19 January 2014

Simple A-Line dress

Not exciting, but nice nonetheless! A simple, A-line, princess seam dress made in a gorgeous cotton/silk from Fabric Vision. The pattern is modified from the Burdastyle Book - I've made it before, just made it a high neck rather than a keyhole. Also added cap sleeves. It's fully lined too.

16 December 2013

Portside Travel Kit: part 1

I plan to make the whole Grainline Studio Portside Travel Set (especially the duffel bag) but thought I'd start with the 'dopp kit' for going on holiday next week (woohoo!). I was impressed with the pattern so far - clear instructions and pictures, and simple construction. And pretty happy with my little bag - couldn't go past the pink houndstooth!

20 September 2013

Panelled Skirt

Another Burdastyle 06-2011-121 skirt. I omitted the ruched front panel, and instead used a patterned overlay on the centre front and back panels, plus an exposed zipper. I finally learned how to do a proper split at the back! Perfect work skirt.

26 May 2013

Wedding dress

I used Vogue V1032 as a base for my dress because I really liked the design lines. I didn't want a massive train so I cut the back to be the same as the front. For the top bit, I drafted my own bodice part. That was then boned and sewn on to the waistband. I also drafted the top and the sleeves (just going off a few other patterns I had) to make an bodice top piece that was all joined. The back, instead of being open, I sewed on elastic loop tape and self fabric-covered buttons.

The fabric: satin backed crepe and lace from Grace & Lace in Christchurch. The colour is "oyster". I didn't want a white-white dress so that was perfect. I underlined the entire thing in silk organza to get some nice body to the main fabric. The lace was actually really strong and despite my fears, stayed together even around the arm and neck seams. The back of the bodice was also underlined to give it a bit of strength. The dress has clear bra straps sewed on under the lace to keep it up since it ended up being really heavy due to a {horrible} slippery lining I made the poor decision of using.

The whole thing was about four months in the making. I made a couple of muslins but ended up changing the dress as I went because I couldn't get the bodice right. After a few tries I was so close (about a week to go) to binning the entire thing and making a new one / buying one. But of course it ended up being pretty much perfect and I'm so happy and proud that I managed to make my wedding dress. Never again though!

FYI I made the bridesmaid dresses too. That was not the best experience. They ended up looking so good but I needed many a pep talk to get them finished. Having your two bridesmaids living in other countries and cities does not make for much fun. But hey, here we are!

PS. The veil is from circa 1920... it was my great-grandmother's, and my grandmother and my aunt both wore it to their weddings.. so special.

25 May 2013

Patchwork puzzle balls

A couple of puzzle balls I made for the birth of my twin niece and nephew last week. The pattern is from one of my favourite books ever - Last-minute Patchwork & Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson and the fabric is some Japanese printed cotton from Stitch in Christchurch. They're pretty simple to make and look so cute!

17 May 2013

Burdastyle blouse (and skirt)

Back on the horse after my 6 month long ordeal making my wedding dress (coming soon, I promise!)
My return to dressmaking was helped by two Global Fabrics birthday vouchers AND a brand new Janome Overlocker (thanks mum!)

Blouse: Burdastyle book. Great pattern - very comfy and stylish. Only mods were to take off a couple of centimentres down the side seams (pretty standard for me though). Probably could have done with making a size smaller, but all good. It's a very nice rayon with a perfect drape from Global Fabrics. It has a lapped zipper down one side, and a drawstring waist. I used cord with wooden beads to finish off the ends. Definitely will make this again, so good for work!

Skirt: Burdastyle 06-2011-121. Made last year but never blogged (boring work clothes!) Nicely designed ruched pencil skirt made from stretch cotton and fully lined. Bit of a nightmare trying to get the hips/waist to fit properly, but I got there in the end.

13 April 2013

Cake Toppers

This was so much fun! I bought blank cake toppers on Etsy, and painted them myself. So cute! Can't wait to see them on top of the cake (in 2 weeks!)

14 February 2013

Burdastyle book dress

Simple princess seamed dress with neckline flounce and button closure, centre back invisible zip and ruffled hem. Plain printed cotton, one layer, no lining. Nice to make something easy for a change.

