Hello happy people! I’m in a great mood because this post is going out on my birthday!! I never work on my birthday and always try to do something fun. As it’s a Thursday this year I also took the Friday off so it’s double the fun! Today I had a trip to the spa with a back and head massage and a foot massage. Then I ate my favourite skillet pancakes for lunch in the sun of Mill Kitchen’s outdoor seating. I’ve come back super chilled! And there’s time for a bit of sewing before we head out to dinner!
In other news I finished my dress for the New Craft House Riviera party and had a wonderful time on the night. There were so many familiar faces to catch up with plus some ladies I follow on Instagram but had never spoken to. There was Aperol spritzes and the biscuit fairy Claire was making sure we had regular snacks. I managed to get in a couple of photos with my darling Marie but in my usual style failed at getting a proper outfit shot. I AM THE WORST when I get chatting and forget all about photos.
So this week I managed to get a few photos at the studio with the lovely Renata this week so I’m not leaving it for ages to share my finished dress. I love the overall look and paired my lemon earrings and blue belt with the dress to pick up the colours in the fabric.
This embroidered mesh was pretty damn difficult to work with. The ‘squares’ are actually slight rectangles and they’re a huge 6″ tall which I didn’t think was actually that flattering when cut on the grain as it chops your body up in weird directions. It has no stretch and of course needed lining. Here’s the fabric if you’re tempted.
With all this in mind I decided to cut everything out on the bias! This left me with much less fabric to work with. I used Vogue 9000‘s hacked skirt from this dress and shortened it another 2″. I then cut both the front and back on the fold.
For the bodice I could only manage to cut the front on the fold and used my old Vogue 1102 (made so many times with too many tweaks to count) as I could hide the waist darts inside a tile without it looking too obvious. The back bodice had to be cut with a centre back seam but think it looks okay.
This all meant I needed a side zipper and to figure out the opacity. The bodice is underlined and then the two layers treated as one for construction and the raw edges finished with nude bias tape. The skirts were assembled separately and joined along the waist seam and zipper position. Below the zipper the skirts hang free and both layers were finished with an overlocked rolled hem. To finish I hand picked a side lapped zipper to make sure nothing would catch in the teeth and the stitching would be as invisible as possible.
If you didnt know this fabric was used in Dolce and Gabbana’s Majolica collection. This dress above sold for £4,800…. yep that’s insane. Anywhoo my dress is surprisingly swishy and I feel great in it. It took a lot of brainstorming to figure out the perfect silhouette, pattern placement and order of construction. It was quite nice having a meaty project to work on as I’ve been sewing a lot of quicker things lately but on the flip side there was also a lot on my plate so life suddenly felt very busy. It’s such a happy dress so I’m really pleased I powered through and think it will be nice for future events and holidays.
I know I’m a little bit of a diva when it comes to birthdays but I really just take the chance to see as many people as possible, eat and drink well, find joy in everything and feel grateful for another year! My husband and his family know me so well, I got flowers, gin, my favourite most relaxing White Company candle and a voucher for fabric! And on Saturday my family are taking me for fizz and afternoon tea! Life is grand!!
Oh and surprisingly I won one of the party raffle prizes for a Selkie Patterns pdf of my choice. I’m going to wait to see their exciting new launch and then decide which to get as an extra birthday present!! Thanks for reading. Maybe I’m writing to myself but I still love blogging, sharing my makes and documenting the process.
Hello everyone! This post is going up while I’m away in France. I thought a little blogging would keep me distracted in the run up to the wedding so I scheduled a few posts. I’m sure the wedding was [insert a phrase here]. Hehe just kidding. I won’t try and guess but I’m hoping it was sunny and merry and full of dancing.
This Art Gallery Fabrics organic canvas print was a stash points splurge from Village Haberdashery two years ago. Yes I’m afraid this dress has been finished quite a while. The print is quite large but very fun and the canvas is just on the cusp of being unmanageable for dressmaking with its weight and lack of drape. It’s from the Hello Ollie collection and is called Swanlings Bevy in colour “Nightfall”. There’s still some left here!
This is Vogue 1102. You thought I was done with this pattern? Well THINK AGAIN! I needed to find a style that would work with the canvas and the structured bodice was a great fit. The skirt is perhaps a little bulky but it flares out in a really pleasing way while being worn that I don’t care if it’s unflattering from another person’s viewpoint.
