The swimsuit 2016: Part 1

Merk_BAD24Finally, I’m summoned up the courage to tackle this swimsuit (a.k.a. togs).  It has only taken 4 years, but I think it will be worth the wait.  The pattern is Merckwaerdigh BAD 24.  I fell in love with it the first time I saw it.  It is very distinctive and I was particularly attracted to the version with the stripes on the band.  So, way back then, I found some funky striped fabric in black and white and had it shipped across the pond.


I also ordered the pattern along with some other lingerie supplies from ELingeriA.  They sent me the Dutch language version instead on the English.  Normally this isn’t a problem, having used KnipMode patterns for many years, I was getting to understand enough of what I was reading to be able to put things together.  The pattern pieces have different markings for the notches so it is very easy to work out how the pieces go together.  But on this one, I was having trouble working out where and when the elastic is applied.  Each year, I’d get the pattern out and then get nervous about doing the elastic wrong.  Summer would pass by and nothing would have happened.

So while the temperatures here are hovering around 40°C and my boardshorts just finished, I’m determined to get the project off the ground. Continue reading “The swimsuit 2016: Part 1”

Lekala 4305 (Jacket With Stand Collar) in Denim

Detail view
Detail view

Last year I made the pattern last year “as-is” in leather and have worn it a lot. I have used the pattern as a base to knock-off of the Kuhl Burr jacket. This post covers the design changes that I made. Please see the original post for more detail on the original pattern / instructions etc. Continue reading “Lekala 4305 (Jacket With Stand Collar) in Denim”

Pattern Review: McCall 7199 in Printed Mesh


When this pattern was first released I was really excited.  I had seen a similar style in RTW on Anthropology and more recently, the Style Arc Marie Jacket pattern.  The different closures were appealing, especially view C with the toggle closure.

I made it up in a lightweight printed mesh.   The fabric is gorgeous but doesn’t show up well in the photographs.  I guess I had high hopes for this pattern. It is OK, but because it feels a little long on me, I’m not loving it as much as I hoped I would. Continue reading “Pattern Review: McCall 7199 in Printed Mesh”

Pattern Review: Patrones Magazine 339 #3 (Pantalon Lasserre) in heavy cotton twill

brown_pants.jpgI made these pants in a very heavy, tightly woven cotton twill. The fabric is still a little stiff but should soften (I hope).  The style lines of this pattern a great – a bit more detailed than most pant patterns. The princess seams make fitting much easier too.

I may sew this again in the future, possible in a summer weight stretch fabric. The construction, particularly with the pockets, is a little tricky and you will need to be able to grade between sizes. So I’d recommend it for advanced sewers only. Continue reading “Pattern Review: Patrones Magazine 339 #3 (Pantalon Lasserre) in heavy cotton twill”

Pattern Review: KnipMode Magazine 03-2014 #108 (Blouse) in Raw Silk


Ever since this edition in the mail, I’ve had this pattern high on my wishlist.  Love the deep V neckline and partial standup collar!  Last year I made a test garment up, in long sleeves.  For this version I, I made a few changes, especially to the neckline depth, and added bust darts.

The fabric is a hand-dyed silk noile.  (Landscape dyes Pacific and 10% currawong).  More about the dying process can be found in this post

I love the neckline on this top, especially the partial collar.  The changes I made to make the top more fitted and adding the shirt-tail hem worked well.   I’d like to sew this again with long sleeves and a plain yoke. Continue reading “Pattern Review: KnipMode Magazine 03-2014 #108 (Blouse) in Raw Silk”

Pattern Review :Lekala 4177 ( Peplum blouse) in black silk


This pattern is a 1 yard wonder!  The peplum takes up most of the fabric, but it is possible to lay the bodice and sleeve pieces around it.

With a number of peplum patterns coming out lately, I decided to give this a go.   I love the way the peplum sits.  It doesn’t have as much fullness as the BMV patterns I’ve looked at and this suits me much better – skims rather than flounces. I wasn’t sure how the hi-lo hem would go as side-on they can just look ill-fitting ( like the hem is being raised because you need an FBA) but it doesn’t look too bad. The length on the front and back is very flattering.  I also like the custom fit on this pattern, as I normally have to make a lot of adjustments for being short with narrow shoulders. It is so nice just to trace out the pattern and sew.

I may sew this again with a variation in the collar or sleeves. Continue reading “Pattern Review :Lekala 4177 ( Peplum blouse) in black silk”

Lekala 4167 (Jacket in Military Style) in Textured Wool

2015_02_c.jpg I love it! It feels so nice to put it on and I know I’m going to wear it a lot!To my amazement, there are no wrinkles, the sleeve hangs perfectly, and doesn’t bind when I lift my arm up. I’ve also really surprised myself with the construction. 12 months ago, I could only dream of sewing a jacket as well as this.

This jacket is a combination of Lekala 4167 (main silhouette) and Lekala 5548 (dart configuration and sleeve fit). Continue reading “Lekala 4167 (Jacket in Military Style) in Textured Wool”

Lekala 4425 (Blouse with ruche) in raw silk


I found a photo of this top somewhere on Polyvore last year. It can’t remember the designer, but I loved the top. I was going to try drafting it, but on a whim I submitted the photo into Lekala’s “Suggest new style”. It got the most number of votes that week and a couple of weeks later, the pattern was it up on their web site- made to your measurements – and only for a couple of dollars . The kind of thing you only dream about. Thanks Lekala!!! Continue reading “Lekala 4425 (Blouse with ruche) in raw silk”