Simplicity 'Jiffy' 1364 Top

This is the top mentioned in my not so city gym shorts post that I left gathering dust for months awaiting some simple bias tape to finish the armholes. But once that fear was conquered this top has been a staple in the wardrobe.

The top is a from a reprint of an old Simplicity pattern. Aptly named Jiffy. It didn't take long to put together (minus the 10 weeks of waiting to insert bias tape). 

The sleeves just cap over the shoulder making it work appropriate.

A bit hard to tell from the picture above but I'm pointing to the diagonal darts that help shape the bust.  

Ignore the mismatched bias tape. I may have conquered my fear of inserting bias tape but much prefer to avoid making my own at all costs. I did make my own to make it match but then realised you wouldn't see it at all so fished some pre-made bias tape out of the stash. Also this was my wearable muslin, and the sun spoilt the delicate voile fabric whilst it was line drying on a hot day but I wear it all the times anyways.

The pattern has a button hole closure at the back to help you get the top over your head, but as with many others who tried the pattern I did away with this and sewed straight up the back with one seam. Next time I'll just cut on the fold to cut down on time even more.

Bias tape fear conquered. Much quicker than facings if you have premade bias tape.

I bought 5 patterns for $10 from Spotlight so this Jiffy top was a great addition, but even without the sale it's a great beginner pattern and wardrobe builder. 

Happy Crafting!

Honig Garden Party Dress

I love scrubs. I love not having to think what to wear in the morning/afternoon/night time. I love wearing my comfy memory foam runners to work and not being judged for it. And thus my drive to sew work clothes (and really any clothes) has steadily declined with no place to wear them, and the idea of having to forsake my blanket fort on the couch for the sewing machine just seems to hard. Damn you winter.

This dress was made before all the laziness of winter and a sea of blue scrubs set in. But the photos which were taken yesterday have been a real struggle, I was too lazy to find my stockings, yet another benefit of scrubs, no stockings needed and it was freezing.

The dress was made from Honig Design's free garden party dress, a split front dress with pleat skirt details. I would definitely recommend the pattern. I love the triple pleats on the skirt, which are actually more tucks. But gorgeous all the same, not too poofy (?puffy), but gives the dress the fit and flare shape I love. 

I had to skinny-ify the sleeves and had trouble setting them in so they sit a bit awkwardly, but that was more due to my trying to alter them on my dress model who has no arms. 

As per usual I also added in pockets, because what is a work dress without pockets? I also raise the front slit to a more modest area for work purposes. 

If you need inspiration, there are a bunch of versions of the garden party dress found here. The dress has a great basic shape and I will definitely be using it in the future.

Happy Crafting!

Free standing fabric storage bin tutorial

I was listening to the radio the other day, and the hosts were saying how we all basically live in a state of mess at home until someone visits and we make an effort to clean up. That's basically how life is at the moment. The rain and cold, despite it not being winter has resulted in blankets, pillows and jackets all over the couch, coffee table and desks; which all subsequently get shifted to the floor when we need to actually sit or use the furniture as furniture. The big issue being the questionable cleaniness of the floor that said items reside on. Between odd work hours, lots of rain, and a muddy, long haired dog, it's very questionable. Hence my latest project. 

There are lots of great tutorials out there for fabric bins, but most of them involved interfacing and/or a great deal of measuring and cutting. This was a quick gratifying project to use up some of my fabric stash and I only had to do one bit of difficult math, and even then google did it for me. The best thing about this project is that the storage bin is freestanding thanks to a nifty everyday household item.

Starting with a rectangular bit of fabric you will need to measure the long edge; this is going to be the circumference of your circle. 

Using a calculator of your choice, mine being Google, I figured out the radius of my circle by entering in the length of my rectangle of fabric as the circumference. 

As with a circle skirt, the usual way I trace a circle onto fabric is to tie a piece of string onto my chalk pencil and then to measure and cut the string to the size of my radius. I fold the fabric into quarters, use my finger to anchor down the end of the string at the centre fold (where the pin is), and trace my 1/4 of a circle around the fabric. Cutting along this line will yield a circle the size of the rectangle length.

