The Shirt has hit the fan!

Bwah ha ha!  Because the shirt has fans on it of course!!

Simplicity 1694

This is more of the Japanese Tana lawn bought at the same time as my Darling Ranges Dress.  When I bought this particular pattern I had a vision of a nice shirt to go with jeans. I knew I didn’t really want the fit of the ubiquitous Archer shirt, I wanted something a bit more floaty and I wanted rolled up sleeves with tabs.  Enter Simplicity 1694 which seemed to tick all the boxes.

I originally bought this pattern thinking it would be nice to have a couple of sleeveless floaty shirts for summer, but then somehow I just never got around to it.

In all honesty when I first sewed this up I really didn’t like it and had to make a few alterations as it the pattern sizing is huge and looked like maternity wear.
Simplicity 1694
I cut the medium based on my shoulder measurement and didn’t bother with an FBA as the shape was not fitted.  I ended up taking the side seams in by 1.5″ on each side at the bottom graduating to ½” in the bust area. I also narrowed the sleeves by ½”.  The shoulders were required to be narrowed by an inch due. I would have liked to add more waist shaping however this was not possible due to the pleat in the back, if I was to take it in more at the sides it made the back poof out like I had a hunchback.

In saying that, I am happy with the fit as is, and the shirt is great for our somewhat pathetic winters. I finished it about 3 weeks ago and have already worn it loads (as seen in my MMM instagram feed).

I think with this pattern that fabric choice is really important, more than it is in some patterns. I did have a sleeveless version in a heavy-ish rayon and it  just looked terrible and no alterations were going to fix it. So unflattering. This pattern really needs a light fabric, a voile, lawn, georgette or silk, it needs that softness and drape.

Simplicity 1694
Now I know it sounds like I am being all negative Nelly about this one, but there is loads that I do like:
– the roll up tabs are exactly what I wanted
– I love the mandarin collar instead of the standard expected collar
– the fabric is great to wear
– perfect wardrobe builder

It’s weird, I don’t usually wear button down shirts so of course I don’t normally make them, so this was a nice change to sew.

I do remember making some really cool shirts back in the early 90s – I had a pale blue chambray shirt with chambray leopard print yoke and cuffs – very trendy at the time! Sometimes I wish I wasn’t so ruthless in my wardrobe culling, I’d love to have been able to share some of these gems with you. Plus it would be interesting to see how my sewing has evolved over 20 years! .

Simplicity 1694
So, will I make this shirt again?  Maybe… I really do prefer wearing dresses so I won’t be rushing to make more shirts, but it was a nice change.

Pattern – Simplicity 1694 – view A
Fabric – 2m of Japanese Tana Lawn from Spotlight
Notions – buttons and thread

I don’t say anything. I merely offer you a facial expression that suggests you’ve gone insane

When I saw the Sew Dolly Clackett challenge was announced by Sarah I got fairly excited. I make a lot of “fit and flare” dresses (a Dolly Clackett staple) anyway, but what a great excuse to completely copy Roisin’s fabulous style without appearing like a crazy person!

In case you are not aware of the challenge, the fabulous Roisin of Dolly Clackett and Nic are getting married and the challenge is a way for all us sewists to celebrate their wedding by all becoming pseudo-bridemaids stalker types and making dresses inspired by Roisin’s unmistakable, colourful style.

Sew Dolly Clackett Simplicity 2444

In true Dolly Clackett style, taken in my doorway!  Quite a different doorway, but the door is blue at least!

Simplicity 2444 is a little gem of a pattern which I have made several times before (here, here and here). It is also one of Roisin’s favourites and it is easy to see why.

Sew Dolly Clackett Simplicity 2444

The pattern has four distinctive angled waist darts and has many options including shawl collar and sleeve variations. I admit I have tried none of these, having constantly sticking to the sleeveless version. Now that I have the fit almost perfected (each time I make a few small changes) it is more and more like a TNT for me.  I think one final adjustment will be to take a little more out of the centre front neckline as I have a touch too much room. Not a major and it certainly is not going to stop me wearing the dress.

Sew Dolly Clackett Simplicity 2444

The fabric is Michael Miller Cosmos in Worn Poppy Red. I just love the red and turquoise combination and admit that I have worn this at least three times since finishing it on Thursday!

derp face!

I was super lucky to have met Roisin when I was in London recently, and she is every bit as adorable and lovely as you would expect from her blog. Warm and funny and we share a love of shoes. We met and browsed the various shoe shops around Carnaby Street, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be and neither of us were successful in finding anything to buy that day. (probably didn’t help me that the AUD to pound exchange rate is rubbish right now) I was also privileged to meet the soon to be Mr Dolly Clackett, Nic. He is so lovely and I can’t believe he was keen to come out with a bunch of girls and chatter about sewing.  He’s definitely a keeper that one 🙂

Sew Dolly Clackett Simplicity 2444

My shoes were bought on the weekend of the inaugural Brisbane Sewist Meetup. Liz of Sew Busy Lizzy and I went to The Fabric Store (I might have been enabling) and were having trouble narrowing down our purchases, so we decided to take a bit of a lunch break and go back once we had decided. We crossed the road and in true sewist style SQUIRREL! We found a shoe shop. These suede gems are by Jeffrey Campbell and are my new favourites. Who knew that this colour could be a neutral?

curtsying to sewing royalty 🙂

CONGRATULATIONS Roisin and Nic! I wish you all the best for a fabulous wedding day and a lifetime of happiness together.


Pattern – Simplicity 2444
Fabric – 2.5yds of Michael Miller Cosmos in Worn Poppy Red bought from in November
Notions – thread and zipper from stash

Fanbloomintastic Dress

Do you ever go a store and just fall in love with a fabric and just have to have it?  Of course you do, all us sewers do, amirite?  It’s part of the process, seeing a fabric, loving it and making the garment of our imaginations.


I came across this fabric in my local Spotlight recently and just had to have it.  I loved the faded red colour, the floral print and the pattern placement. It is a light polished cotton and feels divine to wear.  I know the patter looks a little curtain like, but I don’t care!

Again I used good old Simplicity 2444 for the bodice, now that I have the fit perfected for me, this is a nice quick make for me now. I lowered the neckline as I feel this is more flattering for my lady lumps 🙂


I never seem to bother with the skirt from the pattern so instead this is just a dirndl (gathered rectangle) using twice the full width of the fabric (once for the front, once for the back), gathered and of course with pockets!


One of my favourite things about this pattern is that it doesn’t have lots of fancy detailing so the fabric can take be the focus.


This is closer to the real colour

Again, I left off the neck and armhole facings, I really don’t like facings, and a bias finish is so much easier if you don’t mind seeing a stitching line. This time I used a self-made bias, attaching it so it is visible, basically enclosing the raw edges. I first sewed his to the right side, and then stitched in the ditch to catch in the back.

It’s a great dress for meetups too!  I wore it for a recent afternoon tea with fellow bloggers, Steph (also of Cake Patterns), Rachel and Reana.

Picture courtesy of

So now, I am off to play with my new toy!

New Toy!

Yep, I bought a cover stitch machine!!  I have coveted one of these for ages and now I finally have one, oh the fun things I can make now.  I sense a new obsession with stretch fabric in my near future!!