• Jackets and coats

    Orange is the new red Vogue 1537

    Not quite a tangerine dream but close to the perfect pumpkin, it’s all fruity over in my house with this newly finished orange coat. It’s the kind of orange that is easy to mistake for red… until you try and wear it with real red.

    It’s of course the pattern of the moment Vogue 1537. This Kay Unger design was a firm favourite from the Vogue Cocktail Hour which raised money for The Eve Appeal. Check out my previous posts here and search the hashtag #sipandsew to see everyone’s makes.

    I wanted a pass at this coat after seeing someone make a wool version on pattern review. You know I like to break the rules and was happy to find a like-minded rebel. It’s of course designed for lighter weight fabrics but who cares about that.

    I lengthened the sleeves and skipped the tabs. You might notice extra buttons down the front though I prefer wearing it open. I actually hate wearing single breasted coats but like the way they look. This one is especially bad as there’s no hem vent. Shame on me for not adding one. It’s also lines up at the bottom, I’m just standing funny.

    The wool was actually bought with a voucher won at Sew Up North. It was for my fave Leeds market shop BM stores too, how amazing. Thank you so much Sally and Beccs for bringing this coat to life with your awesome raffle. My lining is a stretch satin from Leeds market too. I’ve had terrible luck with coat linings lately where they rip at the seams after about a year’s wear. Maybe I get more aggressive in my coat wearing style after the 1 year mark. This is my fourth or fifth outerwear piece but first full length coat.

    I’ve actually been singing the old nursery rhyme oranges and lemons for weeks as I have a mustard coat project lined up but keep changing my mind about what pattern. Maybe the new By Hand London release will be the winner?

    BONUS OUT TAKE TIME!! Sexy right?

  • Dresses,  Events and day trips

    Sip and sew Vogue 1434

    It’s Friday!! Lets raise a glass of something delicious to celebrate.almond rock sipandsew cocktail hour vogue 1434

    I’m sure you’ve heard about the Vogue Patterns Cocktail Hour? I mentioned a while ago here! This is the latest charity sewalong from The McCall Pattern Company in partnership with The Eve Appeal. almond rock sipandsew cocktail hour vogue 1434

    A portion of the sales from 20 selected patterns go to this kick-ass charity who are raising awareness and funding research into the FIVE female cancers. Yes there are five…. It’s like the seven dwarfs, you can never think of them all in one go.

    almond rock sipandsew cocktail hour vogue 1434

    almond rock sipandsew cocktail hour vogue 1434

    My garment for this year’s blogger tour is a designer Vogue pattern by Isaac Mizrahi who I love from his appearances on Project Runway. The envelope styling is a little bit bridesmaid-like but I could see gorgeous potential and Pattern Review showed me some stunning versions.

    almond rock sipandsew cocktail hour vogue 1434

    It’s a classic little dress and probably doesn’t surprise you that I chose it. There are lovely knife pleats at the waist that come with a separate guide pattern piece so you can mark more easily (very handy), the dress is fully lined which is a nice touch and there’s an interesting shape to the upper bodice where it’s sort of cutaway at the shoulders in an athletic style. I tried my best not to decapitate any people in my bodice seam placement.

    almond rock sipandsew cocktail hour vogue 1434

    I cut the longer length skirt of view B with a size 12 bodice. My only adjustments after the toile were to reposition the princess seams inwards a little and do a hollow chest adjustment above the bust. I skipped the tie for the waist as you can see. And I added my favourite… a lapped zipper! It’s a great little dress which I’ll definitely make again.

    almond rock sipandsew cocktail hour vogue 1434

    My fabric is a beautiful sateen featuring illustrated ladies and gents at an event (possibly a day at the races if you take in the hats). The sateen was crisp enough for the pleats and soft enough to shape around the body. I’d looked into brocade but was worried about bulk at the waist. This lovely print was bought in March from Ditto Fabrics and I think it was called “gathering”. Sadly it’s now out of stock and to be honest I never saw this sateen on sale anywhere else….

    TIME FOR A MASSIVE BUT… there is the same print available on a crepe base with either a blue or oyster coloured background. I’m very tempted by the blue I have to say.

