About sewbusylizzy

Australian sewing blogger

Pipit Loungewear Set by Common Stitch

Loungewear… not something I’d ever think I’d sew but “Hello COVID–19 Lockdown” and it just seemed a fun thing to do to keep me busy… and use up stash fabric… and also housebound appropriate! When Common Stitch had a sale I couldn’t resist trying out this fun modern pattern.

I also challenged myself to only use buttons, bias tape etc from my stash. No store visits for extras – which is invariably accompanied by the usual accidental-to-good-to-leave-behind fabric purchases! Miracle!

Pipit Loungewear, Common Stitch, linen cotton

Pipit Loungewear, Common Stitch, linen cotton

Plus, I had been thinking about sewing myself some respectable PJs as I’m often away on running weekends… and let’s just say my nightwear and ‘lounging wear’ is less than epic.

Pipit Loungewear, Common Stitch, linen cotton

Pipit Loungewear, Common Stitch, linen cotton

I really adore my first linen/cotton blend set. The fabric has a lot more body and the sleeves are more dramatic and shorts bulkier but I still like them. The top has been good with jeans or open as a casual loose jacket. And I’ve worn the shorts to bed with a tshirt. I think this would also look great with a white tshirt or cami under the open topwith the shorts if I was ‘entertaining’ while wearing my loungewear LOL.

Pipit Loungewear, Common Stitch, linen cotton

Pipit Loungewear, Common Stitch, linen cotton

I added two buttonholes to the waistband and put a twill tape through (in addition to the elastic). I had sewed the elastic in a little loose (over estimating my lockdown consumption) which much harder to fix as the elastic is serged onto the waist, turned over and sewn down. Adding the twill tape made the waist a little firmer which is nice and also looks a bit smarter (see image below).

I also added a bias tape finish to the top’s neckline facing edge. I really love this simple finish and it looks so much nicer than an overlocked edge.

Naturally I decided I had so much fun sewing my linen set, I decided to stash dive and try a fabric with more drape – simply because it was a fun, easy project and I have a tendency to sew patterns multiple times.

Pipit Loungewear, Common Stitch, rayon twillThese are lovely and soft. The print reminds me on a Monet painting.

While I have worn my rayon twill Pipit set to bed (I was tired and could not be bothered to get changed!) the low neckline and very loose fit doesn’t make them ideal. However they are ideal cocktail-lounge-dwelling wear and also I’m not embarrassed to open the door… should anyone ever knock on it again!

Pipit Loungewear, Common Stitch, rayon twill

Check out those swishy sleeves

I added the bias tape finish to the top facing and hemline on this set. For the little bit of extra time, I can’t resist adding neat finishes.

There was a third set!

One of my friends admired my linen/cotton set so much, as a surprise I sewed her an identical set. I hardly ever sew for anyone, it stresses me out. I wrapped them up and left them on her doorstep as an Easter surprise. I think she liked them – we celebrated with ‘zoom drinks’ in our loungewear – the weird things we do in these strange times!

I added some fun Kylie and the Machine labels to her set – because they make me smile and I do think these funny little touches make a gift really memorable.

Pipit Loungewear

Adding twill tape to the waistband, bias tape finish to the facing edge and some labels helped make these feel a little more special.

Thoughts on the Pipit Loungewear Pattern

This is a relatively simple sewing project, it has lots of ease and no complex construction details. It went together easily and with some extra touches, you can make your loungewear set feel a little more ‘luxe’.

My neckline feels a little lower than the pattern samples indicate – however for its purpose, I don’t really mind.

Stay safe and well.

Pattern: Pipit Loungewear, Common Stitch.
Fabric: from my stash (cotton/linen and rayon twill from Spotlight at least 18 months ago and no longer available – sorry!)

Tales from the Remnant Bin – Sadie Slip, Olya Shirt and Rise Turtleneck

I had a week off work – and what can I say, I got productive!

This time I decided to challenge myself to sew from my seemingly endless stash (again) and also to sew an outfit using ‘remnant bin’ rescues.

