Friday, August 31, 2007


In Melbourne, we are lucky enough to have a fabric shop that imports European designer fabrics. The fabrics are excess fabrics ordered by the designers. The purchaser goes to Europe (mainly Italy) to purchase these directly from the mills. And today was the final day of their winter sale - all fabric 50% off!! So what previously cost up to $75 a metre is now more affordable.

The only thing I have bought previously at Artextile was a Brione lining that I used for my green jacket. Oh how I have coveted the fine wools, silks and linens! But now I am the proud owner of 2 metres of a beautiful Versace wool/metal fabric. The metal gives it a crisper feel than just the wool. I also bought a gorgeous two faced wool - charcoal on one side and brown on the other. And a couple of skirt lengths - green and purple - oh so soft! Absolutely beautiful. And a couple of linings as well. Lucky me! (The linings are not in the photo)
I worked only briefly on my Vogue skirt today. I took the side seams in to reduce the curve in the hip.
I think I will put it aside for the weekend to start on my new project - a jumper/pinafore. I want this finished by Monday, so I will give it priority! I will be using the Vogue dress pattern but exclude the sleeves. I may need to scoop out the armhole to give me more room. We'll see.

I have finished for tonight as I have a glass of bubbly and well....sewing and bubbly do not mix!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

New shoes no 3

These shoes are an eggplant colour. The shape is very similar to my red shoes. I wore the shoes with a suit I had made in Hong Kong together with another KS3338 top. The photo is not very good - too early in the morning! The fabric is a very stretchy poly knit from MAD fabrics. About $3 a metre I think. I have a teal version still in the stash! The trim is a mesh. I think a darker mesh colour would have worked better as the pink is a bit too close to my skin colour - so it lacks definition. Oh well, you live and learn.
Here is the outfit with the jacket. I have had 3 suits made in Hong Kong. They are beautifully made ( I will show some of the details in another post) but they seem to overwhelm my small frame. The shoulders fit but there seems to be too much fabric through the body.
It looks like I am dressed for winter, but it was a beautiful 25 degrees here today in Melbourne.....Spring is definitely on its way! I work in an air conditioned office and I drive to work, so I can dress pretty much the same all year round. Thursday is my last work day for the week, so tomorrow I will get back to the Vogue skirt and maybe something else to wear with shoes no 4.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Vogue 2984

Today I have been working on the skirt from Vogue 2984. It has a nice back view. I am using a fabric I got from the Western Market in Hong Kong. I was hoping to finish by tomorrow to show you with the 3rd pair of new shoes. Unfortunately that won't happen! I will show the shoes but with another outfit.

The skirt has been a disappointment. First of all the fabric that I thought was a tropical weight wool turns out to be poly (at least I think).

I bought it with several other offcuts of suiting fabric. They all have writing on the selvage. Some say English, Cashmere, 120 count etc. I haven't tested them all but this one failed the natural fibre test. It is however still a lovely fabric but does not mould as well as wool, and the seams pucker slightly.

The pattern too is a disappointment. Notches on two occasions do not match up! I thought I had made a mistake but no, going back to the pattern I can see Vogue are the ones who made the mistakes. There are mistakes in the instructions too! And in the end, the skirt is too big and the side curves are in the wrong place. Sigh! All fixable, but not tonight Josephine!

So if you have this pattern, beware. If there are this many mistakes in the skirt, how many in the jacket?

Again thankyou for all your nice comments on previous posts!

Isabelle said "...I don't know if you know the blog "What I wore today" ( I discovered it recently. Your blog is turning into this, with an even more interesting twist: with you, it's "what I made myself AND wore today" :) ". Thanks Isabelle, but I must confess I found Kasmira's blog awhile ago and enjoy it very much! I thought it would be fun to combine what she does with what we do - sew. So rather than just show a finished garment I will show it in an outfit as well.

Nancy said "I like the ensemble too. The black lace hem on pinstripe is a nice look that I'll need to "borrow" one of these days". Again I must confess to borrowing from someone else. Kathryn (fxzdoc at Stitches Guild) has made a couple of outfits in grey with black lace. Here is a link to one of them. Kathryn's whole album is eye candy!

