2nd Secret Santa – Squared

I decided it was easiest to give my Secret Santa recipients  a slip dress each. That way I could tailor it to their tastes so that hopefully they were really unique gifts. This is my second dress – made for my brother’s girlfriend, Steph.

My Mum showed me this top, basically a square with some arm holes and a neck hole. Simplest style I have ever seen! I traced a quick pattern, with a few alterations and cut the fabric out, a lovely light fabric with mini hearts all over it which I got from Centrepoint Fabrics in Auckland.

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Again I didn’t know what size my SS recipient was so I made the pattern quite big and added ties at the back so it could be worn tight around the waist, for a more fitted look. Or alternatively loose and draping.

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This was honestly the quickest and easiest pattern I have ever sewn. The hardest part was sewing the facing around the collar. And the best part, it doesn’t actually look like a square sack once it’s on the figure.








Has anyone else sewn one of these square dresses or tops before? Or a pattern of equal simplicity?

I am very keen to keep making this pattern. I can churn new outfits out in 2 hours tops (including the trip to the fabric store)!!




Candy Floss Skirt

I’ve just completed another SPCA Op Shop pattern – Very Easy Vogue 9946, view A circa 1987.


The material is a linen viscose blend and was only $9 from The Fabric Warehouse remnants. I do love remnants. It has a good drape and doesn’t seem have the horrors of wrinklage that 100% linen does (I know the skirt looks super wrinkly now but I was at a barbecue to celebrate Waitangi Day the day these photos were taken). Double bonus – when I pre-washed it the colour stayed pretty much the same. Phew!


I really like the buttons on this skirt, they were what sold the pattern for me. As whenever I stitch buttonholes, I was pretty anxious about cutting them open. The idea of cutting into the front of my if they were in the wring place is a stressful one. I decided to shorten the skirt to be just above the knee (I’m not a super tall person). So I moved the buttons closer together, from 11.5 cms to 10 cms between them. Not sure if this is usual practice but it made sense to me!


I usually love me a good waistband but following the advice given by the pattern (all the women on the cover of the pattern envelope) I too put a belt over the top of the skirt covering the waistband. In case you were curious this is what it looks like sans belt here you go:



New Look 6035 – Take Two

I made another singlet – and this time it was a success!


I used new look 6035 again but unlike last time it actually worked! I will definitely be wearing this top a lot in the upcoming summer. The bias seam binding is sitting flat and the gathers are even – perfection!


I think there are two reasons why this top turned out so much better than the last one. First, the material I used was a lot easier to handle. This is a light cotton with a bit of one-way stretch (total $6!!). This meant that the binding was easier to wrangle and stretch into place. Second, my new machine is a dream to work with. The slow speed setting and the accurate makes it a lot easier to be accurate with the top stitching.


I decided to cut a 16 (last time I cut a 12). Although I ended up taking in 2cms on either sides I decided not to take the shoulders in. Last time I thought it sat a bit high.


I can defiantly see myself making more of these tops in the near future. Watch this space.

Mad Men Skirt

Over the long weekend managed to whip up a skirt. I know – usually it takes me about a month to complete any piece of sewing – so yes I am quite pleased with myself.

Last week I blogged about this material (below). I had decided that I wanted to make a nice snuggly-warm, yet sophisticated, winter skirt. I thought with any luck this will look like a skirt from Mad Men. I’m not really sure if it did in the end but I’m happy with it all the same.

I decided to go with the Butterick 6662 pattern (above) as I thought a simple pattern would be best for a potentially bulky fabric like this wool & polyester blend. I went with view A so that the side split would make a potentially boring skirt a bit more interesting.

I only had 0.7 x 1.5 meters as I had bought the fabric on a whim from the end of roll basket at Global Fabrics in Wellington (my favourite shop EVER). This was a five piece pattern so it just fitted on the fabric, though was a bit of squish when it got to the waistband:


This pattern was pretty straight forward and the instructions were easy to follow. The only hiccup I had was naturally when I was putting the zipper in. The needle snapped in three places when I was sewing over a pin.

However, I got over that hurdle and carried on towards the finish line. Next, I hand over-casted the all the edges as they were fraying in my hands, my sister then measured the hem length for me to just above the knee, and lastly I hand stitched the hem up comme ca:

And here is the finished product:

Upon reflection this was one of the cheapest items I’ve sewn. The material was $9, the zipper was free (from Noeline’s stash), the pattern was $1 from the SPCA Op Shop and I already had the thread. $10 for a skirt isn’t bad!

Have you been thrifty recently?




Now that I’ve finished my velvet dress I’m thinking about the next thing I want to make. As we’re heading into winter in the Antipodes (the ends of the Earth) I was thinking of making the wool I bought in Wellington into a pencil skirt. So these are my pattern options:

From top left: Very Easy Vogue 7101 c.1987, view A (brown); New Look 6274c. 2003, view A (floral print); or Butterick 6662 c.1993, view C (yellow).

And here is the wool. It is woven out of thick strands (?) of cream, brown,and dark pink, almost fuchsia. Its a bit on the thick-side, and does not have any stretch. My first choice of pattern was the Very Easy Vogue, however I wonder if the pleats, belt loops and the pockets will make it look too bulk? So my next thought was the New Look pattern. This is a very simple two piece pattern (plus facings). It would be simple to put together and and definitely not bulky-making. The third option, the Butterick pattern was a bit of an after-thought. I thought that making it with the split to one side could make it a bit more interesting.

Can anyone offer any suggestions? All much appreciated!

Sewing Room: Part III

A little while ago I blogged about my new sewing room (also here). Unsurprisingly, yet saddeningly, my graduation bouquet did not live forever *mega sad face*.

So I bought this little pot plant to bighten up my room:

My dad brought me the little Nessy from Loch Ness, Scotland. I put them together so they can live together and have some company.

I’m still on quite a Florence and the Machine buzz so here’s a video of my first favourite Florence song:

Sewing Class: Week Four

Unfortunately I didn’t make it to sewing class on Monday. But I did had a lovely dinner with my flat mate Christine instead (home made spaghetti bolognaise in case you were wondering).

However I can tell you about one of the projects I have on the go right now. It’s another dress from the Vogue 1102 pattern. I say ‘another’ because I’ve made it once before (click here to read the post). Here’s how it turned out last time:

What I loved about this pattern was how the open back made it nice and cool as a summer dress. However when I looked at the pattern I thought it would make a great formal dress (ie for going to army dinners with my Lovely. Because of this I had made it out of a delicious wool crepe which undid all the great work of it being a summer dress.

So my plan this time is to make it in a light cotton. I chose this pink and yellow floral/ stripy print at designer textiles ($6/m) and thought I’d give it a whirl.

So far I’ve sewn the lining and the bodice and attached the two together.


Here’s the finished bodice:



So now I’m up to attaching the skirt to the bodice.

How’s your sewing project going?


Just got home from Wellington to find a lovely surprise – the bunting I won from the very talented repurposedmind has arrived! IMMENSE EXCITEMENT.


This is a gorgeous bunting made by repurposedmind with a dainty pink floral print on one side of each triangle and pink and white stripes on the other.


It is beautiful!


I won’t be able to hang it up just yet as I’m moving house in two weeks but will post photos en situ when it is up.

Thanks again repurposedmind ! You’re a star!