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Brown Nettie and matching undies

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After I had dyed a massive amount of pink fabric blue and made my blue Nettie, I dyed some of the leftover blue to dark brown as I have had the urge for a Brown Nettie bodysuit for some time.

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I don’t think I would wear this Nettie by itself, but it is a marvellous layering piece. I wore it today for Me-Made-May under a hand knitted cardigan.

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I also managed to finagle a Cloth Habit Watson bra and bikini from the leftover fabric.

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I have been asked a couple of times to show how I hide the internal seams of the bra, so I finally remembered to take some photos. I used a different colour on the inside to help show what I’m doing. Please note that the original Watson pattern doesn’t call for the bra to have lined cups. Simply cut four of each cup pattern piece so that you have an inner and an outer for each cup.

First I sandwich the elastic between the inside and outside of the bra cups.

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Then I sewed the outside of the cups to the cradle

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I then added the back band to the cradle by putting the band between the outer cradle and the cradle lining, thereby enclosing the seams.

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I sewed the cradle lining to the cup lining, right sides together. This is what it will look like on the inside

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and this is what it will look like on the outside

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Topstitch round the cups and down the band/cradle seam.

The other raw edges at the bottom and armholes will be hidden under the elastic.

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Straps and hooks are added and voila! a finished bra with no visible seams.

Once more I cut a flower from some lace scraps for decoration, and to brighten up that brown a bit. When I embarked on the brown undies I did think the colour would be too horrible for public viewing, but I actually really like them. I dyed some white cotton lace brown to go on them, but it was a step too far, so I shall find another purpose for dull brown lace…

In a nutshell: Brown Nettie is from Closet Case Patterns. I used a four way stretch knit which I dyed brown. Fabric from Knitwit. Cardigan is by Jo Sharp, skirt is self-drafted and made from a mystery fabric donated to my stash. Underwear set is from the leftover fabric from the Nettie. Bra lining was some tiny scraps of silk knit. Brown elastic came from Pitt Trading in Sydney when I visited with Velosewer.

Zebra Nettie

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Standing in front of the aptly named pincushion hakea or hakea laurina

I bought this zebra print knit in Spotlight when I found it in the remnant bin and thought it would be perfect for another Nettie bodysuit as it has a 2-way stretch – or is that 4-way stretch? Whatever, it stretches every which way!

Then the theme for this week’s Me-Made-May was “animals” and I thought this would be the perfect thing to wear.

I wore it for a 3 hour drive and it was so, so comfortable, and the perfect layering item for our current weather. I did start out with a Miette cardigan as well, but the weather proved to be too warm for it.

Not a lot to be said, this is just another Nettie, no changes made to the pattern, except I’ve started making the neckband about 3cm longer and this has the added benefit of not pulling the shoulder seams in quite so far.

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This is the unfortunately named “snottygobble” tree or Persoonia longifolia

Back to the Me-Made-May theme, here is the only animal I could find today. I will admit that there is something slightly disconcerting about having a kangaroo bouncing towards you, especially when trying to take selfies. The trick is to stand there with arms at sides, as raised arms mean “I want to fight you”! This one, however, is a bit of a pussycat and after an ear rub, he bounced off again.

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In a nutshell: Closet Case Files Nettie bodysuit in a zebra print stretch knit. I am also wearing my zebra print undies made for Jungle January. Yoga pants are a Lutterloh pattern – I have about 4 pairs of these, all from different patterns, but they all look the same! Also wearing knitted socks.

New undies for Me-Made-May

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May is lingerie month for the Stashbusting Sewalong group, ably led by Andrea who has been designing her own bra blocks, which I find quite intriguing. Anyway, I’ve made a couple of underwear sets.

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This set was made with some of the scraps left over from my Nettie bodysuit, with the addition of a bit of lace to turn them from pedestrian undies to what I hope can be classified as lingerie.

As a participant in Me Made May and pledging to only wear my own makes, I’ve been a bit stretched for underwear so made another set as well to relieve the pressure on the laundry.

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I made both of these sets whilst camping and remembered to take the blue lace for the blue set, but clean forgot for the others. However, I found a tiny scrap of lace in my box and cut out the flowers and sewed them on. I do have to confess though that the lace on the undies covers a tiny hole that I found in the fabric, which I darned prior to sewing on the flower.

