Polka dot dress Burda 12/2013 #121 and Vogue 1368

Black And White Never Go Out Of Style


It’s no secret that my style is heavily influenced by all things feminine: lace, polka dots, bows, ribbons, ruffles… I love them all. For those of you looking for a basic and feminine style that looks polished but still works for casual situations, I would recommend quite wholeheartedly these patterns from Burda (12/2013 #121) and Vogue 1368.

I love the simple skirt from Burda pattern but didn’t have enough fabric required to sew a midi gathered style. I had only 1.5 meters of the silk to sew with. This is always my problem when hoarding fabric! How many meters of fabric do you usually purchase when you spot a gorgeous fabric but have no project in mind?

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one obsessed with this rayon pin dots embroidered on 100% crinkled silk because it was almost sold out at The Fabric Store when I purchased it couple of months back. The Fabric Store is one of the best… uuhh fabric store in Melbourne in my opinion. They stock the most beautiful printed silk, and sometimes if you’re lucky, you can score fabric from designers like Kate Spade or Tory Burch with a reasonable price, too. I know I did with a Tory Burch piece, but I haven’t got around to decide the style for it yet.

This dress is lined with white silk CDC I purchased a long time ago intending to sew a blouse with. Most seams are French seams, except for the sleeves. I sewed bias bindings at neckline and sleeve hems by hand. At first I though I would sew a tiny bow at centre of the neckline. However the grosgrain ribbon was a little on the stiff side; therefore I folded it and embellished with two pearl buttons. 

These 2 patterns are straight forward, except for the part where it was pretty time consuming to sew French seams. I did not follow instructions from neither patterns. The only tricky part is I had to add elastic to the bodice pattern at waistline, otherwise it’s impossible to pop this dress on. This is due to the bodice pattern was designed to have invisible zipper at centre back, whilst the skirt pattern has zipper at side seam. I did not modify any of the pattern.

This dress is so comfortable and I thought it would be very versatile throughout the year. With tights for cooler day and top it up with a coat, it can be dressed up for work, or just worn by itself. Polka-dot-silk-dress-08

Thank you for reading :)


Simplicity 1168 bell sleeve shift dress

Vintage Floral Print

Just a quick post today on this short but hectic week. Autumn is almost half way here in Melbourne but not feeling like it just yet… I’m enjoying the unusual warm weather these couple of days and this comfy bell-sleeves shift dress has gotten its fair share of wear from me.Simplicity 1168 bell sleeve shift dress

I used Simplicity 1168 pattern which was first sewed here with lace organza at the beginning of the year. However this time I cut one size up from the waist down. I added two side pockets and the bodice was half-lined. This was the first time I half-lined a bodice pattern, but actually quite easy to draft.  There’re so many things I love about this dress: the length is right above my knee which helps to balance out the lack of the waistline; the vintage floral print taffeta fabric is light and wears beautifully; the additional bell-sleeves design is feminine and flirty, which makes a big difference visually from the first version.

I used By Hand London’s Circle skirt calculator to draft the bell sleeves. I chose the half circle style and the waist is the measurement of the sleeve hem.Simplicity 1168 bell sleeve shift dress Simplicity 1168 bell sleeve shift dress

Last month I was excited to have won the random prize of the Bargainista Contest over at Pattern Runway for my Kate Spade inspired cats and cream dress. I received the Sulky embroidery threads package couple of days ago and already have some ideas in mind. So please stay tuned :)PatternReview random prize winner

Simplicity 1279 Kate Spade NY cat and cream dress inspiration

Like It Sew It: Kate Spade NY Cats and Cream Dress

Sewing a new piece of resort wear before going on vacation was on top of my “to-do” list this month, and I was quite overwhelm by the choice of style and fabric when being on the lookout for inspiration. Last SS season, Kate Spade released some stellar dresses from their collection that I just could not get out of my head. I finally settled on this cute, fresh and romantic Kate Spade Cats and Cream dress (retailed for USD 378 excl. tax). I love the fact that the style is also versatile enough to be worn on an everyday basis, with heels, sandals or even a pair of sneaker!

if only all days were filled with this much natural light.

A photo posted by kate spade new york (@katespadeny) on

Simplicity 1279 Kate Spade cats and cream dress inspiration

I squealed when I saw the exact same fabric at The Fabric Store in Melbourne. There wasn’t origin info on the tag but I suspected it was by Kate Spade, too. I’m definitely not a ‘cat lady’ but this purr-fect darling cats and cream print just completely swept me off my feet. So adorable! The fabric is 100% viscose, has a nice drape but not slippery so it was a pleasant to sew with.

