This is the Tilly and the Buttons Cleo dungaree dress, I started making it back in the spring, but by the time I finished it, the weather was too hot to wear it! It’s made from a yellow babycord I bought from ebay here, which was lovely to sew with. I completely forgot about the knap when I was cutting out the fabric, but luckily I’d cut both the front and the back in the same direction!
I really enjoyed sewing the dress, as the construction was simple I could focus on the small details like the topstitching. I finished the bee embroidery on the front pocket before I started making the dress, which meant that I could attach the pocket at the right time. After I’d started sewing the dress, I found a Singer 127k sewing machine in my local Oxfam shop for £20, after I’d got it home and working again I used it to do some of the topstitching.
The t-shirt I’m wearing is also me made, I got the fabric from the fabric swap at the Sewing Weekender in 2016, and used it to make a self-drafted t-shirt about a year ago. I think it looks cute and a little twee with the bee on the dress!
I’ve had a lot of fun recently playing around with sashiko, it’s so much fun to do in front of the tv or on the bus.
This bag is a simple fold over clutch, fastened inside with magnetic clips and with a zip pocket inside. To attach the straps, I sewed on some d-rings and used a clip-on chain that I bought from eBay. The fabric is some dark blue viscose I bought but decided that I didn’t like it enough to make into clothes, but it’s perfect for sashiko as it’s not too tightly woven and looks similar to the indigo fabric used in traditional sashiko. I tacked some cotton flannel fabric onto the back of the fabric and quilted through both layers to make the quilted look more prominent. I used Olympus brand sashiko threads and Clover brand sashiko needles, but I’ve also had good results using a normal embroidery needle and thread.
The sashiko is an ‘asanoha’ design, which means hemp leaf, which I used from Susan Briscoe’s ‘The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook’. I really love the book, and I’ve made four or five designs from it so far and they’ve all looked lovely. I really love the meditative art of getting all the stitches a similar size and making sure none of the threads cross. It does take some time initially to draw the grids out, but after that step is done, the sewing is really fun!
Ok, so I finished this dress ages ago (maybe a couple of months?) but I’ve only just got round to blogging it. It’s the New Look 6262 dress made in this floral cotton.
Fitting wise, I made two toiles for the bodice, the first one a straight size 22 and the second one a size down but with a full bust adjustment. In the end, I cut a size 22 with two inches FBA and it fits pretty well. The only adjustment I would make if I made it again (which I probably will) is a rounded shoulder adjustment. It’s not too prominent when I’m wearing the dress because I accidentally made the back neckline more scooped that it was supposed to be, but I think if I make it the right height though, it would gape too much. I also added pockets, because they’re so useful.
I really like the bright blue of the dress, as I don’t really have any dresses that colour in my wardrobe. As I made it a few months ago, I’ve got a lot of wear out of it over the summer. I wore it to my brother’s graduation, to two gigs, and out to various meals with friends and family. It’s been perfect for warmer weather, with a cardigan or a denim jacket. I have another planned in an 80s patterned viscose, and I think this is the perfect dress to show off the fabric without being too busy.
Whenever it is warm I always want to wear a nice cool maxi dress. This one is based on Colette’s Moneta pattern with a self-drafted skirt pattern sort of based on the Moneta skirt.
The fabric is some organic cotton jersey from Fabworks which is lovely and cool, although I underlined the top because it is a little see through. When I ordered it I only ordered 3 metres even though I knew I wanted to make a maxi dress, but I managed to email Fabworks before they had sent the order out.
I’ve fallen out of love with sewing with knits lately. Even though they’re super quick and you don’t need to finish the inside seams, I just find them really frustrating to work with and end up cutting corners to get things finished. I think I’m going to buy a walking foot before I next try to work with knit fabrics since some of the seams sewn with the zig-zag setting ended up a bit wobbly. In order to counteract the wobbly seams on the neck, I used neck bindings rather than a band, as illustrated in the Hey June Santa Fe instructions. This worked well and there’s no wobble to be seen! I also cut the neck band vertically rather than horizontally so there are stripes of each colour rather than one solid stripe.
The skirt was self-drafted, I used the width of the Moneta skirt at the top of the skirt, measured the length and then marked the width of the bottom of the Moneta at the bottom of the maxi skirt. I was expecting to put a slit up the side to make it easier to walk, but the skirt actually had enough space for my legs when it was sewn up, thanks to the gathering. Initially, I gathered the skirt using a thick piece of elastic to provide more stability with the weight of the skirt, but the elastic ended up twisting and being uncomfortable so I re-sewed it with clear elastic instead.
