Friday, January 30, 2015

Summer spots - Thea's altered Vogue 8764

Ever used a pattern for its silhouette but made some pretty major changes to suit your style preference? Here's lovely Thea from Bernina Chatswood who modified Vogue 8764 to make this new sleeveless shift dress.

The style alterations she made to the pattern were adjusting the front neckline, eliminating centre front seam on the bodice and skirt, cutting away the armholes, removing the sleeves, adding mock jet pockets to the front for detail, curving and facing the hemline.


Thea's summer frock looks fabulous and made up perfectly in our spotted linen Lucia Spot 100% linen from last summer. This one's sold out but you can take a look at our other linens here.

Check out Bernina Chatswood's Facebook page for upcoming classes and Bernina Club workshops and specials.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

NEW Tutorial: Attaching and Joining Double Fold Bias Binding

Back in Jan 2013 we published this tutorial showing you how to sew and join together double fold bias binding. We use this binding a-plenty in our patterns and this method has served us (and hopefully you!) well for both armholes and necklines....until now! Here is our NEW tutorial showing a different and - we think - much, MUCH easier method on attaching and joining double fold binding. Are you ready?

IMPORTANT: Cut your bias binding strip ends at 45 degree angles and ensure that both ends are cut in the SAME direction. Note: bindings are cut longer so you will need to check measure bindings around armholes before cutting off any excess.

Press binding in half lengthways (wrong sides together), taking care to stretch slightly when pressing and making sure raw edges are flush. Note: when the binding is pressed in half the angled end will be shorter on one side (see image above).

Pin raw edges of folded binding to armhole edge, starting approx 2" away from side seam towards the front garment. This will help to avoid adding bulk to the underarm seam. Place a pin 1/2" in from from angled cut edge (see images above).

Continue pinning other side of binding end to overlap pin point (1) and place a pin (2) to correspond the position. Open up folded binding at point 2 and chalk mark position on straight grain of binding and at the same angle of bias end. Cut on chalk mark 2 only.

Unpin angled bias ends only and unfold the binding so you join bias ends together. Take care not to twist binding ends.

Place right sides of angled ends of bias binding together,

Pin in place. Checking to overlap correctly so that when open to right side, bias is one continuous binding with centre fold and raw edges aligned. 

Sew binding ends together, taking 1/4" seam allowance. 

Press seam open.

Trim off seam protruding from right side of binding raw edges.

Repress joined binding in half and repin back to armhole.

 Sew binding in place, taking 1/4" seam allowance.

Turn binding out away from garment and understitch on binding near armhole seam, making sure to catch the seam allowance at the back.

Pin binding evenly around armholes on wrong side of garment

and edge stitch bottom edge of binding.

This will create the topstitch detail around the armhole on the right side of garment. 

Hope you found this tutorial helpful. Happy binding friends!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Lisa Dress as Top : Pinterest strikes again

I have worn my Lisa Dress hard since sewing it last October. Yah, this Lisa LOVES that Lisa for sure. It's an easy wear and perfect for the hottest summer days when linen does that happy, cooling, comfy thing that only linen can do.


After making my original navy version I got to thinking about a second version in a crisp, fresh white. In the planning phase, that pre-sewing stream of conciousness thing happened. I knew it would be pretty sheer (we recommend a lightweight linen for this dress) so it would probably come in handy as a beach cover up. Unless I lined it. Or I could wear a slip underneath. But the very beauty of this dress is in how loose, light and comfortable it is so those last two options were both rejected. And really, how much did I need /really want/want to sew a beach dress? And so, because I do love a bit of gather and ruffle (thanks again Pinterest), I decided to try the Lisa Dress as a top.

The fabric is a beautiful lightweight vintage wash white linen (currently out of stock in Surry Hills and Chatswood but there's a wee bit left in Melbourne) from our new and popular Hartford range (white and black are due back in stock within the fortnight and more colours next week). I played around with the length until I found my happy place and in the end shortened it by around 40cm. There are no pockets with this length but if you made a more tunic style you could definitely include these.

Freshly ironed, this top (and the dress version too) can look quite full so you need to let the linen do what linen does best and wear it 'til it gets all lovely and flat and crushed and wrinkled. The more you wash it, the softer it gets, the better it looks and that's what I love so much about linen.

I love this back ruffle too...  

If you want to remove some of the fullness, I'd recommend taking the skirt in at the side seams as well.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sheryl's Lola Tee

We were happy to have another visit from Sheryl this month, who booked into our Tessuti Pattern Sewing Class last Friday. Wanting to try her hand at sewing with knits and to learn how to twin needle hems and necklines, Sheryl chose to make up our Lola Tee pattern with a higher neckline.

Sheryl was shown how to raise the neckline edge at centre front (approx 5.5") and blend it back to the shoulder line. Instead of binding the neckline as per pattern, placing the raw double edge to the neckline and turning over, Sheryl opted to place the folded edge at the neckline so that the double raw edge was left exposed to create this lovely curled edge at the neck (above).

As you can see Sheryl's thrilled and planning a few more of these summer staples for her wardrobe. The fabric used is a lovely fine 100% cotton knit, White Charlie (available at Tessuti Surry Hills).

Happy Australia Day everyone!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The little dress that could

If you're looking for a girl's dress pattern that'll last a little longer than your average make, how's this for picture proof? Five years on and Stella (above) is still wearing (and loving) the dress that Colette made for her back in 2010.

I also made E the same pattern back in 2011 and it continues to be one of her summer favourites after four years of very solid wear. 

