Slip, Slop, Slap…. Iced Vovo. {Megan Nielsen Rowan x Spoonflower}


Recently, the legends at Spoonflower got in contact and asked if I’d like to take part in a little blog hop they’re organising to show how makers around the world are celebrating the holiday season. They suggested that perhaps I’d like to make an Australian themed swimsuit or similar from their sport lycra (which is the tits and I’ve used many times). WOULD I? Of course! This time of year is alllllll about the water based activities for us. While half the world is freezing their butts off and singing about letting it snow, we are sweating and eating mangoes in the pool.


Now, if you are Australian you’ll totally get the references in the title. If you’re not, let me explain the Australian summer to you (at least in my neck of the woods, we’re a big country, it varies a lot), our sun will burn you in minutes. The whole ‘slip, slop, slap’ thing was a campaign launched by the Cancer Council in 1981 (the year I was born!) and refers to slipping on a shirt, slopping on some sunscreen and slapping on a hat. Apparently it’s one of the most successful health campaigns in Australian history. There you go. No wonder the jingle has been stuck in my head for 36 years.


And iced vovos are a pretty iconic biscuit made by Arnott’s (which is no longer an Australian company, but lets ignore that). I have very fond childhood memories of iced vovos with tea.


I was browsing through Australian designer’s stores on Spoonflower, looking for a print that would fit the brief, when I stumbled across Natalie’s amazing iced vovo design. YAS. This was it. I knew what it had to be – a rashie that I could easily create from Megan Nielsen’s (another Aussie, can you see how loyal I’m being here?) Rowan pattern.


So while Rowan isn’t technically a rashie pattern, I have made swimmers from it quite successfully before. This time was even more simple – I used the t shirt version of the pattern, added a seam allowance to the front pieces for the zip and cut it in two pieces instead of cutting it on the fold. Easy.


I sewed most of it up in about 15 minutes on my overlocker, finishing the centre front edges, hem and sleeves – which isn’t even necessary because the lycra won’t fray, it just looks nice.


While you can sew the band on folded, I decided not to. I wanted to encase the scratchy edges of the top of the zip in the neck band – even though when I checked my RTW rashie I found out it wasn’t done this way.


Just a warning, attaching the zip might make you cry a little bit. To make it less painful, you can add some fusible tape to the edge of the fabric, but if you find that’s not enough (like I did), heavier interfacing is better. Basting helps too but I found that it’s not enough on its own to stop the fabric stretching.


After that I just pinned the rest of the neck band in place and zig zagged it above the neckline seam. I finished the hem and and sleeve hems with a zig zag too, you need lots of stretch for this baby.


I managed to piece together my scraps to get a matching pair of bikini bottoms. I didn’t have enough fabric for my usual high waisted pair (pattern cloned from my favourite pair of RTW knickers), so they are lower than usual and I didn’t have enough for the top band either. Still, they aren’t bad and I do like making the most of my fabric scraps. Ooh and the bottoms are lined for obvious reasons. The rashie isn’t because I’ll always wear a bikini top under it for support. Or it will go over something else in a fantastic clash of prints.


Spying on my neighbours.



Yes there’s a dolphin in our pool, his name is Dave. He was there when we bought the house although we didn’t know it at the time because the whole thing was pond green.


If you ever need a reminder that you are not a graceful mermaid, just get some photos of yourself underwater. YOU’RE WELCOME.


If you made it this far through my incessant chatter, I have a reward for you – use the code katie17 to get 10% off your Spoonflower purchases until the 31st of December. Happy Dance!



Taking The Theme and Running With It {Butterick 6483}


This fabric. It makes me sigh. I love that whole vintage beach vibe. It’s too good. I’d seen a couple of my favourite sewing bloggers (Roisin and A Million Dresses) use it and then I spotted Sew Positivity had also scored some. I made a cheeky comment about how jealous I was and do you know what sweet, sweet Elle did? She bloody went and found some for me and had it shipped here from the UK. What a legend.


