The perfect panty?

Now this is slightly different kind of HOW TO.  

Boys (and girls for that matter) love beautiful knickers but what does the perfect pair look like?

If you're thinking about making a pair with the aim of impressing your other half you'll have been pondering that very question.

After researching this topic at length amongst my manly men friends (and the girls!) I've listed my top 5 sure fire knicker impressing must haves....ignore at your peril!   

1. Bows & ribbons
"Bows are hot" said my policeman pal.  I agree, especially when it's unexpected and nothing adds cute like a pretty ribbon trim.

2. Pretty prints
My Liberty fabric addiction is well documented and you can't go past a girly floral.  No matter how much of tom boy you may be now is not the time for monster trucks or voodoo motifs; skulls and crossbones, just say no!  

3. Wear what suits you!
I have 7 different knicker patterns in my collection and each one has a slightly different shape and fit.  Pick a style that suits and remember less is not always more when it comes to knickers. 

4. Colours
Ok, so you should wear a colour that looks good on you but the overwhelming view here was that white or soft pastel colours are "hot", again a direct quote.  Translation (girl speak)....universally flattering and feminine.

5. Lace
I'm working on a new knicker pattern which will be called the PEEK-A-BOO PANTY, "It combines panels of sheer coloured lace with cute printed florals" well that's how I was describing it to some of the guys and believe me I had their FULL attention!   Boys like lacy things.  So if faced with a knicker elastic quandary...hmm shall I select practical & plain or pretty & lacy, well you get the point.

The TIE SIDE knicker shown above is made up in a Liberty print floral called August Rose which I found at Tessuti in Melbourne, the ribbon came from L'uccello.


Sew Gorgeous!

I love announcing new stockists, especially when it's one as ridiculously cute as this.   Located in the Brisbane suburb of Paddington, the Sew Gorgeous "sewing lounge and party parlour", is the latest addition to my little pattern family.

Specializing in themed Hens Parties, Learn To Sew classes and stocking fabrics by Amy Butler & Michael Miller as well as other hard to find and unique fabrics and notions....it sounds completely irresistible.  

I asked owner and sewing teacher Jaye a couple of probing questions.... 

I read about your addiction to pink, how come?
I don't think there is any answer except PINK is amazing!  There is no way you could sit in a room surrounded by pink and not feel like everything is great with the world (unless it's salmon pink, in which case everything is wrong with the world).

Favourite sewing snack food?
Guilt free chocolate balls!  A recipe provided to me by one of my regular students - basically whizz up nuts and dates with some cacao or cocoa powder and roll into balls, delish!

How old were you when you learnt to sew?
I was very, very young.  My grandmother was a seamstress through necessity (a country living woman with six children) and I remember always trying to get involved with her projects.  I used to make all of my doll's outfits, which were always a little...interesting shall we say.

What inspires you creatively?
Anyone who is brave enough to start their own business in the creative field.  Its so hard to share your heart and soul with others but so rewarding at the same time.

Can you share some of your favourite shopping spots in Brisbane for fabric, notions and vintage bits & pieces?
Hands down the Paddington Antique Centre, it's like walking back in time and I could wander for hours through the maze of stalls.  You just never know what you will find and for how much!

  Finally, your favourite coffee shop hangout?
I love Kettle & Tin which is only a couple of doors up from us in Paddington, great coffee and a chilled out atmosphere.

 A class featuring a knicker pattern from The Makers Journal is in the planning and will be announced on the Sew Gorgeous website & blog soon. 
Sew Gorgeous
191 Given Terrace
phone 0410 033 727


HOW TO insert a lapped zipper

A new cushion cover pattern called POWDER PUFF requires you to insert a zipper using the lapped method.  Here's how you do it.... 

1. The seam in the centre back has a 1.5cm seam allowance.  Stitch the seam leaving it open between the balance marks.  

2. Press the seam open including the center part.

3. Attach your zipper foot.  With the right side facing up position your zipper underneath the opening, unzip and pin the left side in place close to the folded edge as shown.

4. Stitch close to the folded edge holding your zipper underneath so the stitching and the zipper are even all the way along.  

5. When you get close to the other end, stop, lift up the foot and zip up the zipper.  With the zipper foot down continue stitching to the end of the opening.

6. Turn and stitch across the end, in this case 12mm from the first line of stitching.

7. Turn again and with the zipper closed stitch along the other side 1cm from the folded edge holding the fabric in place so both the stitching and zipper placement are even.

8. When you get close to the end, stop, lift up the zipper foot and open your zipper.  With the zipper foot down continue stitching to the end of the opening.

9. Turn and stitch across the end to meet up with your starting point. 

10. Give it a press and you're done. 

There are many ways to attach a zipper and lots of zipper tutorials around; I did a quick search and found some great references....

 This is for a centred zipper

My arch enemy - the invisible zipper!

Shows how to sew a zipper in by hand; handy to know.

Lots of references for sewing a lapped zipper including links to a few learn to sew books.


Powder Puff

Vintage style for Modern girls.

A promotional shot for the 1957 film Silk Stockings features the utterly gorgeous Cyd Charisse seated on what looks like a giant powder puff....I totally approve!
I got all inspired and created the POWDER PUFF cushion cover. It's not quite as big as Cyd's, but with a finished diameter of 58cm it's just the right size for a quick get-away.

 The pattern for the POWDER PUFF is now available from my Etsy shop.  For this version I cut the front panels in the same fabric alternating between the right and wrong sides but you could also make it up in contrasting prints.  

For the cushion inner I re-purposed an old feather doona; not, it turns out, an indoor job!  The printed sateen twill came from Tessuti and the Liberty print for the back was found at L'uccello.

Charlie is also wearing the TIE SIDE knickers made up in a Liberty print called August Rose.