We joined the pattern testing team for Schultz Apparel’s latest release. We were looking forward to creating the t-shirt as just last week we were reflecting on our top collection and commented about how we were looking for a great t-shirt pattern.
The Lucca pattern is a dress pattern with both modern and vintage inspired details. All options comes with a curved front waist seam, a front button closure and a faux-shirred back. Options can be mixed and matched.
This pattern called for light weight woven fabric and can be lined in the same fabric or another light lining fabric in the same fibres.
We created this Lucca dress in printed cotton from East Coast Fabrics. It was a white floral pattern with a green background.
Finished Lucca Dress
Photographer: James Christie Media Pattern: Lucca Dress Sewing Pattern from Schultz Apparel Fabric: Green floral cotton from East Coast Fabrics
We were very excited to attend the VRC Kennedy Oaks Club Lunch at Crown Palladium for the first time. Where did we start with our outfits for this ladies’ lunch? We went for a hunt in our stash and found two fabrics that were just waiting for the occasion. We created two Vogue patterns for these fabrics Vogue 1723 and Vogue 1884.
We had seen a fabulous outfit of silk blue organza created by Laura Wolfgang on Instagram and set out to create our own version. The outer dress is Vogue 1723 by Carlos at Vogue Patterns in embroidered tulle from New York when we were there earlier this year. The underdress is Vogue 1834 in a peppermint rayon blend from The Fabric Store.
The fabric for Lauren’s dress was purchased in Vienna and patiently waiting in our stash since 2018! The border style print called for a skirt that would showcase the lovely design. When Vogue 1884 came out we knew it was just the design for this fabric.
Pattern: Vogue 1723 and Vogue 1884 Fabric: We wish we could remember the locations but sadly all we can offer is New York and Vienna. Millinery: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery
We also got see see fellow sewer Bryony Bourke who was wearing a fabulous me made outfit!
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
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.
We joined the pattern testing team for the release of the Mona Dress by Schultz Apparel.
Pattern: Mona Dress by Schultz Apparel
The Mona pattern is a PDF dress pattern that features a V cutout at the front neckline and V shape center front dart. The bodice is fully lined, and the dresses are closed with a Center Back zipper. The skirt options includes circle skirt, pencil shirt or gathered skirt. See the pattern on the Schultz Apparel website here.
Fabric: Amalfi Coast border print cotton sateen print by Gertie from Spotlight
We had purchased this Amalfi Coast Border print by Gertie from Spotlight many years ago and were waiting for the perfect project. When we saw this pattern testing come through were knew which fabric were were going to use. There were so many elements to showcase this bring including the gathered skirt for the border print, clouds for the bodice and lemons in the strap.
The construction of the dress went well, just make sure to clip the center v point before understitching and check the angle of the shoulder straps to ensure they don’t feel like they are slipping for you body shape. What a fun dress! We loved the dart detail in the bodice and will be using this bodice pattern again.
If you have been following along with your makes over the past few years you will know but this family tradition. If this is a new project for you we are excited to welcome you to our family Christmas! One of our favourite family traditions is that every year we make matching Christmas outfits.
Christmas outfits is something we’ve been doing in our family since our Nan made Christmas shirts and dresses for our Grandad and parents before we were born! You can see last year’s red Liberty outfits here and see the historical collection here. This get pulled out every year as every December you will see us wearing the outfits from previous years.
We continued the tradition of family Christmas outfits continued this year. This year we were all home together in North East Victoria for the first time in a long time. We celebrated this with a green backed echidna print by Jocelyn Proust.
Lauren in Vogue 1723 and Fergus
Lauren made the cotton into Vogue 1723 and put elastic around the sleeve hem instead of using the sleeve stay for a more casual look
We have made this dress before but in more formal fabric for Lauren’s Myer Millinery Award entry and Erin silk fabric from @injalakarts for the Cup Eve celebration but in cotton. It is such a comfortable cut especially for that big Christmas lunch and the cotton sits so well in the dramatic sleeve and neck tie.
Fergus practised this posing and sitting very patiently for his photo his year. If you missed his efforts last year check out our blog post. Let’s just say there was a lot less handsome puppy face and a lot more fluffy happy tail. With his sit more solid than ever thank you to the team at ProDog training Fergus wore a Two Sewing Sisters original dog bow tie pattern that included a D ring for his lead and quick-release buckle.
