• Dresses

    Feeling fruity New Look 6587

    Oh lemon print fabric how I love you. This is my third dress made from lemon fabric. The second made into New Look 6587 my delightfully ’90s pattern.

    new look 6587, new look patterns, when life gives you lemons, dolce and gabbana, 1950s style, vintage style, vintage sewing, retro sewing, NL6587, simplicity by me, retro style, retro sewing, cotton sateen, dressmaking, sewing

    My pretty sateen is from B&M fabrics in Leeds last year but you can also get it here and the buttons are ebay. They’re so pretty I added two big patch pockets with buttons on them as well.

    new look 6587, new look patterns, when life gives you lemons, dolce and gabbana, 1950s style, vintage style, vintage sewing, retro sewing, NL6587, simplicity by me, retro style, retro sewing, cotton sateen, dressmaking, sewing

    I made view E without the trim in a straight size 12. The skirt is barely gathered which I find quite flattering and works well in this style of fabric. I also added 2″ inch to the length for midi coverage. A tie belt cinches the dress perfectly.

    new look 6587, new look patterns, when life gives you lemons, dolce and gabbana, 1950s style, vintage style, vintage sewing, retro sewing, NL6587, simplicity by me, retro style, retro sewing, cotton sateen, dressmaking, sewing

    There’s something magic about this dress, it instantly lifts my mood everytime I put it on. Oh and course I had to break out my lemon earrings for these photos! They are the best pair I’ve bought in a long time (thank you H&M).

    new look 6587, new look patterns, when life gives you lemons, dolce and gabbana, 1950s style, vintage style, vintage sewing, retro sewing, NL6587, simplicity by me, retro style, retro sewing, cotton sateen, dressmaking, sewing

    I think because its not tight but has enough shape and structure I don’t feel like I’m wearing a sack. I can eat as much as I like without feeling uncomfortable and it fits me regardless of my fluctuating weight.

    What else to add? Well I have two more lemon prints in my stash but I do like the look of Primevera by Rifle Paper Co! Trying to sew my stash first though. There’s a burning desire to shop while cooped up but I have been trying to resist adding to my heaving sewing room. I’ve only bought a couple of patterns and some buttons so far.

    My productivity is having random little spikes of activity during this situation. I photographed three dresses today and whipped up a few garments over Easter. But then I also sit for hours uninspired and exhausted! I imagine that is the same for a lot of sewists. I’d love to hear how you’re coping.

  • Dresses

    Happy hula girls Flora dress By Hand London

    Hopefully the name of this post has you intrigued! I have a a fun new dress to share in the most awesome print fabric you’ll see today!!

    Spoonflowerbritishbloghop flora dress almond rock by hand london

    I am super excited to pair up with Spoonflower for their British Blog Hop. I’m in fab company as well:

    Spoonflowerbritishbloghop flora dress almond rock by hand london

    Blog Tour Schedule
    Saturday, May 27 | Kate | The Fold Line

    Monday, May 29 | Sarah | A Million Dresses

    Tuesday, May 30 | Manu | Sew Manju

    Wednesday, May 31 | Amy | Almond Rock
    Thursday, June 1 | Rachel | House of Pinheiro

    Friday, June 2 | Marie | A Stitching Odyssey

    Monday, June 5 | Zoe | Sozoblog

    Tuesday, June 6 | Kerry| Kestrelmakes

    Wow I’ve actually shopped, ate cake, danced and gossiped with everyone on this list. And their blogs are really inspiring and diverse in aesthetic. It’s the best possible virtual party!

    So have you ever tried Spoonflower? First set up in the US, they’ve expanded into Europe about a year and a half ago. Having operations in Berlin is a real benefit for all of us here in the UK because with a much closer factory than the US you get a faster turn-around on orders, and you know exactly what you’re paying because it’s all nicely there in GBP at the checkout with VAT included! That last point is pretty important to me as I’m TERRIBLE at maths.

    Spoonflowerbritishbloghop flora dress almond rock by hand london

    This was a really fun chance for me to get a print from one of my favourite designers…Taisya Kordiukova aka Tasiania. I know, I know, I could have designed something unique but having loved Tasiania’s mid-century modern inspired scenes of life for a long time I couldn’t resist choosing this hula girls design.

    Spoonflowerbritishbloghop flora dress almond rock by hand london

    Brief disclaimer: Please excuse the pictures. They were taken on the HOTTEST day the studio had so far this year so I’m a little pink in the face heehee.

    My dress is the Flora from By Hand London. It’s view 2 but with a gathered skirt so my hula ladies wouldn’t be placed sideways on the circle skirt. On all my versions of this dress I have adjusted the bodice to be single darted. This was done through a Small Bust Adjustment where I rotated the fullness into the waist. I don’t need a lot of room and one dart covers it! Finally as an act of insanity I made the tiniest rouleaux straps I could manage. They were excruciating to turn through. I didn’t have any cord or string thin enough to sew into the top when I tried the same with an overlocker chain it got caught in the side seam. In the end it was my loop turner that had to take on the task.

    Spoonflowerbritishbloghop flora dress almond rock by hand london

    Construction was a breeze. The fabric washed really well with no colour fading and it kept it’s gorgeous sheen. I have actually washed the dress three times after an unfortunate curry incident this weekend and it’s holding up amazingly well (the curry stain is almost out too). There’s a nice stretch recovery and the fabric is thick enough not to show the darts and seam allowance through which I was worried about. I lined the bodice in mint sateen suiting from Minerva Crafts, and the skirt in peach anti-static lining. Then I added a nice deep single-fold hem and a lapped zipper. It looks a little misaligned in this photo for some reason.

