Tried and tested

I’ve a few things here which I’ve made up before and in the interests of completeness, I’m blogging these.

Ogden Cami

Another one of these was on my Make Nine, but it’s such a useful top that I had to make another. This border print fabric came from Tessuti in Melbourne. It was a remnant and is a beautiful silk.

I made my normal changes, so I’ve raised the front neckline, widened the straps and also lengthened the facing by a couple of inches. There’s possibly some more adjustments I could make to this pattern to fit properly, such as a proper FBA and adding darts, but I’m lazy and hence I’ve not done it.

The facing I’ve made from a plain black silk which I had in my stash.

The details
Fabric:  Black silk border print from Tessuti and a black silk from stash (I think it was from the Fabric Warehouse)
Notions:  Thread
Pattern:  True Bias Ogden cami, size 14
Changes made:  Raised the front neckline, lengthened the lining/facing, widened the straps

Recommendations/Another one:  Mm, well this is version 4! I definitely do recommend this pattern, but be careful you may need to make changes. I love it and I wear all of mine a lot. No doubt there will be another one!

Blue skirt

This is a self-drafted pattern. I’ve made up three like this now. This white and pink one and a rust coloured version. The shaped basque comes from a Prima magazine pattern and is shortened by a couple of inches. The skirt is just a basic rectangle pleated to fit. Each time I set the pleats to get an inverted pleat at the centre front and back.

The skirt is fastened with a lapped zip in the side seam. It doesn’t have pockets! 😦 I probably ought to put pockets in, but have never really thought about it!

This fabric was another remnant which came from The Fabric Warehouse in Wellington and is a lovely heavier viscose. It has a lovely drape and also doesn’t crease a great deal.

There was little if nothing left over from this skirt and I had to use hug snug to hem the skirt.

The deets
Fabric:  Blue viscose remnant from The Fabric Warehouse, which has been in my stash a couple of years.
Notions:  Thread, interfacing, dress zip and hug snug
Pattern:  The basque is from a Prima pattern, the rest is self-drafted
Changes made:  I shortened the basque by a couple of inches. The details are in the posts from the previous skirts

Another one/recommendations:  Considering I’ve made up three skirts like this, it’s definitely a tried and tested pattern, but I guess it’s difficult to recommend since it’s not a freely available pattern! If the right fabric comes up, I wouldn’t be surprised if I made another version!

Muse Hipi Top

This top/T-shirt was released earlier this year. It was a pattern I was lucky to test and made a navy blue cotton t-shirting. This fabric is a very drapey viscose knit from my stash. I think I possibly got this from Fabric-a-Brac. This is a lot of this fabric! It has a texture to it. (I also have some in a dark grey which I used to make up a nightie.)

I made the same size as last time and also lengthened the t-shirt this time. The idea originally was for a longer loose fit top I could use for the gym and for Pilates. Well that didn’t really work, since it’s not a long as I need for Pilates and also keeps riding up when I lift my arms up.

On the other hand, I’ve used this as an easy to wear t-shirt and it’s already had a lot of wear! It’s been in constant demand in my wardrobe. I call that a success.

Due to the drapey-ness (is that a word) of this fabric, this version has ended up really oversized, and I definitely think I might make a size smaller next time.

The details
Fabric: White textured viscose knit from Fabric-a-Brac.
Notions:  Thread and white tape for the shoulders
Pattern: Muse Patterns Hipi top, size 40, short-sleeved, crew neck version
Changes made:  I lengthened this by a couple of inches.
Another one/recommendations:  This is number 2, but I don’t think it will be the last. I’m definitely looking at what I can use to make another one. May be something cosy to make a sweater version for the winter.

Muse Patterns Hipi Top

I wasn’t expecting to be able to fit in pattern testing this year, mainly because I’m determined to sew from stash so it depends on the fabric requirements. I also am determined to complete my #2019makenine.

When the call went out for this top, however, I decided I could definitely make time to try it out and could use fabric from stash. So, welcome Muse Patterns latest release, the Hipi top.

This is a loose-fitting top with seams running from the half-way along the shoulder seams to the hem. This side bodice also encompasses the sleeve, creating a batwing sleeve. There are two neck options, a crew neck and scoop neck. There are also two sleeve options, short and long and two hem options, a band hem or regular turned under hem. The loose-fit style means it’s possible to make this in a woven fabric.

I made the short-sleeve, crew neck version with the turned-under hem. The fabric is a navy cotton knit, left over from the navy Nina cardigan I made about three years ago! There was just enough to cut this out, although it was not fun. The fabric was way off grain, the sides curled so much making it difficult to line up the seams, as well as even just cutting out! The image below shows how off grain this fabric is. The red line showing the line and the green where it should be!

All being told, this went together very quickly. I managed to get it sewn up in one evening. 🙂 The main seams were all sewn on my overlocker. The pattern doesn’t ask for top stitching on the sleeve bands, but I couldn’t get them to lay flat, so added this step. I then used my double needle to finish the hem.

