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.

New makes of old patterns

Regular followers of mine will know I have a love affair with the Sewaholic Belcarra and the Muse Tahi skirt. Well here’s two more for you! More a record for me, but also just to show you how great these patterns are.


The Belcarra
This is my, ahem, fifth Belcarra. The others you’ll find links from the My Makes page.


The fabric is a fine cotton from Spotlight. Most of the spots are dark grey, but some are actually silver and some are obviously a pink-red colour. I decided it needed to go this way up so the arches to remind me of the sun going up in the sky and then going down at the end of the day.


I chose the same pink to stitch the neck binding down, top stitch the sleeve cuffs and to sew the hem.


There’s honestly very little to say about the pattern. I cut it out last week in just under an hour and then sewed it up in around two and a half hours on Saturday. It’s a really quick sew, especially if you make the version without the tucks on the sleeves.


The details
Fabric: Fine cotton from Spotlight, I think Rotorua, in July 2015.
Notions: Thread.
Pattern: Sewaholic Belcarra, view A, size 12.
Changes made: None
Another one/Recommendations: This is number five! Need I say more? Instructions are clear and easy and the pattern is quick to put together.

Muse Tahi Skirt
Another staple in my wardrobe. This is number four!

I decided I wanted a red skirt and went down to the Fabric Warehouse and found this red bengaline. It has a stretch which, yes I know, is intended to go around the body, but hey, rules are made to be broken – the stretch on this is going top to bottom. The pattern in the weave looked better like that.


For the feature pattern I turned the fabric over and used it inside out, as it were.


I also stuck pockets in this skirt. Pockets, pockets, so useful. I had to be careful with the side seams and the stretch going down and also added interfacing to the seams where the pockets are and also the zip area.


The details
Fabric:  Red bengaline from The Fabric Warehouse, August 2017
Notions:  Thread, zip, a button and waistband stiffening
Pattern:  Muse Patterns, Tahi Skirt, size 38, the flared version
Changes made:  Inseam pockets added. the template is a pattern piece I’ve got put aside for such occasions!
Another one/recommendations:  This is number four. Instructions again are so easy to follow, even that feature. There are so many different options too.


Photos were taken today in Christchurch where I’m staying for work. My motel has this great little courtyard with the beautiful rose bush, and of course, it’s spring, so the roses are out. 🙂 And yes, the blouse is creased, I’ve been wearing it all day!


Papercut Kobe

So my love affair with Papercut continues!

This is from the latest Sakura collection and is the Kobe top/dress. I couldn’t resist this pattern as soon as I saw it. The back neckline is a great touch.

The fabric you may also have seen on my blog before, but in a different colourway! This version came as a remnant from The Fabric Warehouse here in Wellington. This is a bargain top at around $5. 🙂 It made this a wearable muslin.

The pattern. I bought this as a paper pattern, so enjoyed the whole process of cutting out the instructions and making them into a booklet before cutting the pattern pieces from the Papercut’s thick paper. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Papercut’s instructions are very clear and easy to follow, with clear images. They are perfect for a beginner. Reminders to possibly make a toile, and also to pre-wash the fabric.

I made up a size L which is my normal Papercut size based on my full bust. To be honest I’m probably between an M and an L. This top is meant to be oversized, but I certainly feel this L is too big. Looking at the images on the Papercut website, the shoulders are intended to be slightly low, but this size for this pattern is definitely too big.

I made a couple of changes. The front is quite high (around waist height). I lengthened the front by around 2 inches and also shortened the back by around the same amount. The original back length is long. The back length kept dragging the top back. It still has the high-low hem but still drags back and I have to keep pulling the top forward.However, I actually really love this top and want to make another! 🙂

I love the pleats on the back of the neck and the way these are joined together with a button. I had this wee heart button in my stash (it was the only one) and is perfect for the job.

The deets
Fabric:  Polyester crepe from The Fabric Warehouse, April 2017
Notions:  Thread, button
Pattern:  Papercut Kobe, top version
Changes made:  Front lengthened by 2 inches, back shortened by 2 inches

Another one/recommendations:  As mentioned, as much as this is too big, I’m so in love with the pattern that I really want to make another one. I’ll try again and make a smaller size, so probably the medium based on my high bust.. I’ll also thinking I might keep front and back the same length. I’m not sure I like a cropped front, it shows off my food baby! I’d love to make up the dress, but I’d definitely need some definition.

As an aside, the skirt is also new! It’s another Paprika Patterns Jade skirt – that’s three now. I definitely love this skirt pattern. I actually made it this time following the pattern, ie lined the back and also made the waistband curved as on the pattern.

I think the back lining works, as it encloses all the raw side seams, but I’m entirely happy with the waistband. Previously, I’ve cut it from one piece and folded it over. This time, I have a seam at the top and used the curved pattern pieces. Even though I used a stretch stitch, it’s still coming undone and there’s more bulk. I’d have done better to use my instinct and make it as previously, ie straight and in one piece.

