Author Archives: madebymitty

scrap pouch

I am forever trying to think of new ways to use the scraps of fabric that come hand in hand with sewing. This little pouch was inspired by some dried rose petals I had bought from the Food Co-Op in Katoomba.

MBM_Pouch 01

I used some scraps from my hand-sewn Tokyo jacket, which is a 100% cotton slub in a beautiful dusky rose colour.

MBM_Pouch 02

I sewed it by hand because I really wanted to sit on the lounge and binge-watch a bit of YouTube. While sewing, I found that I really liked the way that the ‘inside’ looked, and decided to keep it as the outside. I frayed the side seams and hand-stitched the eyelets for the ribbon.

MBM_Pouch 03

Next, I filled it with the dried rose petals. These were labelled “organic”, and have such a delicate perfume and a vibrant colour.

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Finally, I tied the ribbon up and did a little stylized photoshoot. The pouch now sits on my bedside table, and I like to give it a little squeeze to help release the scent before I go to sleep.

This was a very quick project, and I think it’s super adorable!

Mitty x

 

 

wilder gown

Do you ever see a pattern that is blowing up in the Sewing Community and think, “nah, this one isn’t for me”? That was my first thought when I saw the Wilder Gown by Friday Pattern Company.

It looked too fussy at the neck, too covered at the chest, and so oversized and loose that I couldn’t see how anyone could make it look elegant. It also reminded me of a Victorian nightgown, which is totally a look; I just didn’t know if I could pull it off.

Then, I browsed the hashtag #wildergown, my arm was twisted and I fell in love! See some of my favourite Wilders below:

 

MBM_Wilder 01

Now, I’m the first to admit that the fabric I chose really does make this look like a nightgown! It absolutely needs the right accessories to liven it up.

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MBM_Wilder 04

When making the pattern, you can decide to have the necktie functional (so tied up every time you wear it), or you can leave them open, but you do have to tack the neckline to them, otherwise it just falls open. I enjoy wearing this dress both ways, so if I want to wear the neck open, I just use some small gold safety pins to secure the ties.

MBM_Wilder 02

The fabric I used was some printed rayon from Spotlight, and while I love how floaty and summery it is, it does need ironing before every wear… Not a huge task, I know, but it has put me off wearing it a few times.

MBM_Wilder 06

MBM_Wilder 05

I also really love the dress styled with a denim jacket, it certainly makes it look a little more modern.

GARMENT DETAILS

I made this dress back in 2019, it’s taken me a while to get some nice pictures of it, so this doesn’t tick off the Wilder Gown listed in my Make Nine for 2020. I have another printed rayon for that make, and I think I’ll do a few things differently.

Mitty x

make nine 2020

“The Make Nine Challenge is a gentle, self guided challenge for makers”

Rochelle – homerowfiberco

This challenge worked so well for me last year, I decided to give it another go this year. Again, I have tried to plan my projects so I can make them during the year, as the seasons change.

MBM_Make Nine 2020

This list is full of items that I reached for last year, but didn’t have. I’d really like to get into wearing more “day dresses”, so there are a few in my list.

I am also desperate for some comfy track pants. Somehow, I got through last winter with a single pair, a RTW pair, no less! I think I’ll be making at least 4 pairs.

I feel like each of these items will fill the gaps in my wardrobe. I am also planning to use fabrics from my stash for a few of them!

I’m really hoping to complete this list in 2020, I certainly think it is achievable, and I’ll be so happy if I do!

Mitty x

hand sewn tokyo jacket

There are a lot of “firsts” that go along with this project.

  1. It is my first post of 2020
  2. This is my first fully hand sewn item of clothing
  3. I’ve created my first sewing vlog on YouTube about this jacket

A bit about YouTube later, let’s have a look at the jacket.

MBM_Tokyo Jacket 09

In the past, hand sewing and I had a strained relationship. I didn’t have time for it, and it always looked sloppy when I attempted it. However, over the past year, I’ve grown a real appreciation for hand sewing, so I decided to set myself a bit of a challenge.

MBM_Tokyo Jacket 06

I wanted to make an item of clothing that was completely hand sewn, by my hands. After a bit of searching for the right pattern, I decided to make the Tokyo Jacket by Tessuti Patterns. It’s an oversized, unlined jacket, in a slouchy style that I seem to be drawn to lately.

