Sunday, 29 April 2012


julia bobbin
The day I got my own sewing machine, wearing the first dress I ever made

Hello possums!

It's that wonderful time of the year again where strangers are nice to each other and families gather together and share a meal. No it's not Christmas, it's the month of May.
Why is May so special you ask?
Because it's my birthday month. BAM!

julia bobbin
baby Julia totally working the camera 

Now intellectually I understand that there must be other people out there in the world that have their birthday in May also. It is not just my birthday month (what-evs). In fact my brother Daniel was even clever enough to be born in May. Good for you Daniel.
I have also come to terms with the realisation that my birthday is not a public holiday. Yet.
But I still like to get a bit fancy in that blessed month and why the heck not. And who doesn't like cake for crying out loud.

One of the things I'm doing for my birthday month is participating in the Me-Made-May by Zoe over at the sewing blog 'So Zo, What do you know'.

The challenge is to wear clothes that you have made for the entire month of May. You can choose how many items you wear and how many days of each week you'll wear them.

I originally thought I would try and wear something every day of the month. I sure have made a lot of clothes so it couldn't be too hard right?


When I looked in my closet I was reminded that 90% of the garments that I sew are a bit 'fancy-pantsy' and not exactly going to work well in the work place.

julia bobbinjulia bobbin

julia bobbin
Click on the photos above to see the full blog post

Hmmm ...
So I've re-assessed and I've decided to commit to wearing my garments four times each week for the month of the May.

Here's my pledgy-wedgy:

'I, Julia of JuliaBobbin sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '12. I endeavour to wear a me-made garment four days each week for the duration of May 2012'*
*probably ...

Challenge accepted.

So who else is in?


Sunday, 22 April 2012

Huon Pine - Burda 7739 + Brooch give-away winners

 Burda 7739, Julia Bobbin

Hello young lovers, where ever you are ...

I'm currently working on a pretty little sewing project which I can't WAIT to share with you guys. (Seriously, I have a real patience issue). It's a bit labour intensive so it's not yet finished, but it will be soon!

So I thought I would share with you a project that I made last Autumn and is an old favourite. In fact, I'm wearing it now as I type (minus the umbrella). It's the lovely cute little dress pattern #7739 by Burda,

But before I get all detaily on you, let's talk ...

Brooch give away winners!

Three winners were randomly chosen using

A big congratulations to the following three readers who have each won a brooch!

The lovely Anna from AnnaBanana

 The lovely Zoe from ZoSews
 The lovely Fran from Lovely Little Sweetpeas
Congratulations ladies! I will be contacting you shortly with details.

Do not despair if you missed out. You can buy your own fabulous brooch at Ruemiraldi's online store.

Burda 7739, Julia Bobbin

So back to the dress! The dress is named Huon Pine because the beautiful buttons on the dress are in fact Huon Pine from the beautiful state of Tasmania in Australia. 

My wonderful friend Theresa had made a trip down to Tasmania, saw these fabulous buttons and brought them back for me. Isn't she the ace-est?

Burda 7739, Julia Bobbin

The buttons were so interesting and unique that I instantly went scouting to find the perfect dress to go with the buttons. Check out the middle button, it sort of looks like the map of Australia. Coincidence much?

Burda 7739, Julia Bobbin

After searching through pattern books I found a Burda pattern # 7739 which looked playful and cute, and would perfectly showcase the beautiful buttons.

Burda 7739, Julia Bobbin

I made version A with the bodice in a size 12 and the skirt cut as a 14 from the hips down.  I shortened the bodice by two cm's to give it a more obvious empire waist.

Burda 7739, Julia Bobbin

I used coating fabric for the dress, which was not exactly my most inspired moment; the dress gets hot really quickly. But it's great for those really cold days.

Burda 7739, Julia Bobbin

I like the little pleats at the front of the dress and the Peter Pan collar. The dress isn't lined, the instructions are easy to follow and it's a great pattern for a beginners.

Burda 7739, Julia Bobbin

I made the epic mistake of inserting an invisible zipper into this incredibly thick dress.


As you sewers will expect, the zipper couldn't handle the fabric and broke.


Suddenly my brain started working again and I bought a heavy duty zipper and inserted my first centred zipper.
Success! I learn the hard way apparently. My disclaimer was that I made this a year ago and so my sewing brain was still quite under developed (it's a thing).

