FINISHED! A barely sewn cheap fluro copycat scarf

Is it spelt fluoro or fluro?  Anyway, I'm all about it and I'm especially loving this cheap fluro copycat scarf I made in 5 minutes on Monday. Copycat because I shamelessly copied Sew Brunswick and bought the same fluro fabric to make a scarf. I think the best representation of the colours are in this first photo).
I'm right in the middle of a selfless sewing/crafting mania: school fete sewing, halloween preparation and 5 yr old party birthday so, on a mission at Spotlight on Sunday for Despicable Me and Halloween items, and after having seen this fluro leopard infinity scarf at Sew Brunswick I decided to buy the same fabrics, taking advantage of the 40% off sale (which made it next to nothing) and add to the break up the mania with a five minute scarf for myself.
I didn't do an infinity scarf as I like to be able to play with my scarves, so rather just a big square.  It also barely counts as sewing as all I did was do a rolled hem on the babylock along all 4 edges.   I used a tartan scarf that I own and love and wear all the time (but have been thinking that it is a bit heavy for summer) as my guide to sizing - so about a metre in length and then just the width of the fabric.  I bought 2 metres of each so probably could have made it longer as the fabric is so lovely and lightweight.
The material is super soft but is only polyester (eek) so now I'm on the look out for some lovely fluro patterned silk for a less cheap option (perhaps Marimekko have one??).  Do tell me if you know of some. That one I'd do a proper hem and maybe even add tassles a la Grainline.  Oh I wish I'd bought all those fluro notions I saw in France at la droguerie.  But this cheap one is getting a lot of wear and am thinking of whipping a few up to put on the handmade stall on Saturday at fete number 2! Worn here with my Megan Nielson Briar, but looks equally good with stripes (of course!).

P.S. Fete number 1 went really well but at the last minute decided not to take my camera, deciding just to take phone shots only to have my phone say that there was no room left to take any photos.  Damn!!! So no photos... :(  Will try and take more this weekend.

P.P.S  I also have a couple of outfits in the works which I hope to get to soon.  One due to winning some perfect denim from Gabrielle at Up Sew Late! 

FINISHED! Gathered spring skirt with a splash of fluro

This year really is the year of the skirts.. and here is another one!
Gathered skirt with a splash of fluoro green
When I went to Addicted to Fabric the other day (and came out with the fabric for my Tokyo jacket and O'Keefe skirt) I originally went in there to buy this fabric. At the time I didn't end up buying it as it is a very light weight voile (not what I had remembered) and of course I got distracted with the other fabric.  But it stayed in my mind until finally I decided last week that I had to buy it. Just in time too as I bought the last 1.5 m.

Due to it's lightweight nature, I thought a simple gathered skirt might work well and now that I have my Cami dress I am feeling slightly more comfortable with the silhouette. Anyway, forget how it looks, they just are fun to wear.

It is a pretty basic skirt. It has side seam pockets and is lined in a very cool aqua voile - I should have taken a picture of it.
Gathered skirt with a splash of fluoro green
I made up the pattern with major reference to Gertie's tutorial (and I used my Cami pockets). I used this Colette tutorial for attaching the waistband (I prefer the zipper to go up through the waistband rather than having a fold over waistband (if that makes sense)).  I thought about making the Zinnia which I have bought, but didn't think I'd have enough fabric for the way the pattern pieces are cut and I'll admit that I was just looking for a quick and easy make and didn't feel like printing out the pattern and taping it together. I am supposed to be doing fete sewing - not selfish sewing!

In general it is a nicely put together make and I surprised myself by hand sewing the waist band and the hem. There was no way I could match thread with this fabric for the hem.  The only thing I'm a bit disappointed about is the inside of the invisible zipper.  With my Charlotte skirt I handsewed the lining onto the zipper but for some reason I followed incorrectly the instructions for the Zinnia and thought I could sew the lining and the outer fabric together.  I shouldn't have been mixing and matching my instructions! By the time I realised the mistake my lining was already beautifully sewn into my waistband and I wasn't sure how to back out of the situation I found myself in.  I didn't take a photo of the innards.  It doesn't look bad - I did tidy up in there but it could be a bit nicer.  Is there a way of sewing the lining onto an invisible zipper?
Gathered skirt with a splash of fluoro

