• Dresses

    Not another New Look 6587

    I know, I know, I could possibly be stuck in a dress rut… but I don’t care. New Look 6587 is fast becoming one of those dresses that never turns out badly and I can always imagine another one!

    almond rock new look 6587 nl6587 fruit pineapples lemons vintage dressmaking sewing pattern

    As you know I haven’t really been sewing lately but I did want a birthday dress. And what could be better than ANOTHER LEMON DRESS?!? So for year 36 I made another version of my classic 90s pattern New Look 6587.

    almond rock new look 6587 nl6587 fruit pineapples lemons vintage dressmaking sewing pattern

    It’s the perfect dress because it isn’t tight but has enough shape and structure so I don’t feel like I’m wearing a sack. I can eat plenty without feeling uncomfortable and it fits me regardless of my fluctuating weight.

    almond rock new look 6587 nl6587 fruit pineapples lemons vintage dressmaking sewing pattern

    It was a rather fun birthday weekend with an Italian 60s themed murder mystery and illusion spaghetti and meatballs chocolate cake on Friday, and then on Saturday a picnic in my favourite park in Ilkley! I managed to wear the dress on the morning of my birthday but by the time the picnic came around it was a bit too cold so I had to change out of it. But I wore it for a brief moment so it counts as a birthday dress!

    almond rock fabric shopping paris husband

    This delightful fabric was picked up during my visit to Paris earlier this year. There are pineapples, lemons and strawberries on it as well as botanical leaves. It’s a half artistic and half cheesy but I LOVE IT! It’s a medium weight stretch cotton. Almost denim weight! But that makes it so well structured and perfect for this dress. Perhaps a little warm for the heatwave and a little cold for the weird snap in the weather! But who cares it’s cute and I wore it for a nice walk through the local fields to see how the foals were getting on.

    I used navy bias around the neckline as a facing and added more of the plastic buttons from the navy lemons dress… I  still have about 80 of them left. Those patch pockets are the greatest too. Perfect phone and key size for going on walks!

    almond rock new look 6587 nl6587 fruit pineapples lemons vintage dressmaking sewing pattern

  • Dresses

    Coral eyelet Anna dress

    When I visited New York a few years back I knew I wanted to go to the garment district and was lucky enough to go with some fantastic sewists. I met up with Karen, Sonja, Charlotte and Emma Jayne! Plus Peter joined us for a little bit too which was fantastic.

    Almond rock new York mood fabrics cotton eyelet by hand London Anna dress pattern matching

    We headed to Mood Fabrics first. A project runway fave. It’s pretty overwhelming as there’s several floors and bolts are stacked so high you have to either know what you’re after or rummage. Swatch is uber adorable though! You can read more about my NY trip here.

    Almond rock new York mood fabrics cotton eyelet by hand London Anna dress pattern matching

    In a bid to avoid panicking I decided to look for a pretty cotton eyelet as it’s so rare in the UK. The coral that I found was both gorgeous and reasonably priced so I got 2m. Now as is always the case… I should have got more for pattern matching but I made it work. It took 6 months to find the perfect lining then a full year where I painstakingly planned and cut out the dress. Then I put on too much weight to fit into the size I’d cut.

    Almond rock new York mood fabrics cotton eyelet by hand London Anna dress pattern matching

    If I didn’t make enough of a song and dance about it at the time, 2019 was the year I finally visited Paris. And I wanted to finish this dress and take it with me. I had lost a little weight and I let out the seams and just got it to fit. We had quite a nightmare second day where after no sleep the night before we had to move out of our Airbnb so it was so fun wearing this dress to make me feel better on day 3. The weather was fantastic!!

    Almond rock new York mood fabrics cotton eyelet by hand London Anna dress pattern matching

    I picked the By Hand London Anna dress because of the bust pleats that come up from the waist. This eyelet was too bulky for darts and the pleats don’t interrupt the pattern too much. I hand gathered the skirt as it was too bulky to baste stitch and I’m pretty pleased with the results. To do this you pin the seams and CF/CB points, then pin the halfway points between those pins and so on until you’re only hand gathering very small sections of around 2″ and you can keep things even.