    PLUS this if you live in Germany I’m told this shop has a couple of metres left in the cotton/elastane on blue. The size of a lady is about 5cm. And two remnants of about 2m from the Crêpe. Size of the print seems to be smaller than this and MacCulloch’s version though.

    I’m very proud to support the campaign as someone who has lost several family members to cancer. Cancer in any form needs a good old fashioned kick in the pants so let’s raise some money for Eve Appeal and look fab doing it!

    And why not put on a fancy frock and come to our cocktail party??

    almond rock sipandsew cocktail hour vogue 1434


  • Dresses

    Swishable Vogue 8997

    Almond rock vogue 8997 cocktail hour

    Hello hello! Super happy to be typing up this blog post today. I had a really lovely week with two days at the Sewing For Pleasure show in Birmingham for work and a fab weekend with my two best friends, cake and some much needed shopping. Other exciting news? I photographed three new dresses so have plenty to share over the next few weeks. One of them is a gorgeous little black dress because this month The McCall Pattern Co have launched their new campaign – The Vogue Patterns Cocktail Hour!

    Almond rock vogue 8997 cocktail hour

    You may remember the Vintage Sewalong from last year, which I took part in. Well this year is bigger and better with 26 bloggers making versions of the 20 Vogue patterns from the Cocktail Hour collection.

    It’s such a good way to raise money for a fabulous charity. The Eve Appeal is the only UK national charity raising awareness and funding research in the five gynaecological cancers! And a donation from every pattern sold goes to help them continue their great work.

    There’s a wonderful introductory post on the Sewdirect blog to help you pick your pattern and we’ve created a special bonus magazine to go with issue 38 of Love Sewing to share our tips and tricks for creating a polished evening look.

    Almond rock vogue 8997 cocktail hour

    As is becoming a bit of a tradition for me, I wanted to make a dress for my Welcome in the supplement so I chose Vogue 8997! See Lizzy’s beautiful version here and for some instagram fun follow @glamagrrl

    Almond rock vogue 8997 cocktail hour

    This fully lined princess seamed dress is a little bit vintage, has some clever design lines with its 8 panels and shaped waist seam and is a great pattern for achieving a beautiful fit. There are separate cup sizes and different length and sleeve options. I made view B in size 10 around the upper body with A-cup bust and graded to a size 12 at the waist.I resisted the urge to shorten the style and it turned out about right for me.


    Almond rock vogue 8997 cocktail hour

    To check everything over I essentially made a toile out of lining basted together with an easy to unpick stitch length (snap included). This meant if I’d nailed the sizing, I was well on my way to having a constructed garment but could still make necessary changes. My key change was moving the bust princess seam over by 1.5cm towards the centre at the bust point as I’m very small chested.

    Almond rock vogue 8997 cocktail hour

    My fabric is a great quality crepe de chine from John Kaldor called “Olivia” that I picked up at Barry’s in Birmingham last year. The floral print is quite large (see the scale below) but I loved the shades of mink and fuchsia in there. The lining is a nude pink polyester that I keep a roll of at home. It’s perfect for blending in with almost any fabric so I recommend buying in bulk to keep in your stash.

    Almond rock vogue 8997 cocktail hour

    The crepe didn’t fray too badly but the lining did so I still overlocked the exposed internal seams. I also used my overlocker to add a baby rolled hem on the crepe which was a fun new trick to try. It’s very subtle on a print like this. Here’s the video tutorial I used for my Singer machine.

    almond rock vogue 8997 cocktail hour

    Other little details were to add an invisible zip so obviously altered the steps a little to include this style closure. But the rest was super straightforward!

    Almond rock vogue 8997 cocktail hour

    Join the 2017 sewalong by making a version yourself and sharing your make online using the hashtag #sipandsew (remembering to copy in @McCallpatternUK on Twitter or @McCallpatternUK on Instagram). You can also attend different activities throughout the year including in-store events, workshops and special cocktail parties.


    Almond rock vogue 8997 cocktail hour

    So will you be taking part in the Cocktail Hour sewalong? Follow the amazing blogger tour for more inspiration, starting with Winnie of Scruffy Badger Time!