I heart Cambie

Ever since I started reading other sewing blogs, I have seen the Sewaholic Cambie dress pop up everywhere, and I immediately popped it on my “to make” list… once I had a few projects under my belt and felt a bit more confident. I’m so massively late to the game, you guys are all like, “Oh that’s soooooo 2012…” Lol… Love the blogging world, I know everyone will actually be like “you go girl” 🙂

Enter, my first Cambie dress, and I am in lurrrvvveeeee!

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Cambie Selfie!

Usual shocking wardrobe selfie…

Luckily I did a test run with some scraps of quilting cotton, as for some reason I measured myself and cut out a size 10…. and when I tried the finished product on it was swimming on me & looked HORRIBLE… so re-measured myself and realised I should have actually made a 6. Don’t know what on earth was going on there. Lucky for muslins!

Test run with some scraps of quilting cotton!!

Test run with some scraps of quilting cotton!!

So my first wearable awesome Cambie (view A) I made out of a gorgeous Cotton Sateen (ok so the lady at the market was telling me “Cot-ton-ee, Cot-tonn-eee” so I’m guessing as much…) that I picked up for 4 Lari/m ($2.50/m). Massive Bargain, pity it was the last 3 metres 😦 I lined the whole thing with a white lightweight calico type fabric that feels just lovely against my skin.

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I love the inside of this dress! :)

I love the inside of this dress! 🙂

The only changes to the pattern I made was cutting the back skirt pieces in the lining material a few inches ‘thinner’ than the pattern, as the lining material wasn’t wide enough to fit the pattern piece in the right direction, and I thought there would be enough bulk in the back anyway with the lining and material (especially since I ain’t pear shaped!). Also, as the sleeves get fitted last, it was easy to adjust these to fit perfectly, I found that they were about 1.5in too long. Oh also, I omitted the pockets. I’m not a massive pocket person…. I mean, I would do the pockets in the View B coz they’d look cool….

Cambie sleeves unattached

Just another pic of the inside. I love that the waistband strip is in the outer fabric!

Just another pic of the inside. I love that the waistband strip is in the outer fabric!

I did find that when attaching the waistband strip to the bodice, it ended up about 1/2 inch shorter than the bodice, and I was SOOO pedantic about the seam allowances and dart measurements, so I’m not sure what happened there…. I just attached the skirt to the waistband and then serged the open back seam to line up to the waistband. I then just lined the zip up to the edge of the serged seam instead of 5/8in allowance.

I used Tasia’s method of putting the zip in, and finishing around the edges, and it came up beautifully. This was the first fully lined dress I have made, and found putting in the zip an absolute breeze! I’ve always found zips to be troublesome, but this was so easy!!

I deliberated over how to finish the hems on my lovely pretty dress. For the lining, I just serged around the edge, ironed it up about 2inches and did a straight stitch through the serged section. But since its turned out to be a bit of a fancy dress, I wanted to do a seamless finish on the outer hem. I trawled through blogs and tutorials on how to do a blind stitch, and figured out that my machine actually came with a blind hem foot – who knew!
I found the Colette tutorial (here) on blind hems with a machine foot to be the best one I discovered, and followed her instructions (since my machine manual just made me ridiculously confused). Then it just kept annoying me, so I gave up and straight stitched it around. And it looks great!!

As I was trying on the dress to take some photos for this post, the zip pull broke off… Oh seriously! Stacey (a la Stacysews.com)  gave me the suggestion via Instagram to get a jewellery charm to attach to it – SOOOO glad she suggested it, as I was working myself up to unpick the entire lining, shell and insert a new zipper… So only the one bad “selfie” pic of me in the dress, as I can’t do it up by myself with no zip pull!!

Broken zipper

So as you can gather, I’m so totally in love with this dress, but find this version a bit fancy for everyday wear, so I’ve already made another more casual version that I wore to the pool yesterday! For this second dress, I just lined the top section & slip stitched the bottom edge of the waistband together.  I did this as it is over 35 degrees (Celcius) most days and it is just too HAWT to wear a fully lined dress!

