Sunday, 6 May 2018

Ama Cowlneck tops for summer

Kia ora! Sadly summer is now well gone here in New Zealand, but given that some of you are looking forward to when summer arrives I thought it's not to late to share some of my summer sewing with you.

Back in 2015 (wow!) I made the AMA Cowlneck maxi dress by Named Clothing Patterns, which I still enjoy wearing by the way. I had always thought that the top half would be great as a top or a casual throw over a swimsuit. In February I actually got to work on the idea ...


The pattern pieces for the maxi dress are joined at the waist, so I simply took took the top pattern pieces and extended them my 9". For this version I followed the lines of the side seam when extending the length, but they weren't straight, so this top is very snug around the hips.

side seam curves toward the back
It's made with some fabric from AS Fabrics which I picked up for just $5 per metre (although I wouldn't have paid anything more for it!)
Outer fabric: 0.92m Brown/Blue/White abstract splash chiffon
Lining fabric: 0.92m polyester georgette, has a slight crepe texture

It drapes beautifully and is super light, perfect for summer. You'll see from the pic that I switched the fabrics around for the back insert. Lining on the outside.

It seemed such an easy make and a really enjoyable sew that I immediately went to the fabric stash and selected another piece of fabric to make a second version - this time fixing the room around the hips by extending the side seam of the front pattern piece straight down parallel to the grain line.

This version is made with some beautiful silk crepe de chine from Drapers Fabrics and lined with some white cotton polyester.

Sadly it appears that Named Clothing Patterns no longer have this pattern available in their store. But hey, any of their patterns are worth buying ... if only I could sew all day every day, I would make all their patterns.

Monday, 30 April 2018

My 'take sewing action' plans with Marfy

Kia ora! I usually don't spend a lot of time curating my sewing list, other than to have an endless number of things I want to make! Lately I've been feeling that I don't actually maximise the little amount of time I do get, spending way to much time thinking about what to sew instead of actually getting stuck in and getting some sewing done. So I thought it was about time to make a list and prioritise 😬

I sat down with my Marfy catalogs and made some decisions about what was going on the 'take sewing action' list. Here is what I came up with, that includes Marfy 3855 that I posted last week ...
Marfy 1911

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Denim Skirt with a Flare

Kia ora! Today is ANZAC Day, a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served". It is always 25 April, regardless of what day of the week it falls on. This year is a Wednesday, a day off in the middle of the week is a real bonus. I thought I would make the most of the day off and get into some sewing ... but first I thought I would share what's been on my sewing table lately.

When I moved my blog in March I was about to start Marfy 3885 .... this is how it turned out. It's a really interesting pattern that combines features of a jean skirt with the flare of a quarter circle skirt.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Sapporo from Spring to Autumn

Kia ora and welcome to the new home of my blog. We have had the most amazing summer here in Wellington (New Zealand), but sadly it's coming to an end and there is a sense of Autumn in the air. While Summer is my favourite season Spring and Autumn are great for making the most of my wardrobe twice a year.

When Papercut Patterns launched the Sapporo pattern as part of their Sakura collection I was in love ... the cocoon shape ... the angled lines ... the all-in-one collar that hugged the neck ...

This version is actually my second make (haven't managed to get good photos of the first one yet - watch this space). I made a size XXS/XS without any fit adjustments. What I did change though was the self lining of the sleeve. The pattern says to self-line the sleeves with the main fabric, but I found that with my first Sapporo it kept pulling my the long sleeve of my top underneath.  Instead I drafted a 2" facing for the sleeve hem and then cut the remainder of the sleeve from lining.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

The New Home, New Name

Kia ora!

It's a new year and time to refresh the blog. I've never been super happy with the original name I chose for the blog, it was a "it will do" moment when I started the blog. So first things first if you would still like to continue following me, and keep up with my sewing adventures, please update your blog reader.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

A few years ago I had labels made with my Maori name "Ahenata", and I sew a label into all the garments I make. To give a bit more cohesion to my 'me made' journey I felt I needed to make the blog a better fit. I'll keep the label name Ahenata and add the tag line "stitched by SJ", yep that me :-) and which is the perfect new name for the blog.

If you also follow me on Instagram, or if you don't now is a good time to start, you will also notice I've changed my profile name to sandra.ahenata

So with all that housekeeping done, it's time to go do some sewing. I'm currently working on Marfy 3885.

