Monthly Archives: November 2013

Wow guys! I made sewing plans and I stuck to them (that is so unlike me). It may be a little boring…. I wanted to make a skirt using new look 6128, so I could test out the pattern just to see if it was worthy of special fabric.

I wore this outfit today and photographed it when I got home meaning that this is how the skirt looked after a day in the city. This denim is lovely and pretty crease-resistant I think I bought it at the remnant warehouse a long time ago.

redskirt01 redskirt02 redskirt04 redskirt05You can see some creasing on the back, but that was after a whole day of wearing it.redskirt06

The verdict on the skirt: It goes with a lot and I like the a-line shape. I love things in bold solid colours! BUT I did have some issues with the skirt shifting around on my body while I walked. Suddently the side seam would be at the front. SO annoying! is it a bad fit, or can I remedy the situation by adding a belt and belt loops to my next version?

Because I took it in so much it sits above the waist, I think I like it but I’m not sure if it’s flattering. I can never tell when I make skirts If I am going to like them. Does it sit too high?

The new look 6128 pattern was not without its problems…Just as I remembered new look patterns have WAAAAAAAAAY too much sewing ease. Perhaps I should just sew with bigger seam allowances whenever I use new look patterns


Alterations I made to the pattern:

I cut out the pattern size 8 but I ended up taking the skirt in by around 6mm in the waistband, side seams and the center back (before I installed the zipper).

If I try on an australian size 8 skirt in a store it would be on the snug side but I was positively swimming in the newlook size 8.

I also lengthened the darts on the back of the skirt  by about 4cms. The darts could probably do with being wider I am not blessed with a round behind…Its kind of awesome how lengthening the darts can fix the fit like that. So if your behind is like mine and on the flatter side try lengthening the darts!

I can’t remember if I shortened the skirt but I think the skirt part is around 42cms long (not including the waistband)

I LOVE patch pockets on skirts and I did cut out the triangular ones, but they were not doing it for me.

I wanted to cut out rounded patch pockets but I couldn’t find the remaining red denim so instead side-tab things with buttons for decoration. I do enjoy an oversized button or two (I found these ones at a dollar store haha)!

I could have done a much better job with those tabs…ah well you can’t get too hung up on these things…

Next time I use this pattern:

I want to do a lapped dress zipper, much better for heavier weight fabric and for skirts. I actually find invisible zips much easier and I have not used a non-invisible zipper in a sewing project since I was a teenager. I’m sort of scared.

I’m hoping my adding belt loops (and belt) it will stop the skirt shifting around on my body as I walk.

I love orange, cute animals and reading so this dress is probably perfect for me…

penguin01 penguin02 penguin03 penguin04 penguin05 penguin06 penguin07

The dress is made from a lightweight cotton I bought at The Remnant Warehouse. It’s a lot like a tana lawn, it’s lightweight and breathable. There is a trade-off as the fabric is a little delicate. The pattern is my own design (I have made countless dresses with this pattern).

I had this dress lying around half-finished for god knows how long (I’m sure you know the story). The bodice is lined and there is an invisible zip in the side seam. I took it in 6mm on the zipper side before I installed the zipper.

As you can see I didn’t match my print very well on the front of the bodice, but I am not really fussed , but next time I will be more careful (at least on the front).

I didn’t line the skirt, because I always wear denim shorts underneath sun-dresses and skirts.

I do wish the straps were a little shorter and the waist is pretty roomy.

I must like the dress because I have worn it 3 times already. I would say it suits my personality well.

The more serious people of the world probably wonder why a grown up lady walks around in a penguin dress, but thats OK. I never want to grow up or be too serious…

BTW: Does my dress may remind you of this?:


Above:  The movie is as good as the book. How often does that happen? My copy of this is in storage since I switched to kindle. The penguins on the dress are obviously not the same as the logo, but my boyfriend calls it the book dress.


Just in case you are wondering my favorite books of all time are: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley! You must read them. 🙂

Living in a small apartment storage is very important! I keep my makeup in some plastic drawers but they were not pretty, so I gave them a new look…

I don’t care if I am juvenile! I reserve the right to bring color and crazy pattern into my life wherever I go!


I just used wrapping paper to cover the front of the drawers. The wrapping paper is from cotton on. I made a template by tracing around the front of the drawer with paper then I refined the shape with my gridded pattern-making ruler.


