Sew Sarah

adventures in dress-making

Month: January, 2014

Second crochet milestone

Okay….so I don’t want to bore you all too much but I am pretty pleased with myself.

It started off badly. My second crochet workshop at Tangled Yarns wasn’t a great success. I struggled to get the rhythm of the granny square. Leaving defeated (and jealous of the other girls who mastered it so deftly), I practised and practised. Had a few G&Ts. Threw it across the room. Practised. Buried it under the cushions and practised. I experienced the ‘by George, I think I got it’ moment on day three. Now I must sought out my tension (in both the senses!). You can see in the photo below (green squares) that it all looks a little tight but, in fairness, it is much better than my first loosey-goosey attempt. I find the little patterns in each treble, each row, each corner and each square strangely comforting.

20140129-111104.jpg20140129-110627.jpgEver the optimist, I have bought my yarn already!! I will have this conquered in no time!

My sister-in-law is way ahead of me (the multi-coloured square on the right) and has already moved into her first project.

Slow and steady wins the race…..I hope!

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First crochet milestone

Whoot! Blood, sweat and a few tears but have my first granny square complete!! Moving onto my first G&T for the day to recover!


Crochet okay

I would say it is a little too premature to say that I have been bitten by the crochet bug but if my Pinterest account is anything to go by, the bite is not far off.

I decided to scratch this rapidly growing obsession and have just finished my first learn to crochet workshop at Tangled Yarns in Brisbane.

Okay, so my Pinterest captured projects are a little ambitious, as you can see by my first attempt (okay, the pale green yarn my fourth attempt and the darker yarn is after about four hours of practice in front of the TV this week). However, nothing wrong with a goal. So I think my first project (after a little bit of mastering) will be a granny square rug.Fotor012413008

The creation of each single granny square is manageable and if one looks terrible, I can unravel it or scrap it.

I spent two entire evenings did a little Googling for inspiration and Becky at Hopscotch Lane hit the mark (see credited photo below). I love Cath Kidston, I was a regular visitor to her store in Covent Garden when I lived in London.

I wonder how long something like this will take me?

Latest addition to my stash

Another addition to my stash. A Marc Jacobs fabric (says it was acetate) with velvet spots. It was $32 a metre at The Fabric Store. Lucky it was 30 per cent off. Only got myself a metre but it is 145cm wide so can easily scrounge a pencil skirt.

Will play over the long weekend here for Australia Day.

This photo just doesn’t do it justice though.


Opera coat inspiration and aspiration

Margot Robbie - JacketI should start this post off by admitting that I shouted shared with anybody who would listen a select group of people that I would never attempt another jacket, particularly one with welt pockets and bound button holes. I blamed (in some very blue language) poor fabric choice and bad instructions. The truth be told, I think it was all me. It was just beyond my current skill set.

I have been thinking about giving a jacket another go. Maybe something without the words ‘bound’ and ‘welt’. A little time has passed and I am not as bitter and traumatised.

I have been keeping an eye out for something but nothing has caught my attention…..well that is until I saw Margot Robbie at her latest film premiere. I have had this Stitch Spring Fling pattern from 2012 in my stash for ages. They have made it pretty dowdy and frumpy but I think with a little imagination and some great fabric, I can transform it from house coat to opera coat! If you squint a little, can you see it? I know Margot’s jacket is much more of an opera coat (fuller), but I am short and think it would swamp me. This version is a little more slim fitting and tailored.

I think if I made the following adjustments, it could just work for me:Spring Fling Coast

  • Shorten the sleeve to three quarters
  • I could widen the sleeve a little
  • Use a statement lining which can peek out from a folded cuff
  • Create more of a boat neck neckline
  • Don’t think I would need buttons
  • Use glitzy fabric suitable for evenings

Mmm….this is something to mull over. It definitely means some online shopping tonight to try source the right fabric (don’t tell my husband). After seeing this opera coat being sold by Troppo Bella on Esty, I feel the need to find some gold and black brocade.

I always get excited at the prospect of a new project. Do you?

Simplicity Spring 2014

Simplicity Spring 2014….what do you hold for me?

I must start this by saying I am always puzzled by the styling. I know I am certainly not the first to raise this but how do they manage to make things looks so dated, frumpy and unattractive. You really have to use your imagination sometimes. I find the best way to work out whether the pattern will work for you is to look at the line drawing and do bit of a Google search and find out if anybody else has made it. Does anybody else have any tips?

Simplicity 1458Now starting with Simplicity 1458….it is an Amazing Fit pattern and have tried a few of those recently. I have a larger bust, smaller waist, wider hips and I am short (one of the reasons I turned to dress making in the first instance). If you find yourself having to do some sort of bust adjustment, I really would recommend this range. Identifying which pattern pieces you need to trace can be a little confusing. The other thing to keep in mind is that it once you have found your size (they provide a really easy formula to calcuate this), do bear in mind that you still need to consider the ease. I often then need to drop down a size or two. Finally, if you are cutting into fabric which is in any way precious, make a toile (which I never do and has resulted in tears and tanties).

Anyway, back to the pattern. Everyone is now talking about the Little White Dress (just Google Daily Mail and Little White Dress) and this is an option that is pretty classy rather than trashy (well I think anyway).


Now, I am a sucker for a vintage pattern (or reproduction) but the styling on Simplicity 1459 is just…well….I am lost for words. It is all very….pink. Saying that, I will be interested to see how Version C (the green one) turns out. I think this would be cute in navy or red or something with a little nautical twist. I bet Dolly Clackett would be up for this….

Simplicity 14561465…right…another pencil skirt. Great. Just what I need. My TNT pencil skirt is By Hand London’s Charlotte Skirt (for those in Australia you can get it Sew Squirrel with free postage). It really is my go to pattern and can squeeze it out of a metre of fabric (with some persistance). However, I do really like the coral lace styling on this teamed with the chambray. For that reason, this is getting a thumbs up.

Will I be making a purchase….I am not sure. I might keep my eye out in blogland to see what people are making. Ever the fence sitter Sarah!