As you'll read in the original blog posts, Colette and I used different methods for sewing the straps and both work brilliantly to accomodate growing children.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Up Sew Late's Coral Linen Eva Dress

We're seriously in LOVE with Gabrielle's gorgeous coral linen Eva Dress spied over at Up Sew Late. Our popular dress pattern looks fabulous in this sleeveless style, made up in a vibrant coloured linen from Lincraft - just the style to wear during these hot and humid days. Check out all the details about Gabrielle's Eva Dress in her blog post here.

As always, it's such a thrill for us to see our patterns made up. Thanks again Gabrielle and for letting us share these great images too (what a talented photographer you have there!)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Summer love - Grainline's Moss Skirt and Scout Tee

Happy New Year folks! Hope 2015 is off to a cracking start for all of you and that the new one has bought you at least a wee bit of sewing time to take the edge off that crazy busy Christmas caper...

I will out myself and admit that this Grainline Moss Skirt had been languishing in the UFO pile for quite a bit. It was actually my first project of 2014, evidence of which can be viewed over on Instagram here (aye, a more appropriate caption would've been New year. New Skirt. One day.). Anyhoo, better late than never because IT'S FINISHED NOW! Big props to Amanda and the awesome #bpSewvember for getting me back on it too (see Day 25).

Alas (and unsurprisingly) this lovely denim-weight cotton/elastane has long gone but can I just say that this, this, this and this would all be excellent for the Moss. I lined the pockets with a Japanese cotton from the stash and what do you know - that fly front zip wasn't so scary after all thanks to Jen's excellent tutorial. Yep (in addition to Why Didn't I Finish It Sooner), this one's achieved Summer Wardrobe Essential status because it has been on seriously high rotation since completion.

So while the Moss Skirt was my first project of 2014, the other Grainline pattern that finished my sewing year was the ever-popular, much-lauded Scout Tee. Now I get why. I haven't tried it in a woven (but it's totally on that to-do list now) and this pattern translates beautifully in knit fabrics. The one I used here was a pure cotton jersey from the stash. The shoulder fit and neckline depth are perfect and the loose fit makes it a super comfy wear.

GREAT patterns, super ace wardrobe staples, fantastic instructions and two great big sewing ticks in both of these.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Pattern Review - Vogue 8887 Wrap skirt in Liberty Tana Lawn

If you're fond of a good wrap skirt, then check out Libby's mock wrap skirt made up in Liberty Of London  - Eleonora Teal (sold out) in Vogue 8887 (view D) along with sash (also included in the pattern).
You can see the skirt worn together with the halter top and sash (above - view C) also made up in the same Liberty print, here on Libby's instagram @libbyvans. The wrap skirt is cut on the bias and works perfectly in Liberty's cotton tana lawn.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

That Ruby Pattern - she's versatile!

As mentioned in my last post, here are the other Ruby Top/Dress versions worn to this year's Sydney Tessuti Christmas partyFirst up is Georgia's Ruby Dress (above, with added side pockets) made up in a panel of 100% silk Big On Mauve (panel measures 1.5m).

Lily's Ruby top (above) is made up in our Italian 100% silk twill - Trim Display and Anita's Ruby Dress (below) in stunning chartreuse/black Italian silk/rayon - Olive Army Burnout. Both are trimmed in contrast black bias binding.
Gorgeous ladies as were all of the outfits that night. Would love to show more pics but sometimes you just gotta enjoy the moment with fabulous colleagues and friends without stressing about the next blog post!  

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas wishes x

The merriest Christmas and happiest 2015 to all our followers, customers and friends. We are SO looking forward to bringing you more fabrics, inspiration, patterns and comps in the new year. Have a special and safe one and if you can squeeze some sewing in there, well that's just awesome. xx

Our store trading hours for the holiday period are:
 Thur 25th Dec - CLOSED
Fri 26th Dec - CLOSED
Sat 27th Dec - OPEN
Mon 29th Dec - OPEN
Tues 30th Dec - OPEN
Wed 31st Dec - OPEN (3pm close)
Thur 1st Jan - CLOSED
And if you reaaaalllly need a fabric fix don't forget that our online store is ALWAYS open. Right now you can get 20% off orders over $100. Simply enter the code SALE14/15 at checkout to take advantage of this great offer which also includes free worldwide shipping on all orders over $150.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Silk/Lace Ruby Dress

You may have noticed on our Instagram feed that I've been working on a new dress for our Tessuti Sydney Christmas party. As usual, I left things to the very last moment and only decided on what to make two nights before. With that limited time I settled on our Ruby Dress pattern.

I used a combination of lace, silk satin and georgette for my dress. I've held onto a small remnant of this stunning black French lace with double scalloped edge (similar laces stocked in Melbourne and Surry Hills only) waiting for just the right project and - happily - 40cm was all I needed for this yoke. The bottom part of the dress is made up on the matte side of our Black Heavy Silk Satin (similar to this) and I lengthened the dress by 10cm. To join the yoke to the dress I just placed the scalloped edge of the lace over the body of the dress on the front and back and stitched it in place. 

The double folded neck and armhole binding is cut out of Black Silk Georgette. I wanted a different effect for the neck and armhole binding so to do this I folded the georgette bias binding strips in half (as instructed in the pattern) but instead sewed the folded edge part to the neck and armhole edges, then simply turned back the sewn edge towards the inside and understitched on the right side catching the binding seam allowance at the back. I love the raw edge effect (similar to the bind finish on our Silva Shirt Jacket) and the way it frames the lace yoke. I also used the georgette to bind the keyhole at the back neck.

I really love this dress and now finally have my very own LBD which was perfect for our fabulous Christmas party at Da Mario on Saturday night. Such a fun night and as it turned out I wasn't the only one wearing the Ruby pattern! Same dress/same party can be an embarrasing thing but not with Ruby.  I'll show more photos of the other great versions in the next post so stay tuned...

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