NEW PATTERN ALERT: The Sea Change top + discount code

I’m so excited to announce a that a new pattern is available in my shop today. It’s the Sea Change top, an easy fitting, kimono style top that is just perfect for high waist jeans and skirts. And in honour of this exciting day, I’m also discounting the pattern (and everything else in my shop, including the Twirl to Me dress pattern) for the next seven days. Use code: SEACHANGE15

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I’ve already been getting a lot of wear out of my versions, and I have a few more planned for Summer.  It’s such an easy and versatile top. Check out the pattern yourself here.

FBA test top

It’s quite obvious that my bust is not so full that it requires any pattern adjustments, but in the interest of testing for the wider population, I thought I’d see what this top could do. It was a very easy adjustment to create more room in the front of this top. Because I don’t *fill* that space, I’m left with bigger gathers. I think I prefer my earlier version better in terms of fit (for me).

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This version was made very simply in a medium weight, quilting cotton. The fabric is pretty, but not really my style. To toughen it up a little, I paired it with my very versatile neoprene and faux leather mini.

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The Sea Change top is tester ready!

This is the kind of easy fitting top that works well in both a knit or a woven. My striped version was made up in a knit, so I thought I’d trial this one in a woven. My fabric of choice is a special length of silk CDC from Tessuti Fabrics. I don’t buy much fabric on whim anymore, but this one just jumped in my shopping cart without any project in mind. I’m glad it did.

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I’m very pleased with the way this top turned out. I love the contrast panels and I especially love the opportunity they provide for mixing fabrics and prints for different looks on the same simple top.

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My blog has been a bit unpredictable over the past week while I’ve been getting it set up properly, so I started my call out for testers on Instagram for this pattern. I’ve had an overwhelming response for some sizes, but I’m still looking for testers in the following sizes: L (14-16) and XXL (20). If you think this might be you and you have the time and energy to trial this very simple top, please let me know. Once again, I have no interest if you blog or shout out to the masses through social media (although if you do, that’s fine by me too). I’m simply interested in your honest feedback.

Sign up form.

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Culottes in a playsuit anyone?

This little jumpsuit was refashioned from this dress. As pretty as the dress was, I found I wasn’t wearing it enough. I hate to see such stunning fabric locked away behind closet doors.

 

The pattern is my own design and the jumpsuit very closely follows the drafted pattern. The main difference is my slightly angled bottom panels. In trying to preserve as much of the dress as possible, I didn’t manage to align the hem very well. I also didn’t have much of a choice on pattern placement. It appears that I may have inadvertently positioned a solar system directly over my reproductive organs. Why is it that Bruno Mars and the case of the uterine foliage pops into my brain right now?!  

 

The main fabric is a gloriously drapey, woven viscose. It is a very special fabric. The bottom panels were made using silk jersey scraps I was lucky enough to have lying around. Navy CDC or silk organza were other options I toyed with for the panels.

This playsuit is designed to be unfitted through the waist, with a slightly flared, cropped leg. There is also the option of ditching the bottom panel for a shorter version and using a self-fabric waist tie to cinch in the waist for a more fitted look. I’d really love to see how this pattern plays out in linen, or especially, a heavier weight and more structured cotton sateen.

 

This playsuit ticks a lot of boxes for me in terms of real life wearability. It’s cool for Summer, unrestrictive, and practical for chasing kids around in. So what do you think of playsuits right now? Could you see yourself in something like this?

Fabric shopping

Oscar de la Renta

On the odd occasion, my husband has been known to surprise me with a piece of clothing. Now I must stress the word ‘odd’ here because it really doesn’t happen very often. I can count the items on one hand over the ten plus years we have been together. My husband has impeccable, if not more conservative taste than me. He is a stickler for quality. He chooses classic styles that I wouldn’t necessarily choose for myself, but that nevertheless fill a gap in my wardrobe and always look great. So I actually have a great deal of confidence in his ability to not only buy clothes for me unseen, but fabric as well.

