Dressmaker’s Delight

Hello everyone!
Hope you’ve had a good weekend. I didn’t do any sewing which was a shame but after my recent sewing binge I still have plenty to share with you.

almond rock dressmaking vogue 1102 myfabricsA little while ago I was contacted by My Fabrics and asked if I would like to review some fabric. I confess they weren’t a company I was familiar with! But I soon fell down the rabbit hole looking at their website and I do like a good online shop.

almond rock dressmaking vogue 1102 myfabrics

I spoke to a wonderfully helpful man and chose this ace dressmaking print full of vintage sewing ephemera like thread spools, scissors, pincushions and buttons.

The fabric comes in three colourways but I thought this pink was the most charming.

almond rock dressmaking vogue 1102 myfabrics

The dress is my favourite Vogue 1102 bodice with a gathered skirt, which makes this a great little versatile dress I can wear to work, out with friends and on the occasional date night!

I lined the dress in pale pink anti-static lining and used a regular zip. I love that low back.

almond rock dressmaking vogue 1102 myfabrics

 So a bit more about the fabric and company! This is a mid-weight cotton and 140cm wide (note how all the composition details are listed on the site?). It’s a little stiffer than regular poplin but suitable for dressmaking, home furnishing or bags. The fabric print quality is pretty good, the only thing that’s a little blurry is the detail on the sewing pattern but it’s only noticeable up close.

It would make a sweet little pair of curtains for a sewing room wouldn’t it.

These are some of the other fabrics I’m currently lusting after. a) sneaker print jersey, b) flamingo tapestry fabric, c) star print stretch demin and d) palm leaf print viscose.

almond rock dressmaking vogue 1102 myfabrics

I’m pretty impressed with the range of prints My Fabrics has. I love it when I see new prints that I haven’t seen ten times before in other fabric shops. Perhaps it’s because they’re international, and have access to different and interesting fabrics. Either way it makes it very tempting to put in an order!

So is My Fabrics new to you?

Are you a flamingo fan like me? Maybe you’re crushing on the printed denim.

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That’s Sew George

Ah puns. I’m a big fan but I know they’re not for everyone.

So here’s a dress to help you forget about any lingering pun rage!

almond rock #thatssewgeorge hare print sundress asda

Hares looking quizzical and fat and ready for action? Guaranteed to cheer you up.

Now take a look at this… It’s a duvet dress!

almond rock #thatssewgeorge hare print sundress asda

This fun hare-print duvet set was sent to me by George at Asda to prove bedding isn’t just for beds. Or just for cats.

almond rock #thatssewgeorge hare print sundress asda

I wanted a pattern that would preserve as many of the hares as possible.
I chose the Butterick 5351 bodice with the band removed which I used in the Sew Dolly Clackett challenge and the Butterick 6167 skirt from my recent Gertie dress.

almond rock #thatssewgeorge hare print sundress asda

The fabric is ever so slightly sheer so the dress is fully lined with sage green anti-static lining. I also added a really nice deep hem since there was enough fabric from the double duvet! The deep hem with the slightly crisp polycotton makes the skirt hang really well.

almond rock #thatssewgeorge hare print sundress asda

It’s a really fun dress to wear, especially with the big swooshy skirt. And I wonder if anyone does a double take when they see me?

almond rock #thatssewgeorge hare print sundress asda

So there you have it. Would you sew with a duvet?

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Dark Floral Lonsdale

The Lonsdale dress and I have a shaky past. I originally encountered this pattern two years ago when I attempted to make a polka dot satin ball gown version. It was a disaster… too much drape and not enough fabric!

Roisin had kindly sent me the pattern to trace and I felt like such a failure when I sent it back.

almond rock, Sewaholic lonsdale, dark floral stretch cotton, minerva

I thought it was long overdue a revisit so I chose one of Minerva’s lovely stretch cottons and set to work. I picked this gorgeous vintage dark floral. This fabric works really nicely with this pattern in my opinion; just the right amount of body and there’s a great range of prints.

I made the midi length skirt variation with no pockets.

almond rock, Sewaholic lonsdale, dark floral stretch cotton, minerva

Sewaholic patterns are designed for pear shaped figures but I’m really not sure this skirt is the most flattering design on me. I feel like it emphasises the difference in size between my shoulders and hips, when I hoped I might appear more balanced out. It also uses a centre front seam which I absolutely detest. I think they interrupt the eye and distract you.

I tried other skirts options like a circle and a gathered skirt but they just looked wrong!

The main feature of this dress however is the halter ties. I think this is where my main issue lies. The ties look so pretty on others but they just seem to overwhelm my neckline – I really wish I’d thinned them out significantly. It’s most noticeable how wide they are when viewing the back. If I’d chosen the tie back option this might not be so obvious because they’d naturally get a little bunched up and thinned out.

almond rock, Sewaholic lonsdale, dark floral stretch cotton, minerva

I do feel like it’s a bit of a failure. And that’s fine, it happens to us all. You honestly can’t suit everything. And I don’t assume that because some patterns of a designer look nice on you they all will. Plus there’s nothing really wrong with the finished dress so I might see if I can give it away!

