Wednesday, 1 March 2017

To Shirr and Shirr Alot

I was off to an afternoon swim one stinky poo, hot Saturday recently, when I realised I didn't have any cool little casual dresses.  I guess when I do go the coast I generally wear a denim skirt and a little shirt.  It has been on my to do list is a beach dress for about 5 years.

I got on line to see what projects people had done with a basic shirred dress.  I found one and set out using this cotton material I bought at a Spotlight sale.  Even though it's very simple to make, it does take awhile doing 12 rows of shirring on both front and back.  The only thing that didn't work out so well was  the fabric above the shirring. I left about 1.5cm and it kept flapping forward.  In the end I just added some elastic to the top. I just eased it directly onto the fabric with a zig zag stitch.  And ticketyboo it did the trick. 

So all in all nothing fancy, just a good cool dress for very casual wear.  Unfortunately not exactly good for the beach with the exposed shoulders, it is good for going to a friend's place for a swim. 

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Vintage Simplicity 7332

My love of all things 70's strikes again.  Another little ebay purchase from 2016. I really liked the look of the V neck strap. I was even considering trying the stripe version with the material I was using but didn't want to risk mucking around and maybe making a complete hash of it. 

I bought this lovely light cotton linen blend from Spotlight. I think it was part of their clearance fabrics.  I'm not sure why because the fabric is just perfect.  It's that right summer blend for fabric and the combo of linen and cotton actually means a very low crush factor.  Why oh why can't there be more of these fabrics around.  I even tried to buy some more of this fabric recently on a trip to Spotlight but darn it, they only had about 1m left. 

Soooo back to the pattern.  This was a very easy pattern to work with.  I decided however, not to use the nice bias cut skirt section because it just used up too much material.  Even though these 70's style of dress are great you do need quite a lot more fabric when cutting on the bias.  Anyoldhow, I used the skirt section from one of my other 70's patterns and, in fact, I'll probably get better use out of  my other 70's patterns if I do that. 

This is also another of those smart patterns that has you attach the back bodice and back skirt together, then put in zip before attaching the front to the back. This makes inserting a zip so much easier as you don't have all that extra material to be worrying about, which might get caught up underneath when you are sewing in the zip. I absolutely love this dress. It's so comfortable and cool.  I think the pattern of the material looks fabulous.  So very happy with the end result. A perfect storm of fabric and pattern.  Hooray.  

Thursday, 2 February 2017


Mary Tyler Moore, what can I say.  She was an icon, an inspiration, a role model.  I can safely say, Mary Richards is one of my favourite television characters of all time.  Even though I was a little girl when the Mary Tyler Moore Show was was first on tv, I always knew it was something very special that I was watching. Undoubtedly it was an well written, entertaining sitcom, but overall it was a groundbreaking television program. I was completely in love with the time period, of course the wonderful 70's fashions.  However, when you re-watch the episodes as a woman you realise what a brilliant inspiring character Mary Richards was.  Here was a woman in her 30's, unmarried, living alone, trying to have a career in a male dominated field.  The episodes didn't concentrate on her romantic life and a desire to get married, and her job was just something she did until she met Mr Right.  No, she was more concerned about being taken seriously at work and fighting for equal rights with regard to pay and promotion within her job.  When you think about it, the way Mary looked, she should have been a character in front of the camera, but instead she was a woman who was working behind the scenes in a less glamour field, a news room.  

I only mention my love of Mary Tyler Moore in my blog because she is without a doubt my all time favourite fashion icon.  Maybe when I was in my early 20's I could pull off some of her wonderful fashions. But alas I'd have to work very hard to achieve that super svelte physique. I remember how much I loved re-watching this show, particularly for the fashion.  I now own the complete series so I shall be spending many a weekend catching up on the series and enjoying it all over again.  I started watching season 3 this weekend and no matter how many episodes I watch in a row, I never can skip the opening theme song. Again, that theme song is most possibly the best theme song any television show has had (though Rockford Files comes a close second).  And one of my favourite bands, Husker Du, did a wonderful version of Love is All Around . Who can turn your world on with a smile, Mary Tyler Moore that's who!!!


The most interesting thing about her passing is how many women have been inspired by her.  It didn't matter if they weren't an attractive, skinny, middle class white girl, she was an inspiration to all women and what they could achieve. I'm sure many a young girl or woman watched this show and realised that  women finally had a place in the workforce.  As a person, and as her character she broke a glass ceiling which all women should be grateful for. 

As the Mary Tyler Moore Show came to it's conclusion in 1977, another icon was being born. It was a princess from a galaxy far far away who was going to be a role model for another generation of women for decades to come. 

So sad you are gone, so glad you left us with some brilliant television.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Edith Blouse

I have been very lax in keeping up with the blog recently.  Definitely not interested in taking photos with our constant heat wave conditions here in Brisbane. I do have a few previously photographed goodies I can attend to on this thankfully mild Sunday morning. 

