Spring-ish Lander Pants

Hi team, happy spring/autumn! Not that it feels like spring in Wellington at the moment, my weather app tells me it feel like 4 degrees outside currently, and I believe it…though we have had some absolutely beautiful spring-like days recently, so I’m not going to complain. I’m definitely looking forward to some consistently warm weather though! I’ve been planning out some sewing to get me through this transitional period, and top of my list was some new trousers. I love my Ginger Jeans and my Safran Jeans, but by the end of winter I am genuinely sick of seeing them. I had plans to make the Closet Case Pietra Pants, but I needed to prewash the fabric, and it took a couple of days to get dry this week as it’s been so cold (the lesson here is to prewash and dry your fabric as soon as you get it, not just before you want to use it…). As it was hanging in the laundry, I pulled out some already pre-washed denim and decided to make the 1970’s inspired Lander jeans that I’d been thinking about all winter.


I’m not sure where this denim came from, it’s been sitting in my stash for years! I had about 3.5m of it, so I suspect it may have been from one of The Fabric Warehouse’s sales. Its a nice weight, on the heavy side of medium, and I love the mid-indigo blue. It has a little bit of stretch, so I suspect it was bought for another pair of Ginger Jeans! I have plenty left over, so that may still happen. I think it’ll age nicely, it feels like it should soften up and wear in like the other denims I’ve bought from TFW. All of the fabric and hardwear for these came from my stash, which is awesome. I despair at the amount of stuff I’ve accumulated over the years sometimes, but other times I love that I generally have everything i need for a project on hand!


Obviously I’ve made a few changes to the Lander pattern, I’ve got rid of the exposed button fly and swapped the patch pockets for internal pockets with a pocket stay. I love the look of the exposed button fly, but I hated the way it pulled on my first pair of linen Landers. It was also a pain to get in and out of! I think a zip fly is more practical, and also sits nice and flat which I prefer. I didn’t buy the zip fly expansion pack, I just used the fly pieces from the pattern and subbed in the instructions from a fly zip tutorial and it’s turned out great. The pockets were a bit more of a fiddle to hack, I copied the general shape of the pocket pieces from the Ginger jeans to get the pocket stay (the Curvy Sewing Collective have a tutorial on how to do it here!), and then cut the shape of the pocket opening from the front piece. I also added a piece of denim to the top of the pocket piece rather than having the whole piece cut from denim to minimise the bulk. Both pieces of the pocket bag are made from a scrap of rigid cotton chambray, its lovely and soft across my tummy!


I really love these pockets, the pocket stay makes it feel like there isn’t too much stress on the zip (these are drafted to fit  pretty tight across the hips!), and it also means that the pockets are big enough to fit my phone and my hands in at the same time! The holy grail of pockets, in my opinion. The back pockets on the Landers are also huge, giving me so many options for places to stash things. They’re basically like the Mary Poppins carpet bag of trousers! I slipped another one of my favourite Kylie and the Machine labels into the topstitching of one of the pockets, I love it…


It’s funny, until I saw pictures of my in these I thought they were so much wider than they actually are! I think I must be so used to skinny jeans that anything else feels very breezy. I think these will be a great option to get me through until the warm weather arrives, the slightly cropped length (I took an inch off the full length version and then turned the hem up 3 inches) means I won’t feel silly wearing socks with them but can also wear them without if its not too cold!


I’ll also briefly talk about my top, I’ve finally climbed aboard the Mandy Boat Tee train! Actually this is my second attempt at this pattern, I tried it a few years ago when it was a single size, and it was hugely too big for me. When Tessuti re-released it with 4 size options I thought I should try it again! This is the size 2, with a few inches off the bottom so that I could fit it onto an odd length of jersey knit from the stash. I love this yarn dyed stripe, its lovely and drapey and soft, and I think it works well with this pattern! I’m glad I gave it another go, it was a really quick sew, even with stripe matching. And it’s a free pattern! I am glad I remembered to put a ‘This is the Back’ label into the back neckline before cover stitching it down, otherwise I’d be getting it wrong constantly…


