It has been a really big week in the land of Sew DeBeaux. A promotion, an iPad, some serious stash building, booking another patternmaking course and a little bit of sewing.

So it's now officially official that I have a new role and I am located in a new office for work. Hooray! I'm really excited about this. My new office is just 3kms from home and it's the only office I need to be in. This is great because I can walk to and from work (there is just a happening retail and cafe strip between work and home) and I don't need to drive between offices during the day. The downside - there are no fabric stores near my office :-( although after my behaviour this week maybe that is a good thing.

I decided that a promotion should be rewarded so I splurged on a new iPad. (Actually I need it as I wont have my work laptop at home anymore - how would I blog?) it's so pretty and fun! I have literally had it for 3 hours and already blogging is a zillion times easier. As is reading other people's blogs. I still have some serious learning to do so please forgive any crazy formatting.

I spent my last lunchtime at one of the old offices saying good bye to my lunchtime haunt - Spotlight. I only wanted to pick up one pattern but instead walked away with all of this:


But It was all on sale and I have specific plans for most of it. That makes it ok right? For example, I think I have finally settled on a pattern (Simplicity 2308) for some love-at-first-sight polyester that I bought on a Sew Melbourne excursion to the Cloth Shop. I know I could draft this myself but, well, I bought it anyway.

I have also had my eye on Vogue 1220 for a while. I think it might come up alright in the crazy print below. It's a little bit like a tablecloth but it has some stretch in it which is perfect for that pattern. The fabric was super cheap so it will be good for getting the fit right even if it doesn't end up wearable. But i have a vision in mind of this dress teamed with some nice orange and wood beads. It could work!

I also have plans for McCalls 6520 and this delicious and drapey rayon. It has a nice cotton feel and is soft and light. I want to make the collar version. I also picked up some buttons on sale that will bling it up. I'm not sure which set to use yet.

I'm not sure what to do with the polka dots but they are so cute. I think they would make a great Minoru jacket but I already have one in navy. Something to think about. The other fabrics are destined for other people. How cute are those frogs?!

So all in all a big and expensive week! I have to be on my best behaviour - no more spending and lots more sewing and blogging. I have no excuses now - back to the sewing machine and that lovely rose dress.

Despite the lack of blog posts lately I have been busy in the sewing room. What I am finding hard is getting photos! it's winter in Melbourne so daylight outside of working hours is hard to come by. Even if there was some I have no tripod for photos and Mr Scientist is too busy to take them. So instead we are left with quirky photos from a corner of our apartment with the camera precariously perched on a shelf. It's impossible to get the focus right. But it's ok. Because its the sewing that counts... Right?

Better blurry and poorly cropped than nothing.

Here are the beautiful things taking my interest at the moment. It's seems to be all about red and black.

Red ponti, black ponti and some stretch cotton with lovely roses. (straight from the bargain table for a steal!) The black has been used to make a knit version of a tried and true dress in my collection. And the red is my modified knit Pendrell from Sewaholic Patterns. I have also made a few versions of this in woven which I am sure I will blog about soon.

Having successfully complete my first Renfrew (also by Sewaholic) and quickly followed by a knit dress I have now become all kinds of knit obsessed. Its quick easy and no zips are needed. I have needed to make a few pattern alterations to get the fit right. I am trying to build a set of tried and true patterns that I can use to whip up knits garments in just a day. Both the dress and the Pendrell were one day projects.

I wore the black dress to work today and found at it was a little shorter than I would have liked for work. I think it will be a disaster to unpick so it might end up being chopped into a skirt or relegated to weekends. Pics on that one soon. I also wore it with the rose stockings. I am loving them right now!!

The red Pendrell was a hit when I wore it to work last week and then to the sewing meet up on the weekend. It works well for winter over long sleeves but I think it will also be great for summer. I'm imagining it with a pencil skirt made from the black with red roses. If there is enough fabric left after the vintage dress I am planning to make.

While the camera was out I thought I would take some snaps of the pretty white flowers that a handsome scientist delivered to my door the other day.  Possibly at my request to put in the new (to me) vases I found in the op shop down the road. 

Oh yes - and the new little owner of the baby jacket arrived just yesterday. I can't wait to see her in it!

