29 October 2014

FO: pretty pleats

If you're looking for a sewing confidence boost, might I suggest making an item without a pattern?  It's very empowering and you really feel like you are levelling up as a seamstress, even if you are only sewing a few rough rectangles together.

This one is slightly more involved only because there's a centre back seam, which I actually prefer because the zip sits nice and neat and out of the way.

I used Leanne Barlow's fantastic gilded skirt tutorial for this one.  Not a lot to say really, it came together spectacularly simply.  The fabric makes it I think, I get a shit tonne of compliments every time I wear this piece :)

Many thanks to Lydia for becoming my photographer! Our very appropriate location was the Conservatory in the Fitzroy Gardens.

Pattern:  Gilded Skirt tutorial.  I can see this being extremely versatile, and do intend on making a few more in a variety of fabrics.  I especially like the tapered waistband for a better fit.  This will be my go-to waist band now.  Those typical DIY skirts with the square waistband never seem to fit as well.
Fabric:  Printed cotton sateen from Spotlight.
Notions:  invisible zip closure, 12" I think.


21 October 2014

Apple cinnamon muffins

I used to looooovvveeeee baking.

Now, I can really not be bothered.

I like eating the things but the making of the things doesn't seem worth it.

Unless it's easy.

Unless it's quick.

Here is a recipe I have tried.  You only need one bowl.  There is no creaming of the butter and sugar (which is like, the worst).  They are delicious.  They have fruit in them, so they are healthy.  It is not my recipe, I am literally copying it for you from the source (here), with my mods.

apple cinnamon muffins


  • 300g (2 cups) plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 150g (3/4 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 2 medium (about 375g) Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled, chopped 
  • 125g butter or margarine, melted, cooled
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 185mls (3/4 cup) milk

The recipe also calls for raisins, but gross no way.


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare your ingredients. You will need 12 medium (125mls/ 1/2 cup) muffin pans. Line the pans with paper muffin cases because this is easiest and less mess and you can get pretty polka dot cases from Coles. 
  2. Put the plain flour, baking powder and cinnamon together into a large bowl. Stir in the brown sugar and apples  until well combined.
  3. Whisk together the butter or margarine, eggs and milk until well combined. 
  4. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Apparently it gets tough if you mix too much *shrug*
  5. Spoon the mixture into the muffin pans.
  6. Bake the muffins in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
The recipe says they keep for 1 day, but I have eaten them all week long and they are still tasty.  Don't hate.



15 October 2014

WIP: Seeing double

Sorry, couldn't help myself.

Double knitting!  How freaking awesome.

So I find myself knitting a double knit scarf, just in time for this balmy spring weather.  Woo.  As usual, I'm teaching myself.

I google searched 'anchor knitting chart' and found this baby here. I added a few stitches either side, made a contrasting border, some stripes top and bottom and voilĂ !  We have a scarf pattern.  I wanted to keep it simple for my first double-knit and consequently it's a bit too simple as I am now in the no-mans-land of plain stockinette until I reach the other end.  So my initial enthusiasm has worn off somewhat.

So check it.  One side.

And the other.



01 October 2014

FO: Kwik Sew 3521 - house edition

This dress turned out totally bitchin'.  I feel totally bitchin' wearing it too.

 Fabulous basic pattern that I will be making umpteen times more.  This style is super classic and flattering (at least for me).  I love love love the fabric, it just worked right?  I can't even remember what it is or whether it is entirely appropriate for a dress, it came on a roll at spotlight, cotton, on that table with all the Lisette fabrics.  I'm fairly sure it's just a cotton, it has a fair bit of weight to it.

I'd been stressing so so much about making a dress.  Fitting is HARD!  But somehow this came together, it looks and feels like it fits right and there's still enough ease to make it comfortable.  I know there's probably some scientific way to ensure a good fit but I literally just cut the straight M (which was a size smaller than recommended) and upon it feeling too baggy, took an extra half an inch out at each side.

And look - I even matched the pattern at the front!  I feel like a frickin' wizard!  Fabrico Matcho! 

Less successful at the back.  I managed to match the lamp post but must have had a brain fart when cutting out the left side.  Whaaat?  I don't mind at all, I don't think it's fatal.  I still have some work to do in getting my invisible zip skills up there, but I think this one does the job.  I omitted the hook and eye, they always seem so fiddly and I have never used them, even on my rtw dresses.  Do you use them?  Do they have a point?  Do you even care?

Pattern:  Kwik Sew 3521.  As we all know, commercial patterns are BIG.  I cut a size smaller than recommended according to my actual measurements and even then it was a bit on the big side (hence the extra alterations).  The arm scythes are a smidge tight, I've taken out half a cm in my next one which should remedy this.


  • I cut a straight size M and after inserting the zip discovered it was still quite baggy.  I took half an inch off each side of the bodice and it fits like a dream.  
  • Instead of a gathered skirt I made box pleats in the front and back that lined up with the bust darts, which I think are much classier.
  • Fully lined!  Is there anything more luxurious than a fully lined dress?  
  • Length is somewhere between the A and B views.  Couldn't possibly show those knees could I!! 

Fabric:  Some cotton poplin from spotlight.  You know when you see a fabric like a thousand times on visiting the store and can just picture wearing it?  I saw this again and again and finally just fucking bought it.  No regrets bitches! It came in a pink background too - the one I chose has more of a neutral sort of beige background.  I'm girly but I'm not that girly!  And just some plain white cotton lawn for the lining which is super comfortable and light and gorgeous and I love it.

Notions:  22" invisible zip.

Of course I chose the windiest day in history for the photos.  Thanks to my little sis for being my photographer.


Pattern review here

Handmakers factory here