When my twins turned 3 years old in 2016 I left it until the very last minute to make them birthday outfits which turned out ok, but I knew they should have been so much better. You can read about it all here <link>. In 2017, armed with the determination that is bourne out of a desire to learn from a past mistake, I set out to make them the most awesome birthday dresses I could.
They love fabric shopping as much as I do and so I thought I’d let them choose the fabrics and the pattern. They flipped through my Ottobre Kids Design Magazines and they choose this fancy looking shirtdress. I heard them say things like twirly swirly.
Though they are identical twins they actually have very different personalities. The floral print is a Liberty craft cotton and the multicolour geometric is a cotton lawn. Both were purchased from Leeds Market. I was really proud of myself for cutting into the Liberty as I had been precious about that for over 2 years :-).
Once the dresses were sewn up, they went through my buttons collection and made their choices.
The twins love their dresses and they love twirling in them.
I really enjoyed making these dresses with them. In future, I will take that co-creative approach as opposed to me just making something without their input. In theory, it should mean they are more likely to wear it.
I rate Ottobre Kids patterns as they are so true to size. I sewed size 110cms and my girls are about 102cm tall. The instructions are excellent. The armhole is finished with bias binding.
Thanks so much for stopping by and until next time, Happy Sewing!!!!
Sometime later, I randomly stumbled upon a McCall Pattern Company all brand sale wherein I made the acquaintance of Butterick B6097.
Butterick B6097 is described as a fitted shirt, has collar and peplum variations, princess seams, front button-down closure and button band. Technically speaking, this is a toile which turned out to be very wearable.
I used quilting cottons that I bought from Leeds Market. There was point in my early sewing life when I would buy 1m pieces of quilting cottons <why?> /sigh. Anyway, I had just enough to make this top in the short peplum style with box pleats. I can’t recall why I went for the peter pan collar but I think I wanted to practice finishing a peter pan collar with bias binding.
I cut a size 8 based on the finished bust measurement. I made no alterations at all. The fit is pretty spot on. It could do with a small swayback adjustment if I was being all perfectionist about it. But I’m not, so I won’t and that’s okay.
The style is ……..sassy. I feel quite sassy when I am wearing it. Now I just need to find some nice white cotton lawn fabric and finally realise the inspiration image.
Verdict – I will make again in solid neutral colour. Recommended with the caveat that I used finished garment measurement to select my size.
Thanks for stopping by. Until next time, Happy Sewing!!
Peace and love,
PS. I am nearly caught up blogging my 2017 items 🙂 That makes me happy.
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:
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.
Today I have something a little different to my usual style. In an effort to move out of my comfort zone, I decided to make this cocoon dress. The pattern came for free with Issue 8 of Sew Now magazine. Here is the pattern envelope with the line drawings.
Simple Sew Patterns – The Cocoon Dress
The style is very simple. AT the time that it came on to my radar, I was preparing for a family holiday to USA where we going to be at the beach in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. I knew that it got very hot and humid, I wanted something that wouldn’t be too formfitting.
I sewed the first make with a linen chambray type fabric that I bought from Jacks Fabrics in Leeds Market. Sewing it up really is very easy. No zips. No buttonholes. I eliminated the center front seam but cutting the front piece on a fold (I can’t recall why I did this but it worked out).
I staystitched the neckline and used stay tape to keep it from gaping. If there ever was an hour project then this surely is. By the time I made my second one – it was less than one hour from cutting to snipping the final thread.
The sizing was accurate. My bust measurement is between their size 8 and 10. I opted to cut size 10 which was just right. The pockets are nice and deep.
I confess a part of me was worried that this might look like a sack of potatoes on me. By the time I tried it on for fitting I got a bit more excited. It is so comfortable and quite stylish. I made a video immediately after I had been wearing it for a day because the number of compliments on the dress I received that day was astounding.
My personal philosophy about making my clothes is that I make and wear what makes me happy. When I am putting together an outfit – my concern isn’t primarily on how I look to others who see me. It is on how I feel and whether I like it. Of course its lovely when I get compliments on my outfits. But, when I have left my comfort zone and I receive compliments – its an even nicer feeling. I digress….
And my YouTube review..
