Sew 2012 #020: Cream Satin Stole and Flower Brooch

Red wasn’t the colour for me at the Important Event, so after making my first stole from Weekend Designer I set about modifying it to be more elegant and in a colour to better suit my dress, which I’d established was going to be navy blue matte satin.

Sew 2012 #020: Cream Satin Stol

One thing I’d noticed between the pattern directions and the photograph on the Weekend Designer page was the photograph had a more elongated shape. I set about re-drawing my pattern to mimic a nicely tapered oblong and the above was the result.

I still had a problem with my dress – the one I bought was a size or two too big which I knew I could modify. But being time-poor busy me, I didn’t get up to that and then ran out of time to take to a dressmaker to get it professionally done. I was able to temporarily fix the side seams and hemline without much bother, but the bust as always caused problems.

I found the only way I could do it with out buggering up the whole dress was to safety-pin a bust dart in the neckline and cover it with me-made pretty matching flower!

Sew 2012 #020: Cream Flower Brooch

The flower was a lot of fun to make, I’ve been saving all my scraps since so I can make more.

Of course, with a stole like this it’s hard to get the picture without actually having it on: fortunately I’ve taken such a long time trying to take my own that the official wedding snaps have been processed. 😀

Sew 2012 #020: Cream Satin Stole and Flower Brooch: On Model

Now it is folded away in storage until I should need a lovely cream stole again. Thanks to Missy, it now has a few thread snags from when it was hanging in the lounge room after we returned home and she decided to try climbing it.

Joke’s on her, it fell on the floor so now she believes hanging fabric is not stable for climbing. WIN!


Sew 2012 #019: Red Satin Skirt

With the remaining metres of the red satin fabric from the Red Satin Stole, I made the Red Satin Skirt!

Sew 2012 #019: Red Satin Skirt

This was from my Kwik Sew Pattern 3381, the longer version. I still love using the waistband technique from this pattern.

Unfortunately I cut the pattern to big and this sits quite low on my hips, making it to long. I could just shorten the hem and take the sides in a smidge, but I still suck terribly at rolled hems to the point in considering outsourcing them…

Sew 2012 #019: Red Satin Skirt

However with invisible zips I’m all good and happy! 😀

Sew 2012 #018: Red Satin Stole

In Melbourne spring has certainly sprung today and while I’m sure we’ll still have a few cold winter-flashback days, summer is on its way. I woke up this morning determined to clear some creative space and bombard you with a creativity!

I collected my pile of finished and un-photographed sewing projects and headed into the garden. Ideally I wanted to have pictures of me demonstrating their use but some of these items have been waiting for their 15 minutes for over a year. I found a suitable tree and got snapping – the result is a two-month line-up of finished sewing projects!!

Without further ado, first up is the Red Satin Stole.

Sew 2012 #018: Red Satin Stole

For months I’d known about an important upcoming event – my little brother’s wedding! I had dreams of making a not-so wonderful dress (don’t want to outshine the bride you know!) but alas it was not to be. As the day grew nearer I knew I’d have to go for a store bought dress but I still wanted to have an element of my outfit me-made.

Out came meters of red satin from my stash! Meters and meters of it! And on my computer up came the fabulous Weekend Designer’s satin stole! To work I got, and only a few small hours later I procured this wonderful garment.

Sew 2012 #018: Red Satin Stole

I was very delighted with the results, and my first attempt at a bound button hole style. I did modify it to be a little simpler as I think I made it too narrow to get the button hole lips to sit in a charming way.

As it happened, the dress I ultimately decided to wear was navy blue, and there was no way in the world I was going to wear red and blue together in Newcastle. So I had to make another stole, and I knew just what I’d alter to make it even more fantastic…

Stay tuned for Sew 2012 #020!

Sew 2012 #015: Starry Nights Oh So Comfy Dress

Sparkly sparkles! This dress is cheating. It’s sooooo comfy – it’s actually another version of my House Dress, but in sparkly knit fabric.

I’m still terrible as sewing knits, but I made this dress for a night out at a friend’s party and it was lovely and dark so my sewing sins went un-noticed. Until I pointed them out to my fellow-sewing friend. Haha!! I really need to get the hang of knits!

Stay happy!

Wardrobe Analysis Part 2: What To Add

In short, I’d like more of everything in my wardrobe. Post over.

In long, I’m going to add more skirts and dresses to my wardrobe first. I’d like more trousers too, but they sound scary and I haven’t made any yet, and I’d like more tops, but I’ve recently just made a top injection to my wardrobe. And I’d like more coats, but they’re expensive and hard.

So for skirts and dresses, I headed to my stash. I’m determined to perfect both patterns and create a whole bunch. A small drawback of my stash is it doesn’t exactly have the neutral, jewel, patterns and textures I want to go for, but it’s really the best place to start. So I got stuck into planning:

I’ve created a little board! The top half shows my ultimate sewing goal: six five-piece suits in my favourite neutral colours. A girl sure can dream!

