fabric wrapped presents // four

December 15th, 2014

You guys! This is the fourth year that we have wrapped our Christmas presents in fabric! I am SO excited! When i started doing this i really hoped that it would be something we could continue each year, and i’m just thrilled that it’s worked so well! In four years we haven’t bought any wrapping paper! YAY! Now if only i could reduce the amount of waste packaging in the presents themselves i would be a really happy girl (sigh).

If you’d like to try this yourself, click through for all the info, tips and tricks you’ll need to know!


Summer wardrobe staples

December 13th, 2014

My friends, summer is upon us in Australia and i couldn’t be happier about it! This winter has just been one illness or medical drama after another in our family, so i’m really looking forward to months of sun, warmth and healthy days ahead!

This year Cascade skirts and Briar crop tops are my wardrobe staples. With a nursing baby and two kids to run after this outfit is the perfect mix of style and convenience for me. I must admit, when i first designed the Briar pattern, i never foresaw that it would be such a great top for feeding a baby in. I like to keep to my own personal style during pregnancy and nursing, and make my wardrobe work around it as best as possible, so i’m definitely more than a little jazzed to find that one of my favourite designs is so perfect for me right now! Happy dance? of course.

Oh and! This skirt! So this Cascade is one of the first samples i made when i was designing the pattern. At first i wasn’t sure i would keep it for myself, because come on, you know how many Cascades i own, it’s kind of ridiculous. But I find myself reaching for this skirt so often that i’m really glad i did. How cool is the print? I am such a sucker for a cool print. Right now my next goal is to make a jersey knit Cascade skirt, because i’ve seen you guys making some cool ones and i want in on that action!

That’s all for today, hugs! xoxo

photography by Sabatomic

[make this look]

Top: Megan Nielsen Briar crop top // Get the pattern
Skirt: Megan Nielsen Cascade skirt // Get the pattern
Shoes: Swedish Hasbeens // Peep toe super high 

Bunny’s elephant quilt

December 9th, 2014

Quite some time ago, when my Bunny was only a toddler, i posted about her love for Elephants – and at 6 years old, Elephants are still her favourite. She has so many elephant toys that it’s somewhat ridiculous. But somehow, i find so much comfort in her steadfast love for elephants. Is that silly? Possibly, but i think it’s just so ingrained as part of her personality that i can’t imagine Bunny not loving elephants.

Anyway, i digress. Last year, my mother in law and sister in law paid a visit to Tessuti in Melbourne, and bought this gorgeous pink and white elephant fabric for Bunny. For the longest time i wasn’t sure what to do with it, because when you have a special fabric it’s kind of hard to cut into it without freaking out, am i right?!

Bunny kept asking me to make it into a blanket, but the amount i had wasn’t quite enough, which is when i realised using it in a quilt was a good solution. Her old one was way too small for her, so it made sense. She chose the fabrics aside from one which was part of my bedding set as a child, i’m nostalgic like that.

The back is just made up of lots of different green and pink fabrics, and the binding is all of the scraps sewn together. Though this is the 5th quilt i’ve posted, it was the third i made (i made it before my collection scrap quilts one and two) and i think it’s nice to look at it now and see that i’ve improved. Well at least i feel like i have hahaha

It’s an extra layer in winter, now summer is here it is her main blanket, and it’s always the centrepiece of any backyard picnic she sets up, or fort/cubby house she makes (almost every week heehe). I must admit, not many projects gets as much love as a quilt!!

how to measure yourself

December 6th, 2014

This is one of those things that seems really obvious when you’ve been sewing for a while, but is a question i get from beginners all of the time, so i figure its worth a mention!

When making yourself a garment there are a few basic measurements you’ll need, and it’s important to get them right:

BUST // The measurement around the fullest part of your bust. Ensure that the tape measure is level with the ground and flat, don’t pull too tightly and ensure that you are wearing the bra you will wear when your garment is completed. Keep in mind that the bra you wear can greatly impact not only your bust measurement but also the fit of your garment.

WAIST // Measure around the narrowest part of your midsection. Again ensure that the tape measure is level and flat, and please for goodness sake don’t “suck it in” you will not be doing yourself any favours. Breath normally and relax. Note that where your natural waist sits can be vary for different body shapes, but it is generally above your bellybutton.

