Brigitte Dress

I managed to find some time to take pictures of two different handmade items in my 'photo shoot' yesterday. Depressingly, I ended up changing from my point and shoot camera to the macbook webcam, clearly time to get a new camera. So excuse the medicore quality photos. 

If you follow my facebook page you might have seen by new self drafted skirt yesterday, and read about my secondment to a rural hospital. It's been quite the experience, the weather is warm always, and I'm learning heaps. I stayed at hospital until 4am last night to watch an ischaemic bowel surgery, which was definitely worth it; I won't go into the details because if most of you are like me, you are probably eating whilst you do your blog roll catch up. 

In my last blog post I recommended super cheap fabrics in Dandenong, and this is one of the $2.99 fabrics I picked up in my post night shift fabric splurge. I've always been very jeally (read jealous but wobbly with it) when other bloggers post about a dress they "whipped up", but now I've got access to good cheap jersey and knit fabrics, I completely understand this term now. 

I used the ponte de roma, paint type fabric for the free Simple Sew Brigitte dress pattern. 

This dress fits all my favourite qualities in a dress, it can be belted, which suits my body shape, but sans belt it is a nice loose muumuu type tent and I can eat as much as I like without being constricted. I used a trick I learnt from the Tessuti mandy boat tee to just fold over the neckline and stitch it down before joining the shoulder seams. No fancying facings or linings in this knit dress.

I cut a size ten, but given that this was a knit fabric, an eight would have worked better. I also elminated the back seam and darts. I narrowed the sleeves for a closer fit.

I added pockets too which is pretty standard for me. I did make sure to cut the pockets against the stretchy grain so I wouldn't end up with a suspicious looking bulge near my groin.


Would definitely recommend this pattern as a great addition to any wardrobe, a nice simple, basic shift.

Wrap pencil skirt

I can't believe how sunny it looks in these pictures of my wrap skirt, especially given that I'm under two lots of blankets trying to warm my freezing feet. 

The skirt initially started out as a wearable muslin of the McCalls 6744 wrap dress. I picked up the end few meters of a roll of some kind of animal print cotton sateen for $3 a meter whilst I was on my last medical student rotation up in Bendigo last year. It usually takes me a while to plan projects, but given how cheap the fabric was and how amazing Mimi G's version of the wrap dress was I though I'd give it a go. 

Mistake. Though I was able to salvage the cut pieces and make a wrap skirt. I curved the two pieces and made sure there was a full overlap to avoid any awkward flashing co-workers in the hospital moments. 

I used the back pattern piece of my self drafted pencil skirt and decided to try my hand at an exposed metal zipper as well. 

The fabric pattern is not something I'd usually wear as it's too cougar/fake tan/big boobs type of print, but it's not too bad toned down. The only thing I couldn't figure out was how to add pockets to a wrap skirt, which means it was great on my last rotation where I was based on one ward but for my next rotation I'll be hopping between wards and much stairs so I doubt it'll get much wear. 

So I had mostly given up on M6744, until I stumbled upon one of the best hidden Melbourne fabric finds. After deciding I couldn't stand peak hour traffic on the Monash freeway city bound, especially after a long night shift so I decided to stop by at Dandenong Plaza, unsure of what to expect, but definitely least of all of a fabric shop, aptly named Super Cheap Fabrics. Everything was under $3.99, and is the cheapest I've seen knit fabric, which means I can finally be one of those sewist who can copy their favourite RTW clothes just like Liz from Cotton and Curls. I picked up some lightweight jersey, ponte knit and lining fabrics, and the new shop assistant uploads the new fabrics onto Facebook. When I went last they had a moving sign, but they'll be opposite Dimmey's in Dandenong. 

I also picked up 12 of these 10L plastic boxes from Masters for $30 and rather embarrassingly managed to fill up about 8 of them with fabric, with another two 52L bins of fabric stashed away as well. 

If you're in the area, or even if you're not it's definitely worth the trip to pick up some great fabric. I've made two knit dresses in the past two days and am super impressed with the fabric. 

Happy Crafting!

Skater dress hybrid

It is a rare moment in deed that I find myself with the ideal fabric and sewing pattern at the same time. I have a stash of both, but I'm horrendous at matching the two items together. This was one of those rare moments. 

I've had this medium weight suiting fabric for a while now and had wanted to redo one of my earlier dresses, and given that the skater dress is in fashion now, I've found the right time to make it too.

The original was made with a interlock type fabric, but clings horribly as seen above, and is also too lightweight to have pockets added. I used amazing fit 2648, which has 1 inch ease and gets you to baste the seams together to alter the fit, a bit advanced for my skills at the time. But the style was complimentary to my body shape. 

I picked up this sewing pattern earlier this year at an op shop for $0.20, and the previous owner had already copied the pattern onto thicker paper, which was amazing.  

It's a pretty classic princess seam dress pattern for a great price. 

I used the bodice and cut it off about 2 inches below the waist line and teamed it up with self drafted cap sleeves and a circle skirt with pockets.

