Wednesday 26 March 2014


Straight Lines and Angles: Rainbow Pennant Dress

SLAA Kitschy Coo

I'm participating in a really fun series today from If Only They Would Nap.  It's called 'Straight Lines and Angles' and the challenge is based on geometric-inspired design.

SLAA close

As soon as Jess asked me I signed up right away because having fun with shapes and lines is right up my alley.

SLAA jump

I started off with a basic a-line block, and slashed it back and forth diagonally (as well as vertically down centre front) to create panels.  In the smaller pennant-shaped panels I sewed in plain rainbow colours in descending order and in the larger polygons I sewed in stripes.  Right side polygons are horizontal and left side are vertical.

SLAA close 2

I wanted the panoply of intersecting seams to be as comfortable as possible to wear so there is a tonne of topstitching framing each piece.  So many thread changes.

SLAA back 2

The back was given a centre seam and I cut the stripes on the diagonal and mismatched it across the seam for visual interest.

SLAA side

And also because I had zero interest in trying to stripe match across the side seams, haha.

SLAA bands 2

Arm and neckbands were cut to emphasise the stripes and frame the whole thing.  In hindsight, I think I should've made the left sleeve striped to coordinate with the stripes on that side of the bodice.

Oh Maia

Playful, colourful, and a little bit crazy.  Being partial to a bit of crazy, Maia loves it too.

Thanks so much for thinking of such a cool concept and having me as part of the tour, Jess!  There is also an associated giveaway if you want to jump over after leaving a comment here so I know someone is reading.

Wednesday 19 March 2014


Perfect Pattern Parcel: Lady Skater / Ava Mashup into Wonder Woman Dress

Ava / Lady Skater mashup

You've probably seen people blogging about the inaugural Perfect Pattern Parcel everywhere over the last ten days!  The brainchild of Rachael from Imagine Gnats, Jill from Made with Moxie (as well as her techie husband Danny), Pattern Parcel collects together patterns from Independent Designers and makes them available as a bundle for two weeks only.

Not only does PPP aim to support indie designers, but a portion of the proceeds also goes to the charity Donors Choose, an amazing organization that matches up the needs of teachers and their students for specific projects with willing donors. The funds raised from each Pattern Parcel sale will go to help K-12 students in minimizing educational inequality and encourage a community where children have the tools and experiences necessary for an excellent education.   Not only does the buyer get to choose their own price for the bundle, but they also get to choose how that price is proportioned between designers / organisers / charity.  Neato, right?

Ava / Lady Skater mashup

I had such a hard time choosing which pattern to make!  Obviously I wanted to use knits (because I am nothing if not predictable) and although the Ava Dress / Top from Victory Patterns is supposed to be for wovens after I saw Adriana Crafterhours's knit Ava I knew I must do it.

Ava / Lady Skater mashup

And I must do it ridiculously.  Achievement unlocked.

Ava / Lady Skater mashup

So, a laundry list of the changes I made to the Ava to start.  Based on my measurements and finished garment measurements I started with a straight size 8.  I reduced the seam allowances from 5/8" to 3/8" because you couldn't pay me to use 5/8"s with knits.  After a first fitting, I removed an additional 1/2" to the shoulder height because of my petite upper body, increased the under bust darts by half an inch each, and removed 2" from each side seam in width at the bust tapering to nothing at the bottom edge.

Ava / Lady Skater mashup

I added a 3" waist band as I wanted it to hit less at empire height, and more at my natural waist.  To compensate for the extra travelling distance over the bust, I had to make a sway back adjustment to the back bodice of about an inch before attaching the waistband.  It still hangs a little bit lower to the back.

Ava / Lady Skater mashup

The original plan was to leave it sleeveless (as one of the pattern options) but all of my bras come up so very high under the arm that sleeveless garments are generally problematic and more hassle than they're worth to perfect.  So I also drafted sleeves, and banded them with yellow.  The neckline I dropped by 1.5" at centre front, and banded as well.

Ava / Lady Skater mashup

The Ava skirt is a similar shape to the Lady Skater skirt but it is panelled and I literally had a half a metre left of the blue stars.  So I used the Lady Skater skirt instead and narrowed the sweep until I could fit it in my tiny fabric piece.  I'm happy with the less full skirt as it makes it more casual and less costume-y.

Wonder Woman shoes

The real stars of this photoshoot (if really there is such a thing*) are of course my shoes!  If I wore my Wonder Woman bathing suit and this dress and my shoes, that'd be three full layers of dorkery.