The only other change that I made to this “casual Cambie” was making the skirt less “poufy (??!!!)”. I cut the skirt front out about 2inches less on the fold line, and used the front skirt pattern piece to cut the two back pieces as well. It still has a lot of gather, but about half as much as the original version! Again, did no pockets….

Wore this to the pool, and my girlfriends had no idea that I’d made my dress until I told them, I LOVE that it is not immediately obvious that I made it! Very impressed with myself. (**pats self on sunburnt back**)

Blue Spotty Cambie

Blue Spotty Cambie

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Didn’t realise that I cut the waistband with the dots in the “wrong” direction… but now I think it looks really cool because of the centralised line of large dots! 🙂

I did get some grey / flowery fabric that I think would look great as an Alder shirtdress, so thinking of making a pattern purchase … I’ve never done a collar, button placket, done 3 button holes in my life, so it will be an interesting challenge I think!! Stay tuned, and for a post on Cambie #3… &#4….!

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Catch-up. A Totally Non Sewing Post.

Ooops just realised how long its been….  sleep has won out over blogging most nights! 

The last month has been just cray-cray (oh seriously did I just say that?), as my toddler & I made the massive trek from Tbilisi to Brisbane (Australia) and back, by ourselves, which due to the nature of connecting (or should I say non-connecting) flights, gave us over 12hrs in Dubai both ways. 

Toddler was “not-too-bad” on the way out, and since he is still under 2 (just!!) I had booked just one ticket with him as an “infant” (on-my-lap-seat), and used my frequent flyer miles to upgrade the Dubai-Brisbane flight to business class (woooooo!). Now it so happened that the lovely lady sitting next to us moved to give us an extra seat (possibly because toddler was putting the partition between seats up and down, up and down)…. so Bubba had a seat to himself to (not) sleep in. Seriously, I got to watch ONE movie in 14hours and I didn’t sleep at all. Thats how much he didn’t sleep. ONE movie. Seriously, toddler, not cool. I did however get 2 glasses of champagne, and the time he slept was during the dinner service so I got fancy food in peace and quiet (and thats when I watched the movie..)

Had a lovely time in Brisbane, saw loads of friends, used mum’s machine to make a few little gifts for pregnant friends, and the 2.5weeks were over before we knew it, and the dreaded journey home awaited us. 

Again, was able to use points to upgrade us to Business class (thanks dad for the 6000 extra points I needed!) and once again somehow had a spare seat next to us. Bubba fell asleep straight away (thanks 9pm departure time and a flat bed seat!) and the 14hour direct flight to Dubai was looking pretty sweet…. I got in 2 movies, dinner and a glass of champagne. Then… we got diverted to Singapore with a cracked windshield (wtf??) and spend 6hours there in the lounge waiting to see how the “heck” we were going to get to Dubai… 

The lounge staff eventually got around to us, and were going to put us on the next flight from SIN-Dubai, and told me that because we were an upgrade ticket, they would be putting us in Economy class. I chucked up a stink and refused to go in economy, and they ‘managed’ to put u in Business class. Luckily, as the 2 young girls that ended up sitting next to us in Business class had been upgraded (complimentary) from Economy. Anyway, Bubba fell asleep on my lap again for the most part of the flight.

Dubai… waited at the baggage carousel for 40minutes before realising that one of my bags was definately having a holiday in Singapore. Confirmed by baggage man. Put in missing bag report …Doubtful that it would make our next (non) connecting flight to Tbilisi.

Got massively poo’d on while getting a few supplies at the massively busy Dubai mall. Gross. Got out of there in a hurry! 

Flight to Tbilisi, uneventful. Sent bubba running out through the doors to Dadda in Tbilisi Airport while I waited for missing bag to magically appear in Tbilisi. Filled out lost bag report (again) and went home and slept for 2 days straight. 

