R2D2 in glittering gold


No it’s not subtle, but it is awesome! And better yet I got to embarrass my children in public at the midnight Rogue One premiere late last year. This skirt required 3.2 m of specialty print from Spotlight and no pattern. Pre-washing fabric is pretty much a belief system for me, but this time I didn’t because I wanted the crispness and body of the fabric just as it comes off the roll. The gaudy gold surface print also helps its stiffness but I think it will be droopier once it’s washed. I may or may not wear it again so I didn’t want to go to too much trouble with zips or buttons and decided on a simple half elasticated waist, of the sort you often find in children’s clothes (elastic at the back, flat waistband at the front). Because it was a last minute decision to make it at all, I sewed it the evening of the event I was wearing it to, so time was of the essence. I had cut it out the previous evening but started the actual sewing about 6pm.


Trying not to laugh at the cat antics
Wrestling with Miles tabby cat

I had cut four panels, the full width of the fabric x 75cm long, and a waistband long enough to fit over my hips (I cut the waistband the width of some nice wide elastic I had in the drawer). The plan was to have the front of the waistband sit flat, with elastic inserted into the back, so I needed the front section to fit my waist measurement and the rest of the waistbands’s length to be in the back – after I joined the waistband into a loop, I marked the front centre, and the two side points accordingly.

I might decide to sell the skirt on Ebay later so I did make sure it was finished nicely, and sewed the four skirt panels together with French seams. I then marked the skirt into four equal sections with the marks halfway between each of the seams, so that the seams would be offset from the centre lines. I gathered the skirt to the waistband, wrong side of skirt to right side of the inside of the waistband, matching the marks. Since the back part of the waistband would get pulled in further by elastic, the back gathering didn’t have to get pulled in as tight as the front gathering.

It was all going so smoothly up to this point that I thought it was going to be over and done with in two hours flat, but of course I managed to put the waistband upside down with poor R2D2 standing on his head! There was about an hour of sulking, trying to convince myself I didn’t care, and popping out for take-away chicken and chips, but I knew it would bug me if I didn’t fix it, so after some sustaining tastiest-chicken-and-chips-in-the-world from our local shop, I unpicked and regathered the right way up. The one thing I should have done and didn’t think of, was to interface the front part of the waistband. It sits ok but would have been better interfaced.

Once the skirt was gathered onto the waistband, I ironed under the seam allowance on the other edge, and turned the waistband to the outside. I pinned it in place, then stitched just the back section  from one side point to the other, stitching over the previous seamline very close to the folded edge. I threaded a piece of elastic through the back waistband and tried the skirt on, adjusting it to a comfy fit, then sewed vertically across the waistband at the side points to anchor the elastic. Finally I stitched the front section of the waistband in place, and did a twice folded small hem on the bottom of the skirt, meaning all seams are enclosed.


It was so much fun wearing this to the midnight screening. As I mentioned in my previous post I wore it with a black t-shirt, and a C-3PO brooch made from a lego mini-fig. There were heaps of people dressed in Star Wars cosplays – lots of Jedis and Vaders, some storm-troopers, a few Leias, plus many Star Wars t-shirts, quite a few amazing props like pilots’ helmets and cardboard ships, and a surprising number of space buns on both men and women. I wasn’t expecting to love this skirt so much, but I’m really pleased with it. So much so I think I might make another version in a more mainstream fabric. I did think I’d sell it after the one wear, but I’m finding the thought of parting with it is harder than I expected so maybe I’ll hang onto it and wear it to the next Star Wars premiere.

Rudolph the reindeer skirt




Yet another Christmas event – this time the work Christmas breakfast at which our exec cook breakfast and our CEO hands out the Kris Kringle presents. It’s one of the things I like about working right up til Christmas, the never ending work Christmas events. We’ve still got our social club lunch to come next week, so I might have to make something else for that.

I’m cheating, because I made this skirt for last year’s breakfast, when I was in what I’ll kindly call my blog hiatus phase, so it’s only fair to blog it today when I wore it again. Despite appearances to the contrary I did iron it. The oddness of the photos is due to a lack of children who haven’t taken the start of school holidays as their cue to become glued to screens, so you’re looking at my first attempts using the timer on my iPad. It seems to be keen on overexposed photos, low resolution and taking people unawares.

Rudolph is a wrap around skirt, made from the skirt part of McCalls 7119. The wrap isn’t as wrappish as it should be to avoid accidentally showing one’s undies but it’s not disastrous, I just put in a couple of modesty safety pins. I recall thinking last year that I’d be sure to lose a few inches before wearing it this year and that would fix it, but oddly that hasn’t happened! Considering this skirt was a spur of the moment fabric buy from the specials table at Spotlight, the night before I wanted to wear it, the sewing itself isn’t the highest quality but you can’t deny it’s fun.