The second one was made using some fabric that I had been very precious about for a long time. The fabric was won in an Instagram competition wherein 2 meters of Nani Iro triple gauze fabric turned up on my doorstep – FREE!!!
I have oohed and aahed over this fabric for years. I thought it might work well with the Cocoon dress. Cutting was hard! There was plenty of wincing and bottom lip biting. But cut it, I did. It was a point of importance that I sewed it up straightaway in order to avoid buyers remorse so to speak.
A note on sewing with triple gauze…..triple gauze is made of 3 layers of gauze that are loosely woven together. Its about twice the thickness of double gauze. Being 100% cotton the fabric is breathable and incredibly soft. Sewing it however was not fun. The thickness created by the 4 layers of gauze added up. Though I have never quilted – I imagine that it was like sewing a quilt. After sewing one seam it was clear I had to use the walking foot which made things a bit easier.
In the end, I had a lovely deliciously comfortable dress, albeit that looks a bit like pyjamas. I love it. Its bright, lively and vibrant! It is the kind of dress that makes me feel obliged to project the energy it embodies.
Verdict: Highly recommended! Another thing I love about this dress is that I can go braless without any obvious issues. Win!
Thanks for stopping by! Until next time, Happy Sewing!
At some time in December last year, I came across a French pattern company on Instagram, DP Studio Fashion. The company ethos is to keep abreast of the latest fashion news to find out about new shapes, volumes and shades. They sell a collection of ready-to-use patterns through their online boutique. I was quite taken by the designs which are so unique and fashion forward. There had so many patterns I wanted to buy, however, I limited myself to two. Here is the first one – a skirt:
Le 406 is an asymmetric skirt constructed in one piece and has no waistband. The pleats on the right side create volume that is then added to a frill sewn on the true bias creating a front ruffle of full volume and effect.
This is the picture that got me
Postage and Service
The ordering process was very simple. The online website has pages for english and french language users. Postage was incredibly efficient with the patterns arriving within four days via courier. I was impressed.
I knew I wanted to make my Christmas outfit using this pattern. Looking through my stash I considered using a denim and very nearly cut it out in denim but at the last minute remembered some tartan fabric that I believed would be more festive.
A note on the pattern – it has one of the largest pattern pieces I have ever worked with! The main front piece has two pieces that have to be taped together. The 2 pieces were not aligning perfectly along the grainline points. I emailed DP Studio Fashion and they responded within a couple of hours saying that this was a problem they were aware of – an error in the printing. I had to tape it along the right side seam and draw in the hem curve. It’s a simple enough thing to do – I don’t know if subsequent batches of the pattern will have this error. This picture shows what I mean – it really is a minor issue.
All the pieces are cut single layer so this pattern requires a lot of fabric. I failed with pattern matching the side seams but I figured it could be a design feature.
As an intermediate level seamstress, I found the instructions clear and well written. There is a picture tutorial available on the website.
Sizing was spot on. I chose the pattern size based on the provided grid and it was perfectly right for me.
I made no changes to the pattern. The waistband is supposed to have a facing but I opted for a Petersham ribbon. Two reasons: it is quicker and more comfortable.
I managed to finish the skirt in the nick of time on Christmas Eve and was able to wear it on Christmas morning paired with my black BurdaStyle roll neck top. A fetching combo that I felt good in.
After a couple of hours I noticed that the side where the flounce is anchored tended to ‘drop’ creating an asymmetric waist look. My assessment is that the waistband needs to be snugger to keep both sides at the same level. But then again it might just be this particular fabric which has a slightly loose weave that seems to let out over time and tightens when washed.
Verdict: I love this skirt! I felt edgy when I was wearing it. The swish factor is a definite plus for me. It is a skirt made for striding forward towards…something! My sister in law said it had a Vivienne Westwood punk rock vibe. I was pleased beyond reason with that compliment :-).
I am looking forward to making another version of this skirt. It has much potential when using different fabrics. There are more patterns from DP Studio Fashion that I have my eye on.
Thanks for stopping by and until then, Happy Sewing!
