Month: July 2014

Alder Shirtdress


I’m back with some sewing, and some questionable dance moves.


My sister Sachi took these photos while we were out hitting the shops, and the only ones that are even slightly in focus are the ones where I’m doing something silly. Since I figured that most people who look at this blog come to see sewing projects, I thought I’d sacrifice a bit of pride in exchange for slightly better garment photos!

You might recognize this pattern as being the cool new Alder Shirtdress from Grainline Studio. Grainline patterns are some of my favourite. The simplicity of design, great drafting and super instructions make for a very enjoyable sewing experience. I had lots of fun making this and it was a great way to get back into sewing after my knitting hiatus!


The fabric I chose for this is a print from the Liberty archives, called Achilles. Funnily enough, it’s not the colour I ordered (I had intended to purchase the blue version), however red is fine with me too. At first I thought it was a bit zany but I’m OK with it now. As usual, I purchased it online from Shaukat.

Here is the one good photo I have that really shows the print in detail:


In terms of the pattern itself, I made up a quick toile but ultimately made no adjustments, sewing View A in a straight size 2. Although you can’t really tell because of the busyness of the print, I did add two patch pockets at the bust, and used self-covered buttons, which I had made at a great place here in Auckland called Hawes and Freer. I am really pleased with the result!

Of course, it’s winter here, so not really an appropriate time to be sewing light cotton dresses. However I was too excited about this pattern to be bothered by the weather, and it made a fun ensemble with tights and a cardigan.


I don’t have a lot more to say about this dress, except that I am really happy with it and will be making more soon. I think my next version will be view B with the gathered skirt. I have several fabric candidates in my stash so it’s just a matter of choosing one!

What do you think, will you be trying this pattern?


Sundottir in Wellington

It’s time for me to admit that not a lot of sewing has been happening around here! Today I present the main reason why…. my new Sundottir jersey.

This jersey is my second completed knitted garment! I am rather pleased with it. The wool (Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Long Johns) was given to me for my birthday by Ben, who also patiently took these blog photos on a recent visit to Wellington. If you’re a New Zealander then you’ll know that Wellington is wild of weather, so it was the perfect place to debut my new woolly jumper. Thankfully the wind and rain abated for a time and I was able to get some nice photos by the harbour. As they say, you can’t beat Wellington on a good day.


I really enjoyed knitting this jersey! Throughout the whole process I just couldn’t wait to wear it, which is always a great motivator. The wool is very soft, much softer than the Lett Lopi that I used for my Strokkur, however I do think that it will have a tendency to pill a bit. I really love the deep red of this wool and it’s quickly becoming a favourite colour. For my next knitted project I’m thinking about making a dark red cardigan to wear over dresses, however at this rate I’ll never do any sewing again, so I might take a bit of a knitting break over the next few weeks.

I think we can all agree that no trip is complete without a haberdashery purchase of some kind. I got these five vintage Vogue sewing patterns at the Minerva craft bookshop for $20! Woooo! So much great style inspiration! My younger sister is getting married next year and I already have grand plans to make something to wear from one of these beauties.


On the fabric front I picked up this cream and black striped cotton jersey, with which I might make a tshirt, as well as a lovely mottled silk in pink and mauve tones. Any ideas for what I should make with that? I only got 1.5m so it’ll probably have to be a top of some description. Oh and I found two lovely buttons!


I’m sure both will be relegated to my stash for a little while. The cupboard is bursting at the seams with amazing fabric, which is both a beautiful and overwhelming thing! How do you decide what to make next when you have an embarrassment of riches from which to choose??? I feel a bit paralysed. Must…stop….buying…fabric….

Anyway I’ll finish up with a photo I took of Wellington’s Oriental Bay. What a view!