Happy sewing everyone.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Perfecting the Skirt and Rainbows

Kia ora! In December last year, after purchasing and watching the new Susan Khalje class on Craftsy "The Couture Lace Skirt", I pulled my unfinished skirt block from the depths of the muslin pile and decided I needed finish it.

To be honest, I don't wear a lot of skirts which is why I've never bothered to finish it, but I really really really want a guipure lace skirt. I didn't want to start with having to find a skirt pattern then go through the fuss of fitting it for my body. The toile felt more than a little snug around the hips so I added 1/2" to the side seams of the pattern, giving a 1" ease, then got out some remnant fabric and proceeded to sew up a skirt. Hmmmm, it didn't fit!  It was way too big and almost fell off my hips. Yeah, I know, I should have done a fitting once I got the side seams together, but it was December and the end of a long year!  Anyway, I made some tweaks to the pattern, dived into the stash again for more fabric and made another - okay it was a boring black skirt! But hey, I made sure the lining was fun. And who doesn't need a black skirt, right.

I made a couple more tweaks to the pattern before deciding it was time to test out Susan's techniques before fully committing to the guipure lace. Hello rainbow skirt 😎

Friday, 19 January 2018

Couture Sewing School with Marfy 3507

Kia ora and happy New Year! As I sit on the plane returning home after eight intense days in Melbourne I thought I would share the amazing experience that is a couture masterclass with Susan Khalje.

I arrived to class on day one looking forward to not only meeting Susan but also to meet Melanie aka Poppykettle. It was so surreal meeting them both - isn't it funny how social media and the internet can make us feel like we already know someone without having met them in real life.

After settling into the sewing table next to Melanie we all gathered for some introductions. As it turns out most of the others in the class were returning for a second year of couture sewing under Susan's guidance, but we all very quickly got to know each other and spent the week in awe of each other's work.

When I left home I was a little unsure what I was going to make to take full advantage of my time with Susan. Option number one was Marfy 3507, a coat-dress. I'm in love with the collar and zippers of this pattern.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

2017 is a wrap!

What do you know ... here we are at the end of 2017! Believe it or not I have done some sewing despite the ol' blog being a bit bare. Although I do think Instagram has played a big part as well - I can share in progress photos pretty quickly without having to worry about getting good photos, which is the part I really struggle with, and it's not so much capturing the photos it's more the time to take photos then edit them. Anyway, more about what I have had on my sewing table this year ...

This has been the year that I've pretty much sewn two of everything!
  • two Jamie Christina Hi Lo Raglan hoodies
  • sewed my second Muse Patterns Gillian wrap dress
  • two Sapporo coats by Papercut patterns
  • two Style Arc Livia jackets
  • two skirts using my skirt block
  • sewed my second Olivia oversized tee by Maria Denmark
  • three Sewaholic Belcarra tops
  • three Julia Women's cardigans by MHC
  • sewed my third Saiph by Papercut Patterns
Rather than chat further let's looks at some photos of this year's entries into the wardrobe.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Moleskin Duffle for Winter 2017

Kia ora! This is kinda exciting ... well I'm excited anyway. I was flattered when I was contacted by Hawes and Freer to see if I was interested in participating in the launch of their new website. Now, little did they know that I often stalked their website drooling over the beautiful wool coating and while I wanted to say yes, I really had to think carefully about whether I could commit the time.

As you can see I said yes!

Photo moleskin2

I was planning to make another Albion Duffle coat this winter, so this was the perfect opportunity when I was shown the beautiful range of lightweight moleskin available from Hawes and Freer. What colour to choose???? After changing my mind over and over I settle on the olive green, with a army gingham for the lining. It all arrived beautifully packed and labeled.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

When one bomber is just not enough!

Kia ora! I know it's April but I want to take you back six months to October last year. The weather was beginning to get warmer, daylight savings was about to start and I felt that I needed more casual clothes in my wardrobe.  Or was it I was just looking for a quick fix, instant gratification kinda project?!? This is when I decided that I needed another bomber jacket in my life.

Aztec Rigel Bomber

I had previously made the Rigel Bomber by Papercut Patterns but at that time I forgot to check the sleeve length, and every time I wear it, it annoys the sh*t out of me. This time I made exactly the same size as my previous jacket, adding 3" to the sleeve length. I made just one other adjustment this time, removing 1/2" from the centre back of the collar piece.


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