• Dresses

    Dashwood Kwik Sew 4111 & McCall’s 8090 hack

    Do you hoard fabric for years because you get scared to cut it? Or talk yourself out of using it because your idea won’t do it justice? Well then, how about impulsively cutting it after years because you’re mad how long it’s been in your stash and mad at yourself for past indecision?

    Almond rock Dashwood studio rayon Susan driscoll kwik sew 4111 mccalls 8090 dress pattern hack

    This brings me to today’s dress. In hot weather I want to waft around in viscose dresses. Preferably loose fit with wide armholes. After finishing a version of McCall’s 8090 (to be shared very soon) I decided the skirt was perfection. And I could add a different bodice to create an equally lovely dress.

    Almond rock Dashwood studio rayon Susan driscoll kwik sew 4111 mccalls 8090 dress pattern hack

    I rooted about my stash and found Kwik Sew 4111. I liked that it was a blousey bodice that they had gathered in to the waist. I decided to use it without the gathers.

    I also shortened the bodice by 7cm, drew a v neckline and swapped the zip for a keyhole back. I’m sharing my altered pattern pieces for reference. The tie belt is a simple pair of long rectangles sewn all around with a turning gap. I added belt loops at the side seams to stop it wiggling around!

    Almond rock Dashwood studio rayon Susan driscoll kwik sew 4111 mccalls 8090 dress pattern hack

    The keyhole is mostly for show because I can get the dress on over my head in one swift motion. Let’s dive onto the construction so you can make your own keyhole back dress.

    Almond rock Dashwood studio rayon Susan driscoll kwik sew 4111 mccalls 8090 dress pattern hack

    Sew the shoulder seams of your bodice, then the shoulder seams of your all in one facings. Place everything right sides together and sew around the necklines and armholes. Clip, notch and trim the seam allowance.

    Turn everything out to the rs through the shoulders. That’s the fun bit right?

    NB: Start here if you only have a neckline facing! Fold over the centre back facing over again so it’s RST with your fabric. A thin piece of binding acts as a rouleau loop and is sandwiched between the layers facing inwards. Sew the seam down the centre back stopping at the end of the facing.

    Clip the corners to reduce bulk. You then finish by making the centre back seam and stop sewing about 20cm from the top. Then continue as normal with your pattern instructions.

    Simple right?

    Almond rock Dashwood studio rayon Susan driscoll kwik sew 4111 mccalls 8090 dress pattern hack

  • Dresses

    Happy sunshine dress

    Hello everyone! I promise this isn’t going be a huge ramble about the weather, even though I’m a total British cliché and actually enjoy talking about what’s happening out there. If I’ve ever talked to you about the weather, don’t think it’s just small talk… it honestly isn’t!

    almond rock simplicity 2444 floral summer dress

    So this is a dress I made last Summer! It was great for those sticky days when I needed to feel put together but stay as cool as possible. We’re not having so many of those right now. I have this really vivid memory of being out in Leeds with my mum and the sun was shining down on us and just loved wearing this dress. I also wore it to meet the gorgeous teeny newborn baby of my two good friends so the happy memories keep rolling.

    almond rock simplicity 2444 floral summer dress

    The cotton is a pretty print I found at B&M fabrics in the market but I’ve seen it online at Sew Over It called Cristabel and at Goldhawk Road. It’s a lightweight poplin with a touch of spandex. B&M had it on a blue base too.

    almond rock simplicity 2444 floral summer dress

    The dress is a Simplicity 2444 bodice with bigger armholes and thinner “straps” or should we still just call them shoulder seams? I used the Emery skirt from Christine Haynes because it’s so awesome; the perfect length and flared with the perfect A line. I added the pockets from the Emery too. I’m super happy with the fit of this dress now.

    almond rock simplicity 2444 floral summer dress

    The dress isn’t lined, just sewn up with the included facings which made it super quick to sew. The print means it isn’t that sheer but I definitely need a slip to wear the dress with tights. I installed a lapped zipper in the back because I am still on the quest to perfect these. This one is almost right, but the zipper pull shows a little.

    almond rock simplicity 2444 floral summer dress

    Oh and I rediscovered this necklace the other day too and really want to buy another big colourful piece like it. I systematically forget to wear jewellery every day. I really want to change that; although perhaps that means picking out jewellery the night before and laying it out for myself. That’s weird right? I have some lovely antique pieces from my family that I really regret not wearing more. Am I the only forgetful “accessoriser” out there?