Lutterloh jeans





About 18 months ago I enrolled in an online course to make jeans with a Lutterloh trainer. I paid good money because the course promised to resolve issues of fit, and I got quite excited because I always have issues of fit.

First we had to send our measurements to the teacher and I was sent a different pattern. I duly traced it out using the Lutterloh “way” and then got ahead of myself and cut out my fabric and began stitching it together, sending photographs of the fit. I was told that I needed to tape the pattern together and send photographs of me wearing it. These were quite hysterical and I’m not going to subject you to them. Anyway, I may have traumatised the teacher because to this day I have not heard back from her.

I threw the jeans in a drawer and forgot about them until I bought the Ginger Jeans and I suddenly thought about them again. I dragged them out and found that all I needed to do was sew on a waistband, turn up the hem, and apply the back pockets. Easy peasy.


They are really comfortable jeans, but I still have fitting issues. I didn’t make the legs skinny, and don’t mind the width of them too much, but I still have a baggy bit under my backside


I did put a fish eye dart in the pattern, but it made absolutely no difference. I also put a dart in the top of the hips; I have no recollection why, but they do sit nicely at the back, with no gaping when I am standing or sitting.


You can see my dodgy topstitching. My machine hates topstitching. Although I did minimise the amount I did, I did manage to get the front done, and I also put rivets in the coin pocket. Excuse the creasing – I had been wearing them all day by the time I took this photo, and should have given them a good pressing.


I also made another bag. This time from a recycled t-shirt of Tom’s for the outside, and one of Bridgette’s for the inside. I didn’t know how the bag would work in a knit, and it is ok, but it’s a very casual look. I think I have now mastered Japanese bags, and my next one will be leather.


Details: Jeans are from a Lutterloh pattern, made from stretch denim from Knitwit. My top is a refashioned scarf, and the shoes are Rieker.

My excuse? Movember


Actually, I can’t really claim Movember as my excuse for using fabric covered in moustaches, but it’s a good cause and I like to promote it any way I can. I didn’t have it mind when I bought this fabric, I don’t know what I had in my mind! I bought it in Spotlight from their home decorating department and thought it would be “different”. Well, it’s certainly different and it will be fabulous to wear during Movember!

I decided to make another vintage wrap skirt – Simplicity 7876 from 1977



I love this pattern – it is really quick to make and the bias cut does make it extremely flattering. Now I look at the photos, the fabric is more Hercules Poirot, but I wore the skirt to work today and I think I got away with it.


The fabric background is more brown that it appears in these photos, hence the shoes and the top.

It’s quite interesting, but as I rotate, those moustaches go from being  the right way up at the front, to sideways at the back, to upside down under the skirt front, which I think is what makes a circle skirt so interesting.  It’s not clear here, but, although the fabric is fairly stiff, it does drape quite nicely.


Once again I decided to make a matching bag from leftover fabric, this time reversible and smaller than the previous model. It might be a bit on the twee side, but I quite like the coordination. Having used it all day, it worked brilliantly. What isn’t so good is my pattern matching…

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 6.07.55 pm

I have another couple of metres of this fabric, so I’m feeling a pair of trousers coming on.

DSC01117Details: Pattern is Simplicity 7876 from 1977. Fabric was bought from the home decorating section in Spotlight. My top is Mela Purdi, and is about to give up the ghost, so I have it earmarked for copying.

Striped Danish



I made this jumper from a Hanne Falkenberg kit which I bought from Karin at Litet Nystan when I was in Stockholm. It is called “Studio” and the above photo is borrowed from the HF website. Hanne Falkenberg is a Danish designer and her work is well worth a look.

This jumper took me a while to knit as the wool is quite fine and the pattern uses 3.00mm needles. I did use a couple of trips to do most of it, and when I was in Hobart, my Mother-in-Law kept telling me that she was keen to see it finished – well here it is!


Can I say right now that Hanne Falkenberg’s knitting patterns are simple and yet challenging. You have to put traditional notions about knitting aside. This one is knitted in two pieces and then mostly knitted together. All her designs seem to utilise stripes and garter stitch, but in fascinating ways.

This brings me to the pattern instructions. How I longed for a knit along or even an email where I could ask questions. I did pull the knitting down a couple of times because of misinterpretation, but once I relaxed and went with the flow I got the hang of it. I do think the jumper was well worth the effort. I have to say that it is a fascinating endeavour. It begins with three stitches and is knitted in a sort of diagonal with triangles and origami like elements, and of course I love chevrons so it ticked that box. My husband thinks it’s mesmerising!

