Saturday, November 30, 2013

Make a Garment a Month, November 30, more finished garments...

Hello everyone.

I can't believe another month has gone by so quickly - I didn't realise it was the 30th November today until I looked at the calender.

Many of you have already finished your garments and I posted them last week.  I have also posted any finished garments  in the November Gallery.

This week a few more of you have finished and I dare say one or two more garments will be posted over the next few days.

Here then are this weeks finishers:


Anna Dress made into a top.
GMarie intended to make the Anna dress, but instead made a top - read all about it at gmarie's blog.


Vogue 1306 - little knit top
Coco altered some of the features of original pattern to come up with her adorable version.  Go and find out what she did here...


T-Gardens t-shirt
 Chris had a wadder with this little t-shirt - go and see what happened  here.  Wishing you better luck with your December garment Chris - and Chris has posted her December plans already!


Dorothy's snug new coat

The weather is getting cold in Dorothy's part of the world, and she has made this lovely coat to keep warm - more details here.

If I have missed anyone, please let me know by commenting below or emailing me

Next week I will start posting the December plans - some of you already have your plans blogged - and there are some gorgeous ideas on your blogs - lots of patterns I am sure some of us have looked at and want to make.

Wishing you all the best for your December garment...

Sarah Liz

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Trouble with Knitting, Part Two

A few weeks ago I told you all about the problems I was having with getting the correct tension for a knitting project.  In short I had multiple attempts at making a jumper, undoing it, and redoing new tensions squares.  The full story can be found here.

At the  moment, I am not sure if knitting is fun at all.  Why?  Because after all my tension checking, I started knitting the garment.

I did check measure, and thought the measurements were a little snug - but then I thought maybe as this was an Italian cardigan blazer, that it might just be a little more form fitting than some cardigan jackets.  So I kept going.  I completed the back.  I remeasured.  It seemed snug.

Then the light bulbs went on.  It seemed snug because IT WAS SNUG.  TOO SNUG. FAR FAR TOO SNUG.

And the reason was simple. The reason was ME.  I had forgotten to change the needles to the larger size once I had finished the hem portion.

Such a simple thing.  I can only put it down to having a lot on my mind at the moment.

So, I undid the lot.  And started again:

And this time, I have remembered to change the needles to the larger size after completing the hem strip.

For those of you that are interested, this is what I want to make:

Now I have gone through the pain of undoing everything and starting again,  I am now enthusiastically looking forward to one day having this knitted cardigan blazer.

Sarah Liz

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mid week madness...

Hello sewing friends,

Do you have those sort of weeks where events conspire against your sewing time?  I've had one of those sort of weeks - my day off on Tuesday - sort of disappeared.  That's what happens when you work for your husband.  You feel obliged to sort out problems.  And the problem was our phone line was out - and for those of you fellow Aussies, you know what that means.  Yes, hours on the phone, problem not resolved.  Still not resolved today.  Won't be resolved til late next week.  Well, I had to get a little forceful (yes, little Sarah Liz).  We are a medical practice, and that is not good enough.  So, tomorrow, a satellite phone will be delivered.  This is a new experience for me - I have never used one of those, so I better get to the practice early for instructions and to help the receptionist.

And our security system was taken out be lightening in the last storm. Been doing battle with insurance company and organising repairers report and quotes for fixing it.  Yuk.

Moral - don't work for your husband!!!

So last night I was really peeved and worked the mood off in a sewing frenzy.  And finished the garments I started on the weekend.  I'm tired today because it was a late night!

And will have two casual garments soon to show you soon on this blog:

A new pair of casual pants:

I'll press them tonight. I often press cotton on the inside so I don't get shiny marks or seam marks on the outside.  I press any little mid leg wrinkles on the outside very carefully to avoid the same problems.

And a new little skirt - I made it out of the leftovers from the pants, and some leftovers from a project some time back (pre-blog).  Hence the band on the bottom of the skirt.  I'll show you properly when I blog the skirt.

And I had some good news too - I got into a fourth year Psychology program - I am thrilled (if a little unsure how I am going to "do it all").  It's not the program of first choice, but I may get offers from other places where I have applied.  But I am not going to be fussy about this - a foot in the door, is a foot in the door, is a foot in the door.  The bird in the hand, etc.

It will mean I will have to change the Make a Garment a Month Challenge over the next few months - I'll have to set up a separate site that we can all post to.  More on this later....

Take care everyone, where-ever you are...

Sarah Liz

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Chat and Welcome to my New Followers.

This week I would like to welcome 4 new followers who are following SarahLizSewStyle via Bloglovin - Jell, Helga, G and Brianna.

