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Minerva Crafts Blogger Network: Simplicity 8608 Ruffle Wrap Dress


Hi pinups! I'm feeling super summer-y in my Simplicity 8608 faux wrap ruffle dress but for me, this pattern wasn't plain sailing. It's a relatively new Simplicity pattern and was surprisingly bang on trend when it came out as ruffle dresses are all over the high street this summer. As soon as I saw the 8608 pattern I fell in love and had such high hopes for all of the variations.


Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Simplicity 8608

Notions: Elastic for the waist (which I ended up skipping).

Sewing time: A day.

Modifications: No elasticated waist, plus a couple of mistakes...

Fit: Good!

Difficulty: Medium, a little experience will help you out here.

Watch out for: A lot! Mentioned in my review.

Make Again?: Yes, but with some changes.

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For my full sewing pattern review, CLICK HERE

If you'd like to see everything I've made so far for the Minerva Craft Blogger Network, you can view my profile HERE.

Thanks for reading, pinups!
Abi xo
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What I've Been Loving in May
On my birthday wearing my Marigold jumpsuit!

Hi pinups! I'm a little late this time sharing my post for my monthly 'What I've Been Loving...' series. But better late than never! May was such a busy month for me, but I still found time to find some sewing inspiration.

It was my birthday in May (27 yay!), and as I get older my style is certainly changing. I'm finding myself moving away from vintage styles and instead sewing more modern, simple styles. I'm trying to be more conscious of what I'm actually wearing compared to what I've been sewing since I started my blog 2 years ago and I think I'm finally finding a balance. Perhaps I'll write a blog post soon on changing style.... but for now, here's what I've been loving in May...
 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

I don't know what's come over me and it's something I certainly never thought I'd say but I flipping love jumpsuits! I seen to be gravitating towards them at the moment and I've got more than one to share with you! I loved wearing my new Tilly and the Buttons Marigold jumpsuit for my birthday day out to Ludlow. Hello secret pjs! See my pattern review HERE.

Back to my earlier point about sewing items for my changing style, I desperately needed some plain items in my wardrobe. I love a simple jeans and t-shirt combo for casual days, and sewing jeans is not on my agenda, after browsing ASOS for skirts, I realised the styles I was looking at were patterns in my stash. I've started with another Tilly pattern, Miette, for a cute and comfy chambray wrap skirt featuring a tulip decorative stitch.

After pondering long and hard about it I finally caved and treated myself to a MacBook Pro. Probably the most money I've ever spent on anything. But so far, totally worth it!

Since moving in together, me and my boyfriend have fallen in love with furniture restoration and mid century interiors. We started a new venture Side Piece DIY to post snaps from our home and to share the projects we're working on. Follow us HERE!


Thanks for reading, pinups!
Abi xo
Disclaimer: contains affiliate links.
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Simplicity 1459 - Sassy 1950s Shirt Dress + Sew Along

Hi pinups! I know I've said it a few times recently, but I'm really excited to share this make with you! It's the last in the series of my Stitch by Stitch with Simplicity projects and I'm finishing with an eye catching, super-sassy 1950s number!

Here's a peek at the pattern:



If you've been following my blog for a while, you may recognise this dress pattern already. I made the Simplicity 1459 pattern over a year ago. For my original, and full, sewing pattern review visit my first post HERE.

Stitch by Stitch with Simplicity - 1459 1950s Shirt Dress Sew Along

Stitch by Stitch with Simplicity - 1459 1950s Shirt Dress - YouTube

I hope you'll find my Stitch by Stitch video helpful for those looking to make the 1459 pattern or if you're curious about it's construction. Even though at first glance the pattern can look a little complicated, I think it's quite straightforward. As the collar pattern pieces are so large, it makes the sewing nice & clear and not fiddly like some shirt dresses can be.


In the video I say I'll be sewing a t-shirt sleeve, but when I tried the dress on just before the sleeve insertion, I decided to opt for the sleeveless option instead. I'm so happy I did as it makes it so much easier to get into and more comfortable to wear.



Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Simplicity 1459 

Fabric: Boufants & Broken Hearts Cotton

Notions: 3 buttons & 22" Concealed Nylon Zip

Sewing time: Half a day to a day.

Modifications: Added 3 buttons instead of 2, and I used a concealed zip instead of a lapped zipper. Made the skirt panels narrower.

Fit: Spot on!

Difficulty: I'd recommend this for adventurous beginners.

Watch out for: Don't forget to sew the collar points carefully.

Make again?: This is my second, but I see a 3rd in my life.



Overall the Simplicity 1459 dress pattern is becoming one of my favourites. I enjoy the whole sewing process of this pattern and it covers a lot of great techniques in it's construction. I can certainly see myself sewing a 3rd!

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Let me know if you'll be trying this pattern and be sure to tag me @craftypinup in your snaps so I can see them too!

