When one isn't enough - Another Allie Olson Highlands Wrap Dress

April 8, 2018

Do you ever have times when you make a pattern and just can't wait to make another?  That was me with the Highlands Wrap Dress by Allie Olson.  I finished my first one and by the next weekend I was working on another.

Sleeveless Highlands Wrap Dress

Given that I'm trying to work from my stash this year I picked out a large floral rayon I purchased from Spotlight in the boxing day sales.  It was a tight squeeze to get it out of the two metres I had.  To get it out I made the sleeveless version and used the shorter length which I'd worked out after my first version.

Sleeveless Highlands Wrap Dress

I was a bit worried this one would come out a bit too seventies but I think it's just 70's enough. The large floral and the style of the dress could have caused problems but I think it really works.

Sleeveless Highlands Wrap Dress

Anyway, there really isn't much more I can say that isn't in my previous post, all I know is that this won't be my last, I'm planning a maxi version for formal night on a cruise I'm going on in a few months.

Sleeveless Highlands Wrap Dress

Sleeveless Highlands Wrap Dress

Sleeveless Highlands Wrap Dress'
Sleeveless Highlands Wrap Dress'

Sleeveless Highlands Wrap Dress

Pattern - Highlands Wrap Dress by Allie Olson
Fabric - Floral Rayon from Spotlight

The Last Frontier - Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans

April 2, 2018

For me, jeans have been the final sewing frontier.  I've been making my own bras and underwear for a number of years now and have been focused on making a handmade wardrobe for well over twelve months.  While it's been slowly coming along I had not even contemplated making my own jeans until recently.  They seemed too challenging, too many techniques and just too hard.  That was until I made a pair.  I am never buying jeans ever again!

Ginger Jeans

I made my first pair of jeans, the Closet Case Patterns Ginger Jeans (High Rise, View B), over the Easter weekend. Though they weren't really that time consuming.  I cut them out Saturday afternoon and then went out for dinner, got most of them together (except back pockets, hems and belt loops) Sunday afternoon and then finished them off Monday afternoon.  If I had sat down and sewed them in one session I think I would have been able to complete them in a day without too much hassle.

Ginger Jeans

This pair use a cheap stretch denim from Spotlight.  Honestly its not the best fabric but I'm glad I used a cheap pair to test out the pattern. I cut a 14 and had to use a much smaller seam allowance to get them to fit, next time I'll grade out the seams/cut a larger size to start with.  I would have be devastated to waste quality denim if I wasn't able to get them to fit so this was a good starting point.

Ginger Jeans

Except for grading out the seam allowance I increased the seam allowance on the back yoke as there was some gaping.  next time I will increase it slightly more and look at altering the shape of the waistband.  I think I would also either interface the waistband or use a non stretch lining fabric, It may just be the fabric but I think it is going to stretch out.  At least I'll be able to eat in them.

Ginger Jeans

As far as fitting goes I do have some drag lines, but I'm not one of those people who sew to get the perfect fit, I do think the fit of these will improve over time, but I'm pretty darn pleased with this for a first attempt.

Ginger Jeans

My favourite detail might be the stitching on the back pockets, while it's not identical I think it looks pretty okay.  I did pin them on flat (rookie error!) so they're more for looks as it is a bit of a struggle to fit my hand in, good thing I never really use the back pockets of my jeans.

Ginger Jeans

I finished the seams using my overlocker, I'm sure flat felling will happen over time, but honestly I'm pretty please that I've conquered jeans regardless of the finishing.  The topstitching gives a really professional finish regardless of the seam finishes.

Ginger Jeans

I think the process was made easier by using the right needle.  I used a heavy jeans needle and quality thread which always helps.  Thankfully my machine is fairly heavy duty which did make the process simple and I had no machine issues.  I did use a Jean-a-ma-jig to ease over thick seams and it made the world of difference.  For the few dollars they cost I highly recommend one.

Ginger Jeans

Pattens - Ginger Jeans by Closet Case Patterns - High Rise Skinny, View B
Fabric - Stretch Denim from Spotlight
Top - Shirt Length Mesa Dress by Seamwork Magazine in Spotlight clearance cotton lycra.

A Little Highland Fling - Allie Olson Highlands Wrap Dress

March 30, 2018

I've been a fan of Allie Olson from Indie Sew's patterns for ages, but her Highlands Wrap Dress is the first one I've actually gotten around to making.  I'm pleased to report it lived up to all the positive reviews I'd read.

