BrisVegas Baby

Another post already! At the request of SS and A here are more adventures and dresses.

New on the blog: Vogue 8998 and adventures #sewing #voguepatterns

A few weeks ago, my friend G and I decided to visit our friends H and K in Brisbane for a weekend and when I mentioned the plan to S she jumped right on board too. When we all lived in CBR we saw each other at least weekly, but the 5 of us haven’t been in the same place at the same time in over 2 years. The visit was just the excuse I needed to finish this little number. It’s another Vogue 8998, this time I used the bodice and waistband of the pattern with my drafted pleated skirt. I used the bodice of New Look 6723, which I have alter to within an inch of it’s life to adjust the fit to my liking. This meant shaving off the top of the shoulder to raise the waist and armhole, scooping out a bit of width just under the bust, narrowing the front and back necklines and shortening the bodice by 2cm. I do think that the waist is now a touch high so I might go back and lengthen my pattern pieces again. The skirt is also shorter than expected as the waistband is about 2 inches higher in this dress then it is as a skirt.


This time I skipped the collar detail. I love the way the scoop at the back looks, I think it’s so chic and I also love the front neckline, which is scooped but still totally work appropriate… I’ve been dreaming of a work version in some pindot brown wool I picked up recently. I may bring in the edge of the neckline a little, just to be extra sure bra straps stay hidden where they belong.


I got the fabric for this little number a while ago while visiting SS – it’s nothing special, just a stretch cotton sateen from Spotlight but I really like the print and colours; it combines all my signature colours – olives, pinks, purples and yellows. I wore it to brunch on Sunday and for the flight home. Originally I had planned on wearing it to dinner and drinks on Saturday but then this happened:

Bernie Dexter Paris Dress in “Cherry Tree Lane” from That Shop. I have literally no idea who the people in the background are.

I have been searching for enough of the Michael Miller cherry tree landscape fabric to make a dress from for years so when I saw this dress I just decided to go with it. I really like it, but I must say that $200 for an unlined quilting cotton dress is not exactly a bargain! I also find it interesting, because I would say the dress itself reads as quite formal, but the fabric is casual. I have toyed with the idea of taking of the bodice and re-making it to be more like V8998, maybe in a matching blue fabric, which would be a lot more wearable for everyday. I do think the gathered bust detail is very pretty but I’m not sure how often I could wear it, and as is typical in RTW the waist sits about an inch too low. I bet I will never get around to it though – I HATE alterations.

The weekend was super fun – I caught up with my dad and aunt on Friday, then went back to the airport to meet G (it’s on my dad’s way home). G and I got the train into the city and met H at work before heading out to the river for drinks where we were joined by K and my old housemate B. Saturday G and I went to That Shop and the End of the Line Festival, before picking up H at the aiport and heading out to drinks, dinner and more drinks with the whole crew. Sunday we brunched before G and I had to fly home (S wasn’t leaving until late on Sunday). So that was my weekend!

Until next time!

The Frocktail that wasn’t: Adventures in Sydney

So this was supposed to be part of my outfit for Canberra frocktails, until a friend scheduled her engagement party for the same night. Being a bridesmaid (and good friend!) I skipped frocktails. The problem was I had a half-complete elaborate skirt ensemble and nowhere to wear it! In the end this skirt has been a super versatile addition to my wardrobe. I first wore it to a cousin’s wedding (with a RTW silky pink blouse), out on the town in Newcastle (with a tee that proclaims my deep love of croissants) and to the races (with a silk RTW top I got from eBay). It’s comfy, flattering and has pockets, all things I very much enjoy in a skirt!


The fabric is glorious. It’s a silk brocade from Oscar de la Renta; medium weight with some loft and the perfect drape/body combo. After much debate I decided to use the black based side as my “right side” but I still have enough left for a little top using the other side which is more gold/platinum with black roses. Both are beautiful. I underlined with black silk organza to give it a tiny bit more body and to protect the brocade.