    Spoonflowerbritishbloghop flora dress almond rock by hand london

    I already owned a swatch pack and colour printing guide which I highly recommend before buying as the descriptions are not enough to know what the handle of your fabric will be. From the fabric pack my recommendations for dressmaking are definitely the Kona cotton, crepe de chine and sateen ultra. My cotton sateen was £25.30 a yard which is 53″ wide, plenty for a nice full skirted dress WITH POCKETS. Top tip, it would be a lot easier if you picked a multi-directional print rather than a one-way design as I did.

    Spoonflowerbritishbloghop flora dress almond rock by hand london

    Ooh pockets I love you.

    In my book £25 per metre is worth it for the Spoonflower sateen if you’re getting a custom printed design. Although this fabric was provided free in exchange for a review, it’s a high quality fabric that I would definitely order again. No one is saying you need to be a technical whizzkid to make your own prints; Spoonflower have an awesome book that guides you through the whole process in fact and there’s a lot of info on the blog. If you’re still unsure, check out the epic print gallery for a pre-made design.

    I hope you liked my dress and continue to follow the blog hop as it continues! Keep an eye on the hashtag #Spoonflowerbritishbloghop on IG and Twitter for more inspiration and if you have any questions about the quality, print or order process please let me know.

  • Dresses

    Fantastic Flora

    Sorry it’s been a while but I’m back with a cheeky festive party dress.

    This is my last Minerva Blogger make of the year and I’ll be taking a break for a while so I can focus on sewing from my ever growing stash!

    image

    This is the Flora dress from By Hand London. I’m really pleased Minerva have started stocking BHL patterns.

    I wanted to take on the Flora dress but make it my own, so I decided it needed scallops!

    My indecision over the pattern was over the high-lo hem. I’m really not sure that trend and I will ever be friends.

    image

    But when I saw this wine coloured stretch cotton fabric I had an instant idea for some scalloped goodness.

    It’s pretty much like cotton sateen but with a duller shine. It feels and looks richer than its price tag but gosh does it attract fluff.

    image

    So I made a few adjustments to the pattern, I rotated out the front bust darts into the waist and in the end I decided a gathered skirt would be easier to scallop rather than the circle skirt.

    image

    I used the adjustable scallop stitch on my machine along with lots and lots of measuring to achieve the right number along the bodice front and back, plus I self-lined the bodice and used a hem facing to make the scallops as clean as possible.

    image

    The dress was worn to my work Christmas party with matching satin shoes, gold jewellry and big curly hair. It went down a treat!

    The perfect party dress.

    image

  • Other stuff

    Minerva Crafts Meet Up – Dress Reveal

    Hello hello!

    It’s time for the full reveal of my Minerva meet up dress. Let’s quickly recap, I had chosen a beautiful cotton sateen and had to make a lovely party dress for an evening of fun and frolics. Here it is!

    almond rock mccalls 6833

    Everyone was dressed to the nines which was great. I loved my dress; I can attest to how fun it was to dance in.

    This is McCalls 6833 (the strappy version with a gorgeous pleated skirt). Because I used red crepe-like satin as my lining the dress felt especially nice to wear. It didn’t take much convincing to get me back into the dress for additional photos!

    almond rock mccalls 6833

    almond rock mccalls 6833

    And how about some photos of the day? Words fail me to convey how busy, bubbly and fun this day was. I hope the photos show this!

    almond rock minerva meet up almond rock minerva meet up almond rock minerva meet up almond rock minerva meet up almond rock minerva meet up almond rock minerva meet up almond rock minerva meet up almond rock minerva meet up almond rock minerva meet up almond rock minerva meet up almond rock minerva meet up

    See more photos here!

    Thank you Vicki and all the Minerva Crafts team for such a brilliant day! I hope you had as much fun as I did!

  • Other stuff

    Shopping list as long as my arm

    As I think you’ll be well aware, for the MC blogger team’s June garments we are all making fancy frocks in celebration of the Minerva Crafts Meet-Up event Saturday 14th aka TOMORROW!! We’re going to have a little blogger celebration after the day for the awesome awards the Network has won.

    almond rock Minerva Crafts Meet up reveal

    There’s a whole day of fun that’s open for everyone remember. I really hope to see as many of my readers as possible there! You can watch me burn through my paycheck.

    As we aren’t revealing our finished dresses before the event, you are just getting a teaser today. I hope you like what you see!

    Clue no.1

    I’ve made a dress I made recently. I didn’t say at the time but it was totally a “wearable muslin” for this party dress. It’s not exactly the same as the pattern includes variations that I’m taking advantage of.

    almond rock Minerva Crafts Meet up reveal

    Clue no.2

    I’m using a fabric used by a fellow blogger and friend at the end of last year. Do you recognise it? It is beautiful cotton sateen in reds, greys and pinks. I’m pairing it with a luscious crepe-like satin (I mean seriously luscious, I could have made my whole dress out of this stuff).

    Intriguing I hope? Because I was in the mood to make an effort I added a few extra touches to make my dress extra special.

    Including a handpicked hem to make it as invisible as possible (everyone who knows me, knows handsewing is a rare thing in these parts). I used hem tape in a coordinating colour to do this and then neatly picked through to the front periodically. Can you see my stitching!?

    almond rock Minerva Crafts Meet up reveal

    I also added support to the waist by stitching thin ribbon in the seam allowance, almost like a waist stay. This will stop the sateen from stretching out.

    almond rock Minerva Crafts Meet up reveal

    Finally I’m adding sew in boning to the sides of the bodice for support.

    Right! That’s all I’m telling you. You’ll have to look out for the big reveal across social media and the blogs over the course of the weekend! 

    Look forward to seeing many of you Saturday.

    I’ll be the one loud and proud in my red stripey sundress!

    almond rock stripey sundress minerva crafts