A wool blanket coat – Muna and Broad Grainger

Siobhan, a white Disabled woman, stands in a garden arch. She wears an outrageous orange and yellow check oversized wool coat with dropped sleeves and twill binding, pink lounge pants, and tan suede block heel boots. She leans on a pink walking stick and has a rollator behind her. She is smiling.

After a long hiatus from sewing, I decided I needed to ease my way back in with a simple project. Naturally, I ended up sewing a winter coat made from a check wool which used a binding technique unfamiliar to me.

The pattern was the Muna and Broad Grainger Coat, and the fabric a fabulous check wool blanket whose orange-yellow tones called to me from the linen cupboard. It was originally made in Warrnambool, and I think I bought it at the op shop for $2? I’m usually opposed to chopping up perfectly good woollen blankets to make tacky coats, but my desire to basically wear a wool blanket all winter won out.

Siobhan, a white Disabled woman, stands in a garden arch. She wears an outrageous orange and yellow check oversized wool coat with dropped sleeves and twill binding, pink lounge pants, and tan suede block heel boots. She is seated on a rollator and leans on a pink walking stick. She is smiling.

The Grainger is a fairly simple sew, for a coat: it’s unlined and calls for quilted fabric (either pre-quilted or DIY’ed). Obviously, I skipped this route, and a lining, as the wool was beautifully soft on its own. The edges are bound with your choice of binding, as are the from patch pockets. I chose to use a 25mm natural cotton twill tape, after spending far more time than I care to admit in the Lincraft trim section.

Continue reading “A wool blanket coat – Muna and Broad Grainger”

Yes, Virginia, I sewed this year: Sort-of self drafted turtleneck tops

Nothing like the end of year for some slapdash posting about the garments I made in 2020. To be honest, I didn’t sew or knit that much: between my concussion, other family member’s debilitating health concerns, a massive relapse and living in a society with people who value their desire for a monthly holiday over Disabled people’s right to live, my brain and body were in no state for any kind of demanding motor/mental task.

Two images of Siobhan sitting down wearing black and grey turtleneck tops.
Please enjoy my truly atrocious COVID self-haircut.

Anyway, I made a few things, including these tops. Like many others, this project was born of a need for a specific garment in my wardrobe: a long sleeved turtleneck top, semi-fitted, with the collar close enough to keep me warm, but loose enough to allow room to breathe. Particular, I know! I looked and looked for patterns but didn’t find any that fit the bill, so turned to a TNT (tried ‘n’ true) t shirt pattern for a base. Continue reading “Yes, Virginia, I sewed this year: Sort-of self drafted turtleneck tops”

Sewing window face masks

Siobhan wear three different face masks with varying styles and fit.
L-R: SSOL Smile Mask, Rebirth Garments face mask with window, Cricut mask with window.

Yes, I know. I’m probably the last person in the world to jump on the mask-sewing bandwagon. Why now? After a brief, hopeful period that Australia would go the same way as New Zealand in eliminating the virus, it seems that we are in a full-blown second wave, led by my state of Victoria.

It’s largely concentrated in Melbourne but there are some cases in regional Victoria where I live, and the state government has suggested wearing cloth masks were social distancing can’t be observed (mandated in Melbourne).

Continue reading “Sewing window face masks”

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter. Black Disabled Lives Matter. Black Makers Matter.

I’ve spent so much time on Instagram lately I neglected to make my position on this blog clear, and for that I am sorry. It is imperative as a white person that I commit myself to anti-racism work, and that means following and highlighting the work of Black people in this field (while not pretending to be an expert myself).

I have a responsibility to make this space safe for all Black folx, for POC, for Indigenous, Native, Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander & Blak folx, of all abilities, disabilities, sexualities and gender identities (so that means if you’re a TERF, you can fuck right off, because Black trans lives matter and an attack on trans people is an attack on Black trans people who much more at risk of having violence perpetrated against them).

 

I’d like to share a fabulous Instagram account created in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

It’s called Black Makers Matter. Black Makers Matter (@blkmakersmatter, #blkmakersmatter) are “a coalition of black makers united to bring about and implement cultural transformation in the sewing and crafting industry.” They have begun a boycott of Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and Joann fabric and craft stores in the US. (Seen in video and text format in the posts below.)