On the blog: this skirt made of glorious Oscar de la Renta silk brocade and adventures at #theraces plus many cocktails, lunch at #bennelong and many types of cheese  #sewcialists #memadeeveryday

The pattern is my “self drafted” one – aka a pleated a-line attached to the waistband of Vogue 8998. I have three of these skirts, one in floral sateen, this one and a to-be-blogged polka dot number.


I also trimmed the hat I’m wearing! It’s an Alannah Hill number I’ve has for a few years – originally it had a brim which I got rid of almost straight away, but this time I also took off the original trim (a straw bow) and added my own with flowers I picked up at Spotlight. I’m supper happy with the finished product.


I had an amazing time at the races drinking champagne and hanging with my friend S. She’s a member so we got to hang out in the nice not-too-crowded members area and enjoy an excellent view of the track as well as tons of shade. After the races we went into the city to try and eat at Cured &; Cultured at Bennelong because I was super keen to try a 5 cheese and truffle toastie. Sadly they didn’t have any spots free, so instead we went to Opera Bar and had some baked brie and wine, then on to Bulletin Place where we enjoyed more cheese and delicious drinks including this adorable tiny pallet cleanser:

[tiny drink is tiny!]

Then on Sunday we went back into the city because I wanted to shop at the QVB and headed back out to Circular Quay to give Bennelong another shot, this time successfully! We shared the toastie and a roasted carrot salad (which is actually my top pick – it doesn’t sound exciting but it was both pretty and delicious) and I had the sausage roll and cherry jam lamington (at the recommendation of the chef, who was adorable!) and S the yabbies and chocolate cake. Plus we both had a cocktail and a wine spritzer. It was right up there in the food stakes. Everything was totally amazing and beautifully presented. It’s also the most beautiful spot, you sit right at the bar and watch the chefs make your food – at first I didn’t know where to look because I didn’t want to stare, but we started chatting to the one working in front of us and he was just lovely – he told me to get the lamington and was 100% correct as it was AMAZING. Like a party in my mouth (honestly I was on the verge of proposing but if he’d said no I would never be able to go back and that would make me cry!). The view is, of course, exceptional and I’m actually glad we went for lunch so I could take full advantage of it.

After that we went back to Opera Bar to have a coffee and catch up with an old friend from our grad year, M and then I drove back home to CBR (don’t worry it was hours after drinking).

The whole weekend was really the best and I can’t wait to do it again sometime!

Lady Liberty Carline


OK, I just had to get that out of my system :) I had actually been trying to hunt down some Liberty Carline for an embarrassingly long time when Roisin recommended a few eBay sellers that might have the goods. Then, not a week later I stumbled across Fabrics Galore and found some purple. Lastly, Liz put her Liberty stash up for sale. So I ended up going from no Carline, to having 8 meters of the stuff in three colours. Today we’re going to chat about the first, which is a poplin. I haven’t always been a big poplin fan, but the Liberty poplin may be my dream fabric – it’s a tiny bit weightier than the lawn, which gives it a little more body and means it isn’t transparent at all. I found it completely lovely to work with.

Today on the blog: a New Look/ Vogue mash up in liberty carline aka the fabric of my dreams #sewing//

I actually finished this little number oh, 7 months ago, which should tell you something about how long my to-blog list is.

To me it was completely obvious what this lovely wanted to be – a princess seamed dress with as full a skirt as I could manage. I used the old faithful New Look 6723 bodice (which I FBA’d ages ago) and the gored circle skirt from Vogue 8998. I had considered using all of Vogue 8998, but I wasn’t 100% happy with the fit in the bodice last time I made it and had no time to play with it so I went with my tried n true.

(I don’t know why both the lighting and my fringe are bad in this pic :( Also! Winter-style)

Through some wonder of dressmaking, the skirt and bodice lined up well lengthwise. The seams along the sides and the princess seams in the bodice and gores of the skirt don’t match at all but I think the print disguises a lot of the issues, so #YOLO. The skirt is truly lovely, if not designed for someone with the amount of hip/bum curve that I have. I like that unlike a traditional circle skirt it’s more fitted through the abdomen and hips before flaring out dramatically which I think is quite flattering. It’s also a bit of a fabric saver which is always nice. I do miss having pockets, but one can’t have everything I suppose.