Despite my fatigue with sewing knits, I’m pleased with how this turned out, and I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of it this summer!
It’s another shirtdress, this time it’s a New Look 6180! I think this pattern was on sale when I bought it, I added it to an order to make it up to free shipping and then decided it was far too difficult to make. However, after the success of my Alder shirtdress, I figured I could probably tackle this.
I chose a lightweight viscose for this so it would be nice and cool for the summer. I really like this turquoise Ikat fabric (which was £3 a metre from Minerva Crafts!!) but you can’t see the collar detail very well in these photos. I tried to pattern match, but the only part it was really successful was across the front of the bodice. I think I need some more practice on the sleeves, I still find it a bit hard to visualise where the stripes need to go, and I don’t think the chevrons really helped in this case.
The construction was pretty straight forward, the skirt has pleats and is gathered with elastic which was easy enough and I followed the Grainline Alder sew along to help with the collar construction. If I make another dress I’ll do an FBA as you can see in the second picture it is pulling at the bust. Overall, I’m pleased with the fit, and it’s quite relaxed and roomy which is perfect for warm weather… now we just need some sunshine!
Look, Ma, I made a shirtdress! This is the first time I’ve posted in a while, even though I’ve been sewing and knitting I haven’t had much motivation to take photos while the weather was grey and miserable. However, I finished this dress on Friday and got my partner to take a few snaps when we were at the pub.
The dress itself is the Grainline Alder shirtdress, I cut it in the largest size and drafted the sleeves myself. I completely astounded myself with how well this came out, I’ve never tried making a shirtdress before, however, the sew along on the Grainline blog was super helpful, and I managed it without many mistakes. The only major mistake I made was to make the curve at the edge of the collar stand too thin, so I wasn’t sure I’d be able to put a buttonhole on it. In the end, I didn’t add a buttonhole, but I usually wear my top button undone, so I’m still pretty happy with it.
Fit wise, I love the shape and style, I prefer more loose silhouettes and it’s really comfortable to wear. I did have to add a hidden button at the bust to stop any gaping and there’s some excess fabric at the back (you can see it slightly on the second picture) which I need to remove next time I make it. As this was a wearable toile, I just quickly drafted some sleeves without much consideration to style or shape, and they worked pretty well, but next time I think I’ll tweak the sleeve pattern a bit. The fabric itself was £3 a metre, so I wasn’t expecting much quality wise, and the threads tended to catch and show through on the front of the fabric. However, it is fine for the toile, and I actually quite like the pattern, it’s not too feminine so works well for this silhouette.
I was inspired by #sewtogetherforsummer on Instagram and figured it was worth a go, as I said, I was pretty pleased with the results. I have another Alder shirtdress planned, and I’ve also ordered some fabric for a Newlook 6180 and I might even make my partner a shirt, now I’ve tackled collars and buttonholes!
So, I haven’t had any time in the second half of 2016 to blog as I’ve been studying for my Masters in Computing Science. However, I want to look towards 2017 and plan out what I want to sew.
- Lane Raglan by Hey June. I already have this pattern and I made a trial t-shirt and it came up way too small, but I still have some sweatshirt knit I want to use so I’m going to print it off again in a larger size and hopefully it will work.
- Santa Fe by Hey June. I’d been contemplating buying this pattern since it came out, and I finally got it yesterday. I have some striped jersey and some jersey with cats on which I think would both be perfect for this top.
- Lark by Grainline. I know, three jersey tops, but that is basically all I wear most days. I haven’t bought this yet, so it’ll be the last one of these I make, but I’m intrigued by all the sleeve and neckline combinations.
- Lush by Tin Can Knits. This year, I’ve seen so many versions of this and they all look lovely so I think I will knit myself one in 2017.
- Breathing Space by Veera Valimaki.
- Hooray by
- Turner by Cashmerette. I actually haven’t sewn any Cashmerette patterns yet, which is ridiculous since they should suit my body type. I think the Turner dress will be the perfect one to start with as I’m always on the lookout for nice jersey dress patterns.
- M6884 by McCall’s. I have a jersey faux wrap dress which I wear all the time, so I want to make one similar. I would make the Cashmerette wrap dress but I want one which doesn’t have a wrap skirt, so I think this McCall’s pattern will be the one I use.
- Upton by Cashmerette. This pattern has everything that scares me with sewing: invisible zips, linings, fitted bodices, gored or pleated skirts. I think once I’ve finished my degree though, it will be a nice project for me, and the Cashmerette sew along looks very thorough.
This list is almost entirely jersey based, but that’s what I like wearing at the moment, and as I’m not going to finish my degree until September I think that will be the majority of what I have time to sew!