MBM_Tokyo Jacket 08

My fabric is from Spotlight, and it was labelled “Fancy Cotton Slub” in the colour Antique Pink. It was really lovely to work with, and I love how it looks like linen.

MBM_Tokyo Jacket 01

Hand stitching this jacket took just over one week. Each seam was sewn with a backstitch, then the raw edges of the seam allowance were hidden away using a flat-felled seam finish. This makes sure that the inside looks just as neat as the outside.

MBM_Tokyo Jacket 03

As well as adding my own label to the neckline, I slipped this cute one by Kylie and the Machine in at the side seam. The metallic thread used to weave the letters is such a perfect match for the antique pink colour of the fabric.

MBM_Tokyo Jacket 05

I am so very pleased with how this jacket turned out! It feels much more… made than anything else I’ve ever sewn. You can see all of the flat-felled seams; the stitching threads peak through to the outside and I simply love it. Hand stitching this jacket has certainly given me the confidence to take on something a little more involved next time!

If you are interested in watching my process vlog, click here!

GARMENT DETAILS:

Would you try hand sewing an item of clothing? I found it really wasn’t difficult, and I came to enjoy the nights sitting on the lounge with my sewing project in hand.

Mitty x

2019 make nine in review

With the year almost over, I thought I would take a look back at my 2019 Make Nine list, and see what items I made, what worked, and what didn’t.

Make_Nine_-_Peplum_Top

Peppermint Peplum

For the month of January, I wanted to make the Peppermint Peplum Top by In The Folds for Peppermint Magazine. This is a free pattern, and I really love how it turned out. I used some scrap linen to make it, so it almost felt like this project was free! This top gets a lot of wear, so it’s a win for me!

Make_Nine_-_Kalle_Shirt

Kalle Shirt

During February, I made the Kalle Shirt by Closet Case Patterns. As much as I love this shirt, it doesn’t get much wear. It’s just a little too cropped in the front, even when wearing my high waisted jeans. I also find, that because I don’t wear it buttoned up to the collar, the weight of the back pulls the front even higher. So not the most successful make, but I still like it.

Make_Nine_-_Elliot_Sweater

Elliot Sweater

March was the month to start making items that were a little warmer. I made the Elliot Sweater by Helens Closet, in a luxe merino wool, from The Fabric Store. This pattern was a complete success, I actually made three versions, and I’m sure I will make more for Winter 2020.

Make_Nine_-_Ginger_Jeans

Ginger Jeans

April was the month for jeans. I have always loved wearing jeans, and I was a little intimidated to make my own. However, once I realized that all I had to do was take it one step at a time, it really wasn’t that difficult! I made the Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns, and I wore them so much that I had to make a second pair.

Make_Nine_-_Sapporo_Coat

May is my birthday month, so I decided to make the Sapporo Coat by Papercut Patterns, as a gift to me! But… this was the first thing that I didn’t finish. Actually, I didn’t even start it. I have the pattern, but I really wanted to make it from pink wool, like my sketch. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t find any wool within my price range. So this one got shelved, maybe for next year.

Make_Nine_-_Berlin_Jacket

Berlin Jacket

Here’s a big win! I made the Berlin Jacket by Tessuit in May, but it was slotted for June. I absolutely LOVE this jacket! I spoilt myself and purchased Tessuti’s own boiled wool, and it turned out so nice.

Make_Nine_-_Winslow_Coullots

Winslow Culottes

Oh, my Winslow Culottes (Helen’s Closet)! I adore these pants-that-look-like-a-skirt! They are so comfortable and totally stylish. AND!! They have pockets! What more can I say!

Make_Nine_-_Tully_Pants

Pietra Pants

September was destined for the Tully Pants by Style Arc, but it wasn’t to be. However, I did make the Pietra Pants by Closet Case Patterns, which I think is a natural substitute. The Pietra’s are a lovely, comfortable pant, and I’d like to make some more.

Make_Nine_-_Lander_Shorts

For November, I had planned to make a second pair of Lander Shorts by True Bias. My one and only green linen pair get a lot of wear, and I thought I should probably make another. But… well, I didn’t. I don’t know why, but I just didn’t get around to it.

So that’s my 2019 Make Nine in review. I feel like I did a good job, seeing as I made 7 out of the 9 things I had planned. The only let down from my list was the Kalle Shirt, but really it isn’t that bad.

