Category Archives: Sew Alongs

June sew alongs and sewing contests

Hello hello! Want to know what’s happening in the sewing world this June? Here’s the ones I know about.

First up, the biggest one – it’s Indie Pattern Month over on The Monthly Stitch! It’s the third year that Indie Pattern Month has been running, and it’s already in full swing (since I’m a few days late getting this post up – whoops!). As usual, it’s a month-long celebration of indie patterns, with people sharing their makes. There’s also interviews with designers, and a few discount codes just in case you want to buy a new pattern or two (or three, or four.. *cough cough whoops!*) to make up.

Just like last year, there are also contests running with it, with some great prizes up for grabs. The four categories this June are: Dresses, Separates, New To Me, and One Pattern Two Takes. You can find out all the details and rules over here. Prize posts can be found here (Dresses contest), here (Separates), here (New To Me) and here (One Pattern Two Takes contest).

Speaking of indie patterns, there’s a sew along currently happening for the latest Grainline Studio pattern – the Morris blazer. Even if you’re not going to be sewing along, it promises to be a great resource for future makes.

Conveniently (since the Morris blazer can be made in firm knits, such as ponte) the Stashbusting Sewalong theme this month is knits. (Yep, you can participate in this, the Grainline Morris sew along, and Indie Pattern Month, all with one garment!)

The Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge continues, encouraging everyone to use those pretty, pretty vintage patterns that are in our stashes.






There are two contests running over on Pattern Review this month – the Fabric Stash Contest and the Plus Size Contest.

As always, if you know of any that are happening that I’ve missed out, I’d love to hear about them! And there’s the master list over here, of all upcoming sew alongs and events that I’ve heard about.

Are you planning on taking part in any of the sew alongs or sewing contests this month?

Wenona in a tree

Well hello there! Want to see a new dress?

Go on, you know you want to! (And if not, too bad. Because I have a new dress. Spoiler alert: I likes it.)

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

This dress is a bit different. It’s part of a chain of creations, linked together through fabric and pattern, that the Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network (WSBN) are working on. You see, Wellington is a small place. We have very limited fabric stores, postage from overseas is crazy expensive, and as such we often find we’ve both the same fabric. We also find we have a lot of the same patterns in our stashes. (Of course, part of this may just be because a few of us have kinda crazy large stashes. Oops…. Sorry not sorry.)

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

So Leimomi came up with an idea – what if we created a chain of garments, which were linked to one another through using the same fabric or pattern? With our overlapping stashes, it should be pretty easy to do. And thus the 0 degrees sewing/blogging challenge was born!

Sure, there was a lot of logistics involved. And despite the intention to use things that were already in our stash, there may have been a few instances when certain people dashed out to acquire new things to match others. (It’s that magpie tendancy we seem to bring out in one another. Ooh! New fabric! Pretty! I must have it as well!). But in a chaotic, stop-start sort of manner, we are building up a chain.

And here is my (first!) link in it. The Named Wenona shirt dress. Made in fabric with gumnut babies all over it. (Gumnut babies!! Aaah!! Go those childhood memories….)

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

This is linking between Zara (who made the Grainline Alder dress in gumnut babies (gumnut babies!!)) and Sandra (who is making the Wenona in a goldfish print (goldfish!!)).

I bought the Wenona pattern when the Named Ritual collection first came out. A looser fitting button up dress, seemed rather perfect for the months after having a baby.

Wenona shirt dress by Named Clothing

Wenona shirt dress by Named Clothing

And then of course, it took me months to get around to making it. Heh. Oh well, it’s made now, and I can attest it still works well for post-baby and nursing stuff. Yeah!

Since the Wenona is a long-sleeved style, and also a “fashion” type design, I naturally had to add some length to the sleeves and hem (coz, long arms and legs). I added 4cm length to the sleeves (which turned out about right, although next time I think I’ll bump it up to 6cm), and 3″ to the skirt length. (Yes, I switch between metric and imperial. Deal with it.)

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The other change I made (if you can call it a change?) was the size I cut out – I cut a size smaller than the pattern told me to, as I went by the finished measurements instead. I’m super glad I did this, as the next size up would have been miles too large. And since I still have a bit of going-back-to-pre-baby-size happening, anything bigger than this would look just silly large in the future (hopefully!).

