Turn of Cloth and a WIP


Its been a little quiet on the sewing front here recently… but that’s soon to change. I’ve been working away at turning the disaster that was McCalls 4993 into something I’d actually like to wear, and in the process had the chance to try a few new sewing things!

I’ve read about the impact of turn of cloth many times, but I’ve only come across a pattern that actually accounts for it once (Vogue 8333, which has a separate upper and lower collar piece). When I sewed up my first Marfy pattern – F2465 – I was sort of expecting to see the facing pattern pieces be slightly smaller than the outside pattern pieces, having read much about their superior drafting.

F2465 Marfy Top 22
Seam line on the fold of Marfy 2645

This was not the case, and whilst I suppose it could be considered a personal preference on whether or not the seam lines sit along the fold, or are sneakily hidden underneath, I’d prefer them to be hidden from view.

So with my current Work-In-Progress, I’ve ‘drafted’ (sheesh, that makes it sound like something really difficult!) a facing pattern piece for the dress strap, which is slightly smaller than the actual strap pattern piece – by 4mm. That 4mm then got added back onto the strap piece that will be on show, so it will still end up being roughly the same size. I say roughly because my fabric is thin and drapey – the thicker your fabric, the more allowance for turn of cloth is required.

The ‘under strap’ pattern piece sitting on top of the ‘over strap’

It makes it a wee bit more challenging to iron before turning out (yep, I’m still a pressinatrix), but by such a marginal amount I can’t even believe I’ve just written a whole sentence about it.

If you’d like more info on determining how much to allow for different types of fabric, then there’s a really good Threads article on this topic here. Otherwise, I’ll leave you to go about your business :)


The First Annual SewcieTea!


What a wonderful afternoon we had today! My only gripe was that 2 hours felt like 15 minutes and was all over in the flash! We had 26 lovely ladies come along… so lets see some pictures!

Siobhan, Winifred, Tracy, Kathleen, Liz, Anna, Lara, Rachel and Leith
Deb, Judy, Emily, Paula, Jenny, Claire, Erin and Sasky
Kat, Sarah, Belinda, Julia, Mindy, Oanh, Rachel and Belle

Not only was there a delicious high tea to enjoy… but some seriously lovely sartorial creations, by both some well-known faces and many new ones too. In fact, there was almost an equal ‘civilian’ to blogger ratio! Plus quite a few bloggers I’d yet to meet whose pennings (and whose abilities with the english language are far beyond my own) I love to read – like Jenny and Emily.

Sewing Society in attendance – I would say in no particular order, but actually it was the order of RSVPing because that’s the order of my list ;)

Rachel from MyMessings
Kat from All the Whimsical Things
Belle from Bella’s Collectanea
Sarah from Sew Squirrel
Julia from Julia Bobbin
Rachel from Boo Dog and Me
Leith from Sew Brunswick
Oahn from Unique Schmuck
Anna from Blogless Anna
Jenny from Rennous Oh Glennous
Belinda from Turquoise Polkadots
Lara from Thornberry
Emily from This is Emily Kate
Liz from Busy Lizzy in Brissie
…and Me!


Tracy, Emily, Jenny and Belle
Belinda and Julia
Rachel, Kat, Liz and Rachel
Leith, Moi, Lara and Deb
Belle and I

It was so, so lovely to meet so many new people (apologies from TJ and Tricia who couldn’t make it) and have a good ol’ fashioned oogle some gorgeous frocks. 

Kat, all the way from NZ!

In spirit, we also have Kat from the Engineer’s Other Life – we went to uni together but these days she lives across the pond in New Zealand. And I think her Vogue 1159 is a great example of how the ‘right’ pattern can make you look amazing!! I’d totally wolf whistle you on here if I could, Kat!

There was even a little up-skirting… but only because we all love a tulle crinoline!


So… See you all again at the 2014 SewcieTea? ;)

And if you can’t wait that long, or were unable to make it this time around – we’re organising ‘Frocktails’ later in the year – lock September 7th in your diaries!


SewcieTea is coming…


When is a pun too much?

