Friday, 21 January 2011


Dear people
So long between posts!
I haven't had as much time as I'd like to sew or post blog entries or read Pattern Reviews. January is speeding by and I've been busy planning a new adventure.
In the meantime I'm posting about ruffles. I keep seeing them everywhere. My favourite RTW worn over Christmas was a silk dress with ruffles around the neckline and down the centre front and back.

 and a hole through the ruffles at the waist both front and back for the belt. Clever!
For Aussies who read this it was a Jag dress, heavily discounted in an early pre-Christmas sale. Sweet!

I'd like to make a dress using the same idea so I made a little top from some white moderate stretch slub knit that I had in the stash using McCall's M5336, also in the stash, which is going to get severely culled soon. The material turned out to be a little bit heavy for a double ruffle but I am still pleased with the results.

It s funny how two different whites that looked almost identical in real life look so different in photos
Better with red. The material has already stretched a bit and needs taking in along the back centre seam but for a trial garment it is getting a lot of wear!
I first saw this pattern when Adrienne reviewed it on PR. See here. Isn't she a talented lady?

And take a look at this new Vogue pattern for a similar use of ruffles.


Speaking of new release Vogues I do like this as well

V1220 Isn't it gorgeous?

Happy sewing everyone.
Just an edit to say I first saw these two patterns featured on Inkstain's blog Chanel no.6. (on my blog reading list). I'd been avoiding looking at new patterns, especially Vogues. I have a new policy this year to try not to buy patterns ahead of time. I'll buy it and the material when I have time to get around to sewing it. That'll reduce my to-do stash!

Friday, 7 January 2011

The Boob Tube That Grew

Late last year my DD bought a cheap chainstore dress that looked absolutey lovely on her. It was ankle length, strapless and had a frill around the bust - but it shrank after a couple of washes. She asked me if I could copy it and I said 'yes'. She mentioned that she wouldn't mind a jumpsuit version either...I already had some bargain table dry knit in a multicolured floral that I knew would suit her and the dress was basically a boob tube that grew, with the ruffle giving added interest. I was going to draft up a pattern myself when I came across this pattern from Simplicity: Jumpsuit It offered components for the dress and jumpsuit and some other bits that were  interesting when you really looked at them - like the little cardy to throw over bare shoulders.
I made up this and gave it to her as a surprise

It is a tiny bit long in the bodice but my DD likes it as is. She likes the material, a dry knit from Spotlight and she liked the surprise and wore it to a visit to see her Grandmother to wish her happy Christmas.
Heres the shape of the ruffle

I measured the circumference the top of the dress added three inches at the pointy ends for anough overlap. I cut the piece seven inches deep to allow for a seam at the top. In the above photo the left side is on the fold. I finished the edge with some three thread black serging and added it to the top of the dress before making the casing for the elastic.
It feels good to make some quick and easy dresses.
I'm really trying to use what I've got this year and I just found out that my local Spotlight store - that I can walk to - is moving to another suburb. Removing temptaion from my path. All I have to do is avoid the closing down sales as much as possible...I'm bound to succumb a little bit...I mean how much can a fabric addict take?

Saturday, 1 January 2011

A beachy driving dress

Dear Bloggers
This is my first blog for the New Year of 2011. It has a nice ring to it doesn't it? I wish you (and myself!) a productive, creative, satisfying year. The closing days of last year were spent at a beachside town six hours drive up the coastal freeway from Sydney. We think nothing of driving huge distances in this country. I realise I would have probably crossed a few borders in Europe and maybe a few state lines in the US. There are a few things that make driving tolerable:  air conditioning, new music CDs, cold water, coffee, snacks by the river halfway and comfortable clothes to drive in. Simplicity 2642 fit the bill.

the dress in action

The dress is a simple pullover with a crossover front and cut-on sleeves, elastic under the bust and pockets. The skirt is cut in three sections with the pockets going in the two front seams. It's not for knits but it worked in my stash cotton knit. I did end up pulling up the entire shoulder seams by two sizes to stop the whole thing from being too big. It won't set the fashion world on fire and it's a bit Hawaiian mu-mu but it was simple, quick, easy and what I wanted. It gave just enough sun protection for my shoulders and upper arms while I was driving. I also use sunscreen, not to wear sunscreen here is madness.

Ah, the beach

and my favourite waterside bistro

Happy New Year