And one night while that delicious fabric was winging its way down under, I sat down for a solo Netflix viewing of the girliest movie I could tolerate. I settled on ‘You Before Me’. It was actually quite enjoyable. I admired Lou’s (Emilia Clarke) wardrobe through the whole thing (if you’ve seen it, you’ll understand) but my heart skipped a little beat when this scene graced my screen in full colour.


OMG, that’s my bloody fabric!

Heck yes it is. Turns out, the outfit is Ralph Lauren and was sourced from the chain store TK Maxx. You can read about that here.

It’s actually a top and a skirt.


The universe wanted me to own this fabric, I know it.


The day it arrived on my doorstep, it was washed, dried and in pieces within a couple of hours. No mucking around here. I had my future sister in laws hens day coming up and the theme was ‘island princess’. This fabric was perfect for it.


I’d already toiled Butterick 6483 so there were no hold ups in getting this baby done. The biggest change was a 2 inch full bust adjustment. You might have seen my otter version of this dress, which is actually my second version. This is the first but I was waiting on my red frog closures for a really long time so I’ve only just got around to photographing it. Big props to Tea Dust and Stitches who scored me the frogs, I am still waiting on a pair from China some 6 weeks later. This dress has taken a village.


So. The whole thing sewed up like a dream. No issues whatsoever. The linen is superb to sew with and is lovely to wear. I popped a pocket in the right side seam and there is a zip in the left.


A mandatory requirement of the hens party was a flower crown. I searched the shops up here but we really don’t have that much variety. Plus I was really keen on having some native flowers in mine. Preferably yellow or red to match my dress. I hit Spotlight and found this wattle. It was perfect. I grabbed some ivy to fill it out and also wire from the millinery section. I measured out some wire against my head and went to work, winding everything around it. Then I secured some parts down with green thread so it sat a bit flatter. A hack job because I had no idea what I was doing, but it ended up working quite well.


You should have seen us in all our flower crowned glory last night, downing espresso martinis and generally just being fabulous. It was a sight to behold.


Stay Puft {Old numberless dress pattern from vintage Ghostbusters sheet}


‘The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (also known as Mr. Stay Puft or nicknamed ‘Tubby Soft-Squeeze’ by Ray and Peter) was the final enemy of the Ghostbusters in the first film. He was the chosen Destructor Form of Gozer…’

I had to Google it. I couldn’t remember if he had a legit name.


Ebay. She’s been good to me over the years. I’ve never really had a bad experience, but this one was borderline. Being a fitted sheet that is nearly as old as me, I expected some wear and tear. I’m a realist. The listing described the condition as ‘has some wash wear’. Mate, it’s threadbare. It was like sewing with tissue paper. Also ‘one small stain’ roughly translated to ‘has multiple brown stains that I really don’t want to think about too hard’. To be honest, I was pretty disappointed when this arrived in the post from the US. But onward, right? I soaked the sucker in Napisan for two hours and now there’s not a mark to be seen. There’s very little that can’t be fixed by a good soak, including my mindset.


The wear however, can’t be fixed with a soak. It was obvious it would have to be fully lined, so I just used white cotton lawn. I’m used to lining bodices and do it all the time, but I very rarely line skirts. Which took a bit longer than usual because I had to use my brain to consider how I would add the pockets and finish the hem (the lawn is only 108cm wide compared to whatever the width of a single sheet is. Wide). I really should have lined the sleeves too, one is way more faded than the other due to the tetrising I had to do to get Mr Stay Puft on both sleeves.


Still, it came out ok. I reallllllly wanted to use the Emery pattern for this, but alas those darted bodice pieces wouldn’t fit on the sheet I had left after cutting the skirt. I could have sacrificed some of the skirt to make them fit, but because the print is so large I was a bit pedantic about the way it was cut. And I wanted that skirt super full. Which is helped out by the lining too.


In the end I decided on my old faithful tea dress bodice. The princess seams mean you can move the pieces around to get the absolute most out of your fabric. It’s a very old pattern that I inherited from my nanny and has been much altered over the years. It’s the pattern that launched my business and I still sell dresses from it in the shop today. I did have to shorten the bodice slightly and lower the back to get the pieces to fit, but it’s all worked out in the end.


I ain’t afraid of no ghost.




