• Dresses

    Dreaming of a white Christmas

    Well hello. It’s been a while since I posted! For those of you who follow me on Instagram you’ll have had an insight into why life is a little crazy right now.

    After nearly 5 wonderful years, I will be stepping down as Love Sewing magazine Editor in January. I’ve collaborated and worked with many incredible people, I’ve learnt so much and achieved things I’ll cherish even when I’m a little old lady.

    With 13 years in the publishing industry it’s always hard giving up a title you love, but it is time for a fresh start and new challenges… but I’m still going to be here sewing furiously you won’t have to miss me!

    Ok!! So it’s December and I’m so happy to be sharing a Christmas make. I love the festive season. There are parties and great food and a sense of excitement in the air. I make so many social plans and then binge watch seasonal movies… soon I’ve run out of any sewing time. I know there are worst problems to have!

    It’s funny because we plan and photograph our festive issues of Love Sewing during the summer so I sort of have two Christmases! We’re wrestling trees and baubles around in the hot weather and planning party dresses months before party season. It can drive people a little crazy. But back to my latest dress… you might have seen it already on the Minerva Blogger Network but I thought it deserved a closer look here.

    Almond rock sewing dress ballet knit jersey sequin Minerva crafts vogue 9000

    This dress is going to be a great staple this year as it’s that magical combination of toasty and fancy. AND SPARKLY!

    Almond rock sewing dress ballet knit jersey sequin Minerva crafts vogue 9000

    It’s the fabric that makes it so wonderful with subtle silver metallic threads and white sequins woven into the jersey. There is a great texture to the fabric too that makes it feel like a sweater knit you’d find in ready to wear clothes. I wish I had more of it for a jumper.

    Almond rock sewing dress ballet knit jersey sequin Minerva crafts vogue 9000

    I used a mixture of the Dixie DIY ballet dress bodice with Vogue 9000’s skirt which I cut on the fold and adjusted at the side seams to fit the bodice. The sleeves fit so well, I love the scoop neckline and you can’t beat a swishy skirt. I made a slim waist belt in the same fabric but also like it with my black patent belt. I should have made thread belt loops to help stop the belt sliding down! Still time to add those now it’s done.

    Almond rock sewing dress ballet knit jersey sequin Minerva crafts vogue 9000

    The fabric cuts and sews very easy as the sequins aren’t too densely spread over the fabric. I used a rotary cutter and mat then finished everything on an overlocker. The hems are just turned under and zigzag topstitched. I used a universal needle and narrow zigzag for all the construction. Easy peasy!

    Almond rock sewing dress ballet knit jersey sequin Minerva crafts vogue 9000

    When using a woven pattern with a knit fabric you might want to size down to compensate for the stretch but I don’t mind the skirt a little loose as it leaves room for dinner.

    My finished dress is a little sheer but as you can see with a slip underneath I have perfect coverage. The glittery fabric gave me a good excuse to break out my wedding jewellery again. I feel so sparkly and merry!!

    Almond rock sewing dress ballet knit jersey sequin Minerva crafts vogue 9000

    Merry Christmas, happy festive season and a wonderful winter to everyone!

  • Dresses

    Liberty Ballet Dress

    And I’m back!!

    almond rock liberty jersey ballet dress dixie diy

    In a short summary, I was locked out of my blog over Christmas (I hate you Go Daddy) and then have been really really struggling to get photos of my finished makes during this horrible winter. But now I’m breaking through this by getting something shot and up on the blog, even if the photos are quite as I’d like.

    almond rock liberty jersey ballet dress dixie diy

    This is a Dixie DIY ballet dress. It was a fantastically quick and easy make which is perfect for my hectic schedule at the minute.

    The fabric is a Liberty jersey from Abakhan Fabrics that I picked up online. As always the quality of Liberty fabrics was exceptional. It’s a little spongy, medium-weight and with lovely vivid colours.

    almond rock liberty jersey ballet dress dixie diy

    I top-stitched all the hems with my twin needle and used my overlocker to construct everything. The whole dress took maybe two hours in total.

    So there we go. The silence is broken! I’ll be back again soon with something new.

    almond rock dixie diy ballet dress liberty jersey

  • Dresses

    Scuba-dooby-do

    Hello again
    My blog posting might be erratic lately but I’m enjoying sharing all my backlog of makes. Feels like I’m airing them out on the washing line.

    almond rock scuba skater dress

    So today I’ve got proof that I jumped on the scuba-wagon. I have no idea what a scuba-wagon might look like but now I’m thinking of scuba dragons so that’s fun.

    IMG_20150607_145741

    I picked up this gorgeous rose embossed scuba on a Walthamstow trip with Katie. (She bought this lush marbled print scuba). It was £6 a metre which I thought was reasonable given its prettiness and weight. Plus it was nice and wide so I got 1.5 metres.

    almond rock scuba skater dress

    So in classic form this is the dixie diy dress bodice. I opted for long sleeves like my horse dress and a circle skirt like my Jungle January dress.