Apparently… when you have two of them in the space of a single word with three syllables. Confusion has been abound, brought to my attention via Twitter. And fair enough, I say. So in the always important interest of correct pronunciation:

SewcieTea ≈ ‘Society’ 
And speaking of which, there’s only 7 days to go everyone, and this time next week we will all be prancing about in self-sewn clothes that make us feel fabulous, all ready to enjoy some champagne, tea and sweet deliciousness with 28 other sewing enthusiasts. And what would a catchup like this be without at least one interstate visitor? Yep, it’s all happening at the Gables on the 14th of April.
Thanks to you all so much for RSVPing, it makes organising an event like this so much easier. I’ve organised name tags for everyone (magnetic of course – no fabric will be harmed during the course of our luncheoning) as there will be plenty of newcomers.


If you’re not joining us and you want to be included… send me some pictures of you in your SewcieTea frock (poppykettle at gmail dot com) and I’ll include you in the Extravaganza!

See you all next week! x

M4993 vs my Left Brain.

mccalls 4993


Left Brain: I told you so. You listened to me when you got halfway through that last vintage dress pattern muslin disaster that dastardly Right Brain conned us into sewing up. You should KNOW by now that vintage just isn’t our thing.

Melanie: But it had so much potential… all that beauty and glamour of the 1950s, just trying to shine through…

Right Brain: And it still does!! Look at that gorgeous fabric. All that floral eyelet, silk and fabulous topstitching just waiting for its moment to shine. Leftie over there is just being a Qi vampire again.

IMG_5141 IMG_5143


LB: Glamour? Beauty? Are you out of your mind? What about the oppression, the sexism, the rigid social class structure, the LIMITATIONS??? A determined, independent thing like yourself should know better. The only time it would ever be appropriate to wear this… collared dress thing… would be to a scout and girl guide ball. And you damn well know no such occasion exists.

RB: Sewing is like a box of chocolates, you know. You never quite know what you’re going to get.

LB: Yes. You do. It’s called sewing a muslin. 


RB: Whatever. Look, so maybe our concept didn’t quite work out this time. You’ve still got your Anniversaire Amour dress to wear to SewcieTea, and you certainly can’t claim I led you astray there. And if it’s chilly, you can pull on our GGQB blazer… remember that fabulous rush we felt when we first laid eyes on that gorgeous periwinkle woven silk? This failed creation can totally be salvaged into something else, those colours are wonderful on you and there’s still plenty of time.


LB: Actually, no, there isn’t. Remember that Assignment you have due next week? And the fact that you’ve been leaving home at 6:45 in the morning and only getting home at 9pm at night? You barely have enough energy to scroll through your Pinterest feed at the end of the day, not to mention trying to sew something new. Shall I throw in there just how far behind blog reading you are?

RB: Sorry, what were you saying? I tuned out. I was admiring that eyelet that Kat from All the Whimsical Things gave you. And speaking of Kat, how fabulous did that nautical themed quilt that you, Sarah, Rachel and Belle made for her baby-to-be turn out? That just goes to show that sometimes trying something out of your usual comfort zone can be a wonderful thing.

Melanie: Yeah, we totally rocked that quilt. And I do love that eyelet. It’s just devastating that all the time I spent carefully basting, underlining, pressing and sewing have resulted in something I just really don’t like. I think I secretly knew… but thought that if I got all the little details spot on, the dress would somehow work out.

RB: And it still can. Look at that AMAZING fabric covered belt. As if you aren’t going to turn this into someting that makes you feel good. More ‘modern’ and totally every-day wearable. 


Melanie: *Sigh*. Yeah, but not now. Time just ain’t on my side.

LB: I told you so.

The Stats:

00:30  Pattern Preparation (tracing)
03:10  Toile (cutting/sewing/fitting)
04:20  Fabric Preparation (cutting/interfacing etc)
11:00  Sewing
19:00  hours

Fabric Utilisation = 3.4m + 3.0m + 0.8m
Stash total now = 87.8m (Goal = 50m)