Tag Archives: Sewing

Introducing indie pattern lover – Mel from The Curious Kiwi!

Ready to meet another lover of indie sewing patterns? This time, I’d like to introduce you to my sewalong-hosting buddy – Mel from The Curious Kiwi!

Mel sews a lot with indie sewing patterns. In fact, I think that she’s wearing something from an indie pattern every time I see her…. (Especially her Hollyburn skirt, which I can confirm looks even more awesome in real life than it does on a computer screen!) So her she is to tell us what’s on her wish list….

Mel in her fabulous Hollyburn skirt

So, Mel, what do you like the most about sewing with indie patterns?
I love that it feels like so much more love and attention goes into each release. You can tell from the pretty packaging to the beautifully illustrated instructions that it’s a special pattern. That also makes me want to do a great job of the garment too.

What’s your favourite Indie pattern, and why?
I haven’t made it yet but I am dying to, it’s the Papercut Watson Jacket. I secretly want to make a cape but I don’t think it would be very flattering on me so I just love that this is a cute blend of coat and cape and I can see me wearing it ALL. THE. TIME. I even have fabric picked out from my stash.

Watson jacket with the chosen fabric

What’s your favourite thing you’ve made from an indie pattern?
My Lady Grey is shaping up nicely but my Rooibos is definitely my favourite so far. It was my first Indie pattern and I tried piping for the first time too. I LOVE the linen I used for the main dress, I bought it on a trip to Melbourne so it has souvenir memories attached, and the fit was just spot on. I’ve been wearing it a lot lately to work and I always get a compliment so I can’t complain.

Rooibos with piping

Which is your favourite indie pattern company, and why?
Papercut is my number one at the moment, I know as a Kiwi I am 100% biased but I just can’t wait to see what her next release will be! I can’t just choose one through, equal in second place is a new company for me, Deer & Doe (such pretty patterns!), Colette and Sewaholic.

Which indie pattern are you planning on making next?
I have a Cake Tiramisu in the wings for July. I would also love to make the Deer & Doe Belladone but after seeing your version it’s competing hard with Papercut’s La Sylphide…I guess I’ll have to make them all! :D

Tiramisu from Cake patterns

What indie patterns are on your wish list?
Even though I have no idea what it’s going to look like Papercut’s rumoured blazer pattern is already on my wish list. I’ve also had Colette’s Crepe on there for a while but just haven’t made the leap yet. I made a few splurge purchases last month so I guess I am waiting for everyone’s next releases so I can covet a few more pretties.

Crepe dress by Colette patterns

Comfy undies

Yep, this post is about undies. Comfy ones.

A couple of times, I’ve played around with making my own underwear. The last time was late last year, when I drafted up a pattern based around one of my favourite pairs. They worked out quite well, and are soooo comfy, that I fully intend to make a whole lot more! They may look kinda large, but that’s due to the style – a good boy-leg fit, that completely covers your butt. Which means that they don’t ride up, and you don’t get the dreaded VPL either. Yay! They’re a hipster style, so you don’t have to worry about them peeking over the top of your jeans either.

Drafting up a pattern for underwear is pretty simple. Take a pair of your favourite knickers, and copy, as follows:
– Fold them in half down the middle (i.e. the right-hand side should be on top of the left-hand side) so that the back of the undies is on the top
– Lay them on a piece of paper (or fabric) so the middle fold is on the edge of the paper
– Draw around ‘em!
– Unfold, and fold ‘em the other way, so the front side is on the top
– Once again, line up to the edge of your piece of paper, and draw around them. This bit will be slightly trickier, as you’ll need to move the fabric from the back side of the undies out of the way without disturbing the placement of the top side on the paper. I find it’s easiest to pin around the edges of the undies that you want to trace, and then you can just lift up the rest of the fabric and trace under it
– Now you’ve got your two halves traced, cut them out!
– If you look at your pair of undies, you’ll notice that the seam connecting the front and back halves often isn’t right in the centre. You’re going to need to adjust your pattern to allow for this, so….
– Line up your two halves, so the crotch of the back half lines up with the crotch of the front half, and tape them together
– Measure on your undies how far from the top of the centre back piece the crotch seam is. Now, measure the same distance on your pattern piece, and mark a line.
– Cut along this line, and you now have your pattern pieces! (You’ll probably want to reinforce the sellotape where the original back half joins the original front half.)
– Note that when cutting these out, you’ll need to add on 1cm seam allowance. Because you need to adjust where the crotch seam is, it’s easiest to do this after you’ve finished drafting up your pattern.

