Recently I was visiting my friend, Nicole, when she casually handed me a length of beautiful, emerald green velvet. She told me that it was her Grandmothers’, and it was at least 40 years old! To my horror, she said that she was going to cut it up for some cushion covers…
So I did what any sewist in my position would have done, I offered to make her a skirt instead. We talked about the different styles that would best suit her personal aesthetic and the fabric, and decided on a below the knee length pencil skirt.
I started with the Erin Skirt by Sew Over It as a reference pattern. I made a simple toile and shaped it to perfectly hug Nicoles curves. She asked me if I could sew the button placket closed so she didn’t have any “flashy” moments. I split the back piece into two, and installed an invisible zipper, so she could actually get into the skirt.
We decided to omit the front pockets for a cleaner look, and reduce bulk. I also drafted a simple lining pattern, for comfort, and to extend the life of the skirt.
Nicole was absolutely thrilled with her skirt, but she was even happier when I managed to squeeze another one from the offcuts…
I adore this mini! I used the same modified pattern as the pencil skirt, but I had to split the front into three panels to fit the remaining fabric (impossible to see on the above picture!).
To add a little visual interest, I used an exposed trouser zipper for the back closure. I didn’t want the zipper to catch on Nicoles stockings, so I hand sewed in some grosgrain ribbon to act as a zipper shield.
Winter outfit, sorted!
- Pattern brand/name/number: Erin Skirt by Sew Over It (available in the City Break Capsule collection)
- Style/size: Started with a size 16, but took it in a lot
- Fabric: Nicoles’ Grandmothers’ 40 year old velvet, anti-static lining from Spotlight, fusible interfacing for waistbands
- Pencil skirt: 35cm invisible zipper, 10 x 3cm wooden buttons from eBay
- Mini skirt: 18cm trouser zipper
- I fit the toile directly to Nicoles proportions, so I can’t remember the exact measurements, but I did end up taking it in a fair amount
- Tapered the hem of the skirt quite a lot, leaving just enough room to walk comfortably
- I sewed down the button placket and left off the button holes (I was going to put them in to help with the illusion but my button hole foot left too much damage on the velvet)
- Merged the front and the pocket pattern pieces to make a single piece
- Split the back piece into two so I could add in the invisible zipper
- Drafted a lining pattern
- For the mini skirt, I traced the front pattern piece so it would be cut on the fold, then I drew in the panel lines and traced off those pieces so I could add on seam allowance
- Used an exposed trouser zipper for the back closure, with a grosgrain zipper shield
- Shortened the length drastically for the mini skirt and the lining
Much better than cushion covers, don’t you agree?!
What could be better than a well drafted top pattern that includes beautiful finishing techniques?
Answer: a well drafted top pattern that includes beautiful finishing techniques that you can download for free!
This is the Ruffle Sleeve Top, designed by Emily from In The Folds, exclusively for Peppermint Magazine. Emily has such an amazing, clean aesthetic that really shines through her patterns, and I think it is very generous to offer them for free!
I shamelessly took a lot of inspiration from Amanda of Bimble & Pimble after seeing her ruffle sleeve top on Instagram. I purchased a pretty navy check cotton from Tessuti Fabrics and had this baby hanging in my wardrobe the next day.
I actually made this navy linen version first, you could call it my “wearable toile”. It’s one size up from the checkered top, and is probably a little big on me. The linen is so lovely and gets softer after every wear.
I mentioned before about beautiful finishing techniques. This pattern is sewn with French Seams! I’d never done a French Seam on a sleeve before, and I am thrilled with how clean it looks on the inside.
- Pattern brand/name/number: Ruffle Sleeve Top by In The Folds for Peppermint Magazine
- Style, size:
- Navy linen version – Size E
- Check cotton version – Size D
- Notions: None
- Lengthened the facing by 5cm on both versions
Love, love, LOVE this top! I already want to make a white version, maybe with an eyelet fabric for the ruffle sleeves (better pop it on the Spring Sewing List!).
As much as I love sewing, it’s not something I like to do at night after my son has gone to bed. The light isn’t great, and I’m exhausted from a long day. I’d much prefer to sit on the lounge with a glass of wine, and knit!
You might not know this, but my first blog was all about knitting and crochet, I called it “This Girl Has Knits” which I thought was a very funny title. I moved over to MMM because I wanted to share more than just knitting.
We are a few weeks into Autumn here in Australia, and the weather has (finally) started to cool down. It’s been a while since I’ve knit something, so I wanted to warm up that knitting-muscle-memory with a pattern I’ve made before.
This pattern is the “3am cable hat” by Smariek Knits. It’s free and available on Ravelry (her user name is Smariek). It’s a beautiful little pattern, I absolutely adore a cable!
The pattern calls for a regular pom-pom, but I wanted to step it up a bit. My mum is the creator of Blue Valley Bears, selling hand stitched bears, made from recycled vintage mink coats. She let me pick out this beautiful off-white fur, which I think is a nice tonal compliment to the cream wool.
- Pattern brand/name/number: 3am cable hat by Smariek Knits, available for free on Ravelry
- Style/size: Measurements are unworn
- Width of ribbing – 19cm
- Length of ribbing – 10cm
- Width of cable – 16cm
- Length of cable – 18cm
- Yarn: King Cole, Baby Alpaca DK (it must have been 2 balls worth, I’m not sure)
- Notions: Recycled mink fur pom-pom
- Using 4.00mm needles I used the long tail method to cast on 132 stitches, and joined to work in the round
- I knit the 2 x 2 ribbing until it was 10cm (4 inches) long
- Moved onto the cable pattern which I worked until the beanie measured 23cm (9 inches) from the cast on
- Crown shaped as instructed
This beanie is lovely, fuzzy and soft, I am very happy with it. The pattern is simple and easy to follow, although I did have to look up how to do a few things (SSK… I know) because it’s been that long since I’ve done any knitting!
