Sew Me Sunshine Dalbury Doris

Hi everyone,

For my most recent make, I was definitely thinking spring. I love organising what I am going to wear and when the season has already changed in your head, what could be better than making clothes which suit it.

I chose this beautiful Dalbury Cotton Lawn for my make and wanted to make a floaty feminine dress to suit it. With this is mind, I chose the Sew Over It Doris Dress as it has a real feminine feel with skirt panels which add fullness at the skirt.

For more details on my dress please visit Sew Me Sunshine where the beautiful Ella has also written an amazing post.
I’m really happy with this super pretty dress. The fabric is a summery, floaty dream and I can’t wait for the sun to come out to wear it more!


This review in more detail was originally written for the Sew Me Sunshine blog, where Harriet at SMS gifted me this beautiful Cotton Lawn fabric to write about a sewing project and includes my own opinions about the pattern and fabric combination I chose.

I MADE TROUSERS!!

The caps above should say it all but I am so proud of myself! I finally made trousers! Thank you to everyone who’s voted for them in my April challenge because it pushed me to finally get round to them and I am so so glad that I did.

I’ve had the Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers for a while now and kept avoiding making them… What a mistake. They come together so so easily, there’s only 4 pieces and because there is a side zip there’s no tricky fastenings to worry about. They’re absolutely perfect for a beginner trouser maker like me! Whilst I’m really not very excited at all by any of the more recent patterns from Sew Over It (I feel they are a lot of the same thing) you can’t go wrong with their classics and their directions, the construction is always seamless.

Anyway, I chose this beautiful gingham stretch cotton from Sew Me Sunshine and it’s a perfect fabric for these trousers. Like so many Sew Me Sunshine fabrics, it’s vibrant, cool and original. The better I’m getting at sewing the fussier I’m getting about my pattern matching but I’m glad the squares on this fabric were small enough for that not to matter because I don’t think I could pattern match and master trousers at the same time. I paid attention to the grain-line but otherwise I didn’t worry too much about matching the pattern.

These trousers are definitely a winner for me and I can’t wait to make more. They are a super fast staple and I’m going to try them in a block colour next. Has anyone else tried the Ultimate Trousers?

I needed a plain top for with these so this is a RTW number but I need to be addressing this gap in my wardrobe. I posted about it over on The Sewcialists this week if you’re interested. ☺

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!!!

The Florence Dress

The Florence Dress from Sew Over It came with issues 30 and 31 of Simply Sewing Magazine as a Sewalong. I was unsure at first as the waist-line looked high and I thought that it might swamp my figure and not nip in at the right places. In short, I wasn’t going to bother. Then on a whim I thought of the lovely, bargain Mermaid print that I had 5 metres of and cut the top out. The fabric was so cheap that I wasn’t too worried if it didn’t work out and it was so easy that I couldn’t see a reason not to. The pattern came with inserts in the magazine but with a promise that it would be released later this year. 

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I was also spurred on from seeing Jenny of Crafty Sew and Sew in Dorset putting hers together. It looked great and it inspired me to give it a go. She decided against the sleeves and made bias binding instead and I think it looks great.

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As with all the Sew Over It patterns, the construction is simple and clever and the instructions were lovely and clear. I put the top half together easily and then only had to wait a few days for the next magazine to come through my door! On another whim, I kept red thread in my machine from another project so I could practice some top-stitching.

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In the end I was won round by the bodice, I often think that shirt dresses look a little too stiff for casual wear but this look quite soft and relaxed. So I progressed to the skirt, which, again was nice and simple. I tried to line the pattern of the waves in the fabric up along the seams and felt this was pretty successful but the fabric is quite light and slippery so it doesn’t always meet!

The bodice and skirt are attached and create the channel for the elastic, you don’t have an extra stitching round the waistline. It’s clever details like this, which always work out which makes me like Sew Over It patterns.

I tried it on at this point and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really liked the fit and that the elasticated waist was in the right place. I was going to try leaving it sleeveless like Jenny but I couldn’t bring myself to do it – I’m really not a fan of my arms! So I shortened the sleeves and added a short sleeve instead. I didn’t have much fabric left at this point so I wasn’t too precious about the pattern matching but I think it looks fine.

I added more top stitching to the collar and placket at this point so that it looks more like a feature, rather than a possible mistake! I love navy and white with red. I tried it on again to ensure I got the button hole placement right, I din’t want gapeage, which is what happened a little with my last Shirt Dress make. I then asked for opinions on Instagram to help decide on buttons and I’m so glad I did – it got a huge response and the Vintage Glass Buttons that I was desperate to use anyway won over! They were small so I used four instead of three as the pattern dictates but I make my own clothes so who cares?! (Don’t you love that about it?) I hemmed it and it was complete.