Well there we go, the first of my spring sewing! Hopefully I’ll get those Pietra Pants sewn up soon…



Traditional Summer Sewing

The first few weeks of 2019 have swept me along in a flurry of wedding related business, but all of that is finished now, and I’ve got some space to think of other things! Our wedding on the 10th was perfect. It threatened to rain on us, but managed to hold off, and we were able to have the ceremony outside on the lawn overlooking the farm, which I was very glad about! The venue we picked has a beautiful outlook, it would have been a bummer not to get to see it. I managed to get my wedding sewing finished in plenty of time, and I was really happy with how everything turned out, and the whole day was just really happy and relaxed and full of our favourite people. I’ll do a post about my wedding sewing when we get some photos back!


But first, I have a traditional first-post-of-the-year post, new shorts and a tee shirt! I’ve been meaning to make a pair of Lander Shorts since I made my linen Lander Pants, and I finally dug out the scraps of cotton drill left over from my black Ginger Jeans and just managed squeezed the pieces on. They went together really easily, I used the whole 1” seam allowance down the side seams as this fabric has 2% stretch, and they’re very comfortable!


I swapped out the button fly for a standard zip fly, as I really dislike the pulling I get at the buttons on my linen pair and I was concerned that the drag lines would be even more apparent in a stretch fabric! I swapped in the instructions from the Grainline sewalong for the Maritime Shorts, and it worked really well. I had intended to play with the pockets too, I thought maybe I would flip the patch pockets on the front to the inside and turn them into standard slash pockets, but I decided not to in the end. I think the pocket bags would have shown through really obviously in this fabric, and with the black topstitching I used the patch pockets blend in so well that I’m glad I didn’t fluff around with them! Unfortunately the fabric is an absolute cat-fur magnet, I’ve basically given up trying to de-fluff both these shorts and my jeans…


I made the shorts up between Christmas and New Year, and was wearing them a lot with my cropped paprika linen tee. I had the Maya Tee pattern from Marilla Walker on my #2019make9 list, so after New Year I thought I should make a cropped version to give the harvest tee a break! I used more leftover fabric from my stash, this time some super soft double gauze left over from my Myosotis dress. I didn’t have quite as much fabric left as I remembered, so I ended up cropping it by about 2” from the ‘cropped’ tee line of the pattern. On my short torso the ‘cropped’ length would be mid hip, so it all worked out pretty well!


This is the basic tee version of the Maya pattern, with the plain front and straight hem, no buttons or pockets or anything flash. I top stitched the facings around the neck and sleeves, and remembered to pop a label in the back neckline so I can tell the front from the back! Aside from cropping the length, I also took an inch or so out of the side seams at the hem, tapering up to nothing at the bust. It was just a bit too bell shaped in this double gauze, which has quite a lot of body, and that adjustment helped to tame that fullness a bit! It’s lovely and breezy as it is now though. I really love the ikat-style print on this fabric, so I’m glad to have it as a slightly more wearable garment than my full and floaty dress! I’m definitely planning another one or two of these, and I’d love to try the cuff variation I’ve seen people make on instagram too…


I’m pretty chuffed that my first two garments posted this year are both made from leftover fabric, and that I’ve already ticked off one of my Make9! I’ve set myself a challenge to not buy any fabric between the first of January and Easter this year, so expect to see more sewing up of remnants and stash fabric in the next few months…

Landers in Linen

Oh look, more linen! It really has been the star of my sewing this summer, and I’m not done with it yet… I’m sure you probably recognise the pattern I used for these trousers, they’re the True Bias Lander Pants and they’ve been everywhere since they were released last year! I was immediately drawn to the shape of the cropped version, and since I’ve had such good wear out of my Flint Trousers I was keen to give the Landers a go.