Anyway, have had hardly any time to sew since then….

I did however, begin a muslin Sewaholic Cambie dress (but in pretty scraps of fabric) this week. I did also however, measure myself a little wrong (or read the measurements on the envelope wrong) and made a size 10, where I should have made a size 6. I did try it on a few times before putting the zipper in and thought it would just be a little big. But its MA-HOOOO-SIVE! No way its wearable, I made the View A skirt without pockets, and only lined the top section as I knew it wouldn’t be a wearable dress anyway, so off to the market today to find some gorgeous fabric and make Cambie #2!

I have also started a Simplicity wrap dress in Jersey but overlocker is playing up so it’s a WIP. In saying that, need to fix Overlocker ASAP as I’ve come back from holiday, threads are broken, and something is up with the upper looper thread. The invisible sewing goblin has been at it. Grrr. 

Ok apologies for boring text post today…. stay tuned for a Cambie dress post!

 

 

 

 

 

A floral Washi

I have to say, I’m on a bit of a sewing frenzy this week, as I have a few items that I really want to get finished before I leave on Monday. Deadline!! (on a side note, made up 2 small macaroni’s tonight to freeze for the hubby. Good wife.)  Sooo anyhow, last night I managed to cut out the pdf pattern for the Made by Rae Washi dress whilst Bubba was trapped in the highchair eating dinner…. small panic attack occured when I realised I was out of sticky-tape…. so this pattern looks beautiful being stuck together with masking tape.

Then I stayed up late watching Season 1 of Once upon a Time (yay for our English channel having some different shows at the moment..) cutting out the dress from a floral lightweight cotton material that I had picked up for 10 Lari / metre (~$6 AUD) at one of the fabric markets here in Tbilisi. As this fabric is quite lightweight, I wanted to do a full lining for the bodice section so it would hold the shape a bit better and give it a bit more support. I just used a pink/watermelon polyester lining fabric that I had lying around.

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Just noticed how bad my understitching is!!

Just noticed how uneven my understitching is!!

After flicking through a google image search for Washi Dress, and thinking the bodice/skirt join might be a touch too high for me, I lengthened the bodice by 1/2in, and I used elastic in the back of the dress instead of the shirring lines. The elastic option is actually in the expansion pack which I also purchased, but didn’t see it until after I had finished the dress… Instead of using the lining as the casing (which is in View C of Expansion pack), I cut an extra strip of the main fabric, same width as the back where the lowest shirring line was, and encased the elastic seperately to the lining. I think it looks really nice that way as well on the inside! I sewed on the casing, then handstitched the lining to the seam allowance all around (top of the elastic casing), then inserted the elastic as the last step.

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I will definately make another few of these dresses, lovely and simple, and perfect for all weather (as you can see – I tried it on in a Summer and Winter versions… still trying to pack…)

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Seriously need to tidy my wardrobe….

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Oooh pockets! :)

Oooh I love these easy pockets! 🙂

 

I’m STILL at a standstill on my pink long sleeved Moneta dress, I can’t get my twin needle to behave, I’ve tried absolutely everything!!! It’s driving me CRAZY! It is an “unknown” brand of needle and not ballpoint, so that may have something to do with it since the fabric I’m using is more lightweight than the first Moneta I successfully used the same twin needles on!! I think I’ll have to give up & take my dress with me (with unfinished neckline and hem) and find a proper needle in Brisbane and finish it off on mum or sister’s machine while I’m there.:))

Ok, off to cut out another Washi! 🙂

 

Beautiful Belcarra Blouses!

Ok. This is going to be a gushy post, because I Love this pattern! Sewaholic’s Belcarra Top pattern is really such a simple looking top, but it fits so nicely without darts, and is cute and flattering. Depending on what material you use, you could dress it up with jeans, pair it with a skirt for work, tuck it into a maxi skirt… possibilities are endless…  I am in love!

