Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Pattern Review - Butterick 6178 (D) Culottes

Let me start out by saying that there are many, MANY things I love about sewing. But one of the things I love most is the pure pleasure that comes with simply trying something out. For the fun of it. I'm a Capricorn and - let me assure you - that kind of recklessness is very UNgoat-like. It sounds weird but I would much rather sew an on-trend item than buy one. This could stem from the fact that I am FAR more open to sewing mistakes than I am to shopping ones. In my experience, they are generally cheaper. And as I observed last year on Instagram during #BPSewvember, it's not like there's a shortage of great patterns and amazing fabric out there (#alsoinmystash) if something doesn't work out.  Funnily enough, in the lead up to making this pair of culottes (which I will get to eventually) I saw a few pairs in a few shops and thought about trying them on to see if they 'worked' but I never actually got around to it. 
It's not hard to get ants in your sewing pants about making a type/style of garment when there's SO much bloody great online inspiration out there. There's Pinterest, yes, and then there's all the amazing sartorial revelations that come from blog reading. When it came to culottes, I'm pointing my hopefully-not-too-creepy virtual finger at you Erica, Kirsty, Debbie and Sophie.

Which brings me to the review part of this blog post and where I begin with "Well hello Butterick 6178 View D! It's VERY NICE to meet you."
When I came across this pattern, I may have actually hissed an audible 'YESSSS' and don't even try to tell me you've never done that with a pattern before. I was specifically looking for flat-fronted, darts, back/side zip and These. Were. Those. The pockets were an unexpected bonus.
I took a punt on the sizing and cut a size 10. I've never used a Butterick pattern before so I went with my usual Vogue trick of going one size down on my measurements. Although not perfect, the fit is pretty damn good and rather than size down again with my next pair, I'll probably just take a slightly larger seam allowance. 
The fabric is a beautiful indigo-dyed Japanese cotton called Yuki Collection (also similar is White Torakku).
I made a change to the waistband, eliminating the suggested tab for hook and eye and inserted an invisible zip right through. Aye, it's not perfect and neither am I.
Rather than handstitching the wastband facing, I sewed it flat by stitching in the ditch on the right hand side. Quicker yes, but not so pretty. Next time I might try this lovely binding method that Debbie mentions here. My second pair is already cut and they're PINK I tell you. PINK! Like I said, totally RECKLESS. Does that make me a sewing Gemini...?

Thursday, June 25, 2015


SALE time is our FAVOURITE time! Beginning today, our massive range of stunning fabrics has been reduced. Sale items include our current winter European and local designer deliveries with huge discounts of up to 50%.

Online shoppers can also enjoy great savings with 20% OFF fabric orders over $100. Simply enter the discount code SALETIME in the coupon area at checkout. This online offer will end soon so be quick! Don't forget...free worldwide shipping applies to all online purchases over $150.

Hurry in now as stocks are strictly limited!

Sale excludes remnants, patterns, gift vouchers, haberdashery, buttons, notions and linings.

Friday, June 19, 2015

My Megan

Last month, I went and got me some good sewing on at craft camp. Amongst us, there were no less than SIX Sydney Jacket's made (five of which you can see here) and I gave my winter wardrobe a much-needed leg up. Three days of unfettered access to good company and sewing time is such a blessing. In addition to my Sydney Jacket, I made some kids leggings, FINALLY finished this skirt, sewed up another Mandy Boat Tee and got around to making this Megan Longline Cardigan.   
Made up in this (now sold out) merino jersey, it's a toasty and comfy little number. I'm wearing it here with my much-loved Ruby Top.  
With the flared design, you get really lovely fall and movement in the shape and drape. We're currently stocking a great range of wool jerseys, including these lovelies that would all be perfect for Megan....