Watch all my Simplicity Stitch by Stitch videos in my playlist HERE.

Thanks for reading, pinups!
Abi xo

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Simplicity
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My First Dress & Why I Almost Gave Up Sewing
Hi pinups! I recently held a vote across my social media to see which vlog people would like to see next on my YouTube channel. It was between seeing my first ever handmade dress or having a peek inside my sewing journal. It was pretty even across my platforms, but my first dress edged ahead slightly!

In the video below I have a good laugh at my first dress, whilst talking about how after sewing at university I almost gave up on sewing for good. This dress, surprisingly, put me on the right track!

MY FIRST DRESS & Why I Almost Gave Up Sewing
MY FIRST DRESS & Why I Almost Gave Up Sewing - YouTube


I hope you enjoyed this vlog and if you voted for a peek inside my sewing journal, I'll still be filming that one at some point too.

Thanks for watching, pinups!
Abi xo

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Minerva Craft Blogger Network: Tilly and the Buttons - Marigold Jumpsuit


Hi pinups! Since I started my sewing blog a couple of years ago and became aware of #memademay I like to take part but in my own way. Working from home, snapping a handmade outfit every day is very unrealistic for me when I spend my time in comfy RTW clothes, but I do still like to make a pledge of sorts. For Me Made May I like to sew and wear a new outfit for my birthday, and it just so happens, that's my Tilly and the Buttons Marigold jumpsuit!


Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Tilly and the Buttons Ladies Sewing Pattern Marigold Jumpsuit & Trousers

Fabric: Floral Print Viscose Dress Fabric

Notions: 9" invisible zip

Sewing time: Half a day

Modifications: Tie shoulder hack.

Fit: Really good.

Difficulty: I had a couple of stumbles, so would say intermediate or advanced beginner.

Watch out for: Make sure your crotch seam is well stitched for longevity.

Make Again?: A surprise to me, but yes!

--

For my full sewing pattern review, CLICK HERE! 

If you'd like to see everything I've made so far for the Minerva Craft Blogger Network, you can view my profile HERE.
Thanks for reading, pinups!
Abi xo
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My Vintage Lemon Dream Dress - with Spoonflower Fabrics

Hi pinups! I'm so excited to be sharing this dress with you, for me this project is a dream come to life and it's all thanks to Spoonflower! Last summer lemon print fabric was all I could think about and at the time it just wasn't a print that was easily assessable in fabric shops. Lemon prints have since trickled into stores and this summer it looks like citrus patterns will be on a few people's sewing agendas.

When I got cracking shopping for prints on Spoonflower's extensive collections, "lemons" was the first word I typed into the search bar and I was absolutely spoilt for choice immediately. I was overwhelmed by the amount of gorgeous lemon pattern fabric, from delicate illustrations to sharp and bold digital patterns. I must have looked for hours! I finally settled on one stunning design and opted for a simple vintage style dress pattern as my base to create.

Here's a peek at the pattern:
I've sewn the Retro Butterick B6318 pattern once before and loved it (check out my first post HERE), it's such a simple design and I love the t shirt length sleeves & waist tie. I think this pattern is really flattering for curvy figures like mine and paired with a bold, colourful fabric I hoped this would be a match made in sewing heaven.

The Fabric:

As I had been waiting for a year to own some lemon fabric I knew I wanted a fabric a little extra special. Instead of the usual cotton, I thought that Spoonflower's Organic Cotton Sateen Ultra fabric would compliment the print along with the full skirt of the B6318 pattern. 

The print has come out really well on the sateen fabric and once again the quality is just gorgeous and such high quality. The cotton sateen makes this dress feel a little extra special, but is still easy to wear and I would totally wear this for a nice day out. After all this time lusting after lemons, this dress won't be saved just for special occasions! 




Check out my top tips for shopping at Spoonflower in my first post HERE.


You can see I took full advantage of the sun over May Bank Holiday weekend! The weather was glorious and my lemon dress with a touch of red lipstick made me feel very glam for a Sunday in the sun. I was definitely trying to emulate some Dolce & Gabbana vibes with this dress and I like to think I succeeded a little!

Whilst the fabric is super bold, I still find it very wearable. I think if I had chosen any other sewing pattern I wouldn't have felt the same, but these two are the perfect combination in my eyes.



For me the fit of the B6318 dress is spot on. This time I shortened the waist about an inch for my short torso but that was the only alteration I made. For my figure the loose bust and waist tie work in my favour as I have plenty of room in the bust whilst still being able to pull my waist in to define my shape. Setting in sleeves is also one of my least favourite sewing tasks, so the dolman sleeve design is fast becoming my new favourite.


Sewing Summary:



Notions: 22" invisible zip.

Sewing time: Half a day or more.

Modifications: Slightly shortened this waist.

Fit: Great!

Difficulty: Simple.

