We got to create this dress from beautiful fabric from Melco Fabrics!
Melco Fabrics, founded in 2021 by Melanie Coultas, is on a mission to produce high-quality, ethical, and sustainable fabrics in Australia. The company has evolved from its humble beginnings to become a leader in the textiles industry, emphasizing a commitment to ethical and sustainable manufacturing practices. All knit fabrics are proudly milled in Australia and carry the Australian Made certification, reflecting their dedication to authenticity.
The company prioritizes sustainability by minimizing waste, conserving water, and using eco-friendly dyes and chemicals. Ethical Clothing Australia audits their manufacturing process, ensuring fair wages and safe working conditions. Melco Fabrics also stands out for its in-house printing of art design fabrics using a pigment printer, providing quality control and reducing environmental impact. The company’s unwavering commitment to sustainability, ethics, and quality positions them as a reliable choice for those seeking responsibly produced Australian fabrics. Find out more about Melco Fabrics here.
When this wonderful company invited us to create something from their fabric we leapt at the chance.
Fabric: Dahlia Days – Rachel Parker
Rachel Parker is a print designer based in Northamptonshire countryside and created this lovely Dahlia Days design available on the Melco website here.
We chose this print in the navy colour way on a cotton sateen fabric.
This cotton sateen is on the lighter side (only 95 gsm) but holds its structure and was so EASY to work sew. The fabric is printed on demand by Melco Fabrics in their NSW studio.
Pattern: Vogue 9201 and Butterick 5951
For the pattern, we chose Vogue 9201 with short sleeves and a collar. We swapped the pleated skirt swapped for the a-line skirt of Butterick 5951 and added in-seam pockets.
To showcase the design lines of the bodice we included red piping around the front bodice placket.
When travelling, how do you decide what to take with you? For us, we start with a hero piece or theme and then build around it. For Lauren’s trip to Europe in the depths of winter, the hero was always going to be the jacket—a magenta wool coat made from a Burda pattern. From there, we decided the base colour would be black, so all the shoes she took would match everything, paired with black tights and a black handbag. The base garments were decided as a pair of black pants and a skirt, and now the fun part: how to add some colour (that complements the jacket) and prints!
Fabric: Woven Stretch Cotton Sateen Fabric
Now, enter this geometric Woven Stretch Cotton Sateen Fabric from Minerva. We were looking for a fabric that had some weight to it, and as you know, we love a cotton sateen due to its lovely finish and the inclusion of some elastane for a small amount of stretch. This cotton sateen is made up of 95% Cotton, 5% Elastane, which was perfect. See more about this fabric on the Minerva website here.
Pattern: Simplicity 8733
The pattern we chose was Simplicity 8733 because of the simple bodice line that would not break up the geometric print of the fabric and the dramatic bishop sleeve.
Growing up in the Australian landscape, it was difficult not to imagine little gum nut babies calling the eucalyptus home. This is the work of the stunning stories and illustrations by Cecilia May Gibbs MBE. She is best known for the book Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, which was published in 1918. Born in Kent, United Kingdom May Gibbs made her way to Australia in 1881 and called it home until she died in 1969 in Sydney. The legacy of her work lives on through her artwork and, recently, in printed textiles. The May Gibbs team approached us with the opportunity to create something with their lovely printed fabric we jumped at the chance.
Fabric: May Gibbs Gum Blossom Babies Organic Homespun Cotton
We got to choose from a selection from the May Gibbs collection, and we chose the Gum Blossom Babies Organic Homespun Cotton. The fabric is 100% cotton and 112cm wide.
The Gum Blossom Babies are shy little girls that can be found clustered together on the tops of the trees. The tender-hearted Blossoms, like the Nuts, love all the Bush Folk and take much interest in the goings on around them. They enjoy sitting with the Nuts to hear stories of great adventures and things unknown.
Pattern: Simplicity 9744
For our pattern selection, we wanted to pick a pattern with large pattern pieces and not too many pieces that would break up the fabric print. A new release of Simplicity patterns came out in Australia, and we saw this Simplicity 9744, and we knew it was the one.
This shirt dress has a half-button placket at the front with a spread collar. The bodice is all in one and features an inverted box pleats. We chose to create view A (without the tie detail) with a raglan sleeve that finishes above the elbow.
Photographer: James Christie Media Pattern: Simplicity 9744 Fabric: May Gibbs Gum Blossom Babies Organic Homespun Cotton gifted by May Gibbs Official. This fabric is available through Spotlight Stores.