HIP// This is different to your anatomical hip, when we talk about hip in garment making we are talking about the widest part of your lower body. This may be closer to being around your bottom, or upper thigh. As a trick try shifting the tape measure up and down a bit until you find your widest part.

These are the basics that you will find in size charts on sewing patterns, and are generally pretty easy to measure on your own. You may find that you sit in different sizes for each section, and that’s okay! Simply cut the size that is appropriate for each section and grade between them on the pattern. Personally i am a M bust, S waist and M hip, so i alter patterns accordingly cutting a M in the bust, grading down to a small in the waist and back out to a M in the hip.

UPPER BUST // I just want to mention upper bust quickly as there has been a lot of discussion about upper bust in sewing blogs, and personally, i think this measurement gets misused quite often. The upper bust is the measurement just above your bust, you take a tape measure around your back inline with your bust, then tilt it upwards around the front of your body so that it sits above your bust point. This measurement is useful for those who have large cup sizes, as most patterns are drafted for B or C cups. It simulates the measurement you would have if you had a small cup size. You would then use this measurement in place of the bust measurement, and then do a full bust adjustment on your pattern. Thus ensuring that the pattern fits appropriately across your shoulders. Unfortunately I see this measurement get misused all the time, and there is a trend of thought going around at the moment that you should use this measurement in place of your bust all the time. This is not true. Patterns are generally not drafted using the upper bust measurement – mine certainly are not – so if you use this measurement in place of bust when you don’t need to, you will always end up with garments that are too tight. So please be careful.

HEIGHT // Obviously you need to take height into consideration, though you’re probably never going to use your complete height in sewing. I am not particularly tall at 165cm /5’5″ so i always need to adjust hemlines on myself. My fit model is taller than me, and all my patterns are drafted for around a height of  172cm/5’8″, though in some patterns like the Virginia leggings i provide a tall height and petite height to cover those on either side of that spectrum. Keep in mind the height that patterns are drafted for, and adjust accordingly.

SKIRT LENGTH // This obviously isn’t really a body measurement per se, but i think it’s important to keep in mind your preferred skirt lengths so that you can easily adjust patterns and choose patterns appropriately. This is hard to measure alone, so either get some help, or measure a favourite skirt or dress hem, or stand in front of a mirror and hang your tap measure down until you reach your preferred length. Most pattern companies will provide finished garment measurements for their styles, and  you should pay attention to these. If you note the finished lengths and compare to your preferences before you begin sewing, you will never be surprised with how things turn out.

Id say these are the most basic measurements you should keep in mind when sewing – obviously if you get serious about your sewing you may want a more custom fit, in which case you can take as many minute measurements of every part of your body as you’d find useful hehehe

Did i miss anything? Any questions or thoughts to add?

Tutorial // How to lengthen a hem with lace

December 3rd, 2014

photography by Sabatomic

I’m not sure if you remember, but last year i posted about one of the first Tania culottes samples i made and how they were way way way too short. The only way i got away with wearing that sample was in winter with tights. Thats just sad. They needed to be fixed and i had a plan. Which i took a year to implement hehehehe.

My usual preferences for lengthening a too short skirt or dress are to let the hem out, or add a band of the same fabric or similar. Letting the hem out doesn’t work when your hem is only 1/4″ wide, and adding a band doesn’t work when there is a curve this steep, and a pattern to match, so i had to come up with a new plan. LACE!

I really love this solution because it adds a cool detail to the culottes, without them looking like they were repaired.  you know what i mean right?! Obviously they are still short, but those extra 2 inches mean that now they are wearable, and that’s a game changer.


Thanksgiving sale!

November 28th, 2014

Hey hey Thanksgiving sale time!

To say thank you for being such awesome friends/readers/customers/amazing gals please enjoy 20% off all PDF sewing patterns in store for the whole of this weekend! Just enter code “THANKFUL” at checkout!

I’ve also just listed a tonne of cool new fabric in store – including the most perfect jersey for basically allll of my stretch patterns.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone, and all my American friends please eat a pile of Turkey and Pumpkin Pie for me!!