Monthly Archives: September 2012

French Knickers!

Hello readers!

I should perhaps subtitle this post “Applying what I learned in Lingerie Making at TAFE”.  Yes, I did take the Lingerie Making course at TAFE and I really enjoyed it.  Every week we made a sample of a different lingerie garment.  We made French knickers, a camisole, briefs and a bra.  At the final class we learned some basic pattern making and grading.

You don’t make garments that fit you (unless you’re a perfect size 10) and the fabric was all (generously) provided by Wendy, our teacher, and often didn’t match.  This didn’t matter because I learned a heap of techniques on lingerie sewing and got to trace all Wendy’s patterns!!!

So, I thought I’d share my first pair of French knickers with you!  These are seriously easy, fun and quick!  I whipped mine up in a day.  These are going to be part of a sleep set for summer.

These are from Wendy’s pattern block, which I adapted slightly by increasing the side seams by 2cm each and making the leg a little higher.  A word to the wise, I found that making a larger size of French knickers made the crotch sag horribly!  It really looked ghastly!  I guess the pattern making companies assume if you’re bigger in the hips you’re bigger in the belly as well…so make sure you compare the measurments of the final garment with your own before you start.

I used a cute little floral cotton from Spotlight and some cute and simple cotton lace.  I was going for a French Country look here.

I cut it all on the bias (as you do with wovens when making lingerie) and used French seams throughout.  I attached the lace at the leg, lingerie elastic at the waist and made a super cute rouleau bow for the front (all stuff I learned at the course)!  Check them out!

I also made a matching cami from Wendy’s pattern using the techniques I learned in the course.

There!  Summer PJs sorted!  That was easy and took 2m of fabric all up (knickers took less than 1m).

Making PJs is super easy and costs way less than you can buy them, and besides, you can make them to your style and specs.

I’m really happy with mine and am making a robe out of blue and white stripped shirting…so stay tuned for that!

If you’d like more detail on the construction/techniques I used, you can find them on my blog.




Great Dwellingup Sewing Retreat II

Since our last, very successful weekend sewing retreat in June… there has been much demand for another! So, we’re making it happen again in November!

Here’s the general plan ::

  • Travel to to the Forest Heritage Centre in Dwellingup on the afternoon of Friday, 16 November. There will probably be opportunities for car pooling amongst members. Leave Perth whatever time works for you/whatever time you can get away from work etc. I suggest travelling down on Friday afternoon/evening because, that way you get ALL DAY Saturday to sew!
  • We will spend 2 nights in the Forest Heritage Centre accommodation. The FHC offers single rooms, with shared bathroom facilities. It’s basic… but comfortable. The rooms cost $35 per night. Bring cash to hand to the FHC caretaker.
  • We will spend most of Saturday 17 November sewing. You can work on whatever project you want – we’ll have a chat at the next meet about whether there’s any project that multiple people want to work on etc, but ultimately it’s up to you! We will also have the opportunity to do some more sewing on Sunday, before packing up and heading back to Perth on the afternoon of Sunday 18 November.
  • Food-wise, we will most likely:: prepare a simple shared dinner on Friday evening in the communal kitchen space in Dwellingup; go out for dinner at a local cafe on Saturday evening (it’s a relatively short walk/drive into the “downtown Dwellingup”); go to a cafe for Sunday breakfast; other meals we’ll probably prepare onsite… but we’ll figure out the details in the lead up!

HUZZAH!! Hope you can come. 🙂

If you have any questions, please email, or call Sarah on 0401 090 002.

Don’t forget to RSVP over on the Meetup site.

Ode to linen

Hey hey everyone!

Kat here!  Hopefully some of you know me from my last (and first!) BurdaStyle meetup in August or perhaps you’ve stumbled across my blog or maybe you’re like “Kat who?”

Either way, I’m thrilled to start guest posting on the BurdaStyle meetup blog.  This is such a fantastic (and well organized!)  group of super talented Sewistas and I’m honored to share some of my sewing projects with you.

The purpose of my posts will be geared towards the creation of my daily summer wardrobe.  Yes, I’ve got a day job and can’t wear beautiful couture gowns on a daily basis…maybe I need a new job 😛   Fantasy life aside, I need a new summer wardrobe and want to sew the majority of the pieces in it – hence I’ve been doing this for about a month now.

Less talk more sewing!

Today’s project is a pattern I’ve had in my stash for a while now;  Simplicity 3786.    Yeah, I bought this pattern during my peasant blouse phase, BUT, it has a rather nice V-neck sleeveless option – View C (the short sleeved v-neck in the red).

I bought some lovely floral print linen from Potters one afternoon, and thought this would be a great project for it.  I got a whopping 0.9m, but loved it so much  that I paid my $15 and walked out happy (oh, I bought other fabric too…but you’ll have to stay tuned for those ones!).

The fabric was about 150cm wide, and I didn’t really think I’d have enough to make a tunic top, especially with a rather large bite in the top right hand corner from a swatch grab.  So, I chopped off 15cm of length and it fit!  Hallelujah!

I did a fair amount of hand stitching here.  I originally machine stitched (top stitched) the edge of the neck and armhole facings to the linen.  It looked TERRIBLE!  The machine stitching was obviously too harsh for the loosely woven luscious linen I was working with.  It pulled the fabric too much and made ugly ridges.

Realizing this fabric was a delicate flower, I did a blind stitch (or blind hemming stitch) to attach the facings to the outside of the fabric and to do the hem.  If you would like to know how to do this hand stitch, you can see the “Hand Stitches” menu at the top of my blog.

A bit of work, yes, but it gives a lovely finish to the blouse with hardly any stitching showing from the outside.

Okay, okay enough goobly goop…here are the finished pics!

I just love how  it turned out and the hand sewing was totally worth the little bit of  extra effort.

Another one for the 45 degree heat which will be here before you can say “Merry Christmas”!

Cheers all!


The fairy godmother project

For an unbaptised atheist, being asked to be a godmother was, well, rather a surprise.  But since the child’s parents were quite clear in their expectation that I should lead the child astray (in the nicest, most socially just and politically aware manner), I said yes.

The plan was for the deed to be done in November last year, along with his older brother, but the Catholic Church was a bit busy, what with Christmas approaching, so it got put off.  In the meantime, a  younger brother arrived, so it became a three-for-one deal.

Meanwhile, the christening gown I’d started making, got put away (tiny fiddly pieces cut from lovely silk satin that fairly haemorrhaged silver wisps).

Then the date was set, and the urgency resumed.  With much hand-sewing and very careful ironing, it gone done with a week to spare and posted to the child’s parents.  Except my godchild is nearly two and it didn’t fit.

But it did fit his younger brother.  Best of all, Young Ben didn’t even throw up on it!

Of course it’s not all about the godchild – the fairy godmother needed something sensational to wear.

Purple coating and the most sensational lining ever.  Which, it turned out, was absolutely necessary – the church was absolutely freezing.

And here I am with my Godchild, Will, wearing the fairy godmother jacket, which is the best garment I have ever made.  It fits perfectly, nothing went wrong during the construction and it’s absolutely unique.