I used a length of cotton/linen twill that has been in my stash for a few years, I bought it from a designer ends sale for cheap. I really liked the pale grey colour, and the texture of the twill, and the cotton/linen fibre blend is really nice to wear in the heat. Its a pretty soft fabric though, and is possibly a bit lightweight for these trousers. I’m not too happy with how the linen pulls out of shape, especially around the button fly. I’ve combated the worst of the pulling (just below the waistband) by sewing a hook and eye to the fly shield, and that’s solved the worst of it, but I think if I make them in a lightweight fabric again I’ll use a more sturdy interfacing, and I’ll interface the front of the trousers where the buttonholes are sewn as well as the fly shield! Next time I’ll have a fiddle with the crotch curve in the front pattern piece too, I could do with a little bit more room there and hopefully that’ll help with the pulling around the button fly too.


I do love the details on this pattern, between the big patch pockets front and back and the exposed button fly they definitely don’t look like anything else in my wardrobe! They were really fun to sew up, and the button fly meant that they were a pretty quick project too. They were pretty snug through the hip and around my bum when I basted the side seams together, but I let them out to a 5/8” seam allowance (rather than the 1” allowance that the pattern gives to allow for adjustments) around the hip, which helped. To be honest, I think I could have left them at the original seam allowance, as the cotton/linen blend relaxes quite a bit with wear, but hopefully they won’t get too baggy around the bum…


When I finished these, I really wasn’t sure about them. I think it was mainly the colour, I never wear such pale colours on my bottom half! I was also a bit stuck with how to wear them, but after paring them with the range of cropped tops I’ve sewn this summer I’m feeling better about them. I thought I’d be wearing them with all of my striped tee shirts, but I didn’t think about the fact that most of my black and white stripes look like plain grey tee shirts from a distance, and it was all a bit monochromatic for me! I clearly need some tee shirts in more definite colours. I’m really keen to make another pair in some non-stretch denim I have in my stash, which I think I’ll find much easier to wear. I’m looking forward to going full 1970’s with them!


Speaking of cropped tops, this is my latest one! I was thinking of just making another cropped Willow Tank with this lush paprika milled linen from The Fabric Store, but I decided to branch out after I saw Emma from Emma’s Atelier make the free Harvest Top pattern from Peppermint Magazine. I made a few changes to the pattern, but I’m really happy with how it’s turned out! I didn’t add on the bottom panel to the tee to make it cropped, and then I used a 1 1/4” hem on it. I also shortened the armscye and sleeve cuffs by 2”, when I sewed them up as drafted I could see my entire bra through the armhole when I lifted up my arms. Not quite the look I was going for! I used the bamboo flower buttons from Arrow Mountain down the back, which I love. They’re just sewn through both layers of the placket, there’s enough room in the top and neckline for me to just pull it over my head. The buttons were initially on a chambray Southport Dress which I made to take to the UK last year, but I must have graded the seams around the bias facings too harshly and it’s started to come apart in the wash. I didn’t love it enough to try mending it, so I was happy to rescue the buttons for this! I’m considering cutting the bodice off the dress and just keeping the skirt, otherwise I’ll just recycle the fabric into a tank top or something little. I think the Harvest tee is a good wee pattern, it took less than 1m of fabric to make this cropped version, and I can think of a few other versions I could make with various modifications. No button back, shaped cuffs (get rid of those wings!), colour blocking, changing the neckline…

A Little Bit of Sunshine

I’ve been waiting to take photos of these two garment since just after new Year, in the desperate hope that I’d be able to get photos of them outside in the sun somewhere, but life kept conspiring against me. Picnics were rained off, or I was unable to attend, or it was too cold to wear shorts…eventually I decided to just photograph them in my sewing room as usual! Of course, once I did that the rest of the day was stunningly sunny, so I could have got my outdoor shots if I had been willing to bribe someone to take the photos, but never mind! You’ll just have to use your imaginations.


