Shorts are my favourite thing to wear

I have just returned from an extended holiday in Queensland.  I only took a handful of outfits and wore them over and over.  I love warm weather and I loved that I could wear shorts every day.  I made these green shorts a few months ago, but only wore them for the first time on holiday.  I didn't iron much on holiday, so they are a little crushed.

The pattern is from La Mia Boutique, with the same changes as my previous pair using this pattern.

The fabric is a tencel twill from MaaiDesign.  I wondered if the shorts were a fraction too loose and long, but tencel is notorious for ongoing shrinkage, so I have left them for now.

The colour is gorgeous and also paired nicely with a white linen shirt as one of my other holiday outfits.


Crazy Christmas Cozzies

Merry Christmas everybody!!  I've scheduled this post to pop up on Christmas, as I imagine I will be too busy celebrating with my family to blog, but I didn't want to spoil the surprise by posting this earlier.

About a month before Christmas, one of my teenage sons suggested that we have matching swimmers for Christmas (we did something similar for Australia Day once).  Not everybody was keen on the idea.  My daughter only came on board if she got input into the fabric choice.  We went straight to funkifabrics.  None of the Christmas prints appealed, but the gelato flamingo print made us laugh.  I ordered a few metres and was grateful that funkifabrics ship really quickly.  Only then I got carried away, and decided to sew up a storm and include quite a few members of our extended family in this project.  I'm not sure how many of them will wear them, and I am certain that not many photos will be allowed, but here is what I sewed.

For my youngest nephew

Top: Jalie 3668 Valerie
Bottoms: Jalie 3887 Clara Leggings
 (Both in size F, I have never traced off a Jalie pattern this small.  So cute!)

For my youngest niece
Top: Jalie 3247
Shirt:  Kwiksew 2889 (OOP)
Bottoms:  from the old patternschool site

For the teen boy who requested matching swimmers in the first place
Top:  Jalie 3668 Valerie, with the hips slimmed down and cuffs on the sleeves
Bottoms:  Jammers modified from Jalie 2563

For a sporty niece
Top:  Jalie 3247
Bottoms: copied from RTW

For one of the uncles
Pattern:  Bruce briefs by Joost de Kock at freesewing

For a bunch of nephews
Pattern:  Bruce briefs by Joost de Kock at freesewing
They can wear these under their board shorts or wetsuits.

For one grown up and one teen
Jalie 3885 Gerald.  Both of these versions were shortened.

For the teen girls
Top:  my own pattern
Bottom:  Her own pattern

Top: my own pattern
Bottom:  Swimstyle heiress bikini
(This was made late in the process, and I forgot to pay attention to print placement.  Oops, not sure if it will be suitable for pubic swimming).

For me
Jalie 3668 Valerie

Also for me

Swimsuit traced off RTW

I hope you're all having a wonderful day.  Best wishes, and happy sewing in 2020 xx


20s inspired dress

As part of my "Make Sewing Fun Again" directive, I made a 20's inspired dress.

I have more photos than usual, so you can see all the angled pieces and godet and handkerchief inserts.  I got a lot of practice sewing inset corners on this dress.

The fabric and ribbon was purchased from the Alannah Hill Outlet in Fitzroy during my holiday earlier this year.  The outer is a polyester georgette and the inner is a polyester satin.  I was looking at patterns and directions to draft patterns for a 20's dress, but then I decided I could achieve a more flattering result by adapting a more modern pattern.  

I started with the OOP Vogue 1175 Donna Karan pattern (so, so sad that there are no more Donna Karan and DKNY patterns from Vogue).

Image result for vogue 1175

I can't remember all the changes I made, but here is a photo I took whilst cutting out the back.  I used the back lining instead of the pleated back outer.  I extended the lining to the shape shown by the right-angled ruler.  The CB is actually a bit short and the lining hangs below it, so I should have lengthened this all by about 5 cm.  I then cut godets to insert in the back skirt.

For the front of the dress, I used the top half of the pattern, with fitting changes to raise the depth of the V.  I didn't use the pleated secion of the bottom skirt, instead inserting  handkerchief  inserts segments.

I sewed the dart in the front bodice before sewing rows of ribbon on top.  I used large seam allowances in case the piece "shrunk" with all the sewing of the ribbon.  I didn't have specific plans when I bought the fabric and ribbon, but I wish I had bought twice as much ribbon so that the ribbon was more densely spaced.

