New old makes

So in the interests of posting makes which I’ve made but haven’t been blogged, I have a couple of makes which I made last year.

Southport Dress – Fungi version
Ha ha, no kidding! This fabric was called Fungi or something like it. It came from a shop called Jet in Greytown. I bought it after the last Wairarapa Fabric a Brac in Carterton, the same time as I bought Les Fleurs quilting cotton which I made this dress in.

I was looking for something a bit different to make up another Southport dress and this fits the bill perfectly. It’s a beautiful soft cotton and works well for this dress. Casting my mind back… I made the same changes to the bodice as last time:

  • raised the front neckline by around an inch
  • also raised the underarm by around half inch
  • lengthened the bodice by around 1.5 inches
  • omitted the buttonholes and stitched the buttons through both plackets

Even though this is the short version, I ended up lengthening the short skirt, probably by around a couple of inches. I also made exactly the same change to the waist as before, attaching a casing to the inside waist and then inserting elastic. Again, the front skirt is cut on the fold, no need for a seam here.

One thing I am going to mention is the pockets in this beauty. They deserve a mention. The dress comes with pockets and what fantastic pockets they are! They are the perfect size to put all sorts of rubbish in. 😉

The deets
Fabric:  Pink fungi patterned fabric from Jet in Greytown. Buttons from stash.
Notions:  Thread, buttons, interfacing and elastic
Pattern:  True Bias Southport dress, size 14
Changes made:  Raised the front neckline, shortened the armscye to make the underarm higher, lengthened the bodice, shortened the skirt, omitted the button holes, moved the waist casing to the inside and inserted elastic, cut the front skirt on the fold.

Another one/recommendations:  Well, I don’t know if I’ll make another, but I have practically lived in this dress this summer. I made it at the end of last summer, so it didn’t get lots of wear, but this year, I have worn it, washed it, worn it, washed it! The colour means that it doesn’t show every bit of dirt, so I’ve worn it for gardening as well as meeting up with friends. We went camping at New Year and it was perfect for that. The fabric didn’t crease screwed up and I had something comfy to throw on in the mornings. I think it’s pretty easy to say, I love this dress, but as we know often the fabric makes the pattern!

Papercut Sapporo – the quiet version 🙂
Nice and subtle colours this one! I love my other Sapporo with the liquorice allsorts lining, but it’s quite lightweight so I thought why not make another for the cooler weather.

This lovely bright pink wool came from the Fabric Warehouse in Wellington, I think around three years ago. It’s been maturing in stash waiting for it to suddenly shout out for the perfect pattern. The lining is a beautiful hand printed silk which I bought in Thailand in 2013, so even longer ago!

The Sapporo coat has had a lot of bad press. I’m not saying what is wrong and what is right, I’m not qualified to do so. What I will say is that I have now made two of these and am very happy with both. The oversize style means that a pleat which you would often find in a coat lining is not necessary. I’ve not noticed any problems with how the pattern is put together or pattern pieces not lining up.

For my first version, I used the main coat fabric for lining the sleeves. For this wool version, I cut the sleeve linings. For a couple of inches at the cuffs, I used the main pink wool. For the rest of the lining, I used my lining material to reduce bulk. It worked a treat and has gone together really easily.

My front mitred corners are perfect. Just check this out!

The deets
Fabric:  Bright pink wool coating from The Fabric Warehouse prob 2015 (I used around 1.8m of 150cm wide). Hand printed silk for the lining from Thailand in 2013 (Being hand printed, I actually only had 2m of 100cm wide, the pattern recommends 2.3m of 114cm)
Notions:  Thread and interfacing
Pattern:  Papercut Sapporo Coat, size S/M, my measurements put me in a L/XL with Papercut, so this is an indication of how oversized this is.
Changes made:  I cut the sleeve linings in two, so that I could make a cuff from the outer fabric and use lining for the rest of it.

Another one/recommendations:  I’m not sure on another of these. I have two which now cover most seasons, so this may be enough. I got away with less than the fabric recommendations simply because I used lining for the sleeve linings. Those sleeve pattern pieces are not small, so need quite a bit of fabric. If you intend to line the sleeve with lining fabric, remember you’ll need more than the pattern states. The pattern has now been re-released and also includes a cropped version which is quite cute…

I love both Sapporo coats. This pink version I made at the end of the winter, so it’s not had masses of wear yet, but I just know it’s going to get some wear and being so bright, it’s going to be great on a gloomy winter’s day. It’s got room to layer up under it and once I have a nice warm scarf wrapped around me, I’m going to be so snug in this coat!