     
     
     
     
     
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    A post shared by Amy almondrock (@almondrock_sews) on

    I’m VERY pleased with the pattern matching at the invisible zip. I love pattern matching and try to indulge every so often in a tricky match. Isn’t this video hypnotising!?

    Almond rock new York mood fabrics cotton eyelet by hand London Anna dress pattern matching Here’s a brief guide for this symmetrical fabric which needs to match vertically and horizontally across an invisible zipper:First I pin the left hand side back bodice first with the CB seam allowance on the pattern piece folded under. The folded edge sits straight down the centre of the motifs.

    Almond rock new York mood fabrics cotton eyelet by hand London Anna dress pattern matching

    Then I unfold the seam allowance and cut out the whole piece. See how the motif looks at the centre back below?Almond rock new York mood fabrics cotton eyelet by hand London Anna dress pattern matching sewing

    I then repeat for the right by laying the left cut piece on top of my fabric to find an exact matching location then line up my right hand side back bodice and move the cut left bodice out of the way.Almond rock new York mood fabrics cotton eyelet by hand London Anna dress pattern matching sewing

    I ensure that my folded pattern edge is again straight down the centre before unfolding the seam allowance and cutting out the right hand side bodice.Almond rock new York mood fabrics cotton eyelet by hand London Anna dress pattern matching sewing

    When installing the invisible zip in the centre back it can help to mark the seam allowance in water soluble pencil and baste the zip in place to achieve the perfect match. This method works for centre sewn regular zippers but you need a different method for a lapped zipper. This approach also works for printed fabrics like florals or scene prints.Almond rock new York mood fabrics cotton eyelet by hand London Anna dress pattern matching sewing

    I hope you liked the dress and tutorial. I’m hoping to get some wear out of it this spring and summer somehow!

  • Dresses

    Sweet Dreams of Paris

    I’ve mentioned a few times my longing to go to Paris.

    In fact I’ve only been to France once, aged 15 for a kayaking holiday which wasn’t exactly a cultural delight. It was mostly shrieking teenagers and French men in speedos.

    It has to happen one day. Right?

    almond rock atelier brunette Eiffel Tower vogue 1102

    But until then I can settle for bulk ordering fabric from Anna Ka Bazaar.

    I ordered this beautiful Atelier Brunette Eiffel Tower print along with some geometric polyester earlier this year.

    Postage was a smidge higher than I would like but I talked myself into it. You also get a 10% discount code by joining the newsletter. It arrived a lot quicker than the estimated time.

    almond rock atelier brunette Eiffel Tower vogue 1102

    Even though the weather isnt cooperating I decided to dig out the Vogue 1102 pattern from the John Lewis sewing bee day. It was such a wonderful surprise when the bodice almost fit me out the envelope (that never happens to me) and I much prefer single waist darts over bust and waist darts when you have a printed fabric. I’ve paired it with a gathered skirt instead of a circle this time.

    I altered the back bodice and made a new facing using the Simple Sew Ruby dress back pieces as a guide and thankfully it worked first time without any gaping. There are some small diagonal drag lines but I didn’t get those on my muslin so what’s a girl to do!?

    almond rock atelier brunette Eiffel Tower vogue 1102

    Unlike my JL daisy chain dress I used the facings AND I lined the whole thing. The idea came from Marrie B actually. And it meant I got to use a ludicrous teal viscose lining without risking unwanted peeking.

    (Gotta brag, that viscose was an absolute steal. Samuel Taylors had a remnant bin half price sale. 1.5m for £3 down to £1.50. Yeehaw! I have loads more to share from that sale.)

    almond rock atelier brunette Eiffel Tower vogue 1102

    I’m not sure it’s a very flattering colour on me but I dont really care since the print is fun. Since taking these photos I’ve been wearing the dress with a belt which looks better. It’s had a fair few outings and know it will be regularly worn next year!