Inari Tee by Named Clothing

Inari Tee by Named Clothing |

The Inari Tee by Named Clothing. It looks like a boxy top but is actually beautifully fitted, which makes it flattering in all the right places.

Inari Tee by Named Clothing |

The Inari comes with crop top or dress options, side slits, cuffed sleeves with a relax-fit and neck facings.

I’ve opted for a crop top version here with a whopping 14cm added to the length (I slashed the pattern just under the arms to add the length). I didn’t need to make any alterations and the instructions seemed well written.

Inari Tee by Named Clothing |

The fabric is a semi-sheer silk (try saying that three times quickly!), so I swapped out the neck facings for a short bodice lining which stops just below my ribs. This was partially due to a lack of white lining fabric, but it’ll keep the top airy during summer too.

I also had to make the back lining from two pieces, so sewed them together used a flat felled seam to minimise bulk.

Inari Tee by Named Clothing |

It’s my first make using Named Clothing and they were great … but my one complaint would be that the patterns weren’t nested, so if you needed to merge sizes you’d be in for a wild ride. And you can only print two pattern sizes at a time. Boo. Otherwise the instructions were well written and the fit is amazing.

The Fabric

I found this navy houndstooth silk at The Fabric Store and every time I opened my stash, I’d look at it, torn between wanting to wear it and not wanting to ruin it. I knew I’d have to use it sometime, before the moths ate it or little fingers stained it. I’d be sad then. Sad that I hadn’t enjoyed it first.

So I caught a vision, downloaded a pattern and made myself jump in.

Inari Tee by Named Clothing |

Actually, I needed a little shove to get started and I owe a big thanks to my Instagram gals for cheering me on. Thanks ladies!! Without you I’m sure I’d probably still be unsure.

Of course, before launching in with my precious fabric, I did a trial run with pink polyester remnants. I’ve already worn it several times!

‘Muslins’, or trial runs, are much less tedious when there’s actually a chance you’ll wear them. I highly recommend it.

Inari Tee by Named Clothing |

So, do you have some precious fabric in your stash that needs transforming? Maybe it’s time to catch a vision and start enjoying it. Let me know and I’ll cheer you on!

Or maybe you need more time. That’s ok. But don’t leave it forever. Fabric doesn’t last that long.

Ella Top by Liola Patterns

Ella Top by Liola Patterns |

I needed a ‘palate cleanser’ between a couple of big makes. Something that was uncomplicated, casual and suited to fabric that I wouldn’t cry about if failure hit.

This is the Ella Top by Liola Patterns, which is available via Indiesew. I made it using this (static-prone) polyester fabric which I found for $3 per metre over a year ago.

Ella Top by Liola Patterns |

With the pattern, I was initially dubious about the suggested size. There appeared to be a lot of ease, but I trucked on anyway, making a size M and the fit turned out perfect. No alterations needed. Hooray!

Ella Top by Liola Patterns |

The top features a cute back yoke and pleat, with a slight racerback shape.

I did steer away from the instructions a little to enclose the shoulder seams within the yoke pieces. Also, rather than enclose the bias ends within the seams, I stitched (once the rest of the bias piece was attached) the ends together and sewed it flat.

But otherwise, there’s nothing fancy involved and the instructions seemed well written.

Ella Top by Liola Patterns |

This was a fun make and is probably a good one for beginners too. The bias edges are certainly a handy skill to have.

It’s a fuss free project and just what I needed to keep the sew-jo on track.

Aztec Print Skirt

Cute outfit. Loving aztec prints right now |

If it’s possible for fabric to sing to your soul, that’s how I’d describe this. Colour, geometrics and texture … I’m in love. It just begged to be made into a pencil skirt, so of course, I happily obliged.

I'm loving aztec prints right now |

This ‘mammoth print’ cotton is from The Fabric Store and has a weave similar to aida cloth; like you’d use for cross-stitching, but softer. It’s so unusual and I love that!

Want some aztec print inspiration? Here’s some Pinterest photos that first got me hooked. The third photo makes me want to sew sequins onto my skirt! *sigh*

I'm loving aztec prints right now

The Pattern

There’s not much to say about the pattern itself. I used the skirt variation of the Sigma Dress pattern by Papercut Patterns and made a size small, cutting a duplicate in pink fabric for lining. I love a fully lined garment and the coarse weave certainly lent itself to it.