Jacinta Green (@pinkmimosabyjacinta) has created a comprehensive list of Minority & Ally Owned Vendors, called “Shut Up and Sew”. You can read more about her process on her Sewcialists blog, “Spending Your Money Where it Counts”. Some Australian or internationally accessible e-commerce stores are on that list. (As Jacinta writes in the comments, she spent 20+ hours collaborating with the sewing community on that list, so if you feel inclined to criticise, pull your head in.)

 

Finally, I’d like to say that if you are Disabled or consider yourself an ally, and wish to fight ableism, you cannot do so without also fighting racism. Ableism is the child of racism and Black Disabled people are disproportionately targeted by police. The case in similar in Australia, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and Disabled people overrepresented in prison and more likely to be abused there. Our battles are intertwined.

Style Arc Dotty Blouse, Gillian Anderson style

Siobhan, a young white disabled woman, wears a faux wrap, long sleeve, cream satin blouse, black skinny jeans and black ankle boots. She is standing in a garden archway and smiling.

Have you ever had one of those projects which hibernates in a pile somewhere because you just can’t bring yourself to start it? That was this project.

I received this beautiful mascarpone satin from The Remnant Warehouse as a gift many years ago, and instantly knew it was destined to become a Style Arc Dotty Blouse. However, I let it linger as I didn’t trust myself to work with tricksy polyester satin (after a particularly bad experience with some nasty Spotlight satin), and I wasn’t sure I could convert the pattern to work with one-sided fabric.

A line drawing of the Style Arc Dotty Blouse, a long-sleeve top with bagged-out double yoke, front twist, slight gathers at sleeve cuff and back into yoke, longer back hem and 2cm wide slip-on cuff without buttons.

 

Continue reading “Style Arc Dotty Blouse, Gillian Anderson style”

Sewcialists Mini Challenge – Sew Your Birth Year

Recently, the Sewcialists announced a mini sewing challenge – Sew Your Birth Year. I didn’t have the time nor energy to sew a whole outfit in a week, but as I love dressing up and I especially love the 90s, I was all in for a dress up session!

A compilation of an old Lee advert and a photo of Siobhan. In the advert, a young, thin white woman with long blonde hair leans against a wall. She wears a green and blue check shirt tucked into high waisted, straight, blue jeans with a thick black belt. In the other photo Siobhan, a young white Disabled woman, wears a muted red, green and white check shirt tucked into dark blue jeans with a brown leather belt. She is attempting to emulate the model's stance, leaning against a piece of her front porch with hands in pockets.

Continue reading “Sewcialists Mini Challenge – Sew Your Birth Year”

Top 5 Reflections of 2019, or, a Year in Review

2019 was a hard year in many, many ways. My sewing and knitting production slowed down significantly – I made 11 garments compared to 29 the year before, and probably more the year before that. This was largely due to health reasons.

Continue reading “Top 5 Reflections of 2019, or, a Year in Review”

Top 5 Misses (and Unsures) of 2019

Last week I shared my Top 5 Hits of 2019, here’s my Top 5 Misses and Unsures! (The reason I categorised them as such was because I only made 11 garments this year, so it was easier to just rate them all rather than do a Top 5 Hits & Misses and leave 1 out. Plus I don’t have enough Misses!) Continue reading “Top 5 Misses (and Unsures) of 2019”

Top 5 Hits of 2019

2019 was a funny year – I only blogged 11 creations, so doing a Top 5 Hits and Top 5 Misses like I usually do would seem a little forced. With so few makes, I think I can probably just sort them into categories of “Hits”, “Misses” and “Unsure”. Without further adieu: Continue reading “Top 5 Hits of 2019”

Yet another Burda shirt, and RIP Burdastyle dot com

Note: I’m still catching up on my creations from 2019 – so bear with me, I think this is the last one!

Siobhan, a young white woman with short brown hair and tortoiseshell glasses, stands in an abundant garden arch. She wears a crisp button up shirt in a cream cotton with blue geometric patterning, slim black pants and leopard print loafers. She is smiling, and accompanied by a fluffy black and white cat.

What’s there to say about a pattern you’ve made over and over again? Well, about 1000 words, judging by this blog post! I’ve been sewing less lately, but in a more focused manner – creating those garments I’ll get a lot of wear out of, instead of one off fantasy items (Regency Gown and bonnet excluded!). This means button up shirts! Continue reading “Yet another Burda shirt, and RIP Burdastyle dot com”