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!!!

Mia Set

I’ve been making attempts to get through my to-do box before getting distracted by some of the lovely fabrics you may have seen in my last post.

The Mia set which came with Simply Sewing Magazine last July, tempted me straight away and I used this unusual fabric I got for a bargain on eBay. I thought it would look really cool as it’s quite a wacky fabric but the pattern is quite simple apart from the sleeves. I have shown this over on Youtube already but I wanted to give a few more details.

I cut it out straight away. Due to fabric restrictions, I only cut one of the two optional sleeve pieces which make the fluted look at the ends. Then… I got distracted and it sat in my to do box until I have been off over Christmas! I felt it was about time I showed it some love!

So, out it came! It’s a really quick sew so it was a travesty that it remained untouched for so long but at least it meant that I could use my overlocker so the whole thing looks so much more professional. I was able to overlock the curved edge of the sleeve and fold it over to hem it, it’s such an easy way to hem curves. It has a simple shape like a shift dress, with darts from the arm hole to the bust and that’s it. I would definitely give the dress version a go at some point.

The sleeve options are either, one big circular sleeve or two flutes which are smaller. I only used one of the smaller pieces as I thought two might be a little much in this fabric.

The set comes with no fastenings but with the option for a small opening the back, I chose to ignore this and cut the back piece on the fold. Similarly, I ignored the facings (as I usually do) and used bias binding. I cut the fabric to use the border along the bottom so all that was left was to use the lines in the border print to do a quick hem and I’ve got a simple top with fluted sleeves, which I love! Other than the border print, I have kept the pattern placement random as I think with a fabric like this you just need to just go with the flow.

I wore this over Christmas and on a day out to Carlisle with my husband. He, as always, completed his marital duties on being my photographer in chief. I am a little travel creased though, I’m afraid!

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The Nina Shirt Dress

The Nina Dress by Cotton and Chalk for Simply Sewing Magazine was sat on my sewing list with no real conviction. I probably would have gotten around to it at some point. Then I saw the #sewtogetherforsummer challenge on instagram created by the lovely SarahMonika and Suzy in which everyone is making a shirt dress.. err.. for Summer, obviously!

I had bought this lovely grey vintage fabric in my holiday haul and even though it’s not very summery, it’s a lovely soft colour and really light. I was determined to make it work, even though I didn’t really have enough fabric… So there was some serious pattern tetris going on and I still didn’t have enough for the collar and the facing… Or the sleeves. My solution was to use a contrast and I’m not sure if this has worked or not.

I cut my size and measurements, even though my previous attempts at Cotton and Chalk patterns have been dangerously heavy on the ease! I thought this would work to my advantage when making a shirt dress as ready to wear dresses like this often don’t fit me.

There’s 6 body pieces, which came together nicely. In lieu of my facings, which I don’t really like anyway, I used a white bias binding as I knew I was using white for my collar and sleeves.

In spirit of the challenge there is a fabulous tutorial on collars on Sarah’s blog which I had a good read through; it has some great tips. I’ve only ever done one collar before on my brother’s shirt but I strangely enjoy the process. I’m really pleased with this way this one turned out and definitely won’t be scared of them in future.

On a whim and in an attempt to tie the contrast sleeve in with the rest of the dress, I created a slim cuff for my sleeves in the grey. The pattern does come with a frill cuff but frills aren’t my thing.

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I put it together to a point, before my mum came for tea and I was forced to tidy my house! Rude! I looked at it at this point and felt it looked a little like a uniform. It was also, predictably, too big but I had the 6 seams to work on for fitting.

And.. oh my goodness, did I have to work on the fitting. It not only had too much ease but it was absolutely massive. I used a technique (if you can call it that) which I’ve seen lots of people do and I pinned it at the front, put it on inside out and stapled it in place where I needed to take it in. After this very long process I had a dress which fit but had a bit more flare at the bottom, which I actually quite like and I think suits my shape.

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I found these amazing white square buttons at my local haberdashery, which tie in with the pattern perfectly. As I added these and started to get the fit, I found I started to like it better.

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I hand hemmed the bottom, which is fast becoming my favourite way of finishing garments, now that I have gotten over my hatred of hand sewing! Then, she was complete.

For some reason I then left her sat in my wardrobe looking at me, until the day I came to wear it to work and I realised I love it, I love the colour and it has suprisingly won me round as a summer dress, I love the shape and I love the square buttons the most!!

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It’s been a great challenge to be part of and I’ve since tackled two more collars, which you will soon see on my next makes, I’m sure.

Me Made May Week 3

Me Me Made May week hasn’t gone as well as my previous weeks. i have spent the week at my Sister-in-law’s to dog sit and as a result I haven’t had the same access to my wardrobe as I usually have. It also means that my tripos has been M.I.A. Plus (whilst I’m making my excuses) the weather has not been very inspiring this week but I’ll take you through it anyway…

Day Fifteen: I wore my Vintage Paisley Dress with a Black Cardigan. I love this dress, it is simple and has a nice fit. I was really pleased I used a Vintage Butterick Pattern to showcase this fabulous fabric…

Day Sixteen: I’ve been struggling this week to maintain my ‘No Black Tights’ Rule because of all the rain but I persevered and re-wore my Cotton and Chalk Rosie Dress. this time with a purple vest (the only one I had packed) and my trusty black best and cardigan.