So it is off to bed for me. Hopefully Friday will bring better sewing joy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Shiny, shiny black shoes

My second pair of shoes purchased over the weekend were these... They bear a remarkable resemblance to Carolyn's shoes!

These are my first pair of black patent shoes. Sofie my youngest daughter always had to have a pair of "shiny, shiny, black shoes". Whenever she grew out of one pair she would need a new pair to replace them. So these are my very own shiny, shiny, black shoes!

Today I wore them to work with a couple more wardrobe items made prior to having this blog. The twin set was made from KS3338. A review on how I made the twin set can be seen over at Patternreview. The skirt's review is here.

I only have one more work day this week and I have earmarked the eggplant shoes/boots for Thursday. The teal shoes are for next week. I will see what I can find (or make) for those!

Monday, August 27, 2007

More fabric!

Your comments and feedback on my last outfit were greatly appreciated. :) And in celebration, I have been shopping.

My sister and I went to Shepparton for the weekend to visit mum and ......well we visited the local Spotlight for some fabric therapy too. Last time we were there I saw a really appealing poly lycra pink and grey knit. I didn't buy it then but thought if it was still there it is meant to be mine. It was there - and now it is mine...along with a co ordinating grey knit and several other knit pieces that were found on the clearance table:

Most are viscose/elastine. The two at the top right are the only wovens and are poly satins. They are usually about $10 to $15 a metre and were on clearance at $5 a metre. I hear they are as low as $2 a metre at the Narre Warren store! You can also see in the photo that we visited Diva as well - 5 pieces for $10.

Cheryl and I also ventured around town and came across a shoe sale at Jeff Young Shoes. The already heavily discounted shoes were being offered at buy two and get a third free. Unfortunately I couldn't reduce my wants to only three, so I had four! Yes four new pairs of shoes. Here is the first pair:

and this is what I wore with them to work today:
The skirt is a simple straight skirt edged with lace and ribbon that I made pre blog days. The cardi and cami are RTW. The necklace was one of my Diva purchases.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's shoes.......

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Companion for my new top.

After finishing my latest top last night (about 6 pm), I decided I needed a new skirt to go with it to wear to work today. Don't you just love the stash to go shopping in? I cut out the skirt using a TNT A line plain skirt. Then I had dinner. By now it was 8.30 and I decided I was too tired to possibly start sewing a skirt!!

Then along came Sofie who said I had to! And in my mind I could hear Tany, Summerset and the rest of you saying "Just do it!!!" (I chose to mention Tany and Summerset as I know they do not sleep - or how else do they get so much done?). To cut a long story short I finished my new skirt at 11.30 and here it is..........

I do have one small confession - I haven't hand sewn the lining to the zip yet...but I can do that tonight watching CI. I have a grey Ojay jacket that I wore with the outfit to work today.
Did my hair really look like that all day today?

The skirt has an invisible zip in the back and I bagged the lining and eliminated facings. I understitched the lining down to the seam allowances. To ensure the waist does not stretch I sewed in cotton tape.

This was so easy and I am really happy with how it turned out. And yes the fabric came with the embroidery and the sequins. Who said accountants had to be boring?

And the wearablity factor for the Ottobre top? 10 out of 10!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ottobre 2/2007

Thank you everyone for all the nice comments you left regarding my mum's cushion. This is just the best community! By the way, she liked it very much and put it to use straight away.

This week I received the Ottobre 2/2007 - the women's issue. I ordered it after hearing such good reports from Debbie and Belinda. I made the 3/4 sleeve plain tshirt.

I followed the Ottobre instructions pretty closely, however I did not topstitch the seams (except the shoulders) as I did not have enough matching thread. I have just used hemming web for the hem for the moment. I plan to twin needle it when I get some more thread. It was a bit tricky sewing the sleeves by serging with the vent at the bottom. I will need to tidy that up a bit too with some machine work.