Now to make one for hubby!
I’m going to start by saying that this was the quickest sew I’ve had in a long time, and it was so refreshing! This was cut, sewn, pressed and hanging in my closet in about 3 hours. It was so quick, I might even make another one this afternoon!
This is my brand new Elliot Sweater by Helen’s Closet, sewn up in a buttery soft, ash blue, premium 195gsm merino wool from The Fabric Store.
This is such a well drafted pattern, and there are so many things I love about it. The raglan sleeve makes sewing a breeze, and the oversized style makes picking a size easy.
The collar is soooo lovely! It’s just the right size, I don’t have to stretch it to get it over my head. It’s also slouchy enough that I don’t feel like I’m being strangled by my jumper.
The high-low hem is just a dream, and the split is the perfect length for me. I really like how thick the hems are as well, I find it gives a bit of weight which makes it hang nicely.
The great thing about this pattern is that Helen has included a few different variations. There is also a crop length, with a shorter collar, and a t-shirt version.
Snuggly and warm is an understatement! I’m off to sew another!
We are officially in Autumn here in Australia, my favourite season! The weather is slowly cooling down, so I thought I’d show off one of my proudest makes.
This is the Oslo Coat by Tessuti Patterns. I actually made this back in 2017 when I was pregnant. It didn’t get any wear that year as I couldn’t do it up over my growing belly.
I loved this pattern for it’s sleek, modern look, and the shawl collar is such an awesome design feature.
I made my coat out of a 100% wool fabric from The Remnant Warehouse. I remember the tag saying that it was a “felted wool”, but I must be wrong as this fabric has a defined nap.
I also picked up my lining from The Remnant Warehouse. I went for the higher grade lining and I’m glad I did.
This was my first time making a lined coat, and while the instructions are well written, my lining seemed too short in the arms. It pulled at the outer fabric so much that I had to fix it. I added about 2.5cm (plus seam allowance) to the cuff of my lining, which reduced the pulling and let the sleeve hang nicely.
I also ended up sewing my buttons a little closer to the front edges of the coat than instructed. I think I did this so I could button it up over my post-baby belly. However it does warp the collar a little, but it’s something I can live with.
- Pattern brand/name/number: Oslo Coat by Tessuti Patterns
- Style, size: Size 10
- Fabric: “Felted” wool and polyester lining from The Remnant Warehouse (I can’t find a link to either fabric)
- Notions: 1 brass button for outside closure, 1 black plastic button for inside closure, fusing, thread
- As mentioned, I had to add 2.5cm (plus seam allowance) length to the sleeve lining pieces so they didn’t pull and pucker the outer wool layer
- I used a walking foot to sew the wool, I feel like it helped keep everything aligned
I am so proud of this coat, even more so when people ask where I got it from, and I smugly reply that I made it. You should make one too, so you can do the same!
This dress caught my eye as I was walking past my local charity shop. I didn’t buy it at first, but I was so drawn to the rough ombré dye job that it was still on my mind the next day. Luckily for me, it was still hanging on the rack!
Somehow, I knew there was going to be something wrong with the dress, and I was right. The invisible zipper was busted. But that wasn’t an issue, as I was buying it solely for the fabric. At $8, it was a bargain!
The tag said the dress was 100% viscose, so the fabric has a beautiful, soft drape. I just love how the dye job isn’t a uniform gradient. I thought the best way to show it off was to use a simple pattern.
Could I really go past the Ogden Cami by True Bias? This is a famous pattern in the sewing community, and I can see why. It’s well drafted, simple, and classic.
The only modification I made was to extend the facing to a full lining, as the white part of this fabric is rather sheer. I think I’d do this again anyway, as I like the way it sits.
- Pattern brand/name/number: Ogden Cami by True Bias
- Style, size: Size 12
- Fabric: Rescued viscose
- Notions: None
- Modifications/alterations: Lengthened facing into a full lining
I’m really happy that I was able to rescue this fabric and turn it into something that will be loved and worn for many years to come.
I don’t think I’ve worn a crop top since I was 15 years old, but my new Kalle Shirt is breaking that drought!
I’ve had the Kalle pattern sitting in my stash for a while now, and it wasn’t until I sat down to plan out my Make Nine for 2019 that I remembered I had the perfect fabric for it.
I used a gorgeous printed rayon that I purchase from Spotlight about 2 years ago. This fabric made my shirt super soft with a lot of drape.
I have no idea why the yoke looks so warped?! I promise, it’s straight!
Based on the finished garment measurements, I decided to sew up a size 8, with no pattern modifications. I went with an inverted pleat on the back, standard collar, a hidden button placket, and I left the breast pocket off.
I decided to try pattern matching on the hidden placket. I’m not very good at pattern matching at the best of times, so I don’t know why I thought I could pull it off here. As you can see, I got close, but it’s not perfect!
I’m in love with how the hidden placket looks! It gives such a clean finish to the shirt. I used some nondescript white buttons for the body, but went for a fancy gold button at the neck.
- Pattern brand/name/number: Kalle Shirt & Shirtdress by Closet Case Patterns
- Style, size: View A, size 8
- Fabric: Printed rayon, purchased from Spotlight
- Notions: 5 white, nondescript bottoms, 1 fancy golden button
- Modifications/alterations: None at all
I’m so happy that I was able to use a fabric and a pattern that I’ve had sitting around for a while. I don’t think I have a huge fabric stash, but I don’t want to add to it this year, so I’m going to try and use what I’ve got, as much as possible, in 2019.