Apart from that I made a lot of ''I'm thinking about too many things and I should be doing them rather than this skirt - but I really want to make this now'' errors, so the unpicker got a workout. It is always the way when I think it's going to be a quick and easy make!  But all's well that ends well and I have a fun spring skirt to wear.
Gathered skirt with a splash of fluoro green
What I really want is a stripy tee to wear with it. But out of the 8 stripy tops I own - none of them quite worked - can you believe it! The 8 tops? Or that none of them were exactly right? Both probably. I also popped by the shops this afternoon running other errands and to the moans of my boys who I dragged along with me - couldn't find the right top there either. I guess I'll just have to make one!
OK, no more selfish sewing. Got to get onto sewing for two fetes (first one this saturday if you are in Canberra), organising a 5 year old birthday party and getting ready for a Halloween morning tea.

Progress on a sequinsy sewing dare

Back in August I decided to take on a sewing dare from Gillian "To draft a pattern using a new to me fabric and then find an occasion to wear it ".

My plan was to make something like this dress I saw at Claudie Pierlot when I was in France in March. I adore the clash of casual versus sequins and have often thought about this dress, wishing that I'd bought it, so thought I'd try it for myself. Despite looking like a skirt and top, the Claudie Pierlot is actually a dress. 
Trust Dress grischine Claudie Pierlot
There are some amazing dresses being sewn in sequins at the moment - go check out Poppykettle or Gail at myfabrication.  This is NOT such an outfit!  But I did have fun making it and for years I will find tiny sequins throughout the house.

I've mentioned before the fantastic assistance I had from Colette at Tessuti in choosing the sequins for me.  She sent me down 3 versions of the disco stretch sequins (2 matt and 1 shiny) and two viscose jerseys (a marle and a darker grey) - I think something like this.  I wasn't sure that the jersey (which is very lightweight) would hold the sequins, so early on I decided to just make separates. And to be honest I wasn't sure about the top I was going to make, so best to play safe with separates.  With mixed, very mixed results.
The Top
Mmmmm. Fail!! I'm not that happy with this top.  Just like our poor side gate behind me in the photo, bits are ok but it's not really good.  Construction wise it's ok.  I used the Briar pattern  as the base and reinforced the shoulders and the hem. But I feel like it looks like a pyjama top.  I don't wear a lot of tops or tshirts like this - in fact none.  Ever.  Knit tops that I wear are always a heavier fabric (more cotton?) and usually boat neck so I feel odd and a bit self conscious in this. Originally I had put a band on the bottom of it but that band was doing me NO favours! So I cut it off but then had problems getting the right length.  I was looking for the 'drop waist' look but failed. My original vision was of a top with longer sleeves, but - well nothing really works does it.  So, sort of sewing dare fail (for now) in the top department.  But all is not lost. Onto the skirt..
The Skirt
I love the skirt. I mean I'm barely ever going to wear it but I still love it. It was not at all difficult to put together.  It is such very basic construction that I'm not sure I can even say I drafted anything.   I used the matt sequins as the main part and then simply sewed the shiny sequis piece on the bottom.

You can see from the picture below that I just sewed the pieces on top of each other as I wanted the effect for the bottom piece of fabric.. and you can't see the stitches anyway.

This picture on the left is also the best representation of the colours and 'shininess'.
There is only one seam at the back.I then simply 'sandwiched' the wide elastic in between the lining and fabric et voila!
So, back to the drawing board with the top (already have something else in mind as I am keen to wear this skirt out, and actually wearing it is half the dare! So I'm not done yet.

Don't ask me but a tennis racquet just seemed like the perfect accessory.  

FINISHED! Joy and Sorrow Cami Dress

Remember when I made that quick and dirty muslin of the Cami dress - in about 2 hours!? And I hated it. Well, maybe not hated it exactly, but felt that it just looked awful on me. Well, buoyed by your comments, I decided to make it and now, at the end of the Sewalong I have a finished Cami!
Cami Dress in Liberty Joy and Sorrow
All buttoned up with cuffs down
The fabric is Joy and Sorrow C from the Liberty of London Autumn Winter 2013 Touch story. I bought this fabric from Shaukat as soon as it became available there, as I couldn't find a stockist for it in Australia and with Tiny Dancers, it is probably my favourite of all of the AW13 designs.  I must admit that I was expecting the pattern to be bigger but the scale works well for this dress.
From Liberty of London:

"Mo Coppoletta has an international reputation for unique and exquisite tattoos, so was the perfect choice to represent this collection inspired by the art of touch. 

