i’m showing you a bit of a fancy pants make today; my version of simplicity 6468.
a few months ago simplicity asked me if i would like to review a couple of patterns for them. my cousin is getting married in april; i thought it would be a nice occasion to make a dress for, so i chose 6468 as i liked the look of the floaty sleeves on view C’s bodice. i didn’t want to make a long dress, because it’s not my usual vibe, so i went for the shorter skirt from view D.
i’ve tried to get photos from different angles as the print is quite large.
the fabric i used is from the sewcial studio in tamworth – isn’t it beautiful? they’ve got a huge selection of lovely fabrics (include so much jersey!) so it’s definitely worth checking out. thanks so much to amanda for letting me have some for this project!
i spent a long time deciding the best placement for the pattern; i really didn’t want to cut a bird’s head off!! hopefully it worked out and looks nice enough!
the front has loops for the buttons, and a nice little flap keeps things modest, with no chance for any skin to peep through those loops.
you’ll notice a distinct absence of, well, me in the pictures! i really like the dress but it’s a little too snug across my bum & hips. it’s not “unwearable” tight, but i am going to make sure i stay off the chocolate and crisps between now and april!
word of warning though – this skirt is the second largest size and it’s snug on me with a 43″ hip, so if you’re going to make it, it’s something to consider!
i might unpick my elastic casing and take the elastic in a bit, it could do with being a bit tighter round my waist. i think it would also help keep it sitting on my natural waist as it’s a bit low. i’m loathed to take the waist up as i think it would lose the blousiness, which you can see it’s lacking a bit now due to the elastic not being quite tight enough.
i’m excited about making more summery things now! keep an eye out for my second and final simplicity make in the coming few weeks – it’s something completely different!
if i had to restrict myself to 7 words, those would be them! however it’s my blog and i’m generally quite a wordy gal, so i’ve got many more than 7 words to say.
i’ll start by saying i won this pattern, along with a book about printing fabric by zeena, in a competition marilla & zeena ran in late december. the book is so lovely with some really different ideas about printing fabric, and actually includes things you can really do at home, which i love! i haven’t got the capacity to get a whole flipping screen printing set up, but there’s some really great things you can do with a lint roller & elastic bands! here’s a link to the book on her shop!
i made version a, the more “classic” shirt dress, with the collar.
the thing that sold me about the pattern even before i won it was the really interesting diagonal seam detailing on the bodice. they are actually functional princess seams, not just a fancy design feature which i really like.
marilla’s instructions are fantastic throughout. she’s included really details diagrams and notes on how to do SBAs/FBAs which are invaluable, especially on view B which has a really different construction.
i made my first version in this grey fabric which was on the £2p/m table at barry’s. i didn’t expect to want to wear it afterwards, it really was a fit check, but after i’d constructed the bodice i decided just to go for it and make the whole dress because i loved the way it was coming together. i think it’s a suiting fabric, and i’ve worn it to work a few times (my office is pretty casual!).
i made a size 5 overall after looking at the finished garment measurements. i could probably go down a size, especially in the waist, but as it’s an over the head dress, i didn’t want to take too much away in case i couldn’t get it on!
i used buttons i bought from liberty when i went with my mom one day, and i think they’re a nice compliment to the dress. i wonder if the buttons cost more than the dress fabric? i can’t remember how much they were now haha.
for my second version, i raised the waist by 1cm, and took another inch off the already-shortened skirt from the grey version… probably a total of about 4 inches off the original pattern length. i’m not a tall lady and looking at the pictures of marilla’s samples, i could see it was going to be a bit longer than i was comfortable with.
i bought my denim at the same time as buying the grey fabric, so it’s from barry’s again. i can’t even tell you how soft and lovely this stuff is to work with and wear too. i wanted to really take my time with this, but then i got invited down to london to claire-louise’s studio, and decided this was the dress i wanted to wear haha. it got lots of lovely compliments from everybody there, so i would say it was a success!
i’m always so frustrated by top stitching on collars. why can’t it be perfect? i spent a long time unpicking and re-stitching as i was using such an obvious contrast colour thread. i’m hoping it’s okay now anyway.
