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)!!




Secret Santa

I made this pattern for a simple shift dress for secret santa at my work. IMG_2672








Does anyone else make their own patterns?

I had to guess what size my boss was. It would have been pretty obvious if I started measuring her up during morning tea! She tried it on straight away and it fit! Phew. Here is the outcome.

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The fabric was what really made this dress. A cotton/silk blend from The Fabric Shop. I think the most important thing to consider when making something is what fabric to use. As my pattern making skills are not amazing, the beautiful fabric covered up all the indiscrepancies. I have definitely chosen the wrong fabric for a garment many times before. Luckily this time it worked out.

Peplum Take Two


I made another Vogue 8815 top peplum top. I’ve made this pattern previously in a stiff white silk which made the peplum flare out. This time I was keen to try it in a drapier fabric to see how it looked.


This top took am embarrassingly long time to make. I generally sew several things concurrently and when I get stuck with something I move on to another garment. So in all this top probably took around 3 months to get from the cutting table to being wearable.


I made several changes to the pattern. The most obvious being that I decided to put capped sleeves on. I think with the high neckline on this top the sleeveless option looks strangely severe on me. I cut these sleeves using the piece from McCalls 6201. I also put an invisible zipper in. I know the fit isn’t perfect – the bodice should really be shortened by about half and inch and I perhaps should have done an FBA but they still seem quite scary …


I’m pretty pleased with how the bias binding went in to the neckline. It doesn’t look perfect from the outside but for me this is leaps and bounds better than previous attempts. I also did a rolled hem on my server for the first time. Definately the quickest way to finish!

I *heart* peplums – I think the shape is so flattering to the female figure. I think I’m ready to move on to a peplum dress or skirt – pattern suggestions please?

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!

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:



Vintage-y Goody Gumdrops Dress

So I finally made this dress that I blogged about earlier in the year as a part of Vintage Pattern on Sunday. It’s a 1950s -ish looking dress with a fitted bodice with a gathered waistline.


This dress was somewhat of an experiment. There have been a lot of bloggers posting about dresses with gathered waistlines like Colette’s Hazel and Sewaholic’s Cambie. I liked the look but wasn’t sure if it was me, if ya know what I mean… So I thought I’d try with a pattern I already owned and some cheap material (cotton lycra blend, $6 per metre)

So here it is:



Side shot is not super flattering – but necessary to make my point – gathered waistlines are not mega flattering on my body shape. I think this style of dress is suited to tall, slender types. A club to which I am not a member (sadly). However, I still do quite like this dress. It’s fun and happy and I can imagine myself wearing it to the beach in the summer.

On a side note, I secretly really enjoyed hand stitching the lining in:


That’s my I’m not entirely convinced it’s my look face


So that was my experiment for the week. Have you tried something new recently?

New Look 6035 and Bias Seam Binding

I made a top.


You may have realised that this not me, this is my sister. I really like the shape of this pattern (New Look 6035) and the drape of the silk but I had to give it away because it was too small for me.


Up until a week ago, when I started this top, I had avoided bias seam binding like the plague. I had to do it a little while ago when I was making my bunting, but because that’s destined to be hung up and not inspected closely I didn’t mind if if wasn’t sewn very neat. So this was the first time I had sewn bias binding on clothes.


As you can see I couldn’t for the life of me get the binding to sit flat. However, as fate would have it I found this book at a book fair the next day:


In the book it says that binding should be pre-shaped:


So then the binding fits perfectly:


So that’s how you’re meant to do it! What an epiphany!

By the way … check out my french seams, they were also a first for me.


Have you had a sewing epiphany?

Pattern Runway 1302

A little while ago I posted about this dress. That’s because I thought I had finished it – How wrong I was!

Let me start by saying I did not make this project easy for myself.

I decided that I wanted to make this dress out of a sheer material. This meant that I would need to line my dress, (I bought some black sheer to do this with). My master plan was to simply cut two of everything, sew the matching pieces together and then sew the dress together as usual.

However I soon discovered that my carefully cut pieces were in fact mega crooked.

But I decided to plough on and sew the pieces together anyway as I figured the dress would be loose and probably wouldn’t matter too much.

I got the dress together and was doing the finishing touches and giving the hem a final press when the electricity shorted, the iron got really hot and burnt a hole in the skirt!

*Sigh* So I removed the elastic, unpicked the skirt, cut a new skirt, sewed the sides together, attached it at the waist, attached new elastic, hemmed it and pressed it again.

And finally it’s done!




With this pattern I found that the top is quite loose and the skirt to be quite tight (despite having the measurements for a size S). If I was to make this again I would definately add about 3-4 inches to the width of the skirt so make it loose fitting all round and less bunchy on the bum:


I added a hook and eye at the top of the neck instead of a button.

Overall: I think I made it a lot more difficult for myself by choosing a sheer fabric that needed lining. However once I make the adjustment of adding a couple of inches to the width of the skirt I’ll definately be making this skirt again.