Sew Sarah

adventures in dress-making

Month: March, 2014

Kielo by Named

It has been a little while since my last post and can provide a litany of various excuses including travel, work and the bloody Queensland humidity! In fairness, I have actually finished my stretch grey marl Laurel dress but it has been too hot and humid to even think about trying on. Once it cools down a little, I will make sure I post it.

However, in the meantime I wanted to share a new boutique pattern company find that Sophie at Circ du Bebe told me about over the weekend at a Brisbane Sewing High Tea at The Marriott organised by Busy Lizzie in Brizzy. Then Donna at Sew Independent wore a wonderful navy version which everyone cooed over. Hopefully people find this useful and I am not telling you all something you all already know!

Introducing (for those who aren’t familiar)….Named. The Finnish based company is run by two sisters and their creations embrace the simplicity and beauty Scandinavian design is so greatly known for.

My favourite is definitely the Kielo wrap dress which I bought last night and arrived instantly via PDF. I have no fabric so it definitely means a trip to East Coast Fabrics on the weekend (as I know they have plenty of stretch fabrics). I am thinking a very light weight jersey with a suitable drape, maybe in black or navy. Or red. Or even a grey marl……..Maybe all. It looks pretty easy to construct with one front bodice on the fold, two back pieces and then the two ties. At first glance, the instructions aren’t that great. For example, the suggestion on how to finish the neckline and armholes is ‘finish all edges’. But look, who am I to complain. I am terrible at following instructions. It does get me into trouble regularly but in this instance, puts me ahead!

I better cutting and pasting to get the pattern assembled in time for the weekend.

Has anybody else heard or tried Named patterns and want to share some sage advice with me?

Kuvassa: Heini Salonen


15 ways to change your favourite pattern

Sometimes a simple change such as adding a different neckline or skirt can revamp a TNT pattern. Sometimes I also find the fabric dictates what tweaks I make. I ran across this diagram on Pinterest over the weekend and think it is a really useful tool to have when planning the next project. I might try and find another one for different skirt options.

Please note that I have scoured the Internet and can’t find the original source but do know it has been reposted by many bloggers over the last few years.


Living dangerously, sewing stretch without an overlocker

I haven’t gotten through my projects this week due to work and a little bit of laziness. I had planned to get out of work on time last night and sneak in a few hours but ended up at the local pool. It was was of those lovely Brisbane evenings and I didn’t want to waste it.

Saturday morning was the next opportunity but the St Patrick’s Day parade called.

I finally got to my Colette Laurel at about 3pm. It was traced and cut earlier this week. Around an hour or so later, have just one sleeve, facing and hemming to do.

I am using quite a stable jersey I picked up in a charity shop in Toowoomba for about $2.

I really should be overlocking it but the overlocker needs a service. I should get this sorted but am in Melbourne this week and really want something a little warmer. I have Googled heaps of different ways to sew a stretch on a regular machine and decided to go one row basting-type stitch and one row regular straight stitch. In fairness, my saving grace is that the fabric is quite stable so don’t think I will run into too many problems (famous last words).

How does everyone else sew stretch sans overlocker?

I hope the dress turns out how I hoped. The last Laurel I made was too tight. Then I made this one a little bigger than I normally would wear as I wanted more of a lounge-sweater type dress. I think I have gone way overboard and even by taking in the side seams an extra few centimetres, it is a little on the roomy side. Oh well. I think it will be still wearable and it is really comfy so am thinking I might head over to Spotlight tomorrow and get some ponte to make another one.


Away from my machine but still thinking about it

I am away at beautiful Burleigh this weekend catching up with friends and family. The only problem is that I am having withdrawals. I am mid-project having cut out a night dress for my mother. I am now dying to get behind the machine and finish it off for her. It is
My first time sewing for someone else and first time sewing night wear. I am totally motivated to get this done as I saw an amazing white voile with fluro yellow spots in Spotlight last week. I want to make my own nightdress now! This pattern looks super easy. Given how light weight the fabric is, I think I will need to use French seams. The yoke / bodice is self lined of course so the finishing will just be on the side seams. Easy peasy.


This morning we are heading off to the Burleigh car boot sale so hoping we might find some hidden treasures!

More later 🙂 A poolside coffee calls me. My morning project is to source some inspiration for By Hand London’s newest pattern Flora. What are your thoughts? Please share!


Bunting for all seasons

I like the idea of bunting but always seems so much effort. For some reason I thought that using hessian (or for those who want to dress it up, burlap) would be less work. Um yeah. No. Bad call.

Not only did I ruin my pinking shears and the needle on my machine and get blisters from the shears, the hessian have me terrible hay fever and the short fibres covered everything. Then when I painted it, the fibres and paint matted to my fingers (like I had wattle and daubed my own fingers). Despite this apparent pain and suffering, I am really happy with it. It is about three metres long but hate heights so will need my other half to hang it for me.

I did have it in the house but think it will work better on our patio. More photos to come.


Crochet progress

This last week has been pretty crazy. It has left me with no energy and little brain capacity to open my sewing box at night, after work. That, coupled with a sore back, has made sewing anymore than ten minutes, very difficult. I have a pile of projects and a few busted zips that are piling up and hope that by next weekend I will be ready to sit behind the machine. This is very bad news for my wardrobe but good news for my blanket! In just two weeks, I have now got twenty squares! For you swift and experienced crochet whizzes, this may not seem much but for my clumsy fingers, I am pretty stoked.

You may have noticed a new addition. I have been humming and harring about what fourth colour to add to the mix for a week or so now. I ended up with a yellow. In still not sold on it, a more mustard based tone would have worked better but didn’t have a better option in the range at Spotlight. I will leave the yellow for the time being now and keep an eye out for any new colours they may release for Autumn or Winter.

Watch this space. Hopefully in another two weeks I will be half way through this project.