December 30, 2012

Sew: Grainline Moss Mini Skirt

I've been thinking about this pattern for some time but once I saw Boo Dogg's and Poppykettle's versions, it jumped to the top of the list! I was too impatient to wait for my beautiful Italian denim from Tessuti to be pre-washed and dried that I went stash shopping and found this navy cotton drill from Spotlight. I bought 5 metres to make my Clover toiles but only used 1.5 metres after finding out the hard way that it does not contain 3% stretch. 

I made View B with the hem band. I simply hemmed the hem band with a 1.5cm hem instead of following the directions which direct you to fold the hem band in half and slip stitch it to the seam. I used some Liberty fabric left over from my Lonsdale dress for the pockets and facings.

I opted for a hook and slide instead of the jean button for a clean look. I will attempt the button for my next version.

I forgot to remove the basting stitches from the zip...

Project Details
Pattern: Grainline Moss Mini Skirt, View B
Fabric: Navy cotton drill from Spotlight
Alterations: Tapered in side seam from hip to waist by an extra 1cm each side, hemmed hem band with a 1.5cm hem (without folding back on itself)

I am ridiculously pleased with this skirt. I'm not in love with the fabric (cheap cotton drill) but can see so much potential in this pattern. The Italian denim is cut and waiting, including more Liberty lining. I just need to hem some neon green monkey boxer shorts for the boys...
L x

December 29, 2012

Sew: Floral Grainline Tiny Pocket Tank

I love this fabric. I loved it from the moment I set eyes on it in Tessuti. I made a beautiful dress out of it but it was short lived as it quickly became too big. The dress has sat in my sewing room scrunched up for well over a year waiting for a new lease of life. Thankfully the Tiny Pocket Tank came to the rescue!!
I simply cut the tank out of the skirt, placing the darts at the shoulder. I used purchased bias tape for the armholes and neckline.

I wore it yesterday with an unblogged Simplicity 2215 denim skirt. It was a bit of a colour explosion with a pink cardigan!!

Project Details - Tank
Pattern: Grainline Tiny Pocket Tank
Fabric: Floral cotton from Tessuti

Project Details - Skirt
Pattern: Simplicity 2215
Fabric: Lightweight denim from Kelani Fabrics

We'd better make that 91 garments this year...

L x

Sew: Zebra Coasters

I got sick of covering the stains with my coffee cup on our old set of coasters, so I made a snazzy new set out of the remaining bit of zebra print linen left over from my Vogue 8552 dress.

I use a 12 x 12cm cardboard template to cut two squares of fabric and one square of stiff interfacing and use a 1cm seam allowance. Once turned and pressed, I topstitch around the edges.

Simple. They go perfectly with my black, white and red kitchen. Plus they match my dress!

L x

December 27, 2012

2012: Sew Brunswick

It is that time of year that we all start to reflect on the year that has just been and look forward to the new year and a fresh start. I started blogging in February 2012, so not quite a year has been documented. I thought I would take you all on a little walk down memory lane.

First up, the tally of items. Prepare yourself! I made a total of 90 items. Yes, you read correctly. 90. Nine - zero. I almost fell off my chair!

The breakdown is as follows -
Jackets: 6
Dresses: 19
Top/Blouse/Vests: 14
Skirts: 10
Pants/Shorts: 4
Bathers: 1
Accessories: 2
Boys: 29
Husband: 1
Gifts: 4

I can safely say that I don't buy many clothes and that I wear mainly me-made items. My boys also only wear me-made pants & shorts.

Now that we've got the figures out of the way on to the reflection.

The Most Worn Items of Sew Brunswick 2012

By far the most worn item I made this year is my black wool Minoru jacket with Liberty lining. You can't go out in Melbourne during winter without a coat and this was my go to jacket for 2012.

The second most worn item of 2012 would have to be my Summer Minoru jacket. I love this jacket! It also happens to be the first item I blogged on Sew Brunswick.

If I had to chose only one pattern for my work wardrobe, New Look 6000 would have to be it. I love the fabric as well as the pleats and the little cap sleeves. I try to restrain myself and only wear this once every two weeks!! I have another on my cutting table but can't decide between pleats or no pleats...

