Knots and Crosses Sewing Competition

Picking our fabrics for the Knots and Crosses Sewing Competition

On rainy Friday afternoon we visited the Flinders Lane Tessuti to pick our fabric for the Knots and Crosses Sewing Competition.  The team kindly let us sit down on the pattern table and plan out our outfits (and raid the button box)

The Fabric

The fabric for this year’s Tessuti competition was a broderie anglaise designs available in 4 colours. It had two scales of the stitching pattern in each colour. The composition was 75% cotton and 25% linen, making it versatile for a whole fabulous range of possible garments. See the full range of fabric on the Tessuti store here.

Knots and Crosses Sewing Competition Two Sewing Sisters entries

Lauren’s Outfit

I wanted to create a skirt and top that was able to worn together and with other separates. We wanted to use both scales of the stitched fabric in the garment and picking which fabric was used for each feature was important to showcase the features of the fabric and garment.

I chose to use Simplicity 5497 for my top as I like the gathered sleeve and could see how the larger scale would work through the bodice and sleeve with the smaller square for the ruffle and the cuff of the sleeve.

Knots and Crosses Sewing Competition Simplicity 5497 and Vogure 9249
Knots and Crosses Sewing Competition Simplicity 5497 and Vogue 9249
Knots and Crosses Sewing Competition Simplicity 5497
Knots and Crosses Sewing Competition Vogue 9249

Erin’s Outfit

Knots and Crosses Sewing Competition Vogue 2684

With a focus on building her corporate work wardrobe, Erin chose to make a shirt dress style number.

I chose Vogue 2684 a vintage pattern we had in our collection as I like the collar feature and built in belt detail. To highlight these features I wanted to use the larger stitched fabric on the main part of the bodice and skirt than to show the unique features use the smaller square stitching on the collar facing so it would the fabric that you see when it is worn and the belt.

Knots and Crosses Sewing Competition Vogue 2684
Knots and Crosses Sewing Competition Vogue 2684
Knots and Crosses Sewing Competition Vogue 2684

Garment Construction

Knots and Crosses Sewing Competition self covered buttons

Self covered buttons

Lauren’s top and Erin’s dress called for buttons as their closures. We chose to use self covered buttons so we were not adding in another feature or texture that would distract from the texture of the existing fabric or other garment details. The selvage of the fabric was wide enough that we could use it as the material to cover our 15mm and 19mm buttons

Knots and Crosses Sewing Competition bias hem hand stitching

Bias Tape Hem Finish

As neither of our garments had any top stitching we wanted this to be consistent in the hem. The bias tape provides a neat finish on the underside and worked well with this type of fabric as meant the hem did not rely on the overlocker skipping over the section where the raised stitching of the broderie anglaise was thick or holding together areas of the cut out holes in the fabric design.

Knots and Crosses Sewing Competition pillow case lining

Pillow Case Lining

The stitching and hole punched style of the broderie anglaise fabric meant there were areas of the fabric that could be seen through. For the main bodice parts of the our garments, we chose to line them in a white cotton fabric. As the fabric would not be seen and this was a perfect opportunity to upcycle some white pillowcases.

Hand stitching
Pinning of lining for Knots and Crosses Sewing Competition

Knots and Crosses Sewing Competition Credits

Two Sewing Sisters by James Christie Photography

Thank you to Tessuti Fabrics for running the Knots and Crosses Sewing Competion, another interesting and creative competition!

Thank you to James Christie for photographing our makes.  

You can see our 2019 Colour in Thirds entries here and 2018 Skylines Tessuti entry here.  Another few great competition run by Tessuti Fabrics

Two Sewing Sisters Erin Ritchie and Lauren Ritchie image by James Christie

Operation Tiny House NYE – Sewing Resolutions

We celebrated the end of 2019 and welcome 2020 with New Year Celebrations at a Tiny House Escape with our dear friend Kate, also known as Stitches and Sutures! We stay in a lovely tiny house that was situation in Carrickalinga in South Australia. With bushfires threatening so many parts of Australia we were wishing everyone a safe start to 2020.

We wore matching outfits made out of Abstract Multicoloured Digital Printed Cotton Linen Fabric that is 112 cm from Spotlight – you can find the fabric here.

