Finished Projects, Sewing

Halden, the Harrison ShirtΒ 

Finished my latest Harrison Shirt yesterday, the one I started because I pulled a pattern name out of a hat (plastic container… potato, potahto).

It got its name from the alias of one of the main characters of the TV show I was watching this week while I was making it. I wonder if anyone will be able to work it out… 🤔😉

This print is probably my favourite. I always feel happy when I wear the dress I already have in it. I also have enough of it for a Lenox Shirtdress, and if I lay everything out right, hopefully an Upton Skirt as well. If planning to have four different things made in the same fabric isn't a sign that you like the fabric, I'm not sure what is!!

This is the second Harrison I've made, it's a 22G/H graded to a 24 through the waist and hips, although I've removed some of the grading from the front princess panels – I don't think it needs it. It's a size bigger than my measurements would indicate, but after I'd made a muslin I decided I wanted more ease all over so I sized up.

Through the course of making this shirt I've decided that I need to lower the bust fullness. It's almost impossible to tell in the photos (yay for bold prints) but there is some 'bubbling' in the princess seam above where my Full Bust is… which is a telltale sign of the pattern bust fullness sitting too high. I notice it every time I look down, and it annoys me, so I'm doing something about it.

Using the info I found on Curvy Sewing Collective about lowering the bust fullness on princess seams, I've adjusted my pattern, lowering the fullness point by an inch. We'll see whether that does the trick the next time a Harrison comes up in the make list!

I used grey thread for everything except the buttons and buttonholes, for them I chose pink, as a bit of a highlight.

I use bias binding on all of my seams as I don't have an overlooked/ serger. I had enough matching bias tape left over from the dress I made in the same fabric to do the bottom hem, so all of the internal seams were done in a contrasting but complementary binding.

One of the things I love about these shirts are is the opportunity to play with some contrasting elements. I often used to buy RTW button downs from Thomas Cook & Sons, and those shirts always used contrasting fabrics (usually pattern clashing to the extreme) for the under collar, inner collar stand, inside yolk, inner cuff and under placket, and even sometimes the inside button band. I always liked that design element and decided when I started making my own button down shirts that I'd make a point of doing that too 😍 so fun!

Next up – my first attempt at the Style Arc Candice skirt.


So, last Saturday I bought fabric, again…

I swear, I was only going to look at batting to work out what I needed to get for when the Haptic Labs quilt kits arrive. I had decided that I was also, maybe, going to get a border print of some description to make my muslin of the Style Arc Candice skirt interesting, but that was going to be it!

Until I walked in the door… πŸ™ˆπŸ™Š

The shelves at the front of the quilting cotton section were filled with newly-in Birch Fabrics including the delightful Dolfun print, and the moment I spotted them I knew I was pretty much sunk.

I need to explain (and I promise I’m not using it as an excuse!). I do 99% of my fabric shopping at East Coast Fabrics. They’re a Fabric Clearance Centre, and there a 4 of them across Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. My local store is Lawnton, and I’m not sure what it says about me and my shopping habits, but all the ladies there know me, and ask about my projects… Because they’re a Clearance Centre it’s quite possible for them to sell out of a particular fabric and it be gone, never to be back again between one visit and the next. So, when I see anything I love I get it, because I’ve been caught before seeing something newly in and thinking I’d be able to get it next time, and then it be gone for good… 😒😒

All of that is to say I bought fabric… a lot of fabric… and they are now all washed and sitting on the ‘ironing chair’ (that’s a thing, right?) ready to be ironed tomorrow and added to the stash, each with their destiny already determined (mostly). There may or may not be a theme.

Clockwise from the top left these will end up being: Candice skirt (muslin, this is the only piece of fabric I was supposed to buy!), Upton Skirt, Upton Dress and an Amber Top.

Again, clockwise from the top left: Candice skirt (won’t be as full, they didn’t have quite enough yardage left, but that was it, all gone), Upton Skirt, Maven French Dart Shift (or if I can manage it in the amount of fabric I have, the short sleeve top version of Christine Haynes new Varda pattern), and an Emery Dress.

