pattern review · sewing

{ NEW LOOK 6248 } The quick linen skirt…

It was the weekend before the Monday we were leaving to go on holiday….so what did I do….well, I whipped up a last minute skirt for the holidays didnt I?!? Dont you?

Good thing this tried ‘n tested pattern is a breeze.

Might I also add this was { LAST } year Summer. Whoops!NL6248

I used some of the 100% white linen I had left over from the shirt-dress. Love the fabric. It may crease like no-ones business but its crispness is such a pleasure in the heat.

I made view E without the ruffles, which admittedly woulda looked really cool but I didnt have the time to ruffle about in honesty. 8 panels sewn together, each seam topstitched with a 4,5 length on my Sapphy, in go the facings & the zip, hem & she’s done.

Easy as that. N6248

Just thought Id share if any of you are considering this little skirt for the coming summer.

Till soon my dears xx

PS – Ive paired the skirt above with the BurdaStyle wrap top I made yonks ago incase you interested in that pattern.

pattern review · sewing

{ DEER & DOE } Jet Black Anémone…

The Anénome pattern dropped through my postbox on a Wednesday. She was finished 2 days later! If you’d recall, I did the same thing with my first Datura so it seems to be becoming my ‘thing’ with the Deer & Doe patterns.  I just find these patterns the cutest & so easy to rustle up as long as you have all  your bits ‘n bobs together. Deer&Doe_Anemone_front

If you dont know Anénome yet, allow me to introduce her. D&D launched her beginning of March & describe her as “A fitted high waisted skirt, lined, in two versions : short with a peplum, or knee length with decorative buttons”. Now of course, you could go long with a peplum or short with buttons, the choice is yours, but I decided to go short with pepi.

Before I go on I just wanted to say that Ive overexposed these images purposefully. Black is such a difficult colour to photograph to begin with & its another reason why Im showing you this garment on Poppy  {my dress form} & not on myself.  The overexposure of the background has also made the creases of the fabric more visible because of course, Poppy is not an exact replica of me.

Ok, back to the good stuff : I found the Datura a little small cut on my usual size so I erred on the side of caution this time around & cut Ms Anénome a size larger & because I have ample ass, I added a little more for extra measure.

I used an off-cut of the jet black gabardine I used for the V8601 riding jacket I made a while ago. The gabardine is tough as nails so there was no need to do any lining – something I really do not like is lining. Because the pattern expects you to use lining, I had to make some facings. I traced directly off the pattern pieces themselves. The only thing I did differently was make sure the front & side front pieces were cut as { ONE } facing & the side back & back pieces as one piece each as well. Does that make sense ? It just eliminates the need to have the facing made up of so many pieces & therefore less bulk at the waist. I folded over & under at the zip & stitched down by hand as most patterns instruct you to do when working with facings. I added a hook & eye above my zip because the zip specified for this skirt is quite long & you know how annoying it can be to try & get a zip up without a hook ‘n eye. Deer&Doe_back

Inserting the zip was painless thanks to the invisible zip foot which I would always recommend. I sewed in my “made by me” label & stitched some magenta loops on for hanging. I like to use coloured loops because they’re so much easier to find if they contrast to the fabric. Deer&Doe_Anemone_label

I blind hemmed the entire skirt, gave it a good press & { VOILA }. Deer&Doe_Anemone_front1

She’s really cute… I think.

If you’re not into high waisted skirts, then think about this one coz she really does sit quite high but I love the shape.  I had thought about the peplums adding extra width to the hips but I think she helps to disguise wide hips rather than accentuate them so this may be my first Anénome but certainly not my last!

Till next time… Ange x

PS – Thanks all for your advice & recommendations regarding overlockers. I have narrowed my search down to overlockers only since most of you reckon stay away from the combination machines… stay away I shall!


pattern review · sewing

{ VOGUE 1127 } Denim basics…

Hello friends…

Last year I was on somewhat of a “basics” kick for some time & this little denim project fitted right in. I had a metre of medium weight denim lounging around my stash for a while & decided to put it to good use. I had purchased a denim skirt a few years ago that I really love but since loosing some weight, its just become bulky around the waist which I do need to take apart & adjust – just haven’t had the time { YOUKNOWHOWITGOES }.

