Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Did you know that there was a sewalong going on at Coletterie (Colette Patterns' blog)? I saw it before I left for my vacation and remembered it a few days ago. Having made the Rooibos dress once before, I decided to whip up another one in a couple of afternoons. I didn't have my first Rooibos with me (it's at my boyfriend's) but I thought I remembered that the fit was good, just a little loose around the waist.

I remembered wrong.

I ended up with this thing, tight around the bust and VERY loose around the waist, too flared at the bottom. I tried to savage it somehow, but the result is quite horrible and messy, as you can see. I know, it doesn't look THAT terrible in the photo, but trust me. There's a reason why I only put one image.
The cheap ugly blue fabric I used didn't help at all. Why did I think it was a good idea to buy this mistery blend that costed 2 euros per meter? I should have known it would look like crap, and it really does.
Plus, I'm starting to think that the tan flowery fabric I used for the contrast and the piping is haunted. I made a Violet blouse from it before and it looked terrible. It sits at the bottom of my wardrobe, waiting for the day I'll find the courage to throw it away.

But back to the Rooibos: for some reason, this ill fitting garment has really gotten me depressed. I want to take a pause from making dresses but I still want to figure out how to fit my body better.
As Sarah pointed out in the comments of my previous post (I'm really really sorry I didn't answer, by the way), I probably need to finally start to do FBAs on my patterns. After all, I have narrow shoulders and a relatively small torso and waist, but I'm very busty. If a pattern fits me around both the chest and the waist, I end up with a gaping neckline.
I need to study the hows and whys of FBAs, but luckily the online sewing community is full of resources. In the meantime, I'll keep myself busy with easier patterns and sewing some accessories, which I always enjoyed.
If you have any tips for me, they're more than welcome, as always!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lady in Red

Hello everyone! Long time no see... I've been back home for almost a week, but for some reason I have avoided my blog until today.
At least I'm back with something nice to share: my latest summer dress! It's a cute sundress made in a very light red polka dot cotton. It's the Gathered Sundress pattern from Pattern Runway and I love it!
The princess seams of the bodice are very flattering, as well as the round neckline, and I just ADORE how the pockets are constructed, with a gathered edge and bias strip.

If you notice some horizontal puckers in the bodice, that's because I had some fitting issues. I was in a rush because I wanted to take the dress with me to the seaside, so I didn't make a muslin (when will I ever learn???). The bodice ended up being way too long for my bodice but I didn't realize it until the dress was finished, hemmed and all. So, what could I do? I simply pinched the straps together and sewed them 2 cm shorter. This made the dress shorter and a bit too snug under the arms, but luckily it's not uncomfortable at all.

I also had to add two small darts on the neckline because, once again, it was gaping. Can any of you suggest me some other modifications to make for a gaping neckline? I'd be extremely grateful!
The fabric is great, light and breathable for the very hot weather we have now here. I used some muslin as lining for the bodice and underlining for the skirt and pockets and I think it worked perfectly.

The pattern was great, easy to assemble and the instructions were very easy to follow, with very clear images. As I did with the Scalloped Hem Shorts, I can't recommend this pattern more.
If you like this dress and want to make it yourself, you can find a discount code for Pattern Runway in my previous post.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Interview: Pattern Runway

As promised, here is the interview that Sarah from Pattern Runway very kindly gave me. Before I leave you to it, let me tell you that she also offered a 20% discount for my readers, using the code PAUNNET20, so run and take advantage of this nice offer!

1 - Introduce yourself: tell us something about where you live, your origins, hobbies, etc.
 Hello there! I'm Sarah from Pattern Runway and currently live in the very sunny Gold Coast in Australia. I love sewing and creating with a insatiable passion. I come from a Graphic Design background and have worked across both fashion and design fields and have taught both design, fashion and sewing here on the Gold Coast. I love making stuff! Anything from clothing, to homewears to baking pretty cakes and very recently learnt the fine art of baking gorgeous macaroons! 
2 - How did you start your business, Pattern Runway?
 I started Pattern Runway after teaching homesewing  and seeing the desire to sew is there and strong, but the pattern choices that closely follow fashion trends are limited! After working in the fashion industry and learning production sewing methods and patternmaking I wanted to try and create patterns that had slightly more streamlined sewing process and professional finishes! Hopeing to enable home sewers to sew professional looking garments that didn't end up unfinished and in the bin! (not sure how I'm doing with that :) ...)

