My Little Red Carlisle Cardigan

Carlisle Cardigan
❤️ my poppy red cardi

My latest project was so far out of my comfort zone that I needed the help of my Mum. I have never tried to knit or had any interest in knitting until I stumbled across a knitted crew neck sweater by Abolajiooo on Instagram. If you are not following this talented and creative lady yet I strongly suggest taking a look at her feed. She is probably my favourite maker to follow on Instagram at the moment.

I was so blown away by her knit that I wanted to give this knitting gig a go. My Mum, who can knit, was coming to visit and I decided to take full advantage of her skills to get me started and on the right track. One thing I have always had in common with my Mum is our desire to create garments. I absolutely love that she is still passing maker skills down to me as we both grow older.

Following on Abolajiooo’s lead I purchased a e-pattern book by Good Night, Day from Ravelry with the intention to make the Strathcona Sweater but feel in love with the Carlisle Cardigan. I have used a 100% Acylic Moda Vera Monkey yarn in the colour Red. This was purchased from my local Spotlight Store.

Good Night, Day
e-books rule!

I can multi task while sewing but I certainly can’t multi task while knitting. It requires my full attention. If my mind wanders for just one second, I’m wrapping yarn around the needles the wrong way and knitting when I should be purling. Luckily I had the watchful eye of my Mum to find the mistakes and fix them before it was too late.

Carlisle Cardigan
What mistakes 🙈

Then she had to go home and hence the big mistake down CF on one side where I somehow acquired additional stitches. By the time I got to constructing the sleeves I was able to identify a knit stitch and purl stitch and pick up mistakes before I got too far along to correct them. There are definitely tension issues in my cardi but overall I’m pretty stocked with the finished product.

Carlisle Cardigan
Oh so comfy!

We are still in the middle of winter here in Australia so my new cardi won’t be getting any wear time soon. On the upside it is ready to go as soon as the weather does get cooler. I love the way this cardi can be styled with anything from jeans to dresses. It is truely a versatile wardrobe piece.


Next on my knitting pile will be the Kingstone Sweater…….

Lavender I love you 💜

I am a massive lover of fashion. Fashion is my passion, career and hobby. One thought that lingers in the back of my fashion choices these days is; is the garment age appropriate. As I move into my mid forties I wonder how my style will evolve as I move into my fifties. I can’t quite comprehend yet that my next mile stone birthday will be my fiftieth. In the meantime I’m going to embrace what is left of my forties and wear what makes me feel good and what is a reflection of my own personal style regardless of age.

Montavilla Muumuu
Styling for the cooler weather

Over the past few months lavender has been showing up a lot in my fashion related research. I was beyond excited when I found this beautiful lavender print at The Fabric Store Brisbane. I’m not sure if this fabric is available through their main online store but the Brisbane Store do have a mail order service if you contact them directly.

I was searching for a print to make the Montavilla Muumuu by Sew House Seven when I stumbled across this polyester crepe and new it was a match made in heaven. I adore the drape a hand feel of a crepe and it is a relatively stable fabric to sew.

Montavilla Muumuu

Given the loose fit of this pattern I decided not to make a toile. I have also previously made the Burnside Bibs by Sew House Seven and know their patterns are a good fit to my body. I made the size 6 and could not be happier with the fit.

Montavilla Muumuu
Summer styling

I sewed the hem on the sleeves as instructed earlier on in the making process in preference to the end. I am slightly obsessed with pockets at the moment and love the oversized pocket detail on this dress. The pattern was notched well and the instructions very clear to follow. I would consider this make a relatively easy make when made in a stable fabric. The degree of difficulty does rise slightly when made in a more fluid fabric like my choice.

Montavilla Muumuu
Great oversized pocket detail.

I love that you can style this dress with a leather belt, ankle boots and a cardigan in the cooler months. It looks equally as nice in the warmer months with slides and the self fabric belt. This dress is going to be super versatile and is a great trans seasonal piece to add to my wardrobe.