I chose the skirt from the Vogue 1127 Badgley Mischka pattern because it looked like just the right kind of simple; with just two little darts on the back waist, a zip to the centre back & a little slit to the back. What more does a basic need to be.  Here you can see it teamed together with the Liesl & Co Weekend Getaway Blouse which I cant believe received so many oohs & aahs. Thank you so much, you guys rock! Liesl&co_weekend_getaway_blouse

Since I was using denim, I chose not to line the skirt. I only used the waist facings which I cut from some gloriously purple underwear fabric. I have no idea what FABRIC it is, its kinda stretchy but not….but it feels like a dream & the colour is so oh-la-la. I matched my thread to the purple & topstitched the side seams on either side of the seam. I also used the purple to stitch in the zip & used my bar tack stitch to sew down my back slit with a giant arrow screaming {LOOK AT MY ASS}. Love it! In the pic it looks like one side is narrower, but honestly, its just the way the fabric was hanging….I triple checked – the arrow is accurate 🙂  To finish the skirt off, I turned the hem up 6cm & blind hemmed it. Vogue_1127_stitch_detailVogue_1127_skirt_detail_back

I cut the skirt at my size which I usually have no problems with. Unfortunately, this time it was too big. Id rather have too big than too small so I  increased the size of the back darts equally & reattached the waist band. I would benefit from a snuggier fit by taking in the side seams but I ain’t gonna be doing that.Vogue_1127_contrast_dart

Whats not to love? Well, absolutely nothing. Ive been wanting to give the little pussybow top included in this pattern a go but Ive got so many pussybow tops already, could a girl really need another? Come to think of it, the little cropped jacket included here is also very cute…maybe I’ll give that a go too.

Ok, thats all from me for now. xx

pattern review · sewing

{ NEW LOOK 6191 } Oh my pants…!

Its taken me only a month to get this blogged…mostly because Ive been photographically challenged  because these suckers have been in the wash every time Ive wanted to photograph them….but without further delay, here are my new, super comfie pants!

You already know my wardrobe holds very little in the way of pants because I told you that when I wrote a post about the Missoni-look-a-like leggings I made a few weeks back.   And its true, in the past Ive avoided making pants because the thought of fitting a pair of pants releases the same ridiculous fear in me as the thought of eating brussel sprouts….and I wish I was kidding!

Now I realise leggings & pants are two { VERY } different things but somehow while making the leggings, I kinda-sorta lost my fear of making pants & thought why the hell not. What have I got to lose besides a 2m piece of fabric & some time?! So I browsed the catalogues for a suitable victim & landed on the New Look 6191 which in all honesty is a bit of a cheat  because how much fitting is really needed on a pair of baggy pants…. { HA } besides the waist, { EL SQUATO }.

I hit the cutting table with a vengeance only to find the fabric had shrunk during the pre-wash leaving me around 5 cm short. Folks, this is why pre-washing fabric is { TRES IMPORTANTE }.  Luckily, the pattern assumes we all have mile-long model length legs so in this case assumption was not the mother of all fuck ups thank goodness but lets face it, it coulda been a real downer to my newly acquired fearlessness of pants. NewLook6191_side2

So here are the deets regarding the pattern :

{ DESCRIPTION } New Look 6191 Skirt & Pants with two variations of each.

{ FABRIC USED } A dark brown-ish charcoal-ish medium weight cotton with slight stretch at €6/m which just so happens to go incredibly well with my new nail-colour-crush!  Can you see that subtle red sparkle?  { YUM }OPI_BlackCherryChutney

{ SIZING } I cut my usual size. I also did an FAA { FULL ASS ADJUSTMENT } to allow for any problems with fitting this area because thats where Ive battled before.  I have more than ample!

{ INSTRUCTIONS } Good, no problems following or understanding.

