The ultra marathon jacket

“Challenge yourself ” is what I thought for the Monthly Stitch  challenge. ..”try something different. …step away from the dresses ” So I did and if asked for a challenge – an ultra marathon is what I got. Sewing this jacket was long and hard,  often frustrating with many setbacks.  But you know the sense of achievement you get from completing an ultra marathon  (or my case a 5ker) well that’s how I feel now the jacket is DONE 🙂
I think my main stumble with this project started at ….the start line. …I used a Burda magazine pattern. Never having used one before I thought how hard could it be?  Just need to trace off pattern pieces from a jungle of them and follow instructions that really needed a translator.
But I pushed on….I picked up some olive green (TMS challenge colour) drill cotton cheap at the Fabric store sale.  This was my second stumble as forgot about width and ended up  20 cm short…Oh well back to the store for more I went.
Stumble trip stumble trip stumble trip through the sewing together stage.  I had ended up with pieces of the back different lengths, realizing then that you could make this jacket long or short. ..Oh well looks like short it is :).  Deciphering the instructions meant sewing,  un picking,  sewing,  un picking.  I swear every seam was done at least twice. Some parts I just made up myself 🙂
Believe it or not the last leg, home straight,  doing button holes was the easiest part.
Finally across the finish line the sense of achievement is awesome. ..I just wouldn’t recommend looking to close.
Bit as the saying goes is not about the destination but rather the journey. Although this project challenged me I also learnt a lot from it and now  understand more jargon and know new techniques.
Next time, yes there will be a next time as I want a long jacket (just not using Burda!) I will even attempt the vents
… 🙂



Strapless summer

I have a new found love for strapless dresses but have once again struggled to find any styles that I would wear in stores this summer. So I picked a random pattern and thought I would  give making one a go for the first time ever.  Well the gods must have been smiling with me the day I chose it as it turned out to be the most basic  strapless/tube dress ever ( in my vast experience of making them). The pattern was Simplicity 8764…2 hr .


Well it took me more that 2 hrs but only just. I was initially worried that the sizing would be too small based on my measurements but thought I would give it a go anyway.  As it said it was easy to put together as it was essentially a tube with a smaller tube inside (shelf bra). The knits rolling edges did drive me slightly batty though.   I also shorten the length by 15 inches  I actually made this dress twice. ..The first as a trial with some really cheap remnants and the second with some awesome stripped knit. I even made a effort to match the stripes front and back. ..a first for me.  But as you can see big stripes made it easy.  Not sure I will wear the first one in public as it is quite thin but great for around the house.  And can you believe it  as soon as it was completed the weather has turned. ..just my luck so not sure it will get worn before next summer 😦

Reigniting the Passion

So it all started with the onset of summer and the need for new summer dresses. Now I’m quite a fussy shopper and am very particular about what styles I like to wear.  And when I decided that I NEEDED new summer dresses  I NEEDED them ASAP 🙂 After a couple of hours wandering the stores and a tiny bit of surfing the net I decided it would be easier if I just made them myself.   Luckily I have this amazing friend that has an impressive stockpile of patterns, old and new.  A quick flick through with the top two patterns chosen, a trip to Spotlight and about 10 hours max sewing ……Ta Da…Two new summer dresses and even more importantly my love and passion for sewing reignited.

Dress 1 – Cloud dress.

The fabric I chose for this was a little bit of of my comfort zone as it was not really I colour I normally wear but I feel in love with it immediately. Teal  and white clouds on a mustard background cotton and a teal cotton for the contrast panels.

The pattern was Butterick b5210 and looked simple enough…and it was 🙂

I followed the instructions and everything fell into place. The only place I didn’t follow it was when adding the bottom contrast panel….Truth be told I got a bit lost and misinterpreted the instructions- not cutting two pieces, sewing together to create the band properly. Instead I made a single layer band….and if I didn’t tell you – you would never know 😉
However… yes there is a however…. As much as I loved the fabric and the contrast and the picture on the pattern I didn’t love it on me. The main problem was the feeling of excess fabric around the bust.
Never fear I just added a couple of sighted (not measured) darts under the bust to the waist and then took in the side seams, up to an inch in the middle, on each side to give it some great shape and there it was…done (see horrible pic below…horrible in terms of quality not style 🙂 )

Cloud dress

Dress 2: Green and Blue graphic

Again I fell in love with this fabric straight away. A Simple cotton with graduated colour grapic design with a matching contrast fabric for the waist band,.

Another super simple pattern (McCalls m6518) with easy instructions that I followed to the letter.  I am usually a whiz on putting in  zips but was so intent on getting in right that it took me a few attempts on this one but I am sure once I get back into the swing of things it will come back to me.

The dress turned out to be a perfect fit. I definitely plan to make more of these one day 🙂


And the BEST  way to wear a new summer dress………

In the SUN 🙂IMG_374907933084675


Kia ora.

I have been fortunate to have been surrounded all my life by amazing women that were/are amazing seamstresses… my grandmother… my mother… and friends.

My Grandmother was a dressmaker by trade and you can see her amazing work in both outfits in the photo above. I remember as a child her magnificent sewing room filled with treasures galore. I am privileged to have a couple of those treasures now including her dress making dummy.  If may be very low technology compared to the ones you can get now but to me it is amazing and I love it and I have used it a couple of times when I have had the space to set it up.

My mother had always sewn and throughout all our travels from place to place as a child the trusted sewing machine was always with us and always being used to whip something up. Curtains, bedspreads,  dolls clothes and the majority of my and my siblings clothing as kids. Mum  must of have the patience of a Saint as I remember sitting and playing with her sewing machine from a young age… playing with all the dials and breaking needle after needle.

I have sewn on and off for ever. But It has been a while since anything substantial.  That was until I couldn’t find any dresses I wanted to wear in any store.  So after some inspiration and patterns from my dear friend Sandra 2 new dresses in a day and night were created. At the same time I remembered how much I enjoy it and how much I get out of it. So I have committed to doing more sewing and to write about it.  Here goes:)

As a side note my  sewing style is very relaxed.  I learnt some technical aspects at school but generally make it up as I go. Although I can follow patterns  I have also made more than one or two pieces of clothing ( and worn to death) without any pattern. I’m not afraid to give to things a go or un pick where needed 🙂 I love quick and easy throw togethers.