Operation Tiny House NYE
Matching outfits for our New Year’s Celebration
Operation Tiny House NYE
Watching the sunset on 2019 from our Tiny House

Erin’s Outfit

Operation Tiny House NYE - Mccalls 7862
Erin in Mccalls 7862
Operation Tiny House NYE - Mccalls 7862
Sleeve Detail
Shaped hem of Mccalls 7862

Kate’s Outfit

Operation Tiny House NYE
Earrings from Timber and Cotton
Operation Tiny House NYE
#modellyfe

Lauren’s Outfit

Operation Tiny House NYE
Pocket detail of Butterick 678
Operation Tiny House NYE
Earrings to match

2020 Sewing Resolutions

Last year we set ourselves some sewing resolutions- some we were able to complete, others that made it back on the list for this year. See last year’s sewing resolutions here. Our sewing resolutions for 2020 are:

Lauren’s Sewing Resolutions

  • Make a wool coat – this was part of last years resolution but didn’t happen so is here again for 2020
  • Fix 5 projects that I currently don’t like wearing because something isn’t right or it isn’t wearable
  • Make pale blue and black striped crepe flint pants – these have been on my to make list for yonks so it is a must for this year.
  • Only make from the stash. Instead of fabric shopping assume that we have a fabric that will be suitable, shop our stash and only purchase fabric for garments on the exception list. The exception list includes:
    • Oaks Day Millinery Award dress
    • One piece of fabric from overseas travels

Erin’s Sewing Resolutions

  • Make a suit – this was part of last years resolution but didn’t happen so is here again for 2020
  • Make 15 work appropriate garments in fabric from the stash
  • Finish everything before midnight the night before it needs to be worn

Kate’s Sewing Resolutions

  • Make 3 sets of lingerie
  • Make a coat – step one of picking a pattern is complete now to find some fabric!
  • Use 10 pieces from my stash before buying more
Operation Tiny House NYE

Christmas Outfits a Ritchie Family tradition

Christmas outfits have been a family tradition that started in the mid 1980’s when our Dad suggest that his mother-in-law, our Nan make him a shirt out of Christmas fabric. From then on it would not have been Christmas without themed attire.

The fabric for this years outfits had been purchased from Spotlight around two years ago and sat waiting for a family Christmas that involved some sunshine and we could all be together on Christmas Day.

Ritchie Family Christmas Outfits
Ritchie Family Christmas Outfits
Robyn (Mum) is wearing Simplicity 8840 and David (Dad) is wearing McCall's 4399
Robyn (Mum) is wearing Simplicity 8840 and David (Dad) is wearing McCall’s 4399 (out of print)
Ritchie Family Christmas Outfits
Erin is wearing Megan Neilsen Flint Pants with bodice of simplicity 1610 and Luaren is wearing Gertie's Butterick 6556
Erin is wearing Megan Neilsen Flint Pants with bodice of Simplicity 1610 (out of print) and Lauren is wearing Gertie’s Butterick 6556
Ritchie Family Christmas Outfits
Sammywise is wearing custom made Two Sewing Sisters bow tie dog collar.
Sammywise is wearing custom made Two Sewing Sisters bow tie dog collar.

This year we also had a guest, Mr Sammywise Gamgee, a spoodle dog and naturally he also needed a matching bow tie to wear for the family photo.

Christmas Outfits History Gallery

Jackie Trousers – By Hand London

We were thrilled to part of the testing team for By Hand London’s latest pattern release, the Jackie Trousers.  The Jackie style is a semi tailored loose-fit trouser designed to sit comfortably.  They finish just below the natural waist, featuring pleats at the waist, slanted pockets and a gently tapered leg. 

Inspired by the easy fit menswear slacks of the nineties, and nodding fondly also to early modern women’s trouser styles of the thirties, these trousers are designed for women, but have proven to look and fit great on men too!

By Hand London

The fabrics suggestions for the Jackie Trousers is medium weight woven fabrics with some body or weighty drape. This includes materials such as wool suiting, wool crepe, tweed, linen and flannel. We chose to visit The Fabric Store and went to their Brunswick Street Store in Fitzroy. While browsing through their stunning selection of fabrics we found a beautiful cotton and silk woven blue fabric that looked perfect for Jackie!

The Finished Jackie Trousers

Finished by Hand London Jackie Trousers with top from Vogue 1466. They were constructed in a Denim coloured Cotton/Silk from The Fabric Store. Modeled by Lauren Ritchie with photographs by Erin Ritchie.

Jackie Trouser Details

The large pocket bags extend to the fly front contributing to the comfy fit of the pants. The key fit for these pants is to make sure the waistband is the right size for you. We cut a UK12 based on the measurements of the finished garment but ended up bringing it in for a snugger waist fit.

The folded up cuff gives a lovely finish to the tapered wider leg of the pant style. We found the length of the testing pattern a little longer than we needed. When you make them ensure to mark the hem in the shoes you intend to wear them with.

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