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

Marimekko Unikko Fabric in Vogue 9237

It is the 60th anniversary of this iconic Unikko print by Marimekko. We came across this fabric while fabric shopping in Newcastle – we couldn’t help ourselves, and we had to bring home a piece!

Also… enter our new fabric pattern! We have claimed that Know Me 2016 is our favourite pattern for a couple of months. Only now we might have found a new favourite Vogue 9237! It is easy to wear and easy to sew – it also has limited pattern pieces, so the wonderful print of the fabric isn’t segmented between too many pattern pieces ✂️

Fabric: Marimekko Unikko Fabric

Mini Unikko, conceived by Kristina Isola, is a scaled-down rendition of the iconic Unikko print that has captivated global audiences. Originating in 1964, Unikko emerged in defiance of Marimekko founder Armi Ratia’s decree against floral motifs in the brand’s fabrics. Despite this prohibition, artist Maija Isola boldly crafted a collection of floral patterns, ultimately prompting Armi to incorporate eight of them.

Unikko has since become a symbol of exuberance and innovation, seamlessly woven into Marimekko’s design ethos. Maija’s work stands as a testament to the enduring power of creativity in spreading joy.

Pattern: Vogue v9237

Vogue 9237 is a Very Easy Vogue Dress pattern with a loose-fitting pullover style that has a round neck with a button and loop closing at the back neck. The main feature is the back ruffle panel create a playful design element.

Finished Make

Photo Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Vogue 9237 provided by Sewdirect Australia
Fabric:  Marimekko Unikko Fabric

Lucca Dress pattern by Schultz Apparel

We joined the pattern testing team for Schultz Apparel’s latest release the Lucca Dress 

The Lucca Dress pattern is a style 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


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

Photo Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Lucca Dress Sewing Pattern from Schultz Apparel
Fabric: Green floral cotton from East Coast Fabrics

VRC Kennedy Oaks Club Lunch at Crown Palladium in Vogue 1884 and Vogue 1723

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.

Vogue 1723

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. 

Vogue 1884

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.  

Photo Credits

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!

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

Mona Dress by Schultz Apparel in Gertie Border Print

We joined the pattern testing team for the release of the Mona Dress by Schultz Apparel. 

Pattern: Mona Dress by Schultz Apparel

The Mona Dress 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.

Finished Make

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.

Photo Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Mona Dress by Schultz Apparel
Fabric:  Amalfi Coast border print cotton sateen print by Gertie from Spotlight

Christmas Outfits for 2022

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

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
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

MaaiDesign Collaboration

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!

Fabric from MaaiDesign

For this project, we selected a Viscose blend from Mind The Maker stocked on the MaaiDesign website – Oda Brush – Viscose Linen Noil.

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“.


We love ‘hacking’ together patterns – it allows you to create unique and individual garments which really suit your style without the need to make your own patterns!

We have always loved hacking together Schultaapparel patterns, for this pattern, we hacked together Ottilia Top pattern for the bodice and Minna Dress pattern for the sleeve.

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.

Finished MaaiDesign Dress

What will be next on our make list from MaaiDesign? We have been eyeing the Wilder Gown Pattern in Atelier Brunette Shadow Night (Modal) or the Zadie Jumpsuit in Rifle Paper Co – Canvas – Poppy Fields – Black . Which fabrics from MaaiDesign are on your make list?

Photography Notes

Photographer: James Christie
Dress Fabric: Mind the Maker, Oda Brush Viscose Linen Noil in Plum & Rosewood available on the Maaidesign Website
Patterns: Schultzapparel Ottilia Top pattern for the bodice and Minna Dress pattern for the sleeve.

30th Birthday Party Dress!

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.  

The Fabric

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.

Fabric Cutting

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.

Erin made a version of the Minna Dress by Schulz Apparel in a black-backed organza fabric with a raspberry and gold pattern.

Mum wore a long-sleeved version of Butterick 5850


Photographer: James Christie
Dress design and pattern maker: Lauren Ritchie
Headpiece: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery
Bodice Pattern base: Butterick 6129
Fabric: Darn Cheap Fabrics
Shoes: Wittner
Location: 89 Eureka Sky Deck
Florist: In Full Bloom South Melbourne

Viola Dress by Schultz Apparel

Ah dresses! What a key part of our wardrobe. We love added to the collection so we were excited for the new Viola Dress from Schultz Apparel.

Pattern: Viola Dress by Schultz Apparel

The Viola dress has a fitted bodice with three bust designs, three strap options and three skirt options. It has an invisible zipper at Center Back and is fully lined at the bodice.

This is the type of pattern that you can mix and match the elements, however, for something different, we made it just like the pattern! We are as surprised as you are. We created view A that has a pieced cup, ties at the shoulder and a gathered skiert.

Fabric: Bird print cotton

We were recently gifted a stash of fabric from someone in our hometown in Wangaratta. It is also home to Bruck Textiles and was known by locals for creating many home furnishing fabrics. In this bundle, we found this fantastic cotton print fabric initially intended as a curtain fabric but as it did not have a backing on it we could also use it for a dress.

With the sweet bird print it was the perfect pairing for the Viola Dress.

Finished Viola Dress

Photo Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Viola Dress by Schultz Apparel
Fabric:  Cotton Print from Bruck Textiles