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August 17, 2014 / Blogless Anna

Bias plaid


I popped into The Fabric Store in Melbourne a few weeks ago and after a quick ‘pat’ in the merino jersey section I headed straight for the 50% off table.  Hello winter sale!  I quickly spied this wool/silk plaid and I was smitten.  I was wearing my jaywalk boxy cropped top and I wondered about making a woven version out of the plaid.  I asked the sale assistant if she thought the fabric had enough drape for the project I had in mind and she suggested cutting the plaid on the bias.  Genius!


Even though I’ve made this pattern twice before – firstly in a jumper knit with an open weave and secondly in a viscose/jersey – I still made a muslin as woven fabrics behave very differently to stretch.  In particular, I wanted to check it would fit over my head (an important consideration) and I knew the sleeves would need alteration.  When I looked at the sleeve pattern piece I quickly decided it was perfect in a jersey.  Yes, another mixed fabric make was born.  The sleeves are a medium weight 100% woolen jersey from the stash.


I promise I pressed the sleeve seams (although it doesn’t look like it above) and I did attempt, and failed, pattern matching.  Can anyone pick where I went wrong?


The way I’ve folded the fabric has the front piece with right sides together and the back piece with wrong sides together.  I knew I’d done this, I even placed a pin to denote the ‘right side’, but I failed to see the implications for pattern matching.  Yes a the right side of the front piece matched the wrong side of the back piece perfectly.  Well actually, I assume it does.  By the time I’d worked out where I went wrong, I’d sewn & overlocked the shoulder seams together and I wasn’t unpicking them!


I used my walking foot for the entire construction, but it was only essential when I was sewing the woven and jersey fabrics together.  That being said, I took the slow option and hand sewed down the bias binding on the neckline and the double-fold hem.  Hand sewing was the perfect way to nurse my head cold while resting on the couch on Friday.


I feel really at home in this style, but I’m looking to the skies and putting my hopes and dreams into a new to me pattern next.


Pattern:  Number 30 from Pochee’s May & Me Style Sewing II
Size:  LL (without adding seam allowances)
Fabric:  Wool/silk plaid and 100% medium weight merino jersey from The Fabric Store (Melbourne)
Alterations:  Lengthened and narrowed the sleeves.  Added 1 cm to the front and back piece to allow for a double-fold hem.
Accessories:  Scarf from Scarlett Jones
Photo Location: 
Wombat State Forest


August 15, 2014 / Blogless Anna

Back-to-back success


I’m not one to walk away from a cutting accident…  In fact, I embraced this one wholeheartedly.  I now have a colour blocked top which I like to think of as a happy accident.


Two weeks ago I was tidying up my sewing space and I came across my traced Olivia Oversized Tee and I decide to shorten it (as per my previous Olivia post) before packing it away.  I removed the required 1 inch off the front and back, and before I knew it, I was cutting out another one.  This pattern has that effect on you!


The stripes are from an ex-designer fabric store which is no longer exists.  When purchasing this fabric I was told it was from the boys range at Seed (a clothing brand in Australia). The fabric has been in the stash for a long time.  Yah for stash busting!


I didn’t have enough fabric to cut a back and front as per the pattern, but I remembered Lara’s trick of piecing together your fabric and including a centre back seam.  My brilliant thought was then squashed when I discovered the hard way that two left sides do not make a whole!


Thankfully, the stash yielded some viscose/lycra that was a good match in weight and colour.  I also decided to use the brown on the neck and hem bands.  This meant there was only two seams (shoulder and side) to stripe match.


I secured the neckline seam with a twin needle and decided, purely for decorative reasons, to do the same with the shoulder seams.