A blazer, a vest, a pencil dress, a pencil skirt and a trousers. Six sets of these and I’ll have no trouble rolling out of bed into something office-y for work. I’ve yet to work out how much of each fabric to buy, but I’m in no hurry as it will be good quality stuff so I’ll get my technique right on all of these things first.

The bottom shows my ideas from my stash, not all of them but the simplest to get done first. Here are the pencil skirt ideas:

And here are the dress ideas:

Plenty to keep me going there!

Stay creative!

Sew 2012 #012: House Dress

Woohoo! Sewing. There’s something about failing miserably several times in a row that just makes you want to win. So win I did, even if that mean starting something completely different.

And so I present the House Dress (cue DJ starts playing House music.).

So comfortable, and so slightly-more-acceptable-than-track-pants-at-the-grocery-store. However unless I pay the paparazzi to follow me, this grainy image may be the only one to grace the Internet.

I originally bought this fabric a while ago to make some sort of comfortable office dress. But recently I decided I’m in no hurry to reach that skill level and it’s better used right now!

The pattern I drafted myself: I traced a nice RTW top I already owned made of a similar fabric, then extended the side seams to full length and out the sides a bit. It used a lot of fabric but it’s well worth it.

Be prepared to see more of these! I want to try a more sleeveless version and another with full sleeves – just need to right fabric to present itself!

Stay happy!

May goes out with a Fizzle and I talk to my Sewing Machine.

What a strange month May has been. I mean, not really, like, you know, things have been weirder, but May was weird, just sayin’.

I didn’t get to sewing or anything much crafty on account of being very busy with the day job. At the end of such busy days my mind preferred to switch off rather than solve my sewing problems, and even my Pinterest account didn’t get much of a look-in.

However, in between switching off and weekends I did manage to plod along with trying to perfect my first sewing pattern.


Alas, there’s not much perfecting going on. The above dress is too big in some places. It’s also beige and incredibly boring. It’s made from the same length of op-shop fabric as my first Sew 2012 dress and some new lining. After going too far with the Dismal Success Dress, I had tried going back to the original pattern I made Madly Happy Sunny Dress with, which happens to fit quite well. It didn’t work. Maybe a difference with the fabric?

In my quest to perfect this pattern, I’ve left it unhemmed for now. A UFO! I expect I’ll feel like adjusting and finishing it one day. So I moved on:


Same pattern, different problems. I made the adjustments based on what I wanted to change in the boring beige dress above, but this is also not happening. This dress is too small in the bust and too big in the hips! Furthermore the armholes are just small enough to be rather uncomfortable. Oh well. The hips are an easy fix but the rest would require major surgery (on me or the dress, though I would prefer on the dress.).

The fabric I like but I think it would be very impractical in my current wardrobe. It’s a heavy matt satin which I’ve seen wedding dresses made out of. If it was wearable I don’t think I’d wear it very much. I also need to stop making dresses in satin.


So! Right now I’m stumped. How is that I’ve made 4 dresses from this pattern and only one fits – and oddly enough it was the first one!? Is it me?

I look at my sewing machine. “Or is it you?” I ask regretfully. We share a long look and we both know it isn’t. “Perhaps it’s the fabric then.” I wonder aloud.

The fabric raises its eyebrow and gives a warning glance from its high hanging position. “You know it isn’t me. I know my properties and abide by them, but do you really know me? All I have seen so far shows me that you do not.”

Fabric and I look at each other for a long time. I know it’s right. I don’t know my fabric at all beyond pretty and stretchy, pretty and woven, and ugly. The pattern, who had been sitting patiently on the floor, glanced up at the fabric with a knowing eye and then looked reassuringly at me.

“With patience and pin, We all know you’ll win.
Silence the violin! You’re Morgan Sin!”

Pattern always knows what to say. Sometimes it’s bit hard to understand, but it always knows. In fact, I think pattern and I will go do some fabric Googling right about now.

Stay confident!

Sew 2012 #011: Dismal Success Dress

I love learning. It’s great. It keeps you going. Learning is also why you won’t see me modelling my latest creation:

Isn’t it lovely! What fun! Silly Morgan, just hem it up and you’re done! It’s wonderful!

No. It isn’t. It’s not. I’m not. It isn’t.

I’m lucky in that I can pull it over my hips. But I can’t do the zip up and even if I could, I’m am certain the moment I did that extra bendy-bend to sit in a car my not-that-generous behind would bust some puckering seams. Fortunately I found this out before I spent any more time sewing the lining together.

That’s not all. Something weird is going on with my pattern alterations. I had noticed when I sewed the BatFace is Back Dress cut from my same updated pieces, but by that stage I’d already got excited and cut this one. Lesson learned.

But wait, keep reading for the next 47 seconds and be amazed by our next disaster:


‘No!’ I hear you say, ‘That’s no mishap, that’s an expensive designer dress design feature!’ On another day I would agree with you, but today the twist wasn’t meant to happen and the rest of the dress doesn’t fit, so unfortunately it is not a design feature. However, considered it noted for future dresses – If only I could figure out how I managed to do it…

Finally, my invisible zipper installation was out by ONE WHOLE INCH on one side. That sucked. So I cut off the extra bit and sewed on. So my back neckline is now uneven. So what? 😀 Right now I’m enjoying all this learning with cheap fabric.

