Burda 05/2016 Bat Sleeve Dress #115B

This is another dress I made specially for a holiday to the seaside. Its from the May 2016 issue of BurdaStyle Magazine. The style is called a bat sleeve dress. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I was intrigued by this pattern enough to make it.The pictures didn’t really do anything for me but it was the line drawing that grabbed me:

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BurdaStyle 05/2016 #115B

 

I have made it in ponte before here.The instructions were quite good – though this is very simply constructed dress made up of 2 pieces (front and back) and a neckband. You just have to finish the arm flaps before draping them over each other and securing with the neck-band.

I used a viscose jersey – very drapey and perfect for my purposes. I wanted something akin to a beach cover-up. Easy to to pop on and off. It did the job admirably! Here it is in action.

I definitely see more capelet dresses in the future. Its so quick and fast to sew up too.

Thanks for stopping by and until next time-

Happy Sewing!

Hila

XoX

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Love Sewing Issue 44 Reader Review M6886

I made another M6886 as a reader review article for Love Sewing magazine (Issue 44). They invited me to their studio for a proper photoshoot with a make up artist and everything! Even got my nails done :-). It was quite an experience – one that I will cherish. Here is the review……

McCall’s M6886 Pattern Review for Love Sewing Magazine

You can never go wrong with a classic silhouette like McCall’s M6886. Designed to be a close fitting pullover dress, it has three neckline variations and four sleeve lengths. I love the scoop neckline on View D. The simplicity of sewing this dress is at odds with how well presented and chic I feel in it – surely something so quick to sew shouldn’t be so elegant?  Yet it is and that is the beauty of this pattern – I can see why it’s incredibly popular in the sewing community with over 160 reviews on PatternReview.

Well written instructions mean that even a new beginner can tackle this. The instructions are also written for sewing machines so even if you don’t have an overlocker you are covered. I cut a size 8 which fits me well – I took in a half inch at my narrowest waist point as I wanted a snugger fit there.

Let’s talk fabric – this lush wool ponte from Minerva Crafts is the bee’s knees, the cat’s meow as it were. I was torn between the brown and pink colourway but settled on the popping pink of course! Unusually, this beautiful ponte roma stripe is made from 100 percent wool fibres. It has a luxurious feel and was an absolute dream to sew. The stripes measure approx 7mm wide so I easily got away with minimal stripe matching (I can honestly say that stripe matching is not my forteJ.). It also helps that it’s reversible which means cutting out can be economical. The fabric is comfortable to wear, isn’t scratchy and the wool makes for a cosy warm dress – perfect for fall/winter. Love!

This dress has got so much layering potential for winter too – I plan on keeping it cosy by layering it over a black turtleneck with tights and knee length boots! Sweet!!!

If you are looking for a practical, easy to sew and figure flattering pattern then look no further than McCall’s M6886. I have more plans to add to the three that are already taking pride of place in my closet!

And pictures…….

I don’t think I did too bad in a studio 🙂

Thanks so much for stopping by and until next time, Happy Sewing!

 

Peace and love,

Hila

 

Named Anneli Double Front T shirt maxi Dress as featured in Sew Now Magazine Issue 8

I am super, quite possibly uber, excited to finally be able to share this project. This is a pattern review I wrote for Sew Now magazine (Issue 8 circa May 2017) – a publication I really enjoy as it is a mix of sewing and fashion. For the review, I sewed up Named Patterns Anneli Tee Shirt dress in a delicious green jersey. Enjoy!

Everyone loves tee shirt dresses and I am not an exception. Named’s latest offering from their SS17 Playground collection is the Anneli double front dress. The pattern includes two variations: a straight, ankle-length jersey dress, and a casual T-shirt.

 

Named Patterns Anneli T Shirt Maxi Dress – showing some leg 🙂

 

The packaging screams exclusive brand and you certainly get what you pay for with this incredibly well drafted pattern. The instructions and sizing are excellent. This is achievable as a first time project. All the seams lined up beautifully – even the neckband snaps perfectly flat against my body. Super quick to sew up, it took only 1.5 hours from start to finish with no alterations at all. The double-layered front which creates an interesting wrap effect gives it a uniqueness and a point of difference, making it perfect for the warmer days of spring and summer. 

