Tag Archives: Indie pattern

0 Degrees of Separation

I haven’t blogged for a long time! I have done a little bit of sewing over the past few months and I’ve started writing some blog posts but haven’t quite got to the stage of actually posting anything but fortunately Leimomi The Dreamstress came up with a brilliant idea for a challenge which would force me to blog about it.

Based on the fact that all of us in the Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network (WSBN) shop in the same fabric stores (often at the same time – just imagine the enabling that goes on!) and we often buy the same fabrics quite by accident, Leimomi had an idea to see if we could create a chain of makes linked by either the same fabric or the same pattern as the previous person. You can read her explanation here, and she has links to all the posts which are being updated daily.

A few of us caught up for a photo session in our 0 Degrees dresses.  It was a bit of a flying visit for me because I had to rush off to look at a flat with my daughter (she’s moving out!  I’m going to have a sewing room!!) but I had enough time to sit on a wall at Te Papa with everyone while we looked very happy in our dresses.


Why am I wearing a dress with babies on it? Well Juliet from Crazy Gypsy Chronicles went into her local Spotlight store and saw fabric which horrified her so much she took several photos and posted them on the WSBN Facebook group page with a comment about how creepy and awful they were. She probably wasn’t expecting what happened next which was that a lot of us said “Gumnut Babies! Cool, can you buy us some”. So poor Juliet, having one day regarded the Gumnut Babies fabric with derision has to go back the next day and buy almost all of it. When this challenge came up and the complicated process of working out the fabric and pattern matches and creating the chain of links began it was especially easy for me because we already knew who had this fabric.

‘Twas the night before the get together for our group photo for this challenge so I thought I’d better start making the dress, so finally at 8.30 I made a start. Luckily, having made the Alder twice before and this being the easiest fabric ever to sew (it’s a lovely crisp stable cotton) I didn’t run into any problems and the dress went together quickly over the course of the evening and the next morning. You might notice the fact that I didn’t bother doing any pattern matching or centring at all. For starters there wasn’t time for that but I also thought this might be a one wear dress, after all it has babies on it! When I first looked at the finished dress I thought I should have at least centred the pattern on the front and the back but I’m not that bothered by it. I’ve seen so many quite expensive ready to wear clothes lately with uncentred patterns I figure I’m not going to get upset about this. The only thing I made an attempt to match was the pocket (only in as much as I’d cut two out and just picked the one where the pattern seemed to line up with the pattern on the dress in the pocket region).  Oddly the pattern on the back lines up perfectly at the bodice/skirt seam.  This was a total fluke because the pattern isn’t even centred across the back.  Leimomi mentioned that she liked the way I’d put the babies heads and butts on my button band, that was a happy accident too.

Grainline Alder shirt dressGrainline Alder shirt dress

One thing I’m very happy with is the buttons.  I had bought a bag of buttons at the op shop (thrift store) earlier in the day for $1 and there were some just the right shade of yellow in the bag.

I love this dress, it’s not very obvious that it’s covered in babies, it just looks like a busy print. Like my other Alders (which I haven’t blogged about yet) it’s a great comfortable throw on summer dress. It’s a pity that summer is over here and it’ll have to live in the wardrobe for a few months until the weather warms up again, even so I’ve still worn it two Sundays in a row.

Grainline Alder shirt dressGrainline Alder Shirt dress

In case you’re wondering what the story is about the weird fascination with baby fabric there is a series of children’s books about the ‘Gumnut Babies’ by Australian author May Gibbs and these fabrics feature the cute characters from her stories which many of us remember from our childhood.

There were other prints in the range.  Check out this cute shirt dress that Jo at Making it well made from the fabric she got.

Less well known are the New Zealand equivalent of the Gumnut Babies, two little characters called Hutu and Kawa from a series of books written and illustrated by Avis Acres. If anyone printed these little cuties onto fabric I’d be tempted to wear babies a lot more often.





Lady Skater dress – but with stripes and without skates

Indie pattern month on The Monthly Stitch is going to be the death of me! I missed dresses week but next up was “New to me” week and I managed to make two entries for this section of the competition. Early in the week I finished the Watson jacket from Papercut Patterns and now I’ve made the Lady Skater dress from Kitschy Coo. If I’m still alive by the end of the month I’d like to enter the “The Indie Fan Girl, Level: Ultimate” however as this one involves making an entire outfit (two garments minimum) from one indie pattern designer I’m not sure I’ll be getting it done, mainly because I don’t really feel like making two indie patterns up at the moment, but that could change of course.

