Sewing and lifestyle blog of a wannabe "full-time vixen"

Tag Archives: bias trim

Candied Melon Blouse – Belcarra Pattern

I had to keep this project a secret for a while. This is because I was chosen as a pattern tester for Sewaholic Patterns’ next pattern design! Tasia already announced it on her blog although it’s not been released for purchase yet until April. She gave me the go-ahead to blog about it so here is my version!



I made this from a light-weight polyester crepe fabric I found at Fabricland. The contrasting pink cuffs are from a cotton poplin I purchased at Dressew. I really love this blouse! I sewed the variation that has pleats on the front of the raglan sleeves. I wasn’t sure if the wide neckline would work for me but I’m really happy with how this turned out.


The way this blouse turned out wasn’t exactly like my original plan though. I had made my own bias tape for this project and at first I had sewn it to the neckline with the intention of having the bias trim sit on the right side of the blouse. However, the neckline was not lying correctly so I folded it to the inside and sewed it down. Now you can only see a hint of it peeping out. This ended up working really well! People have complimented me a lot on this detail. I have so much gratitude for the happy little sewing accidents that sometimes occur.

One of my coworkers remarked to me that she loved the colours I had chosen for the blouse — this dark watermelon green contrasting with the candy pink colour. I was inspired by 1940s clothing in which I had seen this colour combination before. It’s a striking colour duo that I really like and am somewhat obsessed with. In my fashion illustrations and fashion design classes, I inadvertently and subconsciously designed with this colour combination a few times! I didn’t even realize what I’d done until I looked through my portfolio long after the classes were finished.


I would totally recommend this pattern to someone, especially a beginner sewist. It’s so easy to sew and didn’t take me very long. You could easily sew this in one evening for a nice quick, easy, but satisfying project. I have sewn many Sewaholic Patterns and continue to be a fan. Tasia is a great designer and drafter and her instructions are very thorough. I think her patterns keep getting better and more refined as her business grows larger and more successful.


I have literally been waiting for a sunny morning in order to take photos for my blog. It’s been pouring rain and soggy in Vancouver lately. I didn’t get a sunny morning but I got a non-rainy morning at least. I’m still learning a lot from self-teaching myself how to take decent photographs of my projects — lighting, fiddling with camera settings like the exposure, and using a simple photo editor on my computer. I don’t have a fancy camera; in fact, I just have a simple Canon Powershot point and shoot camera! For my needs, my current set-up seems to work well enough.

There have also been some slight changes to the blog! I moved my blog from Blogger to WordPress recently and purchased web hosting and a domain name. I also purchased a customizable theme which I’m still fiddling around with. So throughout the next few months, I’ll be tweaking things when I have a spare moment. I hope to be able to get a banner designed for me in the near future as well.

Hopefully there will continue to be lots of exciting things happening to me in the future in terms of sewing related things. I was recently notified that I was the winner of the Plaintain Challenge hosted by Deer&Doe! I wanted to thank my friends and family for their support and also to anybody who happens to read this blog or come across it. 2014 is off to great start!

Berry Sorbetto and Purple Hair

I took some pictures today of the top I made last summer. It’s a Colette Patterns Sorbetto top and the pattern is free from their website.

I have kind of a silly expression on my face but it’s because I had spent some time taking photos of myself again today. I still think it’s a bit of a strange experience running back and forth to my camera on the self-timer mode which is set up on a tripod. I’m getting used to it though and have better knowledge of how the lighting works in my apartment now after all these blog posts. Here are some more “model-like” photos, aha!

The pattern is super easy, I think it only took me a couple of hours to sew (not including adjustments). This was meant to be a wearable muslin as the fit isn’t perfect. I cut a 0 and that turned out to be a smidgen too small in the bust (I know what you’re thinking, too small for my teeny bust?). The armholes were also waaaaay too tight and I can’t remember how much I trimmed all around but it was probably about 2 cms. The bust darts are too high and the length is a bit short in the torso unless you’re going for a cropped tank look. Now if this was meant to be a wearable muslin, what possessed me to add piping and heart shaped buttons? I can’t remember but I still think the top is cute despite all these issues with the pattern.

The armholes are always too tight on Colette Patterns for me, I don’t know why because I’m such a thin person all around. I guess their size 0 is teeny-weeny if it doesn’t even really fit me properly. If I made this top again, I would cut a size 2 or 4, make a narrow shoulder adjustment and cut a deeper armhole or make the straps of the tank longer. This might also fix the bust dart issue without having to move the dart down.

