Monday, November 9, 2015

Flamingo Play Suit

Summer is almost upon us in Aussie so a good time to start sewing some quick fun little outfits.
Spotlight had a sale on recently (they always have a sale on) where I picked up this cute flamingo printed rayon for a steal. I already had a playsuit in mind so thought this fabric would be perfect to give a fun 70’s type feel to it. Can’t be too serious with a playsuit.....

Full story and images are on my new blog Sewthispattern

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Venus Kimono 2

I’ve made another Venus Kimono in a lightweight cotton voile I picked up from Darn Cheap Fabrics. I thought I’d sew up another one up to show how you can style it. Kimonos can look very funky and stylish if they are styled the right way.....
Full story and images on the blog on my new website Sew This Pattern.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Patchwork Pullover Top

This top was literally made from scrap fabric. Usually when I go away for a weekend to my in-laws who live in a beachside town, I pack a few sewing supplies just incase the weather is bad....

Full story and images on the blog on my new website at Sew This Pattern

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Venus Kimono pattern release

Last month I blogged about the Venus Kimono which I had drafted and sewn. I had a lot of requests for a pattern  for it so voila here it is.
The pattern is only $6 AUD as a PDF download and is yours for a lifetime!

Buy Venus Kimono Relaxed

Buy Venus Kimono Oversize

My original pattern is a relaxed fit with pleats at the shoulder and a nicely shaped curved hem. It has French seams and a rolled hem which are both really easy sewing techniques and give your Kimono a professional finish. I also drafted up an oversize pattern for those wishing to have a little more  "swish" and  is designed to hang generously over the body.

I made the oversize Kimono up in a camouflage printed lightweight cotton. I whipped it up in about 3 hours total from start to finish. Kimono's are a great addition to any girls wardrobe. Great for covering up when the evenings get a little cooler or if you just want to cover your shoulders when the sun is beating. They look super stylish too!

You can download your pattern at our pattern shop. Don't forget to hashtag #sewthispattern so we can see your awesome creation and share it on our website.

Annie x

Monday, June 8, 2015

Venus Kimono

Kimono's have been trending for a while and I've probably missed the boat but I still love them and had the perfect silk blend fabric to make one with so why not?

Last weekend was my birthday weekend so we headed down to Venus Bay to celebrate. Of course I had to pack a few sewing bibs and bobs just incase I had time! As it turned out I had about an hour free and I quickly drafted up a pattern using an old kimono I bought a few years ago as a rough guide. I added some pleats in the shoulder area for a bit of interest. 

The fabric is "Three sided tears" from Tessuti and is a cotton/silk blend voile. It's a beautiful fabric and fairly easy to work with although I made sure I trace threaded all of my seam lines and tailor tacked the pleats for accuracy. The fabric also frayed a little and I didn't want to add bulky serging to the seams as it just wouldn't do it justice so I chose french seams which worked perfectly.

Here is a great article from Threads on how to finish seams on silk fabrics.

It worked out pretty well although I think a higher percentage of silk would have been better as the higher percentage of cotton probably doesn't let it hang as well as I'd like.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

How to shorten a metal zipper.

If you want to add some interesting details to a design one of the easiest ways is to add an interesting zip. I love metal zippers, they just instantly change your garment from dull to fabulous! 

The Pin Pegs mini skirt looks fabulous with a metal zipper.
The only problem is they are very hard to find in the right size or colour, unless you want to go online and buy about 50 in a bulk lot!  Also, unlike nylon zippers you can't just sew over the teeth without breaking your needles. I have found the best way to get the correct length is to shorten a longer zipper. The longer metal teeth zippers seem to be more readily available.
Metal zippers can be shortened by removing the metal teeth so that you can cut the extra length before sewing into your garment. Once you get the length right you don't have to worry about breaking needles when sewing across the zipper. All you really need to do this is a set of pliers and some patience, but totally worth it to get that funky look.
Here is how I shorten a metal zipper.
Measure the zipper to the length you require and mark the zipper tape. It is tempting to cut the zipper to this point so you don't have to remove so many teeth but believe me it will be a lot more work. I tried it once and ended up with the tape fraying and a compete mess!!

Remove  the zipper stops with your pliers. 

Be very careful not to cut through them completely as you will be putting these back on. You just want to slightly open the stops and then gently remove from the zipper.
Now remove the zipper teeth one tooth at a time. Don't be too rough otherwise you'll end up with a frayed zipper tape. Remove one or two teeth just below your marked line.

Using your pliers, put your stops back on just above the teeth. If you are having difficulty putting the stops back on you may have to pry them apart a little bit more. Just be careful here you don't want to cut through them completely otherwise you'll be off to the shops to buys some stops. You will squeeze gently to crimp them back on.

