Monday, 8 June 2015

Sihanoukville palms and a Lonsdale..

So, being in such a lovely place, having a friend to play photographer (thanks Tara) and having some unblogged me mades in my suitcase means I had the chance to nab some photo's of some older makes that never made the blog...

This tropical number is the Lonsdale Dress - by Sewaholic. I originally made it as a party dress to wear to a friends engagement party last year, and have continued to wear it to any event remotely summery and even out for dinner on a few occassions.

The bodice is self lined, and requires some serious fabric meterage to cover those LONG bodice/neck/back/bow ties... They are fabric eaters, but they are definitely worth it with it being the statement detail of the dress. I used the largest size length for the ties, as I wanted to be able to have a nice big bow! Turning the fabric through for the ties was a completely boring task, and took quite a long time! So I recommend doing this in front of the telly.

The fabric is a printed cotton from spotlight. It has a bit of body to it, and pressed and sewed easily. I would love to try this make in a more drapey fabric, I think the skirt would look fabulous all swishy. The instructions for the pattern were really good - and I can't remember having any issues sewing it up. I did have to take the bodice in quite a bit after trying it on, perhaps 4-5cm? 

I originally made the maxi length of this dress, but lopped it off just below the knee. In the maxi length, with the slight structure and body from the fabric, the dress looked a little bit 90's prom/debutant ball... So the shorter length was a must!

This dress has pockets. Which I love. I think the skirt for the lonsdale dress is very similar to the hollyburn skirt pattern. I have the hollyburn pattern, which I love and have made up a few times now, but if I had of made this up before the hollyburn I probably wouldn't have purchased it and just drafted a waistband! 

Just a little peek for you to see the fabric..

The details:

Pattern: the Lonsdale Dress - by Sewaholic Patterns.

Size: 12 and graded to a 16 at the hips.

Fabric: 3.5m Printed cotton from spotlight.

Alterations: removing 4-5cm from the CB line. I took a wild stab at how to do this. I recommend others google it and don't trust any of my suggestions #cowboysewing.

Cost: I can't remember - it was too long ago!

See also: Rachel, Winnie,  Angela.

happy sewing team.


Wednesday, 3 June 2015


* refers to both the swimsuit, and the wearer. FACT.

EDIT: I have had this post sitting here for a while awaiting publishing, the whole let's get semi nude on the internet thing was the nerve racking part. And then I saw SallieOh's post. She has made not only a fabulous teeny tiny bikini, but also dropped some little pearls of wisdom about the whole body/beach/confidence/everyone kills it on the beach mentality. So thank you Sallie! "They simply cover what needs to be covered and leave your body to do it's thing.  And bodies are beautiful. So there."

So this week it is back to reality after almost four weeks of travelling through Vietnam and Cambodia - and what an amazing trip it was! I did manage to nab some amazing fabrics while I was away, and will write a brief little fabric post of where I managed to find some lovely pieces soon.

But in the mean time, being away in a foreign tropical location gave me the perfect opportunity to photograph one of my summer makes, which I had bee dreading photographing, and blogging - but in the end I was so happy with this make that I kind of wanted to brag about it (sorrynotsorry).

Of course I mean the BOMBSHELL - by Heather Lou at Closet Case Files. This thing is a an absolute pleasure to sew, and wear - channeling all the glam from the 40's and 50's and creating a super lush and flattering silhouette.

My ass features in this post. I am kind of sorry and I am also not. This swimsuit does amazing things for the way you feel in swimmers - what kind of magic did you draft in Heather Lou!? 

Having some pretty substantial lady lumps, I was fairly nervous about support for the girls, and after reading the sewalong, I followed the tutorial by Kadiddlehopper to add some bra cups and elastic for some extra support. It worked a treat for fun frolicks and swimming- I wouldn't wear it for a triathlon or anything too extensive though, but there isn't really much fear of that anyway...

The cups were just plain foam cups by birch which were indicated to be swimwear OK. Pause for a moment to appreciate the forty minutes spent in spotlight holding bra cups to my babs trying to guess which size....

The fabric is a gorgeous striped white and black with a gold sheen. It ended up giving me a bit of a headache to sew, and has been a nightmare to photograph!! I picked the fabric up at the fabric store in Melbourne, heading in for one of their sales.. but when I found this piece, it wasn't on sale... But then it was in my head. And I wanted it. BAD. So it came home, full priced and all...

Things got nervy after I had finished sewing it up and it felt heavy. This was mainly down to fabric choice, it is quite a sturdy nylon/lycra blend. I thought it might sag a bit once it was wet... FYI. I was wrong. 

I wish I had played around with the gathers a bit more, taking the time to even them out over the stomach area. It still looks fine, but just judging from some of the other versions I have seen, it could be better! 

Initially I had a contrast white strap for the halter, as well as the bust gather, but the white fabric isn't as substantial as the striped, and it didn't feel supportive enough, so a swapped in a new strap from the main fabric - choosing to keep the contrast bust gather point in white.

