Merry Christmas!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Home made ginger bread house for Christmas day.

I’m signing off for a few days of rest and family fun. I’ve had great fun blogging this year and thank you all for your support and friendship. I’ll be back in the new year with more sewing to share, though probably not with any more drop waist dresses!!

Take care and drive safely!

Drop Waist Dress – yay or nay?

Last year one of my friends told me that my body shape, or lack of shape 🙁 was best suited to drop waist dresses. Naturally I laughed. Never was I going to wear a drop waist dress!

My thoughts of the drop waist style looked mostly like these disasters from the 80’s.

Found here and here.

  Or these. Ewww!


Found here and here

My mother in law, prior to her stoke, still wore her drop waist dresses from the 80’s. They were paper thin, baggy, often a mini floral fabric and not at all flattering. There was no chance I was going to jump on this daggy style bandwagon!

But, things change. Kirsty has shown that the drop waist can work. So has Leith… maybe, just maybe, I can get away with it…

So what do you think? Yay or nay?

As you can see, I played it safe for my first attempt at this style and stuck to solid black fabric. I thought I’d feel more comfortable in something less wild.

I actually think I quite like it. I’ve worn it all day today and it’s super cool and comfortable.

I had planned to use the Malvarosa pattern like Kirsty, but it didn’t work with the black jersey that I wanted to use as the curve of the sleeves just didn’t sit right. Instead I kept the proportions and neckline from the Malvarosa pattern, but substituted the shoulders, sleeves and bust/waist fit from my basic tee pattern from here. After adding the skirt, I ended up taking in the side seams by about 1 inch each side, as the pattern isn’t drafted for stretch and the excess fabric looked odd.

I think the swish of the skirt is quite cute. So what do you think – Is the drop waist style working for you?

Pattern: Self drafted and Malvarosa from Pauline Alice = $12.50
Fabric: 1.5m black cotton lycra jersey from The Remnant Warehouse = $8.95
Thread from stash
Total: $21.45


Top 5 Misses of 2013

Anyone who makes clothes will inevitably experience some sewing fails. I’ve have far less than previous years, but I certainly have a few to share with you.

Again, I’m playing along with Gillian and sharing my Top 5 misses for the year….
No. 1. I guess the most heart breaking miss was my Emerson Fry knock off pants. I put so much time and effort in to these and they are just not right – boo! I used a TNT pattern for the sizing, but the front ended up poofy and they are definitely not flattering.
No 2. Drop pocket cardigan. This fail is due to the length of the cardigan. I am miffed that the fabric was so expensive. Hopefully I’ll modify this before next winter so I can get some use out of the fabric.
No.3 Burda Cross over blazer. I really, really wanted this to work, but it just didn’t. I couldn’t get the fit right, the cross over, the shoulders, everything!
No. 4 New look 6071. This was just a mess at the back. I still haven’t shortened it into a top or done anything to salvage it. I have since made this pattern successfully into a tank, so I feel a bit better about this fail.

No. 5.  Burda 09/2009 # 127. Again, I really, really wanted this to work! I started planning this jacket back in February and in May it was a UFO. Technically it is OK. I struggled a little with the sleeves, but I love the style and fit. My main problem is the fabric. It is very brown. I don’t like or wear brown. I still have dreams about making this pattern in a nice bright coloured wool. For now this is still hanging in my sewing room awaiting the attachment of some really nice red vintage buttons. 


Of course these aren’t my only fails, so here are the honorable mentions for items which are technically OK, but are still have been worn only once or never.
Simple stretch maxi skirt – I guess it’s just not my style


Vogue 1027 and McCalls 5974 mash up – think I have too many other similar dresses that are just a bit nicer.

Vogue 1152 – no occasion suitable so far and it is quite low cut.
Burda Draped Shirt 02/2013 #113 which was made too small.
Tessuti Anita pants which were made in bad fabric.
Then there are the items which weren’t blogged properly due to their failure.
Like a silk chiffon top and other bibs and bobs mentioned here, Burda 7250, which I couldn’t even bring myself to photograph and a shift dress made in blue vintage fabric – I don’t wear blue. Why did I purchase this pricey, vintage, blue fabric?
So these are the main misses of 2013. Looking over them, it appears my jacket making skills are a concern, but fails can be attributed to bad or tricky fabric, not checking the fit of a garment before making or making something that I just plain don’t need.
I am making fewer fails as my skills develop. Fingers crossed there will be less misses in 2014!

Top 5 Hits of 2013

You know it’s getting close to the end of year when the Top 5 lists crack out. I didn’t compile any Top 5 posts last year, but I love reading them, especially to see what is actually worn by bloggers.

I’m playing along with Gillian and starting with my Top 5 hits of 2013.

Vogue 1027

I’ve made this pattern a number of times, but this has got to be my favourite. The fabric is lovely and the fit is fabulous. It wears easily at school and as they skirt is longer and flared I can even sit on the floor.


Liberty Archers.
I can’t pick my favourite between these two. I adore both of them so, so much. There will definitely be more this summer.



I can’t pick just one pair, but probably wore the lighter grey ones the most, followed by the patterned. I made a number of Thurlows over summer last year and lived in them on cooler winter days.

The first pair                 Charcoal Thurlows

I love the slimmer leg that I drafted. They fit nicely, are comfortable and look nice with flats, which is practically essential in my line of work.

This was not a fast or easy journey, but I am super pleased with the outcome. These are, without a doubt, the best swimmers I’ve ever owned!

I know, big call! I have another pair cut and hopefully will find the motivation to sew them before our summer holiday.

New Look 6145

Black shell top made in ponte. This is a simple staple, but fit so well that I practically lived in this for both work and play.

I really must make more simple stretch shell tops

I know this is a Top 5 list, but I thought I’d also include a few honorable mentions as I am rather happy with a number of my makes this year.

Copper and black Grainline combo. Love this outfit!!

Vogue 8028. Sleeveless shirtdress – perfect for summer and work!

Liberty nightwear – divine!


 Vogue 1349 – here and here – I may have to make more of these, they are that good!

Simple knit shift – again using New Look 6145. Perfect in winter with warm tights.

Tessuti Cape in Marc Jacobs wool – yum!

Moss skirt – Love!

Vintage Vogue 1853. Diane von Furstenberg wrap dresses – here and here

I really think after three years of solid garment sewing, I’m certainly improving at making better quality, flattering clothes. What more shall come in 2014???