As you may remember I drafted a higher back bodice and this let’s me wear a bra (essential) but still keeps that glorious exposure at the back. That sounds a bit ruder than I intended doesn’t it! I think the finish at the top of the zipper is so neat given the bulky canvas used. Trimming the top of the zipper is key and not being afraid to trim a lot of the tape. I also lengthened the empire line so it sits at the waist which works better with the gathered skirt. I think this is my last un-blogged version of this dress now! Or should I say… for now!
I originally photographed this dress on the garden while I had my glorious perm. Look how happy I look even in this screen preview. Hair of my dreams!! Then when the perm was ruined, I fell out of love with the photos… So sad. Renata came to my rescue with a few snaps in the studio though.
Don’t worry about this being a scheduled post, I’d still love to hear your comments on the post or over on social media. I honestly don’t mind if people read the post here and go over to Instagram to send me a message because the conversation is still going, just in a different location! Chat to you soon xx
So I’m back again with another V1102 hack and this time I’m not going to apologise about showing another variation on the same thing because I LOVE THIS DRESS.
This is version 5 I think… yes I’ve lost count. But it’s such a staple dress for me and I’m super happy with the fit. I might just raise the waist back up a smidge as I think it’s more flattering just above my natural waist.
Point of note are:
(1) This stunning wild flower print Liberty tana lawn in in colourway A. (Note to self for next time: Underline and line bodice for stability if you use lawn again. I don’t like those wrinkles at the back.) By the way… Did you see they’re putting a similar print on a Limited Edition sewing machine out in Sept?!
(2) I added pockets!! Need I say more. (Secret smug face!)
(3) The gathered skirt is the full width of the fabric so it is extra swooshy.
This fabric was a 30th birthday present from Jimi but it’s taken me a year to cut into it.
Fittingly I wore it to this year’s birthday dinner at Crafthouse in Leeds (sadly no crafts occur there).
I ate a scrumptious risotto and slurped a few delicious glasses of wine before being presented with my spectacular birthday cake. Even though my mum makes custom order cakes for a living, I did not expect this magnificent beast! Inside each layer is a different colour of the rainbow.
It was a most excellent birthday, that mostly revolved around food, and I was very thankful to be gifted Liberty print trainers, fabric vouchers and theatre tickets for The Curious Incident with the Dog in the Night-time next week (I cannot wait!!)
Bonus cat pic for you all now!
Another Vogue 1102 hack to share today!
This one was made from a Makower rabbit print cotton that I got from the bargainous remnant sale at Samual Taylors.
I’m not sure the print is entirely me. It might be a bit too cutesy. But given the price I thought what the heckers.
I lined it with a rose pink polyester that I got from, yep you guessed it, the remnant bin as well! £1.50 for a 1.5 metre cut. It matches the colour of the roses the Rabbits are dancing around.
Even my thread colour was named “Rose”.
It really is the perfect staple work dress!
So I’m afraid you’ll probably see a few more from me yet. (Sorry, not sorry!)
I’ve mentioned a few times my longing to go to Paris.
In fact I’ve only been to France once, aged 15 for a kayaking holiday which wasn’t exactly a cultural delight. It was mostly shrieking teenagers and French men in speedos.
It has to happen one day. Right?
But until then I can settle for bulk ordering fabric from Anna Ka Bazaar.
I ordered this beautiful Atelier Brunette Eiffel Tower print along with some geometric polyester earlier this year.
Postage was a smidge higher than I would like but I talked myself into it. You also get a 10% discount code by joining the newsletter. It arrived a lot quicker than the estimated time.
Even though the weather isnt cooperating I decided to dig out the Vogue 1102 pattern from the John Lewis sewing bee day. It was such a wonderful surprise when the bodice almost fit me out the envelope (that never happens to me) and I much prefer single waist darts over bust and waist darts when you have a printed fabric. I’ve paired it with a gathered skirt instead of a circle this time.
I altered the back bodice and made a new facing using the Simple Sew Ruby dress back pieces as a guide and thankfully it worked first time without any gaping. There are some small diagonal drag lines but I didn’t get those on my muslin so what’s a girl to do!?
Unlike my JL daisy chain dress I used the facings AND I lined the whole thing. The idea came from Marrie B actually. And it meant I got to use a ludicrous teal viscose lining without risking unwanted peeking.
(Gotta brag, that viscose was an absolute steal. Samuel Taylors had a remnant bin half price sale. 1.5m for £3 down to £1.50. Yeehaw! I have loads more to share from that sale.)
I’m not sure it’s a very flattering colour on me but I dont really care since the print is fun. Since taking these photos I’ve been wearing the dress with a belt which looks better. It’s had a fair few outings and know it will be regularly worn next year!