But I don’t have anything to match…



This is some fabric I bought online a ridiculously long time ago, and have loved it too much to use it even though I reckon I’ve had it for a good 7 or 8 years! It’s rare to find beautiful thick stretch corduroy in a funky pattern like this, and I’ve been so enchanted by it I just couldn’t bring myself to sew it. Sometimes I think there’s more excitement in the possibility of making something – once it’s cut the endless possibilities are gone. Plus I was using the excuse that I didn’t have anything brown to go with it – no point sewing something then not being able to wear it straight away because nothing matches!

So… I made a plan.  I bought a brown top to match the fabric.  And a lovely brown pair of shoes. And some brown tights.  And finally I sewed my treasured fabric into a skirt. After all that waiting you’d think it would be a special skirt but the loud pattern demanded something simple.  It’s Ottobre from 2007. Lined with a lightweight cotton which I cut on the bias so it would move with the stretch of the corduroy. Typically, I was busy doing my own thing and stuffed up the zip/lining area, and ended up having to just sew straight around the top to attach the lining, so the zip is non functional. The fabric is very stretchy though, and my waist hip ratio is not as differentiated as the health promotion ads say it ought to be, so it really doesn’t matter, I can slide it on and off quite easy enough. I’m very pleased with this skirt and it’s very comfy to wear.  Best of all I still have quite a bit of fabric left so there are still possibilities after all.


Still life – sewing with cats

My weekend feels like it has mostly consisted of turning my back for ten seconds, then removing whichever cat moved in and  sat on whatever I was working on! Laura and I have both been sewing so there’s been double the fabric for the cats to make their own. Nothing is finished yet, so instead I bring you still life with cats. I particularly like the outraged look of ‘can’t you see I’m busy having a wash!’

Bright yellow summer days

I must say, I’m really pleased with this outfit, so bright and cool for work in summer! The shirt is a shirt dress I bought on sale and chopped off to turn into a shirt, and the skirt, which I sewed, is exactly how I had pictured a skirt to match. It’s Ottobre women 2007, in a medium weight waffle fabric with quite an open weave, which I bought from the furnishing section of Spotlight. The lining is just a cotton poplin, also from Spotlight. I just love the cute little patch pockets on this skirt. The pattern was a 42 – I measured up and cut what I thought was the right size but when I got to sewing it up I had to take in 10 cm worth of seam allowance so I’m not sure if that was because I’d misjudged how much I added for seam allowance, or because the fabric, although not stretchy, has a fair bit of give. I’d already sewn the back pockets on when I realised so they are a little closer together in the back than they are supposed to be. No one would notice but me though (and you now I’ve told you, oops). I interfaced both sides of the yoke panel which has given it a good weight to not fold over as lighter weight yokes can be inclined to do. I also fully lined the front pockets as I think that gives a better finish than trying to turn under a hem on the pocket curve at the bottom of the pocket.

I hate hats.


I really do hate making hats, yet for some reason I keep making them. As you can see this hat is made from the leftovers of the dress from a couple of posts back. The dress is a vintage pattern, an anomaly in vintage patterns in fact because they usually run small, but I made this 2 years ago and it was massively too big. I finished it off a few weeks ago by finally adding the straps and it is just right. The straps were supposed to be tie-at-the-shoulder, but wouldn’t stay up, so I have made them twice as long and ruched them over stiff elastic so as to make them stay on Milly’s shoulders.The fabric is lovely light voile and it makes a perfect summer outfit with little short leggings.

The skirt for me was a tiny size 6 ankle length denim skirt, which I picked up in an op shop for a couple of dollars. I have chopped off about half a metre from the top of it to make it knee length, and to make it fit non-size-6 me, then added a side zip and button. I didn’t have any fabric to match for the waist band but I won’t ever be wearing anything tucked into it so it doesn’t matter. I wore it to staff training today and regretted it because I had to keep my knees together all day LOL! Otherwise I am quite delighted with it.



I would say I am an on a roll, but it’s more like a manic obsession LOL.Here are some capri pants from Ottobre 3/2009 – black stretch denim with aqua top-stitching. I nearly had a conniption trying to do all the top-stitching, the thread was proper top-stitching thread and kept snapping, even though I had a nice thick needle and had loosened off the tension! Liam’s t-shirt was quickly run up while watching Doctor Who. It is Ottobre 1/2006. I think I have finally conquered getting a good finish on binding the neck of knits, this is pretty much perfect especially next to those chubby cheeks – aren’t they adorable!

The twirly skirt is a full circle, cut using the lines on my cardboard cutting board, with elastic threaded through an attached waistband, for which I actually needed to dredge up some maths and work out the length I needed using pi!!  The frill is about 3 times the circumference of the hem.