Robyn in McCalls 7542 and David McCalls 6044
For Dad’s shirt, we used McCalls 6044 which features a shaped body, curved hem, collar with stand and front placket detail for the buttons.
This year Mum chose to create her Christmas dress this year using McCalls 7542 bodice and attached a box pleat skirt with pockets. We have made a few versions of hacking this McCalls pattern into a dress, the first was this blue checked number, check it out here.
James in McCalls 6044 and Erin in Schultzapparel Senna
James chose his go-to collared shirt pattern McCalls 6044 which is a popular shirt pattern in our make set at the moment.
Erin made a variation of the Schultzapparel Senna. We were part of the pattern testing team for this Schultz pattern, you can see this make here. For this Christmas version, we straightened the waist seam and created a tiered skirt but kept all of the great features of the bodice which include a fastening-free finish with very clever ties.
Photography Notes of Christmas Outfits
Photographer: James Christie Dress Fabric:Jocelyn Proust green background with echidna with Santa hat Christmas fabric Patterns: James – McCall’s 6044 Erin – Schultzapparel Senna with tiered skirt David – McCalls M6044 Robyn – McCalls 7542 with pleated skirt Lauren – Vogue 1723 Fergus – Two Sewing Sisters drafted doggy bowtie
When Maaike from MaaiDesign contacted us to see if we’d like to collaborate on a project, we couldn’t respond fast enough!
MaaiDesigns is located locally in Bright, Victoria, just near where we grew up! Operating online Maaike and her team distribute a beautiful selection of fabrics from beautiful North East Victoria to wherever you are!
Maaike started her business with a goal “I had visions of colour, prints and styles that were unique, fun and a joy to wear” and a mission to offer her customers the ability to make unique garments for themselves and their families. We think she has very much achieved this brief!
The fabric, which is made in Turkey, is 150cm wide and made from 80% LENZING™ ECOVERO™ Viscose and 20% Linen.
Due to the fibre content, it is highly recommended to pre-wash the fabric as it has a shrinkage of 2-5%. It is machine washable at 30°C (medium spin) – which is also the temperature we prewashed the fabric!
The print on the fabric is a stunning large-scale brush stroke print on a natural white base. This fabric drapes beautifully, is slightly textured and is divine to wear. It is slightly heavier than a classic viscose fabric.
This fabric is oeko-tex certified as it is a ECOVERO™ Viscose which is a wonderful bonus for the already fabulous fabric!
Fun fact: “ECOVERO™ Viscose fibers are a sustainably certified viscose fiber. It’s made of pulp from wood that derives only from certified and controlled wood sources. The production of ECOVERO™ Viscose only requires half the water compared to regular viscose production, and the CO2 emissions and use of energy is also halved, compared to conventional viscose production“.
Since we started doing this, Schultzapparel has now released the Ottilia Dress pattern, which actually is basically a pattern of this hack!
For the sleeves, we used the full-length Minna sleeve piece that has gathering in the head of the sleeve and into the cuff.
Construction of our MaaiDesign Collaboration
As this was a viscose fabric there is movement in the fabric which can become difficult to cut if you are not careful. To begin the cutting process we carefully laid out the fabric, folding it right sides together on a flat surface. From there, our goal was not to move the fabric but pin the pattern pieces on carefully and cut around each piece ensuring that markings on the pattern were captured.
For the bottom of the waist darts in the bodice, we did a small snip, just under 1cm long. The seam allowance of this pattern is 2cm so this small snip is not seen in the finished garment.
A classic mistake we make when sewing a wrap dress is either forgetting to leave a gap in the side seam for the ‘wrap strap’ or putting it on the incorrect side. To avoid these mistakes, we lay out the fabric pieces as if we will sew them together (as shown in the picture) and read the instructions carefully.
To keep this garment light and airy once finished we used a bias finish around the neck edge. With the light-coloured background of the fabric, we used a white bias so that it would not be visible once finished.
In the past we have tried doing a full lining of this Ottilia Top pattern – however, the fabric was heavy, and it meant the wrap bodice didn’t sit well. Our preference is to do the facing or bias now when we make this pattern, but it would depend on the fabric choice!
