Put a cat on it… put a bow on that cat while you’re at it

almond rock cat print vintage shirtdress sew over it

I’m still getting used to what might be a ‘typical’ day! Since taking the job of editor of Love Sewing Magazine a few months ago, my life’s been pretty hectic. It generally starts off the same though – either my alarm buzzes at 06:30 or my cat slaps me in the face with her paw demanding breakfast. I have a massive cup of tea and pick out one of my handmade dresses to wear. Then I’m off on my way to the train station, it takes me two hours to get to Stockport in Manchester, where the Love Sewing offices are based. I get home around 7.30pm and once I’ve had dinner I have a brief window for sewing time. If I’m desperate to get my teeth into sewing something I have to save it for the weekend.

almond rock cat print vintage shirtdress sew over it

This fabric demanded to be a shirt dress. And I became pretty obsessed with having a yellow/mustard collar in the same shade as the bow on the cat’s tail. I searched all of Leeds and Birmingham for coordinating fabric but no dice. But that absolute sweetheart Marie said she thought she had a piece of double gauze in her stash that was a close match. I sent her off with a little snippet of a cat and she posted back the PERFECT colour gauze that was so soft and lovely I felt terrible cutting into it. I bought some French vintage buttons from Ribbon Circus in Hebden Bridge to pull everything together.

almond rock cat print vintage shirtdress sew over it

I used the Sew Over It Vintage Shirt Dress in a straight size 8 as before but I cut the collar, and two facings out of yellow. This is a really nice trick for a contrast collar. You just have to be quite precise with your understitching – I didn’t want navy showing around my collar seam, and I didn’t want yellow showing around my centre front!

almond rock cat print vintage shirtdress sew over it

I went sleeveless again as you can see. There’s also self made bias binding which you can’t see. Not cutting the facings or collar out of the cat print gave me enough scraps to cut bias strips. I got the dress out of 1.5m of fabric! I’m pretty chuffed with that I have to say. And I didn’t skimp on cutting out pieces on grain. And I added the extra inside button to stop the waistband gaping – thanks go to Emmie for that ingenious addition.

almond rock cat print vintage shirtdress sew over it

The kitty fabric is a polycotton from the Abakhan bargain bins at Manchester. I searched for ages to see if there was more but this was the only piece. Man that place is a treasure trove. I think it was £4 for the piece! The title of this post comes from me watching too much Portlandia recently. Sorry (not sorry).

almond rock cat print vintage shirtdress sew over it

So what more can I say! Sorry to post this so close to the other shirt dress, but I wanted to get it online before the end of the month. I’m going to enter it in the Sew Over It monthly show off competition. I don’t expect to win but it’s a clever comp for people to show how they’ve put their own spin on a pattern. I’ve seen some gorgeous floral shirt dresses and lovely Bettys and so on. I like noseying at what everyone is sewing who don’t have blogs heehee.

almond rock cat print vintage shirtdress sew over it

Until next time, happy sewing everyone!

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28 Comments

    1. Thank you! I wish the hair was permanent but it took a lot of prep and curling time and then immediately washes out sob sob sob. Maybe I just need to bite the bullet and get a perm so I can look as lovely and curly as you every day!

  1. Agree with all the others, you look fab! The dress, the hair, the makeup – beautiful! I think the dress style really suits you. Pretty jealous about your job but NOT a 2 hour commute.. sheesh! Perhaps you can take your sewing machine aboard – laptop styles ;p

  2. What a lovely dress!! That pattern is one of my favourites and I’ve seen many lovely ones but yours is FAB. The mustard collar and buttons is perfection!!! well done!!

  3. I think that style suits you much better than a gathered waist, it looks really grown up and sophisticated. I really want that pattern but I will wait until next spring now, but your version is making me want to buy it right now!. JO

  4. This is so beautiful! Makes me a little sad not to live in Manchester anymore and have access to Abakhan Fabrics. But then, if I hadn’t moved to Bristol I wouldn’t have started sewing! Getting this out of 1.5m of fabric is impressive too!

  5. Your dress is really awesome! There is an betters Abakan store in Bolton as well! I love it as it is bigger than the one in Manchester and they have so much more fabric! and its only 15 min walk form my home or train station! 🙂 can show around if you fancy! LOL

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