Then I stuck double sided sticky tape on the drawer, peeled it of and put the wrapping paper on the front. Ah double sided tape, reminds me of design school…



This is how they looked before. ugly see-though plastic drawers aw :(….



Horray! happy colourful fun drawers! (I’m a weird one aren’t i?)!

Want to see whats in my drawers? probably not but i’ll show you anyway!


My makeup brushes! They would get way too dusty if I just kept them on my table.


While we are on the subject of makeup… I don’t wear a lot, but my favorite kind is eyeliner!

I love all kinds if eyeliner: pencil, gel, liquid felt tips but at the moment I am loving mechanical liner. It givers a softer look than liquid.

I love this tip: When doing a winged eyeliner look and you are doing the flick, use small brush with a power eyeshadow to map out the line, then if you get it wrong just dust it of to redo it. When you are happy then go over the eyeshadow with your gel or pencil. Brilliant!


In Australia makeup is REALLY expensive.It’s tricky to find matte eye shadow that is affordable, but rimmel have a black and a brown eyeshadow with no glitter or sparkle in it. :). I use it all time!


I keep my lipstick in a lower drawer because I don’t use it much. I am not good at wearing it! I can’t keep it on and I don’t suit many shades.
Does anyone have any advice? I have small lips, I prefer matte lipsticks (I don’t like lipsticks with frost or glitter) I snack a lot and lipstick stays on for about 15 minutes max.

I finally finished it! I really feel like this dress is completly my style!  I apologize for the large amount of pictures, but if you can’t be a bit indulgent on your own blog then when can you be?


It’s a little shorter than I normally go, but I feel like it works with the style.


I think this is going to be my Christmas dress. It’s one of the rare occasions where I am not in hiding and get to dress up.

After these photos I had to change into some shorts, because it is 30 degrees C outside (thats 86 F in american-speak) It was too hot to wear the dress today :(….But then I do love hot weather! 🙂


I had trouble drafting the collar, it doesn’t sit as flat as I would like it too! Prior to sewing the collar and facing on I was a little apprehensive with how big the collar would look, but I think it works, especially with my short hair.

These days I try to be careful of over-fitting. I feel like this has a bit more ease. I need to move in it after all! One of the older dresses I made gets zero wear because I cant move my arms properly in it. But in this one it’s no problem.

The fabric is a cotton pique…Back when I worked in a fabric shop I bought something like 6 meters of this stuff at something crazy like $2.50 per meter. The fabric/print looks kind late 60s early 70s to me. The collar is white drill and a white calico on the underside.

This dress is so quick to sew, but it took forever because I made muslins, altered the fit and even copied the paper pattern multiple times. But now I have a great fitting pattern for future projects so I guess it is kind of a win.

Did I mention how much I love princess seams! So easy to alter and the fit is so lovely.

Last time I tried to make a 60s dress, I made a shift dress in a fabric that was super drapey (to much drape for the project) and the darts were all pointy, I hate when that happens!


The collar at the back should be closer to the zip. When I drafted the collar I overlapped my pattern pieces as the shoulder seams by 7mm. I think I will try 2cm next time. This collar drafting business is hard (at least for me anyway).


And the last one is an out take hehe…



That black and white pixelated-looking fabric on the right (that looks like QR code) is my favorite. Too scared to use it. Don’t you hate it when you are too scared to cut into a fabric you love?

Today I had fun going through some of my fabric. I would look at my fabric and ask the fabric “what do you want to be? a dress? a skirt? what era, look or style? I am a strange individual. I have never denied that.

All plans are subject to change at any moment of course!

Anyway below are the ones I could make a decision about. Not necessarily my favorite fabrics, just a selection that I thought would suit a particular style or sewing pattern….


Above: Vintage Vogue 8789 View A. With the stripes on the bodice cut on the bias creating a lovely chevron. yum!


Picture the Blue fabric on the left as view a. A sleeveless dress with a drapey neckline so it’s kinda ‘hillybilly-does-Vivienne-Westwood” type of deal. The dull-looking fabric on the right could be a wearable muslin of the same dress. There is not a lot of this blue fabric so we will see…


I want to be the kind of person that has a dress that is covered in zebra heads!

