Silver linen Kate top

My tablecloth skirt for #melbournefrocktails needed a simple top. I decided on Tessuti’s Kate top, view A. (I made view B last year.)

Barbarajanemade Kate top.jpeg

I picked up some silver linen from A2F. But oh when will I ever learn to make a muslin!!!. I had it at try on stage, and naturally there was gaping at the armholes because I didn’t do an FBA. If I’d made a muslin the need for an FBA would have been obvious.wp-1453784697841.jpeg

Luckily I had enough fabric to start again (because I had planned on using some silver to trim a jacket).

I have attempted FBAs before but have never really understood what I was doing. Not till I read  Alexandra’s tutorials. These were so useful, now I feel like I should re-make my whole wardrobe! well the things that would benefit from an FBA (oh dear does that mean more fabric) :). I feel like this is the first properly fitting top I’ve ever made!! with no gaping at the arms or pulling across the chest.wp-1453967342503.jpeg

It said 100% linen, not sure how it can be, it’s basically a white linen with a silver coating on one side. Whether it is or it isn’t- it’s rather lovely and has stood up fine to washing. I do make sure to iron carefully on the wrong side, not convinced the silver is really linen. I used the ‘wrong’ side  to make the binding.

barbarajanemade Kate top.jpeg

I can see more FBAs in my future, more muslins certainly doh! I guess all that works with slowing down the sewing a bit. Something I’m trying to do. Never thought I would get to the stage of too many clothes but I guess that happens when you’re obsessed with sewing. Anyone else have a similar issue?

Happy sewing all xx




Barbara jane made Kate top



tablecloth skirt #melbournefrocktails

Well helloo hello, longtime no blogging, but I’m back to show you my Melbourne frocktails skirt. It’s definitely a winner, though it didn’t start out that way.


I had this cotton pique or marcella in my stash for ages. I loved it’s large scale floral but when it arrived (from tessuti) I thought oh no, what will I do with it, it’s so heavy and thick.barbarjanemade.jpeg

It marinated in the stash. All I could think to do with it was make a tablecloth, and it would have made a lovely tablecloth, an expensive one, but very pretty.

Then I bought a ticket to Melbourne frocktails!!! I saw a gorgeous RTW skirt my daughter was wearing, full, flared, twirly, lots of body and so the ‘tablecloth’ skirt was born.tmp_10189-20160101_130752-1962500919tmp_10189-20160101_1308571662601258

I based it on the BHL Flora skirt. Pretty much a circle skirt with inverted box pleats front and back. I wanted a shaped waistband that didn’t collapse. I made the waistband first and got it the size I wanted before adjusting the skirt and pleats to fit the waistband.


The waistband is roughly based on the Grainline Moss skirt, but wider, and to sit at the waist, not below. Pretty heart shaped button…..

I used Gertie’s tutorial on boning a waistband to prevent it from collapsing.  I used rigilene polyester boning inside casing made from  white bias binding.

The inside waistband and pockets are Liberty. Another stash fabric that I wondered what I was thinking afterwards (or as Marcy might say, what was I drinking).tmp_10189-20160105_122551325895031

The Flora doesn’t have pockets, but in-seam pockets are an easy addition and who doesn’t love a pocket in a fancy skirt. Liberty pockets………barbarajanemade.jpeg

By the time it was done, I was quite pleased with it and thought it deserved a hand sewn hem – it took foooorever, but now I love the old tablecloth skirt.

For the top I made a Tessuti Kate in silver linen (who knew, there was such a thing, but A2F had some). It’s the first time I’ve really understood and done a proper a full bust adjustment, what??! Now I want to remake all the things. Details of the silver Kate soon Shoes from Bared Footwear, inspired by Jillian.


Frocktails was such a good night, it was so good to meet so many other sewists and see all the gorgeous frocks, all the fabric. Fabric shopping organized by Anna was a blast too. Imagine hanging out in fabric shops with people that know about fabric and aren’t  in a hurry to leave 😊

thanks for a great weekend lovely Melbourne hosts and frocktails organisers.



tmp_10189-20160116_191349-1094480759The tailors tack, freshly minted (ha ha) for frocktails.



BJ made! floral linen/cotton/silk Kate top

I had been coveting this linen/cotton/silk on Tessuti’s website for some time.

Then Kate came along. And of course the competition.

Tessuti are running a competition to celebrate the release of the Kate top pattern.

I had an excuse…….to buy this gorgeous Italian linen, cotton and silk mix fabric. Not that I needed one bwah ha ha.

All my favorite fibres in one fabric AND a digital floral print, resistance was futile.

barbarajanemade kate top.jpeg

Tessuti’s new pattern, the Kate top, comes in 2 variations, a scoop neck and a high neck with back placket and button closure. I chose the scoop neck, as I think a lower neckline generally suits the more busty among us better.

barbarajanemade kate top .jpegThe top has the binding on the outside, though it can just a easily be done on the inside. I like the idea of feature binding and thought this fabric had so much variety it would look good as self-binding on the outside. Continue reading

BJmade! Sophie again

wpid-20150828_074430.jpgAnother Tessuti for summer. Who else loves summer?

This is my fourth!! Sophie. I love this pattern. I thought it would be a good pairing with a light linen for a summer frock.

My other Tessuti Sophies are a blue and white spot linen top, Marrimeko dress and in hot pink linen. wpid-wp-1440723985904.jpeg

To fit the summer holiday vibe I shortened it. The dip at the sides is even more obvious shorter and I like it.

I think the novelty on one lapel has worn off, so, no lapel on this dress.


Pattern: Tessuiti’s Sophie dress

Fabric: linen from Cleggs

Modifications: eliminated the one lapel and shortened the dress by around 15 cm.

What I like: it is light, airy, cool and floaty and the linen, must be one of my favorite fabrics. What’s your favorite?


BJmade! Tessuti Gabby dress for the beach

I thought I’d give Tessuti’s Gabby dress a try.

Sometimes you need a beach cover-up that covers the shoulders.

Well, maybe that’s always needed.wpid-wp-1440811835928.jpeg

Anyway I thought Tessuti’s Gabby dress might fit the bill. Gabby is a loose fit dress with a short sleeve and a nice A-line flare. It has 2 views, the first with a contrast hem panel. As I was planning to slip it on over bathers I thought I could get away with shorter than I’d wear for everyday, so made it without the contrast hem panel. Continue reading