Named Clothing Stella Shirt

Hi everyone,

Last year, I was lucky enough to win a prize in dress week for Indie pattern month over on The Monthly Stitch. My prize was 3 PDF patterns from Named Clothing. This came at a fortunate time as along with their new book, Named Clothing are my new obsession. Their patterns are so innovative, really well thought-out and just a little bit different.

One of the patterns I chose was the Stella shirt and dress. It has an option for a shirt, with a really funky triangular collar and for a lovely floaty dress with elasticated waist. They have a raglan style sleeve with cuffs and a pussy bow collar option. I was keen to try this to continue to expan my skills with making shirts. I opted for the shirt version and used a really cool viscose style fabric I got from Ebay.

The pattern calls for a French seam along the sleeves, which come in two pieces and I continued this by completing French seams throughout the whole shirt. You complete the sleeves, then the raglan and complete the sleeve and side seams in one go. The front, placket is self-facing so super easy and luckily this fabric was super easy and crisp to press. I added the collar and the cuffs and it was complete, which is quite simple for a shirt top.
The collar was surprisingly simple to sew up in the end, though I do think it has turned out a little wonky somehow. The pattern calls for poppers but I opted for button holes and made self-covered buttons, which are one of my favourite things to make, as they’re super relaxing. I used blue poppers to make the fastenings on the cuffs.


My thoughts on the pattern; it’s another great, stylish and youthful pattern as I’ve come to expect from Named Clothing. However, for me, it slightly lacks shape and if I made it again I would add some darts and shaping. I’m also not overly keen on the folded cuff option and would complete pleats in the sleeves before adding the cuffs in the traditional way next time. I have not ruled out making a dress version though and my love for Named Clothing patterns remains!

Kielo Wrap Dress

Hi everyone,

I have seen soooo many Keilo dresses in my research before making this dress, but I’m so pleased with my recent make, that I had to show it off.

The kielo wrap dress looks like it would be unshapely and has a really odd shape, however, due to the amazing long ties, which are cleverly concealed within the seams of the dress, it wraps exactly at the waist, taking the fabric around you and creating a lovely, flattering, silhouette.

The Kielo is made to be a maxi dress, however, I know for past experience, that I rarely end up wearing a full-length dress so I shortened it significantly to a knee-length dress. I found that due to the shape, it requires quite a lot of fabric but I did expect this. I bought some lovely, crackle look black jersey from Sewlicious and went ahead.

Picture of Metallic Bronze Gold Splashes on Black - Jersey Fabric

There are surprisingly few pieces to cut, just the front and back and the ties, though I cut the back in two pieces due to fabric restraints. I also included sleeves as I don’t like to not have sleeves. Named Clothing have released sleeves to go with this and I couldn’t be bothered printing them out but I used my familiar Moneta dress sleeves and it worked perfectly.

The dress calls for darts at the bust and the back. I have rarely sewed darts in jersey and found it a bit challenging to be honest but it was completed and I continued. I inserted the sleeves and everything else on the flat, which is my favourite way to sew and then you essentially sew up the sides. Easy. The neckline is simply folded and sewn as a hem.

When I make this again (there will be an again) I will lower the bust darts slightly and I would also lower and round-off the neckline but I love it. I cannot believe I left it this long to make it!

This was a good choice of fabric by the way, it feels really glamourous whilst still being a jersey and I love it!

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One Week One Pattern 2018

Hi everyone,

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. You know how life is, super busy and mine is also currently filled with Christmas sewing!

Anyway, having not successfully taken part in a instagram, Sewing related challenge, I decided to give One Week One Pattern #owop18 a go. Originally a Tilly and the buttons venture, it has been valiantly ran by the lovely Sheona at Sewisfaction this year. The idea, of course, is that you make the most out of you patterns and wear the same pattern every day for a week.

I obviously turned to my trusty Moneta, which I have made several times as many of you will know. It turns out that I don’t actually have 7 though… So this was a perfect reason to sew a couple more! They are so quick.