An Otter Success {Butterick 6483}

Sorry, that was terrible.


When I was about five years old, I had a pair of PJs with a mandarin collar and frog closures (they are the scrolly buttons) and I adored them. So when I saw Butterick 6483 for the first time, it took me right back to those PJs that I hadn’t thought about for 30 years. That just made me feel really old.


Obviously I had to have the pattern. Rather than wait for it to arrive in stores here, which takes a bloody long time, I ordered it directly from the US site when they were having one of their $2.50 sales. Hot tip: shipping will most likely cost you more than a few patterns so make it worthwhile.


Like most of the Big 4 patterns, fitting straight out of the envelope doesn’t really happen. And seeing how nice the fit is on Gertie made me want to go the extra mile. So I grew up and made not one, but two toiles (just of the bodice, I’m not that dedicated). My measurements put me in the 16 so I made the 14 for my first attempt, which was too big at the waist and way too small at the bust. Eeeep. The thought of a full bust adjustment on this bodice almost made me give up on the whole idea, but I persisted and made a 12 with a 2 inch FBA. And what do you know? I got a pretty great fit.


I could take those waist darts in a bit further, but she’s not bad!


Now I really need to FBA every pattern that comes my way. Totally worth it.


As far as construction goes, it’s not as complex as you’d think. The instructions aren’t too bad, which is great because there’s no sewalong for this one. Actually, there’s very little about it on the internet in general, which I thought was strange. Sewing blogs and google are my go to before I start a pattern, just for general feedback and any common problems. The only real problem I had was that I found the collar too big for the bodice. Not once but twice. Because (spoiler) I’ve actually already made another version of this dress but I’m still waiting on my frogs to arrive so it’s yet to see the light of day. But yes, same problem twice. I’ll have to go back and double check that I’ve traced out the pieces in the right sizes.


Other changes were adding a pocket to the right side seam (because I need at least one) and changing the lapped zipper to a standard one. The pattern also states a hook and eye is required in the notions but then never mentions it again. I’m wondering if it’s supposed to be used to give the frogs extra help where it crosses over? I’m going to add one there because I do get a bit of movement at that point if I raise my arms.


Should we talk about my major crush on this Tula Pink print? Lets. I loved it from the minute I saw it start making the rounds on social media a few months ago. OTTERS. MOONS. PRETTY THINGS IN DARK COLOURS. I waited not so patiently for it to be stocked online and finally scored myself some from Hawthorne Threads last week. YASSSSS. It’s as beautiful in person as it looks online. Makes me happy.

My other version of this dress is pretty tops also, so I will share it if my frogs ever arrive. C’mon, ebay. Give mama her frogs.


Sorry Lindy Bop {Tilly and the Buttons Megan Dress}

You know when there’s a sale and something catches your eye, but dammit, it’s out of stock in your size? It’s really not that often that I buy RTW anymore anyway, but every now and then I’ll see a dress in a cool print and think ‘WHHHHHYYYYY can’t I buy that fabric?!’.

Screenshot-2017-9-27 Marlene' Hot Pink Yacht Print Swing Dress


Last week one of the lovely ladies in a FB sewing group (hi Sammy!) posted that she’d accidentally ordered two of the same dress, so rather than sending one back, she cut it down and made two of the cutest little girls dresses I’ve ever seen. That print, man. Too good. So I completely copied her (yes, there’s been a bit of that going on lately – stop being so inspiring people!) and ordered the biggest size left on the Lindy Bop website.


It wasn’t long before it was resting in pieces. Feels so wrong to completely unpick a brand new dress the minute it arrives on your doorstep. Sorry Lindy.


I’d decided on the Tilly and the Buttons Megan Dress (which can be found in her Love At First Stitch book) because I knew I wouldn’t have a huge amount of fabric to play with. As it turns out, I didn’t use the bodice pieces of the dress at all because they weren’t big enough, just the skirt. And I only just squeezed it out. I did keep the original zip, hook and eye and rings and sliders for potential future projects.


I tried really hard to avoid placing that sun in the vicinity of my boob, but working with limited fabric meant that she did have to go on the front bodice. I don’t think the placement screams nipple once it’s on though.


