Swimmers for Adele

Last school holidays, yes over two months ago, I made Adele two new cozzies. Even though it was the middle of winter, swimming lessons continue all year around here and we needed new swimmers, which are hard to find at that time of year.

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Once again I used the Sew Pony Cosi swimsuit pattern. I think you can’t go wrong with this pattern.

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There are a stack of variations to add interest and fantastic bottom coverage, making wedgies a thing of the past.

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This time I made Adele a size 6 as the last ones were getting a little snug, but these are a tad too big around the bottom. Next time, and there will be a next time before summer, I will tighten the elastic a centimeter or two.

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Once again I used swim fabric from The Remnant Warehouse. I might even use the remnant of triangle print swim fabric to make myself some swimmers this year.

Morris Blazer

Oh yes, I made another Morris!
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I love this pattern. The boxy style just works so well for me and my wardrobe.

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We all need a classic black blazer right? This elusive black ponte was finally tracked down at Tessuti during the last school holidays. To avoid the saggy Morris issues that I faced with my Orla Kiely Morris, I interfaced the whole front and back of this jacket in whisper weft. While some may argue this defeats the purpose of a stretch garment, I think it adds nice stability to the garment, especially when the fabric used is a little lighter weight, like this one.

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Because I’m a fan of lining my jackets, I also lined this one using a stretch satin from the discount table at Spotlight. This stain has been in my stash for years, so I’m very pleased to see it finally grow wings and leave the nest.

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I made this blazer to wear to Frocktails and did wear it – there is no photographic evidence of this though 🙂 I still haven’t shared my Frocktails dress with you. The photos I took of it, on the same day as these photos, are so overexposed that you can’t even see the print of the dress. I keep trying to set aside time to photograph it, but seem to be very inspired to sew at the moment, rather than take photos of finished items. Such problems I have!!

I hope you have a great week!

Leather Clutch!

A few months ago, while out on a girls night ogling my friend Rachel’s beautiful leather clutch, I admitted that I didn’t own a nice, timeless evening clutch. To me for some reason, timeless wardrobe pieces, like a leather clutch are ‘grown up’ items that you acquire when you are older, like lugguage. Maybe I’m getting old :)The only clutch I own and use for all weddings and functions, is a teal pleather clutch that I purchased about 15 years ago. Pleather lasts a lifetime right? The reason for this conversation topic at dinner was that my ‘vintage’ clutch was starting to shed tiny flakes of teal pleather on my hands, which became evident during a wedding that I attended earlier this year.

When Canberra Frocktails rolled along and both Jillian and Anna had MADE their own leather clutches, I knew I had a new challenge! Hand – made – leather – clutch!!

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Thankfully, last holidays during my end of term The Fabric Store visit, I found a stack leather remnants, including this black one (had to go classic for the first one right?) for only $25.

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When I got home I was overcome with anxiety concerning how to actually make what I was after. I really like this clutch that I spied on Pinterest, but it seemed a bit too ambitious for my first foray in leather sewing.

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In the end, after weeks of researching online, I simply just hacked into my leather piece with a rotary cutter and sewed it together. I didn’t even wait until I had top stitching thread *shock!* *horror!* I just sewed it with all purpose Gutterman. And you know what, it worked, it looks fine and it stayed together. Woo!

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Because I like to take things up a notch, I also lined this clutch with Liberty tana lawn and included a zippered compartment for $$ and cards.

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Now the strap is another detail to rave talk about. Why of course a sewing nerd needs their clutch strap made out of a metal zipper!  I used an open end zipper from The Remnant Warehouse from their pick 3 for $1 tub. I simply unzipped the zipper, stitched the tape together, closed the zip and edge stitched the sides. I then cut the zipper and tried to pull as many teeth as I could, but that proved almost impossible. In the end I just hand cranked my machine to sew through the zipper to hold it in place.

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Now if you haven’t gauged yet, I’m totally flipping stoked with this make. I was actually planning on buying a clutch and had set a fairly high budget for a classic piece that would last, but in the end all this cost was the $25 piece of leather and a couple of zippers. I salvaged that nobby holder thing from an old belt that I purchased from the Op Shop years ago when I had time to go to op shops. Did I mention that I have enough leather to make a second clutch? I think I’m going to try to tackle the Pinterest one next.

Hope you have a great week. I’m fighting the lurgy. Fingers crossed it skims past me an the family.

Vogue 1298

This is one of those copycat makes that I just had to start/finish, even though it involved mid-week sewing!
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The lovely Bella from Bell Bird recently made Vogue 1298 and I immediately found myself with a full-on, can’t-think-of-anything-else, obsessive crush!

I had briefly looked at Vogue 1298 when it was released, but being a mum of three kids, I don’t do the open back, no ‘support’ thing. It’s just not my style. I also have a tattoo on my back that I’m not a fan of showing off day to day. Some people rock tattoos, but I was just a dumb 17 year old once, and have permanent ink to prove it 🙂 Once I saw Bella’s Vogue 1298 with a tee underneath, I quickly hopped onto Ebay to snap it up.

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I think this pattern looks awesome, and almost unrecognisable as an apron style dress or if you like, a pinny style dress with a striped tee. I’ve actually debated at length with my friend Rachel about how to pull off an apron style dress. Is is possible in your 30’s? Is it possible when you are a mum? Is it possible when you aren’t cool?  I really think this pattern makes it possible.

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Just a short aside, I met Bella in Melbourne at Frocktails and confessed my total obsession with her frock – awkward :/ She was also rocking a Vogue 1247 top converted to a dress (Melanie also rocked a Vogue 1247) and now I’m determined, after two failed attempts at it, to succeed with that damned pattern! They looked hot!

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I purchased this fabric at Darn Cheap Fabric in Melbourne – my new favourite shop – well for now anyway 🙂 This is a very lightweight denim, more like a dark chambray and perfect for a dress. As the fabric is mid weight, I didn’t need to line this dress. I think it’s a nice finishing technique for a lighter weight fabric, but completely unnecessary for this.

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To ensure I got the fit I was after, I slightly lengthened the bodice so the waist seam sits closer to my natural waist. I also shortened the skirt by a couple of inches. The fit with the curved straps aren’t perfect, but I think I can get away with it.

A note for Bella: I tried to figure out the back waist panel, but it didn’t work for me. I honestly think there is an error with this pattern piece and the instructions. It just doesn’t make sense, but it is easy enough to fudge together. As a result of my tinkering, the back panel sits a little higher on my dress.

As you can see I experimented with both long and short sleeve tees with this dress, as well as bare legs and tights. I think it works. Look out school on Monday! Mrs H will be stylin’!