I had a bit of an issue when I had done the front and back, which equates to the whole jumper. They just didn’t match up. I had this nasty feeling I had knitted two backs. I was on the brink of frogging one side, so went for a long walk. The pattern comes with a schematic so I cut it through the middle to replicate my knitting and laid them on my two sides. I had an aha moment. This jumper is not joined right sides together but by butting the two pieces together, and it’s quite clever because I now have no idea where it is joined.


Having worn the jumper all day I can report that it is really comfortable, but, because it’s knitted from wool sourced from a crofter in Scotland, or some such thing, it’s a tad itchy. And I don’t normally itch. I wore a silk undershirt and that worked perfectly and my lovely husband assures me that it will soften up with laundering.

In these photos I am in Sydney working – can you see how hard I’m working? So hard in fact that I look as though I’m having a nanna nap in this photo! I do confess that the microphone was merely a prop :).


There are rules with this jumper – you can’t just buy the pattern, you have to buy a kit which includes the yarn, and if you want to remake it you are supposed to send away for a refill. Well don’t tell anyone, but I’m going to have a go at another one with yarn from my stash. I am envisaging something gaudy, quite possibly green and another colour. Here I am in the jumper in my natural habitat – eating something sweet – this time nitro ice cream, which is not available in Perth.


The details:

Hanne Falkenberg jumper “Studio” in black and outmeal, worn here with my StyleArc Elle pants.

A few people have asked for a Heidi photo, so here she is with her master. I think I’ve previously shown a photo of her as a pup in arms, so here she is in arms again, just to show that she’s grown a tad!


Truly she is a bit like a bear. When Tom lays on the floor she jumps on him – rather him than me – she is not light!


I’m in Sydney at the moment. I managed to find a couple of hours off and thought I’d slip in a couple of photos.

This is the Queen Victoria Building, one of my favourite buildings in Sydney and I can see those copper cupolas from my hotel room.DSC01089

I am a sucker for stained glass and there is a spectacular example in the QVBDSC01091

and tessellated tile floors – how glorious is this one?DSC01092

Inside QVB


I wandered down to the Rocks where the Sydney Harbour Bridge peers out from various corners



When my boys were little they posed inside this soldier – carved from sandstone, and a nod to the early settlers


Here are some of the buttons I bought from Buttons, Buttons, Buttons on Nurses Walk in the Rocks. These are all vintage, and I did buy sets of all of them – just what I need – more buttons! The ridged one is divine. It’s from the ’60s and is the most magnificent colour. I will have to make something to go around the six that I bought. The jade green one is also pretty gorgeous and is from the 1950s.


Diane von Furstenberg dress and a blog hop


This is probably my penultimate vintage make for this year. It is the 40th anniversary of this iconic wrap dress, although the pattern (Vogue 1549) was released in 1976, so I thought it was a fitting make.


I have never successfully bought or made a wrap dress, but have often wondered about this one as the common view is that this dress suits all body types.


I bought the fabric a few months ago on sale at Knitwit and cut out the dress and then lost interest and it went into the UFO pile. I got sick of looking at it and really wanted to wear it before summer came and so I managed to get it together. I think I was scared of it. The pattern is several sizes too small for me and so I had to grade it up which I’m not good at, and add to this the fact that the pattern looks complicated even though it’s rated as very easy. I also decided that I didn’t particularly like the fabric even though it is the most beautiful Italian cotton, and I loved the colours, I just thought it might look a bit old fashioned somehow.

I decided on the short version without the collar. I think the trick with this dress is that the skirt is cut on the bias rather than being gathered. This is a very flattering look, although it does take a bit more fabric, but look how beautifully it drapes.


Sooo, I set to and was at the belt making stage when I had that horrible realisation that I needed two belts and I only had one and absolutely no spare fabric for the second one. You know how your heart starts to beat harder and the skin on your head sort of shrinks? I had that. The dress would not work without the tie belt. What to do? Luckily I made the discovery on Saturday morning and hightailed it to Knitwit to see whether they (a) still had the fabric, or (b) had something which coordinated. I scanned the shelves and finally found the right fabric tucked away on the very top shelf. Crisis averted!

I only have two issues with this dress. In spite of careful dart placement, they are still too high, so I will unpick and restitch I think, and it needs to be put on carefully – the belt is quite wide and tends to bunch up, and the bottom edges need to be aligned.

The details: Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress, Vogue 1549, made from an Italian cotton knit from Knitwit. I had to take the photos inside because we were having a hail storm outside – in Perth, in the middle of spring! It was glorious!! Here I am trying to take an interesting photo after someone took the chair away for some reason.


Blog Hop

I’ve been invited by Carolyn of handmadebyCarolyn to participate in the blog hop – thank you Carolyn.

