Wrap skirt heaven

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I’ve been loving the black wrap skirt I made so much I just had to make another – with a few changes. 

This time I decided to do away with the tie closure and use large snaps instead so that I can wear a belt with it. I added belt loops and made it shorter than the last one. The original plan was to put the pocket on the front but I just couldn’t find the repeat in the dot pattern so it wouldn’t have blended in, then I just got over it and left it off.

The fabric is beautiful. It is a stretchy cotton with a lovely woven texture, medium thickness but good drape. A surprising find at a suburban fabric store (Russell’s Fabrics at Sandgate). It was a bit more than I usually pay for fabric ($30p/m) but the quality is worth it. 

The sewing came together pretty easily as there is nothing complicated about this at all. It looks super neat on the inside with it’s French seams on the sides and double fold hems and front edges. The pattern is a vintage find – picture below.

My sewing pace, and therefore blogging, has slowed dramatically these last couple of months which I’m very sad about. I have a lot of other things that I really need to prioritise. When I think back to the height of my sewing frenzy earlier this year I wonder how I managed to find so many hours in the week to sew. What else must I have been ignoring? The dishes in the sink and money making activities for a start!

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Singlet upgrade

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I’ve got a real fondness for singlets as I really dislike wearing any sort of sleeve in summer. I never bother sewing them as they are too easy to buy but lately I haven’t found any interesting ones. So in an attempt to make a singlet more interesting I added this lace to the front. It actually took longer than I expected as it really needed to be hand basted on first.

You might recognise the skirt I’m wearing in the top photo as being my latest favourite wrap skirt. It did turn out to be the perfect travel skirt as I had hoped. It didn’t crease even when I stuffed it into bags and long enough for conservative Malaysia.

Yes we went to Singapore and Malaysia for about two weeks to visit my sister-in-law. What a crazy city! A weird mix of Western and Eastern. Almost like a Western country that is mostly populated with Asian people. I loved the architecture. They have some of the funkiest contemporary buildings I’ve seen. All the people I met were lovely and strangers on the street were so helpful, even using their phone apps to point me in the right direction.

It is incredibly noisy, polluted, and hot though. It was nice to come home and be able to sit on our veranda overlooking lots of greenery, a bright blue sky, clean air to breathe, and only the noise of rosellas and kookaburras in our big gum tree.  Here is a couple of photos of Singapore and Tioman Island in case you are interested.

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Flannel cushions – yes flannel

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When I saw this fabric I knew it was just perfect for cushions I wanted to make. Lovely print and flannel. Flannel cushions!!! Why haven’t I gotten into this before? Probably because flannel is usually only sold in pajama style prints which doesn’t make for a stylish lounge room. 

These cushions aren’t actually for my house. I made them awhile ago as a present for my sister-in-law and can only blog about them now that she has them. 

Pretty simple to make so not much else to say about them. 

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Brisbane sewing meet up

ImageOn Sunday a few sewing ladies met up for the first time at the Brisbane Marriott and very much enjoyed chatting, nibbling daintily on high tea, and swapping sewing goodies.

It was great to put IRL faces to blogs and to now have the links to many other blogs :)

Everyone looked fabulous of course! So many gorgeous dresses.

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ImageHere are the patterns and fabric I brought home. I’m thinking I will try and squeeze a dress out of the white and multi-colour fabric and some tops out of the black and white knit.

ImageThanks to Lizzie and Marjorie for organising! And thanks to everyone for making it such a great day.

 

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Make-up bag

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How is it that I don’t own a make-up bag already? 

With impending travel it was time to get sewing. I found this fabric at Spotlight ages ago and always intended it to be a make-up bag. It is a printed, woven cotton that has been covered in some sort of clear, waterproof stuff. Pink is not normally my thing but there was a limited selection of prints/colours. And anyway, I like to venture outside my usual colour favourites when I’m not going to actually wear the thing.