As the rayon is quite delicate and any hand sewn stitches, no matter how small, would be visible, we decided that by using a matching thread, we would top stitch the bias and hem of the dress.
When it came time to hem the dress, we overclocked around all three sides – as it is a wrap dress we needed to hem the ‘side edges’ of the hem as well.
As we started to press the hem up, we realised it would be a much better finish to the dress if we did a double-rolled hem. That way, if the wind catches the full skirt or the wrap of the skirt shows the underside, it was as pretty as could be!
You don’t need to overlock the edge of the fabric if you are going to double roll the hem, but given we had already done so there is no harm in keeping it there.
The photo shows the first narrow fold of the held (with the overlocked edge) followed by the slightly wider second fold. We then top stitched, however, if you wanted, you could also hand stitch to provide an even cleaner finish.
Sleeve length band
The Minna pattern has a full-length sleeve. The pattern is drafted to have a cuff that the fullness of the sleeve gathers into. To allow for flexibility when wearing the dress we have inserted elastic into the hem of the sleeve instead. To do this we did not cut the cuff piece, instead finished the raw edge with overclocking and folded over the fabric to create a self-casing, leaving a small gap in the stitching we pull the elastic through using a safety pin, joined the elastic into a loop and then closed up the remaining section of the casing. This method is very similar as inserting elastic in the waist of a pair of pyjama pants.
In this fluid moving fabric, the shape of the sleeve allow it to bello and loved the opportunity to sit in the fullness of the gathering. Using the elastic means that it can sit at different positions on the arm.
Do you have a design inspiration sitting on a Pinterest Board that you just haven’t got to make yet? That was this dress. I thought the time might have passed, the shape of the bodice, the common nickname of the handkerchief hem. You might have said I missed the timing if I described the vision to you. But then! It all came together.
This started with a rummage through the stash and we found this amazing fabric! It was a piece we had got at Darn Cheap Fabrics when they had the Port Melbourne store.
At the time we were looking for fabric for Oaks Day and found an amazing green fabric which was just what we were looking for. But this fabric kept calling to me. So Erin convinced me to get 4 meters and it will be perfect for something one day.
This was the day! Nothing was more perfect for my 30th birthday dress than purple checks.
Next was to head to the Pinterest board to see which inspiration photos would come together to compliment this fabric.
The Pinterest Board
These were the key images that inspired the final design. The upwards-shaped bodice was a lovely design line and then I saw Anne Hathaway wearing a stunning pink Valentino number at Cannes and was sold on the shape!
For the skirt I really wanted to showcase the square geometric design of the fabric. While we love a full shirt, gathers felt it would distort the lines and a circle skirt cut through the strong lines of the pattern. When I found the image of the last skirt it showcased both a full skirt and would show off the lines of the fabric.
To create the off-the-shoulder pattern I started with Butterick 6129 a combination of the standard bodice with sleeve A but without the pleated sleeve.
After testing the bodice to check the size I made a few changes such as combining the side panels into one (this helped with the pattern matching) and adjusting the front bodice neckline.
With such a dominant line pattern matching was essential. Setting the fabric up with a strong line on the fold for the centre front and then the horizontal lines matching up at the selvedge it was ready for pattern piece placement.
Joining the side bodice together into one meant that the panel could be placed on the bias. It created such an exciting feature! To help prevents movement in the fabric I fused the side panel with interfacing.
For the construction of the dress, I used a drill cotton lining. The pieces were block fused with boning in the seams.
The finished dress
Some Me Made Outfits
Dad wore a Lauren J Ritchie Millinery hat which he paired with a red silk tie.
This dress started with a moment of Erin say, “Loz, I’ve had a vision”. Which usually results in a great feat of sewing marvel and a hopefully incredible outcome. The vision this time was a patchwork dress in which we make hexagons that are then fused to fabric with vlisafix then stitched to the fabric then constructed into a dress. This process started over a year ago with a stack of black and white fabric.
Hexagon construction started but with a few days to go until Derby Day last year we realised it wasn’t going to be possible to finish the dress in time. So in came our black a white version of Vogue 1566, which you can read more about in our post here. This year with a little more planning the dress returned and with a lot of determination and hexagon sewing on trams we made it!