Thanks for joining me in my sewing adventures over the past year, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my posts as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

See you in 2020,

Mitty x

 

my new skillshare class

It’s been a little quiet on my blog for the last few weeks, and that is not only because we are very quickly approaching Christmas, but I have also been working on two big projects.

One of those projects has been a few months in the making, and I am so proud that it’s finally completed! I have created a “Learn to Sew” class on SkillShare!

totebag_image

In my class, you will learn how to sew a simple. but practical tote bag. I have designed the pattern, which you can download (along with the written instructions) when you sign up to take the class. The pattern is available in three different PDF formats:

  • A1 to be printed at a copy shop
  • A4 tiled version which you can print at home
  • US Letter tiled version, also to be printed at home

The class is broken down into several lessons, where I walk you through the fabrics to use, how to lay out the pattern pieces on the fabric, as well as cutting and sewing instructions.

If you would like to take my class, and also receive two months free membership to SkillShare, you can use my affiliate link below!

 

Learn to sew a Tote Bag with Made by Mitty!

 

If you take my class, I would love to see your creations! You can share pictures of your bag on the SkillShare Student Project Page, or pop them up on Instagram using the tag #mittytote

Filming and editing this class was pretty far out of my comfort zone, and I have to give a very special thanks to my husband, who patiently sat through hours of sewing footage as he helped me edit the course! Thank you, darling xox

Mitty x

 

a dress for frankie

On a bit of a whim, I decided to sew a cute little dress for little Miss Frankie, who was turning three. Her mum has remarked that the only dressed Frankie wore, were those princess dresses you can get at Target etc.

I remembered seeing a heap of second-hand sewing patterns at my local op-shop, so one morning I headed over to see what I could find.

mbm_frankies_01

BEHOLD! The cutest, and most 1990’s pattern they had (illustration B just pulls at my nostalgic heartstrings!). Even though the pattern was in the wrong size range, all the pieces were there and I just had to get it.

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While I was there, I thought I may as well see if there was something I could use to make the dress from. I found this chambray, ladies dress, which was in great condition. I have no idea why it was donated!

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Now, the pattern. The size range was 1 – 3, based on measurements, I needed a size 5.

I had to grade it.

I haven’t graded kids clothing before, so I started out by noting the increase measurements between the sizes I did have. Starting at the center front, I increased the neckline up; then added a little to the length of the shoulder; then I walked out the side seam. Initially, I didn’t lengthen the bodice, but after making up a toile, I decided to add a little bit in per size. I repeated these steps for the other pattern pieces (except the skirt panels), and sizes (I did 4, 5 and 6).

The one major change I made was to decrease the amount of fabric in the sleeve head. In my toile, the sleeve was so bulky at the underarm point that I had to take out almost 3cm (from the sleeve head). This did the trick, and the sleeve now sits happily in the armscye.

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For the skirt panels, I had to piece together any larger bits of fabric that I had leftover. I love how you can see the darker patches where the original pockets were.

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The original pattern only had 3 buttons, but because I lengthened the bodice, I thought it could handle four. I used some beautiful wooden buttons from my stash.

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I also had to do a little bit of piece-work on the back. The yoke seam is from the original dress, but I had to add in a triangle of fabric to the top of the armscye. I think it blends in with the sleeve, and it isn’t too obvious.

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My favourite part of the dress has to be the lining. I had to cut the facing as a separate piece to save on chambray fabric, so I dug through my stash and found half a meter of this adorable cotton print.

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There was even enough to make some bias binding, to finish those raw edges in style!

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Frankie’s mum tells me that little Miss loves her new dress, and that makes me so unbelievably happy. It looks a little over-sized on her now, but that means that she will get lots and lots of wear out of it as she grows up.

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OMG, that face!!!

GARMENT DETAILS

  • Pattern brand/name/number: Butterick 3645
  • Style, size: B (sans pocket), graded to a size 5
  • Fabric: Thrifted chambray dress from my local op-shop, lining cotton from my stash
  • Notions: Four wooden buttons, contrasting thread
  • Modifications/alterations:
    • Graded pattern (sizes 4, 5 and 6)
    • Added length to the bodice
    • Slightly changed the shape of the facing
    • Took out 3 cm from the sleeve head
    • Shortened the sleeves to above the elbow
    • Used four buttons instead of three
    • Finished the raw edges (neck edge, sleeve hems, waist seam and skirt hem) with bias binding

I really hope that this dress stands the test of time, I’d love to see Frankie hand it down to her daughter one day (if she has one).