There you go!  Pretty easy really and you can make the length exactly as short or long as you want and be much more flexible with your design.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Free Pattern to celebrate the launch of Sew This Pattern

Sew This Pattern is now one week old! It's been so exciting to see my first pattern release sewn up by so many talented sewists.  I particularly love the different fabric choices. It is amazing how much of your personality shows through with fabric choice. Keep the photo's coming in and I'll add them to our website.

To celebrate the launch of Sew This Pattern you can get a free download of the Pin Pegs mini skirt this weekend. So, get on it!

I really want to see your finished Pin Pegs, so don't forget to email or hashtag #sewthispattern  #pinpegsmini 

Get the pattern here for Free! 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Launch of Sew This Pattern and Pin Pegs Mini Skirt.

How exciting! My new years resolution has actually come to fruition. I have released a new sewing pattern called Pin Pegs Mini and started a new venture called Sew This Pattern

After studying Fashion Design many moons ago and working in the rag trade for most of my working career, last year I decided to develop a sewing pattern in the hopes I could start up my own line of sewing patterns.

Having two school age boys and working part time as a fitness instructor (not to mention training and racing my bike) didn't leave me a lot of time for sewing let alone making this dream come true.

I am more of a pencil and paper type designer so when it comes to computer design, I need a lot of help. Luckily my partner is a guru in this field and has helped me with photography, website design and illustrator. Thanks Tone!

The vision for  Sew This Pattern is to offer patterns that are not only on trend, but a bit of fun and give the sewer plenty of inspiration to add some of their own personality.  Most of the patterns will be for the advanced beginner to intermediate sewer, perhaps a little challenging at times for some but helping you improve your skills and techniques. 

So here it is the Pin Pegs Mini Skirt.

The Pin Pegs Mini skirt is a pattern that you will love sewing and love wearing. It’s all about showing off those Pin Pegs, Bacon and Eggs, Mystic Megs, Legs!

It’s a mini skirt but how short depends on how tall you are. Make it a micro mini by shortening it or lengthen it to make it a more conservative knee length. For those of you who want a longer skirt in this style but don't think your skills are up to lengthening it yet, don't worry I will include a tutorial shortly on how to lengthen it on my blog.  Also, I will have a Pin Pegs long skirt pattern coming soon to take all of the work out for you.

The Pin Pegs downloadable sewing pattern is perfect for an advanced beginner or intermediate sewer as the design has a zipper which is easy to insert and a buttonhole which could be replaced by a snap. You can dress it up for evening with a pair of pumps or grunged down with a cool pair of boots for day.

It’s asymmetric hem design and zipper closure give it an edgy look that really stands out in the crowd. Choose a fabulous floral, a bold digital print or a bright solid to add your own personality. Add extra interest by using a contrast colour, metal or chunky zipper. Make this skirt yours!

Here are some pics of the skirts I have made so far and some pics from some fabulous ladies who have kindly tested the pattern for me. Thankyou ladies!

Thanks to Kate for the modelling. Those pin pegs are looking great.

Big shout out to these amazing ladies. Thank you for  testing the pattern for me. You're Pin Pegs look incredible!


You can purchase the pattern at

Please feel free to hastag on your instagram feed #sewthispattern @sewthispattern so I can see all of your amazing designs.

Annie x

Friday, May 8, 2015

Me Made May '15 Week One

Day 1. Made this blouse for the Burdastyle competition

Day 2. Girls night out! Had to rock the Stop Staring knock off

Day 3. Chillin' on a Sunday in my Staple Dress

Day 4. One of my favourites this week. Ready for School drop off in my Zebra Bomber

Day 5. Mixing it up in my red pleather jacket with self drafted Petal Pushers 

Day 6. Rugged up in my Summer Rose skirt. 

Day 7. Worked on some UFO's. 

Me-Made-May'15  is a challenge to encourage crafty folk who sew, knit, refashion and create stuff to actually wear their beautiful creations during the month of May instead of letting them pile up in a draw or wardrobe. It's fantastic as it forces you to look at your diy wardrobe and be a bit creative with it. I have dresses I love but think that they are too "nice" to wear during the day. But since starting the challenge I have thrown a dress on , layered it up with a jacket and scarf and voila an evening dress turns to day! Have had a few compliments at the School gate too!

Participants can come up with their own challenge pledge so that it is appropriate and also challenging for them. One of the most common pledges is to try and wear one diy or refashioned garment each day for the duration of May 2015. It's purely up to you as to what your challenge is. For example, a challenge might be to finish some of your UFO's (unfinished objects). I particularly like this challenge as I have a few projects on the go including a couture jacket (must get on it).

Check out Instagram #mmmay15 for some inspiration it is unbelievable how many talented diy fashionistas and crafty people are out there. I also love pinterest.

