Elena Dress by Schultz Apparel

The clever design and pattern-making by Schultz Apparel just keep calling us back!  When Amalie reached out to us about her latest design we jumped on board to explore what she had been developing.  The answer is this sweet peasant-style dress the Elena. 

Pattern: Elena Dress by Schultz Apparel

The Elena dress has an elastic neckline with a raglan line that falls out into a glorious puff sleeve. It has a waist seam that flares out to a full skirt with gathering in the side panels with waist ties. As with many Schultz Apparel patterns no fastenings are required to get in and out of this dress, it just tightens around the waist with the tie.

Fabric: Jungle Garden Multipurpose Cotton from Spotlight

To sit well in the gathers and milkmaid style top with elastic the fabric for this style needed to we light enough to gather in yet sit well in the skirt and sleeves. We wanted a printed fabric but one that would still showcase the lines of the dress.

We used this jungle green printed cotton from Spotlight, which we found in the upholstery section!

The trick to sourcing fabric for this project is to find 150cm wide cotton, we didn’t have success with this so had to compromise on the fullness of the sleeve which was not ideal.

Finished Elena Dress

The Elena Dress is a very sweet style with some clever design features including the gathered skirt panels and belt at the waist to create the shape.

Photo Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Elena Dress by Schultz Apparel
Fabric:  Jungle Garden Multipurpose Cotton from Spotlight

Shirley Shirred by Gracie Steel in Ellie Whittaker Leafy Sea

Have you tried shirring?  This might be the time!  Gracie Steel has just released the Shirley Shirred dress that features a shirred bodice and a gathered skirt. We joined the testing team to explore this new pattern.

Pattern: Shirley Shirred by Gracie Steel

The pattern includes a range of options a fully shirred bodice, milkmaid style (not shirring across the bust) and a combination of skirt designs with a dropped waist, v yoke with a regular seam or exposed ruffle. We created the fully shirred v front bodice with v yoke skirt.

Fabric: Ellie Whittaker Leafy Sea in Pink

The pattern called for opaque light/medium-weight wovens with good drape such as linen, cotton, viscose, silk. We wanted to create a fun Summer dress so chose this Ellie Whittaker Leafy Sea Cotton Poplin in pink.

Finished Make

We would highly recommend including the option of including a channel for the elastic around the waist. As you are combining two varying pieces of material, a gathered skirt and a shirred bodice there is nothing that pulls the material into the body, both have movement and a tendency to stretch.

Photo Credits

Pattern: Shirley Shirred by Gracie Steel
Fabric: Ellie Whittaker Leafy Sea in Pink

Minerva Dynamic Brushstrokes Cotton Sateen in Vogue 9328

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.

Fabric: Minerva Exclusive Dynamic Brushstrokes Cotton Sateen Fabric

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.

Finished Make

Photo Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Vogue 9328
Fabric:  Minerva Exclusive Dynamic Brushstrokes Cotton Sateen Fabric provided by Minerva.

Know Me ME2016 in Minerva Wildflower Cotton Sateen

Does anyone have a favourite pattern? That they keep sewing over and over again? We go through phases of different patterns depending on the weather, what we are doing for work at the time and our general style “vibe” at the time.  Right now, we can’t get enough of Know Me ME2016! The gathered skirt, pockets, shaped bodice and full sleeves… we just love everything about it

Fabric: Minerva Exclusive Wildflower Fusion Cotton Sateen Fabric

We used the Minerva Exclusive Wildflower Fusion Cotton Sateen Fabric – it is the most wonderful whimsical print! The purples and pinks are the most beautiful hue. This is our fourth version of this pattern (did we mention we love it?!). We have made it in a heavier polished cotton fabric and quilting weight cotton, all of which look good, but none as whimsical as this version! Find out more on the Minerva website here.

Pattern: Know Me ME2016

Know Me 2016 is a design by Beaute’ J’adore. The dress is a fully lined bodice that features a shaped tiers with gathers at the front, a high neckline, bust darts, slant pockets, and an invisible back zipper. The dress pattern includes full sleeves in mid or long-length options and elastic at sleeve hem.  Find this pattern on the Minerva website here.

Three tips we have for making Know Me 2016:

1 – Skirt Gathering: If you follow Tricky.Pockets on Instagram, you might have seen her make a version of Know Me 2016. In her fitting comments, she mentions that there isn’t very much gathering in the bottom tier of the skirt that she had imagined, and we totally agreed! In this version, we added more fabric to the skirt to ensure it was gathered all around the bottom part of the skirt. As the fabric is 142 cm wide, we just made the most of the width of the fabric, which also saves fabric waste.

