Dawn Jeans

When I set out to makeMegan Nielsen’s Dawn Jeans I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I searched long and hard through the hashtag on Instagram for like bodied people with little to no success. I put out a call for people to share with me their journeys mainly to get the general response back “haven’t made them, but let me know what you can find”. So in the end I totally just went for it!

I started by grading between my measurements to form a base pattern for testing. I was a 14 at the waist and an 18 at the hip. Easy enough right (Megan actually has a tutorial on her blog on how to do this). I then also opted to install the zip fly with the tutorials on Megan’s blog as I don’t care much for button flys. I whipped them almost completely up only to find I could hardly breath when they where on (cue sucking it in to get them done up!).

Im not sure if you can see in the above photo, but the pockets also actually pulled and where poking out the top. So back to the drawing board it was. It was suggested that maybe I should make the pocket bags a little wider so that they where closer to the center, so I gave that a whirl and added 3 inches to the width. Worked a bloody treat!

I then re graded the whole pattern. I made the back yoke a 14 at the top and graded it straight out to a 16 towards the bottom, then started the back pants at a 16. And for the front I graded from a 14 at the waist and bought the grading out a lot sooner so that it reached an 18 before the hips. There is a small section just below the hips (amongst the thigh area) where I bought the pattern right out to a 20 on both sides. That all makes sense in my head, so I hope it makes sense to read…

The first pattern draft on top of the second

This all worked a treat. Just having that smidge more room between the hips and waist made them so much more comfortable. I can even stick my hands in my pockets now! I was actually terrified that I would have to do some form of adjustment but luckily for now this did the trick! Maybe when I get a little more confident with pants making I can work out what kind of adjustment I should have actually made, but while it’s working I won’t mess with it!

There is a small section behind the knee that bags a little, but as I’ve already put all the top stitching into this set I’m not going to bother with making any more adjustments. I also maybe cut the hole for the button a little wide and am hoping to the high heavens that the button won’t come out while I am away on holidays – Don’t fear I went straight out and bought a belt hole punch so this never happens again.

All in all I found this pattern super simple! I may have even cut out a set of wide leg in a cord! If you fear pants fitting this is a great pattern to start with!

Alice dress

I don’t even know where to get started with telling you about the Alice dress. I absolutely love it!

Sometime in 2018, before I started my retail fashion fast I bought two dresses from Gorman, which are both still my absolute go to dresses when I’m at home. Fast forward a year and I was desperate to find a pattern that matched the simplicity of the Gorman style.

The exact Gorman dress I love
The exact Gorman dress I love

I’m not even entirely sure how I came across the Alice dress to start with- let’s put it down to countless hours of scrolling the web through indie pattern designers (cue multiple other patterns!). But once I found it I knew that it would be yet another go to pattern that would be perfect whipped up in an array of gorgeous linen’s.

Which bring me to this beautiful linen. It is from non other then Doop design. An Australian clothing and fabric brand. This linen falls beautifully, hold up well and was a pleasure to sew with.

So in the end I made a size small with no other mods. There will be plenty more of these dresses to come!

Make nine 2020

Last year was the first year I actually decided sewing was going to be a big hobby in my life. I got on the bandwagon and planned out a make nine, which turned out to be very ambitious (three pairs of fitted pants? Who was I kidding). I think I made a grand total of three of my nine “wishlist” items. So this year i have set out some more realistic plans with far less challenging items in suit.

Hopefully this year I can achieve more then last year. One can only hope.

So here they are !

#1 Swimmers

In particular the Megan Nielsen Cottesloe pattern. But I would also love to make myself a rashie eventually, as I am moving closer to a beach in May! I struggle to find a two piece that fits both my top and my bottom, as I have much larger hips then waist or bust. But I also love the one piece. Oh and did I mention I adore the Ellie Whittaker swim fabrics!

#2 A Quilted Vest

Vests are my absolute favorite thing to wear. If you have ever met me you would know just how real my obsession with a vests is. Last year I bought a retail vest telling myself if you can’t make it you can buy it…so naturally this year I thought, why not try and make it!

#3 Dawn Jeans

Jeans, do I need to say anymore? The Dawn Jeans where on my make list last year, but I was way to overwhelmed to make any kind of fitted pants, so maybe I will actually get around to them this year.

#4 Shorts for Deniz

My almost husband has been nagging me for months to make him some shorts to replace the three pairs he wore the crotch out of. I’m thinking the Cargo pants from Wardrobe by me will be a good starting point.

#5 Wedding Dreas

Arguably the most important make of 2020. I will not be making this alone!

#6 Desmond Backpack

I made a Desmond backpack for my brother for Christmas, and let me tell you, I fricken loved it. It’s so roomy and would be the perfect backpack to take traveling!

#7 Shoes!

I have the absolute fantasy of having a completely me made outfit..I’m talking from head to toe! So I would love to try and get to one of the Shoe Camaraderie workshops this year.

#8 A jacket made form a vintage wool blanket

If any of my make nine is likely to be not completed, this jacket will be it. But the sheer dream of finding a thrifted blanket to turn into a jacket excites me.. I’ll keep you posted on this one.

