Colour blocked terry raglan

I’ve never colour blocked a garment before. NEVER EVER!

I got some navy French terry from a fabric swap. A lot of it. It went into the fabric collection. Where I found a remnant of some creamy white terry with a red stripe, but I cannot recall from whence it came – very likely another fabric swap. Sadly there was not enough for a jumper, but enough for the front and back. They were roughly the same weight and drape so I decided to colour block a top.

I chose the Lane Raglan from Hey June Patterns.

I’ve made it several times, in a few different weight fabrics. Unfortunately these two fabrics were reasonably heavy and had no recovery. Consequently the neck stretched out rather a lot. This picture shows the difference when compared to another terry top I made, with the same pattern. On the right side they are lined up at the seam, not neck edge.

Making this top involved so many decisions – what overlocker thread colour? Do I use the same colours everywhere? If I do swap out the thread colours what order should I construct the top? Does it really matter if the threads don’t match the fabric? I vacillated for so long that a few weeks of my life went past.







So I used white for the attaching the sleeves to the bodice parts, then navy for attaching the navy neckband, underarm and side seams. I finished the sleeve hems with the navy.

I used the coverstitch machine on the neck line and sleeve hems, using navy overlocker thread in the needles and a navy stretch thread in the looper.

Eventually I realised that swapping threads is easy and matching them to the fabric matters to me. I swapped out the navy threads for white/ivory and hemmed the lower edge. Then coverstitched with navy in the needles and ivory stretch in the looper.

The details

Fabric – French terry, navy cottton and cream/red stripe. Free, from a fabric swap.

Pattern – Lane Raglan from Hey June patterns –  bought a while ago and effectively free.

Label – “Sewing is Sexy” from Kylie and the Machine – $1.00

Annoyance factor – Unbelievably high – due to the thread matching dilemma.

I made this top before my Melody Shirt. I’ve always had a thing about colour matching the overlocker threads. I have noticed that stripe and pattern matching are becoming a new  obsession. The neckline has stretched so much that the sleeves are too long. I will have to shorten them eventually.

I’m not colour blocking again for a long time. The next top will be in a plain fabric.

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Pattern bag

I started buying pdf patterns when they were print and tape, then stopped. The whole print-cut-tape-trace dance just did my head in. Too much hassle. Then the pattern companies started offering them as A0 files. A much better option.

Now whenever I buy a pdf pattern I immediately have it printed. I have several many LOTS of these A0 sheets. All rolled up and stored on top of my piano. Not really a good storage solution.

THIS is a storage solution:

I photographed it on my sewing chair. The fabric came from a swap meet. It is a medium weight printed canvas covered with bicycles. I love bicycles. I was saving this for a bicycle pannier, but a bag for my other hobby seemed to make sense.

This was a really simple make, a large tube with a square base and a foldover flap at the top.






My piano is now covered with music related stuff – mostly small percussion and sheet music. The pattern bag sits on the floor at the bell end of the piano.

The details

Fabric – Printed canvas, from a fabric swap.

Pattern – self drafted

Annoyance factor – No annoyance at all. This was a breeze.

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Kibbe sewing five – a shirt this time.

I have the Style Arc Melody pattern. I cannot remember when it came into my house but was quite likely one of their monthly freebies. Is it Kibbe? According to the Kibbe Classic guidelines, blouses should be elegant with soft edges. Not too detailed, no frills, flounces or fuss. Big tick for the Melody!

It is a fairly long tunic with three quarter sleeves and elastic cuffs. I used linen that was a bit too short for the sleeves and the rest of the shirt. I altered them to be short and not as full.

The fabric had a large check pattern, woven not printed. It made for an interesting time in pattern matching. I outdid myself.

Now come a lot of pictures:

Look at the collar and stand.

Stripe matching continued down the centre front.








I even matched up the facing – avoiding any show through of the dark threads.

Stripe matching down the back as well.







I even matched the left sleeve to the yoke!









Fabric – White linen with a large black check pattern, from Style Arc at the 2018 Frocktails shopping tour.  Sold as a remnant, roughly one metre long, 150cm wide. I can’t remember the cost.

Alterations – shortened the body hem and made them match. Took out the fullness in the sleeve and shortened them too.  I may yet take in the side seams a bit. I’ll see if the linen softens up a bit more. I wasn’t overly happy with the way the linen gathered at the back so changed it to a central box pleat. This also made it possible to match up the stripes to the yoke.