{ CHANGES / ALTERATIONS } As with the tame animal skirt, I used bias binding to finish off my inner waist band instead of the method asked for in the instructions. I dyed some bias tape bright pink for a kick of colour. It would have been nice to also make the waistband facings a different colour entirely but hey-ho, I forgot & I had already cut them out.NewLook6191_back

For the waist tie, I made them as instructed but added some trop stitching around the entire tie.

I also installed my zip a little differently & top stitched around the edges of the zip…no reason why…I just preferred it.

The waist sits slightly too high for me. You can see in the first image how the front bags with wear which is not the most flattering look at all. Its also partly due to the waist tie being quite heavy thereby weighing the front down. Definitely a fitting tweak I will make on the next pair.

Before I hemmed these, I took them in slightly on the side seams & inner leg seams because they seemed a little { TOO } full for me. The small take-in made quite a big difference.

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } ** Not hard, not easy…around mediocre.NewLook6191_side

{ TIME } I unfortunately didn’t make these in one sitting…I stole moments here, there & everywhere however I estimate it at 3-4 hrs in total.

{ SUM IT UP } Highly recommended pattern if you looking to try a pair of pants with minimal fitting required. Im still going to try a “real” pair of fitted pants someday but for now, these satisfy my longing to make a pair of pants & I love that they have such character due to the fullness. True, its borderline Bobo the clown pants but thats the reason I took mine in slightly to just give it a little more shape.  I love that I can smack on a pair of Chucks & be super comfie but still look kinda cool & dressed up too with a denim jacket or blazer.

I might also add that whilst making these I must’ve pricked myself with pins at least 100 times! Im not sure why & thank goodness the fabric is so dark but jeez guys, this project literally drew the blood out of me. Have you ever had that with one particular project???

Ok beautiful sewcialists, time to keep pressing on through the queue… xx

pattern review · sewing

{ NEW LOOK 6242 } Cloudy day dress…

Ive sewn NL 6242 before, however only the top version so I decided to try the dress { VIEW A } this time. NewLook6242_front1

I had remembered the pattern was a great success so I pulled out the cotton I purchased from Alfatex a few months back. I loved the tie-dye type effect which looks like a cloudy, overcast sky. I didnt expect the flocked pattern so that was an added bonus once it arrived – hazards of shopping fabric online. Luckily in this case it was a good hazard, or is there such a thing?!

I chose a bright orange piping (which was already in my stash) for the contrast along the undersides of the bust & midriff & continued the piping through the back. I had a little trouble matching the piping at the seams on both sides initially. The zipless side I managed to fix, the zipped side I figured the difference was so minute I wouldnt bugger with a good enough thing. For the zip, a white invisible did the trick however I used a slightly shorter one than specified. NewLook6242_leftside

I also remembered to increase the length of the halter ties but I still think they could be even longer…so next time….

I cut the pattern to my size and although it fitted well, the skirt was a tad tight over the hips at first so I let out the seams slightly just for a little extra space – perfect.  I noticed some bagginess at the back waist area after some wear. With regular straps this wouldnt have been a problem, but the nature of a halter neck means the bodice is pulling up on the front so naturally it will shift slightly on the back. I was going to remove the small bit of bagginess but instead I decided to try this magic “Sockenbremse” ( Socken = socks, bremse = brakes) instead ie. it turns your bare socks from neck breaking enablers into slip-proof pad-around-the-housers! I ran a small thin line of this over the top edge of the back & et voila…no more shifting back = no more bagginess! The latex comes in a variety of handy colours, can be used on a variety of fabrics but it does need around 10 hours to dry. Its also washable to 40 degrees which is perfect since I would never wash this dress any hotter. NewLook6242_rightside

I used my 10mm hemmer gadget for hemming which I had much better results with this time round than the last time I used it. I think this hemming gadget works best with cottons though so I still feel like its a hunk-a-junk in terms of it being marketed as a “foot”. NewLook6242_back

The pattern is relatively easy to construct and although I wouldnt go so far as to say its great for beginners, I do think an advanced beginner could tackle this with relative ease. NewLook6242_closeup_piping

Thats all for today folks, till next time x

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pattern review · sewing

{ COMPLETED } Fiesta Denim shorts…

NewLook6100_pocket_trimI called these the Fiesta shorts because they make me { SOOOOO } incredibly happy…& I think it has more to do with the peek-a-boo colour than anything else.

