Woven Hudsons

My previous two pairs of woven Hudson pants have been such a hit, I needed to make another.

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This time I used a Spotlight stretch sateen that had been maturing in my stash for a couple of years. I managed to squeeze these out of just 1m – yay! This fabric works wonderfully for woven Hudsons. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I think the sateen at Spotlight has become lighter in recent years. I’ve tried to make more tailored trousers with this fabric, but my most recent pair have failed somewhat due to the lightness of the fabric. These ones however, are still going strong and I think it has to do with the weight of the fabric. Anyway, the Spotty sateen, while not suited to overly tailored designs, is perfect for these looser style trousers, which is good to know as there are some really great stretch sateen prints at Spotlight these days.

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Back to the pattern and my modifications. Kelli has provided great instructions to convert the Hudsons from a stretch fabric to a woven fabric, and I do mostly follow these. I widen the leg below the knee and lengthen the trousers to accommodate the ankle elastic. I also raise the waist of the pant by about an inch, raising the pockets also, and use narrower elastic.

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With regards to sizing, the Spotlight sateen is quite stretchy and I find that my regular knit pattern size works with this fabric as I like them to be more fitted.

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As the sateen is a lighter fabric, I mock flat fell some of the seams for durability and to prevent the seam lines, especially the butt ones, from stretching and showing the often white base fabric. First I sew the leg inseam and mock flat fell, then the side seam, which I top stich/flat fell as far as my machine will go and tack. Finally I sew the crotch curve and top stich/flat fell all the way around.

I’m really pleased with these trousers. They are super comfortable and I’m sure they will get a real work out once the weather cools down a little.

Southport Dress: Apron front variation

I’ve made another maxi dress! I just couldn’t help myself!

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Again, I’ve based this dress on the Southport dress pattern from True Bias, but as you can see, I have quite heavily modified the bodice.

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This time I’ve mashed together the Tessuti Annie dress pattern with the Southport. When Tessuti first released their Annie dress pattern, I snapped it up. I love the neckline and the gathers, but I stumbled when it came to making the frock as I just don’t like wearing unfitted dresses. They don’t work for me. So, as I had the pattern on hand, I used the bodice facing pattern pieces from the Annie dress to help create this look. I’m also feeling a little less guilty now about having one less pattern in my stash that I haven’t used.

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To create this look, I overlayed the Annie dress bodice facing pieces over the Southport.

IMG_5082This was not a precise pattern modification, but rather one of those, “It’ll be alright” hacks, where you just cut and hope for the best.

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I placed the bodice facing pattern piece from the Annie dress so the bottom of the armscye was about 3/8 inch from the bottom of the Southport armscye, but you may need to play with this depending on your own shape. I also folded out a little fabric excess from under the arm, as I don’t need it.

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I repeated this process with the back bodice pieces and ended up with a front and back bodice piece which, when still folded, looked like this.

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To construct the frock from this point, I cut a duplicate of these bodice pieces in my lining fabric. I constructed the Annie dress straps as drafted in the Tessuti pattern, but slimmed them down and fitted them as I sewed.

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After attaching the skirt outer and lining, I then added elastic to the waist, which I think helps maintain even gathers around the waist while wearing a belt. I don’t always add elastic – I didn’t on my previous Southport – but do prefer it.

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This fabric is a viscose crepe from Pitt Trading. Seriously, I should have shares in that shop these days! I purchased it before Christmas, along with the fabric for this frock. I think it might also be from Veronika Maine, but I haven’t searched to find what they made with it.

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While I like the print, I’m still not sure it works in a maxi dress. It is a very busy, bold, crazy geometric print with flowers and leaves and a lot of random colours – black, maroon, acid yellow, light blue, marine blue, white… I’m not sure if it will stay a maxi, it may become a midi, but for now I’ll keep testing it to see how I go.
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With school going back on Wednesday, I’m not sure I’ll get more sewing time these holidays, but I’m pleased with what I’ve made these holidays and with the fun I’ve had with the kids. More will follow 🙂

Southport in Floral Crepe

I have a habit, if you haven’t already noticed, that when I find a winning pattern, I make it up multiple times before I need to force myself to pack it away. The Southport Dress by True Bias is my current pattern obsession.