For no particular reason… it just seemed like a good idea.

I was originally inspired by these two pieces I had found sitting alongside each other.

Rayon knit and khaki linen - looked so good together!

Rayon knit and khaki linen – looked so good together!

I had 1.6m of print rayon knit and 1.4m of khaki linen.

I played with several ideas for the top but eventually settled on the Rise Turtleneck by Papercut Patterns. I had this pattern in my stash, having made the Fall Turtleneck a couple of years ago.

There isn’t much to say about this! It’s an easy make, I cut and finished this in about 90 minutes – extra time spent on hems. I was between sizes and decided to make up the Small instead of the Extra Small. It’s a looser fit – but not baggy. I think I will add more of these basics to my wardrobe. Easy, comfortable and practical.

Rise Turtleneck by Papercut Patterns in a rayon knit

Rise Turtleneck by Papercut Patterns in a rayon knit

I was prevaricating between a loose pinafore style dress, trousers or a straighter pinafore style… and in the end I chose none of these options.

I almost made trousers… well I actually did make trousers – just not khaki ones! I whipped up a test pair in my last piece of cotton/linen (see my Pipit post) and decided while I didn’t hate the trousers, I would like them much less in a solid, prone-to-crinkle linen. And I didn’t think a fitted turtleneck would pair very well with front-pleat trousers and elastic in the back waist.

Testing trouser patterns

This was just a test with my leftover linen. Pull-on pants with front pleats and elastic back waist. Pattern from Kana’s Standard

I was SO tempted to put the fabric aside and move onto something else… however that’s not really the point of a challenge. The challenge is to finish.

I got up the next morning and pulled out my Tessuti Patterns, Sadie and Claudia. I umm-ed and ahh-ed and decided I would prefer the neckline of the Sadie with a turtleneck for autumn layering. This was a real squeeze on 1.4m of fabric – however as I am 5 foot 3-ish, I’ve shortened my Sadie pattern pieces considerably and it ‘just’ fit.

I’ve made this dress four times now! After my first version, I lengthened the facing pieces to be much longer – a similar length to the Ogden Cami by True Bias.

I discovered with my first version, that the neckline facing wanted to roll outwards a lot – despite understitching. I’ve also seem this on other Sadies and even saw someone at The Fabric Store wearing one with the facing stitched down from the outside – which probably helps but the visible stitching would annoy me. I’ve found by lengthening the facing, almost a half lining, the rolling is minimised. I still use the original facing pieces and just cut interfacing using these and apply the interfacing to the top of the facing pieces.

Sadie Slip Dress, Tessuti Patterns. Inner lining/facing

Sadie Slip Dress, Tessuti Patterns. Inner lining/facing

I added the optional back fisheye darts as the linen has much less drape than my versions in lightweight tencel denim and silk.

Sadie Slip Dress, Tessuti Patterns.

Very windy afternoon – sorry! There are fisheye darts in my back!

I left the hem raw. I will run a line of stitching around the edge to keep fraying slightly under control – however I love a bias frayed hem and in linen it adds some rustic charm.

Sadie Slip Dress, Tessuti Patterns.

A linen Sadie Slip Dress. Taken on a windy afternoon!

I’m surprised just how much I like this! An incredible simple, versatile sundress. Or slip under a shirt or jacket – or layered with a turtleneck. Will look great with a faded denim jacket and sneakers.

It’s been very warm for late autumn, today it as 28 degrees – so no photos with the turtleneck other than a garage selfie (currently dance studio and gym).

Sadie Slip Dress

garage selfie late in the evening

Sadie Slip Dress and a Rise Turtleneck

Sadie Slip Dress and a Rise Turtleneck – hoping this works for layering for autumn

And finally I pulled about ANOTHER piece of remnant bin yarn-dyed linen in mushroom pink and it also seemed to pair beautifully with the khaki linen (khaki is a fabulous neutral!) so decided to add it to the challenge…

I made myself a Paper Theory Olya Shirt. I needed determination to make this one happen!!