And if you run really fast, you can even make like a superheroine in your very own Megan cape!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A Tale of Two Georgies

When we released our Georgie Top Pattern in April, I sewed up this striped version during the pattern testing phase. It's become an ace little wardrobe workhorse that gets worn, a LOT, on its own or with cardigans and jackets. The fabric is 'Rembrandt Day', a fine woven viscose/nylon blend that's available in Melbourne only. Mine's more black stripe on beige (pictured below, bottom left) but it's also available in white stripe on black ('Rembrandt Night') as pictured below, top right.
After I made it, I got to thinking about how I could modify the top to create a dress, went off happily into La La Pinterest land and eventually came across this dress. Fashion-wise, there are two things that I am very much digging at the moment. One is the longer skirt/dress length. Full or straight, don't care. Just leave it below the knee and there's a good chance I'll love it.
My other current fashion crush (which really has no bearing on this blog post other than the fact that I'm wearing one) is the white shirt. I've always had, always will, a deep and abiding affection for la chemise blanche but right now, I am loving it as a layering piece and will never ever say no to a good-looking, extra layer in a winter outfit. Case in point? Here and here.

Anyhoo, back to the dress. The fabric I chose is our 100% linen Copper Lined Water (sold out online but still available in Melbourne and Chatswood). I cropped my Georgie bodice a lot higher than my inspo pic because, in the period between looking at the image and cutting out the modified pattern, I kinda forgot to refer back to the photo (mistake #1).  What I should've done was crop it at true waist rather than just under my bust line (mistake #2). I also didn't think I'd really need the waist darts (mistake #3). After I actually went back and looked at the picture, I wasn't so bothered by my fairly substantial miscalculations because I still thought the idea would work (mistake #4, although bonus points to me for being so glass half full!).
The end result, as it turned out, was a whole lot more cylindrical and shapeless than the Pinterest-assisted idea that I'd created in the magical space that occupies all the amazing things I sew IN MY HEAD. I do love a non-fitted garment but in this one, on me, I found zero redeeming features. And believe me, I tried. I present further photographic evidence here...
On the flip side (and because every sewing cloud should have a silver lining) I did learn to make a skirt with a single piece of fabric. I really didn't want to interfere with the vertical stripes so Vikki showed me how to achieve this with a single centre back seam, and with some calculation/trial /error/easing, it worked perfectly. Kind of a shame I ended up having to take the skirt off after all that work but, hey, the peaks and troughs of sewing, right?
Because I'd cropped the bodice so high, there was no other option but to put a ruffle on it. So I did. I graded the hem to sit about an inch lower at the back, and I'm happy to report that this resurrected Georgie now gets a bloody good wardrobe workout just like my first one.
The (happy sewing) End.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Doing it for the squids - Alice and Geranium

Here's some looooong overdue kids sewing. They both chose fabrics during the Christmas holidays and, well, being summer AND holidays I took my fair time in sewing them up. Fortunately, they got in some good wear before things got chilly and there's definitely enough growing room in both of these to squeeze in another summer or two.
First up, another Alice Top, made in an XXS (roughly equivalent to a kids AU size 14). R chose our Winking Owls. Her current love of owls is matched only by her current love of pineapples, but we didn't have any of the latter so the owls win(k).
Like my previous versions, I decided against interfacing the arm bands and the only other change I made was to the length, giving it a deeper hem to allow for adjustments as she grows.
The second top for E is Made by Rae's Geranium Dress. I first tried this pattern in June last year when I made a flowergirl dress for E's half sister. The pattern is fantastically straightforward but man, that pink tulle caused me ALLLLLLL THE GRIEF so I kinda connected the two in a very unfair way and just put the pattern aside until I'd moved on from that little moment of sewing trauma. 
And moved on (six months later) I did. I sewed the kid a straight size 10 and she settled on a length that's maybe a little bit more tunic than top. The Nani Iro fabric she chose is a beauty - Mountain View Tata Zuma (sold out) - and is unfortunately way blown out in these pics. You can see it better in the bottom photo.
I now totally get why this pattern is so popular - it's a very sweet and simple sew and perfectly suited across the age range of 12 months-12years sizing that it's available in. One thing to note if you're new to sewing the Geranium - it's designed to have three button closures on the bodice. Unfortunately, the pattern doesn't include a placket so if you make as per the instructions, you're creating a sizable fold under the bodice back when you overlap to accommodate the buttons. It's probably not so much of an issue with the wee sizes, but for the bigger girls you might want to bear that detail in mind. Instead of buttons, I ended up using this vintage zipper which worked perfectly.
Both fabrics are Japanese cottons and - due to my tardy sewing/blogging - sold out, but stay tuned for an exciting new delivery of Nani Iro coming VERY soon!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