This was the first time I’ve used one of the paper patterns from Named. It comes in a nice, thick and solid feeling cardboard box, sealed at the back with a sticker, and that then unfolds to find the pattern and instruction book in the middle. Which is all rather pretty and stylish. ๐Ÿ™‚ The paper is nice and thick, and a classic white – none of that horrid super thin tissue paper (yes, I hate that stuff! Argh!). So it all looks rather pretty on your shelf. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

A couple of warnings though, for those who haven’t used them before. Firstly, the pattern pieces are overlapped, so whether you’re on Team Trace or Team Cut, you’re gonna have to trace this one out. And secondly – the seam allowance isn’t included. So you have to trace your pattern, then add seam allowance. Which makes for quite a bit of upfront work, so be prepared for that.

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The pattern itself came together quite nicely. The notch markings are quite minimal, and so are the instructions (for example, they completely forget to mention that you need to sew buttons and button holes) but if you know your way around a garment, you’ll be fine.

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Prerequisite sewing blogger looking-down-pigeon-toed post)

Now I must admit, I wasn’t too sure about this when I first finished it. There’s a release pleat on the back between the shoulders, and that volume doesn’t get taken in again. Plus, to be fair, long sleeved shirts (and shirt dresses) aren’t my usual style. Nor is palegreen and pastel yellow. So it was all a bit out of my “comfort zone”, really. (Although so saying, I kinda doubt most garments I make, until I’ve worn them for a day. Does anyone else do that?) But I threw a belt on and wore it to work one day. And you know what? It took most of the day to grow on me, but now I love it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

(As long as I wear it with a belt, that is. Because – huge amount of volume in the back at the waist.)

Here’s what it looks like unbelted, just so you know:

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

There’s some rather awesome details in this pattern. Firstly, let’s talk about those sleeves. See that contrast panel running up the centre? that goes all the way to the neckline. And yet the sleeves are set-in ones, rather than raglan. Such a neat design feature! And kinda fun/weird to sew, as you sew up the bottom seam of the sleeves and set them in before you sew up the dress’ shoulder seam.

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

There are cute yokes at front and back, and panels below those that end at the waist. So plenty of opportunity to play around with mixing and matching fabrics. (Speaking of which, that chocolate brown? That’s from a duvet cover. I’ve been getting good milage out of that duvet cover – I think this is the third garment that’s used it! And there’s still some left… Hmmm…)

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The collar has a point at the back. It’s meant to be buttoned down at the front points and the centre back, but, well, I didn’t have small enough buttons in the same colour as my main buttons, so it’s stayed loose on my dress. Maybe next time. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The sleeves have a pretty basic vent – simply turn back and stitch down. It works well with the sleeve panel and the cuff though, I think.

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Oh, and check out my button band! Not completely matched, but pretty close I thought, considering I was starting to run out of long enough fabric at that point. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Since the dress has gumnut babies all over it (gumnut babies!! Yay!!!) I decided to be a gumnut for a moment. Just ‘coz.

Gumnut Babies Wenona | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Big thanks to Mel for the photos!

April sew alongs

Wow, another month already! Wanting to kick-start your sew-jo, or some help to decide which project to tackle next? Why not join in a sew along! Here’s a couple of the ones happening this month….

Season of Separates sew along at the Curvy Sewing Collective

Over on the Curvy Sewing Collective, the Season of Separates continues. This month, the focus is on skirts.

Put a Bird On It challenge at The Monthly Stitch

We’ve had dog challenges and cat challenges – this month, it’s time for the birds! Make something with a bird on it and join in the fun over at The Monthly Stitch.

Small Human Being Sew Along

Got a small human being? Know someone who does? This month, there’s a challenge just for them. Make something tiny with the Small Human Being Sew Along.

The Wardrobe Contest on Pattern Review

Feel like challenging yourself? Sew up a complete wardrobe (4 tops, 3 bottoms, and 2 whatever-else-you-feel-like) between now and 15 May and with the Wardrobe Contest on Pattern Review.

Want to keep up with what’s going on with sewing challenges, contests and meet ups? Check out the full list here. (And as always, if you know of any that I’ve missed, let me know so I can add them!)

