Author Archives: madebymitty

pietra pants

When Heather from Closet Case Patterns released the Rome Collection, I knew there was one design in there that I had to make.

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The Pietra Pants! I had a pair of pants like these years ago, complete with the elastic back waist, smooth front and tapered legs. I wore them to death, and they didn’t fit half as well as these!

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In saying that, I did have a few fit issues to start with. I originally cut a size 14 at the hip and a 12 at the waist, hoping to avoid the extra step of adding in an invisible zipper. I should have cut a 10 at the waist right from the get-go. My first toile (toiles are not pictured) was baggy around the top, and there were some strange crotch whiskers (for lack of a better word), but the fit through the thigh was quite good.

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For my second toile, I took about 3cm from the front waist along the crotch and mid-thigh seams. I also took about 3cm from the back waist. I tried them on, and initially thought I had done a good job. A few hours went by and I looked at the fit much closer. Those crotch whiskers were worse, and the pants looked over-fitted.

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I sent some pictures to my pattern-drafting-friend-extraordinaire (aka Monica), asking for some advice. She suggested that I shouldn’t mess with the crotch seam, as taking out any amount here will change the curve, resulting in more whiskers.

 

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So I buckled down for my third toile. With Monica’s recommendations, I put 1/2cm back into the crotch seam at the waist, which straightened up that line. I also changed the angle of the crotch curve based off a pant block that Monica had drawn to fit me perfectly (I raised the front crotch by about 1cm). I also reduced the amount of ease I had taken out of the back waistband by adding in 1/2cm. Finally, I tried them on. They fit perfectly.

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To get the perfect fit, I needed an invisible zipper. The original drafted style is a pull-on pant, which is fine if you’re a straight size, but the difference between my waist and thigh is just too great for that to work. As it turns out, the zipper is pretty much invisible, and I’m thrilled with how it looks. Heather recently released a blog post on installing an invisible zipper into the pants, which I followed.

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I actually think this waistband is the most defining feature of the pants. It is SO comfortable, I can’t begin to tell you! I absolutely love it!

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I had the smallest scrap of bias binding made from leftover cotton chambray from a project long ago. It was exactly the right length to bind the edge of the waist-stay. This is such a clean way of finishing a raw edge, I think I’ll try to do it more often.

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GARMENT DETAILS

  • Pattern brand/name/number: Pietra Pants by Closet Case Patterns
  • Style, size: View B, 12 at waist, 14 at hip
  • Fabric: Textured Lyocell (70%) and Linen (30%) blend from Spotlight in the colour Brick
  • Notions: Invisible zipper (20cm), 5cm wide elastic from Spotlight, iron-on fusing, matching thread
  • Modifications/alterations:
    • Took 1/2cm from either side of the mid-thigh seam at the waistline, tapered off to nothing just above the pocket (adds up to 2cm across the front waist).
    • Adjusted the waist-stay pieces to match the alterations I made to the front.
    • Raised the crotch curve by roughly 1cm, and slightly changed the angle of the curve.
    • Took 1cm of ease out of the back by cutting down the grainline from the waist to the hem, leaving the pieces joined by a sliver. Pick up one piece and overlap it by 1cm from the cut edge on the other side (adds up to 2cm across the back waist). Tape down evenly.
    • Inserted an invisible zipper.
    • Shortened the leg length by 3cm using the lowest shorten/lengthen line.

I find fitting pants to be trial and error most of the time. Sometimes you nail the mods the first time around. Other times, you have to make 3 toiles.

Either way, I am so happy with my finished pair of pants! The fabric feels almost slubby, but has great movement and is very light. I have a feeling I’ll be wearing these pants all spring/summer long!

Mitty x

reusable face pads

I’ve just finished my third toile of the Pietra Pants, so I don’t have a finished garment to show you this week.

However, I thought I’d show you a small project that is always ticking along on the side. I love using my fabric scraps to their full potential (see my floor pouf!), so whenever I have a few bits of nicely printed cotton or linen hanging around, I turn them into reusable face pads.

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These pads are fantastic for removing makeup, cleanser, or a face mask. They are also great for applying toner. Once you’ve used it, just chuck it in the wash with the rest of your towels, dry, and repeat!

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For my template, I just traced around a jar lid (the circle ended up being 7cm in diameter). Then I cut 2 circles of fabric, one side is the cotton or linen, the other is a bamboo terry towelling I bought ages ago to make some bibs for my baby (you could use an old towel or face washer).

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I like to secure the two sides together by stitching through both layers in an X pattern. Then, I simply zigzag stitch around the perimeter to prevent fraying.