Now sew ‘em up, add fun bits of lace, stripes of other fabric, some elastic (or more knit fabric) for the waistband, and you’re good to go! :)

It was my friend Lisa’s birthday recently, so I made her a couple of pairs of these as a birthday gift. (Note: the pattern for these was drafted in a different way to that listed above, which is why there are seams down the middle of the undies here.) I decided to play around with clashing fabrics, just because I find that kind of fun. I quite like how they turned out, so now I’m considering making myself some in the same fabric combination! :)

Comfy undies

Comfy undies for Lisa

Little box pouch

Little box pouch

Here’s the little box pouch I made Olivia for her birthday.  Outer fabric is a lightweight cotton drill, with cute cupcakes printed all over it.  I gave it a bit of weight (so it keeps it’s boxy shape better) by using thermal-backed dark blue curtain fabric as the lining.  The zip is lavender, to go with the outer fabric.  Quite cute, I reckon!  :)

Here’s the tutorial I used to make it:  http://threebears.wordpress.com/2007/10/15/little-boxy-pouch-tutorial/

It’s 2010! Resolution time…..

Ok, so it turns out I suck at keeping a blog just as much as I suck at emailing people. Or remembering birthdays. Or getting up on time in the mornings. Hmmm. Clearly, despite my Virgo nature, I am not the most organised of people….

But anyways, here I am, blogging again! Largely due to one of my New Year’s resolutions. And seeing a link to someone else’s blog where they’re blogging about their resolutions, so I reckon I’ll do the same for one of mine. :)

And so, without further ado, here’s my resolutions for the year. (Not that most of you care, but I still haven’t written them down anywhere, so here’s the place, yes indeed it is.)

1 – Buy no new clothes (except for socks and tights, coz I can’t make those myself)
1.a – When buying the few allowed clothing items, only buy NZ-made stuff.
2 – Buy no new shoes (aside from running shoes, without which I won’t be able to do…)
3 – Run a half-marathon (eek!)
4 – Make myself at least one new dress every month

Now, resolution number 4 is the one I’m gonna blog about. And I’m feeling kinda proud of myself, as I finished a dress the other day that I’ve had sitting around, all cut out and ready to be sewn, for about six months now. Oops! Photo coming soon, I promise….!

Crafty Foxes are go!

Random thing to do on a Sunday – get up super-early to get all dolled up in 1950′s styles, and wander around Wellington with a group of girls, getting your photo taken. Provides great entertainment for everyone wandering by, I tells ya!

Background: I’m a member of a craft group called Crafty Foxes. We meet every second Wednesday at a cafe in town, to hang out and chat and work on whatever crafts we bought along with us to do that night. And every so often, we do other stuff as well, just coz we can. Like today, for example! One of the girls, Natalia (aka Tilly) is a photographer. A while back, she thought it would be a fun idea to get a group of the Crafty Foxes to get all dressed up rebel 1950′s retro, and do a craft-themed photo shoot. So, we did. ;-)

Naturally, me being me, I figured I may as well take on the challenge, and made dresses for us all to wear. Good excuse to use some of those re-released vintage patterns I’ve been buying. ;-) (Luckily, there were only 5 of us taking part.)

So, for Nat K, I made a stunning green-and-black patterned dress. Full skirt, fitted bodice, wide v-neck with detailing over the shoulders. Looked absolutely gorgeous on her – I’m quite proud of it, actually! :-)

For Hiliare – snow leopard print sleeveless, v-neck pencil-skirt dress. Very retro cute and elegant with her red hair and high heels!

Teresa – black satin-look strapless dress. Fitted bodice, full skirt.

Sarah – not really a dress person, so I made her a full blue skirt, which she wore with a black top, and a black-and-white-polka-dot cardi. Cute!

And for myself, I got lazy and wore a green-and-white-gingham-with-cherries halter neck dress I made to wear to my baby bro’s wedding last year. Heh.

