What does one do when on holidays? Why they practice their beading of course! I am the kind of person who finds it very difficult to be idle. I can’t simply sit and watch a movie (to the despair of my ever tolerant husband). If one does find me ‘watching’ a movie, I will most likely also be cutting fabric on the floor, stitching on buttons, or have a book of some description in my lap. I NEED to be doing things, plural. So in the absence of my beloved sewing machines, I packed up some precut pattern pieces, beads, sequins, and loaded my Kindle with Beading Basics by Carlita DelCorso and happily set off on holidays with my three little shadows in tow.
I did discover that my five year old shadow is somewhat of a thrill seeker, as she braved her first rollercoaster rides and ghost trains at Movie World on the Gold Coast. But that it another story entirely. Big rides are not my cup of tea. Give me a needle and thread any day. And even better if it comes with sequins!
This is my second Hannah top. My first one worked out beautifully in some silk crepe de chine. I made this Hannah up in a remnant of simple grey linen that I picked up from Tessuti Fabrics many moons ago. I interfaced the entire front piece, knowing that I was planning to bead it while I was away, but not knowing exactly what I had planned. I also nipped the sides in a fraction and decreased the bust dart a tiny bit. I used a lovely vintage button to fasten the back, from All Buttons.
My beading and sequin application was intended to be quite random. I wanted it to look like someone had splattered the front of my top with sparkles and it was just dripping down. Well this was the idea. I actually had no idea just how many beads and sequins such a vision would require, so this was a fabulous learning experiment for me. What you can see on my top is about 8hrs of sewing, half a small packet of sequins and 12.5g of seed beads. It really isn’t a lot. I would have kept going down the top with the gorgeous little seed beads but I finished the tube while I was away and by the time I got home, I was just keen to get sewing.
I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out. I feel very glam in my sparkly new top and I love how the big gold sequins contrast with the natural crinkliness of the grey linen. I also learnt a lot just by getting in there and sewing on beads, as well as by reading Beading Basics along the way. The book, by the way, is a great simple introduction into sewing beads on fabric. The pictures were a bit average on my Kindle but the content was still good. I would recommend this for anyone, sewers and non-sewers, who might like to embellish clothes in their own wardrobe, or pretty up some of the fabrics they already sew.
Now that I have all my sparkles ready for the festive season, roll on those Christmas parties! Well, roll on the carol nights and sticky picnic fingers at the very least…
Now I fully realise peplum is a little last season, but it is such a flattering style and I had been wanting to make myself a peplum top for a very long time.
I delved into my stash for this project, using the last of my Liberty from Coco’s recent playsuit and a little leftover linen from another project. The linen was from Tessuti Fabrics and is really quite special. It is a coated linen and the grey is actually printed on. It looks and feels amazing.
The design is my own. The top is self-faced, with an invisible zip centre front. It is probably a little looser fitting than it needs to be, but I was aiming for comfort and coolness with our long hot summer on the way.
Did I mention that I purchased 3m of that Marc Jacobs cotton knit fabric?! It would have been a good amount if not for the leg placement disaster of my own playsuit. But as it happened, I had enough for one more little
I had been eyeballing the Little Truck Stop Top for months but finally decided to get out there and purchase it, even though I knew it was still going to be a few sizes too big for my littlest girl.
As I’ve already mentioned, this little project was to use up the last bits of my Marc Jacobs knit. I also pieced together about six tiny lengths of some Liberty leftovers to make a beautiful bottom ruffle. I am a little obsessed with Liberty of London cotton right now so it might feature again pretty soon.
I cut the pattern to a size 7. It is way too big but it doesn’t gape immodestly. Miss Coco has not yet decided whether she will wear it as a dress or a nightie to rival her swishing sister.
And by the way, I managed to ‘roll’ the neck binding beautifully this time. I was so pleased with how it turned out after my earlier efforts, that I decided to push on and bind the sleeves before I went to bed. Wrong! I was obviously sleep-sewing. As you can see, I bound them the wrong way again so this is why there is no lovely ‘roll’ on the armscye.
