• Dresses

    Scuba-dooby-do

    Hello again
    My blog posting might be erratic lately but I’m enjoying sharing all my backlog of makes. Feels like I’m airing them out on the washing line.

    almond rock scuba skater dress

    So today I’ve got proof that I jumped on the scuba-wagon. I have no idea what a scuba-wagon might look like but now I’m thinking of scuba dragons so that’s fun.

    IMG_20150607_145741

    I picked up this gorgeous rose embossed scuba on a Walthamstow trip with Katie. (She bought this lush marbled print scuba). It was £6 a metre which I thought was reasonable given its prettiness and weight. Plus it was nice and wide so I got 1.5 metres.

    almond rock scuba skater dress

    So in classic form this is the dixie diy dress bodice. I opted for long sleeves like my horse dress and a circle skirt like my Jungle January dress.

    Here’s a pro tip… If you want to topstitch embossed scuba with a twin need;e you’re probably going to have to leave perfectionism at the door. No matter how slowly you go, both needles wants to bobble off course into one of the grooves of the pattern. The scary bit is if the two needles want to go separate directions!

    almond rock scuba skater dress

    I think it looks okay though so I’m not worrying about it. The rose design makes me swoon and the scuba gives the dress a more formal structure which I really like.

    It is REALLY warm inside here though,

    almond rock scuba skater dress

    Maybe it’s time for some science?  Are you sitting at home thinking what the flip is the difference between scuba and neoprene?

    • Scuba is a type of double knit made from polyester and spandex, with a very fine gauge thread, and smooth texture. It’s what you’ll have seen clothes in magazines and the high street made of, and it’s extremely likely that if you’ve bought “neoprene” from the fabric shop you’ve actually bought scuba.
    • Neoprene is a synthetic rubber and fabric hybrid which is more durable, more flexible and a better insulator, hence being primarily used for wetsuits. Essentially it’s a thin knit fabric sealed onto spongy foamed neoprene.

    I feel happy to say this confidently because I have friends in the adventure sports industry who have discussed this with me as we’ve talked about their kits and the variations of “quality” neoprene.

    But if you have heard differently please let us know.

    almond rock scuba skater dressSo there you have it! Scuba-licious.

  • Dresses

    The Cam-bee Dress

    almond rock cambie sewaholic dress up party

    When Sara kindly asked me to join her Dress Up Party, it gave me just the excuse I needed to make another Cambie dress.

    almond rock cambie sewaholic dress up party

    The Cambie is such a sweet little sewing pattern with enough variations to make it feel like you’re customising your dress to what will really suit you. Here I chose the square front and full skirt without the waistband.

    almond rock cambie sewaholic dress up party

    The outer fabric is a bee print Makower cotton – this is the white colourway but there are some gorgeous other colours – making this my Cam-bee dress heehee. I don’t sew with many quilting cottons these days, nor do I often wear white, but I couldn’t resist this print. I also lined the dress in white habotai (I love a fully lined dress).

    almond rock cambie sewaholic dress up party

    As this is my second version I think I’ve worked out all my fitting issues. I staystitched the neckline before sewing as my first version stretched a little. I also recommend a muslin to make sure those sleeves don’t fall off your shoulders. I omitted the waistband because I find them a little uncomfortable on my stomach but perhaps that’s just me.

    almond rock cambie sewaholic dress up party

    Another helpful thing I did on this version was to make a pair of little chains on my overlocker and attached one end to the tops of my pockets and the other ends were caught in the waist seam. This helps stop the pocket bag sagging. It would be more ideal if the pattern had the top of the pocket bag caught in the waist seam but I suppose that could get a little bulky.

    One thing I’d like to mention is that Tasia’s instructions are very succinct I’m always impressed reading one of her pattern booklets at how efficiently she takes you through the work needed in a small number of steps. I have three Sewaholic patterns and I’ve not struggled making any of them.

    almond rock cambie sewaholic dress up party

    I’ve said it before but I’m not sure if I’ll try the sweetheart version or the fitted skirt but I’m super keen to try a button up version after seeing Rosie Wednesday’s cute candy cane variation. Such a clever hack of the pattern! I also have some horse print chiffon lined up for another version.

    These pictures were taken at the lake near my house. It’s a small lake where people walk their dogs and go fishing. There’s a flat wooden bridge that goes across the lake, with high reeds either side that almost hide it. It was so sunny when we were there I struggled not to squint in the photos.

    almond rock cambie sewaholic dress up party

    Time to sign off, but here’s a bonus picture of me pretending to push over a tree.

    Have a lovely weekend everyone!

    almond rock cambie sewaholic dress up party

  • Dresses

    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.

  • Dresses

    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?

  • Dresses

    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?