Altas Top by Stitch Witch Patterns - Tessuti Fabrics - Two Sewing Sisters with Lauren J Ritchie Millinery photo by Ben Christie Media (7) (1)

Floral Atlas Top + Tulle Skirt

Spring is in the air. For Myer Fashion on the Front Lawn, we wanted to create a dreamy, pastel spring outfit. What better way to achieve this than a  pale blue silk organza Atlas Top and tulle. Lots and lots of tulle. 

Fabric Details

Altas Top by Stitch Witch Patterns - Tessuti Fabrics - Two Sewing Sisters with Lauren J Ritchie Millinery photo by Ben Christie Media (7)
Atlas Top Pattern - Light blue silk - Two Sewing Sisters

Hiding in our fabric stash was a pale blue silk organza remnant purchased from Tessuti fabrics. Despite its beauty, the piece was only 1 metre limiting what we could make.

Enter the Altas Top by Stitch Witch patterns. When it was released, the pattern testing team consistently commented on how great the pattern was for using up larger scraps of fabric as it only required one metre of fabric.

Constructing the Skirt

Altas Top by Stitch Witch Patterns - Tessuti Fabrics - Two Sewing Sisters with Lauren J Ritchie Millinery photo by Ben Christie Media

Initially, for the skirt, we were going to cut strips of tulle and gather them onto the circle skirt. After adding the first two ruffles onto the skirt, our planned changed. Seeing the tiers on the skirt, we decided it was going to be too busy for the smoothness of the top (and take a VERY LONG TIME). Instead, we decided to layer multiple tulle circular skirts together.

The skirt is lined with white cotton broadcloth. Tulle layers start with tulle net and transition to soft bridal tulle on the top layers.

Constructing the Atlas Top

The Atlas Top is quick and easy to sew together. It only takes one metre of fabric, and has great design elements of the T-dart at the front and cross over straps at the back. We thought we share a few tips and tricks that we found useful when putting together the Atlas Top. 

T-dart

Construction photo - Altas Top by Stitch Witch Patterns - Tessuti Fabrics - Two Sewing Sisters

One of the reasons we loved this pattern was the T-dart feature. The risk of any centre front bust feature is the one that you (and most likely other people) will see it the most. In Step 2, it states “…mak[e] sure that darts are aligned”. 

We made a cotton check version the week before this one, pinned down the seam but just decided to sew from the neck to the waist all in one go. Needless to say, despite our pinning, the seam was not lined up, and the quick unpick came out.

For us making it in a silk and organza fabric this time, we were very conscious we wanted to avoid unpicking. This is because the fabric is delicate and would not survive being frequently unpicked!  

Our tip: Line up, pin and stitch the T dart starting and stopping only a few centimetres each side (see the photo, which shows you from the right side of the fabric). If it is lined up, then you are free to stitch the whole seam. If it isn’t quite perfect, you have a MUCH smaller seam to unpick. 

 

Back straps

As the silk organza is light and slightly translucent, we used the pale blue silk dupion behind the organza which acted as a lining. We also used the silk for the facing pieces.  As the facing and lining piece would be solid blue and not match the external print really wanted to make sure that the lining stay tucked underneath, and didn’t show when it was worn. 

In step 3 of the Atlas Top instructions, we interpreted to have a few additional steps. A key step of this is understitching. Where you are sewing in cotton fabric, these steps may be less needed as a strong iron would greater assist in making the straps still flat. However, we thought we would show you how we did it with additional fabric and silk. 

Construction photo - Altas Top by Stitch Witch Patterns - Tessuti Fabrics - Two Sewing Sisters
  1. Sew the short curved side of the strap first, with right side together. Cutting back the lining to reduce bulk. 
Construction photo - Altas Top by Stitch Witch Patterns - Tessuti Fabrics - Two Sewing Sisters

2. Under stitch the seam. Do this before stitching the long side of the strap, it is easier to access the seam (without it getting all tucked up) if you understitch one side first.