The fabric is just a cheap poly/cotton broadcloth from Dressew. The piping and bias tape trim are also from Dressew and the buttons I found at Fabricana. So it was an inexpensive make all around.

Enough about sewing though. I dyed parts of my hair a purple-pink last Monday. Only the back sections of my hair are dyed purple-pink for several inches at the tips. You can’t really see it in the photos but it’s there if you look for it.

What possessed me to dye my hair? There is a regular patron at one of the branches I work at and she is in hair school at the Vancouver Hair Academy right now. She’s a lovely patron and she needed some live models to practice her skills on. I agreed to be a guinea pig for her and she gave me a free hair cut/trim and 30% off the dye job. I’ve always wanted to dye my hair so this was a great opportunity for me try it out. This is the first time I’ve EVER dyed my hair. Everyone at the hair academy was excited that I had what they called “virgin hair”.

It took about 4 hours but the patron was so nice, she brought me a lunch and snacks and drinks! The instructors at the hair academy are also quite awesome and check each step before the student is allowed to go further. This is why it took so long since it was also a learning environment. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out and when it starts to fade I’ll buy some of my own purple dye to freshen it up.

I love dip-dyed hair!

Presenting…The Tulip Dress!

So I know I have been teasing you all with hints of the dress I’ve been working on for the last few weeks. I finished it last week and then my friend Victor Ngo helped me take some photos. Here is the dress!

Now the reason I call it the “Tulip Dress” is because I was inspired by the shapes of the petals on the tulip flower. My dress is a bit of an upside-down tulip really. As you will see from the photos below, I also wanted to experiment a bit with colour blocking. The back is in pink to give it a visual contrast with the red. I used cotton voile in red and pink, underlining with white because voile is a sheer fabric. I sewed two trims on the edges of the red layers — a pink lace from Dressew layered on top of eyelet trim that I dyed myself.

I didn’t make any pattern changes but while sewing the dress I realized the armholes were too tight and had to trim away 1/4 of an inch all around. I have realized now that I have narrow shoulders and should be making the adjustment on all patterns from here on out. I took in one cm in total at the back seam, I might take in a bit more next time. I also should have done a small bust adjustment but it’s not too problematic on this dress which has a loose fit anyways. I do intend to use this pattern again, it’s a great “blank slate” for all sorts of designs!

A cute outtake!

Here are a couple of interior shots. I used bias trim to finish the neckline and armholes. I hand sewed the bias trim and hem with an uneven slipstitch for an invisible finish. I adore uneven slipstitch (because I adore invisible finishes!) and use it wherever I can.

This project is also my submission to the Colette Patterns Laurel Contest. The sewing pattern I used is from the company Colette Patterns and the pattern name is “Laurel”. The only contest requirement was to use this pattern, which is a simple and versatile shift pattern. We were allowed to modify the pattern and envision our own version of the dress however we saw fit. There is a Flickr group for the company and you are free to peruse all the other entries!

I have no idea if I will even win any of the runner up prizes. The prizes are various gift certificates to various sewing related companies or gift certificates to Colette Patterns. But I don’t care! The goal was never to win a prize but to challenge myself and also to pull myself out of the low energy funk I’ve been in for several months. The goal was to complete a sewing project. I have achieved all these goals so I feel quite proud of myself. I also made a new online friend!

Her name is Gema and she’s from London, here’s a link to her blog. She saw my dress in the Flickr group and featured it in her blog. This is what she wrote about me and my dress:

I think this Laurel creation shows real imagination; Caroline shows a unique approach to taking a simple shift, and making the lines run in an entirely different way. It’s almost like her playful design is saying ‘Look at my face! I’m just as adorable as my clothes!’; really cute and playful :) AND she dyed the trim herself. *extra Brownie points*

Caroline’s website made me think she’s probably many men’s ideal woman; she works in a library by day, also as a scientist in a CSI looky-likey lab, makes gorgeous clothing in her spare time, and her website’s called Enough said!

Haha! You have no idea how much I blushed from reading that. Sufficed it to say, I had a fun time working on this project and now I have an adorable dress to prance around in. Win-win!

[Outfit details: Shoes are Chelsea Crew from Ruche and tights are from American Apparel.]

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