Monday: I’ve used some Black Jersey from Pound Fabrics to whip an easy one up. I lowered the back neckline slightly and extended the sleeve length to full length. I pleated the fabric at once centimetre intervals instead of gathering, using a cheaper fabric as an excuse to experiment and it has worked brilliantly. Every girl needs a comfy black dress.

Tuesday: I wore my Paisley Moneta which I wear a lot. Now I’ve been sewing a while, it’s made me realise how long the clothes you make can last. I made this in summer 2017 and it’s still going strong.

Wednesday: I made this version last christmas. I used a block burgundy colour for the top and a ditzy, black Jersey for the bottom, which gives it a different look again and is a perfect stash buster.

Thursday: this was my second weekend owop make. I used another border print jersey from Ebay. I tried to use the border print to my advantage. I made the skirt much longer; it’s midcalf. I also extended the sleeve length, an easy but satisfying hack. I also lowered the neckline and used to strips to make a cris cross effect at the back.

Friday: This is my version in brushed Jersey, which is beautifully super soft from Sew Me Sunshine. This is the original pattern, with pockets.

Please see over on instagram for the daily updates.

Whilst I’m showing my Monetas, I though I would share a few tips from my experience. I always add an inch to the inside of the neckline because otherwise you end up showing your bra. I personally lengthen the bodice an inch so it doesn’t finish too low under my bust. I always overlock my neckline before I sew so that I can turn it under neatly.

I’ve loved watching everyone take part and feel really inspired by the way people have used the patterns they love in different ways. Thanks to Sheona for organising. If you want to see more Monetas, Amy also chose Monetas for their Owop.

Sunshine Rosie Dress

Today’s dress is another Cotton and Chalk Rosie Dress. This will be the third time I have made this dress and I don’t want to bore anyone but I also want to show off the sunshiny loveliness of this dress. It’s a super flattering pattern as it has a V-neck and a middle panel, which adds shape.

This and the last one I made are a far cry from my first one and I feel it really showcases how far I have come in terms of the fit of my garments. My first did not fit at all, it was badly made and I didn’t know how to change it. Fast forward 18 months and I’m able to change the fit of my garments so much more to fit me.

I decided to leave this one sleeveless, both due to fabric restrictions and the fact that I have to accept that I needed some sleeveless dresses in the warm weather for my holidays! I used this lovely yellow block print cotton from Sew Me Sunshine and because of the wide skirt, two metres was just enough to make it.

I did not make my own binding because I did not have enough fabric so I used some plain yellow in my stash. I love binding my necklines so I love a pattern which actually plans for it even more! I also used it to finish the arm holes.

I used clear elastic to gather the skirt, which is my favourite way to get lovely, even gathers, I have written a tutorial for this over on Sew Me Sunshine and I use bias binding to finish the hem to give neat finish.

I don’t make much in yellow but it’s beautiful and bright and I absolutely love it. Sorry for the holiday pictures but I thought it might brighten autumn up a bit as I definitely wouldn’t be wearing this now! 😔

By the way, my amazing necklace in a Jazzy Lapin design for Sewalicious. It’s amazing!

I’ll be there for you… For Sewing the Scene 2018

I love the #sewingthescene challenge which Jo (the unfinished seamstress) organises over on instagram. I think it is a brilliant way to be inspired. I find it really gets creativity going and I have a pinterest board dedicated to it, if anyone is interested.

I made an outfit inspired by Louisa Clarke from Me Before You last year and replicated it as closely as I could.

This year, I have used a bit more creative license as I was inspired by 90s Rachel Green from friends (the first series!) I knew what I wanted but it turns out that Rachel didn’t wear a dress like the one I have created but I would like to think that with all her tartan and pinafore wearing during the 90s, it could easily fit in her wardrobe (assuming she went up about 6 dress sizes of course!) I took these two elements and created my ideal pinafore dress.

I got some tartan from Ebay and used the Tilly and the buttons, cleo. I have made this twice previously and once for my brother’s girlfriend. It meant I could make some adjustments, to taper it in a little at my waist. I made it slightly longer than my previous versions too.