I had help with the fit from my new handy sewing model, it's nice to be able to stick pins and fit the shape without stabbing myself.

I'm loving the style and can't wait to make another one. 

PS. Hope you guys like the new layout. I'm missing a few posts between the first and second pages, and every time I update a new post it pushes them to a mysterious page I can't access. I'm trying to figure out how to change this, I've even messed with the dates a little to see if it helps, but can't figure it out, if you have suggestions feel free to add to the comments section. In the mean time I've tided up my pages section and labels to help you find projects easier. 

Happy Crafting! 

Self Drafted Peg Skirt

I'm a big fan of the peg skirt, even before I knew what it was called. It has pockets included and makes me look like I have a waist as the skirt flares out and tapers down. 

I can't remember how I stumbled upon this tutorial but it was sitting on my pinterest 'To Craft - clothes' board for a while before I decided it was time to start using my self drafted skirt block as a base for bigger and better things. That and I wanted to make a dress like this. 

The bodice looks pretty similar to new look 6144. Which I picked up in a 3 patterns for $15 sale a while back also.

Sometimes inspiration pieces have a way of motivating me to actually get off my butt to sew instead of just pinterest-ing things I would like to sew. I used Rhonda's peg skirt tutorial which comes in two parts here and here and it was easy enough to follow. 

This is what the skirt looks like without a belt, ignore the face, it's the best one I have of the skirt. Next time I'll move the pleat closest to the centre towards the centre front a bit more. 

It looks better belted to seperate the blob of my top and to cinch my waist to give the illusion of a nice silhouette, as does my awkwardly lean-y pose.

I just used the back of my skirt block pattern to complete the back of the peg skirt. 

Hop on over to Rhonda's Creative Life and check out her peg skirt tutorial.

Happy Crafting

Bangkok 2014

Finally managed to photograph my backlog of handmade clothes and I'm itching to post them all in one go, but given my track record I'm going to hoard them and show you some photos of sunny Thailand instead. I'm definitely having holiday withdrawals, especially as we only get two weeks of annual leave rationed out during the year, but I'm very happy with my decision to make the most of it and go overseas (and restock my wardrobe and sewing stash). 

I always book flights to Thailand so I can squeeze in two weekends over the course of my stay, because chatuchak market or better known as JJ market to the locals is only open on weekends. It is a massive wholesale market selling clothes to food to crockery over 27 acres which is 15,000 stalls. This is the place that other shops come to get their wholesale goods. So if you're looking to get souvenirs this is the place to go, they have all your elephant shaped goods and silk scarves as well as a bunch of more unique crafts. You'll need lots of cash. Start early, shops tend to open at 10am, so you can beat as much of the heat as possible, and if you, like me are lugging around a reluctant shopper, there are massage places pretty much everywhere.
Also don't eat, there's a wealth of street food to sample. Must tries include the coconut ice-cream that comes in a half coconut shell topped with you're choice of sticky rice, shaved coconut, peanuts and other stuff I never pick; Thai iced tea and arguably the best fried chicken shop. The papaya salad was a bit disappointing but the fried chicken is better than KFC. 

 Nothing like Bangkok like the food, Thai people love Japanese food (as do I) and they have some of the freshest seafood around, so it makes for great sushi trains. Also the pastry in the top left is a croclair - a donut/croissant/eclair hybrid, it was amazing. Food courts in Thailand are a must visit. The Central Embassy shopping centre, one of those fancy high end shopping malls has a basement food court that's set up like a street food centre but cleaner, and is definitely worth a visit. They had amazing pad Thai, and my favourite roti with banana and condensed milk. Also bottom photos are of the food at Coffee Bean by Dao, they have amazing cakes and a mix of Western and Thai food, there's one in Siam Paragon.

Also worth a visit is the Erawan Tea Rooms, it had a special when we went, a mix of traditional Thai snacks and a western afternoon tea stuffs. 

The best thing about shopping centres in Thailand is that they are all linked along the train line, but I reckon you'd be hard pushed to visit more than one in a day. My favourite (because I'm a cheapskate) is Platinum Mall, it's a wholesale women's fashion mall. Most items have prices written up, but the more you buy the better the discount. I was too busy shopping to take photos. 

So fabric shopping in Thailand is centralised to China Town, and Little India which are both connected. Little India tends to be more sari type stuff, whereas China Town has good basics and quilting fabric and haberdashery, all focused along Sampeng Lane. Jill over at bkkquilt has put together a good map of the area, and even managed to get some sneaky photos in (as most all the fabric stalls have a no photography rules). The fabric stalls are squished between a lot of handbag, Disney product, soft toy and jewellery stores. Also mostly wholesale. If you want a hair tie, you'll end up with a pack of twenty instead, but basically for the same price.

I managed to get a pretty good haul in Sampeng. I got a bunch of quilting cottons/voiles for 89 baht/meter (~$3AUD/meter) and some polyblend suiting fabric. The haberdashery cost me around $11 AUD for a dozen 22 inch invisible zippers and a half dozen different spools of thread.

Happy Crafting!