August 31, 2012

Conclude: Autumn & Winter Wardrobe 2012

Tomorrow it's Spring!! Finally! Except it is still very cold and windy here in Melbourne. But the blossoms are starting to show slightly, before they get blown away...

Way back in March I planned a wardrobe for Autumn and Winter. I even had a colour scheme! This planning worked really well and I actually sewed most items on my list plus some extras.

  • Sewaholic Minoru Jacket - Black Wool Coating with Liberty Lantana lining
  • Tessuti New York Cape - Marc Jacobs coating
  • Clover Pants - Charcoal Wool Suiting
  • Clover Pants -Navy Stretch Drill
  • Clover Pants -Black Wool Crepe
  • Renfrew Top View C (cowl neck) - Black Wool Interlock
  • Renfrew Top View C - Yellow Merino Wool Knit
  • Renfrew Top View B (plus 3/4 sleeves) - Charcoal Marc Jacobs Mesh Knit
  • Renfrew Top View B - black linen knit
  • Vogue 8028 Shirtdress - Suda Night Check
  • Infinity Scarf - leftover yellow merino knit
  • Simplicity 2451 skirts - lightweight denim (unblogged & unworn)

  • My favourites...


    In Progress (various stages):
    • Vogue 8560 Skirt - Black & White Doily Fabric
    • Simplicity 4237 pants - lightweight denim (made too small - must run more!!)
    My unplanned favourites... 

    I also sewed about 10 pairs of pants for the boys, a few skirts for my neice, a lunch bag and I am almost finished a Negroni!! My poor sewing machine needs a holiday.

    I have started a list of things I want to sew for Spring & Summer using fabric from my well stocked stash. There is so much beautiful fabric in there that I want to use it. I'll share my plans soon!
    Tomorrow, Rachel and I are doing the Freddie Vest class at Tessuti. Super excited.
    L x

    Sew: Under Fire Vogue 1027

    I love this pattern. I love this fabric. Match made in heaven!

    This dress has been made for a week. Patiently hanging while the bias in the skirt stabilised enough for hemming. Then hanging some more, waiting for me to actually wear it. Our house has been full of the lurgy. My youngest then got croup and now he has a raging fever. Bring on spring, I say!! So please excuse the pink eyes, dark circles and uncontrollable hair.

    This is my third version of this dress. From previous experience, I shortened the skirt by 20cm and shortened the tie by a total of approximately 50cm, to prevent me from continuously standing on them whilst bending down to pick things up or playing with the boys. I also overlapped the front bodice pieces by an extra 2.5cm to prevent further wardrobe malfunctions.

    As the weight of the fabric is quite significant in this dress, I stabilised the shoulder seams with a cotton drill tape. I avoided the armscye and simply turned the edge in by 1cm and used a twin needle. This is what I've done on all versions with great success. And for this version, I used some techniques from my swimsuit sewing by inserting elastic around the waist seam at the back only and topstitching it down with a triple zig-zag stitch.

    Project Details
    Pattern: Vogue 1027
    Fabric: Under Fire viscose/elastane jersey from Tessuti Melbourne
    • Shortened skirt by 20cm (possibly a little too much)
    • Shortened tie by 1/3 (50cm)
    • Overlapped bodice by an extra 2.5cm
    • Stabilised shoulder seams with cotton tape
    • Went down 2 sizes - usually a size 18 in Vogue (cut a 14)

     I really like this dress but am not feeling the love looking at these photos of me actually in it. What do you think?
    On my sewing table today is a Colette Negroni shirt for Mr Sew Brunswick as a Father's Day present. It is coming along surprisingly well. It will compliment the many paintings and presents made at childcare perfectly.
    What's on your sewing table this weekend?
    L x
    August 26, 2012

    Review: Sewing Kit App

    Remember this fabric splurge at the recent Melbourne Sewists' Meet?? I know you all think I just went crazy and bought random fabric.

    But I have a secret weapon. I use the Sewing Kit App on my iPhone for storing all my pattern information so when I see something I like, I can flick through my patterns, see how much fabric I need and what notions are required and I am on my way!! A few people saw me use it and asked me to do a review. So here we go!

    I bought it last year when I first got my iPhone and it cost around $13 for the full version (I can't actually confirm the price as I've already downloaded it).