Rigel round-up (and a winner!)

I’m not quite sure how it happens, but every single year the start of February takes me by surprise. Seriously – every. single. year. And this year? No exception. How the heck are we in February already?!?!?!

Anyway, with the onset of February comes the end of Rigel Bomber Jacket January that Mel, Sonja and I hosted. Which means – it’s time to check out some of the sweet, sweet Rigel jackets that people made, get all inspired, and also see who won the sew-along contest!

There are three winners in total – Sonja, Mel and I each picked one person to win a Papercut pattern of their choice. (And can I just say – super hard decision! So many awesome jackets!)

First up (just for the fun of building the suspense plus an added bonus of lots of pretty Rigels to look at), check out these beauties that were made for Rigel Bomber Jacket January….

Chanelling the 1950's vibe by The Curious Kiwi

Chanelling the 1950’s vibe over at The Curious Kiwi

A cozy fleece Rigel by Sewing Beautifully

A cozy fleece Rigel by Sewing Beautifully

Rigel Bomber 1

A sweet textured artic white Rigel by What Diana Did Next

A pink Rigel hack by Lily Sage and Co

A pink Rigel hack by Lily Sage and Co


An 80s-tastic Rigel by Stacie Chadwick

An 80s-tastic Rigel by Stacie Chadwick

Wanna know who won? The jacket I chose to win a Papercut pattern of their choice is….

This amazing sequinned number by Thanks I Made This Myself!

Sequinned Rigel by Thanks I Made This Myself

Sequinned Rigel by Thanks I Made This Myself

(Because, seriously – a sequinned bomber jacket? And that photo shoot amongst the mossy stones? Luxe and laid-back all at once – love it!) (Plus, sewing with sequins kinda terrifies me, so anyone who does so, let alone sews welt pockets with sequins, has massive respect from me.)

Congrats! I’ll be in touch to find out which pattern you want for your prize. ๐Ÿ™‚

Want to see some other awesome Rigels and find out who the other two winners are? Check out the other Rigel round-up posts on Ginger Makes and The Curious Kiwi!

February sew alongs

I realised the other day that it’s been quite a while since I’ve done one of these posts – a quick round-up of some of my picks of the sew alongs happening for this month. (Whoops!)

As always, there’s all sorts of happenings going on in the online sewing community – sew alongs, contests, meet ups, etc. I try to keep an eye out for them all, and put ’em in a list here for anyone who is interested and wants to know what’s going on.

So, this February – there’s many fun things to take part in! Here’s my top four pick for the month….

We’ve had the Crazy Cat Lady challenge, and now it’s time for the Crazy Dog Ladies! Sew up something using dog print fabric (or for a dog) (or for a dog, in dog print fabric) by 15 March. (There may even be some prizes, oooh!)

If you’re anything like me, chances are you’ve got a wardrobe full of pretty prints, and no where near enough solid coloured garments to go with them. In that case, this month’s theme on The Monthly Stitch should be pretty perfect for you – sewing with solid colours (no prints allowed!). For an added bit of fun, every letter of the alphabet has a colour assigned to it – use the one for your initial/s.

Wanna take part in a challenge with a twist? Like the Linden sweatshirt pattern from Grainline? You’re in luck! The Linden Swap is happening – pair up with another sewing person, exchange measurements, and make each other a Linden!

Or if you’re more of a vintage styles lover, there’s a sew along about to kick off to make the 1930’s capelet pattern from Decades of Style. Pretty!

Plus there’s a whole bunch more, and yet more popping up every day. You can find out what’s happening here (and if you hear of any that aren’t on the list, please let me know so I can add them! Sometimes they slip through my net…)

Rigel Bomber Jacket January is here!

So, back in November, the lovely Ginger put up an Instagram pic of some of her patterns. Sitting at the top of the pile was the Rigel Bomber Jacket pattern
from Papercut. Which kicked off a whole Instagram conversation amoungst a bunch of people, where it transpired that a lot of us have that pattern, it’s been near the top of our things-to-sew queues for ages, and we still haven’t gotten around to making it up even though we really want to. Clearly, something needed to be done to give some of us that final push into making it up. And so, Rigel Bomber Jacket January was born!