This year are taking on the challenge of wearing a different Two Sewing Sisters made frock each day in October. If you have followed along on our Frocktober journey before you may recognise some pieces but we look forward to sharing the making details of the frocks with you.
Day 31 – There was no question about what the final frock for this year would be. Lauren wearing our Alexandra Nea Frocktober girls print in Butterick 9764
Day 31 – Wearing the Frocktober Girls, with the Frocktober Girls. Erin wearing our Alexandra Nea frocktober girls print in Butterick 9771
Day 30 – Bringing it home in the favourite Butterick9 764 in polished cotton from Darn Cheap Fabrics
Day 30 – Frocking it up at Bendigo Cup with Bendigo Bank who are also a corporate supporter of the OCRF and the upcoming Silver Linings Ride
Day 29 – What amazing frock weather! Lauren wore an Iris print fabric from Spotlight in Vogue 2960
Frocktober Day 28 – Just 3 frock filled days to go for this frocktober. Lauren in McCall’s 7279 from fabric purchased at Knitting & Stitching Shows with Review Australia cardigan
Frocktober Day 28 – Taking Frocktober Frock fabric sourcing international! This fabric is from Liberty London during our trip to London earlier this year 🇬🇧 A Butterick 9764 in cotton fabric from Liberty with a Review Australia cardigan
Frocktober Day 20 – Another Sewing Sunday, another day recruiting the help of Katelyn O’Meara 🧵 . Lauren Ritchie in Butterick 5209 Erin Ritchie in Butterick 9764 and @stitchesandsutures in Tilly and the Buttons Magan Dress all in Spotlight fabric
Frocktober Day 26 – Erin wearing Butterick 5851 made in navy and white checks from Nanny’s fabric stash
Frocktober Day 26 – Another frocking day, another Two Sewing Sistershandmade frock. . Lauren Ritchiee wearing Simplicity Patterns 8572 made in an upcycled Japanese Kimono gift from Andrea Kitahara The white floral print provided a great skirt feature.
Frocktober Day 25 – Lauren wearing Simplicity 8594 in cotton print from Tessuti Fabrics
Frocktober Day 25 – Tonight Erin Ritchie was awarded the Deakin UniversityGlobal Citizenship Award 🌏 . Wearing #vogue1350 in light blue (tiny) gingham fabric from Super Cheap Fabrics wore with CUE blazer
Frocktober Day 24 – at Melbourne Soup in blue ruffle dress from the Tessuti Colour in Thirds Competition and vintage pattern Vogue 6504 in polished cotton from Rathdowne Fabrics
“Quick Erin, take a photo of me with the sign, we match!” .We’re thrilled to bring Alexandra Nea Illustration Frocktober Girls to fabric using Spoonflower 🧵✂️ The bonus was getting to debut the creations at the smoothfm 91.5 Frocktail Party with Alexandra to support the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) 🥂👗 . Lauren Ritchie in Vintage Butterick Pattern
Frocktober Day 23 – We’re thrilled to bring Alexandra Nea Illustration Frocktober Girls to fabric using Spoonflower 🧵✂️ The bonus was getting to debut the creations at the smoothfm 91.5 Frocktail Party with Alexandra to support the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) 🥂👗 . Lauren Ritchie in Vintage Butterick 9764 Erin Ritchie in Vintage Butterick 9771 Alexandra Nea in Review Australia.
Frocktober Day 23 – Lauren in Simplicity 2923 which was a Project Runway pattern in purple linen
Frocktober Day 23 – Butterick 9764 in polished cotton from Spotlight Stores
Frocktober Day 22 – Lauren Ritchie frocking her self drafted entry from the Tessuti Fabrics colour in thirds competition made earlier this year.
Frocktober Day 21 – Lauren in a purple knit dress
Frocktober Day 21 – Kicking off the week with By Hand London Jenna Dress in fabric from The Fabric Store – Australia
Frocktober Day 20 – Sewing Sunday! With so many projects on the go for upcoming events we recruited the help of @stitchesandsutures 🧵 . Lauren in Butterick 5708, Erin Simplicity 1802 @stitchesandsutures in By Hand London Anna Dress. All made in fabric from Spotlight
Frocktober Day 19 – Performing at the Marysville Jazz Festival with High Society Jazz Orchestra 🎷🎶 . Frock made by Robyn for Erin in black crepe and vintage pattern
Frocktober Day 19 – Performing at the Marysville Jazz Festival with High Society Jazz Orchestra 🎷🎶 . Lauren made this dress without a pattern in fabric from Ebay while living in London last year
Frocktober Day 18 – Have a laugh! It’s the weekend! Kicking off this frocking good weekend at @finders_keepers 👗 . A Butterick 9764 in fabric from Super Cheap Fabrics – it is not often we make a black dress, but when Erin worked at Spotlights a few years ago, a few snuck into the cupboard!