Ok, so this little girl really does not need another night dress but what else was I to do with the remnants of my playsuit? I had to piece the back together in two small sections but you can barely see this due to the pattern.
The design is my own, basically a sleeveless and slightly shorter version of the other nightie I made for her this Spring. I’m planning to make a Little Truck Stop Top for Miss Five with the last little bits of this fabric so I thought I’d have a go at the interesting sleeve binding feature you see on this top. At first, I wasn’t sure what I did wrong because I simply couldn’t get the fabric to ‘roll’ the correct way. But now I realise that some fabrics just prefer to roll a certain way and I should have just attached it to the other side of the binding fabric instead.
Miss nearly-Four is now completely sorted for the hot summer nights ahead and putting on pyjamas is now a thing of great excitement for her each night. High five for Mummy making bath times a breeze and adding the swish factor to Miss nearly-Four’s nightwear!
It all started with an impulse purchase of some Marc Jacobs cotton knit, which was both gloriously soft and lightweight. I planned to make the playsuit in this vintage Style pattern.
I actually love everything about this playsuit, so the only modification I planned was to size it down a little and possibly lengthen the legs to keep them in proportion for my 5″10 frame.
The project didn’t get off to the best of starts. I prewash most of my fabrics, and thought it would be a good idea to do so this time too. Now, I am not sure if my memory fails me, but I am pretty sure I took home fabric that had a sharp white background covered in black, purple and blue flowers. In any case, I got a bit of a shock when I hung it up, as the background was now grey. I just didn’t love it anymore, not at all!
So my excitement dipped a bit as I commenced the cutting. For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to cut my fabric late at night. I somehow managed to lay out my pattern pieces in such a manner that would leave me short of half a leg…genius! I could have slapped myself! So now I was not only short of fabric for my playsuit but I would inevitably be left with a significant remnant I no longer really liked, nor trusted to wash with my whites.
Problem solving mode kicked in and I shortened both legs to make a shortie style playsuit instead. It wasn’t exactly what I was after, but I figured at the very least, it would make some lovely pyjamas! Because although I wasn’t too fond of my grey-scale fabric, it still has the most delightfully soft hand.
I also decided to ditch the pockets because who needs pockets in their pyjamas anyway?! I regret skipping the pockets now because it didn’t turn out too bad after all. I am pretty sure I will use this pattern again, but I will aim to make the long leg version next time, and I would also put a thin band of elastic in the top of the back bodice piece instead of the button.
After such a great success sewing my Hannah top, I was quite keen to get stuck into another Salme sewing pattern, in particular the kiddie kimono sleeve playsuit. Well, it turned out an absolute treat! I really think I am developing a soft spot for Salme sewing patterns. The drafting is impeccable. The only complaint I have is that seam allowances aren’t included in the pdf downloads, meaning a bit more time is spent on my hands and knees tracing around the pattern pieces when I would really just prefer to cut and go. But maybe this feature would come in handy if I decided baste in my seamlines by hand for that extra special project.
The gorgeous Liberty of London I used is from Tessuti Fabrics. I only needed a mere 70cm to make this playsuit in a size seven for my little Miss 5. She’s quite tall for her age, so I knew I would have to size up in order to get the length right.
I would recommend putting three snap fasteners in the front instead of two to prevent gaping. And do you like my first attempt at beading? The fabulous gold sequins came from the Fabric Store.
It’s a bit wonky but I am so pleased with myself for finally having a go. I think I will practice a bit more on kiddie clothes before I jump into that special beading project. Thank you Laura Mae from Lilacs and Lace for putting together this little beading tutorial. It has been on my want-to-learn list for positively eons. And I have had a bag of beading stash under my sewing table waiting for me to get started for at least that long too.
I’m not usually one for animal print, but I have seen a bit of it around at my favourite haunt this season. I resisted temptation several months ago when there was some gorgeous Dolce and Gabbana printed silk crepe de chine on display at Tessuti Fabrics. Unfortunately it sold out before I could make up my mind. So when I saw a remnant of similar print in silk chiffon, I simply had to take it.
