In my efforts to reduce my fabric stash I decided to make a new coat using Silhouette Pattern #1819 which is really a jacket.  I decided not to adjust for my height (I’m only 5’2”) so it is a good length for a coat.  We have had some mild autumn days lately where a heavy coat is not necessary but it’s nice to have something to keep warm.

0 Silhouette 1819

I used this double sided fabric which I got on sale recently.  The pattern is unlined so I wanted to use the black “wrong side” as the folded back lapels.1 fronts

I wanted to do this pattern partly because the finished measurements are the same as another pattern for a trench coat which I am going to try next. I will still do a muslin but it gives me a size as a starting point. For those not familiar with Silhouette Patterns the size is chosen by the finished measurements.  I measured a couple of RTW coats at the bust and hip lines to arrive at my size. The only issue I had with cutting out was that I only had 1.5 metres of fabric, so I decided to piece the sleeves at the shorten/lengthen line. A new “design feature”! The pattern is only 4 pieces – front, back, and 2 piece sleeves.

Here are some process photos:

The collar is part of the front piece so once I stitched it together at centre back, and after sewing the shoulder seams, I pinned along the neck edges.

2 collar cb

At the pivot point you make a cut up to the pivot point to make it easier to turn the corner.

And the finished seam before pressing. I must admit I was slightly terrified but the neckline seam worked brilliantly.6 corner on neckline

I applied tie interfacing to the sleeve head as per the pattern instructions.  I have done this before and was thrilled with what a difference it makes and how easy it is to insert the sleeve.  Once the interfacing is basted in you can really see how it makes the sleeve head rounded and has eased up some of the fabric.7 tie interfacing basted

I was then able to insert the sleeves really easily – first go! How it should be, right? The edges of the lapels have been overlocked (I considered bias tape or fold over elastic but thought the overlocking looked fine) and so I did the same to the hem.  One large button on the front with a loop and done!  When rolling up the sleeves to get the correct length I decided I liked the look of the black cuffs, so I left them long and folded back. You can see the join where I didn’t have enough fabric, but I can live with that!

Sort of a cross between the long cardigans that you see in the shops now and a coat.  Even my 17 year old daughter likes it, so I consider that a raging success!  Off to clean up the sewing room and decide what to make next.

Until next time, Lyn

Sewing tool mishap

Well laid plans will often get delayed.   Lyns last post showed our great progress on Wednesday doing our current challenge. I am a bit behind so have spent some of the morning trying to catch up, in between doing loads of laundry.

I got so close to finishing when disaster struck. Not only did I break the needle, I also managed to break the foot.


So much for plastic parts, lucky I have a spare free motion foot, even though it is a little different and provides less visibility, it will suffice until I can go buy another.

Time for a cuppa, until next time


Another Wednesday

Wednesday is always a great day for me, because I reserve it for being creative.  I am lucky enough not to have to work on Wednesdays so even if I have something else on, I try to find at least a small amount of time to do something sewing related, or artistic.

Yesterday, May 17th, Cora and I got together at my home to work on our latest venture.  You may know that we had a large exhibition towards the end of 2016 where we each had around 15 pieces on display.  That took us over a year to get ready for. So we decided to try to keep our momentum going to do another challenge this year.  Although we had decided to challenge ourselves with various themes, Cora came across Made on Monday which is a challenge where artists create a piece 5 inches square every week for a year! That sounded really interesting so we have each been working on that for about 4 weeks now and once we have 12 pieces we send them in and they will be displayed in an online gallery.

So yesterday we were working on piece 4. We spent a lovely day chatting and sewing (and eating!) and have now finished 4 pieces. These pictures show some of the action that went on……

Cora working on her piece with programmable stitches
Cora’s workspace
Me using free motion embroidery
My piece in progress

And here is my sewing friend – he actually woke up for the photo!


I think this challenge is a great way to try out different ideas and techniques and it will be very interesting to see how the pieces unfold and the direction that we each travel in.  The pieces are small enough not to be too cumbersome, and having to do a piece a week keeps us inspired and working.  How do you get inspired?  Do you have any tips or techniques that you use to stimulate creativity? Would love to hear your comments.

Until next time, Lyn

Australia Bag/Tote

I recently had friends here in Australia visiting from Italy.  Whilst they weren’t staying with me, they did bring me gifts and I started thinking……. What do I give them in return?  Something from Australia, of course, but what?