My favourite part of my Navy version is the big pocket so I added one to this, being careful to pattern match. I love sewing with squared fabric like this as it makes matching and hemming etc really easy. Anyway, the dress comes together super quickly. I added buttonholes and buttons instead of the pinafore fastenings and I was done.

I styled it with a black tee, black tights and ankle boots and my new Sewing Club pin badge from the gorgeous Sew in the Garden for a weekend trip to the garden centre. A Cleo is just perfect weekend wear!

Hubby always make me laugh!

recently went to Friendsfest with my sister and wish I could’ve wore this but it didn’t exist yet!! However, I am still happy that this would fit quite nicely in Central Perk!

Bedsheet fashion

Hi everyone,
Thank you so so much for all of your entries in to my bloggiversary giveaway. I had over 100 entries, which was really exciting! Anyway, the winner is @ceri.luna over on instagram. She wins 2 metres of Cotton Lawn from Sew Me Sunshine and pin badge from Pink Coat Club!
Now, this week’s blog post! Moving house has meant that I’ve had a bit of a Sewing stash cull. I’ve done quite a bit of clearing out and been quite firm with myself about what I will realistically make. It has made me be quite specific in my planning and I’m quite enjoying it.
Today’s make is Mccalls 7314, made with red and black checked brushed cotton, which was a bed sheet I bought from a charity shop (still in it’s packaging) and I knew I wanted a shirt dress straight away. It just looked so autumnal. The pattern has caught my eye quite a few times and although there’s quite a few indie companies with lovely shirt dresses, the fact that this was made for differing cup sizes did it for me. I could picture the kind of dress that I wanted and this was perfect.

Image result for mccalls 7314
I toiled the dress in a viscose and found that the darts and waistline sat way too high for me, so I have lengthened the bodice by about 3 inches. I made view D with the quarter length sleeves and cuffs. I included the pockets but made no other changes. It has a full collar and a really gathered skirt but quite a relaxed fit.
I’m really enjoying making some more complicated garments. I feel perfecting the collar and collar stand of shirts and shirt dresses is definitely a skill I need to keep working on. I have a few more shirt dresses in mind too as they are perfect for work.
I wore this to a Spice Girls exhibition in Manchester with my sister. I broke my personal fashion rule number 1 – “You should not wear tights if there is an R in the month” but it’s cold in England suddenly and this Autumnal dress definitely called for tights.

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Next week’s post is my Sewing the Scene entry, so look out for that!

2 year Bloggiversary and Giveaway!

Hi everyone,

It is so hard to believe it has been 2 years since I started my blog. I feel like I’ve abandoned it slightly recently and I hate that because I know when I read blogs and they suddenly tail off, it makes me sad. Fear not… It’s only temporary as I have been moving and trying to keep up with my masters at the same time. I am more in love with making my own clothes than ever and my machine has been unpacked so keep on watching this space.

Anyway, last year’s anniversary blog post went so well that I decided to do another one. I wanted to use it to make a popular pattern that I have not yet made and I chose the TATB Bettine.

As a firm fan of Sew Me Sunshine, I wanted to use their fabric to celebrate and the gorgeous Harriet said she would sponsor my giveaway- amazing! Anyway, I chose this gorgeous Jungle tropics cotton lawn and got started. I quite literally had to get my machine out of it’s box and dust it down.

I’ve been a bit skeptical about the Bettine as I wasn’t sure it would suit my figure. I thought it might not be flattering for a bigger bust but it is just so popular that I was ready to give it a go. I cut the size 8 and added about an inch to the front bodice for ease. As it’s an all in one piece with no darts it’s tricky to do a proper FBA but I just added it to the centre and did the same for the skirt but graded down. Anyway, the all in one bodice made it pretty easy to sew up so it’s pretty good. True to celebratory form, I added all the extras, making the cuffs and little tabs.

The bottoms half is a little different to construct because of the big pockets but as usual Tilly has it covered and they came together wonderfully, with neat finishes all round. Then all there is to do is sew the middle seam and add the elastic. There’s no tricky fastenings and it sewed it up in about an hour an a half. I thought it would be pretty fabric hungry too but it uses less than 2 metres and less still if you leave out or contrast the pockets. I kind of feel that I should have chosen something slightly more challenging for my bloggiversary but I love it.