i used buttons from my nan’s sewing box, which my dad gave to me after she passed away about 18 months ago. her mom used to make outfits to go dancing in, so there’s some pretty interesting stuff among it all! i really like the texture of these buttons, and i’ve got some left over to make something else with too which is great.
i couldn’t be happier with this dress, i just wish i had good reason to make another 5 haha.
today i’ve got a special project to show you. it’s a super fancy jumpsuit that i’ve made to support the eve appeal.
i was asked to be involved with the cocktail hour (the theme for this year’s project) earlier in the year and said yes straight away – i loved seeing everyone’s posts from last year’s big vintage sew along. the whole sip & sew cocktail hour is in with conjunction with butterick and the eve appeal is a gynaecological cancer research charity who do amazing work. it’s sad to say we probably all know some who has been affected by a cancer of this type, so supporting the charity is something important for everyone.
we were sent a catalogue of patterns to choose from and i can’t say what is was that made me pick the jumpsuit (9160)… i think maybe because it was a bit different to the other patterns. what i don’t think was a good idea was picking something with trousers because i’d never made any trousers before now!
i loved the short sleeved cross over top, but i was unsure about the trousers. i’m not as comfortable with something form fitting on my bottom half so i was going to swap the trousers out for a skirt, but then i remembered about the culottes that came with love sewing magazine a couple of months ago! they are butterick b6178. i decided to do my first ever pattern mash up… again, not sure what made me think i could do this easily! i chose view D.
i sat on this idea for ages until a couple of weekends ago until i realised how close my deadline was, eep! i managed to talk to lucy at sew essential at the sewing weekender. sew essential’s warehouse is about 40 minutes from my house and i knew they stocked fabric that would be perfect for this. lucy very kindly opened up the warehouse for me on a saturday morning and i chose my fabric. the lace is this john kaldor tocca, and the twill is this dynasty two way stretch. it was just the dark blue colour that i had in mind and the two looked perfect together.
i did a toile of both the culottes and the bodice, and the fit was good on both. the mistake i made was not to join them together, i just assumed that it would work. more on that in a minute!
i used the scallop from the edge of the lace as the pattern said to do the fronts and the sleeves.
when i put the culottes and the bodice together, i tried it on and i would say there was a fair amount of uncomfortableness in the crotch area, haha. i ended up dropping crotch seam about 2 inches, which has made things better although i do think i could do with maybe another inch just to make things that bit more comfortable. then i decided that it would look a little more “put together” with a waistband, which i now wish i had interfaced. it’s not the end of the world though!
once i put the waistband on, then the zip in, i checked the fit… and realised because i’d lengthened the bodice due to the waistband, so i had to unpick it all and take an inch of the waistband, then put it all back together again!
but now it’s the right length and all is well in the world.
showing off the culottes, haha.
i basted the lace down along the edge as without it the lace was flopping around a bit too much. i hope you can see the effort that i went to here to pattern match my lace! haha.
every piece of the lace and lining had to be basted together by hand, and i had to thread trace all the construction points too. that took a long time, let me tell you! it hasn’t completely put me off sewing lace, but i think i’ll save the next time until i make my wedding dress one day.
so there you go, there’s my cocktail hour outfit! i might wear this to a wedding i am going to tomorrow… there will be more pictures appear if i do!
as part of the cocktail hour, every one of the patterns sold as part of the cocktail hour will raise money for the eve appeal.
i also have a copy of the jumpsuit pattern to give away! if you fancy trying your hand at sewing lace, then leave me a comment on this post or instagram telling me what your favourite song to dance to with a cocktail in hand is! mine is probably something from the 90’s… i’m going for whitney houston – somebody who loves me!
there’s still plenty more posts to look forward to by some very talented people, here’s a list of each blogger taking part in the sip & sew cocktail hour:
i’m blogging a make today that i am in loooooove with.
it’s another linden sweatshirt, but this time in a gorgeous atelier brunette dazzle night sweatshirt jersey from Cotton Reel Studio. laura got in touch with me when the shop first opened and asked if i would like some – how could i say no?! unfortuantly the fabric i had is sold out now, but they have so many other beautiful fabrics it’s 100 million percent worth taking a look.
i would describe this fabric as a lightweight sweatshirt jersey, it’s probably got a similar weight to a ponte roma, but with a super soft loop back.