I decided to make something and started searching for Aboriginal print fabrics.  I found some and made a sample shopping bag/tote.


However, on another fabric shopping trip, I found the perfect print.  Using the same pattern, I made another two and am very pleased with the results.


I hope they give them fond memories of their time in Australia when used.

Till next time……Cora

The little things (or scraps!)

Late last year Cora and I had an exhibition with our friend Michelle, which was made up of textile pieces inspired in some ways by Michelle’s photographs.  I thought I would share with you the process of making 2 of those pieces.

The inspiration photograph was of floor tiles taken on Michelle’s travels. As soon as I saw it I loved the photo, probably because it was blue (my favourite colour) but I immediately thought of somehow making tiles with textiles.

Michelle Hill bluetiles

I really don’t know how these ideas come to me, except that sometimes I just wake up with them.  So I decided to try creating the background of the tiles with tiny weeny scraps of blue fabric (because of course I have heaps of blue fabric).  Unfortunately I don’t think I took a photo of all the scraps cut up, but here is the leftover mess.  You get the idea, I grabbed bits of fabric and ran over them with the rotary cutter until they were so tiny they were annoying.

Then careful not to sneeze….. I placed them on a piece of soluble stabiliser in a random fashion within the boundaries of a marked square.  For my samples I made the square 10 cm (4 inches).  The larger tiles ended up being 30cm (12 inches)

I placed another piece of soluble fabric over the top and then started stitching grid lines using free motion embroidery and a variegated thread.3 1st pass

Then I washed the stabiliser out. Using one of the pieces as a stitching sample, when it was dry I placed it on soluble stabiliser again and tested various threads to see what would show up well for the main pattern design.

After the success of the blue sample I decided that to be fair to the other colours of the rainbow I really should try stepping away from the blue and use some other colours.  So I made 3 more and followed the same process finally stitching the design on the surface of the tiles using some soluble stabiliser underneath.

Washed out the soluble and left it to dry….


And these are the finished pieces.

8 finished

These are the coloured tiles framed (when I asked my teenage daughter for help on a name she suggested Ninja Turtles…..)

9 framed

Larger piece framed10 larger piece

Hung in the gallery with the inspiration picture.

11 in gallery


It’s now been a while since I made these, and I am thinking about what I can try next using these techniques.  Will keep you posted!

Until next time,



Favourite patterns

Although I have been sewing clothes for myself for many years, I only started using Silhouette Patterns about 5 years ago. I love the webcasts and all the free information Peggy provides and find them very inspiring. Unfortunately my sewing ambitions far exceed the time available, but I have managed to produce some garments.

One of my favourite patterns is the Sweater Set #195.  Just take a look at the condition of my pattern envelope.  Well-loved indeed.


I have just made the cardigan top again, this time with press stud closures.  I should have been careful what I wished for, there are a LOT of studs to do up if I want it closed!  AND, the first time I carefully stitched the press stud tape onto both sides, only to try it on and realise that I had stitched both sides of the tape to the right side of the fabric! So yes, a bit of swearing went on.  Then I got out my well used quick unpick and took it off one side and sewed it correctly.  Luckily because of the thick kind of furry properties of the fabric, you can’t see the stitching that much (or the un-stitching!)


I really like the fit of this pattern and love that it’s sort of a cardigan, but can be dressed up or worn with jeans.

These are pictures of the same pattern, but using zips as a closure:

I have also made the sleeveless top at least twice that I can remember, and will post pictures of those in a future post.

Until next time, Lyn

Features created from sewing mistakes

I just finished my current sewing project.  First time using this pattern Vogue 8817 Katherine Tilton.  The chosen fabric has a beautiful drape but really tricky to sew and causing me some grief with skipped stitches until I finally found the right combination of finer needle and thread.


I didn’t read the pattern properly and missed cutting out the back yolk and ran out of fabric.  Oops.  Decided to use strips instead, which resulted in a draped, exposed back feature.


Then, despite trying very hard to finish the neckline without stretching… stretched!

Rather than giving up, only because I love the fabric colour and drape, I again decided to make it a feature rather than a fault and added a small panel as it was a little too revealing for my taste and beading to disguise the stretched binding.


I am very pleased with the final result and look forward to wearing it.


Posted by Cora.