Refashioned Rigel Bomber

I’ve been dreaming and scheming up Rigel Bomber Jackets since the pattern was released earlier this year. Finally I’ve got one to show!

This make was inspired by Amy of Sew Amy Sew. She is hosting a fun ‘Repurpose, Reuse, Rafashion’ challenge during August. I love a good refashion – although I’m still quite a novice. I’ve just managed to sneak this entry in before the August 31st deadline.

Rigel Before & After


So, I started with the very stylish old lady dressing gown on the left and ended up with the bomber jacket on the right (above). I found the wool dressing gown at a local op-shop (thrift store) for $8 sometime last year. I had a jacket in mind when I bought it – but I was kinda waiting for my sewing skills to catch up with my ambitions a bit more before I attempted it. Amy’s competition was the motivation I needed to get busy.



This is the first Papercut Pattern that I’ve sewn.  I JUST managed to squeeze the pattern pieces out of the dressing gown – raglan sleeves take a lot more fabric than you think. I didn’t have the luxury of pattern matching, although I did match the lines across the zipper….mostly…. 😉 As I’m pretty sensitive to itchy woollen fabrics, lining the jacket was a must. I am a little perplexed that a $30 pattern comes without pattern pieces or instructions for lining, but fortunately for us, other sewers have already blogged instructions for how to line your Rigel bomber (see Liz’s post here). Given I had already made a lined jacket, albeit a tiny one, I pretty much just winged it. Fortunately it all turned out ok.



Given this is a Reusing challenge – the lining is cotton drill left over from this bag. The only thing I purchased specifically to make the jacket was the zip.

On to the pattern: I made the jacket in a small after reading online reviews and I’m happy with the fit. I read that others had lengthened the sleeves and I should have followed this advice too. Other than that (and the fact that it’s not lined), it’s all good! The instructions are adequate and if you’ve made a jacket before, or have some experience with welt pockets and zips, you’ll have no troubles.



Amy has a Flickr group for all the lovely entries that are part of the competition. Head on over there to see more refashioned creations. In the meantime, I’ll be getting as much wear as I can out of this super warm jacket before it’s too hot to wear it.

How about you, do you like to refashion things?




Pattern Review: Spring Showers Jacket

Hi everyone! If you follow nearest the pin on Instagram then you may have seen a sneak peak of this jacket already. If you’re not a follower, you can always come and join in the fun, I’m @nearestthepin.

So, I had the honour of pattern testing for Heidi of Elegance and Elephants this week and sewing up her newest pattern – the Spring Showers Jacket. This is the first jacket I’ve ever made .



The jacket is fully lined and includes two views, with the cinched waist or without. I love to sew lined garments as they give such a professional look – all my little sewing secrets (mistakes) are hidden inside the lining 😉 Not that there were many mistakes with this jacket – it really is one of those projects that looks a lot more complicated than it actually is.



I was feeling like I’d created a monster of a project with choosing checked fabric, where to match? where not to match? I just really wanted to make sure the checks were matching across the zipper – check it out!!


The fabric I used for this jacket is duck from my local large chain fabric store – sometimes, just sometimes they come through with the goods! The lining is a cotton poplin. This combination of fabrics caused me a little challenge because the duck has a bit of give in it to allow easing but the poplin has none making it a challenge when I was sewing the two fabrics together. I would have loved to try a laminated fabric or oilcloth, but I’m glad I’ve tried the pattern on an easier fabric first.

This really is an achievable project if you’ve sewn a few things before and can follow a pattern. Heidi has produced some great instructions with colour photos. Ha, and I know from experience, that if you get into trouble she’s more than happy to help you out! I attached my facing pieces the wrong way around at first meaning my lining and jacket did not match up – luckily Heidi has since made the labelling on the pattern piece clearer so it shouldn’t be a problem for you.

After taking tester feedback, the final version of the pattern has some small changes to the jacket you see here. The most noticeable change being that she has made the hood a bit smaller. My husband, who doesn’t say a whole lot about my sewing, commented that this jacket looks very impressive – that’s a big tick of approval from him! I’m really thrilled with how it has turned out and I can’t wait to see lots of other Spring Showers Jackets out in blogland. The pattern is out now and available for the reduced price of $7 for the next few days. Head over to Elegance and Elephants to see a round up of all the tester versions of this pattern.


Have a great weekend everyone and I’ll be back on Monday to kick off Kids Clothes Week – can’t wait!!



My ‘finish what you started’ challenge part 2, the striped kimono.

If you’re anything like me, you have about 100 things on the go at once at this time of the year. Although things have been a bit quiet here on the blog, there has been plenty of making going on. I’ve been busy with a coveted pattern tester role for the lovely Elisa of Charming Doodle and I’m participating in Kelli’s Ornament Exchange (more on both of these projects soon).