Montavilla Muumuu

My garment would not be complete without the “one of a kind” woven label by Kylie And The Machine. I absolutely love this dress and too be honest don’t think these images do this dress justice. I am looking forward to re shooting it somewhere in the great outdoors in the near future.

Montavilla Muumuu
One Of A Kind woven label.
Montavilla Muumuu
Basking in the sun 🌞

Mimi G’s Jessica Dress.

I have always found english, grammar, writing and spelling quite difficult.  So writing a blog is a completely daunting task for me.  However, I also recognize that the only way to get better at something is to practice.  So here I am facing my fear of writing.

Jessica Dress

My latest make is the Jessica Dress by the inspirational Mimi G.  I stumbled across her story in Gary Vee’s Crushing It.  From reading this book and exploring Mimi G’s story further, I discovered a whole community of home sewers and pattern makers that I didn’t even realise existed.

My Mumma taught me sew when I was 12 years old.  She is an amazing sewer and spent many hours honing my sewing skills.  Sewing and pattern making became my career but I gave it up over 3 years ago to work full time with a fashion brand that manufactures off shore.  I still work with garments daily but no longer physically pattern make or sew garments.

Jessica Dress

Stumbling across the online sewing community re ignited my want to get hands on again with pattern making and sewing.  The only difference these days is I sew only for myself and not for money.  I pattern make and sew because I want to and not because I have to.

Over the last 2 months I have been sewing various Indie Patterns and this week I wanted to sew a pattern created by the lady who got me back on this creating train.  The Jessica Dress is a button through dress with a fitted bodice and gathered skirt.  The button through trend is so strong right now and there is room in my wardrobe for a dress that speaks to this trend.

Jessica Dress
Style with a denim jacket

I did make a calico toile of this design given it was a fitted bodice.  The size S dress was almost the perfect fit for me.  I did a small adjustment to the top edge of the side bodice so it would hug nice and close to my body.  I prefer to make an adjustment through the side bodice than taking the bodice in at the side seam.  I find you get a better fit over the bust instead of pulling into the side seam.  I added more shaping to the sweetheart neckline to open it up slightly, shortened the shoulder straps and added pockets into the side seams instead of the patch pockets.  I also took the button placket through the skirt and bodice and fully lined the bodice given the light weight nature of my fabric choice.  I still fused the top edges of the lining for stability.  If I make this dress again I would make the straps adjustable.

Jessica Dress

My Jessica dress was made from a 100% Rayon printed stripe from Spotlight Stores.  I was lucky enough to purchase it at 40% off so this dress has been a great value make.  Especially because the pattern was also only US$5. The stripes did make cutting and sewing a little tricky and I did replace a few of the bodice panels to ensure the stripe worked well on the bodice.

Jessica Dress
Style with sandals

Overall the Jessica dress is a great pattern to sew.  The instructions are easily understood and the pattern itself is not a complex sew.  My tip again would be to use your machine to sew on all those buttons.  Pair the Jessica dress with a denim jacket in the cooler weather.  You could even layer over a white Tee.  Style with some sneakers or sandals.  As always I have finished my dress off with a woven label by Kylie And The Machine.  I can’t wait to wear my Jessica dress to work tomorrow.

Jessica Dress
“One Of A Kind” woven label

Twirling my way into a new work week…

I love making clothes that instantly lift my mood when I wear them. The Wattle Skirt by Megan Nielsen is one of those pieces. As soon as I put in on all I wanted to do was dance, spin and twirl.

Wattle Skirt

This was my first time sewing a Megan Nielsen pattern and I was not disappointed. The pattern was well notched and the instructions clear to understand and follow.

This skirt is another one of those great mid week makes. The total cut and sew time for me was about 2 hours.

