Well hello there!

We have upped, moved and landed in the NT, the land of year-long summer sewing.

It seems that there has been a lot going on in blog land.  A big shout out to Liza Jane, who has the best reason ever for sewing stylishly comfortable clothes.  I am sad to see that Mary Nanna has closed up shop.  She was one of my most favourite bloggers ever, and I am keeping her on my blog roll because I am secretly hoping that she will change her mind.  Amy, over at Cloth Habit, has released her first pattern, and I confess, the very first thing I did when I got the internet on was to download the pattern and make it up (well, it did take a long time for that month's worth of emails to download and her pattern is such a jiffy little number).  My version turned out fabulous, if I do say so myself, and I will share it with you sometime in the next few blog posts.  Kbenco is sewing up a storm for her daughter's formal dress and Little Betty is still churning out the garments, though personally, I am coveting her recovered chair.

My sewing machine (and other household items) arrived here sooner than I expected, so I have something to show you.  It arrived long before my car, when I was walking everywhere, even in the middle of the day.  I desperately needed more clothes that covered my shoulders and decollete, so that I wouldn't burn to a crisp with all that walking, so I started with a shirt.

The pattern was inspired by one out of a Patrones magazine.  I didn't used the Patrones pattern because I wanted to develop my own shirt block and make the pattern from that block.

Last year, I went to a workshop at Spotlight with Connie Crawford, to promote her patterns.  We tried on one of her shirts.  I wish I had taken a photo of me wearing her shirt, so I could see how well it fit once I got home.  The shirts were made out of a heavy crepe, which is a forgiving fabric, fit wise.  She told me that all I needed to do was raise the shoulder by half an inch and I could use any of her patterns.  I was a bit confused, because I thought she put me in the size bigger than my bust size, and even I could see that the seams wouldn't close at the hips.  Anyway, I bought the pattern and decided to make a muslin, starting with the pattern as-is, except for raising the shoulder.  I had just bought The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting by Sarah Veblen,  which is very good, but I found fitting myself to be an immensely frustrating process. 

For starters, the bust point appeared to be too low (which I don't remember from the fitting), so I moved that, which wasn't too hard.  Then I thought it needed to come in in the upper torso and out for the hips and there were a few other wrinkles and pulls happening.  3 muslins in and I thought I was getting close.  There was funny stuff happening at the shoulder so I made a slash there, just to see what would happen, and my whole shoulder burst through.  So then I gave up and draped myself a block on my body double.  The final version doesn't look too far off the Connie Crawford pattern, but I think I did need changes at the shoulder line which should have been made before all the other changes.  There is a little too much ease in the shoulder cap, which is okay for this fabric and style, but I will need to work on that for my next version.  I can swing my arms forward with no binding what-so-ever, which I am happy about.

The shirring on the front neck is just a pretty feature and doesn't incorporate any darting or design features.  I added some width in across the back and shirred it too, just to match in with the front.  This does make the shirt a little too billowy at the back and I am wondering if I should add another group of shirring at the small of my back.

The fabric is a beautiful cotton that I picked up in Japan on holidays 2 years ago.  Cotton fabrics there were very well priced, if you don't take the airfare into account!

I'm glad to be back in blogland, and whilst I have read much of what you have all written, I will only start commenting from this point forward...the absence of my comments does not mean that I don't think that you all are sewing fabulous stuff!  xx


  1. Glad to hear from you and hearing all is well. Looking forward to seeing yor projects again.

  2. I love your new shirt! It's cute and clever and a bit unique without being OTT. I am also sad to see Mary Nanna go, I too loved her blog and admired her.

  3. Love your new top. It looks perfectly lovely both open and buttoned up. The shirring is very groovy too and adds a whole interest factor that you don't normally see on collared-button ups. I'd say the score stands at Katherine-1, Sun-0.

  4. welcome back to blogland! i love this top, especially the sweet shirring details.

  5. I can tell from your photos that the sun is insane there! Love your top. That fabric is the most beautiful shade of peachy-pink. Glad your move went well.

  6. Perhaps I'm the only one who doesn't know what the "NT" is, but the fact is that I have no clue. So if you don't mind sharing, what is the NT?

    1. NT is the Northern Territory - a state in the northern, middle section of Australia. Very hot and dry in the middle and very hot and humid on the coast.

  7. I'm glad to see you have your priorities in order, sewing machine before car sounds most suitable :)
    Your blouse is lovely, such a pretty colour and the shirring looks great.
    I admire your perseverence with the Connie Crawford pattern, it sounds like a different shape from you.

  8. I love the shirring on your top.

  9. Beautiful fabric and top! Congrats on the move!

  10. Good to see you back. All year round summer sewing then..?

  11. Welcome to the Territory! That top looks perfect for the climate doesn't it?

    Hey as for the land of year-long summer sewing, I've been trying to finish a jacket for a bit of warmth in the evenings for an upcoming trip down south. I'm so struggling with it. Too hot, even with the aircon on.

    Glad your precious sewing machine wasn't too far behind you. But no car? *gulps* You were brave to leave the house!

  12. Welcome Back! Your shirt looks very pretty. Love the feminine style.

  13. Welcome back! Glad the move went well... and you have your car! This is a pretty shirt, especially the fabric. I'd love to get my hands on some pretty Japanese cotton.