The benefit of understitching is that it keeps the lining in place, and not rolling out.

Construction photo - Altas Top by Stitch Witch Patterns - Tessuti Fabrics - Two Sewing Sisters

3. We found that once it was pressed flat, the lining piece was sticking out from the top fabric. Having the lining piece long or wider than the top fabric may also cause issues, as it could bubble out and not sit flat. To avoid these issues, we trimmed back the lining to match the top fabric.  

Construction photo - Altas Top by Stitch Witch Patterns - Tessuti Fabrics - Two Sewing Sisters

4. With right sides together, we then stitched the long side of the strap. Now looking at this photo, you may be thinking… “if you cut back the lining to match the top fabric, why have you not lined them up perfectly along the raw edge?” It is actually the same reason as to why we cut back the lining – the lining should be a little bit smaller than the top fabric. Only a little bit by 2-3mm, but it makes such a difference!

  

Construction photo - Altas Top by Stitch Witch Patterns - Tessuti Fabrics - Two Sewing Sisters

5. Final steps are to trim back the average of the lining along the seam of the long side of the strap. Then understitch the long side of the strap (from the right side of the fabric). It can be a bit tricky depending on the size of your sewing machine bed, as you are stitching down the ‘tube’ of the strap, but it is worth it for the result! Take it slowly, and make sure you have no additional fabric tuck into the seam.

Front facing

Construction photo - Altas Top by Stitch Witch Patterns - Tessuti Fabrics - Two Sewing Sisters

Step 5 of the instructions is all about the front facing! For the front facing we opted to use (the optional) woven fusible interfacing. To finish off the edges, instead of just overlocking we decided to finish it off with bias. 

We love using bias to finish off seams. Even though this facing has a lovely curved shape to the edge, the bias can sweep around the corners and sit perfectly flat against the curve. For this one, we even went a little bit special and made our own bias!

Finished Outift

Floaty, dreaming outfit with a BIG skirt. It is what spring outfit dreams are made of!

For Myer Fashion on your Front Lawn. Erin is wearing a Lauren J Ritchie Millinery headpiece.

Both pieces are great additions to our collection. The white tulle skirt is screaming at us with new outfit ideas – pair with other tops and jackets in lace, plain colours, pattern fabrics the possibilities are endless. 

Would you like to see our past Spring Carnival creations (from when we could be trackside)? Here are our last years Spring Carnival creations from Melbourne Cup and Derby Day.

Altas Top by Stitch Witch Patterns - Tessuti Fabrics - Two Sewing Sisters with Lauren J Ritchie Millinery photo by Ben Christie Media

Photography Notes

Photographer: Ben Chrisite Media
Modelled by: Erin Ritchie
Top Pattern: Stitch Witch Atlas Top
Top Fabric: Tessuti Fabrics
Hat: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery

Altas Top by Stitch Witch Patterns - Tessuti Fabrics - Two Sewing Sisters with Lauren J Ritchie Millinery photo by Ben Christie Media
Minerva Red Fabric - Two Sewing Sisters Butterick 6410 and Vogue 9075 with Lauren J Ritchie Hat

Minerva Maker + Cup Day Jumpsuit

We are excited to be welcomed as part of the Minerva Maker team!  Showcasing their beautiful fabrics, we are looking forward to showing you a variety of different makes.  You can shop Minerva Craft’s full range of fabrics here.

Our first Minerva make ticks so many of our sewing boxes:

  • Bright and fun pattern
  • Cotton sateen (one of our FAVOURITE fabrics to sew with)
  • re-wearable for events as well as work
  • and did we mention… it is a jumpsuit!

Minerva Fabric

Fabric photo - Minvera Red Fabric with black bias - Two Sewing Sisters Butterick 6410 and Vogue 9075

If you have followed us for a while, you will know that cotton sateen is one of our favourite fabrics to sew. The thicker cotton makes it easy to sew, with the slight stretch making it comfortable and easy to wear.