when the parcel eventually landed (thanks/no thanks royal mail) laura had included some gold bias binding to match the gold flecks in the fabric. POW! the gold piping linden was born.
i was so excited about it i even bought metallic thread to make everything that extra bit shinier. i got a metallic needle for it, and had absolutely no problems sewing with it.
i used the metallic thread around the cuffs, neckband and waistband. i thought about doing it either side of the piping but i didn’t want to stretch anything out when things had already gone well up to that point. if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. i used a straight stitch on about length 3. i thought about using a triple stitch, but actually it’s oversized enough that none of the parts i’ve top stitched need stretching to get the jumper on.
this is as “full front” of a picture that you’re getting of this, because a) the conservatory was too warm for me to be in there for longer than 10 minutes b) my glasses were giving me glare and i had to take them all off. now i’ve got this squint from the blurriness and the brightness, haha. also everyone knows what a linden looks like now so that’s fine.
you can see the gold stitching round the neckband a bit more here.
i made an adjustment from the first linden i made, and that was to add an inch all the way around the neck to make it come up a bit higher. i really love my first one, but it sometimes had some tshirt-peeping going on, and i’d like to hide everything away. i don’t want to look scruffier than i am! that meant that i had to shorten the original neckband, but that wasn’t a problem.
i’ve actually been too worried to wash it because i don’t know how well the piping will hold up, are you supposed to wash that before you put it in garments too!? i think a cold wash or a hand wash will be what this gets treated to, haha.
little disclaimer: the fabric was provided by cotton reel studio, but the shiny gold piping induced views are my all my own. thought of them all by myself, haha.
i’ve got a new pattern to show off today! well, i say new, but i’ve had it in my stash since august 2016..!
it’s the sew over it doris dress. i love the 90’s vibes that this dress has got, and i have been waiting for the right fabric to make it with. when i went to doughty’s with elle a couple of weeks ago, this viscose told me to buy it, soooo i did.
i cut a straight size 14. i think it was an inch too big on the bust measurement but i often have issues with grown on sleeves; they bunch up under my arms and always look too tight when i blend between sizes. i think part of why it’s taken me so long to make this is reservations about how it will actually look on me.
i really like it now it’s made, but i had to make a change to the shoulders once it was all made up. the top was absolutely SWAMPING me. like, way more than the inch that the measurements said it was too big. however, the sleeves did fit really nicely so that solved one problem i guess.
i bought the shoulders up & in by 5/8th of an inch, front and back. it was undeniably a bit of a pain, having to unpick the top stitching, unpick the facing, take the shoulders in, take the facing in, then re-sew it all! however i think it was worth the extra time it took to sort it all out.
i did what everyone else that has made this dress has done and just sewed the buttons straight through the placket. i’m not about introducing gaping risk if i don’t have to. also button holes in viscose… no thanks.
i didn’t quite have enough fabric for the full skirt panels which was a bit annoying, and my fault for only buying 2m of fabric. i folded in about an inch or so from the bottom of each panel, so it’s not actually as swishy as it should be – however it is so swishy anyway so i don’t think it’s had any detriment to the dress at all. the only thing i’m disappointed about is the fact i didn’t have enough fabric to make the long back tie. i went with the little back panel thing (who knows what is it really) and matched my buttons to the front.
i wasn’t sure whether to use white buttons to make them stand out, but i think i’ll stick with these for now. they catch the light and shine grey every now and again – obviously impossible to capture on camera.
i used my dressmaker’s dummy again to hem it after letting the skirt drop for a few days. after trying it on, i thought it was way too long. which then made me sad again because i probably could have got the long tie out of my fabric if i’d just cut the skirt pieces the right length anyway. never mind eh! i’ll just have to make it again.
i lobbed about 3 inches off the overall length and then hemmed it, which took forEVER because there was so much of it! i’m kind of glad i had to let it hang for so long, i would have been too bored doing it on the same day as doing the rest of the dress haha.
i don’t think i have time to make a new dress for christmas day, so i’ll probably wear this. i’ve made an astoria jumper to go along with it, so i might put a few embellishments on the jumper to make it a bit christmassy.
so there you go, doris! i’ll be on the look out for some more cute viscose to make another in the new year.