Burda 7739, Julia Bobbin

Look at me hiding my face in shame!

Burda 7739, Julia BobbinBurda 7739, Julia Bobbin

This is one of the easiest dresses that I've ever made, but it sure gets a work out in the cooler seasons. It's lovely.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Vintage Yellow Dress + Brooch Give-away!

Julia Bobbin, Butterick 5603, lace collar, wool crepe

Ok so my love for the classic shape of Butterick pattern 5603 (modified) has been well established. Making the re-fashioned pattern three times will do that.

But now it's just getting annoying. Seriously, I'm starting to creep my self out now after making this silouhette for the fourth time. It's like a sickness. Even my tired pattern pieces are giving me a concerned look:

Butterick Pattern (BP): "Oh honey, I don't know how to say this, but I think we need a break."
Me: "What? But we're meant to be together! We're made for each other."
BP: "Actually no, this is really awkward but ... I was made for a mass commercial market. Millions of people actually."
Me: *Gasp* "No! BP5603 you floozy!"

Though perhaps the fact that I think my pattern pieces are talking to me is of a more serious concern.

Julia Bobbin, Butterick 5603, lace collar, wool crepeJulia Bobbin, Butterick 5603, lace collar, wool crepe

I made this dress in a 100% wool crepe that I purchased on my recent trip to Washington D.C.

 Julia Bobbin, Butterick 5603, lace collar, wool crepe

This fabric has such a wonderful drape and feels like heaven. It's also a dream to sew with. Every time my Janome sunk it's teeth into the fabric, Marvin Gaye's 'Let's get it on' inexplicably started playing.

 Julia Bobbin, Butterick 5603, lace collar, wool crepe

I made a sweet little collar out of left over lace that I purchased from Tessuti Fabrics a while ago. I had previously used the lace to make this dress:

Julia Bobbin, Tessuti lace, mustard skirt

I fully lined the dress and added sleeves.

Julia Bobbin, Butterick 5603, lace collar, wool crepe

The bodice also features a V shaped back.

 Julia Bobbin, Butterick 5603, lace collar, wool crepeJulia Bobbin, Butterick 5603, lace collar, wool crepe

I accompanied the dress with a new pair of shoes ...

 Julia Bobbin, Butterick 5603, lace collar, wool crepe

... and the perfect vintage accessory, a beautiful brooch.

 Julia Bobbin, Butterick 5603, lace collar, wool crepe

Don't you think the brooch just makes the dress?! The wonderful Lorraine from Ruemiraldi is also a lover of vintage accessories and personally picked a stunning brooch for me from her fabulous online vintage accessories store. 

The best part? She has also given me three extra beautiful vintage brooches to give away to three of my lovely readers! True story! Release the give away streamers!

Check them out:

 Julia Bobbin, Butterick 5603, lace collar, wool crepeJulia Bobbin, Butterick 5603, lace collar, wool crepeJulia Bobbin, Butterick 5603, lace collar, wool crepe

Want one?

To be in the winning simply comment on this post

Three lucky readers will be randomly selected to win one of the three brooches.
Entries are open to everyone from anywhere in the world.
Entries close on Friday, April 20, 2012 Australian EST
One random winner will announced in my next blog post on Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

 Julia Bobbin, Butterick 5603, lace collar, wool crepe

The thing that keeps drawing me back to this dress is the flattering vintage shape.

Julia Bobbin, Butterick 5603, lace collar, wool crepeJulia Bobbin, Butterick 5603, lace collar, wool crepe

So here are the other dresses I have made using Butterick 5603.  On all four I drafted my own skirt for a more pencil look. You can see how I made the alterations here.

Click on the photos if you want to see the full blog post.

Julia Bobbin, Butterick 5603, vintage dress, Mad MenJulia Bobbin, Butterick 5603, vintage dress, Mad Men
Julia Bobbin, Butterick 5603, vintage dress, Mad MenJulia Bobbin, Butterick 5603, lace collar, wool crepe

In honour of the yellow of this dress, I thought I'd leave you all with one of my favourite songs. This song is also called 'Yellow' and is sung by the beautiful and gifted artist India Arie. The YouTube clip is below.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!


