As a sewist, no holiday is complete without visiting the local Fabric Stores!
On our recent road trip around South Australia, including the Barossa, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and Adelaide, we visited some amazing fabric stores we wanted to share with you!
We visited South Australia on our Operation Tiny House New Years’ Eve for the 2019-2020 New Year’s Eve (see our matching outfits from our New Year’s Eve Trip here), so we had a couple of favourites to visit again and some new ones to try!
DK Fabrics is a wonderland of fabrics! From dance fabrics to evening wear to cotton – it has such a diverse range of fabrics.
If you are looking for a bargain, there are some discounted fabrics for about $3.00. In contrast, if you are looking for more expensive fabrics like lace, sequins or satin, DK Fabric’s also has you covered.
This store has become a favourite to visit every time we come to South Australia!
Ferrier Fashion Fabrics reminds us of the fabric stores we used to visit with our Nan as children. It feels like you are walking into a treasure trove of a carefully picked collection of fabrics in a family-owned business.
This fabric store is filled with great quality and beautiful fabrics, whether you are looking for premium daywear, knit fabric or evening fabrics.
We were so excited when Nerida Hansen approached us to be guest sewing ambassadors to celebrate this new fabric collection in collaboration with Australian designer and artist Rachelle Holowko from Pattern and Design.
The fabric prints and colours are so beautiful, it was wonderful to sew these two projects!
For these projects, we used three of the Nerida Hansen and Rachelle Holowko collection fabrics.
The first fabric was the Bold Gingham by Nerida Hansen, which we used for the culottes.
The second fabric was the Carina fabric in navy by Rachelle Holowko which we used for the Cuff Sleeve Top.
The third fabric was the Manifesto fabric in wine by Rachelle Holowko which we used for the jumpsuit.
All of the fabrics were the Tencel Linen. We haven’t sewn with Tencel very much before. It has a wonderful drape and silky feel even though it is a medium-weight fabric.
Tencel is a natural fibre made from wood pulp, which is blended with a small amount of linen for these fabrics.
Project 1 – Nerida Hansen Culottes
For this outfit, we really wanted to contrast the pretty floral with a bold contrast fabric for the pants. The ‘Bold Gingham fabric has the perfect scale of print for pants and balances the large floral of the top. We don’t usually pair different prints together – so this was a great project to challenge our style!
This was our first time sewing with Nerida Hansen. The cuffs sleeve top and culottes are both simple but effective designs that allow the fabric to be the feature! The patterns are great staple pieces that would be perfect for new sewists looking to expand these skills or for seasoned sewists looking for classic designs to add to their collection.
In particular, we loved that the culottes pattern has a flat front band even though it has an elastic back.
Note: We sized down in the top as we wanted the top to be more fitted than the finished garment measurement indicated on the pattern.
We celebrated the end of 2019 and welcome 2020 with New Year Celebrations at a Tiny House Escape with our dear friend Kate, also known as Stitches and Sutures! We stay in a lovely tiny house that was situation in Carrickalinga in South Australia. With bushfires threatening so many parts of Australia we were wishing everyone a safe start to 2020.
We wore matching outfits made out of Abstract Multicoloured Digital Printed Cotton Linen Fabric that is 112 cm from Spotlight – you can find the fabric here.
2020 Sewing Resolutions
Last year we set ourselves some sewing resolutions- some we were able to complete, others that made it back on the list for this year. See last year’s sewing resolutions here. Our sewing resolutions for 2020 are:
Lauren’s Sewing Resolutions
Make a wool coat – this was part of last years resolution but didn’t happen so is here again for 2020
Fix 5 projects that I currently don’t like wearing because something isn’t right or it isn’t wearable
Make pale blue and black striped crepe flint pants – these have been on my to make list for yonks so it is a must for this year.
Only make from the stash. Instead of fabric shopping assume that we have a fabric that will be suitable, shop our stash and only purchase fabric for garments on the exception list. The exception list includes:
Oaks Day Millinery Award dress
One piece of fabric from overseas travels
Erin’s Sewing Resolutions
Make a suit – this was part of last years resolution but didn’t happen so is here again for 2020
Make 15 work appropriate garments in fabric from the stash
Finish everything before midnight the night before it needs to be worn
Kate’s Sewing Resolutions
Make 3 sets of lingerie
Make a coat – step one of picking a pattern is complete now to find some fabric!
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
We had the exciting task of testing the new release pattern from By Hand London. The new style is called the Jenna Dress. A fitted bodice with darts paired with an empire line dress with a bias cut skirt.
The first options includes a scooped neck and ties on the sleeves, the second a peterpan collar with longer sleeve. These options designed so the elements can be swapped around to create you own combination. We made both version of the dress.
We chose to do the at home print. The skirt pattern which is used for both length options is 32 pages and there is separate file for each bodice style. Variation 1 is 16 pages Variation 2 is 18 pages.
They were stuck together with clear tape before we cut it back to size. We chose to cut a size 12/16. See the images for fit.
Jenna Dress with Ties
We made the Jenna Dress with Ties from Houndstooth Patchwork Stretch Silk Crepe De Chine from The Fabric Store. This striking graphic houndstooth print is a combination of Silk and Lycra and is 115cm wide. You can find the fabric in their online store here.
Due to the light weight of the fabric we chose to line the skirt as well as the bodice. The ties around the arm are finished with a slip stitch and the hem of the top fabric hand finished with a herringbone stitch.
Jenna Dress with collar
We made the Jenna Dress with collar we made in a light woven cotton that was purchased from a fabric store in Paris. A playful confetti coloured print was the perfect modern choice for a vintage inspired style dress.
