Myrtle in Mauve Merino

I’ve just completed sewing my Myrtle dress by Colette patterns. As it turns hands on my waistΒ is my default pose so bear with me here in these photos…


As we’re in the middle of winter here in New Zealand I decided to make my Myrtle in a soft, light and slightly sheer merino wool. It gets cold, but not that cold in Auckland. Like whenever it gets below double digits I’m surprised. I bought this fabric at Nick’s fabrics (did you see they’re in Otara now?) a few years ago and made it into my first Renfrew, seen here.

Sans belt

I made several alterations to this pattern and changed the construction around a little. First off I did not self-line my front bodice. The front bodice piece is like two front bodice pieces stuck together at the neckline. It’s intended to be folded with right sides together and stitched at the armholes for a nice tidy finish. However, with my fabric being slightly sheer I thought it could look strange. Plus I did not have enough fabric to self-line the whole garment.


Instead I kept about 15cm of the lining, finishing the edges with my overlocker. I then attached the front and back at the shoulders, basted the shell and lining together along the armhole and doubled the edge over to finish.


The other big change I made was to the waist. The pattern suggests using a thick elastic and encasing it using the bodice lining – that I did not have. Due to the lightness of my fabric I decided that a thick, heavy elastic wouldn’t be the right match. Instead, I used a 1cm thick black elastic and stretched it out along the join of the bodice to skirt.


So that’s me and Myrtle. Next week I’ll tackle the Yaletown dress (and blouse) but let’s be honest – I’ll be making the dress. I’m defs a dress kinda gal. Have you sewn the Myrtle yet?


A Laurel, a Sale and a Chocolate Fish

Hello lovely sewists! I have been watching in awe as all the entries for the Monthly Stitch‘s competitions have rolled in. In case you’ve been living under a rock the Monthly Stitch have been hosting a month of competitions for Indie Pattern Month. Although this is the last week you still have four days to enter the last round – Indie Fan Girl – by submitting a post of of you wearing two patterns by the same designer. Also there are tonnes of prizes!


So… I made a dress! This is the Laurel by Colette. This pattern has been phenomenally popular despite it’s simplicity so I had to try it out. I was not disappointed. It only took me one night to put together (whilst binge watching Underage and Pregnant) and it required minimal adjustments.


I made this dress out of a thick double knit, synthetic/ wool blend by Kate Sylvester. The fabric is what ‘makes’ this dress for me. Because it’s a knit there’s enough stretch to avoid putting the zipper in the back as I can easily pull it over my head without it. But it’s pretty firm and essentially one-way stretch so it still has a bit of shape.


As you can see there are a few things that are not quite right about this dress. Namely the darts. They are too high on me. I had the same issue when I made the Bridgette dress (free pattern!) by Simple Sews. I need to get in the habit on doing FBAs and making muslins, however this dress is still an absolute staple. It’s such a simple style that I wore it with a blazer to work one day, and then with a leather jacket to a party that night.


In case you were wondering, I bought the brooch from the Salvation Army on Dominion Road and the hipster hat beongs to my sister. She is much cooler than me. So can anyone guess where I am? If you can comment below and I will send you a chocolate fish (for real!) Here’s a clue:


Also – as part of the Monthly Stitch‘s Indie Pattern Month I am offering 15% off all patterns in my store. This includes Sewaholic, Colette, Cake, Victory and By Hand London. Sale ends Monday πŸ™‚



It is giveaway time at Dresses & Me! I am super happy to announce that soon our shop will be stocking Colette Patterns. Colette really needs no introduction to any indie pattern lover. The are the biggest name in indie patterns – designing feminine, vintage inspired dresses, blouses, trousers, coats, skirts … you name it!

So get excited sewists! Today I’m launching a competition where the prize is – wait for it – Colette’s next pattern*. To enter all you have to do is take a photo of your cat and show me it using the hashtag #catsforcolette – easy right? You can do this on instagram or twitter πŸ˜‰


The winner will be chosen based on a combination of hilarity and cuteness in their photo. Extra points will be given to photos that have puns in their captions. You can enter as many times as you like using different photos. The winner will be announced on the day the next Colette pattern is released. Colette’s pretty secretive about their release dates so you’ll just have to enter as soon as possible so you don’t miss out!