If I had to pick a word to describe the Milano jersey fabric – delicious! Verdant in colour and lush in texture, this gorgeous fabric is reminiscent of 2017 Pantone’s Colour of the year ‘Greenery’. It feels soft and luxurious next to the skin.sew-now-photo-shoot-065sew-now-photo-shoot-104sew-now-photo-shoot-113sew-now-photo-shoot-126

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Trying a new pose – its called “Running to catch the bus”
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Perfect neckband lies flat

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I love this casual and easy to wear dress. Minimalist with a directional edge, Anneli is effortlessly stylish. I paired my Anneli dress with hoop earrings, chunky bracelet and a pair of thong sandals— and I was all set!  I love that I can stay warm with an oversized baggy sweater. Or get sporty with a denim jacket and trainers, or bohemia with a statement necklace and a floppy hat or throw on some cute flats for a more polished look…..endless possibilities.

I have to say that Named understand the appeal of the tee shirt dress. They are comfortable and when we feel comfortable, we feel confident. Anneli ticks many boxes for me; it is fashionable AND feels good to wear AND delivers on comfort AND is quick to sew. A new favourite!

 

Thanks so much for stopping by and until next time – Happy Sewing!!!!

Peace and love,

Hila

PS. It was a really windy day when we did the photoshoot so apologies for my VPL – it couldnt be helped!

Burda 06/2016 #101C Maxified Dress

I made this dress using a birdy fabric that I had bought some time ago but was quite precious about it. The challenge was just perfect – it made me brave enough to cut into the birds :-). I had bought the viscose jersey from B&M Fabrics in Leeds.

I wanted a simple pattern with few seam lines to maximise the impact of the birds. Enter Burda 06/2016 #101C dress. Here is the line drawing which shows the simplicity of this pattern.

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The dress is meant to be a mini but I maxified it for full impact 🙂 Sewing it up was so fast and took less than an hour to sew up. I opted to sew a neckband for a t-shirt look.

The dress is so comfortable and I love it.

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Burda 06/2016 101C
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Burda 06/2016 101C

I can’t help but feel like lifting off and flying when wearing this dress. Thanks for this challenge Kat and Mel! Now, I need to go finish my Apron challenge make :-).

Thanks for stopping by!

Hila

Self Drafted Drop Shoulder Tee Shirt using Metric Pattern Cutting for Womenswear by Winifred Aldrich

I have been trying to do a bit more pattern drafting. Often I just get carried away with the idea that it is far more convenient to just cut into an already drafted pattern and take it from there. However, I have spent quite a lot of money towards books, classes and tools on pattern drafting so I must make more of an effort.

I decided I wanted to make a drop shoulder tee-shirt which was inspired by this Boden top.7e0f851d2c58ed6e353d22412f7a3c11

As it happens I had an easy fit tee-shirt sloper from when I used Metric Pattern Cutting for Womenswear by Winifred Aldrich.51p5v2bnmt0l-_sr6002c315_piwhitestrip2cbottomleft2c02c35_pistarratingfourandhalf2cbottomleft2c3602c-6_sr6002c315_za11320reviews2c4452c2862c4002c4002carial2c122c42c02c02c5_sclzzzz

I drafted the sloper about 2 years ago so I decided to play around with that.

I started off with the basic tee-shirt sloper and I went on to follow the instructions for dropping the shoulder. The instructions don’t give you any further info regarding the sleeve pattern piece so I used my own logic by gently drawing an opposing curve with roughly the same amount taken off. Eventually, I stumbled upon a great post<link here> which explains in great detail the technicalities of the dropped shoulder.

I decided that at this point it would be a good idea to make a toile as I hadn’t made one yet. I used some jersey fabric that had been in my stash since 2014 – I bought it on EBAY during a late night browsing session (I have since managed to break that bad habit). I think it’s a viscose jersey which is very comfortable to wear. I also quite like the Argyl print :-).

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For the neckband I measured around the neckline once I had finished and deducted 30% of the measurement – added my seam allowances and voila – a neckband that snaps perfectly against my body.

My next step with this draft will be to create the yoke pattern pieces and to drop the shoulder a bit further. The next iteration will be colour blocked to see if the proportions work well.

