Wednesday 11 December 2019

Melbourne Frocktails - The Stash Bag edit

We're pretty proud of the take home stash bag that we introduced to Melbourne Frocktails when we took over the event last year. This year the stash bag was bursting with great stuff.

Our bags are eco produce bags that we had printed with our logo on the front. Perfect for the fruit and vegie shopping long after frocktails is over.

We encouraged all of our sponsors to have some kind of physical presence in the stash bag. We collected business cards, discount vouchers as well as a lovely array of gifts. There were mini posters, fabric/wool wash samples, bias binding, buttons and trims.

The bags were full to the brim and were handed out as guests left by our lovely doormen!

As soon as the dust had settled on my cocktail hangover I got stuck into some of the bigger gifts and sewed up the little treasures that were in a stash bag.

Let's see what one could make just using what was in the stash bag...

First up, I made this top for my daughter.

A very generous sponsor, Lush Fabrics had sent us 5 cartons of fabric!! There was a 1m cut of fabric for every attendee. They also sent a couple of extras for Lisa and I and I've already shown you the t-shirt I made for myself.

While we were packing the 150 stash bags we gave A the job of putting one fabric package into each stash bag. Then Lisa and I went dizzy going round a table and gathering all the other bits to add to the bag.

The pay off for her help was that A got to choose one of the fabrics to keep in our stash bag.

This fabric is a beautifully soft, gauzy knit. The feel and hand of it is really nice. It was plastic wrapped when she chose it so she just went for the big stars, but she has barely taken the top off since it was made and I understand why.

I chose the dolman sleeved top from Ottobre that I'd made back here. Same size, although I added 1" length to the sleeves and to the body.

It was the perfect pattern as the bias binding I'd use for the shoulders was also in the stash bag. Fibresmith had gifted us a beautiful discount card and each card had either a Soak wash sample or some bias binding attached. I'd scored some bias binding that matched my fabric pretty nicely.

When I split the bias binding in half lengthwise so make it thinner it turned out to be more than enough for the sleeves. So then I decided to use the bit remaining to bind the neckline. It was exactly the right amount!

The gorgeous little You Are Loved label was a gift from Kylie and the Machine that was included in the stash bag.

Technically, the hem elastic didn't come out of my own stash bag, but it was part of the insane amount of stuff that was donated to Frocktails by Jimmy's Buttons. Lisa and I spent a whole extra day putting little bundles of lace, jewelled collars, belt buckles, toggles and buttons into small brown paper bags.

Next up was the collaboration between Melbourne Frocktails, Next State Print and BloglessAnna.

I've already waxed lyrical about Next State Print when they made the fabric for our Bowie skinsuits.
Well, they generously offered to print a panel to go in every stash bag that could be a cut and sew type purse or pouch.

At about the same time as we were having that conversation, BloglessAnna offered to gift every attendee one of her gorgeous metal zips.... What if the zip was intended for the pouch, we thought...

And so the Apertio pouch was born. Lisa and I thought about a basic pouch pattern, but wanted something a bit unique, and when we put the idea to Anna that here was an opportunity to create a pouch pattern, specifically for her zip, she was all over it.

Of course, our deadline was maybe not her idea of pattern creating fun. But if you haven't downloaded the free Apertio pouch yet, you should, it's a beautifully designed purse and the instructions are top notch.

Lisa did the fabric design and made it perfectly match the colours of Anna's zippers as well as getting everyone's logos on the bottom panel.

The other clever thing we could do was design a directional print which would change direction at exactly the point where the bag folded at the top. Usually a directional print wouldn't work for this pattern as the back would end up with the print upside down.

As it was with my leftover Frocktails shirt fabric that I used for the lining:

If the fabrics are looking a bit weirdly shiny in these photos it's because I covered both the outer and the lining fabrics in iron on vinyl before sewing the pouch. It's turned it into a perfect toiletries bag.

Oh, and I had a tiny extra bit of frocktails shirt fabric, so I made a simple internal pocket (not part of the pattern, but easy to add).

The final bit of sewing I did was new territory for me.

I took on the challenge of making some underwear with one of the little bundles that every attendee was gifted from Pitt Trading.

In the bundle was some stretch fabric, lace, a floral applique and fold over elastic. All tied together with a pretty cord and a little heart tag.  It looked like a half metre cut and an experienced underwear sewist would know what the fabric is, but it was a good synthetic knit with strong recovery.

I figured there would be enough for a singlet and knickers so long as I didn't mind the singlet being a bit short...

No modelled pictures (ha!), as what I hadn't quite imagined was just how sheer, and see through this otherwise quite substantial fabric would be!! The fabric would be perfect for shapewear, as the hold it in factor of this underwear set is great. I'll be wearing under clothes for sure!

The pattern is Jalie 2568, which I happened to have in my Jalie stash. A pattern for camisole and pants.

The camisole pattern is intended to have stretch lace finishing the neckline. The lace that was included in my bundle was not stretch, but what I did was stretch it to fit the neckline as best I could, and then I used the pretty cord from the bundle to thread through the free lace edge and gather it. It kind of works :)

The back neckline and armholes are finished with the fold over elastic from the bundle.

That left me with enough fold over elastic to finish either the waistline, or the leg holes of the knickers but not both.

I elected to use it on the legs and then created a fold over hem at the waist and put some of the lace under the front hem.

I thought about adding the floral applique thingy but it was a bit more cream than the stark white of the fabric and I figured my see-through-scanties were fancy enough!

I'm quite proud of having been able to find a way to make a full set of functional, if not practical, undies out of that little gift.

I'm also very proud of what we've created for our Frocktails attendees with the stash bags and I hope every one else has found useful treasure in their bags. Now I need to go online shopping and use up my discount vouchers!


  1. Wow a very thorough review of our wonderful bags, as I've only managed a very quick look.

    1. Well then you should wrap it and put it under the tree for yourself! It's a real treat.


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