Liberty Vintage Tea Dress

I have a special little number to share with you today for my June Minerva Blogger Network post.

almond rock liberty lawn butterick 5902

The wonderful thing about the Network is that I get to push myself and try a little harder. The temptation to play things safe can be strong and it’s quite nice to challenge your fears.

almond rock liberty lawn butterick 5902

First up, let’s look at this pretty pattern. Butterick 5209 is a vintage reproduction pattern from 1947. I chose this pattern after seeing Laura Mae’s version. It has several intersecting lines to get right, a gathered bust and raglan sleeves: All making fitting that little bit harder. I’m not sure why this pattern is called Easy when there’s so many pieces and design lines to stay on top of.

almond rock liberty lawn butterick 5902

I made two toiles. The first in a straight size 12 – Let’s just say it wasn’t great. I then graded everything in the upper torso down to a 6 and blended out to around a 14 in the ribs and waist (because I used the pattern in the lower size range it stopped at 12). I also reduced the gathering on the bust by about 4cm by using the markings for size 6. Finally I lowered the bodice 1cm.

almond rock liberty lawn butterick 5902

Phew! All easy from here on? Not completely. First up I needed a nice sharp needle so not to snag this lovely Liberty lawn. This dress needs you to pay attention if you want you lines to match up. I marked all my seam allowances and pivot points clearly. I also unpicked if things weren’t quite aligned or weren’t sitting right. Here’s a close up of the centre front intersecting seams.

almond rock liberty lawn butterick 5902

Tana Lawn fabric is great to work with because it’s stable enough to manipulate and won’t shift as you’re cutting out but has flattering drape in the finished garment. Plus it feels amazing to wear due to the high thread count.

If you’re scared of using Liberty because of the cost, treat yourself to some past season prints which are generally reduced to more agreeable prices for nervous dispositions. This print comes in several colourways and at £12.99 is a definite bargain in my eyes. My decision to use this print was heavily influenced by spying Little Tailoress’ version of this dress using the navy and raspberry colourway. Or how about some of Minerva’s other lawns, like this pretty print which I saw made up as a Sew Over It Vintage Shirtdress recently.

almond rock liberty lawn butterick 5902

So there we go! I have a lovely new vintage dress in a beautiful fabric. Now I just need an afternoon tea…

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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.

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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

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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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