After getting off to a flying start with Me Made May I have to admit that I’ve FAILED (it got a bit obvious when I didn’t post any photos to Instragram yesterday…) I know I shouldn’t feel too bad about it but I do feel a bit bummed. The truth is that I couldn’t bring myself to wear another work skirt. I really wanted to wear pants. Which is kinda strange because I’m quite a skirt and dresses kind of person. Solution: Papercut Patterns’ Pleated Pants that’s a whole lot of alliteration!


This will be my first pair of pants EVER.

I think there’s a second glaring whole in my wardrobe – casual-ish wear. Like dresses that I can wear to work and then out that night and not have to go home and change in between – know what I mean? So I immediately had a look at my patterns and found two that I thought fit the bill – Vogue 1338 and Very Easy Vogue 8742 (now out of print) and cut them both last night. I don’t know what came over me but it must have been desperate because I usually take forever to cut out a pattern!


I even started sewing one of them. Gathers look so pretty.


Next up – some delicious merino Renfrews and maybe even a Hollyburn. I never know where my mind will take me next!


Work Skirt #2

In case you didn’t know, and I don’t blame you if you didn’t, I started my first full time job this year. And amongst other things that meant that I needed more clothes. Like work appropriate clothes. And whilst I love making evening dresses like my Black Lacey Number


… The clothes that I really need to be more every day than that. A few weeks ago I finished my Super Boring Work Skirt That I Love. And here is my next creation in all things practical Vogue 8603:



I spent a lot of time hunting for the right type of fabric for this pattern. I wanted something that would be warm but not too thick so that the gathers wouldn’t be too bulky. In the end I bought this amazing lightweight wool from The Fabric Warehouse in Mt Eden – “thoroughly uninspiring website, totally inspiring fabric” is their byline… Or at least I think it should be. Did I mention that I love this fabric? It was very easy to work with! And it was 20% off! BOOM!


I didn’t do much in the way of pattern adjustments, except that I decided that I was not going to put the gathers in the bottom of the skirt back. When I saw the line drawings I thought that’s a lot of gathers on one skirt so I omitted them and cut the view C centre back piece instead.


I also decided against making a lining, as the pattern required, as I thought that would add bulk in the gathers. In the photos I’m wearing half slip instead (same thing, right?)

Have you made something practical?



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?!

New Season Vogue Patterns – Fall 2012

The new vogue patterns are out! Without further ado here’s my two cents worth on what I would make and what I think of them:


I think this looks like a lot of work – recommended for “average” sewists – indeed


A nice loosing fitting jersey material dress. Looks comfortable and can be dressed up


THIS PHOTO IS HILARIOUS. I mean how can anyone call it ‘high fashion’!? Again, it looks comfortable but the economist in me thinks – is this a waste of material?? Also this only suits hour-glass figures (according to the style guide) I think this may be telling…


This is my favourite so far. I like the ‘mod’ style and the exposed zipper especially. I don’t know if I’d make it in different fabrics though…


ANOTHER jersey fabric dress. Is there a theme appearing?


LOVE THIS DRESS. I think of the whole collection this is my favourite. I know I already said that, but really this is. The shape, the bow, the neckline – it all works in my mind. I’ll be buying this one for sure.


When I first saw this I liked it, but upon reflection I think it was the houndstooth I liked!


Despite the fact that this coat is described as “very loosing fitting” I’m very drawn to it. I think I like the drama of the collar and the shoulders. Practicality?


Glad to see a cape pattern for this season. I think the right kind of person could pull this off, but not me. You need swagger to wear this.



This pattern is for the pants and shirt. Alas its a no and maybe/ no from me. Maybe/ no is for the shirt – I think this could work in a light cotton as a summer top. And hell no to the elasticated waistband pants!


This pattern is also for the top and skirt. I’m really undecided on this one. I quite like the top and skirt but I wonder if they look too OTT together? If I was in the corporate world then I guess it would be different.