I used silk crepe for the lining, that I had dyed and not used for a previous project.  The colour match was pretty good.  The polyester georgette did not press well, so I used a technique that my high school teacher made us use that I have never seen anywhere else.  It involves basting all around the edges to hold the layers where you want them, then pressing, then removing the basting stitches.  As a high school student I could not see the point of this technique at all, but it seems to have served me well here.

Photos before pressing

Photo after pressing

It was fun :)


More swimmers, 2019

It took me a while to find my groove sewing swimmers for me this year.

First I made this gorgeous one-piece.  My training suit was perishing and I was in quick need of a new one.  I woke early one morning, about 4:30 am, and thought, "If I don't waste time, I'll be able to quickly sew up a swimsuit before I go to the pool this morning".  I was efficient.  I would have got this make in under an hour, only when I went to put it on to determine the strap length, I couldn't get it up over my hips.  In my hurry, I had pulled out my daughter's pattern and not mine.  To make matters worse, she has grown so much since I last sewed her a swimsuit, that it doesn't even fit her.  I am hoping this fits one of my nieces.  The fabric is from Funkifabrics.

Next I tried the Megan Nielsen Cotteslow pattern.  I chose a size based on my bust, but as I later discovered when I sewed a Jalie top, I need to sew for my upper chest size, not my bust.  I know other sewers have said that they swim laps in their Cottesloe, but it does not work for me.  It is too high under the arms.  I started to chafe just driving to the pool, and was glad I took a back-up swimsuit with me.  I have since passed this onto a friend.  The fabric is from Tessuti.

Then I was thinking more of a beach bikini, and I made the SwimStyle Celeste Bikini.  I first made a size M, based on my bust size, but it was so big that I couldn't wear it.  After comparing the patterns to some others I have used, I decided to have another go using size S and shortening the straps.  This fit okay, but the style does not really suit me.  The fabric is a new ribbed lycra at Funkifabrics.  I haven't made bottoms to match this one, because I am not sure what to do with it.

I was getting a bit frustrated by this point, so I decided to return to an old pattern.  I don't think I have ever blogged this one.   It was a mash-up of a Jalie, my self-drafted, with some style lines from Lily Sage's Coco racer, which at the time had only been published in girl sizes.    This fabric is from Funkifabrics and left over from jammers I made my son, but it turns out I really like wearing sharks!


I have since purchased the Lily Sage Spring Racer, but I don't think it has as much bum coverage as my mash-up, so I decided to stick with my mash up.  Here is my new swimsuit.  It is very comfortable and fits perfectly.  Once again, the fabric is from Funkifabrics, this time leftover from sewing for my daughter.

 Then I decided to make another version with a tie back, because my daughter tells me she finds it really convenient being able to adjust the tie.  To work out how to do the tie-back, I looked at an Amanzi suit that she was given that is too big for her.  I tried it on and was surprised how well it fit, so I did a rub-off and now I have another pattern that fits.  The legs are a little higher than my other pattern, and the back cut a little lower, but the bum coverage is good.  This fabric is from Pitt Trading.

I was getting good mileage from my lycra remnants and scraps and found that I could just squeeze a training bikini from these Funkifabric scraps.  The top is Jalie 3886 Julia, following the Jalie tutorial to remove the bust darts and making the straps with rubber elastic and nylon lycra.  The bottoms were cutout suing the one-piece above as a guide, with some shaping added to a CB seam because I did not have enough fabric to cut the back in one piece.  

I bought a Blu-print subscription for the year and watched Beverley Johnson's class on sewing swimwear.  I followed some of the steps in her class to modify the Megan Nielsen Cottesloe pattern to have a keyhole back with a clasp closure and sewed a swimsuit for my Mum as her Christmas present.  (I am hoping that she doesn't read my blog whilst she is away from home so this won't spoil the Christmas surprise.  I have put it way down in the blog post).  I also sewed in a shelf bra in addition to the lining and added pre-formed cups.  This is a bit tricky to do when you don't have the person to try on the swimsuit, but I guess if they are in the wrong place, she can cut the shelf bra out and have a regular swimsuit.

So at the end of all that I have 3 new swimsuits for training, 3 suits to give away and an orphan bikini top.


Digital Print Silk Dress

This is another catch-up blog for a dress I made more than a year ago.  The warmer weather has me reaching for looser fit dresses.

I hoarded this fabric for ages.  It is a digital print silk crepe.  I'm not sure that the final dress is worthy of the stash time though.

The pattern is another version of my self-drafted tank dress.  I added some new features, by shaping the neckline, adding pockets and sewing a high-low hem.

I think that the hem doesn't really work with the loose skirt and maybe that is why I don't wear this more.  I am wondering if I should take to it with the scissors and un-picker and make it an even hem?