These are some more of the things which I sewed during my stay at home sew-a-thon over New Year. I’ve made both patterns before, the camisole is the Ogden from True Bias (see versions one and two here), and the shorts are the Grainline Studio Maritime Shorts. I made my first pair of Maritime Shorts two years ago, and I think they may have been my first ever go at sewing trousers. I still wear them, but they definitely have some fitting issues! I knew they weren’t quite right when I first blogged them, but I wasn’t sure where the problem was originating, or how to fix it…


When I went back and looked at the photos from that post, I thought that probably the problem was not enough length in the crotch curve in the bum of my original shorts. I laid the back piece of the maritime shorts over the back piece of the Ralph Pink Panthea Shorts (because although I think there are some serious issues with that pattern, those shorts fit my bum well). The crotch curve was definitely longer on the Panthea shorts, so I traced it off, blending into the original Maritime curve about half way up.


That’s the original underneath, with my modified version sitting on top. It’s such a tiny difference, but it really has made a huge difference to the fit and comfort of the shorts. I also added an inch to the hem of my traced version, and them added another two inches to the hem when  I was cutting out, as I remembered how short my other pair is!


The other major modification I made to the shorts was to remove the fly front, and put an invisible zip in the side seam.


This is a modification which I shamelessly stole from Sarah over at Fabric Tragic, and it’s such a good idea! Not only does it remove the hassle of sewing a fly (I know, I know, it isn’t that hard, but it can be a fiddle), but it gives a nice smooth front which I think I prefer in shorts, especially when I’m wearing looser tops. It was easy enough to do, I just sewed straight up the front crotch, and cut the waistband on the fold (at the CF mark instead of the edge of the pattern piece, otherwise it’ll be too long!). Then it was as easy as sewing the invisible zip in the side seam, all the way up though the waistband.


The fabric is another Cotton + Steel/Rifle Paper Co. collaboration, this time in a cotton/linen canvas, again from Miss Matatabi. I really love this one, I think it’s so pretty, and the colours in the print fit perfectly into my wardrobe. I used some more of the spotty lining remnant which just keeps on giving for the pockets (I’ve lined a blazer and a skirt with it, and used it for a few pockets, and there’s still some left!), I like the combination of floral and polka dots. I have a metre of the flora fabric left, I’m trying to decide what to make with it…


I dont really have anything new to say about the Ogden Cami, I love all of my versions! this one is made up exactly the same as my other ones, but this time I used some linen from The Fabric Store rather than soft drapey rayon. I like the different silhouette that the crisper linen gives the camisole, and it’s nice in the heat to not have something that sits against my skin. I love the colour, I was really happy when I realised that it was the same colour as the seed pods on the C+S fabric. I also have some of the same linen in pale pink, I think I might make it into a shirt dress, if I don’t run out of summer!


Traditional New Year Sewing

If you do something three years in a row that makes it tradition right? This is the third year in a row that I’ve started the year with a post showcasing a new pair of shorts and a summer top, so I’m going to say it’s now traditional! My first year was a Grainline summer outfit, last year was my weirdly constructed Panthea shorts and an Emmeline tee, and this year it’s a True Bias party.


I’ve already posted about the Ogden Camisole, so I won’t talk about that too much. This one is also rayon, a lovely rayon crepe which I bought from Tessuti in Melbourne when I was there in November. I find rayon crepe can be so variable, I’ve worked with some which is really drapey but loosely woven and which seems to grow as you work with it (or wear it, alarmingly), and also some which has been stiff and scratchy (but which holds it’s shape). happily, this stuff has the best qualities of all of the rayon crepes I’ve used, it’s smooth and drapey but hasn’t sagged out. Even still, I was careful to stay stitch everything, and tried not to handle the pieces too much until they were sewn together! I really love this top, I’ve worn it lots since I finished it at the end of December. It was a good thing to wear to casual festive parties.


I’ve also made the True Bias Emerson Shorts! I’ll say straight away that I really like these shorts. The elastic back waistband means they are really comfortable, but the flat front waistband stops them looking too casual. I like the slash pockets and the front pleats too, and they were a really quick sew. What more could I want in a pair of shorts?


I could maybe want a less crush-able fabric. I made these with the remnants of linen from my McCalls shirtdress, so they’re really cool and soft to wear, but man do they crease! I ironed these just before putting them on, but I made the mistake of sitting down to put my shoes on, and this is the result. Oh well, linen!


