City Lights at Night Cambie

Sometimes it feels like I am last person out there to make a Cambie dress.

But I’m so happy to put an end to that!

almond rock cambie city lights night art gallery the village haberdashery

I got the pattern and this luscious voile from The Village Haberdashery. It’s called City Lights Night (say that ten times fast!). In fact everything for the dress came from the shop, a new dress kit handed to me by the postman!

The selvedge of the fabric says “Feel The Difference”. And you do. It’s soooo buttery soft and pretty close to being opaque. Perfect for a floaty girly dress.

Annie has stocked lots of the new gorgeous Art Gallery Fabrics line. I’m super in love with the Gramercy prints; the colours of City Lights Night are so pretty and Central Park in Fog is so moody and romantic.

almond rock cambie city lights night art gallery the village haberdashery

The Cambie is such a nifty little sewing pattern, I love a fully lined dress. I used habutate lining in black which matched the weight of the voile perfectly. I love it when a plan comes together. Perfect for swishing.

The fit is pretty good I think. The darts could do to be a touch wider at the waist but that gives me a little room for dinner heehee.

almond rock cambie city lights night art gallery the village haberdashery

I’m also really happy that the sleeves don’t fall off my shoulders and the armholes fits nicely.

As you can see I went for the square neckline and I omitted the waistband, that combo pretty much stuck in my mind after seeing Roisin’s tape measure dress.

I’m not sure if I’ll try the sweetheart version but I’m super keen to try a button up version after seeing Rosie’s ace candy cane version.

almond rock cambie city lights night art gallery the village haberdashery

That’s a (pretty darn) invisible zip and I used a super fine needle as I would have been gutted to have big snarly catches in the fabric.

I decided the triangle shapes on the print should point downwards. That doesn’t seem to be how it was designed to be looked at but who cares, I love it.

And wahey, pockets! I nearly omitted them and then I thought, don’t be so miserable and put them in.


almond rock cambie city lights night art gallery the village haberdashery

I’m a big fan of The Village Haberdashery for four simple reasons:

  • there is a most excellent array of indie sewing patterns which I’ve no hope of getting around where I live;
  • the selection of fabrics is guaranteed to keep you occupied for hours because Annie just has cracking taste when it comes to prints;
  • and importantly the customer service is top notch. Annie went out of her way to order me the electric purple chambray for my Belladone while I was stood in the store with her. And even though she could have gotten sick of me bugging her about it, she still emailed me to let me know as soon as my much lusted-after metallic bird fabric hit the shelves.
  • Plus there are polka dot bags and a flat shipping rate, so enough said.

almond rock cambie city lights night art gallery the village haberdashery

The finished dress makes me so happy. That’s how all dresses should make you feel right?

I’m going to wear this out to the ballet next week. My mum and I are off to see The Great Gatsby!

Thank you Village Haberdashery.

almond rock cambie city lights night art gallery the village haberdashery

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Sew Bossy! An Adventure With A Wax Print Dress

Hello hello!

This weekend was a real fun one. I went to the SewBrum meetup. There were lots of familiar faces and nice new ones to meet and chat with. I shopped up a storm getting some right bargains. They’re all washing as I type, and my brain is cooking up sewing plans for them.

But the real reason I’m posting today is my Sew Bossy dress!

almond rock sew bossy what katie sews wax print lea dress

I partnered up with Katie of What Katie Sews so head over to the blog to see what I sent her.

Katie sent me this gorgeous wax print fabric. It reminds me of sweets and also croissants (sort of) which makes me happy. I also got the Léa dress pattern from Jolie Marie Louise.

It’s a really cute woven dress with a heart-shaped neckline, front button closing, a back vent and front pockets. Princess seams help create an hourglass silhouette, even with my limited curves.

Plus it’s just like a H&M dress I used to have that I wore to death, so yay for second chances.

almond rock sew bossy what katie sews wax print lea dress

All this gave me a rocking ride with print matching! How do you think I did?

almond rock sew bossy what katie sews wax print lea dress

I’m pretty happy with the entire front, the back princess seams and the waist seam. Only the centre back and the side seams didn’t pan out as I hoped, but you can’t have everything right?!

almond rock sew bossy what katie sews wax print lea dress

Sewing with wax print was interesting; it’s got a nice stiffness that worked well for this dress. I had to make sure I didn’t melt the wax with too high an iron!

I overlocked all my insides so the dress is neat and snappy. I used pink for binding the armholes and blue for the pocket linings, plus black buttons. It’s fun to have a colour scheme.

almond rock sew bossy what katie sews wax print lea dress

So there you have it! I’ll definitely be making this dress again. Maybe in a pretty jewel coloured cotton sateen as a party dress. What do you think?

Thanks Katie for Bossing me about so well! Heehee.