The plan: make up those Rigel patterns we have! (Or will have, for those of you out there who are keen to join in but don’t have the pattern yet.)

Ginger Makes, The Curious Kiwi and I teamed up to spur each other on, to encourage anyone else who wants to join us, and to make up our Rigels this January! Oh yeah, Rigel Bomber Jacket January!

We even have a badge for it, designed by the awesome Mel:

We’re going to be putting up inspiration posts, occasional tutorials (such as how to line the Rigel jacket), and sharing our progress and we go along the Rigel journey.

And if you need a little bit extra incentive to join us, there’s even a competition happening! Make up the Rigel pattern this January, and post it to the Flickr group by the end of the month, and you could win a Papercut pattern of your choice. There will be three winners, who each win a pattern courtesy of the lovely Katie (the designer behind Papercut).

In convenient timing, there was even a PDF version of the Rigel pattern released in December, so if you don’t have it yet and want to get started straight away, that impulse can be met. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I pulled together the supplies I need for my Rigel today:


The jacket is going to be in the brown cotton/linen blend with snails on it, that I purchased in Tokyo just over a year ago. The ribbing is teal blue, and the zip is chocolate brown. I’m going to line it, using the dark green lining, and to add a bit of extra warmth I’m going to do a quilted lining, using the peapod-print flannelette on the inside. (One thing missing from this picture – pocket lining fabric. Still need to decide what I’m using for that, but I can assure you it will be some sort of random pattern that will make me smile whenever I see it.)

(I chose the snails fabric for this one, as I figure it works for Jungle January as well. Snails! Yeah!!)

My partner is back at work on Monday and the Little Man is back in daycare from then as well, so fingers crossed the Smallest One sleeps a bit and lets me sew next week, as I’ve been seriously missing those dates with my sewing machines!!! ๐Ÿ˜›

So, how about you? Have you got the Rigel pattern in your stash, too? Will you be joining us in making it up this January? We’ll be showing progress photos on Twitter and Instagram, using the tag #rigelbomberjanuary – join the conversation! ๐Ÿ™‚

What’s on this August?

Hey hey!

Been a while since I’ve done a post about what’s happening in the sewing blog-o-spere. Feels like it’s time to (especially since I don’t have any completed garments to show you just yet – sorry ’bout that, I’m working on it, I promise!). I’ve just been cheating on my sewing-things-for-me with other stuff lately. Like knitting. And something else that I can’t tell you about just yet, but maybe in another three weeks. Maybe….

Anyway, wanna know what’s happening in August? Quite a bit, as always! Here are a few of the sew-alongs and sewing challenges that caught my eye for this month.

By now, you’ve probably all seen the new Alder shirtdress pattern from Grainline Studio. Well, if you’re wanting to try it out, there’s an Alder Sewalong happening! Jen will be covering everything for both variations of the dress, plus some fitting tips, and as an added bonus, will also be showing how to make an Archer/Alder hybrid (perfect for cooler weather).

We’ve had the Dolly Clackett sew-along, and Oonapalooza. Now, it’s time to open up the tributes to everyone! The Sewcialists are running Tribute month this August – make something up inspired by one of your sewing heroes. (Oh, I have so many to choose from!!)

Would you believe it, The Monthly Stitch is celebrating it’s first birthday?!! What better excuse to sew up cake related things?! Whether it’s garments named after cake, inspired by cake, in cake fabric, or falling into either the ‘frosting’ or the ‘cake’ category. And as an added bonus, a bunch of the posts appearing during Cake month will have the contributors favourite cake recipes in them, too! (First one out – this post includes both a cute dress and a recipe for vegan lemon mango cupcakes with ‘cream cheese’ frosting. Yum!)

Feel like getting all matchy-matchy? Ada Spragg is running the Two Piece Set-Acular! And my, she’s been whipping up a storm of gorgeous two-piece combinations! (I’m not usually a fan of two-piece sets, but she is rapidly changing my mind, haha!)