I could have easily picked up ready-to-make patterns such as the drop waist dress by Pattern Runway, but decided to sew Simplicity 1279 shirt pattern instead, which is part of Threads Magazine Collection. This Simplicity pattern with gathers at front and back yokes helps to maintain the integrity of Kate Spade’s design really well. Simplicity 1279 Kate Spade NY cat and cream dress inspiration

There are 3 versions in this pattern. I chose view A with peter pan collar. Here is roughly how I modified the pattern to get desired effect:

  • Removed sleeves.
  • Reduced front and back yokes on the sleeve side by 1.5 cm (5/8″). By the look of the shirts on the models, the shoulder would have been too wide if remaining the same when not sewing sleeves.
  • Subsequently reduced the front and back pattern pieces at sleeve seams, and blended to your normal bust size at side seams.
  • I cut size 6 for bodice as usual for Simplicity pattern. However I extended to between size 12 & 14 from the waist down.
  • Extended hemline by measuring 22cm (approx. 9″) from waistline to hip.
  • Cut 2 rectangle pieces of fabric, with the width is 1.5 times the width of the shirt hem.
  • Added pockets at side seams.Simplicity 1279 Kate Spade NY cat and cream dress inspiration

The pattern instruction is very clear to follow with great visual illustrations. The dress is very comfortable to wear so I thought it would be similar if I were to choose to sew a shirt (hopefully in the near future). Simplicity 1279 Kate Spade NY cat and cream dress inspiration

This dress gives off a lady-like essence, complete with a cute ruffled hemline and bow tied at collar which also can be worn as bow belt! Score! I bought the ribbon from Spotlight. It required approximately 1.5 meters to have similar effect as one from the photo.

Ladies, if you are afraid that showing your kitty love may be a bit immature, you can think again. Thanks so much for reading : ).

p.s. Ooh my legs look as if they suffer a serious spray tans from hell. I need a lighting lesson, quick! : )


Travel-friendly Pouches and Eye Mask

I usually start thinking about what I should bring/wear/leave at home/buy a couple of weeks or even months before going on vacation and try to be as organised as I can. I don’t know about you guys but I’m definitely not a light-travel person. If I had to write what essentials to me in term of gadgets or skin care, it would be a long post, not to mention clothes! (Sigh…).

Currently I’m in the process of shortlisting what skincare products I am bring along. Because it’s a fairly short trip, almost two weeks, I think I can manage just to include samples and gift with purchase products with me, instead of full-size items. The criteria is simple. All I need is a travel pouch to separate skincare to makeup products, that is carry-on so I can use any time. During long-haul flight, using moisturising product is very important as the air is reusable which makes your skin very easily dehydrated. In my previous trips I chucked everything in one huge pouch and it’s just prone to messiness. Travel-pouches-01

These pouches were very simple to make. You can easily search for tutorials on the Internet. I used normal zip for smaller one and invisible zip for the bigger pouch, which is intended to house all my travel documents such as tickets, pens and passports etc… I would prefer to sew normal zip but I did not have the right colour on hand at the time. Although tutorials are available at the click of the mouse, I found none for sewing pouch with invisible zipper. Therefore if there’s enough requests, I will create a ‘tutorial’ when I’m back. Both pouches were applied heavyweight fusible fleece and lined.Travel-pouches-02

This bird print fabric is from Ikea, a very old design by Sissi Edholm and Lisa Ullenius (2007). I did not buy it back in 2007 but it’s safe to say it’s almost 7 or 8 years ago. I intended to make a decorative canvas pictures, but quickly gave up and it has sat in my drawer ever since. Eye-Mask-01

I sewed an eye mask, too! The free pattern and tutorial is available on SewBon’s blog. Hubby likes the idea of wearing the eye mask during flight because we will be sitting for 8 hour, during day time so if not watching movies or reading books, it would be a good idea to wear one of this to help falling asleep. (I hope! : ) I will sew him one but maybe in different colour. Like others, I have lots of scrap fabric sitting around.

Thank you for reading : )


Tier lace gather skirt

Layers of Scarlet Red

When there are multiple tiered dresses appear on recent Elie Saab, Valentino, Chanel or Sonia Rykiel FW16/17 runway shows, you know ‘Tier’ will be the trend. And with its fun, youthful and feminine silhouette, this trend is one of the ultimate statements of romance. It’s much easier to pull off than I thought, both daytime and evening wear.

Tiered lace skirt

Having one panel of gorgeous scarlet red guipure lace on hand, I quickly sewed up a gather skirt with two tiers. I did not use any commercial pattern, but can’t really say I ‘draft’ the pattern myself as the whole skirt consists of only two rectangular pieces of fabric, plus the waistband. If you haven’t picked up or sew a tier dress/skirt this season, I highly recommend adding this fashionable element to your Autumn (or Spring on the other side of the pond : ) wardrobe. If you’d like a quick instruction of how I prepared, please read on:

  • The width of both tiers are twice of your waist measurement, plus 3cm for seam allowance of both sides, meet at centre back.
  • Depending on your liking that the length of each tier is determined. For me, I wanted the first tier to fall just below mid-thigh, and the second tier cover the knees.
  • The width of the waistband is again, your waist measurement, plus 3cm seam allowance.
  • The height of the waistband pattern piece is your desired height, times 2, plus 3cm seam allowance. Mine is 3.5 cm.
  • I also cut the waistband pattern piece in both cotton sateen fabric and fusible interfacing in order to stabilise it.

