Katy and Laney meets Colette

Last year I was in desperate need of some more shorts plus a tank top. We didn’t get much of a summer, but there was enough to create a need, so I went diving in my pattern and fabric stash.

Katy and Laney Tap Shorts

My first pair were such a success I decided to use the pattern again. I made front view A with back view 2 as previously. I love that piped trim and pockets are always useful! I lengthened them by an inch and also let out the waist by about half inch. I’ve put on a wee bit of weight since I made the first pair and the original waist is a bit tight.

The fabric is a blue viscose which as been in my stash since forever. I honestly cannot remember when and where I got it! I didn’t use piping, but just some left over fabric to make a bias strip. It’s actually fabric left over from the first version of this blouse. I didn’t add any trim to the waistband, I rarely if ever wear anything tucked in so it seemed a pointless exercise.

I used some checked cotton which I’d found in Mum’s stash when she died to make the welt pockets on the back. I also added an in seam pocket to the right seam. (A girl can never have enough pockets!) The left seam has an invisible zip. I finished the hems using purple hug snug. Lots of colours! 🙂

The details
Fabric:  Blue viscose from stash, pale blue check from Mum’s stash for the pockets and a floral fabric for the bias strips
Notions:  Thread, interfacing, hug snug and an invisible zip
Pattern:  Katy & Laney Tap Shorts, front view A, back view 2, size 12.
Changes made:  Lengthened them by an inch and added half inch to the waist
Another one/recommendations:  This is a great shorts pattern. The instructions for the welt pockets are really clear and easy to follow. I have to say I didn’t really follow the other instructions. I have worn these so much this summer, particularly when I go for a walk in the bush and hills near home.

Colette Sorbetto

I first made the Sorbetto years ago when it was first launched, I think it was the first ever Indie pattern I made and was a muslin. The fit wasn’t great and it was a bit short and I went off the fabric. It didn’t get worn much, then I decided I liked it again and it got worn more. The pattern was re-released last March. I decided to use the pattern I had already and alter it to my liking, rather than download the new version.

I lowered the bust darts, lengthened it and added darts to the back to add some more shape. As you can tell I also removed the front pleat. I guess it’s basically unrecognisable as a Sorbetto, but I’m happy with it.

The fabric is a cotton which I think was either a remnant or I got from Fabric-a-Brac. It was great to sew with. The fabric of dreams basically. I made the bias binding from the same fabric.

The details
Fabric:  A cream with brown flowers from stash
Notions:  Thread.
Pattern:  Colette Sorbetto, the original pattern from 2011, size 12
Changes made:  Lowered the bust darts, removed the front pleat, lengthened the top and added darts to the back.
Another one/recommendations:  If you want a quick tank top and free pattern you could do a lot worse. This is easy and quick to put together. The fit is a little boxy, but nothing that can’t be fixed from adding darts in the back. I don’t know how the new version shapes up, but certainly the darts for me are way too high in the original. And why haven’t I downloaded the updated version? I’m lazy and saving on paper! 🙂

These photos? They were taken a couple of weeks ago on the hill behind our house. Te Ahumairangi Hill. It was very hot and sunny and hard work to walk up there! 🙂


Christmas ESP

My second ESP dress from Decades of Style. I made my first around 2 years ago and it’s been in high circulation since. It’s such a great dress, washing and wearing really well.

When a group of us headed across to Melbourne in September for a friend’s birthday, a couple of us went out to Darn Cheap Fabrics and I found this red rayon. I remember it was a bargain! I think as soon as I’d bought it, it was intended to be another ESP dress.

Last time I made this up, I remember I changed the neckline, but didn’t actually made a proper note of my changes. As soon as I got the pattern out, I regretted this, since I had to fudge the neckline changes! I lowered the front and raised the back. Somehow this time I ended up almost stretching the front, so it looks almost like a cowl neck. I have added tape, but I’m happy with it as is.

I lengthened the bodice, as last time, but I think I may have lengthened it too much. Although I’m kinda happy with this slightly dropped waist. If I shortened it, I’d have to completely cut it off and start again. When I’m happy with it as is, that just seems too much like hard work!

I’ve worn this dress a few times, but kept it to wear on Christmas day. I also wore it the other day for a picnic with some of the WSBN girls down in the Botanic Gardens. Thanks to Leimomi for taking these photos on my big girls camera, which she knew how to wield better than I do!

The details
Fabric:  Red floral rayon from Darn Cheap Fabrics, Melbourne, September 2017.
Notions:  Thread, a dress zip, interfacing for the facings and some tape for the neckline.
Pattern:  Decades of Style, ESP dress from the Decades Everyday Collection, size 40
Changes made:  Bust darts lowered by 3/4 inch, bodice lengthened by 3/4 inch. The front neckline was lowered by approx half inch, and the back neckline raised by the same. I inserted a lapped zip rather than an invisible zip, since I only had a dress zip in stash.
Another one/Recommend:  I’m wishing I’d made a note of my changes properly, but hey, I love this second version of the dress. The instructions I used just to assist with the sleeve insertion. After that I made the dress up my own way.