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Pass The Wine – Vogue V1044

Phew, what a project. This is Vintage Vogue 1044, an original 1956–1957 pattern.

almond rock vintage vogue 1044 linen

I started off thinking of this as a shirtdress, but that seems flippant.

almond rock vintage vogue 1044 linen

It’s a mid-length dress with a pleated button-front bodice, and has a front and back yoke that extends into kimono sleeves. The skirt is gathered, but also designed with a snap closing in front and inverted pleats.

Everything came together when Kath shared a photo of this pattern on her instagram account. You could have bowled me over when she offered to send me her copy. I had been searching for a very long time for a copy in my size and it was like a dream come true when the post turned up from Australia.

almond rock vintage vogue 1044 linen

I chose this dress for my Vintage Pattern Pledge as a challenge to myself, to prove I could handle a complex pattern that used vintage techniques. And I think I’ve been pretty successful with it!

The pattern suggests Crepe, Shantung, Batiste or Taffeta but I picked this wine coloured Linen as I knew it would be well suited for the pleated bodice while still having enough drape for the skirt. Plus the colour is lush! Covering buttons for the bodice just seemed like the right choice too. Plus there was Gutermann thread in a perfect colour match.

almond rock vintage vogue 1044 linen

Taking time and effort with this pattern was very important to me. I made three muslins of the bodice to correct fit and practice the complicated placket instructions.

During a bout of internet research I found some brilliant tips for this dress: I changed the order of some of the steps (e.g. sewing my darts after my pleats and stay stitching my corners before assembling the yoke). I also reinforced the sharp corners where the yoke joined the bodice with squares of silk instead of the suggested seam binding.

The yoke facing is entirely hand-stitched and so was the epic hem (I added some lace trim to the hem for a sweet touch). The visible seams are pinked which gave me the chance to use my Grandma’s pinking shears she used when we sewed as a younger woman.

almond rock vintage vogue 1044 linen

I was very respectful of the pattern up to a certain point but I just couldn’t get along with the snap front skirt. It gaped and didn’t hang right, and to be honest seemed rather unnecessary. I instead recut a standard skirt and unpicked the right side-seam to hand-sew an invisible zipper.

almond rock vintage vogue 1044 linen

It’s a shame, but I had to up the exposure on the camera to show the details, the colour is a beautiful rich red. I feel so elegant in this dress. And I’m even happier that the dress matches a pair of shoes I already own, yippee!

I think the only thing I wish I’d done was add pockets. Maybe next time?

almond rock vintage vogue 1044 linenRight, pass me the wine. It’s time for a celebratory drink!

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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.

joel and son simplicity 1880 almond rock

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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Sparkly sparkly

Today I’m really happy to share a lovely sparkly number.

almond rock metallic jersey mccalls 6754 white tree fabrics

This is a happy little dress that makes me smile while wearing it!!

I made this dress in association with a new online store, White Tree Fabrics, who specialise in dressmaking fabrics, haberdashery and patterns.

almond rock metallic jersey mccalls 6754 white tree fabrics

This is the perfect skater dress (McCalls 6754) made in metallic foiled jersey.

almond rock metallic jersey mccalls 6754 white tree fabrics

almond rock metallic jersey mccalls 6754 white tree fabrics

The dress has a darted front, dipped back, and brilliantly swishy circle skirt. I really like the other options in the pattern and will definitely be making it up again.

The jersey is pretty lightweight so I backed the bodice with some blue medium-weight jersey I had in my stash.

One thing to note is not to wash or iron this fabric on too high a heat. High temperature can destroy the sparkle in the fabric and at worst, can melt under the heat of your iron and be rather messy!

almond rock metallic jersey mccalls 6754 white tree fabrics

The arm and neckholes, and hem are turned under and topstitched (I used a twin needle). And I used my serger to construct all the seams except the darts.

So it turns out it’s reeeeally hard to photograph something metallic without having your camera flash turned on (when we did it looked like the sun had exploded).

The dress looks silver on these photos but in person it definitely has a gold sheen.

almond rock mccalls 6574 metallic jersey white tree fabrics

Here’s my final attempt, inside with all the lights pointed at me.

almond rock metallic jersey mccalls 6754 white tree fabrics

Anyway, I wanted to share the good news with you that making a purchase from White Tree can be quite a nice bargain.

Not only do they have such a unique selection of fabric you won’t have seen elsewhere, they have a range of ways to save you money:

  • 20% off and free shipping using code almondrock
  • Review a product and receive a 15% discount code.
  • Like White Tree on Facebook, follow on Twitter or Pinterest and receive a 15% discount code
  • Sign up for the newsletter to receive a 10% discount code
  • Free delivery on orders £20 and over
  • And there are great offers for students too!

I can confirm after buying some of White Tree’s spotted mesh fabric recently (trust me I do still buy fabric) that the price was great, delivery was quick and my fabrics came wrapped around card which was nice. I’ve snuck in some pics of lace beauties I’m lusting over too:

almond rock metallic jersey mccalls 6754 white tree fabrics almond rock metallic jersey mccalls 6754 white tree fabrics almond rock metallic jersey mccalls 6754 white tree fabrics

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