White Belcarra

White Belcarra

The first one I made from a cheap semi-sheer white crepe-like material, just to check how the fit would work. Honestly, I have no idea what the material is (although it does smell like something my nanna used to wear?)- I mean, obviously I can hazard a guess of knit vs cotton vs satin vs chiffon etc, but when buying from a market where there is nothing on the selvedge and the woman you buy it off doesn’t speak English, its pretty much a guess…

I’m not sure why, but I measured myself straight after a massive dinner with a padded bra on, (and I was just thinking that I’d gotten a bit fatter…) so my measurements were just pushing me out of the sz6 range, so I made a size 8, which ended up much too big on me. Since the material was a bit sheer, I used french seams throughout, after seeing Chantal from A handmade wardrobe doing the same with a similar fabric for this top – makes the inside look so lovely, just takes a lot longer to do properly. This was only my 2nd time doing french seams, and I was so impressed with myself on how they turned out – MUCH nicer than the first time!! 🙂

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You can see better in this pic how it slips off the shoulders…

 

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French seams

French seams

Anyway, love the top, just a wee bit big, slipping off my shoulders (especially since the fabric is also a little slippery) and is a bit too roomy around the hips. If I get time (and the motivation) I think I’ll unpick the neckline and take in the shoulders a little, then it will probably be more wearable!

Comparison of size 8 (white) to size 6 (pink)

Comparison of neckline in size 8 (white) to size 6 (pink)

So second attempt, I made the size 6 in a Valori Wells cotton voile that I had – I only had a bit over a metre since I had already made a Sorbetto top with this fabric, but managed to squeeze this top out of it! I just didn’t have enough fabric for the neckline facing strip so I used a piece of pink satin bias binding – and it turned out really nicely (you can see that in the pic above!!)

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Valori Wells cotton voile Belcarra

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Excuse the messy wardrobe ‘selfie’, only big mirror in our place! Yes I have boots on in summer, was trialling outfits for Australia trip….

I found a lovely pink cotton/linen fabric yesterday, so think I will make another in that, with the pocket & turned up sleeve cuff. I think this could be nice in a knit fabric as well….

Speaking about knits, I found a gorgeous watermelon pink jersey knit the other day at the market (ummm yes, I have a pink fabric problem…), so I am almost finished a 3/4 sleeve Moneta dress (Colette P, perfect for my Brisbane trip next week! Today’s project is to finish that off, and hopefully get a maxi skirt out of the rest of the material! Off to the machine!! 🙂

 

A letter to my toddler

Good morning bubby,

I’m sorry you didn’t want to go to sleep until midnight last night. Mumma had a lot of sewing planned last night and it’s how much I love you that I watched Bob the Builder & the Wiggles on repeat for hours with you, cuddled up until you fell asleep.
But thank you for finally falling asleep in the spare bed with me. Although if you could work on the kicking my face and trying to push me off the bed, that would be appreciated.

Oh baby, I know that you are running around the house crying now at 7am… you are crying because you haven’t had enough sleep. I know this, because you only had 7 hours sleep instead of 12.

Breakfast? Cereal?…. Oh you want mine that is exactly the same as yours? No, you can’t have mine (because I’ve sprinkled sugar on it…. So actually it’s not the same… hmm maybe you know that?).

But, you can help me make a coffee, yes, grab your little chair, put the cup there & press the button. No you can’t put your fingers in it or drink it… ok, just one lick of sugar…

No, your babysitter isn’t coming this week – she txted me on Wednesday that her baby has measles, and I really don’t want you to catch measles… not least because I would prefer you not to deal with both measles and teething crankiness. That would be really really crap, baby.
Yes, Bub, here in Tbilisi, its not uncommon that babies catch measles. It’s not like Australia where the majority of kids are immunised, and you haven’t had your 18 month vaccination yet. Please don’t catch measles, I’d prefer not to look after a measley teething baby. (And it’s not all about me, it wouldn’t be fun for you either.)

