FINISHED! An Oxford Blouse

When the Spring Summer 2015 Pictures and Conversations Liberty fabric collection was released I was immediately drawn to the garish colours of Oxford A.  I then proceeded to go on holidays and delay any Liberty fabric buying until I returned. Several months passed and I still hadn't caught up with the latest Liberty release. The shame! But I was quickly kicked into action when I saw Tilly's pussy bow blouse (in colourway B) and Anna's top. Both reminded me how much I liked this print.   
Liberty Art Fabrics Oxford A Tana Lawn Cotton
Here is the print story from Liberty:

'What is the use of a design collection', thought Alice, 'without pictures or conversations'. And in another moment she was considering how in the world to create one.'
'Pictures and Conversations' celebrates the 150th anniversary of the first publication of Lewis Carroll's 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'. Both design and colour were inspired by pictures and conversations within 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' and 'Through the Looking Glass' and experiences related to them.

Oxford Liberty fabric is inspired by a trip to Oxford and is created from Liberty scarves from the late 1960s. These have been blended with personal experiences obtained when the in-house design studio were fortunate enough to have a private guided ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ tour around Christ Church water meadows and the streets of Oxford, lead by expert and author Mark Davies.

'Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do.' – Lewis Carroll

The print is not for the faint hearted, so it wasn't immediately obvious to me what I would make up. My love affair for the Clean and Natural peplum hasn't cooled and I have been thinking for a long time of making the Gathered Blouse from She has a Mannish Style (aka She Wears the Pants) so my mind started playing with the two patterns. I didn't want anything too complicated with this fabric, but I was yearning for a little bit of interest.
Alove child blouse between the two patterns was born. I used the bodice and sleeves from Clean and Natural with the hem line and sleeve cuffs from the Gathered Blouse. I did just a simple pleat on the sleeve. 
The back closes with a self covered button. I think I probably could have provided a little more length, but this seems to be an achilles heel as I'm constantly saying that about the length of my tops. As a result it has a teeny tiny hem.
I really like this and wore it with skinnier pants for work on Wednesday, where I think it was a winner.  A bit short yes maybe, but a winner nonetheless. I just can't get enough of the dropped sleeves and high neckline of this pattern.  But for now I'll have to park this pattern as I have a CBR frocktails dress to dream up.

FINISHED! A clean and natural jumpsuit!

Jumpsuits have been on my watch list for a little while now. DebbieChristine (I challenge anyone to find a person who has made more jumpsuits than Christine!) and Rosie  have been subjected to many a jumpsuit tagged with their names on instagram.  #operationjumpsuit became almost my number one occupation.  It's a well worn story now that I originally bought the Japanese pattern book  'Clean and Natural' because of the 'all in one' in it.  I hesitated making it up because I wanted sleeves so continued to look at other patterns.  I quite like a button down jumpsuit but I often came back to the simplicity of this particular design.
Over the Easter break I finally had an 'ah ha' moment and decided to combine my two loves in Clean and Natural: the peplum top and the jumpsuit. I just can't stop with the dropped sleeve and high neck look of that peplum top. I had a whole stash of lush chambray in my stash that I'd bought from Addicted to Fabric for exactly this outfit so my perfect jumpsuit was born.
There was a bit of hacking with the top I'll admit but nothing that was particularly troublesome. It was just a matter of angling the sides in more so that there wasn't gathering required. I did put in two darts as per the original design.  Otherwise, it is basically out of the box pattern with about 3/4 inch taken off the top of the pants so they weren't quite so 'high pants'. The legs are as per the pattern so again, if you are taller than 5'2" - extend them!  I however am quite taken with the tapered crop style of these.  
The original design has elastic only at the back but after trying both options decided on elastic all the way around for a bit more 'definition'.  The back is closed with an invisible zip.  The sleeves were originally going to have elastic in the wrists, but after trying it on so many times with the sleeves rolled up this style really grew on me and I can imagine wearing it with a skivvy underneath as the weather turns even cooler.

