Sweet Dreams of Paris

I’ve mentioned a few times my longing to go to Paris.

In fact I’ve only been to France once, aged 15 for a kayaking holiday which wasn’t exactly a cultural delight. It was mostly shrieking teenagers and French men in speedos.

It has to happen one day. Right?

almond rock atelier brunette Eiffel Tower vogue 1102

But until then I can settle for bulk ordering fabric from Anna Ka Bazaar.

I ordered this beautiful Atelier Brunette Eiffel Tower print along with some geometric polyester earlier this year.

Postage was a smidge higher than I would like but I talked myself into it. You also get a 10% discount code by joining the newsletter. It arrived a lot quicker than the estimated time.

almond rock atelier brunette Eiffel Tower vogue 1102

Even though the weather isnt cooperating I decided to dig out the Vogue 1102 pattern from the John Lewis sewing bee day. It was such a wonderful surprise when the bodice almost fit me out the envelope (that never happens to me) and I much prefer single waist darts over bust and waist darts when you have a printed fabric. I’ve paired it with a gathered skirt instead of a circle this time.

I altered the back bodice and made a new facing using the Simple Sew Ruby dress back pieces as a guide and thankfully it worked first time without any gaping. There are some small diagonal drag lines but I didn’t get those on my muslin so what’s a girl to do!?

almond rock atelier brunette Eiffel Tower vogue 1102

Unlike my JL daisy chain dress I used the facings AND I lined the whole thing. The idea came from Marrie B actually. And it meant I got to use a ludicrous teal viscose lining without risking unwanted peeking.

(Gotta brag, that viscose was an absolute steal. Samuel Taylors had a remnant bin half price sale. 1.5m for £3 down to £1.50. Yeehaw! I have loads more to share from that sale.)

almond rock atelier brunette Eiffel Tower vogue 1102

I’m not sure it’s a very flattering colour on me but I dont really care since the print is fun. Since taking these photos I’ve been wearing the dress with a belt which looks better. It’s had a fair few outings and know it will be regularly worn next year!

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Snuggly Sweatshirt

Winter is coming!!

And I’m not happy about it. But at least I’ve got a snuggly sweatshirt to keep warm with.

almond rock captial chic white russian minerva sweatshirt

This is the White Russian by Capital Chic Patterns. As soon as I saw this pattern my eyes popped out. I knew I’d be making it when the weather turned.

almond rock captial chic white russian minerva sweatshirt

I used this amazing flecked sweatshirt fabric from Minerva Crafts — seen previously by Rach here and Katie here. It’s sold out in black but also comes in burgundy. Yummy.

Buying ribbed fabric by the length is so much easier; it’s not as thick as packaged ribbing but I like it that way.

almond rock captial chic white russian minerva sweatshirt

You’ll notice I shortened the height of the cuffs, neckband and hems. I prefer them being thinner and less obvious. I did this by eyeballing what looked better to me.

I used half a metre of the ribbing and it was just enough to cut the bands to the size 12 pattern pieces. If you wanted to cut a bigger pattern size you’ll need more of this but it’s pretty bargainous.

almond rock captial chic white russian minerva sweatshirt

I sewed this up using the overlock stitch on my sewing machine as my overlocker is poorly. It uses one needle and stitches a clever little seam about 5mm wide made up of two stitch types on top of each other. It’s quite a slow stitch basically. But even with that, this took only three hours to make!

almond rock captial chic white russian minerva sweatshirt

So there you have it. Snuggly and quick to sew, what more could you ask for!?

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The Giddy Up Dress

Yeeehaw! I’m back with another finished make.

It’s not as all singing and dancing as the last dress but please don’t hold that against me.

almond rock horses ballet dress dixie diy

This is actually a dress I made last year but for some reason never got round to blogging about it!

The pattern is the Dixie DIY Ballet Dress. Super simple and easy to sew knit-dress. It has three-quarter length sleeves, scoop neck and semi-circle skirt. Available as a PDF for instant download (cue lots of printing, cutting and gluing).

almond rock horses ballet dress dixie diy

Hmmmm you might say, this pattern looks mightily similar to the Kitschycoo Lady Skater pattern. Well I thought that too. Didn’t seem to be that much in it so I pretty much just took a gamble on the Dixie version.

almond rock horses ballet dress dixie diy

I used this brilliant jersey knit with horse print that I bought when I saw a fellow blogger’s (sadly she’s stopped blogging) day-to-night dress. It’s from the incomparable Fabricland. If you haven’t looked at that site, brave yourself before you click through. WOOOEEEEE!

almond rock horses ballet dress dixie diyHere are a few more details: I constructed this on my Toyota machine using a zigzag stitch and finished the seams on my old babylock (told you it was made a while ago). I then turned all my hems under and stitched to finish them.

I like wearing it with a belt so you can’t see all the misshapen half horses at the waist seam. The waist is just a little high on me but I am pretty short-waisted so wonder how it might sit on regular people.

almond rock horses ballet dress dixie diy

 I wasn’t keen on the shape of this dress for a long time but it’s just so bloody comfy and warm to wear. I’m sure I’ll be making another one soon!

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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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