#2019MakeNine – the end

I’m glad I did this and actually enjoyed it! This was the first time I’d set up a Make Nine for the year and although I often make way more than nine things in a year, I was good to have a focus for the year. I also think selecting specific fabrics from stash was also a much better idea than specifying nine patterns, for a start it made me focus on using my stash rather than buying new fabrics.

I did make more than my Make Nine (I’m way behind on my blogging), but I can quite happily tick off eight of my original nine. The other ninth won’t happen until I can find a pattern which works (it probably doesn’t help that Mr N doesn’t really like the fabric!)

Project One:  Swimwear
Consider this completed!
I used the fabric and made up the Jazz Tankini from Swim Style Patterns. Not perfect, I should have done an FBA, but I’ve used this tankini loads. It was used on holiday in Raro and I used it lots for our spa tub in the garden.
The blog post is here.

Project Two:  Burda 7767 (men’s shirt)
I’ve actually made two shirts for Mr N this year. One in the middle of the year and the other I finished for Christmas. Yes, I used the blue and white stripe for one shirt. The second I used some awesome NZ fern fabric.

Project Three:  Frangipani dress
Completed! I did not use either of the patterns I originally thought to use. I made it up using Simplicity 2444, mainly based on the fact that I used the pattern for some other fabric not long before and decided I liked the fit and I really wanted something relatively quick to make up.

Project Four:  Papercut Patterns Sapporo Coat
Completed and I love this coat!

I even made up another one, which needs at least a basic blog post.

Project Five:  Baby somethings!
Lots and lots of baby somethings have been made up. A blanket, dribble bibs, cardigans, mittens, hats, booties and a penguin cocoon.

Plus even more which hasn’t been blogged yet!

Project Six:  McCalls 6696
All completed and even used the fabric I thought I would use. Definitely a success.

Project Seven:  Teal tartan coat
This didn’t happen. Mr N doesn’t really like the fabric and I really wanted to make something with a hood. I couldn’t find anything which I liked and would work with the amount of fabric I had. 😦 I’m still keen to make something. I’ll continue looking, thinking, cogitating and ruminating.

Project Eight:  True Bias Ogden Cami
Strangely I only made up one, but used one of the fabrics I intended to use at least. I’m conscious this pattern needs some fixing for me, so I might even try something else. Or add bust darts to cater for an FBA.

Project Nine:  Nightwear
All done! This nightie is in constant use. The colours make me feel so cheerful when I wake up in the morning.

There will be a #2020MakeNine, I’m working these out at the moment!

Papercut Sapporo

It’s not often I feel the need to blog something as soon as I finish it, but this coat definitely warrants it! I’m in love straight away.   

Yes there are lots of these Papercut Sapporo coats in the wild, just a search in Google finds hundreds. I had to join the merry throng! I bought the pattern when it was first released around 18 months or more ago. It’s taken me this long to make it, simply because I didn’t know what to make it in! Of all my fabric in stash you’d have thought there would be something!

This woven fabric (not sure what it is) I saw in Philp Wrights in Whanganui last December. This travelling for work is not good for my stash! The lining is a silk from The Fabric Store, I saw somewhere on IG and I decided I had to buy it for the lining. After all who doesn’t want liquorice allsorts lining their coats?

I ummed and ahhed for a while for which size to make. I often make a L with an FBA with Papercut Patterns. Was it worth muslining, which size? In the end the awesome Sandra told me to go down a size, don’t muslin and just go for it. I’m glad I did. (Have you seen her gorgeous black and white Sapporo?) I love the shape of this coat which seems to suit so many people.

The construction, I actually found relatively painless. I think I finished this over the course of three weekends, so a pretty quick make. I had a printed pattern and I’m glad I did, some of those pieces are big! The main coat fabric I could cut either way up which was very useful for ensuring I didn’t waste fabric. The lining I had to make sure I cut the same way each time.

I had no problems with seams not matching and it just went together like a dream. All raw edges I finished with my overlocker. I used a mix of grey and pink for the main fabric. Well why not? It feels good to think that all the raw edges inside are tidy. I had no issues with the corners and am really happy with my hand sewing where I bagged it and also where I attached the lining to the coat.

I decided to make the sleeve cuffs as in the pattern. So have changed the inside cuff to be made from the lining, but my outer fabric is light enough to use for the inside cuff.

The details
Fabric:  Pink, grey and sparkly linen look fabric from Philp-Wrights in Whanganui, bought in December 2018. Liquorice Allsorts silk from The Fabric Store, December 2018. Both fabrics were bought specifically for this coat.
Notions:  Thread and interfacing.
Pattern:  Papercut Sapporo Coat, size S/M.
Changes made:  None at all.
Another one/recommendations: I am in love with my new coat and the best thing is, Mr N loves it too. I need to get out and wear it, although we’ve had a bit of a cold snap here recently and this one isn’t really meant for cold weather. Although there is lots of room for layers underneath.
I love the shape so much. I would definitely recommend one of these for everyone. I’ve seen them made in wool, in lightweight fabrics, all sorts in fact (geddit? 🙂 ) Such a great pattern which looks smart and casual at the same time and as with all Papercut Patterns is drafted so well. Just another of those patterns which makes you fall in love with Papercut!
This is another of my #2019makenine. I’m getting through them, there’s others I can tick off, but haven’t blogged yet either.


