Gathering Supplies

Over the last couple of months I’ve slowly been gathering supplies for a new jacket.

Since making my Anise I sort of laughably said I’d never make another coat or jacket. Well that didn’t last long.

I started in October by whittling my pattern choices down to three favourites. Burda Pattern 7115, Burda Download 9 2014 #120, and a Vintage McCall’s 8420.


You can see I was interested in a notched collar and a pea coat shape. I did want something a bit longer than a jacket but not quite a coat.

I came pretty close to drafting something myself but then I settled on the Burda and will adjust as needed (pattern on offer here).

While shopping at Samuel Taylors in Leeds I saw a beautiful pale aqua wool coating but couldn’t shake the idea of a darker teal colour.

And at SewBrum Barry’s came to the rescue with a lovely textured green coating half way between teal and emerald. And I already had coordinating thread in my stash yippee!


During a fortunate spot of eBay surfing last month I found a seller offering this gorgeous high heel print silk satin and snapped it up for the lining.

It’s a soft grey colour with some shoes in outline only and others coloured in pink, green, yellow.

Now I need fusible underlining and interfacing, and coordinating buttons.

Sadly with all the Christmas sewing I’ve got on my plate I’m not sure when I’ll be able to make a toile but I hope it’ll be soon. I’d like to get back to selfish sewing haha.

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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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Spot on

You won’t believe how long I’ve been waiting for August 2014.

almond rock new look 6886 viscose

It’s a month of two major events – first, it’s my 30th birthday. (Today in fact) Huzzah! And second, I’m moving to my new home and getting a sewing room.

I am VERY excited. I hope you can sense a bottled up giddiness in my photos; take a look and see if you can catch the twinkle in my eye.

So for my August Minerva make I wanted to make a strappy sundress; I mean can you blame me given the weather we were having?

almond rock new look 6886 viscose

I used an amazing spot viscose from Minerva that I can honestly say is like my absolute ideal fabric –

  • the print is small but noticeable;
  • it has brilliant drape;
  • it’s cool and soft to the touch; and
  • there are so many good colours in their I can wear a wild variety of coordinating clothes and accessories.

I’ve even used this fabric before on a dress, that’s how much I love it. I have TWO dresses in my wardrobe in it now.

almond rock new look 6886 viscose

The dress pattern used is New Look 6886 which is a great staple sundress pattern with several cute variations. I was very tempted to use gathers around the bust but in the end went plain and simple with view D.

The bodice is self-lined, and I inserted a lapped zipper (as I’m done with my invisible zipper obsession now) plus as an interesting touch I used a slider set to make the straps adjustable.

almond rock new look 6886 viscose

This is something I’ve always loved about ready to wear clothes because I have one shoulder lower than the other and even though I try so hard, fitting straps on myself isn’t 100% fool-proof. These nifty sliders are cheap to buy and come in packs of 10, in black/white/transparent.

Doing this will mean a couple of changes from the pattern pieces and a little extra effort – first you’ll extend your strap piece to  cut a much longer strap, then you’ll make a very short strap about 3 – 4 inches long. You should bring out a bra to sit next to you as you sew to compare how the straps feed through the loops.

I absolutely adore this finished dress and feel wonderful in it. It’s been worn every week since I finished it.

almond rock new look 6886 viscose

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