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Day Seventeen: Is when it all went wrong. I really wanted to wear trousers and this challenge is quickly highlighting that I don’t have any me-made trousers and I don’t have many blouses beyond those I can tuck in to skirts… So, reader, I Cheated and wore RTW grey trousers and a White Blouse. It was strange because lots of the students at work knew straight away that I hadn’t made what I was wearing because it wasn’t as bright as I usually am!! You will have to make do with a picture of the crochet I have been working on whilst I’ve been able from my Sewing Machine… It will be a blanket (obviously it is a Work in Progress!)

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Day Eighteen: I wore what I thought was a bit of a cheat but the Instagram world told me that it wasn’t! I wore a Black RTW dress for Marks and Spencers, which is really classic I has a great fit. I got it from Ebay a few years ago. I appliques 4 circles on to the left hand side of it after seeing something similar on Pinterest. I got the fabric from an old skirt, which had ripped. I wear it a lot because it is easy wearing and someone usually comment that it is unusual!

Day Nineteen: I wore my Frankendress which was a hack of New Look 6483 and New Look 6723. The top pattern is one my my favourites for making casual t-shirts and I used the skirt from the dress pattern. I was seriously proud of my pattern matching with this one! It’s a really easy, bright and spring-y dress.

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Day Twenty: I went to a local cake and craft fair with my niece and did some fabric shopping too of course. I wore my new Liberty Ultimate Shift Dress which I made the top version of and hacked to add plackets at the back. It’s my new favourite top and it’s definitely started me on a roll of making tops. 

Day Twenty Two: I’ve really started to struggle for ‘throw on’ garments so I admit I just wore a RTW white t-shirt and denim shorts. We were moving our stuff back home after a week spent looking after Theo (how gorgeous) so I needed something throw-onable! 

I did, however, get back in to the sewing Room and finished my Threadcount 1501 Liberty Block Dress! Here’s a sneak peek! Blog soon! 

Sewing For Pleasure Haul

What a fabulous day I had yesterday! I won tickets to go to the Sewing for Pleasure show at the NEC in Birmingham from Elle @sewpositivity. I took my Mum, because she is amazing not because she loves sewing like me!! I want to show off my lovely haul and my plans to people who like to know… AKA not the husband who has, quite frankly, had enough of my dressmaking ramblings! 

Now, I did write a list and I am well aware that I already have my fingers in many pies but I couldn’t resist. Though I did say no more florals and managed to stick to that rule so ‘well done me’! 

There was lots of really cool displays to see and I’m not going to bore you with pictures because if I was reading this I would just want to get to the good stuff but… How cool is this Whitewalker from Game of Thrones made entirely from Textiles?

Anyway… On with the haul. 

Ta dah!

I’ll go through all the lovely fabrics but I also got 2 free patterns from The Sewing Quarter which were the Freya dress and The Granville Skirt. Everyone loves a freebie. My mum, who is so kind also picked me up a little clip which extends for me to attach my snippers too. 

One of the first fabrics to catch my eye was the gorgeous grey with coloured (I think screen printed) blotches. I put it down at first because it wasn’t very wide but then I had to go back!  I have a skirt in mind for this one. I wanted a metre and a half but the woman took a piece off that was one metre forty so I took that instead and she only charged me for a metre!! 

This stall was called The Shuttle which is a fabric shop in Yorkshire aparrantly. I’ve never heard of them before but they do some gorgeous fabrics. I also got this pink and blue flecked cotton. There was a range of these and they really caught my eye. I only got a metre (£5) and I’m thinking a nice Colette Sorbetto for summer. 

Also from The Shuttle is this gorgeous 100% cotton water colour style fabric in purple. I was speaking to a lady there and we were absolutely lusting over it. I bought 2 metres of it as £5 per metre. 

It’s so pretty!!I knew I wanted a nice dress but I thought to break it up, I would get a block colour for the bodice so it looks like a two piece dress so I also got a metre of this lovely royal purple colour, with my Mum’s advice! 

I’m thinking a stashed pattern like New Look 6262 would be ideal for this. 

I also picked up some lovely Paisley for a mother’s day gift so I can’t say much more on this but it’s lovely and soft and it was only £2.99 per metre from Lili Fabrics. They had a great big stall and an amazing range. 

Finally, I got a kit to make a Peruvian Purse. My mum bought me this because I was so taken with it, I just thought it was so unusual! The little opening is like a looped zip with a snap to catch it at the end.  The company was called Craft and Cotton and the lady was so helpful. I can’t wait to make it up and they sell just the notions on their website so I think I’ll be getting more for gifts! 

That’s it from me! I will of course share the makes as I get round to them. I will also be sharing more of the dress I wore to the show next Friday as I’m in love with it! 

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