I decided to include a front pocket so as to have a separate section to put brushes. The main part is lined with the same fabric. I also decided to make it flat so that it will only take up as much space as what is inside it, rather than having body itself.

Don’t you just love the zipper pulls? They are my favourite thing for bags at the moment. To attach them you have to cut off the zipper pull already on the zip with some side cutters and then just clip in the new ones. 

Err… not much else to say about this. It was just a simple, quick make to serve a purpose. It just happens to be very cute while it serves its purpose. 

 

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Daytime ensemble for travel

black wrap skirt

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A couple of years ago there was a Valentino exhibition in Brisbane. All the information sheets for the outfits said either “daytime ensemble” or “evening ensemble”. The phrase stuck, I love it, it sounds so grand, and now here is my modest ensemble. Two separates designed to wear together and to work with my shoes.

We are going travelling soon and the first thing I thought of was my wardrobe and how most of my clothes need ironing which would annoy me if I took them travelling. So to the sewing machine.

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The top is actually just a purchased singlet that I added the ruffle thingy to. A quick way to make a top more interesting. The skirt is a wrap skirt and my very first vintage make. My guess from looking at the illustration is 70s. I found it in an op-shop ages ago and bought it for the novelty factor not thinking I would actually make it.

I’m so converted to wrap skirts now. No fitting! After just holding the paper pattern pieces up to my body I decided it didn’t need any alterations for fit. The only thing I changed was the length and the way the waistband secured. The pattern is for a D ring but I decided to make the waistband much longer and put in a buttonhole to put the tie through and a couple of belt loops to keep it all neat. Normally I wouldn’t go for the pocket but decided that actually it is pretty cool and handy.

It was so simple to sew up. Though the pattern instructions included unpicking! Since when is that a plan? Anyways, I know how to do it differently for next time now. And there is definately going to be a next time. For some reason I had no idea that a skirt sitting at my natural waist would suit me so well. Encouraged by this skirt I’ve already bought the most gorgeous, good quality, textured cotton in navy with large white dots.

This fabric is a polyester and viscose gabardine. Yes, I know that I’ve previously bagged this same gabardine but I realised that the problem is me, not the fabric. I was treating it like cotton and getting cranky that it didn’t behave. But after turning the heat down on the iron and not pressing like a fiend I’ve made friends with this fabric. Which is handy as my local fabric store always has heaps in stock in a huge range of colours. It is great for skirts/bottoms that hardly crease, dry quickly, and still manage to feel comfy like a cotton.

I bumped my husband’s shirt to make these outfits before we travel, but now that they’re finished I have no excuses but to go back to finishing his shirt. Sigh – I just want to make more things for me ;)

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Slouchy shirt

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And a close up:

 

 

 

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New favourite shirt. I hardly have any button ups (just one other) but have decided they are great. I was going to make an Archer for the first time but then decided that I could make a pattern myself by copying my other button up shirt. It had a collar, collar stand and cuffs but I decided to leave those out as I wanted this to be an easy make. Trying to copy collars and collar stands from an existing shirt is a recipe for frustration (how do I know that?). It was really easy to copy the front and back bodice. I didn’t even attempt to copy the sleeve but just adjusted one I already have so that it fitted the arm-scythe. The placket is actually just done as a facing turned to the right side – so easy to make the pattern and so easy to sew.

The fabric is a foil printed cotton on sale from The Fabric Store for about $9 p/m so this cost about $14.  It feels like a normal soft cotton on the inside and weird crunchy feel on the outside. Of course being cotton it creases heaps and the shine makes that show (as the photos attest too). But for some reason I think a few creases suits this top. I’m loving it lots and have ideas for making more. Though next time I will either make the V neck much lower or much higher. Despite making a muslin somehow I ended up getting the point of the V at a really weird place. Oh well. Also I think I made the sleeve tabs too long. All things I could alter if I want but I’m just not in the mood for that at the moment. Maybe later. 

 

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