Don’t have a cat? Don’t worry – you can take a photo of someone else’s cat instead! Stalking the neighbour’s cat is totally not weird and totally worth it to win this prize!

The rules are pretty simple:
1. to enter you must use the hashtag #catsforcolette and post your photo to instgram or twitter (or both!)
2. anyone from anywhere in the world can enter
3. the judges decision is final
4. the winners will be announced via instagram and twitter

Competition begins today!

*I’m not at liberty to say ANYTHING about the pattern. Just take my word for it – you’ll love it!

Me Made May ’13 Week II

If you want to see my Me Made May photos each day follow me on Instagram

I had another great Me Made week wearing something Me Made every day! Woop! I’ve worn my amazingly versatile work skirt


My pink candy floss skirt, sorry it’s kinda a seedy photo…


My Jasmine by Colette Patterns


My PatternRunway dress. I decided that I really love the shape and drape of this dress and I will be making another, imagine it in wool crepe – *delicious*


AND today I’m wearing my Ginger by Colette Patterns – It’s such a great winter skirt!


How’s your Me Made going?

Ginger Lovin’


Woop I made the Colette Ginger skirt. I can’t remember who’s I saw first but I love both Lladybird and Stitch n Bitch’s versions of the Ginger. I think this pattern is made for denim. I made my version out of a really stiff denim that it holds the shape in a very assertive A-Line. I prewashed this fabric twice and it still looks like this. I’m not complaining. It’s awesome.


This skirt was ridiculously quick and easy to put together. Because the denim was so stiff it was super easy to cut out and sew together and required minimal pinning. There was no slip-age or fussing around with this fabric!


Oddly, or perhaps not, the skirt only flares outwards, not forward and back so it is still flattering despite the exaggerated shape.


I made this skirt in a straight six which to me sounds WAY too small to be a grown up size. I haven’t worn a six in years but I’m all for the affirmation of wearing a smaller size. The only changes I made to the pattern were minimal – I took 6cm off the bottom, decided against interfacing the waistband and inserted a normal metal zipper. I figured the heavier material would need a stronger zip.


I also decided to make the waistband facing in this cute polka dot. I LOVE this pattern. It’s great for the long humid summer were having here.


Have you made the Ginger before? Did you love it?

Colette Jasmine – LOVING IT



The Jasmine pattern is a loose fitting blouse-y top with a faux tie collar. I thought this top was a tad costume-y when I first saw it and wondered if it would be easy to wear on a day to day basis. FEARS AVERTED. What was I worrying about? Now that I’ve finished this top now I think it’s casual and feminine.


I found the sleeves on the on the Jasmine to be quite a lot of work. They’re made from three pieces (sleeve, cuff and the cuff facing) which all need to be trimmed and pressed after being sewn together. But the look created is highly satisfying so it was worth it!

Will not apologise for the crinkles on the back. Yes I have been wearing this top all day because I love it.

I made this top out of a silk cotton, which in case, like me, you hadn’t previously heard of this, it is a blend of silk and cotton. It is a very lightweight fabric that is actually see though when held up to the light. I was a tad worried that this top would be translucent but that fear appears to be unfounded.


Will I be making this pattern again? Hells yes! This version is a size 4 straight of the envelope. I think if when I do I’ll add about an inch or two to the length. I think it looks alright in these pictures but when I sit down it finishes just above my jean’s waistband. I may shorten the sleeves a touch and perhaps make the view A sleeves (gathered at the shoulder) instead but keep the view b collar.


This is the first Colette pattern that I’ve sewn. I’m looking forward to making the next one!

A Lovely Christmas Present


For Christmas I received an awesome present – The Colette Sewing Handbook. I’ve been interested in buying it for a long while but it’s such a dilemma with postage costs to New Zealand being the way they are.

I’m looking forward to sewing the patterns in the book (it comes with five) especially Truffle dress, perhaps in a mint green, and the blouse – I love me a floaty blouse.

But perhaps the thing that I’m most looking forward to is learning more about sewing. Since taking up sewing again this year I’ve had a lot of guessing to do. Which needle to use, what fabric to line with, is there a better way to do this…?. I mean google is a marvellous thing, but having all that information and the pretty pictures to go with, really is the next level.

So my question to you is Do you have any great resources/ sources of sewing knowledge?