1. Why do you write

I really started writing because I had been a lurker on other blogs for a couple of years and it looked such fun. I wanted to be part of the community, even if it was peripherally, and I wanted to acknowledge those people who inspire me and whose ideas I “borrow”. I also wanted to share my efforts with my sister and niece who live in the UK, friends I don’t see very often, colleagues, and yes, total strangers who have become virtual friends and acquaintances. I also do a lot of writing as part of my work, which has to be carefully crafted and polished, and I love the stream of consciousness type writing that blogging encourages, writing as I would speak without worrying too much about grammar, passive voice and the rigour that goes hand in hand with scholarly writing, although I am still particular about my use of apostrophes.  One unexpected benefit of blogging is the ability to go back over what I’ve made and look at them with a more critical eye. The camera really does pick up issues of fit and when I remake something I do revisit posts to check what the problems were.

2. How is your blog different to others of the same genre

Ha! This was my big stumbling block as I am so in awe of what other people do and my contributions are quite lame in comparison. I think my blog is different in its almost complete lack of contribution of anything useful to other people, and I mean that quite sincerely. Perhaps the only thing that is useful is if the reader hasn’t seen a pattern and therefore might be inspired, or otherwise, to make it. I do try to combine my sewing, knitting and travel, and I like to occasionally include some Perth vistas to perhaps encourage people to travel to this lovely city, but this takes a level of planning that is sometimes beyond me.

3. what are you working on right now

I am currently working on a vintage dress from the early ’60s that has had to be resized – just like the Diane von Furstenberg above. Given that I am not good at this and some of the web instructions to grade patterns do my head in, it takes a certain resolution to get going. I have even made a muslin and identified a couple of issues which I have resolved, so I am feeling quite pleased with myself. The dress itself is quite detailed with underlining and lining so is taking time. I am enjoying the process of some slow sewing for a change, but, of course, this means slow blogging and my sister nags me if I have too much time between blogs :).

4. What is your writing process

Basically I take a few snaps and then craft some words around them rave on a bit – usually when I am in front of the TV. I do try to talk about the process of whatever I have made, what my thoughts and feelings were and the final outcome, but I am aware that my posts are pretty basic in the context of the information they provide. I am always pleasantly surprised when someone comments (thrilled in fact!) and I am kept going by  the supportive comments I get. One of the things I want to do is improve my photography. I inherited a classy camera from my son and I use it on automatic as I don’t have a clue about f-stops, etc. I will address this when I eventually give up work.

Anyway, back to writing: I thought I would share this illustration of the writing process which both amused and resonated with me. It’s for writing a book, but it’s the same process for me when I write my blog posts.

process of writing

I wonder how many of you can relate to this?

Anyway, that’s my blog hop and I hope you felt some mild interest. My nominees for the hop are Andrea from obsessive creativeness, and Patricia from http://pfarr.blogspot.com.au and Michelle from That Black Chic. I know that’s three, so clearly I can’t count to two, so my apologies, I got carried away with my invitations!

Bellini with a twist


Yes, I’ve made another Bellini from Capital Chic Patterns, but I’m not sure where my head was at because I didn’t try it on until I got to the buttonhole stage only to discover that I had made the smaller size by mistake. Far out  – I was not going to throw it away.

I unpicked the side seams and that pin hem and decided to put a stripe in the sides. The only way to show the side seam is to look like I am anxious to answer a question in class – sir! sir! pick me!!


I also tried the scalloped collar, which is one of the things that attracted me to this pattern in the first place.


Even when I sit like this the shirt doesn’t gape at the front so this solution was a total success.DSC00994


So what can I say? Snatched from the jaws of the recycling bin. The fabric is from my sister’s stash cunningly destashed to me. It is a sweetly printed cotton. I used buttons that I had leftover from my Mary Quant phase and which can’t be seen from a distance, so here is a closeup. The photo was taken before I washed out the chalk marks.



I teamed it with my Champagne skirt also from Capital Chic Patterns, and the stripes down the sides of the blouse are made from the same ramie fabric as the skirt. The belt is a piece of wide elastic with an Edwardian silver buckle. Shoes are Letizia from Letizia in Claremont. The necklace is from Heaven Wrapped and I made the bracelet. As usual, I am looking rumpled, this was taken after a day at work and a long drive home.

I’ve been nominated for the blog hop by Carolyn and will be answering the questions in my next post when I have finalised my nominees.


Casual Sweet Clothes jacket N




As soon as I bought Casual Sweet Clothes  by Noriko Sasahara I knew I had to make Jacket N.


It is a braided denim jacket and I thought it would be a really useful addition to my wardrobe.

And now begins a cautionary tale. I decided to make it a spring jacket and didn’t have any appropriate denim in my stash so I used a cotton spandex blend in white from Knitwit. I looked at the measurements at the beginning of the section and decided on my size. Duly cut it all out and stitched together the main pieces and tried them on. Looked ok. Finished the entire jacket except for the braiding and tried it on again – it was winter and too cold to keep taking my clothes off – that’s my excuse, and far out, or words to that effect, it was too big in various places and just did not look right.