For this skirt I chose a yarn dye linen / cotton check from The Fabric Store. I am slightly obsessed with checks at the moment so it seemed like the perfect choice. However, it did take a little work lining up the checks at center front and back. I was worried about the finished look of how the checks crossed over but I think there is enough fullness in the skirt for it not to be offensive.

After reviewing the fit measurements on the pattern I decided not to make a toile as I was a perfect size 8 in relation to the measurements provided. Also given the shape of the skirt I knew I could easily take it in if it happened to be a little big.

This pattern is a great option for the beginner sewer. It is simple to make but has visual impact when worn. Entry into the skirt is via the button tab at the waist into the pocket. I chose metal buttons so they became a feature of the skirt. Side slant pockets also give the skirt an effortlessly cool finishing touch.

I felt extremely feminine wearing this skirt and it can be worn back with multiple tops in my wardrobe. On this occasion I have styled with a recent purchase from Zara TRF collection. My sneakers where kicked to the curb for this make to make way for a slightly more girly shoe.

I will definitely re make this skirt at some point in a soft and floaty ditsy print.

My love affair with the Jumpsuit 💙

When I reflect on the trends that have caught my eye in 2018 a few things come to mind. These include the following:

  1. Linen
  2. Button through
  3. Jumpsuits
  4. Bias cut skirts
  5. Silks & satins

The above trends have influenced my return to sewing in November this year with Linen being my textile of choice. In particular the mid weight linens available through The Fabric Store. Their colour choices are outstanding and their customer service is second to none.

For my final make of 2018 I decided to do a hack of the Yari Jumpsuit by True Bias. I wanted to give the jumpsuit a slight utilitarian look that is so on trend at the moment. I started with the sleeveless version of the pattern and added 4cm through the waist, a 3cm wide belt channel and 2cm self fabric waist tie. I widened the leg slightly and added a 15cm side split at the hem.

Yari Jumpsuit
Side seam split

The front and back panel lines, neck and front placket have been finished with twin needle top stitching for added detail. To give the garment it’s final finished look I have used the “one of a kind” woven label by Kylie And The Machine.

Chambray Jumpsuit
Top stitching detail

I managed to squeeze in a trip to The Fabric Store in Brisbane a week ago and for this make selected the 100% cotton chambray fabrication. It is a light to mid weight chambray that drapes well on the body. After a few more softening washes in the machine it will be the perfect jumpsuit.

Yari Jumpsuit
Style with your favourite tee

The number of jumpsuits in my wardrobe has significantly increased this year. They are such a wardrobe warrior and can be worn in every season in my home city, Gold Coast, Australia. Add a T shirt to change up the look for spring or wear with an oversized jacket in the cooler months. As always style with your favourite kicks for that cool and casual look.

Winter look
Style with an oversized jacket in the cooler months

That’s a wrap for 2018. I absolutely can not wait to share more makes with this fabulous maker community in 2019. It brings so much joy to my heart that patterning, sewing and making is alive and vibrant at this time.

Merry Christmas makers and shakers 💃

I couldn’t resist a remake of my Fiona Sundress by Closet Case Patterns for Christmas Day this year. Linen button through dresses are so current right now and this dress ticks all the boxes for a very fashionable make. The Fabric Store absolutely spoils us for choice when it comes to linen. I chose the mid weight Vintage Brick Red from their on line store but could make this dress again and again in every colour of the rainbow. Finished of with faux tortoises shell buttons from Spotlight Stores, I love the look and fit of this dress.

Fiona Sundress
My Christmas dress for 2018.

There is so much to think about when selecting your attire for Christmas lunch. You want a dress that is flattering to your body type but also allows room to fill your belly with all that yummy Christmas food. This dress was the perfect selection for me. Having spent time refining the fit on my first make, this dress has just the right amount of room to be comfortable even after an over indulging lunch.