A warm welcome as well to Patricia, who is following via this blog.  Patricia is at

I do love all your comments that you placed this week.  My main posts were about stashing , Vogue 1247 skirt and blouse, and my November garment of the month,  a very basic garment, my New Look 6129 run - around skirt .

With stashing, I do love to organise what I have - that gives me a sense of control I think.  One commenter said her stash made her happy.  I thought it would be fun to have a chat about what stash habits reveal about the person. 

As you can see, a slight tendency to compulsive order.  I think half the pleasure of stashing for me is making sure I always have what I need to hand - a good supply of basics.  I hate not having fabrics that mix and match.   I also find that stashing with me is due to a sense of not being able to get what I want when I want it - and then not being able to co-ordinate my projects.  So I think my stash certainly reveals a lot about my desire to plan and be in control of my sewing.

What does your stashing say about you?

Now, Vogue 1247:

I loved your comments about Vogue 1247 and some of you raised some interesting points and ideas - this is certainly a pattern so many of you are familiar with.  I would love to talk about all  your comments when I post my finished skirt and top. 

And I was so surprised at your lovely comments about my everyday workhorse skirt:

 This year I have been doing a lot of very basic sewing.  I do love all the wonderful patterns out there, and want to make all sorts of interesting things next year.  For this year though, I set the goal of making lots of casual basics that are so needed in my wardrobe.  And these are the sort of garments that can be a little boring (after nearly a whole year of them) to sew.

But, I am pleased to report I am nearly done- my basics wardrobe is nearly complete - except for some pants for next winter.  And because I have stuck to relaxed basics in neutral colours and classic styles, I should manage to get some years from them.  

Very casual basics are also a good way to get basic sewing skills back in order.

Today I have started work on two more basic garments.  I have talked before about   mastering your mojo.
Well, there are some jobs in sewing that I just don't always like.  And I really have to work my sewjo - by tackling the disliked jobs:

Yes, sewing the pockets in pants.   I don't know why I have some form of inertia with these, but I do.

But they always turn out well:

I also had a block about the pockets in my next basic skirt.  I don't know why, because they are simple:

And, once again they look fine, I  just need to press them.

I think the basic problem is that I am just so bored with my self imposed plan of making sure I have a good wardrobe of very wearable basics! 

But,  I know I will be so pleased with myself when the year is ended and I have completed the task.

Tell me, how do you plan your sewing?  Do you plan it?  Or do you make what takes your fancy?  Do you sew to learn something new?  I would love to know :)

Have a great week everyone, where ever you are :)

Sarah Liz

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Make a Garment a Month - November 23 - First lot of completed garments...

Hi everyone,

What an amazing group - some of you have already finished your November garment - and some of you have made more than one garment for posting in this challenge. And some of you have made other garments outside this blog - which is why I also encourage you to visit each other's blogs and see what it going on - there are so many ideas and talented sewers in the blogosphere.

Well, I won't blah, blah too much today - I'll post the pictures, along with a link to the challengee's blog, and a link to the post for the challenge garment.

I'll let the pictures do the talking, and your fingers to do the walking - to check out each other's posts...

In the meantime, those of you who are still sewing your garments - don't be put off by the completers.  We all go at our own pace.


Judith is wearing this in one of her posts:


Go and say hi to Mina and look at her lovely dress:


BeaJay was lucky enough to go to a scrumptious afternoon tea in this pretty dress:

Read more at about the dress and the high tea at:


Velosewer's "Brasilia" dress - lots more about this garment at:

Hana was hoping this little Burda Style top would work - find out more at:


Karen drafted her own pattern for this dress - read about this at:


Melwyk made two dresses for our challenge this November.  Here is the first:

 Read about this dress at :

And a second dress by Melwyk

 Melwyk will tell you all about which pattern she used and how she make this dress at:

Sarah Liz:

I can tell you about this skirt at:


Sherry has been brave enough to tackle a Jalie jeans pattern:

Do read more at :


Patty completed a UFO - a red skirt...

Patty can tell you more at:


For more about these pants, please visit:


Gaye has been busy making a wearable muslin :

And this is the  completed garment that she made from the muslin:

 Full details at:


Kathy has been busy as well - she made two garments this month:

A t-shirt:

And an A-line skirt:

Kathy can tell you all about the making of these garments at:

Well, that's the months round up of completed garments so far - and still a week to run...

And some of you are ALREADY  thinking about December plans :)

Good luck with your garments,

Sarah Liz

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Make a Garment a Month, my November garment.

I've finally finished and photographed my chosen garment for this month   I deliberately chose a very simple project as I had a lot of energy directed elsewhere this month.

I chose New Look 6129:

This is a simple little skirt with an elastic waist and pockets at the side ( if you want this variation - you can make the skirt without pockets as well).  The pattern included a drawstring, but I decided not to add that.

