Ginger Jeans and Bow Neck Knit

Edit: Can I be a super cheeky lady and ask that you please have a look at the pyjama party at Closet Case Files and vote for my PJ’s?? I love those PJ’s (in fact I’m wearing the pants right now) it it would be amazing to win one of those prize packs. And it’s pretty tough competition!

It’s been a while since I posted! But that certainly hasn’t meant that I’m not sewing. In fact, I have a bit of a backlog of projects to photograph (the weather hasn’t been the greatest for photos here recently).

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Sewaholic Hollyburn in Viscose Crepe

I’m not really the “plan ahead” type of sewer, nor am I particular meticulous. I’d describe myself as more “slap dash”, though with experience I’m really improving on this front and am making sure I pay more attention to detail. Occasionally, though, I still get the mad desire to make something NOW and grab out some fabric and a pattern and have at ‘er. Often this works well, but sometimes it ends badly, with me throwing the finished garment in a heap, burnt out from such a quick release of sewing energy. Luckily this is happening less and less often, as I learn to recognise the dangers. But the other night I found myself cutting out fabric (badly) at 10pm and starting sewing – always a bad idea. It’s like Gremlins – do not give fabric scissors to Sophie after bedtime.

Luckily, this time it worked out well and I ended up with a pattern/fabric combination I wouldn’t have otherwise gone for.

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Sewaholic Rae skirt

Disclaimer: this pattern was given to me to review. All opinions expressed are my own and I aim to be be unbiased. For a full review see my post up on the Curvy Sewing Collective in a few days.

Hot on the heels of the Yaletown dress (my version here), Sewaholic released the Rae skirt. The pattern was designed together with a beginners sewing teacher, to be “a skirt for true beginners, designed to meet the needs of a brand-new sewer making their first garment project”. I’m going to keep my thoughts on the pattern brief here, as I’ll be doing a full review over on the Curvy Sewing Collective this coming week. I’d also like to apologise for my photos: sunny day + occasional heavy cloud cover + 10 second delay on photos…. well, these is all I got before my camera ran out of battery.

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A do-er upper

In October last year I made this skirt, a houndstooth Hollyburn skirt. I wore it to take pictures, then never even pulled it out of the wardrobe – in fact, I think it went striaght into my sewing room cupboard which is not a good place for finished garments (or even half-made garments) to be. The nylon horsehair braid didn’t work at all and it just didn’t look good.

I’m happy to say that I actually re-did it, which is something I very rarely do. I hate alterations and would almost rather start a whole new project from scratch rather than unpick a waistband, for example.

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Don’t look now Jessie, she’s gone full lobster!

Ah ah ah this dress!


This, my lovely readers, is the Sewaholic Cambie in full on LOBSTER PRINT. I’ve been wanting this fabric ever since I saw the lady who owns Swonderful Boutique (highly recommended for Wellingtonians – excellent quality and made in store) wearing it in the white colourway, and she told me about Michael Miller fabrics.

I’ve actually had the fabric in my etsy card several times only to see it sell out again when I dithered. When I decided to try buying from fabric.com*, I snapped it up instantly. And I was not disappointed – the colours look even better in real life than in the shops photos.


Even though this is my fourth version of the Cambie bodice, I actually made a muslin! My last version I found to fit a bit oddly, and the bust darts were too high on previous versions (here and here), so I thought I’d make one so I never have to worry again. Which I think I have now – it’s a bit loose (because of the give in the cotton vs muslin) but the darts are in the right place and I now have the sleeves at the right length.

But I’ve got no idea how I made the sleeves two difference widths:


You’ll notice that I didn’t do the gathers on the sleees which… wasn’t totally on purpose, but I’m glad because it would potentially make this a bit too squee. Like my ships dress, the skirt is just a gathered a-line skirt. For construction the bodice seams are just pinked, the skirt seams are overlocked, and the waistband is (dodgily) stitched down using my stitch-in-the-ditch foot. Hem is turned and sewn so the overlocked edge is hidden. The lining is, of course, totally different to the shell:


I did a lapped zip (again, using scruffy badgers technique. I think I’m just going to print these pictures out and stick them on my wall!), which I put in then had to pull out completely because the waistband didn’t match up. I actually considered leaving it, but it was pretty obvious, so I sucked it up and did it again (this time using the same technique that I use when doing invisible zippers – start sewing from the waistband down, turn around and sew from the waistband up – you just need to make sure the tops line up when you sew down the lining/facing).

I didn’t really make any effore to pattern match which was supid, but I accidentally got this:


They’re only off by 1-2cm! So from far away it’s not that noticible at all, woot. I did have a heck of a time getting the lapped part to sit nicely at the neckline after I sewed the lining down. Looks kiind of okay, but really I need to remember it’s not a good idea in a lined dress – unless anyone has any tips??).

And, of course, it has pockets


I love love love this dress, and I already got two compliments when I wore it to Whangarei – and some very odd looks.

This, you might have guessed, is also my third entry for the Sew Dolly Clackett sewalong. I might squeeze one or two more into the competition, we’ll see how we go – I still have The Monthly Stitch’s challenge for the month, and I was hoping to take part in Sew For Victory 2.0, but my pattern hasn’t arrived yet and it will need muslining and things. There’s some long weekends coming up though so I should have time!


I’m also on the look out for a red belt… you may have noticed that I always wear this scummy brown one that I think I bought from the $2 op-shop in Christchurch. I don’t like shopping though, okay?



Pattern: Sewaholic Cambie

Fabric: Lobster quilting cotton by Michael Miller, about $35 after shipping

Notions: zip and interfacing, stash. Thread $3

Total: $38