Winter in London

Winter in London

LONDON Winter, 2014   This is the first post in a long line of countries Mon and I visited over the Australian Summer holidays. While it was well over 30 degrees celsius in Australia, in London it didn’t get warmer then 5.    (For general travel advice, such as what to pack/wear scroll down to the bottom) Our first stop on the long 50 hour journey to London was Incheon Airport in Seoul. We saw our first snow here (dirty and small as it was). It was a balmy -7 degrees celsius. We flew with Korean Air which meant we got to stay over a night in a Best Western hotel with a dinner and breakfast included. While waiting at the airport for our next flight we had a milkshake with our last few dollars at the ‘Hello Kitty Cafe.’ The next length of our flight was another 12 hours long.     We got to London at night and had to catch 1 or 2 trains on the underground to get to our accommodation. We stayed with a lovely couple we found on Air BNB.    This was our first breakfast! I think it was only about 5 pounds each. They even put the toast on a separate plate.     This was outside the National Portrait Gallery.   This was the first of many Christmas markets we found across London and Europe. It was our first taste of mulled wine – we were not big fans – but I am sure it can be delicious.    We went on a double decker bus tour – great for seeing a bit of...

(Very) Early planning for Winter sewing.

Hello!   If you follow me on Instagram (@morningstarsews) you will have noticed I have been travelling around Europe. My partner and I had a great time seeing so many great sites, eating delicious things and playing with snow for the first time! I plan on posting some posts in coming weeks about our experiences and recommendations, so stay tuned!   Today we got back to Australia and to a 37 degree day (after leaving 2 degree Rome) and it is rough. While travelling I was thinking about sewing… Of course. What else would I be doing!   It is definitely too late and way too hot to sew for Summer. I might make some simple jersey cotton shorts for wearing in the heat or a quick something to wear to work but mostly I won’t be sewing.   I have however started to plan some things to sewing for the colder months.   Here is how my imagined wardrobe is shaping up.   1. Wiksten’s Tova    I really love this patter. I purchased the pdf pattern before I left for Europe with high hopes that fell short. I purchased some light weight corduroy in navy colour from Spotlight. I would love to also make one or more in a flannel (maybe some of the stuff from my stash). I think these would be great over leggings/pants.  2. Raglan Tees I have sewn this one up twice now.. I still don’t have the fit right. It seems to sit too low in the neckline and it is really loose despite making the recommended size. I would like to...

Sewing my way through ‘Love at First Stitch’ – The Lilou Dress

  Welcome to my version of the Lilou Dress. I have so far made 2 – one in green and one in pink. These are very quick to sew and reasonable comfortable. The bodice pattern has a total of 6 darts.    I made an alternate skirt – I just gathered up whatever fabric I had so that I could use the existing selvage on the fabric.  I had to tweak this pattern quite a bit and still have more that needs doing. I took a lot out of the back bodice at a dramatic angle. The back darts don’t sit as nicely as I would like and the front darts make me look a little like Madonna – but all in all with some alterations it is a fine dress for day wear and for work. I even can get away with wearing it bra-less as it is fully lined. Share this:TweetShare on TumblrPrintEmailLike this:Like...

Sewing my way through ‘Love at First Stitch’ – The Clemence Skirt

For my Birthday this year I got a copy of Tilly and Buttons ‘Love at First Stitch’ (Available here). I have since decided to sew up a whole lot of work clothes for Summer from its provided patterns. I started with the Clemence Skirt, basically the book just tells you how to make the pattern. Very simple stuff and is identical to a skirt I made myself when I first started machine sewing nearly 2 years ago.  You have your simple waistband (waist measurement + seam allowance), skirt length + desired width…. For me that is usually however much fabric I happen to have left. Sew it all together and add in a zipper and done.   For my second version I tested out the provided pocket pattern and love it. I made awesome in seam pockets. It really takes it from a 20 minute project to a 40 minute project BUT sometimes you just gotta put a bit of extra work into a garment you are going to wear a lot. My goal is to be a less lazy sewist.  And… I need pockets! Check back later on for my versions of other Love at First Stitch patterns. Share this:TweetShare on TumblrPrintEmailLike this:Like...

What I have been sewing lately : Changing up the Archer Button Up

Personally, I do not find the Grainline Archer shirt to have the ideal fit. I am slowly working out the best way to alter the pattern. First of all – it needs to be an inch longer through the bodies and in the arms. Secondly I do not like the look of the back with the pleat so I have gotten rid of it entirely.   In this version (and all subsequent versions) instead of the two big rectangle pockets I opted for a single pocket with a triangular bottom. In this case the pocket has a batman comic on it.  Here is how the back looks without the back pleat – much nicer!! I do need to remember add a bit of width through the hips though as my shirts always seem to be too tight in the hips DESPITE the fact that I am sewing sizes bigger then my hip measurement would point to.  I have completely disregarded the button placement in the pattern and come up with my own – so far my placement has resulted in far less boob gape… For other ladies with this problem you know what I mean! Ultimately it means I have to use 10 buttons every time instead of 8.   I started sewing these shirts because I wanted to be able to make my girlfriend (who has a small bust and big hips) shirts that she would like and that would fit. The Archer is too loose and a bit boxy so I think my changes are helping.  I think I am figuring out the details of the pattern and...