I saw this pattern on the Scruffy Badger blog and really liked the simple style.  This lovely dress/blouse comes from Maria Denmark.  I don't recall having any problems with the pattern. Sizing seemed to be accurate and instructions very straightforward.  This pattern is definitely a winner for a great looking shirt for work or to pair with a vintage style skirts for a more casual look.  It's great not having to set in sleeves when you are already doing a collar and buttons. 

I bought this great sewing themed craft fabric from Lincraft at some point last year.  Like a lot of the craft cottons it has the potential to crease more than some other cottons, but I think it's a good weight for a tailored style shirt. 

Apart from the creasing at the back (really should have taken another photo with the hem pulled down, ah well), it does have a good line.  I could probably take it in a little bit for a snugger fit.  I will definitely use this pattern again and may consider doing the shirt dress. 

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Foxes, Cats and Totes, Oh My.

Top of the festive season to all.  Hard to believe it's going to be 2017 in a few days time.  It seems like only yesterday it was 1987.  Ah simpler times. Guess I'm feeling nostalgic after all the tragic losses of childhood icons this year.   I'm still way behind with blogging clothes but for now here are my sewing/craft projects for the festive season.  

Now that my niece has turned 1, I decided I would finally make her a frock.  I certainly wasn't interested before now as I didn't want to spend time makng something she was going to grow out of in a few weeks.  I used New Look pattern 6275 and a delighful foxy material from Spotlight.

Now I may be losing my mind, but I was sure I took more photos of this dress, but I can't for the life of me find them.  Anyway, this was an easy little dress to make.  Probably given all the panels this material wasn't ideal and the circular yoke took a while to hand stitch.  I would use the pattern again, but the next frock will be a simplier item.  I also made the little matching bloomers which took no time at all to whip up.  Might even get junior to model the finished product at some point.  

Of course now our family Christmas has become all about the small people, and this is another gift handmade by me.  This is my third attempt at a stuffed toy. And whatdoyaknow it's a cat.  

I spent almost an entire episode of The Walking Dead ramming this kitty with stuffing. 

Polly-Jean not too sure about this interloper.
I also spent an afternoon making a 3 citrus marmalade. It got some good reviews last year so I made it again.  However, due to being inpatient, I didn't allow the marmalade to thicken properly. Still tastes yum, just needs to be left in the fridge a few days.  

And finally I made my first tote bag.  One of my good friends has her birthday on 23 December so it's a bit of a challenge separating christmas presents from birthday presents.  I figured a tote that could be used as a beach bag would be a good present. Something you can fold up and take with you on your travels and a tote is pretty handy for many other things. 

I used the Purl Soho Railroad Tote . I added a few extra inches to the width and another inch to the length. I found loads of denims recently when I was tidying my spare room. I used the existing denim combined with a spot material from the Lincraft soft furnishings selection.  Am really chuffed with the finished product. Spoiler alert friends and family, now that I've mastered the tote, you will probably all be getting one in 2017.  

Sunday, 27 November 2016

New Look super and simple

I've been on hiatus from the blog for the first time since I started blogging.  All in all not much sewing in the last few months as I was recovering from an op, but still had a bit of a backlog of things to post.  

This dates back to August.  Another version of New Look 6068.  I was after something fast and simple for this particular material and remembered this pattern. 

Not much I can say about this simple dress. My previous versions have had the collars but this one I didn't even bother with an opening at the neckline as it was big enough to pull over my head.  The material is lovely to wear, soft and a nice drape.

I added this details to the sleeve.  It was a bit too boxy so I made a pleat and finished them off with a button.  I was originally going to wear it as a winter casual, but I think I'll get more wear out of it for work.  Wearing tights seems like such a long way away now with steamy summer weather upon us. Only 6 months until June........................

Monday, 5 September 2016

Simplicity 9151

I've made this pattern up before, in a brown tweed looking material and I wore it on my trip to the Barossa.  I made up this little denim number and first wore it on another little trip away.  This time I was heading south of Brisbane to a farm stay and this seemed like a comfy enough driving outfit.

I took quite few photos here in my parent's front garden, but it was hard to find some reasonably flattering photos to put into my post.  I think I needed to iron the pinafore a bit better and my post weekend indulgence gut was in evidence on some of the angled shots.

This is a great simple pattern to make. The neckline is a little snug, but that is the way with a lot of vintage patterns from the 60's and early 70's.  Because this was a larger sized pattern I cut a slightly smaller size. Turns out I cut it snugger than I intended.  But this is definitely something I will get quite a lot of wear out in the coming winters. And will hopefully be a seeing me through another trip, hopefully to Canada next year. 

And speaking of the farm stay, here is a photo of me with a cow named Dorrie. 

If you love animals and live near or are visiting Brisbane I can definitely recommend Clandulla Cottages.  My friend Lee-Anne and I went for a weekend and it was such a great weekend for animals lovers.  We were the only single ladies there as these places are usually frequented by families. Should have taken a bunch of my me made clothing and done a photo shoot.  Next time perhaps.