Gathered Sundress

3 - How did you choose the name of your shop?
 Names are always such a hard one for me and a bit of a stumbling block! To be honest I'm still not entirely sure that this is the right name for what I'm trying to create! I liked it because it identifies the product, but has an association with fashion industry more so than the home sewing or craft industries. I started by writing down every word or name that was associated with what I do, then started combining words! There is though a hugely popular fashion design show (and merchandise) by the name of Project Runway.  Thats probably why "Pattern Runway" Sounded familiar when I started combining words! I really didn't mean to jump all over Project Runway!!! Hence why I'm not totally satisfied that its the one! 
4 - Do you have formal training (art, design, sewing, etc.)?
 I have a degree in Fine art, majoring in Graphic Design, and then fashion Industry experience. 
5 - Does your shop support you economically? If not, do you have another job?
 At the moment not yet. It certainly supports my Etsy addiction!  I work part time as a graphic designer aswell.  
Easy Short Sleeved Dress
6 - What are your main sources of inspiration?
 Hmm, I love clothing, beautiful clothing with attention to detail. I mainly get ideas from European designers and alot of blogs that I follow and of course the fantastic Aussie designers that we have, such as Fleur Wood, Little Joe, Secret Squirrel, Zimmerman etc as well as Vintage sewing books.
7 - What are the main satisfactions you get from your shop?
I think its just the satisfaction of creating something and then seeing what others do with it. Its a good creative outlet for me. 
8 - How and where do you advertise your business?
At this stage I haven't advertised at all! I have a blog (www.patternrunway.com) and a facebook page which has been fantastic! Thinking about doing a little stall at the Craft markets here on the Gold Coast but want to develop more patterns first!
Scalloped hem shorts

9 - Do you have any advice for who wants to start their own business/shop?
Ooh gosh, not sure that I'm qualified to offer advice yet!! I guess the only things I could say is: do what you love, even if its only part time, produce something of quality, love and care, always learn and have a teachable spirit!!
Thank you so much Sarah and keep up the good work! I'm definitely VERY excited to see what your next patterns will be!
A little side note: this will be my last post for the next two weeks. I'm going to the seaside to enjoy some beautiful Mediterranean weather... YAY! The downside is that I won't have any Internet connection, so no blog activity for me. I'll be back at the end of August to show you another project from Pattern Runway, the Gathered Sundress (which I'm in love with).
See you soon!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Scallop fever #2: Scalloped hem shorts

I'm really neglecting my blog, but at least I'm back with something I love. Meet the first pair of pants I've ever made!
I found the pattern for these shorts a while ago and I finally took the time to sew them.
Shorts are really in fashion this summer but I never wear them because I hate my thighs, but the design of these little shorts really won me over. I'm still self conscious of my thighs, but I almost forget it when I wear them.

 The pattern is from Pattern Runway and Sarah, the owner of this lovely shop, has agreed to answer to some questions for my blog, so stay tuned if you want to know more.
I was very excited to try a pattern from an indipendent company and I must say I loved it! It was very simple to assemble, the instructions were great and I loved the construction methods, especially the welt pockets. I also really liked that the seam allowance is just 1 cm, so that you can avoid a lot of bulk.
The fit is good: I used size M for the waist and upsized to L for the hips. I still had to add two little darts to the waistband, but that's an adjustment I always have to make. My hips and bum are quite difficult to fit, and that's also the reason why I had never made pants before. There is still some pulling and creasing (the cheap fabric I used doesn't help), but I'm satisfied. I especially like to wear them with a long top that elongates my torso a little bit.
I leave you with some photos of the details, which I'm sure will be appreciated by the construction freaks (I know I'm not the only one). Feel free to ask any question below, if you have one!