I would recommend this pattern. It’s a great dress and I love both my versions. It needs a fabric with drape, but definitely recommended. And who doesn’t love a dress with pockets?

Ogden Camis

A couple more True Bias Ogden Camis. I made the first one last July and it’s had no end of wear, so I thought to make some more.

We’ve had lots of hot, dry weather here in NZ this summer and these are perfect. Truth is, I have a fabric remnant which wasn’t cheap and has been earmarked for another one and I want to try to get the fit better.

My first, the straps were too close together in the front, so I needed to make some changes there. I like the front neckline raised, so I’ve kept that, but widened it by half inch each side to ensure I cover my bra straps. The pale coloured one has stretched slightly on the neckline.

With the second I forgot to shorten the straps and had to unpick them again. The straps need shortening by around an inch. I think another change I might do is to raise the underarm. It feels a little low. I still covers my bra, but I think it might look better raised slightly.

The other change I made was to lengthen the lining again by around an inch. These fabrics are quite fine, so I don’t really want them showing everything off!

The deets
Fabric:  A pale grey leopard print crepe and a plain pink rayon crepe, both from The Fabric Warehouse, here in Wellington, bought late November this year.
Notions:  Thread
Pattern:  True Bias Ogden Cami, size 14
Changes made:  Front neckline raised and widened, straps widened and shortened, facing also lengthened.

Recommendations/Another one:  There is certainly another one planned and I wouldn’t be surprised if I don’t make another. I reckon this would hack well to make a dress, I think I would also be great made from a lightweight knit in a smaller size and teamed up with knit shorts for a great pair of PJs. Mm, thinks, might do this!

I would definitely recommend this. They are so easy to wear and quick to make. Each was cut and sewn in about two/three hours. It’s pretty clear why this pattern is so popular.

Merry Christmas all!

Sewaholic Pendrell

This is my third Pendrell. I made the first in a green cotton silk about four years ago (view A), the second I made from a cotton voile covered in flamingos (view B). They are both still in regular wear. A sign of a good make.

I picked up this Chinese silk at Fabric-a-Brac and it sat in stash for around a year before I decided what I wanted to make from it. I decided to go with view A again. This silk would lend itself to the pleats beautifully.

So having made up the patten before, it was a quick make. The only slow bit is the sleeves. These sleeves are a big circle folded in half and then the pleats put in. They took me a while this time. The fabric just didn’t want to behave!

I’ve attached them the other way around to the green one and I think I actually prefer the sleeves this way.

So the details…
Fabric:  Chinese silk in navy blue with characters and blossom in white from Fabric-a-Brac. I think it cost around $6!
Notions:   Thread – this blouse has no interfacing, etc.
Pattern:  Sewaholic Pendrell, view A, size 12
Changes made:  I’ve shortened this by around 4-5 inches. This top is long! This version is possibly still a bit too long, it doesn’t fit too well over this skirt which is being blown by the wind everywhere!
Another one/recommendations:  I’ve made three, I doubt this is the end! I imagine another will be made, it’s just a great top/blouse to have in my wardrobe. I would definitely recommend this. The instructions are clear and easy to follow, it’s also a really quick pattern to make up. If you made up view C, it could be finished so quickly!

Sacotin Limbo

I’ve made my first foray into bag making. Please let me introduce the Limbo bag.

I first saw this bag on Velosewer‘s blog. It seemed the perfect bag to roll up and tuck in the corner of a case for travelling.It has a zip pocket on the outside and also another on the inside and can be “worn” in three ways.

As a backpack:

As a cross-body bag full size:

As a folded over shoulder bag:

The fabric all came from stash, but I had to buy the webbing and the hardware. The outer can be made from contrasting fabrics and I used two different black denims. The plain was left over from my denim Alberta skirt, the other with the pattern is one I bought in the UK from Goldhawk Road, around six months before we left to move to NZ (around September 2011, it was my first ever sewing meet-up!) Both of these have some stretch in and have a similar hand. The lining, I’ve had in stash a while, I think it came from Fabric-a-Brac. The hardware (zips, D-rings, frog clips and sliders) and the webbing all came from Made Marion Craft here in Wellington. There is also some fleece/fusible fleece used for the gusset. I used some fleece left over from making sewing machine mats. I didn’t have enough to add to the straps as they suggest.

This definitely took quite a bit of making. It is described on the site as Advanced, so I expected it to take some time to put together. There are so many pattern pieces. If you want a quick bag to make, this certainly isn’t it, but it was fun to make and see it come together.

I found the instructions clear and easy to follow on the whole. I know a couple of times I had to read and re-read, but some of that would be due to the fact I wasn’t used to making up a bag. There are great images to help with the explanations. To accompany there are also some web tutorials to help, which is a great added touch. For inspiration of different combinations of fabric, they also have a Pinterest page with loads of versions from around the Interwebs.

The instructions have you make up the pieces in tandem. So dealing with the internal pocket and zip the same time as dealing with the external pocket and zip. There are instructions to insert the zip so that it sits between the lining and outer fabric, but I was lazy and applied it the more simple way, so you can still see the zip fabric. The whole thing is sewn up with a denim needle, even so down the bottom where the gusset joins, my machine wasn’t happy with the thickness of fabric!