We love our Converse
Converse shoes all round 👟

This is one of those makes that I strongly advise making a toile and spend the time to get the fit right. If you do this you will have a pattern for life. For those of you that missed my first blog post on the Fiona Sundress I had to take the waist in quite a bit, add to the bust through the front bodice panel lines and add into the hip. I added two darts into the back skirt and two small darts into the front skirt that are hidden by the pockets. This enable me to achieve the shaping I needed into the waist.

My sewing tip for this dress is to use your sewing machine to sew all the buttons on. You will save so much time. You can sew buttons on using you machine by removing the foot, changing to zig zag and reduce the stitch length to zero. Hand wind your machine for the first two stitches to ensure you have your stitch width correct and then use the pedal. I do six zig zag stitches per button, pull one front thread through to the back of the button, tie off with the two back threads and cut the threads. It’s sew easy. Just make sure your fingers are out of the way!

Quick & Easy Evie Bias Skirt | Tessuti Fabrics

This is the quickest and easiest make I’ve made since my return to sewing. Bias skirts are everywhere right now so I decided to add one to my me made wardrobe. The Evie Bias Skirt fit the bill perfectly and I have been eager to use one of Tessuti Fabrics patterns since I read a blog post on their pattern style. Their patterns are hand drafted and hand graded. I absolutely love the authenticity of this and also agree you get shaping that is difficult to achieve using CAD technology. Not only are the patterns hand graded but the instructions are beautifully typed and photographed.

Evie Bias Skirt

I may have messed up slightly on my fabric choice for this make. Although I love the abstract spot print and colours the fabric weight and drape is not 100% suited to this style. As a result, I did take the skirt in slightly as it didn’t collapse and drape around the body as it may have in a lighter weight fabric. That gives me a reason to remake this skirt at some other time is a softer, dreamier fabrication…….

Evie Bias Cut Skirt
Evie Bias Cut Skirt
Me Made Everyday
Evie Bias Cut Skirt
Evie Bias Cut Skirt
Me Made Everyday

Burnside Bibs Baby✌🏼 by Sewhouse 7

I have been stalking this make on Instagram for a while. I loved the cool casual look they embody and from the moment I saw them I knew I was going to make a pair for myself.

Falling in love with this design was the easy part. Finding the perfect fabric was the hardest.  I don’t know about anybody else but I am very good at second guessing my fabric choices.  I can spend hours searching the internet looking for options and just when I think I find the perfect fabrication doubt starts creeping in.  Am I sure it’s the right colour, will have the right drape, what will the colour actually look like in reality and will it be the correct weight.  The list of doubts keep flooding in.

Burnside Bibs

Unlike buying clothes from traditional retail outlets, making your own clothes requires a leap of faith.  Once you choose your fabric and pattern, you just have to cross your fingers and hope the end product works out to be a wearable item.  You don’t have the liberty of trying it on and not purchasing if it doesn’t look good or is not quite what you imaged it to be.  Once the investment is made in fabric and pattern you are stuck with the end product.  I think this is why I put so much pressure on myself to make the right decision.

I remember growing up in a household where the majority of our clothes where home made.  My mother was a beautiful sewer.  I would beg for store brought purchases and my Mum’s standard reply was “I can make it for half the price”.  If only that where true theses days.  It would relieve some of the pressure of making the perfect fabric and pattern choice.  These days a home sewn wardrobe is not a cheaper alternative but it is definitely a more satisfying way of dressing.

Back to my Burnside Bibs.  I opted for the downloadable PDF pattern and printed onto AO size at my local printer.  I took a leap of faith with this pattern given its oversized nature and didn’t make a toile. After reading the sizing and finished measurement of this pattern I was also able to figure out I am a true fit to Sew House 7 sizing.

Burnside Bibs
Sipping tea in my Burnside Bibs ✌🏼.

I am super savvy with my pattern lays and was able to cut the size 8 of Option B full length out using 2.5mts of fabric.  My fabric selection was 56” 57% linen 43% cotton Heritage Check from The Fabric Store (looks like it is almost out of stock).  I have to be honest, I doubted my fabric choice once my package arrived but now that my garment is complete I love my fabric choice.