I usually don’t manage to submit anything for The Monthly Stitch because I’m not that good at managing my time outside of work.  Life tends to get in the way, other things take over and meeting deadlines in my personal life just seems a bit daunting most days.  Then there’s the blog writing and posting wrestle with WordPress which is made tricky by the fact that I prefer to use my iPad for everything and WordPress and the iPad don’t play nicely together.  However the prizes on offer for Indie Pattern Month were so good I had to try to win something.  The competition is very stiff though, head over to TMS and take a look at the other entries for yourself.

I had four hours sleep last Tuesday after finishing sewing at midnight, then waking up at 4am and not being able to get back to sleep because I started thinking about sewing so I got up at 5.30am to trace patterns for some more indie sewing projects. But who needs sleep when you’ve got indie pattern challenges?! It would be nice if 40 hours of potential sewing time a week wasn’t taken up by my job, but I guess that’s how I get money to buy fabrics, patterns, notions and all the other sewing stuff I love (just between us, I do have a large enough stash to probably keep me sewing full time for months so maybe earning money isn’t that essential).

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Meanwhile I present my lady skater….! Isn’t it lovely. It was great to make something very easy for a change and it took just one evening to put together including cutting out. I have carefully and deliberately not matched most of my stripes except for the dominant white stripe on the skirt. I didn’t have enough fabric to match them anyway but I thought that the mismatching would compliment the casual style of the dress and fabric. I wanted to have chevrons in the front and back skirt panels and, because this was a cheap fabric and it’s effectively a wearable muslin, I didn’t pay any attention to the grain line when cutting the skirt pieces, just cut them the way I wanted the stripes to go. The grain is on various angles of bias, not the true bias, but that doesn’t matter at all, knits are so much more forgiving about this kind of thing.

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I had fun deciding on stripe placement and I’m hoping that by putting the white stripe across my bust and the dark stripes around my waist I’m creating the illusion that I actually have a bust and waist.  I was a little disturbed about the arrow I accidentally created at the top of the skirt but I have been assured by everyone else that it’s fine.

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This dress is fast and easy to make. I finished it in one evening, and that included cutting out. I’m afraid I can’t comment on how easy the instructions were to follow because I only glanced over them to see what seam allowance to use, then put them aside.  Ironically I managed to get the one thing I consulted the instructions for wrong – I’ve just had a look at the instructions so I can comment on them and discovered that the seam allowance is 3/8″, I thought it was 5/8″ and used that throughout.  Thankfully it ended up the perfect size anyway so maybe 3/8″ would have made it too big.  I like the way that there are two levels of instructions though.  One comprehensive and illustrated with lots of colour photos, and a second entitled “Skater Dress crib sheet for advanced bad*sses”. Even without the instructions this went together well and was very simple to make.   I’m feeling like a total bad*ss now.

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I would highly recommend this pattern to anyone, it’s simple enough for a beginner and the instructions look extremely comprehensive. I got the pattern when I purchased the Perfect Pattern Parcel #1, along with 4 other lovely patterns, all of which I’m pretty keen to make up at some stage in the future.  If you’re a fan of indie patterns (or patterns in general or just sewing) take a look at the Perfect Pattern Parcel website.  They release parcels of indie pattern parcels periodically and you can purchase a parcel of indie patterns and choose from a range of prices depending on what you’re willing to pay for them.  Part of the purchase price goes towards children’s education.

Fabric: 100% merino from Levana textiles which I bought on the recent Wellington Sewing Bloggers Network road trip. This fabric is a bit weird and the wrong side sticks to itself like Velcro.  I prewashed it twice and I’ve worn and washed the dress again and it’s definitely improving with each wash and sticking to itself and me a lot less now.

Photos were taken at our WSBN group photo shoot with Kat, Nikki, Laura and Sandra.  Here’s a photo of Laura and I freezing while modelling our Monthly Stitch New-to-me entries in the cold Wellington wind

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