A Stripey (kinda) Sophie

hi all,


The other week I was asked by the lovely Kat if I wanted to test her latest pattern, a comfy cardigan. I was as keen as a bean! I’ve long drooled over the multiple versions of her Jenna cardie and was excited to see what she’s come up with this time.

Pattern testing is fun, you get to try out patterns without being “biased” with other peoples versions. Sophie comes with heaps of variations – round neck, v-neck, zip, buttons and with and without pockets. V-neck is always my preference, and my preferred fabric was really light so pockets seemed out of the question.

I had this blue fabric in my stash, brought for making a muslin for another pattern (which didn’t work out) and had some left over. You can’t see it in the pics but there’s a very fine white stripe running through the fabric. It only cost me $3 at a Levana sale earlier in the year – even better….

I cut a size 40 reducing to a 38 at the hip. Which was really dumb as there is no way I’m a 40″ bust…. it meant I cut it 2-3 sizes too big in the chest.I have no idea what I was thinking but we all make mistakes sometimes!

I added a darker blue for neck and button band, which I’m really pleased with – it looks a little bit preppy, but not too much if you know what I mean!

Other than choosing the wrong size (which worked out ok in the end) this testing went as easily as my last Muse pattern. Kat’s made a few changes for the final pattern which is out now, but I’m pleased with this one. With the fabric being really really thin its not really a layering piece, but I’m sure it’ll get lots of wear.

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Squinty eyes!

Searching for a great sweatshirt…

I am on a sewing roll at the moment. None of these things that I am making are on the list of makes for my wedding – must get onto that…

In the meantime if I’m sewing, I need to photo and blog. Did I mention its winter? Aah well, see the things I put myself through. Today wasn’t too bad, but I had a lazy start so by the time I got out of the house to get some photos, rain was on the way and it was COLD! How cold? This cold…

swear words might have been said!So while todays post may not include the most exciting photos, they were gathered in an atmosphere of dire threat of hypothermia, so that adds excitement value surely?

And todays post is on my first attempt at a Linden sweatshirt from Grainline studios. This is my second Grainline pattern with my Moss Mini sadly in the mending basket as its waay too big – not that I know what I’ll do with it, but nonetheless! When this pattern came out it didn’t grab my attention. It was just a sweatshirt and that’s not really interesting is it? But I’ve got a few pieces of knit fabric that would work for sweatshirts so I started looking for patterns. Initially the Linden still didn’t call me, as it had a high-ish neck on it, and I like mine slightly lower (the neck band for this seems tiny when cut it out). But as more bloggers made this up I figured I could maybe lower the neckline myself. Not listening to myself, and arguing that with all the patterns I already own I surely could cobble up something, in the end I used a BurdaStyle pattern for the lovely red knit I had. The less said about that make the better I say. After taking in approx 10 inches from each side and playing surgeon on the neckline I ended up with something wearable – but the only pic I have of it on is this one from Me-Made-May. Weirdly enough wearing the same jeans as today!

MeMadeMayAnyway I was still on the hunt for a good sweatshirt pattern, Linden was popular so I grabbed the PDF and gave it a go. And am really glad I did. The hardest part was choosing a size to cut out – I knew I didn’t want too much ease, and there’s about 6″ ease in this one in the bust, but that goes down to 2″ at the hips. I’m smaller in the bust and hips, but with only 4″ between waist and hips on a good day my measurements are usually 2-4 sizes apart. In the end I went with a straight size 10, and it wpretty greenas a pretty good fit.

My fabric is one I got from a fabric sale the other week, meant to trial Seamworks Astoria but I’ve already made two of those and this fabric now called for something else! Its a mottle green and black and I think it has a bit of cotton in it. It was easy to sew, with the only issue being that the edges curled, but otherwise was a pleasure.

Even better that sewing the fabric was sewing the pattern – this is really well drafted, all the notches matched, and it came together really easily as quickly (only 45 mins to sew it all together). However I can’t comment on the instructions as I didn’t read ’em at all! What a rebel :) I suspect if I’d read the instructions it would have said some about not stretching the neck band too much, but I still haven’t read them so I’m not sure. Some of the other Linden’s I’ve seen blogged def show a much smaller neckline than mine. But actually I’m delighted with how the neckline on this worked out, it’s just right for me.

So to end, some pics of this make, on a windy, cold day. Hope those of you in winter climates are coping ok, and those of you in summer climates aren’t too hot!





See you soon

A totally inappropriate skirt…

I didn’t intend to make another skirt. I certainly didn’t intend to buy more fabric. But I was waiting in-line to get some fabric for a sewing class I’ve just started and something was calling…
Can you see it?There on the middle shelf. The white one… can you hear it?

I tried to ignore it. I really really did. I didn’t need another skirt (for what else could it be?) I could get it another time. “But I’m on sale” it whispered.

Nope you’re cotton voile. You’re far to thin for a skirt. “I’d just need lining…” it coerced. 

For goodness sake its WINTER! “But look how pretty I am. Just think of how I’d swish and twirl…”

Needless to say my will was too weak and said fabric came home with me! And went straight into the wash and ironed and ready for cutting that night.