Pattern:  Maria Denmark’s Olivia Oversized Tee
Size:  Medium
Fabric:  Cotton/lycra and viscose/lycra from the stash
Alterations:  Removed all waist shaping by drawing a straight line from the short sleeve underarm cutting line to the hips.  Added a seam allowance to the centre back, cut the back in two pieces and joined them together before constructing the top as per the instructions.  This version is 1 inch shorter than the xs hem cutting line.
Accessories:  Sophie Digard scarf from Scarlett Jones

August 12, 2014 / Blogless Anna

Nani Iro loves Liberty


Inspiration can strike anywhere and anytime!  And for this make, it was a mixed fabric kids t-shirt by Craftiness Is Not Optional that got my creative juices flowing…


For the front of my mixed fabric t-shirt I used another long time stash occupier, this super soft Nani Iro double knit cotton jersey.  I actually had the whole t-shirt cut out and ready to sew, but I was hesitating and now I know why.  It needed to be paired with some liberty!


And for the first time in my life I used ribbing. Stripy ribbing of course!  There will definitely be more ribbing in my life.


The pattern you ask?  It is of course another Scout.  Are you sick of all my Scouts yet?  I’m still enjoying them, so try and bare with me…


The front is a size 10 with an FBA (as described here).  I wanted a high/low hem so I used my french curve to alter the front hem.  The back is made from liberty.  I used the Grainline’s full back pattern tutorial to add volume.


As the Nani Iro is a double knit, and a little lacking in the draping department, the sleeves were a little sticky-outy (that’s a technical term of course!).  I unpicked the sleeve hems and added a box pleat.  It was fiddly, but well worth the time invested.


Pattern:  Grainline Studio’s Scout Woven Tee
Nani Iro double knit cotton jersey, liberty from Tessuti (a remnant) and ribbing from Crafty Mamas
I completed an FBA (see details here) and used Grainline’s full back pattern tutorial to add volume to the back.  The hem was re-shaped to be slightly high/low and I included box pleats on the hem of each sleeve.
Accessories:  Vintage necklace purchased at an Antique Fair


August 11, 2014 / Blogless Anna

Old London Town

I’m currently sewing some unseasonal garments for an upcoming European family adventure.  We’ll be visiting friends, taking in the sites and without a doubt I will be visiting the holy grail of liberty… Liberty of London.


Can you see the goose bumps on my arms?  These photos were taken in Ballarat (1.5 hours from Melbourne) which is known for its cold winters.  It snowed in Ballarat last week!  Anyway, on a 10 degree day I was braving the elements to record another quirky liberty garment.


Longtime readers of my blog know that I love mixing my liberty prints.  And my recent Scout obsession is well documented.  This top combines the two.  It’s a Scout Woven Tee with an extra sleeve ruffle.  Have I gone too far?  Is it too much?


The ruffle is based on this Japanese pattern.  Interestingly, the sleeves pattern pieces for both the Scout and the Japanese pattern were very similar, which gave me confidence to proceed without a muslin.  Admittedly, I have sewn but not overlocked the sleeves in place.  I just wanted to see how this garment photographed before fully committing!


The main fabric is Richard & Lyla and is full of London icons – Big Ben, Tower Bridge, river Thames, red phone booths, plus sunflowers, aeroplanes, dogs, gardeners and a blimp!  Such a summery and fun print.



Pattern:  Grainline Studio’s Scout Woven Tee
Liberty of London from OdetteTessuti & eBay
I completed an FBA (see details here) and added a ruffle using this pattern as a guide.
Accessories:  Vintage necklace purchased at an Antique Fair and Artiga Espadrilles from Scarlett Jones


August 9, 2014 / Blogless Anna

You’re the one that I want…

As Olivia Newton-John once sang… you’re the one that I want oh oh ohhh.


The Olivia Oversized Tee is a welcome addition to my wardrobe. I usually make a muslin for all my creations but this time Lara did it for me!


Lara and I caught up one Friday evening last month and we played dress-ups for hours (maybe a slight exaggeration, but you get the idea) and I’m inspired to try a few new patterns.  First cab off the rank was Maria Denmark’s Olivia Oversized Tee.