When I put it on, I still wasn’t convinced about the shape and resorted to be trusty belt but then I went with it and oh my actual goodness, nothing could be comfier and I actually felt pretty nice in it. I wore it to a family gathering and it was perfect for the occasion. I will definitely be making more so any hack suggestions would be appreciated.

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I styled it with my brogues and another seamstress Pin. I have them in every colour and the lovely Joy of Pink Coat Club is giving one away to celebrate!

Anyway, no celebration would be complete without a good giveaway so… To be in with the chance to winning 2 metres of Cotton lawn from Sew Me Sunshine, AND a pin of your choice from Pink Coat Club make sure you follow me on here and comment below. For an additional entry, head over to instagram and make sure you’re following me and Sew Me Sunshine and Pink Coat Club and comment over there too. I am so so grateful for these lovely ladies for sponsoring my giveaway.

T&Cs:You will be able to chose 2 metres of Cotton Lawn from Sew Me Sunshine, which will be sent directly from them. You will be able to chose 1 pin from Pink Coat Club, which will be sent directly from them. No private accounts or accounts solely used for giveaways will be entered.

The giveaway entries end Thursday 30th August 2018 at midnight British time. And it will be drawn and announced in my post on Friday 31st August. Good luck everyone!

Datura/Lily Hack dress

Hi everyone,

I’m hear to share one of my favourite makes in a long time! I did a real and quite proper hack using the Datura top pattern from Deer and Doe and the Lily Dress from Simple Sew.

First the fabrics; I used a yellow linen from my stash, which I got quite cheaply from Ebay and this beautiful viscose linen which I got as a remnant from Sew Me Sunshine. I used the yellow linen for the neckline only, to make it pop and also to make my remnant stretch further (not that we admit to things like this!) I also used it to make plenty of bias binding for the neckline and sleeves.

Anyway, I did the hack by cutting just the top section of the Datura top which comes to just above the darts in yellow. I should point out that I have done several toiles of the Datura already as the pattern doesn’t actually go up to my size (here is not the time or place for a rant about that!) Anyway, I then folded the dress piece for the Lilly Dress so that it lined up with the top piece. I made sure that all the darts remained and that the arm holes would be big enough. I then proceeded to cut the rest of the dress as usual in the lovely viscose linen.

I completed the facings for the neckline and then attached it to the bottom half of the bodice. I made bias binding, which is not something I relish but a necessity for this garment. A few people have commented that the neckline looks difficult, which was my first instinct but it’s well instructed and surprisingly easy and very very satisfying!! It just needs a lot of pins!

Once the top half was done, I decided to change up the bottom too! I drafted a quick contrast pocket in the yellow first. The Lily Dress has a gathered skirt but I decided to do pleats in line with the darts on the bodice. I’m actually amazing that I managed to pull this off because I was winging it but I just pinned everywhere and then hand tacked the darts where they should be! I think it gives shape but is a little bit more sleek.

I am so happy with the finished product. It’s a great fit and so bright and cheerful. I wore it out to dinner with my lovely hubby at Vilamoura, which is a beautiful marina in Portugal.

Me Made Portugal

Hi everyone,

It’s been a while since I’ve had chance to do a holiday series… I’m not complaining, I’m lucky that I go on holiday quite often usually but this is our first and only this year so I’m making the most of it. We’ve come to Portugal with my lovely in-laws and of course, my me mades have come too!

Day 1 – I never blogged this top as I was meant to be a Toile for my bee Kalle tunic but I actually wear it more than the second! It’s perfect for travelling and I would definitely make more. I wore it with RTW secret pyjama pants!

Day 2- although I had cut the new costume by Cashmerette, I didn’t get chance to sew it… So they’ll be no pictures of me in my cossies (I know, what a shame!) However, I did make this tote bag which is self-drafted using this fab vintage swimmer remnant from Sew Me Sunshine. I used rectangles to construct it and tapered the corners. I included little pockets inside and a little coin pouch. Perfect for the beach!

