FINISHED! My Frocktails 2014 trompe l'oeil dress

This weekend, Amanda, Jen, Myra and I got on a Murray's Bus and road tripped it to Sydney for Frocktails. A fantastic event organised by Kat, I'm sure there will be lots of links on various blogs as there was simultaneously one in Sydney and one in Melbourne. It was so wonderful to finally meet so many sewing friends in real life.  What did I wear? Well my frock was made out of more magical fabric bought from my recent trip to Spotlight where I picked up fabric for my sister's saunio.  I spent most of yesterday in a mild state of nerves that someone else might be in a dress in this fabric. Two ladies in this fabric would have been difficult to hide. 
Yes, this one is also a 'polycotton' with a dubious mix of 96% polyester 4% spandex. But just look at those colours.  This fabric is fantastic. The colours are vibrant and neon.  At first glance the fabric looks like it should be a tweed, the fabric fooling the eye that it is woven. But no, the fabric is a thick stretch with a lovely 'bobbly' plastic like texture that is hard to not want to stroke. The back of the fabric as you can see is a white/cream. These indoor photos show the colours the best.  Needless to say I couldn't get any good photo indoors at the actual event so these will have to do. 
The dress itself is a Named Kanerva hack.  I've always loved how that top fits me so I thought I'd try making it into a dress with an invisible zip at the back. 
It is a simple shape letting the fabric do all the talking. I would have liked the top to have been slightly snugger but the slightly loser fit in the bodice has it's comfort advantages.
I love the slight A shape to the skirt and the curved hem.  I hemmed it twice worrying the first time that the curve looked odd, but realised after unpicking it that a straight hem wouldn't have allowed the dress to hang right so redid it.
I am such a fan of the higher scoop neck and long sleeve look.  Because the fabric is stretchy and quite thick, the neck is simply turned over and stitched. In order to make sure the neck sit nice and flat I put in some clear elastic...I may have pulled that just a little tight, but hopefully it's not too noticeable.  I particularly like how well I matched the sides and the back zip. Oh of course it's not perfect, but the waistband matches up and the stripes are pretty good. 
All in all, I loved wearing this dress, it felt fun and different and can't wait to pull it out again for a wedding in a few weeks.  Big kisses to all the frocktails gals and to those who would have loved to have been there but couldn't. Til next time xx

FINISHED! A selfless saunio

I have a bit of a nerve parading around here in a cardigan-jacket I made as a present for my sister, but there you go.
This is a loooong overdue birthday present for my sister. I used the Saunio pattern again by Named Clothing, last seen made up in ocean neoprene
I had a trip out to Spotlight a couple of weeks ago for tracing paper and found quite a few 'treasures' like this while I there for tracing paper. This fabric is a strange mix of cotton/polyester/spandex which provides for a fabulously textured and slightly stretchy heavy knit. It is also gentle machine washable and the slight stretch makes it, in my opinion, a perfect 'professional woman who also needs to wrangle children' jacket.
The wonderful design of the crossing over front and the dropped sleeves means that it also super easy to fit for a present. 
Constrution wise, I understiched the large facings to the jacket rather than edge stitched all the front to the facing as the fabric ironed slightly better than the neoprene. I also fixed my problem from my other jacket with the attachment of the facing and hem. So that is heaps neater on this one.
With the jacket I'm wearing an old top from several years ago in Liberty Mike B.  Blogs are all awash with Nani Iro fabric and makes at the moment and Inna and a recent make of hers, reminded of a time when I made and wore a lot of this pattern (Top C) from the Nani Iro pattern book. In fact I think I have 5 of them in my wardrobe with variations (including collars). All of mine are much shorter than the pattern and all have round necks(!).  There is definitely enough of them to do the one week one pattern challenge!

FINISHED! Turio Dungarees/overalls

I am bombarding your inboxes this week but I have another fun finished outfit to share and I couldn't wait any longer. I've been lucky enough to once again test for Pauline Alice.  Last year I tested the Carme blouse and this time around it's a pair of overalls / dungarees the Turio!
Pauline has style. Seriously! I didn't realise I needed a pair of overalls in my wardrobe until now.  I I love these overalls, they are cute and just so so wearable and they make me feel like I'm back at university :)
Let's talk about the details. I had a week to sew up this test version so I bought some chambray from Addicted to Fabric (yes the leftovers went into my Top Victor).  I was a bit nervous as I haven't made that many pants and there is a lot of topstitching on these, including new to me flat felled seams.  You know I love to hide my sewing in print, but I knew that if I wanted to make something that I would want to wear after testing (assuming they worked out) then they would have to be in chambray.
I made a size up to what I usually make (I was worried unnecessarily about the fit at my waist). The fit is spot on and there is a nice bit of room in the waist. The overalls close with a normal zip on each side (but you could easily do an invisible if you wanted - not me!) but I only need to use one for getting in and out.  I didn't make any other changes to the fit.  During testing I made a minor suggestion that the pockets could be a bit bigger on the bottom.
Overalls look like a complicated make, but I was surprised at how easily they came together. There are a few pattern pieces, lots of topstiching  but it was methodical and actually a fun make.  And I was pretty excited as well to hammer on my first bit of hardware.

Many of the seams are flat felled and the pattern comes with some simple instructions on how to do them. I found getting the stitching nice and even difficult on the flat felled seams, even with my edge stitching foot, but overall I'm pretty proud of the make and the stitching is pretty good. I used a twin needle whenever I could on the pockets.

The only area of issue was in the crotch stitching of the flat felled seam...but no one is going to see that.  Oh and I stupidly cut a small hole into the front seam of the pocket as I was flat felling. Doh.
I really like this pattern  and I'm so happy that this version worked out. I've already braved cold weather to wear these a few times with my boots and I am getting them ready for a high spring rotation. By far my favourite combination is the Pauline Alice double: turio overalls and carme blouse