man what a busy few weeks it’s been since i posted last. i’ve been sewing quite a bit but really haven’t had much spare time to get around to taking pictures.
i had to make some time to do pictures this morning though as i’ve done a pattern review for a magazine – exciting! i can’t show you what i made yet, but the post will be up in february time.
i took the opportunity to take pictures of some other things i’ve made. they’re not all recent makes, and you’ve probably seen me wearing a few of these already on instagram, but i haven’t blogged about them. i considered making separate posts about them all, but actually they all work so well together i thought i’d call this post my “interchangeable separates”.
so here we go… the mega crop bumper blog as elle from sewpositivity has just called it haha. i did iron everything in these pictures before i took them but i’ll be damned if they really don’t look like it now lol!
the astoria jumper from seamwork magazine/colette patterns is something i have made a couple of times before but only blogged once (i think!). yesterday i made this grey one out of a lovely fabric i got from doughtys when i went with elle the other day.
it took me as long to get this neckline stretched out to perfection as it did to construct the rest of the top! however i’m really pleased with it now and am really happy with the twin needle finishing.
i’ve got fabric lined up to make another 3 of these. i really love the length to wear with high waisted things, or under things as i don’t have to worry about the bulk of tucking things in.
i spent a really long time top stitching this skirt, and i actually used top stitching thread. because it’s thicker than normal thread, you need a topstitching needle to work with it. i used a regular weight grey thread in my bobbin. it’s a time like that when you want one machine set up for regular sewing, and a second machine set up for top stitching.. if only, eh!
it’s the second one of these skirts i made, the first being this mustard cord one…
the fabric was from guthrie and ghani last year in their end of year sale. i believe this stuff sold out extremely quickly!
i used my precious scraps of a double gauze, also from guthrie and ghani, for the pockets here. i love a navy/mustard combination!
i think i made a straight size 14 in this skirt. i compared a RTW button down skirt i already have to see whether it would be okay. i call them standing up skirts because there is no stretch in either fabric and therefore doesn’t make for a comfortable sitting down for dinner skirt! haha.
another recent make which goes with my denim skirt is my seamwork neenah top. this is sold as a dress pattern, but i just chopped off where i wanted my hem to be; you can’t see here but it’s the same length as a standard tshirt.
you can see the lines underneath my skirt from where the top is tucked in – this is why i like a crop length!
this top was really easy to make and there’s not a lot more to say than “it’s a t-shirt” haha. i do like the little cuffs, which make a change from just a turned under hem on a sleeve. the roll neck is pretty long – mine goes over three times! extra snuggly for winter.
the fabric for this one was on the £2 p/m table at barry’s. i bought the fabric in black, grey and olive green too because i think they’ll fit in well with all these interchangeable separates!
it’s made from a robert kaufman denim which i bought from john lewis with some birthday money in the summer. it’s got a really subtle plaid running through it which i really struggled to capture/completely failed to capture. because of the seemingly invisible plaid, i decided to cut the front and back as whole pieces; i just folded the seam allowance back and then cut them “on the fold”.
i’m sure everyone and their wife has made this dress now but i’m not surprised. it’s really cute and i always love wearing mine.
the first one i made is this one; in a rather soft denim from barry’s.
this one is shorter than my black one. i didn’t want a “mini” version, so i added two inches to the mini pattern piece length. i have a real thing about things being central so i didn’t follow the seam instructions, instead i just did a regular seam, pressed it open and top stitched down either side. sometimes i think this denim is too lightweight but then it’s so comfortable that i don’t care too much!
i made this probably a year ago(ish) and i like it, i think i might give it another go but would add 1cm each side of the shoulder to give me some extra width before my sleeve starts. i feel like i’m always tugging it down so it sits properly.
it might be down to the fabric being so spongy though; it was an off cut from a lady at the rag market and really was only meant to be a wearable toile.
i realised that i didn’t get any un-covered pictures of that so here’s a couple on my new dressmaker’s dummy – i’m so happy with it! i drove all the way to leeds to collect it from becca. i was really cheeky and sent her a message asking what she was doing with her old one after she posted about having a new one! haha.
