The Bird Massacre Top aka Sutton Blouse

Confession #1 this isn’t my first Sutton Blouse, I made another one before this, but there was a bit of a saga…

Sutton Blouse 1

I printed the pattern at work (we all do that right? It’s like a staff perk!), however little did I realise for the first time ever the printer scaled the pattern to (I think) 120% ish. Of course I didn’t figure this out until the blouse was cut out and sewn together.  At the first try on, I realized I had inadvertently made a nightie.  Much “grading” and adjustments later I made it into a wearable garment. I figured there was no point sharing it as it’s not accurate to the pattern. Besides it’s boring plain white, and this one has birds on it!!

Sutton Blouse 2

This version, my Bird Massacre top, is from the now corrected pattern pieces. Confession #2 – I was too lazy to re-print them, but I am now happy with this version.

The fabric is from Spotlight and is sold as “polyester that feels like silk”. I agree it does feel lovely and floaty and it’s not scary to wash at all so that’s a bonus.

I used a bias trim for the neckline, seams and sleeve trim.

Sutton Blouse 3

You might have noticed I have a different location for these pics – following Gillian’s quest for better blog pictures, I thought I’d try some indoors. Mostly because it is too flipping hot to wear pants and closed in shoes outside!!

Sutton Blouse 4

Here’s me looking nonchalant 😉 Bwahaha!

This is a great little versatile top and is a great length to wear with jeans/pants. There will definitely be more as it’s quite a wardrobe staple.

Confession #3 – many birds were slaughtered in the making of this top!

M6566 – Party in the Back Top

Back with Part 2 of my sewing for my Abu Dhabi trip!

I have been wanting to sew up this fabulous tie dye looking fabric for ages, ever since I picked up in the swap at the Brisbane High Tea last year. It is so lovely and soft and feels so comforting & cozy to wear. It’s like a favourite worn in t-shirt already! I believe it is from The Fabric Store and, correct me if I am wrong, is courtesy of the beautiful Sophie of AdaSpragg.

Edit: I am now informed the fabric was gifted by the generous and talented Alice


With this fabric I imagined something boxy and kinda fun – McCalls 6566 is just the pattern to play with! This pattern has so many options that are not immediately evident from the pattern envelope.  Even the website doesn’t have the line drawings of the back – in my opinion that is the best part!


For this top, I went with View C – check out the surprise back (ok not a surprise because I put an image above…oops):

The only change I made to the original pattern was to dip the hem in the back for a bit more booty coverage and more of a high-low (mullet)look. Weird, I don’t like a high low hem on a dress so much, but in a top, I love it.


The pants, if you were wondering (and you probably weren’t if you know me) are yet another pair of Hudsons! Quelle surprise!! This time in another woven, a rayon from Spotlight.


Tangenting now…some of you were curious about the attire for skating competitions in the UAE, this is pretty typical for the locals. Although all the international skaters wore more “normal” figure skating attire. The only other thing about the UAE that surprised me and that I hadn’t thought of was that pairs and dance skating is not allowed. Things you take for granted huh?

By the way, that’s me in the background!

So there you have it – appropriately covered for my travels. It was an interesting sewing mission, and a bit unusual from my norm. I’ve never sewn in this way before, making things based on coverage and fit, rather than just gong with what I love and want.  It goes against my nature to cover up, I normally have sleeveless items and like a lower neckline. In saying that, these items are still getting loads of wear now I’m back, I just style them a little differently and generally pair them with different items 🙂

Sunshine & Happiness Pants

My wardrobe is usually dictated by upcoming events or weather changes.  Recently I found out that I was required to go to Abu Dhabi to judge a competition (for those that don’t know, I also judge ice skating competitions). Having never been outside the airport in the UAE, my first concern was “what am I going to wear?!”.

I knew the country is Muslim and they have a conservative view of clothing, with a recommendation for women of avoiding fitted clothing, covering shoulders, knees, cleavage and midriff. Well, the last one is definitely not an issue, but the other three kind of eliminated most of my wardrobe in one way or another, especially as the UAE is hot so winter clothes were definitely not an option.

