Monday, 30 June 2014

Japanese Sewing Book give away Winner

Hello Readers,

It is the first of July here in the Antipodies. Happy end of financial year my fellow Australians. Happy July to everyone else! There is extra cause for celebration for one reader.. Helenko you have won my give away of Drape Drape.

So Helen email me! My email is in my profile.
By the way don't stop reading sewing blogs, they're good for you  ;)


Thursday, 26 June 2014

June Give Away

Happy Birthday and blogiversary to me!

* Edit:  I wrote this post in a mad hurry before going to the gym. I should have said Birthday and Blogiversary Month. My birthday was at the beginning of the month..

Anyway, four years ago I started the blog as a birthday present to me and it is still something I enjoy. Thank you all for being such a great community.

In celebration I am giving away something special.

It is Drape Drape, the pattern book that started the craze for all things drapey-Japanese. I bought it when it first came out so sorry guys, it is in Japanese.

The patterns are included in the back, to be traced off and each garment has instruction diagrams. Looking at this book is an inspiration. I've got it in English so if the winner wants a photo of garment instructions they can email me.

I will post it anywhere, so if you want it say so in the comments within the next five days.

Val xx

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Archer Shirt in Teal Linen

I had some teal linen marinating in the stash. I loved this material. Beautiful quality, medium weight and in one of my favourite colours. I'd planned to make a shirt all along but was waiting for the right pattern. Various contenders came and went and then I started on my Archer adventure  here.

I got it out. I pre-washed, I cut, I sewed and of course, because the shirt meant a lot to me I made errors and unpicked and sewed again. I even recut the collar stand because the original had shifted ever so slightly off grain. The material though beautiful and springy had a life of it's own. I sort of suspect that pure linen always has a life of its own! Eventually though, I had my shirt.

I love to either fold or roll up my shirt sleeves so I made a two piece placket rather than the continuous one of the original Archer because the sleeves roll better.

To make the placket I followed instructions from Threads Sewing Guide, page 181 which I purchased during my recent sewing book buying spree. The irony is that the 'Two Piece Placket' is actually made from a single piece of material. 

My modifications to the back are two little pleats rather than a centre pleat, a centre back seam and a sway back adjustment. I added the little loop when I saw one on a RTW shirt.

I did flat felled seams on the body and sleeves.
Love my Archer!

Happy Sewing,

Friday, 6 June 2014

V8597 or When in Doubt go back to Black

As mentioned in my previous make of View A, aka the droopy funnel here, I pulled out some black knit I had in the stash and made up View C. This view still has raglan sleeves but a more conventional separate piece for the cowl, basically a big tube.  My piece of fabric wasn't quite big enough for the full size cowl, but it still ended up big enough. I solved the problem of not having enough material for full length sleeves by adding cuffs. All in all I like this view of the pattern.

I've got my hand on my hip where the top ends..I apologize for the poor visibility of the top in the photo and the black on black but the neck area worked out much better than the funnel shaped cowl of my previous attempt. I  will use this pattern again, I am thinking maybe in sweatshirt material.

The top was made on my overlocker, hemmed with the coverstitcher. The only alteration apart from narrowing the depth of the cowl was to widen the waist. This pattern has a slim waist while I do not.

The front for view C has darts. I cut it as drafted but when it came to sewing up I eased the un sewn dart bust area while holding the back piece taught. Have the piece you are easing facing the feed dogs on the machine while serging. This helps when stretching one piece of fabric onto another..

Happy sewing. I have more sewing projects jangling around in my head than time to sew them ..

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

E.M. Greenfields Sydney

A new to me shop exists in Sydney. I say new to me because it has existed for some time. It sits in the middle of Sydney's rag trade district in Surrey Hills and is aimed towards the professional buyer. This is where they go to buy a bolt of fabric and a box of notions for professional design samples.

Off Commonweath Street and up Ann Street there is a plain brick building. Climb the stairs past the notions floor and offices to the fabric floor. There are folders on the counter with swatches sorted by fabric type. Be amazed at the choice. Downstairs on the first floor there is also every button, zip, braid, elastic, feather and notion one can think of, to the point that it is overwhelming if you don't know exactly what you are looking for.

But if you do, the staff are very helpful. I also found that even though the shop is geared toward bulk buying and the system of asking then being served, they do not mind if you venture behind the counters and were even ok with a few photographs.

There are cards with swatches on each section too.

Fabrics are sorted by type. Silk, linen cotton, lace, knits. It goes on and on. Mostly plain colours, in fact I do not remember seeing any prints there.

The cutting/rolling counters.

When you have decided and ordered your fabrics you go back down to the notions floor to pay then go back upstairs to get them. Because I was buying in 1.5 or two metre amounts (it goes by half metre increments) I was charged a $3.90 minicut fee on each piece purchased but the total was still reasonable for what I bought and for the quality of the fabric. They have good quality here. I not no remember seeing any cheap or nasty fabric!

I did not get any photos of the amazing notions floor. By the time I went back downstairs with my purchases and camera in hand there was a gaggle of design students trying to talk the manager into giving them free pieces of fabric. I literally could not get past them so I chickened out!

My booty. Indigo shirting weight chambray and thick terry towelling and a beaded motif just because .. 

I had previously been looking for terry towelling everywhere with no success. I want to make a zippered mini robe to throw over my swimmers at my local fitness club as there is a long cold corridor between the sauna and the indoor pool. I am very happy with my purchases but yesterday when I went to Spotlight for something else guess what they had finally ordered in? Yes you guessed it, terry towelling.

Mine's better though :)

From now on if I end up taking any visitors to Sydney on a little tour of my favourite Surrey Hills fabric shops I will include E.M. Greenfields to make a great little triad of The Fabric Shop,  E.M.Greemfields and then Tessuti, and then one of the yummy trendy cafes on Crown Street, all within walking distance to Central Station. Maybe I should hire a mini bus and start some tours hehe

Happy Sewing,

Monday, 2 June 2014

May Give away Winner

Seeing it's June already I finally ran the May numbers into the Random Number Generator on my state of the art computer...

photo from

The winner is Judy from Sew Blessed Maw.

Email me Judy!

p.s. I am giving away something special this month, because it's my birthday! Stay tuned.


Sunday, 1 June 2014

Not so sure about the Saggy Funnel V8597

I sewed a quick top yesterday. Cut serge, cover stitch. Zoom zoom. So nice to do after the more complex projects I've been doing. The material was a three dollar bargain price mystery knit, very soft and as it turns out, a bit clingy.

I wore it today but I doubt if I will make this view again. The funnel just droops and flops and doesn't really look like anything at all.

Views A and B are the same except or the sleeve and body lengths. View C has a separate attach-a-tube neck which I know will suit me better. Got some black knit for that.

Have you ever made something and liked it and wanted it to suit but it's just 'meh'?

I am not complaining too hard though,
It was happy bit of sewing.