Sunday, 8 April 2012

Cherry Blossom Dress + Give Away Winners!

Julia Bobbin, rose sleeves

It's officially Autumn in Australia and the warmer fabrics in my fabric stash are starting to come out of their hibernation. It was just the other day when I heard a sleepy, muffled voice coming from the fabric cupboard saying "Gee, what does a wool faille have to do around here to get made into something".

What I am looking forward to for the upcoming cooler season is sewing with more winter fabrics like wool faille and heavier cottons.
What I'm not looking forward to for the upcoming cooler season? Being cold.

Hello indoor heating.

So I'm taking inspiration from Washington D.C. for my latest, admittedly quirky creation. There in D.C. the weather was warm and cheery. On my recent visit to Washington D.C. I was not only in awe of the marvellous fabric that I purchased, but of the beautiful cherry blossom which was in full bloom.

But before I assault you with my many, many finished project photos, let's talk ...

Give-Away Winners!

There are two winners today from two different giveaways, the lipstick red wool crepe fabric and the $25 gift voucher for Patterns From the Past an online store for vintage sewing patterns.

Both of these winners were chosen at random using

And the winners are:

2 yards of red wool Crepe
Brianna from the blog Brianna auf Deutsch

$25 Gift voucher to spend at Patterns From the Past
Sassy T from the blog Sassy T Sews

Congratulations ladies! I will be in contact with you shortly with details!

Now back to the dress!

I made the sleeves resemble blossom in honour of the beautiful cherry blossom we saw in D.C.

 Julia Bobbin, Vogue 8280

I made the sleeves the same as my A rose is a rose, is a rose, is a rose dress which you can see here. Once you know how to make them it's so easy, and no hand stitching! True story!

Julia Bobbin, ruffled rose sleeves

If you're interested in making sleeves like these yourself, you can watch my Rose Sleeve Tutorial

Julia Bobbin, Vogue 8280, ruffled rose sleevesJulia Bobbin, ruffled rose sleeves, vogue 8280

 I used silk dupion for the skirt, and for the bodice and sleeves I used pink cotton/lame blend which was left over from my Cotton Candy dress.

Julia Bobbin, Vogue

Ruffled rose sleeves, vogue 8280

I once again employed the use of an elastic band for the waist which accentuates the smallness of the middle against the hips and encourages that vintage silhouette.

Ruffled rose sleeves, vogue 8280, Julia Bobbin

Julia Bobbin, Vogue 8280, ruffled rose sleeves

I clashed the pink with the red which gives quite a quirky look which I'm sure is not for some, but heck, I like it!

 Vogue 8280, ruffled rose sleeves, Julia BobbinJulia Bobbin, Vogue 8280, ruffled rose sleeves

It also reminds me of the cartoon character Strawberry Shortcake, which makes me happy in an inexplicable way. Every one should have a strawberry hat. Seriously.

I love how the ruffles on the sleeves resemble flowers. This dress will be a good pick-me-up when it really starts getting cold here in Melbourne.

 Julia Bobbin, Vogue 8280, ruffled rose sleeves
 Julia Bobbin, Vogue 8280, ruffled Rose Sleeves

For the bodice of this dress I used Vogue pattern 8280, the galaxy dress! See my previous dress I made using the galaxy dress pattern here. I used view B with the sweet heart shaped neckline.
I substituted my own drafted sleeves for the base of the rose sleeves.

 Ruffled rose sleeves, Julia Bobbin, Vogue 8280 Julia Bobbin, ruffled rose sleeves, vogue 8280

The skirt I used a simple 3/4 circle skirt and cut it on the bias for extra flare. This helped the skirt kick out at the hem.

Julia Bobbin, Vogue 8280, ruffled rose sleeves Julia Bobbin, Ruffled rose sleeves, Vogue 8280

This dress is pretty unique, in fact so 'unique' that I'll probably never have the guts to wear it out in public. But I do love how pretty and girly it looks and I'm pleased with how it turned out.

On a side note, I was very happy to be featured in the Pattern Review blog as the member in Focus! If you're curious you can check out my interview here. Thanks Pattern Review!

Happy Easter everyone!

All the best to you and yours xxx

Julia Bobbin, Vogue 8280, ruffled rose sleeves