Sunshine & Happiness Pants

Hudson pants!! They fit the brief, they’re not fitted, they cover the knees and would be great in the heat. It’s no secret to anyone that follows me on Instagram that I love Hudson pants, having made three knits pairs so far I felt it was time to try them in a woven.

To adapt the pattern from a knit to a woven, I added a margin of approximately 1.5cm on all sides of each pattern piece, pretty much the same way I would add seam allowances to a Burda pattern. I omitted the pocket trim and lengthened the legs slightly. I also narrowed the width of the cuff and widened it to the same width as the bottom of the pants as obviously I couldn’t stretch it to fit as in the knit version.

Sunshine & Happiness Pants

The fabric I used is called “ottoman” fabric. Wikipedia describes this as: “…a fabric with a pronounced ribbed or corded effect, often made of silk or a mixture of cotton and other silk like yarns. It is mostly used for formal dress and in particular, legal dress (such as QC gowns) and academic dress (mostly for hoods).” I am pretty sure my fabric is polyester but it feels lovely to wear and drapes beautifully.

Sunshine & Happiness Pants

Even though these are a woven, they are in no way restrictive, they are very comfortable and perfect travelling pants. I can attest they are great for flying! I also love how they can be dressed up or down.

They are also lovely and cool to wear and were perfect for my visit to Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi

Such an interesting country to visit and I hope to go back again next year! I wonder how many Hudsons I’ll have by then? 😉

True Comfort

I love to be comfortable at home, just bumming around in clothes that I can sit cross legged in. When I saw the new Hudson Pants pattern from True Bias I got excited. Now I know it might be weird to get excited about what essentially are trackpants. But I like that these are funky and have style. Even to the point that I would leave the house in them.

Hudson Pants
Obligatory Kelli pose!

I made my version out of a lovely merino fleece from The Fabric Store. Perfect winter fabric and it is a dream to sew with and wear.

Side note: This time of year it is starting to get cold, ok it’s not cold by other country’s standards but our homes are not built for the cold so we feel it more. A large number of our houses don’t have insulation, most don’t have built in heating and I have never seen a home in Australia with double glazing. So I feel I can be a little bit justified in saying it is cold when it’s getting down to 8 degrees at night.

Hudson Pants

I cut the size 14 based on my hip measurements and made no other adjustments. Mine are a little bigger than Kelli’s so perhaps I would go down a size next time, although this would depend a lot on the fabric choice. My fabric has a fair amount of stretch. I would also shorten them slightly next time. The pattern is designed for someone 5’5″ and I am 5’2″, I thought I might get away with it (and they are not bad) but maybe 1.5″ off for next time. Also due to me being short, they don’t sit on my hips like others, they sit closer to my waist, but I am fine with that.

Hudson Pants

The pants came together really quickly and I even followed the instructions, which are extremely detailed with diagrams, great for a beginner. Plus Kelli just did a sewalong if you need more.

The trickiest part I found was feeding the cord through, not so much difficult but awkward, it hurt my hands and then my safety pin came undone (gah!). I managed to use my trusty turning instrument (long metal stick with a hook at the end) to fish it out.

Hudson Pant

I have read some people have had difficulty styling these pants but I find they work well with Mandy Boat Tee style tees or I made a Plantain tee (above) with a high-low hem and I like that combination too.

Hudson Pants
Hudson Pants

I love the waistband detail and the 2″ elastic makes it super comfortable to wear. You will see I have added cord pullers as I found them in my stash, I think they add a professional touch. Note: a yard of elastic was plenty and I only needed 1.5yds of cord.

I have worn these pants all day, including to the grocery store, and I am in love. I cannot wait to make a capri version for spring!

Pattern – Hudson Pants pattern by True Bias
Fabric – 1.4m of merino from The Fabric Store
Notions – 1m x 2″ wide elastic, 1.5m cord, 2 x cord pullers