#9 Bras

I hate buying bras! The awkwardness of standing there topless while some complete stranger fits you for a bra they think works well, or god forbid if you think you can pick the right one yourself only to have a draw of regret. Yeah, I want to get rid of that feeling. I want to be able to put a bra on fresh from the machine and be over joyed with something that I completely made myself. I guess I could probably add underpants to this list too..or leave it for another list of wishlist makes.

Well there you have it! Nine carefully thought out projects to keep me challenged throughout 2020.

A Handmade Christmas

Here we are, all 25 of us, semi matching, post Christmas lunch standing on the front lawn, big grins in toe and happy as Larry.

This story starts two years ago, when someone (me) wanted us to all buy matching Australian ugly Christmas rashies to wear in mum and dads pool on Christmas day. Due to our poor planning by the time we looked into it they where completely sold out. Then there was last year. I had just started my sewing adventure and wanted to make everyone something that matched but didn’t quite have the skills yet, well fast forward six months and my skills exploded as I was sewing things left right and center.

Picture this. Mid June, I message my cousin Tara saying “hey how would you feel if we all had matching handmade t-shirts for Christmas?” She replies with a simple “that’s a great idea”. So what do i instantly do? I send out a group message of course, which very quickly escalates!

It very quickly became apparent that a plain t-shirt was not going to be what I made everyone. And from there, there was no backing out!

My family contains 25 people:
– 9 men
– 9 women
– 7 Children
I got them all to send me through photos of something that they would like (or a general idea), and then found a pattern that was similar to the picture/suggestion they had sent me.

The men where easy. Seven of them wanted shorts so I whipped up a pair of Trigg shorts and couldn’t believe it when only one of them didn’t fit the toil. This is a great pattern, its super easy and the new size ranging really is a better fit. I would highly recommend this pattern!

The two older men – my Dad and Uncle both wanted button down shirts. So I put out a post on Instagram and was not disappointed with the responses. My dads birthday was in August so I whipped him up a shirt for his birthday to test the fit and was pleasantly surprised. My uncle on the other hand was one of the last outfits I sewed and I was well over it at this point. I regret not testing the fit.

Then there was all of us women! I think I speak for everyone (or just myself, whatever this is my blog) in saying that i did a pretty bang on job to test and fit everyone. There was only one of my cousins that I made a toil twice for (and only because she didn’t like the straight up and down of the York pinafore- so I hacked it) but everyone else’s toils fit relatively well straight out of the hat.

Kids! I love sewing kids clothes as gifts, but sometimes it can be tricky knowing what size to make, this was especially the case with the two newest members of our family. I had a slight freak out three weeks before Christmas that Aggie’s dress wouldn’t fit her as she went from chunky monkey to 6 month old very Fricken quick. Alas it did fit!
I must admit though, i made Rex’s shirt twice as i wasn’t paying attention when I cut out and sewed the shirt together and had completely sewn the wrong size.. oops.
As for those three Bennett girls, I bought just not enough pom pom trimming for two out of three skirts – it was a very what the fuck moment.

So here they are!

This is my family

This is us,
My mum in a Darling Rangers dress by Megan Nielsen
Dad in a Tropical shirt by Wardrobe by Me
My two brothers and Deniz in Trigg shorts by Elbe Textiles
Carlie in a Jessica Dress by Mimi G
And me in a Lisa Dress by Tessuti patterns (i think we all know this is my current favorite dress?)

The Bennett’s and Cully’s
Stephen and Kane in Trigg Shorts
Tara in a Penny dress by Sew Over It
Annie in a York Pinafore by Helen’s Closet
Linda in a Kalle Shirt by Closet Case Patterns
And the three girls Mabel Nell and Elsie in simple rectangle gathered skirt (i cant remember the pattern..oops)

The Codd’s
Richard in a Tropical Shirt by wardobe by me
Jan in a Union st tee by Hey June Handmade
Ben and Steven in Trigg Shorts
Danielle and Rachael in Hinterland dresses by Sew Liberated
Aggie, Rex and Toby all in patterns i can’t remember

In total I made 38 outfits. This includes all the toils I made for everyone to test the fit. This whole project really helped me with my sewing skills this year, and i don’t think i would be half the sewer if i hadn’t given it a go.

Would I recommend anyone else do something like this for a family this big?

Was it 100% worth it in the end?

There probably would have been more photos on Christmas day, but I got a little merry drinking Gin and just enjoyed the day.

Until next time!

A place my cutlery can call home

For those of you who don’t know me, I love a good Eco solution to anything. Got a keep cup, you know I do. Carry a container for scraps at a restaurant? You bet ya cotton socks I’ll be asking you for your scraps! Always, I mean always have a hanky on hand, hello inner old lady. But dare I say it out loud, that I am always caught without cutlery (sorry fold-able spork, but you just don’t cut the mustard!)

So when I saw Jess, from broad in the seams list of echo friendly sewing solutions I screamed with joy, literally. This may just be the handiest thing I have sewn yet! I can already see this pack coming with me everywhere! The only modification I made was to lengthen the fold by 5cm so that my cutlery where a little deeper in the pack. Its perfect!

For added security I bought a knife with a cover, you know so it doesn’t poke a hole through my pack..or stab me while I’m looking for something in my handbag!

The original pattern by the Rouge Ginger can be found here.