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Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress

Hope all of you are still out there and reading my ramblings. First up, with the WordPress 4.3 update I lost my last post and all your lovely comments. So sorry about that.

Also you may be wondering why I haven’t commented on the recent news in my life yet. Basically, I’m building up to it! It’s a little overwhelming to put into words exactly how it’s changed everything.

One thing I will hold my hands up to is that it’s now almost impossible for me to comment on blog posts. I honestly cannot find the time. Even time for reading blogs has been squeezed. That really upsets me because I always felt like I was part of a conversation in this community of sewists. Instead I have to rely on twitter and IG where I can comment all at once. Maybe you hadn’t even noticed the difference but I’ve absolutely missed it.

almond rock vintage shirtdress sew over it polka dot chambray

So now I’ve bummed everyone out… I have another unblogged make to share with you all. Here is my first Sew Over It Vintage Shirtdress. I’ve already made a second!

I saw Emmie’s tester version at the Fashion on the Ration exhibition and wanted to rip it off her hahaha. Instead I bought it the day it came out. I was in such a rush I didn’t even see there was a pattern discount to apply – doh. This is my favourite of all the SOI envelope illustrations.

almond rock vintage shirtdress sew over it polka dot chambray

So where to start. Probably sizing because it’s important. I made a size 8 and it fits me almost perfectly which is insane!!! I made a size 10 muslin fully expecting it to fit me around the bust but need letting out at the waist, shortening in the torso and a narrow shoulder adjustment. But it was almost right which is absolutely bonkers. I’ve got a 35″ bust, a (EDIT! I mistyped my waist measurement by 4 inches on my first post. Sorry!) 34″ waist and I’m 5ft5.

There’s no need to give my hip measurement as it’s safe to say the quarter circle skirt skims over everything and is really flattering on a pear shape. It’s JUST long enough so ladies taller than me, take note. The release pleats are a nice change from darts. For reference I normally make a size 12-14 in Big 4 patterns and a 10/12 in BHL and 36 in Deer and Doe.

almond rock vintage shirtdress sew over it polka dot chambray

I actually used the sleeved cutting lines but then left off my sleeves at the last minute. I think the armholes sit well but the gathers seem a little distorted. I saw a recent pic of Lisa in a blue polka dot sleeved version and it made me a little sad I’d left them off mine but nevermind.

The collar is constructed slightly differently to a regular notched collar as the two pieces of the collar stay separate. I’m comparing this collar to my satin pjs and my Simplicity 1880 shirtdresses. This actually makes it much easier to manipulate and achieve a clean finish. Clever thinking for making this easier for new sewists and a new twist on the style.

almond rock vintage shirtdress sew over it polka dot chambray

The fabric is a dotty chambray I picked up in the M is for Make sale a few months back. It’s a Robert Kaufman chambray in Royal with white woven dots.

I loved the drape and feel so much I recently bought the black colourway from Village Haberdashery! The dots are woven and slightly raised rather than bleached or printed.

It’s finished off with little red rose buttons from Ribbon Circus in Hebden Bridge. After a bit of headscratching I managed to get them to fit in my automatic buttonhole foot. If I’d had to do a 4 step for this button I’d have been pretty scared of nailing the sizing!

almond rock vintage shirtdress sew over it polka dot chambray

I used navy bias tape and overlocking to finish everything inside. I wanted to finish the hem with bias too but it made it too stiff.

So there you have it! I wear this dress a lot and when I pair it with my red cardigan and shoes I feel like a 1970s schoolteacher or with my navy cardigan it more Matron at a 1950s hospital. Can’t really explain why hahah.

almond rock vintage shirtdress sew over it polka dot chambray

Last week, I had a few days off to sew as I want to make a proper dent in my fabric stash. Now I have four or five dresses, three tops and a pair of jeans to share at some point! I also want to talk about my new job and some of the things I’ve sewn for that! Am I the only one with a blogging backlog? I bet you’re all more organised than me!

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Hello Sailor

Hello hello!

I’m so happy to be posting again. I have a few things waiting to be photographed so expect those posts soon. And I’m happy to report I’ve started sewing again following my move (more on that another day)!

So if you haven’t guessed by the name of this post I have something nautical for you today.

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Let me present my nautical knot shirtdress, courtesy of the wonder that is Joel and Son Fabrics.

The lovely folk at J&S heard me lamenting on twitter how I’d love to buy some of this linen but I was still on my self-imposed spending ban (we were about to cross the finish line for completing on our new house). They came to my rescue offering me the chance to review their site and this gorgeous print!

This fabric is an amazing tomato red colour with bright yellow and blue knots on it. It makes me happy just looking at it! And if you haven’t ever ordered from J&S you can expect your fabric folded in tissue, sealed with a quality assurance sticker and wrapped in one of their signature bags. I even got a cute mini tape measure in my parcel! Now that’s good customer service.

joel and sons simplicity 1880 almond rock

It’s a linen but happily doesn’t crease too much because it has some viscose in the mix. Think I lie? This dress was pulled out of the suitcase it moved in and WAS NOT IRONED before I took these pics. Brilliant right? And at 140cm wide I only needed 1.5m to make this dress.

joel and son simplicity 1880 almond rock

I’m a bit of a renegade though. You might have noticed “dry clean” is the suggested handling for the fabric. That doesn’t work for me. I took the risk and washed it on a handwash setting. And… HUZZAH! It only lost a teeny amount of the colour and there was no degradation to the linen weave.

