So, I’m not one for competitions. They tend to stress me out, and that’s the exact opposite of what I want or need in a hobby. So when I read about Tessuti Fabric’s Jaywalk competition, I thought that it was a good opportunity to get some fabric I had been eyeing off super cheap and that I wouldn’t necessarily worry about entering. I got some in both colour ways and figured I could use the light version to make up a Moneta dress, and the black looked like a perfect fabric to knock off this dress that I pinned an age ago. No stress. Just simple, wearable sewing.

Long story short: one Sunday afternoon later I had my super cute little stripey dress. Me Made May taught me that I love wearing knit dresses on the weekend and I needed some more: job done. A few days later I was telling The Mister about all the cool things that had been entered into the comp so far and how my dress was far too simple for competitions. His response: “screw it, just do it, because what’s to lose?”. At this point I may have mentioned something about my derpy photos and the internet, but sometimes my husband is more stubborn than me, and so a competition entry it is.

Jaywalk Hidden Pocket Dress

So here it is. Let’s call it my hidden pocket knit dress. Can you see them?

Jaywalk Hidden Pocket Dress

And there they are.

This make is a mash up between my Renfrew tee dress, with the pocket structure from Vogue 1247 (which I sure as hell am getting my money’s worth from). I spent an inordinate amount of time making sure the pockets were properly hidden in the black stripe and I’m pretty happy with the result. To stop them flipping about I lined the front with some swimsuit lining and also added in some fusible interfacing along the tops to keep them from sagging down. In wearing it so far that has worked to keep them where they are supposed to be. Once the pockets were in, the whole thing could just be sewn up like a t-shirt, and I did my normal method which is basically as per the Renfrew instructions (I think the double handling of machining than overlocking means it is all super durable and I like my clothes to last).

Jaywalk Hidden Pocket Dress

No head in this picture because apparently a recipe for looking very unhappy is to eat a giant pasta lunch and then try and suck in your food belly for photos. Eh, pasta is SO WORTH IT.

BUT I am pretty happy with my stripe matching down the sides, it took a bit of wrangling (and unpicking a lot of lightning stitch) but I got there in the end with only a few stripes out by a tiny bit. In the spirit of stress-free sewing, I’ve decided I don’t care because unless you are sitting there obsessively checking my side seams it is not noticeable, and fifty-thousand times better than what I could buy in a shop.

Jaywalk Hidden Pocket Dress

The dress still felt like it needed a little something something, so I added in a fake button placket (?) on the shoulders, and I think it turned out pretty cute. Expect to see this detail on some t-shirts very soon.

Don’t think I can add much more to this: stripey dresses are pretty much always a good thing in my books. But it feels good to get something off my Pinterest to do list (only 600+ things to go!) – how many of you find Pinterest to be both a blessing and a curse?

Jaywalk Hidden Pocket Dress

Outfit details:

  • Dress mash up of the Sewaholic Renfrew and Vogue 1247
  • Fabric: Jaywalk in Black/Natural from Tessuti, swimsuit lining from stash (i.e., no idea)
  • Buttons from Spotlight
  • Voodoo wool tights
  • Jane Debster boots
  • Lean courtesy of sloping driveway

Doh! A Deer!

A hipster deer?

Deer Vogue 1247

A little while back I was feeling very uninspired and blah about everything. I was spending a whole lot of time on Pinterest and not actually creating anything for myself, and I was feeling terrible. There was lots of moping about and a hellava lot of indecision, made worse by reaching Sunday night again and feeling like I did nothing but work and work and work. But then I read this post by Rochelle of Lucky Lucille. She put into words everything I hadn’t worked out for myself, and the comments… well… there was one that just made me cry (way to get strange looks from your husband I can tell you). Lauren said: “This post was like having someone turn on the lights for you, when you hadn’t even noticed it was getting dark out.”

Yes: that.

Something had to be done. I still didn’t really feel that I could make a choice, but I could at least decide I could ask The Mister to pick something for me to make. I pulled together 2 or 3 options, things I’d made before so they weren’t too taxing, and got him to choose. Not really surprisingly, he picked this super cute polka-dotted, glasses-on-deer Echino print and the skirt from Vogue 1247.

All up, this took me 2 hours from cutting out to finishing – I was up past midnight but it was worth it. The skirt is a simple design but it is really lovely (albeit short) and it comes together really easily. The kangaroo pockets add an extra something, and if you don’t bother with the binding on the seams it is a very quick make.

Deer Vogue 1247

I put a huge amount of effort into matching the front up (look at those deer on the pockets!) and making sure the deer placement was even – but I overestimated my yardage when it came to the back and I had to squeeze it out any old how. I figure I don’t have to look at that side so I’m not too worried. The ‘grellow’ colour just makes me happy (it does look terrible on my skin tone so it will have to be worn with stockings – but it will need to be worn with stockings anyway given the length), and the little glasses-wearing deer? Swoon.

I have this fabric in the black colourway as well so expect to see more hipster deer in my future!

Outfit details:

  • Skirt: Vogue 1247 (skirt) in size 10 (no mods)
  • Fabric: 1m of Echino ‘Deer in Glasses’ in Chartreuse from Bolt of Cloth (linen/cotton and SO nice to sew)
  • Tee: Espirit (which reminds me – make black tees)
  • Shoes: Camper from Endless (which is now Amazon)
  • Antler necklace: from Wunderkammer in Melbourne

Let me leave you with this:

I’m not the only one who has this deer link indelibly embedded in my brain right?


Doh! A Deer!