Mitty x

dawn jeans

I was lucky enough to attend the first Camp Stitch Sydney weekend earlier this month, where I took a class on sewing jeans. The pattern provided was the Dawn Jeans by Megan Nielsen, and if I am honest, I was a little intimidated by the fact that this pattern is drafted for rigid denim. I have two (1 & 2) brilliant versions of the Ginger Jeans hanging in my wardrobe, but they are made from stretch denim… and stretch denim is a little more forgiving.

Fit concerns aside, I was very excited to start sewing.

MBM_Dawn Jeans 02

We had to have our fabric cut before the class, so I went ahead and graded the pattern according to the supplied measurements. I cut a 10 at the waist and graded to a 14 at the hip. Looking at the numbers made me a bit uneasy as there was only 1cm of ease across the seat. I thought that if the jeans ended up being too tight, I could always sew the side seams with a smaller seam allowance.

MBM_Dawn Jeans 01

As it turns out, I didn’t have to do that, and even though I do have to do a bit of a wiggle dance to get them on, I can get them on.

MBM_Dawn Jeans 04

The class was run by Susan from Measure Twice Cut Once, and with her guidance, I did have to make one small adjustment. I needed to take about 2cm out of the back yoke seam to fit my swayback. I also should have made an adjustment to the waistband, as it does gape a little, but that is something I can fix later.

MBM_Dawn Jeans 06

Inserting the zipper is where I got a bit carried away. I couldn’t, for the life of me, get the zipper to sit far enough into the overlap without showing. I ripped it out for the second time and added in a fly extension (to the right-hand side leg). Now I seemed to have enough fabric to get that zipper tucked in nicely. Although, I also had many more seams to wrestle with. I graded most of them down, gave it a good press under the iron with lots of steam, and even whacked it a few times with a hammer. Eventually, it was nice and flat.

MBM_Dawn Jeans 14

Here’s the other reason for there being so much fabric along the fly front. I decided to turn the pockets into a full pocket-stay, just like in my Ginger jeans. I find that this really helps to take some of the strain off the zipper, meaning it can lay flat up against my tummy. This also gives the front of the jeans a lovely, smooth look.

MBM_Dawn Jeans 07

How about we have a look at some of the smaller details. The beautiful green denim that I used came from MaaiDesign. It was made by Cone Mills, and the selvedge edge still had the weft threads attached. I decided to show it off, by cutting the coin pocket right up against the edge of the fabric. I love that it is so visible against the green denim.

MBM_Dawn Jeans 12

I simply had to use the leather patch that came with our hardware kits. Luckily I think the light colour contrasts well with the denim, but I am looking forward to watching it wear in a bit.

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Everyone received a welcome package when we arrived at Camp, and one of the things in the bag was this awesome woven label! There couldn’t have been a more perfect place to use it than in my new jeans! I also popped my own label in there, because why not!

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As with my other jeans, I stitched in a little reminder of when they were sewn (#3 because these are the third pair of jeans I have made).

MBM_Dawn Jeans 03

As I expected, these jeans are a pretty snug fit (I don’t even think there is room for a campfire marshmallow in there…), however, I know that they are new, and I have high hopes of the denim moulding to my body after a few months wear. Check in this time next year to see if I can wear them comfortably for a full day!

GARMENT DETAILS

  • Pattern brand/name/number: Dawn Jeans by Megan Nielsen
  • Style, size: Wide leg, cropped version, 10 at the waist, graded to 14 at the hip
  • Fabric: Cone Mills rigid 9oz Olive denim purchased from MaaiDesign, pocket lining from my stash
  • Notions: Zipper fly hardware kit in Antique Brass from Closet Case Patterns, Gütermann topstitching thread in colour #472, matching thread
  • Modifications/alterations:
    • As mentioned, graded from a 10 at the waist to a 14 at the hip
    • 2cm taken from back yoke seam
    • Redrafted the pockets into pocket-stays
    • Inserted a second fly extension
    • Edge of coin pocket cut against selvedge of the fabric

I would like to send out a huge THANK YOU to the ladies who organised the Camp. I had such a wonderful time meeting fellow sewing enthusiasts and I am so ready to attend next years camp!