Tha fabric for the top is a self wicking knit which has some stretch. The stretch is quite minimal and not like a t-shirt jersey. Unfortunately, I don’t know its exact specifics as it was part of a bundle of fabrics from MinervaCrafts that I had won on IG in 2016. It is very comfortable to wear and supports my bust well.
The top is made up of 8 pieces – nice seam detail to look at but a pain in the neck to deal with. First of all, when tracing it I forgot to write in the seam numbers that tell you which edge to join where and had to rip out twice and cut more pattern pieces (I was using an overlocker). Eventually, I got my head around it and it worked out nicely. I even put in a fancy neon green exposed zip. The zip is purely decorative, in my opinion, as I can easily pull this over my head without using the zip. The next time I make it I will omit the zip.
I really like this top because despite all the seam lines it is very comfortable. The upper half is self-lined so no overlock seams rubbing against my skin. Its fussy but well worth it.
The fabric for the leggings is deep dark brown ponte roma with a shiny surface. I quite liked the angular seams and the high waist of these sporty leggings. Though fussy to sew up if you are trying to line everything up, I think they are worth the hassle. The pattern actually calls for zips at the ankle side seams. No thanks.
For both patterns, I cut the size 38 without any adjustments. I have worn both of these quite a lot over the last year, especially for yoga classes. The leggings are a tad too warm in summer but perfect when the weather is on the cooler side (on account of the ponte).
This outfit was/is a win for me – a great addition to my activewear collection!
Thanks for stopping by and until next time, Happy Sewing!
Its that time of the month again, the second Tuesday of every month is when my posts are published on the Minerva Craft Blogger Network. For this month I made the second garment of my husbands hygge inspired capsule.
We did a proper photoshoot for this project and it was hilarious getting my hubs to pose! He was up for the challenge though. I asked him to grow a beard so I could try to have the look here from Merchant & Mills product website…..
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.
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.
I love this casual and easy to wear dress.Minimalist witha 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,
PS. It was a really windy day when we did the photoshoot so apologies for my VPL – it couldnt be helped!
2017 hurtles to a close and I am not particularly sad to see this year go. In fact, I can’t wait to put this year behind me. It was more bitter than sweet and when I look back on this year I will focus on the sweet. And yet, I have made it through and that’s worth celebrating too.
I am so excited to begin 2018. There is so much I have to look forward to and so much to achieve. I will put on my dancing shoes and dance every day. Every. Single. Day. Every day will be my own fashion catwalk. I will embrace my younger self. I will be fearless. To 2018, I say
On that note, here are 3 videos that I had recorded but hadn’t posted on my Youtube Channel including the garments I made. Enjoy!
For the new year, I wish you all the best and many happy moments with your loved ones.
July is Indie Pattern Month over at The Monthly Stitch. Its a month set aside for celebrating indie patterns. I always the challenges set by Kat and Mel and this year is no exception. Week 1 is dresses and I made yet another Giselle maxi dress using fabric bought from my first Yorkshire Spoolette meet up in Feb 2016 <link here>. Tangentially, I have used all but 1 of the fabrics I bought then and that’s great for me :-). I digress, lets get to it ……..
Can I just start off by saying that I love this dress! OK. So when Kat and Mel announced the themes I was pleased to see that dresses were in Week 1. It didn’t take me long at all to decide on which indie pattern dress to make – Giselle by Kate and Rose Patterns.
I have made 3 of them ( here and here) before but none in a rayon challis fabric. The fabric is irresistibly soft and I very nearly made pyjamas with it. It also gets double points for stash busting as it has been in the stash since Feb 2016 :-).
Since I have sewn this before fitting was not an issue. I made the version with the under bust yoke but sleeveless. The sleeves and neckline were finished with cotton bias binding.
This is a quick dress to sew up. The skirt panels are basically rectangles that are gathered and sewn together. I always add in seam pockets to this pattern as it comes without pockets and that’s my only complaint (a very minor one 🙂). I finished my seams with the overlocker.
Its a loose fit easy to wear dress. Very swishy and its one of those dresses that always has me on my best posture. You know the sort of dress you feel like you are letting it down if you slouch or don’t stand proud :-).
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.
As it happens I had an easy fit tee-shirt sloper from when I used Metric Pattern Cutting for Womenswear by Winifred Aldrich.
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 :-).
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?