Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Girls fur vest and jersey dress

This amazing fur backed vinyl arrived recently and it was crying out to be made into a vest. Vests can be hard to wear for us grown up girls but for the little lady in your life, of which I have two, it's perfect. This fabric would be perfect for a coat for a grown up, and I may still attempt that. 
Being double sided there's no need to line the vest. I chose to stitch my seams down flat and open, giving a neat finish on the inside and a nice stitching detail on the outside. You could also easily make this reversible. 
I had a vest pattern to use but you don't necessarily need one, just cut the shape off a top.
After stitching the shoulders and side seams together and stitching them down I added the ribbon ties for the front, then the crochet trim round the neckline and the trim at the hem. I finished it off with the flower motifs and a bow at the hem. Too easy!

To go underneath I used a simple jersey dress pattern with a long sleeve in this gorgeous feather print viscose knit. You can buy it here
This is a really simple pattern. It's basically a long sleeve t'shirt, slimmed down a little and extended to a dress length. 
Sew one shoulder seam together (use your overlocker if you have one or a zigzag stitch if not)
Using a stretch frill trim fold down neck edge and zigzag the neckline down with the frill trim poking out, stretching the trim slightly as you go.
Stitch up other shoulder seam.
Sew each sleeve head in.
Hem each wrist in the same fashion as the neck using your frilled elastic.
Sew sleeve and side seams in one motion.
Hem with crochet lace trim.

These two pieces took me an hour to complete from start to finish, perfect easy project with a great end result.

I'm always happy to share my patterns. If you'd like a copy, just let me know!

Happy sewing. Julia xx

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Guest post pattern review New look 6243

It’s only a few weeks shy of Winter but my sewing table is in complete denial of this. I will definitely need to kick the Winter sewing into gear, but for now let’s just sneak in another Summery dress. I spied this pattern - New Look 6243 recently and thought it was perfect for the gorgeous material I had picked up at Pitt Trading. Every time I look at this material I think of a Disney movie, like Bambi or Snow White – it’s just so super cute. The material has great drape so the half-circle style skirt bottom would go perfectly with this fabric. I bought a black lace for the yoke pick up the black in the material too.
This was my first make after a 3 week sewing hiatus due to my trip to Vietnam. Whilst 3 weeks doesn’t seem like a lot of time, for me it was probably the longest stretch of non-sewing time I’ve had since my last holiday in May last year. Thankfully sewing is a bit like riding a bike and I got straight back into it and the stars aligned for this one. I cut out a size 12 but I actually ended up having to take it is quite substantially at the sides of the bodice so a 10 would have worked better. I find I always fluctuate between size 10 and 12 so I just don’t know which way to go so I erred on the side of caution. But I suggest you needn’t bother doing that if you try this one. The fabric has a bit of stretch in it too so I wanted to make it quite fitted on the bodice.

The pattern instructions for this pattern were really good and it came together nicely. I made little alterations except for adding one inch to the length of the dress and I used pre made satin bias binding rather than making my own from the dress material. If you are going to use a lace for the yoke, and a stretchy one at that, I suggest doing a straight stitch along the edges of the pieces before construction to ensure they keep their shape. I also over-locked all the edges too, to further reduce any of the yoke stretching out of place. It also makes it easier for fitting that it doesn’t stretch as you have to fit before putting in the bias binding which gives it the strength.

I didn’t bother putting any interfacing into the waistband as I didn’t want to lose the drape-ness of the dress or stiffen up the waistband too much. The pattern also suggests a hook and eye for the closure at the top of the back but I’m quite fond of snap closures so I put one of those in instead. I think they are easier to manage when trying to dress yourself rather than hook and eyes! I finished off the narrow hem with a blind stitch. Is it weird that I really enjoy hemming? Something about sitting in front of the tele with needle and thread that’s quite cathartic…or maybe it’s just the fact that I know when the hemming is done there’s nothing else left to do! 

Thank you once again to Rebecca Prentis of bobbinandbaste for another great review

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Winter Coats.... a little obsessed,

We have the largest range of beautiful quality wool and cashmere coating we have ever had this winter. 
A beautiful coat is expensive to buy, but we all need one, well, several actually.
I try to add one to my collection each winter. If you buy or make a good quality one in a timeless style it should last a good ten years, that's a good investment in my book.

There's black, navy, camel, grey, charcoal, mocha and textured Chanel style coating to choose from.
Shop here

I'm loving burda style at the moment. Their patterns and styling is so on trend, it's been a while since a pattern company has got it so right in my opinion. 
I've got several of their coat patterns on my wish list for this winter.