When I dyed the blue fabric I hadn’t realised quite how much I had. I found that I had turned 5 metres of pink fabric blue! I couldn’t think what I would do with all that blue, so cut off a couple of lengths and thought I would dye one brown and the other I would dye in the Shabori style. I had no idea how to do this, so my first iteration was a bundle like this

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Luckily, I lost my nerve before I threw it in the dye pot, and decided I should look at a tutorial or two. A quick search on Google turned up pages of tutorials but they all seemed to take small pieces of fabric. I had 1.5 metres that I wanted to do. In the end I saw something on Pinterest (I didn’t note the site, sorry), which appealed. I folded the fabric, concertina style, down its length and then folded it into triangles. I was so engrossed that I forgot to take photos – duh! When I had a stack of triangles I cut two plastic triangles the same size, put one top and bottom to act as resists, and bound it all with string, much more neatly than in the photo above. I then put it in some brown dye and the results were much better than I was expecting, and I think it looks much better in reality than it does here.DSC03857

I had planned to make another Nettie with this, but the pattern is too big for such a small garment, so I have put it away for another project. This won’t be my last such attempt at dyeing.

I’ve also been knitting. My friend Thelma has gone on a long trip round Australia and I knitted her a pair of fingerless gloves so that she can be creative even when it is cold.

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when Archie saw them he asked for yet another pair, but only likes grey, so a rummage in the wool stash turned up some grey wool which met his rigorous requirements and he declared himself happy!

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In a nutshell: Underwear is the Cloth Habit Watson bra and bikini set. The blue is made from scraps of blue knit and some lace scraps. The flesh coloured set is made from a remnant from Knitwit. The fingerless gloves are from a pattern I’ve had for years and I have no idea where I got it. All materials used were from my stash, so I’m slowly getting through it.

Nettie bodysuit for me and jeans for Mark

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I had a substantial piece of baby pink two-way stretch knit that I bought because it was really cheap and it’s quite hard to find the two-way stretch. I dyed it blue, and made a Nettie bodysuit from Closet Case Files.

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I won’t go on too much about this bodysuit, as I’ve already blogged my red leopard Nettie and a grey one. I am wearing this one for Me-Made-May, and it’s the perfect weather to wear it – wet and cool.

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There is something very comforting about a bodysuit. They seem to keep me warmer than a regular t-shirt, and they are fabulous as layering pieces.

Just to show a contrast in weather, here are some photos of Mark last weekend wearing new jeans. He is also a candidate for a MMM entry as he is wearing jeans, shirt (now very old) and socks all made by me – we won’t discuss the hat!

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The pattern is Kwik Sew 3504, a pattern I’ve made many times, so you would think I’d get the length right, wouldn’t you? These are a bit long, but I made them in absentia and this was the first time that Mark had tried them on. He wasn’t too bothered, and they might look better with shoes rather than runners, although I will revisit the hem at some point in the near future.

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In a nutshell: Nettie bodysuit made with two-way stretch knit from Knitwit. Worn here with Ultimate Trousers, and Tammer Shrug, pattern and wool from Dairing, Melbourne, necklaces are made by me, but sadly the belt is not.

Mark’s jeans are Kwik Sew 3504, black stretch denim is from E M Greenfield, Sydney.

By George, I have finally finished my 1940s dress!

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This 1940s Marian Martin dress has been gestating for a long time – at least 9 months since I acquired the pattern.

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The pattern is for a size 31″ bust, and I have to say that it’s been a goodly while since I was that size. So, I decided to have a go at grading, which everyone says is easy. Hah! They lie!

After a very misshapen muslin, I enrolled myself in a previously mentioned pattern making class at Workspace FADS and began by creating a bodice block. Then we started on this pattern. It was quite interesting in that Sarah, from Workspace FADS, showed me that the pattern wouldn’t have worked terribly well even if had fitted me. The marks were misaligned, seams were the wrong length and darts were at strange angles (and note that on the pattern it states “sure to fit – each pattern has been tested for accuracy). We redrafted the entire pattern and after a couple of attempts I have a dress, which is pretty true to the original design.

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The original pattern has a sash belt, which is very sweet, but I just couldn’t face making it, so used a leather belt I made from scraps a while back. The thing that really strikes me about many vintage patterns, and especially this one, is how contemporary they are when made up in modern fabrics. This pattern could easily be mistaken for a modern pattern, and this suits me just fine.

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I used some striped cotton sheeting from Spotlight, and the strobing nearly caused me to lose my mind, but I wanted the variation in direction of the pattern pieces to be visible.

I’m not sure I’ve got the pattern absolutely perfect yet. The bust dart (there’s only one) seems high, as does the waist, but these are minor tweaks. I also left the dress a little longer than I would normally wear as I wanted to give a nod to the era, but couldn’t countenance calf length. I did use bias binding on the neckline, which caused me all sorts of issues because I wanted a chevron effect at the front, which is impossible with bias. Next time I will roll the binding to the inside and have a clean neckline.

