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

 

Deer & Doe Myosotis – grunge edition

This dress, the Deer & Doe Myositis, has been sewn and seen here, there and everywhere!

Deer & Doe Myosotis - back view

Deer & Doe Myosotis – back view

I admit when it was first released, while the loose fit and shirtwaist style appealed to me, the voluminous ruffles did not.

Myosotis Dress #D0029. Version A

Myosotis Dress #D0029. Version A

The Myosotis is described as: Oversize shirtdress with inseam pockets. Version A has sleeve ruffles and a tiered skirt, version B has plain sleeves and a gathered skirt.

Like many patterns, you might just need to see the right fabric for inspiration to hit.

When I spied this woven viscose at Pitt Trading, I knew I had my Myosotis! It’s more blue/grey in person, and I love the combination of delicate floral and tie dye. It’s understated pretty, you have to look for the detail. I wanted a fabric with plenty of drape so those ruffles swung gently rather than being an overwhelming feature. Interestingly, I sewed my much-loved and worn Deer & Doe Fumeterre skirt in the same fabric in a different colourway!

Jungle trail grey - Pitt Trading. A steal at $5 a metre!

Jungle trail grey – Pitt Trading. A steal at $5 a metre!

I embraced my inner ruffle beast and opted to sew Version A with the tiered skirt and sleeve ruffles. If you are going to do it – go all the way I say!

I cut the smallest size as I was mid way between size 34 – size 36 for my bust and waist. Given the ease, I choose the smaller size.

Deer & Doe Myosotis - back view

Deer & Doe Myosotis – back view

I added an inch to the skirt piece length and was very glad I did! For reference I am 5 foot 4 and it still finishes above my knee. I decided not to add length to the ruffle as I felt it might be too ‘long’ for a ruffle and left it as it was drafted.

I almost left the sleeve ruffles off but in this fabric and print, I actually like them!

Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress in a woven viscose.

Deer & Doe Myosotis Dress in a woven viscose. Sorry I didn’t notice my necklace was hanging out over my dress.

Gathering

Oh my goodness. There is a lot of gathering to do! If you loathe gathering, this may not be the dress pattern for you.

I decided to hem my ruffles before I gathered them and attached them to the skirt and the sleeves.

I also used three rows of gathering stitches as I find this provides the best results for even gathers and ease of sewing.

I use leftover bobbins and spools of thread for my gathering. I always remove my gathering stitcvhes and I find it is a good way to use up those small amounts of cotton that are insufficient for a larger project.

I use leftover bobbins and spools of thread for my gathering. I always remove my gathering stitches and I find it is a good way to use up those small amounts of cotton that are insufficient for a larger project.

I did experiment with gathering with fishing line (zig-zag stitch over fine fishing line as I do for tutu netting) but I don’t recommend it for lighter fabrics such as rayon and viscose. It makes the gathering much messier and harder to control. Never again!

Thoughts

There is a slight dragline from the neckline down towards my bust. I need to consult my fitting books and figure out if I need a forward shoulder adjustment, rounded back or some neckline fix or something else… it’s not terribly obvious but it is there if I look for it and Measure Twice, Cut Once found the same issue with her Myosotis.

I don’t think I have particularly large shoulders however to get this off, I pull it up over my bust and then wiggle it off over my shoulders, even with all the buttons undone. I’d be tempted to put a small zip in the side waist if I make another one to make it a little easier to get in and out of. It doesn’t seem to be a much discussed issue with the pattern, however perhaps my shoulders are proportionally larger than my bust/waist as I have found some RTW dresses difficult to take off for a similar reason.

There is no direction to sew ease stitches to put the sleeves in… so I didn’t and I found they went in first go with no puckers. Winning!

I was concerned this would be a little short and a little too ‘young’ in style for me. However I’m pleasantly surprised by how this has turned out.

I thought it might have a little too much ease and be unflattering… but it turns out I don’t mind how it looks after all.

I think this will be a favourite in my summer wardrobe. Casual, loose, cool to wear and in my favourite colour – what’s not to love!?

And if you are wondering… yes my hair is naturally curly.

Pattern: Deer & Doe Myosotis, size 34
Fabric: Jungle Trail Grey, Pitt Trading. Tempted by buy more…

See more: Instagram

Bonus Crazy Banjo shot!

Bonus crazy Banjo shot! It’s perhaps not the most figure flattering but it’s lovely nevertheless.

I often get asked if I get embarrassed having my photos taken at the beach and if I have to ask people to move out of the way. Actually no… we have lots of beaches where I live and you often have long stretches all to yourself. I’m usually at Nobby’s Beach or Lighthouse with my dogs. I run along the strip between Town Beach and Town Green – and beyond to Settlement Point further up the river. I’m very fortunate – you can see a snapshot of my town and beaches here. Yes, it’s really that pretty.