I was completely taken aback with this pattern, I really thought it wasn’t going to be for me, but I absolutely love it! I can completely see myself on the marina on my holidays next year in this and can’t wait to make another, I think I might even embrace sleeveless and maybe a small leg split too! It just goes to show that it is well worth thinking outside the box with sewing. What do you think? Have you ever made a garment which made you do a U-turn like this?

 I wore this to my mum’s in a day of rare sunshine. My sister has asked if I’ll make her one and I intend to make another so I’ll be busy. My Mum’s dog, Murphy is gorgeous but not much of a poser!! 

The Top of my Dreams

You know that feeling when you have something in you mind that you really want and then you get it?! That is exactly what happened to me with this one. I saw Liberty’s Dragonista fabric on sale at £9.99 per metre at Abakhan before Christmas and didn’t buy it straight away! It turned out to be a BIG mistake because it sold out. Since then I’ve been searching for it everywhere, not quite willing to pay lots for it but wanting it REALLY BADLY. Then… Imagine my joy, reader, when it came back on Sale again! Hooray!

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I got some straight away and determined not to let it sit in my stash I decided to make a top with it straight away. I pictured a relaxed button back blouse with three quarter sleeves and a good fit. I wanted it pretty simple to show off the fabric. In the end I decided on a little bit of a hack of the Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress, which I am a little bit addicted too!

I added an inch and a half on to each of the back pieces so I could make a placket. I cut a piece of interfacing for each side and did a double fold to make the button placket and sewed the rest up as usual. I did the whole thing with a french seam so I am more than happy to show off the insides! 

The fabric was a dream to work with, I can see why people rave about Tana Lawn.

Instead of the facing, I used a blue bias binding and then, because I had just ordered a mechanism for poppers, I decided to use blue poppers all the way down the back instead of buttons, which I think look quite cool and it meant it was quicker too!

When I tried it on I was so chuffed.. it was exactly what I imagined, which is the best feeling EVER and it is just what I need in my attempts to make more separates. I absolutely love it and I’m so glad that this amazing fabric has been used in this way. I have a tiny bit left over too so I’ll have to get thinking how I can use it!

Shift Dress Addiction

Sorry to be predictable but I’m in love (again). The shift dress, in theory, goes against everything which suits my style… I need garments which give me a waist and nip me in a bit so shift dresses aren’t my usual style as they don’t have a great deal of shape in them.

However, The Ultimate Shift Dress from Sew Over It seems to have won me over. I made one for my Mum for Christmas as I knew it would suit her shape. She loves it and I think it is really elegant. It lent itself really well to a thick fabric, which was almost an upholstery fabric.

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I then tried one for myself on a whim, I suspected I would need a FBA with this one because of the shape so I looked up how to do it. It was the first time I had ever made any changes like this and it worked a treat! I definitely needed it and I also had to make the sleeves bigger by an inch to accommodate it.

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I made it using an embroidered denim and I love it. I feel like the fit is really good and it doesn’t matter that it has a straight shape as I have lots of belts!

I went on to make a shorter version in a tartan as I wanted something a bit more casual to wear. I shortened it and added little splits at the sides to made it more like a tunic. Unusually, I made it sleeveless but I’m still happy with it. I used a vintage bias binding instead of the facings for this one. The FBA has worked a treat and I know that this can be a go to pattern now. I wore it on the first Sunday of Me Made May. Whilst I love them both, they are not very summery so I need to have a look at different styles.

With summer wardrobes in mine I’ve used the pattern to cut the top version out of this fabulous Liberty fabric called Dragonista, which I have been lusting over for ages. I’m so happy I have some! I want some more tops and blouses, on the back of me Me Made May pledge so this is one step towards it. I have hacked it slightly so look out for more on that too… I’m also going to try it in a scuba, as I love the scuba I used for my Zadie dress so much that I’m keen to use some more and I suspect the Shift Dress will work well with this fabric too!

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Sew Over It Ella Blouse

I love my Anderson Blouse so when I saw that Sew Over It had released the Ella Blouse I didn’t think I needed it in my life… Then… Over Easter there was 20% off so it ended up in my basket!

I bought a fabulous geometric print, which is now in the sale at Adam Ross Fabrics in another promo code temptation! 

I’ve made a few Sew Over It Patterns so I already had an idea of changes I would need to make, so I added an inch to the sleeves to account for my chunky arms. Due to the way the style of the blouse is, I didn’t think I would need to do a FBA but this turned out to be a mistake… more on this shortly!

As with all Sew Over It patterns, it was great to follow and there’s little tips and tricks, which make it come together really easily. Like the Anderson blouse, the pattern pieces act as their own facing, which I love because I hate facings!

I was really pleased with my fabric choice, I have seen a lot of people do it in florals, but I’m trying to step away from florals slightly! I thought it may need less fabric as it is a waist length top but that’s not the case at all because it is made to wrap round you the pattern pieces are quite big and I needed a full 2 metres for it.