Maven French Dart Shift or hopefully a Varda (this will actually probably be what I use for the muslin of that new pattern), Candice Skirt, two Emery Dresses – orange print outside/ teal lining, and a pink bodice/ cherry blossom skirt version, and last but not least, another Upton Skirt.

If you guessed that the theme of this trip was skirts, then you would be 100% correct…

Much as I love wandering the aisles and being inspired by all the pretty fabrics, I think I’m banning myself from East Coast this weekend – I do not need to add anymore to the stash! And besides, I want to finish the Harrison I started last weekend (just cuffs, buttonholes and buttons to go!), and start the muslin of the Candice Skirt – can’t wait to wear a breakfast themed skirt πŸ˜‚ that’ll be a first for me!!


Decisions, Decisions

Saturday morning I couldn’t decide what my next make was going to be. Not because I didn’t like any of the fabric in my stash, but because I love all of it, and choosing what to use next is hard. Just look at them, so pretty ☺️ (and this is just a selection πŸ™ˆ). 

My quandary wasn’t helped by the new fabric I bought on Saturday (more about that later). I bought fabric for a skirt pattern I’ve been wanting to try, but needed to wash it before I could start playing with it!

I resorted to the good old ‘pick a name out of a hat’ routine to solve my dilemma. I put the name of every pattern I have (and have fabric for, washed and ready to go) into a container, shook it up and pulled one out.

The Harrison shirt pattern was the winner, and as luck would have it I already had one already cut out, woohoo!! So I was able to get sewing again.

I know what my next project is going to be – that skirt pattern tester, now that the fabric is washed – but I think I’ll keep my little box of pattern names handy for the next time I’m feeling overwhelmed by having too many choices! 

Finished Projects, Sewing

Did I just make myself a Bed Jacket??

It wasn’t until I’d pretty much finished this make, and was thinking about what it actually was, based on how I’m going to wear it, that it twigged that perhaps I was indeed making a Bed Jacket, a quick google search confirmed it – yup I’ve officially made myself a Bed Jacket.

I wanted something to wear around the house in the evenings in winter. I don’t tend to wear a lot with long sleeves and my house is fully tiled downstairs, so it can be quite chilly on nights I don’t light the fire.

I will admit that ‘chilly’ is a relative term, temps don’t often drop to single digits (centigrade!) where I live, but it is cool enough for Aliyah to be burrowing in her blankets and for me to be looking for an extra layer for around the house.

The pattern for this Jacket is the Seamworks Delavan, and this is the second time I’ve made this one. The first time I made it I was looking for a cardigan-y type thing to throw on at the office. I made a straight size 22, and chose my size based on my full bust size thinking that I wouldn’t mind it being roomy and drape-y, but it turned out too roomy and too drape-y for what I wanted.

I reprinted the pattern at a size 18, did a 1.5 inch full bust adjustment (rotating the created bust dart fullness back to the waist dart), and shortened the jacked by 1.5 inches,  and was planning to make it again in a few colours – including navy with mustard binding, hmmmm… However, before I actually got around to making more of them, I fell in love with the Morris Blazer, tried it out (last weekend) and I have decided that I’ll be making variations of it instead of variations of this Delavan. I figured I’d make up this one out of this delicious soft flanelette, because I already had the fabric and the adjusted pattern, but I’ll probably be retiring this pattern for now, and make lots more Morris Blazers.


Hotel Room Hand Sewing

It’s looking very much like I will have to be in Wellington, NZ for most of August for work.

Now, I know from experience that when I travel for work I don’t have time to do real sewing – as in, ‘no, you weren’t imagining it, I really was issuing draft docs at 3am’ – so it’s not worth hauling my sewing machine along, but the work I do when I’m traveling is incredibly brain intensive and I just need a little something to occupy my hands while my brain winds down at the end of the day. 

On other work trips I’ve tried cross stitch and knitting etc., but I’ve found that anything that requires extensive counting or looking back and forth from a pattern is a recipe for absolute, total disaster.

