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Colette Patterns’ Spring/Summer Palette Challenge {on}

23 Apr

New post.

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Mojo: How to Lose It and Get It Back Again {on}

22 Apr

New Post over at

Stevie’s Pattern Marking Pen {on}

16 Feb

See it in stop-motion at my new digs over at

Working Girl: Pure Wool Pencil Skirt

29 Jan

The thing about job-hunting is that it goes painfully slow and then suddenly very fast. After the Crafter’s Ceilidh last weekend I had a second interview on Monday then an offer through on Monday evening, and by Wednesday morning I was in the office for my first day.

During the job search I wasn’t sure what kind of environment I was going to end up in – office, retail, hospitality etc. so it was sort of hard  to start planning the appropriate clothes. Now I know it’s in a smart-casual office (the women often wear dark skinny jeans and smart tops) I can make garments appropriately, starting with this skirt I made for the interview process.

With such a tried & true pattern like Burdastyle’s Jenny this was a very fast make. The fabric is 100% pure wool bought in this stash from Walthamstow Market for £5/m and the lining from the same place for £1.50/m. The lining is my favourite part, like a hidden ray of sunshine.

This version varies from the standard pattern by removing the front darts and instead easing the front into the waistband which is cut on the straight grain rather than the bias. I also eliminated the split at the center back as I find there’s enough room to walk fine. The lining is about 2in wider than the fashion fabric for ease of wear and is gathered into the waistband front and back.

It feels pretty good to be working again and the company is an exciting and expanding one, although it’s pretty nerve-wracking being the new person and trying to read all the personal dynamics. I hope you’ll all bear with me while I adjust to the new schedule, it’s Monday to Friday for the most part and with a whole hour for lunch (in NZ 30 minutes is pretty standard) I’m going to trial posting at lunchtime.

Also progressing nicely, is the new blog design and move to the domain. Watch this space and hopefully next Monday I can announce the launch!

The Gray Swan Dress

23 Jan

A sudden rush of sewing mojo has me twirling like a ballerina.

Sometimes, things work out better when you stop worrying about the consequences and so it went with this dress. This winter, it seemed all the high street stores had these little ponte skating dresses with circle skirts and although I had some left over double-knit from my Minoru muslin I had no pattern that would work.

In the end, I used Ali’s method of pin-tracing the bodice pattern pieces from my Gertie dress (which originally used New Look 6824); the sleeves came from my newly adjusted Victory Hazel Dress Pattern and the skirt is a 3/4 circle. The construction was a case of trial and error.

The princess line fit well but gaped a wee bit at the centre front so I gathered approximately 2in of length out there. I free-handed the cut of the neckline then added a band of the same fabric using this tutorial to get it sitting flat. My favourite thing though,was top-stitching all the seams; thanks to Tasia’s instructions on the Minoru jacket I already knew I liked the effect on this fabric. I even topstitched the darts at the back! For the circle skirt I used Patty’s calculator to do the maths.

I love the end result and feel I could fit right in with the Corps in Black Swan…

{illustration} Amy Westcott : {source} Clothes on Film

Okay well maybe not but if you need me I’ll be pirouetting over here.


Note to self – do not let fantasies of ballet stardom distract you from the weather report… unfortunate circumstances may result in windy Scottish cities.

{source} Kestrel Finds & Makes

Victory Patterns Follow-Up

5 Jan

This post proved mighty popular so I thought you might be interested (if you haven’t seen it already!) …

Gorgeous Anna from Paunnet has an interview with Kristiann from Victory Patterns.

Your Style Rocks! (I can’t even explain how cool this is)

4 Jan

I love the way the internet works. There I was on pinterest when I saw a cute dress come up.

Cute, non? Even better when I clicked through to the source and discovered it was a sewing pattern… a free sewing pattern – what can be better than that you ask?

Well, it’s part of a website called Your Style Rocks and this is where it gets really interesting. It’s a newish community which hosts a monthly design competition with members contributing their sketches around a theme, e.g. Wardrobe Essentials is the current brief. The winning design, as voted by the community, is then turned into a free downloadable sewing pattern!

In their own words:

“Here at Your Style Rocks! we think that individual, home-sewn fashion is so much more exciting than standard clothes you can buy in highstreet stores – which is why we offer you dress patterns to download and use for free. You have your own design ideas? Awesome! Share them with us in our monthly challenge. The style rated the most by our community will be published as next month’s free pattern. It could be your design that’s going to rock our fashion world next!”

The finer details:

  • The patterns are in RTW dress sizes US6-16/UK8-18/AUS10-20
  • They are available to print on A4 or A0.
  • They include the sewing instructions.
  • The patterns include seam allowance.
  • They are freaking amazing – check out the other designs below (click images for links).

Hurry over there to check it out!

(All images –

(Original pin via sara w.)

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with the site, I just think they’re pretty damn neat.