I’m happy with the fit, though looking at this picture I can see that there are drag lines towards the inseams. I don’t know if I need more room for my bum, or if I’m just standing a bit funny! I’m not too worried about them for basic shorts, but if I make them again I might have a fiddle with the crotch depth. I do like the length and the width of the leg, I think they’re quite flattering!


These are a really quick sew, they only took me a few hours one afternoon to put together. Actually, both pieces are really quick projects, nice and easy for the slow days between Christmas and New Year! I really like how the cami looks knotted (this is me ripping off the outfit from the True Bias sample photos…), but I find that there isn’t quite enough fabric around my hips to get a decent knot that doesn’t just fall out. I might have a play with some future versions, I could either grade it up a few sizes towards the hem, or I might try adding some cut-on ties to the hem. There are so many things I want to do with this pattern, expect to see a few more before the summer is done!


I was wearing this outfit the other day, and I managed to get horribly sun burnt on my 10 minute walk to the shops! I have very itchy/sore shoulders, in a lovely shade of raspberry striped with white (cami straps and bag strap). I’m really hoping it’s faded by Thursday, it’ll clash terribly with the yellow dress I want to wear to the wedding I’m attending…

Also, it was my third blogging anniversary on Sunday! Thank you all for reading and commenting and offering so much help and inspiration, I do love the sewing corner of the internet ❤

Layering for Spring

Ugh, this week. I’m very glad it’s over! Last Sunday evening the hard drive on my laptop gave up completely as I was trying to back it up (oh the irony). Normally the loss of my laptop wouldn’t be the end of the world (I don’t use it too much), but my final assignment for trimester two is due tomorrow, and I had everything I had written and all my research on it. Thank god the partner of one of my friends is an IT guy, and he managed to retrieve my info off the hard drive before it completely crapped out, so I managed to get it all done (though I still need to edit about 500 words out of it, bit of a pain…). I’ve also been struck down with my usual spring hay fever (thanks pine trees, you dicks!), so I feel like a bit of a snivveling mess. But now that my paper is written and I’ve bought myself every antihistamine on the market things should be looking up, and I have some new sewing projects which I’m really happy with to share.


First up is my first True Bias Ogden Cami, in a lovely rayon from The Fabric Warehouse. I’m really going to have to get over my hatred of strapless bras, because I really like this top and have several lengths of fabric earmarked for more! 


It was such a quick satisfying project, I was able to easily get it out of the metre of fabric I had and it probably only took two hours from cutting to finishing. I took the advice of the instructions and added a ribbon to the back facing so that I can tell the front from the back, which was a good call. I love the facing, it gives such a lovely smooth finish at the neckline, and the double layer of fabric means that it sits really smoothly over my bra and a coloured bra won’t show through. 


I wore this for a night out dancing the same day that I made it, and it was very comfortable in the heat! Unfortunately I clipped the seams around the straps a bit severely, and the next morning I realised that one of the back straps had partially pulled out of the seam. It was an easy enough fix, and I went around and reinforced the rest of the strap attachment points too. Next time I’ll leave a bit more length in the seam!


Next up is my Grainline Driftless Cardigan. This is actually the second Driftless Cardigan I’ve made, though the first one never made it to the blog (I made it out of a beige wool sweatshirting, which is lovely and warm and got worn a lot over winter, but it has pilled horribly and definitely looks like a house-only garment). This one is a cotton/poly blend from the remnant bin at The Fabric Store, and it has an amazing bobbly bouclé texture. I had only just enough fabric to squeeze this out, though I did have to piece the neckband. The texture of the fabric means the join is invisible though, I can only find it by feeling for the extra thickness of the seam. 


I really wanted to use the high/low hem bands from view B, but due to the aforementioned fabric shortage I could only manage the standard hem band. To compensate, I followed the split hem instructions anyway, and I like the result just as much! 


I do like the cocoon shape of the cardigan! I also like the way the slim sleeves balance out the volume in the body, making it look oversized but not like I’m wearing someone else’s much bigger cardi.