For this project we had a beautiful Red Floral Stretch Cotton Sateen Fabric (MV-J739-Red) from Minerva Crafts to work with.

Pattern

Vogue 9075 - Minvera Red Fabric - Two Sewing Sisters

We hacked together the bodice of Butterick 6410 and jumpsuit pants from Vogue 9075.

We had made the jumpsuit before and loved the style and fit of the pattern. However, we really wanted to add a collar onto the jumpsuit. While we could have tried to attach a collar to the existing neckline, we decided to swap out the bodice pattern altogether.

After a hunt through our pattern collection, we create a shortlist of bodice options. We were focused on finding a pattern that had design lines we could feature in the bodice which wouldn’t get ‘lost’ in the busy print. The great thing about pattern hacking it is like a food buffet, you can combine two half meals together or have a little bit of a lot of foods – the options are endless

Butterick 6410 - Minvera Red Fabric - Two Sewing Sisters

In the end, we decided on Butterick 6410. It had a collar and horizontal design feature across the bodice (see how we did this in the construction section!)

Construction

Construction of Minvera Red Fabric with black bias - Two Sewing Sisters Butterick 6410 and Vogue 9075
The bias was pre-pressed. We ironed out the “flaps” so the raw edges are together
Construction photo - Minvera Red Fabric with black bias - Two Sewing Sisters Butterick 6410 and Vogue 9075
To increase accuracy we stitching the bias on one of the bodice pieces, before sandwiching the bias between the two bodice pieces

To emphasise the design lines, we added in a black flat bias around the collar and horizontal bodice line. The Minerva fabric has such fabulous (but busy) print. We wanted to avoid losing the design lines in such a busy print. Unlike piping, where you would have a cord in the bias, we used the bias pressed in half flat. This created a modern look and provided a strong feature. 

Once the bodice was together we did testing fit to make sure it fit and the waist seam would match up the key points of centre front, side seams and back. It was a relatively small adjustment, adapting the patterns along the waistline to come together and worked well on the fabric.  

Finished Jumpsuit

Usually, during this time of year, we are preparing for the Melbourne Cup carnival, curating outfits and sewing hats and dresses. This year, like a lot of things, fashion on the field looks a bit different.

This year, we participated in Myer Fashion on your Front Lawn. Erin is wearing a Lauren J Ritchie Millinery headpiece.

One of the best things about this Minerva jumpsuit is that we can wear it to in so many contexts. Our focus is to make garments that were fun and we would get a lot of wear out of in the future.

Is it a little too bright for me to wear to the office? Maybe. Will we wear it anyway? Absolutely.

Would you like to see our past Spring Carnival creations (from when we could be trackside)? Here are our last years Spring Carnival creations from Melbourne Cup and Derby Day.

Minvera Red Fabric - Two Sewing Sisters Butterick 6410 and Vogue 9075 with Lauren J Ritchie Hat

Photography Notes

Photographer: Ben Christie Media
Model: Erin Ritchie
Pattern: Bodice of Butterick 6410 and pants from Vogue 9075.
Fabric: MV-J739-Red Stretch Cotton Sateen Fabric in Red from Minerva Crafts
Hat: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery

Minvera Red Fabric - Two Sewing Sisters Butterick 6410 and Vogue 9075 with Lauren J Ritchie Hat

Stakes Day

Seppelt Stakes Day at Flemington Racecourse is a fun family day.  What this screams for us is matching family outfits!  Unfortunately, Mum and Dad were not able to join us like last year.  Luckily (or unluckily for her) Sophia was able to join us and helped design her own dress for the day. 

We purchased the navy and white gingham from Spotlight.  We wanted to ensure that there would be a contrast in the scale of the pattern to add some textural interest to the outfits.  