Here is a picture of me in the skirt - I'm afraid it is rather unflattering - I am wearing a little tank top only for the purposes of the photo - it is something I would never wear in real life in this way (maybe under a shirt).  But I wanted to show you the top of the skirt.  There is also a white spot showing - not sure why, because it does not exist - so I think it is a photo problem: 

I made the skirt out of a polished cotton poplin.  The fabric is pre-loved - I  had a box pleated skirt made in this fabric, and then decided the box pleats were a little dated.  So I took the skirt apart and put the fabric aside.

The skirt seems to drop a little at the front.  If you look at the model on the pattern envelope, her skirt is also dropping at the front.  I  have noticed other New Look patterns drop on me - I suspect this pattern company is geared more to the pear shape figure.

I don't mind if it does drop a bit though, as this skirt was made for "running around in".  It is for striding, going to the supermarket, going for walks - all those action activities.  Hence the elastic waist and the A-Line shape.  I checked a couple of my other A-Line skirts and each has a slightly different hem shape.  Some skirts drop drastically at the side for me - obviously they are designed for the girl with large hips and thighs.  And some very slim, straight skirts sit better at the hem.  I guess that's because I am straight too!

I was pleased with my sewing - the inside looks good:

The waistband is cut on and then stitched in the ditch.

The pockets have all been topstitched for a sporty look:

The side seams and hem also have a similar treatment:

As you can see, the top stitching has pulled the sides up a bit - this polished poplin seems to operate this way.  I remember Louise (from ) having a similar problem when she used a polished cotton.

(The fabric is also not easy to iron....)

As this is a "running around skirt" I am not really going to worry about any of these issues.  When I look at some of my RTW garments the same problems are also evident.  So, I will be wearing this with a casual shirt and as I will be moving, I  think the skirt will be fine.

Okay, big smile now for the camera as I show you the front:

Now the back (this one is easier):
And the side (and the hem doesn't look so bad here):

This skirt is a lovely little basic.  I have been working on basics all this year - a little boring, not really much sewing fun, but soon I will have a great little casual wardrobe.  Next year, the smart clothes....

Sarah Liz :)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Is Sarah Liz really going to make Vogue 1247?

Vogue 1247.  By now everyone else in the sewing world has made it and loved it.  I don't even know if I like it, but this pattern almost seems like a rite of passage pattern

So I am going to make a test version.  Out of very ordinary material.  Just in case I don't like it much.

I have the skirt already started.  As I am using scraps of black calico, I thought I might as well make this my muslin.  If it works, I have a bonus skirt.

I have the skirt made up and  pinned up to approximately the right hem length.  Not levelled of course.  I also forgot I was wearing my wrist bandage (often worn sewing - I have a rheumatic condition that affects joints sometimes).  I don't follow the old 1950's adage that you should look your best when fitting garments, complete with makeup (seems silly, it may go on the clothes...).  I just wear an old t-shirt and trousers that can be pulled on and off easily.

I've folded my t-shirt up so that I can view the pockets and see how they sit:

Which look to me a little as though they will pouch.  Like this:

Hmmm.  I suspect my small hips and thighs are part of the problem - I don't have anything to pull the skirt out.

I think I can salvage the situation by applying tension (which a fuller body would do be filling out the skirt) and anchoring the pockets  a bit at the corners - much like reinforcing pockets.  I can also make them just a bit smaller this way.

I'm glad I am testing this pattern first - in my imagination, I was going to have barely visible pockets, and would have used an exquisite linen.

I am going to muslin the top out of bits and pieces of old sheet and other bits and pieces reserved for this purpose:

As this top has an enormous amount of design ease and is extremely large around the neck area, I decided to cut size 6.  Which is quite big enough.  The neck will fall off me, so I will add an inch (2cm approx) to this area.  I have marked my bust points, and the darts are well below.  However, if I pull the dart line over my bust, it tends to flatten me.  The pleats give more than enough bust fullness, and the darts tend to take the garment in under it.  And when I raised the garment so that the darts sat nearer my bust, I just looked flat.
 So, I decided to leave them as they were. 

I am going to take out a bit of fullness at the side.  If you look closely at the picture above and below you can see the pins where I will do this.  This small alteration also adds a bit of shape.

The back is totally unfitted - in fact, my back looks much like the pattern back, so I think this is okay.

And as for the side view - patterns rarely show you that - this is what is happening:

I am still very much in two minds about this pattern.  Do I like either piece?  I'll make it up the skirt and the top and reserve my final judgement for when I see the finished garments. 

 Sarah Liz :)
P.S.  The pants are RTW.  See how poorly they fit me - I chuckle when sewers say copy a pair of RTW pants that fit you - none ever do fit me!  So it never really worries me when me made trousers are not perfect in fit - usually they are no worse than any of my RTW pants :)