January 2018.

As a new user of Instagram I’ve found the immediacy of that platform really great. But I don’t want to stop having longer and hopefully more informative discussions on my blog. I’m going to trial a monthly post with recaps of what I’ve made and see how that goes. Let’s see, shall we? (The side effect is that this post is long… consider yourself warned.)

So far this month I have sewed/sewn (?) the following items:

1. A pair of shorts for Alex made from the offcuts of my first pair of Lander Pants. I usually make Alex a pair of shorts each year and it frequently is my first completed make of any given year.

I use McCalls 7542 which is a unisex scrubs pattern and make a few mods each time, like a zippered pocket for wallet and keys, pocket tabs for reinforcements, and little crotch seam adjustments over time to improve the fit. This year he *agreed* to do a couple shoot with his new shorts.

These ones have actually been a hit, and have already had more wear that the orange ones of last year.

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Oh yes, we went there!

2. A second Collins Top from In The Folds (the first one, for Christmas Day, is unblogged but can be seen below).

I made Version 2 out of some vintage cotton I purchased off TradeMe. It’s been in my stash for about 2 years and was spot on for this pattern. I feel like an ice-cream sundae in this top, which is just perfect for the very hot summer we are having in NZ this year. I french seamed the entire thing and bias faced the hem and neckline. It’s nice to take the time to do these things and have your insides feel as great as your outsides.

In The Folds is a Sydney based pattern company and she has a lot of free patterns so if you haven’t heard of her, then I suggest you hop over and check them out. I’d lusted after this pattern for about three months and am so glad I finally pulled the trigger. It’s such a cool pattern to feature a stripe or a fun print, and it’s also more and more where I feel my sense of style is heading: looser, more chill, comfort over glam.

The first iteration was the sleeveless view. This was old linen of my grandmothers that I made into a dress for my Hen’s Day. The dress never fit me properly and I was going to give it away, until Miriam – very smart and talented sister and sewing buddy – suggested that I harvest it for something else. Glad I did.

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3. A pair of linen napkins which I gave away to a friend – no picture but a happy friend.

4. A pair of vintage Perry Ellis Vogue 1522 trousers from some fabric gifted to me by the ever inspiring and generous Siobhan

I am declaring 2018 to be The Perry Ellis Year. I am on the hunt for as many of his patterns as possible, and especially Vogue 1161 (below on right) which I purchased on EBay only to have the seller contact me and tell me they couldn’t find it 😦 So if anyone reading out there has this pattern or sees it, I will pay CASH MONEY for it’s delivery to NZ 😀

This pattern is Vogue 1522 (above on right) from 1985. Kate from Fabrikated wrote some great posts about Perry Ellis a couple of years ago which got me somewhat OBSESSED with the pants featured in this pattern. I also realised I had a pattern of his in my collection which I had already made up, and was incidentally the first ever post on this blog!

I can’t say enough about how chic and gorgeous these pants make me feel. This cotton sateen from Siobhan was a treat to sew. Perry Ellis does this great thing where the openings of his pants are via the side pocket opening which means no zip. It’s such a great feature. I think I may make a pair of these up in the shorts view. Generally I’m not a shorts person, but with these, um YES!

The only modifications I made to these pants (apart from my standard crotch alterations) was to replace the back pleats for darts. The pleats really did zero favours to my derrière and the darts were an easy fix.

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5. Three pantyliners with fabrics all from stash. I have a number of these that I have purchased from other makers, but as a cyclist I find the snap/dome closures really mash my lady bits. I have some with velcro fastenings but they are not very well made, and often come apart and fall into the toilet which is really not something you want to have to deal with while you are already feeling emotionally compromised by hormones.

So yeah, I thought “I sew. Maybe I should just make some myself.” What a brainwave. I had a very small piece of this fabric in a bag of offcuts from a local fabric store that mainly stocks decorating and homeware fabrics and there wasn’t really enough to do much with it, but I do think it’s awesome. I’ve put a middle layer of sweatshirting and the bottom layer is a minky upholstery fabric that came to me in another bag of scraps. I’m actually quite looking forward to my period this month!

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Scissors for scale

6. A second pair of shorts for Alex for tennis from the offcuts of my ill-fated Alpi Chinos. Not pictured, but he’s always very appreciative when I make him things and I love to make him happy.