This is such a great stash-busting project! It takes hardly any time, and the result means less waste in our landfills. Plus, they just feel luxurious!

Mitty x

scrap busting stellan

Ooh I love a good scrap busting pattern! On a recent trip to my parents’ house, I dug through my Mums fabric stash and came across some black, stretchy, non-descript fabric. There really wasn’t much of it, but I knew I could piece it together into something wearable.

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This is my 5th Stellan Tee, and I love it just as much as the previous versions. This really is a wonderful pattern for stash busting, you just have to get a little creative with your fabric.

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I only had enough fabric to cut single pieces for the sleeves and the neckband. Both the front and the back had to be pieced together. I decided to give most of the fabric to the front, so there is only a single join there (center front).

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I had to cut the back from 4 pieces. Instead of trying to hide this, I decided to play on it, by using the wrong, un-printed side as an accent. I’m thrilled with how it turned out!

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I liked the reverse side so much, that I decided to use it for the neckband as well.

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If I saw this fabric instore, I don’t think I would have picked it up. It’s almost too thick and heavy for this pattern (it does bunch at the underarms a bit), but I’m so pleased with the result! My husband actually commented that it looked like a premium RTW t-shirt!

GARMENT DETAILS

  • Pattern brand/name/number: The Stellan Tee by French Navy
  • Style, size: Size M
  • Fabric: ??? Probably a poly blend
  • Notions: Thread
  • Modifications/alterations: I didn’t finish any of the hems, I just let them raw

Do you scrap bust? Let me know your go-to patterns!

Mitty x

peplum top

Do you ever get that overwhelming feeling that you need something new hanging in your closet, yesterday? That was me last weekend, I just needed to sew something quick, simple, and satisfying.

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I dug through my fabric stash, looking for a decent yardage of anything. I came across some olive green linen that was left over from my Lander Shorts (which I don’t seem to have blogged about?!). I had just enough for a Peplum Top by In The Folds for Peppermint Magazine.

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I adore this design, the straps are wide enough that I can wear a decent bra, and the gathered peplum creates a very interesting silhouette.

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I also love the sharp V at the back, it’s in direct contrast with the curved neckline on the front. I managed to squeeze this out of less than a meter of fabric, which makes the pattern a great stash buster!

GARMENT DETAILS

It feels really good to be able to sew something up with fabric from my stash, it almost makes it feel like this top was free..?! Absolutely!

Mitty x

sydney frocktails outfit – spring 2019

Frocktails! One of the most anticipated events on any sewists’ calendar across the globe! This would be my first time attending Frocktails (along with my Mum!), so I went all out on some really lovely fabric for my outfit.

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Where else does one go for super special fabric, other than Tessuti?! I saw this amazing Italian designer printed 100% viscose pop up on their Instagram and knew I had to have it! The large scale, abstract floral design is stunning. I love that the edges of the lines aren’t solid, they almost look like tie-dye.

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I absolutely love a dressy jumpsuit, but going to the ‘ladies’ can pose a few problems… (who likes sitting on the toilet naked?!) I decided to go for the jumpsuit look, but in separates. I used the Winslow Culottes and the ever faithful Ogden Cami.

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When my fabric arrived in the post, it wasn’t as opaque as I had hoped. I decided to fully line the cami and the culottes with some ivory viscose from The Fabric Store.

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This was simple enough with the cami, I just used the standard front and back pattern pieces and cut them about an inch shorter at the hem. To give the neckline a fighting chance, I used some iron-on interfacing to help stabilise it. I also under stitched by hand, which gave a really lovely result.

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Lining the culottes was another story, and all because I had extended the top of the pocket bag so it could be sewn into the waistband. I wanted the lining to hang directly behind the outer fabric, so there was no chance of seeing the pockets. This meant I had to leave the side seams of the lining open to the bottom of the pocket, so I could slip the pockets through to the very inside.

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This actually worked really well. I anchored the bottom of the pockets and the lining together by using a thread doubled over and loosely tied to form a ring. This gives both layers of fabric enough ease to move around, but the tacking stitch isn’t so tight that it pulls and is visible on the outside.

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I also took the opportunity to have a go at a hand-picked zipper for the first time. It was so much easier than I thought it was going to be, and I think it looks really lovely!

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As if a matching two-piece outfit wasn’t enough, I also made a pair of polymer clay earrings to wear. I have to thank my Mum, who sanded and polished these to perfection!