That’s it! Quick and easy. I finished my skirt within couple of hours. For me this project is also a great introduction to sewing delicate lace as I have quite a few guipure lace fabrics sitting around but I’m so scare to cut and ‘accidentally’ destroy them. Tiered lace gather skirt

This skirt is actually heavier than it looks. Including lining, there are three layers of fabric. The lace itself is beautiful and has luxurious sturdy feel to it. Initially I wanted to save this lace for sewing a dress, thinking a simple sleeveless shift dress. However it would have some scrap fabric left that I don’t know what to do with, and I just can’t take myself to throw them out. Therefore this skirt to me is a great choice because I can use every last bit of lace in it.

I took advantage of the two beautiful scallop selvages for the hems of each tier. However I had a hard time deciding whether to keep the ‘lashes’ or cut them out all together (first world problem, not!). Therefore in the end I decided: keep the ‘lashes’ on the second tier and cut them off on the first.

Clockwise: Original selvage; ‘Lashes’ cut off on the first tier; ‘Lashes’ kept on the second tier.
Tier lace gather skirtTiered lace gather skirt

Tiered lace skirt like this one is not too over the top, but still adds a bit of glam to your whole outfit. I am not the one who can really rock lots of fashionable, trendy styles but this one is slowly becoming my addiction at the moment.

Thank you for reading. : )


Bride Wars the wardrobe

The Movie Wardrobe: Bride Wars

Bride Wars the wardrobe

Hi everyone and Happy International Women’s Day!!!

I first saw this movie Bride Wars when it came out back in 2009. The story line isn’t anything special but this romantic comedy is somewhat entertaining and fun to watch with unexpected ending.

I remember at that time thinking how glamorous Emma (Ann Hathaway) and Liv (Kate Hudson) were and felt in love with next to all outfits Emma wore, and some of Liv’s, too! Emma’s outfits are simple but understated elegant, timelessly romantic and more affordable. She repeats this style and some outfits throughout the whole movie and somehow it reflects on her wedding dress’s choice compare to Liv’s. Even though they are best friends, they have totally different personalities, if not opposite. To me Liv’s outfits are more chic, trendy and gearing toward centre of attention. Her Vera Wang’s tulle wedding dress is like one on the top of every wedding cakes!

I watched this movie again last weekend and decided to start a new series for Mai Attique – The Movie Wardrobe. In this series I will take screenshots (or if possible, google for better quality photos) chronologically of (hopefully) all looks, do research of actual brands as much as I can, and provide recommendations of closest sewing patterns for anyone wants to replicate the look. So let’s start!

Continue reading

Simplicity Cynthia Rowley 1607 dress 01

Taking the ‘leap’ into Autumn

It looks like I can only keep my New Year resolution of posting more regularly for merely… a month! I know I know… shame on me! I’m still sewing though. In the matter of fact, I’m sewing like crazy in preparing for my holiday trip to Vietnam in a couple of weeks. There will definitely be more opportunity to dress up, take photos and show you guys : )

I love this dress and have worn a tonne already during late Summer. The pattern is another popular Simplicity 1607 by Cynthia Rowley. This is a well-thought out design and a gorgeous style. All seams fall on to the right places. It may be hard to see because of the chain link printed pattern, but there’s a band at waist line and skirt yokes. The gather provides a slight flare and does make your bottom half look bigger. So if you’re a small hip girl, this pattern is for you. I even think this pattern is also can be pulled off by long-torso girls out there; however you probably need to sew up a muslin first as you may have to adjust the back straps for better fit.Simplicity Cynthia Rowley 1607


Simplicity Cynthia Rowley 1607 dress 04

I chose view B with a modified neckline as the original cuts a bit deep for my taste. The drafting is very flattering and can be paired with a cardigan for a cooler Autumn day. If you look closely, you may notice there’s a small gap at neckline but that may due to my rush and poor modification, not the pattern’s.

I love a good sale and discount as much as anybody, especially when you can find the same fabric as one on the pattern envelop! This chain link fabric is a quilting cotton from PaintBox collection, also designed by Cynthia Rowley. I purchased it from Spotlight for only $4/meter! For those from the other side of the pond, you can view the collection from Hawthorne Thread here, although this exact colour is no longer available last time I checked.

Simplicity Cynthia Rowley 1607 dress 09

Simplicity Cynthia Rowley 1607 dress 09

I love those straps at the back! They fit me like a glove without any adjustments, plus they don’t look too revealing like those on view A. Therefore with the right choice of fabric and colour, this pattern can easily be sewed into a work dress, too.

Thank you for reading : )