Despite it being a bit big across the shoulders and that the fabric is starting to pill, I wear this casual blazer all the time at work. An air conditioned office combined with industrial fridges and a strict temperature control means jackets are required all year round. I am waiting for my Cordova Jacket pattern to arrive so I can branch out!

I never really blogged this dress properly but boy do I wear this Vogue 1250!! If you haven't made Vogue 1250, I implore you to. It is a wardrobe staple.

The Proudest Items of Sew Brunswick 2012

My black wool clovers took a bit of tweaking but the fit is spot on and I love the style. I look forward to perfecting my pant fitting skills further in 2013.

I am really proud of the finish of my New York Cape. I took my time and it really paid off. I really love the overall look of this cape. And other people must have loved it because I know of two spin-offs!
I couldn't believe how easy these bathers were to make. I wear them a lot and they stay up! Bonus!! I've got another swimsuit cut out and I really want to make another vintage style one-piece before summer ends. 

How could I not love my 30th Birthday dress?! I love the fabric and I love the style. It's not perfect but I'll always remember this dress.

My first adult size men's shirt. Sure I've made numerous little boys shirts but this was my first for Mr Sew Brunswick. He deserves more! If only I could sacrifice my selfish sewing time for other people...

The Failures of Sew Brunswick 2012

I loved this dress, until I wore it for the second time. The fabric was the problem. It pilled and quickly lost it's appeal. I do still wear this around the house. It is super comfortable and I can't quite let go.

Once again the fabric was the main problem. It went dull very quickly and is now kind of fuzzy. I also cut the hem a bit too short for the style and the hem is uneven. I've never worn this again after its first outing.

I wore this dress a few times but I can't get over the fact that the shoulders are too wide and I used too stiff interfacing in the collar. It also reminds me a bit too much of my school uniform. I have it hanging in my sewing room, waiting for me to chop off the top and make it into a skirt. 

I never wear this linen Renfrew despite wearing the black version quite frequently. The waist band is not flattering and the neckline gapes. I have taken it in since this photo but it still doesn't venture out of the wardrobe. I don't think cream is my colour...

Look at the fit!! It is awful. It is not a good sign when there a very limited versions of a pattern on the internet. Vogue 8272 is one of them! Why am I then tempted to try the cowl version in my beautiful Alannah Hill red wool crepe??

The Year that was 2012
2012 has been good to me, both personally and professionally. I've been back at my job for just over a year and now feel that I can get stuck in to developing myself and my unit. I made the decision to start a blog and it was a very good decision as I've met so many wonderful like-minded people who love to talk sewing and drink numerous glasses of champagne! I've almost lost my sanity attempting to mother my two boisterous boys, often whilst Mr Sew Brunswick was gallivanting (aka working) all over the world. They are good boys, and I think I've done a good job. I've lost 7kg and learnt to run. I've finally learnt to embrace my curly hair. We've travelled and had fantastic holidays together as a family. Most of all, we've got out there and explored this wonderful world we live in!!

The Year Ahead for Sew Brunswick
Sew 2013 will see me attempting to slow down and reduce the number of items I make and focus on more technical and complex construction. I really want to perfect my techniques. I hope to make a tailored jacket or two, learn to knit and try my hand at sewing underwear. Besides sewing, I want to branch out again with my cooking. We've been in survival mode this year, so I hope to try new things and spice things up a bit. I've signed up for the 15km Run for the Kids and hope to lose the next 7kg. I want to keep travelling and exploring, opening my boys eyes to the world around us.

I really don't hold much hope in slowly down. It's not in my nature. But we can always try!

So bring on 2013 and Happy New Year to all my lovely readers.

L x

Sew: Vogue 8552 in Zebra print

Last Friday, Rachel and I took the kids in to see Santa at City Square. We were all done and dusted by 10.20am so we popped in to pick up my order from Tessuti and have a bit of a browse. Thankfully we were the only customers in the shop as our kids "browsed" with us. Trish was just putting a 1.5m zebra print linen remnant out so I snatched it up.

