Appleton #2 and #3

Appleton V2 – all leopard-y and cougar-like

Apologies, this post was accidentally deleted and reinstalled – phew!

#1 son hates big cat prints – on his Mum. He however, has a denim leopard print shirt which he has worn threadbare – makes him look like that guy from LMFAO! But on me, they’re not ideal it seems. Is this a typical madonna/whore discombobulation?! Therefore, and only because he hates it – I love this dress. This pic taken on my way to meet hubby at a Melbourne Hotel after he’d been in Sydney for 3 weeks – sizzle! Hubby didn’t notice the dress at all BTW – typical! Slip worn under as per V1 – detailed here.


Luvverly cotton/spandex fabric bought from Style Arc years ago in a package with one of their own wrap patterns. It’s ideal and scrumptious, but the dress still bites into my bra line at the back despite a slip. Is it my massive lats? Could it be the back/underarm fat looking to escape? Or could it be my bra is too tight??

Warning, cut a wrap dress tie on the least stretchy grainline. Seems obvious now!


V3 – spotty orange/teal. I had our recent trip to Darwin and Central Australia in mind and needed a maxi to keep the mozzies off my legs. Not sure about the flounce, its a bit art deco, also unsure about the hi/lo hem?

The flounce shape.

The shoes are not flattering, but I had to have a last minute photo in the red sand of Uluru – Uluru compliments this dress, but the photo angle makes me look squat – what can ya do?!

Funny story: Hubs and I had to step on the scales before boarding a light aircraft for a tour of Arnhem Land. Admittedly I was fully clothed and was carrying the camera but I had a fit when I saw my weight!! Immediately thereafter almost 5 kg were shed. So this photo is me on the heavier side. Nothing like a reality check to recalibrate one’s bearings!


I was very disappointed by the wrap side seam hole instructions in the Appleton pattern. Seems to me there simply must be a better way to fashion a tie hole (and a better description too?). Is there a happy place between massive effort bound welt buttonhole and this botch up job with a less than 1 cm seam allowance as described in the pattern?


After searching on the interwebs, this is the best example I found. If there is a 4th version of Appleton, I will extend the seam allowance to at least 1.5cm at the hole and turn under before stitching down. This is just not a good enough result for the effort, partly because overlocking to stop in a strategic place is difficult even with massive seam allowances, why the skimpy seams?

The puff sleeves (self drafted) are a bit different, I think I like them and certainly I got a lot of looks as we boarded the bus to take us to the “Sounds of Silence” dinner (quick check of the cleavage assured me all was well with the girls!)- literally a dinner/picnic in the desert, near Uluru. We saw ALL the stars (celestial ones, this aint’ downtown LA) – amazing, magnificent. There are not enough superlatives to express the night sky in the desert, its breathtaking. So many shooting stars. One of the english guys insisted the brightest star we could see was the north star, but I was equally insistent that what we were looking at couldn’t be the north star, cos we’re in the southern hemisphere, I thought it might have been a satellite – just so bright. Turns out we were both wrong. The southern skies share about 70% of their stars – it was Jupiter!! So close we could almost touch it.

Kings canyon, first climb 350+ steps but do it before 11am. It gets too hot to be up there later! Its a 7km walk, but well worth your time.

If you ever get the chance to go to the Northern Territory – do it. It completely blew me away. I don’t want to bore you with my photos but it’s just such a wonderfully photogenic region. This is where your common budgerigar comes from and they were plentiful.

Kakadu – I see you watching me, watching you, from only about 1.5m away in a boat – and I’m about 4 metres long – yummm!
You might expect the red centre to be barren, but it was teeming with bird life
Rock art – estimated to be about 2000 years old

Have a very Merry Christmas everyone. May 2017 bring you all peace, health and happiness but above all kindness.


Add yours →

  1. Your holiday photos are great, especially that Croc! And the stars sound incredible.
    Dresses are looking lovely and I’m partial to a bit of leopard print too.
    As for the bit above the bra, at the back, I thought it was an age thing and then to my amusement I heard the year 2 students talk about this very same subject and they had named it. However I can’t remember what they called the said body part??? I’ll ask when the new term starts.
    Wishing you and yours a fab festive time and new year!
    Also, I have a jacket question for you but it’s late so I’ll save it for another time. X

    • Back fat? Side boob? Gosh whats a girl to do?!! I look forward to your update on this matter Linda! As for the jacket question, I’m very flattered you think I might know, but fire away. I can always ask a real tailor!!