NEW :: The Sydney Jacket Pattern

Sydney Jacket made up in boiled wool Jurgen Grigio
Introducing our latest pattern - The Sydney Jacket. This oversized, draped design features a relaxed collar, side pockets and a back yoke that extends into cropped raglan sleeves. It's a great layering piece as well as being the perfect snuggly cover-up for those chilly autumn/winter months.
Sydney Jacket worn with Merchant and Mills Top No. 64 (blogged here)
Sydney is a toasty all-rounder and looks equally great over jeans, dresses and skirts. All the edges are unfinished (no hemming! no binding!) which makes this a fantastically quick and simple sew.  
Bonded khaki cotton/navy nylon neoprene Navy Army Games
Sydney Jacket in Primaluna Mulberry (washed in a hot wash before cutting) and worn with
Remus Nero Esther Shorts
With this pattern, it's REALLY important to remember that you must use a fabric that does not fray when cut.  I love the Primaluna (pictured above and below) but after picking and pulling at the cut edge, I realised it does in fact fray. To overcome this, I threw it in the machine (wash separately) and put it on a hot cycle. This further felted and softened it, fixing the fray and making it perfect for the Sydney Jacket pattern. Also, don't forget to allow for 10% shrinkage if you decide to use this method.

 Sydney Jacket in Black Ponti
Sydney Jacket made up in lightweight boiled wool knit Thesis Of Moss 
(available in Tessuti Melbourne and Surry Hills only)
Gabby and I on Mother's Day, both wearing our Sydney Jackets
The Sydney Jacket Pattern is now available in both hardcopy and PDF print-at-home/actual size copy shop versions with sizes Petite, XS,S,M,L and XL all included. Ideal made up in boiled wool knits, ponti knits, boiled felted wools and neoprene fabrics. Other recommended fabrics from our current collection are:

Friday, May 1, 2015

NEW :: Megan Longline Cardigan Pattern

Introducing our latest pattern - the Megan Longline Cardigan. This simple flared cardigan looks fabulous worn over sleeveless tops, pants or dresses. It features full length sleeves, a centre front and neckline bind, flared side seams and an asymetric hemline.

Ideal for soft jersey knits such as viscose/elastane and wool jersey, the Megan is a fantastically comfortable and stylish wardrobe staple.
Megan Longline Cardigan in Hashtag Black viscose/elastane jersey. Worn with Ruby Top
Megan is now available in both hardcopy and PDF print-at-home/actual size copy shop versions.
Megan Longline Cardigan made up in Driftwood viscose/spandex jersey.  Avail all stores.
 Other suitable jerseys for the Megan Longline Cardigan pattern:

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sewing Technique Classes - Learn how to insert an invisible zipper and attach your zipper to a facing with your sewing machine.

NEW to Tessuti Sydney stores are sewing technique classes - these classes run for 2 hours and are aimed to help sewers fine tune their existing sewing skills and to help learn how to achieve a better finish on garments, by teaching some great industry techniques and sharing valuable tips. PLEASE NOTE: These classes are NOT suitable for absolute beginners, all students must have some sewing experience and know how to thread a sewing machine on their own.

If you'd like to learn how to successfully insert an invisible zipper and also learn how to attach your zipper to a facing with your sewing machine, this is a class you don't want to miss!

Learn how to insert an invisible zipper and attach your zipper to facing with your sewing machine.

What you need to bring:
Thread (any colour)
Tape measure or sewing gauge
Thread Clippers
Fabric Scissors
Pen (to take any extra notes)

Cost: $50

Teacher: Jenine
Spots are limited and all bookings are made online:
Tessuti Chatswood Saturday May 2nd ( 10am - 12pm) - FULL
                                - Saturday August 22nd ( 10am - 12pm) 

Tessuti Surry Hills  - Saturday August 29th (10am - 12pm) 

This class is ideal for our Libby A-line Skirt and Chloe Pants pattern.

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