I used my Satsuki pattern from Victory Patterns. I’ve made a lovely top in the past using this pattern (as a gift for a very good friend), so I was confident it would turn out well. The only modification I needed to make was in lowering the neckline by about 1.5cm. It’s a very simple pattern to follow with only two main pattern pieces, but the element of difficulty was increased by my choice of fabric. I used French seams to keep the insides tidy and machine stitched a narrow hem on the bottom and sleeves. The neckline is finished with facing only.
With the recent rainy weather, I realised I was a bit low on trans-seasonal tops. Lucky for me, I had some gorgeous soft jersey from a recent trip to Tessuti Fabrics. I am a bit fussy about what prints I like on jersey fabrics, but this one managed to catch my eye. Unfortunately, I only purchased one metre of it so I had to top it up with my stash of super soft modal/silk in order to complete the top. I think I quite like the colour blocking after all. And the end result is a top so soft and comfy, that I’m not totally sure I won’t be wearing it 24/7.
I mostly only buy remnants, partly because of the frequency at which I shop for fabrics, and also because most of the fabrics that I covet are a little out of my budget. But every now and then I walk past a particular fabric that I just have to have, love at first sight if you will. This happened a few months ago when I saw this summery yellow and silver polyester mix at Tessuti Fabrics.
I turned most of it into a skirt for myself, a lovely knee length skirt with a few pleats and big pockets. A little later, I shortened it into a mini version. I’ve worn it so much that it isn’t really in the same condition as it was made, but the fabric has worn very well for a poly and the silver is still as silver as ever.
There was only a little bit of this lovely fabric leftover after making my skirt, just enough for a couple of little skirts (as long as I got creative with piecing all the small bits of fabric together). I added some divine ivory circle poly for one skirt (a lucky remnant from Tessuti Fabrics) and a some vintage floral I am trying to use up for the other.
I used a pattern from one of my Japanese pattern books that I have used many times before, so I was assured the skirts would turn out fabulously (albeit a little large for Miss nearly-four).
As usual, it was super easy to get some great shots of Miss Five in her new skirt.
But next to impossible getting a decent photo of the ever moving, ever wriggling Miss nearly-four.
I think she may have been twerking…
Introducing my Naughty Secretary Bag.
It’s a far cry from this sorry thing I have been carting around for the past few years. I love it, but it has definitely seen better days. It was one of the first things I ever sewed.
But these days I seem to be sharing it a lot. And yes, that’s the expression I get when I ask for it back.
Making a new bag has been on my to-do list for the past six months or more, but the allure of dressmaking, and jacket making, and pants making…I could go on…is just that bit too strong for me to resist. So, I never really got past purchasing my fabric (and I am very good at purchasing fabric!). I just love the French script on my new bag. The story is Le Petit Prince.
And check out this secret message I was able to include on the bottom inner lining panel.
This fabulous bag was made using a Sew Sweetness pattern and it is absolutely perfect for my mummy bag requirements. It is a massive tote that I can happily (and stylishly) carry everywhere, and yet it is completely machine washable. You can find the free pattern and tutorial here. There are so many amazing tutorials and free patterns on the Sew Sweetness site that it took me a while to decide which one to make.
The instructions included with the pattern were simple to follow and I love the idea of interfacing the lining as well as the external fabric. It gives my bag a whole new dimension of sturdiness.
I would highly recommend having a go at one of the Sew Sweetness bags, especially for anyone new to sewing. Making bags is just so incredibly satisfying, without the hassles of improper fit (in clothes patterns) that can easily deter new sewers when starting out. I learnt to sew by making totes using a Vogue pattern that I have since passed on to a good friend in the hopes she will discover her own sewing joy. But I would rate this Sew Sweetness pattern right up there with any of the Vogue bags I have made in the past.
Go on, give it a go! And don’t forget to show me some pictures when you do!