This was a quick refreshing project as I was not having to think about the instructions or whether I may have missed out something – if I can hang on to that feeling it would help me focus on doing more drafting. Do you prefer drafting your own or find it easier to use patterns?

Thanks or stopping by,

Hila

 

Named Talvikki Sweater

I made this after buying the pattern during the 12 days of Christmas sale. It was a bargain at £5. Here is the line drawing.

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My thoughts are that it is very quick to sew up and took one sitting to finish. The sleeves are very straight forward and there is no easing involved. The most challenging part for the beginner might be the mitred corners. The sizing was spot on and I didn’t make any alterations at all.

Personally I feel like the side vent is too high for a winter garment given that its supposed to keep me warm and cosy. With my poor circulation I would feel this gap acutely. In winter I wore it layered over thermal sweater underneath. The fabric is a wool jersey that I bought form Fabworks. It washes in the machine and I tumble dry it on low – that seems just fine. I have since washed this about 5 times now with no problems.

I plan on making this again in a cobalt blue wool jersey also from Fabworks but I will lengthen it while shortening the side vent.

The other issue was with my broad shoulder. though the fit is quite good there is some puddling under the collar and I had to do something like swayback adjustment to remove the pooling fabric.

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Talvikki Sweater – Vent depth
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Talviki Sweater – funnel neck detail
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Named Talvikki Sweater – Sleeve
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Pooling fabric at front neck base

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It simple minimalist chic and quite appealing on gray days. I was a bit ‘meh‘ about it when I finished it but surprisingly found myself pulling it on a lot. Which can only tell me that I like it :-).

I will report back on the ‘neck swayback’ adjustment in autumn when I get round to making the second one. Thanks for stopping by!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

 

Retro Vibes Coco Dress – Tilly and the Buttons

Coco dress 4.0

This past winter I caught a bit of the Coco bug. It’s an easy super quick make – I totally blame SewChet for her beautiful stag print Coco <link here> which reminded me of the versatility of this pattern :-).

I have had this quilted ponte for a long while now (bought from Jacks Fabrics in Leeds Market) and its one I had set aside on the “sew or donate within 1 month” pile. Luckily it got sewn. The thing with this fabric is that it’s a workhorse – I have made my girls sweater dresses <link here> and they got washed loads over the 15 months my girls wore them. Despite all the laundering the fabric didn’t bobble or pil horribly so I knew that this will be a good workhorse dress.

To add to the sixties vibe I was getting off the fabric I interfaced the collar band so it would stand tall and proud in a contrasting black ponte.

I have much love for this dress and its been worn loads this past winter.

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Tilly and the Buttons Coco Dress

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Verdict: I likey – a lot. Comfy, warm and makes me feel stylish 🙂 Just like my other Coco dress too.

Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the interwebs. Until next time – happy sewing all!

Peace and love,

Hila

 

Instagram and Vogue V1314: An Unexpected Rescue

I joined Instagram (IG) with a very sceptical mind. I kept my eye out for the catch. Having tried Facebook very briefly when it first came out and disliked it intensely, Twitter as well which I didn’t and still don’t get – I was of the opinion that social media just wasn’t for me. But slowly my favourite bloggers were also going onto IG and touting how amazing this platform is.

As a general rule I like to think of myself as open-minded enough to try out new things and experiences (at least once). Trying to live by what I preach – if my kids had a penny for every time I said to them “But you haven’t tried it!” they’d be millionaires by now. So I went ahead and joined IG in Nov 2015. I had no idea what a hashtag was or how things worked on there. Since then my affair with IG has been on/off with the on being more prevalent. There are times when I do get annoyed at the proliferation of an overly promoted new pattern or event but its all part of the experience (it’s a minor irritation at best). But it is quite a helpful place for info on patterns, sewing or just about anything really. And I think this is where the IG and the sewing community meets to create a confluence of energy, creativity, inspiration………its a wonderful place.

For example, have your eye on a fabric that you MUST have but can’t find it in your regular haunts? Not to worry IG buddies are the best at telling you where to get it. Want to buy something from the US but postage is prohibitive; IG buddies tend to offer to pick it up for you and send slow cheaper mail (you pay P&P of course). Got a pattern you are not sure about? IG is always full of opinion. Cant decide which buttons to use; IG can help. Have a RTW inspiration garment you want to sew but dont know if there is a similar sewing pattern; Ig to the rescue. Missing pattern piece; IG to the rescue. I could go on and on.  But sometimes you don’t even know that you need rescuing before IG comes to the rescue. Which brings me to Vogue 1314….

