There comes a time when every home sewist realizes they need too sew some simple wardrobe basics, rather than fancy, impractical, silk frocks. While I parented solo for most of the weekend, I was able to enjoy two lovely, lazy mornings with the kids lounging around while I sewed! Best – weekend – ever! And I managed to sew three basic tops.

Tessuti Alexa Tee made with a remnant of Liberty knit from my sister’s nursing top.

The pattern worked well and is a basic fitted tee. I made a size small, which my measurements matched with, but it is not as fitted as I would like. Next time I will grade it down a little. The only changes I made to the pattern was to shorten and shape the sleeves into cap sleeves, which I think fits this busy print better, and I also deepened the neckline by about an inch.

New Look 6145 in black ponte.

I wanted a more structured boat neck tee to wear with my new patterned trousers and this thick ponte worked a treat. I love that I was able to sew darts for shape, but still keep the boxy style. I made the same modifications to the sleeves and armscye that I made for my shift, but omitted the back darts. I faced the neck for a clean finish and hand stitched the facing in place as it didn’t quite sit flat. I really love this top and wore it today!

Like the necklace?? Have you played with polymer clay recently? The kids and I had a bunch of fun making up these beads and I love that they feel like they contributed to this necklace even though most of their beads didn’t quite make the cut.

Lastly, Renfrew in black wool knit.

Another favourite top in a lovely, black, wool knit. I know two black tees, but I really felt that I needed them. I made a size 6 this time, but should have sized down. I did note that last time I made this pattern, but I seem to have lost the pattern somewhere in the sewing black hole. I lent it to someone and kept my tracings, but when they returned it, I’ve obviously put it in a ‘special’ place. Bum! Oh well, I can always trace someone else’s. The tee is still perfectly wearable and lovely to wear.

So a good weekend and a lovely sunny start to the week! Happy Monday all!

Pattern: Tessuti Alexa tee = $10
Fabric: Liberty remnant from sister = free
Thread from stash – I used brown to stitch the hem as I had nothing to match, so I’ll add $2.70 for when I unpick and re stitch the hems 🙁

Pattern: New Look 6145 – used before = Free
Fabric: 1.2m black ponte from My Hung = $16
Thread from stash

Pattern: Sewaholic Renfrew – used before = Free
Fabric: 1.2m wool knit from The Fabric store: $24 (but I purchased this with a voucher from my frequent shopper card so it was really free-ish 🙂
Thread: from stash

Total for all three tops = $52.70

Vogue 1152

I feel like I’m struggling a little on the blog front at the moment. First I was in a sewing funk, now it appears I’m in a blogging funk. Thankfully I am still sewing a little, although this dress has been finished for well over a week and I’m only blogging it now. I’m feeling quite overwhelmed with school at the moment . We are approaching program and report time and I’m my harshest critic at work and constantly feel like I’m not doing enough. I love teaching, but re-learning a new career is tougher as an adult. I’m so, so, so much more critical on myself than when I was younger.

Anyway, I do have a finished garment to show you – Vogue 1152.

I finished this in time for my recent trip to Melbourne – my first away with the husband and no kids!! Seriously, what took us so long? Unfortunately, it was far, far, far too cold in Melbourne for a frock and tights, so I opted for sparkly shoulders, skinnies and red wedges and a big warm coat and scarf!!

Back to the dress, this was a challenge to make. It wasn’t particularly difficult to construct, but it was a little fiddly and certainly not a project to begin when in a sewing black hole. Despite this, I pushed on and I’m quite happy with the finished dress.

I used a textured silk linen from The Fabric Store that I purchased at our first sewing catch up – it’s more like a substantial silk than a linen. I managed to irk out this dress from just 1.7m, even though the pattern calls for 2.4m. One panel is slightly off grain, but you can’t tell.

The only changes I made to the dress was to raise the neckline by just over an inch (thankfully!) and I opted for a straight hem. I don’t know why, but I just did and naturally, I omitted the zipper. Due to fabric restrictions I also reduced the volume in the sleeves, probably by at least 3 inches each, but I probably would have done that anyway, as they are quite big.

