Rosie Dress

Today’s make is one I have returned to… The Rosie Dress by Cotton and Chalk for Simply Sewing Mag was one of my first free patterns and one I tried pretty early in my sewing. The Cotton and Chalk patterns are massive on the ease and the dress I made was a little dodgy (with a very wonky zip) and it was definitely too big. I also didn’t use sleeves, which isn’t something I wouldn’t do anymore as if I make things for myself, I’m making them to hide the bits I don’t like!

Anyway, I got this lovely navy tie dyed style fabric, which reminds me of the Shibori style of dying from a shop I recently discovered called Fibers to Fabric over on Etsy. They sell some beautiful, bright, ethnic style fabrics! This fabric is a lovely light cotton and although I sewed this up on a rare snow day from school, it had my thoughts in spring. It presses and handles a treat and is beautiful and rich in colour. I decided it would be perfect for a remake of the Rosie dress.

I sized the whole pattern down by a size, even though the measurements say I should be an XL, I knew it would be too big, so I used the L. The pattern has subtle gathers at the shoulder and bust and a waist-band which is pretty flattering.

It comes with a bias binding neckline which you stitch in place before you join the front for a really neat finish. Anything that use bias binding it a winner in my eyes (I mentioned I hate facings, right?) The construction of the bodice was pretty easy but a little lengthier than usual as you have the extra features. I was lucky the the patterning on the fabric is pretty random so I didn’t have to worry too much about pattern matching.

The sleeves are interesting as they have a little gather in them also, this is created by a 2 inch piece of elastic which you pull as you sew.

Having seen that the fabric took pretty easily to the elastic, I decided to try a little trick… Because I was essentially too lazy to put a billion gathering stitches about the waistline and I know the dress needs A LOT of gathering, I decided to try the method for gathering that the Moneta uses, which is to use clear elastic to gather the waistline.

I measured the bottom of the bodice and cut elastic to that size and then I stretched it as I sewed it to the top of the skirt piece whilst stretching the elastic. It worked an absolute treat, it was so much easier and it has made for really neat gathering. All I had to do then was attach it to the bodice, no gathering required! (winner). I’m not sure this would work with all fabrics but because this is a light, soft cotton, it worked a treat!

I distinctly remember making my first Rosie dress and it’s meant that I have really felt how much my dress making capabilities have improved. I’m really happy with this gorgeous dress, it feels floaty and feminine and perfect for spring and summer.

Virus Shawl

dsc_2680.jpgI’ve taken a bit of a step outside of the world of machine sewing and decided to dip my toe in to the world of crochet. There are three reasons for this:

1. I’ve tried knitting and I just cannot get my head around it.

2.I wanted a craft to do in front of the TV so I wasn’t always hiding away in my sewing room and leaving the hubby on his own.

3. It’s just good to expand horizons and learn new skills.

So, a lady at work, who is very kind, said that she would teach me. She’s been absolutely brilliant. She sent me links to what I would need, picked me up some wool and even used some of her own to start me off. She taught me some basics first and had me making a square so I could learn the stitches and practise my tension. I’m not sure why but it has come so naturally to me. I picked up what I was supposed to be doing almost instantly and was soon eager to starts a big project. I’ve had a bit of a play around with some baby clothes and then I pretty much jumped straight to the Virus Shawl, for which I followed this tutorial which made it super, clear and easy. Thank God for YouTube!

Anyway, I hate the name but love the pattern. I made one for my Mum for Christmas, which I forgot to photograph and then I decided to make one for myself.

As I have my resolution not to buy any more fabric, I decided to treat myself to some Variegated yarn when my Mum took me to the Creative Craft Show a few weeks a go. It’s beautiful and is made up of lime greens, dark green and reds with a dash of blue. I got started straight away and I’ve picked it up as often as I can. The good thing I find about crochet is that it comes together really quickly. Now I have mastered it, I have managed to do this one in about 4 weeks by doing a little bit each night in front of the TV.

It used 4 balls and is perfect for using as a scarf to brighten up my black coat. It was just in time for the appropriately named storm Emma we have had in the UK.

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