I knew this had to be a swishy skirt – after all it had told me it was. I didn’t want panels as I didn’t want to break up the already busy print – and I knew there was no way I was going to pattern match this sucker.

So I headed to the By Hand London circle skirt calculator. Which informed me that the fabric was too narrow for a fill circle skirt. And a half circle skirt. And for a quarter circle skirt. Hmmm….

What followed was a long period of angst trying to work out how to get this fabric to do what I wanted it to. I cursed my waist dimensions for being too long. I cursed stupid patterns for being dumb. I cursed circles for being too round. Then I realised the cursing wouldn’t change a thing.

nothing like my finished productI searched my patterns for one that would give me the swish I wanted. In the end I saw this one in Gertie’s latest book and thought “hmmm that would probably look different in a lighter fabric”. Then I realised it was a half circle skirt. And that the dimensions matched the fabric I had… we were on like donkey kong kids!

I don’t know why this pattern fit when the other circle skirt patterns didn’t. Tbh it wasn’t quite wide enough even for this pattern. I ended up missing the very point of the circle on either side and just fudging it when I sewed it up. roll that hem...

Once I got it cut out though this baby went like a dream. Easy to sew up. Facings matched (not a fan of facings me, but thems the breaks). I left it to hang for a couple of days but there wasn’t too much drop in the hem. I even managed to do rolled hem…

So, now I have a gorgeous skirt, in a see through cotton voile. In winter. Ah well! Add a jacket and a slip and we’re in business.

We managed to get out today, on a stunning winter day and get some shots – it was sunny, windy, and chilly but after the rain and storms we’ve had the last week it was glorious!

Here she is, in all her glory

Here she is, in all her glory

See... swishy-ness

See… swishy-ness


checking out the fabric – yep its still calling…


the print in its glory!

Despite loving this fabric, and the feel, and so many things about it, when I first put it on I was underwhelmed. I’m one for a-line and closer skirts and I wasn’t sure the looser, draping worked for me – especially round the hips. However when I tried it on again after hemming I was ok with it; sometimes I think a new style sometimes needs a second consideration.

I think this one will get a bit of wear. With a jacket other than my denim one it will carry me over for work. All in all a win methinks.

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Me-Made-May – Wrap up

hello lovelies,

Here I am, a week late, but my laptop is still in the shop and it turns out that even if I have a perfectly suitable substitute, I miss it heaps. It was only meant to be two weeks but turns out there was a problem with the cooling fan as well so it’ll take longer. (As a side note, a problem with the cooling fan could explain why my laptop often made a sound like a plane taking off!).

So we’re all done for my first time for Me-Made-May. Here’s the last of the photos then some thoughts below:

Day 25 – Monday

Work day… my unblogged leftover red fabric Mabel skirt


Day 26 – Tuesday (Warning faces get a bit silly from here. There were sillier ones I deleted!)

Striped maxi skirt for work


Day 27 – Wednesday

Brand new Delphine skirt – love this colour!


Day 28 – Thursday

Off to see another show. Wearing my watson jacket


Day 29 – Friday

Work day. Today I did wear Me-Made, but I looked at myself in the mirror at the end of the day and hated my outfit so much that I didn’t take a pic. Said Me-Made is now back in the sewing stash to be remade into something pretty. Or a muslin.

Day 30 – Saturday!

Woo hoo! Saturday. Hudson pants for housework. Boo housework.


Day 31 – Sunday

So apparently I failed getting a pic cause I can’t find one. Weird. But I can assure you I wore something Me-Made. Something.


  • so wearing Me Made wasn’t that hard. Most days it was pretty easy.
  • taking photos daily sucks, but is interesting to go back and look at them and see if you can see a theme.
  • my theme, both in sewing and wearing is simple – I’ve lots of skirts, but none of them are very complicated. Several of them are literally two seams, elastic and a hem. I’ve stuck to mainly simple stuff this year so far. I’m unlikely to change that but should aim to include challenging (though I am making three bridesmaids dresses for three very different bodies so that should challenge!)
  • this has been great to be a part of. There were only 2 items in my wardrobe I didn’t wear – one cause its too fancy, the other cause it needs ironing and I hate ironing. One item was hideous and shall not be worn again. Thats a pretty good effort I think!

Hope June hasn’t come too much of a shock for you all (halfway through the year already and winter has come with a bang here, though its pretty today). Have a good un…

Me Made May – Update 2

hey world

So I missed last weeks progress post… I had a good reason… my laptop is in the shop (luckily Mr T works in IT and has a spare… or two…) And Mr T and I threw a party last weekend for our engagement… yep we’re engaged! There will be lots of wedding related makes in the lead up to the big date next March I assure you, so I’ll keep it light on wedding words for now!

There are a couple of missing photos… sorry… and many doubles ups in this post but here you go….

Day 9 – Sunday

Wearing my Hudson pants while starting the Groom’s suit shopping… very early… like months early… (spoiler alert.. we’re still looking!)

IMG_20150509_134528 (2)Day 10 – Monday

Monday was cold… though I look prepared for work I have sneakily outfitted myself in… polyprop leggings, boots, a wool skirt and a wool top. I made the top and the skirt. But I’ve blogged neither.