And if you feel like getting your environmentally-friendly crafting hat on, why not join in Repurpose Reuse Refashion? You’ve got three options here – either remake a garment from a charity shop, remake something from your (or a friends) wardrobe that’s otherwise destined for a charity shop, or actually DO SOMETHING with some of those UFOs/wadders/fails that (let’s face it) tend to linger in hidden corners and make us feel guilty whenever we spot them (or is that just me?!? *hangs head in shame*).

Of course, there’s a bunch of other things going on around the place as well (coz we’re a busy little group like that, aren’t we?!). There’s a list over here of upcoming sew-alongs, sewing contests, meet ups, etc that I keep up to date with everything I come across if you’re curious to see more. (And if you find out anything that’s not on the list, please let me know so I can add it! ๐Ÿ™‚

So – are you planning on joining in any of the myraid of sew alongs or challenges that are happening this month? (I’ve got my Cake garment all planned, and am eyeing up the ‘Repurpose’ challenge… now to find some sewing time!)

Myrna? And a wrap!

Guess what, guess what? I’ve knitted (knit?) myself a second garment! Eeeee! (That was a quiet squeal of excitement, by the way.)

Myrna Cardigan and Dogs Wrap Dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Turns out this knitting lark is kinda addictive. Just like sewing. Clearly, I need to diversify my stash to include both wool and fabric now (as well as patterns, trims, sewing machines….. Hmmm…. Maybe I just need a bigger house…. Oops!)

Anyway, I made this one (and the dress that I’m wearing with it) for the Outfit Along 2014, hosted by Lauren from Lladybird and Andi from Untangling Knots.

Myrna Cardigan and Dogs Wrap Dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Such a great idea – sewing up a dress and knitting a cardigan to go with it. How could I not join in?

Lauren and Andi had chosen a dress and cardigan pattern to run a sew-along and knit-along with, or you could choose your own. I decided to make up the knitting pattern they’d picked – the brand new Myrna cardigan pattern from Andi Satterlund. Such a cute pattern – it’s got short sleeves, a v neck, eyelet details around the edges, and a keyhole detail at the back neckline. Plus, it’s mostly knit in stockinette (?), which means not too complicated for me as my second full project!

Myrna Cardigan | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

For the dress though, there was no way I was gonna be able to squeeze ‘the bump’ into the fitted-waist Simplicity summer dress that had been chosen. So I made a knit wrap dress instead. Which I can’t tell you much about, since it’s a bit of Secret Sewing (yay!), but there are a couple of pics of it towards the end of the post as a sneak preview. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Myrna Cardigan and Dogs Wrap Dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

My little sis took part in the Outfit Along as well – we bought our yarn together (a gorgeous wool and alpaca blend from Skeinz, an online yarn store in New Zealand – I got the Lava colourway and Jen got the Forest one). The Myrna was Jen’s first knitted garment, and my second, so we muddled along together, jumping onto YouTube or Skyping our mother (who is a fantastic knitter!) when we got stuck. It was really nice having someone making the same project at the same time – towards the end we organised a couple of DVD-and-knitting nights to make sure we had some dedicated knitting time and got it all done in time! (So much fun in fact we may have cast on our second sister-knit-together project as soon as we finished our Myrna cardigans….)

Myrna Cardigan | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I got to learn a lot while making up Myrna. How to do eyelets, and the keyhole at the back. And the big one – how to do short rows! The sleeves are shaped with short rows. Which aren’t actually all that hard, although it took me a while to be able to figure out where to start and stop each one without having to obsessively count every stitch. But, you know – progress! I also got a lot better at sewing in the ends, although I suspect I’m doing it wrong, so will need to figure that out at some point….

Myrna Cardigan and Dogs Wrap Dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

I also figured, what the heck, and kinda may have sorta modified the pattern a bit as I went along. Coz you know, it’s my second project, so I must know what I’m doing, right? (Yeah. Right.) Since I’m a size different up top from my waist/hip, I knitted up the Myrna in a size Small, and graded it out to a size Medium at the waist. And you know what? My maths calculations actually worked! (Or at least I think they did. It looks pretty good when it’s off. I have no idea if it’s actually the right size around the waist, since I can’t exactly do it up at the moment! So that moment of truth will have to wait a few more months.)