I did omit the pockets, cinch in the lower half and make the usual sway back adjustment, but there weren’t any major diversions from the original pattern.

I'm loving aztec prints right now |

I’ll admit that my pattern matching leaves much to be desired, but compromises had to be made, people. Numerous compromises. At least the main lines are in the vague vicinity. I’ll take the small victories.

I almost got it matched on the right hand side! Gah. So close.

I'm loving aztec prints right now |

It’s also my first time doing an exposed zipper and I thought I could just wing it. Turns out online tutorials are a much better way to go. Duh!

Not to worry. I got there in the end and it’s not too shabby for a first try.

I'm loving aztec prints right now |

I’m loving the finished product and it makes me feel ready for sunshine and al fresco dining. Bring on summer cocktails!

I'm loving aztec prints right now |

No Sew: Fix a Metal Button on Jeans

No sew fix for the metal button on jeans

It’s easy to repair a metal button that has broken off your jeans.

This is the ‘no sew’ method which is super quick and effective, but may force you to compromise on button position. If you want a more thorough fix which also allows you to place a new button in the same position as the old one, then you’ll want my tutorial on ‘How to Replace a Metal Button on Jeans’ showing you how to sew on a patch first. Continue reading

Winter Merino Tops

Winter clothing is always jeans for me. I often can’t be bothered with fussy tights and dresses when the wind is howling and it’s raining yet again. So, desperate for warmer tops, I dug out some merino fabric.

Being warm, breathable and lightweight, it’s the perfect fabric for layering.

Raglan Sleeve Merino

I picked up this raspberry merino from The Fabric Store and the top was in solid rotation as soon as it was finished (actually, even before that. I wore it unhemmed for a couple of days!).

Raglan Sleeve Merino

With this top, I wanted a loose fit, but specifically with raglan sleeves. So using a Kwik Sew pattern (#3120), I made a size small top, graduating it out to a medium in the waist to give it a sloppy, relaxed fit. I also added length to the sleeves ’cause I love to pull them down and keep my knuckles warm on a cold morning.

Because I wore the top constantly, I needed another to get me through laundry day.  So, making the most of a recent sale, I promptly scooped up more merino in various colours.

merino top for winter

Version two is a pink Megan Nielsen Briar with scoop hems. It’s very similar to the red one above, but the neckline is lower and the sleeves are standard rather than raglan.

I should have gone down a size though, because this merino jersey is super stretchy. Lesson learned.

Megan Nielsen Briar in merino

I love pairing the tops with a Robson coat and ankle boots. It’s been my apparent uniform for the last week!

Megan Nielsen Briar in merino

In the hopes of stopping the super stretchy knit from warping over time, I opted to reinforce the neck and shoulder seams with ribbon. Fingers crossed!

merino top for winter

And I finally learned how to use my twin needle! I love the professional finish.

merino top for winter


Since making swimwear last year, I’m falling in love with using knits again and merino has only encouraged that. It’s very forgiving and easier to sew than it might appear. I’m hooked.

I believe merino can be tough to source if you’re outside of NZ? The Fabric Store have outlets in NZ, Australia and the US and happily take phone orders (I do it a lot!), if that helps.

Happy sewing!

Neon Briar by Megan Nielsen

I love colour and usually the brighter the better. But it’s entirely possible that I’ve just found my limit. Neon Briar Top by Megan Nielsen. I need this pattern! | This fabric is a hi-viz pink merino from The Fabric Store and it’s great for a blast of colour. It almost assaults my wintery, sun-starved eyes but I love it because it’s so unexpected when everyone else is wearing black. Continue reading

Sunki Dress by Figgy’s Patterns // Teaching a Child to Sew

Poppet loved helping me tape together the .pdf pattern for my recent Mesa Dress. Since then, she has been cutting and taping any pieces of paper she can get her hands on.

So when I asked if she would like to sew herself a new dress, her eyes lit up and she jumped and down saying “yes, yes yes!”. A girl after my own heart.

In hindsight, I should have started her on a simple elasticated skirt. It really would have been the most logical approach. But what can I say … the excitement of teaching her stifled all rational thinking. There’s nothing like throwing a zip insertion, facing and sleeve easing at a first time sewer. *head slap*

Sunki Dress by Figgy Patterns |

Continue reading