When we saw that the Pre Quilted Coating Fabric that Minerva had was reversible there was only one option in our mind, make a reversible coat! So here it is, our reversible Papercut Nova Coat!
Fabric: Minerva Exclusive Babelone Art Pre Quilted Reversible Coating Fabric
The Minerva Exclusive Babelone Art Pre-Quilted Reversible Coating Fabric, featuring a stunning blue hue accentuated by a striking red and black print. Upon receiving this fabric, the undeniable beauty of the quilted design inspired us to create something special. With its double-sided construction and pre-completed quilting, Minerva has taken care of the intricate details, making your creative process a breeze! Explore the Pre Quilted Babelone Art.
Pattern: Papercut Nova Coat
We decided to make the Nova Coat, because we liked the simple but effective design lines. The ‘grown on’ pocket shape also makes a really interesting design line, and as a bonus, made it really easy to make the pockets reversible as well!
This dress treads the fine line between office attire and being a very fun outfit. Did we do a twirl in the work kitchen the other day just to test out the skirt? Yes, yes we did. We see more tartan dresses with feminine design lines in our future…
Fabric: Tartan Shirting Fabric Design 63 from Minerva
This is Minerva Core Range Cotton Shirting Fabric in Design 63. It is a woven fabric that is 142 cm wide – perfect for getting creative with the pattern layout and making the most of those tartan checks!
This is view A of New Look 6694. We’ve made this pattern a couple of times, including our Valentine’s Day version two years ago. We really love this dress for a couple of reasons. The bodice is really cool, as it wraps with a button closure – but unlike other wraps has a lovely higher neckline rather than a v-neckline which is typically common for wrap dresses.
Jingle all the way with matching family Christmas outfits! 🎄✨
Ho, ho, ho! Sending you a sleighful of Merry Christmas cheer from our festive family to yours!
If you’ve been following our creative escapades over the past few merry years, you’re in on our jolly family tradition. But if you’re a newbie to our yuletide adventures, welcome to the holly-jolly club! Drumroll, please… it’s time to unveil one of our all-time favourite family customs: the annual creation of matching Christmas outfits.
This tradition is as timeless as Santa’s naughty-or-nice list. Picture this: our Nan crafting Christmas shirts and dresses for our Grandad and parents before we knew the joy of unwrapping presents! If you have been following along for a few years you might, just might recognise these outfits. If not then enjoy! The fabric was purchased from Spotlight in about 2017 and sat waiting for two years before we made them into matching family Christmas outfits. This year there was enough fabric to create James a shirt and Fergus a bow tie.
So, here’s to family, festivities, and fashionable echidnas! May your Christmas be as bright and merry as our outfits. 🎅🎁✨
Lauren in Butterick 6556, Fergus in Two Sewing Sisters drafted doggy bowtie, David in McCall’s 4399, Robyn in Simplicity 8840, Erin in Gracie Steel Adrift Shift and James McCall’s 6044
Erin in Grace Steel Adrift Shift and James in McCall’s 6044
David in McCall’s 4399 and Robyn in Simplicity 8840
Lauren in Butterick 6556 and Fergus in Dog Bowtie
Photographer: James Christie Dress Fabric: Patterns: Lauren – Butterick 6556 Fergus – Two Sewing Sisters drafted doggy bowtie David – McCall’s 4399 Robyn – Simplicity 8840 Erin – Gracie Steel Adrift Shift James – McCall’s 6044
For our Derby Day looks this year, we wanted to make something from unique fabrics. Derby Day is known for wearing black and white on the Saturday before the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse.
We had found the white polka dot fabric and had been saving it up just for this occasion. Lauren wanted to draw on the velvet texture by including black velvet ribbon in the detailing of the design. The sleeves were based on Simplicity 8839, with the rest of the dress self-drafted.
This year, Erin was looking to create a different look to our usual vibrant coloured fabric choices and found Fringe-Inserted Poplin Pinstripe at Fabric Lab. To showcase this fun texture she was looking for a simple dress design and chose Butterick 6556.
James’ Butterick 63339 Vest
Welcoming James to his first Spring Carnival with us we wanted to create something special! We found this lovely textured wool that we had from our Nan’s stash and created Butterick 6339.
We loved working with the Minerva exclusive print! As you might have seen from our previous makes we love working with polished cotton. The finish on the surface gives a rich effect but you still get the comfort of wearing natural fibres and this version is 100% cotton.