On the bodice: I had originally drafted an all-on-one facing because I love the look of them in RTW and thought that an all-in-one would not constantly flip out, which my neck facings ALWAYS do despite understitching and pressing. Unfortunately it all went horribly wrong and was SUPER TIGHT around the top of my bust and front of my shoulders. I suspect I didn’t take into account my FBA properly. In the end I ripped it out and went with bias binding around the neck and armholes, which I always quite like. I used my machine overcast stitch to finish the seams. I do still want to try an all-in-one facing because I love the clean look they give so I’m going to give it another crack next time.

My favourite thing about this dress is how all-seasons it is! it looks cute on it’s own for summer, and for winter I love it with a cardi, tights and the ankle boots I inherited from my mum.

(yet another) floral dress

Hi everyone! I made this flirty little number simply AGES ago but after wearing it to a dear friends’ wedding it’s been hanging neglected and waiting for pics.

Tonight on the ole blog: Vogue 8898 #sewing #voguepatterns

This is Vogue 8998 a flirty, fun frock with a big skirt. Just the kind of thing I adore. It also comes with cup sizes A, B, C, and D. I quite like these multiple bust size patterns, although I will confess that I’ve realised that they don’t fit quite right on me. Comparing the bodice of this dress, to my favourite FBA’d princess seam block I can see the issues straight up. The neckline, both front and back is too wide and because I narrow quite a lot directly below my bust it’s loose there both in front and at the sides.


Originally, I felt quite “meh” about the dress, which is part of the reason it hung around in the wardrobe for so long. I went for View B, with its cute collar action. I chose to do the collar and waistband in a contrasting cream silk/cotton, both because I was running super short on fabric and because I thought it would be fun. I don’t love the contrast waistband, so I don’t think I would do that again but I do love the look of the collar. I also didn’t love the way the gathered skirt looked (it’s drafted to just have gathers at the side). I pinned it all in, but then decided that it would just make my hips look huge, so I evenly gathered the fabric all the way around the waist instead.


I realise this may seem as though I don’t like the dress, which isn’t true – I do like it, I just don’t love it as much as I expected too. I think partly because the fit is not quite right, and partly because the skirt isn’t as big as I was hoping for. After putting it on for pictures, I’ve decided I like it a lot more than I remember. I think a little distance has made me appreciate it more for what it is, rather than what it was in my head!

Until next time!

Getting Skirty

Despite the fact that I rarely sew them, I adore skirts. I particularly love the high-waisted full, pleated skirts that are everywhere right now. They seem just the thing for work with a pretty blouse and for play with a tee-shirt. I rocked this little number to the May Canberra Sewing Crew and was pumped that there was just enough sunlight when I got home to take some sweet pics.

I have tried a few skirt patterns (didn’t love them enough to blog), but none of them seemed “right” so armed with some fitting room photos and the measurements of a full pleated RTW dress I set about creating my own pattern.

Tonight on the blog: this sweet skirt using V8998 for the waistband and a self drafted skirt. Also bad pictures and awkward dancing #sewing #completed
(I was so happy with it I decided to do an awkward looking dance)

I used the waistband from Vogue 8998, which is contoured and fits my really well. Then I started on the skirt. I gave it 5 pleats at front and back, inseam pockets and a back zipper. Lots of these RTW skirts have invisible zips, but I was worried that over the waistband it would be hard to zip/not strong enough so I used a regular zip and centre lapped it.

I did have some issues with the pleats – I think perhaps my maths skills need some work as it took me about 4 tried to get the skirt waist to be the same length as the waistband. I’m planning on re-drafting the skirt pieces as I had the same issue with my second version despite carefully re-measuring and making.


I am really, really happy with the finished product! I used Monet Meets Modern Sateen in Blue/Pink from the remnant warehouse. It’s the perfect fabric for a skirt like this and lovely quality.

Plus as I said this type of skirt is great for dressing up and down. I wore it to a music festival a tee (actually this exact outfit if I’m being honest), and then to work with heels and a blouse. I’ve already made my second version and I’m keen for many more!