Put in a metal zip because they’re stronger for this style of dress and cool as heck.


If you’ll excuse my awkward pose and just check out that kinda sorta best matching I could do on the side seam there (and ignore the fact I missed it on the centre back seam). Fit wise it’s actually a bit small because I made a mistake. Gah. The fabric is sateen which means it has that lovely little bit of stretch, so I sized down as I wanted it quite fitted. As it turns out, I didn’t use my brain to consider that this print is a border print, isn’t it? So the stretch is running the wrong way – up and down instead of around. NO. So it’s a wee bit tighter than it should be. Ok for standing, potential wardrobe malfunction if I have to sit. Standing events only please.


I have no shame in destroying RTW and will absolutely do this again.

Something For The Small Ones {Made Everyday Shorts}

I was creeping around Spotlight recently (as you do) and made quite the discovery. Microfibre quick dry. That’s code for boardies fabric. If you’ve tried to make board shorts before, you would have discovered that the fabric is pretty hard to find. So of course I bought a couple of metres so I could make shorts for the boys.


Problem was, I no longer have a shorts pattern to fit them. Kids (boys especially) are particularly hard to find patterns for once they get beyond about a size 8. Actually, even RTW is hard to buy for boys after that age too. Apparently they don’t need clothes.


ANYWAY. Someone had posted the Made Everyday shorts in one of the FB sewing groups I’m in (yes I’m that cool) and I was pretty chuffed to see they went up to a size 10 and had heaps of pattern variations. I made the racer style. Love that curved hem.


In the past, I would have shuddered at the thought of making all that bias tape, but that has changed recently since I’ve discovered double fold. It doesn’t seem to be as common as single fold, but damn it’s so much easier to work with. I didn’t even mind making my own. I cut my strips 7cm wide, sewed them together at the ends to form a long strips, ironed them in half length ways, opened that up and then folded them in to meet in the middle. Then folded in half length ways again. Hard to describe, very simple to do. I have some of those little triangular bias tape makers but I honestly find this method easier. Weirdly soothing.


That bias tape runs around the hems and outside of the shorts making them look quite neat and professional. Both boys are the same size in the waist, so I only had to trace off the size 10. Which I may have traced directly off my computer monitor as soon as buying because printing is such a chore. Ha. There’s only two pieces so it’s not hard. They are definitely getting more of these.



Round Two {Sew House Seven Tea House Dress}


You might remember my first version of the Tea House Top wasn’t all that successful due to my fabric choice. I vowed that I would make it again and here we are! I’m actually auditioning patterns for a wedding we have later this year in Samoa. An island wedding means the dress code isn’t very formal and because I’m also shooting said wedding, I need to be able to move around easily without worrying about what I’m wearing.


On its own this dress actually looks quite casual, but I think with the right fabric, jewellery, shoes and hair it would be suitable. I still have another couple of patterns to try though. I’ve still got a few months to decide but I’m trying to be more organised for the first time in my life.


So, fabric is Telio Crepe De Chine from and the pattern is Sew House Seven’s Tea House Dress. I put in a sizeable order last weekend and bought 4 yard lots of a few different fabrics specifically to see what would work best for this style of dress. Yes I bought some of the awesome Cotton and Steel tulip print rayon. I might even save that for the wedding version. Not sure yet.


If you read about my last version, you’ll recall I chose a really rubbish fabric and the front yoke facing nearly ended me. Truth is, the crepe de chine I chose this time wasn’t that much better for pressing and behaving, but I was more prepared. I decided to avoid the whole press and stitch down thing and just finished the raw edges with bias tape before stitching down. It’s still rough looking but not as bad as last time. Definitely less swearing involved.


I think the only other change I made was not tacking those sleeve cuffs up. I like the longer length. My V neck was more successful this time around too.


I love that there’s no centre back seam and the box pleat looks really neat. I cut the pockets on the bias so those little bees are flying in a different direction and don’t get lost in the rest of the dress.


I’m so glad I made this one again. I love it like I wanted to love it the first time around.


