FINISHED! Mawston Meadow Bow Blouse

Simplicity 2154 in Mawston Meadow
I saw this blouse on Amanda over at Bimble and Pimble and fell so in love with it, that I had to have it, immediately searching out the pattern on the internet and buying the pattern within minutes of finishing reading about Amanda's blouse.  Like many people I'm a sucker for a bow, but with a wardrobe of plenty of pussy bows,  I probably don't need any more, but I thought this might make a small change. Or maybe not. Ben said he really liked it but that it looked like all my other blouses when I was showing it to him this morning.  Mmm. Clearly he wasn't looking properly!
I had plenty of the Mawston Meadow Liberty print that I bought in France and was left over from my Laurel so cut the pattern out a few weeks ago, but then sidelined it for a while. Firstly for my cape and then for my culottes.  I don't normally sew like that, where I have an unfinished item that lingers around but fortunately Me Made May provided enough incentive to finish just one more item before month end.
Simpicity 2154 in Mawston Meadow
It's a cute little pattern, but it pushed me a little bit.  It's not like my other blouses (see!!) because it's reasonably fitted with a side zipper which I didn't realise was there until after I'd cut out the pattern (note to self to read the instructions and the required notions first!).  I inserted an invisible zip on the side, though I don't think that's what the pattern called for but it looks pretty good and the material (or at least the pattern) is very forgiving.  There's a whole lot of darts too which I don't love doing a whole lot, but after quite a bit of wrangling on the bust dart reckon I got it pretty right.
Simplicity 2154 Mawston Meadow
As I was sewing yesterday I was listening to this great podcast interview with Kenneth D King on fit - so I was kind of forced to focus on getting that bit right - as best as I could. By the way, highly recommend these podcasts!  I think I'll work my way through them all.
Simplicity 2154 in Mawston Meadow 
So the bow!  Amanda  mentioned in her post about the bow and yikes, the instructions ask you to gather it, but seriously, I had interfaced the bow (as per the pattern instructions) and as a result there was no way that bow was going to be gathered! Tana Lawn is pretty lightwight, so in all honesty, if I were to make this again, I wouldn't interface.  And wearing the top today to work it felt a bit top heavy and I worried a bit about how the bow was sitting.  You can see from the photos that the bow has a tendency to move bit which, with a floppy bow wouldn't be such a big deal.  I wish I'd noticed the slight lopsidedness of how the bow was sitting before I took the pictures - but hey it's going to move around a bit anyway as it's only attached at the centre!
Simplicity 2154 in Mawston Meadow
Overall a pretty cute make.  Enjoyed wearing it today and think it will get a lot of winter wear as it is a great Winter colour and very good with a cardi!

Me Made May: 20th - 26th May 2013

This week I haven't even touched my sewing machine, butI did have a sewing highlight.  I was featured on the Tessuti Fabric Blog for my New York Cape. Yaaay!  Also, I just bought tickets to see the Sydney Theatre Company production of The Maids in July, so will definitely be using the visit to Sydney to pop into the Tessuti store (and maybe other stores?) for a bit of fabric shopping! Anyone else with me!?

Anyway, here's what I wore during Week Three of Me Made May 13(Click through the photo for details on flickr). Still no repeats, although this last week might be hard.  I'm planning on sewing with purpose today (not panic) in order to try and finish something else by the end of the month. As a reminder my pledge was:

'I, Kirsty of Top Notch, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade garment each day for the duration of May 2013, with no repeat outfits. I will also make two new wearable items and will not do any panic sewing!'

20 May 2013
Monday 20 May 2013
21 May 2013
Tuesday 21 May 2013
22 May 2013
Wednesday 22 May 2013

23 May 2013
Thursday 23 May 2013
24 May 2013
24 May 2013: Theme Friday - HOME TOWN
25 May 2013
25 May 2013
26 May 2013
26 May 2013

ME MADE MAY 2013: 13th - 19th MAY

Here's what I wore during Week Three of Me Made May 13(Click through the photo for details on flickr). As a reminder my pledge was:

'I, Kirsty of Top Notch, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade garment each day for the duration of May 2013, with no repeat outfits. I will also make two new wearable items and will not do any panic sewing!'

So far I've had no repeat outfits and I finished two wearable items my cape and also a pair of Tania Culottes. I've done a bit of panic sewing... but that was just to finish the baby quilt for my new nephew Blake before we went to visit him on Saturday!  So that doesn't count. Does it? 