2 – Lengthed Bodice: The bodice has a shaped bodice, with the centre front being higher than the back bodice. As we are quite tall, we extended the length of the bodice while still keeping the shape so the bodice finished closer to our waistline.

3 – Sleeve head: This pattern has a snazzy gathered sleeve trick – a sleeve head piece! It is a petal-shaped piece cut on the cross and folded in half. Yes, we know it sounds odd, but it is life-changing for gathered sleeve heads! Tip – we have learnt the hard way, with a couple of broken needles, that overlockers do not love going through 5 layers of fabric when 4 of those layers are gathered! Overlock the sleeve seam (which attaches the sleeve to the lined bodice) and the sleeve head piece separately. You can then stitch the sleeve head onto the bodice – we joined the two together using a zip zag stitch for extra security.

Finished Make of ME2016

Photo Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Know Me ME2016
Fabric:  Minerva Exclusive Wildflower Fusion Cotton Sateen Fabric provided by Minerva

16-6 Sleeveless dress Sister Mag by Two Sewing Sisters

Sister Mag Pattern 16-6 Sleeveless dress

When Sister Mag Patterns approached us about making one of their patterns we were excited to explore their collection.  We were drawn the details of the 16-6 Sleeveless dress with the collar, epaulettes and unique tuck detail through the armhole.  The dress features a pleated skirt that has a playful swing and long zipper in the back.

The pattern comes in at an at home A4 version and print shop A0 size.  We opted for the A0 zero option and made sure to turn off the layers we did not need and just printed our size.  


For the fabrication, Sister Mag recommends virgin wool, cool wool fabrics or a fabric that has a nice slightly heavier drape. 

We ordered a lovely ink blue Cora 8 Wal Corduroy from Fabric Deluxe and ordered a little extra so that we could lengthen the skirt. We love the mod style of the skirt but are looking to make a dress we can wear into the office so a longer skirt was needed this time.

Construction Process

We are very visual when it comes to construction instructions. The instruction booklet features a set of dotpoints so we took photos as we constructed our version of the dress and have shared them below with a combination of their instructions and our own notes.

16-6 Sleeveless dress Sister Mag by Two Sewing Sisters


The fit of the pattern was great so the only pattern alternation we made was 1cm lift for a sway back. In fabrication we didn’t use leather instead a lined side panel and continued the lining throughout the bodice.

As we mentioned before, to make it suitable for our office spaces we lengthened the skirt but kept the original line and fullness of the skirt.

Due to the heavy weight of the fabric we inserted an exposed zipper compared to an invisible zipper which would be suitable for a lighter fabric.

Step by Step

Finished Sister Mag 16-6 Sleeveless dress

Sister Mag 16-6 Sleeveless dress Details


Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: 16-6 Sleeveless dress supplied by Sister Mag Patterns
Fabric: Ink blue Cora 8 Wal Corduroy from Fabric Deluxe

Styling Little Black Dress for MIMC

The Melbourne International Millinery Competition (MIMC) is hosted by The Essential Hat. This year was the sixth year the competition has run and invited milliners from across the globe to respond to the theme. For 2021 the theme was Little Black Dress. The idea is that everyone will have their own ideas of what Little Black Dress means then design and make a hat to suit it.

Two Sewing Sisters was thrilled to be invited to be part of the team and style the photoshoot for the competition. See all of the entries and photoshoot here.

For us, the Little Black Dress meant something that had diversity and could be styled in different ways. Each milliner was creating a piece to represent what the theme meant for them and we needed looks that could transform to match each hat.

Base Dress

We created a base slip black dress for each model. This would form the foundation, a classic fitted bodice shape to be able to style piece over the top. We selected Gertie Butterick Pattern B6453 as the base and constructed it in black polished cotton for each model.

Chic Jacket

This black lattice lace formed a textured finish to create an iconic Little Black Jacket to be worn over the dress. We used the Pattern Union Felix Jacket with square neck and satin bound collar.

Floral Tribute

Keeping a diverse range of options in front of mind, we wanted to create a very pretty and floral option. We used a vintage Simplicity pattern with ruffle features that allowed us to showcase the fabric’s scalloped edge.

Striking Leather

A strong and striking leather cropped top using Vogue Pattern V1486 created a bold option for a modern aesthetic. The top had raw edges and an exposed open-ended zipper down the centre back.


We wanted to make sure we had an option with large sleeves to balance the presence of larger hats or headpieces with a modern fabric choice. We found this star tulle fabric and created a combination of Schultz Apparel patterns using the bodice from the Ottilia Top with a long sleeve from the Minna Dress. We have made these before in striped cotton and strong blue print.