Hey Betty {Butterick 6413}

Betty because I was getting Betty Draper vibes after I finished this dress. Probably a more risque Betty, but Betty nonetheless. So I dragged on some red lippy and brought out the big black shades to channel her even further.


Isn’t it weird how one teeny tiny detail can mean the difference between strutting out of the house in your latest dress with all the confidence in the world or rocking in the corner of your bedroom with uncertainty?

This is one of those dresses! It’s only a keyhole right? But I still can’t decide. So strange for me. I generally make decisions in a heartbeat. Uncertainty isn’t my thing at all.


Let’s talk about B6413 anyway. I wrote it off when I first saw it because I assumed the top would be a nightmare to fit and the construction would be too much for my brain. Then I saw it pop up on a few clever women on Instagram and I was a bit more tempted. As it turns out, I couldn’t resist grabbing it when Butterick were having their $2.50 sale recently and I really wanted this one. Buying two makes the horrendous postage from the US worthwhile, right? Of course it does! I don’t know if these ones are even available on our shores yet, it seems to take forever for them to get over here.


So it turns out I was wrong. It’s fine, I can say it. The fit wasn’t a big deal and neither was the construction. And can I say what a relief it is to have a pattern envelope without eleventy billion different pieces and combinations inside? Very nice. Just the one dress without any variations. Of course I had to go ahead and do a gathered skirt because straight skirts aren’t my jam – which meant I only had to trace the bodice pieces, easy!

But this is another no bra dress. Do those sticky fillet thingies from the early 2000s still exist? Maybe they would work? Not sure. A regular bra definitely does not though.


When I first made it, the booby part (oh yes, I know all the technical sewing terms) was sitting too low. One false move and those wiiiide shoulders were heading south and the whole bodice was going to end up in a puddle around my waist. It all felt very precarious. After mucking about a bit, I decided the best fix was going to be taking a wedge out where the bodice meets the sleeve. Even though that meant unpicking all my hard work. WOE. I did it though. I took 2.5cm out of each one and it’s much better now. More secure. Less likely to end in a wardrobe malfunction. Actually, when I had it all opened back up I was considering working some bra cups into it, but I couldn’t figure out how to secure them without it being seen from the outside. I’m not sure how much of a difference it would have made anyway.


I haven’t told you about my fabric! I bought it from an op shop but wasn’t sure what it was. It’s very soft, like a lawn or voile. I assumed the squares were for quilting, but the good ladies of Instagram told me that they are handkerchief panels! How clever! Considering I have no use for 4 metres of hankies though, I decided it wouldn’t be a bad choice for this dress. If I hated it or it didn’t fit, no great loss. I still have over a metre of it left. I got a bit creative with my cutting. The fashion police might call the black band around my waist UNFLATTERING, but I think it’s interesting. See that bow tie look? INTENTIONAL. Proud of that effort actually.


I used the same fabric for the lining, which is mildly confusing but I had so much of the fabric that it seemed sensible. I marked the lining so I knew which was which when I was sewing. I added side seam pockets and laughed in the face of slip stitching. Forgive me. This is it inside out, which barely looks any different to right side out.


Size wise, I’m 41/32/41, which puts me in a Butterick 18 but previous experience tells me that I have to drop to at least a 16 (where finished measurements put me). My last Gertie Butterick was still too big at a 16 though, so I dropped to a 14 on this one. This isn’t the style of top that you want extra space in. It’s borderline at the waist (could be bigger) but there is still a bit of room in the booby part. I’m a D/DD too, so if you’re smaller in the bust you might find it a bit big in that part.


Ooh and if you’re wondering (I totally was) if there’s visible boob from side on, there is. Ha. Not a lot though and honestly, if someone is going looking for that, then they deserve to cop an eyeful.


Hooley dooley I can talk a lot. Sorry. I think I’m done now. And actually,  I’m done with the indecision too. I’m ok with this dress after talking about it so much. Bra be damned, I’ve talked myself around.