Watch out for: Even gathers, there's a lot!

Make Again?: This is my 2nd and I think I see a few more in my future.


The Retro Butterick B6318 dress pattern has fast become one of my favourite ever patterns to sew. It's such a simple design but also easy to fit and to make. The simple pattern combined with this truly stunning Spoonflower fabric make for one show-stopping dress. Lemon fabric has been in my sight for such a long time and this design is certainly worth the wait.

Overall, my lemon dream dress is everything I wanted to create. I just need the sun to come back out so I can enjoy a few more summer days feeling like a citrus pinup!

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Don't forget to visit Spoonflower to make your own fabric dreams come true! What designs would you search for? Have you ever shopped with Spoonflower fabrics? I'd love to see your creations!

Thanks for reading, pinups!
Abi xo
Disclaimer: This post in sponsored by Spoonflower.
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Simplicity 8456 - 1950s Petticoat + Sew Along!
Hi pinups! Time for some weekend vintage sewing! When this pattern was released last year it caught my eye straight away. I've been toying with the idea of sewing a petticoat for a while, but was struggling to find a suitable pattern. I have previously drafted my own petticoat, but the tulle I used was cheap and scratchy, but Simplicity's 8456 pattern seemed like a great excuse to have a second go.


Whilst my first venture into petticoat making had the aim of creating something super frou frou and retro, this time around I wanted something more practical. After thinking long and hard about my wardrobe and the clothes I actually wear, I decided an underskirt in cotton would fit in nicely.

Here's a peek at the pattern:


I wanted a simple cotton petticoat to wear under my vintage style dresses for some soft and comfortable fullness, whilst also giving me an extra layer under the dress for more translucent fabrics and you know, in case I fall over or the wind blows my dress up... Option A of the 8456 pattern ticks all the boxes.


Stitch by Stitch with Simplicity - 8456 1950s Petticoat Sew Along

Stitch by Stitch with Simplicity - 8456 1950s Petticoat - YouTube


So in my video I hope it comes across just how easy this petticoat pattern is! I hoped it would be simple, but I didn't think it was going to be so fast. An all round great pattern which would definitely suit beginners. 


In the video I go into more depth about this, but I opted for a delicate ribbon tie at the side instead of a zip or poppers. I'd love to sew this skirt in a gingham seersucker fabric, in which case I would insert a zip. But the ribbons for me mean this underskirt fits me great with the added flexibility.



Sewing Summary:



Notions: Ribbon

Sewing time: An hour!

Modifications: Nothing.

Fit: A little tight on the waist, but nothing ribbons can't fix!

Difficulty: Easy.

Watch out for: Even gathers. 

Make Again?: Yes!


Overall, I love the 8456 petticoat pattern. The underskirt I made is exactly what I wanted to wear under my retro dresses and I know I'll be getting a lot of wear out of this one. I think the pattern is so versatile and will suit so many different fabric types. Like I said I would love an outer-wear gingham version, whilst also maybe one day sewing a totally fluffy organza petticoat. But for now, this cotton eyelet style is just what I needed.

--

Let me know if you'll be trying this pattern and be sure to tag me @craftypinup in your snaps so I can see them too!

Watch all my Simplicity Stitch by Stitch videos in my playlist HERE.

Thanks for reading, pinups!
Abi xo
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Simplicity
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What I've Been Loving in April
Wearing my M7381 dress at Powis Castle
Hi pinups! I can't get my head around how fast these posts feel like they are coming round! When I type them, I always wonder what I'll be lusting after in the next few weeks that will keep my monthly series interesting. Yet new things keep catching my eye, especially with the seasons finally feeling like they may be changing.

In March's post, I talked about taking a step back and finding some inspiration to be creative again. Now April has passed I feel like I have somewhat achieved this, at least in some aspects. Here's what I've been lusting after in April...

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Ruffle dresses are all over the high street and it's a trend that I'm ready to sign up to. Whilst the world of sewing patterns aren't always up to speed with these fast high street trends that pop up, Simplicity didn't let me down with their new 8601 pattern. After sharing a snap on my Instagram account, it seems I'm not alone with falling in love with this pattern. It's straight to the top of my must sew list.

With an influx of pretty Spring and Summer sewing patterns coming my way, of course some new fabric will follow (at least in my case). You guys know I can't resist a floral, which you'll surely know if you watched my latest fabric haul blog HERE, and red florals get me every time. This one is following me online I swear!

Has anyone else noticed a wave of sewing pins hitting shops? I seem to have gone from 1 to 100 in the space of a month, but with a new denim jacket in my wardrobe, I'm not complaining. Have you snapped up your must have 'Seamstress' pin yet?

