I love: howling wind + rain

13 Aug

It’s blowing a gale outside.

The wind feels like it might gust the walls in and the rain sounds like a tap running directly onto the old iron roof.

I love it, the beautiful contrast between this insane world out there and how warm and secure I feel inside, in the dark, swaddled in blankets and hot-water-bottles.

I’m wishing for thunder.


Moving (on a whim)

31 Jul

When I started posting here, I didn’t know what I wanted to write about exactly. To be honest I still don’t, but as the posts have tended to be sewing related, I’ve renamed the blog and moved it over to a new address – the much more accurately titled – Lazy Stitching.

So this will be the last sewing post here. I haven’t given up this domain, as I may still use it personally for rants and raves – the title was inspired by the words of Leonard Cohen:

“Ring the bells that still can ring;
Forget your perfect offering;
There is a crack in everything;
That’s how the light gets in.”

It just struck a real cord with me so I shall see how it goes.

Meanwhile, on the random off chance, you have bookmarked this page, please feel free to change it to the new one:


Suedette Skirt: Butterick 4461

29 Jul

My Saturday afternoon was spent indulging in a little Spotlight binge shopping. I live about a 25 minute drive from either of the two closest Spotlight stores, one north and one south. Without thinking I headed north, which ended up being mayhem. The fabric space is woefully small for the number of people that go there and I’m guessing Saturday afternoon is their busiest time. Poor planning on my part.

As is common for me I found myself drunk on the sales fabric stand and wound up dragging some 9 bolts of fabric up to the queue that was 10 people deep. It was quite comic as I was literally trying to carry them all at once with a basket of notions slung over one arm. And of course, being Spotlight, several of the tubes at the center of the bolts had broken in half so they were springing in all directions as I tripped over the fabric dragging on the ground.

Amongst this stash was this fabric not-so-charmingly called “Suedette”.

I don’t think it’s possible to find a more synthetic fabric. It has a super soft knit backing and a sort of cracked suede look on the front. When I came across it, more first thought was, my god, who on earth buys these hideously fabrics. Then because I’m insane I started looking at it as a challenge.

Could I possibly make something wearable out of this tacky knit? It was only $5 for the metre I bought, and I’m not one to back down from a challenge.

I kept it simple with Butterick 4461, which is the most basic of A-line skirt patterns. I sewed a size 22 and swapped the lapped zipper for an invisible one. Unfortunately, spotlight was all out of black ones… and navy… so I ended up using a hunter green one which fortunately blends well enough with the faded look of the Suedette.

The  skirt is so basic you could make it in your sleep and I must have made 100 of these in highschool. I was pleasantly surprised with the overall look of the suede it the simple silhouette, but what kept me from wearing it work this morning? The damn fabric somehow shows every teeny tiny bump underneath it!

With the light bouncing off all the lumps and bumps (believe me it is worse than this photo shows) I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Time to buy some spanx, I’m thinking.


Pattern: US$2.99

Fabric: $4.0 (0.8m @ $5/m – Spotlight)

Zip: $3.0

TOTAL COST: NZ$11.11 / US$8.10

African Print Skirt: Simplicity 2605

26 Jul

I made this one a little while back. It’s from the same pattern as the rust skirt (Simplicity 2605)but it is View A, which is longer and has a faux wrap with pleating at the waist.

Simplicity 2605

The length isn’t the best on me but I really liked putting this skirt together. The instructions are straight forward and the skirt is actually sewn on both sides, so no chance of accidental exposure at work.

Faux Wrappage

I saw this slubbycotton print in Centrepoint Fabrics and fell in love.

But, unfortunately I made this skirt before seeing Tasia’s fab print matching how-to at Sewaholic.net.

Back view - matching fail.

Oh well, we live and we learn.


Pattern: $7.5

Fabric: $20.8 (1.6m @ $13/m – Centrepoint Fabrics)

Zip: $4.0

TOTAL: NZ$32.30 / US$23.50

Works in Progress

26 Jul

Here’s what I’m working on currently:

Butterick 4461

I’m almost done with this one and it’s walking a fine line between edgy and trash-tastic… so of course I love it!

McCall's 6035

Another view of McCall’s 6035. I’m trying to improve the fit a little more but I may have gone a little out of control.

Vogue 8631

Butterick 5212

This one will be my $30 version of this US$165 J-crew dress.

J Crew Sophia Dress

The Uniform Project: Dress Pattern

24 Jul

How  cool is this? Hopefully most people have come across The Uniform Project already, where Sheena wore the same dress for 365 days in a row, raising funds for the Akanksha Foundation.

The Uniform Project Dress

Each day she created a new look, pairing the dress with donated accesories.

She has been selling the dress via her website for a while now. It’s reversible and has a button on collar (plus if you look at the website there are 365 styling ideas!).

Reverse Side. Day 89.

I loved it and would have bought one but I wished it was a little longer in length. But fear not, now that they have added the dress pattern for purchase I can lengthen my own! US$20 and 10% goes to the Akanksha Foundation.

U.P. Dress Pattern.

Mine is on it’s way.

Thanks to G, at lin3a rossa for pointing this out.


23 Jul

Not much of a to do list for this weekend. Just catching up on housework and the like, yawn.

But I am starting to get there with the sewing plan, now that some of my stash of fabric has been cleared away with recent projects.

Here’s a sneak peak:

I spotted this Orla Kiely coat via Vivat Veritas and realised it was a good match for the 70’s coat pattern I made as my first ebay purchase this week.

I love this Brian Reyes dress and when I saw Vogue 1109 I knew I could channel Tim Gunn and “make it work”. Or at least I hope so. If I can replace the sleeves with facings and extend the hip panels into a skirt, I may be in luck. I also like the Alice + Olivia blazer but I can’t seem to find the right pattern for it. Any ideas?

And finally, to indulge my love of the whimsically ridiculous – these Issey Miyake pants inspired by Balenciaga Resort 2011.