My love of maxi skirts started last year. I didn’t think that they would work with my height and frame, but they do. Unfortunately, I really don’t think there is much more room for skirts in my wardrobe. So clearly, maxi dresses are the next best direction.

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The Southport dress pattern is a simple design which just works. It has the perfect amount of flare in the skirt and it fits nicely. It’s also super easy to modify to create a new look. This is one of my modifications.

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This divine fabric dictated the direction of this dress. I picked up this large scale, floral, stripe crepe from Pitt Trading just last week. I was on the hunt for buttons for my latest Liberty make (I still haven’t sewn them on yet!), but just couldn’t pass up this fabric. I recognised it immediately as a Shona Joy print. You can see the frock she made with it here on Pinterest.

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While I love the print and the colours, I just couldn’t see myself wearing the print horizontally as the designer had used it. Susan (from Measure Twice) agreed that the print should be worn vertically and I left with plans for another maxi.

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To make the Southport to look like this, I really only made a few quick modifications which you can see here.

Southport variation

Basically, I overlapped the bodice and skirt pieces by the seam allowance and cut them on the fold. I also raise the front neckline, as this is my new favourite neckline place – no gaping with this height!

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I added side splits to ensure I can continue to stride about without being restricted by my skirt width.

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I really adore this dress. The fabric is just stunning and the design simple. The colours in the fabric are so very far out of my comfort zone (GREEN! EWW) but for some reason it just works.

Love it!

Addison Dress

When Style Arc first released their Addison dress, I snapped it up. How could I pass up those ‘interesting design lines’. I love that statement! Unfortunately, the pattern has been maturing in my stash for at least a year and a half.

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When I purchased this very large scale print stretch cotton from Pitt Trading, I knew the fabric design needed to be broken up a little. Sometimes a large scale print needs to be left to shine with a simple design, sometimes it needs a little playing with.

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As it happens, this fabric purchase has an interesting story behind it. At the end of every year, our school holds it’s annual awards day. All the parents attend and the teachers frock up. One of the teachers wore an amazing dress which just happened to be made out of this fabric. She even worn neon yellow heels to match! Later that afternoon, I was checking my Instagram feed and immediately recognised her dress fabric and a bunch of others from Aussie designers on Pitt Trading’s feed. What a random, timely fabric shipment for Pitt Trading. As soon as I could tear myself from school I raced over to Pitt Trading and scooped up a bunch of their new fabric. I’m not one to binge on fabric, but this was a downright, dirty, greedy binge! So while my teacher friend owns a beautiful Veronika Maine dress that cost her well over $200, mine cost a mere fraction of that (You can see both Veronika Maine dresses with this fabric here and here). Hooray for sewing!!

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Now back to this dress. The Addison dress is drafted with these great style lines and they form a series of pleats or tucks to add volume to the skirt. As the fabric that I was working with was quite sturdy with no drape, the design as drafted was not going to work. So I set about removing the pleats from the design.

Most of my pattern modifications are hacks, and this one would be no different. Below you can see the pattern pieces from the front of the Addison.

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To remove the pleats or tucks I folded the pattern pieces like this and omitted the center front pleat insert.

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I purchased this pattern prior to Style Arc opening their Etsy shop, where they offer multiple pattern sizes for one price. Single size patterns are trickier to purchase and are much harder to resize as you can’t see where the pattern lines will move to grade sizes. Their purchase is much more of a gamble. I purchased a size 8 and hoped for the best. I have previously made Style Arc patterns with mixed success. My last size 8 garment was enormous, so naturally I needed to make a toile, which you can see here on Instagram. What an amazing fit right? Can you believe that came pretty much straight from the pattern with all those crazy folds that I made?

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Even though I have no real need for a frock like this – Can I wear it in my Kindy classroom? No! – I needed to make it. How often does a pattern like this, one where so much can do wrong, fit so well?

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Now it is made and I’m still pretty pleased with the fit. The only minor fitting change that I ended up making during construction was to make a slight sway back adjustment along the princess seam lines on the back.IMG_5077

I have a wedding in late January and I think this may be my dress. It’s supposed to be a black tie affair, but I think I might accidentally forget to read that dress instruction on the bottom of the invite right?

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I’ve been super productive at my machine these holidays, but am seriously lagging behind in my photography. I’d just rather sew than photograph items. I’ll get around to it though and I think I’ll have the whole first school term of blog posts sorted with summer holiday makes!