Mr AR says it looks nice on me though which is always good to hear. And the midi length is modest but sweet and I’m pleased with how neat my knot looks at the front. Plus the print is just what I wanted: Sweet but still serious.

The bodice is self-lined and the skirt is lined in anti-static lining. I used a regular 16 inch zip and black bias binding to hem the skirt.

almond rock, Sewaholic lonsdale, dark floral stretch cotton, minerva

Overall I’m glad I tried this pattern again. But I doubt I’ll make another.

When was the last time you didn’t like a finished garment? Did you keep it or give it away?

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Wedding of the Year

This weekend two of my closest friends married each other. And I bawled my eyes out.

gertie butterick 6167 shelf bust liberty carline almond rock

It was the perfect day and I’m so happy for them, even though I’m a teeny bit jealous of their amazing honeymoon plans.

For the occasion I wanted the perfect dress. When I saw the new Gertie pattern Butterick 6167 I thought it was just gorgeous. Sadly it hadn’t been released in the UK when I fell in love with it. BUT WAIT… Sewing Superhero Sonja from Ginger Makes got hold of a copy and posted it over for me!!! How sweet is that!?

I bought 2m of Liberty Carline poplin from an ebay seller called Fellabird Fabrics while I waited for the postman to come a knocking. This is a smaller version of carline, in a beautiful pink.

gertie butterick 6167 shelf bust liberty carline almond rock

The dress features a gathered shelf bust detail, boning, spaghetti straps and a full skirt. The bodice is self lined and I used polyester lining for the skirt. Interestingly the dress is cut on the cross grain!

I thinned out the straps and took a whopping 6cm off the hem. Plus I added a huge hem ruffle (twice the width of the skirt) to the lining to act as a fake petticoat and boost the shape.

It’s a pretty good pattern if you’re interested in learning how to bone a bodice and sew a lapped zipper. I confess I didn’t really need to learn those things but I appreciate that they’re included.

gertie butterick 6167 shelf bust liberty carline almond rock

The other joy of the wedding was that it was my honour to make the ties and pocket squares for the Groom, groomsmen and page boys.

Look at these handsome men! When I introduced Mark to my University friend Nicola I never thought it would turn out so well. Mark, Alex and Matt have been in my life for 15 years and I love that they’ve welcomed Jimi like they’ve known him that long as well. He made a very handsome usher.

hand sewn tie pocket square almond rock

hand sewn tie pocket square almond rock

I know the men look dashing but come on, are those not the cutest kids you’ve ever seen?hand sewn tie pocket square almond rock

I made 7 men’s ties, 7 pocket squares and 2 “fake” ties that fastened with velcro. I drafted patterns from existing ties and googled “sew your own pocket square”. The fake ties were the hardest to wrap my brain around.

I’m half-tempted to make a pdf of the kid’s tie and make it available as a free download. It’s kind of the thing I’d have been happy to find when I was prepping to make these so maybe someone out there would find it useful?

hand sewn boy's tie almond rock

So that was my Easter Saturday! Did you have a fun long weekend?

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What A Gem

Today I’m here to share a Minerva Blogger Network make!

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I had a short break from the Network while I worked on some other projects and will probably keep the collaborating a bit more sporadic this year so I can keep sewing from my stash!

For the dress I chose a gorgeous quilting cotton in mid-blue with coloured gems. I can’t help by smile at all the pretty colours in this dress; those gems are my idea of the perfect colour palette.

The dress is the brain child of pinterest. I wanted a button up back dress with cool triangle closures. Basically it’s business in the front, party in the back!

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I was really tempted to show a little skin between each button but it would have immediately lowered wearability for me as I couldn’t go bra less and would have hated straps peeking through.

I used the Simplicity 2444 bodice as a start and altered the back piece to create the overlapping triangles. I added the lovely gathered A line skirt of the Deer and Doe Sureau dress.

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Sorting out the number and size of triangles I wanted took a few drafts. It also gave me some ideas for other variations, for example this could easily be recreated with a scalloped closure.

I transferred my seam markings using a tracing wheel and carbon, and reduced my stitch length to land neatly on the end of each outward point. In the valley between each triangle I made sure to sew one horizontal stitch to round off the inward point, this helps when turning out, as then the angle isn’t too harsh.

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Clipping and notching is also really important for getting the triangle points neat. My trusty prym point turner helped make easy work of this. Once you’ve used a proper point turner it’s hard to go back to a pencil or a chopstick!

It might not be obvious but things were a little different construction wise!
I sewed the bodice with bodice lining in its entirety. I then sewed the skirt and installed my invisible zipper. I then attached my skirt with the bodice lining folded open, aligning the edge of each side of the skirt back with the bodice back seams. I then attached the skirt lining, handsewing along the zipper tape. And finally then folded down my bodice lining and hand stitched it in place.

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The dress used almost all of the 2 metres I had (but since I self lined the bodice that’s not too surprising). I used navy antistatic lining on the skirt, five 2cm wide orange buttons and a 9inch blue zip to coordinate. Finally I used 1 inch stiff navy polycotton bias binding on the skirt; this helpa hold the bell shape and gives the illusion of a good size hem which I like.

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I’m really pleased that my coral ballet flats go with the dress as sometimes they’re a little too electric to wear. I need a coral cardigan now, don’t I!

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