I’m jumping on the #makenine bandwagon this year. Why? Mm, well that’s a tough one. I often make way more than nine items so in theory it shouldn’t be a problem, but I normally make what I feel in the mood to make and don’t want to be beholden to some resolution I set in January, probably when I’m still in some kind of post holiday stupor! I go with the flow, shop my stash (or a shop on my work travels!), or I might shop my pattern collection and see if something takes my fancy.

My patterns I now have on Evernote, I think they are all there, apparently I have 374 patterns! Ouch! I’ve also just been through my fabric stash (thank you NZ public holidays and Christmas closure!) and measured/photographed everything to try to make a record of that. Next is to add that to either Evernote, Trello or a simple spreadsheet. I don’t know how many metres of fabric is there in total. A lot is the short answer! Too much, is another! 🙂 OK, I’ve done a quick tot up from my notes, there’s about 220m there! Double ouch! My name is Nikki and I have a fabric problem!

Truth be told, I’m a bit overwhelmed by it all at the moment. Going through has helped me find pieces I’d forgotten and those I’d really like to make up. I’m sure there are some I’m actually really never going to make either – time to bite the bullet and sell them off methinks. Here’s the nice tidy stash, which some of you might have seen on Instagram. I also have two baskets with lining fabrics and plain cottons, I’ve not included these.

Well that was a very long introduction and reasoning behind my joining the bandwagon for 2019. And so, without further ado and rambling on, here are my #2019MakeNine.

Project One:  Swimwear
We have a week in Rarotonga coming up in March and I’ve made one swimsuit (never blogged) and want to make another. I have this great swimsuiting fabric in stash to use. At the moment I’m torn between making up a one-piece or two-piece. My last swimsuit was the Closet Case Bombshell, which I love. I’m considering another Bombshell, the Closet Case Sophie or this Jazz tankini.

Project Two:  Burda 7767 (men’s shirt)
I’ve made a few of these shirts for Mr N and I have some pale blue and white striped cotton/linen in stash which will be perfect. So this should be a relatively quick make, once he’s decided if he wants long or short sleeves! 🙂

Project Three:  Frangipani dress
I bought this red fabric covered in frangipani when we were in Hawai’i a couple of years ago. I’m determined to make it up this year. I seem to have been searching for the perfect pattern, but in my head it’s a fit and flare with either cap or short sleeves. I reckon I should go with that. Probably darts rather than princess seams and a pleated skirt rather than gathers. I don’t have the Emery dress in my collect, but so many others which I can use, eg the Gather Kits Mortmain, which I made here; or Style 2721 (which is a princess seam and no sleeves, but a fab pattern made once years and years ago!)

Project Four:  Papercut Patterns Sapporo Coat
I’ve had this pattern since it was released and have been wanting to make it up. Every version I see I love. I was just wanting the perfect fabric. Now I have it and a lining to go with it 🙂 This coat will finally be made up. Like my fabric choices?

Project Five:  Baby somethings!
Some friends have babies due this year and so I’m going to be making something or multiple somethings for babies, be it a blanket (like I knitted here) or some dribble bibs, plus some clothes of some description. I’m not sharing too much since I don’t want said friends to start demanding and getting too much detail! 🙂

Project Six:  McCalls 6696
Finally, another pattern which has been in my collection for ages and ages and is also a big favourite in the sewing world. This classic shirt dress, I have been meaning to make for a while. I know which fabric to use, so finally this should be the year for me to use it!

Project Seven:  Teal tartan coat
This is some fabric I found in my stash this week while tidying and measuring. I’m determined to make it up. It’s been there a while! There’s about 1.8m worth of 150 wide. I need to have a think of a pattern. I’d like it to be hip or tunic length. I think a collar would be good, but not sure on v-neck or round. And I want long sleeves. I have a few patterns on my collection, the Style Arc Stella coat (but I’m not sure if it would work shortened) and this Lekala coat; also Burda 8172. There is also the Pauline Alice Ninot jacket. Finally, I also have this Prima pattern from 2007.

Project Eight:  True Bias Ogden Cami
Yep, this one. I have three of these already and love them. I have a couple of remnants in stash which I’ve bought and these are both earmarked to be Ogden camis. Why not? I’ve got the pattern to fit and the others get a lot of wear. These are the fabric choices.