I was just deciding that I was too far down the track to pull it apart and rework it when a friend happened to call round, I put it on her and she looked sensational. OK, not a complete waste then. Here is Doris posing casually in it. The cautionary tale is, of course, to make a muslin!


Back to the drawing board. I recut the pattern and cast about for more fabric and came up with a pair of heavy cotton curtains that my sister had offloaded on me. Right, I’ll make a muslin out of one of them.

I resized the pattern and checked at every stage. The only issue was that the sleeves were now a bit short, but I couldn’t do much about that. I also think that the jacket itself is a tad short.


Anyway, I decided that it is wearable and have now worn it a few times.

I have to say that this jacket is perfect for spring weather. It layers nicely and coordinates with quite a big chunk of my wardrobe. DSC01013

Here is an earlier photograph showing the slightly too short sleeves. DSC00951So all is well that ends well, except that I spent a fair chunk of my weekend producing two jackets instead of one.

Review of Casual Sweet Clothes Jacket N: If, like me, you are not good at making muslins, then do check the finished dimensions of this jacket and use these to determine the size to make. The jacket itself is a doddle to make, and I found the instructions easy to follow, but if you are short of fabric you do not need to make the braiding out of single long pieces of fabric; for the second jacket I actually joined the strips and it wasn’t at all noticeable. I know that most people would do basic things such as check the length of the sleeves and jacket, but I tend to go into auto pilot, so am writing a note for others with similar habits.  Be careful sewing the braid on. It needs to be loose enough to stretch flat round the curves, particularly the neck. If you do the braiding itself fairly tightly, it will stretch out a bit. I used bulldog clips to hold my braiding together at either end, which worked really well. Apart from that, this is a jacket to be recommended and I will make another at some point.

The details: Jacket is “N” from Sweet Casual Clothes, another wonderful Japanese book from Laurence King, made from a recycled heavy cotton curtain. In both outfits I am wearing the skirt from Vogue 1247 blogged here and here, and the tops are a Scout Tee and a Burda long sleeved top. The black necklace is a rather lovely Victorian mourning necklace. Blue shoes are XSA and the black ones are A. Bottega. The belt was thrifted.






It’s a wrap!


*Sorry, you are going to get this post again as something went awry and my text got cut off.

This skirt pattern has been in my stash for a long time and I don’t know why I haven’t made it before.


It is from 1977 and therefore falls into the “vintage sewing pattern pledge” category. A warning: the following photos are poor quality as they were taken with my iphone because I managed to leave my camera at work.


I made this from a waxed linen that I bought from Spotlight’s curtain department, and which was reduced down to less than $3 a metre. Can’t go wrong for that price. The colour was charcoal, but looking at it against black it seems to have some brown in it.

This was an easy make, so I should not really claim it for the vintage pattern pledge, but I’m going to anyway. I looked at the pattern size and wondered whether it would be too big, but it fits perfectly, although the belt is hard up against the seam opening. The effect of this, though, is that I have a very big overlap at the front which may prevent me inadvertently flashing anyone at work – or at the beach! IMG_0968
Yes, it was a very windy time of the day. I added a pocket on my right rear side to transport my phone around in when I was pounding the pavements, but I cut it on the straight grain and attached it to a bias cut skirt which means that it is a different colour: at least I think that’s the reason. IMG_0974
With some of the leftover fabric I made a bag. I copied a bag I already own which is, I think, a Japanese design. It is just visible here and I finally have my skirt under control IMG_0973
but it didn’t last long!IMG_0977
Clearly here I had completely given up on it, but at least there was no undies flashing!IMG_0979
Back to the bag. The problem is that my existing bag is too small for my wallet, so I expanded it a bit.
As usual, I got carried away and the bag is probably a little big, but I’ve got the shape and construction sequence basically correct now, so I shall be doing this again.DSC01001
I wanted a tough lining so used the leftover fabric from my Alder skirt, which is quite a thick cotton. I also like the pink peeking out. I even added a little pocket for my iPhone, and tried to future proof this by making it longer, but forgot that the new phone is probably wider, so if I do get a new phone it will kick about in the bottom of the bag. DSC01002Details:
Skirt is from Simplicity 7876 made from waxed linen from Spotlight. My top is my Bronte refashion, and the shoes are Letizia from Letizia in Claremont and the necklace was given to me by Tom and Bridgette for my birthday (probably should just say Bridgette as I’m sure she was the one who chose it!). The bag is also made from the waxed linen and lined with fabric from my Imagine Gnats Alder skirt.

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