While I was sewing these shorts, I had an epiphany – Im pretty darn pleased with every single New Look pattern that I have ever used. I find their fit so spot on therefore minimizing fitting issues & baggy this or gaping that. I just love how true & tested these patterns seem to be. Sure, Ive sewn one or two that Ive had choice words for (& in hindsight the problems have probably been me making stupid decisions about fabric choice or short cuts etc), but in the big scheme of things, I seem to be far more pleased with this pattern company than some of the other big names.NewLook6100_front

The weather has been disappointing & rather chilly the past couple of days so I will have to wait for a good sunny day to wear these & photograph them in action. Will update pics when I do so. The Fiesta shorts did not disappoint….so here are the deets :

{ DESCRIPTION }  New Look 6100 from the WORKROOM / Project Runway collection. 2 styles of shorts – one straight leg with cuffs & one flared leg, both with waistbands, pockets & optional waist tie.NL6100

{ FABRIC USED } I blogged about my fabric choice but incase you missed that, I used a light-ish weight denim which I pre-washed before cutting. The denim has a geometric pattern which is not printed on, its actually a burnout…or at least thats what I think its called. For the pocket facings & waist facings, I used a burnt orange taffeta I had in my off-cuts stash.NewLook6100_facing_fabric

{ SIZING } I cut my normal size & had no problems.

{ INSTRUCTIONS } I glossed over but did not refer to them too often. These shorts are pretty basic.

{ CHANGES } I omitted the waist tie so therefore by default omitted the carriers. I also wanted some colour so instead of using the denim for the pockets facings & waist facings, I used the burnt orange taffeta which worked really well & I love the peek-a-boo pop of colour. I had mentioned that I was thinking about using a white cotton embroidery anglaise or something similar for the edges but once I saw the indigo blue & burnt orange together, it just seemed like a match made in heaven. Instead of machine stitching the waist facing down after folding back, I hand stitched which took forever but I prefer it.

I also inserted my zip on the right side. Just because! I did not have a navy zip or an invisible zip so I improvised with a regular black zip. Instead of fussing with making a lapped zip cover to accommodate the regular zip, I simply stitched the zip in the wrong way. Yes it means the zip opens from the inside but who cares. Its in, its invisible & it works. Ok, its not { 100% } invisible  but its not freakin’ bad.

Instead of machine stitching the leg facings (ie. the turn-ups) to the underside, I decided to hand stitch them to the understand thereby allowing me the flexibility to wear the shorts without turning up the bottoms if I wanted to without having the stitch lines showing…{ AH HUH }.

{ LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY } * Easy peasy!

{ TIME } I sewed this together in a couple of hours including screwing around with my trim choice. The handstitching added extra time to my clock but this was a personal preference that does not need to be done.

{ SUM IT UP } I really love these. They are comfie & depending on what fabric you use, they can be super casual or quite dressy. I can imagine these in a polka dot, I can see them in a stripe, the lovely Erica B made an awesome denim pair with stars, but sew them up in a black with gold trim perhaps & you have a chic pair of shorts to pair with a blazer. Im pretty sure this denim pair will not be my last & I love that the pockets open up so many opportunities for creativity – piping, lace trim, ribbon, ric-rac, funky bindings, fun fabrics – the possibilities are endless.

Perhaps its my choice in fabric but without the turn-ups they can look a little pajama-bottom-ish…it may also be because I left off the waist tie. But paired with a nice white cotton frilly tee-shirt, Im thinking PJ-ish or not, they are going to get lots of wear.

