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!

Continue Reading

The John Lewis Sewing Bee – with Lisa Comfort

What a happy thing to be writing about.

John Lewis 150 years #150

As I mentioned in my previous post, this past Saturday I was very happy to help celebrate 150 years of John Lewis with Lisa Comfort and some awesome sewing bloggers.

John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

Left to right: Freia (who assisted Lisa during the day), Lisa, Fiona, Elena, Clare, Charlie, Roisin, Me and Emmie.

We held our very own sewing bee in the Haberdashery floor of the Oxford Street premises. We cooed over the fabric, patterns and supplies and stitched up a storm  with the lovely Lisa, our celebrity host and founder of the Sew Over It sewing cafe and shop. There was lots of cackling and pink cheeks amongst the spoolettes as we gossiped over our work.

The photos are the wonderful work of our photographer Brian Doherty Photography, Kim and Holly from John Lewis and the lovely Charlie (who managed to find time to sew and snap pics!).

John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rockJohn Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rockJohn Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rockJohn Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rockJohn Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

One of the cool things JL have done to mark their anniversary is to launch a line of heritage print fabric by bringing back special edition archive prints and putting a modern twist on them by rescaling the prints and using the 150 years colour palette.

John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

 For instance the colourful brick print was originally a 1950s John Lewis dress fabric.

I went with white, yellow and turquoise floral print called “Daisy Chain” and an AKO for Vogue pattern V1102, a backless dress with a bow. It’s finished and photographed now so expect a post about the dress VERY SOON!

John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

Charlie took this lovely photo of me. I’m so focused!

Amazingly we all managed to choose different fabrics. And I’m pattern twinsies with Charlie, who also went for the Vogue pattern.

Everyone was so lovely to us during the day, making sure we had everything we needed. Each blogger had an amazing prym toolbox chocca full of notions and gadgets. The shears cut like BUTTER!

John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

 

We took the group photo on the new rooftop garden. It was pretty amazing up there and JL have planned some swanky parties to make use of it. Very jealous!

John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

Look at Roisin’s pretty dress. “Winner Winner, Quorn family roast dinner”.

John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

I might even have to buy myself a few metres of some of the other stunning fabrics on offer during this 150 year celebration. Possibly to recreate this little beauty!

John Lewis 150 years #JL150 almond rock

So all in all an EPIC day. I came home exhausted and hoarse and thoroughly happy. I’m so so grateful to have been included on such an amazing event.

More on my finished dress soon!

Continue Reading