    Here’s a pro tip… If you want to topstitch embossed scuba with a twin need;e you’re probably going to have to leave perfectionism at the door. No matter how slowly you go, both needles wants to bobble off course into one of the grooves of the pattern. The scary bit is if the two needles want to go separate directions!

    almond rock scuba skater dress

    I think it looks okay though so I’m not worrying about it. The rose design makes me swoon and the scuba gives the dress a more formal structure which I really like.

    It is REALLY warm inside here though,

    almond rock scuba skater dress

    Maybe it’s time for some science?  Are you sitting at home thinking what the flip is the difference between scuba and neoprene?

    • Scuba is a type of double knit made from polyester and spandex, with a very fine gauge thread, and smooth texture. It’s what you’ll have seen clothes in magazines and the high street made of, and it’s extremely likely that if you’ve bought “neoprene” from the fabric shop you’ve actually bought scuba.
    • Neoprene is a synthetic rubber and fabric hybrid which is more durable, more flexible and a better insulator, hence being primarily used for wetsuits. Essentially it’s a thin knit fabric sealed onto spongy foamed neoprene.

    I feel happy to say this confidently because I have friends in the adventure sports industry who have discussed this with me as we’ve talked about their kits and the variations of “quality” neoprene.

    But if you have heard differently please let us know.

    almond rock scuba skater dressSo there you have it! Scuba-licious.

  • Dresses

    I’ve never seen an animal that looks like that!

    Ahoy there! Happy Jungle January

    almond rock jungle january jersey dress

    *Disclaimer*

    I’m not sure this qualifies for Jungle January because I’ve seriously never seen an animal that looks like that.

    almond rock jungle january jersey dress

    I got this jersey fabric from the Regency Rags ebay store, but it did have a tag of “animal print” on it.

    I love RR. I’ve bought loads from them since Sarah got me onto them so expect to see their name a bit more going forward. They have so much lush viscose and crepe plus great printed jersey!

    The dress is another dixie diy ballet dress (yes sorry I’ll stop soon) with a circle skirt added (cos circle skirts are dah bomb and aint too bad to hem in knit).

    almond rock jungle january jersey dress

    Add a couple of midi-sleeves and easy peasy it’s a new dress!

    If you can name the animal that this looks like you’ll impress me massively.

    I wore the dress to my Dad’s 60th birthday party. This was actually the party two of three because my Dad is like a party king. When I get to 60 I might follow his lead and have a month of parties too.

    almond rock jungle january jersey dressI went over on Friday to help set up but my parents had already done a lot of work. I helped make enough sandwiches to feed an army.

    Mum made an epic spread: four types of sandwiches, choux filled with salmon and mackerel mousse, prawns on toast, Victoria sponges with strawberry cream, chocolate ganache cakes, chocolate chip brownies, fruit cake with cheese, crisps, lemon syllabub, plus I brought fruit scones and a family friend made a carrot cake.

    almond rock jungle january jersey dress

    almond rock jungle january jersey dress

    almond rock jungle january jersey dress

    Add to that 12 bottles of bubbly and about 50 house guests and we were in business!

    I’ve got to show you the Birthday cake as well. I might have mentioned my Mum makes cakes for a living.

    Here are my dad’s four favourite things in one photo: 1) Golf, 2) Fishing, 3) Hull Tigers football club and 4) CAKE.

    almond rock jungle january jersey dress

    It really was a brilliant day. My Dad was so sweet to wear the shirt I made him to the party. And I got to catch up with lots of people!

    My Dad’s actual birthday is this week so hopefully he’ll like the present I got him. No handmade shirt this time.

    I’ll be back soon with my finished Sew Over It pussy bow blouse!

  • Dresses

    Black and White and Red All Over

    Penguin biscuit jokes are the best.

    Quick post here today. I’ve got a pretty simple make to share but it’s definitely easy to wear.almond rock dixie diy ballet dress black and white

    This is another Dixie Diy ballet dress. After my horse print version I knew I’d be making a few more as they’re great with tights and cardigans for work.

    almond rock dixie diy ballet dress black and white

    The black and white print jersey is from the rag market in Birmingham. It was £1 a metre and I still only used two metres for the print matching along the seams.

    I cut out and overlocked the whole thing in under two hours.

    almond rock dixie diy ballet dress black and white

    I wish I’d used a straight skirt instead of the rounded one from the pattern so the dress would have a clean straight hem. Oh well. I’m not losing any sleep over that!

    My mum says she thinks the dress is a little Christmassy. I suppose those geometric shapes look a bit like snowflakes.

    almond rock dixie diy ballet dress black and white

    Right then! That’s enough from me.

    I’ll leave you be and let you enjoy the rest of your weekend.