I was looking forward to this dress – I haven’t felt my Gothic colours shine for a while and was thinking this would be a marvellous way to trickle them back for the winter. And considering this cheap muslin was from a really rough skirt and cheap lining remnant, I’m still looking forward to this dress.

No point continuing with this dress now, I’m keen to get the pattern updated and cut out my next one. I have some catching up to do!

Stay happy!

Sew 2012 #010: BatFace is Back Dress

I am making the time to sew. I have to, for my own sanity. It’s only logical. Of course that doesn’t help as much as I’d like it to when things go a bit awry. But I remind myself: this is a learning process. Not everything is going to look fantastic.

Enter BatFace. No one knows who BatFace is. But BatFace certainly comes in handy when it comes time to take a photo in a contraption that isn’t exactly flattering in some other-worldly opinion. See case in point on New Year’s Eve.

A few names drifted around in my mind while making this dress. If you recognise it, it’s actually another attempt at Sew 2012 #004: Madly Happy Sunny Dress with the pattern alterations I wanted to make. Office Garden Flower Dress was one that was particularly cheesy. All in all I think the BatFace is Back Dress is fairly successful considering that my alterations were more or less spot on and I learned some new things.

What new things? Check this out:

This is my first lined dress! It was nowhere near as hard as I thought it would be. That’s not to say I did it right though. Haha!

I also drafted a belt to add to the waist seam, which I’m pretty proud of:

So what wasn’t right? The mad method I used. As I focused on making the belt, I made the whole outer dress except the centre back seam and hem. Then I made the lining, again leaving the centre back seam and hem. Then when I tried to combine two I realised my mistake: If I sewed the armholes I would have no way of turning the dress to the right side! Oh well. This is a test dress anyway. The fabric was from that massive op-shop haul a few months ago. Carry on!

What to do about those armholes? Well, I figured the only thing to do was to finish sewing the centre back seam and hem, then turn the dress to the right way. Then I folded the raw edges of each armhole fabric and lining inwards and hand-basted them closed. After that, I top-stitched the two folded edges together. The end result isn’t too bad but it’s not what I’d call an ideal way to sew in armholes. I also top stitched the neckline to match, even though it didn’t need top stitching. But it just looks like it’s supposed to be there 🙂

I have always loved a dress with fun lining. So it was a great chance to use some lining off-cuts from the bargain bin to mix and match while learning. I had some green lining in my stash as well as the black, so I used the green for the skirt section of the dress to add a bit of fun when walking (and hence the garden-oriented cheese name)!

Overall, this was a great learning dress. But sadly this muslin won’t get much wear – It’s a tad too small to be really comfortable! Not to mention as soon as I bent to get into the car I heard a rip – and that was the end of my skirt lining. Still, you can’t see the torn lining and it’s still wearable, but it’s not mend-able and it’s not nice wearing a dress knowing it has torn lining.

I’m loving this sewing roll I’m on! I’ve already started attempt #3 of this pattern, so I’m interested to see what goes on there. I don’t have high hopes, but I would like to sew the armhole lining right this time.

Stay inspired!

Sew 2012 #008: Morgan’s Sexy & Royal Moo-moo Dress

Canberra is enjoying a long weekend this weekend! I’m enjoying it too, albeit a little lonely! Not for long though, and I thought to pass the time it would be nice to relax at home and go back to work with not one but two new dresses for my wardrobe!

Here is the first! Morgan’s Sexy & Royal Moo-moo Dress!

Since I decided to make two dresses this weekend, I decided to make one of them really simple so I hunted online for simple and free dress patterns. I found one – the 1-Hour Dress from CraftStylish looked like the ticket! So I grabbed some cheap stretch velvet from my stash and got to work.

Now this is where reading the instructions properly would have saved me some cheap fabric and about 2.5 hours – but that was not to be. So the stretch velvet unwearables go into my scrap bucket – but I’ve gained experience and a great idea to make this simple dress look heaps better on me!

Out comes the lovely blue jersey I found in an op-shop a few weeks ago. As I marvel at its lovely colour in the mid-day light, I hope I don’t screw this up. One of the things I’ve learned about dressing myself is that my shape seems to prefer symmetrical styles. With this in mind, I modified CraftStylish’s pattern to have the pleated shoulders on both sides and got cutting!

This dress was so quick to sew!! I can’t wait to make another, as I’m sure there’ll be much less fussing next time.

Next up was dress-ups – I tried every belt I owned around the middle of this dress and loved all of them. There was even enough blue jersey left to create a nice long sash I could also use, and enough for a handmade belt using some belting I had in my stash.

The belt took a long time as I hand-stitched it all, but it was quite relaxing sitting listening to the birds with Felix using me as a pillow. My only concern was if I ever have to set the dinner table for 12, someone will be missing their napkin ring because I don’t think I’ll be cutting this belt up.