The great gingham scale debate of 2019 captured by James Christie

Sophia’s Outfit

Pattern: Bodice Simplicity 6408 and skirt Vogue 9349
Fabric: Navy and white gingham from Spotlight
Lexington Headpiece: Lauren J Ritchie

Bodice pattern Simplicity 6408
Skirt Vogue 9349

Lauren’s Outfit

Pattern: Flint Pants by Megan Nielsen with Drop Sleeve Top by The Avid Seamstress
Fabric: Navy and white gingham from Spotlight
Starlight Headband by: Lauren J Ritchie
Shoes: Wittner

Stitches and Sutures

Our dear friend Dr Kate, also known as Stitches and Sutures comes over for Sewing Sundays. The champion helped us with the sewing for this week. Taking on challenges such a large amounts of hand sewing, advanced Vogue Pants and welt zippers. Her dedication can be best demonstrated by her commitment to Lauren’s straight hems on her pants. Thank you Dr Kate!

Erin’s Outfit 

The Myer Millinery Award is a prestigious competition that is open to Milliners across the globe. A selection of 60 of the best applications are invited to present a piece on Kennedy Oaks Day. This year Lauren created this stunning red tulle piece titled Mayfair. Erin modelled the piece and wore the red tulle dress that was created for an event earlier in the year.


Design: Bodice pattern Vogue 9355 with circle skirt with quarter circle godet
Fabric: Navy and white gingham from Spotlight
Abby Bow Headpiece: Lauren J Ritchie
Shoes: Wittner

Bodice pattern Vogue 9355
Cheers to a wonderful cup week! We hope you enjoyed seeing our outfits and we look forward to near year’s racing season.

It was a wonderful week to create outfits for Stakes Day.  Check out our Melbourne Cup Day and Derby Day looks to see what else we made for the week. 

Kennedy Oaks Day 2019

Kennedy Oaks Day is also known as Ladies day.  It is a day that celebrates great style with the National final of the Myer Fashions on the Field and the Millinery Award.  Through Lauren’s millinery work she was invited to present a piece as part of the Myer Millinery Award.  See the outfit Erin wore to model the piece further down.  It was a fantastic day with two contrasting outfits by the Two Sewing Sisters, take a look. 

Lauren’s Outfit

 

Pattern: Vogue 9355
Fabric: Reversible fern design jacquard from Darn Cheap Fabrics
Bristol Boater Hat: Lauren J Ritchie
Brooch: Rob Humpries Jewellery
Shoes: Wittner

Vogue Sewing Pattern 9355

Erin’s Outfit 

The Myer Millinery Award is a prestigious competition that is open to Milliners across the globe. A selection of 60 of the best applications are invited to present a piece on Kennedy Oaks Day. This year Lauren created this stunning red tulle piece titled Mayfair. Erin modelled the piece and wore the red tulle dress that was created for an event earlier in the year.

 

 

Design: Two Sewing Sisters original
Pattern: Drafted by Lauren
Fabric: Red Tulle and cotton drill from Spotlight
Mayfair Hat: Lauren J Ritchie
Self covered belt: Buttonmania
Shoes: Wittner

Stunning work with the self covered belt with round buckle by Buttonmania

It was a wonderful week to create outfits for.  Check out our Melbourne Cup Day and Derby Day looks to see what else we made for the week. 

Lexus Melbourne Cup 2019

Melbourne Cup is known as the race that stops a nation.  The day is about celebration and vibrant colours.  We wanted to outfits that had feminine lines with full skirts while remaining true to the spirit of the day.  

Lauren’s Outfit

 

Pattern: Bodice Vogue 1172 and skirt Vogue 1486
Fabric: Darn Cheap Fabrics
Beret Hat: Lauren J Ritchie
Shoes: Siren Shoes
Earrings: Timber and Cotton

Erin’s Outfit 

A modern day Marie Antoinette out for Erin was inspired by the stunning shoes from Irregular Choice. The quirky design and hues gave a striking base for this outfit.

The cobalt blue fabric was a challenge to work into the curve of the pattern we chose. Both great elements however for future makes we would use a natural fibre for this pattern to be ensure the line around the bust sits flat.