Happy Sewing
Roxy x

We had a long weekend here in Melbourne and despite all of Sunday being a write-off due to a little too much fun on Saturday night I still managed to get some decent sewing done. I also learnt how to knit rib – hooray!

I spent nearly all of Saturday at Can Do Books for the Sew Melbourne Meetup. The morning was dedicated to sewing and I was able to get a good amount of the red dress sewn. It didn’t help that I left my sewing pedals and power cords at home and had to make an extra trip in horrible Melbourne traffic to go and pick them up. I am not very good at being mobile with my sewing gear. There is always so much to take. How do people remember it all? Tips please? I should probably start with a decent case or trolley to take things in, although my sewing machine manages to fit in my suitcase perfectly!

Sewing machine in a suitcase – A perfect fit
In the afternoon I stayed around for Looped so that I could get some help with this knitting roadblock of mine – alternating purl and knit. All I had been able to achieve so far was a mangled mess with 3 times as many stiches as I started with. It turns out all I needed to do was move the wool (or is it yarn?) in front or behind. It took Stephanie (the fabulous owner of Can Do Books and host of these Meetups) literally 2 minutes to show me and I was off.

It was great to meet all the lovely Looped ladies and while it seemed like some super-fast knitters were able to whip up scarves and crochet rugs in just a few hours – this is all I managed to create.

My first successful piece of knit 1, purl 1

Maybe I need to talk less and knit more? Either way, I’m happy to have this worked out and maybe with less talking I will manage to complete a project for next winter. The Looped ladies suggested I start with a dish cloth or bath mat. I think a knitted coaster is more my pace at the moment.

As much fun as I had on Saturday night, I was annoyed about a wasted weekend day spent zoned out on the couch with a hangover but at least Monday was a bonus day to sew. After an extended, delicious and mushroomy brunch at Proud Mary I only had the afternoon free but it was more than enough to finish up this dress. (Excuse the tired face and wrinkled dress. I wore this to work today followed by a trip to the theatre to see the very intense Macbeth)

Anyway, I am not the only one who has been sewing Simplicity 2053. Trena from the Slapdash Sewist also just finished this dress. It seems we have some of the same issues with the dress despite having opposite fit challenges to deal with.  While I would normally do a FBA. I knew from a dress I previously made with this pattern that the fit would be fine (It’s the one shoulder full length version that you can see in the top left of this post). But as with Trena’s dress there is something odd with the pleats at the bust. This wasn’t as obvious in the other version.

If I make this dress with a knit again I will probably make it a little smaller. It is a little loose in the back and I think it would help the pleats sit better. But I am still pretty happy with the fit as is. It is rare to be able to sew something up without any adjustments.

The back is a little loose

The benefit to making this out of the stretch is that you can completely eliminate the back zip. I just stitched it all together. Next time I will put the back facing on the fold so that there is less bulk. I might also be able to put the back bodice and skirt on the fold to eliminate the centre seam all together. There is a little shaping in this seam but with a stretch fabric eliminating a little shaping should be fine.

Centre back seam - no zip!
I also used twill tape in the shoulders to make sure the dress maintained support and structure. I used bonding tape on the hems on the bottom and sleeves to give a nice crisp finish. There is still some puckering that I am not completely happy with. I will need to work on that some more.

Inside shot of the twill tape

I cut this dress out last weekend and just as I had finished it I flicked on the TV for a bit of the news and saw Kate Middleton wearing this. It’s not completely the same but there is something about the high neck red dress. I couldn’t resist styling it with my new favourite red beret! A royal red dress or what?

No princess fantasies here – I promise. I think technically she was copying me.

I cut something else out of this red ponte from a pattern that is also not intended for a knit. I made some pattern adjustments so it will be interesting to see how it comes together. I might as well sew it up while everything is threaded in red. I guess those curtains will just have to wait just a little longer…

I haven’t done any promotion of this blog but already I have some page views. Who are these mysterious viewers – including some from the US?  I hope they decide to come back again to see if there is some actual content to read. Maybe they will even leave a comment.

This Blogging thing is taking some getting used to. This blog layout is still pretty boring but I am working behind the scenes to make it look a lot more interesting. Finding out how it all goes together has been challenging.  If anyone out there has some tips then please come out and share them.