The first bit of sewing that needs to be done is attaching a strip of contrasting fabric to the top of the rectangle and sewing, then fold it over to create a band and sewing. You can skip this step by just folding down the top of the rectangle. The trick is to leave a gap to feed the wire through.

Back to the main fabric. I used hemp fabric, and given the loose weave, I used two rows of zig-zag stitches and a single line of straight stitches for security. You need to sew the short edge of the rectangle, good sides together. 

Using lots of pins, you now need to attach the circle to the rectangular tube. The best way to do this is to mark the circle into quarters, and the same on the rectangle edge so you can match these points and pin the rest in between. 

Sew up the edges with a zigzag stitch. 

This next step is what is going to make your storage bin free standing. A wire coat hanger.

Using a pair of pliers to straighten the coat hanger. 

Using the gap left from sewing the band, feed the coat hanger through. Using pliers to secure the ends in a twist. 

I was to lazy to sew the band shut as I left a small gap, and I didn't fancy wrangling my sewing machine around a coat hanger. 

Now I have a place to put all my blankets and pillows. Now to keep the rest of the house tidy. 

                                                          Happy Crafting!

Salme Sonja Upcycle

So this is my last Salme Sonja version for a while, mostly because of the cold weather, coldest April in Melbourne and all that, not because I love the pattern any less after three versions.

This is not exactly how the Salme Sonja free pattern project picture looks like on Burdastyle, but the halter-esk bodice looks great with the looser fit top. 

The fabric that I used for this top was rescued from one of those dresses you get overseas on holidays, because you know, you're tourist. I think I wore this dress all of once. 

I managed to get a fair bit of fabric once all of it was unpicked, and the best part was that it was already hemmed, and the sides were overlocked.

I drafted the facings for this top off the front and back bodice pieces. This top is actually quite similar to one of Salme's patterns so I won't post a tutorial.

Even though I never wore the dress much I've worn the top multiple times.

It's great tucked and out and the best part about the fabric is the directionality of it. 

I finished the back of this top with a button loop closure but I didn't really need to as I never open the button loop to get the top over my head. 

If you haven't already check out Salme, or the pattern, or need some inspiration check out my previous curtain fabric version, or my 2 piece peplum version.

Happy Crafting!

Salme sonja two piece peplum and skirt

So given the success but the borderline indecency of my previous Salme Sonja due to its rather risqué length I was pretty keen to give the pattern another go in the form of a day to day wearable counterpart. When the time came however I just couldn't stick to the original pattern, mostly because of my indecisiveness. In the end I settled on a skirt plus a top which equals a dress. If you haven't already tried this free pattern you should, I used the bodice alterations from my first version.

The dress is actually a peplum top tucked into a circle skirt. The top is a looser fit peplum as the cupro fabric I used doesn't have any stretch and as you may have already gathered from my previous blog posts, I design my clothes for comfort and for eating, the stuff of life. 

The top is great paired with shorts (in these last vestiges of Summer) or with jeans.

Hemming both a circle peplum and a circle skirt made me want to sob a little inside but I got it done. I live in a block of units, and share a wall with the neighbours, our living room where my sewing machine resides attached to their unknown room, so when sewing late at night (which is often) I have to pop my machine on my slowest speed (aptly designate by a turtle shape), thus the entire hemming endeavour was in fact crawling.

So my last post and the next few features a few photos of me with my phone. My old inherited canon ixus 60 is probably a decade old at this point, and whilst the camera still works the quality is meh. My phone does a better job. After remembering this post on Very Purple Person, I downloaded the Cheez app on my iphone and ipad, and lo and behold not so bad photos. I'm not quite sold on investing in a dslr and learning real photography, despite the fact that my blog is obviously photo heavy. 

Anyway I digress. Back to the clothes. I love the flattering shape of a circle skirt despite the amount of time it takes to hem.

 And despite the Marilyn Monroe-esk moments.

They are super twirly.

Even the dog likes them.

Happy Crafting!