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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Update

Hi everyone,

Just a quick update… We’re finally in the new house but the sheer amount of work needed on it means my machine is still in a box. Fear not… I did get quite a bit of sewing done before my machine was packed up. However, being organised as I am, most of this was for my holiday. Guess what! It’s holiday time! This means I finally get to share my lovely makes with you. I will do a holiday series, especially for Portugal, like I have done before here and here and here and I’ll also blog the individual items because they are so worth it!

Also coming soon: my blog is 2 years old in August, so watch out for a special anniversary post and Giveaway which has been sponsored by the ever lovely Sew Me Sunshine some time in August. ☺

Buzzing about my Kalle Shirt

Not to sound like a broken record… but life is busy at the minute. I am determined that my blog will continue through all the business as it is my little bit of me. It does mean that I’m getting behind and I’m not able to keep up with the sewing challenges the same as I usually would… so on that note I give you Sew My Style’s March entry… in April!

The Kalle shirt dress is one of the reasons I wanted to try the Sew My Style challenge because I had my eye on the pattern anyway.

I wasn’t sure on the sizing as I have never made a Closet Case Pattern before so I decided to toile it first. I chose a denim look linen which I got from Sew Sew Sew last year. There are so many pieces to cut out for the Kalle, which is one of the reasons I took so long to make it. I thought putting together the PDF was never going to end! Anyway, once I had my million pieces, I chose the pop over placket and tunic length (it’s great that there’s so many variations). I’ll share my toile soon as I’m waiting on some poppers to finish it! My toile was a success so I decided to use the beautiful Kokka Trefle Bee Cotton Gauze I bought last year.

For this I chose the button front and the tunic length but I changed it a little. I’m not a facings lover at all so when I saw that it had facings for the hem (literally never seen anything like those before) I promptly completely ignored them. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get around it but in the end I overlocked the bottom and turn it over once. I find this is a really successful way of hemming curves and it looks really neat. It worked really well on my toile so I repeated it on my second version and even hacked it so I could have a high low hem.

Anyway, here she is, I’m really happy with the fit. The instructions were great! I’m happy with it and the buttons were from my stash; it’s amazing what a perfect match they are. The length is maybe a little short at the front but I love it!

Perfect buttons!

She has not disappointed AND… I think I have FINALLY found my ultimate go-to blouse pattern after I have made soooo many in my search for the one! Did I mention, I love it! See you soon with another!

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. ☺

Sewing Freya

I know, I know, everyone’s making it but it’s another Tilly and The Buttons Freya (in fact it’s another two!) but until you try this pattern you will not realise how amazing it is to make and wear.

It has a soft mock roll neck, a roll neck or a cowl neck and comes with two lengths, multiple sleeve lengths and an optional frill at the chest, which I think really mixes it up but this will not be happening in my life as I have no need to more fullness across my chest!

I pre-ordered the book and I was so excited that I got to work straight away and had a dress version of the Freya sewn up before the book was even officially released! Obviously, the book is called Stretch so you can use jersey or ponte. I went straight for a red jersey I had in my stash which had been patiently waiting all along for a project like this.

I chose the mock roll neck and made the dress version. The instructions, as always, are super easy to follow and the construction is really quick, I can see this becoming an easy wardrobe staple, especially as roll necks are so great for layering.

I didn’t want to miss out of the chance to ruffle it up so I cut two 3 inch strips the length of the fabric, stitched them in to a loop and gathered like mad! I then attached this to the bottom of the dress to make a bit of a feature. I’m in love with it!

After this success I decided I needed another in my life. I ordered some amazing rainbow stripe jersey from Sew Me Sunshine and got to work on another – again with a mock roll but this time in a top version. This one did not come together as easily because I chose stripes, I needed to make sure that they matched up (well as much as I could anyway). I don’t sew with stripes much but it was nice to take extra care to get it right and I’m really pleased with it. I feel a little bit like a wannabe as Tilly herself has made one very similar but I don’t care because I LOVE IT SO MUCH! It’s the perfect, bright, pick-me-up t-shirt. It also goes with ALL of my Pink Coat Club pins!

