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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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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