    There are four main folders with numerous sub-categories:
    Patterns - company, number, size, photos, suggested fabrics, notions and yardage.
    Fabrics - colour, material, ironed status, washed status, and more. Photos can be loaded.
    People - store measurements for people you sew for (eg. children, husband).
    Projects - project name, who its for, status, pattern used, notes and photos.

    I mainly use the pattern section. I load all the particulars from the back of the pattern envelope and when you save this information the app downloads the pattern pictures from the big 4 pattern companies. So you have the front and back envelope views as well as the line drawings.

    I haven't loaded all my patterns as that would take a very long time. I generally load patterns that I want to sew in the near future but need fabric for. I also take my patterns with me when I babysit for friends and load them onto the app while I'm watching mindless TV.

    Here are a few screen shots from my app. Note to self: STOP cutting patterns out in a size 20, even though the pattern suggests that size, as you spend forever taking them in later!!







    All in all, it is a very handy app that saves me from taking the pattern envelopes shopping with me and assists in those moments when you see something you really like but wasn't actually planning on buying so don't have your pattern envelopes. And I always ended up ruining the envelopes or losing them completely...  
    Last but not least, I leave you with a glimpse of my most recent project which is currently hanging for a while waiting for the skirt to stabilise. Can't wait to wear this one!

    L x
    August 24, 2012

    Make: Lime Marmalade

    I like all things citrus and lime marmalade is no exception. I used my normal Citrus Marmalade recipe, simply using only limes as the citrus component and using half orange and half lemon juice.

    Lime Marmalade
    500g limes
    3 lemons
    1 cup orange juice
    1 cup lemon juice
    4 cups water
    1.5kg sugar

    Blend all citrus in food processor until desired consistency. Simmer chopped citrus with juice and water for about 20 minutes until fruit is softened. Add sugar and bring to a rapid boil. Boil hard for 20 minutes or until setting point is reached. Rest for 10 minutes before pouring into warm, sterilised jars.
    It is superb!

    I spotted these magnolias at the playground this morning. Spring is slowly on its way. Can't wait!!.

    L x
    August 20, 2012

    Meet: Melbourne Sewists

    On Saturday, Rachel organised a sewing meet-up in the city. Any interested parties met in Tessuti for a spot of shopping before descending on Federation Square for a few drinks. It was a fabulous afternoon and it certainly has been a long time since I rode the train home on a Saturday night with a few drinks under my belt!! One of the best things about meeting fellow sewing enthusiasts is talking in pattern numbers. Fantastic!


    Most people were sewing bloggers but there were a few non-bloggers who came along. Here's the attendance list!

    Rocket Sews - Kirsty
    The Two Windmills - Rachel
    Little Betty - Christy
    Funkbunny's  Kitchen Garden - Helen
    Bella's Collectanea of Sewing - Belle
    The Perfect Nose - TJ
    Sew Squirrel - Sarah
    My Messings - Rachel
    All the Whimsical Things - Kat
    Sew Love Red - Robyn
    Thornberry - Lara
    Seamstress: Poppykettle - Melanie
    Boo Dogg & Me - Rachel
    Sue A

    Apologies if I missed anyone.

    It was a fabulous afternoon and I hope to do it again soon.

    Now, on to my fabric selections. I am documenting them here now so Christy (aka Little Betty) does not claim them as her own ideas!!

    These three pieces will become my Freddie vest. Rachel & I are doing the class at Tessuti in a few weeks. From left to right we have a double sided linen for the front, a metallic cotton fabric from a dud skirt for the back, and a bit of rockstar (bronze & black print) for the lining.

    On my list I had the washed linen in a gold beige for a Simplicity 2443 jacket. The green floral is a wool blend that I found in the remnant bin. It has a lovely drape. Not sure what it will be. Any suggestions??

    A jersey called Under Fire for another Vogue DKNY 1027.

    And another remnant bin find, a hot pink knit which will become a Drape Drape dress of some description.

    All together a super successful shopping trip with some good times thrown in.

    L x

    August 18, 2012

    Sew: Vogue 1250

    I made a new dress for the meet-up today. I cut it out early yesterday morning (I have an early riser) and sewed it up during Play School that afternoon. It took a total of about 2 hours. Seriously, this dress is quick!! I wore it today with my new Simplicity 2250 jacket, tights and boots.

    Project Details
    Pattern: Vogue 1250
    Fabric: Remnant from Clegs
    Alterations: Due to fabric limitations, I had to cut back top as two pieces and make a centreback seam. Next time, I probably need a sway back adjustment. 