Once it was nearly done, I tried it on, similarly to the Boat Neck Dress it was difficult to see how it would fit without it all bring together. It wasn’t a good story at all though, I’m afraid. It was quite clear I needed a FBA on this, where it was supposed to drape it just sat open across my chest (no pictures here to save you the trauma) and it pulled all the facings out too. The fabric sat low under my boobs, which meant there was too much fabric around my waist. I could see there was enough fabric to salvage it though, so I had to quite literally sew the opening shut. I pinned it on my dressmaker dummy and pinned it in place. I then, redid the pleats so that they were much deeper and encase more of the fabric so that I wasn’t left with too much fabric gaping around my waist…

I made this with the intention of having it as work wear, I’m still having to wear a vest under it for it to feel suitable and secure but in the end it has been a good contribution to my work wardrobe which has lots of high-waisted skirts in it. Lots of people commented on it, saying it complimented me and was a great colour and it got so many nice comments on instagram (thanks guys!) so it’s maybe not as much as a nightmare as I thought.

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I would make it again but I think it would chose the Anderson Blouse over this any day.

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Me Made May Week One. 

Day One:

It’s not good to start a challenge like Me Made May on a Bank Holiday Monday… The weather was grey so it was a day in, I don’t have any me made comfies so I was already on a lose before the challenge had even begun. However, I did get to work on my Sew Over It Ella Blouse, which I’m sure you’ll see soon and this Delphine Skirt from Love at First Stitch by Tilly and the and the Buttons, in this brilliant Edwardian Lady Print from The Textiles Centre. 

Day Two:

Back to work… Wearing my Rosie Dress from Cotton and Chalk by Simply Sewing Magazine. I made this in this beautiful fabric, which is really funky, which I got from my local fabric/sari shop! I’ve never worn it to work and lots of people commented on it so I was left feeling rather pleased with my day. 

Day Three: I wore my Self Drafted Daisy Skirt which I made using this Daisy fabric I got from a shop in Dublin. I wore it with a RTW black top, which is actually a dress and a blazer jacket… The blazer is so flattering and I love it. I should have a go at one but I’m not sure I’m good enough for tailoring like that yet. I got so many compliments though, which left me feeling lovely. I love my yellow buckle detail too! 

Day four: I wore my Sew Over It London gorgeous Anderson Blouse in fabric from Abakhan. I love this bright top, it always cheers me up wearing it! I have plans to make another soon. I wore it with. RTW skirt but I’m currently making a black circle skirt because I’ve already noticed this is needed in my wardrobe. I’ve got a trusty waist belt on too! 

Day five: I wore my Sew Over It Ella Blouse which I blogged too! It took a bit of tweeking this one but I’m happy with it in the end. I wear quite a lot of high waisted skirts so it seemed a perfect fit for my wardrobe! I wore it with a RTW Black Pencil Skirt. 

Day six:

I wore my Colette Sorbetto top today which I made using this gorgeous Liberty Print with bikes on.

 I love this fabric; there’s so much to see in it and it’s super soft. I’m glad I used it on this way. It’s trimmed with vintage bias binding. I’m definitely working on making more day tops like this. I wore it with RTW jeans and a cardi (definitely on the to do list!) and went for a brew with my lovely hubby. 

Day seven: I went for Sunday Lunch at my Mum’s and wore my latest Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress which I made shorter and added small spilts at the side hem to make it more like a tunic. I wore it with RTW black leggings and cardi. It’s short sleeved too so you have a rare arm shot! 

The aim of my pledge was to see gaps in my wardrobe and although I don’t wear trousers often, I do wear them but I’m not skilled enough to make them. Though, neither do I have any blouses I’ve made for with trousers so that’s next on my list. 

A challenge I can join in! 

I feel slightly like I have had a curse set upon my sewing…  I saw a new challenge just today by Red of Sewredy called Fail February and I believe I made a comment,  such as ‘this is a great idea,  we all get our unpickers out and we learn from our mistakes’…  I say I believe I said this…  This is WHAT I ACTUALLY SAID.

So true to form… This happened

This is what will be a Sew Over It Anderson Blouse in gorgeous fabric from Abakhan. You will notice the sleeve is not going the right way. This is because I sewed it the wrong way round…. About 3 minutes after making the above comment. So I’m no so smug about learning from mistakes after all, the moral story of a teacher! Though I’ve never made this one and it WILL NOT be a mistake which happens again.

I keep seeing different challenges I’m going to join in with and have several on my sewing pile,  such as a skirt for Designin’ December which Linda of Nice Dress, Thanks I Made It organises and trying to find a 1980s pattern that isn’t horrendous for The Monthly Stitch’s, Through the Decades February challenge,  but it seems Fail February is the one for me!

This picture does indeed show the shoulder and underarm seam…in a line.

So… Here’s to reality and having a high quality unpicker friend! I’ll share more in this blouse when it is complete as my cuffs are to die for!!

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