It’s Not You, It’s Me {Sew House Seven Tea House Dress/Top}


It was a post on Cotton and Steel’s instagram that started it all for me. They’d shared a post by Sarah who’d made the most stunning version of this dress from C&S rayon (her design). I bought the pattern less than five minutes later. I so rarely do that. I’m allergic to PDFs so bought the paper version and had to have it shipped from the US. But I just had to have it. And usually I’d sit there an imagine what fabric I’d use and how I’d make it mine, but I really just want an exact copy of Sarah’s dress. To be fair, I think she’s a legend and I love pretty much everything she does.

125 envelope flat for reps COVER

The pattern arrived yesterday after about a week or so of winging its way across the seas and I basically ignored my to do list, shoved everything off my desk (not really), traced it out and decided I needed to sew this RIGHT AWAY. Problem was, I didn’t have any suitable fabric. Which seems hilarious if you’ve seen my stash, but most of it is quilting cotton and this dress really needs something with more drape. I dug around and pulled out a few options before actually reading the back of the pattern. I knew the dress was fabric hungry (4.3m) and though, no worries – I’ll make the top first. HOW SENSIBLE OF ME. It would be a toile of sorts and I never make them. But heck, if there’s fitting issues it saves wasting 4.3m of fabric (how on earth do people think sewing your own clothes cheap? Quick calculation: 4m x $20/m = $80 vs about $30 for the Target equivalent. Anyway, I digress).


Turns out the top likes a bit of fabric too (3.3m) and the only suitable amount I had was some outlandish faux silk that I grabbed from Spotlight over a year ago. Now don’t get me wrong, I love this crazy fabric. But it’s pretty bright, even for me. Still, I love those Ken Done/Gorman vibes it gives me. What I don’t love? It behaves about as well as a three year old getting dragged through Woolies right on nap time. After a birthday party. And after you took their party bag away. A ticking time bomb of antagonism. Dramatic, no?


I had been saving it for a skirt, but nup – I had to make this top right now. She’ll be right, mate. No she won’t. The pattern is amazing, truly. Yes, there are a number of pieces but the instructions are very clear and detailed and it is finished beautifully. That was part of the problem. My darling faux silk doesn’t want to be pressed. You can’t have the iron too hot or the fabric will melt but even if pressed under another cloth, she just wanted to spring back up like nothing had ever happened. She could not be steamed into submission. Which was a big problem for that front yoke. Ugh. It’s making me cringe to show you, but I have to.


Really I should unpick that whole front yoke and hand sew it into place. I might. But I probably won’t. About halfway through I realised I wasn’t going to love it as much as I wanted to, but continued because I’m stubborn like that. Look at the cool yoke and box pleat at the back though. I love the whole Japanese vibe. No closures and the obi style belt ties make it super cool.


I thought maybe wearing it with ripped skinny jeans would make me feel less high school art teacher and it actually does. But I’m still on the fence a bit. I will definitely make the dress version, but I just need the right fabric. I know it will redeem itself.


I probably just need to give it a week or so and I will change my mind. To be honest, it’s been a rough week or so. I wasn’t going to talk about it, but a few people have commented, so here’s the overshare. Yes, I have lost some weight. I have been plagued with weird skin problems since I was 14 and at the age of 36, I am done with it. So done. My doctor’s final step was to try some heavy medication that I wasn’t comfortable with so I took matters into my own hands and overhauled what I eat. And guess what? It worked. For the first three months my skin was the clearest it’s been in my adult life. With that change came some weight loss and that’s the reason I’ve been sewing so much for myself recently – half my wardrobe no longer fits. Then about two weeks ago I started getting a new skin problem, not cystic acne this time, but red itchy patches of psoriasis. I’ve been told it’s most likely a reaction to dairy (which I’ve been eating a lot more of recently). So now I’m trialing dropping dairy. It’s harder than dropping sugar and grains because damn, I love dairy. Those cows, they know how to make some delicious stuff.


A while back, I was lucky enough to be asked to write a guest post for The Curvy Sewing Collective and that was published over the weekend. It was really exciting for me but one tiny FB comment was made about me not being ‘curvy’. And really, why should I let that bother me? But you know, it did. For my whole life, I’ve felt like the fat girl and then, when I felt like I finally fit in somewhere, I’m not curvy enough either? It annoyed me far more than it should have. That’s the thing with blogging and sewing blogging in particular, I think. Body comments will be made. For the most part though, it’s all very positive and rewarding and I don’t do it for anyone but me. I’m selfish like that. So you’re stuck with me, internet.