    The meet-up was fantastic. I would post the photos but I left my camera at the cafe. I do have a funny photo on my phone. The line up for buying fabric at Tessuti had scrum potential!

    Everyone was very restrained in the fabric buying. Except me... I happened to be the first person to the remnant table. Fantastic! Want a peek in my shopping bag?

    I will post the proper photos when I get my camera back. Thanks to Rachel for organising a fantastic day. Sydney next?!

    L x
    August 17, 2012

    Sew: Simplicity 2250 Jacket

    Hello, my name is Leith and I have cardigan obsessive disorder... I wear cardigans all the time. I even wear them to bed. Cardigan was in Mr N's first 50 words. I love cardigans!

    I am attempting to revamp my work wardrobe. Moving away from cardigans with everything and more into short cropped jackets with shift dresses. I was having coffee with Rachel one day when she told me she bought some black ponti knit for a jacket, Simplicity 2250. Light bulb moment! I instantly thought of binding the seams and cuffs with polkadots.

    Project Details
    Pattern: Simplicity 2250, Jacket
    Fabric: Black Lightweight Ponti Knit from Rathdowne Fabrics
    Notions: 1cm thick shoulder pads, bias binding
    Alterations: Cut size 20, took extra 1cm off seams (next time size 18), shaped side seams in at waist by another 1cm.

    I'm pretty pleased with this make. It will get good wear at work. I'd like to make this again in a lightweight denim for a casual jacket to wear with summer dresses. What do you think?

    Does anyone know of a short casual blazer pattern? Preferably lined and approximately hip length?

    On another note, I am super excited about tomorrow's Sewist's Meet Up!! Can't wait to meet you all. The only problem is, what to wear?!

    L x

    August 14, 2012

    Cook: Working Day Casserole

    So here's my hot tip for the week!

    On the weekend, chop up the ingredients for a casserole and put the meat, onion and spices in one container and the vegetables in another container. Pop them in the fridge.

    Before work, while you're waiting for the kettle to boil, throw them all in a slow cooker with a tin of tomatoes and 3 cups of chicken stock. Done.

    When you walk in the door after work, your house smells fantastic and dinner is ready!

    Recipe - Lamb & Barley Casserole
    500g chopped lamb
    2 cloves garlic
    2 teaspoons cumin
    2 teaspoons tumeric
    1 chopped onion
    1 chopped sweet potato
    2 chopped potatoes
    1/2 cup pearl barley
    1 tin tomatoes
    3 cups chicken stock

    And the best thing about this? The kids are in bed and the washing up is done by 6.30pm. More time for sewing!!

    L x

    August 13, 2012

    Snap: Lost in a Fabric Shop

    I thought you all might appreciate these photos my Dad snapped of my Mum shopping in a fabric shop in Roma.

    How do you find anything in there? How do you not lose a kid in there?!

    L x
    Update: My mum tells me it wasn't actually Spotlight but just a fabric store. For risk of upsetting Spotlight, I've changed it. But it could have been a Spotlight... 
    August 11, 2012

    Travel: Fiji

    Bula! We spent the week in Fiji having a lovely time swimming, eating and drinking cocktails. This was our first resort holiday ever. Not sure if we're converted but we had a lovely time. Who wouldn't with views like this?!

    Right outside our deck...

    From our dinner spot...

    And by the pool...

    Trip Details
    Travel Agent: Holiday Specialists
    Airline: Air Pacific
    If you've got young kids I couldn't recommend the Shangri-La enough. By day 3, most staff knew our boys by name. And they really, genuinely love children. There's a Little Chiefs Club and if you want babysitting, you get the same lady for the whole stay. The boys loved their carer, Sisi. There are ramps everywhere for strollers and lots of kids menus and activities. Plus, there is an adults only pool and restaurant for when the babysitter is on duty and you don't want to deal with other people's children!!

    Although I don't think we'll be giving up our backpacks for suitcases and resorts any time soon, it was a lovely way to spend a week with my family.

    On a sewing note, I am pleased to report that my Kwik Sew 3609 swimsuit was an absolute winner! I am dreaming of another in a black and white stripe with thinner straps plus I think I may brave a high-waisted bikini set in a similar floral print. Also, has anyone seen Gertie's recent Betty High Waist Panties obsession? Aren't they fabulous? I'm very tempted to give them a go. Has anyone tried them?

    L x
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