I made this top using the free Purl Soho Boxy Tee Pattern a while ago. It is the first top I ever made that I wore out in the real world. It is not  perfectly made, but I am happy enough with it and love the strawberry fabric. The first time wearing this top on holiday I felt like such an accomplished seamstress, which makes me laugh now. However, I still do feel a nice sense of accomplishment whenever I wear something I made.

I usually wear this top back to front as I prefer the more boat neck style at the front and lower back. Luckily for me there are no darts in the body so wearing it like this is fine.

I learnt a few new skills when making this top. The T-shirt was my first time using bias binding to finish a neckline, which scared me so much but worked out mostly ok. I liked the finish of the bias binding, however I do tend to stick to using facing where I can as I much prefer sewing facing than bias bindings.

This pattern is such a good way to get into t-shirt making for a few reasons.

  1. It’s boxy, so super easy to fit and alter if needed.
  2. It uses woven fabric.
  3. It’s free, so even if it doesn’t work out it’s still ok.
  4. It’s overall a really easy pattern to make with no set in sleeves , darts or super tricky elements.

Pattern- Purl Soho Boxy Tee (Free)

Fabric- Cotton from Spotlight

This top was initially a basic child’s dress with straps and a gathered elastic waist. Mum bought it online and, as it didn’t quite fit my sister or I, it has sat idly in the wardrobe. I decided it was time to give it a new life as the fabric is really lovely.  This is so far the only thing I’ve made from an existing garment but I loved the fact that I could recycle the dress so that it wasn’t a waste. It made the environmentally conscious part of me very happy.

This was easier than making a top from scratch as I was able to avoid inserting elastic, hemming and making straps because these were already in the dress and I could repurpose them. My least favourite part of sewing is hemming and I often procrastinate about doing this, so I really enjoyed this not being a part of this project. 

Here is how I made it- 

  1. First I cut the skirt off above the waistband and finished the raw edges on the top of the top. 
  2. I then removed the straps from the dress and re-attached them to the top of the skirt to make the new top.
  3. The final step was to cut the skirt in half widthways so I could remove some of the length but keep the lace trim on bottom.

That’s it! After finishing all the seams I’m very happy with a new top and glad I was able to reuse an item of clothing and it cost me nothing!

Over the past few years that I’ve been sewing I’ve only ever made clothing for summer. Maybe because they are often simpler and my fabric of choice is  cotton, which is a good summer fabric. Since I’ve started the blog and had more time to sew I’ve grown to really love wearing all my handmades and do not want this to stop when the weather cools. Here  are some patterns that I’d love to make.

1.  Delphine Skirt – Tilly and the Buttons from her first book ‘Love at First Stitch’

I bought this purple and blue patterned and textured fabric to make this. As it’s a thick material hopefully this will work with boots and a turtleneck all winter. This pattern was the first pattern I ever made and wore out in the world. It will be nice to return to the same pattern years later with much better sewing skills. Hopefully I can get the invisible zipper right this time!

2. Munroe Turtleneck – Tessuti

This is a free pattern and I’m really looking forward to making as it will be my first make with knit fabric. I hope this will be a good starting pattern and the boxy fit should disguise any potentially dodgy stitching. I’ve got some navy knit fabric to make this in.

3. Burnside Bibs– Sew House Seven

I’m thinking these in a black cord but haven’t yet found some fabric. I’m really trying to move away from my go to dark skinny jeans I wear all winter so hopefully these wide legs will add some diversity. I really like this version by Designs by Lindsey. As much as I love these I do own a few pinafores, jumpsuits and overalls so this will be last on my list as I need a bit of diversity!

4. All the patterns from the new Tilly and the Buttons book ‘Stretch

Many of patterns in this book look like things I could imagine wearing all winter long, although I particularily like Freya pattern, both the top and dress. Tilly’s last book was so useful to learn some skills as Tilly’s instructions for both construction and theory are so well explained, so I’m really excited for her new book.

5. Ninni Elastic Culottes – Named Patterns

These just look so comfy and a good winter pant wore with boots. I love the elastic waist that means no zipper to insert and leaves a nice gathered drape. It will make these super easy to wear as they nice but not too formal for everyday wear as culottes with pleats can sometimes be.

6. Kommatia Patterns Open Back Bodysuit 

As I own a few turtlenecks and have a few on this list, I will probably be living in them this winter. They are so comfy, warm and always make an outfit look put together. I’m a little nervous about trying this pattern for a few reasons. Firstly, I’m inexperienced with knit. Secondly, Kommatia Patterns doesn’t show the final garment on a person and I can’t find many versions of this online. However, the line drawings do look good and I like the idea of an open back turtle neck bodysuit that would dress up any outfit.

As Uni is now back I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to sew until the July holidays,so until then I’ll just have to gather fabric and supplies so I’m all ready to sew when the holidays come!

This was my first, and also as yet only, big 4 pattern I’ve ever made. I always get put off by the sometime questionable styling choices on the packages and daunted by the sheer amount of patterns they offer. This pattern I saw in a Frankie magazine and it was made up in a similarly bright cotton for a Spotlight advertisement.  If I had  not seen the dress presented this way I doubt I would have chosen this pattern even though I do have a few dresses in a similar shape in my wardrobe. 

I made this dress 2 years ago when my  grandma bought me sewing lessons for Christmas. Without the help of someone really experienced I likely could not have completed this. If you live in south east Melbourne I would highly recommend Sue from Sew Good with Sue who was really lovely and helped me learn so much about sewing through her skills and attention to detail. This made the dress a great learning experience as it has button holes, zippers, lining, pleats, pockets, interfacing and back and bust darts, none of which I had done before this dress. Now I’m super glad I picked this dress to make as I learnt so so much.

Overall I’m super happy with this dress as it’s a little more formal than the rest of my handmade wardrobe and I love the pleated skirt and pockets. This dress a little shorter than I would have liked (a mistake I’ve made often) as I think the pleated skirt might sit a little better had it been longer. 

I think I’ll continue to mostly use patterns from indie designers  because it’s always much easier to work out what the finished garment will look like due to the styling of the clothing, plenty of different makes on social media and the detailed instructions that make the entire process so much easier. Also, as I normally buy PDF patterns as it’s sometimes cheaper for me to buy this way. That said this dress did work out really well so maybe I’ll give another pattern from one of the Big 4 a go.

Pattern- Simplicity 2215

Fabric- printed cotton from Spotlight.