Other stuff – I used some cotton organdy for interfacing rather than fusible interfacing. Time will tell if this was a good idea or not. I attached the yoke using the burrito method, it creates such a lovely enclosed finish.


The linen is a tad scratchy at the moment, I’m guessing it will soften over time. It’s been worn a few times already on our warmer spring days. I can see it in high rotation during summer.

I will make at least one more of these – in a lovely blue linen blend.

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Another Lark tee

I love making tshirts at the moment. Actually, just working with knits is a joy. Especially if I can complete the garment quickly and use just the overlocker and coverstitch machines.

I have been buying fabrics that are beautiful and can be used in my business casual profession. Sometimes it works well, other times I think the top is more casual. As is the case with this beautiful fabric and top.

I got the fabric from Seamstress Fabrics. It is a lovely cotton + spandex with a gorgeous print and has sold out. I did buy it in April 2018 and added it to the stash while I pondered which pattern to use. It has the most beautiful weight and drape. I chose the long sleeved lark tee and set about cutting it.

As always – no dramas. I cut out one weekend and sewed it together a few weekends later. As I finished the collar with the coverstitch I added a label from Kylie and the machine. I’ve amassed several of these.

The details

Fabric – Selia print, cotton + spandex – 1.5 metres, around $50

Pattern – Grainline Lark – used so many times, adjusted to fit a while ago. Effectively free.

Label – “Handmade” from Kylie and the Machine – $1.00

Annoyance factor – Low

Totals = $51.00

Do it again? The pattern – yes. I love the fabric and will keep a eye out for similar quality fabrics. This one is closer fitting than ideal for work, but is terrific as casual wear. Very nice casual wear.

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Princess Leia Pyjamas

This is the second half of my Frocktails 2017 lucky door prize from “For the love of Fabrics” online shop. My other one is now a Chewbacca nightie. This one is a Princess Leia print that was destined to be pyjamas. (#starwarsgeek)

I made yet another Grainline Lark Tee, this time with three-quarter sleeves. I also added a bit of width at the hem, making it flare from the ribs.

Like the Chewbacca nightie I made the back and sleeves from a blue poly cotton knit. That used up all the remaining blue poly cotton so I used some blue double brushed polyester for the bottoms. They don’t match but I don’t really care.

I used the Made 2 Measure template with a waistband modification. I created a yoke of about 8 centimetres in width. I used powermesh to support the yoke instead of lining it with more double brushed poly. For some extra security I also added a row of narrow elastic to the top of the waistband. And just in case I can’t get dressed properly, I added a “This is the back” label – to the back. Not the front as I threatened to a certain teenaged relative…

I widened the legs at the knee and ankles, creating an almost yoga pants look.









Fabric – Princess Leia panel – Frocktails 2017 lucky door prize.

Blue poly cotton knit – I can’t remember anything about this fabric, so it was probably a gift.

Double brushed polyester from LA Finch fabrics, also from 2017. It was part of a end of both bundle and was $10.00 for 1.5 metres.

Pattern – Made 2 Measure template + yoga waistband modification from Sewhere. Used many times so now free.

Powermesh – Two metres bought in 2018 from the Remnant Warehouse, I’m guessing $3.00 for the amount used here.

Annoyance factor – Low

Totals = $13.00 – for adult Star Wars pyjamas !!!!!



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I enjoyed making the rash tops and bikini in 2018. My existing bathers are rather worn, stretched out and bordering on too loose in the water.

I decided to have a go at a super basic design and effectively draft my own swimwear block. I used Kwik Sew 3780, mostly because I got it at a fabric swap and it was free. I traced off the pattern and added a strap to the right shoulder. Well actually, I traced the left side and put a foldline mark in the middle. I took the following body measurements:

  • my torso from shoulder to shoulder, going under my crotch
  • shoulder to bust apex, and
  • compared the side seams with an existing pair of bathers.

The pattern was duly shortened, both above and below the bust points. I cut it out in both lining and main fabric, stitched it together using the chain stitch on the coverstitch machine and tried it on. I used a fabric I like but don’t love. It was bought (2 years ago) because it was bathers fabric, on sale and suitable for a trial.  I like how the back seam adds some shaping, but wished I’d matched up the print a bit better.





After trying them on I discovered that the straps needed shortening even more. Otherwise all was good. I slipped in some bra pads that I retrieved from an old sports crop top. The stitching and placement is less than stellar.