For this project, we created it with the Minerva Exclusive print Dynamic Brushstrokes on the Cotton Sateen Fabric Sateen. It is 100% Cotton with a lovely surface finish that is 142cm wide. Find out more about the fabric here.
Pattern: Vogue 9328
For this make we chose Vogue 9328 and went with View C. We kept the lovely princess line with bust dart detail and raised the height of the V as it felt more comfortable to wear to the office. This view has bishop sleeves which is a long sleeve design, with gathers in the head and the signature bellowing before being gathered in at the bottom. Find this pattern on the Minerva website here.
Two Sewing Sisters are proud to be Brand Ambassadors for Minerva. Fabric for the projects featured in this blog has been provided by Minerva. The pattern selection, design and photography are taken by Two Sewing Sisters
We loved working with the Minerva exclusive print! As you might have seen from our previous makes we love working with polished cotton. The finish on the surface gives a rich effect but you still get the comfort of wearing natural fibres and this version is 100% cotton. This gorgeous print is called the Dynamic Brushstrokes. For this make we chose Vogue 9328 and went with View C. See more about this make here.
Papercut Patterns Palisade Pants and Juno Jacket
The Palisade Pants are one of those patterns we had been watching and seeing many amazing versions of but hadn’t taken the plunge yet. We loved making the Palisade Pants and Juno Jacket as part of the Minerva Sewing Kits.
The sewing kits for the pants and jacket included the sewing pattern, beautiful purple linen fabric and all notions (aka all those pesky parts you have to collect but are absolutely essential for success), interfacing, the perfect width and type of elastic, a new pack of machines for your sewing machine, fun coloured safety pins and the matching Guterman thread. See more about this make here.
Green Rain Jacket
We fell in love with the green leaf print of this fabric as soon as we saw it! As lovers of green, the contrast with the white and black pattern was eye-catching. The canvas fabric is 45% cotton and 55% linen with a vinyl overlay.
The Eden Coat is a fully lined, raglan sleeve rain jacket, with a hood and multiple pocket options. One of the features we loved was the shaped and lined hood. We made the short version, with flat pockets (with pocket flaps), zipper and optional storm flaps. We can’t wait to wear it on many rainy days to come! See more about this make here.
White Floral Poplin
This fabric is just what we needed to kick off our summer wardrobe sewing. The fabric is the Lady McElroy Marlie Cotton Lawn Fabric, a light woven non-stretch 100% cotton fabric. This sweet floral print has a black background and a small repetitive flower pattern with raspberry, lemon and cornflower blue centres.
For this dress, we used the bodice and skirt of the vintage pattern Butterick 5677. It is a semi-fitted design with a below the knee-length hem. The round neckline has a slit at the front that is secured with a button fixture and loop. The sleeves we added to the bodice was the short sleeve version from the vintage dresses pattern Simplicity 8335. It had an additional bit of gathering in the sleeve head which we liked and to keep in line with the finishings on the rest of the garment we also put elastic in the hem. See more about this make here.
Dashwood Studio Zadie
Zadie, ohhh Zadie! With over 10.5 THOUSAND photos of this pattern on the Instagram hashtag, needless to say, it has been on our radar for a while. We finally made one, and we are hooked! Since making this jumpsuit last week, every time we talk about a fabric or a “creative vision” we imagine making a Zadie. The phrase “imagine if we made this into a Zadie” has been used in our household more than seven times this week (… and this isn’t an exaggeration!). See more about this make here.
This fabric is just what we needed to kick off our summer wardrobe sewing. The fabric is the Lady McElroy Marlie Cotton Lawn Fabric. A light woven non stretch 100% cotton fabric. When we first saw this fabric, the bright coloured print of the dress attracted us to the fabric. The vibrant colours of birds and leaves against the navy background were mesmerising in the product photos and even more in real life!
We used Vogue 8347. This vintage Vogue pattern does not have a date, but we guess it is from the late 1980s. After working from home for almost 18 months, comfort is the key motivation in the garments we make. The pattern is a very loose-fitting flared pullover dress. The top of the dress has a self-lined yoke, with buttons creating an opening on one shoulder. See more about this make here.
We are so excited to finish this vintage inspired two piece outfit just in time to wear it before the weather gets too warm!