One more thing, I have had problems with the fit of TATB patterns before but this fits an absolute dream, I haven’t had to take out for my chest and I feel that it isn’t too tight. The vote for my April challenge seems to be the Joni Dress too so you’ll soon see another Stretch make on the blog hopefully!

Floral Sophistication

Hi everyone,

As part of my very extended birthday celebrations, my Mum and my sister took my out on the Saturday. I didn’t know what I was doing but I was told to have a nice dress ready… Is there ever a better excuse to make something?!

I was certain I wouldn’t be able to make a new one in time because uni and work have been so busy but my Mum got us tickets to the Craft Show at Event City in Manchester and bought me 2 and a half metres of viscose loveliness to make a dress.

I decided to make New Look K6723 as I’ve made it before and felt quite glam in it. I chose view B with a short sleeve. The last time I made it, I didn’t bother lining it but I wanted it to feel special so I used a gold coloured lining from my newly acquired stash from my grandmother-in-law. (I’ll share more on that soon). I thought it would pick out the yellow in the fabric and I feel it does the trick.

I also managed to encase the raw edge of the sleeves in to the lining which feels so neat and lovely! This make also marked the day that I mastered the invisible zip. I can’t believe I’ve made so many garments without invisible zips before now! It looks brilliant, if I do say do myself! I do wish I knew how to incorporate the zip in to the lining but that’s a skill for another time!

I French seamed the rest of the dress, especially the waist-line so it felt luxurious. I used the remaining fabric to make a long tie for round me waist. A quick hem and all was complete!

I was so pleased I managed to squeeze this make in to my busy week because I felt really special in it. I was really happy with the fit and the fabric draped beautifully. After being bought a gorgeous new sworoski ring and a glass of champagne at Selfridges champagne bar (get me!) , my surprise was to have afternoon tea at Cloud 23 which is up high in the Hilton hotel in Manchester. You could really see far and wide and I felt very sophisticated!

We rounded up the day with a few G&Ts. I have been truly spoilt for my birthday and I have the most amazing family! Here’s to my 30s and many more dressed to come!

Birthday Dress

Well, it happened… I turned 30… My amazing family ensured, I had a truly fabulous time so I didn’t wallow in my own sadness at getting old! It’s true what people say, it doesn’t feel any different!

To take my mind off the impending doom which was turning 30 I decided to make sure that my birthday weekend was truly me-made. I began with my birthday dress for our family meal.

Having had success last year with Threadcount 1501 which was free with Love Sewing magazine some years a go, I’m not sure you can get it anymore but I know that you can still snag them on eBay!

Anyway last years version I made using Liberty scraps I had bagged in a sale day at my favourite shop in Northumberland, Village Tearooms and Emporium. I loved the dress, I felt it was really flattering and was so keen to make another that I put it on my Make 9 for this year.

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The dress comes with two options, one with an ordinary skirt piece and the other as block pieces. AS you can see, I’ve already made the blocked one so I wanted to try the other. Last year I won tickets to go to the Handmade Fair from Elle as Sew Positivity over on Instagram and I bought this beautiful water colour cotton. My Mum and I debated and thought that it would perhaps be a bit much as a complete dress so she advised I went for a purple to break it up a bit. Mum’s are usually right folks, so that’s what I did.

I cut the bodices out of the block purple, I think using plains on top is great for me because when it is pairs with prints at the bottom it detracts a little for my chest, which can look a little large in some outfits. I used the watercolour print for the skirt.

The construction of the dress is a pleasant experience, there’s quite a few darts and a princess seam. The whole bodice is constructed and then the skirt added. The Skirt has both pleats at the front and the back and then gathering from the pleat to the side seam, which lends itself to a really flattering shape. I loved using my overlocker here because it meant all the gathering on the inside looks really neat. I think I enjoyed the experience even more because I wanted it to be a nice dress for my birthday.

The observant amongst you will notice that the original dress I made was pulling slightly across the arms, to solve this, I just used a very tiny seam allowance on my sleeves. I wish I could tell you that I did a super advanced pattern grading but that’s just not true!