 

Pattern: Mccall’s 7187 with adapted waist line.
Fabric: Unique Fabrics Brunswick
Marie Topper: Lauren J Ritchie
Shoes: Irregular Choice
Brooch: Rob Humphries Jewellery

See the outfits we wore to last year’s Melbourne Cup here, or check out our other outfits from the 2019 Spring Racing Carnival. 

Derby Day 2019

The Melbourne Cup is here, get ready for a big week of hats and fashion!

Derby Day kicks off the week, with Melbourne putting on a very cold and wet day. Traditionally the dress code for the day is black and white with all race goers wear the mono chrome palette.

The Two Sewing Sisters both opted for fun, yet classic fabrics paired with matching millinery which stayed firmly within the Derby Day monchrome dress code. 

Lauren’s Outfit

Pattern: Project Runway Simplicity 1610
Fabric: purchased at Komolka while visiting Vienna, Austria 
Beret Hat: Lauren J Ritchie
Shoes: Wittner Shoes
Earrings: Tigalf

Erin’s Outfit 

This dress started with a moment of Erin say, “Loz, I’ve had a vision”. Which usually results in a great feat of sewing marvel and a hopefully incredible outcome. The vision this time was a patchwork dress in which we make hexagons that are then fused to fabric with vlisafix then stitched to the fabric then constructed into a dress. This process started over a year ago with a stack of black and white fabric.

Hexagon construction started but with a few days to go until Derby Day last year we realised it wasn’t going to be possible to finish the dress in time. So in came our black a white version of Vogue 1566, which you can read more about in our post here. This year with a little more planning the dress returned and with a lot of determination and hexagon sewing on trams we made it!

Pattern: Vogue 8494 (bodice) and Vogue 8849 (skirt)
Fabric: various fabrics from Darn Cheap Fabrics, Spotlight 
Brimmed Hat: Lauren J Ritchie
Shoes: Wittner Shoes
Gloves: Millinery Online
Earrings: Pigeonhole

Two Sewing Sisters - Frocktober - Day 23 Frocktober Alexandra Nea prink dresses (2)

Alexandra Nea Frocktober Print Frocks

What could possibly make a frocktober even greater than wearing a frock everyday?  Wearing a frock you have made everyday?  That is pretty exciting for us.  What what could take this one step further?  Wearing a frock we had made that has a print of the frocktober girls by Alexandra Nea on it! 

We first met the talented Alexandra Nea through Frocktober, first as a fellow frocker and then through her work with the OCRF creating the stunning frocktober girl illustrations.  

With Alex’s blessing to use the frocktober girl illustrations we set to work creating the fabric print.  It was important to consider the scale and spacing of the sketches so the formatting showcased them.  Lauren created the fabric repeat in Photoshop and used the colour splashes thanks to the OCRF.  

For our fabric selection we prefer to work with natural fibres in a sturdy weight fabric.  We chose to print through Spoonflower, selecting their organic cotton sateen.  

Once the fabric arrived we had fairly good idea of the frock styles we wanted to created.  How could be go past making our favourite, Butterick 9764? Lauren made the bodice has a flat front with the bust value taken up by tucks in the shoulder.  The skirt is an A line style with tucks mimcing the shoulder detail in the waist seam. 

Inspried by the Review girl Erin created a fitted bodice with full skirt.  With a double bust dart and bodice dart the curved bust line we used Butterick 9771 to create the dress.  The skirt features darts and gathers with crinoline in the hem to help the volume of skirt sit out.  

Smooth FM hosted their annual Frocktail event at The National Trust’s Como House.  Hosted by Mike and Jen the evening featured it was the perfect opportunity for us to wear these wonderful frocks.

To see the rest of our frocktober frocks visit our Frocktober blog post here

Visit Alexandra Nea’s website here

Day 1 Butterick 9764 - Two Sewing Sisters - Frocktober OCRF

Frocktober 2019

Frocktober is a community fundraising initiative for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) – you can find out more about the cause in our Frocktober post.

