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Showing posts from January, 2013

Colette 1001: Macaron Top

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*Autumn SWAP*

I started making a pendrell blouse as the first top to sew up out of my fashionary sketches, I adjusted the pattern and made a muslin but in the end I just didn't like it on me. I felt really blocky and square in it so I scrapped it and made this top instead!

Same as the dresses - Its a sz18 with the Éclair front bodice and a sz12 knit yoke.


I used the leftover Sateen from my Christmas dress and some of the knit from a garage sale (think its polyester or at least a cotton/poly blend).


I liked the idea of using a peplum but stuck with the pleated skirt this time around.

Heres the completed outfit (Winnie Trousers and Macaron Top);

Fashion at the Hillwood Estate

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A couple of weeks ago I visited the Hillwood Estate in DC.  The first time I visited was during last year's Seersucker Social, but I was too sick to walk around and enjoy the estate.

 This time my aim was to see the Pret a Papier exhibit of the work of Isabelle de Borchgrave.

Isn't that a beautiful dress?  Is it made of silk, cotton?  Is the lace Belgian?  Well, the lace is Belgian because the artist is, but it's made entirely of paper.  Amazing.  I didn't know what to expect with the dresses.  Once you know they're paper you can tell (mostly), but without that knowledge I would be a little stumped, I think.











The lace was one of the best details, in my opinion.  She uses very very fine transparent paper and the carefully paints the lace design and scallops with scissors.  Close up you can tell it's created with paint, but from a few feet away the likeness is pretty astounding.








 The Hillwood commissioned several pieces for the exhibition based on portraits in their …

Maria Denmark 301: Winnie Trousers

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*Autumn SWAP*

I really liked this pattern when I saw Sew Busy Lizzy's version and figured you can never have too many pairs of basic black trousers!

I used my pants block to adjust the pattern but I was pretty impressed with this pattern, I had to add width and about 1" to the back rise and dropped the front rise by about 1" which is a lot less than normal.

The fabric is bengalene out of my stash and the facings are the leftover scraps of sateen from the Christmas Macaron dress. I had this dubiously great idea of cutting the facing on the opposite grain to negate the stretch....It worked well, it has stopped the stretch but was a bit of a beast to sew and I really should have used a walking foot to make it easier. I used stay tape around the waist as well to stop it from stretching out. I've just downloaded Sandra Betzinas book Power sewing and found the elastic waistband treatments really interesting but in the end I didn't allow enough ease in the waist to use one…

Major Storms and Tornado's in Australia!!! WHAT!!!

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One minute I am whining about the heat here in Queensland, melting away in my own pool of sweat. Well now for the latest update... the weather since then has been rainy, clouds, storms, rain and ...wait for it...TORNADO'S!!!
A Tornado in Queensland, is so unheard of! Cyclones - yes, but Tornado's - no way! Just a few years back we had unmentionable floods that took the lives of people so unexpectedly just an hour or so from where I live. 


And again today, the TV and Radio stations have been broadcasting alerts up and down the coastline ensuring everyone is ready to evacuate on time.
I am just minutes from the bay and the winds and rain have been extremely strong all day. 

Just as well I am holed up in my little sewing cave, oblivious to all the winds and rain outside...that is until the electricity went out...

Sewing with a (half baked) plan!

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I was lucky enough to win a fashionary sketchbook in a giveaway on Beajays blog lately. I decided to use it for working out an autumn wardrobe in an attempt to be more organised than usual (Coincidently, Handmade by Carolyn has been drawing what she's been wearing in hers which I've been really enjoying reading about)


It is seriously easy to use, I am a terrible artist but the dot figures make a huge difference and it's so much fun!


All the patterns and fabric will be from my stash and it was nice thinking about what will go with what, and what I need to round out my wardrobe. I found it easier to assess with the drawings than written notes.


Thankyou Beajay!


A quick update in my stash busting...apparently I'm terrible at resisting because I went to a garage sale and bought a few pieces of material, purple and black lace, teal sateen, mint stretch drill and a couple knits. The lady gave me a 1958 Singer 319K....yep she GAVE it to me, as if I'd say no!! Its scrubbed up a…

McCall 4394, Palmer-Pletsch Princess Seam Jacket

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Source: shop.nordstrom.com via Trena on Pinterest


You may recall that when we went to Fabric Mart, this somewhat scratchy nylon jacquard was the only piece I regretted.  I had bought it thinking sheath dress (honestly, I'm not sure why I thought an ivory sheath dress would be a good idea in the first place.  I blame the fabric haze). Anyway, I realized when I got it home that it was in no way suitable for a dress.

I thought it might make a nice jacket, but the ivory color wasn't turning me on as a jacket.  Then I got the idea to dye it, as nylon takes dye to some extent.  So then I thought I'd dye it orange and make it into a jacket for me.

I usually sew for my mom for Christmas (I occasionally even take pictures, but then never get around to posting the projects).  The only two people I'll sew for are my mom and my niece, because they both like whatever I make for them.  I don't take requests!  Purple is her favorite color, so I decided to dye the fabric purple and m…

Stashoholism Confessional: NYC and More Fabric Mart

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Source: style.com via Trena on Pinterest

So, shortly after we made our pilgrimage to Fabric Mart, I placed an online order.  The mustard ponte is the impetus for the order--I only bought one yard when we went to the brick and mortar store, and I realized that was just not enough.  I want this for a dress, suitable coloring be damned.  I had not made a Fabric Mart order since they transitioned to the new website (that is how good I had been!), so I was able to use the "WELCOME" code for 20% off the first order.  The prices reflect the discount.

One of the fabrics I had permission to buy on our Fabric Mart excursion was for a trench coat.  I didn't see anything while I was there, but when I saw this gold snakeskin-embossed coated linen on the website I couldn't resist.  Don't ask my why I didn't turn it right side out for the photo, but you can see a little bit of the right side at the upper left of the photo.  B&J has a coated linen snake print for $29.95.  …