the next outfit doesn’t include any of the previous elements but i think i could wear it with my astoria jumper; it’s the sew over it tulip skirt. boy did i have problems fitting this!! somewhere on my instagram there’s a picture of how tight it was, even though i cut out the right size. i’m under no illusion that i’m about 2 stone heavier than when i started the blog, but i have definitely measured myself frequently and properly haha!
i got the wool from the rag market at the very first sewbrum – 3 years ago?! i bought the lining especially to match the wool and was waiting for the perfect pattern. i’m not entirely convinced that this isn’t too bulky, but it does get a lot of wear to work.
you might remember the black one from instagram when i had to do some speedy sewing – i was interviewing people at work and had no suitable clothing! i prefer this one to the green one, just because it’s not as bulky. however it’s not lined so i always have to wear a slip with it. the fabric is just a black cotton from john lewis. it creases A LOT.
“what about the blouse?” i hear you ask! well, this is an unexpected favourite. it was also made during “speedy interview sewing” week and it’s a colette aster blouse.
it’s made from a peach skin fabric from john lewis and i really loved working with this stuff. i also love washing it because it doesn’t need ironing, yay! my favourite type of sewing!
the flutter sleeves are really flattering and i think it can be work in a ton of ways – i’d love to make more and will probably add them to my spring makes list. i did do button holes but actually it’s loose enough that you could fake it and just sew your buttons straight through both plackets.
this is such a cosy jumper and i’m going to live in it all winter. the fabric is from the sewcial studio, a lovely shop in tamworth. it’s definitely worth a little trip as they’ve got a whole lot of jersey to choose from! this is a loop-back, super soft stripe that was lovely to sew with. i cut the jumper out on the single layer because of wanting to get the stripes straight.
so there you go, the majority of my most recent makes!! hope you’re all enjoying the run up to christmas; i’m off to get the decorations out the loft now!
WELCOME TO OCTOBER! finally, autumn is here and my soul is happy. autumn is my absolute favourite season; those beautiful leaves, cosy jumpers and all important nights of knitting & crochet, curled up on the sofa with a blanket. perfection!
i’ll drag myself out of my day dream now and tell you about my latest makes; two version of simplicity 1314. it’s actually the only pattern number i can ever remember, for obvious numerical order reasons.
i have fancied upping my work wear game a bit recently; i got a taste for it after i made my “smarter” interview clothes… which i still haven’t blogged. i should have taken pictures of those garments today too..! i actually enjoyed looking smarter. even though our office is smart casual, i want to be saving such wonderful creations like my cat moneta for fun weekend wear!
i had seen the fabric for these dresses in john lewis a little while ago and fell a bit in love; it’s a stretch suiting. i thought it would be perfect as i sit down all day, i need that bit of give to keep comfortable. i was lucky enough to get £70 of john lewis vouchers for my birthday, so i treated myself to the fabric (as it wasn’t cheap – £14 p/m!) , pattern and zips. i didn’t actually know i wanted this pattern, i just fancied something smart looking with princess seams. i flipped through the catalogue and bingo! found this one straight away.
i considered doing a toile, but then you know, laziness got the better of me and i just cut straight into the black fabric. i put it all together then basted the side seams to get an idea of the fit. i decided to just use a 3/8th inch seam allowance on the side seams in the end. i think this looks fine on the black version, however looking at the pictures of the grey version i think the top looks too bit. i used a size 14 for the front & back middle panels, then the 16 for the side seams and sleeves. i thought it was a bit of a bodge at grading.
here’s another thing i have learned after photographing these – BLACK IS IMPOSSIBLE TO SEE DETAIL ON! please bear with me, the design details are much better on the grey version a few photographs down!
i also learned both these dresses definitely definitley needed ironing.
i’m really pleased with how nicely the zip is at the top of this one. it was a bit of a fluke but i’ll take it.
right, onto the grey one. i’ve already mentioned it, but i think it’s too big now i’ve looked through these pictures.
i think the excess fabric in the bodice on the black version is needed for the ability to move with the sleeves in. the binding that finishes these arm holes was okay, and i usually like binding, but i don’t like the way princess seams are bound in if that makes sense. you can see the close up in the next picture, and also the disappointment on my face about it haha.
i also think that if i changed the angle of the shoulder seams it would take out some of the excess that’s making it too big at the moment – i only figured this out after seeing the picture above where i’m pulling it up a big with my thumbs!