I am also a bit sad I picked our last day to take these snaps - the only day of my entire trip it wasn't perfectly sunny!! 

The directions for the swimsuit in the sew along are great, so great that I simply had my laptop open on the sewalong posts, and didn't bother with the printed instructions. Heather also references some other posts for more information. I found it the perfect amount of hand holding for a swimwear novice!

That's my ass. On the internet. Sorry parentals. But I do like the butt coverage. A substantial butt coverage is a must in a pair of togs- especially when jumping from great heights into the pool is considered an appropriate past time like it is for me.... 

proof I didn't just wade around the shallows in it...

Ok - time for the stats:

Pattern: Bombshell swimsuit by Heather Lou at Closet Case Files. AKA - drafting Jesus. Thank you lady.

Fabric: 2m of striped black and white with a disco gold sheen lycra/nylon blend from the fabric store, 1m of swimsuit lining also from the fabric store. Foam cups - birch. Elastic - birch.

Cost: about $80- including the pattern, two fabrics and notions - not a cheap sew, but cheaper than most swimmers...

Size: 12 at the bust and waist and graded to a 16 at the hips.

Accessories: hoping you all noticed my sweet kitty glasses - thanks Renay! Madeline Hat - C/O Vietnam.

See also: Amanda, Lieth, Lauren and Anna

I also made a Nettie Hack pair of togs with my scraps following this tutorial - and the bottoms got a huge work out while I was away! The elastic on the armholes is a bit tight, which i will need to fix, but other than that - it is sound! I slipped some bra cups into this one as well, they are quite structured in this style, but when it is on, it holds the girls in well, almost like a sports crop top.... given I already had the pattern, elastic, and fabric - the only expense was bra cups at $7 - ... So this really evens out the swimwear costs!

So tell me....

Would you put your ass on the internet?

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

#MMMAY15 roundup.

Me Made May is over for another year!

Thank you so much to Zoe for coming up with this fabulous challenge - and sorry to all my non sewing Instagram friends for the past 4 weeks of outfit spam!

I met my challenge of one me made item per day, however, I was travelling, so the items were frequently and often repeated! - and usually very wrinkly!

Days 1 - 9.
1 & 2: - the same! Thanks Jetstar for losing my bags! SewKateSew - Soho Blouse (unblogged)
4: Tessuti linen and sateen Alice top. (unblogged)
5: Tessuti Gabby Dress.
7: Another Tate top... whipped up the night before I left.. luckily as I wore it A LOT!
8: my Bombshell from Closet Case Files. I LOVE HER - and I managed to get some photo's of it.. so that will be coming soon to the blog. (unblogged)
9: Hacked Midi twirling skirt - probably a waste of suitcase space since I only wore it this day.

Days 10-18:

10: Nettie Hack swimsuit
11: Tessuti Alice
12: Tate top
13: Emery - Christine Haynes
14: SewKateSew - Soho
15: Sewaholic Saltspring! - I ripped her straight across my hip, need too investigate fixing or refashioning - I fecking love this fabric too hard to let it die!
16: Nettie Hack - ASOS RTW top.
17: Gabby.
18: Tate top.

Day 19-27

19: Gabby
20: Emery
21: Soho blouse
22: Nettie Hack (aka - the best swimmers ever).
23: Gabby - again.
24: Saltspring
25: HOME! - cold melbourne weather. BOO. Sewaholic wool hollyburn - not blogged.
26: Birds of a feather - simplicity 2444 with gathered skirt.
27: Another Hollyburn! - this time the shorter version in absolutely shite fabric....

Day 28-31

28: Chambray Emery - I do love this pattern.
29: Green Ponte Moneta by Colette - with peter pan collar. (unblogged)
30: My favorite Green swing coat - which I made in the coat class at thread den in 2013. (unblogged)
31: Colette patterns Astoria! I had to join the astoria club - knit was purchased in Vietnam! And a circle skirt.

Final thoughts:

I loved participating. But I hated the photo's. I thought I would be all cheeky and do layout photo's to save the selfie - not a selfie fan. But that ended up being more work... GAH!

I had been looking forward to doing MMM while travelling, for summery fun clothes. This was fine, however, it did limit my insight into wardrobe holes etc. I feel that I am well on my way to having an entirely me made wardrobe - and the next level is me starting to churn out basics, tee's and long sleeved tops... and jeans. I am still not confident enough to tackle jeans, so I will put basics on the list for sewing this year.. and work my way into jeans....

The swimsuits I made - a bombshell from Heather Lou, and a Nettie Hack - also from Closet case files, were total work horses! I love them. They came in super handy for my trip, and also, were a good me made to chuck on in the afternoons for a swim when I needed to wear RTW clothes through the day (i.e. - when hiking!).

Happy Me-Made-Maying for another year!

See you all soon! xx