Vogue 8552 was fresh in my mind after reading Bloom's Endless Summer post last week on her most recent version. I've made this pattern twice before but wasn't a big fan of either dress. The first version the fabric was too stiff and the second version my binding was all off. I've come along way since both of those dresses, in terms of my finishing skills and adjusting the pattern to fit.

I removed a 1.5cm wedge from both the centre front and back as the neckline is very wide. I also went down a size. I used white bias binding and a plain white cotton for the neckline facing so the zebra print wouldn't show through and also to reduce bulk at the neckline pleats. The alterations completely changed the look and fit of the dress.

I love the big pleated pockets. 

And the back external pleats. 

It goes perfectly with my new Dinosaur Designs necklace. 

Project Details
Pattern: Vogue 8552 view A with pockets from view B
Fabric: 1.5m zebra print linen remnant from Tessuti Melbourne
Alterations: Size 18, removed 1.5cm wedge from centre front and back (removing 3cm total from neckline width), cut armholes down another 1cm 

Our Santa photo turned out alright. Mr H wouldn't turn his back to Santa, he wasn't too sure about the guy with the beard...

December 26, 2012

Celebrate: Christmas

We had a fabulous Christmas Day at home with just our little family of four. It was our first ever at home alone without numerous family and friends. At first it did feel a bit weird not to have all the fuss and busyness of lots of people, but we soon settled in for a lovely day with the kids. The boys got new scooters from us so we were out there in the beautiful sunshine teaching them how to scoot. Boy did I wish I had a scooter!!

Even though it was just us for Christmas, I still did all my favourites things for breakfast and lunch. For breakfast we had croissants and fresh fruit with champagne and orange juice. This is a family tradition for my family. Lunch was a marmalade glazed ham served with a pancetta potato salad and a rocket, parmesan and pear salad. I made honeycomb and macadamia icecream and served this as a sundae with crushed honeycomb, macadamias and palm sugar syrup. It was pure bliss!! All of this was followed by a 3 hour afternoon siesta. I realised I forgot to serve the prawns for lunch, so we had prawn sandwiches for dinner. Talk about a perfect day!!

I was very spoilt with beautiful presents including some sewing related gifts. My mother-in-law gave me a new super-duper ironing board cover and my sister-in-law gave me a cute pincushion from Etsy. Plus check out Mr N's gift to me!! A thread spool storage device for my iPhone headphones. How cool are they?! He bought them from the NGV shop if you're interested.

I wore an old dress (Vogue 1102 - reviewed on Sew Tessuti) I made for a good friend's wedding in 2011. I've only worn it once to the wedding, which is such a shame as I love the fabric colour. I just find the low cut of the back too exposed for everyday wear. I plan to cut the skirt off and either make a full skirt or a fitted top. I wore it with a beige singlet on Christmas Day as it is the perfect festive colour. It went perfectly with my new necklace that Mr Sew Brunswick gave me. He picks the most amazing necklaces and you all know how much I love a good necklace.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas Day with your loved ones. I sure did. The weather in Melbourne has been lovely and we got out today to take the boys and their new scooters to Princes Park. This afternoon I got a few quiet hours in my sewing room while the boys snoozed (including Mr Sew Brunswick) or watched a movie on the couch. I finished a dress made from a linen remnant I picked up at Tessuti last Friday. Talk about fast fashion! Tomorrow I'm going to hit the garden. Wish me luck!

L x

December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

From my family to yours, and from my sewing room to yours, I wish you all a very safe & happy festive season.

Despite the fact that what feels like the whole of Australia has "finished up for the year", I'll still be working as people get a bit upset if hospitals shut up shop for the holidays. It's actually a great time of year to work, as everyone's cheerful and happy.

My husband has a few days off, so we'll also be spending a few days at home painting the shed and gardening. I've also got about 8 items cut out so I hope to spend a few quiet afternoons sewing. We can only hope!!

So, Merry Christmas and all that jazz! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.

L x
December 20, 2012

Sew: Liberty Scout Woven Tee

It is safe to say that I love the Scout Woven Tee pattern. It is just so comfortable yet stylish making it a very valuable addition to my "Mum" wardrobe. I also think it is great to showcase beautiful cotton fabric in the same way that the Tiny Pocket Tank does.