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Overall though, I’m really happy with the way this dress turned out, and even happier that I got to wear it once before the warm weather finally disappears, which it is forecast to do this afternoon. I am going to make a winter version of this dress with long sleeves, but need to source some appropriate fabric from my stash.

In a nutshell: Marian Martin 1940s dress made from striped cotton sheeting from Spotlight. Belt is two scraps of leather sewn together and the shoes are by Jeffery Campbell, from Zomp and I’m wearing them because they have a vague (very vague!) 1940s feel.

Shelby sweat pants

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In a triumph of hope over optimism, I made another StyleArc pattern. This time the Shelby sweat pants, which look so good in the drawing. Mine don’t look so good!

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I used a lovely fleece cotton knit and a rib sample for the contrasting waistband and cuffs. The pattern was interesting. The instructions for the zipped pockets refer to a tutorial on the StyleArc website which doesn’t exist, and they are described as in-seam pockets, which they clearly aren’t.

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Once again they don’t fit me as closely as the image would have me believe, but I think the sizing is right.

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Anyway, it was all good. I worked it out. I was determined to use zips from my stash, and used metal zips for the pockets, which was probably a bit of an error. They aren’t nice to put hands in as they are rough, but on the up side, my phone doesn’t fall out.

The cuffs are also zipped, but I haven’t undone them once, so that was a waste. In spite of all this, the sweatpants are extremely warm and comfortable and are perfect for mooching around in whilst camping.

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We had a surprise visit from this little fellow today. He’s obviously been hand reared and interacted with all of us, sniffing our hands and even allowing me to pat him. I think I’ve seen a posting on Facebook about him and his name is Jarrah. Sadly he’s been castrated so although he’s living in the wild, he’s treated as an outcast by the other kangaroos, so will be lonely.

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In a nutshell: StyleArc Shelby Sweatpants in a fleecy cotton knit, bought from an unknown source. I am wearing my blue White Russian, fingerless gloves and socks knitted by me, and me-made underwear. This is what I wore for MMM Day 9.

One more photo of Jarrah – isn’t he adorable?

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Reversible Lotus Blossom hat

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I have knitted a new hat. It is probably a beanie, but I think it’s far too complex to be called a beanie.

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The hat is the Reversible Lotus Blossom hat from Cat Bordhi’s wonderful book “A Treasury of Magical Knitting”, and it is based on a Möbius strip. Möbius fascinate me and when I discovered I could knit them without putting an artificial twist in the knitting, I was hooked. [side note: if you didn’t cover the concept of a Möbius strip at school or have forgotten what they are, check out our old friend, Wikipedia]. When you knit a möbius, you knit in both directions with the cast on row being in the middle like a spine. Fascinating, huh?

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The möbius is only used for the band part of the hat and that’s where that little twist at the front comes from.

The trick with the twist is in the casting on and it was a struggle with this wool as I had two strands held together, making it very thick. The wool is left over from my (as yet unblogged) jumper for the One Year One Outfit challenge I’m participating in. It is from a Corriedale sheep, and the interesting thing about these sheep is that they are born dark brown and get lighter as they get older. Given that this wool is handspun and gorgeous I didn’t want to waste any of it. I have a tiny bit left and plans… :).

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The pattern for this hat is rather lovely, with the leaves of the lotus blossom forming the crown, and then a bumpy sort of pattern forming the flowers, which show up in the first photo.

As the name of the hat implies, it is reversible, but only slightly different on the inside.

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The crown has ridges and the body of the hat looks like this. It’s tricky to see with the thick wool, but both sides are equally nice and I shall put it on in whatever way comes to hand.

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The hat is too big for me – the pattern only came in one size, and I have a child-like head – so I tried to felt it down. I did shrink it a bit, but it still covers my ears and some of my neck at the back. This is a good thing when I am camping in the wilds of rural south west Western Australia, as I am today, where it is freeeeezing!

It is day 8 of Me-Made-May’15, and I am wearing clothes conducive to camping, which means keeping out the cold and supervising my husband in his tree planting activities. I am also doing a bit of sewing, and I’ve made Mark a long sleeve t-shirt and me a Nettie bodysuit, as well as doing some mending, so it’s been a productive day.

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In a nutshell: This is the Reversible Lotus Blossom Hat from A Treasury of Magical Knitting

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It is knitted from handspun Corriedale wool bought at Bilby Yarns in Willagee. I am also wearing an Archer shirt made from flannelette sheeting bought at Spotlight, knitted socks, and StyleArc Barb pants made from thick 100% cotton fleece which I bought online from somewhere expensive.

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