Weekend Tote Bag

I have a collection of Tote Bags that decorate various door nobs around my house and here's the latest addition, a casual over sized version I made myself using some left over fabric.  

I combined a heavy weight plain canvas (great for fringing) with a medium weight printed cotton and I found both fabrics at Tessuti in Melbourne.  To increase the weight of the printed fabric I used an iron on interfacing.

The pattern for the WEEKEND TOTE BAG is available in our Etsy shop.

Our model is wearing the LICKETY-SPLIT SKIRT and BATHING SUIT TOP, patterns for both will be available soon.  The bangles are from Collezione Alessandro.


HOW TO attach knicker elastic

Attaching knicker elastic can be a little tricky the first time so I've added some step by step instructions to help guide you through the process.  I highly recommend buying a little extra and practicing first.

1. Measure along the edge of the opening and reduce by 1/3, cut the elastic to this length.

2. With the right side of fabric facing up and the straight edge of the elastic aligned with the edge of the fabric, attach the elastic using a zig-zag stitch stretching the elastic evenly as you go.  The fabric should not be stretched, only the elastic.

3. Flip the elastic to the wrong side.  The scalloped edge of the elastic should now be on the outer edge with the fabric folded underneath.  With the right side of the fabric facing up, zig-zag along edge stretching the elastic evenly as you go. 

....hopefully you have something that looks like this.


Double Face

Looking at some of the new Winter collections it's clear that the use of sporty design references and textured leather will continue.  One of my favourite examples so far, the brilliant Karate influenced pieces in the Proenza Schouler show.

Inspired I adapted our MINNIE MINI pattern and found a double faced fabric to try out.  This one is from Tessutishiny black PVC on one side and a matte polyester-cotton blend on the other. It's not leather but it was easy to handle and the effect is still quite interesting.

In this version the MINNIE MINI is cut longer in the back with the edges of the double faced fabric left raw.  It was sort of like sewing paper with the only caution being to take care when ironing. 



Denim Refashion

Inspired by Nichola, of Wardrobe Refashion fame, my extensive stash of defunct denim is being audited.  Some will be patched(finally), some will go to goodwill(tears) but at least one pair is being transformed. 

....and voilĂ ! a girly version of our soon to be released FREDDIE VEST made from my beloved Diesel jeans.

The floral prints are of course designed by Liberty and were found at Tessuti in Melbourne.  The vintage embroidered ribbon, pink seam binding tape and floral bouquet are all from L'uccello.

Nichola now writes a blog about her sewing adventures and is about to embark on an exciting new business venture called the Handmakers Factory.  On occasion she also volunteers to test our patterns for us, thank you Nichola!

The pattern for the FREDDIE VEST will be available very soon.


Frilly Frilly Bloomers

Inspired by a bit of Old Hollywood Glamour we gave our classic BLOOMER a frilly make-over.  

The basic BLOOMER pattern can be purchased through our Etsy shop and instructions for attaching the optional frills can be downloaded right here for free. PDF dowload no longer available 

We made our FRILLY FRILLY BLOOMERS in a printed cotton called Blueberry Hill found at Tessuti in Melbourne.



Our first country stockist!  Our patterns are now being stocked by the amazing girls at Bodywise based in the town of Woodend, Victoria 

Susan, Jen and Irene are passionate about their product; there isn't much that these girls don't know about fitting bras!  Their on-line collection and personal phone service is legendary but if you feel like a country drive it's well worth a visit. 

Included in the selection are our four basic knicker patterns, as well as the very cute BUNNY BAG.  Each takes only a few hours to make and are perfect for gift giving!
Bodywise Emporium
Shop 19,130 High Street
(next to the new Post Office)
Woodend, Victoria 3442
Phone: 1300 66 1766


HOW TO sew with top stitch thread

I love using heavy top stitching thread.  If you've never tried it before have a go, here's how you do it...  

Shopping list
Machine Needles
You'll need to buy appropriate needles for your machine, find a pack marked TOP STITCH.  On my old Husqvarna I've been using Schmetz 130N 90/14 for both light and heavy fabrics and so far so good.

Top Stitch Thread  
Pick out your thread colour, I use Gutermann top stitch thread. You also need some regular thread for the bobbin.  The bobbin colour depends on the project, I generally use a contrast top stitching thread with a bobbin thread that matches the background of my fabric.  By doing this the stitches are more prominent.

1. First change over your machine needle, to avoid any disasters make sure the new one is on nice and tight.

2. Thread the top of the machine with the top stitch thread and put regular thread on the bobbin.

3. Reduce the pressure right down on the sewing foot, how much will depend on your fabric and machine so you may need to do a bit of experimentation.

4. Adjust the stitch length to suit, for the bag below I used a density of 7 stitches per inch.

Special thanks to the lovely ladies at the Camberwell Sewing Centre for all the supplies.  The pattern for our WEEKEND TOTE BAG will be available soon.