I followed Lara’s alterations to a ‘T’.  This is a medium with 3/4 sleeves and all waist shaping removed as I don’t like clothes clinging to my thickish waist!  The length is that of the extra small, but in hindsight it’s just a little long for my personal preference.  I’ve already removed an inch off the bottom of the pattern for next time… Actually next time has already happened.  I’m a little behind with my blogging, but if you are an Instagram follower you’ve probably already caught a glimpse of my colour blocked version!


I love the relaxed and flattering fit of this top.  Thanks again for the inspiration Lara!

Pattern:  Maria Denmark’s Olivia Oversized Tee
Size:  Medium
Fabric:  Super soft cotton jersey from Clear It (Alanah Hill) Outlet
Alterations:  Removed all waist shaping by drawing a straight line from the short sleeve underarm cutting line to the hips.
Accessories:  Scarf and beads from Scarlett Jones


August 3, 2014 / Blogless Anna

It’s all about sleeves

I feel like I’m on a little bit of a sewing journey at the moment.  I’m either taking a pattern that works for me and then trying it in different fabrics (like here and here) or adjusting a TNT pattern to create a slightly new look.  This make was all about the Scout Woven Tee and it’s sleeves.



To create a gathered hem sleeve (yes, it has a name!) I consulted Pattern Cutting Made Easy: A Step-By-Step Introduction by Gillian Holman.  The book assumes you are altering a basic block and gives you simple step-by-step instructions supported by easy-to-follow diagrams.  This book is a recent purchase and I love it!



I printed out and assembled a Scout sleeve (one of the benefits of pdf patterns!) and straightened the curved hem before following the cut and spread approached as outlined in Holman’s pattern cutting book.  My final sleeve piece looked just like figure three in the book.  Woo hoo!


Inspired by Judith from Tessuti, I decided to use the selvege of this stunning yarn dyed linen to create as a feature cuff on the sleeves.  I thought it might be a bit quirky, but to tell you the truth I’m not sure.


Actually, I’m not sure about these sleeves full stop.  I wished that I had gathered a sleeve a little more and made the cuffs smaller so they fitted my arms more snugly.  I might even go back and redo them.

Even though I feel a little bit like a professional footballer (choose your own code) in this top, I’m sure to wear it when warmer weather hits the southern hemisphere as this linen is too good not to be worn and enjoyed.


Pattern:  Grainline Studio’s Scout Woven Tee
Yarb dyed linen remnant from Tessuti (Melbourne Store)
I completed an FBA (see details here) and used a slash and spread method to create a gathered hem sleeve
Accessories:  Sophie Digard scarf from Scarlett Jones

And I’ll bid you farewell with my ‘don’t mess with me’ look!


July 29, 2014 / Blogless Anna

Same but different…


Remember that red silk top pattern that I used to make a jumper in my last post?  Well before packing the pattern away, I decided to make it up as a top (rather than a jumper) in a viscose/elastane jersey.  And not just any jersey… but the gorgeous Jaywalk from Tessuti.


I ummed and ahhed about this fabric.  The quality, drape and the discounted price (during the competition) were superb but I just wasn’t into the colourways.  On the day the competition entries were due, I caved and brought some in each colourway (just for the record, I had no intention of entering!) and I’m so so so glad I did.



Black may not be part of a colour palette I wear near my face, but I can always accessorise with colourful layers, shoes, a scarf, bright lipstick and my bag of knitting!


Construction was predominantly on the overlocker.  I secured the neckline seam and hems using a twin needle.  And yes, fusible stay tape was used on the neckline, shoulder seams and all hems.  I can’t live without it!


Would you wear a top that is greater in width than length?  And while I’m asking for your valued opinion… do I get away with wearing double stripes – a striped singlet and a striped top?


Pattern:  Number 30 from Pochee’s May & Me Style Sewing II
Size:  LL (without adding seam allowances)
Fabric:  Jaywalk Jersey from Tessuti
Alterations:  Lengthened and narrowed the sleeves.  Overlocked a band to the neckline and secure the stitching with a twin needle.
Accessories:  Sophie Digard scarf from Scarlett Jones , shoes from Peter Sheppard and bag made by me!


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