Highlands Wrap Dress

I used a Cotton & Steel/Rifle Paper Co Rayon I picked up from fabric.com during my last order.  They'd stuffed up the pricing and had it priced at $5/yard so needless to say it had to be included in my order even though it's not normally my colour.  I'm very pleased I didn't leave it behind.

Highlands Wrap Dress

There have been many positive reviews for this pattern and with good reason.  There are a number of little details which take the pattern to the next level.  These include button tabs which secure the dress so the ties are purely for looks.

Highlands Wrap Dress

Speaking of the ties, they have one of my favourite details.  On every other wrap dress I've owned or made you always end up with super uneven ties as one wraps around more than the other, but not with this pattern!  There are different pattern pieces for the short and long ties so they line up with they're tied.

Highlands Wrap Dress

The original pattern has midi and maxi length, I started with the midi but they really don't suit me. I ended up cutting six inches off the pattern length to make it knee length which I think suits me much better.  Nothing wrong with the pattern at all, just personal preference.

Highlands Wrap Dress

Another of my favourite details is the mitred corners on the hem, they were much better when the hem was the original length but they are just another one of those details which make this pattern next level amazing.

Highlands Wrap Dress

I also love the elastic in the waistband at the back, it just means you're ensured of that snug fit and no gaping at the back which I really appreciate.

Highlands Wrap Dress

I'm already planning my next one, a sleeveless version as thats all I have enough fabric for.  Shortening the length by as much as I am makes a difference to the fabric requirements, I'm hoping to get that one finished by tomorrow to wear out for drinks, it's a long weekend so I think I'm in with a chance.

Highlands Wrap Dress

Also random fact about me, I use to do Highland Dancing as a kid.  During my first competition I came first in the Fling and then came third for the title with the Fling and the Swords.

Pattern - Highlands Wrap Dress by Allie Olson
Fabric - Cotton & Steel Rayon from Fabric.com

The Story of Four - Tadah! Tea Party Dress

March 24, 2018

Sometime last year I managed to find some Review Australia fabric at Lincraft.  I just had to have it.  As I got closer to finishing my make from it I knew I was going to end up with some leftovers, not a large amount but around a metre or so.  Thankfully I knew what the perfect thing to make would be.  One of my friends loves Review clothing as much as I do and has a daughter who I would have more than enough fabric to make a dress for.


As I don't get to sew for little girls on a regular basis I asked some of my friends what pattern I should use and the overwhelming response was for the Tadah Tea Party Dress.  This pattern is fantastic!  Four neckline options, four back options, three sleeve options (not to mention more available in an add on pack) as well as two skirts.


For all these dresses, there ended up being four in total we decided on a sleeveless, boat neck, classic back with gathered skirt.  While these all use the same pattern I think they ended up looking different depending on the fabric choice.  I also used a few different fabric types and think this impacts on the look.  The Review floral is a sateen and while the pattern doesn't recommend fabrics with stretch the lining solves that problem.  I think the sateen also gives it a more formal look.


The second dress was using a flamingo voile from Spotlight.  This is one of my favourite fabrics that they had in stock over summer.  This dress was again using scraps I had leftover from something I made myself, which I've worn frequently but haven't actually blogged yet.


I think the voile makes the dress more casual than the sateen, but is still super cute.


The next dress I made was using a Laura Blythman I picked up at Spotlight.  As it was coming up to Easter I thought this bunny print would make an adorable Easter Dress.


I was not wrong, it is totally adorable.  The other brilliant thing about this pattern is how little fabric is takes up, I manged to squeeze this one out of 70cm using a different fabric for the lining.  I also used french seams on the skirt seams, I had grey thread in my overlocker and I really didn't want to change it to white for one skirt. French seams are way easier than rethreading my overlocker!


The last dress I made was using a Lotta Jansdotter quilting cotton I bought a few years ago.  I stumbled across a blog with a black and white striped Tea Party Dress and really liked it. I was starting fabric stash the other day and found this grey and white stripe that I thought would work quite well.  Needless to say I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out


I finished all the dresses with snaps, which are my new favourite way of adding closures, especially too kids clothes.  Not only are they super easy to add, they are also easy to close which I think comes in handy when dressing small children.  The range of colours available means there is always something that works and the price is great (they work out at about 4 cents a set - much better than buttons!)


And a few extra photos, just because...





-Review Australia Designer End from Lincraft
-Laura Blythman Bunnies (Last Season) from Spotlight
-Lotta Jansdotter (Bella Stripe) from East Coast Fabrics