Until next time.

P.S. there were more photos, until I realised I had demon eyes in all of them. So instead you get awkward dance and head cut-off pictures. Because of course

A wool workdress

What’s up readers? I have been stitching up a storm lately but neglecting to take photos. I seriously have about 5 unblogged projects rattling around. In other news, I turned 28 last week (am officially old) and started a new job just over a month ago (which is so far both enjoyable and crazy busy). To celebrate, I decided to treat myself to some birthday goodies:

All my birthday presents to myself came at once! #libertyoflondon #mac #lipstickaddict #fabricaholic #nofilter

So onto the dress, it’s another New Look 6723, my fourth I think. What can I say, there’s something so lovely about a pattern that just works. This time I used the pattern’s skirt, but made it a bit fuller though the extremely scientific process of moving the centre front and centre back a little way inwards to add an extra 5 inches or so. I then did a pleat at the princess seams and then another to the side a little. I moved the waistline up a bit as this wool is very drapey and I think it stretched a little and sat too low. I included pockets for the storing of things, as always.

Tonight on the blog: this sweet wool number using New Look 6723 #sewing #sewcialists

The fashion fabric is a gorgeous wool I got from Mood last March, it presses like a dream and although it creases a little more than I would like it holds up to wear very well. The dress bodice is lined with white cotton batiste which I picked up at Spotlight forever ago (sadly this was the last of it – I must pick up dome more) and the skirt with white rayon lining from I prefer using cotton to line the bodice as I find it comfier. Plus it’s easier to work with on princess seams and doesn’t slip around while cutting.


There’s not much else to say really, it’s just a simple, classic dress that wears really well. I’m planning on making another in some beige wool as I get so much wear out of this one I thought having another would be just the trick.

PS isn’t my bunny brooch adorable?

Until next time!

Spring is for Shirtdresses

So I can’t remember where I first saw McCall’s 6696 but I remember thinking I should make one. When Mary announced she was hosting the fall Spring of 1000 shirtdresses, I was on it like white on rice.

So I FINALLY took blog photos for the #1000shirtdresses @mccallpatterncompany 6696. In summary: excellent pattern but the back gathers are not my thing. Blog link in profile :)

For my first go round I used this sweet floral lawn, originally from Lincraft, which I picked up from eBay in a bulk lot of floral cotton lawns (12 meters for $65! It was fate). I won’t lie, this is some next level Betty Draper red wine and chain smoking stuff. I also won’t lie about how much I love it.


This pattern was a dream to work with. For once I actually followed the instructions (which were great) as it’s full of things I either never or rarely do. The last time I tried to construct a collar it did not go well. Same for the last time I attempted a button-closure. This time they both came out great. There is a lot of hand stitching involved, which worked for me because I love to sit in front of the TV and hand stitch away. If that’s not your thing you could always topstitch.


I sewed a 16D, based on my measurements and it fits pretty much perfectly. There is, however one problem with this dress… THE HUNCHBACK OF DOOM! If you look around at other versions, this seems like a fairly common issue although I think mine looks worse than most. There is just waaaaay to much fabric in those gathers for my liking. I also think the back is too long, which contributes to the bunching right above the waistband. On my next version I’m going to shorten the back and take out some of that excess, which I think will solve the problem just fine. Next time I will also do a full bicep adjustment because I find the sleeves a tiny bit tight. In the meantime, I’ve found that if I want to go sans cardigan tucking the excess fabric in behind a belt works a treat to hide the issue.


All in all, however this dress gets a massive thumbs up!

A (very) late very Merry Christmas!

Why hello there!

Merry Christmas! This year's Christmas Dress is @simplicity_creative_group S2444 in a crafting cotton from @lincraft #sewcialists #sewing

I did mean to post this earlier, but was quite distracted by the holiday season, which in joyous news included my grandmother’s 90th birthday, in less joyous, our first Christmas without my mother.

I got some sweet goodies, including a bunch of Hello Kitty stuff from SS and some adorable fashion illustrations from my half sister, K.

