Party Dress wear testing

The PARTY DRESS has been in the works for a very long time, in fact, I made the first version way back when I was still a student.  It turned up by surprise in a clean out all musty and in need of repairs.  

The latest update is shorter and narrower, shaped, bias cut and with a more wearable back cowl.  The yoke is still quilted and beaded but with some added curves and not quite so spongy.  

The sample is made from a Liberty print silk crepe called Shinjuku found at The Fabric Store.  The sewing pattern will be available from my Etsy shop in the next couple of weeks but first some wear testing...



Two newly developed prints just added to PAOM as cushions.  

The first called CAMOUFLAGE features a mix of rich rain forest inspired tones.

In stark contrast CALAMITY mixes earthy outback tones in a riotous mix of random geologically inspired shapes.

You can view my entire PAOM collection right here.


new pattern CLASSIC COWL

The CLASSIC COWL sewing pattern is now available from my Etsy Shop is Australian sizes 10-16, for international customers a size conversion chart can be found right here.

 The pattern is suitable for light to medium weight jersey fabrics and I recommend cotton, cotton/elastane or viscose/elastane blends like the example shown here.  The hem, cuffs and neckline were all finished with twin needle stitching, detailed instructions showing you HOW TO hem jersey using a twin needle can be found right here.
Leaving the hem edges raw so they roll works best in 100% cotton and an example can be seen here.  The raw denim jeans, with all the pocket stitching removed, are by Nudie and the reading glasses are retro Gucci.


Pocket circles GIFT SHOP

 I recently added a bunch of pocket squares (circles in this case) to my Etsy shop.  Suitable for both men and women they come in all sorts of fabric/print mash-ups.  My model for the day was the always jovial @jfnolen aka @fashionfanaticjames, many thanks my friend.

The bound edges are hand stitched, in this case a gingham edge with a delicate printed floral in silk cotton voile.  For more information you can view the listing right here.


HOW TO remove that musty smell from old clothes

Jacket Renovation pt 2

Removing that musty smell turned out to be a two part solution.  From my local fishy pet store I purchased a bag of Activated Charcoal, $14.95 for 1KG.  The charcoal is treated with steam at high temperatures allowing it's highly porous surface to absorb gas particles (the smell) at a rate disproportionate to it's size.  Thank you science!

I placed my stinky jacket into an airtight tub with a cup of charcoal, sealed it up and stored it away for two weeks.

The smell was greatly reduced but the faux astrakhan facing remained largely recalcitrant.  Further research suggested a quick spray of vodka would do the trick so I laid it out on the kitchen table and bobs your uncle, 10 minutes later it was as good as new.

My love of Liberty is no secret, the new lining is Edenham in black, perfect for the overall look and an instant smell reducing bonus...favourite jacket restored to regular wardrobe rotation.


Jacket renovation pt 1

I made this jacket maybe 20 years ago.  I wore it a lot but for the past 10 years it's been stored at the bottom of a trunk in the living room.  

The body was cut from a pig skin suede with a soft lamb for the trim, the facings are in an astrakhan type fabric and it's lined in a printed satin. 

It's not in great condition.  The jacket is moldy across the lower back and down one of the sleeves and there are deep fold marks in the suede.  The lining is yellowing in parts and some of the seams are splitting over the shoulder.   I can deal with all of that but the smell is overpowering, that horrible musty op shop smell that makes your eyes water. 

Dealing with the smell is the first priority so the lining is coming out and will be used as a pattern to cut the new one.  The gigantic shoulder pads went straight in the bin. 

Some serious smell reduction research is now underway...


new pattern CAMISOLE

The CAMISOLE sewing pattern is now available from my Etsy shop in Australia sizes 8-14.  It's suitable for cup sizes A - C and international customers can find a size conversion chart right here.

You'll need to know how to attach knicker elastic and make basic bra straps but luckily step by step instructions for both can be found under the HOW TO section above.  A brilliant source for knicker and bra strap elastic is bra-makers supply so many colours and they just updated their website.  The printed cotton was found at Tessuti in Melbourne and for a total contrast I also quilted it and used it to line a HOOD HAT...never throw anything away!


HOW TO add weights to a cowl neckline

Coming along in the next month or so a new pattern I'm working on called the PARTY DRESS which is designed with cowls at both the back and front.  I sometimes worry that this HOW TO information is all a bit basic but just in case you're wondering here's how you add weights to a cowl neckline.
1. Off to the hardware shop you go.  Locate the plumbing section and purchase some tap washers.  For this example I'm using washers with a diameter of 23mm 

2. Cut two pieces of fabric each 12cm long x 4.5cm wide

3. Fold in half right sides together and using your overlocker stitch the long edges together forming an open ended envelope.

4. Turn right side out, press and then insert a washer into each.

5. Push in the ends by a couple of cm's, slip stitch the opening closed and then topstitch in place on the facing edge of the cowl at the exact centre point. 

All done.  On the inside it will look something like this and when on the body will hold your cowl perfectly in place.


new pattern TANK TOP

A TANK TOP with ties.

 I cut this example from leftovers, a linen for the yoke and a printed jersey I'd been saving for the body.  The striped bias binding came from Luccello, one of maybe 50 different options sold in pre-cut lengths or by the metre.  

The TANK TOP sewing pattern is now available from my Etsy shop in Australian sizes 8 - 14.  For international customers a size conversion chart can be found right here.

As an added bonus you can also cut the back twice and make the back and front the sameEqually as cute it would look amazing in a combination of dramatic dark colours/ textures for evening...off to do some sewing.


new pattern SHORTY

I originally set out to design a cape, an extra winter layer that I could pull-on without inflaming an injured shoulder.  The pattern was created by draping directly onto the stand and the end result lands somewhere between cape and shrug, the best of both worlds.  

It's made here in an open weave wool and will work best in medium weight winter coat fabrics with a soft drape.  You could use a heavier felted or boiled wool but I'd probably recommend going up a size.  The gently sloping shoulder line and relaxed open sleeves combined together with elasticized bands create shape without restricting movement which means it's easy to put on and take off, perfect.

The SHORTY is available from my Etsy store in Australian sizes 8-14, a size conversion chart can be found right here.   It's shown together with THE LONG SKINNY made in a wool blend printed jersey found at Tessuti in Melbourne.


raw rolled edges

Below a new pattern I'm working on called the CLASSIC COWL made up in a 100% cotton single jersey.  For this example the neck, cuffs and hem edges were all left raw so they'd roll back on themselves.  It definitely sped things up, cutting it out actually took me longer than overlocking the pieces together.

The sewing pattern will be available from my Etsy shop in the next few months and will be offered in Australian sizes 10-16.

If you're opting for a raw rolled edge always leave a trail of overlocking threads at least 10cm long at the end of each seam.  Detailed instructions showing you HOW TO darn them in can be found right hereVery easy and super fast.