Another Rose Tie Top

My Purple Rose Tie Top was such a success that I had to make another one.  This time in a black and white satin…but still with roses on it :-).  I made this one as a gift and Dear Husband has informed me that it will be way too big…doh!  Making clothes for other people is so difficult! Any way it’s in the mail so we’ll see how it turns out on the other side.


I used the same self-drafted pattern as before but I tweaked the back neck so it doesn’t sag as much and I like this result.  The ties are also a bit shorter (more due to fabric limitations than design choice), although I think I prefer the longer ties. The bust dart looks a bit weird in this photo.  I’m hoping it’s a photo thing and not a construction thing.  Could also be that it needs a better pressing.  (Note to self…must make a taylor’s ham soon!)


Any way I hope it’s not too big and the birthday girl likes it and can wear it (when the weather warms up).  I’ll keep you posted.

I might also have to make one of these for myself…

Stretchy sewing: Stretch block toile becomes wearable

I finally finished off my stretch block toile into a long sleeve T-shirt.  This has been sitting on my to-do list forever so I’m glad I’ve finally managed to get it done.  I scooped out the neck a bit and finished off the neckline with an open binding – if I can call it that.


The sleeves and hem are finished with a zig zag hem.  I contemplated trying a double needle finish but haven’t quite figured out how my machine deals with two cotton reels (I think I’m missing the detachable spindle). Also I didn’t have a matching pink thread.  (excuses…excuses…)


It’s a good little winter wardrobe number.  Although next time i think I would make it a bit tighter – there seems to be quite a bit of extra fabric under the arms.

I’m still experimenting with finishing off necklines, hems etc in knit fabric.  Do you have a favourite method that works like a charm?  I’d love to hear about it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Alisha has arrived!

I got a lovely suprise in the mail the other day when my Alisha pattern from Style Arc arrived.  This was the pattern that I chose as my prize for the Ziggi Sew along. I am excited to try this gorgeous dress out although with winter finally having arrived, I think it may have to wait for some warmer weather.  In the mean time I will dream of beautiful lace dresses and try not to buy too many options to fill by stash with.


Thanks, Style Arc!

Me-Made-May: The Grand Finale

I made it!!  I made it all the way through May wearing at least one Me-Made item every day.  And I didn’t even have to double up on items – I did wear the same thing more than once but on those occassions I also wore a unique item.  I also didn’t have to resort to wearing the quilt on our bed…although I did come close :-).  It has been a fun and interesting experience and has certainly made me wear some of my lesser worn items and rethink others.  I have also realised that I need to make some more trousers and long sleeve shirts because my winter Me-Made wardrobe is somewhat limited.  Thank you weather gods for an unseasonably warm May!

So here goes for my final installment for Me-Made-May ’14:

Thursday 22 May: The Red Rose Dress

This was one of my first dresses and I loved the pattern so much that I made all four of my bridesmaid’s dresses out of the same pattern.  I unfortunately don’t have the pattern with me but I believe it’s a Simplicity pattern and it’s really great – If anyone knows the number, please let me know.  The dress is made with a lovely cotton twill of red and black roses and red lining in the bodice. The belt is just two ribbons sewn together. I wore it to a friend’s book launch this week!

MMM_22 May red roseFriday 23 May: The Green Dress

Blogged about here. Worn to a ladies night out on the town.

MMM_23 May green dressSaturday 24 May: Aqua Twist Tie Top

Made in the nick of time and blogged about here.

MMM_24 May twist topSunday 25th May: Hubby Dress Shirt

Yes, yes, ok, I cheated here.  I had to call in some reinforcements and convinced Dear Husband to play along with MMM by wearing the first shirt I made for him.  It’s not perfect but still like it…especially the contrasting collar stand and cuffs.

MMM_25 May mens shirt Monday 26th May: Grey Neck Tie Dress

Made from the same pattern as the Green Bamboo Shift Dress (New Look 6968) with a neck tie variation and capped sleeves.  A great little work dress.  Next time I’ll have to drop the waist a few centimetres.

MMM_26 May necktie dressTuesday 27th May: The Brown Owl Apron

A self-drafted apron pattern for being in the kitchen.  The neck loop is a little too small  – might need to add some length or make it stretchy…  I love the brown owl and apple printed cotton (a good heavier weight for keeping out the spills).