All in all I’m quite happy with this frock. I think I need to organize a dinner out with my girlfriends to wear it!

Pattern: Vogue 1152 approx. $8 inc part shipping
Fabric 1.5m (overcut to 1.7m – yay!) on sale from The Fabric Store: $22.50
Thread and elastic from stash, but say $1
Total: $31.50

Don’t forget about our next Sydney Sewing Social – Make sure you RSVP and start frock making!

Sparkly Shoulders!!

I’ve always wanted to sew with some fancy sequin mesh.

Mission accomplished!

While I have a stack of dresses and trousers, my top or tee collection is lacking considerably. Especially tees for going out at night when you want to look a little bit spesh, but not too over the top.


The pattern for this tee is Burda Jersey Top 09/2012 #123A which I modified to a cap sleeve. I don’t often wear long sleeves, and restaurants and pubs get quite warm inside. More so after a wine or two. 😉

The sequin mesh was purchased from Spotty recently. It was 30% off, then I used my $40 off coupon – double saving!! The black jersey is a mystery knit from the Remnant Warehouse bins. It has a super stretchy 4 way knit and great recovery. Good enough for this experiment. I purchased 2m for $6, but it a fault thought it that I cut around. Unlike last time!

The pattern calls for a facing around the neck and there is a button at the back. While this isn’t the finish I would normally opt for with a knit, it did give a nice clean line around the neck and along the sequin mesh.

Pattern: Burda Jersey Top 09/2012 #123A (I didn’t trace it from the library this time!!) $5.40
Fabric: 2m mystery knit from The Remnant Warehouse (I’ll account for the whole piece here) $6
Fabric: .25m Sequin mesh from Spotty on sale $8.75
Thread from stash
Button: 10c??
Total: $20.25

I should also say thank so much for your great feedback on my patterned pants. You gave me the confidence to wear them to work last week, where I received no less than 10 compliments on them. Mostly asking where I bought them, followed by asking if I made to order!

My husband still hates them and Oliver calls them pajama pants, which I don’t understand, but who cares! Thanks again! I think I need to start planning another.


High tea and high fashion – the next Sydney sewists meetup

After seeing the wonderful time that our Melbourne friends had at their SewcieTea , we (Kristy, Sharon and I) decided that us ladies here in Sydney also needed an opportunity to frock up and gather en masse to admire lovely garments in a way that non-sewists just wouldn’t understand.

Date: Sunday 23 June at 1.30pm
Venue:  Level Fourteen, The
American Club – 131 Macquarie St Sydney
Cost: $47 p.p
RSVP: to Kristy_Idle
“at” by 3 June

While $47 is a little pricey, as Kristy points out, it’s far cheaper than fabric shopping. Pre-payment will be required, so please email Kristy if you are interested in attending and she’ll forward the payment details.

If at all you feel a little intimidated by the thought of high tea – I know my suburban life doesn’t often lend itself to such posh events – I’ve attached a few words of advice from the etiquette queen, Miss June Daly Watkins.

High-Tea Etiquette, the Miss Dally Way
  • Mind your posture! Sit up straight, square your shoulders and lean from the thighs.
  • Keep elbows and arms off the table.
  • Designate a host or hostess (usually the one who invited you) who will pour the milk first, then tea and offer her guests food from the tiers.
  • Start with the sandwiches, then scones, then cakes.
  • Take the food with your right hand onto your plate, and cut small pieces at a time, eating with your left hand. 
  • Break the scones on your plate. The host or hostess will spoon jam and cream onto your plate. Spread jam, then cream onto smaller pieces.
  • No finger licking.
  • At all times, maintain eye contact, smile, relax and indulge. (source)

I don’t know if I’m more outraged by the idea of pouring milk first or not being able to lick my fingers! I also officially nominate Kristy as the hostess – ha!

I hope you can make it!

Now, what will I wear?