The clear and present danger of fabric sales and social media accounts

This post is brought to you by the fabric enablers that encourage impulse fabric purchases via the seemingly innocent social media accounts

A mere 8 weeks ago according to my instagram feed, my local fabric ‘dealer’ The Fabric Store were having a sale and a good 30% one of that. And all the while my instagram feed is displaying all these pretty fabric spoils from said sale. One particular instagram image of some Liberty Jersey that I had been conveting since its arrival to the store was posted by Melanie of Made-by-Melanie had me weakened. 

As posted on my Instagram, these fabrics were the spoils of my visit to the 30% VIP sale as specifically enabled by Melanie

 In tribute I thought the fabric is destined to be inspired by Melanie’s style of comfortable tops and knit pencils. 


Tessuti Isla top was released just days before the Fabric Store sale kicked off and is clearly in  Melanie’s style (in fact as blogged about here)

I made a size S with no adjustments for the Liberty Jersey.  It’s bright and fun, but when push comes to shove it’s just a cotton jersey nothing too amazing despite the Liberty brand name. It’s 100% cotton so no nice recovery in the stretch which is uncomfortable as those sleeves are tight…but that silk jersey I purchased at the same sale is a different story. 


We have another Isla and this time I love it. 

However beware silk jersey shrinks!!  

Thankfully I pre washed the fabric so I discovered the shrinkage before cutting out.  

But I still needed to place the top on hold until I could source some fabric for the pattern piece that would not fit amongst the newly shrunk silk. But not too long as my stash helped out – the majority of the delay was because I couldn’t exactly locate the black Lycra knit (from The Remnant Warehouse) amongst the fabric stash. 

Again for new players: prewash, always prewash your fabric, and if unsure prewash *sigh* silk-isla-3
For the second creation I used the same S sizing however this time I added 1cm to each side of the sleeves and blended back into the pattern piece – and success 100%

I love this top and teamed with my ever faithful Pattern Runway Scalloped Hem shorts I have my summer uniform.  Seriously if I could wear this 24/7 I

Perfect for Summer Holidays! And again a big thank you to Melanie for being the best fabric enabler ever. 

My #makenine2017 projects

Each year in January I am inspired by Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow and her Sewing Top 5 of previous year.  While I haven’t previously blogged about them alot I do sit down each year (usually over the Christmas/New Year break) and jot them down.

The hits are usually easy – they are the makes that I reach for each week or the ones that I smile a little for when thinking about as I am so proud of the end product or the work involved to complete it.

The misses can tend to be harder to quantify.  More so this year than previous years the misses are when I sew something to a predetermined image in my head that in reality the fabric or the pattern is not a fit for – I want to be more ‘fabric savvy’.  It also makes me wonder whether I am fabric first or pattern first sewer which brings me to my goals for 2017.

The main resolution is to ‘sew the stash’ – yeah I know, not particularly original.  I am honestly a little embarrassed by the amount of fabric I have stashed and the number of patterns that sit unused.  The best goals are measurable ones, so instead of saying ‘sew the stash’ I will be specific and identify the patterns and fabric that will be used.  All are projects that I have the pattern and fabric for with two exceptions.  NB Some of these are already in progress but I refuse to let them continue to be unfinished projects

  1. Style Arc Stella Coat with a green plaid coating from The Fabric Store purchased during a Brisbane Spoolettes catchup
  2. Alabama Chanin factory dress using one of their DIY kits from our US trip last year
  3. Fehr Trade Surf to Summit top using supplex purchased during our US trip last year
  4. Grainline Alder with fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics during our 2015 Christmas trip to Melbourne
  5. Papercut Rigel Bomber with Liberty fleece from The Fabric Store
  6. Named Olivia wrap dress using Tory Burch knit from The Fabric Store
  7. Thread Theory Fairfield  button upwith cotton shirting from Cleggs also from a Melbourne trip

and my two exceptions [with one huge bucket list item for me]

  1. Susan Khalje couture skirt workshop
  2. Cashmerette Turner dress


In the list I think I have some quick wins that will hopefully get the momentum going.

Wish me luck and hopefully I will begin to see the floor of the sewing room as I clear out the mess!


’tis the party dress season…

s-the-party-season-6This time of year tends to require the obligatory holiday party dress and as always nothing in the closet provides sufficient inspiration.  To ease this dire situation in steps the Boundless Style workbook, by Kristiann Boos of Victory Patterns fame, with its multitude of dress options.


There are big skirts and little skirts, sleeves and no sleeves, boat necks and v necks, ties and peplums.  Which can all be switched for each other.  The book has an accompanying Look Book website where you can mix and match your design.  The configuration I went with was the Jackie bodice with no ties, no sleeves with the tea length Lydia skirt.


The fabric is from my usual Brisbane haunt of The Fabric Store a gorgeous silk that was a ‘substitute’ purchase become the silk that I was coveting was not on the display floor (which I did actually found again and quickly remedied by being purchased).

As expected that skirt is a fabric hog and required some pattern Tetris games to get this close.  Obviously I didn’t have sufficient yardage for two wrap pieces with back bodice and I used silk organza for the front facing pieces.  There was also not enough fabric to consider any ‘inappropriate rose’ placements hence the butt rose!!  But the skirt is simply stunning despite the butt rose!  I love it.

Each skirt side is made up of three pieces seamed together and double pleated.  The skirt has a gorgeous vintage feel to it.  I am definitely eyeing off my fabric stash for more suitable fabric to make more of these skirts whether as a dress or throw a straight waistband on it!

I fitted within the book’s size 8 and I made the bodice and skirt in size 8 with no adjustments.  The skirt with that amount of volume was not going to present any fitting issues, however I would adjust the bodice for the next make.

The wrap of the back bodice gaps slightly which I am hoping a quick tack will remedy easily however the front bodice needs more attention.  There is excess fabric around the bust, it is not too obvious but I notice it.  Perhaps a small bust adjustment of two or three centimetres will assist.  Or alternatively  reducing between the shoulder and armscye which brings me to my usual gripe with bodice pattern pieces that are same whether sleeveless or with sleeves because no way does that work correctly without excess ease.  If the next make is also sleeveless I think I will follow my pattern making instructions and come in 1cm at the top of side seam to nothing at waistline and then raise armhole 2cm.

It is also the finishing details that I love about the dress.  These details begin in the Boundless Style Book where a skirt lining and waist stay are included. I thought that it I taking the effort to make a lining and a waist stay I should take the details to the next level (and three hours of hand sewing later).  I added bra guards and crinoline in the hem both following Claire Shaeffer’s instructions in High Fashion Sewing Secrets – and I glad I did as sometimes adding more details is better…

Overall the dress is a success but currently still in the ‘party’ infrequent dress category of the wardrobe.  However I think once I tack the two back wraps together I think I will feel a more comfortable to wear more regularly and hopefully will make for a higher rotation – despite the bodice excess as that skirt is so much fun to wear.