Frocktober Day 18 – Frock details are a minor thing when our new doggy mascot Sammywise makes an appearance in the frock photo.
Frocktober Day 17 – We can’t wait for the weather to get warmer… fun cotton prints are calling our name! But for now the sleeves are here to stay!
Frocktober Day 16 – Lauren in Vogue 8922 made in a suede purchased at Sackville and Lane before it closed in Wangaratta. Do you have a local independent fabric store you miss?
Day 15 – A busy day in the OCRF office sending out the last of the Frocktober Supporter Packs 👗 Frocktographer: Sam
Day 14 – A pirate print dress, Brunetti Cafe and end of university exams for the year… is there anything better way to celebrate the two week mark of Frocktober?!
Day 14 – Minnie Mouse 🐭 version of Butterick 9764 in fabric from Spotlightst visiting Kaprica
Day 13 – vintage tie dress with fabric from @spotlightstores guest Frocktographer Trent Howard
Day 12 – New Look 6176 in fabric from Sewing and Craft Superstore with guest Frocker Talia and Frocktographer Eliza. on a visit to Brown Brother
Day 11 – green paisley from Spotlight
Day 10 – Butterick 5604 in @spotlightstores polished cotton.
Day 9 – Butterick 5604 in @darncheap checked fabric.
Day 9 – Simplicity 8594 in polished cotton from Super Cheap Fabrics
Day 8 – Vintage style in fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics
Day 8 – New Look 6176 in black and white fabric from Spotlight
Day 7 – Butterick 5604 in polished cotton from Spotlight
Day 7 – Butterick 5523 in a purple knit fabric from”the stash”
Day 6 – Ruffled Butterick 5209 in fabric from Darn Cheap Fabric
Day 6 – Knitted dress by Robyn Ritchie
Day 5 – Tshirt Dress and Polka dot Butterik 9764 photo by James Christie
Day 4 – Shirt Dress in Tessuti Fabrics
Day 3 Butterick 9764 pattern made floral polished cotton from Spotlight
Day 3 Butterick 9764 pattern made floral polished cotton from Spotlight
Day 2 Navy Infinity Dress
Day 1 Butterick 9764 pattern made floral polished cotton from Spotlight
Day 1 Butterick 9764 pattern made floral polished cotton from Spotlight
Georgia has studied Law at Deakin University for the last six years. Also with Erin this would be her last Law Ball. We wanted to make her dress something special. We started with some inspiration and Erin’s key criteria for Georgia was she had to choose a colour that wasn’t black.
Construction of Jungle Green Silk Satin Dress
The bodice for Georgia’s dress started with Simplicity 6408 as it had a beautiful back shape and the gathered front seam created the perfect neckline. The skirt needed to be cut on the bias to create the drape and fall Georgia was after so we used Butterick 5710 as the base for this.
Erin and Georgia went on a fabric hunt and found a beautiful jungle green (not black) silk satin at Rathdowne Fabrics in Brunswick.
The design of the dress evolved from the original sketch. We chose to remove the bottom ruffle section and keep the straps travelling straight over the shoulders.
The thin straps were created using the fabric, creating a thin tube. The strap was turned through using a bobkin sewing needle (a needle without a point used for sewing chunky knits).
The dress was constructed to a point that meant Georgia could try it on. At the fitting we decided that fully lining the bodice would be the best course to finish it off. The lining of the bodice was interfaced with whisperweft interfacing. A piece of plastic boning along the side seam position to provide some stability. The skirt side seams were finished with a french seam to provide a neat finish. This reduced any damage that might be cause to the fabric by placing it through an overlocker.
Pattern: Simplicity 6408 and Butterick 5710 Fabric: Jungle green silk satin from Rathdowne Fabrics