Sewing my Burnside Bibs was a pleasurable task as the patterns where well notched and the sewing instructions where easy to understand. And thankfully when I finished sewing them they fit me perfectly.  I did reduce the width of the hem turn to keep the length I wanted and when I make them again I will add 4cm length so I can finish with a nicer hem.

My other obsession at the moment is the woven labels by Kylie And The Machine to finish off my home made pieces.  They are so damn cute!  I was so hasty at sewing the label into my Burnside Bibs that I sewed it to the front instead of the back.  Now every time I go to the loo when I wear this piece I am reminded that not only is my version of the Burnside Bibs one of a kind but I too am one of a kind!

FIONA SUNDRESS by Closet Case Patterns

I get so darn excited when I finish a sewing project that I just have to share it straight away.   Ideally I would love to take the time to write my blog post before sharing so I don’t have to re post the same garment again.  Maybe one day I’ll get the process around the right way. Or maybe not…..

This was my first time sewing a pattern by Closet Case Patterns and I am super impressed.  Instead of opting for the PDF downloadable pattern this time I decided to wait for the printed pattern to come via snail mail.  I love the watercolour illustrations on their pattern covers and wanted to see one first hand.  I’m so glad I did as there was a little surprise inside of a woven label to sew into my garment.  It’s the finishes touches that count.

My Fiona Sundress was made in a mid weight linen from The Fabric Store in the colour denim blue. The buttons are shell buttons from Spotlight Stores.

I’m sure there are a tonne of blog posts out there on constructing and fitting your Fiona Sundress.  I’m hoping to offer some new content on the construction of this garment.  I love efficiency and always approach garment construction from an efficiency perspective.  I read the instructions but never follow the instructions as a step by step process but instead group my sewing into tasks.

Fiona Sundress

Below are my steps for sewing the Fiona Sundress.  These are an outline only and you can use them in conjunction with the original instruction book if necessary for the detail.  Or they are great to use if you have made the Fiona Dress more than once and want to make it in a more time efficient way.

Group 1:  Iron fusing onto all required pieces.

Group 2:  Overlock all vertical seams on bodice pieces, and pocket facing outer edge.  Move to sewing machine.

Group 3:  Sew all bodice panels together, sew darts in front & back skirt, sew pocket facing onto pockets – trim seams and under stitch, sew straps, sew front & back bodice bands.  Move to iron.

Group 4:  Press bodice seams open, press darts towards side seam, press pocket facing & pocket seam allowance along inner & lower edge, turn straps to right side & press, press seams open on bodice bands.  Press seam allowance under on lower edge of non fused bodice band. Move to machine.

Group 5:  Top stitch pocket facing to pocket, top stitch straps.  Pin pockets to front skirt and stitch down. Move to overlocker.

Group 6:  Overlock skirt side seams.  Move to sewing machine.

Group 7:  Sew side seams together.  Move to iron and press seams open.  Move to sewing machine.

Group 8:  Sew straps to fused bodice band, sew fused bodice band to front bodice, sew bodice to skirt. Move to iron and press seams.


Group 9:  Stitch remaining bodice band to dress, top stitch bodice band down.  Move to Iron.

Group 10:   Press hem & hem turn, press centre front facing.  Move to machine.

Group 11:  Top stitch hem & front facing.

Group 12:  Mark button hole positions, sew button holes, cut button holes, mark button position, sew buttons on (I do this with my sewing machine – see sewing tip on Yari Jumpsuit blog post)


Fiona Sundress

Thankfully I was patient enough to make a tiole of this dress in calico first as it did require a few fitting adjustments for my body shape.  I started with the size 8 pattern but had to add a little bit of room into the hips and bust and reduce the waist quite a bit.  As you can see from the image below the original fit was not great for my body.  The dress was also saggy at the back side.