The details
Fabric: Navy cotton jersey knit, from The Fabric Warehouse in 2015.
Notions:  Thread and black tape for the shoulders
Pattern: Muse Patterns Hipi top, size 40, short-sleeved, crew neck version
Changes made:  None
Another one/Recommendations: I’ve made a number of Muse Patterns and this is another winner. So quick and easy to make up. The drafting as always is spot on. This is such a wearable top which I reckon is going to be a wardrobe winner. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. It’s also possible to get this out of minimal fabric if it’s non-directional. (I had 0.8m of 160cm wide fabric.) I’m already looking at my stash to see what I can make the next one in. Mm, thinks, merino, winter is coming.
There have already been some awesome versions of this on Instagram. Some with a mix of woven for the front and back and a knit for the side pieces. I have so many ideas now going around in my head for different versions to use up small pieces of fabric which for some strange reason I may have kept in stash!
As always the funds from the first week will be going to a local community/charity. For the Hipi top, they will be donated to the fund for the Christchurch shooting victims. A cause which is very close to our hearts here in NZ currently.

Muse Natalie and Lady Skater

These two dresses are remakes of previous patterns.

Muse Natalie

I love my other Natalie dress and really wanted to make another since the pale grey one is worn loads during the cooler months.

This fabric came from Levana and was a complete and utter nightmare to cut on the grain. It was seriously off grain and twisted throughout. I had to cut everything on a single layer, rather than on the fold or two sleeves at once. Consequently I did wonder if this would be a disaster, but it has actually worked out well and gets as much wear as the grey version.

The details
Fabric:  Pale green-blue polyester knit from Levana, Levin, I think bought at the end of 2016.
Notions:  Thread, interfacing and some cotton tape to stabilise the shoulders.
Pattern:  Muse Patterns Natalie dress, size 38
Changes made:  None

Another one/recommendations:  I would recommend this as a quick comfy make. The style lines are great, and makes it that little bit different. I made this one nearly a year ago and that I makes two which are both in constant wear.

Lady Skater

Another secret pyjama dress! This is my third lady skater. Actually I’ve noticed that the second was never blogged. Mm, OK, I’ll add that in here too!

The second was made straight after finishing my first I loved it that much. I made this second one from a plain black merino which came from Levana. I made a couple of changes from the first one, I raised the back neckline by about half inch and again raised the front by around an inch. It meant I needed to shorten the neck binding. Fortunately that worked really easily.

I also shortened the bodice again by around half inch. I only lengthened the skirt by around an inch. The other change was to remove the cuffs and finish the sleeves with a plain hem and double needle.

The third version I just wanted to make something quick and easy for instant gratification and when I didn’t have much time available. I’d gone to the Fabric Warehouse to buy fabric specifically with something in mind and saw this beautiful blossom print. I thought initially it was a woven chambray, but it was a beautiful terry knit! It didn’t take a lot of umming and ahhing for me to decide I needed this fabric and I knew exactly what to make up. I bought way too much, but have plans for this…

So for this version I decided with the summery fabric to make it with short sleeves. The neckline is the same as the black version, so the back raised by half inch and the front by an inch. Looking at it I could have shortened the bodice by a bit more. I think this knit is weighing it down, but hey, I’m not intending to change it now!

The deets
Fabric:  Pale blue terry knit with blossom from the Fabric Warehouse and black merino from Levana.
Notions:  Thread, tape for shoulders and clear elastic for waist.
Pattern:  Kitschy Coo Lady Skater dress, size 6 with short sleeves for the blue version and 3/4 sleeves for the black version
Changes made:  Raised the front neckline by an inch, raised the back neckline by half inch, shortened the bodice by 1/2 inch and lengthened the skirt by about 1.5 inches.

Recommendations:  I love this dress so much. both the blue and the black merino one have had so much wear. They are easy to style and easy to wear. The blue blossom version has been worn for evenings out too. I don’t follow the instructions at all. There are two sets, some for those who require lots of help and those who think they know it all, but may need some guidance. Of course, then there are the daft people like me who just go it alone! 🙂 #iliketosewdangerously

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!

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!


Muse Rua

Another fab new pattern from Muse Patterns which I was lucky enough to test.

img_1438On the website the Rua tee and dress are described as “perfect all year round. Featuring a semi-loose fitting bodice, a scoop neckline, two sleeve designs (a short puffed sleeve with cuff band, or a classic sleeve with a lightly gathered sleeve head), three sleeve lengths, and the choice of cropped tee, banded tee, hip-length tee, or dress.”

screenshot-2017-02-07-21-08-23I was in need of another white t-shirt (a girl can never have enough) and made up the hip-length with short sleeves. And it’s a great addition to my wardrobe. I need to make more!

img_1436I made a size 38 following my full bust measurement. I have just an inch between high and full bust, so I went for the full bust size. Personally for me, this may be an inch or so too long, but that’s mainly because I rarely wear jeans or trousers, but I prefer a longer tee over my skirts rather than a cropped tee.

img_1440The instructions as always were clear as a button. I’m a pictures person, not words and so follow the images for most instructions. The pattern layout all good. My fabric was wide enough to fold in both selvedges and cut the front and back that way. Minimal fabric use.