What hasn’t been so challenging is coming up with things to write. I have started drafting out a few posts already and you can see some of the things I will be writing about on the other pages – stay tuned!

Since my last post (published a little late) I have successfully completed one project on my list! The baby jacket has been finished and gifted to a very appreciative mum-to-be. Finishing this one came down to the wire, actually it went a little past it and I was late to the baby shower. I wanted to make sure the grippers on the jacket were really, really secure. I did such a great job of hammering them down that I bent them completely out of shape! I then had to go back in, pry them off and do it again. During this process I managed to hammer my thumb a few too many times and bend the spoon I used to pry the grippers off. And all of that made me late to the party. At least I will know what *not* to do next time. 

For this jacket I used a Minky dot fleece and blue check cotton.

I am happy that I have adjusted the pattern to make a slightly easier and faster jacket to make. This is a good thing as there are so many babies on the way. I also like the look of the adjusted jacket better. I have changed the ears from long bunny ears and made them into teddy-bear ears.  I have removed the lining altogether but applied a patterned facing for the grippers. This keeps the jacket soft and light but also provides a pop of colour and personality. I can also source this pop and personality from my stash of left over fabric.

I was so short on time that I didn’t get any good pictures of the jacket. I will have to wait until baby is born and maybe I will get some then. However I somehow managed to take this crazy photo.  I just had to see what the ears looked like when the hood was on. 

I have decided to post-pone making the curtains for a little while. I will need the whole floor of our apartment to measure and cut and it just hasn’t been convenient timing to take over the whole place. I was also distracted by some inspiration to cut out 2 projects from this soft red ponti I have had in my stash for a while. Perfect timing to sew them up at the SewMelbourne Meetup this weekend. 

I am loving this red right now

So mystery viewers – Any other ideas for baby presents? I have a lot to sew for. Am I the only one that decided to sew a fun project instead of a sensible project this week?

Have a good weekend!

Sooooo, it has been nearly two years since blog post number one.  I think that results in a blogging fail.  I couldn't even remember how to log into this account. I finally found it again and was relieved to see a grand total of 0 (that's ZERO) page views. Phew - how bad if people came back for more!

So what happened? Well I realised that there was already this entire world of blogging out there. When I wrote that post I had never heard of "Male Pattern Boldness", "New Blog for Better Sewing", "ElegantMusings" or "Sewaholic".  Once discovering the amazing blogs by Peter, Gertie, Casey and Tasia there was no way I could gather the courage to return to my own basic blog. Instead I chose to stalk their blogs religiously. But so much has happened in that time. I have sewn so many beautiful things (at least to me) and I have discovered more and more amazing bloggers that form part of this wonderful online sewing community. They have been such an inspiration and encouragement that I want to play along as well.

The time has come. I'm ready to join this community and share some of my own exploits.
Some achievements so far:

  • Creating/forcefully acquiring a dedicated sewing space!
  • Purchasing an overlocker/serger
  • Working out an invisible zipper
  • Sewing PANTS, (ok not for me but they are still very cool)
  • Sewing a floor length evening gown
  • Sewing a jacket. Yay for the Sewaholic Minoru
  • Sewing a knit! Yay for the Sewaholic Renfrew
  • Joining a sewing meetup (sewing club)
  • Completing a short course in pattern making
  • Spending way too much on my growing fabric and notions stash

My forcefully acquired sewing space with a collection of projects

These are all wonderful things to blog about and all are beyond what I imagined I could achieve when I started this blog. I will be making posts about each of these feats and more soon. I might even blog about my abysmal attempts at knitting – for comedic effect only. 

So if you are a kind reader who has taken my page views from "none" to "some” welcome and thank you.  (If you are my boyfriend or my mum then stop being stalker-ish - it doesn't look cool - OK. But thanks for supporting me x).

Just some of the projects waiting for me to start
Next up on the sewing list:
  • Finishing some baby gifts
  • Fixing some pirate pajamas
  • Sewing up curtains for our slightly dull and overly chilly apartment. Brrr winter in Melbourne!


About Me

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Rediscovering sewing after nearly 10 years without touching a sewing machine. I am now sewing up a storm and have started to learn patternmaking and drafting.
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