But you’re here for the sewing, yes? This year I decided it would be fun to make a Christmas dress for both the big day and any other Christmas-ey events. I used the old faithful Simplicity 2444, this time with a FBA! I think it turned out ok, but there is room for improvement – the area directly under my bust is now too loose by far. I’m not sure why this ALWAYS happens so badly with FBAs. It leave with S shaped princess seams and darts that look insane.


Speaking of darts, they were also a solid inch too long. I have decided that I must have a low bust or something as this is a fairly consistent problem.


I used the facing for the neckline, but some purchased bias binding for the armholes. As a twice a year dress I think it’s just fine. Bonus, it was not too hot in the QLD heat!

Until next time.


Today on bows&bunnies: this 1920s style dress #sewing #sewcialists

This year my department’s Christmas part had a 1920s theme, so of course I had to make something appropriate for the occasion. In the end I decided to go for a garden-party type look with this as my inspiration:

I used Simplicity 2599 as the base and simply added a gathered dirnl skirt. I used my pleating foot to gather the skirt, so much father than basting and gathering by hand!


I liked S2599 for this as it’s pretty long so I knew I would be able to make it drop waisted easily. I also liked that it was for multiple cup sizes and included a dart. I made a size 18, however even for this look it was much too big and I ended up taking 10-15cm of the width out. Next time I think I would size down to a 12D for something that is the size I would wear everyday.


I used bias binding around the neckline and topstitched it with one of my machines (many) decorative stitches. I also added some trip to the bottom to make it a touch longer and add more details.For the finishing touches I added a ribbon and broach around the dropped waist, a long string of pearls, and an old scarf from Alannah Hill in my hair.


All in all this was a pretty quick project, right until the end I was convinced that I would hate it and it would be terribly unflattering. While it’s not the best look on me, I have to say I think the finished product is pretty cute. Not to mention one of the most comfortable things I own!

Until next time!

A fancy dress for a fancy occassion

So a few weeks back one of my cousins, J, got married. I probably know her best of my cousins on that side of the family as she lived with my grandmother for a long time. I was super excited to be invited to her wedding and (of course!) made a new dress for the occasion.

#bpsewvember days 27+28 best make + hem: this silk dress I made for my cousins wedding. Underlined in silk organza with an enormous amount of catch stitching, not to mention the full lining. Then I did a hand rolled hem on the enormous skirt.

This is my third version of New Look 6723, this time with the skirt from the By Hand London Flora. I have to say I adore the skirt of flora. So big & twirly!

This dress was made of a lightweight sky blue crepe-back satin I got for $10/m of eBay, the bodice was underlined in blue silk organza and the whole dress had a lining in silver/grey silk/cotton. I used the machine to finish the lining and overcast its seams but French seamed the fashion fabric and hand stitched it’s rolled hem. I think this hem looks really pretty and delicate in fine fabrics.


I hand stitched in my underlining using silk thread before assembling the bodice. I found it easier to use the organza as pattern pieces and roughly trim the silk before stitching them together and cutting it to the correct size.

Technique: underlining. This one is silk organza to add a little body to a soft and fragile crepe back silk satin. #bpsewvember @bimbleandpimble

I am pretty pleased with how this turned out – underlining with the organza was a great move, as it allowed me to catch stitch all the seams in the bodice down. I think this helped smooth out the princess seams, although I must admit they are still not perfect – I was too afraid to press the silk as much as I wanted to.

Catch stitching queen! #sewing

I adjusted my FBA a tiny bit more, smoothing out the curve and trimming my altered pattern piece so I could sew the seam at 10mm rather than 15mm.

#bpsewvember day 17: fit. The FBA! I only just started doing them, but things fit SO MUCH BETTER now. 100% worth the effort!

I also changed the back to be a “V” shape. I love the way this looks with a higher neckline. My facing did not go entirely to plan (you can see it poking out a little here), but I’m pretty happy with it nonetheless.


All in all I’m pretty thrilled with it, I got a lot of complements and it was wonderful to dance in.

Until next time!