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Buying no clothes FOR A WHOLE YEAR! And my first make of 2018

Holy guacamole.  What have I done??!!



I have signed up for the 2018 Goodbye Valentino Ready to Wear Fast - which means I won't be buying any clothes (shoes, accessories and underwear are excepted) for The. Whole. Year.

I know that for lots of people this would be easy, but I don't churn out the makes like some.  With two small kids and a demanding job...this could be crazy!  Or it might be the best thing I have ever done.  Let's go with that :)

Meanwhile, the first make of 2018 is hot off the machine.  It's the StyleArc Billie Top (out of print but available still as a PDF). Unfortunately, I don't really like it.



It's sort of a muslin anyway, but the fabric is all wrong and as a result, it just looks a bit messy and not that flattering.  Frankly, I have looked at this fabric ever since I bought it and wondered why I purchased it - totally not my style at all!

I made this top because of Allison C's version(s) which she posted a bit over a year ago here:  htt…
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Top 5 - Goals for 2018!

A final post in the Top 5 series, playing along with Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow

The series is supposed to be 5 posts - hits, misses, highlights, reflections and goals.  I have skipped highlights and reflections - as this is mostly a sewing blog and they are likely to end up as very similar content to the hits and misses (Highlights:  sewing things which were hits because I wore them. Reflections:  sew more hits and fewer misses...you see what I mean!).

Goals, on the other hand, I can get on board with!  So here are my goals for 2018:

1.  Be more considered
This means many things for me - one is to slow down a bit but to actually sew more.  I think this looks something like:

Sticking to plans -I often get distracted by signing up for pattern testing (which I LOVE doing).  I need to be more disciplined and only sign up if the pattern will fit with my existing wardrobe, if I have fabric, if it fills a gap identified in my sewing plans already and so on.Searching for more TNT patter…

Top 5 - Misses of 2017 :(

Again, playing along with Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow to reflect on 2017.

I am happy to report I stuggled to list five misses, and there are also a couple of "we'll see" items.  Plus the misses seem to be down to fabric choice, rather than a fit issue or not liking the pattern.

So here we go:

1.  My photos

The photos I took (or rather my husband took) in 2017 were rubbish.  We don't have a good area in our new house with a nice clean background and good light.  Inside is took dark, outside is too cluttered.

A lot of the photos this year were super rushed or at stupid times like at night - getting pattern test feedback photos in but also working full time and having those deadlines just didn't work well for me.

I don't know how to easily fix this, but am going to try!

2.  Anna Dress (By Hand London)


Exhibit A for how crappy the photos have been this year...

I made this one for the first ever Sydney frocktails.  I hesitated to list it as a miss - the fabric …

Top 5 - Hits of 2017!

Joining in with Gillian at Crafting a Rainbow to post a couple of reflective posts for 2017.

2017 was a funny sewing year for me - I pretty much didn't blog at all, and what I made was mostly pattern tests.  I think that reflects what felt like the busiest year yet and am trying not to beat myself up about all the stuff I didn't make that I wanted to!

2018 is hopefully going to be more considered making, especially as I have signed up for the Goodbye Valentino RTW Fast!  No clothes shopping for me...argh!

Without further ado - here are the garments I think were my five "hits" of 2017:

1.  Reece Shift Dress (Sinclair Patterns)


I LOVE this dress.  I don't like wearing dresses but wear this to work all the time.  It makes me feel smart and professional (even though it needs a press in the second picture!) and is really well suited to the Sydney climate.

As someone who recently swore off making dresses to try and find myself a true TNT, I might sneak in another versi…

Bringing blogging back!

My last post was April 2016.  Oops!

Why have I not blogged for so long?  Because this is my 200th post!  Hurray for me :)   Except I got all overexcited by it, wanted to change the blog look and feel and then spent literally months waiting for husbandly assistance and lost impetus and interest.

*facepalm*

After writing a post for the Sewcialists blog I realised I was missing it a bit, so I changed the look and feel myself (#girlpower) and am back to sporadically blog about stuff I make.  Lucky you...

While I was away, I did not lose interest in sewing however.  To avoid boring you with old posts you will have seen on Instagram anyway, here is handy catch-up collage:



I am not the most prolific sewer, but that's a fair output in a year where we moved house and work got even busier.

There are a couple of stand outs in there for me:

Nick got lucky with a new raincoat (Burda 7780), a Thread Theory Fairfield shirt in a buffalo check and a new pair of jeans made from a RTW pair that he li…

Named Astrid Wrap Shorts - Pattern Test

I absolutely love the new collection from Named called Royals.  I was lucky to have the opportunity to test the Astrid Wrap Shorts, which is a two in one pattern of either shorts or full length wide legged pants.

Here are the versions on the Named site:


The pattern was clear and easy to follow.  The only tricky part was ensuring the place where the wrap starts is nice and neat.

I made my version out of some cream herringbone linen I bought in Tessuti Melbourne several years ago:

And here is the front:


back:


and side, where the tie is:


I love these shorts.  I am not sure the plain linen is the best fabric to use for visual impact, but they are super comfortable and a good weight for Sydney.

I did have a sizing issue in that they turned out quite a bit larger than expected, which means I need to pull the tie tighter and makes it look messy.  As this was a pattern test I would not take this as necessarily true of the released pattern, and I will confess that I haven't checked the fin…

Zircon Sweater / Dress - Paprika Patterns (pattern test)

I was very happy to pattern test the Zircon Sweater/Dress a while back (I never got around to blogging it after the release).  This pattern is super cool!  The distinctive yoke and side cut outs are pretty unique and a great excuse to experiment with colour blocking or different fabrics or textures.

I decided to make the sweater version in a weird synthetic mock fair isle fabric I got from fabric.com years ago and had never used. It's hard to see in the pictures but it has kind of little hearts on it.  I think it wasn't quite the right knit for this - the yoke lends itself to more stability than this fabric has.

I initially made the version with sleeves.

I should note up front that the sleeves have been redrafted to be slimmer since the tester version, which is a much cleaner look I think. I also hadn't hemmed this yet and one of the sleeves is shorter than the other (as I was going to make into a sleeveless version after testing).

I took the odd heart fabric and used the…