13 May 2013
Monday 13 May 2013
14 May 2013
Tuesday 14 May 2013
15 May 2013
Wednesday 15 May 2013
16 May 2013
Thursday 16 May 2013
17 May 2013
Friday 17 May 2013
18 May 2013
Saturday 18 May 2013
19 May 2013
Sunday 19 May 2013

FINISHED ! Holly Hobbie Tania Culottes

I feel like I'm taking all my styling cues from Holly Hobbie today. It's all about corduroy culottes!
  I really love culottes and knickerbockers and am always looking out for a pattern, so when Megan Nielson released her Tania Culottes as part of the Breakwater collection I couldn’t move fast enough to buy them.  Despite all the styling and pattern notes talking about lightweight materials, it is Autumn and I love corduroy so I immediately saw this pattern in corduroy.
I had just enough corduroy left over from my Laurel dress to make it up exactly as per the pattern in size S.  I’m really happy with the fit, it is perfect and I didn’t need to make any alterations.
Let’s talk first about the pattern.  The way the front folds come together with the hidden crotch is ingenious. Massive congratulations to Megan.   The pattern has only a few pieces and is super straightforward to make up.  Even hemming the legs on the curve was pretty good and I hand stitched the waistband in place.  I’ve seen lots of very stylish girls in circle skirts in the MMMay13 flickr group and I’d recommend to anyone who wears this type of skirt to rush out and buy this pattern! It definitely allows you to sit in a very unlady like manner!
Sadly I had a shocker with the invisible zip.  Both times I didn’t place it correctly so the teeth curve around a bit over the waistband. The first time I actually managed to break the invisible zip by removing the pully thing, so I had to unpick the zip and put a new one in.  I still put it in the wrong place??! I’ve made a big note in my pattern booklet now about that, so I think I’ve learned that lesson now.  I hope so anyway.

Despite really loving the pattern, and I enjoy wearing them ... I’m not exactly sure they suit me.  Originally I made them thinking they would look great with my Bensimon jumper that I bought in France, but the silhouette didn't look great on me; the proportions a bit wrong when I then tried them on together.  Could be the colour of the corduroy as well?  I then proceeded to try them on with lots of my tops and nothing was quite right. I like them with this vest as the silhouette works better, though it is corduroy on corduroy and a bit cutesy.

I still think a longer pair might be very stylish, to the calf in a dark navy light wool for work.  Mmm maybe I’ll add that to the list of things to make.

FINISHED! All the pretty wild bush horses baby quilt

Back in 2009 I came across the work of the very talented Ann Wood and became fascinated with her cardboard horses (and then everything else she does).  On her website is the template for the horses, which includes 2 horses and a colt and their legs so when Elliot was almost one I had an idea that I would sew horses onto fabric and make a wall hanging or something with it for him.  I got quite into it on a little holiday at the coast, randomly cutting out all the little legs and bodies from scraps of fabric and sewing them onto calico.  And then I stopped. The holiday was over, I wasn't sure that I had got the colours right and cursed myself that I hadn't planned the horses better and so my semi sewn horses went into the cupboard.

3 years later, my brother has just had his first child, a little boy.  Now my brother and his wife are horse crazy. They live on a farm and have a lot of horses so I decided it was time to bring out the horses and finish this as a quilt for my new nephew Blake.
So here it is.  I wasn't quite sure how I was going to pull the whole thing together but my mum suggested putting his name on it and I think it works.  Now that it's finished and backed and bound the randomness of the colours isn't such an issue.  I ummed and aahed about whether to put any stitching into the quilt but with thanks to some instagram advice from Michelle I added the stitching to help the batting stay in place and I love the overall effect of the landscape contours and my clouds.

ME MADE MAY 2013: 6th - 12th MAY

Here's what I've been wearing, Week Two of Me Made May 13.  I find the second week is when I start to worry that I don't have anything to wear and start to feel the need to panic sew. 

As a reminder my pledge was:

'I, Kirsty of Top Notch, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade garment each day for the duration of May 2013, with no repeat outfits. I will also make two new wearable items and will not do any panic sewing!'

I'm still doing well.  No repeats and now I've finished one wearable item.  Hooray for my cape.  But I did wear a lot of navy this week ....