Joy and Sorrow is derived from a fascination Mo has with nursery rhymes and their dark magic. He wanted to symbolise the Liberty peacock by using different kinds of birds. Mo adorned them with strings of pearls, deco brooches and surrounded them with dragonflies, all of which were inspired by Liberty archive prints from the 1920s, creating a surrealist design with deep dark grounds."

Here is an interview with Mo Coppoletta on his designs for Liberty if you are interested. 
Cami Dress in Liberty Joy and Sorrow

Now to the dress.  The lovely fabric helps the dress along... unlike the stiff ugly fabric that I used for the muslin, the lawn helps it sit better.  In addition, I raised the waist by about 5/8 inch.  I think I should have taken it up a bit more, but it's ok.  I cut a 36 and then graded to a 38 at the waist because I was worried about it being too tight.  I needn't have worried.  The dress definitely looks better with a belt as it helps emphasise my waist.
Cami Dress in Liberty Joy and Sorrow
Cuffs up and unbuttoned
The sewalong was great but I still struggled a bit over getting the collar onto the collar stand at the front.  You know - the rounded bit at the front.  After I had done it I remembered Jen's video tute on attaching a collar - I reeeeeallly need to remember to use this next time I do a collar.  I have been blessed that this material hides all faults.

The rest of it was straightforward - although it wasn't a fast make. I'm also reasonably happy with the invisible zip after my last effort.
Cami Dress in Liberty Joy and Sorrow
The only things I'd change for next time would be to put the pockets up higher.  They are sitting a bit too low for this shorty person.  And maybe.. I'd add an inch to the length.  I'm only 5'2" so if you are taller and want it to hit at the knee then you might need to add some length.
Cami Dress in Liberty Joy and Sorrow
For the fitting purists it's not a perfect fit but it's pretty good and will definitely see a lot of wear - definitely work appropriate!  A very cute dress and I'm glad I made it.  Thanks Pauline for the pattern and the sewalong!
P.S. Shoes are these from Pour la Victoire.

Fete Making: Christmas Stockings

My Cami is coming along, but I'm bookending days at the moment with crafting for this fete on 26 October. (I'm running the Craft and Handmade Stall at this fete) and then for the school fete the week after.

Do you ever make for fetes? What sorts of things do you make?
Christmas stockings
I never know what to make..  This time I'm making all sorts of different things.  Most recently I've made these Christmas stockings using this tutorial.

The fabric is from Robert Kaufman 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' which I had in my stash.

They are really fun to make. So simple! Hopefully someone will buy them - otherwise my niece and nephews will get them for Christmas!

FINISHED! O'Keefe skirt in the Spring

Here is my second Sinbad and Sailor O'Keefe skirt made, of course, with the same fabric as my Tessuti Tokyo Flower Show Jacket.  The fabric hides the details of the pattern, which is a bit of a shame.
O'Keefe skirt in the springtime
The pattern sews up well, although this time around I managed to put the pleats and the pocket on the wrong side.  Mmm.  Don't ask my how. I looked at the pattern placement ten times I'm sure.
The O'Keeffe Skirt Sewing Pattern by Sinbad & Sailor
The main problem is the invisible zipper. It was perfect, it really was.. except up the top as I sewed it over the waistband seams I veered too close to the zipper and as a result it wouldn't close. Urgggh. One of the little teeth looked dodgy but instead of pulling the whole thing out (I didn't have another invisible zipper) I only unpicked the top bit.  I then was zipper shy so sewed too far from the zipper so now it looks a little bit ugly as it's not a perfectly 'invisible zippee' up there.  I should have unpicked it again, but couldn't bring myself to.  I did redeem myself a little bit by sewing the waistband by hand rather than making anymore mess with it.
O'Keefe skirt in the springtime
So this is my 'what's to be done face'.  I wore it to work today and it was good, but I strategically had my shirt hanging a little bit down to cover up my zipper.  I could just pretend there's no problem or I could fix it or I could take it to an alteration place!
O'Keefe skirt in the springtime
 Would it be bad to take it to someone else to fix!?