This is Ottobre's version:
The fabric is a rayon lycra bought last year at Rathdown Remnants in Melbourne. The trim is made from a stripe fabric purchased from Frou Frou more recently. I have plenty of both fabrics left over for future projects. The striped fabric is a mesh and when I bought it, it was with the plan to use as trims for tops. I also bought another one at the time that has more brown and olive green in it. And here is a close up of the neckline and the trim cut and applied. I used a lighter pink thread on the sleeves - works ok here but would look wrong on the hem.
I made a size 36 without any alterations. To borrow a term from Carolyn, I need to test the wearability factor before I comment on the fit. However, I must say, it went together very easily. No problems at all. Well actually just one.......the tracing! My goodness, if you think Burda is hard to follow the lines then Ottobre is much worse. Have a look at this....
I can see a few more Ottobre Woman designs in my future! Thanks ladies!! :)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Gift for mum.

It is mum's birthday this weekend and I am going to Shepparton along with Sofie and my siblings to take mum to lunch. She is now a resident of a high dependency home that has communal living quarters and she has one small room for herself.

Now what shall I give to her for a present? Chocolates - no, she won't eat them, clothes - no, she has "issues" in that department too! Then I remembered that a friend had given her a crocheted blue and brown rug for her reading chair. And noted that she was using a pillow for a cushion. Aha, a homemade matching cushion. It is useful, won't take up too much space (another issue) and is made with love.

In the stash I found some panne velvet blue fabric and some suede type poly fabric. I used the brown for the front and back and used the blue to add texture and interest to the front. I first quilted the blue to the brown front piece and then cut between each line of sewing so that the brown will peek through.

Also a requirement of the home is that every personal item must be labelled. I embroidered her name on the back..hope she likes it!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Sewing for school.

There is much talk about sewing for going back to school on blogs and on other sewing sites, so I thought I would share what happens here in Australia. We have school uniforms - yippee! At first this may sound too "uniform" and conformist but it really is very practical. Yes they are expensive but you only need the one! And you buy them, so no taking up precious sewing time on school clothes. Here are a couple of photos of the uniform my daughters wear:
On the left is Sofie on her first day at high school - February 2006. This is the summer uniform. The hat must be worn when outside and the blazer must be worn when outside school grounds unless the temp is over 28 degrees Celsius. On the right is Ellen and Marine in the winter uniform. I think they look pretty smart - and there is no trying to dress better than everyone else.

Yesterday we said goodbye to Marine who has now gone back to France. We really enjoyed having her stay with us!!

And I would like to thank Summerset for posting (very quickly) tips on prick-stitching. You guys are great! So generous with your time and talent.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Testing out some of my Birch goodies.

I thought I would test some of the goodies that I purchased on Wednesday. I particularly wanted to try the rhinestone applicator. A t-shirt would be ideal and I used this Threads article from issue 122 as a starting point.
I stitched netting behind the fabric before cutting the holes. Both the cotton lycra and the netting were purchased from MAD fabrics (a wholesale fabric shop in Melbourne). The netting was only $1 a metre, so I bought several metres at the time. My holes were very random. I used the netting for the neck band as well.

This picture shoes the left arm...
and here the right.... and a close up of the rhinestones and the netting. I am quite pleased at how it turned out. I overlocked the seams and just did one row of topstitching for the neckline and the hems.

Other items that got tried out were:
. Birch blue cutting board. This was an addition to my Olfa green one. The Olfa is just a little bit bigger but they worked well together and I did not need to move the fabric.
. Kai 28mm rotary cutter. I prefer my Olfa cutter. The Kai was harder to use and needed to be pressed at an even pressure to get a good cut - this made it feel a bit less safe also.
. Clover white marking pen. This I found to be very good and I will be using a lot. It marked quite well and comes off with ironing. I like it better than the purple one I had been using.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

A fun day out!

Today I met up with Cheryl and Belinda for the annual Australian Sewing Guild get together at Birch Haberdashery in Melbourne. There was a talk first on new products and then we were let loose in the warehouse for some serious shopping!! Birch even provided refreshments - sandwiches, cake etc so it became an almost all day affair. All goodies were at wholesale prices, so about half retail. I will be starting a list now for next year!
Here is a photo of my haul. Included in there are a few purchases for my sister as well! My most expensive item was the KC Hotfix Applicator at $33. It is a pretty nifty item as it has attachments to turn it into a minnie iron as well! The cutting mats were $21.
A good day!