Here is my pledge

 'I, Annie, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '15. I endeavour to wear a diy garment at least 5 days of every week and work on UFO's on the other 2 days for the duration of May 2015'

Friday, May 1, 2015

Daisy Duke Blouse

This is my "Daisy Duke Blouse". A little bit country and little bit grunge. 

I made it for the Burdastyle Ultimate Member Model challenge.  The deadline for the challenge is today and I just finished sewing on the buttons this morning. Nothing like leaving it all to the last minute!

You can vote here if you like it.   Burdastyle Ultimate Member Model challenge

The pattern is Burdastyle 109 Gathered peplum Blouse. I got some inspiration from pinterest for the fabric choice and style.

The fabric is a soft cotton plaid from The Fabric Store in Fitzroy which I have fallen in love with. Their fabrics are gorgeous and not too expensive. I don't get over there often as I live on the other side of the river and it's a bit of a trek to get over there, but so worth it!

When I first started sewing the shirt I thought I'd have it done in no time but then things started to go wrong. More time unpicking than sewing with this blouse.

The back is way too baggy and I made this in the smallest size. I added a couple of darts to fix this. In saying this the pattern does look baggy it's just not my style.
Also, the peplum has too much fabric for my liking so I reduced the amount of gathering.

The placket on the cuffs and the collar instructions were a little hard to follow so I referred to my sewing book funnily called The Sewing Book for instructions. This is a great book if you can get pick up a copy of it.

I rumbled around in my sewing room for some buttons and luckily I had some in the same colour wave and the right size. 

If I were to sew it again, I think I would make the sleeves 3/4 length. 

Pretty happy with the end results even if it did frustrate me at times. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Pattern Testers Wanted

Update 20-4-2015. Thankyou for your responses. I now have enough testers for my pattern. Much appreciated!

Hi fellow sewists,

I have been working hard in between regular work and family commitments  on a new pattern to be released soon.

This will be my first pattern release and I am in the very final stages of it. 

All I need now is for the pattern to be tested.

Here are some details about the pattern. 

  • The pattern is an asymmetrical mini skirt  with an exposed zipper (very cool). Don't be scared of a mini, you can lengthen it and the asymmetric hem line covers a bit of leg!
  • Size range is 6-18 Australian sizes.
  • You should be an intermediate sewer.
  • I will send you the pattern in the next couple of weeks and looking to have the testing finished by mid May.
If you are interested please fill out the attached form. 

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Esther Shorts

Happy Esther, I mean Easter! Couldn't help myself....I hope you are enjoying your break.

We have visited my in laws who live in a little town on the East Coast of Victoria. Gorgeous wild beaches and plenty of bike riding to be had.

What I particularly love about visiting is that my Father in laws wife loves to sew, mainly quilts but recently has started to get into dress making.  She has the most amazing sewing space and lots of bibs and bobs and books to look at for inspiration.  I always bring some sewing down when I visit.

Shorts have become my new skirt lately. I love the high waisted vintage styles which you can wear casually, dress up with some heels or even wear over leggin's with some boots for the cooler weather.

Last week I popped into Tessuti Fabrics on a little shopping trip with my youngest son. Check out this pic on Instagram, designer in the making.  I just went in to pick up some fabric for a little project I'm working on and walked out with the Esther Pattern and miscellaneous fabrics.

Noah joining in on the shoot.

The Esther pattern is a high waisted modern vintage style short and is super easy to sew. It does have an invisible zipper in the side which is very flattering. Unfortunately, I didn't bring a zipper with me so I had to use a normal dress zipper which I found (thanks Sonia) and sewed a lapped zipper closure instead. Here is a tutorial for a lapped zipper although I just figured it out myself and it turned out quite nice.

I used a fabric I've had in my stash for a few years which was also purchased from Tessuti called Stainglass Garden. It's a digitally printed cotton/elastane piquet. The pattern only requires 70cm so I still have about a meter left which I'm hoping to use for a little wrap skirt. The fabric was gorgeous to work with, a really nice weight.

The pattern itself was simple and easy to follow instructions however the sizing seems a wee bit generous. I cut out an 8 according to my waist size but my hips are smaller than an 8 so I shaved a bit off there. The shorts fit perfectly in the waist but the crotch area seems a bit too big. This could be due to the fact that I used a fabric with some elastane in it.  I should have sewn up a toile first but I wanted to get them done while I was on holiday so I just whipped them up without testing first. If I were to sew them again (which I will) I will adjust the crotch area to sit a bit flatter.

A pocket would be nice too. I feel like I need somewhere to place my hand or somewhere to  put all the lego that I pick up off the floor everyday.

This pattern is worth purchasing if you love shorts. Easy and quick to sew and fits lovely on the body.

After our little photo shoot (Noah joined in) we headed to one of the wild beaches. It was pretty cold, probably too cold for my new shorts but I had to test drive them.  Very comfy is the verdict!

Lapped Zipper insertion

Tessuti Esther Short Pattern.