LOL Swing Top pattern tester tour day 1

I was so excited to be chosen to pattern test the LOL Swing Top by Jenn from A Jennuine Life  and then thrilled again to have the opportunity to participate in the pattern tour. My favourite part about the LOL Swing Top is that it has so much SWING! Honestly, getting my niece Sofia to try things is a pretty difficult task most days. This particular top though was a hit and appealed to the wild dancer in her. She only wore it long enough for a few photos though as it is currently Winter here in Australia and is freezing. Despite all of the faces she actually was enjoying herself with these photos. This top is gorgeous – options to be sewn in either knit or woven with a button to fasten above the shoulder. I sewed up the knit version as appealing to comfort is also important when coaxing a 3 year old into wearing something. One of the very cool details in the top is the back – the armholes scoop down low just below the shoulder blade. It looks very cute and gives a really nice polished finish. You can see here that I just used a zig zag stitch – my machine really does not like using a double needle. The thread and fabric are both a very light aqua colour – the fabric is called Bubblegum Gelato and is a luxurious organic jersey. These photos really are proof at what a fun top it is – I cannot wait for the weather to warm up here as I will definitely make more of these...

My First Grainline Archer top

I have been meaning to sew up an Archer button up for months and months! I honestly was looking for an alternative pattern for a while because I didn’t like how baggy and unfitted it looked on some bloggers. Turns out I did not have to worry  as the size I sewed up (6 for bust down to a 2 in hips) was not baggy at all. My first attempt was not at all perfect and there are plenty of changes I will be making for my second and third (already cut out ready to sew). Even though to my hip measurements I am a 0 in my next copy I will grade the hips as a 6 as these really hugged tight in my hips in an unflattering way. I think the 6 for the bust was right BUT I get major boob gape so the button placement really needs to be reshuffled. I also don’t really like how the last button ends up being so close to the bottom – There needs to be the same length beneath the button as there is between each button I think. I read lot of bloggers wanted their arms to be shorter as they were too long – I had the opposite problem! These are a 1-2cm too short through the arms so I have added extra length for 2 and 3. I do like lots of the details though like the view A sleeve cuffs, the pleat in the back, the back yoke. I found sewing it up really easy following the sew along. Is it a quick sew?...

Imagine Gnats JUBA SHORTS!

I was so excited when Rachael of Imagine Gnats said I could test her new Juba Shorts pattern. For those who do not know Rachael, you really should check out her blog and instagram. She rocks the coolest blue hair and is beyond lovely and very funny (Plus she has lots of gnats dogs and cats).  Okay now onto the pattern. It is a flat front elastic in the back basic adult shorts pattern. The pattern includes options for a draw string as well – I made mine plain though. These would be really easy to customise with pockets, belt loops, cuffs etc.  Honestly the pattern was so EASY. Like really properly easy to put together and to sew. I would definitely recommend it as a solid staple. Great for loungewear, pajamas *as pictured below in a long version*, even with some altering for work. I envision making some in a black linen or a chambray with pockets, belt loops and cuffs and wearing them to work in the Summer! Go get your copy today here http://imaginegnats.com/shop/juba-shorts-men-women/ and check out some other examples by following the hashtag #jubashorts on instagram.  Share this:TweetShare on TumblrPrintEmailLike this:Like...

Sewing for my nieces Winter wardrobe

The last few weeks I have been sewing up lots of new Winter items for my nieces (3 and 3m). Check below for the information regarding each item and pattern information.  Sofia loved her Mara blouse pattern by Compagnie-M. I was lucky enough to win this pattern for free. The pattern is amazing and comes in A1 printing option or regular A4 printing. I went to Officeworks and had the A1 print done. I have never done this before but it really made everything easier. I sewed up the size 4 so she can get plenty of wear out of it. She loved both of her Mara blouses – I am pretty sure I will just be making her these in the future as it is hard to please her.    Her other ‘woodland animals’ Mara blouse was so loved we nearly had to quit the photo shoot because she really did not want to take this off.  I got this gorgeous organic cotton knit from Remnant Warehouse online and it is perfect – ridiculously soft and silky. I made Sofia a size 3 Raglan Tee pattern by Peekaboo patternshop. The neckband is some really stretchy grey ribbing – I didnt really like this so won’t be using it for this again. This is a self drafted size 3/4 cotton long sleeve tee. The fabric is a bit thinner then the organic cotton but is still very soft. I got it from the Remnant Warehouse as well and previously made Sofia some leggings out of it – It would make a great Skater dress! Sof also scored some organic jammies. The...

How a 3 year old sees the world

After taking lots of photos of Sofia (3 years) and her sister (3m) Sofia wanted a turn with the DSLR. Turns out she is pretty good at taking photos and many photos had very cool composition. Great insight into what is seen from her perspective.   Share this:TweetShare on TumblrPrintEmailLike this:Like...

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