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Vogue V1314

As part of a sewing challenge I was doing last year the prompt was “On my table” and I posted this…..

Immediately my IG buddies warned me about the sizing problem with it – It runs large they said. Thanks, said I……… I had already cut it out. They are right I said, after basting it to check fit. The ruching was drooping which looked unpleasant.

I cut away about 5/8″ from each side seam and basted to check fit – I liked what I saw without the ruching so I left it at that. I dithered over whether to add the sleeves or not and my OH weighed in with ‘no sleeves’ which is what I did. Lets pin this here for now and look at some pictures.

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Vogue 1314
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Vogue 1314
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Vogue 1314
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Vogue 1314
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Vogue 1314
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Vogue 1314
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Vogue 1314

Fabric is a John Kaldor ity jersey that I bought ages ago from Fletchers Fabrics in Leeds Market. I have loved this fabric for so long and was too sacred to cut into it but I am trying. Readers I am really trying to use my precious fabric. Now this is beautiful lightweight jersey with a slight sheen to it. It also has the characteristic of showing up every simple cellulite dimple, muscle clench and panty lines. So I had to line it with power mesh and wow – what a difference that makes. I went from Nicki Minaj to Kim Kardashian…(maybe not that much of a difference. But I think you get what I mean). The mesh gives it a nice smooth lining and feels really nice on. It also meant that I have clean finish armholes. The neckline is finished with a band. I hemmed it with a twin needle which stretched it out, so I cut it off and left it unhemmed since this doesn’t unravel. The hem definitely needs stabilisation before hemming.

Sorry for the long rambling post but the story behind this dress was so integral to how it turned out that I wanted to share it. I associate this dress with the awesomeness of IG – it’s not perfect at all but there are a lot of great aspects to IG communities with much less of the negatives that come with other things like Twitter and Facebook (IMHO).

Verdict: I like this dress a lot (truth be told it makes me feel like I have a big booty which in turn makes me feel guilty that I like the feeling of having a big booty which I think makes me very unfeminist —argh TMI).

Right. So yes I like this dress and will make another one in the next size down with the ruching at the sides. The relative simplicity of the design lends itself well to loud prints and I do love a loud print. It has the potential of becoming a TNT.

And…back to social media… Do you like it for your sewing? Do you prefer other social media platforms? or better yet share a sewing story where social media helped out. G on, we’d love to hear it. 🙂

Until next time,

Happy sewing!

Peace and love,

Hila

Easter Dresses : Ottobre Kids Design 01/2014 : Funny Faces Dresses

Since making a dogs dinner of my twins’ birthday dresses <link here>, I vowed to make it up to them (&myself) so when Easter presented the opportunity of making them something special I jumped on it.

Using the same pattern as before and some long-term stashers I produced these dresses and leggings for them. The faced the hems with the same fabric as the leggings to make them matching sets. My girls love them and wear them constantly. These dresses have gotten so many compliments.

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Ottobre Design Kids Funny Faces Dress

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I am so glad I finally used up that Lillestoff fabric which I bought in early May 2014!!!!!! Its only been waiting 3 years :-). Heres to using up more precious stashers.

Thanks for stopping by!

Peace and love,

Hila

Additions to my Moneta colleterie

I made 2 more Moneta dresses!

To add to my growing colleterie of Monetas (it has been officially designated that a group or collection of Moneta dresses is refered to by the term colleterrie).

At last count I now have made 7 Moneta dresses. And readers, I have plans for more:-). So yes this is a pattern that keeps on giving for me.

Enough waxing lyicals – I made them for the #monetaparty which was this really huge event on Instagram. It was fun seeing all the different Monetas that our incredibly creative community made. It always amazes me how only one pattern can literally be made by 1000 seamstress and not a single one is the same! Continue reading

BurdaStyle Magazine 10/2014 #105 Cowl Neck Dress Pattern Review

Hello,

Let me preface this by saying that this is possibly my most favourite dress ever! Don’t believe me? Check out this IG video….

Continue reading