Firstly there was an epic pattern Tetris episode to fit it on the piece of linen I had chosen. I even photographed by leftover scraps because I was so proud of myself!

Fabric scraps after pattern tetris to make an Olya shirt

Fabric scraps after pattern tetris to make an Olya shirt

Then I realised when I went to attach the cuffs (late in construction)… I had only cut out one set. I felt like crying. I lay awake in bed, contemplating if having contrasting cuffs was cheating… and if I did that, should I add contrast collar band and button plackets… yes, I like to overthink things.

Whew - two pieces large enough for cuff pieces

Whew – two pieces large enough for cuff pieces

Fortunately I found two pieces and squeezed out two more cuffs pieces. Whew!

THEN I unpinned my collar bands to discover I was missing a chunk of fabric from one of the bands (the perils of block fusing and then cutting out on the fold!). There was definitely no.more.fabric to cut another band. Cue more overthinking…. and then I decided to just ‘patchwork’ a piece onto the collar band. Not ideal but it worked.

collar band - rescue patchwork

Agreed. The grainline of the piece is not ideal… however it was the only option.

This is a slightly more complex shirt in some ways – there are hidden pockets in the front seams and the front yoke extends into the sleeve. I highly recommend following along with the Paper Theory sewalong online for attaching the sleeve. There is a pivot point, which is a little tricky and then you need to figure out where to go next and where to stop. Hard to explain however the best advice I can offer you is to just slow down – or even walk away for a while if you are finding it perplexing. There is nothing to invites disaster more than exhaustion and frustration!

Olya Shirt, Paper Theory & Sadie Slip Dress, Tessuti Patterns

Olya Shirt, Paper Theory & Sadie Slip Dress, Tessuti Patterns

Olya Shirt, Paper Theory & Sadie Slip Dress, Tessuti Patterns

Olya Shirt – it is a very roomy shirt, boxy and airy.

Olya Shirt, Paper Theory & Sadie Slip Dress, Tessuti Patterns

Love these colours together!

I made this pattern up as a shirtdress last year. Sorry it hasn’t made it onto the blog… I left off the front pockets on this version. While I like the dress in itself, it feels like a massive pyjama shirt due to the colour/stripe and I’m not sure what to do with it. Maybe dye it… or wear it open as a duster coat. Or just put it aside for a while. I did that with my Flint Pants and now wear them regularly.

Olya Shirt dress

Olya Shirt dress

Anyway… I’m pretty pleased I hung in there and finished off these three remnant bins garments. Challenging myself to use a piece of fabric, find a suitable pattern from my stash and turn them into versatile wardrobe additions is a real win.

Fabric: 1.4m Rayon print knit, cost $3.80; 1.4m khaki premium linen suiting, cost $10.40, 1.5m dusky pink yarn dyed linen $10. Total cost $24.20

Patterns used: Rise turtleneck, Papercut Patterns; Sadie Slip Dress, Tessuti Patterns; and Olya Shirt, Paper Theory.

So there you have it. Three new wardrobe staples in 4 days. All unloved pieces from a remnant bin!

Banjo on the beach during COVID-19

I’ve had people asked me if I get embarrassed taking photos at the beach. Well this one is 9kms long, you are always excessively socially distanced on this one! Yes, that’s old Banjo who always made regular and popular appearances on this blog and Instagram. He will be 11 in August!

Barkcloth Sundress

Oh my goodness. It has been a while.

Style Arc Ariana Dress in Cloud Nine barkcloth from Minerva Fabrics Style Arc Ariana Dress in Cloud Nine barkcloth from Minerva Fabrics

Your kids get older and you think you will have more time.

False.

I have less time than ever before.

And I’m strangely thankful that Minerva Fabrics popped its head up and offered me some fabulous barkcloth as it made me put sewing back onto my schedule – I had to sew! I had planned a jacket with this fabric. However when the fabric arrived, I could not get ‘sundress’ out of my head and simply had to make a Style Arc Ariana Dress.