A final note on the construction (and the most exciting I feel) – I finally inserted an invisible zip! This was something which really shocked a lot of people over Instagram as I have made so many garments now but it’s just a step I’ve always avoided. I was reassured that it would be easy but I didn’t find it as easy as I hoped, the zip got caught really easily and isn’t as invisible as I hoped but… I have tried it and will continue to try it until I get it right as I do with most things!

Not quite invisible but nearly!

I’m really happy with the fit, I feel it is super flattering and feminine and perfect for my birthday meal. I loved wearing it. I feel like more recently, I’m really starting to win with my fit.

Check out my amazing cake!!

Say No to turning 30!

If you have a look over on the Sew Me Sunshine Blog, I’m also really pleased with my Deer and Doe Bruyére Shirt which I made using their dreamscape mountain cotton loveliness.

On a sad note, with everything that I’m doing at the minute, I’ve decided to close my YouTube account. My main love is writing my blog and I can’t keep up with the vlogs enough to do them justice. Thanks for those who supported me with it though. ☺

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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Simple Sew Pussy-bow Blouse

Well, I think I may have found it – it has taken several  blouse making attempts (here, here and here, to name a few!) and a lot of frustration but I appear to have actually made a blouse which has the perfect fit!

It is the simple Sew Pussy-bow dress and blouse and I’ve had it cut out since before summer. I had a bit of a to-do pile sort out and brought this to the top and I’m so glad that I did!

The pattern is (as the name suggests) really simple. The instructions are minimalist and when I was first learning, I couldn’t really access the Simple Sew patterns for that reason but I find them really easy and convenient to follow now! It has several darts, at the front and the back, which lend for a really nice shape. There’s no pulling across the chest and it doesn’t feel uncomfortable at all.

After making New Look 6471 recently and having huge problems with the neckline, I found the way that the neckline comes together really clever. You sew it all right sides together and then turn it out on itself through a hole in the back of the neckline which you then hand stitch shut. It makes for a really easy way to do it.

The pattern calls for a side zip insertion, which I’m definitely getting better at (still to master that invisible zip though)

And… that’s it. I chose this fabric especially from my local market and although I’m not much of a pink person, I just thought it was really cheerful and i’m really pleased with it. I’m thinking a nice, simple black version would look really chic for my next attempt at this! It’s a dress too so I might even make that version.

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Copycat Orla

This is my most favourite dress is a long time. The kind of make when you take it from your machine after the hem and think Awwww Yeah, this is a good one!

I got this fabric especially to try and replicate this dress I saw on Simply Be as I glamourously mentioned in my vlog

It caught my eye and I really liked the relax style of it. I thought a slight hack of the French Navy Orla Dress which I have made a couple of times now, once as the dress and once as a top hack.

Anyway, I know it’s a great dress to hack but I only really needed to add frills to the sleeves, the rest is very similar to the Orla. 

It’s difficult to chose a thread for a fabric like this; the instagram world voted white as a majority so I went with white and used white in my overlocker. I only changed this to do the black bias on the neckline.

I cut the fabric, using the squares to line up as much as I could. I lengthened the sleeve pieces and added some fabric to the width of the skirt so that it would be fuller. I also cut two extra pieces for the ruffles on the sleeves.

I used the remaining fabric to create the ruffle for make recent skirt make (maybe link) and I knew that as I tried to gather it, it frayed ridiculously. To try and avoid this I used elastic to gather, similarly to what you do for the Moneta by measuring the length of the bodice and cutting a piece of elastic to that length. I then overlocked the elastic on place. I did the sleeve ruffles in the same way. It created really neat and even gathers and I would definitely do it like this again.

I the attached the skirt and the bodice and overlocked them as normal. The sleeves with set in and this wasn’t any different as the ruffle was already attached. I finished it with a 18inch black zip and black bias binding. 

I attached some little bows at the sleeves. I think the bows of the dress are a bit bigger but I’m not much of a bow girl so I used smaller ones.