Project Details
Pattern: Grainline Scout Woven Tee
Fabric: Liberty Wiltshire in Peach from Shaukat

That is all.

L x
December 19, 2012

Sew: Summer Dress for Miss O


As I don't have any girls of my own (probably a good thing!), I take great pleasure in sewing dresses for Christmas and Birthdays for my niece, Miss O.

I have a large collection of skirts made in Amy Butler fabrics that I made soon after having my boys and now don't fit me. So I've stashed them away to make in to skirts and dresses for Miss O. I simply ripped out the zip, sewed up the centre back again and laid the pattern onto the skirt. I even used the existing hem to simplify things further.

I downloaded this free pattern from the internet months ago and can't for the life of me remember where it is from. It is a simple A-line with cut outs for the armholes. Mr N picked the ribbon. He is good like that.

So, Merry Christmas Miss O and all my family in Queensland!! We will miss you all this year but look forward to another great Christmas together next year.

L x
December 18, 2012

Me Made: Travel Wardrobe

Whilst packing for our recent road trip holiday, I realised that at least 95% of my clothes are handmade. So I thought it would be a bit of fun to do a Me Made Holiday round up of the clothes I wore.

Day 1: Japanese Floral Scout Woven Tee with a RTW denim pencil skirt. Not a good shot but we'd just driven 8 hours with two kids. Enough said...

Day 2: Stripe Maxi (McCalls 6559) for a visit to Questacon 
Day 3: Red Linen Lily Dress to the Australian War Memorial.
Day 4: Floral Colour Blocked Vogue 8805 for a ride on the Manly ferry to see the Opera House & Sydney Harbour Bridge. 

Day 5: Black Linen Renfrew with Pink Polka Dot Iris Shorts after a day at Bronte Beach. 

Day 6: Marc Jacobs Scout Woven Tee with Bright Orange Colette Clovers for a trip to Taronga Zoo to celebrate Mr H's 2nd birthday. And yes, that is a large plastic dinosaur!

Day 7: Floral Colour Blocked Vogue 8805 for a day at Bondi Beach.

Day 8: Yet to be blogged Liberty Scout Woven Tee with capri pants and a cardigan for the beautiful Blue Mountains.

Day 9: Marc Jacobs Scout Woven Tee with a RTW denim skirt, touring the Blue Mountains with friends. 
Day 10: Black Linen Renfrew with Bright Orange Clovers and a trusty Country Road cardi & scarf. Freezing in the Blue Mountains!!
Day 11: McCalls 6559 Strip Maxi layered with a Country Road 3/4 tee and cardigan for a trip through the Southern Highlands to Jervis Bay.  
Day 12: Glorious day at the beach! Perfect for my Kwik Sew 3609 bathers
Day 13: My old faithful Japanese Floral Simplicity 2360 was perfect as a beach cover-up and lounging around with the boys.

Day 14: Liberty Simplicity 2360 for an afternoon stroll on the beach.

Day 15: Japanese Floral Scout Woven Tee for the LONG drive home to Brunswick.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how Sew Brunswick travels in Me Made style!! I did break my travel rule of packing clothes that can be washed all together. We usually travel with a lot of navy and blue items so I can whack them all in to the washing machine together. My red lily dress, orange clovers and pink shorts threw a spanner in the works! It was no big deal as we had our car and weren't backpacking around Japan this time.
2012 has seen a big shift in my wardrobe away from RTW items with a few handmade items, towards a majority of handmade items. My sewing skills are improving and I don't feel so embarrassed to wear handmade items anymore. Everyone who knows me now just assumes that I've made whatever it is that I'm wearing. I really didn't make this change consciously, it is simply a result of my love for sewing combined with my fabric obsession and my hatred of clothes shopping!  
My parents are off to Thailand and Cambodia tomorrow for a month, and I know my mum has a Me Made travel wardrobe packed. I learnt from the best!
What are your travel wardrobe essentials? Do you have a favourite Me Made item that you take on holidays? Do tell!
L x

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