Highly recommended ! NewLook6100_pocket_trim1NewLook6100_inner

{ BTW } that nail colour Im wearing that happens to match the shorts so well is Catrice Squeeze Me. Its a really dark charcoal grey with a hint of blue but it has these beautiful gold shimmer undertones in natural light. Im finding it the perfect alternative to my usual black. Catrice_SqueezeMe

pattern review · sewing

{ BURDASTYLE } Tulip skirt…

I love skirts more than shorts but I realised, I dont have enough cute skirts for summer hence the birthing of this little tulip. As you may have already seen, I love to use traditional wear fabrics (ie. indian saris, african prints etc) in untraditional ways. BS_04_2010_11_tulipfront

For this skirt I used a piece of Shweshwe fabric in dark chocolate brown that Ive had for years & years. I purchased a whole stack of it in South Africa & made many wrap skirts over the years. The fabric is 100% cotton and starched to the hilt when its new. After a few washes it gets this really lovely softness however Im going to keep mine starched a bit because I think it will hold the tulip better & I love me some starch!BS_04_2010_111_tulipback

Shweshwe is made by DaGama Textiles in South Africa & originally, the fabrics were only available in the indigo blue however the chocolate brown & red followed & remained constant for many years but these days you can find it in a whole slew of fashionable colours which is really cool. Back in the apartheid era though, white people would never have been seen in Shweshwe because it was considered “traditional wear”, however, today everyone in SA wears it irrelevant of size, colour or sex. Its become a celebrated & universal fabric used for clothing, homeware and accessories. I personally have always been a fan & Ive been making my own clothes with it for years, initially because it was cheap fabric but then I became a fabric whore & started buying because I couldnt get enough of the patterns..the more I looked, the more I discovered. If you want to know more, you can read the history of Shweshwe here. Since this fabric is dyed in strong colours, beware of colour running when wet, especially the indigo!!

I used a marigold yellow ric-rac trim on the pocket edges to add a pop of colour & give a bit of interest & I inserted a white invisible zip to the side which went in perfectly the first time. I must admit, having a dedicated invisible zip foot for the Sapphy definitely helps :-).  I love the clever waistband which has a small fitted waistband under the wide waist tie which can either be made up to a bow at the front or tied slightly to the side. It hides the zip head as well as the hook & eye closure.BS_04-2010-111_tulipdetail

I added an extra pocket front for some extra weight to the pockets. By this I mean, I cut 4 pieces of pockets. I stitched the trim to the front piece & then added the whole pocket to the front of the skirt. In other words, I did not use the skirt front as the front of my pocket so there are no stitch lines. It means the pocket sits free inside the skirt. It also gave me the opportunity to have a double “tuck” right up next to the ric-rac which is ever so subtle but adds to the pocket detail.

From start to finish, this project took me around 4 hours including the fussing about with the pocket trim. I couldn’t decide whether to go with an orange piping or the ric-rac. I sewed samples of both & then made a decision.

So this completes my Pattern Stash busting & all in all, I managed to bust 4 patterns that had been in my queue for some time.  Now for MMM-2013!

Thanks for stopping by x

pattern review · review · sewing

{New Look 6242 (E)}


I {REALLY} love this pattern and when I first purchased it back in 2000 or 2001 I thought I would get much more use out of it, but then around 2003 someone borrowed this from me & it was never returned. Dont you hate that?  Since then I do not lend my patterns out to anyone. Back in 2010 I was able to track down another & ordered it immediately so I have been re-united with a favourite and I hope to make the dress one day….if it weren’t for the queue of course.

I found this pattern super easy. My version is made from a toffee brown, polka georgette however I left off the waist tie and side zip. After making this version, I made a plain black version however, I inserted the side zip and I made the halter ties slightly longer. I definitely think the zip is required, it just makes slipping it on so much easier. After making the toffee version, I realised I should have made the dress, it would have been super cute in the polka – alas, next time.

A great little halter to wear to the beach and 12 years on, I am still making use of the black version. I still have the polka version, its just a little tight 😦

Highly recommended for all.

Original review can be viewed here :

Thanks for stopping by & have a good sunday x