I overlocked the whole thing, even the neckband (the instructions say to hand stitch or topstitch the neckband over to give a neater finish), which seems to be staying in plave after a good steam. I’ve been wearing it so much, its the perfect weight for this time of year. Unfortunately I realised this morning that I’d managed to get something yellow on it, I suspect it might be a bit of curry paste from dinner last night! So its soaking down in the laundry, and I’m desperately hoping that it’ll come out. Otherwise I might have to get a black felt pen out to disguise the worst of the yellow!


So those are my new layering staples! I’m so happy with both, though I can’t wait for it to get warm enough to be able to wear camisoles without a wooly layer over the top…

Southport the Third: the birthday version

I know, I know, this is the third True Bias Southport dress I’ve posted about in as many months. But this one is special, its my birthday dress!

Once again its made out of rayon, because why change a good thing? This time its rayon challis, and it is much better behaved and much nicer to wear than my crepe version. I have a well documented stripe obsession, so I was pretty excited to find this fabric last year! I had originally earmarked it for a jacket lining, but I decided it really wanted to be a dress. And as my sewing skills seem to have gone out of the window since I went back to work this year, I thought I would stick to something familiar, which I knew I’d wear heaps.

So it should have been easy! I remembered that I took 5/8″ off the straps of my blue Southport, so I cracked on and took 5/8″ off these ones too. I got all the binding on nice and smooth first time, the skirt went together beautifully, all my stripes matched up perfectly, and I was really enjoying myself. I tried it on to decide where I should hem it (I had a feeling it would look weird if the skirt ended on a white stripe, so I left a narrow black border, which I think was a good decision), and found that the arm holes were so high and tight that I felt like Quasimodo. At that point I remembered how I had modified the straps and traced off my new bodice shape after my last Southport, so I had now removed 1 1/4″. Shit. No wonder it was a bit tight! I was so miffed that I had to unpick all my beautiful binding… Happily I could let the seam allowance at the shoulder out to a tiny amount, and they’re almost right. The armhole is still a bit high, and the binding isn’t as neat as my first go, but at least its wearable! And did I mention my stripe matching?

Even inside the pockets!

I can’t believe that I’ve done something stupid each time I’ve made this dress. I’ve now made a clear note on my bodice pattern piece, hopefully I won’t do anything so silly again!

I do really like this dress though. Perhaps not quite as much as my blue version, but a close second. I love the matte black buttons that I chose (thanks you instagram for persuading me that plain black was the way to go!) and I stuck with the easy option and used grosgrain ribbon again. I’m hoping I might have enough of this fabric left to make myself a Tiny Pocket Tank or something similar! I wore it all day on my birthday, and it took me from posh morning tea with my Mum, Sister and Aunt to present shopping and burgers for lunch with Monsieur, to a cup of tea with my MiL, to Sangria and Tapas with my lovely friends without ever making me feel out of place. What more could I ask of a dress?

Fancy cakes (I’m not even sure if cake is the right word, but they’re delicious!), my chocolate cake-salted caramel-chocolate mouss confection, a super cute vintage pattern I found when we were present shopping, and the kitty seal of approval for my dress. A lovely day!

Southport #2

Missing: my sew-jo. It has been gone for at least a month now, and I am desperately seeking its safe return…

Funnily enough, when I look back at my posts from last year, I was saying exactly the same thing last February. Maybe its the heat? Its so hot in my little sewing room, its like a sauna in there. I also have a pair of extremely cuddly kittens demanding my attention at all times (such a hardship). I’ve been trying to get some things done, I have so many things I want to make, but nothing seems to be going right. I think I just need one good project that I enjoy sewing and that turns out really well, and I’ll be away again. Fingers crossed! 

Anyway, before my sewing slump, I finished another Southport dress in rayon crepe. This seems to be the summer of rayon for me!


I love the colour of this fabric, it was called ‘raisin’ on the tag but I think its more maroon than brown. Either way, I think its really pretty! 