GARMENT DETAILS

  • Pattern brand/name/number:
  • Style, size:
    • Cami: size 12
    • Culottes: size 12, midi length
  • Fabric:
  • Notions: Iron-on interfacing, zipper, hook & eye, thread
  • Modifications/alterations:
    • Brought in the sides of the cami by 1cm (4cm in total)
    • Shortened the cami straps by 5cm
    • Used a full length lining for the cami
    • Culottes were sized the same as my wearable toile
    • Extended the pocket bag of the culottes so they were sewn into the waistband
    • Added lining to the culottes
    • I had to straighten off the hem of the culottes at the inner leg seam, it dropped quite noticeably (outer fabric only)

I also have to send out a huge thank you to Caz from UsefulBox for organising the whole event. I can only imagine the amount of work that went into the night, but it was clearly  appreciated by everyone who attended. I met some online friends in person, and made some new sewing friends too. I’m already looking forward to the next one!

Mitty x

yanta overalls

A few weeks ago, while rummaging in my local Salvo’s store, I came across two large, cotton twill curtains. They were very long and had a little sun damaged down the sides. I knew exactly what I was going to make from them.

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I purchased them both for $9 (I know), got them home and did some measuring. Each one was 2.38m long, and 137cm wide. That means I got 4.76m of fabric for about 50c p/m.

I unpicked the curtain tape across the top, double wrapped them in plastic bags, and popped them into the freezer overnight to kill off any bugs, The next day, I washed and dried the fabric, and it was ready to use.

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I had a bit of fun with the stripes by cutting the chest pocket at the same angle as the top edge. I think it adds a bit of interest to the overall look.

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I cut the back pockets straight, and I love the way they disappear into the pattern. If you have made the Yantas before, you might notice that I have cut the back pieces on the wrong grain line… a total “oops” on my part, I wasn’t paying close enough attention to the pattern pieces.

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Another place I strayed from the instructions (totally intentional this time) was to add hardware on the straps. I think the adjustable sliders, strap loops and buttons make this pair of overalls look a little more polished.

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I must admit, I was very nervous to wear this out in public. I don’t think the Yantas themselves, or the stripes, are too far from my normal style, but somehow together… I just wasn’t sure if I’d managed to pull this one off. But I pushed my insecurities to the side and wore them to my sons’ playgroup, where I received lots of compliments and had a lovely sewing conversation with another mum.

These overalls are very comfortable, I know they will get a lot of wear over spring/summer!

GARMENT DETAILS

  • Pattern brand/name/number: Yanta Overalls by Helen’s Closet
  • Style, size: 3/4 length leg, 10 at bust graded to 14 at hips
  • Fabric: Cotton twill curtains thrifted from the Salvos, white cotton for facing from my stash
  • Notions: 20cm invisible zipper at side, metal hardware from M.Recht Accessories
  • Modifications/alterations:
    • I had to bring the hips and legs in a lot, maybe around 12cm in total
    • I originally cut the crotch at a size 14, and it was just too low and baggy. This wasn’t an easy fix, but cut and pasted extra fabric into the crotch and re-cut it at a size 10. It isn’t the prettiest of fixes, but it made a big difference to the wearability of the finished item
    • Shortened the legs by about 4cm
    • Left off the front leg pockets
    • Extended the straps by about 6cm to add hardware

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The eagle-eyed among you may also recognise this fabric from my last post… May as well use as much of it as possible! I still have some left, maybe I’ll make an apron from it!

Mitty x

closet case patterns – floor pouf

I’m sure that anyone who sews has run into this problem: what do I do with all my scraps of fabric?

For the majority of my sewing life, I was putting them in the bin. I just didn’t know what to do with them. Of course, the bigger bits I kept for future projects, but I couldn’t keep everything. Then I heard that you could recycle your fabric scraps at H&M. So that’s where I would take my bags of scraps until we moved away from the city.

These bags have since been accumulating under my sewing desk, taking up my foot room. Something had to be done. I remembered that the girls from Closet Case Patterns had a free pattern for a big floor pouf that you could not only make from scraps, but also fill with your scraps!

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It’s pretty hard to take a nice picture of a sad, half-filled pouf, but I did my best! While I could have gone for the patchwork vibe, I decided to make the entire thing out of this striped cotton fabric that used to be a curtain.

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I wasn’t overly concerned with pattern matching, some stripes do not line up, but the overall look is pretty good. I also made the piping from the same fabric.

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The zipper on the bottom is such a great idea, initially, I thought it would be worked into the side seam somehow, but this is (obviously) a much better place for it.

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I made the suggested inner bag to hold all the scraps from some mesh that was in my stash. My drawstring is a packing ribbon from Tessuti (which I always save).

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This thing isn’t even half full yet, and it weighs a tonne! I can’t wait to see it all puffed and filled to the brim. The only thing is, once it is full, where do I put my scraps?!

I’ll have to make another pouf! And so the cycle continues!

Mitty x