I think the dress is a great shape, it is lose without being unflattering and I’m so pleased with it as a replication of the dress.

I don’t usually bother to cost up my makes but I think it’s interesting to consider when I’m copying directly from a retailer so in terms of cost-

The dress on Simply Be = £35.00

French Navy Orla Dress= FREE 

2 metres gingham fabric =£10.00

2 Black Ribbons =60p

Thread= probably about £1

So I saved £23.40 and I probably have a better fit. Bonus!! It’s definitely worth using the high street as inspiration- what do you think? 

Arabella Skirt

Hi again everyone, 

This is my second make as part of being Rebecca Page Ambassador. We are only asked to make one a month but this Skirt looked too good to miss out on. 

The skirt is the Arabella and it comes with a pattern for the child’s sizes and a pocket template and instructions for the adult sizes. 

This was perfect for me because I like to draft my own skirts anyway so the instructions were perfect and it meant no printing, cutting and sticking. I just brought them up on screen. 

I used this AMAZING crepe from Flamingo Fabrics, who I’m slightly addicted too at the minute. It has tapes on it! It’s so funky and bright and I love it. The skirt asks for a drape so this was ideal. I bought 2 Metres and it was just enough. 

What was great about cutting the pattern pieces is that they were all square so it was a real no waste sew, I literally had a 8 cm square left at the end. Perfect. I didn’t manage to have enough to make the pockets, as the skirt is quite gathered it needs quite a lot of fabric. 

I always worry about cutting rectangles and squares in case it goes wonky but the tapes on the fabric were a God send here as it meant I could follow the line in their design. 

Anyway, the construction was really easy and quick, I French seamed everything and made the ties. The only thing I did differently was to hem the bottom of the skirt first. Probably, a bit controversial I know but they were perfectly square and hemming is my least favourite thing. I though it would 1. be easier to sew whilst the fabric wasn’t gathered and 2. save me dreading the job at the end of the Sew!

The skirt is really really full and I was worried it might add bulk to my frame but it’s great. The fabric is really light and flowing, which means it just skims over me. I love the length of it too. I’m glad I didn’t go with a maxi because I know I would get the same wear out of it. 

Next month’s pattern is super exciting! In the meantime, here’s the pictures. I wore it with my refashioned wanted Tee and a navy body. Not sure why I look vaguely annoyed! 

An Orla Affair

The Orla Dress by French Navy caught my eye as part of a Sewing challenge for Orla Month #anorlaaffair organised by the lovely Maddie of Maddie Made This, alongside RachelAnya and Allie which encourages you to make up the Orla Dress.

I love a good sewing challenge because it does just that, it challenges you to try something else and gives you a reason to sew when all the other reasons (as we know there are many) aren’t kick-starting you sew-jo. It also inspires and promotes conversation in the Sewing community. Sign me up! The ladies who won were so deserving and I loved their makes. 

So… I printed the pattern straight away and was giving the fabric some thought. Then as I was putting the PDF together (so simple by the way) I remember this amazing Crane fabric by Emily Burningham which I got on my last visit to my favourite Northumbrain shop. So I cut that out straight away.

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I was worried that the sizing wouldn’t be right for me so I graded it out slightly and I also lowered the front darts by an inch as many have recommended on social media. 

I later realised that I have probably graded a little to much to account for my FBA so rather than recut it, I added a small pleat along the neckline with I feel has added a bit more shape anyway! 

It comes together really quickly and it really satisfying. I didn’t have lots of fabric to work with so I made the skirt pieces a little smaller so I didn’t do as much gathering to the skirt as perhaps I should but it worked out I feel. I do prefer a bit more fullness if I can get it though! 

I used this dress and my opportunity to have a slow sewing day to get my zip insertions practiced! I’m so pleased with it. 

I finally finished it with a contrast bias binding, which,  believe it or not, I bought especially so that it would contrast! That’s it- a really easy make. I’m going to make another in a polyester style silk feel fabric I think. 

I wore this to Manchester to meet with my lovely friends and really enjoyed wearing it. 

I’ve since massively hacked it and made a top so look out for that soon! 

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