While the fabric was a little too heavy to cope with shirring, after changing the way to elasticise the back panel, my vision of a fun funky sundress became a reality!

Read more on the Minerva Blog about how this ‘shirred’ panel is a little different to other shirring.

My alterations to 'shirr' barkcloth My alterations to ‘shirr’ barkcloth

I totally forgot to publish this post – whoops. However I am delighted to confirm this dress is a firm favourite in my wardrobe and it was in heavy rotation this summer. Lots of people think it is from the popular Australian fashion brand, Gorman… however it’s a Lizzy Original.

Fabric: Cloud 9 Barkcloth, supplied by Minerva Fabrics, UK

Pattern: Ariana Dress, Style Arc.

A Summer Dress – Lisa Dress from Tessuti Patterns

Aka the Little Big DressLisa Dress, sewn by Sew Busy Lizzy

Old Banjo makes his blog return

This is one of those patterns that seems to have been floating about in my head forever. I loved it when I saw it but spent…. years… wondering if it would be too shapeless on me. It’s safe to say, I like to make well considered decisions!

The best way to figure this out is to try it. Thankfully Tessuti Patterns are mouth more affordable than many independent pattern companies so I threw caution to the wind, along with $12, printed off the A0 sheets at Officeworks and got sewing.

Lisa Dress, Tessuti Patterns, side view

Lisa Dress, Tessuti Patterns, side view

It’s debatable if this is flattering when I am standing still – but what is flattering anyway? It’s such a subjective concept. Garments that showcase our curves? I don’t think they always need to ‘nip in’ at the waist etc. I think we should all consider our clothes as how they sit on our bodies and how they move against and with us when worn. I believe this is where ‘sack dresses’ come into their own. When sewn in a lighter fabric with some drape, sack dresses hint at what lies beneath without clinging to curves. And as a result, loosely fitted, feminine dresses will always have a place in my wardrobe.

Lisa Dress, Tessuti Patterns

Lisa Dress, Tessuti Patterns

I topstitched all the seams – with the exception of the waist seam. I did topstitch it, decided to it looked odd and then unpicked it.

Likes

  • I like the cut of the armholes.
  • I like the neckline and the loose fit of the bodice.
  • The high-low bodice waistline is cute.
  • I like how Tessuti sew their pockets, it’s neat and also helps the pockets hang forwards, rather than flapping about.

Changes

I cut 4 inches off the length – it would be have far too long at the drafted length. For reference, I am 5 foot 4 or about 164cm tall.

I didn’t make any other modifications, however I would like to make this again and I would pinch out at least 1/2 inch in the bodice as the bust darts are crazy low.

Depending on my future fabric choice, I’d consider shortening the skirt again and adding a deeper ruffle to the hemline. Both Kylie & The Machine and Lisa of Tessuti Fabrics have done this.

Lisa Dress, Tessuti Patterns

Lisa Dress, Tessuti Patterns

Thoughts

It’s a loose summer dress. Perfect for those long steamy summer days. An added bonus is you will also have plenty of room for lunch!

Pattern: Lisa Dress, Tessuti Patterns

Fabric: Tencel denim, Spotlight Australia (from the bargain table, fabric cost $12)

Vintage McCalls 6587, the reversible wrap dress

With the crossover at the front. Vintage McCalls 6587, printed in 1979.

With the crossover at the front. Vintage McCalls 6587, printed in 1979. I vintaged my photos a little to match an old pattern envelope. Just for fun.

I’ve gotten myself back into a work-work-work rut. So in an effort to drag myself back to ‘me’, I’ve committed to sewing – or doing something sewing related – for at least 10 minutes a day. This is the first outcome of that little promise to myself.

It’s strange how some patterns seem to fall out of the sky and I think this one is ‘meant to be’. With a huge thank you to Kat of Seamstress Fabrics whose internet sleuthing uncovered some copies of this rare pattern creature. The pattern back describes it as a “turn-about wrap-sundress”.

