March Wrap-Up

This is a bit late as last weekend was a major sewing weekend and I will share more about this in my next post.

Now March didn’t see any new garments started, but it did see 4 garments finished and here they are.

First up is the brown linen straight skirt that was for the 2009 Swap that still needed hemming in January of this year.

Yes, I am wearing the same top and accessories with it as this one

As you can see, my wardrobe is rather limited.

Second on the list is the brown/coffee/coral linen that I showed you here. I used the same self drafted straight skirt pattern that I did for the brown linen above.

One of the challenges for the 2010 SWAP at Stitcher’s Guild was a matched print and I had never done one before. So I decided to challenge myself and match the centre back seam and using Nancy’s great tutorial I am really pleased how it has turned out, what do you think?

Now this skirt didn’t progress much until I attended one of my ASG groups in February and I only managed to get it hemmed when I visited DM in March.


You will have to wait for another day to find out about the top I am wearing LOL.

The Third garment is the Top to go with the Simplicity Cardi that I made for my DM. I took this to her home the last weekend in March with my Coverpro to finish the hems and here is the final set.

and drum roll please for the Fourth garment……. the LBD is now finished.

Back view

The sleeves didn’t work, it appears that the wool that I used is a gabardine weave and has no give in it whatsoever and with the sleeves being very tight I had to change direction and make it sleeveless.

The other thing I noticed when trying it on is that it seemed to be very close at the correct length already. Luckily when DH levelled the hem for me I had a scant 1.5cm hem to turn up so I purchased some 2cm bias tape to add to this and here you can see:

  • A strip of fusable interfacing fused from the hem fold with a pinked edged 1.5cm wider than the finished hem width. This make your hem a bit firmer and you can then stitch your hem in the safe knowledge that NONE of your stitches will show on the right side of your garment.
  • Finished hem
  • Mitred corner for the split
  • Hong Kong finish on the other side of the split
  • Lace attached to the lining
  • A Diamond stitched to the top of the split to help stabilise this spot.

I also want to make a belt to go with this, if I can find abelt kit in one of the fabric stores.

Here are the pattern adjustments that I made if you want to check them out.

I’m still working on how to get better colours in my photos as the colour of the final dress IS the correct colour, however the lining and the diamond stitching close up shot is not.

Lucily I have this fabric to make a Chanel Jacket with my ASG group in May.

LBD Update

Is nearly there –

and I need to get off the computer and get this done as I want to wear it to a function on the 30th.


It was warm enough today to get a photo of me wearing my new coral top – BWOF-05-2008-103 which you saw on Isabel for the Six Piece Sew-Along.

It will also go with both the A-line and straight skirts I showed you yesterday.

Frustration and Smiles !!

The LBD has been challenging my sewing skills and knowledge of late and after much deliberation I have decided to make it sleeveless. My fabric after closer scrutiny is a Ronaldo Wool Touch Brazil Suiting. Now I really didn’t know what this meant, but I know now this is a fabric that does not like to be eased, has very little if any give to the fabric, and with the tight sleeves of this dress the two were not a suitable mix.

I spent last Saturday at the Alexandria Achievers ASG Group doing a lot of frog stitching and managed to work out how to change this dress to a sleeveless version. It is still not 100% to my liking and instead of rushing it and “just getting it done”, I have put it aside this week to restore my sense of achievement.


This is BWOF 05-2008-104 which is the longer version of this top I made in January. My inspiration came from a dress by Phase Eight I saw in a magazine and my fabric is from KnitWit.

As I had already done the pattern alterations for the orange top, I only had to extend the pattern to a dress and trace off the new band to incoporate the buckle that I purchased when we visited Victoria Island in Canada earlier this year.

I cut this fabric out on Friday night and then on Saturday with my sewing buddies I got it up to the hem stage, and then today after DH levelled the hem for me, I hemmed it with my Janome CP 1000 (I had also used this for the hems on the band) and wore it to the Rhodes Fashion Sewers ASG group for their Christmas Lunch. (You read correclty I attended two ASG Groups and sewed with my regular sewing buddies this month.)