For the skirt, we used McCalls 5113, with the copyright year of 1976. It is an A-line skirt, with a centre back zipper and pointed patch pockets. The front skirt panels are cut on the cross of the fabric, allowing the check of the fabric to sing proud as a feature, as the 45-degree angles of the check line up down the centre front seam.
For the top, we used Butterick 3289, with the copyright year of 1985. The top is loose-fitting with dropped shoulders and ¾ sleeves. The pattern originally had buttons down the centre back. However, we really wanted the top to have an open-end zipper to make it easy to get on and off.
We used the Stretch Woven Suiting Fabric in Pink & Red. The grey background provides a solid base to allow the red, maroon and bright pink lines to pop. These vibrant colours allow for wonderful mixing and matching with other tops, skirts and pants. See more about this make here.
Over the last year, we have made a few sets of PJs from the McCalls Sewing Pattern 8056 pattern. The pattern has so many variables to mix and match to create your sleepwear set. For this project, I used the longer dressing gown, view B. I wanted to create a nighty that was light and floaty to wear underneath. This led me to explore our pattern collection and I came across our copy of the Ashton Top by Helen’s Closet Patterns.
For my fabric, we wanted something light and explored the Poplins selection on Minerva. This floral Art Gallery Fabric caught my eye in the Manhattans Glitz colourway. We loved the magenta-purple flowers with contrasting hues of aqua green and orange against a dark background. See more about this make here.
What a fabulous check. This Polyester Viscose Suiting Fabric Black Red Grey has a bold pattern, complemented by an intense colour combination of black, grey and red. It was screaming to be made into a dress for work.
The challenge to constructing Butterick 5851 is the underarm gusset. Gussets provide a little extra room to enlarge certain areas of garments. In a pattern like Butterick 5851, the bodice and sleeve are in one piece and cut on the cross. So the gusset adds some extra space for the sleeve and arm movement. You may be thinking – wait, that isn’t the skirt to Butterick 5851? You are right. It is in fact our FAVOURITE skirt pattern, Vogue 1743. Check out the pieced sleeve head! See more about this make here.
The navy colourway of this poplin has white, lavender and coral paisley shaped repeated paisley shapes. The fabric is 112cm wide and is made from 100% Cotton.
The Edith Smock is a zero-waste design with all the pieces interlocking and cut from a rectangle of fabric. Traditional pattern making has a lot of curves and abstract shapes that do not interlock very easily from a Zero Waste perspective. For the Edith Smock Pattern Union has created there is a clever approach to forming the shapes we need to fit our bodies. Check out the pieced sleeve head! See more about this make here.
Black Crepe Floral
This beautiful black floral polyester crepe features a white floral design with dark red features and a green leaf pattern. The fabric is 150cm wide with no stretch for this 100% polyester crepe. This fabric was easy to work as was easy to stitch with a new shape needle to prevent any pulls. For a crepe fabric, it held its shape well when pressed.
When Vogue 1633 was released I loved the line of the dress. A fitted waist with an A-line skirt and large statement sleeves. The stand collar allowed to fall into the drape of the fabric was a nice detail. The closure of the dress is a zipper at the centre back. Instead of the recommended press studs, I used vintage buttons with an elastic loop for the closure at the sleeve cuff and neckband. See more about this make here.
Our most recent project has been working with this stunning ruby and taupe brocade with a metallic feature through it. This woven fabric is 94% Polyester, 6% Metallic and part of the deadstock range stocked by Minerva. The Marta dress is the latest pattern release from Schultz Apparel. For our version, we selected the style that has a fitted bodice with a beautiful square neckline and a straight skirt that features a split to above the knee. The full-length sleeves have a small amount of gathering in the head of the sleeve and bellow around the forearm before coming in at the wrist. See more about this make here.
Blue Everest Coat
Once Erin saw this bright blue wool, she knew it was time to tackle her sewing ‘Everest’. Blue is one of her favourite colours to wear. The yellow and white line through the fabric breaks up the bold colour and provides a vibrant texture to the fabric. We decided to make the fabric into Butterick 5966. It has a flattering fit and flare shape and is fully lined. The pattern did have its complexities with side pockets, two-piece sleeve and fly button closing. See more about this make here.
Schultz Apparel Paisley Dress
For this mash up of Schultz Apparel patterns, Lauren used this stunning Navy Paisley Cotton Poplin Fabric. She really wanted to use the wrap bodice from the Ottilia pattern, it has a great cross over because it does not sit too open with bust darts and long waist ties. We love the long Minna sleeve! The fullness is fantastic with gathering at the sleeve head and into the wrist. For this version, Lauren used elastic around the wrist and created a stitched casing. For the skirt, by selecting to start with 3.5m it meant she could do a tiered gathered skirt. The bottom tier contained 3 times the width of the fabric the top tier was twice the width. This was then gathered into the waist of the bodice. See more about this make here.
