Nailed it.

Well, I didn’t nail it exactly, but I did make a wee visit to the tool shed for this outfit.

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First, the blouse. I bought this so-called cotton poplin at Spotlight a while back, it is quite light and not my idea of a poplin, but Spotlight is not famous for being pedantic about these things.

I had got it into my head that I wanted a button-back blouse. After lurking on Trademe for months waiting for an appropriate pattern, I realised that I could just add a back placket to any old blouse. (Literally, this thought took months… lateral thinking is not my strong point). The blouse itself took only a couple of hours. It is LOOSELY based on Simplicity 7223.

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It’s kind of boxy but I will wear it tucked in. The buttons are some lovely old Woolworths ones that I had in the stash, still on their card. The buttonholes were made with my machine’s buttonhole function. It is embarrassing to admit, but it’s actually the first time I’ve used it – previously I’ve just zig-zagged buttonholes manually. Who knew that knob was there for a reason??

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And – the tool shed reference – I used a tiny 12mm chisel to cut the buttonhole openings. One of those clever WSBN ladies mentioned doing this, and it is ever so fun. It also has the added bonus of making a super neat buttonhole opening, with no stretching or ragged threads. My tip, though: don’t do it directly on your cutting mat. Next time I’ll put some newspaper in between. I just Googled it and guess what? You can actually buy buttonhole chisels! Mine was just from Bunnings. Good enough.

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The skirt meant another trip to the tool shed for cable ties. It has a high waist and I used a piece of cable-tie in each waistband seam, to stop the waistband rolling down. I used two at the front, and two at the back. I didn’t put them in the side seams as I thought that might be uncomfortable. It worked beautifully and I adore the high waistline.

Image(Scuse the wrinkles, this is after sitting at work all day.)

The pattern is a free download, the Favourite Frills skirt from Your Style Rocks. Friends, you must try this pattern, and I say that as someone who would generally rather go to the dentist than sticky-tape patterns together. It has some lovely details like the paired darts at the back, and is just the right width to be able to walk in without having to add a vent.

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Obviously, I didn’t use the outer ‘frills’ layer. I thought about lining it, but didn’t in the end as I wanted to be able to wear it year-round. I initially put in a centred back zip, but undid it and changed to a lapped one instead when this happened:

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Gaping can be a problem with a centred zip, but I think it’s a particular hazard when there is a seam midway down the zip. The lapped zip was much better.

The fabric is some kind of very soft synthetic, from a one-euro bargain bin in Madeira, where I had a holiday in 2012. Isn’t it nice to buy fabric on holidays? It’s such a good reminder of the trip. I bought a big piece of fabric, intending to make a skirt and jacket, but I was so frivolous cutting out the skirt (*one euro!* *snip snip!*) that there isn’t quite enough left. Isn’t it awful to buy fabric on holidays? You can’t go and get more.

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Anyway I can tell that both of these items are going to get a lot of wear, and that’s a good feeling.

Lazy, wrinkly and biased

These are not the most exciting projects ever, but in the interests of responsible journalism, here are three tops I’ve made in the last month. This first one breaks new ground for low effort sewing. 

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I bought the fabric (viscose knit?) at Arthur Toye’s, on the Great Wellington Craft Crawl. I intended to use this tutorial to make an easy-peasy T-shirt, but seriously, mine is even easier. And lazier! I cut the shape I wanted, and overlocked the shoulder seams and the side seams. The end. 5 minutes. 

The next one is 80cm of silk/cotton that cost $5 at Fabric-a-brac, made up into a Sorbetto (without the centre pleat). 

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  I like it, but the bust darts are a bit high so this happens now and then: Image

The third one originated at the Fabric Warehouse sale, I think it’s rayon and I know it was $3/metre. I am done with TFW sale, I haven’t liked anything I made up from there (it must have been on sale for a reason). 

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Too bright, I feel like a nana. Plus this happened to my bias binding, and I can’t iron it flat, can anyone tell me why? 

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In better news, I have just finished my all-time favourite skirt and also have two dresses to show you next time. AND, it’s a long weekend. Happy days.