Finished the Hummingbird!


I have finished the Hummingbird skirt. Very pleased with the outcome. I got a little confused with the pockets at the start. But only as I had never come across them being done that way before. They are actually quite cleaver once I figured them out. They are constructed in a way that minimises that potential threat of VPL (in this instance – visible pocket line)

IMG_2658            IMG_2664


A great thing about the instructions that go along with this Cake pattern is that there is a link to a video on how the sew an invisible zip in. Admittedly I have always been scared of invisible zips. The rule in theatre is to never use them in costumes incase they get stuck backstage in the panic of getting ready to go on. But now I am going to bring this video up every time I pop a zip into one of my garments.


Cleanest zip insertion I have ever done!


Changed the pattern a bit. I lengthened the skirt and changed the pleat at the back.

What do you guys think? Anyone else scared of invisible zips?


Colour Blocking or A Wearable Muslin

My Me Made May photo on Instagram yesterday. Click here to follow me.


This was a colour blocking experiment using a pattern that I picked up from the Salvation Army Store in Cromwell – you must really think I’ve really hit rock bottom – but it was a charming place and I even found some nice wool (so there). Also sorry for the crinkles and the looking below average – this is just how things are when I get home after work.


I feel pretty happy with how my experiment worked out. The fabric is not as thick as it looked on the bolt and it is super stretchy too so fitting was a breeze. The pocked details are my favourite part about this pattern. I’m super keen to make this skirt again. I like the fit and the cute pocket details. I think if I did it would be in a light pastel colour and again a dark waistband and perhaps matching pocket details. There’s something very summery about this pattern to me.


Colour blocking has a lot of potential, in my opinion, to alter perceptions of form. Dark colours to make some areas look smaller, light colours to make others look larger. Or even colour blocking out the sides of a dress or top so that it shrinks or disappears.

Do you colour block? Which garment is your colour blocking masterpiece?



I have a confession to make. I accidently-on-purpose bought 11 patterns during the recent McCalls/ Vogue/ Butterick sale.

W O W I’m not making any apologies!


The thing is that in New Zealand patterns are – too put it mildly – horrendously expensive. To buy a normal vogue pattern, such as the one at the top of this post, would cost NZ$33. To put that in perspective, that’s US$27.36. A “Vogue Easy Options” pattern is NZ$25. Hugely expensive right? So when they were reduced to US$2.88 how could I resist?

To combat the cost of shipping I used a a service called ship2u to make the postage cheeper (McCalls was going to charger me $55!!) I’ll let you know how that turns out.


So when I saw the massive sale that the McCall’s company was having I had no choice but to buy at least a few…


I mean who doesn’t need a new work shirt ? ? ?


And a skirt to go with it . . .


Or maybe a second – I do work FOUR days a week you know!


And of course I needed some sensible trousers comme ca


Having another party dress never hurt anyone, right?


OR another one. . .


And it is e s s e n t i a l to have a loose summer dress/ top to throw over your togs at the beach in this harsh Antipodean sun


And getting into knit fabrics really was one of my sewing goals for the year – what better opportunity than now to achieve goals?


So I thought I’d buy another just to get some good practice in.

Reasonable enough right?? Or is sewing becoming an obsession? Am I loosing perspective?!

Houndstooth Skirt

I made a skirt –


Here’s a close up:


And the back:


I made it using Vogue 7101 c1980 which I bought from the SPCA Op-Shop in Glen Innes. It looks a bit raggedy but it had all the pieces and hadn’t been used! This pattern only went up to a 10 so I added 1cm to either side of the front, back and pocket pieces and 4cm to the waistband. The material is a wool blend houndstooth that has a tiny bit of stretch:

The total cost in making this skirts was around $25.00 (including material, fasteners and lining for pockets, everything else I already had so that makes it free, right?!)

This skirt was the skirt of firsts – pockets, belt loops (aka carriers!) and pleats. But the most exciting first was that I didn’t have to re-do or unpick anything – success!!


Have you had a success story recently?

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!