Whilst I don’t think I’d make a suit for myself I’m totally sold on the blouse. I have been seeking out a pussy bow pattern for a while now so I’m glad to see vogue has answered my plea to the universe! I would follow suit (hilarious pun, I know) and also make it out of a silk or silk-like fabric.

So that’s what I think. What do you think of the new patterns??

I’m Making a Cape!

The other day when I was choosing fabric with my sister for her birthday dress (link here) I saw these in the end of roll basket.

I know – white wool – what an extravagance!!! …and how impractical…

A long time ago I blogged about Capes, Yay or Nay? after I first fell in love with Erica’s Camel Cape. Since then I’ve seen some lovely capes that other bloggers have made. The overwheming response was that people in blogland think that capes are awesome. And who am I to argue with bloggers? (A very opinionated lot!) So I guess I’m making a cape.

I think I’ll go with the same pattern Erica used – Vogue 8776. I love that this pattern is loose fitted and has the high collar so snuggle my face into when it gets cold.

So more opinions please – shall I go with this pattern and this fabric?

Vogue 1183: Help Please?

I had such high hopes for this dress. I was hoping to get lots of wear out of it during the summer. However it has been shelved because, so far, it looks like this:

I was going to ask my sister to take another photo of me seeing as I half blinked in this one but I thought that it was quite in line with how the dress turned out. Also, yes, I haven’t hemmed it yet, it’s just too disheartening.

Where did I go wrong? It is baggy in all the wrong places and too tight in others:

And the fabric is definately not strong enough to hold that upright cross-over shape in the bodice (I pinned it together in the photo at the top).

What a disappointment. I was going to shelve it away and ignore the fact that it didn’t turn out at all, even vaguely wear-able; put it in a drawer somewhere and never look at it again.

Then I thought that’s not what this blog is for. This blog is for learning (geeky, I know). So here is my question – how do I fix this dress? Where should I pull it in? Or let it out? If I take it in at the sides then will it make the front even more gape-y? Or is it just too late?

All suggestions muchly appreciated.

Editing the Pattern

This dress has not been at all easy to put together, that I’ll tell you for free.

One of the many problems that I encountered on the seemingly perpetual journey to completing it was that when it came time to attach the midriff to the skirt I could not, for love nor money, sweat nor tears, get the seams to match up on the two piece. After to much gesticulation I thought that perhaps it might be better to do it a different way to the instructions:



I wonder if anyone else has had the same problem with this pattern?

A Slight Etsy Obsession…

Recently I’ve discovered Etsy (I told you I was new to the sewing and blogging). At the risk of sounding exceptionally naive – I was so pleased with this website. It was like walking into Aladdin’s Cave. And I’ve become slightly obsessed.

I have many items on my favourites list – mostly dress patterns – but also coat patterns, vintage dresses (for inspiration), blouse patterns and copious amounts of material.

Here are the patterns I bought:

Clockwise from top left: PatternRunway 1302 (easy Kimono dress with elasticated waist); Simplicity 3599 (c.1960s, dress with Kimono sleeves, gathered waist, full skirt); Simplicity 6227 (sleeveless scoop-neck dress with over-skirt and/or over-top) and last but not least Vogue 2050 by Calvin Klein (strapless fitted dress with semi-fitted waist length jacket).

Immensely excited to start making these…. Having some issues with finishing Vogue 1102 (far too distressing to discuss at present, will come to that on a later post)

Capes – Yay or Nay?

Recently i read a blog post by one of my favourite bloggers Erica Bunker. She posted a cape that she had made which was inspired by one Victoria Beckham had been seen in. So this is my question – capes, hot or not? (she looked totally gorgeous in hers FYI)

Here is the pattern for the one that Erica made. I particularly like the short version and that it’s in cream vogue 8776:


I’m less keen on the shape of this one but the collar might make it easier to wear maccalls 6446:


I could also make something like 1974 vintage pattern which combines the conventional collar shape and nice shape:


I’m having some difficulty winning people over to the idea so genuine opinion. Are capes gorgeous or past their time?