Mermaids Purse

Simplicity 2491

This gorgeous dress, Simplicity 2491, has been languishing in my project basket since last summer, I’m so glad to have put in the time this month to tackle the fitting and finishing problems that were bothering me.  Nothing major, just enough for me to need to take a break and find some instant sewing gratification.

It all worked out really well, I found a perfect vintage style petticoat at an op shop, just what I needed to pull off the look!  I had a hard time with the side zipper, working with the full skirt and join at the waist, I had trouble keeping it all even and neat.  Do any of you clever sewers have any suggestions, helpful tutorials for zippers?  I’m ace at installing invisible zippers, but have a tricky time with lapped (or over lapped?) zippers.  I hand picked this one, but it still isn’t perfect.  Love to hear from you all.

As always, more photos and details on my blog, Mermaids Purse.


Some belated photos of a dress I finished last year…

Simplicity 3107 in Crimplene, I had to wear it today, so better grab a moment for a quick few photos before Rob was off on his bike.

My first project working with crimplene, in this pretty pale blue that came from my Nana’s stash.  You can read a bit more about it in an earlier post, here.  Here’s the original pattern envelope, I have also made another variation in red synthetic satin.

I have all these unresolved issues with this dress, the crimplene doesn’t sit quite so well, so maybe not the best fabric choice, and the raglan sleeves… I love them, I’m not used to them.  I would like to make it again, but will need to delve deeper into my fabric stash….

You can read more over at my blog, Mermaid’s Purse.


Hey there We Sew Retro community.  I had a fabulous time at The Auckland Vintage Textile Fair, I pick up some lovely sewing patterns a pair of gloves and I came across some mail order ‘cut out dress’ packages, complete in their original packages.

This one with lilac fabric is a ‘Woman and Home’ cut-out dress, the rest are ‘Woman’s Weekly’ ones.

All ordered from London and posted to New Zealand Aotearoa.  I love them, I am keen to make one up – but might have to trace one and try it.  I have more photos over on my blog, mermaids purse, and I would love to hear from anyone who has come across or used them before.


I have not posted any finished projects for far too long, but of course, I’m checking back here everyday or so to see what You are doing..  So I will share some photos of my favourtites and link back to my blog if you want to see even more.  By the way, it’s chilly mid-winter here in Aotearoa New Zealand, and I’m loving all the swimsuit posts, I’m feeling inspired and as though I have plenty of time to make up my own in time for summer, so thank you all for sharing.

This dress, version 3 in the pattern illustration above, has been a rather long project for me, it is the first garment that I decided to line (and interline, as you might read over here) so, requiring new skills.  I posted some questions on WeSewRetro a while back (here) and it is a very bold design for a dress.  Which I Love.  I used an acrylic woven fabric, with no movement, it was fairly dense but holds the shape so very well, and was another excellent op shop find.  You might have come across the full skirted version I made with the same pattern, earlier this year, on WeSeRetro here.

The collar is the stand out feature of this dress, but the skirt comes together so well, and is so comfy and easy to wear.  My trial with lining and interlining was worthwhile, though it presented me with some fitting issues, I now love interlining garments!  Here’s the almost completed inside…  by the way, as I was part way through assembling the dress when it became apparent it needed lining, I retrospectively lined the bodice and interlined the skirt (Hong Kong seams and all!).

My next best dress is this, Simplicity 4693 in a lovely printed cotton, version 1, more details here.  I just love  having these patterns around, don’t you?

Unfortunately, the photos of me in my finished dresses are hard to come by these days, between the short days and cold weather, the only other grown up here is home in the dark, or that one day I get set before he leaves for work the camera battery goes flat!  Oh, so you will have to do with mannequin modeling yet again.

I’m not sure about the belt, it was a great op shop find, so close to the colours in the print, I had to try it out.  I feel like the dress needs the belt, but worry that it dominates the pretty pleats and gathers in the front of the dress.

The one photo of it on a real person!  I quite like the belt, and would usually wear one this size, but I think it’s too big, what do you think?

I have been working on separates lately, and made a up a new blouse and a pair of snuggly pajamas, perfect for winter… so I’ll get back to you on those presently!

Happy sewing!