Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Delightful Dolores

Phew! 6 gigs singing with 3 different bands (including 550km travel), rehearsals for each band, my end of year piano student concert as well my usual teaching and other life stuff - it's been a busy week!

Needless to say, I didn't get much sewing done. I did however, manage to take some photos of my latest make - the Dolores Batwing pattern by the lovely Zoe of "So, Zo... What do you know?" blogging fame. I was lucky enough to win a review copy of the pattern back in September and I'm so pleased to have finally got round to making it. I had promised to make it before the end of the year so I just managed to scrape in there.

This was my first time using a PDF sewing pattern. There seems to be a load of great indie patterns coming out in PDF format recently but I must admit I haven't been that keen on the idea. The thought of printing, cutting out and sticking together a pattern has always put me off but I think I may have been converted. Zoe's clear instructions made this really easy to put together and there are only 11 pages to print out so it hardly took any time at all (apart from my printer refusing to print at 100% so I had to get it printed elsewhere - aarrgh, technology).

It was also my first time sewing with knit fabric. Sewing with knits seems to be all the rage in the blogosphere lately and after seeing so many fabulous makes and new patterns coming out I've been desperate to jump on the bandwagon. The biggest thing stopping me is availability - if there are any readers from Perth out there, please tell me where I can find some decent knit fabric! (Unfortunately shipping from overseas to Australia is really expensive)

I managed to find this fabric which is a lovely colour and it has an interesting textured pattern to it which makes it not so plain. I've no idea what it is exactly but it's got quite a nice drape without being slippery which I thought was a good option for my first foray into knits.

The Dolores Batwing pattern can be sewn as a top, a short tunic or longer dress and each option has a choice of short or long sleeves. I went for the top with short sleeves as we're heading into summer here and according to Zoe's sizing chart made a size 12. The fit was perfect, though I had to make it slightly shorter due to the amount of fabric I had. I ended up taking 7cm off the length and I think I would shorten it again next time, though probably not quite as much.

I sewed the entire garment on my serger (another first), apart from the hem which was done on my sewing machine using the three step zig zag stitch as suggested by Zoe.

The batwing sleeves give Dolores a nice retro look which I really like and it also makes it super comfortable and quick and easy to make - 3 hours in total, including assembling the PDF pattern - AND step by step sewing instructions with photos - what's not to love?

So Zo - thanks so much for sharing your pattern with me - it was a joy to sew and if I can get my hands on some decent knit fabric soon, I'll definitely be making more!

Monday, 8 December 2014


Hello - it's been ages since I last posted, but I have been super busy. Most excitingly, I was in Japan touring with my band which was fabulous fun. We did 2 shows in Tokyo, one of which was the legendary annual BACK FROM THE GRAVE Halloween party – 32 bands playing from 5pm to 5am – with a dressing room larger than the performance area and just as entertaining. We also played in Osaka and in Kobe, 1 hour away in the smallest venue I have ever been in, let alone played in. The bar was downstairs with a ladder leading up to the band room which wasn't much bigger than my bathroom. With the band and 7 go-go dancers there was unbelievably still room for 20 or so punters which made for a pretty crazy gig – only in Japan!

Clockwise from Left: Singing with my good friend Junko from Tigerlily;
Halloween Backstage; Halloween Onstage; The Bees Knees Bar in Kobe.
(All pics wearing me-made outfits)
Aside from the all the craziness and partying I did manage to slip in some fabric shopping - stay posted for my guide to fabric shops in Tokyo and Osaka coming soon.

Life's been crazily busy since we got back but I've managed to squeeze in a bit of sewing here and there when I can. As well a bit of gift sewing I whipped up these cat cushions for the house with some fabric purchased on my trip.

So, I'll bid you Sayonara until my next post and leave you with some cute Japanese cat photos :)

Clockwise from Left: Cat Pastries; Giant Cuddly Toy Cat; Godzilla Cats;
Sushi Cats!