So yes, today.

Tilly decided to do my hair all crazy-like retro. Big, high rolled fringe, bobbed ponytail in the back. Winged eyeliner, bright red lippy, bright red nail polish, bright red shoes (and of course, the bright red hair which was looking rather flame-coloured today, since the roots were fading and it was pulled up and back, which made it look all intentional flame-coloured. Kinda cool, I thought! Although it took two washes to get all the hair dye out!!). And of course, being the middle of winter and wandering through town wearing a backless summer halter dress and with that sort of hair and makeup, people kinda looked! Lucky there was a group of us – we kinda acted it up. Lots of fun. ;-)

Can’t wait to see the photos – Tilly’s sending them out to us in a week or so, so stay tuned for a couple of them on here!

Crafty Foxes ‘reconstructed tshirt’ swap

So for those who don’t know, I am a member of the Crafty Foxes, a super-fantastic group of gals who meet every couple of weeks to eat, drink, hang out, and work on whatever random crafty type stuff we’re doing at the time.

We also have craft swaps every couple of months, with a  different theme each time.  Two months ago, we started our latest swap – reconstructed tshirts.  Everyone who was taking part gave an old tshirt of theirs to another swap participant, who then had to turn said tshirt into something else over the course of the two months.  Then tonight, we had our end-of-swap meeting, where we all hung out at Katipo Cafe (gotta love those red walls!) and handed back the tshirts, in their new forms.

For the swap, I got given a tshirt from the lovely Teresa.  Pale grey marle, with a pegasus print on the front.  Teresa told me that she loved the print, but not the colour.  So, I decided to turn her tshirt into….  a different tshirt.  Yes indeed.  I found some great black-and-white-striped tshirt fabric (coz Teresa is all about gothic 1950′s style), which I used for the front and back of a new tshirt.  I then cut the pegasus print out of the front of her old tshirt, and added it to the front of the new tshirt.  I made the sleeves out of the back of her old tshirt, and after that sadly there wasn’t enough fabric left over for me to turn into anything else overly interesting….

My other swap partner (the one who was making something for me) was the also-lovely Natalie K.  I handed her one of my old breast cancer awareness tshirts, which though I loved, was too short.  Black thing, with big pink cartoon daisys on it.  Tonight she gave it back to me in it’s new form – a pair of sleeves!  Which are ultra-cute.  They’re long (halfway up my bicep) and have thumb holes, and each has a daisy on it whose cartoon face sits on the back of your hand.  So cute!  I loves them lots.  :-)

Here are some pics of the creations I made and received….

Weekly sewing mission #1

Ok, so it’s after Sunday. But really, I *did* make something in time to post on Sunday! Just turns out I’m not so good at this remembering-to-post thing yet. Oops. Anyway, the creation for last week was a skirt for my lovely friend Teresa. She handed me some black cotton drill with red gothic crosses all over it and asked if I could make her a skirt out of it. So I did. :-) But then I forgot to take a photo of it before I gave it to her, so you’re all just gonna have to wait so see what it looks like until she sends me a photo…..

Here we go again….

It occurred to me this morning that it’s been a couple of weeks now since I posted anything on here. Oops.

It also occurred to me that it’s been a couple of months since I posted anything new to my ‘stuff I’ve made’ album on Facebook. Oops once again.

So, time to do something about this, methinks.

After thinking about it a bit, I have concluded that a (possibly) good thing to do will be to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, and issue myself (yet another) challenge. (Coz really, that’s what I’m all about at times. Crazy, but true. *sigh*) Therefore, I am going to set myself a challenge for the next 6 weeks (at least) to make at least one new thing a week, and post it on here every Sunday evening, thus holding the internet community accountable for my crafting (and hopefully therefore actually doing what I plan to do, rather than just getting caught up with other stuff and realising two months down the track that once again I haven’t been sewing and I haven’t been blogging). Yes indeed.

And hey, if you’re all bored with that, then just don’t read about it, and I’ll never know. ;-)

So there we have it, folks – for the next six weeks, every Sunday evening I’ll post something I’ve made that week. (Crafting-type making, that is. Baking cupcakes doesn’t really count, cute and tasty though they are.)

Onwards and dress-making-wards…….