So what shirtdress is this? It’s Simplicity 1880, previously made by me here and the popular pattern from this sewalong.

joel and son simplicity 1880 almond rock

As per the last time I amended the skirt to have a button front, plus I lined the skirt with a poly-crepe (so I wouldn’t get the dreaded tights-sticking issue). I also included a back neck facing and used french seams wherever possible.

joel and son simplicity 1880 almond rock

I really recommend this pattern for when you don’t want darts to ruin print placement. It was perfect for these knots. I even managed with some clever placement, to get a 99% red collar when looking from the front; I thought that would give a nice clean look. I also fought the temptation to use gold anchor buttons and went for these red shiny vintage lovelies that I had in my stash.

joel and son simplicity 1880 almond rock

Now my challenge is staying away from the awesome printed silks on the J&S site, like this panda awesome-ness. Or their cottons for that matter, like this pretty little number. I dare you not to find something to lust over on this website!!

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Spring florals (Part 1)

Hullo everyone! I’ve just gotten back from a few days away and am really happy to have a new dress to share with you, which I finished just before I left.

I’m going a bit nutty for super big floral dresses right now. Be warned for my next few posts.
I’ve just finished my second and will soon be starting a third.
Here is my first though.

almond rock simplicity 1880

These beautiful blooms are from Textile Express… I posted a pic on instagram of my fabric sample and it inspired Vicki Kate to purchase some too.

almond rock simplicity 1880

It’s one of their lovely cotton lawns from Japan. You remember my aeroplane fabric from this shop right? Very high quality prints with lovely drape. Check out the rest of their cotton lawn, I dare you.

So back to me larking about in the park.

*DANGER: Lots of pointy elbows coming up!*

almond rock simplicity 1880

This is Simplicity 1880 which the lovely folk at Simplicity sent to me for review quite some time ago. I made a shirt version but now have finally made the shirtdress!

almond rock simplicity 1880

The pattern calls for buttons only on the bodice but after making this up I kept getting distracted by the lack of button continuation. Am I the only one?

So I hacked my skirt up the front, added a placket and more lovely pearly buttons. Heehee I love breaking the rules and ignoring instructions!

almond rock simplicity 1880

I do love the notch collar; it’s so classic. And I worked hard to make the print look pretty on the collar, see the hydrangea peeping through? That’s my favourite bit.

almond rock simplicity 1880

Other pattern alterations included adding a skirt lining and omitting the waist pleats for gathers (both without any major issues). I’m very tempted to make a matching belt to cinch the dress it in a little further. I also made bias-binding for the armholes and used the back facing from the wrap dress variation as Sunni suggests here in her 1880 sewalong.

I hope you like it! Who else has made this one? Add a link in the comments in case I’ve not stalked yours before now.

Well I think that’s quite enough of my razor sharp elbows for now. Toodle pip!

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Cherry Bomb

I love the Runaways. So Cherry Bomb was the obvious choice for this post.

(For the record, I’m a Joan fangirl. Sorry Cherie.)

Despite my rock loving roots, this has come out nice and sweet and 1950s cute if you ask me. That makes me happy too.

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 For some reason this cherry print polka dot cotton makes me think of American diners and blue denim. I’m rather gutted I couldn’t have a milkshake for this photoshoot.

Am I crazy or do you get USA vibes too? I feel like running around town singing Bruce Springsteen songs or maybe bake a cherry pie.

The fabric was won many moons ago thanks to a giveaway by the Vintage Nirvana that is The Polished Button, and delightfully hosted on the famous blog Handmade Jane. I won 1m of the cotton AND 1m of matching cherry print bias binding which I put to good use as an armhole facing.

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What a lucky girl!

I made this blouse last summer but during a strop over the notched collar I put it in the UFO bin — BANISHED.

It was my first time trying a notch collar you see and I was having some difficulty. When I tried more recently on my pyjamas it worked a treat so I was clearly hot and bothered over nothing.

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But now, I’m ooooh sooo smug about how Summery I look.

The blouse is a mix of Simplicity 1880 a hit from the Project Runway pattern line and the Sassy Librarian Blouse. I used the collar plus the front and back yokes from 1880. Then the release pleats and length from the Sassy Blouse.

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If you want to see some cherry print awesomeness on a SL Blouse, look no further than Claire’s fruity version. Or if you’re really after another version of 1880 cropped as a blouse, take a look at Amy’s mad men inspired look.

So what about you? Are you breaking out the summer sewing patterns? Daring to bear some leg or arm now the sun’s staying out longer?

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Toot Toot! I’m blowing my little party horn!

I bloody love the sewing community!! I’ve been nominated for another Liebster award and a Super Sweet Blogger Award.