Ava / Lady Skater mashup

For all the people who've been making fun of my interchangeable facial expressions, this is why.  I'm not angry, this is just my face.

So if you haven't already, head over to Perfect Pattern Parcel to get your bundle!  It's only available til Friday night (21 March).

*This is my first time using my tripod and remote outside.  The only thing more embarrassing than taking pictures of yourself in a Wonder Woman dress in your shared garden is taking pictures of yourself in your overcoat in a field overlooked by the entire estate before taking your tripod and camera home in a huff because you couldn't get it to focus.

Wednesday 12 March 2014


Introducing The Trifecta Top!

Trifecta Top line drawings

At very long last, the Trifecta Top is now available!  Named thusly because of the three neckline heights, three sleeve lengths, and three optional extras.  From the official description:
The Trifecta Top is a versatile wardrobe builder with loads of customisation options! There are three necklines (high scoop, low scoop, and scooped V-neck), three sleeve lengths with hem or band finishes (cap with hem or band, elbow length hem or band, long sleeve hem or band), and two shirt lengths (a hit-at-the-hip hem length and a marginally longer waistband length). Fitted through the bust, there is gentle side seam shaping through the high waist before skimming through the hips. Scrap hoarders will be delighted that there are also options for a tiny pocket, contrasting shoulder insets, and a centred triangle inset to showcase those small scraps you can’t bear to part with. With easy to sew raglan sleeves this top is a perfect introduction to sewing for yourself and testing the sewing-with-knits waters; a super fast sew and straightforward to fit. More experienced sewers will enjoy the myriad customisation options and more challenging insets and V-neck. Colour-block the sleeves and body for a sporty baseball style, utilise the inset neckline triangle for a retro sweatshirt look, or throw something fancy into the shoulder insets for dress up occasions! There are eight sizes included in the pattern, ranging from a 30” to 44” high bust, and a 24” to 38” high waist.
Here is but a few of the ones I've made through the testing process...

Amanda Trifecta Collage
Not pictured: Another six

One of these things is not like the other, amirite? Remember that time on Facebook I said using my new tripod and remote to take pictures inside would be a game-changer?  Unless that game is called Grainy Pics, it hasn't changed at all.  Lucky for me my friend Clare was free to take some pictures in the garden this morning.

TrifectaTester Collage

Speaking of pics, how about them testers?!  As per usual, best in the world.  Additional mega-props to Susan from Crafterhours for her nifty digitisation and general awesomeness.

So without further ado, you can get The Trifecta Top here!  From now until Sunday at midnight you can save 20% on two or more patterns using TRIFECTA at checkout.  I've just changed the listing for the Reversible Zippy Hoodie to include all sizes from 18m to 8y as well.

Friday 7 March 2014


The Small Fry Skinny (Creeper) Jeans


I'm really excited to partake in Titchy Thread's Small Fry Skinny Jeans Tour today!  Laura is a pattern maestro; jeans are nothing to sniff at and this pattern is not only impeccably drafted but also comprehensively explained.  The finishing cuts no corners and the result is identical better to the best store-bought jeans.

SFSJ interior

Check out that gorgeous interior!  So neat.  This was only my second fly and it went together beautifully.  Although the pattern is challenging, Laura walks you through everything in a very accessible way.  I learned lots of things, from how to flat fell seams (a first time for me) to using topstitching thread (also first time), to how it's possible to burn your hand by putting it under the ironing board while pressing the bejesus out of your pockets.

pocket detail SFSJ

Let's talk about those pockets!  I thought it would be fun to give them a Minecraft Creeper vibe using different squares of green.  I attempted Lino stamping for the first time but it came out a bit patchy and uneven so I ended up painting over the squares.

SFSJ fly

The topstitching thread I used was a light fluoro green to tie in with the green from the pockets.  I even bought a proper jeans button to smash with a hammer (therapeutic with the week I've had).

SFSJ side

I'm in love with all the professional details.

SFSJ full outfit

Neither of my kids will normally countenance wearing woven trousers so I salute Laura for drafting jeans that passed the rigorous comfort / wearability test.  I made a straight 8 with no mods for this beanpole, and the fit is perfect.

There are so many awesome jeans being posted in the tour.  If you want to snag a copy of the pattern, Laura is offering a 20% off discount using the code TOUR20.