The deets
Fabric:  Pale green ponte from The Fabric Warehouse, July 2017
Notions:  Thread, elastic
Pattern:  Paprika Patterns Jade skirt, size 7, made to fit my hips.
Changes made:  Side seams taken in at the waist by an inch each side.
Another one/recommendations: Mm possibly not finished with this pattern just yet. This is number three, one being here and two, I’ve just realised has been photographed, but never blogged – oops! It’s such a fab pattern, so I’m sure I’ll be making another at some point soon.

These photos were taken in Melbourne about a month ago on the balcony of our AirBnB. Five of us went across to celebrate a ‘0’ birthday for a friend and had a blast, eating too much, drinking lots, walking lots, shopping, and generally having a good time! And before you ask, due to the walking in not good shoes, my weak left ankle decided it would swell up and annoy me, hence the strap. No, I’m not after sympathy, I should have worn better shoes!

Papercut hoodie love

Never in my life did I ever think I’d wear a hoodie, let alone make one. I’ve a feeling Mr N still isn’t that impressed, but it’s great for walking and heading to pilates (the hood gets in the way during class).

This is Papercut’s Undercover Hoodie. It’s such a great relaxed pattern. It was an easy make too. Raglan sleeves make this so quick to sew and easy to wear.

I normally make up a large in Papercut sizing, but went with a medium for this, it has so much ease. As you can probably tell, I went with the longer version and lengthened it more so it covers my bum and keeps it nice and warm. It also covers the bit I hate the most about my body. 🙂 I’m happy with this length.

I put most of this together using my overlocker, but used my machine to attach the pockets and make the channel for the ribbon. The hood is lined, so there’s no inside of the fabric showing.

I chose to use a bright pink ribbon for the hood ties. They will never be used, but that pink just adds the pop of colour needed to bring this fabric alive.

The fabric is a grey cotton knit jersey I bought November 2015 from the Fabric Store in Wellington. You may recognise it, since I also used it to make up my first Juliet cardigan. I bought so much of this that there was enough left to make up the hoodie.

The deets
Fabric:  Cotton knit jersey from The Fabric Store, November 2015
Notions:  Thread, pink grosgrain ribbon from stash
Pattern:  Papercut Undercover Hood, size M
Changes made:  Lengthened long version by 2-3 inches

Another one/recommendations:  I didn’t think I’d make another but I’m actually thinking I might make a sweatshirt version, just cos it’s so comfy. Then I can use it for pilates during the cooler months, since the hood won’t get in the way!

It’s a really great pattern, so easy to make up and honestly if the fact that I never in my life thought I’d wear a hoodie isn’t enough of a recommendation, I don’t know what is! This honestly gets worn a lot!

Thanks to Mel for taking these photos when we headed up the coast in June. This children’s park is in Levin, I love it and it makes me wish I was a kid again! 🙂

Indie Royalty

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been sewing up a storm for Indie Pattern Month over at The Monthly Stitch. The final week’s theme is Indie Royalty, time to proclaim my Indie Pattern regal status by making and blogging a whole outfit made from Indie Patterns. I’m not sure what to call this combined outfit, so here we have my outfit!

We have the Opal Cardigan from Paprika Patterns, True Bias Ogden cami and Magdalena Langa Camellia skirt.

Opal Cardigan

I’ve been eyeing this pattern up ever since it was released. The orange sample version on the Paprika Patterns site, I love. I just needed to see a couple more in the wild and my mind was made up.

I decided on view B but with a round neck. This view is thigh length and has patch pockets.

This fabric is a wool with very little stretch which came from Clementime: Oamaru Silk Centre in Oamaru on South Island. It has a pale grey back and the front has a pale pink lacy front. It was not cheap! But I fell in love with it and it had to come back with me. Straight away it was going to be a coatigan and this seemed the perfect pattern. The problem was it was so thick, my poor machine really didn’t like sewing it once I got more than two layers. Attaching the pockets and the neck binding was not easy. The neck binding is stitched to the main body of the coatigan by hand, it was not possible to stitch it down as I might normally.

The pattern is easy to follow. It’s not a difficult pattern anyway, but the instructions and images were clear and if I’d got a thinner fabric it would have gone together a lot quicker! I even managed to break a needle on my overlocker due to the thickness! Ouch!

I’m not sure why my pockets are so high. I thought I’d followed the position on the pattern, but it seems not! They are quite high and look a bit odd, however due to the fabric thickness and the fact it’s a nighmare to unpick this the pockets will have to stay put for now!

My version also seems to be a lot bigger than the samples online. I increased the seam allowances to 5/8″ to cope with the thick fabric and sewed them as such, but it still seems to be big. Perhaps I should have cut between a size 4 an 6.

The deets
Fabric:  Double thickness wool from the Oamaru Silk Centre.
Notions:  Thread
Pattern:  Paprika Patterns Opal Cardigan, size 6
Changes made:  None really, except to increase the seam allowances to 5/8″.

