solve the fitting issues in the back and ensure it stays up rather than the dreaded suggestion from the pattern of putting boning in the back.

Rule of thumb: The uglier the pattern pieces become-the better the fit. Haha Amateur pattern adjustments TO THE MAX.


I am going on a big trip to Europe soon so I better keep working on it.

Hmmm  Perhaps I should name every post after songs I like. Would that be wrong?