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October 20, 2015 / fionamakes

A Jac shirt in voile

Hello, everyone! I’m sharing a new top today! 

I recently decided to take stock of my wardrobe. Sewing on such a regular basis means that I keep adding to my wardrobe, but space constraints mean that I have to be more thoughtful about what I make next. After taking stock, I realized that there isn’t really anything that I need urgently. What to make next then?? Well, I have a few trips coming over over the next couple of months and next year that will necessitate some cold weather clothes. Long-sleeved shirts and sweaters it is then! 

I saw this shirt just recently here, and promptly decided that I had to make one too. The funny thing is, I’ve seen this pattern before, and was never really interested in it. I changed my mind when I saw it in polka dots though! 

I dug deep into my stash for this voile. I bought it ages ago thinking that I’d make it into a dress, but I never got past the fact that I had to line the dress, and so the fabric languished in my fabric box. Anyway, it was great for this shirt since I had enough yardage. 

There are some really nice details in this shirt. The back wraps around the front at the side seams and finishes at an angle at the hem. The sleeves have split hem, which also adds some interest. 

There’s no yoke at the back but since the shirt is meant to be quite oversized, I don’t really mind. I shortened both bodice pieces and the sleeves by an inch and I’m quite happy with where the top ends now. 

The shirts has a proper collar stand and collar, with only 1/4″ seam allowances. I did find this a bit fiddly to manage so I might increase the seam allowance to 3/8″, then only trim them down after sewing. 

Now to cut into some Nani Iro brushed cotton for another Jac shirt!

October 12, 2015 / fionamakes

Butterfly skirt and blouse

Hello, friends! I’ve been putting off blogging for a few days because I’ve been finding it hard to get good photos! For the past few weeks, we’ve been blanketed under a haze, so we have really had to minimize any time outdoors. So I’ve decided that indoor pics will have to do for now. 

When L turned six at the end of September, I decided to try out Oliver and S’ Butterfly blouse and skirt. I think I bought this during an online sale a while ago, and L’s birthday was just the excuse I needed to get to it! (L probably has the biggest wardrobe of all the children, I recently realized, because not only did she have what I’ve been sewing up for her, she’s also inherited her older sister’s handmade hand-me-down wardrobe!) 

As always with Oliver and S patterns, I found that everything went together nicely. The instructions were detailed enough without being overly verbose. 

I really love that cute gathered peplum on the top, it’s such a nice detail. The blouse fabric is just a poplin (from Spotlight long ago) with little rainbow dots all over. 

And that skirt fabric! It’s a cotton twill and I spotted it at Toraya in Osaka when we were there on vacation in November last year. I circled the bolt many times before getting just 1 meter. I’m really glad that it was more than enough for this skirt! 

I decided to make a size 6, as L was turning six. But as I was sewing, I stared to have serious doubts about that size because everything was looking so big! I was pretty sure L would be swimming in it! Ugh! But she isn’t. I know the whole outfit has room for her to grow but it isn’t so big that it’s unwearable. How did she get so big?? 

One last shot of the birthday girl with her birthday brownies. (My children don’t do birthday cake!) 


October 3, 2015 / fionamakes

Long culottes!

After making my first two pairs of Emily culottes, I started to wonder how a longer pair of culottes would look on me. Well, I finally got around to give it a go. 

I lengthened this pair by 6″ (I’m 5 foot 2), and took a total of 2″ for the hem. I took about 3″ each off the width of the front and back legs, so that works out to a total of 6″ off the width of each leg. I thought this was necessary because the legs seemed much too wide otherwise. Then, I angled the side seam down. From the top of the front and back leg pieces, I drew a line down to the narrowed hem. 

I’m quite happy with how this turned out. The fabric is a silvery brown fabric with a nice drape. I’m pretty sure there’s some polyester in it though, because I managed to scorch it a little when pressing the crotch seam. Oops. 

The longer length of the culottes needed a more crop-ish top, so I made an Onyx shirt to match. I knew the Onyx shirt was avoid fit for me, as I’ve made it before. But the original length was too long, while the crop length was, erm, too short for my tastes. So this length is about 1 3/4″ off the regular length. 

The fabric is Cotton and Steel double gauze (not Nani Iro, which was what I’d originally wrote!). I really love the colors of this print. I had much better luck with matching the stripes of this side of the shirt than the other, which is why you get to see this side seam! 

September 26, 2015 / fionamakes

Scalloped hem shorts 

Hi, everyone! 

Living near the equator means that I seem to need shorts year round, so I decided to dig deep into my pattern stash for this pair of shorts. 