Working from home can quickly feel isolating and before you know it 5 days have passed and you haven't left the house. This is something I'm trying to make a conscious effort to change. I was recently gifted a lifetime National Trust membership and now the weather's starting to brighten up it's the perfect time to start planning some adventures! In April I visited the beautiful Powis Castle where I wore my new favourite dress (which I spoke about in my March post) and had such a lovely day.


Thanks for reading, pinups!
Abi xo
Disclaimer: Contains affiliate links.
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Minerva Craft Blogger Network: Christine Haynes 'Emery' Dress

The tights are off and my Spring sewing has officially begun! The Christine Haynes 'Emery' dress was a pattern that caught my eye as soon as I saw it, which was probably over a year ago. I snapped it up straight away but it got bumped back by other projects and I suppose I forgot I had it. But after stalking #emerydress on Instagram recently, I decided it was time I finally cracked on with this retro pattern.



Sewing Summary:



Notions: 22" invisable zip

Sewing time: A couple of hours/half a day

Modifications: Nothing this time.

Fit: A little roomy, but great on the bust!

Difficulty: A make for adventurous beginners and beyond.

Watch out for: Even gathers for the skirt and tidy darts - there's a lot!

Make Again?: Yes!

--

For my full sewing pattern review, CLICK HERE

If you'd like to see everything I've made so far for the Minerva Craft Blogger Network, you can view my profile HERE.
Thanks for reading, pinups!
Abi xo
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McCalls M6659 - Spring Robe with Spoonflower Fabrics


Hi pinups! It's time for my second Spoonflower project (if you missed my first post featuring some stunning constellation print jersey fabric, check it out HERE), and I'm sewing with Summer in mind! For April's Spoonflower make I wanted to shake off my tights and jeans and sew something which would hopefully bring out some Spring Sunshine.

I work from home and it's no secret my uniform consists of lounge wear and pjs. So after coming out of my Winter sewing cocoon, I wanted to sew a garment which felt light and colourful which I could get lots of wear out of, without making a dress (there's a few in the sewing queue). So I decided to sew myself a comfy cotton dressing gown to wear around the house, over whatever my work uniform is that day!

Here's a peek at the pattern:


I've made option A from the McCalls M6659 pattern which is a short robe. The pattern is almost kimono like with flared sleeves and who doesn't love a pattern when it says's 'easy' on the front! After an initial Google for pattern reviews, the M6659 seems to be a popular pattern and I hoped I would enjoy it too. 

The Fabric:

Once I had settled on sewing a light weight dressing gown, I thought Spoonflower's classic Basic Cotton Ultra would be perfect. The weight of the fabric compliments the shape of the robe, and whilst it isn't super flowy, it still holds the shape of the robe without being stiff or feeling rough against the skin. As well as being easy to wash & care for as this garment will be getting lots of wear.

Cactus prints have started filtering in to fabric shops and it seems to be a popular trend on the high-street from fashion to interiors. But succulents AND polka dots? A match made in print heaven for me. I love the colour palette of the fabric, it's bright and colourful with hints of mint and pink.




Check out my top tips for shopping at Spoonflower in my first post HERE.


After so many great versions of the M6659 pattern online, I hoped it was going to be nice and easy to sew with minimal fit issues. I wanted a garment with a simple shape to really show off the pattern of the fabric. I'm really pleased I opted for this pattern and option A, as I think the fabric and pattern are a great match. I added a touch of plain baby pink piping I had in my stash to highlight the neck band and break up the print.

The whole sewing process for this robe was enjoyable and simple and I really enjoyed taking the time to sew this one to a high standard. It was one of those rare sewing projects that was a breeze from start to finish and I love the final garment.



Sewing Summary:



Notions: Baby Pink flat cotton piping.

Sewing time: A hour or two.

Modifications: Nothing.

Fit: Great.

Difficulty: Very easy!

Watch out for: I took extra care sewing the piping for a neat finish.

Make Again?: I'd love to make the other options on this pattern.


The McCalls M6659 pjs pattern will be my new go-to pattern for cute lounge-wear. I think this pattern will work well in a variety of fabrics from luxurious satin to cosy jersey, but I'm very pleased with my first take on this pattern in classic cotton. Whilst Spoonflower's Basic Cotton Ultra might not work for all your dressmaking projects (I personally like sewing with cotton for dresses with fitted bodices and full skirts as I like the shape they hold), it works really well for this robe and is comfortable to wear. I only wish I had enough left to sew a matching pj top and shorts! But I do have enough (I think) for a small square cushion...

Overall, I couldn't be happier with my new cotton dressing gown and I've worn it every morning since I made it. The print never fails to cheer me up and I just need the weather to warm up so I can spend my evenings lounging in it too!

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Don't forget to visit Spoonflower to make your own fabric dreams come true! I can't wait to show you my next project and my favourite fabric of all the ones I've selected. I know I shouldn't have a favourite, but you guys are going to LOVE it!

Thanks for reading, pinups!
Abi xo
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Spoonflower.
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