Day 3- we visited Loulé Market today so I wore my new Ultimate Trouser shorts. I made the trouser pattern a while back and was instantly hooked. It’s such an easy make and I got these out of a remnant of 70cm of this lovely stretch cotton (perfect for ultimate trousers) from Sew Me Sunshine. Quite a lot of my holiday makes are made using remnants from when I have a bit of a splurge! I wore a RTW vest, I have recently bought the ogden pattern but I’ve not had much time to master it yet! I even found a fabric shop, which made my day!

Day 4- another lazy day on the beach but I did wear these awesome trousers for dinner. They are Self-drafted wrap trousers, which I saw at a craft fair some time a go. They were selling for £45 (queue brain saying ‘pfft, I could make those’) and I made these up super quick in 2 metres, for a grand total of £4! I would really recommend making some, they are super flattering. It is essentially 2 rectangles sewn together using a semi circle shape for the crotch which you then tie at the front and the back. I proudly wore them with my new Pink Coat Club Me Made necklace.

Day 5- having fully intended to make a plethora of Ogden Camis for the holiday, I only actually made this one. I used this fab grey fabric with neon splodges which I stashed from a craft fair last year. Perfect teamed with white jeans.

Day 6- saw the return on my Velo Cullottes,which I wear a lot. They are made in a silky soft peach skin from Sewisfaction. The pattern is perfect and a great fit. Plus, they have pockets!!

Day 7- I made another Cotton and Chalk Rosie Dress, I’m afraid! I love this pattern and find it so flattering. I won’t blog about it separately having already made 2 but the fabric is a block print cotton from Sew Me Sunshine and I feel I’m really perfecting the fit now. I wore it with my new Sewing Machine necklace from Sewalicious. Cool. Or. What?

Day 8- I wore a Deer and Doe Datura hack to Vilamoura for a meal, which I will blog fully soon but I LOVE it!

Day 9- we visited Faro, which was the best day ever!! I wore a Sew Over It, shortened Florence Dress in this tropical print from what is now Pound Fabrics. It’s a super easy pattern and really cool to wear.

The eagle eyed amongst you may notice that I have gotten a little rounder over the course of the holiday but the food was truly amazing. I have never been anywhere with such amazing food. I realise that mine is a sewing blog but I just wanted to quickly share some of the amazingness. Really yummy! And whilst I fully promote curvy sewing, I have left Portugal feeling a little bit too curvy for me so thank god there’s no Portuguese steak around!!

See you soon for some individual makes! Don’t forget to check my. Instagram where I update my currently wearing quite often!

Honeycomb and Me Made May confessions

Hi everyone,

I can’t put my finger on it but I’ve really tailed off at the end of Me Made May. It’s the end of another busy half term, I wasn’t too well at weekend (my most hated online moan but it’s true!) and I think I’m just in need of a little online switch off.

I have used that time to get stuck in with my sewing machine and I’ve been making lots of holiday makes (not the easiest to model). I thought I was losing my sewjo a little, which wasn’t helped by the most recent make I’m about to share but I think I’m back on my game!

Anyway, I’m not usually overly enamoured by Cocowawa patterns, I feel they are definitely made for a slimmer frame but I thought the tie sides of the most recent Honeycomb dress would flatter me so I wanted to give it a go. I will just have one more moan though (sorry, last one I promise) – I was really disappointed to find that most of the pattern testers for this were significantly smaller than the size 20 the pattern claims to go up to… which doesn’t seem very inclusive.

Anyway, undeterred, I carried on with it. I made a few changes, obviously I made the chest pieces bigger (possibly should have been even bigger and also longer as you will see), I also omitted the collar and created a bias binding instead and I lengthened it to create a maxi. Also, contrary to my instincts, I made it sleeveless, in acceptance that not all of my summer clothes can have sleeves.

