• Dresses

    Safe As Houses


    Fun times over here! I’m super happy* with my new dress and ready to share.

    almond rock cath kidston houses s2444 sureau

    Basically this is a dress you’ve seen a billion times before from me. I’ve paired the Simplicity 2444 bodice with the skirt from the Sureau (a dress that I still can’t get to fit nicely).

    This cracking cotton duck fabric is from Cath Kidston. All out of stock now I’m afraid! The dress is also fully lined with navy silk habotai. I put in a centred zip for a change too. Plus I hemmed using a stiff bias tape to make the skirt flare at the bottom and keep the bell shape.

    almond rock cath kidston houses s2444 sureau

    It’s my new favourite dress because it fits wonderfully, the silk lining feels lush and the print makes me smile. Isn’t that everything you want from sewing your own clothes?

    Because this is such a TNT for me, I felt safe to splurge on the fabrics.

    And I finished the dress last week but the CONSTANT rain refused to let me wear it until the day of these photos! We had sunshine all day, and even though it was still 6°C it feels great to take photos outdoors again.

    almond rock cath kidston houses s2444 sureau

    The fabric was sort of a present from my Auntie Lynda, Uncle Paul and Cousin Poppy. I received a Cath Kidston gift card for my Birthday and I used it on some pretty bedding and 1.5 metres of this fabric.

    I have to thank Char for letting me feel her dress out of the same fabric at the SewBrum meet up. I wanted to see what the fabric weight was like before I ordered it online, as it wasn’t in stock at my local CK. It’s about the same weight as my Little French Dress so I knew it would sew up great as a S444.

    almond rock cath kidston houses s2444 sureau

    It was such a quick make seeing as how many times I’ve made this dress before. I nearly finished it within a day. Bonus part — because the fabric is so wide, I only needed a metre of fabric so I have spare!

    I’m also very excited that Poppy is learning to sew! She’s had an amazing chance to design and sew a dress with the help of two tutors and has just received her first machine to use at home. I’m both terrified and excited for her! It makes her seem even more grown up!

    I’m trying to think of good patterns she can work on at home. Please send me suggestions for trendy (but straightforward) tween patterns!! Or are there patterns for American Girl dolls?

    almond rock cath kidston houses s2444 sureau

    *Apparently I scrunch my face up when it’s a bit cold. I promise I’m seriously happy!

  • Other stuff

    The Jackson Pollock splodge dress

    I just finished a pretty little number.


    The fabric is a Liberty tana lawn called “Melly”. You might recognise it from Elise’s tulip sleeved peplum blouse.

    It’s a bit of a sad little tale really. I wanted so desperately to pair this lovely fabric with some black shiny buttons and decided the Deer and Doe Sureau would work excellently. I was also going to add black contract bands of ribbon to the skirt and sleeve hems.

    But in my eagerness to press ahead I didn’t realise that the waist measurements I’d used to grade my pattern weren’t quite right. Curse you, biscuits! I ended up with about 5/8 ” of a gap where the side seam wouldn’t meet (*shakes head in horror*) and there was not enough seam allowance to let it out.

    I had a good half metre of the Melly cotton left so I thought I might be able to squeeze something out of that but the Sureau pattern pieces were just too big. Instead I turned to my trusty Simplicity 2444.


    The pattern pieces fortunately fit on the remaining fabric and I cut cap sleeves out of the Sureau full sleeves, that had been rendered useless. I kept the Sureau skirt which is a bit slimmer cut when you compare to my previous 2444s.


    I love how from a distance this fabric looks so delicate, almost floral but up close the paint splatter effect is brilliant. I feel like a walking Jackson Pollock painting.

    The sleeves made this version feel quite different to my other Simplicity 2444 dresses (I’m pretty sure this will be my last for a while now though). But as I’m sure you’ve noticed I took them off. They were a teeny bit too tight for all the dancing I was planning!

    2013-11-17 11.31.19

    Only the skirt is lined this time, in a bright blue polyester and I inserted a side zip to give myself a new challenge. This may be my best “centred” zip insertion to date; I think this is due to me marking out in air-erasable pen where to sew rather than following the grain of the zipper alone.


    Do you think the dress lacks a bit of punch? It made me feel sad that I ended up having to make a different dress to the one I had in my head but overall I’m happy.

    I wore the dress to my friend’s wedding at Chevin Country Park near Otley, paired with red satin ballet flats, a fabulously gaudy silver necklace that forms a big knot, a matching silver handbag and since it is November, a black wool cardigan. Plus curls, because y’know they’re muchos fun! I think I possibly should have also worn a belt to supply some contrast. I made a black bow belt but it came out looking too twee and didn’t have a bought belt that fit the bill.


    So there you go! My last Simplicity 2444 for a while. I should probably hide the pattern from myself right?