See for yourself.  (Click through the photo for details on flickr)

6 May 2013
Monday 6 May 2013
7 May 2013
Tuesday 7 May 2013
8 May 2013
Wednesday 8th May 2013
9 May 2013
Thursday 9 May 2013
10 May 2013
Friday 10 May 2013 - THEME FRIDAY: Our sewing space
11 May 2013
Saturday 11 May 2013
12 May 2013
Sunday 12 May 2013

FINISHED! New York Cape meets Canberra Autumn

I pledged for Me Made May 2013 that I would make two new items during the month with no panic sewing. Well, I am happy to report, that I have finished my first one.  Yay!  The Tessuti New York Cape.  And here I am styling it with my new Mothers Day Ugg Boots!
Tessuit New York Cape
I introduced the idea of making a cape way back in January  and quickly purchased the New York Cape pattern by Tessuti and then let it sit in the cupboard until last week, when I found this super cute tartan from Addicted to Fabric with a blue in it that really pops and I knew that I had to have a cape in it.  (Oh I also bought the pink colour way for something else..pants, a skirt.. tartan on tartan.. very Bay City Rollers) .
Tessuit New York Cape

While there was no panic sewing per se, there were a few anxious moments with the binding on this little baby and I was always nervous about matching the tartan. I think the matching is ok, probably not perfect, but good enough not to annoy me.  I had to recut one of the hood pieces because that WOULD have annoyed me.  
New York Cape
The real killer was the binding around the cape with (On my original post I said 8 metres of wool binding.. while it may have felt like 8 metres it was only 4) wool binding. I had to unpick quite bit of binding (both inside on the seams and a little bit on the outside.  Urrrgh). But that was all user error! I probably should have hand stitched the binding on. I can't fault the pattern which is excellent and comes with a lot of instructions and photos.  I am constantly amazed though by those people that I've seen on the internet who have made one of these and then straight after, another one for their child.  Not me.  I don't want to see binding for quite some time. 

The pattern is one size fits all which I was also a bit worried about as I'm quite small, so I took 2 inches off the length and about 1 inch of the width. Of course, with removing the width, I kind of stuffed the front for the button holes, but in the end I didn't really want the buttons on the front anyway.  In fact I was just going to have it hang open, but finally just put a little press stud on the top inside until I work out a better option... or maybe it will just stay like that forever as I'm really loving the look without the buttons.  I did include buttons under the arms as per the instructions, but I forgot to photograph them.
Tessuti New York Cape 

Overall I'm pretty happy with this make.  I think my New York Cape will get a whole lot of wear this Canberra Autumn.

Two in, Two out: The Winners!

Thanks everyone for taking an interest in the fabric I offered up last week to make room for my two new pieces I bought.
The draw was highly scientific using ye old 'names in a bag' pulled out by a 4 year old and scrutinised by myself and a 7 year old.  So you can tell it's all above board!
So, the winner of this stripey fabric is 
Amy !
And the winner of this circle fabric
is Shar!  

Ladies drop me a line at kirsty dot bunfield at gmail dot com and I'll get your fabric out to you so you can start to whip something up.

In other exciting news, I'm very close to being able to show off a finished cape.. but I did a lot of wrangling today with the unpicker so maybe tomorrow. ..

Me Made May 2013 : 1st - 5th May

As a special treat, here is me at the opening night FashFest having my photo taken with my friend Sarah with some random shirtless dude as a promo.  Don't worry, it wasn't just me... everyone was photographed with him! I saw it on the website and thought it was such a good photo of the Laurel that I had to include it here.
Wednesday night 1 May 2013
I was then lucky enough to bag a media pass to assist my friend The Canberran out with some notes on the fashion  for the last two nights.  Yes me!!  I was pretty nervous and excited to do it.  Could be my new calling!   Do check out The Canberran if you want to read up on the designers featured: (Night OneNight TwoNight ThreeNight Four)

I was blown away by FashFest and next year I'm definitely going to get a 4 night pass.  It really was a most amazing set of nights showcasing not only the fashion which at times was truly inspired, but it showed just how grown up the city is.  The whole shebang made me super proud to be a Canberran. Oh and made me feel just a teensy bit guilty that I don't buy a lot of fashion anymore - maybe more on that another day, but I think there will always be a place in my wardrobe for fine designs because even for us sewers, there must be a way to support designers such as MaterialbyProduct.

Anyway back to the other outfits I've worn this week for Me Made May 2013.  Wow! It is big this year.  At the beginning of the week I thought I might need an extra hour in the day just to check out all the posts (let alone document my own outfit) but I think I need at least 2.

My pledge was:
'I, Kirsty of Top Notch, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade garment each day for the duration of May 2013, with no repeat outfits. I will also make two new wearable items and will not do any panic sewing!'

So, I'm good so far, no repeats.  I haven't made anything yet but it's early days. No time to panic yet.  Catch up with me later in the week when hopefully I'll have progressed further....

For more details on each of my outfits - click through the photo for the details on Flickr.
1st May 2013
Wednesday 1 May 2013
2 May 2013
Thursday 2 May 2013
Friday 3 May 2013
Friday 3 May 2013 - Theme day photo: WATER
4 May 2013
Saturday 4 May 2013
5 May 2013
Sunday 5 May 2013