McCalls 6587, printed in 1979

McCalls 6587, printed in 1979. Size: small

I sewed this up quickly with a fine stripe cotton I’ve had maturing in the fabric stash for years. I wasn’t sure it would work or fit… turns out that I think I’ve met a new best friend in this pattern.

With the crossover at the front, square back neckline. Vintage McCalls 6587, printed in 1979.

With the crossover at the front, square back neckline. Vintage McCalls 6587, printed in 1979.

I’ve sewn this in a woven – and I think you need to be careful not to choose a fabric with too much body as it does need a little bit of softness or drape as the lower bodice and skirt are gathered and then sewn together. The bodice has a soft blousing effect at the waistline.

With the crossover at the back. Vintage McCalls 6587, printed in 1979.

With the crossover at the back. Vintage McCalls 6587, printed in 1979. Hair everywhere – thank you sea breeze!

The skirt pattern pieces had been shortened by two inches – and I sewed it up with this alteration as I’m 5 foot 4 and I decided it was probably going to work.

I took up the straps 2 inches(!) to fix the very low armholes and bodice gaping.

I suspect the skirt has pocket extensions (based on the instructions) and these have been trimmed off the original pattern. I just inserted side pockets in the usual way. Seems to have worked.

Vintage McCalls 6587, printed in 1979.

You can see how the underarm and back gapes a little. I think you need to accept to achieve a reversible dress that unless it is in stretch, it’s going to be a roomier fit. Vintage McCalls 6587, printed in 1979.

There isn’t much to say about this except it’s really sweet and I love wearing it.

Vintage McCalls 6587, printed in 1979.

Vintage McCalls 6587, printed in 1979. Square neck.

And I think I need more…

That, my friends, is all.

With the crossover at the front. Vintage McCalls 6587, printed in 1979.

With the crossover at the front. Vintage McCalls 6587, printed in 1979.

Pattern: McCalls 6587, printed 1979
Fabric: Fine blue/white striped cotton, with a slight crinkle. I think I paid $3 a metre several years ago at Spotlight. It was an unlabelled fabric on a bargain table!

Also see: Tessuti blog

 

A Soft Trench – Jack Jacket by Ready To Sew

Jack Jacket, Ready to Sew, in red wine tencel twill from MaaiDesign

Jack Jacket, Ready to Sew, in red wine tencel twill from MaaiDesign

It’s been a while!

It’s not that I haven’t been sewing… but I haven’t been sewing as much and I’ve been working long hours.

Sometimes I think projects come along at just the right time and it’s “meant to be”.

Maaike from MaaiDesign approached me and asked if I was interested in guest blogging. I did hesitate as September until February are some of my busiest work months but sometimes having something to sew makes you take some time out.

I decided to sew something I hadn’t sewn before – and once I spied tencel twill in the online shop I knew exactly what I wanted to make – a soft trench coat! I chose ‘wine red’ as it is a classic colour that never seems to date and goes beautifully with black, beige, navy and denim.

Fortunately I had the days off work between Christmas and New Year – and when I wasn’t scrubbing my house tiles, I was sewing this jacket.

PATTERN
The Jack Jacket – Ready to Sew

I almost made Simplicity 8554. And then I settled on a Japanese pattern which I had traced and added seam allowances to… and then just as I was about to cut out the fabric (the pattern pieces were pinned to the twill!)… I suddenly recalled the Jack Jacket by Ready to Sew!

The Jack Jacket is a contemporary trench with some traditional features and some modern. It had a number of features that I thought would pair well with the tencel twill. It has some gathered design elements at the wrist, collar and waist which seemed a good match to the fabric’s drape and weight. Unlike the other two patterns I had considered, the Jack Jacket has lining which I think makes for a more durable garment.