Ack, too many words. The pattern is tops, my fabric was not. But I’ll be back with another version when I get some kick ass fabric. The end.


Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice! {George and Ginger Sincerely Rylee Dress}


Sometimes it’s nice to step out of your comfort zone, right? My comfort zone generally involves sleeves and not self made, narrow binding out of slippy slidey rayon. But you know, horizons need to be broadened occasionally.


I can’t remember where I first saw the George and Ginger Sincerely Rylee dress, probably in one of the many FB sewing groups I’m part of. It’s not my usual style, but I really liked the look of it as it’s not something that looks particularly home sewn (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I knew it would be great as a beach dress. And I know I say that a lot, but considering we spend about 10/12 months of the year submerged in water here, beach dresses are something I wear a lot.


It’s another mullet dress (party in the back) and yeah, I hear you on the no bra thing. But again, swimmers or even a strappy bralette would look cool with it. Or just let the girls be free. I ain’t judging.


So even though the boho vibe piqued my interest, I couldn’t imagine myself going head to toe floral. I needed something drapey but a wee bit more me. So skull rayon from Spotlight it was. I’ll admit, I feel a bit Lydia Deetz in it, but I’m ok with the whole summer emo-goth vibe.


Did I mention that if you’re resourceful you can grab this pattern totally freeeeeee? Yeah you can. I did. You just have to get your searching fingers ready and find both the George and Ginger pattern group and Sincerely Rylee fabric group on FB. Both have half a code in their pinned posts, grab those and away you go to the G+G website.

Now, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that PDF patterns aren’t my favourite thing (I failed cutting and pasting at preschool, I realise how ridiculous that sounds because yes, I sew), but you can get this baby printed as an A0 at your local Officeworks (or print shop, I assume). It cost me the grand sum of $4.10. Not bad for a free pattern. For that price I didn’t even trace it, just cut out the size 14 like some kind of rebel.


Shall we talk about all the ways I struggled with this dress? Lets.

Firstly, I sewed it yesterday afternoon, coming off the back of a huge, emotionally charged weekend away. I was tired. I should have known better. The pattern has two different skirt pieces. One is the top tier and one is for the bottom two tiers (which you cut 6 of, two joined together for the middle tier and four for the bottom tier. Yes, it’s very full and swishy). In my haze, I didn’t read the instructions properly and thought the top tier was for the top version of the pattern and the others were for the dress versions. Derp. Upon actually reading, that was more clear but I’d already cut everything else and didn’t have quite enough fabric left for that first tier. It was just long enough but not quite wide enough. So it’s not as full as it should be. I think it’s still wearable though.


The darts, they’re interesting. I’d already read in the FB group that some women had some gaping under the arms and a bigger dart is a good solution for that. I’m so glad I’d read that because I did make a wider dart and the gaping is very slight. It would have been bigger if I didn’t adjust it. But here’s the thing, I should have done a proper FBA because the darts are really short. I made the dress up as is and had to go back and extend those suckers as best I could with the armholes already finished. I almost doubled the length of them to get them in the general vicinity of my nipples. Not the greatest darts, but at least they aren’t pointing awkwardly to the sides of my boobs anymore. I’d say if you’re anything bigger than a B cup, you’ll need to adjust them. For reference, I’m a D cup.


The final hurdle was making all that narrow strapping behave itself. Which is all me and just a matter of practice. Easier to do out of something more stable like quilting cotton (not recommended for this dress as it needs more drape) than rayon. Cannot even begin to imagine the words that would come out of my mouth if I’d attempted it in something completely devilish like satin. Oh and the gathering and hemming on that last tier. Mate. My fabric was 135cm wide, which means that the last tier is 540cm. It’s never ending.webDSC_1592

Despite the challenges though, I’m really quite happy with it. I love how flowy it is and the shape of the top. It’s nice to have a different style to wear and I definitely learned new skills. Mainly patience.