Glitz and Sequin

We could not have a sequin option! We took the cape of Vogue Pattern V 1579 and bound the edge with a satin bias. We have made this pattern before in jacquard and loved the line is created.

With hats and headpieces for all occasions we called on a few pieces from our collection including a vintage top Mum wore to work in the 1980s, a textured knit and tulle overcoat vintage pattern.

Congratulations to Catherine for her work hosting the MIMC competition and The Essential Hat Team. The crew for the photos included
Photographer: Stavros Sakellaris 
Stylist: Two Sewing Sisters
Location: LCI Melbourne
Models: @_simran._ @federicacosino@trulycharliejean
HAMU: TCAamakeup_hmua

Lauren with Catherine Ellen

Lexus Melbourne Cup 2019

Melbourne Cup is known as the race that stops a nation.  The day is about celebration and vibrant colours.  We wanted to outfits that had feminine lines with full skirts while remaining true to the spirit of the day.  

Lauren’s Outfit


Pattern: Bodice Vogue 1172 and skirt Vogue 1486
Fabric: Darn Cheap Fabrics
Beret Hat: Lauren J Ritchie
Shoes: Siren Shoes
Earrings: Timber and Cotton

Erin’s Outfit 

A modern day Marie Antoinette out for Erin was inspired by the stunning shoes from Irregular Choice. The quirky design and hues gave a striking base for this outfit.

The cobalt blue fabric was a challenge to work into the curve of the pattern we chose. Both great elements however for future makes we would use a natural fibre for this pattern to be ensure the line around the bust sits flat.


Pattern: Mccall’s 7187 with adapted waist line.
Fabric: Unique Fabrics Brunswick
Marie Topper: Lauren J Ritchie
Shoes: Irregular Choice
Brooch: Rob Humphries Jewellery

See the outfits we wore to last year’s Melbourne Cup here, or check out our other outfits from the 2019 Spring Racing Carnival. 

Magenta Lame – Lawyers Weekly Law Awards – Simplicity 1651

When your sister is nominated for National Law Student of the year it calls for a new dress for the occasion. Erin was nominated for the award as part of the Lawyers Weekly Law Awards with the presentation hosted at The Star in Sydney. Mum, Dad and I were lucky to be able to attend the awards.


Looking to show off the stripes of the fabric the detail in the pattern, Simplicity 1651 has a twisted feature and center front panel. This meant the front panel could have the stripes run vertical while the side panel the stripes could sit horizontally and run through the twist.

The skirt is a rectangle that had a series of 16 darts stitched into the waist line before being gathered. The hem was supported by wide width crinoline.

Details of the Outfit

Pattern: Simplicity 1651
Fabric: Black Cotton with magenta lame from Darn Cheap Fabrics
Shoes: Wittner
Headpiece:  Lauren J Ritchie

The 2019 Lawyers Weekly Law Awards were hosted at The Star in Sydney. See Erin’s outfit for the event here.

Millinery Association Drinks

The Millinery Association of Australia is a not for profit organisation. It encompasses a diverse range of millinery, from traditional hats to costume. They host events that showcase quality millinery with professional and enthusiastic members that unite to raise the profile of millinery in Australia.

Each year at the end of the Spring Racing Carnival at Flemington the Millinery Association hosts an evening event for their members. As Lauren is a member the Two Sewing Sisters attended the event.

Erin’s Outfit

Pattern: Over layer Butterick 9764 Under layer Simplicity 4070
Fabric: Spotlight, South Melbourne
Hat: Lauren J Ritchie
Shoes: Irregular Choice
Bag: Olga Berg
Earrings: Northside Southside

Lauren’s Outfit

Pattern: Over layer Butterick 9764 Under layer Simplicity 4070
Fabric: Spotlight, South Melbourne
Hat: Lauren J Ritchie
Shoes: Wittner
Bag: Oroton
Earrings: Northside Southside

T-shirt dress – Literally

Looking to create the ultimate casual dress, semi fitted, stretchy, sleeved with high neck with protection from some sun the first thought that sprung to mind was a tshirt dress… literally.

Starting with two preexisting tshirts meant already finished seams but also a great chance to develop some upcycling ideas. To get enough length for the skirt it started with the largest size that could be found and a medium that was the best size to fit across the bust.

Cutting the smaller size to waist length with enough extra for seam and allow for slight blousing. The larger shirt was cut across below the neckline then to the hem. Closing up the sides using the existing hem before joining the bodice to skirt.

To pull in the waist, keeping with the use of only one machine in this case an overlocker, elastic was secured on the seam.