I’m blue

… do ba dee, do ba doo (I can’t be the only child of the late nineties who has that annoying song lingering in the memory)…

You know when you’ve got the lighting just so, done your makeup properly for once, even blow dried your hair… and then your camera battery is dead? Yeah, that. So apologies for the epic blurghface of these photos because I was pretty damn grumpy. But enough of that: what have we here? Apart from excessive amounts of blue? 

Blue Ikat Jenny Skirt and Vogue 1389

So. Much. Blue. I made this skirt late last year after falling in love with the fabric (a linen blend by Dear Stella). Being such a large print, it really needed something simple or it was going to be a disaster, so I went with an old favourite: the Burdastyle Jenny pencil skirt. This is a great pattern, especially for the price: comes together really quickly and is nice and easy. The waistband as drafted is pretty huge, so I usually make it half the height so it doesn’t end up somewhere around my chin 🙂 (I kid, mostly).

Blue Ikat Jenny Skirt

The only problem with this skirt really is the sticky question of pattern placement. Katy of Katy and Laney has covered this issue (hilariously) in her post here. Get it wrong, and you can have some rather unfortunate results: once seen, these things cannot be unseen.

However, there is only so much you can do with this fabric. Inevitably there is going to be something pointing or spotlighting exactly where you don’t want it to. I’m okay with the front (though again, refer to Katy’s post for what I can no longer unsee), but in my careful attempt to avoid a (how to put this delicately?) a circle in the wrong place on the behind I’ve managed to give myself butt-nostrils instead. Thank goodness I mostly wear shirts untucked!

Actually, the more I look at this fabric, the more I see creepy faces with snakey eyes and sharp teeth. Eeek!

Vogue 1389

(Yes, I am one of those people who can’t be bothered matching their overlocking thread.)

The blue top is one of the newer Vogue patterns – 1389, that I haven’t seen anywhere on the interwebs yet. It’s a Donna Karan design so none of the seams go quite where you expect, which is a nice touch (damn hard to photograph though). I would normally go with a size 8 in Vogue for anything stretch, but I was using a double-knit and I wasn’t sure how it would go so I used a 10 instead, and it works fine. The pattern comes together really easily – it took me no more than 2 hours to cut and sew, even though I top-stitched all the seams to highlight them more. The only problem with it that I see, and I’m kicking myself about it now, is that I didn’t trust my instincts and shorten the neckband piece. In a neckband this wide, unless you stretch it significantly, you will get wobbliness because the ‘inner circle’ needs to be so much shorter than the outside. I steam-shrank as much of it out as I could but it is still annoying. Hopefully it will shrink out in the wash (without me minaturising the rest of it). Time will tell…

I apologise in advance for the excess of pencil skirt posts you are going to get over the next little while – I made a whole bunch for work and just photographed them all.I promise I’ll make something different next.

Outfit details:

  • Top: Vogue 1389 in size 10, no alterations
  • Fabric: A cobalt merino double knit from A Fashionable Stitch (she doesn’t seem to have it anymore, sorry)
  • Skirt: Burdastyle Jenny in size 36, waistband shortened
  • Fabric: Linen blend ikat by Dear Stella, from Hawthorne Threads (again, sold out I think, though I’ve seen it on Etsy)
  • Shoes by Siren
I’m blue

TIme machined: A Christmas Vogue 1353

Vogue 1353

I’m surprised I haven’t seen many versions of this dress around the internet – to me it seemed the clear cut winner out of that particular Vogue release. When I was hunting around for reviews I could only find 4, and while positive for the most part, they all sounded scary about the fitting adjustments that needed to be made.

Me, being me, decided that the best course of action would be to completely ignore their advice and make it up exactly as drafted, no adjustments. Allow me an evil laugh here, *muahahahahahahahah*, because it totally worked (I know I have just jinxed myself but anyway). Fits like a dream and I love it. This is seriously the most complimented item I have ever made (I wore it to the work Christmas party and on Christmas itself after my intended dress was a complete failure).

Vogue 1353

(I did not iron it for these photos. Because: Brisbane summer. Sorry not sorry.)

The fabric is a nice crisp cotton that seems to be a perfect match for those pleats, and has the added bonus of looking like someone painted a lovely sunset as angrily and violently as possible, which I think gives a very feminine style a bit of edge. It is lined with a cotton/viscose mix – no poly going to happen in the subtropics thankyouverymuch. I used silk organza to reinforce the bodice edges, as recommended by the quite frankly excellent instructions (for once), and it came together way quicker than I thought it would – the pleats in the bodice are the hardest part. This pattern has a lot to recommend it: neckline is neither too high or too low, back scoop is flattering, covers your bra straps easily, pleats are flattering over an overindulged Christmas belly… i could go on. I really do love this dress.

Vogue 1353

And the best bit: perfect for twirling!

Vogue 1353

(Weeeeeeeeeee… I feel sick.)

The details:

  • Dress: Vogue 1353 (Kay Unger design), size 10 no changes (except not handstitching a decorative hem, because ain’t nobody got time for that)
  • Fabric: cotton from Sckafs Fabrics (was half price too, woohoo), lining – cotton/viscose blend from The Fabric Store (I think). Silk organza (used as interfacing) from Sew Squirrel, zipper from a huge lot I ordered from Zipperstop
  • Belt: French Connection
  • Shoes: Seychelles from Anthropologie
  • Messy hair: courtesy not looking in the mirror

Next up, just to balance this epic gushing, I’ll post something I’m more on the fence about.

TIme machined: A Christmas Vogue 1353