Myrna Cardigan and Dogs Wrap Dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The buttons are some pretty ones I found at Made Marion (because despite the rather large collection of buttons I have, it turned out I had none that would go with this cardigan. Clearly, I need to stash more of them so I have ones for every occasion.) The dark ring is actually translucent, which is pretty cool, although that detail gets a bit lost when they’re attached to a garment sadly.

Myrna Cardigan | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Now, I must admit this cardi is looking a little bit tight in a couple of areas. But that’s coz my ribs have done that expanding-a-full-size thing due to pregnancy (seriously, they do that, bodies are strange things), plus my bust has also grown. (Too much information? Ah well.) So it’s technically a size too small at the moment, plus the bump means it’s not exactly sitting at the right spot in the front. But hey, it’s the right size for when I’m not preggers, and I’m not pregnant a lot more than I am pregnant, so therefore it’s the right size for a knitted-by-me cardigan. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Myrna Cardigan and Dogs Wrap Dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

So, the dress.

I’m afraid I can’t tell you much about it yet (secret sewing and all that). So I’m just gonna let the pics give you a sneak peek instead. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Dogs Wrap Dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Dogs Wrap Dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(I wasn’t even planning on doing that, but I stoopidly got all excited about making up the pattern and made it to match the cardigan for the Outfit Along, and then thought “oops! Should have made a pattern I’m allowed to talk about!” but it was too late. So hey, a sneak peek you all get instead!)

Dogs Wrap Dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Dogs Wrap Dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

(Of course, it would fit a lot better without a baby bump in the way, but whatevs.)

And there we have it – an outfit of a dress and cardigan! Yay!

Right, what to make next…. I do like me these challenges. I think next on my sewing agenda will be something for the birthday month challenge over on The Monthly Stitch…… (Do you know of any other sewing challenges coming up? The list for August is looking rather empty at the moment, so I suspect I’ve missed seeing a few announcements?!!)

The Debi dress

I seem to be on a bit of a ‘squeezing in at the last minute’ roll with sewalongs at the moment!

But, better nearly-late than never, right?

D’you remember back in, oh, February (eep!) there was a vote on my blog for which of three pattern-and-fabric combinations I should make up during March? Well, I was a good girl and started on the winning combination at the beginning of March. And then it didn’t go so well, and had a bunch of fitting issues, and I got grumpy with it and put it in the naughty corner and proceeded to make other things to cheer myself up. While in the back of my mind planning on getting it finished for the Sew for Victory sew-along.

It was a close call which dress was voted in, but in the end it was McCall 5676, a dress pattern from 1944, made up in a pretty, lightweight and silky-feeling floral cotton.

McCall 5676

Finally, that dress has seen the light of day, just in time for the end of Sew for Victory! Yippee! And after all the pain of making it, I even like it!!

Debi dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Both the pattern and the fabric came from Debi, and since I discovered the gorgeousness of 1940’s designs and got inspired to sew 1940’s patterns through seeing all of her lovely creations, this dress seems to be quite fittingly named after her.

I chose to make view A in the dress, sans lace. Instead, I left the little cap sleeves plain.

Debi dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The pattern itself was reasonably easy to make up. Gathers at the front waist and front neckline, a band to finish the neckline, and button placket down the back (to which I added interfacing, even though the instructions didn’t call for it. Did they have interfacing or some equilivent back in the 1940’s?). I used some vintage self-covered buttons for down the back.

Debi dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The problems came with the fit. I usually (somehow?!) fit 1940’s dresses more-or-less out of the envelope, with only a slight grading to a bigger size at the waist and a small bust adjustment. So I was rather surprised when, even with trying it on at points in the construction, I finished attaching the buttons and discovered the waist sat far too low. Heck knows how that happened, since it seemed to be fine when I was trying it on earlier! Anyway, I’d been all nice and tidy and taking care with my finishing, so not only was there a gathered seam on lightweight delicate fabric to unpick, I’d also top stitched it down right close to the seam itself. Ugh.

(This was the point where the dress made it’s way to the naughty corner for over a month. Yep.)

Debi dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Then one day, it dawned on me. I needed to take the waist up by a couple of centimeters, so why not just cut the skirt off, and then when I reattach it it’ll be in the right place! Far, far easier, and sure enough, it worked well. ๐Ÿ™‚

(Although yes, I’m aware it doesn’t look like it’s sitting quite right in a bunch of these photos. That’s coz there’s a baby bump in the way that’s pushing the belt up higher.)