This knit has more stretch than the top I made so the neckline is a bit lower than I normally wear and it did take me quite a few tries to find a necklace that worked, and I can see that I need to find one similar to the one they have pictured with the inspiration dress.

Here is the view from back once I got home.

What a weekend!

Well I’m home again after spending two whole days with 10 other wonderful real life sewing buddies.

I arrived around 8am to make sure all was set up and the others slowly followed me. By morning tea we were all there and getting stuck into our various projects.

The Mercure at Parramatta did a fantastic job in feeding us at regular intervals and were happy to assist with some very unusual conference requests e.g. a power board for each table and two irons and ironing boards please.

I chose to start on Vogue 8280 LBD and after doing the toile thought it would be finished that afternoon. How wrong can a girl be!

This is where I am up to after 2 full days of sewing. The wool I used gave me some challenges with easing the back onto to the flange (tighter weave) and there are just so many seams and darts that need pressing and clipping it just didn’t seem to stop.

Left to do is:

  • insert the sleeves, how come one always goes in with no pain and the other one just wants to fight you every step of the way,
  • Finish off the back neckline,
  • Hem both the fashion fabric and lining.

I’m extremely pleased with how this dress is fitting me (my body double needs to be updated) so I am keen to get this finished.

Needless to say the blouse didn’t even get a look in.

Sewing Weekend

For a number of years now my real life sewing buddies have been organising a sewing weekend away each year for us to attend. This year it is my turn.

So far we have been to Panthers at Penrith, Ferndale on the Hawkesbury River and The Mecure Hotel at Pararmatta.

This year we are going back to the Mercure Hotel at Parramatta (right across the road from the Rosehill Races which hosts the Craft Show in August).

We arrive on Saturday morning and sew to our hearts content until Sunday afternoon with food being delivered to us on a regular basis.

I really like to achieve as much as I can at these weekends so today’s job was to check that all the bits for my two projects are all there.

First up is the LDB which I cut out last week and now have made sure that all the pieces are together in a zip-lock bag including zip, wound bobbins and organza bias strips for inserting the sleeves.

I then plan to work on a lemon blouse that I started to make a while ago and made sure that I had interfaced all the pieces, wound bobbins, found some buttons so it is also ready to go.

Here they both are in their bags ready to be put into my sewing case.

I think I will purchase one of those collapsable crates to hopefully hold:

  • Table ironing board and iron
  • Table lamp
  • Pressing tools e.g. sleeve roll and ham

If I have time this week after work I would like to trace off Burda 5-2008-104, which is the dress version of the top I made in January this year. I have already done the adjustments to the bodice, so only need to add the skirt to the pattern. Then use this fabric to make it up.

There is a lot of “fingers crossed” going on to get this last dress achieved, so wish me luck.

So at the end of next weekend I will at have at least two garments to show.

Little Black Dress Workshop

I am a member of the Australian Sewing Guild at Rhodes and for the months of July and September we had a LDB Workshop, with Angie Zimmerman. Angie writes a lot of articles for Sewing with Stitches Australia (formerly Australian Stitches) and also has her own sewing workshops.

During July Angie helped us adjust our patterns to fit our various versions of the LBD and then in September I had my toile made up in gorgeous calico for the final tweaking of the fit.

I chose to use Vogue 8280 View F (top right picture, cream long sleeved dress) without the little cap sleeves and shortened the sleeves to 3/4.

We started with a size 6 using my High Bust measurement and a lot of adjustments had to be made from there LOL.

Here are the pattern pieces and I will try and remember what we did to each piece.

Front Bodice

Back Bodice


Skirt Front

Skirt Back – same as front except the addition at the waist is at the side seams.


Now Black is not a colour I wear near my face, so I have decided to make my dress in the Burgundy Wool that I purchased in Melbourne.

I’m not sure why but Vogue hasn’t lined the skirt of this dress but has lined the bodice. I will be lining the skirt as well.

Back soon.