Monday, 7 March 2016

Sewing Catch-Up - February Makes

Ok, so I have been in part "a bit slack" and in part "a bit exhausted" to write a blog post (let alone sew for that matter!) since returning to work 3 weeks ago and working 5 days again for the first time in 8 years too!

But I thought I would quickly share a couple of projects I have recently finished and have been very much enjoying wearing or using!

Project #1 - Noodlehead Runaround Bag

The first is the above Noodlehead Runaround Bag, made with Cotton & Steel fabric. I purchased this kit from Craftsy. The kit comes with the Noodlehead pattern and the Cotton & Steel fabric. I had to purchase the bias tape, zip, thread and magnetic closure.

Not only did I really enjoy making this bag, but it is a great bag to use as well. I find the length of the handle just perfect.

This was the first zipper I have installed too and it was a lot of fun to install. Although the pattern said to purchase an 8" zipper, but you only cut an 7" opening? I luckily had a 7" zip in my stash and it happened to be the perfect colour.

This was my first time working with Cotton & Steel fabric and it won't be my last! It is really a quality fabric and the colours are sensational.

I did all the options on this bag and inserted a magnetic closure (which if omitted makes the bag reversible) and I did a zip pocket and a standard interior pocket but sewn into two pockets as the patterns suggests also.

I have had a lot of comments about this bag, including enquiries as to if I would make and sell bags, so I think this bag qualifies as a success! I know I love it and will be careful not to leave the lids off any pens in it as I would be devastated if it was ruined! I think there will be more of this bag in my future :)

Project #2 - Simplicity 1884 Blouse

Another favourite completed project in February was a colourful sleeveless blouse I made with Simplicity 1884 pattern. I chose not to attach the sash/tie at the neckline, as I thought with the fabric I chose it might be a bit too busy.

The fabric is a rayon fabric purchased from Spotlight, it was perfect for this project. I have really enjoyed wearing it, it is light and works great under a cardigan in the office. Plus it frames nicely a simple necklace. I wear it either tucked in or belted with a skirt. I would prefer it were a couple of inches longer to wear untucked with pants.

It was a simple project to make, but I am not sure I would have been as confident in making it if I had not made previous projects with detailed instructions.

I have bookmarked more of my fabric stash for this pattern and I want to make the kimono jacket for this Simplicity pattern too.

Project #3 - Make it Perfect Coastal Breeze (with painted fabric)

I think I first came across this pattern on pinterest and I was thrilled to see it was made by an Aussie designer Make it Perfect. The Coastal Breeze dress is described as the dress that feels like a t-shirt…. I am not sure it does feel like a t-shirt but I am in love with this dress…... 

I bought the "Army Green" fabric online with this sewing pattern in mind, but wasn't feeling that inspired upon receiving the fabric in the mail.

But then I saw the "Printing Polka Dots on Knits" article in a back issue of Seamwork magazine and I got inspired……

 I couldn't find the screen printing paint the article recommended but I did manage to find some fabric paint online that would do the job. I bought a few colour to play with: gold, black, white and buttermilk. I ended up just using the black for this project.

I played around with a few patterns before abandoning the polka dot idea in favour of a stencil I purchased on impulse when buying the fabric paint.

The stencil worked beautifully and created a lovely even finish, so even you couldn't pick where the stencil had to be overlaid.

The Coastal Breeze instructions suggest using a contrasting fabric for the waistband and I was otherwise thinking of using black, but I think the painted finish worked even better. After painting the waistband and testing it with an iron I decided to add a more detail to the neckband and painted that too….It had nothing to do with the fact that I really enjoyed painting the fabric ;)

In regard to the construction of the  garment I really love the waistband. It is such a great way to create interest but also attach a skirt to a bodice and an alternative to elastic. 

The Coastal Breeze is designed to have pleats at the front and back. I did this as instructed, but having googled some images I see that other have just used gathers. I found the pleats very "tummy friendly" at the font, in combination with the empire waistline, but they don't look as great on me at the "rear". So I think I will try a combination of pleats (front) and gathers (back) next time.
I also find the length a little shorter than I'd like so I have been wearing it with leggings underneath. I think I will aim for a below/on the knee next time. I would also like to experiment with a possible alternate bodice, just to mix things up.

In regard to the fabric painting….I'm sold. If the right project comes up again I would definitely consider painting a plain fabric with some decorative detail again. I have worn and washed my dress a couple of times already and it still looks like it did when freshly painted (see pic above).

Well I have a few more sewing projects planned for March which I look forward to sharing soon!

Thanks for reading,



  1. Hello!

    I saw your comment for "Sprout Review: Two Myrtles" on the Colette Blog. I just thought I'd let you know that Sprout now offers free shipping for orders over $100! So you no longer have to worry about a high cost of shipping to Australia. :) Hope you enjoy this new info.


    1. Thank you Alyssa - I was dreaming on the sprout website the other day and thought I had seen that, thank you for confirming it. It is so hard to drool over the lovely things available OS but not be able to afford the shipping. Hooray for Sprout Patterns!!