I’ve used this bag so much already. It’s great for weekends and just kicking around with and it holds loads, which is probably why about two weeks after finishing it, one of the side D-rings came unattached with the webbing. I had to unpick it and somehow stitch it back together. I have one side shorter than the other now.

The lining is a great pop of colour and also obviously has silver ferns on it! Very kiwi!

The details
Fabric:  Patched denim from Goldhawk Road, September 2011, plain black denim from the Fabric Warehouse, June 2016, pink lining from Fabric-a-Brac?
Notions:  Two shorter zips, one longer, D-rings, frog clips, sliders, webbing, interfacing and fleece.
Pattern:  Sacotin Limbo bag, the larger size
Changes made:  None.
Another one/Recommendations:  I really love this bag. I’ve used it lots already. If I’d have thought more, I think I would have swapped the fabrics around, since the patched denim is on the back when I use it as a backpack, but it’s visible in the wee arc on the other side.
The pockets are a great size, although sometimes I find the metal zips a tad scratchy.
There some great versions on the Pinterest page and I’m kinda tempted to try a smaller version.

Jenna and Jade

These photos were taken back in May, when it was very sunny, but chilly before our winter got really wet!

It was not long before that I made these two items and they’ve been staples in my wardrobe since. I love them!

Jenna Cardi

This is the fourth time I’ve made up this pattern. My first cardi has stretched beyond help and I think I really just need to get rid of it (perhaps after I’ve rescued the buttons!) I’ve used the pattern since to make two tops, so when I got this merino, it called out to me.

The fabric is from Clementime: Oamaru Silk Centre in Oamaru on South Island when I went down for work some time ago. It is merino wool and was great to work with. It sewed up a treat. The buttons were from stash and I honestly don’t remember where I got them from!

I made the same changes I’ve make to my other Jenna’s, I straightened out the side seams by taking it in at the hips and then also took in the sleeves from the elbow down, adding a new cuff.

The details
Fabric:  Black merino from Clementine, Oamaru.
Notions:  Thread, tape for the shoulders and buttons
Pattern:  Muse Patterns Jenna cardi, size 40
Changes made:  Took in the sleeves from the elbow down and also straightened the sides
Another one/Recommendations:  This is number four, need I say more? This is a great pattern and so quick to make up. No doubt there’ll be more before I’m done!


Paprika Patterns Jade skirt

Number three of these has already been blogged. This is number two which I made up at the beginning of winter. I love my navy version, so another was on the books.

This dark red ponte came from The Fabric Warehouse here in Wellington. I went in to buy it specifically to make up this skirt last April time. It’s very rare fabric is bought and cut out, but this was.

I made the longer version and changed the waistband as with my same version, so straightened it and made it up double the width of my elastic. It works so much better than the seam at the top of the waistband. I find I get a much cleaner finish. I also took in the waistband.

The details
Fabric:  Dark red ponte from The Fabric Warehouse
Notions:  Thread and elastic
Pattern: Paprika Patterns Jade skirt, size 7, made to fit my hips
Changes made:  Took in the side seams at the waist, I didn’t line the back and also changed the waistband to be a single piece of fabric folded over.
Another one/Recommendations:  This was number two, but have since made another. This version has had so much wear this last winter. I find the ponte quite warm in the summer, but it certainly works hard in the winter!

Papercut Ensis Tee

I have so many things which I haven’t blogged and have been happily wearing. I really want to make a record of makes so stand by for some quick posting.

I definitely have a love affair with Papercut patterns and I’ve had the Ensis tee pattern for some time. These fabrics have been in my stash for some time too. Why not combine fabric and pattern stashes?

It’s a while since I made this, but don’t remember anything really strange or difficult. I cut a size L which is my standard Papercut measurement, but actually used 5/8th seams not 3/8th, this gives me halfway between a M and L. I probably spent more time deciding where to cut the top fabric to match with the bottom! I decided in the end that two lines of the blue/green would break up the orange/rust colour. I also didn’t have loads of the lacy fabric either.

There were no problems with the instructions. To be honest, I probably just made it up and ignored the instructions. I went with variation two, but didn’t have enough of the rust coloured fabric and so had to go with 3/4 sleeves. I prefer this length anyway, I’m constantly pushing sleeves up and 3/4 sleeves are perfect.

I spent a lot of time changing threads on both my machine and overlocker so they matched the fabrics! Mr N politely calls this my Christmas jumper! 🙂 So kind!

The details
Fabric:  Rust coloured textured cotton knit and a lacy striped knit, both I think came from Fabric-a-Brac at some point, so wouldn’t have cost much!
Notions:  Thread and tape for the shoulders
Pattern:  Papercut Ensis Tee, size L
Changes made:  I shortened the sleeves to give 3/4 sleeves and stitched 5/8th seams.
Another one/Recommendations:  I really like the shape of this tee pattern. The only other tee I’ve really made is the Renfrew, but actually this has some more shaping and also I love the shaped hem of this version. I rarely tuck a top in and I like this curved hem to add more interest and I think it fits better too. I think I might be making more, even if I combine the pieces and have a continuous tee without the contrast.