  I’ve actually had this pattern from Pattern Runway for a long time now. I remember making a pair once, but then they turned out too big. In a fit of pique, I threw the shorts in my refashion pile and decided to forget about this pattern. 

Well, I’m glad I gave this pattern another chance. I cut a size smaller and found the fit much better this time. I also made sure to practice making welt pockets before attempting them on the shorts. 

It can get a little confusing, as there are several pattern pieces for the back welt pockets. But I love the end product. There aren’t any unsightly seams on the inside! 

I used my favorite method of applying bias tape to the bottom edge of the waist yoke to finish it. And the hem is finished by hand with invisible stitches. 

  The top is a knit version of Grainline Studio’s Scout tee. I’ve also had this pattern for forever. This iteration has a woven back and knit front. And I cut a neckband to finish the neckline. To be honest, I only made this to stash bust. I had a little of this geometric poplin left and an odd sized piece of this sage green knit. There was much joy when I realized how well they matched and how this pattern would use up the remnants! 
All in all, this is a great wearable outfit for me. 

September 17, 2015 / fionamakes

A City Stroll skirt and a top to match

Hello, friends! 

It was my birthday a few weeks ago, so to celebrate, I bought a new pattern and some precious fabric to make myself a new skirt. I will use any excuse… 

I’ve been eyeing the City Stroll skirt pattern for a while now. I’ve seen a few versions made up on the blogosphere but not too many. But then, I saw this Nani Iro canvas made up into a backpack, and I kept thinking that the fabric would look great as the wrap skirt. I couldn’t get it out of my head so I had to give in, of course. 

It turned out just like I thought it would. And although I had a few misgivings about how well the skirt would stay closed, I am happy to report that I had no problems at all!  

I skipped using buttons to close the skirt and instead used two snaps at the inside flap and a bar and hook on the outer flap. I didn’t want any buttons interrupting the print of the fabric. I used up a remnant of cotton poplin as the hem facing. Stashbusting!


I made up Simplicity 1366 in a white textured fabric to match the skirt. 

I must be one of the last people around to sew this top – it’s a pretty popular top in the blogosphere. I did find the neckline a bit too wide for my liking, and I had to shorten the sleeves because they felt more comfortable above my elbow. Otherwise, it’s a really versatile white top that will go with a lot of bottoms in my wardrobe. 

September 9, 2015 / fionamakes

Watercolor Clover shorts

Hello, friends! 

I am happy to report that despite her self-declared aversion to shorts, this pair that I made for L has been in her regular rotation! Yay, it’s a win for me!

You’ll recognize the fabric as the cotton sateen that I used for one of my Inari tee dresses. I hate to waste leftover fabric, and shorts for little girls really are a great way to use up remnants! 

The pattern I used for these shorts is the Clover shorts pattern by Welcome to the Mouse House. I had bought this pattern last year when it was on sale in the hope that one of my girls would grow to liking shorts again! 

The gamble paid off! The shorts are easy to construct, and have a separate waistband piece, which I much prefer over the fold-over-to-make-a-casing-for-the elastic option. 

I topstitched the pleats down to make sure they were super secure. 

My only regret is not going up a size. They fit pretty well now, so she’ll probably outgrow them way too soon!

Styled by L!

September 4, 2015 / fionamakes

Named Inari tee dress

I have stalked the Inari tee dress pattern from Named Patterns for so long now! It must have started on Instagram where I saw so many versions on this dress. Now, the dress is a loose fitting one and so, I think has the potential to turn out less flattering but it must be some great drafting because I have loved all the versions I’ve seen so far! 

Loose fitting but not frumpy is always good! 


So for my test version, I purchased a red tencel linen from Chinatown. The fabric has quite a nice drape and feels very comfortable to wear. I shortened the pattern a couple of inches (Named patterns are drafted for someone who is 172 cm tall and I am just 158cm!), and I am quite happy with this length. My favorite part of the dress is how the side seams twist slightly to the front.

  What I didn’t liked out this red dress was that the armscye turned out to be too big, so the dress tends to ride up if I lift my arms too much! I also thought there was a little too much ease in the body of the dress. 

So I decided to try again, this time going down a size. Since this was a smaller size, I reduced the amount of length that I took out to around 1 1/2″. 

The fabric I used this time was a printed cotton sateen from my local Spotlight. I really liked how the print looked like a watercolor painting of flowers. And I thought the Inari pattern would allow the print to shine. 

The armscye on this one is such a better fit for me! But the fabric has a lot less drape this time and so overall the dress looks more boxy. I don’t really mind it that much but I think if I were to make this again, I’d use the smaller armscye with the width of the next size up in a fabric with less drape. It’s all about combining the different elements!