Now hubby was in New York recently for a very important business event. I couldn’t make it with him so he was out looking for a birthday gift for me in his time off. I was fending off texts querying my size and colour preferences. He was clearly in dress shops. Now I didn’t doubt for a second that he wouldn’t bring home something nice. But the last thing I wanted was a new RTW dress, no matter how special it was going to be. I didn’t want to have to wear it. I want to wear the clothes that I make myself!

How do you send the message to others that you really don’t want them to buy you new clothes (if that’s the thing they’re used to doing), but could they buy you fabric instead? Well, after a few mentions of the fabric district (and perhaps some specific directions to MOOD) hubby got the idea. It’s not the first time I’ve hinted at fabric for a gift, but this is the first time he’s actually taken it on board. I see it as a turning point in the way he sees my commitment to sewing, and possibly also my improving skills.

Based on text evidence, he must have spent a couple of hours choosing fabric. He said later that everyone was very nice to him at MOOD, so I have to send out a big thank-you for making hubby’s fabric shopping experience a good one.

I tried to give him as limited information as possible as I wanted his choice to be a surprise and to be his own. I did give him a few keywords, basically the first designer names that came to my mind. I may have also mentioned the word ‘silk’. I also told him to choose himself some silk for a tie, and Italian shirting for a business shirt.

I’ve already made up one of his business shirts. That should be on the blog soon. But of most importance, do you want to see what he bought home for yours truly?

A beautiful embroidered and printed silk organza. I’ve got 3.5 yards to do something amazing with this. I’m thinking a fitted (lined of course!) dress. What would you do with this one?

 

And this red one fascinates me the most. It is a pure silk by Oscar de la Renta. But it has such a stiff hand, nearly as stiff as a light canvas (but obviously a very different texture to canvas!). Any idea what it would be? Taffeta? I’ve got three panels of it, which amounts to about 4 yards. I think it would look great as a floor length, slightly A-line skirt with a strapless bodice (if I have enough…). What would you do with this one?

I’d love to hear your ideas! The reality is that these beauties are going to be hitting my stash for the foreseable future, or until somebody I know decides to get married or invites me to the Oscars!


Fabric deliciousness

So I know that I am really, REALLY not supposed to be buying any more fabric right now. I know I have a problem when all I am worried about getting to the US is my fabric and pattern stash?! I just weighed my ‘fabric’ suitcase and it was 30kg! I’m not sure how I am going to sneak that one past hubby. Obviously I snaffled the biggest suitcase(s) for myself.

But these little bits, I just couldn’t resist. I will call them my going away treats and aren’t they just the most delicious morsels you have ever seen! Unfortunately, I was only able to purchase a single metre of these delicious silks, but I have visions of how I can do justice with them (as soon as I am happy to finish admiring them of course).

Both are from Tessuti Fabrics. The first is a silk satin and the second is silk organza.

 
I’m pretty much all packed now. But I’m left a little air pocket for one last visit to my favourite fabric haunts ;-). Next stop is a farewell scrappy skirt for Miss Four. And then we hit the runway on March 2nd! Eeeek!

Fabric splurge

This is a short post because I am still having heart palpitations over my fabric splurge yesterday. I did go to Tessuti Fabrics with the good intention of spending the remainder of my $500 voucher on some practical linen for summer staples. However, I walked away with something a little different. My third place prize in the 2013 Tessuti Awards has now been spent in its entirety…it didn’t take me long!

Thanks to this dress here:

 
and here:
 
 
I was able to purchase 4m of this dreamy Italian viscose.
 
 
 
It drapes beautifully, is machine washable, non-directional in print, and in my absolute favourite colours. I can’t even breathe how much this cost me per metre, but let me just say it is nearly double the amount I have ever paid for fabric in the past. I actually have a dress in mind for it (which is why I needed so much) but I suspect it is going to sit in my stash for a long time until I can work up the courage to cut it!