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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Maya zvezdochka dress

First off I have to say I had the most amazing day on Saturday. I was helping celebrate 150 years of John Lewis with Lisa Comfort and some awesome sewing bloggers. It’s going to take a whole post, possibly two, to do it justice! That’ll be my next post.

But today we took a little walk near the river. There is a lovely garden nearby where I forced sweet talked my other half into taking photos of my new dress.

almond rock mccalls 6833 denim star print dress

This is McCall’s 6833 which is a sort of bustier bodice and I added a gathered skirt instead of a pleated one. Again, this is a dress barely anyone seems to have made! Not sure why. I think it’s super cute.

almond rock mccalls 6833 denim star print dress

almond rock mccalls 6833 denim star print dress

I used a star print stretch denim from Remnant House in a nice indigo blue. They also have it in black. It’s very stretchy and quite thin. My original plan was to make jeans but they would have turned out more like jeggings and I’m not down with that.

almond rock mccalls 6833 denim star print dress

It was so stretchy in fact I could omit the zip!

The dress came together okay. There’s a bit of faffing aligning the darts of the bust cups with the darts of the bodice. Plus it’s pretty low cut so I have to be careful not to lean over too far.

I really like it with the gathered skirt though and the fabric’s stretchy-ness keeps the bodice fitted enough to make me feel like I have a teeny amount of va va voom. I know I’m such a dork.

almond rock mccalls 6833 denim star print dress

So there you have it! What do you think of my dress? Did you know about this cute little pattern?

The dress was happily a wearable muslin for another dress which I’ll be sharing soon. So much to post about, I can’t wait!

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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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