Next I pulled out the chain stitch I’d used for basting and stitched up all the seams using a three thread stitch on the overlocker, because Zede & Mallory say it is better for super-stretchy seams.  I cut the legs a bit higher as I prefer that and set about putting in the elastic. I was careful (took my time) and didn’t overstretch the elastic. I used a clear swimwear elastic. Zig-zagged on, turn over and coverstitch down.

I compared them to my old bathers. The old ones have stretched out a bit, both lengthwise and widthwise. They are comfortable and are perfectly OK for swimming!

Now I have a basic block I plan to get creative. Change the neckline, cut a few stripes into it and play with colour blocking.

I’m swimming twice a week now, I’ll be needing a few more pairs.




Fabric was from The Remnant Warehouse but has sold out. It was around $25.00 for two metres. I have over a metre left.

Lining – in the stash for some years. I have no idea where I got it.

Pattern – Kwik Sew 3780 and free.

Threads – Maxi-lock stretch in the coverstitch looper.

Annoyance factor – very low, surprisingly.

Do it again – yes.


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PJ bottoms for the bloke

The lover needed – desperately needed – new pyjama bottoms. He has a plethora of printed tshirts that he uses for tops. He just needed the bottoms bit.

Simplicity Pattern EA990001 Premium Print on Demand Men's/Boys' Cozywear

Image from

Out came Simplicity 9900, a pattern for men’s and boy’s pyjama bottoms, tops and a nightshirt. I’ve only ever used the bottoms pattern. The sleeves and neckline on the nightshirt/top look really weird. It is now out of print, but any pj trouser pattern would work.

I used the tried and tested method for choosing a size – I compared an existing pair to the pattern. I traced off the closest size and hoped for the best.


I didn’t have any non-roll elastic and alas, it should have been used. The leftover elastic I had is folding (rolling?) over already.

These were constructed by using the overlocker and coverstitch machine. I need to watch some videos or read a tutorial on encasing elastic with the coverstitch machine. Or accept that I need to use the sewing machine…



I love the coverstitched hems.




Just in case it was needed I put in a label:

This caused a huge chortle and grin from the lover.


Finally – an image that takes in two of my creative outlets:


Fabric – Navy striped cotton  1 m @ $7.50 per metre (Remnant Warehouse in Sydney)

Pattern – Simplicity 9900 – used a lot is old, so effectively free

Elastic – 1 metre @ $1.00 per metre – $1.00

Totals = $8.50

Annoyance factor – Low

Make it again? Yes, already have another pair cut out.

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A Carine tee

I’ve been using the Lark tee from Grainline for several years. It has seen many iterations for me and my two daughters. I flirted with the Hey June Raglan in 2018, making four versions.

Now for a different shape, the Carine tee from Elbe Textiles. I can’t remember how I got onto it, but it was a free pattern and is rather lovely. “Was” being the most important word. It seems to have vanished off the site (May 2019).

The Carine has a scoop neck, short sleeves and a curvy hem. Three pieces plus a neckband, Simple to cut out, free, needs one metre of fabric, this can only be good.

I used a navy stripey cotton jersey from the Remnant Warehouse in Sydney. The wrong side of the fabric was useable, it became a contrast neckband.

The hem was a bit tricky to turn up. Playing with the differential feed helped, lots of steam and pressing helped a bit more.

The drafting was spot on. I used the largest size and added a bit of width to the hips by tapering from under the arms. It is a crop top, so lengthen if you need. On my short torso it was just the right length for high waisted trousers and shorts. The next one will have a bit of extra length.


Fabric – Navy striped cotton  1 m @ $7.50 per metre

Pattern – Carine Tee from Elbe Textiles – free

Pattern printing – One A0 sheet – $2.50

Totals = $10.00

Annoyance factor – Low


I like it a lot and would happily recommend it, if only it were still available!


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I made a cardigan! (Kibbe sewing 4)

Earlier this year I wrote about my sewing plans for 2019. I also wrote about a year of Kibbe inspired sewing. This post is mostly about my first Kibbe inspired top. At the end of 2018 I bought Jalie 3677, the Helene Cardigan. I liked the lines and the subtle shaping provided by the peplum skirt section. It has very positive reviews all over the interwebs for both the silhouette and drafting quality. In terms of Kibbe, tops (cardigans or jackets) should be:

Softly tailored with curvy shaping (subdued, not fussy) that gently shows the waist. Short to moderate lengths are best, although a longer length is possible in a belted jacket or one that has a very understated peplum. They can have slight shoulder definition with crisp pads and tapered sleeves. This detail should be subdued and understated, not fussy or overdone.