I love this simple open collar less coat. It could be made up in a coating fabric or a brocade for evening.
You can buy it here

I'm going to add a Caramel coat to my wardrobe this winter, how about you?

Happy sewing, Julia x

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

New arrivals

We had some absolutely stunning fabrics arrive today. They are from a local designer who brings her fabrics to Australia from all over the world. It's a great way for sewers like you and me to get our hands on some imported fabrics at a great price.
Silk satin $30 a metre

viscose knit $20 a metre

printed drill $25 a metre

Viscose knit $25 a metre

Polyester de chine $20 a metre

embroidered organza $40 a metre

rouge lace $30 a metre

stretch velvet $25 a metre

printed polyester stretch satin $20 a metre

light weight knit $20 a metre

viscose knit $25 a metre

printed double knit $15 a metre

Stunning right!?!

You can check out the new arrivals online now!
I want some of everything and can't wait to sew with them!

Happy sewing, Julia xx

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Guest post: Pattern review by Maria Theoharous AKA Velosewer

Maria is a long time customer and very talented sewer. You can follow her sewing adventures on her blog here. We look forward to sharing her future projects with you all.  

 Winter Street Dress

Pattern review's winter street dress is simple to make and very adaptable.
Pitt Trading graciously provided me with the fabrics and notions for this new work dress.

Pattern testing is fun as you get to see how the pattern designer quickly adjusts their pattern when we provide our feedback. And it's lovely to work with such creative people. This is very motivating to me.
Pitt Trading black tricot lining, elastic, brown ponti and a darker brown soft knit with matching thread 

Pattern description:
Winter street dress is an easy to sew knit dress with a waist seam and narrow pleated skirt. The narrow skirt with inverted box pleats has just the right amount of ease where you need it, resulting in a very comfortable and cute tulip shape.

The bodice is drafted for a "C" cup. There is a choice of elbow length flounce sleeves or a full length sleeve. You can even make it without sleeves. The skirt is designed to fall above the knee for a more trendy look but it is super easy to lengthen or shorten it.
This time I got the hem length right.

Pattern sizing:
XS-$XL I made the medium.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes it did, and there are some pretty variations to make. The hardest part is choosing the variation you want the most, I tried to stick to my plan as I sewed.

Were the instructions easy to follow? 
They were easy to follow. I included a tricot liningon the advice of Sylvia at Pitt Trading. I've been adding linings to ponti dresses since then so the dress keeps it's shape over time. It also helps the fabric to glide over you and not stick to you.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
This is a clever pattern that allows you to mix stable and soft knit fabrics.
The pleating on the skirt above the tummy eliminates fullness that gathers create. That's a win in my books. I've extended the pleats down the skirt for a flatter look.

The ruffle sleeve (Deepika's version) makes this a more feminine dress that I'll use for another version.

The scoop neckline isn't what I'd usually wear so I'll be creating different necklines on future versions.

Fabric used:
I've used a ponti knit for the bodice and sleeves. The dress skirt and bindings are a softer knit.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I did a roll shoulder adjustment. The sleeves were sized to full arm length but I tend to push my sleeves up during the day
Once I'd basted the side seams, I took the waist in a bit more and took more in at the centre back seam.

I added shape at the centre back seam, so it's not cut on the fold. This allowed me to shape it to follow my curves better.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I experimented with a soft cowl neckline in the softer knit and it was very pretty. So I would recommend this dress if you have knit fabrics in your stash and you need warmer dresses for cooler weather.
I'll also try a v-neck version. This is also a good basic knit dress for beginners to achieve a successful dress.

Monday, 31 March 2014

Viscose knits in store now!

Viscose knits have to be one of the most versatile fabrics. You can make anything from a casual t'shirt to an evening gown. A holiday dress to throw on after the beach or stylish wrap dress to add a bit of flair to your work wear wardrobe.

This gorgeous knit is available online now

Perfect for a wrap dress! Make the sleeve full length and wear with knee high boots for a warm stylish winter look!

Online now!

Happy sewing. Julia xx

Thursday, 20 March 2014

New window display.... you like???

This window is a match made in heaven, Sylvia's vision and my execution. Mum said to me "it's great having a vision in your head and saying to someone, make it happen, and it turns out exactly as you wanted" That's how we roll.
People have had a lovely time picking through the treasures in our window. We left it open so you can walk in and have a closer look at all the vintage bits and pieces, and boy are there some Gems there!

This typewriter has been very popular..... $200

Vintage crystals

Ohhhh that gown.... sigh.

From the street

Why not pop down and take a look???
Julia x