So what is one to do when coming up for air between these projects and the very long list of teacher gifts, Christmas presents and other assorted projects…… throw some selfish sewing into the mix of course!!



I needed a quick and easy project to give my mood a lift. I’ve had this light voile (I think its voile but I’m just guessing) in my stash for a while. I picked it up from the clearance table of my local Spotlight thinking it would become something to wear for out Port Douglas holiday. Well that holiday was last August….but better late than never, hence why this is part of my ‘finish what you started’ challenge. If you missed part 1 of this challenge, you can catch it here, but basically I have challenged myself to get through the long list of projects for which I already have fabric and patterns. The list is long my friends.


This is such a quick, easy and satisfying project. There is no pattern, but I followed this tutorial from Leanne of Elle Apparel. Leanne always looks amazing and her kimono is just gorgeous. While I followed her tutorial as written this time, I found her method of sleeve insertion (sewing up the side seams then inserting the already sewn together sleeve into the sleeve hole) didn’t really work for me, (I used French seams and overcomplicated things for myself I think) so next time I’ll attach the sleeve prior to sewing up the side seam.

What? Overcomplicate a super simple sewing project? I can and I certainly did 🙂


I love this kimono for adding a splash of colour to an otherwise everyday outfit. Now that I’ve made this muslin version, I’ll be investing in some more luxurious fabric for the next one. Ok, I’m heading back to my holiday preparations. How are yours going? Any selfish sewing going on?

What I may or may not be sewing this Kids Clothes Week

I constantly have a list running in my head of all the lovely things I am going to sew during Kids Clothes Week (Oct 21-27, where bloggers and sewers alike post their kids clothing sewing exploits over on the KCW site, it’s an amazing pool of inspiration and talent). Of course life does not suddenly allow me 400 hours of uninterrupted sewing time – so I barely get through a few items on my list. What the kids actually need in their wardrobes are usually staples – t-shirts, shorts and leggings in plain colours that can be mixed and matched. So, I thought it would be interesting to take the imaginary KCW sewing list out of my mind and onto the blog. I hope it will help me to narrow down the said list and maybe I can balance what I want to sew with what the kids need.

Um no, who am I kidding!

Firstly, let me introduce the little people I’m sewing for:


This is O, he’s 5 and a half. He’s a high energy kid who fills his time racing his Hot Wheels cars, playing ninjas with his friends and playing football (the Australian kind).

Here’s what I’d love to sew for him:

1. The Charlie Tee – Zonen 09


Photo c/o http://www.zonen09.com

From a Belgian pattern design company, this tee is a great mix of smart and comfy.

2. The Knight Hoodie from Charming Doodle


Photo c/o www.charmingdoodle.com

It’s not a pattern unfortunately, just some lovely inspiration. Elisa has suggested that there may be a tutorial coming soon (Please, please, please!!).

3. Long Boardies Pattern by Make It Perfect


Photo c/o www.makeitperfect.com.au

Perfect for our up-coming summer but I’ve not done any research into where to find great swimwear fabrics – any suggestions?

4. DIY Graphic Tee Tutorial by Shwin & Shwin


Photo c/o www.shwinandshwin.blogspot.com

WHHHAATTT! I was more than a little excited to read Shauna’s post this week that you can buy Transfer Artist Paper, print an image onto it and transfer it onto a t-shirt. How awesome is this, apparently it doesn’t crack or fade too much. My mind is racing with the possibilities. Now to source this magical paper in Australia…


This is Miss A, she’s 2. She has her dad wrapped around her finger. She loves to paint and to jump. She clearly needs some new t-shirts as the one she is wearing above is a 6-12 month size and is quite on the short side.

1. Mara Blouse Pattern by Compagnie M


Photo c/o http://compagnie-m.blogspot.be

What a gorgeous light and summery top with a range of sleeve and length options, from another Belgian designer.

2. Haute Hippie Crop Pattern by CarliFayeCollection


Photo c/o CarliFayeCollection

Gah, how adorable is all I can say?!? I’m not usually a fan of child dressing as adult, but I think this jacket works.

3. Ballet Sweater Pattern by Heidi and Finn


Photo c/o Heidi & Finn

Girly but not ruffly. Warm and comfy. Hmm, I’d like one in my size too!

4. Swingset Tunic and Skirt by Oliver and S


Image c/o http://oliverands.com

This image does not do justice to this cute little ensemble. I was inspired by Kristen’s gorgeous version of the skirt here.

There is more than enough inspiration for me here. Now to put my head down and see how far I can get…. I’d LOVE to sew it all but there are only so many sewing hours in a week 🙂

What are your plans for KCW? Any of these on your list?