Another one/recommendations:  Even though I’m kinda on the fence about this one in the end, it could most likely be due to my fabric choice. I like it, but it is just really big, it’s very cosy though! I might just try it again with a more forgiving fabric. I will lower the pockets an also shorten the sleeves. It’s just difficult with this fabric to unpick anything. I had to use my walking foot with a ball point needle with the longest stitch length and very narrow zig zag.

Ogden Cami

Definitely late to the party with this one. So many of these have been in the blogasphere and I’ve only just made one up. Being this late to the party means you can read lots and lots of other sewers comments and reviews. Result 🙂

Taking other reviews on board, I raised the front neckline and also made the straps a bit wider. I lengthened the whole thing by about an inch and a half. I also lengthened the facing, I read somewhere that someone else with larger girls needed to lengthen the cami and the facing to make it sit better over those larger girls than on the True Bias sample!

The fabric was a remnant which I got from somewhere! (I honestly cannot remember where from!) There wasn’t enough to make the facings, so I used a similar fabric in plain black.

Since this was really intended to be a muslin, I finished the seams with my overlocker rather than using French seams which might have been better with this fine fabric. However, I’m really impressed with my rolled hem. Check this out!

I think raising the neckline must have shifted the alignment of the straps and they drag into the middle showing off my bra straps. It’s a shame, since I actually really like this top. I’m sure I can find some contraption to pull the neck wide to cover my straps though. I hardly used the instructions, it wasn’t rocket science to put together and went together so quickly.

The deets
Fabric:  I’m not sure, something floaty and fine which I got as a remnant. Lined with a black silk crepe.
Notions:  Thread
Pattern:  True Bias Ogden Cami, size 14
Changes made:  Front neckline raised, straps widened, shell lengthened and facing also lengthened.

Another one/recommendations:  This was intended to be a muslin and this is definitely a wearable one. I don’t care that it doesn’t cover my bra straps, cos I love it! When that summer comes (it’s oh so far away at the moment), I’ll be making more. I definitely need them from floaty fabric, or I’ll need to take in the hips, else I’ll be looking a tad pregnant! I’ve worn this quite a bit already. I went across to Sydney for work the other week and it was perfect for the evenings with a cardi on top.

Camellia skirt

What’s that pattern, I hear you say? Yeah, this is not a well known designer, but check this out. It’s a lined pencil skirt with four darts, three pleats and a back vent.

I saw this skirt on Sew Mariefleur‘s blog and was hooked. Mariefleur is completely a different build and shape to me, but I love me a pencil skirt! Any excuse! The fabric is a stretch polyester suiting I got from Arthur Toye here in Wellington. Arthur Toye closed in January 2014, so it’s definitely be a while sat in my stash! But the stretch makes it perfect for a pencil skirt.

I had so many problems putting this together. The instructions to make the pleats on the bodice and attach the lining were just a nightmare. The instructions are not clear at all. The images are in a different place to the words and it’s just difficult to follow. In the end, I followed my intuition and made it up. The top pleat still didn’t stay flat and I had to use teeny tiny pick stitches to ensure it laid flat. Possibly as a consequence the top pleat seems slightly misaligned, but you can’t see the pick stitches! I ended up not really using the instructions for the remainder of the make.

There is a dart on either side around hip height. It’s the strangest dart I’ve ever seen, but works. There’s also darts for the back waist.

This pattern comes without seam allowances added, so you’ll need to make sure you add these when cutting out. I added around half an inch. I wasn’t sure how the fit would be, so added that little bit extra just in case I needed to give myself more space.

I pattern does have a pocket on the back, but I decided not to add this. I also changed the zip from an invisible zip to a lapped zip. I’m not a fan of sewing invisible zips and I couldn’t find one in my stash, hence the invisible zip. The waistband I didn’t use the pattern piece for, I just used my waistband stiffening and made a straight band to fit the skirt.

The lining is a grey polyester lining I had in stash. I’d have loved a pink lining, but I wanted to use up stash rather than buy more. I decided to hem the skirt using purple hug snug.

The deets
Fabric:  Grey stretch polyester suiting with a pale pink stripe from Arthur Toye. Possibly bought in 2013, I think! A grey polyester lining from stash.
Notions:  Thread, interfacing for the waistband, zip and a button.
Pattern:  Magdalena Langa Camillia skirt, size 12. I got it from IndieSew, but it’s also available on Etsy.
Changes made:  I didn’t use the waistband piece drafting my own to fit my waistband interfacing, but other than that no changes.

Another one/recommendations:  I like my skirt and I’ve worn it a couple of times this month. I’m not sure I’ll be making another one. I don’t know what has happened to the skirt above the top pleat, it seems to have twisted on the waistband somehow. It might be the stretch fabric. It was just such a nightmare to sew the pleats, that it’s kinda put me off making another. The fit however, is really good and I’m happy I didn’t need to make any adjustments.

Phew! What a lot of photos and what a completely mixed set of items, but a whole new outfit. Time will tell if I actually wear them all. The skirt and cami already have been worn, but I need to get the coatigan in as regular wear, otherwise I can see that sitting on the shelf and not being worn.