MMM_27 May owl apronWednesday 28th May: The Lovely Brown Trousers

My first (and only so far) trousers made back in ancient sewing history in 2011 when I was taking my first sewing class. There are a few spots of bother but on the whole they are great and I am in love with the pocket detail.  Amazing what a bit of piping and contrast fabric can do :-).  Now if I could only find this pattern I would make them again…

MMM_28 May pantsThursday 29th May: The Gardening Shirt

My work horse Gardening shirt getting put through her paces during upholstery course.  And Edith photobombing!

MMM_29 May Farm shirtFriday 30th May: Red Sparkly Flapper

My red sequined dress inspired by 1920s flapper dresses and originally made for a friend’s wedding.  On this day I wore it to a Friday evening work drinks – Yes VERY overdressed!  But I figured it was the Grand Finale to Me-Made-May so why not?!  (sorry about photo quality)MMM_30 May sparklesSaturday 31st May: Moo PJ pants

Last but not least comfy cotton Moo-cow pajama pants made from a self drafted pattern off an old pair.  Next time I need to add a bit more length in the rise because I feel they sit a little too low.  But super comfy and a good way to end Me-Made-May.  It’s been great.  Thanks for joining.

MMM_31 May Moo PJGood night all 🙂




The Transformation of Edith, the Gossip chair

For the month of May, besides wearing Me-Made items and trying to finish up some sewing projects, I have been taking an evening class on furniture rehabiliation and upholstery.  Our teacher, the wildly talented and passionate Maaike of Maaike Furniture Resurrection, fearlessly led us through unchartered (for me) territory of ‘real’ furniture upholstery. And so a dream was realised and Edith was given a second life.


I met Edith when she was in a very dark place in her life.  She was abandoned on the side of the street, her vinyl skin faded, and her inards falling out. I could see she had potential and with a bit of love could be restored to her former glory.  So with an awkward walk home, carrying a decaying Occasional chair, I saved Edith from Furniture Death Row and the fatal crunch of the Monday morning rubbish truck jaws.


Dear Husband was not highly impressed to have his precious garage space taken up with a dust bucket so Edith was relegated to the balcony to await the furniture resurrection workshop.


And so began the journey of my Thursday evening escapades at Maaike’s studio in Darlinghurst with friend, Rochelle, forgotten dinners, fun music, broken nails, sore hands, dusty clothes and huge smiles and an enormous sense of satisfaction.  The first step was to strip Edith right down to her naked self.  Every tack and staple had to come out.  All her guts and rotten springs were removed and she was left as bare bones and vulnerable – which she didn’t enjoy. But it gave us a chance to envisage the new Edith.Image

I then set up the structure of webbing pulled tight (with nifty little jigs) and nailed in with tacks.


New springs were added and painstakingly stitched onto the webbing and knotted and tied down with string that was stapled to the frame.  This is to make sure the springs don’t shift and only ever spring up and down rather than warping forwards or sideways.


A layer of hesian went over the springs and more stitching and knotting to hold them in place.  Then I stitched in some ‘bridles’ which were stuffed with teased coconut husk.  This was a seriously dusty exercise and had me sneezing all evening.  And Edith suddenly looked all wild and scary and I had a hard some seeing how she’d get her elegance back.


But another layer of hesian plus a clever roll on the front edge under the hesian and she started looking like a chair.


Two layers of foam came next  – one on the top, and a thinner one to the frame edge. And then a layer of flock to smooth out some of the edges.


And finally the top fabric goes on.  I chose a gorgeous vintage upholstery fabric from Maaike’s stash.  I think it’s of silk (maybe polyeser given it’s 70s history) with a metallic sheen and payful green geometric shapes.  I LOVE this fabric but I’m not going to lie it was NOT the easiest to work with.  It doesn’t always sit well, I had to be careful of matching shapes and every now and then it decided to rip (the most terrifying sound ever).  But we managed to hide most transgressions and it was well worth the effort.


Bottom done. Back getting it’s foam over webbing and hesian.


Nearly there…


A bit of coffee sacking for the back, more flock and the final cover piece.Image

Ta Daaahhhh.  She’s done!!  One beautifully elegant and graceful Edith and one Very happy Mary :-).  Edith now has pride of place in our home although no sweaty cyclists are allowed near her.




Edith is already attracting attention on the World Wide Web on Maaike’s Facebook page.  And I’m looking forward to a long happy relationship.  When I showed a picture of the completed Edith to a friend she said “ooh…it’s a Gossip chair!  You sit with your friend, sipping your tea and gossiping.”  Well I only have one Edith (for now)  so she and I will be doing the gossiping 🙂

Thank you Maaike for a fabulous workshop and thanks, Rochelle for joining me on the journey.  What’s next?