It is described as “A classic coat crafted with contemporary details, the Jack Trench Coat is an essential layering option that will remain a timeless piece for years to come.
It features big curved lapels, a gathered collar and a self-tied waist. Jack has a loose and comfortable fit. It falls beautifully whether the jacket is tied or left casually open.” What the website doesn’t mention is that it has giant lined patch pockets and lining.

The Collar

A sweet gathered collar detail - just perfect in tencel twill!

A sweet collar detail – just perfect in this tencel twill!

Waist Tie

This fabric has a beautiful selvage and I was keen to use it somehow in the garment. I couldn’t find any cord, ribbon or leather that I liked for the jacket. So I made my own.

The wrist and collar cord were made by folding strips of the fabric in on itself and top stitching the edges. I deliberately cut out my pattern pieces to preserve approximately 2 inches of along the entire selvage for the waist tie.

Making use of the beautiful selvedge for my waist tie.

Making use of the beautiful selvedge for my waist tie.

I tightly knotted the cord ends to finish them.

Sleeve cuff details

Sleeve cuff details

The hem has perplexed me a little. I find it wants to droop a little. I think I may add a line of machine stitching at about 1.5 inches. While the hemline is interfaced, I think the drape of the twill is fighting gravity.

Ready to Sew's Jack Jacket in tencel twill from MaaiDesigns

Ready to Sew’s Jack Jacket in tencel twill from MaaiDesigns

Overall I found this pattern an absolutely joy to sew and I am very tempted to try some more from this designer. The lining has a pleat in the back and also at the hemline – and the lining has its own pattern pieces, no drafting or second guessing the lining pieces. I did find the instructions confusing for how to sew the lining at the sleeve ends. So I reverted to the instructions for the sewalong for the Minoro Jacket by Sewaholic.

The Lining

Ballerina lining fabric from Clear It, Melbourne

Ballerina lining fabric from Clear It, Melbourne

This was gifted to me by a beautiful sewing friend. I have not seen it online anywhere. It was from Clear It in Melbourne.

A back pleat and flap - more traditional trench design features

A back pleat and flap – more traditional trench design features, needs a good press here. I was excited mid construction!

I had such a hard time photographing this one! It was either terribly hot (we have had the hottest December and January on record here) and it’s also been extremely windy!

Pattern: Jack Jacket, Ready to Sew. I made size 36, my bust is 33in/83cm.
Fabric: Red wine tencel twill. Supplied by MaaiDesign – all thoughts and comments my own.

Casual at the beach as the sun goes down

Casual at the beach as the sun goes down

This post first appeared on www.sewbusylizzy.com

TUTU making again

Nothing much to say about this one.

I made another tutu! It seemed to drag on and on but I finished it eventually.

I just love the giant puffball stage of making these. They are a wrestle to sew but weirdly fun as they materialise under your sewing machine foot!

Tutu - netting plate sewn onto the stretch leotard.

Tutu – netting plate sewn onto the stretch leotard.

Wondering how that is transformed into a tutu plate? Steam and stitches my friends! My first tutu I used a tagging gun to hold the layers together. This time it felt too ‘fluffy’ so I opted to replace the tags with large tacking style stitches, resulting in a better looking plate. My tagging gun also died on the final round of tagging. It is still a bit wonky but I can probably straighten out that front crease with some more steam. I ran out of time before the eisteddfod!

It wasn’t quite what I envisaged but looked lovely on stage. The contrast of the burgundy, white and gold looked very elegant – and much more grown-up after her last pink, grey & silver tutu.

Zoe on stage in her latest tutu

Zoe on stage in her latest tutu, for a classical interpretation of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody.

Pattern: Dani Legge’s Stretch Tutu pattern, you can find her on facebook.
Supplies: Lycra from my local independent fabric store. White netting from Spotlight. Crystals from AliExpress. Gold lace trims from Aleemah’s Appliques and Trims. Tiara from local dancewear shop (I’ve accepted there is only so much I can make).

I wrote quite extensively about making a tutu a couple of years ago, you can read those here…. the workshop, embellishing & on stage.