Debi dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The other fitting issue was in the back. There was a big gape at the centre back, again not discovered until I could actually do the dress up properly, by which point the buttons and button holes had been done. Ugh once more. (Admittedly, it would have been fine and sat flat if the neckline had been worn wider, but it just wasn’t sitting as wide as it was meant to on me and staying put, so that just wasn’t going to work.)

Time for another hack. I just moved the buttons, and folded the interfaced button placket under enough for the new button placements to be stitched on through the interfacing. (Ssh, don’t tell anyone!) Naughty maybe, but it worked, and got this dress off the UFO pile, so I’m calling that a good hack. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Debi dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Now that it’s all done, I think I quite like it. The gathers are pretty, and while I debate whether cap sleeves ever look any good on me, they’ll be good for keeping direct sun off my shoulders while still being nice and cool next time summer rolls around.

Debi dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Plus, bonus hidden in-seam pockets in the front of the skirt! I think this is officially my favourite feature of this pattern. Because, pockets! Functional ones!! In an unexpected (yet still logical) place!!!

Debi dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

My mother is in town visiting this weekend, so my sister and I took her out for a one-week-early Mothers Day surprise High Tea at Sweet Pea cafe in Petone. (More about the High Tea in a later blog post.) Petone is one of the oldest Wellington suburbs, and has lots of cute late-1800 and early-1900s houses and buildings. We took photos outside the historic police station. In use during the first half of the 1900’s, this teeny tiny building was both police station and jail for the area. Ain’t it cute? It’s now a Historic Places Trust building, sitting set back a few meters from the main shopping street in Petone. I’m hoping that one day I’ll get to have a look inside coz I bet it’s super-cute on the inside as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

Debi dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Debi dress | Modern Vintage Cupcakes

The seasons, they go round. And so do certain annual events.

Annual events such as…. Indie Pattern Month! Woo hoo!!!

You may remember the last year in June, when Mel and I hosted the first ever Indie Pattern Month. We had so much fun interviewing indie designers, sewing indie designs, and seeing what everyone else was sewing as well, that it prompted us to start up The Monthly Stitch. (Yep, that’s right, folks. Indie Pattern Month was a catalyst.) We also decided that since so many people told us how much they enjoyed Indie Pattern Month, and asked if it would happen again, that we’d run Indie Pattern Month every June.

And since it’s June next month, that means Indie Pattern Month is coming up again!

And it’s gonna be even bigger and better than last year, oh yeah!

First up, the general premise is staying the same. It’s all about celebrating the wonderful talent and hard-work that indie designers put into creating patterns for us to all make and fall in love with. Whether they’re the more established indie designers (like Colette, who’ve just celebrated their 5th birthday) or the new ones just starting out (like Gather with their two patterns and hopefully many more to come), it’s time to celebrate them by making up indie patterns during June.

Also like last year, we’re going to be interviewing various indie designers, to find out more about them and their inspirations.

But we’re adding a couple of new things into the mix this year as well.

Firstly, sewing contests! We’ve gotten a group of fabulous indie designers on board as sponsors for four sewing contests during June. There’s a different one each week, with a different theme.

Secondly, discounts on patterns! One of our amazing sponsors is Dresses and Me, an online store who started up just to sell and promote indie designers. She’s offering a 15% discount on anything in her store from now until the end of June, just for Indie Pattern Month. (Use the code IPM2014 to get your 15% discount.)

Thirdly, giveaways! As well as giving prizes for the sewing contests, some of our wonderful sponsors have also given prizes for giveaways during the month.

And last but not least, one nice, easy, central location so you can find everything. All the interviews, everything that people have been making, info about the contests, all you may want to know about Indie Pattern Month. This year, we’re hosting it over on The Monthly Stitch. And we’d love you all to come and get involved!

Want to find out more, sign up to take part, see what designers are involved, and maybe check out the competition categories? Have a look at the overall announcement post and the sewing contests post.

Yeah, Indie Pattern Month 2014! It’s been months in the making, and now…. it’s here! ๐Ÿ˜€