2017-01-11-20-30-17The facing for the hip-length version is quite different and I wondered how this was going to work. It is a really nice feature and makes the hem lay flat and sit on the hips really nicely. It also saves the use of a double needle for the hem.

img_1442So what’s the difference between this and something like the Renfrew? For a start, check out those options. For US$12, you have three different tee lengths and a dress, not to mention four different sleeve lengths. What a bargain. I personally think the fit is great. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. This longer line tee has more shape than a Renfrew and I really love the facing for the hem which gives a smooth finish. Kat has gone into a lot of work to get this ready and it definitely shows with the finished product.

img_1431The deets
Fabric:  White cotton jersey knit. I can’t remember where I got it from, but it’s good quality and has a great recovery
Notions:  Thread and tape for the shoulder seams
Pattern:  Muse Patterns Rua Tee and Dress, size 38
Changes made:  None
Another one/recommendations:  I would definitely recommend this. It’s quick and easy to sew up, the fit is really good and there are so many options in the pattern it’ll keep you going for ages, always making something different. I can definitely see another one in my future, even another white one, simply because I like white tees. Watch this space!

img_1445Excuse the photos in this, it was one of our few sunny days this summer and I happened to be wearing a white tee – sun and white fabrics don’t really match with photos! Oh and it was windy too – I do live in Wellington after all 🙂


All opinions above are honest and my own. I was given a copy of this pattern for testing purposes only.


A trio of patterns plus the odd photobomb by small human

Not really the title I was going to use, but hey, it kinda fits in with how a lot of my photos came out! The photos were taken up on the Southern Walkway after a lovely high tea at the SPCA where Kat‘s youngest wanted his part in the photos!

I have three new makes in this post which are all repeats.

IMG_0171Lindy Petal Skirt

This is the fourth version of this skirt! It’s quick and easy to make and is a really pick me up when you want something simple and satisfying to sew.IMG_0205Honestly not much to say on this one, I just did my standard adjustment to the size M, which was to lengthen the skirt by 1.5 inches.

IMG_0190The details

Fabric: Black and red double knit with a texture on one side from The Sewing Store in Blenheim, April 2016.
Notions: Thread and knitted elastic for the waistband.
Changes made: Lengthened by about an inch and half
Recommendatons: This is my fourth version of this pattern, need I say more. Versions one and two are here, and it looks like three wasn’t blogged!

Jenna jumper

This is the third version of this pattern. Second as a top. This time I used the Peter Pan collar from the expansion pack and added some buttons for added interest.

IMG_0188The collar is really easy to attach and is finished using bias binding on the inside. It took ages to decide on the buttons. I thought about using  one single colour, but in the end the three different colours seemed right.

FullSizeRenderThe sleeves I extended the top by about half inch, just because I wanted a bit more gathers around the sleeve top.

IMG_0187The deets
Fabric:  A fine textured cream knit from somewhere!
Notions:  Thread, three buttons, bias binding, interfacing for the collar and some tape to stabilise the shoulders
Pattern:  Muse Jenna cardigan, size 40 with both the sleeve expansion pack and Jenna expansion pack
Changes made:  Cut the front on the fold to create a jumper, extended the sleeve tops by half inch and added three buttons down the front.
Another one/recommendations:  You know you want to make this! There are so many different options with the expansion packs giving you the option to make so many different versions of this pattern. Versions one and two are here.

Juliet cardi

So the second version of this cardigan. A draped cardigan designed by the Crazy Gypsy’s mum, her pattern line is Apples and Pears.

IMG_0175Since I made my first version, the flounce has been changed slightly to make that bottom V on the back,  its a lot easier to sew. I didn’t have any issues this time at all.

IMG_0183My fabric choice was not great. Yes it’s perfect for the draped effect this cardigan needs, but it’s really loosely woven and so the cardigan has ended up quite a bit bigger than my previous version. The sleeves may need taking in at the bottoms…

The details
Fabric:  A fine red merino from Levana (sometime this year!) It was woven as a circular piece, so I actually had two folds and no selvedge.
Notions:  Thread and some tape to stabilise the shoulders
Pattern:  Apples and Pears Juliet Cardigan, size 16.
Changes made:  None.
Another one/recommendations:  Obviously since this is the second time I’ve made this pattern, it’s one I would recommend. I have some more fabric to make another. I just love the back V. It just adds something extra. Version one is here.