It’s 10.03… Are you ready for a nap yet? No? Ok how about I put a blanket & pillow in front of the TV, and go yell at the man outside the door that is jack-hammering the tiles. He won’t understand me as I don’t speak Georgian, but I’m confident he’ll get the gist. Like the time I went out in the snow and yelled at our old neighbour when he began using a buzz-saw at 11pm at night & it woke you up…. He understood… Ahhh Tbilisi.

Seriously, I'd sleep here. Comfy!

Seriously, I’d sleep here. Comfy!

I’m just going to go change my overlocker threads & think about making bias tape… come get me when you’ve done your morning poo and I’ll come freshen you up. Oh wait, I smell something… let’s go…

Ah crap, I’ve got to go to the supermarket today. Fingers crossed you don’t try and kamikaze out of the trolley like the last 3 times I’ve taken you to the ‘big’ supermarket. Yes it’s the trolley’s fault for not having a lap belt, but you will actually hurt yourself if you succeed, and I kinda like you in one piece!

Ok, good chat Bubba. Please have a big nap today so I can finish sewing the Sorbetto top I cut out yesterday… Although not as big as yesterday as we may be up til midnight again…

Sorbetto Tank waiting for me....

Sorbetto Tank waiting for me….

But I gotta change this first.... sigh.

But I gotta change this first…. sigh.

Love Mumma.

Hello Moneta …

I got so excited about making the Moneta dress that I couldn’t wait for the Moneta sew-a-long, I just had to finish it in one night! Here is my lovely short sleeved version (View B) in a Valori Wells printed knit from Hawthorne Threads.

Trying out some of Tilly's photo tips!

Laughing at my toddler trying to ‘make’ coffee on the nespresso machine

In preparation for my first time sewing with a knit fabric, I walked all over town last Thursday (literally, all over town, lucky it was a babysitter day…) to find a Twin needle and / or walking foot. I saved pictures of both on my phone as I’ve found it hard enough to find and ask for quality machine needles, and I had no faith that my hand gestures would get me there for twin needle.  I did find a twin needle in a little sewing shop, unfortunately not ballpoint/jersey twin needles though, and no walking foot (Note to self- put on the spotlight list for trip to Australia – that list is loonnnnnngg!)

I decided to make the short sleeved dress first up – predominately because it’s summer here and over 30C most days, and I only had 2m of the Valori Wells knit fabric that I wanted to use for this dress. It noted that for a size S, I would need around 2.5m (can’t remember exactly)… but with a little juggling, I easily got it all out of 2m with quite a bit of fabric left over. I just cut the skirts out first on the fold, then re-folded the fabric with selvages touching in the middle so that I could get the bodice pieces out of the leftover amount. Unfortunately, I should have turned one of the bodice pattern pieces over, as the way I cut it out, the print is in the wrong direction on the back bodice piece, but it’s not that obvious!

This was a really simple dress to construct, even for a novice-knit-fabric-sewer like myself! I got into a little trouble with the neckline gaping out – I think I just stretched the fabric a bit too much while sewing it (pulling it through the machine), so I unpicked the neckline double needle stitching, ironed on some hemming tape, and resewed it with a larger turnover & just with one line of stitching. It’s not very pretty inside, but it’s a big enough neck-hole that it doesn’t need to stretch over my head so I think one line of stitch should be fine.

 

 

 

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The only other hurdle was not being able to find swimwear elastic, so I just used a piece of regular elastic…. Then sewed the bodice to the skirt together with a basting stitch to check how it all fitted. I didn’t really like the way it sat with the elastic, so I unpicked the elastic, and just overlocked the skirt to the bodice. I figured its quite a firm knit and I’ll always wear a belt with it, as I think the fabric choice needs it!

