• Trousers and skirts

    All the arrows skirt

    Hello everyone!! Today is a good day. I’m feeling good as my lovely photographer friend Renata and I powered through a chunk of my epic list of unblogged garments after work last week. That means more regular blog posts! Looking forward to when I can share makes properly again is getting me giddy. I do my best not to disappear into my work but it does use a lot of time and energy so it’s great to carve out some time for this.

    Let’s start with a quick post on this skirt. Self drafted and lined, it came together very easily. The front and back pieces are rectangles made from the full width 45″ fabric gathered to fit a 32″ waistband. This makes it hang straight but gives enough hip room for my curvy 42″ butt. Normally I prefer a gathered a-line cut skirt but this was an afternoon make and my hips push the silhouette into an almost a-line naturally.

    Almond rock fabworks self drafted skirt sewing sewing bee gbsb

    Now I don’t really think skirts are that flattering on me which is why I rarely make them. I feel like my bodice looks oddly short but weirdly doesn’t in a dress. I even chose a narrow waistband width to help with this! Oh well, I’m not going to grow any taller am I?

    I installed an invisible zipper in the back and added a lining to avoid the skirt clinging to tights. The lining is sewn into the waist but free around the zip area with the seam allowance pressed away to make an opening. The centre back lining seam starts just below the zipper allowing the two layers to move independently. Meaning great swish. (Also how damn cute is this top?? I love the back and must make something just like this).

    Almond rock fabworks self drafted skirt sewing sewing bee gbsb

    The cotton I used is a gorgeous navy shirting with embroidered arrows in neon pink. I picked it up at Fabworks a while back and got the skirt easily out of 1.5m. Although they don’t have this fabric anymore the shop is chocca with great shirting fabric. Let’s be honest it’s full of great fabric, full stop.

    So there you are. Told you it would be an easy reintroduction to my blogging. Don’t want to rush these things. I’ll leave you with an outtake from the shoot showing my normal state on set. Professional model I’ll never be…

  • Loungewear

    Pyjama party McCall’s 6659 (M8056)

    Hey hey everyone. I’m writing this post on the way home from London. It was a gorgeous sunny weekend with good food and lovely people.

    almondrock gretchen gertie hirsch raystitch charlotte newland

    Here’s a silly pic taken by Karen where I’m trying to keep my bun out of Roisin’s face UNSUCCESSFULLY!

    Tasha was visiting London so I headed down to hang out with her and Marie, Jane, Charlotte, Emmie, Karen and Roisin for a day of fabric shopping and gossiping. Mel joined us for a bit as well, very sweetly carrying Tasha’s bags of treats. Both Tasha and Mel have lovely accents so I really enjoyed listening to them talk and they did a great job of defeating their jetlag. Amazingly I briefly met Gretchen Gertie Hirsch while she was teaching at Raystitch!! She’s utterly gorgeous in real life as if that’s a surprise.

    almondrock joel and son fabrics elie saab

    I spent some time mulling over fabric choices for my wedding dress. This Elie Saab style embroidered mesh stole my heart. Ultimately I came home empty handed and still pretty confused about what style I want. But something that I did decide after seeing Emmie, Gretchen and Tasha’s stunning vintage curls is that I reallllly want to get my hair sorted so am looking for a free weekend to book myself in for a new do.

    almondrock mccalls 6659 pyjamas

    So what about the pjs? I wanted to finally share a picture of the finished set being worn not just laid out flat.

    almondrock mccalls 6659 pyjamas

    The pattern is McCall’s 6659 (now renamed M5086) which I made once before here. Again this is views C and G. The fabric was a gift from Katy Jones during my first week at Practical. She sits two desks down as editor of Quilt Now but excitingly this is a print from her fabric line with Art Gallery Fabrics!! It’s Sunday clippings on a voile base.

    almondrock mccalls 6659 pyjamas

    I like how the bird peeks out of the pocket heehee. And the vintage turquoise buttons make me smile. The sleeves would look better a bit shorter or longer I think. I didn’t made any adjustments to the top but I altered the trousers to have a deeper curve in the seat.

    almondrock mccalls 6659 pyjamas

    Better confess that I topstitched the front closed and now I throw the top on over my head. Never going to wake up with the buttons undone and everything hanging out that way! Everything is overlocked inside and the crotch seam is double stitched for security. Everything staying where it should.

    almondrock mccalls 6659 pyjamas

     Definitely need to make another set or two! They’re great to sleep in and I feel put together when I wake up. I can retire my slobby worn out tshirts now!

    Have you made pjs recently? Share your links!!