      • Ah no need to ask anyone else, I’m interested in what you took from your learning experience.
        You spent time with Brita Hirsh and her method of fitting and tailoring, and oddly, years ago I was helping a student with their wool project and the fabric was changing colour as it was pressed, so the only thing I could think of to do was press the whole thing to match. At the time I thought this was a big cheat, but it was huge a relief, and solved the problem, without ruining the fabric? But I can understand how the way she works, almost sculpturally, by moulding the fibres with the steam and pressing.
        Anyway, back to the question. You are also doing a course where you designed a jacket and were making the toile for it. So my question is, did the different teaching methods relate to, or feed each other, or did they seem like they were totally different? Or could you combine bits from the techniques learnt in both? x

      • Sorry for the delay in replying Linda – I was thinking about this question!
        Learning from Brita was a true “Saville Row” type experience. Though we drafted onto paper, that may have been more for my benefit. I’ve spoken with her since and she never makes toiles, she is able to adjust within the seam allowances and as you rightly say mould with steam and pressure. The method we were taught at college was really no different to making any other garment, toileing it to death and then gratuitously applying SOME traditional techniques. It was abundantly clear to me that the purpose of those techniques were not clear to the teacher as he very carefully applied a perfectly spaced herringbone with no attention to the roll of the fabric. The charade of Saville Row in my course really bothered me, they’d clearly read a book and felt qualified to teach it.
        In my mind, if one is drafting a high fashion jacket with risky pattern making rather than a traditional shape, one will need to make multiple toiles – the interaction of the pieces can be unpredictable and may need tweaking. You can then apply traditional techniques if you wish, though we all agreed in our class that traditional tailoring is quite a bit lumpier than the modern fusible or hybrid methods. I’d use the fusible hybrid in future when using modern fabrics. They just don’t seem to respond that well to traditional methods – I had huge problems with Princess’ jacket because it had 2% lycra with the wool.
        I’d use traditional methods when making a traditionally shaped jacket in traditional fabrics. There is no doubt in my mind that the trad. methods have longevity, heirloom quality etc.
        The traditional methods take a long time to learn and even longer to master I think. In the hands of someone like Brita, they are just marvellous, in the hands of a lesser being, they can just look a bit overworked so easily.
        I’ll use mostly a hybrid approach in future I think. The result to my eye is more acceptable. I’d like to write a post on this – very stimulating question Linda – thanks for that x

  2. gilliancrafts 22/12/2016 — 11:08 am

    Those are both beautiful! I agree that the opening is the weak point of the pattern…. I tend to take a larger seamallowance there so I can do it more neatly. I’ve always thought that another easy option would be using a rectangle as a facing – sew it right sides together to the outside, then flip it inside and topstitch the rectangle?

  3. Both lovely makes! Thanks for sharing your scenery with us too! Happy Holidays!

  4. Gorgeous dresses, and beautiful photographs. I have Australia envy – but you can keep the croc!

  5. Your photos could never bore me! I know so little about Australia it might as well be another planet. But when I first read your post it was on the go on my phone so the photos download show up and I imagine something very different and far less sophisticated when you said your son wasn’t impressed with the animal print. Maybe it just reminds him that it’s a jungle out there. If that’s the case, I can confidently confirm you’re amongst the fittest!

    As for the croc, I know exactly where that eye is looking! You look great, with or without kilage!

    Merry Christmas!

    • Kilage – oh I like that! #1 son takes issue with all women of a certain age, which happens to be mine, wearing animal print! Thanks for the lovely comment Marijana.
      Marry Christmas to you and yours also, I do hope Santa stops by! x

  6. OOh gorgeous!! How could I have missed this. I don’t know how the notifications got turned off. Loved the whole post and you look great. I don’t own a scale at all but Gianni always makes me weigh myself when I go to Italy because I complain that I put on weight there. Yes, I do! That said, I like curves so I am almost sad to see them go when I get home and back into my frantic daily life. You always look stunning.

    PS I like your hair in the shorter bob, too. It suits the dress with the collar flounce.

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