The fact that I don’t have much yardage/meterage to work with made it easy to decide, as this dress uses the least fabric. I have made this dress before


This fabric has that cute 60s vibe that I love. Perfect for a A-line dress. Should I add a collar? or perhaps waist tabs

This is the most recent dress I made, so I already perfected the fit, or at least thats the theory anyway…


Red denim to be made into a basic A-line skirt with pockets, mostly to test out the pattern. NEXT!


If the red skirt goes well would like to try the A-line style in this DIVINE ikea fabric!

I know, I know Tilly already made a skirt in a similar fabric. I love her version (and everything she makes). But for my skirt I want it to be shorter and more streamlined (no pleats) It’s a heavier fabric too.


I am not mad about this fabric. I like it, but I am not head-over-heels for it. I have LOTS of it, so its a good one to test new patterns on. Also its a sateen so it has a bit of stretch, great for fitted dresses.

I want to make the above pattern from it, sleeveless, without the peplum fin things and with the square neckline.


Don’t you love my penguin fabric? It was a left over from sun dress I was/am still making.

I want to make the top in view D of the pattern but with no sleeves and I suppose I would make the contrasting peter pan collar black.

I did not manage to capture the true colour of the fabric on the right, it’s much more of pink than in the photo it would be a good choice for wearable muslin to test out the pattern because I have a lot of it.


I have 6.28 meters of this fabric, so it’s a good one to test out new patterns.

How do I end up with so many meters of the same fabric? when I worked in a fabric shop I would buy up big when the clearance fabric were reduced again, so I often got fabric that was $3 or under per meter. So a nice cotton poplin that is cheaper than the price of calico…those were the days!


So yeah. Those be my plans. What should I make next?

The dress is done (will post it tommorow) I thought I would share some notes and work in progress (sorry last boring post I PROMISE).

Here’s a sneak peek at the front of the dress:


Above: The zip is straight IRL I promise! it’s just how the fabric is lying, dammit!

Working with Butterick 5607 was good. I cut out a size 8 (for reference I am B 34/35 W 25-26 H 34 )

Recently my body has changed so I feel like I am fitting for a different one now. I don’t actually look any different, It’s just that clothing fits me differently. I guess it’s a symptom of walking everywhere and being low on money.


Above: Look at the SEXXAY styling from envelope it came in! 90s wedding/prom look! OOOH YEAH! (hehe sorry)


Above: My initial alterations. You can see the first lines where I took it in at the bust.

I drafted my own collar. I drew some VERY rough guides on my muslin of my desired collar because I wanted to get an idea of how it would look like.

I also drafted a wacky ‘all in-one facing’. I generally prefer linings to facings, but I am planing on wearing the dress during the Australian Christmas (summer) so I wanted it to be light to wear.

Oh yeah I also shortened the dress A LOT. I forgot to record how much I shortened it by (SO ANNOYING I should always record these things. It’s helpful!) 😦 Anyway I would guess I removed about 20-23cm or over 8-9 inches from the hem.

Fitting: I found myself removing some excess in tiny amounts at the upper bust, bellow the bust and a little at the waist (getting rid of the excess in the princess seams or panel lines).

I did not change the neckline at all. It’s a higher neckline, but happily it’s a comfortable/non-strangling one (a rarity among patterns with high necklines!).

I originally created two muslins/toiles for this project, but I ended up making more fitting adjustments on the dress after I made it in my fashion fabric as well. But after all the tedium I now have a pretty rocking basic a-line dress pattern :)!

I usually work with linings or bias binding, so I had to look up some info on pressing collars and facings in my trusty sewing book.

Note to self: When pressing facing. press down the middle of the seam first spreading them apart,trim/grade seams them press ALL the seams TOWARDS the facing (not towards the garment).


 Attaching facing or lining to a zipper opening by machine (how-to):


I know a lot of people know this technique already, but for those who don’t: I swear by it it!

Use a narrow sewing machine foot, move your sewing needle position, Sew over facing with wrong side out and zipper sandwiched in between. Then turn your facing the right way out and poke in cover with a pencil or point turner. NO pesky hand sewing (because I ain’t gonna live forever!)

Now come the pictures of how I attached the facing to the armhole without any hand sewing.

This is a weak attempt to remind myself of what I did.

I WISH I could explain this, but it seems impossible to explain without a video. The pictures are really just a reference for me for next time. :S