In non-sewing creative endeavours, I’ve made a sourdough starter and a number of loaves using it, read three books, challenged myself to do some creative writing each week, started work on my major performance piece of the year, cooked a lot of really nice food, accompanied my talented husband as his orchestral work Barbour St. Late Evening was premiered and recorded by our national orchestra- the NZSO, and started doing some little bits of embroidery.

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A bit out of focus, basically I was dying to eat it while photographing!

It’s been a nice start to the year and I’ve enjoyed seeing what everyone else has been up to, although haven’t found as much time to comment and interact on people’s blogs as I would like. I’m still reading though!

I’ve also given myself total license to not participate in competitions or sewalongs this year, although I will probably enter something in Indie Pattern Month. I want to be more mindful, slow and process oriented this year. Hopefully that works!

Thanks for reading, I will be here again at the end of February ❤

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30 thoughts on “January 2018.

  1. Nice to see Perry getting a work out!! I love the trousers which are so flattering and comfortable and look totally modern. I am joining you on your non-compete journey to have more Perry with an attempt on a knitting pattern.

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  2. That Vogue 1522 from 1985 was my favourite pattern back then! I was in high school and made most of my clothes, and every view from that pattern was made up and worn a lot. Unfortunately, when I moved across country to attend university, all those patterns disappeared somewhere. But I loooooooved that shirt dress.

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  3. Great post, Naomi, and great makes. I have one Perry Ellis pattern but not one you are after, unfortunately. I will keep my eye out for you! Love the pants- very chic. A little bit envious of all that you have gotten done. January has been mostly a write off for me. Have been wanting to start some embroidery and even have the goods out! Keep up the inspiring mindful making.

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    1. Thanks Steph. I find it easy to do a lot in warm weather. Much harder to be motivated when it’s cold and all you want to do is snuggle up, eat soups and stews and keep warm! Also, unlike you, my work load is lower in January which helps! It’s been nice to have the time to be gently creative.

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  4. I agree darts are so much better at the back of the pants. Sometimes they do well for the front, too. Tucks can do wonders for flat tummies and flat bustlines but if you already have curves they’re not always helpful! I like this kind of posting. It’s like getting a newsletter and we get the benefit of seeing the finished product. Sometimes it’s difficult to follow a series of postings while a garment is in progress. We all try our best to follow but sometimes real life gets our attention and we have to take care of other things first and have less time for blogging.

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    1. This is so true Em. I’m glad this appeals to you, it feels nice for me to wrap up the month. Re the tucks my tummy is ‘mostly’ flat and I love the look of the tucks. Not so with my rear!!

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  5. I love your new pants! And now I need to look up Perry Ellis because I don’t know anything about his design aesthetic.

    I’d love to see more photos of your new pair of pants.

    You’re having a very productive summer! That’s not often the case for me in the hot months (because my house gets much too hot). Now, when it’s desperately cold here, it’s work that’s stopping me from sewing more, and early dusk. But the days are getting longer and I’m breaking up projects into small tasks to get some sewing done 🙂

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    1. He is just the best. So chic and effortless. Yes, I do need to take some more snaps of these for sure. They are in high rotation and I love wearing them.
      Change of season is always a very inspiring time I find. Nice to have the small jobs that build to bigger achievements 🙂

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  6. Wow you have been busy! I love that Perry Ellis pant pattern, wish I could give you a lead on one, your couple shot is cute…I too am allowing myself to skip sewing competitions this year in favor of focusing on intentional sewing, although I have made a frivolous thing or two. Love your sourdough loaf, looks yummy!

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  7. Looooove the red and white Collins top. And yes, IG is great…but now and then I want to write myself a loooong story and that is when blogging is just as great (-; (and now I am off to listen to that podcast you linked to on your IG..)

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    1. Thanks. It’s been worn a number of times and is just perfect for those hot summer days when you don’t want things touching you! It’s nice to appreciate what each platform can offer us and to be able to find the inspiration where we need it in the format that most suits ❤

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    1. Thanks. It’s funny because it didn’t feel like I had made that many things but that’s the beauty of the recap post 😉 Re the Perry Ellis pants I made these in a size 10 and they were fine. I’m usually a size 14 in vogue patterns FYI. The oversized 80s vibe means there’s a TONNE of ease in them. I cut the waistband to fit me and basted the pants together to make sure I didn’t need to make the most of the 1.5cm seam allowance, but once I had that sorted it was a piece of cake. I think you could go a size down at least.

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    1. Thanks Sonja – I feel like it will work well for me this year. It’s nice to have the different platforms to use in different ways.I don’t really share much sewing on FB but I’m loving how IG complements blogging so well.

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