The collar and cuffs are fused with interfacing and the bodice was lined with pongee lining a softer finish than using bem silk.
The photos of the finished dresses were taken at the Vault sculpture that is in the forecourt of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Southbank Melbourne. You can find out more about the sculpture on the ABC website here.
“Entry guidelines are super simple. Sew whatever style you want. Sew something that’s sympathetic to the fabric. Sew an original design or use a pattern. You can use one, both or a combination of all three competition fabrics.” –Tessuti Fabric Sewing Blog
The fabric was a Japanese polyester crepe de chine available – as the competition suggests – in three colours. With an open design brief, a fabric we were unfamiliar with, and two colours to play with – it was time to get creative!
What do see our past entries in the Tessuti Sewing Competitions? See our Skylines entry here.
Photos taken by Ben and James Christie.
While we were trying on Pinstripe Asymmetric Dress at Cue Clothing Australia last month we fell in love with the ruched effect through ties. The crepe de chine had the perfect balance between weight and flow of fabric required for these pull up sleeves and skirt to work their magic!
The first thing we noticed when we picked up this fabric, was how well it would drape and float in ruffles… enter the inspiration – Vogue 1413.
This ruffled top pattern we hunted down once we realised it was going out of date from the last one left in Victoria… one phone order from Spotlight Tarragon later and it has been sitting in the collection waiting for its moment to shine. Using this pattern as the base, we added a skirt, extra ruffles and went to town on the Baby Locker overlocker to finish off the metres (and metres) of hems!
Looking for a gift ideas for someone who loves sewing? We just might have the answer. As someone who sews or is a maker there are a few things you can never have too many of.
When you first start there are a lot of things to acquire. This can be quite an expense set up and you do not always know which is best to buy for the projects. Even as an experienced maker you can never have too many. These things are just fun and exciting when they are new, no matter the experience level of the sewer.
The outside might be a strange place to start when thinking about a gift but whatever collection of things you are giving how about wrapping it in some fabric? It is a more sustainable idea than paper gift wrapping as they can transform it into something afterwards!
For this gift we chose a printed cotton with enough fabric for it to be made into a dress with a full skirt. Just over 2 meters of fabric. The fabric is folded over the present and secured with ribbon.
Gift idea – the bits and pieces
No matter your level of experience sewing there are some items that make project a little easier. You can put together a combination of things to suit the person you are buying for and your budget. It is nicer to have fewer nicer quality products than lots of cheaper once.
Here are some suggestions to start your bundle of goodies:
pin cushion – can be magnetic or fabric
sewing needles – customise them to the type of work they do.
tailors chalk – The Clover ones are amazing and you can get refills
measuring tape – The Birch quilt measuring tapes are great, we love the length, the number is well formatted and has both inches and centimeters on it.
Embroidery scissors – for small fine work and snipping threads
good quality thread
thread for the overlocker/serger
threads – Gutermann produce a wide variety of thread types. If you are not sure what they are sewing you could chose a variety of basic colours from the Sew-all Thread collection.
As we know our friend is likely to make this fabric into a dress so we also put in a matching zipper and thread. This means she can get started making straight away an doesn’t need to make a trip to the store herself.
Where to shop?
Shopping for these goodies can be done online but also going into your local fabric store is good browse to see the options. If you are unsure ask the sales staff to help you as at a good craft store they should know their products.
Additions to the list?
Let us know if you have anything else to add to the gift ideas for someone who loves sewing. Contact us here.
A new year, a new set of goals. Resolutions for our sewing. While other people may set an ambitious of getting fit, starting a new career or discovering a new hobby at Two Sewing Sisters we set creative sewing resolutions.
In this last two weeks while enjoying the seasonal festivities we started planning for 2019 and creating visions of future projects. For your benefit and our accountability here are each of our three sewing goals for 2019:
Lauren’s Resolutions Number 1: Make winter coat Many years ago Nan had planned to make each of us a wool coat but didn’t get a chance. This year Lauren plans to pull out the beautiful charcoal wool we bought from at Clegs all those years ago and find a new pattern to make it in.
Number 2: Find a good pants pattern to share with you In 2018 we had a few sewing friends has us about what pattern they should use to make pants. To be honest we don’t have one, there are many elements of pants that need to fit correctly for them to feel comfortable and look great. But this year we are going to come up with a better answer… stay tuned pants lovers!
Number 3: Make Erin’s Law Ball dress Last year while Lauren was living in London, Erin was left sew her own law ball dress. While this may seem like that bigger deal, at the time it was filled with drama. It is the first project that we have ever given up on a bodice and started again…. *cue 2019 vision* which is far from even adapting a commercial pattern adaption, Lauren is likely going to have to call on her Fashion Degree to make this vision a reality.
Erin’s Resolutions: Number 1: Finish 5 started Projects As a lower of starting project but not always finishing them in a timely matter… a goal is to finish five already started projects. For any sewing out there with similar creative habits to Erin, you will know what a large feat this will be!
Number 2: Make a suit As a law student, Erin is often spotted wearing a suit. Despite mastering making dresses, she has never made a suit – 2019 will be the year!
Number 3: Upcycling three items Fashion and textiles are one of the largest producers of waste in the world Now more than ever, ethical fashion and environmentally friend production should be at the forefront of the fashion industry.. while we are waiting for this to happen, instead of throwing things out there is no better time than now to clean up the cupboard and fit, change or adapt a style to wear again.
With less than 12 months to achieve these goals, we can’t wait to keep you up to date with the progress of our resolutions! Best wishes for 2019 and all that it may bring.