I used the lovely birdy viscose from Adam Ross fabrics. Whilst, I’m really happy with the neat finish on my dress and I’m loving the self covered buttons, I’m just not sure it is quite me. What does everyone think? I’m wondering if it’s the sleeves, the fit on the chest or the colour. I may dye it. Any thoughts?

In the meantime, I’m making a very promising Datura hack dress which should be lovely.

Me Made May Week 3

Day 1 – I made another shortened version of the Florence Dress last year, which has been a nightmare to photograph – it just seems that it has never worked out. I made it using a bed sheet so it gives it more structure, which is great for work. I do think the pattern lends itself to floaty fabrics more though.

Day 2 – Today I wore my gingham hacked Orla Dress, I love wearing this dress, it’s such a cool and relaxed style and after making a few, I’m really happy with the fit of these. It’s a free pattern by French Navy Now and I really recommend it.

Day 3 – I wore a previously unblogged, simple gathered skirt. This is my favourite way to make self-drafted skirt as you can add lots of volume and swish to a skirt. I am currently writing a tutorial for Sew Me Sunshine using their beautiful crepe on how to create your own.

Day 4 – This is my first repeat and I wore my Emma brushed jersey Moneta dress. This is my most recent Moneta and every time I make one, I’m reminded why this pattern is my favourite – it’s super flattering and comfy. I haven’t blogged this one, as there are only so many Monetas a girl can blog!

Day 5 – This was a slightly different make for me, I decided to test my hand embroidery skills slightly. Bees seem to be everywhere at the minute so I downloaded myself a Bee Happy template and embroidered it on to a ready to wear T-shirt. I tucked this in to a self-drafted skirt and it was a perfect, cheerful outfit for a Royal Wedding Street Party!

Day 6 – Another day, another Orla hack. This is a long sleeved version. I used to Orla bodice as a block and extended it and lowered the neckline and created two ties for a tie back detail. I forgot to take pictures so I pinched a couple from my holiday last year (I wish I could go back!)

Day 7 – I wore RTW to work. If I’m completely honest, my work wardrobe is definitely not 100% me made and as the last week of term approaches I’m struggling to wear me made everyday. I had family round for tea though and slipped on my original galaxy moneta.

Thoughts for this week: I don’t automatically wear Me Made every day, which is OK because I don’t want to get rid of anything just because, but there’s definitely still room for more me mades in my wardrobe. (yay!)

I need to make more work basics, which are smart and appropriate.

Me Made May Week 2

Day 1 – I wore my Sew Over It Nancy Dress which I made last year and although I wasn’t entirely convinced with the shape, I still wear it often as its bright and fun and cheers me up (that and I needed a bit of a looser shape after an indulgent bank holiday weekend!)

Day 2- I wore my much worn Cotton and Chalk Rosie Dress. This was my first make in Ponte Roma and it has really stood the test if time.

Day 3 – Having felt a bit sluggish this week I decided to brighten myself up a little so I wore a green RTW t-shirt with a self-drafted skirt. The fabric is a vintage buy from my favourite shop up in Northumberland.

Day 4 – This is where Me Made May has stepped my game up a little and made me dive in my wardrobe. The is the Rebecca Page Arabella Skirt skit which I made last year and i have to admit, I haven’t worn it since. I love this retro tapes fabric from Flamingo fabrics and I really don’t know why I haven’t worn it much. Teamed with a RTW white blouse it was perfect for work and added a bit of colour to my day. This one is definitely being brought to the front of the wardrobe now!

Day 5- I wore two outfits today. I wore my hacked Datura blouse with RTW jeans to have my hair cut. (I haven’t blogged this but I love it!)

I then wore my Joni dress out for tea for my brother’s girlfriend’s birthday meal. I absolutely love this dress!!

Day 6- my husband and I had a drive out and I wore my super comfy Peak T-shirt which I made from Wendy Ward’s book Sewing with Knitted Fabrics for Minerva Crafts.

Day 7 – today I thought outside the box and wore my Style Arc Italia Shirt Dress which I made for Sew Me Sunshine, tucked in to a plan black self-drafted circle skirt.

Thoughts for this week:

  • I am still very much in need of blouses for work.
  • I wear too much blue!

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