Then I remembered a post I read on the Cashmerette Blog about a hand stitched quilt, and after some googling I’m thinking that a quilt kit from Haptic Lab may fit the bill. Anything so I don’t spend hours trawling Pinterest for pattern ideas and then spend ALL the $$, buying ALL the patterns. I still haven’t gotten through all the patterns I bought the last time I was away for work!!! πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ

Haptic Labs – Constellation Quilt

I’m current dreaming of the large constellation quilt as a throw in navy blue with red stitching for the constellations and the Milky Way of French Knots done in a matching navy, hmmmmmm 😍😍

I sense a trip to the fabric store on Saturday to scope out batting options – I’m leaning towards a thin one, my plan is to use it as a throw-type thing rather than a bed quilt. To that end, I was thinking about how much fabric and batting I’d need to get, working out the shopping list… I’d read the dimensions of the large one online as 72 x 72 inches, and thought ‘yup, that sounds fine’, so I typed ’72 inches in cm’ into google and the little calculator thing told me that was 180cm… okaaaay, right, so, that’s just a little bigger than I thought it was going to be… apparently my brain didn’t register that bit in the size description section where it said that the large would work as a Queen Bed Coverlet… This may be a project that takes just a little longer than just this trip!!

Finished Projects, Sewing

Finished Morris Blazer!


I’ve been on the hunt for a jacket to wear at the office during the day. I wear my lovely Luzerne Trench coats for my travel to and from the office but they’re a bit much for wearing around the office.

A couple of years ago I found and bought this RTW jacket – its from Jacqui-e – but my bust is bigger than it was designed for, so it’s never really fit quite right. I’ve worn it – a lot – but have always been looking for something that fit better.

Enter the Morris Blazer…

This pattern had been on my radar for a while but I’d somewhat dismissed it as a candidate because it was designed for ‘stretch’ fabrics, and to me that meant knits, which I knew wasn’t really the look I was going for.

Then Meg McCarthy posted about her cotton sateen version of the Morris Blazer, and this pattern immediately jumped to to very top of the possible contenders list – meaning I bought and printed the pattern the same day, and bought fabric for a tester version that weekend… 

I had a few things I needed to make before this Blazer (i.e. pajamas to replace the ones that pretty much disintegrated in front of my eyes) and I had planned to make pants this weekend not this jacket, but I left my pants pattern printouts in the print queue on Friday afternoon, so Morris Blazer it was!

I did a full bust adjustment straight off before cutting the fabric, but through the course of making the tester I had to do a full bicep adjustment (thank goodness for buying too much fabric – I had enough left over to recut the sleeves!) and quite a bit of messing around with the armscye to get it big enough.

Honestly, those sleeves must have gone on and off 3 times before the armscye fit right 😳😳, much time was spent with my friendly seam ripper!! 

However the persistence and the time was totally worth it. I have a wearable jacket in my absolute favourite colour, and I have an adjusted pattern for next time! Hurrah!!! 

And I already have some delicious floral cotton sateen from Spotlight that was earmarked for another project, but I think it may have found its destiny in becoming a Morris Blazer.

Now to decide what to make next from my list… maybe I should just collect those pants pattern printouts and embark on my biggest fitting challenge yet – dress pants…


Progress on my Morris Blazer tester.Β 

I think I messed up the end point of my darts when I did the full bust adjustment and made them too low πŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™€οΈπŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™€οΈπŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ which I’ve now fixed on my pattern pieces.

The sleeve is also very firm fitting – which I knew was possible from reading other people’s reviews. So I’ve done a full bicep adjustment on my pattern pieces and added an inch to the width of the sleeves. I may also tweak the armscye and and make it a bit bigger – this will also help reduce the amount of gathering at the top of the sleeve.

I’m going to finish this one as it will be wearable, just – and I don’t have enough of this fabric to recut the sleeves and/or front pieces again.

I’m also pondering fabric options – whether there just isn’t enough stretch in this sateen for this pattern…