First fit of my Fiona Sundress

The online pattern adjustment guide for the Fiona Sundress made the bust adjustment really easy.  To achieve a good fit through my waist and across my butt I decided to add an additional two darts to the back skirt.  I also lengthened the middle back darts slightly.  If I had taken all of the excess through the two back darts the dart point would have been quite severe and the final shaping not as smooth.

Adding 2 more darts to the back skirt

I’m not sure about anybody else, but fitting on yourself can be quite difficult. Especially when it comes to fit issues on the back of the garment.  I mark all of my adjustments on my calico tiole before transferring it to the fit stand for final analysis.

Be sure to transfer all of the pattern notches onto your edited pattern pieces. You will be grateful you took the time to do this during the sewing process.

#ochrechallenge AND practicing patience

Patience | the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.

Sewing and patience go hand in hand. This project was a friendly reminder of that. Have you ever worked on a project where it feels like everything is going wrong and nothing is working out? There were many moments through out this project that I felt exactly that. Thankfully I had a little voice in my head that reminded me of patience and the importance of practicing patience. I was able to take a step back, rethink what I was doing, breathe, slow down and end up with a summertime set that I am really proud of. Maybe slightly more cropped than I had imagined, but oh well 🤷🏻‍♀️, it’s nearly summertime here down under.

Twining is winning

This is my entry for the #memade #ochrechallenge and I am in love with the new #twinset to hit my wardrobe. This beautiful, mid weight linen was purchased from the The Fabric Store and the pattern was created by me using my skirt block and a touch of guess work and free hand for the top.

I really want this blog post to be less about the overall making experience of this summertime combo and more about the emotional roller coaster that comes with creating. The whole process of coming up with a design, choosing the fabrics, patterning & testing your design, making the finished product and putting out there for the whole world to see (and very few actually see it 😂😂) can be quite daunting. For me anyway. You are bearing your soul through your craft and fear can be a killer.

I wanted to create an outfit that screamed minimal simplicity & effortlessly cool. This was a long way from the place I started. I have a tendency to over design. To create outfits that have an impact and wow factor but then end up in the back of my wardrobe to never see the light of day.

I was so excited about my original top design. It had big puffy sleeves with an 80’s vibe and a fitted cropped crossover bodice. Three toiles of the top later it was time to take five and reassess the direction of this design. Who was I kidding. I would never wear that top in public. It was certainly not minimal simplicity nor effortlessly cool.

Original top design

Looking back through my inspiration pages it became clear that the right top was a simple tie front top that could also be a wrap top. It would make the perfect partner to my wrap skirt. Round four of toiling began. This time it went off without a hitch. A few adjustments where required for both the skirt and top but I was able to make those adjustments and move to cutting in my final fabrication.

However, the actual sewing process didn’t run that smoothly. After sewing right sides to wrong side, overstitching darts, unpicking, pinning facings on incorrectly I heard that little voice in my head again. Patience.


There are few things we do in this life that require us to be truly present. Sewing is one of those things for me. Yoga is another. To do a beautiful job I have to be fully focused on what I am doing or the mistakes creep in. Each step is important. To build a beautiful garment you need a good pattern and the right fabric. You have to be willing to change course if something is not working out, to unpick when something is not sewn well, to press each and every seam as you go.

Tie top to wrap top

Through practicing patience I was able to create an outfit that I am really happy with and will get worn a lot over the coming summer months. The skirt is going to be a great all year round piece in my wardrobe when styles with a chunky knit in the cooler months.

Sunday summertime stylingWinter styling

Sewing Tip

I’m a big fan of block fusing.  It saves time and beats trying to line up your main fabric with your fusing at the ironing board.  It also saves your iron and iron cover from getting covered it fusing glue.

Cut a square or rectangle of fabric big enough to fit all of your fused pieces and a piece of fusing slightly smaller. Iron your fusing to the fabric in a block.

Iron fusing to main fabric in a block

Then you can cut out you fused pieces in one go.  No more fiddling at the ironing board!