This year are taking on the challenge of wearing a different Two Sewing Sisters made frock each day in October.  If you have followed along on our Frocktober journey before you may recognise some pieces but we look forward to sharing the making details of the frocks with you. 

You can see our frock here on the or follow along on our Instagram and Facebook Page.

We hope you enjoy seeing our frock collection and will make a donation to support this cause.  Research is the answer and your support of the Ovarian Cancer Research enables this.  

Frocking for a Cause - Frocktober - Two Sewing Sisters

Frocktober – Frocking for a Cause for OCRF

Two Sewing Sisters sketch by Alexandra Nea with Frocktober dresses
Two Sewing Sisters sketch by Alexandra Nea with Frocktober dresses

Frocktober is a community fundraising initiative for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF). The aim of the campaign is to start important conversations. The campaign that empowers women around Australia to channel their creative flair through their favourite frocks, all while raising urgently-needed funds for the OCRF’s innovative research projects that help to shine a light on ovarian cancer. You can make your donation here.

The challenge of Frocktober is to take on a frock challenge during October.  We first became involved with Frocktober in 2013.  Our challenge was to wear a different frock everyday in October.  We took a photo each day to share on our social media pages.  With a love of frocks this was an exciting challenge to help fund research into early detection test.

Two Sewing Sisters and Frocktober

This will be the 6th year that we have Frocking for a Cause - Frocktober - Two Sewing Sistersdonned a frock everyday of October with our team Frocking for a Cause.  Between us we have completed the equivalent of 7 Frocktobers without repeating a frock.   It’s a lot of frocks for an important cause.

The frocks were a combination of ones we had made, purchased new, purchased second hand/vintage, family collection and borrowed from friends.  Check out the frocks we have worn over the years.

There is still a chance to become involved in Frocktober this year.  Wear a frock, host an event in your work place for a Frock Friday or start the important conversation to raise funds and awareness in your network about this insidious disease.

With a revised look for Frocktober Illustrator Alexandra Nea created the frocktober figures to provide the new stunning faces of Frocktober.  This wonderful fashion illustrator works capturing luxury events across the country and you will find a stunning sketch of the Two Sewing Sisters was created by Alexandra.

The challenge we are taking on this year is to wear a different frock each day that we have made. 

We would love you to be part of our ‘Frocking for a Cause Team’ – follow the link to join us! 

Gallery

Check out our past years Frocktober to get you inspired. Stitching, shopping or borrowing to get your frock collection ready.

Sophia’s Transforming Navy Law Ball Dress

Sophia is in her penulimate year Law at Deakin University.  We worked with Sophia to develop the design for her Deakin Law Ball dress for this year.  Starting with images Sophia had found we sketched up the design.  Speaking with Sophia we wanted to make something that could transform so she could also wear it to the after party.  With the tiered skirt this was perfect!  A zipper!  

Construction of Navy Transforming Dress

The tulle layers of the design were a key feature and the lengths needed to be suite for both the full length look and the shorter zipped version. The trick to this was the length of the lining. The zipper was concealed by the hem of the top layer.

Making a strapless bodice stable is important; the choice of lining, stabilisers, interfacing and boning need to considered. The ink blue velveteen and navy cotton drill fabrics sourced from Spotlight was cut in Vogue 8849 . For this velvet bodice the velvet would not carry the weight but this would be the job of the lining. We chose to create the lining in cotton drill that was interfaced and boned.

Four layers of tulle sourced from Remnant Warehouse made up each tier of the skirt and was gathered onto the cotton drill base. The closure of the dress was a welt zipper at the center back with the tulle skirt loose over the top.

Details

Pattern: Vogue 8849
Fabric: Ink blue Velveteen and navy cotton drill from Spotlight, Navy Tulle from Remnant Warehouse 90cm open ended zipper from Premier Group

Transforming – The great unzip

After party ready

Check out Georgia and Erin‘s Law Ball outfits.