Megan Nielson Perfect Nursing & Maternity top

Whhhaaaaaatttttt??? Pregnant!!???

No my friends. I am not in that kind of way, but my sister is and I’ve been putting my sewing powers to good use and making for the lady with the baby.

My sister arrived in Australia from Canada in December with Megan Nielson’s Perfect Nursing and Maternity top pattern and a piece of really nice Liberty knit fabric – Oh my the fabric! She came requesting ‘help’ to make one. “Yeah, yeah” I say. “Give it here”.

The finished top is quite nice. It fits well and Sarah says it’s comfortable. I toiled the pattern using some basic grey t-shirt fabric from my stash as I couldn’t bring myself to cut into the Liberty without testing first. The fit was spot on. There is a little more room for her to grow and the top has that funny under thing for breast feeding. I didn’t know these tops existed when feeding my little ones, but they sure look handy for keeping things discreet.

The pattern came together easily with no dramas. Most of the top was constructed on my overlocker, except for the hems. For any machine sewing I used a zig zag stitch, set to .5mm wide.

My sister and her family are back home now and enjoying some cool freezing Toronto weather, just as we are preparing for a scorcher with temps over 40!

We actually discussed our bushfire safety plan last night. I’m sure you’ve noticed the trees over my back fence in my photos. There are many and they are close and they connect to a national park, so we are somewhat at risk. My husband wanted to show me how to use the fire hoses, but my plan, with three kids, is to leave early and stay at mum’s. She has a pool and good AC 🙂

Stay cool and stay safe friends.

Thurlow toile = awesome!

Tasia has done it again! She’s taken a simple garment and made it fit so, so well!!


The fit of this first toile is AMAZING!! You hear? AH-MAY-ZING!

I wasn’t terribly excited about the Thurlow pattern when it was first released. I normally wear straight leg pants and sewing pants can be rather tedious with fitting. I should note that I’ve felt similarly un-excited when I first saw the Renfrew pattern. But then I made it, it looked awesome, the finish and fit were fab and I was super-duper happy.

So to alleviate any pattern purchase regret (you know you’ve felt it!), I borrowed Rachel’s pattern and traced away. Rather than modify the leg once the toile was constructed, I spent quite some time prior to sewing, slimming and straightening the leg, using a RTW favourite as a guide.

My pant leg both front and back, is 8.5 inches wide inc SA from knee down

I’m so glad I took the time to modify the leg prior to sewing as I was able to ensure the legs remained on the grain and didn’t twist, which is a problem I’ve had before.

The only two changes I made to the fit was to sew deeper seams along the sides, about 2-2.5cms and I took a small dart out under the bumba area, which I’ve now been able to fold out of the pattern piece for my next ‘real’ pair, which are in the works right now.

My mini dart

Seriously, I didn’t think I’d get very excited about this pattern, but I am. Hopefully I’ll have a proper pair to wear by the end of the week.

I should note, this toile is totally wearable (with slightly better underwear 🙂 but still unfinished – no button, slide, hems or back welts. The fabric was the last of a roll that I purchased here from Tessuti. This roll has served me well with two Clover toiles, a dress and a simplicity toile. I would wear these trousers to work, but the fabric pinstripe seems a little corporate for teaching. I’ve also saved my first welt attempt for the real pair, and they look pretty darn good so far!


I feel like I’m the last to jump onto the Clover band wagon, but here I go *jump*

I first toiled this pattern quite some months ago, but didn’t have any suitable stretch wovens in my stash to make a final version. My first toile was OK, considering. I removed from the front rise, added to the back rise and nipped them in all along the leg. The second toile was better, but still they were too big in the leg.

Fast forward two months and with some Sky Walking from Tessuti, I decided to give them a crack again.

I’m quite pleased with the end result, they aren’t perfect, but will they ever be?? The quality fabric has certainly made a difference with the end result. They don’t appear to bag out as much as other stretch fabrics, but I’ve only worn them once. It’s been to hot recently to wear pants.

I also used a metal YYK invisible zipper that I found at the op-shop for just 20c. I’m always worried about zipper failure in tighter garments, so this was a handy find. The zipper is grey, not navy, but you can only see the pull under any top and I’m OK with that. I wonder if you can still buy these as they would be handy to have around…

Unfortunately though, it appears that as my second toile was tried on so many times that it may have stretched it out. These pants are snug on the legs and I have no seam allowance to let them out. I really must add an additional quarter inch to the sides next time. They calves are also a little snug, still wearable, but next time I’ll straighten the pant leg from the calf down.

Still they are nice and comfortable. The fabric is lovely and good quality. I’m definitely going to try to use more higher quality fabrics this year and just be careful to test patterns first.

Apologies for the fuzzy photos. I’ve let my sis borrow my SLR so my 4 year old took these with my iPhone.

More pants to come – I’m on a roll right now!

Pattern: Colette Clovers $16 from Sew Squirrel
Fabric: 1m Sky Walking from Tessuti $29
Zipper: Metal YYK invisible from Op Shop 20c
Thread: $2.70
Total: $47.90

Goodbye 2012. Hello 2013!


Tis’ that time of year when every blogger ponders the year that was and dreams about the year to come. I love a good reflecting and planning post. They are good to giggle at when the next year rolls around, so here goes.

It appears I made 62 items in 2012, which you can see here. This log doesn’t include sewing for others or sewing for the home. It also doesn’t include items that have been knit or crocheted -although there hasn’t been much of that this year.

In total I’ve made:

25 dresses including 6 with stretch fabric
15 stretch tops
13 woven tops, shells, blouses and tanks
5 skirts
1 Jacket
1 Cape
1 Cardigan
1 Pair of trousers

From this, my most worn items include:



My Favourite items, but those which are yet to be worn as much as I’d like:
The greatest disappointments:
All in all though, I’m happy with where I’m at with this year of sewing. I’ve had an incredible amount of successful items that are worn frequently, and while there have been some disappointments, I can salvage fabric from two and the memories of the third will surely fade soon, or else I’ll give it to someone else.
In 2011, my goals were:
  • Make less dresses! No one needs 25 dresses per year! – FAIL! I made more dresses, but better quality and more work-friendly ones
  • Make more separates – pants, skirts and tops – things that are suitable for
    teaching. FAIL-ish. I still need skirts and more pants, but I think I have enough tops.

  • Make a couple of winter jackets and maybe another cape – Cape = yes. Coat = No
  • Concentrate on finishing my crochet blanket. Getting there, but still not done.
  • Focus on knitting projects until they are finished. Frogged one project and am still completing the other. Thanks to our recent holiday I’m now off sleeve island 🙂
  • Focus on quality and finishing with each garment – there’s no prize for
    finishing the most things – Yeah, I think so..

  • Use more solids and less wild prints – this will be hard! – Getting there, but def more successful at this.

  • After looking over this I’m actually quite surprised by how good my 2012 goals were. So much that I think I’ll keep them for this year. I’ll also add that I want to become even more proficient in stretch sewing, as it is nice not having to iron every day.

    Tis all for now. Am madly sewing for my sister and trying to cut items out ready for my ‘holiday’ time!

    Yay 2013!