Score! I bought what I thought was a wool blend double knit from Eliza’s in Sunshine. A burn test indicated it was polyester blended with another synthetic. Sigh. And it is #MelbourneBlack again. Which means I have a wearable toile for work (black cardigan/jacket is stipulated in the uniform code) and terrible photographs.

I traced off the pattern and discovered that the sleeves have a symmetrical sleeve head. This is new to me, even on a casual knit garment. I did my sleeve adjustments –  added 2cm to the bicep, shortened the length and this time I tapered to a slightly wider wrist measurement. I wanted this to go easily over long sleeves.

I like the idea of a Hong Kong finish but not the hours involved. Instead I used decorative threads in the loopers of my overlocker.

This is varigated thread from Mettler. The grey is almost invisible, the blue and pink were more obvious.

Once I trialled them in the overlocker they were easier to see:

The blue won. I love blue, my eyes are blue, my favourite clothes are blue. Even my wedding dress was blue..

I attached the pockets with black thread, but now wish I’d done them in the blue too. This cardigan was constructed entirely on the overlocker and coverstitch machine.

After wearing it for a few days I noticed that the collar was quite high for me and that the fabric was too sturdy to naturally pleat down. It was making me fidget so I decided to stitch it down by hand. I also noticed that the skirt part has some hi-low shaping to it. Oh well – I can live with it in a toile.


Fabric – Polyester double knit  2 m @ $8.00 per metre           $16.00

Pattern – Jalie 3677 Helene                                                             $12.75

Totals = approximately $28.75

Annoyance factor – Low, aside from the self-inflicted unpicking.

Do it again? Yes, though I might move the pockets closer to the centre front. I will also add some width to the centre front and consider buttons and remove some height from the collar at the centre back. I may also reduce the back length so that it sits on my natural waist and I might straighten the hem. I really like this cardigan and see it being worn a lot.

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Kibbe sewing 3 – more wedding trousers

So the Craftsy/McCalls trousers were a dud. The problem was the fabric, it bagged out terribly the minute I put it on. And it was super hot. Not what I need in the overheated work environments I am in. Therefore I needed another pair of trousers. I always need more trousers.

Vogue 2948 came out of the pattern stash. I bought it a few years ago from Craftsy. It was included in the “Pants Fitting Technique” by Sandra Betzina. I like the yoked waistband. They seem to suit me (and my tummy) better. I settled on View A with the side zip but left out the tiny pockets.

After my hassles with the McCalls pattern I measured REALLY carefully. Both me and the pattern. I decided to use a straight size 16.  My reasoning was that this was a pattern for non-stretch wovens and I’m using bengaline. Plus, I’m currently in between a 16 and an 18.

I forgot about the Craftsy course until after I’d cut into the fabric…

The navy bengaline came from Seamstress Fabrics. Yeah I know – more bengaline. It is cheap enough for me to consider this a wearable toile. And nice enough for me to wear them to work. Or a wedding.

After I cut the fabric I remembered the course and cued up the section on fitting. And promptly forgot to watch it. I very carefully sewed up two left legs.

Blast and double blast.

I had enough fabric to cut another leg, but decided to unpick instead. So that’s four seams of straight stitching and two of zig zagged topstitching. Inevitably Fifi puss found the threads.

A bit of ironing and some more super careful sewing and I had a proper right leg and a left leg. I left the outer side seams open and zoomed up the crotch. Next came the yokes. Instead of interfacing I used two layers of swimwear lining. I like a bit of stretch and recovery around my middle.

In addition I trimmed 1 cm off the side seams of the yoke and eased the yoke onto the trouser front and back. I put in an invisible zip into the left side seam, stitched up the right side and tried them on. Excellent fit. Very comfortable for sitting, breathing and singing.

Next came a certain label from ‘Kylie and the machine’ which says “Sewing is sexy”. After the yoke lining went in there was more zig zag top stitching and hemming.

I like them a lot.


Fabric – Navy bengaline  2 m @ $18 per metre              $36.00

Swimwear lining – Can’t remember, this is a guess          $3.oo

Pattern – McCalls 6901 + Craftsy course                          $25.00

Totals = approximately $61.00

Annoyance factor – Low, aside from the self-inflicted unpicking.

Do it again? Yes. Next time with the tiny pockets.




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