IMG_20150511_083940[1]Day 11- Tuesday

My BHL Victoria Blazer… this was made just before I stopped regularly blogging and never made it to the blog. I wear it a fair bit though….


Day 12 – Wednesday

Work again… My lace knit skirt… which I love and will be blogged here as soon as I get some good photos of it I promise!


Day 13, 14 and 15 no photos…

but I did wear me made, I promise… and its all clothes worn elsewhere this post…

Day 16 – Sunday

The day after The Party. Not hungover, but def tired. Spent the day at the bridal expo with my awesome Matron of Honor who was in from out of town and then the museum (Te Papa) with some friends who were flying home that afternoon. Wore my wool Seamwork Oslo.


Day 18 – Monday

Work day. Purple knit skirt. This one was a muslin for the to-be-blogged red lace skirt pattern. Worked out well me thinks. (The black wool above is the same pattern!)


Day  19 – Tuesday

My Watson jacket. Love love. Though I fear its a wee bit too big these days. Sad panda. That must be the reason for my sad face. That or the fact I was off to work.


Day 20 – Wednesday… no photo. Sigh.

Day 21 – Thursday

Off to see a show. Wearing my Papercut Rigel bomber


Day 22 – Friday.

This was a fail day. I had casual Friday at work but a meeting at lunchtime that casual Friday wouldn’t work for, then went to the gym after work. So three outfits went to work with me and nothing was home made!!!

Day 23 – Saturday

Action shot. Played chauffeur for my brother and got a shot of my original orange skirt


Day 24 – Sunday (today! phew)

My burdastyle red sweatshirt covered me for brunching, gardening and napping!


And we are up to date. Hope you’re having a great month xx

Me-Made-May update 1

So the month started pretty well really – Here we are day 8 of Me-Made-May and I’ve got photos for every day! Unfortunately none of them involve exciting or creative photography! I’ll try harder next week…

Day 1 – Friday

Casual Friday at the office. Wearing my first blogged item my Orange A-line skirtDay 1

Day 2 – Saturday

Off to High tea with the girls. Wearing a (as yet unblogged) green burdastyle singlet

Day 2

Day 3 – Sunday

Spent the day racing around doing “stuff” and preparing Sunday dinner for family. Late night photo in my pink Sol Hoodie

Day 3

Day 4 – Monday

Home sick with the dreaded lurgy… no way I was being photographed today so you get my unblogged robot pj’s instead!

  Day 4

 Day 5 – Tuesday

Another day home sick, this time I put on my bright renfrew muslin to try and cheer myself up for a trip to the pharmacy. (yes this one is unblogged too).

Day 5

Day 6 – Wednesday

Back to work in my blue Muse Natalie dressDay 6

Day 7 – Thursday

TERRIBLE weather so I snuggled up in my Seamwork Oslo – another muslin that turned out ok. It’s 100% wool and I still wasn’t feeling too great so comfort above elegance it was.

Day 7

Day 8 – Friday

Back in my pink Sol Hoodie. Roll on the weekend!Day 8So, we made it through week one. What did I learn?

  • wearing me made clothes every day isn’t too hard!
  • I need to clean my mirror
  • I also need to clean my room… oops!

Hope you lovelies are having a great month! Catch you next week! xxxx

My pledge…

right... I'm doing this!

‘I, Mel of Thanks! I made this myself sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’15. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made garment each day for the duration of May 2015.’

Ok folks…. Here we go. I’ve been a part of this online sewing community for a couple of years now and Me-Made-May has been something I’ve always wanted to be part of.

For those of you who’ve not come across this before, Zoe from So Zo, runs this annually and the challenge is to actually  wear the garments you’ve slaved over and get to share them with others. Many of us find its really easy to make something and then not find a chance to wear it and just leave it in the closet… Not this month baby!!

Each person can choose what they want to pledge – some choose to only wear a garment once in the month, other ones I’ve seen are to wear more self-made dresses and to ONLY wear self-made all month – eek!

I haven’t done this previously as I always figured I needed to have more actual me-made clothes in my wardrobe. I still don’t think I have enough for a whole month, but am really keen to do it this year, so I I’ll either have to get really productive at my machine (not that likely as I’m just starting a quilt) or to show you lovelies  many double ups.

I figure May will highlight gaps in my wardrobe and what I don’t wear and hopefully give me some guidance on what I should prioritise for future makes. (Ooh those wardrobe architect posts are making me drool. How I wish I had an actual “personal style” to focus on. But I’m too eclectic – or too casual – to have any kind of specific style.)

One of the key aspects  or Me-Made-May are the regular photos  people take of what they are wearing. I’m planning to photograph daily and add them to my blog as a round up weekly – we’ll see how this goes. However they’re not going to be exciting photos as Mr T is gone by the time I leave the house in the mornings and its dark when I get home now. They’ll be hall way photos I’m afraid. But its all about the garments huh?

What about you folks? Are you taking part this year? Any concerns? At the very least May is a time to see and droll over what everyone else is making – not that I need any more inspiration… my to-make list is already sooo long… Sooo long…

so much to make....