Tuesday, 26 January 2016

The perfect shirtdress

I am so excited to have this dress finished, and ready to show you.

This is McCalls 6696, in the remainder of my bridesmaids dress fabric. When I was doing the wedding sewing, I bought ten metres of this gorgeous green, pink and cream floral. Because I was cutting out the dresses together, I ended up with a lot left over, and decided to make myself  a dress. I wanted something different from the bridesmaid dresses (which were BHL Anna bodice on Simplicity 2444 skirt), and decided I wanted to go with M6696.

After making my earlier version, this one was incredibly straight forward. Changes were minimal. I have eliminated the back gathers on the pattern, replacing them with the Simplicity 2444 back darts. I also shortened the bodice. Unlike my earlier version, I had enough fabric for the entire fullness of skirt. I also added about four inches to the skirt length, so it finishes mid calf. Unfortunately, these photos didn't turn out full length.

The buttons are plastic pearl-like shank buttons, which look great, an was much easier than trying to match the green.

Not too much else to say about this one, except I love it, and suspect it will be on high wardrobe rotation.

Monday, 25 January 2016


I am very excited to be taking part this year in the vintage pledge organized over at A Stitching Odyssey. I attempted it back in 2014, but my wedding dress threw that off kilter (looking back, my wedding dress would have been the perfect vintage pledge project), and 2015, I knew I wouldn't have the time.

So here I go: I, Kaitlyn, of Kaitlyn's Simply Vintage, pledge to sew up this year; my seven reproduction patterns, my two currently owned vintage patterns, and to find at least three new vintage patterns to add t
o my stash, sewing up at least two of them.

That is nice and complicated. Firstly, I love concrete plans, and thrive on them, and it's a good incentive to get through stash things.

My seven reproduction patterns were the result of birthday money, and a big Spotlight pattern sale. I have already made a decent start on Simplicity 1587, started to muslin Simplicity 1692, am eyeing off fabric for Simplicity 1459, and want to make B5281 for my graduation. I don't want these patterns to languish at the bottom of the stash.

My two current vintage patterns. I have a lot of 1970's, but only two earlier ones. The 1950's is almost finished, and the 1940's I want to wear to a wedding in June.

Track down three patterns. I want to find more 1940s and 1950s patterns. I may buy online, but I also love the thrill of opshop hunting, even if the Sydney opshops turn up precious little.

So excited to get started on these plans, but I have to finish that UFO pile first.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Men's shirt to pencil skirt

My odyssey through the UFO pile is proving productive, but today's project I have to share with you is something I made at the end of last year, but had never got around to photographing, though it is in high wardrobe rotation.

A good number of years ago, I found this shirt in an opshop. I was 6X Large, and the fabric was really nice quality, so I bought it, intending to make a pencil skirt. And then it sat in the refashioning pile for years.

In the end, it was a very quick project, and only took about two days. I used the pencil skirt form Vogue 1989, and easily cut the front and back from the shirt body, placing the button placket down the centre front. I intended to use the shirt hem as the skirt hem, but it ended up being off by about half an inch, so I had to re hem it. I am very happy with the length. I also pegged the skirt, but I think  did it a little too much, as it is a bit tight at the bottom. Instead of a vent, I just leave the bottom button undone, nice and easy. I finished off the waistband with a press stud.

I've been usually wearing the skirt with this fantastic lace peasant style blouse, which was another oversized opshop find which I ran in the sides of. I love the combination of loose top, and pencil skirt. I am slightly restricted with what I can wear with it, since I don't really want to be buttoned right down the front.

I also got some hair close up photos, I am loving curling my hair, and experimenting with hair wraps. It makes me feel so much more put together!

I am off now to finish another project, which I am so excited to share with you in a few days. Until then, have a great week

Thursday, 7 January 2016


This week I finally tidied my sewing area. My sewing area is really a bunch of tubs and boxes that live in the window box. There was fabric going everywhere, and it was good to spend an afternoon refolding and sorting. I finally got it very neat. One thing that stood out to me though was how many UFO's I have. I also have a whole bag of mending/refashioning.
After getting started on one new project this last wee, I have decided that I must tackle this problem before I get carried away with all my new sewing plans.
My resolution for January therefore is to deplete the UFO and the mending pile. Most things are almost finished. In many cases, the UFO's just need the finishing touches, and a good bit of the mending is neckline facings that have not been cooperating. This will then free up more sewing room, give myself a good pile of new clothes to wear (more finished item posts! yay!) and make me feel less messy every time I go to sew.

There will be a few exceptions. I have a few pieces of commission sewing this month, but luckily nothing too big. I am also giving myself a pass on a lot of the refashions. A few require the muslins of new patterns, and I also don't want a self imposed deadline to ruin good garments. I also do not have the time this month to learn bound button holes to revitalise a vintage kilt.

There will be a lot of hand sewing this month. The above picture is my refashioned-refashioned Liberty shirtdress. Almost there with that one. It will be a good excuse to watch Call the Midwife. Do any of you have good recommendations for BBC style costume drama that makes good watching whilst handsewing?

Lastly, I want to throw open this challenge to any one else that wants to use this month to burn through the UFO pile. I'll be posting on Instagram, and be doing a round up here at the end of the month. If you want to play along tag #UFOsewjanuary on instagram, and also tag me, @kaitlynssimplyvintage so I can see all your projects as you finish them up.

Do you have a massive UFO pile, or are you a disciplined finisher?