Maxi Appleton

Hi everyone,

Sorry I’ve been missing for a while, I’m extremely busy at the minute and when me and hubby have been stripping walls and garden sorting, I can’t bring myself to replace my scruffs for my lovely new makes and insist he takes photos!!!

The Appleton dress was made for me by the lovely Lhizz from New Zealand last year as part of the hand-made dress swap. As she didn’t feel the pattern would suit her, she kindly sent the pattern with the dress she had made and I have made it since for my sister’s baby shower last year.

As the pattern is tailored for curvy, chestier girls, I couldn’t leave it there as I feel it had a great fit and it’s super flattering. I have seen a few people hack the dress in to the a maxi, so I decide to do the same thing. I was also inspired by the Sew Together for Summer wrap dress challenge, which is always great for inspiration!

From making it before I know that it uses a lot of fabric and, in a very unlike me move, I decided that patterned fabric would be too much in a real shoulder to toe dress so I chose a plain, purple jersey for this make. My inner pattern lover struggled with this decision!!

The construction of the dress is a real joy (usually) – for some reason, I had lots of problems with this, the jersey is super stretchy (though I have worked with the same make before) and it just seemed that if it could pucker or snap or anything else to go wrong then it did. This was increased by the fact that there was so much fabric and it actually made it a bit more difficult to work with on the whole.

Anyway, due to my absolute frustration with this dress, I expected to get it on and hate it because it wasn’t really a pleasure to make in the end. However… I absolutely love it. This amazing pattern has done it again, I think it fits a treat (no gaping at all across the chest, which means no strategic safety pin!) and it is super flattering. I would really recommend this pattern for anyone who has a large pair of boobs to accommodate and for anyone who wants to up their jersey making game but still doesn’t want to deal with buttonholes or fastenings.

I’m not sure I can get away with another, but I’m thinking of making a sleeveless one (in a brighter print) for over my swimsuit – what do you think? Would that work?

Nancy Dress

I won the Sew Over It Nancy Dress as part of my prize from Indie Pattern Month Dress week last year. If I’m completely honest, it was a pattern that I had been looking at. The dress has a floaty style which I didn’t think would suit my figure as I need a bit more shape round my waist. (Turns out I was right!)

However, it was free and I was so grateful to be a winner so I thought I’d give it a go. I decided on the fantastic jersey I got from the market in Leeds on Sew Up North day with the intention of repeating the Cashmerette Appleton. I changed my mind (as we dressmakers do) and decided on this instead.

This was the first time I has used a pattern which said instructions like overlock or zigzag and I was actually able to overlock, which was so exciting for me! My insides looks so neat and it made me feel really professional

The back is a great little detail, I used a popper at the top to make it look nice and neat. Excuse the bra though, I’ll have to think about what I’m going to do about that!

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After I struggled meeting the odd shapes in the TATB Zadie Dress,  I was a bit concerned about meeting the corners together right at the front of the dress as the pattern shapes are a bit unusual. However, it comes with a really helpful tip of basting some stitch lines to follow, which I promptly ignored and just used my air erasable marker to mark the corners. It worked out great.

Because of fabric restrictions I could only manage a short sleeves but I inserted these. This was another step which I ignored as the instructions call for a set in sleeve but I don’t feel that is necessary with jersey so I inserted the sleeves before sewing up the sides as one.

I had already extended the pattern as it looked too short for me on the pattern front, I’m not very keen on a short dress. I had been quite generous though so I used an inch to hem it.

Alongside this I also made a little cardigan and scratch mitts. Baby clothes are so great for fabric scraps.

I’m not sure about the dress, I think it is as I feared and doesn’t have enough shape at the waist for me. It’s seems to swamp my shape. I also feel it’s a bit too big. If I was to make it again, I’d downsize it. I seemed to have saved it with a contrast pink belt though! There’s no way I would wear it without a belt but I quite like the full skirt it gives.

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DSC_2458-01.jpegDSC_2463-01.jpegDSC_2461-01.jpegDSC_2462-01.jpegDSC_2468-01.jpegDSC_2459-01.jpegI was gutted to find that the fabric had a pinking shear cut in it when I tried it on. I don’t know where it came from. I had already made the dress at this point so I just sewed it closed. I hope it’s not visible and if you can see it, please don’t tell me because I couldn’t stand to know!!!

Appleton Dress

I make a special effort to try and find a fabric shop whenever I go away. On our recent trip to Belgium, my Mother-in-law asked the lovely man on reception at our hotel and he was able to direct us to one called Moda Stoffen and I was in heaven.

I bought two fabrics, a Mustard patterned jersey with lots of drape and a super thick terry style sweatshirting with a furry lining for my first attempt at a Linden. It was 10% off too so that was a winner.

I used the jersey as soon as I got back and determined not to revert to Moneta mode, I fished out the Cashmerette Appleton Dress which the lovely Lhizz sent me from New Zealand with my hand-made dress swap!

It was very much pattern tetris with this, I have no fabric left at all! I was really pleased to just get three quarter sleeves out of it and I had to cut the ties slightly shorter to make the most of the fabric!

The pattern is great, it’s super easy because there are no fastenings so a quick sew.  It would’ve been even quicker if I didn’t have overlocker issues. I tried to use a yellow alongside white but the smaller spool was not working! The lovely Laura @agirlcalledboz over on instagram kindly showed me how she does it!

I’m still getting used to sewing with jersey but I’m definitely improving. The facings were the trickiest bit and they don’t match up perfectly but I think only I can see that. I used spray starch to help me control the fabric which curled up quite a bit but needed a lot of precision.

The pattern is sold as being perfect for cuvy girls and has different cup sizes and it definitely does not disappoint! It’s such a great fit and I find it really flattering. I would definitely try other Cashmerette patterns if they are this good for fit!

I made the dress especially for my Sister’s baby shower and I loved wearing it, it felt really autumnal and just the right feel for the occasion.

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