Project Nine:  Nightwear
I’m not a fan of PJs really and also prefer knit fabrics to sleep in, since I toss and turn a lot, so my fabric has to stretch and move with me. I bought this knit from Spotlight not long ago and have already decided it will be more night clothes, since my others are getting very old with holes and need replacing! I will probably use this Prima pattern from 2010 and lengthen it. I’ve made the pattern three times already, twice as tops (one not blogged) and once already as a night shirt/dress (also not blogged) and it’s quick and easy to make.

Phew! So that is it. My #2019MakeNine. I have high hopes of actually achieving this. All fabric will come from stash and I’m also determined all patterns will come from my collection too. It’s going to be a lean year (famous last words…)

Linen Quart Coat

I’m so original with my titles! This coat is the first proper coat I’ve made and was a labour of love, but I’m really happy with the finished item. I have so many photos, this could be picture heavy…

So if you haven’t realised and you haven’t been following my Instagram feed with lots of photos, this is the Pauline Alice Quart Coat, a pattern I purchased as soon as it was released I loved it that much. It’s just taken a wee while to make it up. The coat has princess seams, pleats at the bottom of the side panels and a zipper fastening for the sleeves. So much to take your interest.

I finally found some fabric I was happy with to make this coat around 18 months ago. At the same time I got the pattern pieces ready and put together a muslin. That was where it ended up going in the too hard bracket and sat in the naughty corner for about 12 months!. The front armscye seemed so big, it was sticking out and really looked odd. So much excess fabric.

I finally started in earnest to fix it back in March this year. I took in the armscye and then had to make alterations to the princess seam. I ended up having to do a lazy FBA – I just extended the bust seam rather than use a slash and spread method.

After about three iterations of the front bodice and armscye, I finally felt happy to cut into my precious linen (after deciding which way round I wanted the fabric). I’d also finally bought some lining by this time too!

Next job – to apply interfacing to so many pieces, the sleeve heads, the hems, the whole front pieces, etc, etc. I recommend you do this to ensure it keeps shape when making up and wearing.

You’d have thought that once I’d got the fit sorted, all would be plain sailing. Nope! I think I must have unpicked and re-sewn nearly every seam on this coat. It took forever! So much unpicking! Even though I’d made so many muslins I still ended up making changes to the fit.

The pleats all say to face to the back in the instructions, this is fine until it gets to the lining. The instructions say to face the back, just like the shell, but this is not going to work if you’re going to attach the pleats to the shell. They need to be opposite. More unpicking. Plus also the pleats for the lining were too long, perhaps I didn’t cut the lining version shorter. Even so, they look longer on the Pauline Alice site than on my version.

The pattern also says to bag as little as possible, namely the fronts and including the neck, hand stitching the pleats and back. I decided to bag more having checked out Sewmanju‘s blog (who did the same), ie including the pleats and some of the back, leaving just a small amount to catch-stitch. The sleeve linings are catch-stitched to the sleeves.

This coat has both shoulder pads and sleeve heads. The latter stops the top of the sleeve collapsing below the shoulder pad. Sleeve heads were a new thing for me, so thankfully on Uncle Google and in a book in my own sewing library I found suggestions to make these using thick felt.

Somehow my lining wasn’t as big as it should have been and I didn’t have enough around to create the pleats at the neck, waist and hem. I don’t notice it.

I also had to shorten the sleeves, so adding the zip to the sleeves I had to adjust this too. I ended up misunderstanding how to add the lining bit for this and ended up unpicking – again! However, you can’t see that, the zip placement looks perfect with no problems!

Even though the coat is lined, all the seams are finished with my overlocker to keep it even eater inside.

The details
Fabric:  Shell – linen from The Fabric Store, Dec 2015?; Lining – polyester from The Fabric Warehouse, Mar 2017
Notions:  Thread (lots), interfacing, felt wadding, shoulder pads, antique brass zips (from The Fabric Warehouse), antique brass buttons (from Made Marion Craft), brown ribbon for a coat hook.
Pattern:  Pauline Alice Quart Coat, size 44
Changes made:  cheats FBA, took in the front armscye, shortened the sleeves.

Another one/recommendations:  Phew! Well after that, I love this coat and would recommend it as a coat pattern which stands out from the crowd, it has some great features such as the pleats, etc, I’m just not sure if I’m up to making another! Well not yet anyway but I do want to make another coat… My linen was possibly easier in some ways to make this, it pressed well well and it also meant seams were not too thick. I think using a wool it would be quite a different experience. My coat seems to have ended up bigger than my muslin making it look big, but hey, there’s room for layers underneath!

It was cold when Mel took these and I was glad for my coat and layers. She had a sleeveless dress needing photos!