05 February 2013

Lace peplum top

A family friend gifted me a big box of 1960s lace and other gorgeous fabrics. There was only a little of this aqua lace but I had to use it for something. I based it on Vogue 8815, everyone's favourite basic peplum top, but adding a cap sleeve, lowering the back, and adding an extra layer of peplum.

Vogue 8787

And I'm back! A long slog of wedding dress sewing and boring work clothes not worth posting has kept me busy... Anyway, Vogue 8787 is a lovely pattern, very easy to make up. The only adjustments I had to make were to let out the hips a tiny bit, as per usual. The fabric is a gorgeous 100% cotton from Global Fabrics, with a white acetate lining. Made a little fascinator to go with it, and ended up winning "Best Dressed Lady" at my work Cup Day event!

Wedding dress updates to come soon :-)

22 July 2012

Wedding dress inspiration

I'm getting married next April, and am going to make my dress. Elie Saab is my main inspiration. He is sooo amazing. At this point I'm thinking about long sleeves and beautiful lace... strapless just isn't my thing. I think I'll try and find a basic pattern to base it off, then draft it from there.

20 May 2012

Tiered dress

Burdastyle 5/2010 Tiered Mini Dress. Not a lot to say about this one. Blue cotton fabric, gingham bias binding, silk lining (bodice only), wooden buttons.

Striped jacket

BurdaStyle Asymetric Jacket 03/2012. Really simple jacket. I used a striped cotton, white open-ended zip and white buttons on the wrist. I didn't make any alterations to the pattern apart from not lining it - just used the facing around the neck. Nice pattern, easy to sew... 

Baby jinbei

Made this from a Japanese pattern for a baby gift. It's nani IRO double gauze in 'Little Letter', and it's beautiful to sew with. Super happy with the way it turned out.

06 May 2012

Kyoto shopping

So I went to Kyoto during Golden week, and found the most amazing fabric shop: ノムラテーラー (Nomura Tailor). 3 floors of gorgeous fabrics and notions, including an amazing range of Japanese cottons. I picked up a few things - striped cotton drill for this BurdaStyle jacket and some beautiful Nani Iro cotton to make my niece a baby jinbei (casual Japanese style clothing)... it's going to be sooo adorable!

24 March 2012

Ashley hat v2.0

A hat for my friend. Details on Ravelry here.

Kimono bag

Here's a little bag I made from a Japanese craft book. It's made from recycled kimono silk, the outside is hand-painted! I love the gold on it. It's lined with more silk, has a hand-stitched flower on the zip.


Sleep in + reading Murakami / Flowers from my ikebana sensei / Kyoto sakura chopsticks + sweets papers from Kyoto from my tea ceremony sensei / Coffee + coffee jelly + pumpkin cake from my friend's cafe

14 March 2012

Winter beanie

The longest knit everrrrrr, sock yarn and US#1 needles... ugh. But it turned out really nice so I can't complain, really. And now knitting anything else feels fantastically massive and easy! Details on my Ravelry page. 

A replacement beanie for one lost during a night at an izakaya :P 

04 March 2012

More Japanese packaging

Spring is coming and the packaging is super cute!

Spring Macaron

I made this Colette Patterns Macaron in December but couldn't really wear it until now. I didn't mean for it too look so similar to the pattern picture, but I happened to have the light blue cotton in my stash. As for the top part, it's actually silk from the inside of an old kimono, I assume hand-dyed. I love ombre! Anyway, it's a really nice pattern. I didn't make any changes to the pattern and am really happy with the way it turned out. It could possibly have done with a lining on the skirt but I didn't have anything at the time and it's not a deal breaker.

Close up of the silk

And in other news... SPRiNG!!!!

Hanami picnic in the plum forest

and MORE crafting

A little bag/purse for my friend's birthday, containing cute Japanese goodies. I bought a little pack with the fabric and instructions from the craft shop, and added a zip instead of the "magic card holder" they suggest.

29 February 2012


I've gotten way more into crafting in Japan, probably because I have less room and less equipment for sewing garments. Plus there are so many cute fabrics here. So here's what's been made lately:
A drawstring bag for my DSLR from this tutorial.

Using up my millions of colour scraps with some little coasters.

Using up more scraps and some felt with a needle book loosely based on this tutorial.