So simple: Tessuti amara vest

Friday 24 July 2020
After finishing that tailored green jacket I needed to make something really quick and simple - the Amara vest by Tessuti patterns was just the thing. It probably took me longer to print out and assemble the pattern than it actually did to sew it!

A woman modelling a plum coloured vest worn over a white shirt

It's a very shapeless and boxy style but still drapes quite well so it doesn't make me look like a child in adults clothing. I made the smallest size and while it's quite wide across the body which is only really noticeable when my arms are up, but luckily I don't need to use my arms robot style too often:

A woman lifting her arms to show the width of the wool vest

The fabric I used is a felted wool bought from Addicted to Fabric in Canberra last year on a road trip with some Sydney Spoolettes to see an exhibition on the costumes from movie The Dressmaker. This pattern is exactly the project I had in mind when I bought this fabric, I just had to wait a while for someone to draft a pattern for me! 

Because the wool is felted I knew it wasn't going to fray, so I've left the bottom hem unfinished and instead of binding the neckline and sleeves I just sewed on strips of the fabric and left them on the right side. I was going to turn them to the inside and topstitch them down, but I quite like the look of the bands even though they are roughly cut so I decided to make a feature of it instead.

a close up shot of a neckline of a wool vest

a close up shot of the sleeve of a plum wool vest and a white shirt

The shirt I'm wearing underneath is one I made a few years ago but never blogged for some reason. It's made from a vintage Simplicity pattern:

photograph of an old sewing pattern cover showing four different styles of shirts

Given that it's a learn to sew pattern it was super simple. The fabric is a crisp stretch cotton, and I found some black and white buttons which is just perfect for the fabric.

a lady wearing a white and black polka dot shirt

I even managed to find some photos from three years with the same jeans - they are a bit blacker than they are now, I'm about 5kg lighter and I was still taller than my children. The good old days!

a lady wearing black jeans and a white shirt standing in front of a wrought iron door

a photo of a woman and two children in front of a colourful wall mural

So all in all a lightning quick but great project. It's surprising warm wearing a wool layer even though it's sleeveless. It might be my inner nanna coming out, but I do like a comfy vest so I can see a few more of these vests in my future.

woman standing beside a fence


Green + Blue

Wednesday 15 July 2020
I thought that being at home practically all the time now would mean I would have lots more time for sewing and blogging but it turns out that I don't! I am super busy with work at the moment, and most days I barely brush my hair (messy bun for the win) and only slap on tinted sunscreen so it's even harder to take photos than before.

Case in point is this green blazer I finished sewing two weeks ago - I only just found the energy to put on some make-up and real shoes to take these photos today!

I bought this beautiful vibrant kelly green wool boucle from Super Cheap Fabrics online and it turned out to be exactly the colour I hoped. I was inspired by this outfit worn by Peggy in episode 11 of the final season of Mad Men:

I used an old Burda pattern - 4/2014 #103 which isn't available on the Burda Style website but you can download from the Russian Burda website here (I often buy my patterns from the Russian website because they are far cheaper).

This pattern caught my eye because it has the notched lapel and trim like the inspiration photo, but I also really like the curved front hem and the princess seams that extend into the shoulder which make it easier to adjust the fit. I left off those patch pockets and also removed the vents at the back because I found that they stuck out awkwardly and they weren't needed for a close fit.

I did my usual fit adjustment of a 1.5cm forward shoulder adjustment and slightly narrowed the shoulder too. This fabric has enough loft and with interfacing in the shoulder area it didn't need a shoulder pad but still managed a neat fit through the shoulders.

I hand stitched the navy grosgrain ribbon on which was really tough on my fingers but I thought I'd have more control doing it that way. I tried to make the corners as neat as possible but they aren't 45 degree angles so it took a little fudging to make it work. It looks a bit messy in this photo below but we all know that people don't stand close enough to see this level of detail, especially now that we're all social distancing.

The buttons were also really difficult to resolve. I just couldn't find any that matched the colour of the grosgrain ribbon in my local stores, so I ended up making fabric covered buttons for the two front ones, and some smaller navy blue buttons that were already in my stash for the sleeve buttons.

I absolutely love this jacket and colour and I almost can't wait to be back in the office so I can wear it for real.

For these photos I've paired the jacket with a navy blue dress. Navy blue just seems natural to wear with this colour jacket especially since I used navy blue trim and buttons!

I made this dress maybe two years ago but haven't blogged it. It's made from a 1970s vintage Style pattern:

The fit is quite good but the fabric choice wasn't the best. The fabric is a thick herringbone cotton that doesn't drape so it has quite a pronounced a-line shape to the skirt and it is a magnet for every bit of fluff, lint or strand of hair in near proximity.

I don't actually wear this dress too often and have been considering refashioning it into a skirt instead because the fabric is really quite nice (except for the fluff factor). And I think this pattern made in a more drapey fabric like crepe would work a lot better too. I'll add it to my really long list!