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Jo from Sew Little Time is an awesome kickass sewist. Her blog is great fun to read, she’s a good twitter friend and, as I learned at the blogger meet up, an excellent dinner partner.

Check out her Mad Men dress, Anise and all her lovely knitting for starters!

Jo has thrown down the gauntlet with questions for her nominees. There wasn’t any of that last time around so I’m happy to play along.

1. What is your favourite film of all time and why?
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I don’t see any shame in admitting this. I totally heart First Knight. I wish I could say a cool film but it’d be a fib. I can’t really say why but I love Richard Gere as an American Lancelot and Sean Connery as a Scottish King Arthur! Awesome fun. Maybe it’s the mystery of Camelot. Who knows. Have you seen it? Have I gone up or down in your estimation?

2. What kind of holidays do you like – beach? city break? raving in Ibiza?  Do tell!

I love the sun. It’s not about baking myself that much, more about being totally warmed through, getting vitamin D and feeling really healthy (doesn’t everyone feel more healthy in bright warm sunlight). My favourite place to visit is Melbourne. Let me sit in the sun with a good book at St Kilda and I’d be a very happy lady.

3. I spend a lot of time commuting – if you had a spare hour on the train, what would you do?

I do the same! I have an hour each way to waste on the way to my office. I read blogs, work on Almond Rock posts and play on my social media accounts. I really want to get back into reading books on the train so I need a bigger handbag me thinks!

4. What is the best sewing book you have read?
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I think my current favourite is the Merchant and Mills sewing book. Its very cleverly written to be gender neutral, charming and inspiring. I learnt some great new tips and really responded to the design and layout used.

5. Knits or wovens?

Wovens all the way baby! It’s one of my New Year ReSewlutions to get better at knits… but hey crikey we’re nearly half way through the year already! I should probably mobilise on that.

6. What is your favourite blog?

Oh no you don’t. I’m not picking a favourite!! I love so many. There are blogs with amazing layouts, great clever features, beautiful clothes, diys and crafts, and most of all hilarious happy people who I enjoy reading about and chatting to.

7. What other crafts do you do and which is your favourite?

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Honestly I’m afraid I don’t really do much else. I dabble with jewellery making but not enough to say it’s a secondary craft. I read a lot, watch epic movie marathons and wax lyrical about James Bond. I also like to think I’m a pretty decent baker and cake decorator. I’ve learned from the best though so is that really a craft or more of a handed down family secret?

8. What is your karaoke song?

For a big old extrovert I’m not really a fan of karaoke. I do have one ace up my sleeve. Think Nelly….

9. Sweet or savoury?

Sweeeeeeeet. I’d love to live off dessert without consequences… and bread! Give me a banoffee pie and I’ll call you my best friend!

10. What is your favourite accessory?

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At the minute it’s my red leather satchel. I can’t stop using it! I got on my way home from the epic London meetup so it always reminds me of sewing adventures.

11. If I gave you £50 ($78 US, $82 Aus) to spend on fabric, patterns or craft supplies, what would you make from it?  Links please!
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Eeeeek I’d want a spending spree! But to be more restrained… I’m currently cooking up a plan for a shirtdress so I’d buy 2 metres of pale pink carline rose tana lawn (£44) and Simplicity 1880 (£8). Then I’m out of budget. Oh.
If I got the pale pink cabbage rose cath kidston print fabric (£25) instead of Liberty I could also squeeze in an order of a belladone from Deer and Doe perhaps?

Phew that was harder than I thought. I wonder if you all feel like you’ve seen into my soul now…

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Next up the Super Sweet Blogger Award which was given to me by lovely Lara of Dreaming of Avonlea. Thanks very much Lara. I had the pleasure of her company in Birmingham this weekend. She is fun and talented and dreams of dresses!
I mean after hearing that you’ve GOT TO check out her blog!

She’d like me to answer 5 Super Sweet questions.
And to nominate a baker’s dozen (13) of other deserving bloggers.

Questions!

Q: Cookies or Cake?

A: Cake I think… just edges it out.

Q: Chocolate or Vanilla?

A: CHOCOLATE are you crazy?!

Q:  Favorite sweet treat?

A: Banoffee pie all the way. Or as close as you can get to it!

Q: When do you crave sweets the most?

A: As soon as I go on a diet. But mostly after dinner time.

Q: Sweet nickname?

A: Nothing to report here. It’s very hard to abbreviate a three letter name into something cuter!

I’m very grateful to the sewing community but for these awards I’d like to nominate my favourite food bloggers for a bit of redirection! Maybe you’ll discover someone you like too?

  1. Stasty
  2. Little Red House
  3. Spoon Fork Bacon
  4. Ari’s menu
  5. Family Style Food
  6. Lolly’s Sweet and Savoury Treats
  7. Mandy’s Recipe Box
  8. Just My Delicious
  9. Angel Loves Cooking
  10. Sweet C’s Designs
  11. Domestic Rebel
  12. Bakerette
  13. Delicious Shots
  14. Cocktail Remedy (bonus one for all the cocktail lovers out there)
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