  • Dresses,  Events and day trips

    Daisy Chains and Ribbon Ties

    Ooh this is so exciting! I’m able to show you the finished dress from the John Lewis sewing bee that I talked about in my last post.

    So let’s recap, on the day I picked a beautiful fabric called “Daisy Chain” which has yellow, white and blue daisies and white tulips in garlands.

    almond rock john lewis daisy chain

    And this AKO for Vogue pattern which has cuckoo cover art but very nice line drawings. I don’t understand why this woman looks so angry!? Maybe she doesn’t like that loopy hair do? I like her shoes though, mega cute.

    almond rock john lewis daisy chain V1102

    Anyway! The weirdness about this dress is that it has a lined bodice but also has pattern pieces for interfacing facings. Now I would never bother to interface along the neckline of my lining only. I’d either use a facing or a lining. Not both!

    Lisa, Freia, Charlie and I all sort of shook our heads over this. I made an executive decision to turn the interfacing pieces into proper facings and not line my bodice.

    So here it is!

    almond rock john lewis daisy chain

    Can you believe I had coordinating yellow sandals?

    Not sure where the sunshine has gone!

    2014-06-05 19.00a

    Come on then, let’s have a look at the back!

    almond rock john lewis daisy chain V1102

    I used a lovely butter coloured zip with a cute pull tab, and turquoise satin ribbon bow. Not seen is my satin butter yellow bias that I used to hem this epic circle skirt! By the way I took quite a bit off the length of the skirt as I’m only 5ft 5 and it was entering midi-dress territory.

    I switched out the fabric bow for a few reasons: 1) the original bow was hemmed (not fully lined for some odd reason), 2) it was humongous, 3) this ribbon perfectly matched the turquoise in the flowers!

    On a separate note, it’s very odd to see a photo of your exposed back. I love how it dips though.

    almond rock john lewis daisy chain V1102

    I think for modesty’s sake I’ll generally be wearing this beauty with a cardigan. But it’ll be great fun when I slip it off and give everyone a surprise with the bow.

    almond rock john lewis daisy chain V1102

    almond rock john lewis daisy chain V1102

    I’m so thankful for the chance to make this pretty little number. I don’t want to take it off!!

  • Dresses,  Events and day trips

    The John Lewis Sewing Bee – with Lisa Comfort

    What a happy thing to be writing about.

    John Lewis 150 years #150

    As I mentioned in my previous post, this past Saturday I was very happy to help celebrate 150 years of John Lewis with Lisa Comfort and some awesome sewing bloggers.

    John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

    Left to right: Freia (who assisted Lisa during the day), Lisa, Fiona, Elena, Clare, Charlie, Roisin, Me and Emmie.

    We held our very own sewing bee in the Haberdashery floor of the Oxford Street premises. We cooed over the fabric, patterns and supplies and stitched up a storm  with the lovely Lisa, our celebrity host and founder of the Sew Over It sewing cafe and shop. There was lots of cackling and pink cheeks amongst the spoolettes as we gossiped over our work.

    The photos are the wonderful work of our photographer Brian Doherty Photography, Kim and Holly from John Lewis and the lovely Charlie (who managed to find time to sew and snap pics!).

    John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

    John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rockJohn Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rockJohn Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rockJohn Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rockJohn Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

    One of the cool things JL have done to mark their anniversary is to launch a line of heritage print fabric by bringing back special edition archive prints and putting a modern twist on them by rescaling the prints and using the 150 years colour palette.

    John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

     For instance the colourful brick print was originally a 1950s John Lewis dress fabric.

    I went with white, yellow and turquoise floral print called “Daisy Chain” and an AKO for Vogue pattern V1102, a backless dress with a bow. It’s finished and photographed now so expect a post about the dress VERY SOON!

    John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

    Charlie took this lovely photo of me. I’m so focused!

    Amazingly we all managed to choose different fabrics. And I’m pattern twinsies with Charlie, who also went for the Vogue pattern.

    Everyone was so lovely to us during the day, making sure we had everything we needed. Each blogger had an amazing prym toolbox chocca full of notions and gadgets. The shears cut like BUTTER!

    John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock


    We took the group photo on the new rooftop garden. It was pretty amazing up there and JL have planned some swanky parties to make use of it. Very jealous!

    John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

    Look at Roisin’s pretty dress. “Winner Winner, Quorn family roast dinner”.

    John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

    I might even have to buy myself a few metres of some of the other stunning fabrics on offer during this 150 year celebration. Possibly to recreate this little beauty!

    John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

    So all in all an EPIC day. I came home exhausted and hoarse and thoroughly happy. I’m so so grateful to have been included on such an amazing event.

    More on my finished dress soon!