annoyingly the top of the zip isn’t as perfect as the black one, gah!
you can see the detail of the dress a bit more here, and also how badly it needs an iron lol! you can also see how big it is on the top. the picture underneath shows some excess too.
it sounds like i don’t like the grey one – i actually really do, and until i can be bothered to get around to taking it in a bit, i’ll just wear it with a cardigan haha.
it’s a good job i made two of these for this post because you can actually see the design on the grey!
all in all, this is a really nice make and have perfectly fitted into the work wardrobe i have in my head. i bought 2m of each colour of fabric and i think i have enough left over for a skirt from each colour, bonus!
my top tip is to really make sure you’re pressing your seams so you get perfect joins. the bodice/skirt join needs to be pressed open and finished properly before you do the side panels. i would also trim the princess seam excess more than i have so your seams lie flatter.
i’m thinking of trying the trousers from this pattern too, just need to find some nice ponte for them now. i would definitely make this dress again, maybe i’d do a bit of colour blocking next time!
have you heard about a project called The Big Stitch?
the british heart foundation launched this initiative on july 1st (i’m late with my post! forgive me, kittens have taken over my life) and the idea is to go and buy something from one of their shops, and use your refashioning skills to make it into something wearable, thus giving it a new lease of life!
i’m quite excited about making something for this! it’ll be just like the re-fashioning bit from the sewing bee, but i’m definitely going to give myself longer than 90mins haha.
there’s a competition running to win a night out in the west end if you post your creations before July 31st on twitter, instagram or facebook with the hashtag #TheBigStitch.
i’m going to go out tomorrow and get buying!
the pictures in this post were provided by the british heart foundation and they feature Jackie McMillian upcyclying and making closed for the campaign. the photography was done by Danny Fitzpatrick www.dfphotography.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org 07779606901.
i’ve been sewing lots, just not blogging lots. i was sitting on an interview panel at work so frantically made myself some new clothes to wear, so i’ll be putting those on there in a different post.
today i’m showing you my first version of the kielo wrap dress. the fabric i’ve used was a cotton jersey that i bought from ebay. i got 3 metres for £14. there’s loads of pretty good quality solid coloured jersey on there, so i figured i could use it for a hopefully wearable toile.
i’ve seen this dress on so many different people of so many different body shapes and i honestly think it looks flattering on everyone. seeing as i’ve never used a named pattern before, i did some reading on other blogs before i decided to make this dress. it’s my favourite thing to do when i’m getting excited about sewing something and i usually pick some good tips up along the way! in my reading and lurking, i decided that i liked the dress as a shorter/midi length, so when i cut out my fabric, i folded my pattern pieces up to where the vent starts. as it is, i still ended up cutting 3 more inches off the bottom of the dress, haha.
it’s drafted for someone that is 5’8″ tall – i am 5’4″ so knew it would be too long anyway. now i’ve finished the dress, i realise that there’s some more adjustments i could make.
i think that i’d like the ties/wings/whoknowswhattocallthosethings to be higher up, maybe two inches higher so they’re more on my waist. the actual ties themselves are WAY TOO LONG. like crazy long.
from the looks of things i also need to do a sway back adjustment. i’ve never done one of those so i’ll have to do some research on how to do one properly. not sure how i’ll do that with the darts there, but i’m sure i’ll figure it out.
i think i’ve got the ties pulled too tight which is why it’s a little clingier that i would like across the bottom of my back/muffin top haha. i think if the ties were in the right position, then i wouldn’t have it so tight to keep it in place, it would be there on it’s own.
sewing it was relatively easy, i found the back darts to be a little tricky to sew in the jersey. i wasn’t really sure what kind of stitch to go for, so i just used a tiny zig zag stitch to keep the stretch just in case i needed it. i used a twin needle to secure my binding in place and to hem it as well.
i don’t know how other people feel who have made this, but it kind of makes me feel like a sting ray when it’s undone, haha.
although there’s a few things i would change for next time, i actually really like this dress; it’s a step away from my usual style but i feel really comfortable in it!
i’ve got some stripe fabric from girl charlee to try it with next, so hopefully i will sew another one before the sunshine has gone away.
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