Navy Floral Fit and Flare
Hunting through the pattern box, Erin came across Vogue Pattern 1743. She was attracted to this pattern by the large external pockets cut on the bias, complemented with a flared skirt (that wasn’t circular or gathered, which is also perfect for work!). We have no doubt this dress is the first of many Vogue 1743 skirt and pocket combinations Erin will make for work! Paired with Butterick 6410 it was the perfect combination for this navy floral polished cotton. See more about this make here.
Tear Drop Atlas Top
It felt like time for a fun causal top in our make list and this Camelot Fabrics Cotton Poplin Fabric Navy was perfect! We have made the Atlas Top from Stitch Witch Patterns before (see here) and really loved the detail in the style. It is also a quick and easy pattern to sew together with no fastenings. See more about this make here.
For this make, we used Woven Jacquard Fabric Navy with Simplicity 8594, which we have made before and loved the style. The pattern has two bodice options a crewneck with slit and raglan sleeve or a more open halter style. The skirt can be made in straight or flared style and has pockets in the side seam (yes pockets!). See more about this make here.
Floral Wrap Dress
This Lady McElroy, Marlie Cotton Lawn Fabric is light and breathable, perfect for a summer dress. Initially, we planned to make a vintage summer dress with a fitted bodice and a very full skirt. Once the fabric arrived, we changed our mind and decided to make McCalls Sewing Pattern 8036 instead. We wanted to make sure the pattern of the fabric was allowed to shine and not be overshadowed by a more complex bodice or the density of a very full skirt. See more about this make here.
Striped Vogue Skirt
When we saw the Stretch Suiting Fabric, we knew it would be perfect! The double line of a solid and dotted line combination within the fabric, provided a wonderful texture to the material while also providing the feature we were looking for in more subtle contrast. The rich plum colour provided a sophisticated colour, that wasn’t the classic black and white stripe combination.
We have had #vogue1683 sitting in the pattern tub waiting to find the perfect fabric. We paired the skirt with a matching top, adapted from the bodice of #butterick6556. See more about this make here.
Printed Linen Viscose
As soon as Lauren saw this Linen Viscose Blend Fabric Sage Green she knew what she wanted to make. A new pattern from McCalls called Sasha, pattern number 8036. The variation Lauren made had the Asymmetrical button feature, shoulder bodice tucks, above elbow length sleeves featuring darts in the sleeve head with an A line skirt that finishes below the knee. See more about this make here.
Fleur-de-lis Blue Printed Cotton
The Copen shade of blue was a beautiful balance of the colourway with the lightly washed blue providing a contrast to the white pattern. For this project, I was itching to make a shirt dress of some variety. Lauren loves a shirt dress! We find them a great style for work as they have a professional appearing with the button detail and collar but keep a feminine style with a skirt. Lauren had been wanting to make Butterick 6090 for quite a while with a love for the detail around the neck and the elbow length sleeve had to create balance to the pleated style skirt for those cooler Spring days. See more about this make here.
Red Floral Jumpsuit
When we spotted this vibrant red background, with white and black abstract floral pattern on the Minerva website it reminded us of one of our favourite dresses we had purchased many years ago. We started to think about how we could take this stretched polish cotton and create a similar feel.
For the pattern, we hacked together the bodice of Butterick 6410 and jumpsuit pants from Vogue 9075. We had made the jumpsuit before and loved the style and fit of the pattern. However, we really wanted to add a collar to the jumpsuit. While we could have tried to attach a collar to the existing neckline, we decided to swap out the bodice pattern altogether. Instead, we used the bodice of Butterick 6410 which also meant that we were able to include the horizontal design feature across the bodice. See more about this make here.
McCalls 7969 is a very loose-fitting dress that easily pulls over the head. We made view A, which is the view without any ruffles on the sleeve or hem. Given the fabric is so bright and colourful, we didn’t think it needed the extra ruffles.
You can find the pattern on the Minerva site here.
For this fabric we would highly recommend making sure you have sharp needle in your sewing machine as the threads of the material can pull and cause damage to the print if it gets caught on a blunt needle. This dress will serve as a casual home dress for us.