I had a bit of trouble with the crepe, it just has so much give it it that it felt like the bodice was growing as I sewed, even with rows of staystitching! It definitely feels bigger and saggier in the bodice than my first version. I had enough fabric to make a self-fabric tie this time, and I turned that whole narrow tube inside out and threaded it through the waist casing before I realised that the crepe fabric was far too rough and sticky to slide smoothly and gather the waist in evenly. Happily I managed to find some ribbon in just the right colour, which makes it much easier to cinch in the waist!


I only made one change to the patten this time, which was to make an all in one facing for the arm holes and neckline. I had so much trouble getting my binding to sit flat around the armscye last time that I thought this might make things easier, but in hindsight the lack of rigid bias tape around the neckline might be contributing to the crepe drooping the way it is. 

It was easy to make the facing, I just traced off the neck and armscye shape down to the bust dart from the front and back, and drew a curved line from the side seam up to the cente back and front points. If I do it this way again I’ll reinforce the neckline with twill tape though!

I’ve got fabric for one more Southport this summer, I’m hoping I’ll have it done in time for my birthday at the end of the month. Next weekend we’re heading up to Napier for another Art Deco Weekend, so I’ll have a bit of vintage sewing to share, the first of three garments I want to sew as part of the 2016 Vintage Pattern Pledge. After that, hopefully my sewing equilibrium will have returned, and everything will go back to normal!

All good in the end

This is the dress that very nearly never was…


It shouldn’t have been difficult, really. The pattern is the Southport Dress from True Bias, one I bought as soon as it was released. It’s a style of dress I love for summer, and I was pretty impatient waiting for the warm weather to show up so that I could get to it! The fabric is Cotton + Steel Frock rayon, which I got from Miss Matatabi as part of my Carolyn Pyjama Party prize, and it is so lovely. Its quite different feeling from most of the rayon I’ve sewn with (mostly crepe), very smooth and soft. It was so nice to sew, it pressed beautifully and was generally just a joy. 


However, I only had 1.5 yards of the rayon, and the pattern called for 2.3. I figured that I could cut the pocket pieces out of some matching navy silk which I had in my big scraps pile, and I bought some navy grosgrain ribbon for the tie (I asked for groz-grain ribbon in the shop, and the lady had to tell me it was pronounced gro-grain, what a pleb! I’m also scared of asking about tricot knit, is that french pronunciation too??). I laid out all of my pieces, and realised that I could do it if I cut the skirt pieces with the selvedge in the seam allowances. The selvidges are something I’ll need to be aware of if I buy more Cotton + Steel fabric, not only is it really narrow but it has quite wide contrasting selvedge (how many times can I fit the word selvadge into a paragraph?).


I quite like that I’ve got the fabric details running up my skirt seams! So I cut the skirt and back bodice out, then opened the fabric out flat so that I could match the diamonds running across the bodice. Then I cut out two right bodice pieces, because sometimes I’m a total muppet. I had enough to cut a left bodice, but that meant I needed to piece the waist tie casing. Not a major disaster, but annoying! Must pay better attention when cutting out.

The other thing that caused me grief was getting the binding right on the arm holes. It went on fine around the neck, but I just could not get it to lie flat and not pucker around the bottom of the armscye. I had at least 5 goes at it before I got it sewn in pucker free, but it’s still not sitting flat. I think I might have picked binding that is a bit heavy and wide, but its not a problem I’ve had before! Next time (because there will be a next time) I think I’ll cut a facing for the arm holes at least.
 After that wee drama everything went smoothly. The instructions were really good, and it was a pretty quick sew. I omitted the buttonholes and just sewed my mother of pearl buttons through both plackets, as its easy to get over my head as it is! I also took 5/8″ off the straps, as I have a short torso.

I really love this dress! I wore it today to the Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network Christmas picnic, and it was lovely and comfortable and cool. And the expandable waist tie was good with all the food we had! Big thanks to Leimomi for taking these pictures, it was nice to get some direction from the photographer and not have to run backwards and forwards setting the self timer!