I completely love  this make.  It is so fun to wear and goes great with my gorgeous vintage Liberty of London scarf that I received last year from the ever generous Jen. This is going to be a go to Autumn outfit for sure.  Warning - there will be more jumpsuits and in fact I bought some new Liberty the other day and when it arrived I felt like it would be perfect for another one of these jumpsuits with slightly adjusted sleeves.  Seasonally inappropriate perhaps, but yes, destined to be another jumpsuit!
Do you have a favourite jumpsuit pattern?  Will jumpsuits take off like culottes?

FINISHED! Teal Butterflies

There seems to be a few pieces of fabric that take the sewing web by storm and we all snaffle it up, especially since the rise of instragram!  In 2013, it was this fabric, late last year it was pineapples and this year this amazing piece of ponti from Tessuti seems to have found its way into many many a shopping cart.  Clearly I'm a bandwagon jumper and I bought 1.75m of the fabric in late February.

I don't think the fabric is available anymore but it was Stretch butterfly teal (Italian 65% Viscose 30% Polyamide 5% Elastane digital printed ponti knit. Width:145cm).  I bought it because I was immediately reminded of Valentino and the vast array of beautiful butterfly dresses like this one below.
VALENTINO Butterfly Print Babydoll Dress

I love the work of Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli for this house. If I were ever to buy a couture dress I would be hard pressed to go past Valentino. Like fashion, I can be fickle but I only loved them more with the recent surprise appearance of Ben Stiller and the Owen Wilson at their latest runway show in Paris. Anyway, I digress.
With my eyes on the Valentino dress as inspiration I revisited my Frocktails 2014. I thought this was a good shell but thought I might gather the skirt.  I used the skirt from the Moneta which I bought especially so that I could use the skirt pattern.  Honestly, I've never done so much unpicking as I did on this dress. It is ridiculous given how simple the dress is.
I retraced the original bodice pieces and removed all the seam allowance to get a tighter fit.  After attaching the skirt to the bodice I felt that it still needed slimming so I took a wedge of 1 inch off the sides. I think it could still be a better fit but it's good enough. I have minor regret on the gathered skirt as I didn't really have enough fabric to do it justice and the front is more gathered than the back. Let's call it a design feature. I also feel that sometimes it falls a bit heavy. I like my waists to sit high.  I'm not sure how to fix that. I tried a bit of elastic in the waist seam but it does feel like a waste of sewing (and unpicking!).
The neck, wrist and hem are all turned over once and finished with a twin needle.  The back is closed with an invisible zip.  Sorry, I didn't bother to pattern match at the back. I kept the hem longer than I had originally envisaged.  I'm still thinking about it, but it does provide a bit more flexibility at this length, though I do like to get the pins out.
Despite all the mumbling during this post I am happy with how it turned out. But I'm mighty glad that it's done! I've got a wedding to go to next weekend, so this will be getting a run in the wild!

Oh and while we are on the topic of fancy dresses, CBR sewing crew are hosting a wonderful Frocktails event on the 27 June. All the details can be found here.  I won't be wearing this dress but I will be making up something fab to wear. Hope to see a lot of you there!  The venue is truly stunning and shows just how much Canberra has to offer.

And the winners are....

Thanks everyone for entering the competition to win a copy of the very fabulous "She wears the pants".  This was a huge competition and I normally draw the winners out of my beret but there were just too many entries so I resorted to True Random Number Generator.  Winners, please contact me on email by the 8 April. If I don't hear from you I'll do a redraw.  I hope you all have great plans for the Easter break. Me, I hope to SEW!
Anyway, without further ado..... the winners are

The book looks great! Thanks for the review and giveaway. (There's a part of me that wishes they'd kept the title as 'She has a Mannish style' though.)


This book looks amazing! I'd love to use it!
See you soon with a finished dress... I hope xx