I hemmed it a little shorter  than my knees. Ahhhh I’m in loveeee.

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Trying to get a good shot & the best one has the toddler in it. Fail!

The fabric is not that lightweight so will be a little too warm for the weather here at the moment (but PERFECT for my Brisbane visit next month!!)

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As you would know if you have read previous posts, something I need to work on is my photography skills! Unfortunately our apartment is ALL white walls (& renting so staying that way!). Also there aren’t many places to set up a camera for timer pics, and the only long mirror is in our walk in robe. So I got creative after reading Tilly’s post on her blog (Tillyandthebuttons) and set up my version of a tripod (see below….). Toddler could not understand for the life of him why his little chair was on his highchair. Did not like it one bit.

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So thats my run-down of my first Moneta. I say ‘first’ as I’ve already got a second sleeveless one cut out, and have grand plans for a Maxi Moneta inspired by Cashmerette… Oooh the love….

 

Colette Sorbetto Tank

Proud braggy moment… I made my first ever top for myself on Saturday! Since I got my sewing machine almost 2 years ago now (and it’s been in storage or travelling for about 9 months of that time!!) I have only made items for my bub or gifts for other friends’ babies… with the exception of a long dress for a black tie wedding in October last year! (Simplicity 6223 with modifications!!).

I am getting ahead of myself though – the whole reason I’m able to make tops for myself is because I bought a printer last Thursday! Super exciting people! The (sewing) world is my oyster!!

Anyway, so I was up late reading some blogs Friday night and saw the various Colette Sorbetto tops made by Navybluethreads and thought it was a super cute and simple top – what a great one to start with. Even more ahhhh-mazing was discovering the pattern was a FREE – yes – FREE download on Colette Patterns website! Thank you Colette Patterns!

So while my husband worked on Saturday, I plopped the toddler in front of the Baby TV channel (great parenting there…), made myself a coffee and spent the next couple of hours creating the first ever top for myself! He also had a super long nap that day. Awesome.

The pattern was so simple to put together. After reading comments from others that had already made this top (yeh I’m a little late to the game..), I lengthened it about an inch, and after sewing front & back together, I also took the seams in at the bottom of the top as they flicked out a little too much for my taste.

I used a Valori Wells Cotton Voile that I ordered through Hawthorne Threads – the weight of this fabric is perfect & light for the hot weather here in Tbilisi at the moment.

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This was a really easy top to construct, the part that took the longest for me was making the bias binding to use for the arm and neck holes. As I don’t have a bias tape maker, I got a few steam burns on my thumb while ironing the strip of bias into binding. Ow. It would definately save a massive amount of time to use pre- bought bias binding (but I haven’t found any here…).
For my next one if I can’t find a bias tape maker (which I haven’t got a lot of hope for here..) I think I would just fold over the bias strip once and use it as a facing instead of bias binding.

top without bias binding

top without bias binding

urghhh making bias binding...

urghhh making bias binding… but love my pretty ironing board cover 🙂

I will have to make a couple of modifications to my next Sorbetto as the neck hole gapes out a little bit, it may also be because I didn’t do a stay stitch along the neckline ….

Such a cute top with so many possibilities though!

Apologies for the awful pictures (yes I’m sure I’ll say this everytime) as my husband has taken our camera to work so trying to take photos of myself in our walk in robe on an iphone. eek. You can tell I don’t do it much.

 

 

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Last night I purchased, downloaded and printed out the Colette Moneta dress pattern, so this morning I have assembled the pattern and cut out all of my pieces – Stay tuned for a super duper exciting blog post about it – please wish me luck that my teether cranky toddler will go to sleep at his actual bedtime tonight, not like last night.. and I really want to sew something more exciting than mending a hole in my hubbys work coveralls. (yep. Thats how I spent my morning. Fun.)

Why hello new printer! Hello Moneta dress!

Why hello new printer! Hello Moneta dress!