Mitty x

quinn wrap – a free pattern

MBM_Quinn Wrap 01

Here are a few reasons why I wanted to make the Quinn Wrap.

  1. It’s a free pattern! Yip!
  2. I had some leftover linen blend from my Pietra Pants that I was itching to use
  3. I honestly needed something new to store my makeup in (it was previously in a janky zipper pouch the airlines give you that has socks etc in)
  4. The pattern has been designed and released by Mel from melt.stitches who is a relative new-comer to sewing, and I wanted to show my support

MBM_Quinn Wrap 03

The wrap is simply constructed, with a zippered pocket and space to store your brushes. I love the flap to cover up the brushes too.

MBM_Quinn Wrap 05

The fabric I used for the lining was originally from a dress (it was just a little bit too short to wear). I love the contrast between the pink, green, highly patterned print of the cotton, and the matte texture of the linen.

MBM_Quinn Wrap 06

I strayed from the instructions in a few places, and one of those was the zipper installation. The zipper I wanted to use was way too long for this project, so I had to cut it down anyway, but I really like adding a little bit of fabric at the ends of the zipper. I do this not only to reinforce the ends, but I find sewing the side seams is a bit easier if you arent going through the zipper teeth. I have affectionately named these bits of fabric, “Zipper Tails”.

MBM_Quinn Wrap 09

Once it’s all wrapped up, it makes for a very sweet little parcel. It’s a very quick sew; can easily be made from scraps; is beginner-friendly (some experience needed), and would make an amazing Christmas present or stocking stuffer.

PROJECT DETAILS

  • Pattern brand/name/number: Quinn Wrap by melt.stitches (available via Google Drive, link in Mel’s Insta profile)
  • Style, size: One size
  • Fabric:
    • Outer: Lyocell/Linen blend leftover from my Pietra Pants
    • Lining: Cotton from my stash
  • Notions: Heavyweight fusible interfacing (for the main body [A] and facing [B]), medium weight fusible interfacing (for pocket [F and G] and brush lining [D]), dress zipper cut to size, matching thread
  • Modifications/alterations:
    • Cut the brush cover (E) and brush lining (D) from the linen blend as I didn’t have enough lining fabric
    • Used heavyweight fusible interfacing for the main body (A) and the facing (B), instead of using several layers of thinner fusing
    • Topstitched around the edges of the brush cover (E)
    • Used medium weight fusible interfacing on the pocket pieces F and G, and also the brush lining (D) to add a bit of stability
    • Added zipper tails to both ends of the zipper
    • Topstitched along the folded edge of the brush holder (C)
    • Topstitched seams on either side of the pocket (joining to the facing and the brush lining) away from the pocket
    • Once the bag was turned out, I topstitched around the perimeter

I adore this pattern and I’m sure you will too!

Mitty x

lander shorts

This time last year, our little family moved from Sydney to the Blue Mountains. It was a hectic time; my husband and I had quit our full-time jobs to run our own business; packing and unpacking an entire unit was exhausting enough, not to mention doing it with a 14 month old toddler… With all of this going on, I still (somehow) had time to sew!

MBM_Lander Shorts 04

These Landers were my first pair of me-made shorts. I had to grade between sizes for the perfect fit, and I’m glad I did. These are the most comfortable shorts I have ever worn.

MBM_Lander Shorts 02

Any pair of shorts I had ever bought RTW were always too tight around my thighs, to the point where I would have red marks on my legs after a days wear. As you can see, I have no such problem with the Landers.

MBM_Lander Shorts 03

This was also my first time sewing a button fly. The instructions are very well written, and it all came together very easily. I love the contrast between the olive linen and the blond colour of the buttons, it all feels very ‘natural’.

MBM_Lander Shorts 05

GARMENT DETAILS

  • Pattern brand/name/number: Lander Pants/Shorts by True Bias
  • Style, size: View A, 12 at the waist, graded to 14 at the hips
  • Fabric: 100% olive linen from The Remnant Warehouse, facing is leftover cotton from my stash
  • Notions: 4 blond wooden buttons, iron-on interfacing, matching thread
  • Modifications/alterations: 
    • As mentioned, the only change I made was to grade from a size 12 at the waist to a 14 at the hips

These shorts have seen a lot of wear over the last year, and it’s now finally warm enough to wear them again!

Mitty x