Piping hot

Last week my Jane Tise Butterick 4682 pattern arrived – remember, the one I’ve been thinking of for three years?

So I set about making it with rare fidelity to the pattern’s instructions. Usually I change this or that, due to laziness more often than not, but this time I swore I’d be good. I piped everywhere that I was told to pipe..

Piped pockets ROCK MY WORLD. I’m a total convert. There’s a real risk that everything I make will now have piped pockets.

The fabric is a soft 70s cotton twill I picked up in a country junk shop. I had *just* enough… well, I had to cut the collar in two pieces. Nose to tail eating… nothing left but scraps. Unfortunately this meant I couldn’t be choosy about where to cut each piece so I’m suffering from a bit of twinning in the front bodice. (Terrible affliction, discussed by the Slapdash Sewist¬†who suspects it’s an elaborate conspiracy by textile designers.)

I love it. It’s garish and a bit mad. All thanks to Nora, three years ago. Hurrah!


The little blue and red number turned out so well that I did it all over again:

Sadly when I cut down the neckline a bit, my feeble narrow shoulders let me down and it’s too big around the shoulders. So I have to rip out the zipper and take a bit out of the back centre seam. Booooooooring. So, she stalls.

Fabric is linen or linen/cotton blend I got for $2/m years and years ago. I haven’t used it because I thought it might be a bit flowery and girly. It kinda is. But with a rainy weekend forecast, I’ll see if I can finish it up in the next couple of days.

Killing the Pile of Shame, piece by piece

I rummaged around in the Pile of Shame last yesterday looking for a couple of quick projects I could finish. In a jiffy I eradicated two items from the Pile and elevated them to Wardrobe.

I’m calling this an ‘ip’. It was a slip that I made over a year ago that never fit right on top. Never finished, never worn. In a handful of minutes I cut off the bottom half, sewed some elastic to the waist, and presto, a nice soft silk half-slip (or ‘ip’) for wearing under dresses that are just a little bit see through in the bright summer sunlight (remember poor, media-naive¬†Diana Spencer who didn’t realise why this photographer wanted her to pose in the sun?).

Thing two was a maxi skirt that I bought over a decade ago in a junk shop in Woodland, California. It’s made of a wild and lurid bird, butterfly and flower print raw silk. I wore it to a Dirty Three concert in San Francisco and thought I was the coolest thing ever. Problem is that it was, and always has been, too long, so I haven’t worn it since. It took maybe an hour to mark a new shorter length, hem it and tack down the side seam allowances that never sat flat.

And I’m wearing both today. Yay!

New year, new frock

This is an uberfrankenfrock. Using – wait for it – not one, not two, but THREE separate patterns, PLUS some shameless pinching of a spiffy detail. Headless Esme’s doing the modelling today….

From the top, we have: sleeves from New Look 6728, bodice from New Look 6968 and skirt is the tried and true, best ever not-too-heavy, not-too-light skirt from New Look 6557. Made up in a 1970s blue seersucker with cutesy flowers that I bought from a junk market last week. Plain jane, right?


First, I lined the wee sleeves in red…

and then I shamelessly pinched a back detail I’d seen elsewhere

…which I think makes this a mullet dress. You know, business at the front, party in the back. Something that would make it even more so (and it’s something I’m considering for a second iteration of this New Look chimera) is a straight skirt at front with a bit of flouncey flarey nonsense at back. Hmmm…

Oh. And my palm sustained two stab wounds in the manufacture of this dress. One from a pin, one from my unpicker. I strongly urge to you resist trying the second instrument if you’re considering a sewing mishap.. that bloody hurt.